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Restless Leg Syndrome
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Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is very common and is a major cause of sleeping problems. Despite this, many people aren’t even aware the condition exists, or that it can be treated fairly easily.

Symptoms

As the name suggests, restless leg syndrome is typified by:
  • Inability to keep your legs still
  • Your legs kick and itch uncontrollably.
  • Strange, restless sensations couplled with the urge to move. Urges are worse at night and when resting.
  • Just thinking about having to sit still for a long time (e.g. watching a movie) makes you feel anxious.

Diagnosis

The majority of RLS sufferers are often incorrectly diagnosed as suffering from:
  • sleep disorders (although people with RLS do sleep worse than people with other sleep disorders);
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • poor circulation
  • arthritis
  • attention deficit disorder (if the patient is young and can’t keep his legs still)

Medical researchers have now discovered that RLS is a metabolic brain disease and that effective treatment is available. People with RLS – one in 10 people – have a shortage of iron in specific areas of the brain which deal with movement. Even if a standard blood test shows normal blood-iron levels, it doesn’t mean iron levels in the brain are normal.

Low iron levels in the brain lead to a shortage of dopamine, which in turn causes those weird sensations in the legs and the uncontrollable urge to move them. Research has also shown the following: more women than men have RLS (particularly during pregnancy); there is a strong genetic factor; it is worse during periods of inactivity; and chances are slim that the condition will improve without treatment.

Treatment

  • If RLS only affects your sleep patterns occasionally, simple lifestyle changes – such as drinking fewer caffeine-rich beverages like coffee or energy drinks, or cutting down on alcohol – can help.
  • The right iron, folic acid or magnesium supplements can improve your general health if you have a shortage of these minerals. Key nutrients to consider are iron, (preferably powdered) magnesium,  B Vitamins and Vitamin C.
  • Sometimes massage, putting your legs in cold or warm water, or less/more exercise helps reduce the sensations.
  • If you experience RLS once or twice a week and it regularly deprives you of sleep, your doctor may recommend medication that helps restore dopamine levels in the brain.
  • The ideal treatment would be to restore the brain’s iron levels, but in people who already have healthy blood-iron levels but low brain iron, increasingly the levels of iron in the blood may not likely increase brain iron levels.
  • Your doctor may also prescribe correction of the dopamine function by means of a drug that mimics the effect of dopamine. Talk to your GP for treatment options.
 

Do you have RLS?

Answering yes to all of these questions is an indication that you likely have RLS:

  1. Do you have an uncontrollable urge to move your legs – usually because you’re experiencing uncomfortable and unpleasant sensations in those limbs?
  2. Do these unpleasant sensations get worse when you rest, sit, lie or are inactive?
  3. Does walking, stretching or movement help to relieve these unpleasant sensations – even if the relief lasts only while you’re moving your legs?
  4. Are the symptoms usually worse at night?
------ This article was provided by Health365. For more information on maintaining your health, visit www.health365.com.au.
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How To Lose Your Beer Belly
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How To Lose Your Beer Belly

A beer belly used to be a mark of the great Australian larrikin. Someone who enjoyed a bit too much of all the good things that life had to offer. A loveable lout more concerned with having a good time with friends than worrying about his health. However, with increasing rates of obesity-related diseases killing men off in our thousands, plus increasing pressure on men to conform to a particular body  image, it is no longer 'OK' to be lugging that extra weight around your midriff section. Whilst we don't mean to suggest you should lose that beer belly to bow to societal pressures of what a man's body should look like, we do condone dropping excess body fat in the name of increasing your health and extending your life expectancy.  

3 Important Tips: Losing Your Beer Belly

 

1. Drink in moderation

Excessive alcohol can lead to midnight kebabs and $5 pizza slices (don't act like you don't know what we are talking about). However, alcohol consumption can have several other effects on our bodies that can hinder weight loss / contribute to weight gain. Firstly, alcohol can mess with our metabolism. Our livers are responsible for metabolizing fats to use them for energy. When we drink, our  livers are also workinghard trying to process and metabolise the alcohol we have just had. This can mean less of the fat we have eaten is used for creating energy. Further, many common mixers that we consume with alcohol contain high levels of processed sugar. This causes a very interesting problem - our body has an amazing ability to assess what food we need for energy production, and what food is excess. It will take that excess unused energy source and store them for later use in the form of body fat. This is particularly true for processed sugars in drink mixers - our body can only use so much of the huge amount of potential energy that the sugars provide, so most of it gets stored for later use in the form of body fat. This can cause weight gain.  

2. Exercise

That's right... there are no miracle cures for the beer belly. Combining a mix of cardiovascular (think jogging, swimming, aerobics classes) and resistance training (think bench press and squats) can produce the optimal mix of fat-burning exercise. Cardiovascular exercise (aim for 45 minutes at a time) forces your body to tap into it's fat stores to create the energy needed to complete that exercise. Resistance training, on the other hand, can help your body use up more energy for hours after you leave the gym. Weight training can leave your metabolism high and your body using alot of the food you eat to repair itself. Furthermore, a person with higher muscle mass uses more energy in a day than a similar person with less muscle mass, meaning adding some muscle mass can help turn more of the food you eat each day into energy energy rather than fat.  

3. Overhaul your diet

Chances are if you have a beer belly then your diet may be more to blame than beer itself. Consider a complete overhaul of your diet, and try the following tips:
  • Reduce your portions – no need to feel bloated after every meal.
  • Drink 8 to 12 glasses of water, spread throughout the day. Proper hydration is a key prerequisite to help you metabolise food.
  • Cut down on sugary, fatty, fried and processed food (white bread, chips, pizza, fast food, cool drinks, chocolate bars, cake, etc.).
  • Eat more wholegrain cereals, breads and pastas rather than their white alternatives. Wholegrain foods release their energy more slowly, meaning less chance they will be stored as fat by your body.
  • Eat more raw and fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Choose lean, low-fat meats and grill or roast rather than fry them.
  • Eat five balanced, smaller meals throughout the day rather than three large ones – it’ll improve your metabolism.
  • Eat more soluble fibre (unpeeled apples, oats, cherries etc.). It iwll help you feel fuller for longer.
 

What about Fat Burning Supplements?

All we can say is "Buyer Beware". There are some products - such as our SlimRight Green Coffee Bean and SlimRight Metabolift products - that can aid weight loss and fat metabolism when used in conjunction with good diet and exercise. At the same time, there are other products whose only weight loss effect is emptying your wallet. If you are going to try a metabolism boosting supplement, try to protect yourself from fraudsters by buying Australian products from Australian retailers rather than buying overseas brands online. Overseas products are not as heavily regulated as Australian products, and their quality and efficacy cannot be guaranteed. The tight regulatory guidelines Australian weight loss products must comply with helps protect consumers.   Looking to drop a few kilograms? Check out our range of products to help weight management.
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