5 Life-Saving Eating Rules For When You’re on Your Period!
That certain time of the month when you have your period can be described as inconvenient at best and downright scary at worst. Symptoms such as depression or irritability, bloating and mood swings, breast tenderness, and even painful cramps are common. Willpower is at a premium and it seems to get tested on a daily basis, especially when it comes to eating.
While you are having your period it’s important to take care of yourself and give your body the nutrition it needs. Studies have shown that by focusing on lean proteins and fiber, you can help regulate your blood sugar levels. Also, while special attention should always be given to replenishing your body’s supply of iron, you can reduce bloating by eliminating sugary fluids and carbonation.
Staying healthy while on your period means eating healthy. That also means avoiding foods that might worsen your symptoms. Here are five examples below of foods you should avoid while on your period:
• Processed Foods – Generally speaking, processed canned foods contain very high levels of sodium. Excessive levels of sodium cause increased water retention that can lead to additional bloating.
• Fatty Meats – High saturated fats contained in fatty meats can cause inflammation and pain that will worsen the effects of menstrual cramps. Instead of pork or beef, try eating fish and lean meats during your period.
• Commercial Baked Goods – Baked goods contain large amounts of trans-fats that can increase estrogen levels in women. This increased hormone production can lead to sharp pains inside the uterus.
• Caffeine – Caffeinated food and drinks are stimulants that can lead to irregular periods and increased cramping. Other side effects of caffeine intake during periods are sleeping difficulties, agitated mood swings, and even additional menstrual cramping pain.
• Alcohol – Alcoholic drinks act as a blood thinners, increasing your flow which can lead to additional discomfort. The consumption of alcohol can also increase cramping due to dehydration and affect mood swings leading to depression.
Let’s face it, being on your period can be miserable. The good news is that by avoiding certain foods you can help lessen the symptoms you experience.
Both the searing summer sun and harsh cold winter air can wreak havoc on skin and make it look parched and weathered, and once it sets in, dry skin can be difficult to resolve. While trying to regain moisture, some ingredients that are commonly found in soaps and lotions should be avoided.
Many skin preparations such as soaps and certain lotions contain alcohol which is a major contributing factor to dry skin, and it is the most prevalent ingredient in hand sanitizers. When reading product labeling, any ingredient ending in “ol” indicates a form of alcohol and should be avoided.
Lotions, soaps and body washes that are heavily perfumed rob the skin of moisture. For dry skin, it is better to opt for products that are fragrance-free. In addition, deodorant soap has ingredients that can worsen parched skin.
Surfactants are ingredients added to soap and body wash that are designed to increase the foaming action of a product, but they are also prone to causing dryness. The following additives are surfactants commonly found in skin preparations:
Found in many skin treatment programs to fight wrinkles and other signs of aging, salicylic acid can also deplete moisture when used in excessive amounts. When using products with the additive, it is important to carefully follow instructions to avoid overuse and subsequent drying. Product labeling may also list the active ingredient as “willow bark.”
Many cleansing agents on the market are enhanced with additional antibacterial ingredients which can make dry skin worse. Recent studies have found that most soap products do an excellent job of eliminating pathogens without the addition of antimicrobials, so purchasing antibacterial soap is not usually necessary.
Benzoyl Peroxide is the main active ingredient in many acne-fighting skin preparations. While it may work wonders to eliminate pimples, it is a very harsh irritant and often leaves the surrounding skin red, dry and peeling.
Bright and beautiful eyes are the quintessential hallmark of youth. Unfortunately, as individuals grow older, the eyes often show the first signs of aging. A recent study has shown that a few simple tricks can help eyes retain and restore their vibrant youthful appearance.
1. Keep Hydrated
Drinking water is not only good for overall health, but helps keep the skin around the eyes from succumbing to excessive wrinkles. Some great ways to keep hydrated include:
Drinking plenty of water Avoiding caffeine Limiting alcohol Reducing salt
2. Eat Your Veggies
Vegetables that promote healthier looking eyes include Brussels sprouts and spinach. Brussels sprouts are a great source of lutein which prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. Spinach, which is rich in iron, helps prevent bags and dark circles.
3. Play With Your Veggies
Both sweet potatoes and cucumbers have innate properties that help reduce puffiness when placed directly on the eyes. Lying back with slices of either vegetable placed on the eyes for 10 minutes in the morning can help eliminate swelling.
