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Heart Disease – What Is The Difference Between Organic Heart Disease And Degenerative Heart Disease?

Although Heart Disease is the main cause of death in the Western World it is amazing how little the general public actually know about it.

For example very few people realize that there isn’t just one type of Heart Disease. In fact there are at least ten different types and these fall into two distinct categories – Organic and Degenerative.

The major difference between Organic and Degenerative Heart Disease is their causes.

Organic refers to a situation where the organ (the heart) is damaged by a specific event. This can also be referred to as “acute”, which simply means that it happened suddenly or over a short period of time. Degenerative Heart Disease (sometimes referred to as “chronic”) is caused by gradual deterioration over a long period of time.

There are two types of Organic H.D. – Congenital and Rheumatic .

Defects that occur at birth are classed as Congenital Heart Disease. These may affect the heart itself : it may not have developed normally during pregnancy, the wall of the heart may be damaged (hole in the heart), or the blood vessels may be underdeveloped. These defects may be hereditary or more likely have been caused by external factors such as drugs or infection during pregnancy. They are normally diagnosed at birth or in early childhood but it is not uncommon for the symptoms to occur for the first time in adulthood..

Rheumatic Heart Disease can be the result of a bout of rheumatic fever. Occurrences have decreased considerably due to the use of antibiotics to treat rheumatic fever.

There are at least eight specific diseases, which fall into the category of Degenerative Heart Disease. The common factors within this category are that the disease has progressed gradually and that there is no specific event that has caused it.

The vast majority of people who are diagnosed with Heart Disease have some form of degenerative heart disease. This is the form of disease that is the target of the awareness campaigns and is the type that we can help to prevent by our lifestyles choices.

What Is Malignant Hypertension: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention

High blood pressure or more commonly known as hypertension is an incredibly common condition that is known to affect as many as one in three Americans each year. Hypertension can easily be diagnosed simply by checking if your BP is above 120 systolic or 80 diastolic. Hypertension is often easily managed, as long as you make an effort to follow the advice from your family’s doctor’s. Although not as common as hypertension, some individuals with high blood pressure may suddenly experience a sudden increase in BP that is recorded above 180 systolic or 120 diastolic. This sudden increase in BP is known as malignant hypertension. This particular condition may also be referred to as arteriolar nephrosclerosis. If an individual suffers from the condition, it’s advised that they seek immediate medical attention. If emergency treatment is not received, the individual runs the risk of developing much more serious health problems, as a result, such as kidney failure, heart attack or even brain damage.

What is known to cause malignant hypertension?

Throughout many individuals, high blood pressure is known to be one of the primary causes. If these individuals also rely on some form of BP medication, missing a dose can also cause the condition to occur. Malignant hypertension is mostly discovered in patients who possess some form of history of high blood pressure. According to the official National Institutes of Health, approximately one percent of individuals who suffer from high blood pressure will eventually begin to develop malignant hypertension. Furthermore, there are also certain medical conditions that are also responsible for malignant hypertension. Some health conditions can significantly increase an individual’s chances of developing malignant hypertension such as:

– Forgetting or not taking medication for treating high blood pressure.

– Narrowing of the main blood vessel from the heart, aorta, or aortic dissection (a form of bleeding from the wall of the aorta).

– Narrowing of the arteries found in the kidneys (known as renal stenosis).

– A result of a spinal cord injury causing over-activity in parts of a patient’s nervous system.

– Autoimmune diseases (antibodies produced in a patient’s body to fight against its own tissues).

– Preeclampsia and pregnancy.

– Drug use such as anti-depressants, oral contraceptives, amphetamines and even cocaine.

– Kidney failure or disorders.

Who is at risk for developing malignant hypertension?

Approximately 1% of individual’s who have some form of history related to high blood pressure will develop this life-threatening condition. Studies have shown that you may be at greater risk of developing this disease if you are male or African-American origin. Unlike high blood pressure, the serious condition that is malignant hypertension is capable of producing very noticeable symptoms, some of which include:

– Reduced level of urination.

– Frequent headaches.

– Shortness of breath.

– Weakness or a level of numbness in the face, legs or arms.

– Vomiting and nausea.

– Increased level of anxiety.

– Frequent coughing.

– Regular chest pains.

– Changes in vision such as blurred vision.

Malignant hypertension can also lead to another condition which is referred to as hypertensive encephalopathy. Symptoms of this condition can include:

– Seizures.

– Lack of energy.

– Increased level of confusion.

– Blurred vision.

– Headaches.

