Opioid Addictions Actually Causing Life Expectancy to Drop

If I told you I had the secret to the legendary fountain of youth, the first thing you’d ask me is what you could do to get it for yourself, your friends and everyone else you love. That’s only natural; we all want to live as long as possible, and we want the same for the people who enrich our lives.

But what if I told you the age you can expect to reach in the US is dropping, and it is not because of some mysterious disease?

Just a few years ago, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) revealed that there was an unexpected drop in the US life expectancy for the first time in two decades (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db267.htm). This happened again a year later in 2016, and the data for more recent years isn’t looking much better. In 2017, the life expectancy overall in the IS was 78.6 years, which was down one-tenth of a percent from the year before. Overall, the life expectancy has dropped by fourth months between 2015 and 2018.

CDC Mortality Statistics Chief Robert Anderson said this simply isn’t right for a developed, wealthy nation like the US, and other countries of similar status are not seeing the same effect.

The drug dependency dilemma

Both the 2015 and 2016 declines were primarily attributed to the opioid crisis in the US, which was also a factor in 2017 along with a rising suicide rate. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, in particular was behind many deaths in 2017. The Washington Post reports that deaths related to fentanyl nearly doubled between 2016 and 2017, going from 19,413 in 2016 to a staggering 28,466 in 2017 (https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/us-life-expectancy-declines-again-a-dismal-trend-not-seen-since-world-war-i/2018/11/28/ae58bc8c-f28c-11e8-bc79-68604ed88993_story.html).

If you fear you may be addicted to opioids, please get help from a professional immediately. Should your doctor suggest opioids for pain management, ask what alternatives may be available for you to try instead.

Keep in mind that you can also take some steps to stay healthy when dealing with any chronic condition so you feel better and reduce the risk of having to use any opioids for treatment in the first place. Reducing or eliminating grains and sugars from your diet, increasing your consumption of omega-3 fats, optimizing your body’s vitamin D production, and reducing how much processed food you eat are all dietary changes that can improve your health dramatically.

What Happens to Your Body When You Smoke?

Are there any smokers in the room? Raise your hands and try not to cough (kidding!)

I want to talk directly to you today because I’ve got some information you need to know.

I’m not here to point fingers and make you feel bad or embarrassed for being a smoker. No one likes being addicted to something, and it can happen pretty easily.

What I want to do is tell you what is going on in your body every time you light up a cigarette. You have the right to know what your favorite smokes could be doing to you beyond leaving a bad smell on your clothes, hair and breath.

The short-term impact

Over the short term, smoking causes staining on your teeth and can lead to tooth problems, gum loss and a bad taste in your mouth. The Center for Substance Abuse Research also says that smoking, in the short term, can cause asthma and other respiratory problems, decrease your lung capacity and leave you with a cough that just won’t go away (http://www.cesar.umd.edu/cesar/drugs/tobacco.asp).

The long-term game

As time goes on and you continue to light up, the damage toll on your body continues to get worse. You may not even realize it; the more severe health consequences of smoking often don’t start to produce symptoms until some damage has been done, and you may not be able to turn back the clock on that damage, either – even if you quit.

When you smoke, it damages your heart and interferes with how your blood vessels work. The vessels in your heart, for example, can thicken, which means pathways narrow and you’re now at a much higher risk of heart disease than a non-smoker, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/smoking-and-your-heart). It also makes your heart beat at a faster pace, boosts your blood pressure and causes your blood to clot, which can impact blood flow to your heart.

You’ve probably already experienced how smoking can mess with your respiratory system, whether it’s that weird cold that keeps coming back or that time you got winded trying to go up the stairs. Your lungs have a protective layer that guards them from the things you inhale, and that layer has small hairs known as “cilia” whose job is to wipe off your lungs, like car window blades clear a windshield. However, when you smoke, your cilia stop working like they should, leaving your lungs unable to clear themselves out correctly. Smoking can also trigger asthma or make it worse and cause respiratory diseases such as COPD and chronic bronchitis.

Regardless of gender, smoking can harm your reproductive system. Other organs may be affected because of the over 7,000 potentially cancer-causing chemicals cigarettes have been known to contain.

Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but it is possible and it is worth it. Don’t be chained to your smokes a second later than you have to – take back control over your health today!

The Top 10 Most Addictive Foods

Addiction - The Top 10 Most Addictive Foods

Can’t resist the chocolate? Maybe it’s the slice of pizza? There is a good chance you might be addicted. People seem to be heavily addicted to certain foods and unable to control the desire and even the need for them. Researchers at the University of Michigan recently found how the neurotransmitter, Dopamine can be stimulated by eating certain foods. The interesting part is that they are comparing food addiction to be as powerful as many of the strong drugs that we see today. The reason for this is the brain chemical dopamine seems to be stimulated in the same way for food as it does for the drugs themselves. There are several categories of foods that were reviewed to see what really caused the most challenges. So listen, the higher the processing of the foods, the more addictive they became. The main concern was the heavy link to uncontrolled overeating. Neuro-imaging studies showed similar brain activity in drug addicts as it did in food addicts. 

Here are some of he most common traits that were noticed:

  • Loss of control with how much food is typically consumed
  • Repeated behavior despite the consequences to our health
  • Inability to stop

So you might ask, what about the foods? There are many that fall into this category. However, we will be looking at only few. 

Researchers at Yale placed foods into certain categories. 

1.French fries/chocolate 
2.Bacon/Cheese 
3.Soda/Pretzels 
4.Chicken/Broccoli

Guess which one had the highest response? Yes you guessed it, the chocolate and french fries category. The reason is the high response to sugar and fat content. These tended to stimulate the brain at its highest level of food addiction.

So the Top 10 Foods that will keep you addicted are:

1.Pizza

2.Chocolate

3.French Fries

4.Chips

5.Cookies

6.Cheeseburger

7.Soda

8.Cheese

9.Cake

10.Ice Cream

One of the great ways to overcome many of these food addictive behaviors is to know what your own brain chemistry is doing for empowering your health. By monitoring your neurotransmitters and keeping the dopamine receptors full, you can better help your body fight against the body’s own signaling for the wrong kind of foods.