Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Health: 10 Surprising Things You May Be Addicted To.

Things You May Be Addicted To photo
Image Credit: youtube.com

Sometimes, when you hear the word 'addiction', your mind quickly starts conjuring images of people under the influence of hardcore drugs such as cocaine and marijuana. Funny enough, we're all addicts in our little (or big) way. There are certain things we do, places we go, things we eat or drugs we take that provide some kind of stimuli or sensation to the brain that's unlike anything you have ever felt in your entire life and your body keeps craving more and more.

Read More: 10 Common Habits That Could Damage Your Kidneys

The brain attaches a great deal of importance to that 'thing', seeing it as quick feel-good means and you consequently get addicted. If that's your case, then Houston, we have a problem. Addiction is a condition characterised by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli, despite adverse consequences. It is the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity. So with this post, we're going to identify and tackle some of our addictions. Sit back, relax and let's play a game. 😏  After reading this, I want you to type in the comments which one (or more) of the 10 addictions below you suffer from. Simple right? Let's get on with it then, here are 10 surprising things you may be addicted to.

Surprising addiction 1: Surfing the internet

You can never really think of a more pleasant way to pass time than spending time browsing the internet. Surfing the internet is surely one of the best ways to relax on the planet. It strangely has a way of meeting our every need and altering our mood; If you're lonely there are dating sites that promise to find you the perfect partner, If you're just bored to death You can just check out funny and amazing videos on YouTube, there's Facebook, News etc. All these are available at just a swipe of your Smartphone's screen.

Read More: Water Intoxication: How Drinking Too Much Water Can Actually Kill You.

However, researchers in China revealed that internet addiction actually alters the brain in a similar way addiction to drugs and alcohol does. It is thought that sufferers of Internet addiction disorder (IAD) could face similar symptoms to those suffering from other addictions, including withdrawal symptoms. One study of users of internet-ready smartphones found that many are so addicted to their device they now hear “phantom vibrations” in their desperation to receive a message. Sometimes I even hear my cell phone ring in my head when in reality, my cellphone's battery is flat.

Surprising addiction 2: Falling in love

We all know that one person who goes from relationship to relationship, never seeming to spend more than five minutes alone. You may think that there is no greater feeling than having someone care and love you for no apparent reason (even if there is). Everyone wants to find love someday (I really do 😟), but if you find yourself jumping from one relationship to another with the inability to stay single for a month, then you're addicted to falling in love. Yep, that heart-racing, euphoric feeling of falling in love... turns out you can get hooked on it.

Read More: Acetaminophen: 6 Dangerous Effects of Paracetamol You Probably Didn't Know.

According to psychologist Arthur Aron, who led a study investigating love addiction, falling in love activates the same system in the brain as drug addiction, making you crave that feeling again as soon as the first flush of love starts to fade. You find yourself crushing on almost every beautiful girl you see until eventually you get crushed. If that's your story, I want to see your comment below.

Surprising addiction 3: Sugar

Everyone seems to be writing songs about 'Sugar' lately, describing ladies or lips to be "♪ Sweet like sugar, Love so sweet like sugar ♪ ", and many other weird lyrics. Well, I can't really blame them. We all crave our favourite sweet treat from time to time, but did you know that you may actually be addicted to snacks such as doughnuts and chocolate? Studies have suggested that when we eat sugary snacks, chemicals called Opioids are released in the brain, leading to intense feelings of pleasure, and it is this feeling we often crave in the absence of sugar. In fact, according to research by a University of California team, sugar is both as damaging and as addictive as both alcohol and cigarettes. Some sugary foods are dangerous and could cause you some serious health problems.

Surprising addiction 4: Tattoos and piercings

While it may sound impossible for people to get addicted to having their bodies inked and pierced from head to toe, many people who start out with the intention of getting one tattoo or piercing will feel compelled to get more, which can feel like an addiction.

Read More: 8 Dangerous Effects Of Cosmetics and Beauty Products On The Body

While it is debatable whether this is a true addiction, it is certainly a compulsion for many, which may be partly down to the rush of feel-good Endorphins which are released during the process of getting a tattoo to help you cope with the pain.

Surprising addiction 5: Work

Almost everyone looks forward to weekends and TGIFs so that they can finally escape the stress and tension associated with their jam-packed schedules on weekdays. There are actually some people who suffer from work addiction and these weekends we so much crave for to stay away from the office or school may not be quite as treasured. While many of us jokingly use the term “workaholic”, research suggests this is a real condition that can jeopardise sufferers’ health and relationships – it is not simply a case of “working hard”.

Read More: Nail Biting: Read This If You're Addicted To Biting Your Nails.