Damaging UV rays are particularly harsh on the thin skin around the eyes.
5. Cosmetic Tricks
Changing the way makeup is applied can result in a drastically younger appearance. A few tips to use makeup in order to create more youthful eyes include:
Avoid concealer that is lighter than the skin. Apply concealer with a brush. Choose a yellow tint Use dark liner on the top lid and lighter on the bottom.
6. Keep the Skin Clean
Going to bed without removing eye makeup can result in skin that is bogged down and sagging.
Being diligent about applying moisturizer is probably one of the most important steps in retaining a youthful appearance around the eyes. It should be gently applied, because the surrounding skin is very delicate. Skipping moisturizer can result in permanent cracks and wrinkles.
8. Green Tea
Not only is green tea a powerful antioxidant when consumed, but research has shown that the tannins and caffeine in the bags makes it an excellent eye compress that reduces puffiness. Cold bags should be placed over the eyes for approximately 10 minutes.
For women who want to become pregnant, there are many factors that affect their fertility and their chances of conceiving. The diet has a large influence on fertility and can often make it difficult to become pregnant at a faster rate. To protect your fertility and cut out foods that may be harming it, there are a few products to eliminate from your diet completely.
1. Low-Fat Dairy Products
Although low-fat dairy products may seem ideal for women who want to manage their weight, the food can actually reduce fertility by preventing ovulation each month. According to a study performed by Jorge Chavarro, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard University, it can be difficult to conceive for women who consume more than two servings of low-fat dairy products each day. Limit your consumption and switch to regular dairy products.
2. Non-Fermented Soy
Soy is commonly perceived as a health food, but is considered a risk for those who are trying to get pregnant. According to www.natural-fertility-info.com, non-fermented soy should be avoided due to the isoflavones that work as a mild form of estrogen and ultimately lower the body’s level of estrogen. This can ultimately lead to infertility and make it difficult to conceive.
For women who are trying to get pregnant, alcohol can increase the risk of ovulatory infertility by 50 percent. The beverage prevents the liver from metabolizing hormones and ridding itself of extra hormones that should be expelled.
For a food that is both fried and loaded with sugar, doughnuts have a high level of trans fat, which can increase the risk of infertility. Every two percent of trans fat in foods is said to increase infertility by two percent and the average store-bought doughnut contains an average of 35 percent of trans fat.
5. Microwave Popcorn
A midnight snack of microwave popcorn may seem innocent, but the food contains perfluorooctanoic acid due to the lining of the bag. This chemical can increase fertility risks by 70 to 134 percent.
There are several home remedies for a variety of different things. Although some are brilliant, others are a little suspicious.
1. Whiskey for a Teething Baby
When babies start teething, inflammation begins to occur beneath the gums. Babies deal with this pain by being cranky and not sleeping. So, parents try the old home remedy of rubbing the baby’s gums with whiskey, because if a baby cannot sleep, might as well get them drunk. Although it is true that the amount of whiskey used cannot intoxicate the child, it is safe to say that enough times may cause them to get a little woozy. The main issue behind this remedy is that whiskey will numb the pain for awhile but does nothing to reduce the inflammation.
2. Butter for a Burn
People have found butter to be a lot more useful than just a topping for their toast. Butter has been used as a tightly wound ring remover, skin treatments and even to train a cat. One of the more dangerous home remedies that involves butter, however, is using it to heal a burn. Butter will soothe the pain of a burn temporarily, but it has no healing qualities. A burn is an open wound, so slathering butter over the top of it can be a huge risk for infection due to the fact that it is unsterilized.
3. Lemon Juice for Teeth Whitening
If someone wants to pucker up, a sweet kiss is a lot more enjoyable than sucking on a lemon. Some have thought that biting into a lemon whitens the teeth. While it is true that teeth may appear to be whiter due to the acidic in citrus, it causes a lot more damage than improvement. Too much citric acid against the teeth causes erosion of the outer enamel, which causes sensitivity and tooth decay. So, teeth may be white for awhile, but it will not be long before it decays into a spotty brown.
4. Matches to Remove Ticks on Animals
People use hot matches up against a tick to get them to let go. The method works, for humans anyway. The problem started when people started using the method on their pets. There is one solid difference between a dog and a human, dogs have fur and fur can light on fire. When people used the match method to conquer a tick while also trying to maneuver through fur, it would leave red welts and burns on the dog.
