Wow! Over 53,000 Followers on our Facebook page! We HEART each one of you!Thank you for making this part of our job wonderful!~ The Anatomy In Motion Team

Wow! Over 53,000 Followers on our Facebook page! We HEART each one of you!

Thank you for making this part of our job wonderful!
~ The Anatomy In Motion Team

On average, digestion takes about 6 - 8 hours for food to pass through your stomach and small intestine. Food then enters your large intestine for further digestion, absorption of water and, finally, elimination of undigested food. The average transit time through just the large intestine is under 40 hours, with significant difference of average between men and women: 33 hours for men, 47 hours for women.Understandably, digestion time varies between individuals as well as type of food being eaten.Info provided by the Mayo Clinic

On average, digestion takes about 6 - 8 hours for food to pass through your stomach and small intestine. Food then enters your large intestine for further digestion, absorption of water and, finally, elimination of undigested food. The average transit time through just the large intestine is under 40 hours, with significant difference of average between men and women: 33 hours for men, 47 hours for women.

Understandably, digestion time varies between individuals as well as type of food being eaten.

Info provided by the Mayo Clinic

Does Weather Affect Joint Pain?By Katherine Kam & Laura J. Martin, MDThe skies are clear blue, but your ankle starts flaring up with arthritis pain. Could a storm be looming? You feel it in your bones, but is it just an old wives’ tale? Or can joint pain actually predict weather changes?Believe it or not, your weather forecasting might have some validity, thanks to the effects of barometric pressure changes on your body.It’s common for people to blame increased pain on the weather, according to Robert Newlin Jamison, PhD, a professor in the departments of psychiatry and anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School and a researcher who has studied weather’s effects on chronic pain patients.
"Everyone’s got an aunt who complained that her knee or ankle would flare up. Or Uncle Charlie’s shoulder would give him trouble and he would say, ‘Oh, the weather’s changing,’" he says.But Jamison, who is also the chief psychologist at the Pain Management Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, has seen patients worry about being ridiculed. “For whatever reason, people with chronic pain are real shy about saying it because they think other people think they’re nuts,” he says.But Jamison doesn’t think so. In previous research published in the journal Pain, Jamison looked for an association between weather and chronic pain in four cities: San Diego, Nashville, Boston, and Worcester, a Massachusetts city with much colder temperatures than Boston, he says.
Among all people interviewed about their chronic pain, “Two-thirds said they were pretty sure that weather seems to affect their pain,” he says. “Most of them reported that they could actually feel the changes even before the weather changed. In other words, they could feel some increased pain the day before the storm comes.”How Might Weather Cause Pain?It’s typical for joint pain to start even before the first raindrops fall, says David Borenstein, MD, FACP, FACR, a rheumatologist and clinical professor of medicine at George Washington University Medical Center and past president of the American College of Rheumatology."If you really listened carefully to Grandma or someone who had arthritis, they actually told you it was going to rain," he says. "They said, ‘It’s going to rain today,’ and more likely than not, they were usually correct."How to explain?There’s no full agreement among scientists that weather causes pain, or if a specific mechanism is at fault, Jamison says. But there are plausible theories.One leading theory points to changes in air pressure. Although many people say that their pain worsens with damp, rainy weather, research has shown that it’s not the cold, wind, rain, or snow, Borenstein says. “The thing that affects people most is barometric pressure.” Barometric pressure is the weight of the atmosphere that surrounds us.If you imagine the tissues surrounding the joints to be like a balloon, high barometric pressure that pushes against the body from the outside will keep tissues from expanding.
But barometric pressure often drops before bad weather sets in. This lower air pressure pushes less against the body, allowing tissues to expand — and those expanded tissues can put pressure on the joint. “It’s very microscopic and we can hardly notice, except that we have these sensations,” Jamison says.Furthermore, when people have chronic pain, sometimes nerves can become more sensitized because of injury, inflammation, scarring, or adhesions, Jamison says."For whatever reason, the nerves are just hypersensitive, and they just keep firing, based on what you do — or not for any reason at all. But if there’s some expansion internally — in other words, the body can either expand or contract based on outside pressure changes — then that’s going to affect how pain is signaled."Nevertheless, the link between pain and weather changes remains hypothetical; research has come to mixed conclusions, Jamison says. “All the results are not very clean, meaning there are people who