Unlike dogs, cats do not have a sweet tooth. Scientists believe this is due to a mutation in a key taste receptor.
When a cat chases its prey, it keeps its head level. Dogs and humans bob their heads up and down.
The technical term for a cat’s hairball is a “bezoar.”
A group of cats is called a “clowder.”
A cat can’t climb head first down a tree because every claw on a cat’s paw points the same way. To get down from a tree, a cat must back down.
Cats make about 100 different sounds. Dogs make only about 10.
Every year, nearly four million cats are eaten in Asia.
There are more than 500 million domestic cats in the world, with approximately 40 recognized breeds.
Approximately 24 cat skins can make a coat.
While it is commonly thought that the ancient Egyptians were the first to domesticate cats, the oldest known pet cat was recently found in a 9,500-year-old grave on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. This grave predates early Egyptian art depicting cats by 4,000 years or more.
During the time of the Spanish Inquisition, Pope Innocent VIII condemned cats as evil and thousands of cats were burned. Unfortunately, the widespread killing of cats led to an explosion of the rat population, which exacerbated the effects of the Black Death.
During the Middle Ages, cats were associated with withcraft, and on St. John’s Day, people all over Europe would stuff them into sacks and toss the cats into bonfires. On holy days, people celebrated by tossing cats from church towers.
The first cat in space was a French cat named Felicette (a.k.a. “Astrocat”) In 1963, France blasted the cat into outer space. Electrodes implanted in her brains sent neurological signals back to Earth. She survived the trip.
The group of words associated with cat (catt, cath, chat, katze) stem from the Latin catus, meaning domestic cat, as opposed to feles, or wild cat.
The term “puss” is the root of the principal word for “cat” in the Romanian term pisica and the root of secondary words in Lithuanian (puz) and Low German puus. Some scholars suggest that “puss” could be imitative of the hissing sound used to get a cat’s attention. As a slang word for the female pudenda, it could be associated with the connotation of a cat being soft, warm, and fuzzy.
Approximately 40,000 people are bitten by cats in the U.S. annually.
Cats are North America’s most popular pets: there are 73 million cats compared to 63 million dogs. Over 30% of households in North America own a cat.
According to Hebrew legend, Noah prayed to God for help protecting all the food he stored on the ark from being eaten by rats. In reply, God made the lion sneeze, and out popped a cat.
A cat’s hearing is better than a dog’s. And a cat can hear high-frequency sounds up to two octaves higher than a human.
A cat can travel at a top speed of approximately 31 mph (49 km) over a short distance.
Abraham Lincoln turned down the chance to host elephants
In 1861, the King of Siam offered to gift President Lincoln ‘several pairs of young male and female elephants,’ which were indigenous to his country (today we know it as Thailand). The elephants could be bred to multiply, the king suggested, and the herds could be used as ‘beasts of burden’ that could work alongside the military during the Civil War. The president politely declined the offer, opting to use steam power instead of animal labor.
Gerald Ford modeled on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine
Before he became our nation’s 38th president, Gerald Ford had a side gig as a model. In 1942, shortly after joining the Navy, he landed an uncredited spot on the cover of Cosmopolitan in his uniform. Another fun fact? It was during this time that he met and went on to marry a fellow model, Elizabeth Bloomer. She became known to Americans as First Lady Betty Ford.
John Quincy Adams approved a real-life journey to the center of the Earth
Ever hear of President David Rice Atchison? If the answer is no, that’s probably because he was only ‘president’ for a day. In 1849, the inauguration of Zachary Taylor landed on a Sunday, and the religious incumbent refused to be sworn in on a holy day. He had Atchison stand in for him.
Presidents’ Day is technically called Washington’s Birthday
Presidents’ Day has a more complex history than one would think. After George Washington died in 1799, his supporters recognized his birthday as a day of remembrance. In 1885, his birthday became a federal holiday for the whole country. Later, in 1968, a new bill made certain federal holidays on Mondays and combined birthday celebrations for Washington and Lincoln for a ‘Presidents’ Day.’ According to the United States Code, however, that holiday is technically still called Washington’s Birthday and never officially changed to Presidents’ Day. Federal code permits local governments and private businesses to name federal holidays whatever they want, so most states call it Presidents’ Day.