5. Ear Candling to Remove Earwax
Earwax is gross and it is obvious that women will do anything to rid themselves of gross bodily functions. Ear candling removes the earwax using a candle-shaped cone inside the ear and lighting it on fire. Once the wick burns down, the user removes the cone, along with the earwax inside. Earwax has a purpose, believe it or not. It is a lubricant for the ear that helps make the inside of the ear water-proof and also guards against infection. Ear candling can also damage someone’s hearing. Deaf but beautiful, a worthy sacrifice.
6. Milk and Cabbage Gel for Back Pain
Mixing milk and cabbage sounds more like a German delicacy than a back pain reliever. Seems to be a constant theme in home remedies, the mixture will soothe pain temporarily, but it does nothing to actually reduce or fix the pain. The only thing someone will get in the end is the stench of old cabbage that has seeped into their skin.
7. Headband and Alcohol to Reduce a Headache
This remedy requires the user to soak a bandana in rubbing alcohol and then tying it tightly around their head to reduce a headache. It releases a cooling effect on the forehead that may be soothing but it does not relieve the headache. Rubbing alcohol can actually seep into the skin and cause nausea, while having something tightened around the head can actually make a headache worse.
Home remedies can be a life-saver, but they can also be a waste of time. Make sure they are invented in reality rather than stupidity before trying them out.
In this modern world, there are toxic chemicals all around us. Your body is constantly being exposed to toxins from pollution, medications, and the food you eat. A healthy lifestyle is the best way to keep toxins out of your body. By eating organic, moderating drinking, and avoiding chemicals in products, you can reduce the amount of toxins that enter your body.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t follow this advice and this can put a lot of stress on your body. This is especially true if you are eating a lot of processed foods and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Your liver normally can take care of getting rid of all the bad stuff while keeping healthy nutrients, but over time, it can become overloaded with toxins. When your liver isn’t as good at getting rid of toxins, your body starts to feel the effects. These are signs that your liver needs some help with detox.
You don’t look healthy.
• Acne, dry skin, rashes. Your skin has started to flare up and nothing you do seems to help. • Weight gain, especially around midsection. You start to notice fat building up around your tummy and exercising won’t get rid of it.
If you notice that a lot of this list sounds like you, the problem may be with your liver. The toxins start to build up and this eventually takes a toll on how you look and feel. The good news is that, according to a recent study, there are tons of things you can do to help. Starting to eat healthy now can give your liver a break and it can start to clear out your system. If you need a more serious fix, there are a lot of options for detoxing your liver. You can choose to do a juice cleanse or a fast that will reset your system and get your liver working again. This will help you get back to feeling healthy and more like your old self.
10 Common Habits That Give You Sluggish Metabolism
Having an extremely slow metabolism is one of the most common reasons why most people have a difficult time maximizing their weight loss efforts. Here is a comprehensive list of the 10 most common habits that give you a sluggish metabolism.
1. Infrequent Eating
Most busy individuals unfortunately are the victim to eating once or twice a day. However, this is the ultimate killer of a fast metabolism! If you want to rev up your metabolism and continuously burn body fat, make sure you eat five to seven well-portioned meals throughout the day.
2. Sleep Deprivation
Anything less than eight hours of sleep a night is bad for your metabolism. If you find yourself not getting optimal amounts of sleep, try eating magnesium-rich foods or using a magnesium supplement to help put your body to sleep at night.
The body is made up over 70 percent water, so it should not be surprising you have a slow metabolism because of a lack of proper water intake. Active individuals should aim to drink at least half a gallon or more a day!
4. Too Little Food
While dieting, it is necessary to cut back on calories, however, do not make the mistake of under-eating for weight loss. Extreme caloric restriction will slow down your thyroid and hypothalamus, causing your metabolism to act very sluggish. Make sure you incorporate a re-feed day in your diet at least once every one to two weeks.
5. Low Carbohydrate Intake
Low carbohydrate diets have recently exploded in popularity. Scientists have long known that excessive carbohydrate intake leads to weight gain, nonetheless, going days without carbs will also slow down your metabolism. If you are going to cut back on carbs, instead of eliminating them from your diet completely, try carb cycling.
6. Low Protein Intake
Meat has gotten a bad rap over the last few years, however, if you want to speed up your metabolism, it is necessary to consume a good amount of protein. Your body churns up its metabolic processes to digest protein. Also, protein speeds up muscle recovery and repair. Make sure you take in at least .5 to one gram of protein for every pound you weigh.