say that weather doesn’t affect their pain.”Borenstein agrees that there’s no consensus, but he finds barometric pressure a likely explanation because it does affect people’s bodies."It’s not metaphysical; it’s actually physical. It’s the same kind of thing that you have with people who go up in a plane or [astronauts]," he says. "They are creatures of the atmosphere."At higher altitudes, there’s less barometric pressure and our bodies react accordingly, Borenstein says. “When there’s less pressure, we expand,” he says. For example, he notes, even though plane cabins are pressurized, our feet often swell during a flight, but not while we’re seated at our desks for similar amounts of time at sea level.Should You Move to Florida or Arizona?It’s a question that doctors hear all the time from arthritis patients."People with chronic pain, if they can’t get out as much — and it’s so cold all the time or rainy or snowy — then they think, ‘Boy, I’d like to go some place where the weather isn’t quite so dramatic,’" Jamison says of his patients in Boston.Though he doesn’t advise against moving to warmer climes, he does try to offer realistic expectations. “There’s no heaven on earth,” he says. “If you have awful back or neck pain … there’s a good chance that that pain will travel with you.”In fact, in Jamison’s research, people from San Diego reported the greatest sensitivity to weather changes — a surprise finding, considering that it had the warmest climate, compared to Nashville and the two Massachusetts cities.San Diegans in his study noticed pain even with small changes in weather. “You think of San Diego and the temperature is always mild — it never gets too cold or particularly too hot — but with just a small change, people with pain still reported that they could detect it,” Jamison says. “I think as mammals, we kind of adjust to our climate.”
So it’s not always helpful to believe “that whole myth of, ‘Go to Arizona when you live in the Northeast and somehow your pain will be a lot better,’” Jamison says. “We know that if you ask people to rate their pain in Minnesota or Arizona or California or even Florida, there’s no one area of the country where you’d say, ‘There’s less pain there.’”Borenstein notes, too, that when people with arthritis vacation in a warm climate, they often stay in a hotel and eat out, relieving them of daily duties that cause pain. And that relief can be deceptive, he says, because if they actually move to a warmer climate and resume daily activities, the pain often returns.Comfort MeasuresRelief is possible. During weather changes, some people with arthritis will need to increase their pain medications, Borenstein says. They can take these steps, too. Stay warm. Dressing in layers, keeping your home heated, and warming up the car before you get in can help ease pain related to cold weather, according to the National Institutes of Health. Also try sleeping under an electric blanket or warming clothes in the dryer before wearing.
Apply a heating pad to your painful joints, Jamison says. “Heat lets muscles relax, so it’s a soothing way of helping with pain.”Try to prevent swelling. Warmth helps with joint pain, but not necessarily swelling, Borenstein says. For example, if bad weather worsens arthritis in the hands, try wearing Spandex gloves at night to try to keep fluid out of the joints, he suggests.Keep moving. Before you go outside during cold weather, try to exercise your painful joints to loosen up stiffness.
Improve your mood. People in chronic pain often feel anxious, depressed, and irritable, Jamison says. But in many cases, when pain strikes, “The brain is able to override a lot of sensations.”Learning how to improve your mood is important, he says. “Break things down into bite-size pieces. Learn how to pace yourself, and figure out how to improve your sleep. We know that distraction is really important, so have something to keep your mind occupied, and keep active.”Realize that the pain is temporary. When weather-related pain strikes, “It isn’t a permanent change. It’s short-lived,” Borenstein says.In fact, people will begin to adjust to the barometric changes. “The body is acclimating to the change and will move fluid from the joint into the circulation, so the patient feels less stiff and less achy. These are physiological changes that occur in relationship to these barometric changes, and they will in fact resolve.”"That knowledge — knowing what’s happening — can be reassuring to people who experience these aches because we really can’t do anything about the weather. Hopefully, they realize that the pain will go away.Aritcle Found Here:http://on.webmd.com/Wu88s2

Does Weather Affect Joint Pain?
By Katherine Kam & Laura J. Martin, MD

The skies are clear blue, but your ankle starts flaring up with arthritis pain. Could a storm be looming? You feel it in your bones, but is it just an old wives’ tale? Or can joint pain actually predict weather changes?

Believe it or not, your weather forecasting might have some validity, thanks to the effects of barometric pressure changes on your body.

It’s common for people to blame increased pain on the weather, according to Robert Newlin Jamison, PhD, a professor in the departments of psychiatry and anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School and a researcher who has studied weather’s effects on chronic pain patients.