This variety of symptoms may not be caused specifically by malignant hypertension, however, they may be linked to a variety of less serious health conditions. Nevertheless, this disease is incredibly serious and life threatening, which means if you experience any form of symptoms related to this condition you should seek immediate emergency treatment. Your family doctor will also be capable of providing you with a wide variety of information and important advice surrounding the condition. Hypertension, is known to really take its toll on our kidneys. It can make it exceptionally difficult for our kidneys to filter out toxins and unnecessary waste from our blood. Which is why malignant hypertension is one of the leading causes of kidney failure. Malignant hypertension is also capable of causing your kidneys to eventually and suddenly stop working altogether.

I have been diagnosed with malignant hypertension, what should I expect?

In the past decades malignant hypertension was known to be a fatal condition. Nevertheless, through modern medicine and the latest techniques, treatment is readily available for successfully treating this condition. Nevertheless, it’s known that during treatment of malignant hypertension, kidney function may become worse or decrease significantly. However, kidney function will often improve throughout the duration of the treatment as the condition is resolved, although this cannot always be guaranteed if the kidneys have received severe levels of damage prior to treatment. Typically a patient will begin to see forms of improvement within a week to 4 weeks respectively, even after receiving dialysis. Approximately 1 in 5 individuals who have suffered from the malignant hypertension condition will ultimately require long-term dialysis. Some individuals may experience some form of permanent damage to the eyes or brain.

How is the malignant hypertension condition treated?

Malignant hypertension is a serious medical emergency that requires sufficient levels of treatment in a hospital, which usually involves some form of intensive care unit. Individuals diagnosed with the condition will receive advice from a doctor who will be able to consider their symptoms and health upon deciding what form of medical treatment is the best solution for their personal case. The result of the treatment should be to carefully and steadily lower the patient’s BP. BP medication is received through an IV which is one of the quickest methods in order to treat extremely high levels of BP. Once the patient’s BP returns to an acceptable and safe level, the medications received via the IV will often be switched to a form of oral medication. If the patient develops kidney failure throughout their condition, they may need to receive kidney dialysis.

How can I prevent malignant hypertension?

Thankfully, some forms of malignant hypertension can easily be prevented. If you are known to have a high blood pressure, it’s essential that you receive regular BP checks with your doctor to make sure it’s safe and not increasing. If you have high blood pressure, you will no doubt be provided with a form of medication, which must be taken as instructed without missing any doses. Always remember to take your medication and follow the advice given by your doctor. Other ways that you can help to keep your BP down can be:

– Limit salt intake.

– Lose weight.

– Reduce stress levels.

– Change your diet to include more fresh fruit and vegetables.

– Reduce alcohol intake.

– Quit smoking.

Role Of Food Service Consultants

If you have ever received bad service in a restaurant, you know that it can be a sales killer for any restaurant business. However, if you desire to have your restaurant be among the better restaurants in town and you aspire to be the best in your niche, then, providing great service is one of the best ways to earn a strong reputation. And one person that can help you deliver great is a professional food service consultant. The professional food service consultant can advise and give you the guidance you on the proper service techniques for your concept and assist in training how to deliver great service.

Providing great service is complex and needs all departments to coordinate their training and to achieve great service. It effects each food service departments such as banqueting, catering, room service and kitchen. Good food and beverage managers learn how to organize each of these departments to achieve great service.

Providing great service in hotels is even more complicated because there are so many departments involved. Every department imaginable including housekeeping, human resources and purchasing can have an impact on service. Different types of hotels have different food service needs as well. Little wonder that providing great service is so complicated. Food service consultants are the experts who know exactly what is needed by different restaurants.

Food service consultants play an active role in recipe development. They take on a number of services like:

– Development of food products

– Compilation and preparation of recipes

– Developing new ideas for recipes

– Innovating new product range

– Product management from planning to cooking and presentation

– Analyses of the market

– Analyses of competitors

– Recipe development

– Menu development advice and planning

– Catering

– Product tasting and evaluation

– Food styling and presentation

– Food recommendations

In addition to the above, food service consultants also focus on the nutritive value of foods so that the restaurant can serve foods that appeal to a large number of customers. Food consultants can even provide food specific nutrient analysis to show the exact number of calories, protein, carbs and vitamins in particular foods. This is important as many people are becoming more health conscious. A well trained food consultant can help you modify your recipes so that they are flavorful, visually appealing and nutritious.

Along with recipe development, good food consultants also can support the training of your people.

Therefore, if your restaurant business seems to be lagging behind and you just don’t know what to do, consider contacting a professional food consultant to assist in supporting your needs. You could also depend on food and beverage consultants to produce attractive pictures and sales materials for the restaurant.

Great food and service is an integral component to your restaurant business. A restaurant with excellent food service is the foundation for popular.

Why Diabetics Should Eat Lots of Shrimp

Shrimp is one of the best food choices a diabetic can make. Here are some of the main reasons:

Shrimp Has LOTS of Omega-3 (Omega-3 Fatty Acids) and This Is Extremely Important To the Diabetic

Diabetics have damaged cell membranes. They are “insulin resistant” which means they don’t respond normally to insulin when it signals the cell to uptake glucose. Glucose can’t get across these damaged membranes at the normal rate, and therefore, this sugar builds up in the bloodstream reaping havoc with your body.