7. Excessive Amounts of Exercise
It is necessary to stay physically active for optimal health, nonetheless, spending hours in the gym can also slow down your metabolism drastically. Your thyroid gland is not going to allow your body to continuously burn thousands of calories. Over time, long bouts of exercise will trigger your thyroid gland to slow down your metabolism to avoid drastic weight loss. Maximizing your exercise by keeping your workouts to at least an hour.
8. Too Much Cardio
Sure, cardio helps keep our hearts health, but it doesn’t help put on good amounts of lean muscle mass which is the key to having a high metabolism. Limit your cardio to around 40 to 60 minutes a day.
Try drinking at least a cup or two of coffee a day to speed up your metabolism. Studies have shown that caffeine helps individuals burn up to 15 to 20 percent more body fat compared to individuals that don’t consume caffeine.
10. Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Not only is alcohol filled with a lot of empty calories, but frequent alcohol consumption also suppresses hormones like testosterone, HGH and other metabolism-churning hormones. Limit your drinks to once or twice a week for optimal results.
The human liver is an important bodily organ essential for living a healthy life. Its primary function is to breakdown nutrients from the food we eat and help with digestion. It performs several other functions which makes it important to pay attention to the health of your liver. Here are symptoms of liver damage that should be taken seriously:
1. Skin and Nail Changes
One visible symptom of liver damage changes in the color of your skin. If your skin starts becoming paler or yellowish and your nail tips turn yellow your liver is not performing well and requires help. Newly yellow tints in the skin are caused by the liver not releasing toxins which leads to bilirubin accumulation beneath the skin. Several nail problems such as a pale nail, white nail, spoon nail, and nail ridges are also associated with liver problems.
2. Abdominal Changes
The liver is located near the rib cage when liver health starts deteriorating it causes pain in the lower abdomen and ribs. Ascites can develop if the problem goes untreated.
3. Frequent Gassy Sensation
If you frequently suffer from a gassy sensation accompanied by stool pressure its an indication that the liver is not able to secrete digestive juices which are essential to break down food. It also means the digestive system is affected by liver problems.
When the liver breaks down food it releases energy used to perform daily tasks. Getting tired easily is a sign of lack of energy which can indicate the liver is unable to do its job properly.
5. Urine Changes
When our liver starts getting damaged the color of urine changes to darker variants of yellow. It may also become bloody or tar-colored. Some think this change in color is due to dehydration, if you are ingesting sufficient fluids it indicates poor liver health.
6. Itchy Skin
An indicator of liver problems associated with skin is itchiness. If you find itchy areas on your skin that continuously get worse its a sign of liver problems.
Digestive issues such as indigestion and acid reflux are symptoms of liver damage. If digestive problems or nausea does not improve with dietary changes its a sign of liver damage. In severe cases, it may also lead to vomiting.
8. Severe Weight Loss
Sudden, unplanned weight loss can be seen as a symptom of liver damage. If you are losing weight without trying it may be from loss of appetite which happens when the liver becomes weak making you thin and malnourished.
9. Fluid Retention
Fluid retention in various parts of the body, especially feet, is a sign of a weak liver. This condition is known as edema and looks like swelling, it can happen in your ankles, hands, feet, and thighs. If you press a finger gently into a swollen area the imprint will stay a few seconds with edema.
10. Stool Changes
Changes in stool can indicate liver problems. If you observe traces of blood in the bathroom, call your doctor. Other signs of liver damage associated with stool may include periods of constipation or irritable bowel syndrome.
Staying up late, playing loud music, reckless driving, not cleaning up after themselves, not following rules is not something parents should even worry about these days. Now if you want to see what your kids are up to, you just have to pay close attention to the social media (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube) which is full with crazy, strange and most bizarre teenage fads.
1. INHALING HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS: – Glue, shoe polish or toluene, are the most common household products to inhale, close to 2 million kids ages 12 to 17 had tried these.
– A trend that started a few years ago and it consists of teenagers inhaling products that contain a lot of chemicals a new habit that can cause nausea, nosebleeds, impaired coordination and, in some cases, death. This is also called “huffing” and there have several cases of death due to huffing, including death of a 14 year old honor student in California due to huffing of keyboard cleaner.
2. CHALLENGES: Millions and millions of videos posted on youtube with the following challenges, home videos by kids and teenagers.
