seasonal affective disorder

if dark and cold weather makes you depressed and tired, learn about Seasonal affective disorder and what are the best ways to treat it.
Seasonal affective disorder or winter blue is a mood disorder in which people may experience depression/anxiety mostly in winters although they have normal mental health. Around 6%of UK population and between 2-8%of people in other high latitude countries such as Denmark, Canada and Sweden these symptoms may interfere with the normal routine of people and they are unable to perform their work or function properly due to the severity of these symptoms. women are 40% more likely than men to experience symptoms of SAD.

Continue reading

BEAT THE BLOAT

Bloating is swelling or distention of the abdomen (belly area) after eating.it is very frequent and normal for the majority of people. About 16-30% of people report that they regularly experience bloating after eating. But for some, it is quite painful and makes them sluggish and uncomfortable.

Causes of bloating;

➡️ Some medical conditions like; celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, eating disorders, hormone flux and food intolerance.

➡️ Serious causes like; ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer liver diseases and kidney diseases but remember, bloating in these conditions is associated with other specific symptoms.

➡️Large meals: eating large potion means our body produces more gas during digestion and that process can lead to our tummy being larger.

➡️Food sensitivity: some food like beans, pulses, lactose, wheat, veggies high in FODMAP may cause bloating in some people.

➡️ fizzy drinks, drinking through a straw and talking during eating may increase the amount of swallowed air.

➡️Stress and anxiety may also cause bloating, poor sleeping habits can have an impact.

➡️Drinking too much caffeine or alcohol

How to reduce bloating;

👉Small meal and proper chewing: proper chewing may reduce the amount of swallowed air and makes you eat slower.

👉Check your fibre: fibre intake should be adequate. too little or too much fibre can make bloating worse.

👉Food records: food diaries may help to identify the patterns of symptoms and food you eat.

👉 Fermented food; eating fermented food like kimchi, tempeh, pickles and kefir may reduce bloating as they are full of probiotics and natural way to boost good bacteria in our gut.

👉 Stay well hydrated: As constipation is one of the main cause of bloating and could be triggered by not drinking enough fluid. Aim to drink 1.5 litres of water a day and cut down on hydration robbers like caffeine, alcohol, fizzy drinks.

👉Avoid chewing gums and carbonated drinks.

👉Regular exercise: A short walk after a meal can alleviate bloating. Aim for 30 minutes mild exercise. gentle exercise and stretching can help diffuse trapped gas like yoga

👉 Check your hormonal cycle; many women experienced bloating and constipation when their period is due, because of higher levels of progesterone. Overcome any hormonal hurdle by staying active, drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy diet.

👉Herbal tea can also helpful; peppermint tea or peppermint oil has been shown to relax our gut muscles and help relieve bloating triggered by trapped gas. several studies suggest that peppermint oil in IBS is helpful as it has an antispasmodic effect which means it relax our gut and reduce tummy pain and bloating associated with IBS.

▶️Take-home Message: it is important to remember that occasional bloating is normal but If bloating is associated with diarrhoea and other medical conditions you should consult with the doctor.

Sleep ;an important pillar of healthy life.

”Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.”

~ Thomas Dekker

Sleep: the important pillar of health is forgotten by many of us…. constantly tired, puffy eyes and hands holding a cup loaded with caffeine is a common picture of this modern era. Sleep form around one- third of human life, so the shut-eye must be doing some restoration work which improves brain and body health.

What is Circadian rhythm;

it is 24 -hrs biological clock which regulate our sleeping pattern along with other vital functions like feeding , hormones production and body temperature. Normally this rhythm rises in morning time causes wakefullness and alertness, with the onset of darkness it dropped down to the lowest level and helps in sleeping.

Impact of sleep deprivation on our health;

Good sleep is as important as eating a healthy diet. Our body needs good sleep for maintaining brain health, mood stabilization and to fight against diseases. The cost of sacrificing sleep is very high, lack of sleep and disturbed sleep pattern are linked with health issues like obesity, depression, increased risk of diabetes and hypertension. Sleep deficiency does have a negative impact on work performance.

  • Sleep deprivation and Physical health; there is a growing body of evidence that sleep deprivation is associated with hypertension, coronary heart diseases (CHD), and diabetes mellitus(DM). Increased sympathetic nervous system activity is considered to serve as common pathophysiology in sleep deprivation’s relationships with these diseases.
  • Poor sleep and Obesity; The majority of studies found positive association between short sleep (<6 hrs/night) and obesity. Sleep deprivation is associated with altered metabolic and endocrine mechanism resulting in increased appetite and late-night cravings. Moreover, insufficient sleep makes you tired and less active, over time reduced physical activity may cause weight gain and obesity.
  • Poor sleep and Depression; Lack of sleep or disturbed sleep pattern has a direct link with psychological issues like depression and anxiety and suicide. Sleep deprivation causes decreased production of serotonin, a mood regulator chemical produced by our brain. Reduced level of serotonin causes depression and anxiety.
  • Poor sleep and work life: Short duration sleep may have a negative impact on a person’s work life. Poor sleep can impair people creative capacities and reduces motivation to learn and generate new ideas.

