Thursday, August 5, 2010

How to Read Food Labels

You cannot measure every morsel that passes your lips, but it is a good idea to measure most foods and beverages until you get a feel for portion sizes.

It is a supersized world out there, and most people are surprised to find that their idea of a single serving is actually two or three.

If you are into bells and whistles, there are food scales that are preprogrammed with nutritional information, as well as scales that will keep a running total of your daily food and nutrient intake for you. The only tools you really need, however, are a simple and inexpensive gram scale, dry and liquid measuring cups, and idea on reading food labels.

Among all of the mentioned tools, reading food labels seem to be the most effective way of determining the right kind of food to be bought in the supermarket. It lets you make sensible food selections. Through the “Nutrition Facts” section in a particular item in the grocery, you can identify the amount of serving sizes provided in that product.

With food labels, you can clearly understand the amount and kinds of nutrients that are provided in the item. Usually, it contains the information on saturated fat, sodium, total fat, fiber, and cholesterol amount “per serving.”

However, understanding and reading these food labels can be very perplexing. A typical consumer would definitely ask what those numbers mean and how it will affect her diet intake if ever she will religiously follow the serving guide as stipulated on the food label.

To further have a clear and more comprehensive understanding of the items stated in the food label, here is a list of things that you need to know:

1. Serving size

This is the primary item you will see in a food label.

The amount of servings stated in the food label refers to the quantity of food people usually consume. However, this does not necessarily mean that it reflects your very own amount of food intake.

Moreover, serving size determines the amount of nutrients that enters the body. This means that if you will follow strictly what the serving size is, you will obtain the same amount of nutrients according to the serving size that was given in the label.

For instance, if the serving size says one serving size is equal to 54 grams, that would mean you have to measure 54 grams and eat that and you have just eaten one serving. So to speak, the amount of nutrients stated in the food label is the same amount that has entered your body considering the fact that you have just eaten 54 grams.

However, if you have eaten everything, and the food label says that each pack is equivalent to 4 servings, you have to calculate the amount of nutrients that have entered your body. This means that if the food label says 250 calories per serving that means you have to multiply it to four to get the total amount of calories you have taken.

2. Nutrients

This refers to the list of available nutrients in a particular item. It is also where the nutritional claims of the product based on the recommended daily dietary allowance are stated. Usually, the nutritional amounts are based on both the 2,500-calorie diets and the 2,000 recommended dietary allowances.

In order to understand the numeric value of each item, you should know that the “% daily value” that the food label indicates is actually based on how a particular food corresponds to the recommended daily dietary allowance for a 2,000 calorie.

If in the event that you have purchased an item that has a dietary allowance different from the 2,000-calorie diet, you just have to divide the stipulated amount by 2,000 and you will be able to identify the “%daily value” for the nutrients.

3. Ingredients

This refers to the list of the ingredients that were used to manufacture the product. The listing is usually arranged from the main ingredients that have the greater amount by weight up to the smallest quantity. This simply means that the actual quantity of the food includes the biggest quantity of the main ingredient or the first item and the minimum amount of the very last ingredient.

4. Label claim

This refers to the kinds of nutritional claims of a particular food item. For instance, if an item says it is sodium-free, it has less than 5 milligrams per serving or a low fat item actually contains 3 grams of fat or less.

Indeed, reading food labels can be very tedious and confusing. Nevertheless, once you get the hang of it, it would be easier for you to watch your diet because you can already control the amount of food that you take.

How to Manage Slip Disks in Back Pain

Slip disks is a problem that causes back pain, yet it is one of the many variants as to why back pain starts. Once doctors decide is a disk is slipped they often assign management schemes to the patient. It is important that the patient follow the instructions, otherwise the pain could get worse. Your doctor will provide you systematic instructions if you are diagnosed with back pain, such as slip disks.

How to manage:

Doctors often order back and skin care, such as massage therapy and so on. You can purchase back mats with massagers cheap, as well as sauna foot tubs. Doctors also recommend bed rest, as well as alignment of the entire body. You can learn stretch exercises, which work amazingly to relieve pain. If the disks are causing dramatic pain, doctors may include logrolling strategies ever couple of hours. If you continue treatment in office, doctors will monitor your records and order laboratory tests, such as I/O, VS, and UO. TENS is “transcutaneous electrical nerve” stimulations, which is often ordered as well.

Patients with back pain often set up with diets, orthopedic treatments, meds, and so on. Antacids are recommended for many patients, which include Aluminum hydroxide gels (Gelusil) and Maalox, which are magnesium and/or aluminum based.

Once you are diagnosed with slip disk or herniated nucleus pulposa you will need to continue treatment, including medical administration and nursing interventions. The strategies are set up under doctor’s orders, which vary from patient to patient.

Often doctors will prescribe NAID, which include painkillers such as Indomethacin, Dolobid, Motrin, Clinoril, Ibuprofen, Ansaid, Feldene, etc. Flexeril and valiums are prescribed to relax the muscles.