Pets are one of life’s great joys. According to the National Institutes of Health, some 68 percent of American households have a pet, and their benefits are countless, from getting active to boosting mood. But as wonderful as our furry (or scaly, or feathered) friends are, there are certain health risks that come with having an animal in your home.
“Zoonotic diseases (zoonoses) are those that can be transmitted between animals and people,” explains Christa Gallagher, BSC, DVM, an assistant professor of public health and epidemiology at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. “Animals, whether wild or domesticated, can transmit harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi to humans.”
“Toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma Gondii) is a parasitic infection in which cats are the main source of infection,” explains Dr. Gallagher. While healthy people don’t typically contract the disease, it can cause serious health complications for pregnant women and immunocompromised people. Be sure to change the cat litter frequently (once a day if anyone has a weakened immune system in the house), and thoroughly wash your hands afterward. Pregnant women should avoid changing the cat litter altogether. Keeping your cat indoors will also help prevent them from contracting it.
Symptoms in pets: Cats don’t typically show symptoms of toxoplasmosis. Kittens, who are more vulnerable, may get diarrhea.
While it’s unlikely that you’ll contract rabies from your pet (it’s most commonly contracted from wild animals like raccoons and bats), it’s within the realm of possibility since it is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal. “The disease is most commonly contracted through a bite, although potentially it could be transmitted through a scratch as well,” says Gary Richter, MS, DVM, a veterinary health expert with Rover.com. “Although human exposure to rabies from a dog is uncommon, it’s worth noting since rabies is almost 100 percent fatal if the person is not treated immediately after exposure.” The best way to prevent it is to keep your pet up-to-date with their vaccines.
Symptoms in pets: Foaming at the mouth is the most common sign of rabies, but other symptoms could include behavioral changes, fever, hypersensitivity to touch, light, and sound, hiding in dark places, staggering, loss of appetite, and seizures.
You’re probably aware that you can get salmonella from raw or undercooked poultry, but did you know you can get it from your pets? “This infection can also be caused by the bacteria that live on the skin of pet reptiles,” warns Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in Los Angeles. Jory D. Lange Jr, a food safety lawyer, also says they have seen cases of pet hedgehogs, backyard chickens, and dog food causing salmonella outbreaks.
To avoid it, wash your hands well after handling reptiles, especially after feeding them. Be sure to also clean pet toys and bedding outside.
Symptoms in pets: Reptiles don’t typically present with symptoms of salmonella, says Dr. Shainhouse.
“Leptospirosis is a bacteria that is shed in the urine of infected animals. Our pets can contract this infection from ground water that is contaminated by infected wildlife. Though this infection does require contact with infected urine, it’s much easier than you may think to inadvertently come in contact with your pet’s urine,” says Johanna Reel, NHV Natural Pet’s in-house registered veterinary technician. Get your pet vaccinated against the disease, and don’t swim in water that may be contaminated with animal urine.
Symptoms in pets: Some animals won’t show signs of leptospirosis, while others may have fever, vomiting, diarrhea, refusal to eat, depression, infertility, and other symptoms.
Most commonly contracted from the feces of dogs but sometimes from cats, toxocariasis is a parasitic disease from the larvae of toxocara roundworms. Dr. Shainhouse says, “Be careful to use gloves or a plastic bag or shovel to clean up doggy poop, and wash your hands well afterward.”
Symptoms in pets: Diarrhea, vomiting, bloody stool, worms seen in the stool
“While you can contract this by eating undercooked pork, you can also contract this from an infected pet,” explains Dr. Shainhouse. It is contracted via oral-fecal transmission through direct contact with pet stool (which is more common than you may think). You can prevent contracting tapeworm by handling animal feces with gloves or a shovel, and washing your hands thoroughly.