How much sleep do we really need?

Although there is no perfect sleep number to fit each individual, National sleep foundation published a report updating sleep recommendation for all ages.

How to imrove sleep hygiene ;

  • Food and drink; Avoid eating foods that are spicy and fatty as they are tough for the stomach and may disturb sleep. Timing of meal is also an important factor for having a good sleep. Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine before going to bed.
  • Day light exposure; it is reported by some studies that daylight helps keep our circadian rhythm healthy.
  • Regular physical activity; According to National sleep foundation, people who exercise regularly have better sleep than those who do not. Some other studies suggested that exercise increases body temperature and increases production of Adenosine a chemical which causes drowsiness and improves circadian rhythm.
  • Maintaining good sleeping habits; Avoid day time sleep, stop using elecronic gadgets (cell phones, laptops, tv) 30 minutes before going to bed. Smartphone light distrub production of Melatonin a chemical produced by our brain, which plays a vital role in regulating sleep-wake cycles.
  • Make a regular sleep cycle: Regular sleep pattern may also help in improving sleep quality and duration. Waking up and going to the bed at the same times each day improves our wakeup/sleep cycle.
  • Bedroom environment; Minimize noises, external light exposure. Try to make your sleeping environment quiet, relaxing and clean.
  • Clear your mind before going to bed; Several relaxing techniques like meditation, reading a book and relaxing massage may improve sleep quality and duration.

Take-home message ;

Sleep is the third pillar of a healthy life and good sleep is important for our physical and mental health. Everyone has occasional disturbed sleep but if you are struggling with lack of sleep for prolong period, contact your doctor for identifying and treating any underlying cause.

Happiness in simplicity can be achieved with a flexible mindset and nine hours of sleep each night.” – Dalai Lama

Link between Mental health and vitamin B

A balanced diet is essential for mental and physical wellness. Our brain has a high metabolic rate so it requires a large proportion of energy and nutrient intake. Diet deficient in vitamins and minerals has detrimental effects on brain health.

People are probably familiar with Vitamin B6, Folic acid and B12 but actually, there are eight different B vitamins. They are water-soluble so our body can not store them like fat-soluble Vitamins. Each member of B group has unique and diverse functions in our body. They have a paramount role in regulating metabolic pathways of protein, carbohydates and fats. Moreover, they are essential for red blood cell poduction, cell repair and DNA synthesis.

Vitamins in this goup are a:

  • Thiamine (B1)
  • Riboflavin (B2)
  • Niacin (B3)
  • Pantothenic Acid (B5)
  • Pyridoxine (B6)
  • Biotin (B7)
  • Folic Acid (B9)
  • Cobalamine B12)

Among all vitamin B, certain vitamins are linked to mental health like: B1, B6, B12 and Folic acid. It is suggested by several studies that low levels of vitamins B like B3, B6,  and B12  may lead to depression and anxiety. One study concluded that having a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grain nuts and olive oil is associated with low levels of depression.
Some studies have compared “traditional” diets like the #Mediterranean diet and the #traditional Japanese diet, high in vegetables and fruits, fish and seafood to a typical “Western” diet rich in processed, refined food and sugars and have shown that the risk of depression is 25% to 35% lower in those who eat a traditional diet.

Thiamine (B1): Thiamine is necessary for converting glucose into fuel for our body and cells in the brain. Thiamine also plays an important role in muscle contraction and nerve conduction. Its deficiency is very rare although chronic alcohol consumption may lead to thiamine deficiency.

Symptoms of Thiamine deficiency: Loss of sensation in hands and feet, loss of muscles and paralysis of lower leg. Thiamine deficiency also causes speech difficulties and mental confusion

Dietary sources of thiamine: thiamine is found in a variety of food so its deficiency is rare in people who are eating a healthy and balanced diet.

  • Beef liver
  • Black beans,lentils, fortified breakfasr cereal
  • Pork
  • Asparagus

Pyridoxin (B6); Pyridoxin has an important role in cell metabolism and nervous system . its deficiency may cause symptoms like:

  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Neuritis
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (loss of feeling or pins and needles in the hands caused by swelling of connective tissue in the wrist which presses on nerves)

Dietary souces of B 6; Pyridoxine or B6 found in a wide variety of foods like:

  • Poultry like chicken or turkey
  • Bread, whole grain cereals such as oatmeal,wheat germ and brown rice
  • Eggs
  • Vegetables
  • Soybeans

Cobalamine (B12); It is essential for red cell production , DNA synthesis and integrity of myelin ( a component of nerve cell). its deficiency may cause symptoms like

  • Anaemia
  • Neuropathies
  • Depression
  • Memory loss

Dietary source of B12; This vitamin is exclusively found in food derived from animal hence vegan and vegetarian are increased risk of its deficiency.