"Everyone’s got an aunt who complained that her knee or ankle would flare up. Or Uncle Charlie’s shoulder would give him trouble and he would say, ‘Oh, the weather’s changing,’" he says.

But Jamison, who is also the chief psychologist at the Pain Management Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, has seen patients worry about being ridiculed. “For whatever reason, people with chronic pain are real shy about saying it because they think other people think they’re nuts,” he says.

But Jamison doesn’t think so. In previous research published in the journal Pain, Jamison looked for an association between weather and chronic pain in four cities: San Diego, Nashville, Boston, and Worcester, a Massachusetts city with much colder temperatures than Boston, he says.


Among all people interviewed about their chronic pain, “Two-thirds said they were pretty sure that weather seems to affect their pain,” he says. “Most of them reported that they could actually feel the changes even before the weather changed. In other words, they could feel some increased pain the day before the storm comes.”

How Might Weather Cause Pain?
It’s typical for joint pain to start even before the first raindrops fall, says David Borenstein, MD, FACP, FACR, a rheumatologist and clinical professor of medicine at George Washington University Medical Center and past president of the American College of Rheumatology.

"If you really listened carefully to Grandma or someone who had arthritis, they actually told you it was going to rain," he says. "They said, ‘It’s going to rain today,’ and more likely than not, they were usually correct."

How to explain?
There’s no full agreement among scientists that weather causes pain, or if a specific mechanism is at fault, Jamison says. But there are plausible theories.

One leading theory points to changes in air pressure. Although many people say that their pain worsens with damp, rainy weather, research has shown that it’s not the cold, wind, rain, or snow, Borenstein says. “The thing that affects people most is barometric pressure.” 

Barometric pressure is the weight of the atmosphere that surrounds us.

If you imagine the tissues surrounding the joints to be like a balloon, high barometric pressure that pushes against the body from the outside will keep tissues from expanding.


But barometric pressure often drops before bad weather sets in. This lower air pressure pushes less against the body, allowing tissues to expand — and those expanded tissues can put pressure on the joint. “It’s very microscopic and we can hardly notice, except that we have these sensations,” Jamison says.

Furthermore, when people have chronic pain, sometimes nerves can become more sensitized because of injury, inflammation, scarring, or adhesions, Jamison says.
"For whatever reason, the nerves are just hypersensitive, and they just keep firing, based on what you do — or not for any reason at all. But if there’s some expansion internally — in other words, the body can either expand or contract based on outside pressure changes — then that’s going to affect how pain is signaled."

Nevertheless, the link between pain and weather changes remains hypothetical; research has come to mixed conclusions, Jamison says. “All the results are not very clean, meaning there are people who say that weather doesn’t affect their pain.”

Borenstein agrees that there’s no consensus, but he finds barometric pressure a likely explanation because it does affect people’s bodies.

"It’s not metaphysical; it’s actually physical. It’s the same kind of thing that you have with people who go up in a plane or [astronauts]," he says. "They are creatures of the atmosphere."

At higher altitudes, there’s less barometric pressure and our bodies react accordingly, Borenstein says. “When there’s less pressure, we expand,” he says. For example, he notes, even though plane cabins are pressurized, our feet often swell during a flight, but not while we’re seated at our desks for similar amounts of time at sea level.

Should You Move to Florida or Arizona?
It’s a question that doctors hear all the time from arthritis patients.

"People with chronic pain, if they can’t get out as much — and it’s so cold all the time or rainy or snowy — then they think, ‘Boy, I’d like to go some place where the weather isn’t quite so dramatic,’" Jamison says of his patients in Boston.
Though he doesn’t advise against moving to warmer climes, he does try to offer realistic expectations. “There’s no heaven on earth,” he says. “If you have awful back or neck pain … there’s a good chance that that pain will travel with you.”

In fact, in Jamison’s research, people from San Diego reported the greatest sensitivity to weather changes — a surprise finding, considering that it had the warmest climate, compared to Nashville and the two Massachusetts cities.

San Diegans in his study noticed pain even with small changes in weather. “You think of San Diego and the temperature is always mild — it never gets too cold or particularly too hot — but with just a small change, people with pain still reported that they could detect it,” Jamison says. “I think as mammals, we kind of adjust to our climate.”


