MRI Machines and Crumbly Bits

I am in my third month of sciatica pain, the kind that makes you consider stomach ulcerations by taking All Of The Ibuprofen In The House over the course of the last twelve weeks.  

After two or three urgent care appointments and an orthopaedic doctor visit, I saw my primary care doctor and asked her what I could do.  I am no longer able to walk normally, lay down or sit.  It is a bit ridiculous how stupid this pain is, if I sit (like right his very moment) it takes me quite a long time to get out of this position and fix my hip, leg and back so that I can move at a decent pace.  If I stay moving, I'm okay.  It is unrealistic to stand and pace every minute of the day so I do get "stuck" like this a few times a day, particularly when this happens:

The primary care physician sent me for an MRI on my lumbar and sacral spine, and it's just a mess.  I already knew I had some degeneration, but it's gotten worse and obviously now there's a nerve root issue.

Super!  GREAT!  Fun!  Love it.  The problem here is that I want my normal range of motion and movement back (HA HA) and without pain relief that works, this is impossible.  Taking NSAIDS after gastric bypass surgery is asking for a bloody ulcerated gut death and I'm currently risking it just to lay down at night. 

I am not writing this for pity – there's a million of you out there with similar conditions, and I was told "GO EXERCISE, THAT WILL FIX YOU!" and yes, please, I want to, but HOLY HELL.  Exercising by just picking up a toddler's thrown breakfast is like being stabbed in the asscheek.  Picking HIM up?  YEEEOUCH.  

Forget pants.  Socks?  Nope.  

"Degenerative disc disease L3-SL L4-5 broad-based central and posterior paracentral disc
protrusion with mild to moderate indentation on ventral thecal sac centrally and
bilaterally slightly greater on the left, with contact on the descending left L5 nerve
root in the lateral recess.
Central and right posterior paracentral L5-S1 disc protrusion with mild indentation on
ventral thecal sac centrally and eccentrically to the right.
Minor L3-4 midline disc protrusion.

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The costs of obesity

A shocking report.  

"Obesity and excess weight is an expanding health problem for more than 60 percent of Americans, and a new study by Hugh Waters and Ross DeVol finds that it's a tremendous drain on the U.S. economy as well. The total cost to treat health conditions related to obesity—ranging from diabetes to Alzheimer's—plus obesity's drag on attendance and productivity at work exceeds $1.4 trillion annually. That's more than twice what the U.S. spends on national defense. The total, from 2014 data, was equivalent to 8.2 percent of U.S. GDP, and it exceeds the economies of all but three U.S. states and all but 10 countries. The report also highlights how this public health challenge can best be addressed."

Is obesity something that we should be tackling?  My gut (no pun intended) says OMG OF COURSE YES, because we are looking at some very preventable disesases.  Those are some cah-razy numbers.  However, does the pharmaceutical industry care?  I mean:  obesity is Big. Money. 

Read the report:

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http://assets1b.milkeninstitute.org/assets/Publication/ResearchReport/PDF/Weighing-Down-America-WEB.pdf

Alcohol Sensitizes Brain Response to Food Aromas and Increases Food Intake in Women, Research Shows

Something I feel like we already knew?  Sigh.  Please read.

PR from The Obesity Society –

Alcohol Sensitizes Brain Response to Food Aromas and Increases Food Intake in Women, Research Shows

First study of its kind ties hypothalamus, in addition to the gut, to the aperitif phenomenon

SILVER SPRING, MD – The first study of its kind measuring the brain's role in mediating caloric intake following alcohol consumption among women shows that alcohol exposure sensitizes the brain's response to food aromas and increases caloric intake. The research, led by William J. A. Eiler II, PhD, of the Indiana University School of Medicine's Departments of Medicine and Neurology, adds to the current body of knowledge that alcohol increases food intake, also known as the "aperitif effect," but shows this increased intake does not rely entirely on the oral ingestion of alcohol and its absorption through the gut. The study is published in the July issue of the journal Obesity published by The Obesity Society (TOS).

"The brain, absent contributions from the gut, can play a vital role in regulating food intake. Our study found that alcohol exposure can both increase the brain's sensitivity to external food cues, like aromas, and result in greater food consumption," said Dr. Eiler. "Many alcoholic beverages already include empty calories, and when you combine those calories with the aperitif effect, it can lead to energy imbalance and possibly weight gain."