According to a Spanish study, around 12% of workers in Spain suffer from the addiction, while in Japan “death by overwork(karoshi) is thought to cause an estimated 1000 deaths per year. If you would rather spend 80% of your time working than spend time building relationships and hanging out with friends and family, you may be suffering from work addiction.

Surprising addiction 6: Tanning

Research findings published in the journal, Addiction Biology, suggest that exposure to ultraviolet rays in the form of sunshine or tanning beds can cause changes in brain activity similar to drug addiction, keeping you hooked on tanning. According to Dr Bryon Adinoff, an author of the study, the brain responds to UV light in areas that are associated with reward, causing some people to develop an addiction (Tanorexia) despite the potentially fatal health risks of tanning.

Surprising addiction 7: Video games

Ahh! Here is my favourite addiction. I'm a typical Football Manager addict. Yeah, I know it's bad but I can't go 30 minutes in a day without thinking of my next match, my next tactic, why I lost a previous match, what players to buy next... You get the idea. Across the world, teenagers are holed up in their rooms in front of television or computer screens feverishly playing video games, yet research suggests this may not be as harmless as it seems.

Read More: Here are 13 Interesting and Amazing Facts About Dreams.

A 2006 BBC-reported lecture revealed that 12% of online gamers polled reported some addictive behaviours, while many countries across the world have set up treatment centres to deal with this growing addiction. Just like any addiction, compulsive gaming can jeopardise relationships and careers, and there have even been cases of excessive gamers dying from exhaustion.

Surprising addiction 8: Shopping

Most of us love buying something new, whether it is the latest life-enhancing gadget or a gift for a loved one (iPhone 7 😃 ). However, for some, buying new things can become a destructive addiction. Shopping addiction, or Oniomania,  is thought to be caused by a rush of endorphin and dopamine which cause the shopper to experience a temporary “high feeling” which they want to experience again and again. Many shopping addicts use shopping as a way to escape from negative feelings or situations in their life, however, the addiction can actually lead to further problems both financially and emotionally.

Surprising addiction 9: Lip balm

While not a chemical addiction compared to that of alcohol and cigarettes, applying lip balm can definitely be habit-forming. This is because while lip balm offers a temporary moisture boost for dry lips, it can interfere with the process of cellular turnover and the production of natural moisture, leading you to apply more and more lip balm to counter these drying effects.

Read More: Tips: How To Get Clear And Beautiful Skin Naturally.

While it may not be life-threatening or recognised as an official illness, many websites and Facebook groups have been set up dedicated to this potentially expensive addiction.

Surprising addiction 10: Music

We all have our favourite songs, the ones we listen to over and over again until we eventually start to hate it, but did you ever consider you could be addicted to your favourite music? According to a study by researchers at McGill University, you may well be. The study revealed that when we listen to music we experience a natural “high feeling” and our body releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter also released when people take drugs or eat pleasurable foods. According to the researchers, dopamine makes us want to repeat behaviours, which is the reason we can become addicted to our favourite music.
Okay, that was revealing. Now we had a deal before you started reading this and we agreed to play a game. We at ScienceHealth24 want you to type in the comment box which of the above 10 addictions you suffer from. It's pretty easy and wouldn't even take 15 Seconds of your time. At the end, we should be able to have an overview of which Addiction is more popular.  So let the comments begin. Thanks for reading, endeavour to share this with your friends using the share buttons below. Also, subscribe to our newsletter to get more amazing updates directly to mail as soon as they are posted.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

10 Common Habits That Could Damage Your Kidneys

treating kidney damage
Image Credit: icatcare.org

Do you know that you could be on the verge of damaging your Kidneys right now? Sure that got your attention. The Kidneys are very important organs in the body of an animal and I definitely would not have been able to type this if my Kidneys were dysfunctional (I wouldn't even exist at all).
So precious and yet so expensive to replace when they damage. Little wonder why many people (ladies especially) are more than willing to trade one of their Kidneys for an iPhone 7 which is in every way a bad move.

Read More: Water Intoxication: How Drinking Too Much Water Can Actually Kill You.