So it’s not always helpful to believe “that whole myth of, ‘Go to Arizona when you live in the Northeast and somehow your pain will be a lot better,’” Jamison says. “We know that if you ask people to rate their pain in Minnesota or Arizona or California or even Florida, there’s no one area of the country where you’d say, ‘There’s less pain there.’”
Borenstein notes, too, that when people with arthritis vacation in a warm climate, they often stay in a hotel and eat out, relieving them of daily duties that cause pain. And that relief can be deceptive, he says, because if they actually move to a warmer climate and resume daily activities, the pain often returns.

Comfort Measures
Relief is possible. During weather changes, some people with arthritis will need to increase their pain medications, Borenstein says. They can take these steps, too. 

Stay warm. Dressing in layers, keeping your home heated, and warming up the car before you get in can help ease pain related to cold weather, according to the National Institutes of Health. Also try sleeping under an electric blanket or warming clothes in the dryer before wearing.


Apply a heating pad to your painful joints, Jamison says. “Heat lets muscles relax, so it’s a soothing way of helping with pain.”

Try to prevent swelling. Warmth helps with joint pain, but not necessarily swelling, Borenstein says. For example, if bad weather worsens arthritis in the hands, try wearing Spandex gloves at night to try to keep fluid out of the joints, he suggests.

Keep moving. Before you go outside during cold weather, try to exercise your painful joints to loosen up stiffness.


Improve your mood. People in chronic pain often feel anxious, depressed, and irritable, Jamison says. But in many cases, when pain strikes, “The brain is able to override a lot of sensations.”

Learning how to improve your mood is important, he says. “Break things down into bite-size pieces. Learn how to pace yourself, and figure out how to improve your sleep. We know that distraction is really important, so have something to keep your mind occupied, and keep active.”

Realize that the pain is temporary. When weather-related pain strikes, “It isn’t a permanent change. It’s short-lived,” Borenstein says.

In fact, people will begin to adjust to the barometric changes. “The body is acclimating to the change and will move fluid from the joint into the circulation, so the patient feels less stiff and less achy. These are physiological changes that occur in relationship to these barometric changes, and they will in fact resolve.”

"That knowledge — knowing what’s happening — can be reassuring to people who experience these aches because we really can’t do anything about the weather. Hopefully, they realize that the pain will go away.

Aritcle Found Here:http://on.webmd.com/Wu88s2

Amazing.By our wonderfully talented friend Danny Quirk Artwork(No, this is not a tattoo)

Amazing.

By our wonderfully talented friend Danny Quirk Artwork
(No, this is not a tattoo)

In honor of US National Pancake Day! Anatomical Pancakes by Nathan Shields

In honor of US National Pancake Day! Anatomical Pancakes by Nathan Shields

10 Foods to Boost Your Brainpower by BBC HealthEating well is good for your mental as well as your physical health. The brain requires nutrients just like your heart, lungs or muscles do. But which foods are particularly important to keep our grey matter happy?How to eat smart!1. Opt for wholegrainsLike everything else in your body, the brain cannot work without energy. The ability to concentrate and focus comes from the adequate, steady supply of energy - in the form of glucose in our blood to the brain. Achieve this by choosing wholegrains with a low-GI, which release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, keeping you mentally alert throughout the day. Opt for ‘brown’ cereals, wheatbran, granary bread and brown pasta.2. Eat oily fishEssential fatty acids (EFAs) cannot be made by the body and must be obtained through diet. The most effective omega-3 fats occur naturally in oily fish as EPA and DHA. Good sources include linseed (flaxseed) oil, soya bean oil, pumpkin seeds, walnut oil and soya beans. They are good for healthy brain function, the heart, joints and general wellbeing. Oily fish contains EPA and DHA in a ready-made form, which enables the body to use it easily. The main sources of oily fish include salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards and kippers. Low DHA levels have been linked to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.3. Binge on blueberriesEvidence accumulated at Tufts University in the United States suggests that the consumption of blueberries may be effective in improving or delaying short term memory loss. Widely available, so there’s no excuse.4. Eat more tomatoesThere is good evidence to suggest that lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes, could help protect against the kind of free radical damage to cells which occurs in the development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s.5. Add vitality with vitaminsCertain B vitamins - B6, B12 and folic acid - are known to reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Elevated levels of homocysteine are associated with increased risk of stroke, cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. A study of a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment found that after two years of intervention with high doses of B6, B12 and folic acid there was significantly less brain shrinkage compared to a subset given placebo treatment.6. Get a blackcurrant boostVitamin C has long been thought to have the power to increase mental agility. One of the best sources of this vital vitamin are blackcurrants.7. Pick up pumpkin seedsJust a handful of pumpkin seeds a day is all you need to get your recommended daily amount of zinc, vital for enhancing memory and thinking skills.8. Bet on broccoliA great source of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function and improve brainpower.9. Sprinkle on sageSage has long had a reputation for improving memory and although most studies focus on sage as an essential oil, it could be worth adding fresh sage to your diet too.10. Go nutsA study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that a good intake of vitamin E might help to prevent cognitive decline, particularly in the elderly. Nuts are a great source of vitamin E along with leafy green vegetables, asparagus, olives, seeds, eggs, brown rice and wholegrains.Brainpower supplementsAlthough research linking diet and dementia is still in its infancy, there are a few important relationships between nutrients and brain health that are worth exploring. Having a nourishing, well rounded diet gives our brain the best chance of avoiding disease. If your diet is unbalanced for whatever reason, you may want to consider a multivitamin and mineral complex and an omega-3 fatty acid supplement to help make up a few of the essentials. If you are considering taking a supplement it is best to discuss this with a doctor or qualified healthcare professional.First Seen Here: http://bit.ly/YAd9h9