Symptoms in pets: According to Dr. Shainhouse, abdominal pain, diarrhea, rice-like pieces in the stool, fatigue, hunger or loss of appetite, and longer worms in vomit are signs of tapeworm. She says that pets with tapeworm also often drag their bottoms along the ground.
“Ringworm, which is a fungal disease (despite the deceptive name), grows on hair follicles. It is transmitted through direct contact,” explains Dr. Richter. Cleaning your pet’s bedding regularly, frequently washing your hands, vacuuming, and disinfecting are your best bets for avoiding ringworm.
Symptoms in pets: Animals get the same circular lesion as humans, but it can be difficult to see under their fur so look out for signs like red lesions, crusty skin, and patchy hair.
“This bacterial infection is caused by Bartonella henselae, which is carried by kittens. It is transmitted to humans via a scratch from the infected animal,” explains Dr. Shainhouse. According to the CDC, 30 to 40 percent of adopted shelter cats have documented cases of cat scratch fever. People with weakened immune systems are at higher risk, so they may want to hold off getting a kitten less than a year old, since they’re more likely to get the infection. If you do get scratched, wash the area immediately.
Symptoms in pets: Cats usually don’t show any symptoms but in some cases may have a fever, and in rare cases, may have labored breathing, vomiting, swollen lymph nodes, red eyes, and/or decreased appetite. And despite the name, dogs can also get cat scratch fever and may show signs of fever, arrhythmia, and inflammation of the heart (endocarditis).
“Pets can also pass some parasites on to their humans,” says Dr. Reel. “Giardia is a common intestinal parasitic microorganism, which causes severe gastrointestinal symptoms. This parasite can be spread through contact with contaminated water or contact with infected fecal matter.
Symptoms in pets: Painful gas, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting are common.
Not to be confused with human scabies, pet scabies can’t truly be spread to humans, but can cause some discomfort. “In pet scabies, the animal is the only viable host for the mite, meaning the mite only lives on the pet,” explains Dr. Shainhouse. “However, the mite can jump off of the pet, bite the human owner, then jump back home (aka, the pet’s skin).” The best way to protect you and your dog is to avoid having your dog around other animals that have it.
Symptoms in pets: Pet scabies can affect your pet-typically dogs-with severe itching, rash, blisters, and sores.
Camp-what? The name may be hard to pronounce, but the CDC estimates that Campylobacter is the top cause of bacterial diarrheal illness in the country. Though it’s typically contracted from raw or undercooked poultry, pets can also spread it. “Campylobacteriosis is a bacterial disease cause by Campylobacter species. Fecal-oral transmission can result in gastrointestinal symptoms in most healthy persons. More serious infections can occur if a person is very young, elderly, or immunocompromised,” says Dr. Gallagher.
That’s why it’s important to wash your hands frequently, especially if you come in contact with animal feces.
Symptoms in pets: Most common in puppies younger than six months old. Fever, vomiting, and enlarged lymph nodes are possible symptoms in your dog.
Although our furry friends get the brunt of the diseases that can be passed on to humans, our scaled sidekicks aren’t without their possible infections. Mycobacterium Marinum grows in fish tanks and can be spread to humans. “It is commonly seen in people who put their ungloved hands into fish tanks (like when you clean out your pet’s tank),” explains Dr. Shainhouse. So be sure to wear gloves when scooping out fish and cleaning the fish tank.
Yet another canine parasite, hookworms suck on the intestinal lining of dogs. The eggs in the pet feces could transfer through the skin if you come in contact with it. Thoroughly washing your hands will go a long way, especially after curbing your dog.
“Dog and cat bites that pierce human skin can cause severe skin infection and cellulitis if not treated immediately,” warns Dr. Shainhouse. “Cats’ mouths carry Pasturella multocida, while dogs carry Staphylococcus, Streptomyces and Capnocytophaga sp.” Avoid rough play with your pets or other animals that might result in them taking an unintentional nibble of your skin.
