What to know about syphilis

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection. It is treatable in the early stages, but without treatment, it can lead to disability, neurological disorders, and even death.

The bacterium Treponema pallidum (T. pallidum) causes syphilis. There are four stages of the disease: primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary.

In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that 64%Trusted Source of syphilis presentations involved men who have sex with men. However, the number of cases in heterosexual men and women is also increasingTrusted Source.

Syphilis is treatable with antibiotics, especially in the early stages. It does not resolve without treatment.

In this article, we explain the different stages of syphilis and whether it is curable, as well as how to recognize and treat it.

What is syphilis?

Syphilis is an infection that develops due to T. pallidum bacteria. These bacteria can spread between people through direct contact with a syphilitic sore.

These sores may develop on the skin or mucous membranes of the vagina, anus, rectum, lips, or mouth.

Syphilis is most likely to spread during oral, anal, or vaginal sexual activity. People rarely pass the bacteria on through kissing.

The first sign is a painless sore on either the genitals, rectum, mouth, or another part of the skin. Some people do not notice the sore, as it does not cause pain.

These sores resolve on their own. However, if a person does not receive treatment, the bacteria remain in the body. They can remain dormant in the body for decadesTrusted Source before reactivating and damaging organs, including the brain.


Doctors categorize the stage of syphilis as either primary, secondary, latent, or tertiary. A variety of symptoms define each stage.

The disease can be contagiousTrusted Source during the primary and secondary stages and, occasionally, the early latent phase. Tertiary syphilis is not contagious, but it has the most severe symptoms.

Primary symptoms

The symptoms of primary syphilis include one or more painless, firm, and round syphilitic sores, or chancres. These appear 10 days to 3 months after the bacteria enter the body.

Chancres resolve within 2–6 weeks. However, without treatment, the disease may remain in the body and progress to the next phase.

Secondary symptoms

Secondary syphilis symptoms include:

* Sores that resemble oral, anal, and genital warts
* A nonitchy, rough, red or red-brown rash that starts on the trunk and spreads to the entire body, including the palms and soles
* Muscle aches
* Fever
* A sore throat
* Swollen lymph nodes
* Patchy hair loss
* Headaches
* Unexplained weight loss
* Fatigue

These symptoms may resolve a few weeks after they first appear. They might also return several times over a longer period.

Without treatment, secondary syphilis can progress to the latent and tertiary stages.

Latent syphilis

The latent phase can last for several years. During this time, the body will harbor the disease without symptoms.

However, the T. pallidum bacteria remain dormant in the body, and there is always a risk of recurrence. Doctors still recommend treating syphilis at this stage, even if symptoms do not occur.

After the latent phase, tertiary syphilis may develop.

Tertiary syphilis, or late syphilis

Tertiary syphilis can occur 10–30 yearsTrusted Source after the onset of the infection, usually after a period of latency during which there are no symptoms.

At this stage, syphilis damages the following organs and systems:

* Heart
* Blood vessels
* Liver
* Bones
* Joints

Gummas may also develop. These are soft tissue swellings that can occur anywhere on the body.

Organ damage means that tertiary syphilis can often lead to death. Treating syphilis before it reaches this stage is, therefore, critical.


Neurosyphilis is a condition that develops when T. pallidum bacteria have spread to the nervous system. It often has links to latent and tertiary syphilis. However, it can occur at any time after the primary stage.

A person with neurosyphilis may be asymptomatic for a long time. Alternatively, symptoms might develop gradually.

Symptoms includeTrusted Source:

* Dementia or altered mental status
* Abnormal gait
* Numbness in the extremities
* Problems with concentration
* Confusion
* Headache or seizures
* Vision problems or vision loss
* Weakness

Congenital syphilis

Congenital syphilis is severe and frequently life threatening. T. pallidum bacteria can transfer from a pregnant woman to a fetus through the placenta and during the birth process.

Data suggest that without screening and treatment, about 70% of women with syphilis will have an adverse outcome in pregnancy.

Adverse outcomes include early fetal or neonatal death, preterm birth or low birth weight, and infection in infants.

Symptoms in newborns include:

* Saddle nose, in which the bridge of the nose is missing
* Fever
* Difficulty gaining weight
* A rash of the genitals, anus, and mouth
* Small blisters on the hands and feet that change to a copper colored rash, which may be bumpy or flat, and spread to the face
* Watery nasal fluid

Older infants and young children may experience:

* Hutchinson teeth, or abnormal, peg shaped teeth
* Bone pain
* Vision loss
* Hearing loss
* Joint swelling
* Saber shins, a bone problem in the lower legs
* Scarring of the skin around the genitals, anus, and mouth
* Gray patches around the outer vagina and anus

In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed Cuba as the first country in the worldTrusted Source to have entirely eradicated congenital syphilis.