10 Foods to Boost Your Brainpower by BBC Health

Eating well is good for your mental as well as your physical health. The brain requires nutrients just like your heart, lungs or muscles do. But which foods are particularly important to keep our grey matter happy?

How to eat smart!
1. Opt for wholegrains
Like everything else in your body, the brain cannot work without energy. The ability to concentrate and focus comes from the adequate, steady supply of energy - in the form of glucose in our blood to the brain. Achieve this by choosing wholegrains with a low-GI, which release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, keeping you mentally alert throughout the day. Opt for ‘brown’ cereals, wheatbran, granary bread and brown pasta.

2. Eat oily fish
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) cannot be made by the body and must be obtained through diet. The most effective omega-3 fats occur naturally in oily fish as EPA and DHA. Good sources include linseed (flaxseed) oil, soya bean oil, pumpkin seeds, walnut oil and soya beans. They are good for healthy brain function, the heart, joints and general wellbeing. Oily fish contains EPA and DHA in a ready-made form, which enables the body to use it easily. The main sources of oily fish include salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards and kippers. Low DHA levels have been linked to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.

3. Binge on blueberries
Evidence accumulated at Tufts University in the United States suggests that the consumption of blueberries may be effective in improving or delaying short term memory loss. Widely available, so there’s no excuse.

4. Eat more tomatoes
There is good evidence to suggest that lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes, could help protect against the kind of free radical damage to cells which occurs in the development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s.

5. Add vitality with vitamins
Certain B vitamins - B6, B12 and folic acid - are known to reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Elevated levels of homocysteine are associated with increased risk of stroke, cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. A study of a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment found that after two years of intervention with high doses of B6, B12 and folic acid there was significantly less brain shrinkage compared to a subset given placebo treatment.

6. Get a blackcurrant boost
Vitamin C has long been thought to have the power to increase mental agility. One of the best sources of this vital vitamin are blackcurrants.

7. Pick up pumpkin seeds
Just a handful of pumpkin seeds a day is all you need to get your recommended daily amount of zinc, vital for enhancing memory and thinking skills.

8. Bet on broccoli
A great source of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function and improve brainpower.

9. Sprinkle on sage
Sage has long had a reputation for improving memory and although most studies focus on sage as an essential oil, it could be worth adding fresh sage to your diet too.

10. Go nuts
A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that a good intake of vitamin E might help to prevent cognitive decline, particularly in the elderly. Nuts are a great source of vitamin E along with leafy green vegetables, asparagus, olives, seeds, eggs, brown rice and wholegrains.

Brainpower supplementsAlthough research linking diet and dementia is still in its infancy, there are a few important relationships between nutrients and brain health that are worth exploring. Having a nourishing, well rounded diet gives our brain the best chance of avoiding disease. If your diet is unbalanced for whatever reason, you may want to consider a multivitamin and mineral complex and an omega-3 fatty acid supplement to help make up a few of the essentials. If you are considering taking a supplement it is best to discuss this with a doctor or qualified healthcare professional.