Though it’s not totally a disease, contact dermatitis is an irritating side effect of having pets for some people. “Pet kisses may be a sign of affection or loyalty, but it can cause skin irritation in humans,” says Dr. Shainhouse.
“If you are crazy enough to have a pet tarantula, know that they are not soft and fuzzy. Their ‘fur’ is actually spines that can be shed as protection when they are afraid or in fighting mode. These spines can prickle your skin and cause an irritant dermatitis.”
Take preventative measures especially if you have sensitive skin, like washing up after getting licked by your pet to prevent a rash.
Symptoms in pets: None
Symptoms in humans: Skin irritation, rash, and itchiness.Vets reveal the most dangerous diseases pets can give you Pets are one of life’s great joys. According to the National Institutes of Health, some 68 percent of American households have a pet, and their benefits are countless, from getting active to boosting mood. But as wonderful as our furry (or scaly, or feathered) friends are, there are certain health risks that come with having an animal in your home.
By Meryl Krochmal, RD, CSP, CDE, CNSC · May 11, 2016
Thanks to the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), it is now well recognized that intensive glycemic control can reduce the risk of diabetes complications. Despite this knowledge, one of the biggest barriers in reaching glycemic targets is the increased risk of hypoglycemia that comes with tighter blood glucose control.
Hypoglycemia is often reported to be one of the most feared complications of diabetes. With nocturnal hypoglycemia being especially worrisome for those who live alone or travel alone. It can also be concerning (not to mention disruptive) for a significant other that you share a bed with.
What is nocturnal hypoglycemia?
Nocturnal hypoglycemia is low blood sugar that occurs overnight while you are asleep. It is common to sleep through a low blood sugar when it occurs during sleep.
How common is nocturnal hypoglycemia?
According to a journal article from Medscape General Medicine:
During the DCCT 43 percent of all hypoglycemia episodes and 55 percent of severe [hypoglycemic] episodes reported occurred during sleep. Incidence rates vary from 12 to 56 percent, however, because 49 to 100 percent of episodes occur without symptoms the actual incidence may be much higher.1
Why is nocturnal hypoglycemia concerning?
Nocturnal hypoglycemia can be especially dangerous because an individual is unlikely to recognize symptoms or wake up during an episode.
Undetected nocturnal hypoglycemia is a risk factor for hypoglycemia unawareness:
Hypoglycemia unawareness is low blood glucose that occurs without symptoms, therefore, the person is unaware of the drop in their blood glucose, ultimately delaying treatment.
Nocturnal hypoglycemia may also result in physical injury, poor quality of life and possibly impairment in cognitive function.
Severe hypoglycemia can cause seizures and unconsciousness, requiring emergency care.
Why does low blood glucose go undetected at night?
When low blood glucose occurs counterregulatory hormones (such as glucagon and epinephrine) are released to raise blood glucose. The release of these hormones provides the initial symptoms (shaking, sweating, rapid heartbeat, etc.) that an individual may feel when their blood glucose is low. Such symptoms will likely trigger an individual to treat low blood glucose.
However, while asleep such symptoms/signals are suppressed and/or go unnoticed.
There is also evidence that the release of counterregulatory hormones is suppressed to some extent during sleep.
What increases the risk of nocturnal hypoglycemia?
Any of the following medications may cause hypoglycemia (including nocturnal hypoglycemia):
Exercise (especially if exercise was longer or more intense than usual)
Alcohol (especially if consumed before bed)
Low blood glucose in the past 24 hours
Signs and symptoms of nocturnal hypoglycemia:
Vivid dreams or nightmares
Prevention of nocturnal hypoglycemia:
Check your blood glucose before going to bed.
Discuss with your health care provider a safe blood glucose target for bedtime.
Many people feel comfortable if their blood glucose is at least 100 mg/dL before going to sleep.
