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Posted at: Feb 10, 2018, 1:47 AM; last updated: Feb 10, 2018, 1:47 AM (IST)

Health Capsules

Health  Capsules
Why you feel hungrier as you lose weight 

A recent study has shed light on why it can be so hard for you to maintain a healthy weight after substantial weight loss. The study studied appetite in patients who participated in a comprehensive two-year weight loss program, and found clues as to why maintaining weight loss long term is so difficult. After two years all study participants had lost weight. But everyone was also hungrier than when they started. The key appears to be in the balance between hunger and satiety hormones in people who have lost a lot of weight. According to an expert, most people with obesity are able to lose weight, even on their own, but research shows that only 20 per cent manage to maintain the new lower weight. From a biological perspective, two factors are at play: human evolution and the body's ability to ensure its survival. One of these is a hormone. The second is the body's ability to conserve energy. When we lose weight, the stomach releases greater amounts of a hormone called ghrelin. This hormone makes us feel hungry. If you've been overweight and then lose weight, the hormone level increases, adds the expert. The study shows that the level of ghrelin in the study participants remained high throughout the two years. This means that people who have been overweight will have to deal with increased hunger pangs for the rest of their lives. The second factor is the body's ability to conserve. People who have lost weight need less energy to maintain their new and lighter bodies. And yet they feel hungrier, because the body is trying to get that weight back. Just to be on the safe side. The study has been published in the American Journal of Physiology, Endrocrinology and Metabolism. 

What causes erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) or sexual impotence is a condition where men have trouble in getting an erection, maintaining an erection or witness a lack of sexual desire. It is not merely a medical condition but has become synonymous with the 'lack of power' in an individual. Hence, the patients suffering from this disease, often referred to as 'impotence', often conceal the problem and face the consequences rather than seeking timely medical support. “The cases of ED have risen significantly in the past decade. People believe that the main cause is aging, but changing lifestyles, stress, lack of exercise excessive smoking and drinking can have substantial impact on a person's sexual health,” says Dr S.S. Vasan, Manipal Fertility, Bengaluru. As India is the diabetic capital of the world, it has high incidence of hypertension and metabolic disorders, which also lead to an increased risk of ED. Often, patients are shy in seeking medical help and start self-diagnosis or consult quacks. This can be extremely detrimental for the condition. It is important to understand that a cure for this problem is available at all ages. Apart from a sedentary lifestyle, medical conditions such as heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and injury to the urinary system, spinal cord or penis can lead to erectile dysfunction. Regular intake of antidepressants, antiandrogens, sedatives and hypertension medication can occasionally cause this problem. Age can also play a role in the issue. "The problem is also significantly rising amongst young men between the age groups 30-40," informs Dr Rupin Shah, Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai. Erectile dysfunction is a lifestyle problem which can affect anybody and can be treated in time. 

New promising drug therapy for asthma patients 

Scientists have developed a new non-toxic treatment that could lead to more effective drug therapy for millions of individuals with asthma and other respiratory disorders. They have identified a drug called TSG12 that relaxes the muscles and opens the airways in asthma. This drug treatment, which is not toxic in human cells, was found to prevent pulmonary resistance in egg-and dust mite-induced asthma as well as in chronic obstruction pulmonary disease (COPD). "It is not a cure, but this treatment will give people a lot of hope," said an expert. The study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, found that the metallothionein-2 (MT-2) protein in asthmatic lung tissue relaxes airway smooth muscle cells and opens the airways, allowing asthma patients to breath. The TSG12 treatment, developed from the MT-2 protein, that expanded the pulmonary airways, also reduced pulmonary resistance. It was also more effective than current FDA-approved treatments, including bronchodilator inhalers used by almost all people with asthma, the researchers said, adding that the next step would be clinical trials.

A blood test to measure heart health 

Researchers have found a new blood test that could provide a clue as to why some patients are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease risk after suffering a heart attack. The results showed novel therapies targeting fibrin clot lysis time may improve prognosis in patients with acute coronary syndrome. For the study, published in European Heart Journal, researchers analysed blood plasma samples from more than 4,300 patients with acute coronary syndrome as they were discharged from hospital. They measured the maximum density of a clot and the time it took for the clot to break down — known as clot lysis time. After adjustment for risk factors, the study found that the patients with the longest clot lysis time had a 40 per cent increased risk of recurrent myocardial infarction or death due to cardiovascular disease. — Agencies

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