– Condom snorting: A challenge that consists on snorting a condom (inhale it up the nose and pull it out of the mouth) without chocking, then upload the video on youtube.
– Eating cinnamon: this challenge is based on eating cinnamon and deal with the reaction of it choking, vomiting, etc. based on this video:
– Salt and ice challenge: consist on a challenge to see how much pain you can handle by putting salt and ice on the skin, this can create serious burns to the skin., it can be a result of a third degree injury.
3. SOCIAL MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY:
Sexting: – 28% of teens admitted to having sent a sext
– sexting leads to ruin reputations, and also get your teenager arrested for distributing child pornography. There have been a lot of cases taken to court for this act.
– 75% of all teenagers now have a mobile phone. Daily Almost 90% of phone-owning teens send and receive texts.
Teen shaming: – The most popular on facebook is “Hey Girls, Did You Know” a page were teens post photos of themselves that are then altered to include comments about silly situations.
– “BUTT-CHUGGING”: – This is a drinking method and what it does is it speeds up the intoxication process, consists on alcohol entering the bloodstream through the rectum, this can potentially cause extreme drunkenness as well as severe injuries to the rectum.
– VODKA EYEBALLING: a game that involves pouring vodka onto the eyeball from the bottle. This strips away the protective membrane covering the eye causing it to sting.
– SMOKING ALCOHOL:
– It is a vaporizing effect that goes straight to the brain used as a method for instant intoxication it happens by the pumping of air into a bottle of alcohol then the fumes inhaled into the lungs.
– DRINKING HAND SANITIZER:
– teenagers are adding salt to the hand sanitizer to separate the alcohol from the sanitizer and get drunk out of it., this is made of ethyl alcohol, a few drinks will lead the person to such a level of intoxication that medical intervention will be required.
The average woman gains 1½ pounds a year during her adult life, so it may be best to fight off the roller coaster of hormones, muscle loss, and stress that conspires to slow her fat-burning engine before she pack on 40-plus pounds by her 50’s.
Let’s begin with the obvious, it’s not easy to boost over-40 weight loss, but it is possible. The amount of calories needed in each meal to fuel your body while keeping you satisfied is somewhere around 400 calories, try to make sure your meals don’t go over this amount. There’s a helpful, easy formula to calculate how many calories your body needs each day:
BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
For example, a 50 year-old woman who weighs 160 pounds and is 5′ 7″ figures it out like this:
BMR= 655 + (4.35 x 160) + (4.7 x 67) – (4.7 x 50)
If correct that equals approximately 1430 calories a day to maintain her current weight, three meals of 400 calories and two 100 calorie snacks should fit perfectly into a busy lifestyle.
The following are the most common diet mistakes that slow metabolism and make you overweight:
1. You don’t eat enough Ok, it is clearly important to cut calories to lose weight, it doesn’t mean you need to overdo it. When you eat less than what you need for basic biological function your body sends messages of starvation to your brain and your metabolism slows down as a defense mechanism, then it begins to break down precious, calorie-burning muscle tissue for energy. Eat a 300-400 calorie meal every 4 hours to shed pounds, you’ll be satisfied and it will keep from overeating later in the day.
2. You avoid caffeine Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, your daily morning coffee can rev your metabolism 5-8%, a cup of brewed tea can raise it 12%.
3. Your carbs are white Boost your fiber intake, change all white-flour products to whole-wheat products, and increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Aim for 25g per day.
4. Your water is room temperature Cold water has been frowned upon when it comes to losing weight, but drinking 6 cups of cold water a day can raise resting metabolism, since the body has to work harder to heat the water to body temperature.
5. Your food is covered with pesticides One large often ignored diet mistake is not paying attention to where your food comes from. Organochlorines experience a greater than normal dip in metabolism as they lose weight, because the toxins interfere with the energy burning process and they can trigger weight gain. Choose organic whenever possible, and wash all your fruits and vegetables very well.
6. Your meal lacks protein Protein should be a component of every meal for your body to maintain lean muscle. Add nuts, eggs, legumes, lean meat, and yogurt to your daily meals and snacks.
7. Your diet needs to pump iron Iron-rich foods are essential for carrying the oxygen your muscles need to burn fat, any deficiency of this mineral can lead to risk of low energy and a sagging metabolism. Beans, spinach, and shellfish are excellent iron sources.