If your blood sugar is less than 100 mg/dL (discuss a blood glucose target for bedtime with your health care provider) eat at low to moderate glycemic index snack before going to bed
Whole wheat bread with peanut butter or whole grain crackers with a slice of cheese
If you were more active than usual, consumed alcohol in the evening, or had low blood glucose during the day, set an alarm to check your blood glucose at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. in the morning.
If you currently take the intermediate-acting insulin, NPH, speak with your health care provider about switching to long-acting insulin such as Lantus, Levemir, or Tresiba. Long-acting insulin has a flat action profile and does not have variable peaks (like NPH does) therefore the risk of nocturnal hypoglycemia is reduced.
If you have a history of nocturnal hypoglycemia, hypoglycemia unawareness or have experienced severe low blood glucose, a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) may be helpful.
A CGM may also be beneficial if you live alone or travel alone as you can set an alarm for when your blood glucose drops below a set threshold (i.e. <70 mg/dL).
*Insurance coverage can be a challenge*
Treatment of nocturnal hypoglycemia:
If you are woken up by low blood glucose, first check your blood glucose to confirm it is low (<70 mg/dL).
Treat low blood glucose with quick acting carbs such as juice (4 ounces) or glucose tablets (3 to 4 tablets).
Retest blood glucose in 15 minutes. If blood glucose remains below 70 mg/dL, repeat the above treatment.
Once your blood glucose is above 70 mg/dL, if your typical breakfast time is still several hours away have a small snack that includes both a carb and a protein, such as a peanut butter crackers.
Make sure to discuss with your health care provider specifics on how he/she would like you to manage/treat nocturnal hypoglycemia.
If you take insulin to speak with your health care provider about getting a prescription for emergency Glucagon.
It comes as no surprise that the second someone decides to lose weight; their immediate response is the dreaded diet. Diets don’t have to make you miserable, and you don’t have to suffer through cutting out all of your favorite foods. There has to be a point where enough is enough and you lose weight while not losing your sanity along the way! The many organisms in your gut form their own ecosystem known as the microbiome. By understanding this microbiome, you can understand a more efficient way to lose weight. A healthy gut diet will give you the results you so badly want. The best part about this diet is that it is easily doable. Anyone can use the microbiome diet to further their weight loss needs.
Learn the Power of Balance
A balanced microbiome can be the difference between losing a lot of weight, or gaining it. Good bacteria thrive in your microbiome. If you have an imbalanced microbiome it will push you to crave sugary and unhealthy fats. This will eventually slow down your metabolism and cause you to become hungry faster than usual. A balanced microbiome causes you to crave healthy foods and become hungry at meal appropriate times. The key to obtaining a balanced microbiome lies within a clean gut diet. This diet will help eliminate gut inflammation which can lead directly to weight loss. Phase 1 of a microbiome diet focuses on eliminating the foods that are disrupting your intestinal track and slowing the growth of good gut bacteria. Having a healthy gut diet alone can restore your gut flora and significantly increase the number of good bacteria in your microbiome.
The Come and Go
There will be foods you are used to having that will have to be taken out of your diet. There will also be additions to your diet that you will need to make. You will need to avoid processed foods, sugar, eggs, soy, dried fruits, and starchy vegetables. All of these foods feed the bad gut bacteria. It is very important to avoid foods high in starch. Most non-starchy fruits and vegetables are free game. You can still eat all your favorite beef and chicken dishes, as these proteins are not off limits. To ensure the growth of the good bacteria in your stomach it is suggested that you begin taking bacteria promoting supplements like prebiotics and probiotics. If supplements aren’t your thing, you can even choose a probiotic diet plan. The best news is that this clean gut diet allows you to still enjoy your coffee, beer, and wine!