First Seen Here: http://bit.ly/YAd9h9

What is PMS? By Discovery HealthPremenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a set of hormonal changes that trigger a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms in women. These symptoms can range from anger and irritability, to abdominal cramping and breast tenderness, to food cravings. PMS generally occurs between 7 to 14 days before menstruation (a woman’s monthly bleeding, or “period”) and then stops once menstruation begins. It can only occur during a woman’s childbearing years — after menopause, it stops.Up to 40 percent of menstruating women experience symptoms of PMS [ref]. In most of these women, PMS is nothing more than an annoyance. But in about 5 percent of women, the symptoms are debilitating enough to interfere with daily life.PMS SymptomsThere are more than 150 different symptoms associated with PMS, so it is often difficult to diagnose. Although there is no real test for PMS, doctors will do tests to rule out other conditions that cause similar symptoms. When a woman’s symptoms coincide with her menstrual cycle, and she tests negative for other conditions, PMS is usually determined to be the cause of her symptoms. Keeping a monthly diary of symptoms is helpful to confirm the diagnosis.Some conditions to rule out when diagnosing PMS:AnemiaEating disordersDiabetesAlcohol abuseHypothyroidismOral contraceptive side effectsPerimenopauseDysmenorrheaChronic fatigue syndromeEndometriosisAutoimmune disordersThere are more than 150 physical and psychological symptoms associated with PMS. These symptoms can vary from mild to severe, from person to person and from cycle to cycle.General PMS symptoms include:- Psychological symptoms- Mood changes (e.g., crying for no reason, depression, anxiety, anger, sadness or irritability)- Changes in mental functioning (inability to concentrate or remember)Changes in sex drive (increased or decreased libido)Physical symptoms- Upset stomach, diarrhea or constipation- Fatigue- Difficulty sleeping- Headache- Fluid retention/bloating- Acne- Breast tenderness- Joint or muscle pain- Cramping- Food cravings (especially for carbohydrates, chocolate and other sweets)- Weight gainWhat Causes PMS?Scientists don’t know exactly why women get PMS or why some women experience it more severely than others. But they believe that it stems from a combination of hormonal changes, genetics, nutrition and psychological factors.The Menstrual CycleHormones are one of the most studied aspects of PMS’s origins. PMS occurs near the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle, within seven to 14 days before menstruation. During this cycle, which takes about 28 days, an egg matures and is released from the ovaries for possible fertilization. The hormones estrogen and progesterone play a big part in the menstrual cycle.At around five days into the menstrual cycle, the ovaries release the female hormone estrogen. This hormone helps thicken the uterus, which will nourish an embryo if conception occurs. At around 14 days into the cycle, the egg is released in a process called ovulation. After ovulation, the last (luteal) phase of the menstrual cycle begins, and PMS symptoms tend to emerge. During this phase, the ovaries increase production of estrogen and begin producing progesterone to prepare the uterus for a possible pregnancy. If the egg is not fertilized, production of estrogen and progesterone drops. This hormonal drop causes the lining of the uterus to die and slough off, leading to menstruation. Once menstruation starts, PMS symptoms stop with a day or two. Researchers believe that the hormones estrogen and progesterone interact with certain brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters, and that this interaction can affect mood and contribute to other PMS symptoms. Let’s take a look at some of the specific neurotransmitters researchers believe are involved in PMS.Hormones and NeurotransmittersResearchers believe that the following neurotransmitters are affected by estrogen and/or progesterone during the menstrual cycle and may lead to some of the symptoms of PMS:Serotonin regulates mood and sleep patterns and creates feelings of well-being. Reduced levels of estrogen during the luteal phase may be linked to a drop in serotonin. Lower serotonin levels are associated with depression, irritability, anger and carbohydrate cravings, all of which are symptoms of PMS.Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a neurotransmitter associated with anxiety and depression. Progesterone may increase the activity of this neurotransmitter.Endorphins increase feelings of pleasure and reduce the intensity of pain. Both estrogen and progesterone may affect endorphin levels.Norepinephrine and epinephrine are neurotransmitters involved in the body’s stress response. Estrogen may affect the levels of these neurotransmitters, which can influence blood pressure and heart rate as well as mood.Whether symptoms are influenced by increased or decreased levels of estrogen and progesterone is a matter of some debate. Studies routinely produce conflicting results. Some researchers believe that the key to PMS symptoms lies in the balance between these two hormones during the menstrual cycle.Diet and PMSWe don’t know exactly how diet impacts PMS. But some research has shown that increasing complex carbohydrates before menstruation helps increase the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, a deficiency of which has been linked to PMS-related depression. Although complex carbohydrates (such as those found in whole grains and vegetables) are good to eat during PMS, simple carbohydrates (such as those found in sugary snacks and white bread) can actually increase water retention, irritability and other PMS symptoms.Experts also recommend that menstruating women take vitamins, especially a daily multivitamin containing folic acid (which is essential for the growth of the fetus should conception occur) and a calcium supplement with vitamin D (which helps bones stay strong and may also help alleviate PMS symptoms). Some researchers think Vitamin B6 may ease symptoms, particularly depression, but its effectiveness has not been clinically proven, and very high doses (500 mg to 2,000 mg daily) can cause nerve damage.Dieticians sometimes recommend that women who are experiencing PMS eat several small meals throughout the day rather than three big meals. Eating a lot of food at once can cause blood sugar to swing up and down, which some people believe might exacerbate PMS symptoms.Experts say that certain foods should be avoided:Caffeine, because it can increase irritability, nervousness and insomniaAlcohol, because it can act as a depressantSalt, because it can increase water retention and bloatingWomen should also avoid nicotine because, in addition to its other health risks, it can affect PMS symptoms much like caffeine.A 2005 study found that women who ate a diet rich in vitamin D and calcium had less of a risk of developing PMS than women who didn’t eat these nutrients. To see a benefit, the women in the study had to eat at least 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D each day. Researchers don’t know exactly why vitamin D and calcium warded off PMS symptoms, but they say it may have something to do with calcium’s effect on the hormone estrogen during the menstrual cycle.
Full infographic from I Heart Guts:http://bit.ly/WpSLkk

