Cervical Cancer Prevention: 10 Diet Tips for Susceptible Women

cervical cancer diet

In this section of our Guide to Cervical Cancer Prevention, you will find a collection of diet tips that may help women reduce their risk of getting cervical cancer. However, before getting into the tips, let’s take a quick look at what cervical cancer is:

Cervical cancer (cancer of the cervix) is the second most common cancer in women. In 2009, an estimated 11,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and an estimated 4,000 women will die from this slow- growing cancer. The cervix is the narrow part of the uterus through which babies are born. Cervical cells can go through many types of changes, most of which are harmless and not related to cancer. These changes can be caused by a number of factors, including HPV infection. HPVs (human papillomaviruses) are a group of more than 100 related viruses, many of which can be passed from one person to another through sexual contact. About 15 types of the 100 types of HPV can cause cervical cancer.

In most cases, however, HPV infections go away on their own. But sometimes, especially when the levels of the female hormone estrogen are abnormally high, cells infected with HPV turn into precancerous cells, which can become cancer. Instead of dying, the cervical cancer cells outlive normal cells, invade adjacent tissues, and sometimes spread to other parts of the body via lymph or blood (process called metastasis). So-called pap tests are performed by health care professionals to identify abnormal changes in the cervical cells.

Although a HPV infection is the most important risk factor for developing cervical cancer, it is not the only one. Research suggests that other factors, such as smoking and having given birth to many children, may also increase the risk of cervical cancer. Furthermore, certain dietary factors, described below, may influence the risk of cervical cancer. The paragraphs below describe 10 great diet tips that can help reduce your risk of cervical cancer.

Important notice: The information on this page and elsewhere on this website has not been reviewed by dieticians or medical professionals, and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical or health advice. Always seek the advice of a professional health care provider.

 

#1: Choose Low Glycemic Foods

Low GI foods form the basis of all anti-cancer diets.

Glycemic Index (GI) is a measure of the ability of carbohydrate-rich foods to raise blood sugar (glucose). Foods that are slowly digested — such as most non-starchy vegetables, legumes and fruit — encourage stable blood glucose levels and have a low Glycemic Index rating. Foods that break down quickly, including most refined carbohydrate-rich foods and potatoes, cause rapid fluctuations in blood glucose levels and are rated high on the Glycemic Index. Diets rich in high-Gi carbohydrates have been associated with an increased risk of several types of cancer. This link is likely to be related to the ability of high-GI foods to stimulate the production of insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF), two hormones that have been shown to promote tumor proliferation, progression, and spreading within the body.

 

#2: Avoid Excess Protein

Already at the beginning of the 20th century, John Beard, a Scottish cancer researcher, proposed that the body’s primary defense against proliferating cancer cells is pancreatin. Pancreatin is essentially a mix of protein-digesting enzymes, but these enzymes also have another purpose: the eradication of cancer. Diets that are extremely rich in protein keep the pancreatic emzymes busy digesting protein, which means that little time is left for these enzymes to fight cervical cancer. Experts suggest that the body needs a protein-free period of approximately 12 hours a day in order to combat cancer efficiently.

 

Broccoli

I3C in cruciferous vegetables may help guard against cervical cancer.

#3: Eat Foods That Deliver I3C

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts have long been touted for their ability to prevent cancer, including cervical cancer. The cancer-fighting properties of cruciferous vegetables largely attributable to indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a natural compound that occurs in cruciferous vegetables when they are chopped, crushed, or chewed. Indole-3-carbinol has been shown to promote the detoxification of many harmful substances, including carcinogens, and to have strong antioxidant properties. Moreover, indole-3-carbinol appears have anti-estrogenic activitieswhich may provide additional protection against cervical cancer.

 

#4: Count on Curcumin

Curcumin, a phytochemical that gives turmeric its bright yellow color, has been shown to be capable of fighting almost any type of cancer. Researchers at the Institute of Cytology and Preventive Oncology (ICPO) near New Nelhi in India recently discovered that curcumin can also help fight cervical cancer by protecting the body from the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), the main cause of uterine and cervical cancer. Curcumin appears to arrest the development of cervical cancer by inactivating the HPV that lurks inside cervical cancer cells.

 

#5: Consume Foods That Provide Ellagic Acid

Raspberries

Raspberries are the best dietary source of ellagic acid.