Resembling two super-sizes beans that fell off the Giant beanstalk, our Kidneys play a critical role in excretion, filtering the blood through a complex mechanism designed to rid the blood of unwanted toxins which are basically by-products of metabolic reactions in the body.  The big question is what if our kidneys were to go bad and fail? Kidney disease is one of the most costly illnesses in the world to treat and it is very expensive to manage Kidney related diseases. Each year, lots of people die from kidney related diseases all over the world, and the number of people suffering from chronic renal failure, and need dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive is on the increase.
Statistics have it that worldwide, more than millions of patients are waiting for kidney transplants, but only a few thousands will receive transplants because of the shortage of suitable organ donors. More donors will emerge if only they can promise more people the iPhone 7, no doubt about that. Patients usually feel surprised when they are diagnosed with Kidney Failure. Experts have been able to link Kidney related diseases and kidney failure to your daily life habits. Here are the top habits which could lead to a potential Kidney damage.
1. Not emptying your bladder early: Maintaining a full bladder for a long time is a quick way of causing bladder damage. We all do this especially when we're on the bus and can't make a quick stop. That the urine stays in the bladder for a long time can cause the bacteria breeding in urine to multiply quickly. Once the urine reflux back to the ureter and kidneys, the bacteria can result in kidney infections, then urinary tract infection, and then nephritis, even Uremia. So, no matter how busy you are, remember to drink a lot of water and urinate regularly. Once you form the habit of holding back urine, it will ultimately damage your kidneys.

2. Not drinking enough water: The main functions of the kidneys are to regulate erythrocyte balance and eliminate metabolic wastes in the urine. If we do not drink enough water, the blood will be concentrated and the blood flowing to the kidney will not be adequate, thus the function of eliminating toxins in the blood will be impaired leading to Kidney damage.

3. Taking too much salt: 95% sodium we consume through food is metabolised by the kidneys. Exceeding the salt intake will make the kidneys work harder to excrete the excess salt and can lead to decreased kidney function. This excess sodium will cause water retention, causing oedema (or oedema). Oedema usually elevates blood pressure and increases the risk of damaging your kidneys.The daily salt intake should be controlled within 6g per day.
4. Not treating common infections quickly and properly: Common infections, such as pharyngitis, tonsillitis, common cold etc, usually triggers or aggravates kidney damage. They do this by causing an acute attack of acute glomerulonephritis or chronic nephritis. So, you will see that people who get kidney disease for the first time or whose illness condition becomes worse usually have a history of cold or sore throat. If after having a cold, symptoms like blood in urine, swelling, headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and poor appetite appear, you should consult your doctor immediately, to assess your kidney functions, and start treatment if compromised.

5. Eating too much meat: Eating too much meat and protein can increase the metabolic load of the kidney. Many of us can not simply resist skewered meat (A.K.A. Suya) and we end up eating lots of it when we get the chance. For those suffering from proteinuria (the presence of excess proteins in the urine), meat consumption may aggravate protein leakage, worsening renal pathological lesion. In healthy persons, urine contains very little protein; an excess is suggestive of illness. It is suggested that protein intake should be 0.8g/kg per day. This means that a person with 50 kg should consume 40g of protein per day. Meat consumption per day should be limited within 300g.

6. Not eating enough: This is equally as dangerous as eating too much, both of them will cause damages to your digestive organs. Mucosal tissues (of the digestive tract) relates closely to your immune system. This is why many kidney failure patients are diagnosed with autoimmune kidney damages.
7. Painkiller abuse: The use of analgesics (e.g Paracetamol) for a prolonged duration may reduce the flow of blood and greatly affect kidney function. In addition, patients with analgesic-induced renal failure are more likely to suffer from bladder cancer. Use analgesics only when it's absolutely necessary, learn to rest instead of taking drugs as Paracetamol could cause dangerous Effects. If you have been on pain killers for a long term, it's about time you had a test to access your renal function done in the case of damages.

8. Missing your drugs: Hypertension and diabetes have been shown to accelerate kidney damage, so if you are diagnosed as having any of these diseases don't live your life in denial, USE YOUR DRUGS. This will ultimately help control your condition while also helping to preserve your kidneys and avert Kidney failure.

9. Drinking too much alcohol: Drinking alcohol has never produced any benefit and never will. Drinking without limitation may cause the deposition of uric acid in renal tubules, causing tubular obstruction and increasing risks of kidney failure.
10. Not resting enough: In our society, hypertension as a severe threat to life is largely due to stress. A common symptom of stress is insomnia (learn more about Insomnia and its causes). Blood pressure may increase by an average of 2-5mg/Hg because of sleeplessness. Chronically elevated blood pressure can cause damage to kidney capillaries giving rise to kidney problems. Thus, we need to develop a good attitude to life and strike a good balance between work and rest to protect your kidneys and live a healthy life.

Kidney damage graphic
Image Credit: healthline.com

At the early stage of kidney diseases, there are usually no special symptoms, so lots of patients are not diagnosed until the acute attack appears or the condition develops into the late stage. So you should endeavour to do a kidney function test from time to time to assess how healthy your kidneys are. Never ignore the soreness of waist, swelling of the feet, changes in urine colour or volume, increase in night urination,  high blood pressure and other such symptoms. Once found, you should go and see your doctor immediately.

Read More: Patient Zero: First Recorded Cases of 8 Common Deadly Disease Outbreaks In History.

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