Food memories can reduce calorie intake
Research led by a psychologist at the University of Liverpool has found that using memories of recent meals reduces the amount of food eaten later on. It also found that being distracted when eating leads to increased consumption.
Researchers analysed 24 separate studies which had examined the impact of awareness, attention, memory and distraction on how much food we eat.
Lower food consumption
They found that remembering meals, being more aware and paying added attention to meals results in lower food consumption and could help with weight loss programmes.
Techniques such as writing down previous meals, using visual reminders of previous meals and keeping food wrappers were found to help with food memories and lead to a reduction in meal sizes.
Dr Eric Robinson, from the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, said: “Our research found that if people recalled their last meal as being filling and satisfying then they ate less during their next meal.
“The studies we analysed looked at adults with healthy body mass index so additional work is needed to find out how this might affect people who are overweight”
This could be developed as a new strategy to help with weight loss and maintenance and reduce the need for calorie controlled dieting.
Distractions lead to increased consumption
The research also identified that being distracted when eating a meal leads to increased consumption of the immediate meal but has even more of an effect on later eating.
Distractions, which include watching television, listening to the radio or music or reading a newspaper at the dinner table, impede a person’s awareness of the food they are eating and results in over-consumption.
The research is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
At the Personal Medical Clinic calculating your body-mass-index and assessing your nutrition is part of every detailed first consultation. Should low or high weight be an issue we advise on a diet regime or liaise with one of our nutritional associates.
Erectile dysfunction appears to be a marker for cardiovascular disease, premature death
In a study published in PLOS Medicine on January 29, 2013, researchers reported that an increasing risk of future cardiovascular disease and of premature death is associated with increasing severity of male erectile dysfunction (ED). And this finding included men with no history of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Notably, even though prior studies have suggested an association between ED and CVD risk, this is the first study indicating that even mild ED correlates to an increased risk of CVD hospitalization and all-cause mortality.
The investigators emphasized that ED is not a likely cause of CVD, both have similar underlying causes such as atherosclerosis. Therefore, they suggest that ED could serve as a clinical marker to help identify men needing further CVD risk analyses.
Lead investigator Emily Banks, MBBS, PhD, professor of epidemiology and public health at Australian National University College of Medicine, Biology and Environment in Canberra, Australia, and her colleagues analyzed data on 95,038 men (age 45 and older) from the Australian prospective cohort 45 and Up Study. The study is the largest study of healthy ageing ever undertaken in the Southern Hemisphere, and includes over 250,000 subjects from New South Wales, Australia.
They researchers analyzed the data for the association between severity of self-reported ED and CVD hospitalization and mortality, after adjusting for potential confounding factors.
The average follow-up was 2.8 years.
Among men without known CVD at baseline, those with severe versus no ED had a relative 35% increase in risk of hospitalization for all CVDs, and a relative 93% increased risk of all-cause mortality.
Among men with known CVD at baseline and severe ED, increased risk of hospitalization for all CVDs combined was a relative 64% and for all-cause mortality, 137%.
The authors concluded, “The findings of this study highlight the need to consider ED in relation to the risk of a wide range of CVDs”.
At the Personal Medical Clinic we focus on Male health in a multidisciplinary approach. We perform executive Male Health Screening to assess risk factors in order to advise you on appropriate treatment, necessary changes of life style or initiate referrals to other specialists.
What Are Sleep Apnea Causes?
Sleep apnea can have many different causes. To understand how these factors affect nighttime breathing, it’s helpful to understand the mechanics of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). During your waking hours, the muscles in the back of your throat are active and keep your airway open easily. These muscles prevent the soft tissues in your mouth and throat from interfering with your breathing. Your soft palate, uvula (the dangling thing in the back of your mouth), your tongue and your tonsils are held away from your airway so there’s plenty of room for air to pass in and out. However, when you sleep, the muscles in your throat tend to relax. Your airway may narrow as the soft tissues in your mouth and throat “collapse” into your airway, restricting or blocking the flow of air.