In the battle against cervical cancer, ellagic acid may well be your best weapon. Scientific evidence suggests that ellagic acid can effectively eliminate cervical cancer causing substances by activating certain detoxifying enzymes in the body. Ellagic acid also seems to be able to prevent carcinogens from attaching to cellular DNA. Furthermore, ellagic acid has been shown to stimulate the immune system to destroy cancerous cells and to induce normal self-destruction of human cancer cells. Ellagitannin — which is converted into ellagic acid by the body — is found in a number of red fruits and berries, raspberries being one of the best dietary sources of this extraordinary cervical cancer fighting phytochemical. Also some nuts, such as walnuts and pecans, contain ellagic acid.

 

#6: Avoid Foods That Contain Nitrates

Nitrates are natural substances found in the air, surface water, ground water, soil, and plants. Food manufacturers also use nitrates are also to give processed and cured meat a deep red color. Once consumed, the body can convert nitrates into nitrites, which can turn into nitrosamines. Scientific evidence suggests that nitrosamines can cause cancer in humans. However, certain antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin E, have been shown to effectively inhibit nitrosamine formation. As vegetables usually contain large amounts of antioxidant substances, nitrosamine formation is usually not a concern when you eat vegetables and other plant foods. This is supported by epidemiological studies of human populations which show no link between a high consumption of nitrate-containing vegetables and cancer, but which indicate that diets rich in nitrate-containing processed foods can increase a person’s risk of developing cancer.

 

#7: Avoid Foods That May Be Contaminated with Aflatoxin

Select Fresh Grains, Nuts and Legumes. Some fungi that grow on food can produce carcinogenic substances during processing, storage, and transport. These substances include aflatoxin, a poison produced by a fungus called Aspergillus flavusAflatoxin may cause cervical cancer due to its ability to damage DNA. Peanuts are particularly susceptible to aflatoxin invasion, but also many other foods, including whole grains, legumes, and nuts may be contaminated. Aflatoxin is resistant to cooking and freezing, but you can greatly reduce your risk of exposure by:

only consuming fresh seeds, nuts and grains (or at least you should avoid nuts and grains from last year’s harvest)
looking for signs of proper storage and avoiding foods from countries that have substandard storage requirements
discarding nuts that look or taste suspicious
eating green vegetables that are rich in chlorophyll — chlorophyll has been shown to reduce aflatoxins levels

 

Kiwi_fruit

Vitamin C, abundant in kiwis, has numerous health promoting properties.

#8:  Ensure a Sufficient Intake of Vitamin C and E

Vitamin C and vitamin E have strong antioxidant powers and properties that help boost the immune system. Therefore, a diet rich in vitamin C and vitamin E may help reduce your odds of developing cervical cancer. In addition to their antioxidant and immune sytem boosting activities, vitamin C and vitamin E can inhibit the formation of nitrosamine, a potentially carcinogenic substance. However, the impact of vitamin C on nitrosamine formation might be relevant only if there is no fat in the stomach: A group of researches replicated the chemical conditions of the upper stomach and measured the impact of vitamin C on the production of nitrosamines, both when fat was present in the stomach and when it was absent. In the absence of fat, vitamin C decreased the levels of nitrosamines, but when some fat was added, vitamin C actually boosted the formation of nitrosamines.

 

#9:  Reduce Fat Intake, Especially From Animal Fat

Rich in arachidonic acid, animal fat has been associated with an increased risk of cancer. Arachidonic acid has been shown to enhance cancer growth and to facilitate its spread, and some studies suggest that arachidonic acid may also destroy immune cellsinvolved in the protection against cervical cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are abundant in fatty fish, flaxseed and walnuts, are believed to have a protective effect against cervical cancer. However, even then you might want to limit the total intake of fat to approximately 20% of total caloric intake because all fatty acids stimulate the production of bile which may be converted into apocholic acid, a proven carcinogen, if a lot of fat stagnates in the gut for too long.

 

#10:  Ensure a Sufficient Intake of Zinc

Zinc is a trace mineral vital to the production of more than 200 essential enzymes in the body, one of them being superoxide dismutase (SOD). The role of SOD in the antioxidant system of the body is well documented, indicating that this powerful enzyme may provide protection against cervical cancer by destroying harmful free radicals. In addition, zinc may also reduce the risk of cervical cancer by helping the immune system to eliminate abnormal or worn out cells before they multiply themselves and become potentially cancerous.