Doctors will use chemonucleolysis combined with chymopapain treatment as well, or discase. Chemonucleolysis is the process of breaking down “disk pulp” by using enzymes, which are injected into the “pulpy material” of a certain “intervertebral disk.” The purpose is to liquefy and decrease pressure on neighboring “nerve roots” in slip disks. Chymopapain is obviously enzymes from papaya, which is found in juices. The mission is to breakdown proteins. The treatment works alongside common management schemes, such as bed rest, hot pads, stretch exercises, moisture, and hot compressors.

Various other treatments and management schemes are set up otherwise potential complications could arise. The complications include urine retention, infections of the upper respiratory, urinary tract infections, muscle degeneration or atrophy, chronic back pain, thrombophlebitis, progressive paralysis, and so on.

Thrombophlebitis is inflammation of the veins, which formulate blood clots. If complications arise, doctors may consider surgical procedures to intervene. The interventions may include microdiskectomy, spinal fusion, percutaneous lateral diskectomy, laminectomy, etc.

Laminectomy is the process of surgically excision the vertebral posterior arch. The patient is administered fluids through I.V. as well as related treatment such as ROM exercises, which are done prior to and after back surgery. Isometric exercises are commonly ordered when back pain is present. Spinal fusions are described as stabilizations of the “spinous” progressions along with the “bone chips” of the ilium and its surroundings, or iliac crest. Harrington rods of metallic implants are potentials as well and describe spinal fusions.

In addition to slip disks, back pain may arise from fractures, which may emerge from trauma, aging, osteoporosis, steroid therapy, multiple myeloma, osteomyelitis, bone tumors, Cushing syndrome, immobility, malnutrition, and so on. Fractures are defined in many ways, which include compression, avulsion, simple, etc.

One thing for sure, when it comes to back pain one must take measures to prevent further complications, since back pain is one of the worst possible pains one can endure.

How the Skeletal Muscles cause Back Pain

The skeletal bones make up more than 200 short, long, irregular, and flat structures. Inside the bones is calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and RBCs, or marrow, which produces and generate red blood cells. The bones work along side the muscles. The muscles and bones afford support, defense for the internal organs, and locomotion.

The skeletal muscles are our source of mobility, which supports the posture. The muscles work alongside the posture by shortens and tighten it. The bones attach to the muscles via tendons. The muscle then starts to contract with stimulus of muscle fibers via a motor nerve cell, or neuron. The neurons consist of axon, cell bodies, and dendrites, which transport to the nerve impulses and are the essential makeup of our functional components within the larger system of nerves. (Central Nervous System-CNS) CNS is a network or system of nerve cells, fibers, etc, that conveys and transmits sensations to the brain, which carries on to the “motor impulses” and onto the organs and muscles.

Skeletal muscles supply movement for the body and the posture; as well, the skeletal muscles also submit energies to create contractions that form from ATP or adenosine Triphosphate and hydrolysis, ADP or adenosine Diphosphate and finally phosphate.

The skeletal muscles also preserve muscle tone. What happen are the skeletal acts as a retainer by holding back a degree of contractions and breaking down acetylcholine by cholinesterase to relax the muscles? Muscles are made up of ligaments.

Ligaments are robust bands combined with collagen threads or fiber that connect to the bones. The bands, fiber, and bones join to encircle the joints, which gives one a source of strength. Body weight requires cartilages, joints, ligaments, bones, muscles, etc to hold its weight. Next to ligaments are tendons. Tendons are ligaments and muscles combined, since it connects to the muscles and are made of connective proteins, or collagen. Tendons however do not possess the same flexibility as the ligaments do. Tendons make up fiber proteins that are found in cartilages, bones, skin, tendons, and related connective tissues.

Joints are the connective articulated junctions between the bones. Joints connect to two bones and its plane and provide stability as well as locomotion. ROM is the degree of joint mobility, which if ROM is interrupted, the joints swell, ache, and cause pain. The pain often affects various parts of the body, including the back. Joints connect with the knees, elbow, skull, bones, etc, and work between the synovium. Synovium is a membrane. The membrane lines the inner plane of the joints. Synovium is essential since it supplies antibodies. The antibodies combined with this membrane create fluids that reach the cartilages. The fluids help to decrease resistance, especially in the joints. Synovium works in conjunction with the cartilages and joints.

Cartilage is the smooth plane between the bones of a joint. The cartilage will deteriorate with restricted ROM or lack of resistance in the weight bearing joints. This brings in the bursa. Bursa is a sac filled with fluid. Bursa assists the joints, cartilages, bones, and synovium by reducing friction. Bursa also works by minimizing the risks of joints rubbing against the other. In short, bursa is padding.

If fluids increase, it can cause swelling, and inflammation in turn causing body pain, and including back pain. Sometimes the pain starts at the lower back, yet it could work around various areas of the body. The assessments in this situation revolve around symptoms, including pain, fatigue, numbness, limited mobility, joint stiffness, fevers, swelling, and so on. The results of skeletal muscle difficulties can lead to muscle spasms, poor posture, skeletal deformity, edema, inflammation, and so on. As you see from the medical versions of the skeletal muscles, back pain results from limited ROM, joint stiffness, etc.