What is PMS? By Discovery Health
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a set of hormonal changes that trigger a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms in women. These symptoms can range from anger and irritability, to abdominal cramping and breast tenderness, to food cravings. PMS generally occurs between 7 to 14 days before menstruation (a woman’s monthly bleeding, or “period”) and then stops once menstruation begins. It can only occur during a woman’s childbearing years — after menopause, it stops.

Up to 40 percent of menstruating women experience symptoms of PMS [ref]. In most of these women, PMS is nothing more than an annoyance. But in about 5 percent of women, the symptoms are debilitating enough to interfere with daily life.

PMS Symptoms
There are more than 150 different symptoms associated with PMS, so it is often difficult to diagnose. Although there is no real test for PMS, doctors will do tests to rule out other conditions that cause similar symptoms. When a woman’s symptoms coincide with her menstrual cycle, and she tests negative for other conditions, PMS is usually determined to be the cause of her symptoms. Keeping a monthly diary of symptoms is helpful to confirm the diagnosis.

Some conditions to rule out when diagnosing PMS:
Anemia
Eating disorders
Diabetes
Alcohol abuse
Hypothyroidism
Oral contraceptive side effects
Perimenopause
Dysmenorrhea
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Endometriosis
Autoimmune disorders

There are more than 150 physical and psychological symptoms associated with PMS. These symptoms can vary from mild to severe, from person to person and from cycle to cycle.

General PMS symptoms include:
- Psychological symptoms
- Mood changes (e.g., crying for no reason, depression, anxiety, anger, sadness or irritability)
- Changes in mental functioning (inability to concentrate or remember)

Changes in sex drive (increased or decreased libido)

Physical symptoms
- Upset stomach, diarrhea or constipation
- Fatigue
- Difficulty sleeping
- Headache
- Fluid retention/bloating
- Acne
- Breast tenderness
- Joint or muscle pain
- Cramping
- Food cravings (especially for carbohydrates, chocolate and other sweets)
- Weight gain

What Causes PMS?
Scientists don’t know exactly why women get PMS or why some women experience it more severely than others. But they believe that it stems from a combination of hormonal changes, genetics, nutrition and psychological factors.

The Menstrual Cycle
Hormones are one of the most studied aspects of PMS’s origins. PMS occurs near the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle, within seven to 14 days before menstruation. During this cycle, which takes about 28 days, an egg matures and is released from the ovaries for possible fertilization. The hormones estrogen and progesterone play a big part in the menstrual cycle.