Is it curable?

Anyone who is worried that they might have syphilis or another sexually transmitted infection (STI) should speak to a doctor as soon as possible, as prompt treatment can cure it.

Early treatment with penicillin is important, as the disease can lead to life threatening consequences in the long term.

At a later stage, syphilis remains curable. However, a person may require a longer course of penicillin.

If nerve or organ damage occurs during the later stages of syphilis, treatment will not repair it. Treatment can, however, prevent further damage by clearing the bacteria from a person’s body.


Treatment for syphilis can be successful, particularly in the early stages.

The treatment strategy will depend on the symptoms and how long a person has harbored the bacteria. However, during the primary, secondary, or tertiary stage, people with syphilis will typically receive an intramuscular injection of penicillin G benzathine.

Tertiary syphilis will require multiple injections at weekly intervals.

Neurosyphilis requires intravenous (IV) penicillin every 4 hours for 2 weeks to remove the bacteria from the central nervous system.

Curing the infection will prevent further damage to the body, and safe sexual practices can resume. However, treatment cannot undo any damageTrusted Source that has already occurred.

People with a penicillin allergy can sometimes use an alternative medication in the early stages. However, during pregnancy and in the tertiary stages, anyone with an allergy will undergo penicillin desensitization to allow for safe treatment.

Following delivery, newborn infants with syphilis should undergo antibiotic treatment.

Chills, fever, nausea, achy pain, and a headache may occur on the first day of treatment. Doctors refer to these symptomsTrusted Source as a Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction. It does not indicate that a person should stop treatment.

When is it safe to have sex?

People with syphilis must avoid sexual contact until they have completed all treatment and received blood test results confirming that the disease has resolved.

It may take several months for blood tests to show that syphilis has reduced to an appropriate level. Low enough levels confirm adequate treatment.

Tests and diagnosis

A doctor will carry out a physical examination and ask about a person’s sexual history before carrying out clinical tests to confirm syphilis.

Tests include:

* Blood tests: These can detect a current or past infection, as antibodies to the syphilis bacteria will be present for many years.
* Bodily fluid: A doctor can evaluate fluid from a chancre during the primary or secondary stage.
* Cerebrospinal fluid: A doctor may collect this fluid through a spinal tap and examine it to monitor the disease’s effects on the nervous system.

If a person receives a diagnosis of syphilis, they must notify any sexual partners. Their partners should also undergo testing.

Local services are available to notify sexual partners of their potential exposure to syphilis, enable testing and, if necessary, administer treatment.

Healthcare professionals will also recommend testing for HIV.

When to receive testing

Many people with an STI will not be aware of it. Therefore, it is a good idea to talk to a doctor or request a test in the following situations:

* After having unprotected sex
* Having a new sex partner
* Having multiple sex partners
* A sexual partner receiving a diagnosis of syphilis
* A man having sex with different men
* Symptoms of syphilis being present


Syphilis develops when T. pallidum transfer from one person to another during sexual activity.

The infection can pass from a woman to a fetus during pregnancy or to an infant during delivery. This type is called congenital syphilis.

Syphilis cannot spreadTrusted Source through shared contact with objects, such as doorknobs, eating utensils, and toilet seats.

Risk factors

Sexually active people are at risk of contracting syphilis. Those most at risk include:

* People who have unprotected sex
* Men who have sex with men
* People living with HIV
* Individuals with more than one sexual partner

Syphilitic sores also increase the risk of contracting HIV.


Preventive measures to decrease the risk of syphilis include:

* Abstaining from sex
* Maintaining long term mutual monogamy with a partner who does not have syphilis
* Using a condom, although these only protect against genital sores and not those that develop elsewhere on the body
* Using a dental dam, or plastic square, during oral sex
* Avoiding sharing sex toys
* Refraining from alcohol and drugs that could potentially lead to unsafe sexual practices

Having syphilis once does not mean that a person has protection from it going forward. Even after treatment has successfully removed syphilis from a person’s body, it is possible for them to contract it again.


How do I know if my relationship is healthy?

