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This Easy Breath Test can Help Discover the Cause of your Recurrent Abdominal Cramps

This Easy Breath Test can Help Discover the Cause of your Recurrent Abdominal Cramps

Living a healthy life has become an impossible thing in today’s ecosystem. With the polluted environment, people’s eating habits and diet have also become worse, which is affecting the digestive tract and making them sick with several gastrointestinal disorders. Well, it happens sometimes even when you are taking a healthy diet, rich in vitamins, protein, and minerals. Despite all this, your gut starts reacting badly to some of the meals you have.

This type of condition is generally recognized as the food intolerance. For instance, when a human body is intolerant to a specific sugar, and when you eat a food containing that specific sugar, then your digestive tract doesn’t absorb the sugar and it then passes it to the stomach where it’s malabsorption causes flatulence, diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, and several other symptoms of gut function disorders.

Why Doctors Suggest A Hydrogen Breath Test?

Is it your gut flora behaving abnormal or is it a specific sugar causing the problem? All can be diagnosed by a hydrogen breath test.  A healthy human body doesn’t produce hydrogen unless it is from the malabsorption of carbohydrate.

These are the bacteria in the colon, which produce hydrogen when comes into the contact with the unabsorbed carbohydrates. When the digestive tract finds difficulty in absorbing the sugar or carbohydrate in the small intestine, this unabsorbed sugar is passed into the large intestine where bacteria break down the sugar and produce hydrogen, which is absorbed in the blood and reached to the lungs. Humans thus breathe out hydrogen, where it is measured for the diagnosis.

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What is the Hydrogen Breath Test?

This test helps in diagnosing the type of malabsorption you have. You can determine the intolerance to any sugar, such as fructose, lactose, sucrose, or sorbitol. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth can also be diagnosed through the same test. Bacterial Overgrowth occurs when a huge count of bacteria from the large intestine started moving into the small bowel and causes gut functional disorders, such as bloating, abdominal cramp, etc.

So, if you are facing the symptoms of gut functional disorders, such as bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain, flatulence, constipation, etc., then you need to go for this non-invasive breath test.

Things to Consider Before the Test:

If the doctor has recommended you for the breath test, then he will definitely provide you with guidelines to follow before performing the test.

you should take this seriously and follow the pre-test requirement mentioned in the test kit manual. If you have gone through some medication or some surgery, then it is good to consult with the medical professional before the test.

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Mandatory Pre-test Preparations

Here, we are listing a few pre-test preparations below, which are mandatory to consider:

1.    Stop taking antibiotic two weeks before the test.

2.    Avoid eating the food, containing carbohydrates before two days of the test.

3.    Avoid heavy and flavored meal a day before the test.

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4.    Stop eating and drinking and smoking 12 hours before the test. Fasting before the test is necessary for correct diagnosis.

5.    Avoid smoking until the test is completed.

What is the Test Procedure?

In this test, you will have to blow the balloon exhaling your breath into it. After that, a small amount of sugar, such as fructose, lactose, sucrose, or lactulose is given to you for ingestion.

After ingesting this, the breath sample is collected again. This process will be repeated every 15 to 30 minutes. Once the test is completed, the different breath samples are analyzed and examined to interpret the results. If you experience any symptom of gut functional disorder during the test, this is also considered by medical professionals to interpret the test result.

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The plus factor of this test is that you can order the test kit home and perform the test yourself for various carbohydrates. However, the test sample can be diagnosed by medical professionals only.

Featured photo credit: www.rcemlearning.co.uk via rcemlearning.co.uk

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12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and black tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here:

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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