Repairing these membranes involves eliminating certain things from your diet, especially trans fat which gets subsituted into your cell membranes where the healthy omega-3’s should go. This damages your cell membranes and makes them too “stiff.” Even if you eliminate trans fat, if you don’t get enough omega-3, you won’t be able to repair and maintain those damaged cell membranes. Shrimp is one of the very best sources for omega-3.

Shrimp Has the Best Kind of Omega-3

There are several different types of omega-3.

First, there is a difference between plant derived omega-3 (ALA) and animal derived omega-3 (DHA and EPA). Humans can not use the plant version (ALA) without first converting it and we can only convert about 10% of what we eat. The rest is wasted. Also, diabetics and older people convert at even a lower rate. Therefore, it is best to eat the animal form of omega-3 which we can more easily use.

Second, the omega-3 in shrimp and other crustaceans (a type of arthropod) is attached to a phospholipid molecule. This is exactly what is found in the membranes of humans and is easier for the body to absorb than when it’s attached to triglyceride molecule like you find in fish.

Shrimp Is Very High In Protein, Very Low In Fat, and Contains Virtually No Carb

Each bite of succulent shrimp is packed with protein and hardly any fat. Plus, it has virually no carb. Since diabetics need to lower their carb intake and increase their protein intake, this makes the composition of shrimp meat perfect for the diabetic.

You Don’t Need To Worry About the Cholesterol Thing

Shrimp got a very undeserved bad rap regarding cholesterol. Yes, it is true that shrimp meat contains cholesterol BUT it is extremely low in saturated fat which is actually what raises cholesterol in humans. In fact, eating shrimp actually raises the good cholesterol.

Shrimp Tastes Great – What a Treat!

Most diabetics have to give up or at least drastically reduce some of their favorite foods. However, here’s a food that is simply wonderful in taste and is almost always thought of as quite a treat that is simply perfect for the diabetic to eat. Thank you Mother Nature!

Advantages to Computers in the Food & Beverage Industry

Computers have revolutionized the food and beverage industry as they have nearly every other industry. Computers have had positive, measurable effects on the front end and back end of hospitality operations. Computers systems have improved employee performance, and food and beverage quality and consistency. Within the food and beverage industry there is no longer a question of should technology be used, but rather a question of which technology to use? In the food and beverage business, computers are here to stay.

In the hospitality industry, customer service is an absolute critical factor for success. Computers are helping in this area in several ways. In many restaurants, the wait staff can process various forms of payment at guest tables, which allows guest to leave directly from their table without the need to stop at a centralized checkout station. This has removed long unsightly lines, which annoy customers, and disrupt the flow of traffic in food and beverage businesses. This service is made possible by either small hand held computers which handle credit card transactions using wireless technology, or via remote point of sale systems that interact with a central computer system. This improves the customers dining experience, which should be the goal of any food service business.

A key management concern of any food and beverage business is the profit margin. In this vital area of business, computers have also proven to be an indispensable tool. Computer systems help manage the entire food service process from ordering the ingredients needed to produce menu items, to forecasting the amount of items to prepare for each dining period based on historical patterns. This helps to reduce wasted food, which is very expensive and comes out of the businesses profit. It also helps in preparing menu items before hand, which reduces customer wait time. Computer can also forecast with high accuracy rates the volume of business to be expected which allows managers to properly staff their business. This is vital because having too much staff on hand can consume unnecessary amounts of payroll, and not having enough staff on hand will cause customer service problems.

Computers are also being used in very innovative ways by some food and beverage businesses. For instance, Darden Restaurants that owns and operates the Red lobster and Olive Garden chains uses computers to help choose new building sites. This computer system uses a software program called the Darden Site Analyzer. The software gathers critical information needed to select a site, such as demographics, distance to other restaurants and customer information specific to the Darden business model. The program then analyzes the site and provides a series of reports to help Darden make the final decision. Darden plans to improve the software so that it can evaluate things such as whether a new Darden restaurant will negatively effect other Darden restaurants in the same area.

Computer systems have become a vital part of all aspects of the food and beverage industry, they help with purchasing decisions, inventory control, employee scheduling and training, and customer acquisition and retention. A leading indicator of this growing trend is the fact that many hospitality training programs now include computer and technology courses in the curriculum.

Each year innovators are creating more unique ways that technology can be used to enhance the overall commercial dining experience. Computers make out of home dining a more enjoyable experience for the consumer and a more profitable manageable experience for business managers and owners.

(c) 2006, Marcus Barber

Iodine for Hypothyroidism: Friend or Foe?