It’s good to check in with yourself from time to time to see how you’re feeling about your relationship. The questions below focus on romantic and sexual relationships, but they can apply to other kinds of relationships, too. After you’ve asked yourself these questions, it could be helpful to answer them again from your partner’s perspective.
Does your partner listen to and respect your ideas?
Does your partner give you space to spend time with your friends and family?
Do you have fun spending time together?
Do you feel comfortable telling your partner when something they do upsets you?
Do you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings?
Can you tell your partner what you like sexually?
Does your partner make an effort to get along with your friends and family?
Is your partner proud of your accomplishments and successes?
Does your partner respect your differences?
Can you talk to your partner about birth control and/or safer sex?
Relationships can be complicated, but if you answered “yes” to all of these questions, there’s a good chance you’re in a healthy relationship. If you answered “no” to two or more questions, you might be in an

Symptoms, causes, and treatment for herpes

Herpes is an infection caused by HSV (herpes simplex virus). This virus affects the external genitalia, anal region, mucosal surfaces, and skin in other parts of the body.

Herpes is a long-term condition. However, many people never have symptoms even though they are carrying the virus.

Symptoms include blisters, ulcers, pain when urinating, cold sores, and vaginal discharge. Although there is no cure for herpes, it can be treated using medications and home remedies.

In this article, we discuss the symptoms of herpes, how to treat it, and how to avoid it.

Fast facts about herpes:

* There are two types of herpes simplex viruses: HSV-1 (herpes type 1, or oral herpes) and HSV-2 (herpes type 2, or genital herpes).
* More than 50 percent of people in the United States have HSV-1.
* Around 15.5 percent of people in the U.S. aged 14-49 have HSV-2.
* Receiving oral sex from somebody who has cold sores around their mouth significantly raises the risk of becoming infected.
* It is impossible to get genital herpes from a toilet seat.


Most people do not experience symptoms for months or years after becoming infected. Those who do have symptoms during the initial period will usually notice them about 4 days after exposure (the average range is 2-12 days).

Many people with HSV have recurring herpes. When a person is first infected, the recurrences tend to happen more frequently. Over time, however, the remission periods get longer, and each occurrence tends to become less severe.

Primary infection symptoms

Primary infection is a term used for an outbreak of genital herpes that occurs when a person is first infected. The symptoms can be quite severe and may include:

* Blisters and ulceration on external genitalia, in the vagina, or on the cervix
* Vaginal discharge
* Pain and itching
* Tender, enlarged lymph nodes
* Pain when urinating
* High temperature (fever)
* Malaise (feeling unwell)
* Cold sores around the mouth
* Red blisters on the skin

In most cases, the ulcers will heal, and the individual will not have any lasting scars.

Recurrent infection symptoms

Symptoms that occur in a recurrent infection tend to be less severe and do not last as long as they do in the primary infection stage. Typically, symptoms will last no more than 10 days and include:

* Burning or tingling around genitals before blisters appear
* Women may have blisters and ulceration on the cervix
* Cold sores around the mouth
* Red blisters

Eventually, recurrences happen less often and are much less severe.


When HSV is present on the surface of the skin of an infected person, it can easily be passed on to someone else through the moist skin that lines the mouth, anus, and genitals. The virus may also spread to another individual through other areas of skin, as well as the eyes.

A human cannot become infected with HSV by touching an object, work surface, washbasin, or towel that has been touched by an infected person. Infection can occur in the following ways:

* Having unprotected vaginal or anal sex
* Having oral sex with a person who gets cold sores
* Sharing sex toys
* Having genital contact with an infected person

The virus is most likely to be passed on just before the blister appears, when it is visible, and until the blister is completely healed. HSV can still be transmitted to another person when there are no signs of an outbreak, although it is less likely.

If a mother with genital herpes has sores while giving birth, it is possible that the infection will be passed on to the baby.


There are a variety of treatment options. These include:

Home remedies

Several home remedies can help, including:

* Taking painkillers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen
* Bathing in lightly salted water helps relieve symptoms
* Soaking in a warm sitz bath
* Applying petroleum jelly to the affected area
* Avoiding tight clothing around the affected area
* Washing hands thoroughly, especially after touching the affected area
* Refraining from sexual activity until symptoms have gone
* If urinating is painful, apply some cream or lotion to the urethra, for example, lidocaine

Some people find that using ice packs can help. Never apply ice directly to the skin, always wrap it in a cloth or towel first.


No drug can get rid of the herpes virus. Doctors may prescribe an antiviral, such as acyclovir, which prevents the virus from multiplying. Antiviral medications will help the outbreak clear up faster and will also help reduce the severity of symptoms.