The narrower your airway becomes, the more your air intake is compromised. Your breathing may become very shallow or stop altogether for 10-20 seconds at a stretch. As your blood oxygen level decreases and your brain senses that you can’t breathe properly, you experience a startle response that brings you partway back to waking consciousness. However, these awakenings are usually so brief that you don’t remember them. You may think you got a full night’s sleep – except you feel tired when you wake up. That’s not surprising when you realize that these episodes of poor breathing can occur five to 30 times per hour.
What Can Obstruct Your Airway?
There are many factors involved in the development of OSA. The more of the problems on the list below you experience, the more likely you are to have chronic and/or severe sleep apnea.
High Body Weight
Obesity is one common sleep apnea cause. It’s unclear precisely how high body weight interferes with breathing during sleep. However, individuals who carry a lot of extra fat in their trunk and neck area seem to experience narrowing of their airway as a result. If you have put on a significant number of pounds over the years, you may think that the fatigue you feel is from carrying around that extra weight. In fact, the weight may be contributing to apnea which makes you feel tired and less likely to exercise. It’s a vicious cycle that can lead to even more health problems over time. Weight reduction is a well-established method for reducing the severity of sleep apnea. However, that’s a long-term solution. You may need immediate treatment with a CPAP mask so you have enough energy to exercise regularly.
Habits such as sleeping on your back may put you at higher risk for experiencing airway obstruction. In this position, your tongue may tend to relax backward down your throat. You won’t actually choke to death on your tongue, but it can cause enough restriction in your breathing to interfere with normal sleep. If your partner notices that you snore more when you are on your back, your tongue position may be the problem. You may need to adjust your sleep posture to avoid lying on your back.
A small or receding jaw can be a contributing factor in sleep apnea. That’s because the size and shape of your jaw determines where your tongue is positioned in your mouth. A mouth guard that moves your jaw slightly forward may be useful for keeping your airway open at night.
If you have enlarged tonsils or adenoids, these can also obstruct your airway. This problem is most common in children. However, as routine tonsillectomy has become less popular, many adults now experience this problem as well. Tonsil and adenoid removal may resolve OSA in these cases.
Nasal issues are another frequently diagnosed sleep apnea cause. The condition may be temporary such as congestion from a cold or allergies. Or, there can be a permanent physical abnormality such as a deviated septum (crookedness in the cartilage or bone inside the nose) or nasal polyps. Treating the symptoms of congestion, alleviating allergies, or undergoing nasal surgery may limit apnea going forward.
What you put into your body can have a profound effect on your ability to breathe well during sleep. Smoking can irritate and inflame your upper respiratory tract, causing swelling in the tissues and constriction of the airway. Alcohol, sleeping pills and certain sedatives can cause excessive relaxation of the throat muscles, making sleep apnea symptoms worse. Avoiding substances that are known to contribute to OSA is one way to cut down on breathing problems at night.
Dr. Beatrice Neufeldt highlights March as Endometriosis Awareness Month.
Knowledge is power and educating yourself on women’s health is something the team at the Personal Medical Clinic encourages. Being your own health advocate and getting all of the answers can be a job in itself but it helps you to feel confident that you’ve been accurately diagnosed rather than feeling confused and doubtful. It will make decisions easier and you will be confident that the treatments recommended are the best option for you.
More and more research has been done to determine if diagnosing and treating endometriosis early on will help with the quality of life of sufferers while preserving their fertility for the future. Endometriosis is often misdiagnosed. Endometriosis is known as the “unknown illness”, it affects millions of women worldwide. Endometriosis is the development of uterine-lining tissue outside the uterus (womb). Most women who have been diagnosed with endometriosis find that it can affect their fertility later on in life. Endometriosis is a common gynecological diagnosis and mostly diagnosed between the ages of 25 to 35. If you are experiencing pain and heavy periods monthly tell your doctor. Detecting and treating endometriosis early can help with the future of your fertility.