Iodine for hypothyroidism is a controversial topic, with experts on both ends of the spectrum arguing for and against its use. But if you have hypothyroidism, or know someone who does, it’s important to understand that iodine is often not a preferred form of treatment, and in many cases can make your condition worse.

Before we delve into why that is, you’re probably wondering about all of the good things you’ve heard about iodine, so allow us to explain…

Your Thyroid Needs Iodine to Function

Your body does not make iodine on its own, which means you must get it through your food. If you don’t get enough, you will be unable to make sufficient amounts of thyroid hormone.

Your thyroid depends on iodine to produce two hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). The numbers in these hormone names are actually a marker of how many iodine atoms are attached, with T4 containing 4 atom molecules, then releasing one to convert into T3, the hormone’s active form.

It’s estimated that 2 billion people worldwide — including 266 million school-age children — have insufficient iodine intake,[1] and the resulting iodine deficiency is, in fact, the most common cause of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) worldwide.

If you have an iodine-deficient diet then eating iodine-rich foods like seaweed and even supplementing with iodine can quickly help to remedy the problem… but it’s important to realize that in the United States iodine deficiency is not a major cause of hypothyroidism, and in many cases treating the condition with iodine is a major health disaster.

Iodine Deficiency is NOT a Major Cause of U.S. Hypothyroidism Cases

Iodine levels in food vary greatly depending on soil and seawater concentration of iodine. Because of this it can be difficult to get sufficient iodine from diet alone, especially if you live in an area with iodine-deficient soil. To remedy this, the United States adds iodine to most table salt, which means you’re not only getting extra iodine when you salt your food, but also when you eat processed foods, which are typically heavily salted with iodized salt.

Many animal feeds in the United States are also supplemented with iodine and as a result dairy products are also good food sources of this nutrient.

There have, however, been signs that iodine intakes in the United States have been dropping, possibly due to increased numbers of people cutting back on their salt intake, but data from the latest study available, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2004, suggests that most Americans are still getting enough.[2]

So, in the United States, iodine deficiency is not considered to be a major cause of hypothyroidism, except in specific at-risk groups, such as those who do not consume iodized salt (including that in processed foods), fish or seaweed, or women who are pregnant.

That said, cases of hypothyroidism are widespread in the United States, impacting nearly 4 percent of the population, [3] including 13 million who have not been diagnosed and are unaware they have the condition. [4]

If iodine deficiency is not the problem, then what is?

The Most Common Cause of Hypothyroidism in the United States

Hypothyroidism in the United States is most often the result of an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, or Hashimoto’s disease, which causes your immune system to mistakenly attack, and destroy, the thyroid.

The disease typically begins with inflammation of your thyroid gland (thyroiditis) that over time impairs the ability of your thyroid to produce enough hormones, and eventually leads to underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism.

The exact causes of Hashimoto’s are unknown, but it’s likely the result of a combination of factors including:

  • A virus or bacteria that triggers the response
  • Genetics/family history
  • Gender (women are more likely to have Hashimoto’s)
  • Other environmental factors

However, and this is an important point, excess iodine may also worsen the condition.

Increasing Iodine May Worsen Hypothyroidism

There’s no arguing that iodine is a crucial nutrient for your body… but in the case of hypothyroidism, more is not always better.

Studies show that giving iodine to people who had adequate or excessive iodine intake could actually trigger hypothyroidism and autoimmune thyroiditis.

Research also suggests that iodine actually increases the activity of the thyroid peroxidase (TPO) enzyme, and increased antibodies to this enzyme are common in Hashimoto’s patients. It is the interaction between the TPO enzyme and the antibodies that leads to inflammation and destruction of the thyroid. In other words, too much iodine can actually make Hashimoto’s worse.

Remember, since most hypothyroidism cases in the United States are due to Hashimoto’s disease, NOT iodine deficiency, this study could apply to you…

Be Very Careful if Your Health Care Practitioner Automatically Recommends Iodine for Hypothyroidism

Many health care practitioners in the United States do not understand the complexities of thyroid function and will routinely recommend iodine supplements for people with hypothyroidism. This approach will, unfortunately, be detrimental for some.

If you are truly deficient in iodine, then supplementation or increased dietary intake is necessary. But if not, additional iodine will most likely only trigger or worsen your thyroid troubles.

So if your health care practitioner recommends iodine supplementation without any real evidence that you’re deficient, it’s a red flag to take note of. A second opinion from a practitioner who understands the complex role of iodine in hypothyroidism — and can discuss with you its benefits versus risks — is likely warranted.

References

1. Food and Nutrition Bulletin 2008 Sep;29(3):195-202.

2. Thyroid. 2008 Nov;18(11):1207-14.

3. Thyroid. 2007 Dec;17(12):1211-23.

4. Archives of Internal Medicine 2000;160:526-534.