Doctors usually prescribe antivirals the first time a person has symptoms. As recurrent outbreaks are usually mild, treatment is not usually necessary.

Episodic treatment and suppressive treatment

Episodic treatment is generally for people who have less than six recurrences in 1 year. Doctors may prescribe a 5-day course of antivirals each time symptoms appear.

Doctors prescribe suppressive treatment if a person experiences more than six recurrences in a year. In some cases, a doctor my recommend that the individual takes daily antiviral treatment indefinitely. The aim here is to prevent further recurrences. Although suppressive treatment significantly reduces the risk of passing HSV to a partner, there is still a risk.

Prevention tips

To reduce the risk of developing or passing on genital herpes:

* Use condoms when having sex
* Do not have sex while symptoms are present (genital, anal, or skin-to-skin)
* Do not kiss when there is a cold sore around the mouth
* Do not have many sexual partners

Some people find that stress, being tired, illness, friction against the skin, or sunbathing may trigger recurrences of symptoms. Identifying and avoiding these triggers may help reduce the number of recurrences.

What to know about gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted disease, sometimes referred to as “the clap.” It affects hundreds of thousands of men and women annually in the United States.

Globally, there are an estimated 78 millionTrusted Source new cases of gonorrhea diagnosed each year. In the United States alone, there are an estimated 820,000Trusted Source new gonorrhea infections each year. However, not all cases are diagnosed and reported; only 333,004 cases of gonorrhea were reported in the U.S. in 2013.

Gonorrhea is easily treated but can cause serious and sometimes permanent complications. Pelvic inflammatory disease occurs in women when the gonorrhea infection affects their uterus or fallopian tubes. The most serious complication associated with pelvic inflammatory disease is infertility.

Complications in men with gonorrhea include epididymitis (an inflammation of the tube which carries sperm) and infertility.

Fast facts on gonorrhea

* Gonorrhea is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
* Gonorrhea can be passed from mother to baby during delivery.
* Gonorrhea and chlamydia can be experienced simultaneously.
* If untreated, gonorrhea can increase a person’s risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV.


Symptoms may be absent despite an active gonorrheal infection. Symptoms can appear anywhere from 1-14 days following exposure to the infection.

Men and women experience slightly different symptoms; these can include:


* White, yellow, or green urethral discharge, resembling pus
* Inflammation or swelling of the foreskin
* Pain in the testicles or scrotum
* Painful or frequent urination
* Anal discharge, itching, pain, bleeding, or pain when passing stools
* Itching, difficulty swallowing, or swollen neck lymph nodes
* Eye pain, light sensitivity, or eye discharge resembling pus
* Red, swollen, warm, painful joints


* Painful sexual intercourse
* Fever
* Yellow or green vaginal discharge
* Vulvar swelling
* Bleeding in-between periods
* Heavier periods
* Bleeding after intercourse
* Vomiting and abdominal or pelvic pain
* Painful or frequent urination
* Sore throat, itching, difficulty swallowing, or swollen neck lymph nodes
* Eye pain, light sensitivity, and eye discharge resembling pus
* Red, swollen, warm, painful joints

Anal gonorrhea signs include:

* Itching, bleeding, or pain with passing bowel movements
* Anal discharge

An itching or burning sensation in the eyes may be a symptom of conjunctivitis. If infected semen or fluid comes into contact with the eyes, a person can develop conjunctivitis.


Upon displaying symptoms, a doctor may recommend a test for gonorrhea in addition to other diseases. Testing for gonorrhea can be completed by analyzing a urine sample or a swab of an affected area. Swab samples are commonly taken from the penis, cervix, urethra, anus, and throat.

Home kits for women are also available that include vaginal swabs. These kits are sent to a laboratory and results are reported directly to the patient.

If testing is positive for a gonorrhea infection, the individual and their partner will need to undergo treatment. This typically involves:

* Antibiotics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Trusted Sourcerecommend a single dose of 250 milligrams of intramuscular ceftriaxone and 1 gram of oral azithromycin. They urge people to take all the medication a doctor prescribes and not to share it with anyone else.
* Abstaining from sexual intercourse. Until treatment is complete, there is still a risk of complications and spread of infection.
* Repeat testing in some cases. It is not always necessary to be tested to make sure the treatment has worked. However, the CDC recommend retesting for some patients, and a doctor will decide if it is necessary. Retesting should be performed 7 days after treatment.

The CDC note that it is becoming harder to treat gonorrhea because of antiobiotic resistance. If symptoms do not improve after a few days, it is best to return to the doctor.