 

 



10 Signs Your Thyroid Isn’t Working

The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland located at front of our neck below the Adam’s apple, is a small but very important gland that releases hormones that have a huge impact on metabolism, among other processes. According to the American Thyroid Association, about 20 million Americans suffer from some form of thyroid malfunction, yet 60 percent don’t realize that they even have a problem. This makes realizing that the thyroid is malfunctioning really important.

Bright Side brings to you 10 signs that indicate that your thyroid might be acting up and it’s time to pay the doctor a visit. Don’t miss our important bonus at the end.

 

Dry, scaly and thick skin

 

Hypothyroidism leads to the calcification of the skin, causing it to appear thick, very dry, and scaly in texture.

Hair loss/thinning hair

Hair growth depends on the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Changes in the level of the hormone produced by the thyroid gland can lead to changes in hair growth. Excessive production of the hormone can cause the hair to become thin all over the scalp while underproduction of the hormone can lead to hair loss

 Unusual bowel activity

 

Thyroid hormones play a role in regulating the bowel movement. An underactive thyroid can cause constipation, while an overactive thyroid can result in frequent bowel movements.

Depression/sudden anxiety

If you have been feeling anxious or unsettled lately, there’s a chance that your thyroid gland has been acting up. Overproduction of thyroid hormones results in more brain stimulation causing patients to feel jittery or anxious. Underproduction of the hormone has the opposite effect, it makes the patient feel depressed and tired.

Feeling unusually cold/unusual sweating

 

The thyroid gland is like a thermostat for our body in the sense that it regulates body temperature. If the hormone production gets beefed up it unusually increases the body’s metabolism causing people to feel overly warm and sweaty. If there is a deficiency of the thyroid hormone in the body the patient might be prone to having low body temperatures and cold intolerance.

 

 

Thyroid hormones are responsible for regulating the body’s metabolism. Lower than normal production of the hormone can significantly decrease metabolism and calorie burning abilities of the body causing you to gain weight, while over secretion of it will make you lose weight abruptly.

Irregular periods

 

If you are experiencing period problems, improper thyroid functioning might be the culprit. A lack of enough hormones will make the periods heavier, longer, or cause them to occur closer together while an abundant production of the hormone might make your periods lighter or cause them to occur further apart.

Brain fogging/difficulty concentrating

If your thyroid isn’t working properly, neither is your brain. An underactive thyroid can cause subtle memory loss while an overactive thyroid can make it difficult to concentrate.

Neck discomfort or enlargement

 

Both overproduction and underproduction of the thyroid hormone can lead to the enlargement of the thyroid gland causing the neck to appear swollen.

Changes in heart rate

Under secretion of the thyroid hormone can cause the heart to beat slowly, whereas hyperthyroidism causes a fast heartbeat.

Bonus: Who is at a greater risk?

 

  • Women more than men
  • Women over 60 years of age
  • People with a family history of thyroid related problems

Neck check for thyroid disorder:

Tip your head back and swallow. Examine your neck around the Adam’s apple and the area above your collarbones. If you feel lumps or bulges, see a doctor.

 

Sources: https://brightside.me/inspiration-health/10-signs-your-thyroid-isnt-working-515510/

 

 

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Common signs you might be suffering from a thyroid disorder

Article Source: https://www.metro.us/body-and-mind/health/thyroid-disorder-symptoms

 

January is National Thyroid Awareness Month. Here’s how to know if you have a thyroid problem and how to get treatment

 

Here’s how to know if something might be out of whack with your thyroid. Photo: ISTOCK

You’ve probably heard of the thyroid, but it’s less likely that you know what it is or how it actually functions in the body. The two-inch, butterfly-shaped gland, located in the neck just below the adam’s apple, secretes hormones that help regulate important systems in the body, including temperature, metabolism, heart rate, weight and menstruation.

When too much or too little of these hormones are produced, several bodily functions can get out of whack. For National Thyroid Awareness Month, we asked endocrinologist Dr. Byan McIver to talk us through common thyroid disorders and signs that you might be suffering from them.

Who is likely to develop a thyroid disorder? 

 According to the American Thyroid Association, 20 million Americans have thyroid disease, although women are five to eight times more likely to suffer from it than men. Typically, it affects women in their mid-thirties to mid-sixties who have a family history of thyroid problems — although the disorder isn’t strictly genetic. 