A Diet You Can Snack On
There are numerous foods out there that can have a positive benefit on your good gut bacteria, but there are some that are better than others. Focusing on foods that are high in prebiotics and probiotics will not only restore gut flora, but promote the growth of good bacteria in the stomach. Most diet plans tell you to avoid snacking, but a healthy gut diet promotes it. Snacking on foods such as yogurt, bananas, pickles, or cultured veggies will actually be beneficial to gut bacteria and weight loss. The bacteria within the probiotic foods will significantly increase the speed at which your good gut bacteria grows.
Your gut is lined with different types of bacteria, and some of these are good gut bacteria. The majority of the cells within your digestive tract are bacterial. The bacteria are responsible for digesting your food. These intestinal organisms even control your metabolism and can influence your mood. Gut bacteria and weight loss go hand in hand. The more good gut bacteria you have, the more weight you will lose. A clean gut diet will work wonders in your weight loss endeavors. The bacteria produce essential vitamins and nutrients that allow your body to stay nourished. The good bacteria play a huge role in your overall health. They allow for efficient digestion, absorption of nutrients, overall well-being, and of course weight loss. Probiotic foods are some of the best you can consume, because they are already filled with live bacteria that help promote digestion.
Not Your Traditional Diet
A clean gut diet allows you to step away from the traditional diet ways. You will no longer have to worry about calorie counting or tracking your portion sizes. Talk about freedom! By doing this you are able to rely on your body’s own sense of hunger and intuitive eating. Dieting usually comes along with stress, but stress inhibits weight loss. The good gut diet allows you to eliminate two major stressors; calorie counting and portion control. The microbiome diet gives you the personal freedoms that other diets lack, but also gives you results. Fermented foods are welcomed and actually recommended, which means beer is not off limits!
You Will See Results
Eating superfoods, foods high in polyphenols and low in lectins, will allow you to begin seeing results. Lucky for you, dark chocolate and cocoa powder are polyphenol-rich! The clean gut diet not only gives you weight loss results, but you will end up feeling better in general. You will no longer be held back by fatigue. In fact, you will feel rejuvenated and motivated to do things that you may have resisted before embarking on the clean gut diet. Your sleep patterns will even improve, leaving you feeling great. The good bacteria in your stomach will also help restore gut flora. Not only will you regain balance to your life, but your microbiome will regain balance.
You don’t have to feel trapped with this diet because there are so many foods that aren’t off limits. In fact, eating diverse foods will actually diversify your microbiome. This will allow the good gut bacteria to thrive and continue to multiply. The diverse diet will also help fight against disease. A more diverse microbiome is actually associated with leanness. Not only can you consume lots of different foods, but it will have a beneficial effect on your overall health. Talk about a win-win situation.
A Diet That Ensures Results Without A Treadmill
There is finally a diet that ensures you will lose weight and become healthier, all without extreme exercise. Simply by removing the foods that cause inflammation and disrupt your good gut bacteria, you will restore the balance of the microbiome. The balanced microbiome alone will restore health and balance to your digestive system. This balance helps promote and initiate weight loss. Exercise is always a great way to stay healthy and in shape, but it is not the main focus with a healthy gut diet.
Your Metabolism Will Be Restored
Weight loss is very dependent upon your metabolism and how your body metabolizes foods. Metabolism is the process in which your body converts what you consume into energy. If your gut is lined with good gut bacteria, your body will be able to metabolize your food more efficiently. This results in less stored fat cells. Once you have restored your metabolism, this will automatically lead to healthy weight loss. It is important to follow the clean gut diet in order to restore the balance in your microbiome.