  • Liver
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Diary products

Niacin (B3); it is important for the production of chemical responsible for mood and emotions. serotonin is a mood regulator chemical produced by our brain and niacin is essential fo converting tryptophan into serotonin. its deficiency can directly impact mood and emotions due to impaired production of serotonin.

Dietary source of vitamin B 3

  • Liver, chicken, salmon
  • whole wheat, Bran
  • Mushrooms,peanuts, legume Nutritional yeast
  • coffee

Folic Acid or Folate; it is essential for DNA synthesis,Red cell production and its deficiency may cause Neural tube defects in the fetus.

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • whole- grain bread
  • Dried beans

Who needed vitamin B supplements; as vitamin B is normally found in wide vaierty of food and deficiencies are rar if you are eating a balanced diet, however people who are following a vegan diet may encounter deficiency .

  • Pregnant women
  • Lactating mothers
  • Older patients
  • People with certain medical conditions like celiac diseaes and inflammtory bowel diseases.
  • People who are on certain medications like Metformin and anticonvulsants.
  • People who had weight- loss surgeries.

What is the Bottom line .

Mental wellness is associated with eating a balanced diet and by moving more. A good diet is proven to help you sleep better, make you more focused on good mood and better energy levels so choose your food wisely ………..
Eat plenty of #fruits and #vegetables. 
Nuts and grain but avoid processed one 
Lean protein like Fish good sources of vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids. sweets and fatty food should be special treats not staples of your diet.

”Every time you eat is an opportunity to nourish your body ”

Premenstrual Syndrome and Diet.

#Premenstrual#syndrome (PMS) and #Diet
Premenstrual syndrome is complex disorder affecting women in their child bearing. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), it’s a group of physical or mood changes that occur one to two weeks before menstruation. Symptoms usually stop once a woman’s period begins
👉Causes:
The exact cause of this syndrome is remains unclear however, certain #neurotransmitters like #serotonin and#GABA( gaba aminobutyric acid) may play an important role in the pathophysiology of this syndrome. Serotonin helps to regulate mood and behavior, while GABA tends to promote calmness and ease anxiety.Research suggests that women who suffer from PMS may have abnormal serotonin neurotransmission, leading to symptoms such as irritability, depressed mood, and food cravings. 
The role of progesterone is inconclusive as suggested by some studies.


👉 #Risk factors :*Obesity *Family history *environment, and diet may play an important in its onset.
👉 Symptoms: headache, breast tenderness mood swings, abdominal bloating and food cravings.
👉The food connection :
certain vitamins like #vitaminD vitaminB1 and B6 may improve symptoms. Studies revealed that 1000mg/ day of calcuim along with 10 micrograms of #VitaminD may reduces premenstrual pain and migraine.
👉Dairy products or other alternative sources, egg and fortified cereals are the best choices.
👉Vitamin B6 is a factor in the synthesis of the amino acids tryptophan and tyrosine, the precursors to serotonin and dopamine, respectively, both of which affect mood. 
The researchers found that higher intakes of dietary thiamine and riboflavin for approximately two to four years was associated with a significantly lower incidence of PMS.
Some minerals like #Iron#zinc and #Magnesiumalso associated with PSM.
Evidence suggests magnesium may be beneficial in reducing fluid retention associated with PMS.
👉Take home Message :
A blanced diet with plenty of calcium, vitamin D and vitaminB 
Do include whole grains, lean protein, fruits, and vegetables.
with moderate physical activity🏃‍♀️ If symptoms getting worse always consult your GP.

Eat Your Water


#Eat
#your#water
fruits and vegetable are helpful to keep our body well hydrated.Water in fruits and vegetables is surrounded by molecules that facilitate the entry of water into cells, which is why it is referred to as cellular water. Cellular water is absorbed slowly, providing you with lasting hydration

Folic Acid Fortification in the UK

#Folic#acid fortification in #UK
Government strats consultation to add #folicacid to flour in the UK to help prevent birth defects like #spinabifida
👉why folic acid is important 
This vitamin is essential for fetus brain development. It is recommended that women should take 400 micrograms of #Folic acid before conception and continue upto first 3 month as baby’s brain and spinal cord developed in first 12 weeks.
👉but it is reported that around 1,000 pregnancies are affected by Neural tube defects due to lower intake of folic acid and over 40% are fatal.

👉Despite voluntary fortification, data from the last 9 years shows folate intakes of women who could become pregnant have continued to decline and are particularly low in areas of deprivation. 
➡️This mandatory Fortification would also help the wider population meet recommended folate intake levels and could helpful to prevent around 200 birth defects a year.

About me…

My name is Shazia Faisal and I am a General practitioner and registered nutritionist. I believe in preventive medicine. Nutrition is an important pillar along with other components for a healthy life. Nutritional education as an appendage to conventional medicine has the power to close the gap in current medical treatment that’s why I equipped my self with MSc in Clinical Nutrition. My aim is to spread evidence-based awareness and knowledge about a healthy lifestyle. I want to motivate and inspire people by giving ideas about a balanced diet, stress management and physical activity as healthy eating is not about weight loss but its lifestyle.