8. You’re missing this crucial vitamin Another diet mistake is to not implement enough vitamin D in your diet. Vitamin D is essential for preserving metabolism-revving muscle tissue, this vitamin is obtained from sun exposure and some foods such as tuna, shrimp, tofu (always choose organic), milk, cereal, and eggs.
9. You’ve had one drink too many Alcohol makes you burn less fat, and more slowly than usual.
10. You are not getting enough calcium Calcium deficiency slows your metabolism, consuming fat-free dairy products may also reduce fat absorption from other foods. You can find a list of top non-dairy sources of calcium here.
Sometimes we drink to loosen up, become more sociable where we might otherwise hold back, and make many events more entertaining and enjoyable. Unfortunately it does not take much for many of us to feel the detrimental effects alcohol can have on our system the next day, such as headaches, nausea, stomachaches, tiredness, etc.
There are some natural and easy ways to help alleviate the negative effects of a bad hangover without sacrificing a night out:
Before you go to sleep, and after you finish drinking alcohol, drink a sports drink or a liquid with mostly water and electrolytes, Gatorade will do. Alcohol dehydrates your body, so you want to up your fluid intake before, during, and after consuming alcohol.
Eat something. When we drink, our body sometimes gets depleted of the necessary nutrients and essential minerals like vitamins B & C. Eat foods to get these back. Fruit is a great solution.
By eating something easily digestible that is healthy, we can help regain essential amino acids that have been lost. Try eating something like yogurt, bread, or crackers to help calm your stomach.
Avoid certain drinks, like drinks that hide the taste of alcohol. You may end up drinking too fast and too much. Certain types of alcohol can actually increase your chance of getting a hangover, so avoid them if possible.
Do not mix different types of alcohol because your body takes longer to individualize and metabolize the different types.
Some say additives make a hangover worse, avoid carbonated drinks because they might speed up the absorption of alcohol.
Take a vitamin supplement, many experts recommend taking a B-complex vitamin with vitamin C before and after you drink alcohol. A deficiency in vitamin B-1 makes it harder for your body to break down the alcohol, so taking the vitamin could help boost B-1 levels easing alcohol absorption.
Finally, sleep it off, your body will thank you in the morning. After you have rehydrated your body with water and had a small snack, crawl into bed and let your body rest and detoxify itself.
Let’s begin with what exactly is alcohol? Ethyl alcohol (ethanol) the main active ingredient of alcoholic beverages, is made by yeast fermentation of starch or sugar. Almost any sweet or starchy food, including potatoes, grains, honey, grapes and other fruits, even dandelions can be turned into alcohol.
Unlike most foods alcohol is not digested, 95% of it is absorbed into the bloodstream from the stomach and small intestine within one hour. The liver breaks down, or metabolizes, alcohol, the time this takes depends upon whether the alcohol is ingested with food and upon the person’s sex, weight, body type, and tolerance level, which increases with time and use. On average, however, it takes the liver 3 to 5 hours to completely metabolize 1 ounce of alcohol.
Benefits (Moderate consumption)
• Moderate consumption cuts heart-attack risk by raising HDL cholesterol and reducing the risk of blood clot formation
• May protect the brain against age-related dementia
• In small amounts, it can improve appetite and aid digestion.
• May foster a happy mood
• Reduce your risk of developing heart disease
• Reduce your risk of dying from a heart attack
• Possibly reduce your risk of strokes, particularly ischemic strokes
• Lower your risk of gallstones
• Possibly reduce your risk of diabetes
• Can provoke mood swings, aggression, and hangovers
• Can be addictive
• Interacts with many medications
• Over time, moderate to high intake increases the risk of cancers, as well as heart and liver disease.
• Heavy drinking, especially bingeing, makes platelets more likely to clump together into blood clots, which can lead to heart attack or stroke
• Heavy drinking can cause the number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells to be abnormally low. This condition, known as anemia, can trigger a host of symptoms, including fatigue, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness
By Johnny Patout Early on in my nearly 30 years in the treatment business I developed a significant interest in trying to help others understand the whys of addiction: Why can’t addicts see they are destroying their lives with alcohol and drugs? Why can’t they see they are hurting those they love? Why don’t they like the way they feel when they’re not using? Addressing these questions in a teen drug treatment setting requires us to examine the hidden dynamics of addiction.
It’s helpful in teen rehab to start with the disease concept. The World Health Organization declared alcoholism a disease in 1951. The American Medical Association declared alcoholism as a treatable disease in 1956, stating it met the five criteria to be classified as such: a pattern of symptoms, chronic in nature, progressive in nature, subject to relapse, and treatability. And we certainly know that addiction, if left untreated, can be fatal.