If a woman is pregnant and infected with gonorrhea, the infant will be given an eye ointmentTrusted Source to prevent gonorrhea transmission. However, antibiotics may be required if an eye infection develops.

LMC bans spectators from Nasarawa United’s home games, sanctions player, 2 officials

  • home games, sanctions player, 2 officials

LMC bans spectators from Nasarawa United’s home games, sanctions player, 2 officials

November 23, 2019

The League Management Company (LMC), organisers of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), have imposed sanctions on Nasarawa United Football Club of Lafia, one of their players and two backroom staff.

GIFTALWORLD reports that the sanctions were in the wake of the disturbances which trailed the club’s Match Day 4 fixture in Lafia on Wednesday.

The club will now play all their home matches behind closed doors indefinitely with some financial penalties, while a player, Seun Komolafe, will serve a one-year ban.

Their Curator, Aliyu Hamzat, is to serve a life ban from all NPFL match venues and activities, while the Media Officer, Eche Amos, has also been fined and cautioned.

A statement by the LMC late on Friday in Abuja disclosed that all the sanctions were to come into effect immediately.

‘’Komolafe is to serve a one-year ban starting immediately for accosting and assaulting the match officials and for inciting the club supporters to commit violence against match officials in the match against Plateau United in breach of Rule C11 and C1.3.

‘’Hazmat has been banned for life from participating in all NPFL match venues and activities for leading the attack on the referee and other match officials in violation of Rule C11 of the Framework and Rules of the NPFL.

‘’Amos was sanctioned for breach of Rule C1, for releasing or causing to be released a written press statement unfairly criticising match officials, a conduct deemed capable of bringing the League to disrepute.

‘’He is to pay a fine of 100,000 Naira, with a warning to desist from such conduct,’’ the statement indicated.

It showed further that Nasarawa United were charged for breaches of Rule B13.18, B13.52.1, B13.52.2 and C1 for which they were fined a cumulative fine of 4,250,000 Naira.

This includes a 1,250,000 Naira compensation for the assaulted match officials.

‘’Under Rule B1.18, the club was charged for the action of its supporters who threw objects, including stones towards match officials.

‘’This attracted a fine of one million Naira, while another fine of one million Naira was also imposed on the club for failure to ensure adequate crowd control and prevention of access by unauthorized persons to a restricted area which led to the attack on match officials as they headed to the dressing room.

‘’This is considered a breach of Rules B13.52.1 and B13.52.2.’’

Nasarawa United were also charged for breach of Rule C1, punishable by virtue of Rule B15.17, for conducts capable of bringing the game to disrepute.

This was through the action of some of their supporters, a player and an official of the club in assaulting match officials and causing disturbances.

This also attracted a fine of one million Naira and another 1,250,000 Naira to be paid as compensation to the match officials pursuant to Rule C12.

In addition, they will be responsible for the costs of all verified medical expenses of the assaulted match officials.

The statement added that Nasarawa United have 10 working days to pay the imposed fines, otherwise further disciplinary actions would be imposed.

The LMC further issued an order of closure of gates to fans for all Nasarawa United home matches for an indefinite period.

These foods may delay your menopause

New research led by scientists at Leeds University in the United Kingdom suggests that a diet rich in legumes and fish may put off the natural onset of menopause, while foods rich in carbohydrates may accelerate it.

The age at which a person experiences their menopause can impact their health in various ways.

In fact, in addition to the inability to become pregnant, premature menopause (or getting menopause before 40) or early menopause (occurring at ages 40–45) can bring with it numerous complications.

A loss of bone density, a higher risk of heart disease, and a loss of sexual desire are only some of the consequences of premature or early menopause.

Experiencing one’s menopause at a later age, on the other hand, might have some health benefits. For instance, a recent study suggested that a later menopause onset might keep cognitive decline at bay in senior women.

Given these health effects, knowing which factors influence the onset of menopause is important.

This is what prompted Yashvee Dunneram, who is a researcher at the School of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, and colleagues to conduct a study on the link between diet and menopause onset.

Studying diet and menopause onset

In addition to information about the age at which these women got their menopause, the study included information on potential confounding factors such as weight and reproductive history, physical activity levels, and hormone replacement therapy use.

Using the data drawn from food frequency questionnaires, the researchers were able to estimate the daily intake of 217 food items that the participants consumed.

Of all the women, 914 experienced menopause naturally between the ages of 40 and 65.

How carbs, fish, legumes affect menopause

On average, the age at which the women got their menopause was 51, and the study found that certain food items were linked with the timing of this onset.