At around five days into the menstrual cycle, the ovaries release the female hormone estrogen. This hormone helps thicken the uterus, which will nourish an embryo if conception occurs. At around 14 days into the cycle, the egg is released in a process called ovulation. After ovulation, the last (luteal) phase of the menstrual cycle begins, and PMS symptoms tend to emerge. During this phase, the ovaries increase production of estrogen and begin producing progesterone to prepare the uterus for a possible pregnancy. If the egg is not fertilized, production of estrogen and progesterone drops. This hormonal drop causes the lining of the uterus to die and slough off, leading to menstruation. Once menstruation starts, PMS symptoms stop with a day or two. 

Researchers believe that the hormones estrogen and progesterone interact with certain brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters, and that this interaction can affect mood and contribute to other PMS symptoms. Let’s take a look at some of the specific neurotransmitters researchers believe are involved in PMS.

Hormones and Neurotransmitters
Researchers believe that the following neurotransmitters are affected by estrogen and/or progesterone during the menstrual cycle and may lead to some of the symptoms of PMS:
Serotonin regulates mood and sleep patterns and creates feelings of well-being. Reduced levels of estrogen during the luteal phase may be linked to a drop in serotonin. Lower serotonin levels are associated with depression, irritability, anger and carbohydrate cravings, all of which are symptoms of PMS.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a neurotransmitter associated with anxiety and depression. Progesterone may increase the activity of this neurotransmitter.

Endorphins increase feelings of pleasure and reduce the intensity of pain. Both estrogen and progesterone may affect endorphin levels.

Norepinephrine and epinephrine are neurotransmitters involved in the body’s stress response. Estrogen may affect the levels of these neurotransmitters, which can influence blood pressure and heart rate as well as mood.

Whether symptoms are influenced by increased or decreased levels of estrogen and progesterone is a matter of some debate. Studies routinely produce conflicting results. Some researchers believe that the key to PMS symptoms lies in the balance between these two hormones during the menstrual cycle.


Diet and PMS
We don’t know exactly how diet impacts PMS. But some research has shown that increasing complex carbohydrates before menstruation helps increase the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, a deficiency of which has been linked to PMS-related depression. Although complex carbohydrates (such as those found in whole grains and vegetables) are good to eat during PMS, simple carbohydrates (such as those found in sugary snacks and white bread) can actually increase water retention, irritability and other PMS symptoms.

Experts also recommend that menstruating women take vitamins, especially a daily multivitamin containing folic acid (which is essential for the growth of the fetus should conception occur) and a calcium supplement with vitamin D (which helps bones stay strong and may also help alleviate PMS symptoms). Some researchers think Vitamin B6 may ease symptoms, particularly depression, but its effectiveness has not been clinically proven, and very high doses (500 mg to 2,000 mg daily) can cause nerve damage.
Dieticians sometimes recommend that women who are experiencing PMS eat several small meals throughout the day rather than three big meals. Eating a lot of food at once can cause blood sugar to swing up and down, which some people believe might exacerbate PMS symptoms.

Experts say that certain foods should be avoided:
Caffeine, because it can increase irritability, nervousness and insomnia

Alcohol, because it can act as a depressant

Salt, because it can increase water retention and bloating
Women should also avoid nicotine because, in addition to its other health risks, it can affect PMS symptoms much like caffeine.

A 2005 study found that women who ate a diet rich in vitamin D and calcium had less of a risk of developing PMS than women who didn’t eat these nutrients. To see a benefit, the women in the study had to eat at least 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D each day. Researchers don’t know exactly why vitamin D and calcium warded off PMS symptoms, but they say it may have something to do with calcium’s effect on the hormone estrogen during the menstrual cycle.

Full infographic from I Heart Guts:http://bit.ly/WpSLkk

ar·rhyth·mi·a /āˈriT͟Hmēə/NounA condition in which the heart beats with an irregular or abnormal rhythm.Art by nickm717 of deviantart

ar·rhyth·mi·a 
/āˈriT͟Hmēə/

Noun
A condition in which the heart beats with an irregular or abnormal rhythm.

Art by nickm717 of deviantart

Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives. According to The American Chiropractic Association.What do you do for back pain?Art by Joaquin MarKiley

Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives. According to The American Chiropractic Association.

What do you do for back pain?

Art by Joaquin MarKiley