Researchers conducted the study in 35 non-vegetarian, non-smoking women at a healthy weight. To test the direct effects of alcohol on the brain, researchers circumvented the digestive system by exposing each participant to intravenously administered alcohol at one study visit and then to a placebo (saline) on another study visit, prior to eating. Participants were observed, and brain responses to food and non-food aromas were measured using blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) response via fMRI scans. After imaging, participants were offered a lunch choice between pasta with Italian meat sauce and beef and noodles. 

When participants received intravenous alcohol, they ate more food at lunch, on average, compared to when they were given the placebo. However, there were individual differences, with one-third of participants eating less after alcohol exposure when compared to the placebo exposure. In addition to changes in consumption, the area of the brain responsible for certain metabolic processes, thehypothalamus, also responded more to food odors, compared to non-food odors, after alcohol infusion vs. saline. The researchers concluded that the hypothalamus may therefore play a role in mediating the impact of alcohol exposure on our sensitivity to food cues, contributing to the aperitif phenomenon.

 "This research helps us to further understand the neural pathways involved in the relationship between food consumption and alcohol," said Martin Binks, PhD, FTOS, TOS Secretary Treasurer and Associate Professor of Nutrition Sciences at Texas Tech University. "Often, the relationship between alcohol on eating is oversimplified; this study unveils a potentially more complex process in need of further study."

Study authors agree and call for further research into the mechanism by which the hypothalamus affects food reward.

"Today, nearly two-thirds of adults in the U.S. consume alcohol, with wine consumption rising, which reinforces the need to better understand how alcohol can contribute to overeating," continued Dr. Binks.

Read the full article in Obesity here.

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Fexaramine Tricks Mice Into Losing Weight Without Food?!

Lose weight without worrying about food? Imagine this?!

Via Popular Science "Safe and effective weight loss doesn't yet come in a pill, but maybe one day it will. A new study has found a chemical that keeps mice from gaining weight through overeating. The drug also seemed to protect lab mice from some of the harmful effects of obesity: When researchers measured the mice's blood, they found reduced levels of insulin, cholesterol, and other molecules, compared to obese mice who didn't get the drug."

'Imaginary meal' tricks the body into losing weight – Salk Institute – News Release.

“This pill is like an imaginary meal,” says Ronald Evans, director of Salk’s Gene Expression Laboratoryand senior author of the new paper, published January 5, 2014 in Nature Medicine. “It sends out the same signals that normally happen when you eat a lot of food, so the body starts clearing out space to store it. But there are no calories and no change in appetite.”

In the United States, more than a third of adults are obese and 29.1 million people have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both obesity and diabetes lead to an increase in health spending, a greater risk of health complications and a shorter lifespan.

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Study - http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nm.3760.html

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The OAC is coming to Boston!

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Via OAC

The OAC is proud to announce that we are debuting a NEW pilot Your Weight Matters Local Events program with YWMLocal – Boston 2014! In less than a month, we will bring the Your Weight Matters message to Boston and the local surrounding community. 

  • We invite you to join us in Boston for this groundbreaking FREE educational event at the Westin Boston Waterfront on November 2, 2014, from 11:30 am – 4:00 pm.

The OAC welcomes our members and their family members, friends and colleagues from all throughout the northeast to this opportunity to experience a local OAC Event! We have secured an amazing line-up of topics and presenters who are ready to arm attendees with knowledge to get you started or back on your journey to improved weight and health. To view the educational topics presented, along with the speakers, please  CLICK HERE.

As part of our commitment to bringing our OAC members the best education and right tools for improving your weight and health, we are proudly producing this first YWMLocal Event, and hope to continue spreading the Your Weight Matters message with YWMLocal Events in other communities across the Nation. This is your chance as a valued OAC Member to connect with the OAC and your fellow OAC members in-person!

Any individual who wishes to benefit from this evidence-based education is welcome to attend, so pleaseshare the news with any family or friends you know in the Boston area! For all OAC members and ANYONE wishing to attend this great FREE event in Boston on November 2, please register now by CLICKING HERE!

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Video – Vision is Vital: Challenging Falsely Acquired Thoughts

  • Deciphering between the truths of others can cloud our ability to see our own reality.
  • Holding onto the things that weigh us down can create debilitating physical FAT and emotional Falsely Acquired Thoughts (F.A.T.) Change the brain, change the body, and find out how to fight F.A.T. for real. Presented by Merrill Littleberry, LCSW, LCDC, CCM, CI-CPT, a licensed psychotherapist and understands the debilitating effects of emotional and physical weight.

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