Specifically, each portion of carbohydrates, such as pasta and rice, consumed per day correlated with experiencing menopause 1.5 years earlier.

By contrast, for each daily portion of fish and fresh legumes, such as peas and beans, the delay in menopause onset was of over 3 years. Additionally, a higher daily consumption of vitamin B-6 and zinc was also associated with later menopause.

When comparing vegetarians with meat eaters, the researchers found that eating meat was linked with a 1-year delay in menopause onset.

Among women who had not had any children, a higher intake of grapes and poultry was linked with later menopause.

“Our findings confirm that diet may be associated with the age at natural menopause. This may be relevant at a public health level since age at natural menopause may have implications on future health outcomes.”

Free radicals may play a role

This was an observational study, so it cannot explain causality. However, the scientists speculate on some potential mechanisms behind the associations that they found.

Their explanation involves reactive oxygen speciesTrusted Source, which are free radicalsTrusted Source, or oxygen-containing molecules believed to damage our DNA.

The maturation of eggs and their release, says the team, are affected negatively by reactive oxygen species. But legumes contain antioxidants, which might counter these negative effects and delay the onset of menopause.

Also, omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in oily fish, are thought to trigger antioxidant activity within the human body.

By contrast, refined carbs are thought to be a risk factor for insulin resistance, which, in turn, may increase estrogen production, leading to an early menopause onset

What to avoid during pregnancy

Most women can continue with their everyday activities during pregnancy and only need to make some minor lifestyle changes. The health and well-being of both the woman and the developing fetus are of primary concern during pregnancy, so it is best to avoid consuming certain foods and doing potentially risky activities.

In this article, we discuss 13 things not to do while pregnant and explain why they can be problematic:

Drinking alcohol

When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, the alcohol crosses the placenta and can affect the fetus. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy may cause fetal alcohol syndrome.

A fetus that gets exposure to alcohol in the womb may develop a wide range of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. These disorders can cause the following health issues:

* Physical abnormalities
* Intellectual disabilities
* Behavioral problems
* Seizures
* Poor growth
* Developmental delays
* Reduced coordination and fine motor skills

Researchers are unsure how much alcohol, if any, it is safe to consume during pregnancy, so most doctors recommend that pregnant women avoid alcohol completely.

Eating certain foods

It is common for pregnant women to avoid certain foods during pregnancy, either due to a change in their sense of smell or because the food makes them feel ill. However, there are some foods that all pregnant women should avoid eating. These include:

* Lunch meat and deli salads: Deli meats and foods, such as premade chicken salad, may contain listeria. Listeria is a bacteria that can cross the placenta and may be deadly for the fetus.
* Unpasteurized juice and dairy: As with deli meats, unpasteurized dairy products and juices can contain listeria and other bacteria that may cause food poisoning.
* Some soft cheeses: Certain soft cheese may contain unpasteurized dairy, particularly imported soft cheeses, such as brie, feta, and queso blanco.
* Fish high in mercury: Swordfish, shark, and mackerel are among the fish that contain high levels of mercury. According to March of Dimes, exposing the fetus to mercury may cause brain damage or hearing and vision problems.
* Raw meat and fish: Raw meat and fish, including sushi and raw oysters, can contain both salmonella and toxoplasmosis. Pregnant women have an increased risk of getting foodborne illness from these pathogens. Foodborne illness may cause dehydration, fever, and intrauterine sepsis, a blood infection that can be deadly to the fetus.
* Raw eggs: Raw eggs can also contain salmonella. Pregnant women should avoid any foods that may contain raw eggs, such as unbaked cookie dough or homemade Caesar salad dressing.

Too much caffeine

In the same way as alcohol, caffeine can cross the placenta and affect the fetus.

While much of the data regarding pregnancy and caffeine consumption is inconclusive, researchTrusted Source suggests that it is best to limit the intake of caffeine to 300 milligrams (mg) per day. Some experts believe that quantities greater than this can be harmful to the fetus and may increase the risk of pregnancy loss and low birth weight.

March of Dimes recommend that pregnant women consume no more than 200 mg of caffeine per day. This amounts to about 1.5 cups of coffee per day.

Hot tubs, saunas, and overheating

While relaxing in hot water may sound like an effective way to ease pregnancy discomfort, experts recommend avoiding hot tubs and saunas.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, hot tubs can cause hyperthermia, or abnormally high body temperature, which may lead to congenital abnormalities.