Give Yourself Enough Time For Meals
A huge part of getting your gut back in shape is a good consciousness. Your gut is your second brain, and what affects your mind also effects it. An unbalanced microbiome can cause you to feel anxious, nervous, tired or depressed. It is important that you not only eat foods that align with a clean gut diet, but also get into a state of meditation prior to eating. You can do this by removing stressors like stressful people or conversations. If you are in a stressful environment it is likely that you will eat your food faster. This will cause the good gut bacteria in your stomach to struggle to digest your food, and in turn, throw your microbiome off balance. You need to plan ahead and make sure that you have enough time to patiently eat your meal without rushing through it.
https://howtonight.com/microbiome-diet-guide-and-food-list/The microbiome is a key to weight loss success. If you can follow the few simple steps to restore good bacteria in your stomach, then you will be able to mark down your weight loss as a success. The good news is that gut bacteria respond very quickly to a change in diet, so you will begin to see and feel changes more quickly than other diets. The average lifespan of a bacterium in your microbiome is only 20 minutes. Each time you eat you have the chance to take steps into promoting your gut health. Don’t let a couple minor setbacks hinder you from moving forward. By following a probiotic diet plan, consuming prebiotic foods, or foods high in polyphenols and low in lectins, you will be sure to create an environment that the good gut bacteria will thrive on. A balanced microbiome will give you weight loss results, and make you happier while doing this.
Mental health is the range of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that impact one’s wellbeing. Just like physical health, mental health is important for daily functioning. Difficulties with mental health can impact a variety of factors in one’s life, from relationships, to education, employment, recreation, motivation, and personal enjoyment.
There is no definition of optimal mental health. The range of what is most healthy for a single individual can vary based on circumstances, culture, family upbringing, personality, and preference. There are, however, definitions of mental health conditions that cause an individual significant stress or impairment in daily functioning. These mental health disorders are classified according to symptoms. A diagnosable mental health condition/disorder requires meeting criteria as observed by a licensed professional.
Prevalence of mental health conditions
Mental disorders occur across the world. They are not unique to any nation, group, or culture, though some populations have higher prevalence and incidence rates of specific disorders than others. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, for 2015 in the Unites States, approximately 43.4 million adults age 18 or older had any mental illness, 9.8 million adults had a serious mental illness, and 13% of children (age 8-15 years) had a diagnosable mental disorder.
Cause of mental health conditions
What causes mental health disorders is a difficult question. For many mental health conditions, genetic and biological factors interact with life circumstances to trigger onset. The range of life circumstances that can lead to mental health difficulties includes negative life events, exposure to violence, sexual and physical abuse, trauma, low stress tolerance, financial hardship, belonging to a minority or discriminated against group, displacement, and living with a physical disease or chronic illness. Not all individuals who undergo such circumstances develop mental health conditions, however a percentage of vulnerable individuals will.
Common mental health conditions
Some of the more common categories and diagnoses of mental health conditions are:
Major Depressive Disorder:
Characterized by persistent low moods and feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. Often accompanied by sleep disturbance.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder:
Episodes of frequent, intense, and overwhelming anxiety.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:
A chronic condition where people perform repetitive behaviors (compulsions) in response to continuous and uncontrollable thoughts or urges (obsessions).
Includes anorexia nervosa (an obsessive desire to lose weight by food avoidance and/or compulsive exercise), bulimia nervosa (periods of excessive eating followed by efforts to avoid weight gain) and binge-eating disorder (frequent episode of loss of control over eating, generally resulting in high weight gain).
Schizophrenia Spectrum and Psychotic disorders:
A group of chronic conditions characterized by an impaired ability to discern reality. Audible and visual hallucinations are a hallmark characteristic. Abnormal movement and fragmented speech are also common.
Separated into type 1 and 2, bipolar disorder involves a fluctuation between extremes of elevated and depressed moods.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:
A syndrome caused by singular, ongoing, or early trauma or witnessing violence that causes significant impairment, recurrent thoughts of the trauma, and difficulty coping and performing daily tasks.
Insomnia and hypersomnia:
Characterized by disturbances in sleep and waking cycles, either in difficulty falling or remaining asleep, or in sleeping too much.
Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders:
A dependence or addiction to specific substances, as well as behavior like gambling.
A group of diagnoses characterized by inflexible and lasting personality styles. The personality causes impairment in significant areas of functioning.