Quite often I have observed when someone hears “addiction is a disease,” they interpret this to mean that drinking or using drugs is a disease. Not so. Drinking is drinking and drug use is drug use. These are but symptoms of the disease. The disease itself is much more complex than simply drinking or using drugs.
The word disease is interesting. Broken down it simply means to be without comfort. How appropriate. All alcoholics and drug addicts are “without comfort” in their world – not comfortable in their own skins. This may surprise some people, as they have observed some alcoholics, who, on the surface seem to be confident, self-assured, the life of the party, and quite comfortable in their own skin.
Guidance comes from a song lyric
A near-perfect description of the hidden dynamics of addiction — an image presented to the public that is in conflict with inner turmoil – is contained in “Tears of a Clown,” the 1970 song by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles. Here are excerpts from the lyrics:
Now if there’s a smile on my face
It’s only there trying to fool the public
But don’t let my glad expression
Give you the wrong impression
Really I’m sad, oh I’m sadder than sad
Now there’s some sad things known to man
But ain’t too much sadder than
The tears of a clown
When there’s no one around
Granted, many people experience a lack of self-confidence and feel as though they are not “good enough,” but do not become addicts. Many experts in this field believe that for the addict, these feeling are felt more intensely. In his book, Not God: The History of Alcoholics Anonymous, Ernie Kurtz has what I think is an eye opening statement: “Addicts simply have a hard time accepting the limitation of being human.” While many may feel limited at times in some regards, for the addict, this is simply difficult to accept.
While it sounds irrational, when it comes to feeling a lack of confidence, being self-conscience, feeling as though they are not as good as others, feeling as though “others would not like me if they knew my inner-most thoughts and feelings,” addicts have a difficult time accepting these human limitations. As I mentioned, certainly everyone feels these things at times, but for the addict these are felt more intensely. The addict thinks these thoughts and feeling “should not be” and asks, “What’s wrong with me?”
Not pressure, but self-esteem and self-confidence
Far too often parents feel guilty that they may have done something wrong to trigger their child’s excessive drinking or drug use. A spouse wonders what he or she could have done to cause this. News reporters speculate about the cause of addiction for a famous actor or sports star, often attributing his or her addiction to the “pressure they must be under.” All hog wash, in my opinion.
I think the hidden dynamics of addiction for most addicts are quite the same as they are for me. I grew up in a wonderful environment with loving parents and terrific siblings. From early on, I excelled at most things I attempted. I was an excellent student, and beginning at age 8 entered the world of organized sports. Immediately, it was evident that I had an abundance of natural talent, and was much more proficient than my peers. However, I also had persistent inner thoughts and feelings that fostered a lack of self-esteem and self-confidence.
Just imagine going through life feeling self-conscience, not as good as others, not feeling worthy of the accolades being showered upon you, uncomfortable in a social setting, and worried about being “found out.” Then you stumble upon a magical potion — a mood-altering chemical — that eliminates all the inner turmoil, one that helps align your public self with you inner self. This is something you will not likely forget, something that will become important to you, and something you will pursue in the future.
Remember Smokey Robinson:
I try to keep my surface hid
Smiling in the public eye
But in my lonely room, I cry
The tears of a clown
When there’s no one around.
Johnny Patout is CEO of New Beginnings Recovery Center in Opelousas, La and has been working in the field of addiction for nearly three decades. He earned his graduate degree from Louisiana State University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Over the years, Johnny has provided training for substance abuse counselors and is a sought-after public speaker. Himself a recovering drug addict, Johnny draws on his education, training, and past experiences to help other addicts toward recovery.
Did you know that 4 out of 5 college students drink and at most colleges 40% of students report binge drinking? Check out this infographic about binge drinking and the motivations behind it.
The poster on the left side is from the New York’s anti-binge drinking campaign in 2010. Please “Stop drinking while you’re still thinking.”!!
This informative chart is the ultimate guide for parents of young adults and teens, who are worried about their child drug abuse.
What’s the street name of the drug?
How does it look like?
How does it abused?
What teens have heard about the drug?
Why is it dangerous?
What are the signs of abuse?
If you want to find the answers to these questions, take a closer look at the chart. To enlarge the chart click on them. Also we’ve cropped the chart into two sections, so it’d be more readable for you.