Additional activities that may cause the body temperature to rise too high include:

* Hot yoga or Pilates
* Sunbathing for too long
* Exposure to extreme heat
* Strenuous exercise
* Dehydration

Contact sports

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that pregnant women avoid contact sports, such as football or boxing.

Contact sports increase the risk of placental abruption, which is the premature separation of the placenta from the uterine wall. Placental abruption is a severe condition that can cause preterm birth, pregnancy loss, or stillbirth.

Pregnant women are also more prone to injury as hormonal changes in the body cause the ligaments to become looser.

Activities with a fall risk

After the first trimester, pregnant women should avoid any activity which carries the risk of falling, including skiing, ice-skating, and rock climbing.

During pregnancy, the center of gravity shifts as the belly expands, so even a minor fall may result in injuries.

Amusement park rides

Many amusement parks do not allow pregnant women on some rides, including roller coasters or any rides that may start or stop suddenly.

The jarring motion of these rides can cause placental abruption.

Changing a litter box

Pregnant women should avoid changing a litter box. Cleaning dirty litter boxes can put a person at risk of toxoplasmosis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, if a pregnant woman passes toxoplasmosis to the fetus, the baby may develop severe symptoms, including:

* Blindness
* Intellectual disabilities
* Brain damage
* Eye damage

Heavy lifting

According to the American Pregnancy Association, pregnant women should avoid heavy lifting. For some women, lifting heavy objects can increase the risk of:

* Pulled muscles
* Hernias
* Low birth weight
* Preterm labor


Smoking cigarettes during pregnancy can cause harm to both the woman and the baby. Aside from an increased risk of heart disease and lung cancer, smoking when pregnant can also causeTrusted Source the following problems during and after pregnancy:

* Premature birth
* Congenital abnormalities, such as cleft lip or cleft palate
* Sudden infant death syndrome
* Issues with the placenta

Women should stop smoking as soon as they know that they are pregnant and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. Women who are struggling to quit smoking can talk to a doctor about the help and additional resources that are available.


While illegal drug use is always dangerous, it can be even more harmful during pregnancy.

Using illegal drugs or misusing certain prescription drugs can cause a newborn to go through neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). A baby with NAS will go through substance withdrawal at birth.

Additionally, drug use can increase the risk of stillbirth, pregnancy loss, and congenital abnormalities.

Taking certain medications

Pregnant women should avoid some over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications while pregnant, as these can harm the fetus.

Doctors recommend avoiding the following medications while pregnant:

* Ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
* Most herbal remedies
* ACE inhibitors
* Some cold medications during the first trimester
* Cold and flu medications that contain specific ingredients
* Some acne medications

A doctor or pharmacist can provide advice on which medications are safe to use and can often recommend alternatives if women can no longer take their regular medicines.

Some types of exercise

Although doctors recommend that most pregnant women exercise, certain types of exercise are not suitable during pregnancy.

Pregnant women should try to avoid exercise that involves:

* Bouncing, leaping, and jumping
* Sudden changes in direction
* Jarring or jerky movements
* Abdominal exercises on the back, such as situps, after the first trimester

Many exercises, such as walking, swimming, and squats, can be beneficial during pregnancy. It is best to speak to a doctor about any existing or new exercise routines.

Pregnant women can carry on with most of their normal activities as long as they take some necessary precautions. When in doubt, it is best to check with a doctor about activity restrictions during pregnancy.

Some pregnant women, particularly those with a higher risk of preterm labor or other complications, may need to restrict additional activities that this article does not list.

How to get rid of chest pain at home

A heart attack can be the first thing a person thinks of when they have chest pain. However, there are many potential causes of pain in the chest area. No matter the cause, a person usually wants to eliminate the pain quickly.

Home remedies for heart pain are meant to treat infrequent chest pain that is due to digestive issues, such as gas, muscle strains, and anxiety.

It may not be easy to tell the difference between this benign pain and more serious conditions. When in doubt, people should always seek medical attention.

A person must receive urgent medical care when:

* Heart or chest pain feels crushing, tight, squeezing, or heavy
* A person suspects they are having a heart attack
* Shortness of breath is experienced alongside chest pain

Ten home remedies for heart pain

There are several things a person can try at home to help alleviate heart pain when it occurs and to prevent future occurrences.

The home remedies below should only be used when a person has been examined by a doctor and is certain that the chest pain is not caused by something serious, such as a heart attack.

Also, these remedies are not meant for a person with angina. People with angina should follow the treatment given to them by their doctor.

1. Almonds

When acid reflux is to blame for the heart pain, eating a few almonds or drinking a cup of almond milk may help.