In addition to those listed, there are also dissociative, somatic symptom, elimination, sexual dysfunction, gender dysphoria, impulse and conduct control, paraphilic, neurodevelopmental and neurocognitive disorders. The categories and specific diagnoses of mental disorders help a practitioner assess and formulate the best treatment approach.
Relationship between physical health and mental health
For those living with a physical health condition, the risk of having difficulties with mental health is heightened. For example, rates of major depressive disorder are significantly higher in individuals suffering from poor health and physical disease than in the general population. The reasons for this can be many: increased difficulty managing the tasks of daily life, increased financial strain, chronic pain, feeling isolated, the loss of ability and/or employment, being stigmatized, low levels of understanding and empathy from others, and the difficulty of medical management. Likewise, the onset of a physical disease can be frightening, distressing, and anxiety provoking. Plans for the future may be altered due to disease, as can relationships to others. Medication for treating illness can also affect thoughts and mood (steroids for controlling inflammation for example), as can the physiological process of some diseases (hypothyroidism for example). If you have a physical health condition, you live with an array of stresses, hardships, and potential variables like medication and the illness itself that can leave you vulnerable to the onset of a mental health condition.
Treatment for mental health
Just as there are treatments for many physical diseases, there are interventions for mental health conditions. Mental Health intervention can include medication, psychotherapy, learning positive coping skills, behavioral change plans, social programs, support groups, or residency in facilities for daily monitoring and increased care. Any of these can be applied in combination.
There is an array of qualified professionals who can begin assessment of a mental health condition and formulate an approach for treatment: medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors (doctoral and masters degree level), and clinical social workers. Every individual responds differently to treatment, and no one intervention works identically for every person. Someone with generalized anxiety disorder for example, may respond well to anti-anxiety medication (anxiolytics), whereas someone else with the same diagnosis may not. Many mental health conditions are treatable and patients show improvement over time. A small percentage of individuals who seek professional help do not respond to intervention. Though there are no “cures” for mental health conditions, there is help.
This is the first diet of it’s kind, based upon cutting edge scientific breakthroughs to heal and replenish the microbiome. When the microbiome flourishes so do we, however when it’s out of balance, a state called dysbiosis, our health begins to falter. The Microbiome Diet was created with the specific focus of nourishing friendly, protective bacteria, while pruning species that have overgrown healthy limits. This approach not only improves function through the entire body, it raises the bar on what it means to actually be healthy. Patients frequently report benefits in systems and areas that seem completely disconnected from gut health. All roads lead to the microbiome and all health stems from a vibrant, thriving ecosystem.
1) As much as 90% of the cells in your body are actually bacterial, not human!
2) The vast majority of species are helpful and necessary for both life and health, including those that may become pathogenic when overgrown. In the right balance, most strains contribute to the health of the whole. (So let’s maintain balance!)
3) The microbiome produces Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA) which are used as a fuel source by cells of the intestine, promote the growth of healthful strains of bacteria, decrease inflammation, improve the immune system, boost brain function, balance mood, and even alleviate anxiety.
4) Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers transmitting information through the brain and body, influencing the way we think and feel, plus they’re made by bacteria!
5) They produce natural antibiotics and vitamins to protect and nourish us.
6) Microbes regulate metabolism.
7) The immune system and microbiome live together in the intestine and are inextricably intertwined. The health of one depends on the health of the other.
Microbiome Diet Basics
While we’ll go much deeper into the specifics of The Microbiome Diet in part two, here are some of the basic principles of eating for the overall health of your microbiome.
1) Load up on plant foods that heal your gut and support the microbiome.
2) Avoid foods that are inflammatory and trigger imbalances in the gut microbiome.
3) Consume foods loaded with natural probiotics, which replenish the microbiome.
4) Consume foods containing prebiotic fibers to nourish healing bacteria.
"If you are going to write, write from the heart." MwsR
"Life has not been the easiest, but it could certainly been worse!" MwsR
Life is about doing all you can to help others.
Don't go chasing rainbows, make your own pot of gold.
Love, Hope, Faith, the greatest of these is Love!