Obstacles in Diagnostics:
Should you suffer from the time of your very first menstrual cycle, you might grow up believing that this is the way you are supposed to feel. Some young girls experience pain, heavy bleeding for longer than seven days and cannot function during this time and find that it affects their everyday life. Then when they are in their 20’s, they still think that this is the way they are supposed to feel. Sometimes we choose to ignore symptoms and choose not to tell our doctors. This is why it is important to continue raising awareness and educating the public.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
The most common symptom of endometriosis is pain. Other symptoms might include:
- Pelvic or low back pain that may occur at any time during the menstrual cycle
- Lower abdomen pain before and during menstruation
- Painful periods
- Cramps for a week or two before menstruation and during menstruation; cramps may be mild to severe
- Pain with sexual intercourse; during or following
- Bowel movement pain
- Blood in urine
- Blood in faeces
Symptoms, treatments and outcomes might vary due to individual severity of endometriosis. While many women will relate if they have endometriosis, like anything else it is not advisable to compare your symptoms, diagnosis and treatment as your situation is unique. This will help you stay on track other than thinking that all outcomes are the same. Some women might experience no pain at all, while some women might have severe pain.
Aspects of Treatments:
The combined oral contraceptive pills can help to prevent or slow down the development of the endometriosis. This sometimes masks the endometriosis. Other medication suppresses the hormone production and is sometimes used to treat symptoms. Some patients might need pain killers depending on the severity of the pain. Endometriosis is a long lasting illness and in sometimes surgery is recommend. Laparoscopy (keyhole procedure) is also a plan of action in some more severe cases, which removes the endometrial cells with a few small incisions (cutting) or by cauterisation (burning). This does not remove it forever and symptoms can reoccur which might lead to more surgeries.
Join other women during Endometriosis Awareness Month by getting the facts and continue to raise awareness for an illness that millions of women live with it every day.
You can always contact the PersonalMedical Clinic for further information. We are here to help you.
Dr. Beatrice Neufeldt reports on a recent study:
The uncertainty of whether an in vitro fertilizaiton (IVF) procedure will work or not is one of the most frustrating aspects of fertility treatment. Now, a new study finds that the Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) levels may actually predict whether IVF will be successful.
AMH is a substance secreted by the granulosa cells in the developing egg sacs (ovarian follicles). As a woman grows older, her number of ovarian follicles begins to decrease, and the amount of AMH in the blood decreases. To find a woman’s levels of AMH, she undergoes a blood test along with the other fertility testing prior to treatment.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, found that women with high AMH levels were 2.5 times more likely to have a successful IVF cycle than women of a similar age with low levels of the hormone. The Swedish researchers tracked 892 women who underwent IVF treatment between 2008 and 2011 and measured AMH levels in the participants’ blood prior to treatment. Women who had AMH levels above 2.94 ng/ml had the highest birth rates. The effect leveled out when AMH levels surpassed 5 ng/ml.
According to the researchers, women who have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) should be optimistic about their chances of success with IVF. Women with PCOS tend to have high levels of AMH.
Note: You can get tested for your AMH level in the Personal Medical Clinic. It is a simple blood test. We request a consultation prior to testing to give you advice on the need for this test.
Happy 5th Birthday to us
At the Personal Medical Clinic patient care is our priority. Since 2005 our team has been and continues to provide a dedicated, specialised health service to both women and men. By using modern means of technology and diagnostics and by liaising with other Irish and European experts we provide our patients with a unique service in a setting that is aiming to put your mind at ease. Based on the awareness of the Mind-Body-Spirit concept all consultations are unhurried and always focus on the individual need of each patient.
Due to a very positive feed back from our patients and medical colleagues we felt compelled to overhawl our old web page and to create a blog. This site is currently under construction. In future you will find articles on health matters, your questions answered and an update on our services and lectures being held.
We are here to attend to your worries without delay, to provide an excellent screening and medical facility to maintain your good health but most of all to let you get on with your life.
We are here to help.
Dr. Beatrice Neufeldt and associates