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid

McIver likens the thyroid to a “conductor” for the body’s symptoms.

“When there’s too much thyroid hormone, it’s like that conductor has gone a little crazy and gone too fast, and the whole music goes into dissonance,” he explains, describing the condition of hypothyroidism. This can cause rapid heartbeat, restlessness and anxiety, trouble sleeping, difficulty with memory and focus, hot flashes, an overactive bowel — symptoms akin to how you feel if you’ve had too much coffee, according to McIver. Over time, it can lead to hair loss, muscle weakness, shortness of breath and in severe cases, injuries to internal organs.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid

The most common thyroid condition, hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid isn’t producing enough hormones. This can cause patients to feel tired and low energy or depressed, have a slower heart rate, be more susceptible to the cold, experience constipation and rapid weight gain. It can also interfere with the menstrual cycle, which can lead to issues with infertility. If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, you might consider getting your thyroid tested to see if that’s the culprit, says McIver.

Nodular thyroid disease 

Talk about a lump in your throat. Nodules are a swelling on or inside the thyroid, and they’re actually very common — you’ll find them in half of women over the age of 50, McIver explains. Depending on the size of the nodule, you can feel it or even see it protruding from your neck. As it grows, it can lead you to develop a raspy voice or have difficulty swallowing. Luckily, the majority are benign, but on occasion they are cancerous.

How do you diagnose and treat thyroid conditions? 

If you’re experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms of overactive or underactive thyroid, or if you suspect you might have a nodule, let your doctor know, McIver recommends. They can refer you to an endocrinologist who can diagnose the condition by testing the levels of the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) through a simple blood test.

In the case of hypothyroidism, the endocrinologist can treat it with thyroid hormone replacement therapy. If it’s hyperthyroidism, there are medications to help slow down the thyroid, or removal of the thyroid through radioactive iodine or surgery.

In the case of a potential nodule, a doctor can confirm it with an ultrasound and then biopsy it, or use genetic testing to determine the cancer. Thyroid cancer has a good prognosis, McIver explains.

 

Find out how you can help medical research and contribute to finding cures by contacting PlasmaMed through our website: www.plasmamedpatients.com/contact 

 

What, Me Donate Plasma for Research?

The reasons are fairly obvious and straightforward. Research undertaken in the past by committed and forward-thinking people has given us a standard of living and life expectancies that would have been unimaginable not that long ago. It’s easy to take all of this for granted. Treatments for diseases that were deadly and intractable didn’t come out of a vacuum. Every one of us is healthier, happier, and some of us are actually still alive, solely because some nameless people made a commitment to research.

Participation in research studies comes in a few broad categories. Some studies seek only patient records in order to establish trends and extract data on the relative successes and failures of various treatment modalities. Other studies administer investigational drugs to patients in double-blind trials as part of the final phases of their approval. At Plasma MedResearch, LLC, we recruit patients for a third type of study. Our participants donate biospecimens in the form of plasma or blood samples along with various other body tissues and fluids as research requirements dictate. These patients are then compensated for their donation, time and travel, depending on the study and the specimen given.

Why are people reluctant to get involved? There are many reasons ranging from logistics, family/work responsibilities, impaired health, lack of mobility, and privacy concerns. These are all very valid reasons to take a pass on participating. In this day and age people are simply not comfortable having their personal information “out there”. This is understandable. Anyone who works with Plasma MedResearch, LLC, can rest assured that their personal information is protected. We meet and exceed all existing HIPAA and regulatory requirements for the safeguarding of personal information. Our commitment to our donors’ privacy cannot overstated.

We serve biotechnology companies, pharmaceutical companies, and Universities around the world. Our capabilities include a wide range of disease-state biospecimens, from Arthritis to Zika. People who consider donating often ask to know what research institution will be using their specimen and the exact nature of the study. Although this is a great question, it is not possible to answer. Regulations require a strict de-linking between donor and researcher. The most important part of this that researchers cannot know any identifying information about the person who provided the specimen. This is a critical protection for the donor. But, as a consequence, the donor cannot be privy to information about the people and company(ies) doing the actual research.

The selfless act of donating a specimen to a particular research study will have a positive ripple effect down through the generations, improving the quality of life on planet Earth.