There is not much scientific evidence to support these claims around almonds. Instead, most of the evidence is anecdotal with people passing on their knowledge or experience to others.

One thing to keep in mind is that almonds are high in fat, which can cause acid reflux. If this is the case, almonds could actually make the pain worse.

However, some research indicates that almond consumption may help with the prevention of heart disease. Though almonds may not stop the immediate pain, they can have a positive impact on overall heart health.

2. Cold pack

A common cause of heart or chest pain is a muscle strain. In these cases, a person can have pain in the chest due to strain from exercise, other activities, or blunt trauma.

In any of these cases, icing the area with a cold pack is a widely accepted method to help reduce swelling and stop the pain.

3. Hot drinks

A hot drink may help to eliminate gas when a person’s pain is due to gas or bloating. The hot liquid can also help boost digestion.

Some drinks may be better than others in this respect. For example, hibiscus tea has been found to have several benefits beyond helping with bloating.

Hibiscus may also play a role in lowering blood pressure and reducing cholesterol. These added benefits may help prevent heart complications.

4. Baking soda

Another popular recommendation for heart pain is to add baking soda to warm or cool water. The result is an alkaline solution that can help reduce the acid in the stomach if that is causing the pain.

However, a studyTrusted Source in 2013 concluded that baking soda may be good to treat heartburn but may have adverse effects on the heart overall.

5. Garlic

Garlic is claimed to be a remedy for chest pain, although there is no science to back this up.

People can mix a clove or two of minced garlic with a glass of warm milk. Instead of drinking the garlic, they should chew the pieces to gain the maximum benefit.

ResearchTrusted Source has shown that garlic can help to reverse heart disease and reduce the buildup of plaque in the arteries.

6. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another home remedy meant to help with acid reflux. People claim that drinking it before or after a meal may prevent acid reflux. Though a popular theory, there is little evidence to support the claims.

Apple cider vinegar has minimal side effects, but people taking blood thinner may want to avoid its use, as it can also thin the blood.

7. Aspirin

A person may want to take aspirin if they have chest pain. A pain reliever, such as aspirin, can help alleviate the heart pain associated with less severe cases.

ResearchTrusted Source also indicates that consistent use of low-dose aspirin may help prevent heart attacks. But aspirin remains controversial due to the increased risk of bleeding.

8. Lie down

When heart pain strikes, lying down immediately with the head elevated above the body may bring some relief. A slightly upright position helps when the pain is due to reflux.

9. Ginger

Similarly to other herbs, ginger is believed to have anti-inflammatory effects. More importantly, researchTrusted Source indicates that ginger may help to ease stomach issues and prevent vomiting.

10. Turmeric milk

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that may alleviate pain symptoms in the chest.

Turmeric milk combines about a teaspoon of turmeric spice with a cup of warm milk. The mixture should be drunk before bed to help alleviate pain.

For long-term use, studiesTrusted Source indicate the compounds in turmeric can help with preventing heart disease. The spice has also been shown to reduce cholesterol.

Causes of heart pain

There are many potential causes of heart pain in the chest. Some require medical attention immediately. Others are much more benign and may respond to a home remedy.

Some of the common causes of heart pain include:

* Heart attack
* Stable angina
* Unstable angina
* Heartburn
* Acid reflux or GERD
* Muscle strain
* Injury to muscles

Heart attacks require emergency medical attention. If a person thinks they may be having a heart attack, they should see a doctor immediately.

Angina, which results from the coronary arteries being clogged or narrowed, may also require medical attention and treatment.

Possible complications

The main concern when chest pain occurs is a heart attack.

People should be aware of the symptoms of a heart attack and seek immediate medical attention if a heart attack is suspected.

Symptoms may include the following in addition to chest pain:

* Pain in other areas of the upper body, including neck, jaw, or arm
* Shortness of breath
* Nausea
* Lightheadedness
* Cold sweat

Women should be aware that they are less likely to experience intense chest pain than men. They are more likely to have uncomfortable pressure or squeezing in their chest than pain. Women are also more likely to experience the other symptoms of a heart attack than a man.

When to see a doctor

A person should seek immediate medical attention at the first signs of a heart attack.

Also, a person should not use a home remedy as the first line of defense.

If the pain is new or unusual, people should seek out a medical diagnosis to ensure it is not due to something more severe than heartburn or gas.

Home remedies have a place in the effective treatment of often minor pain in the chest when the cause is known, and it is not a serious condition. On the other hand, any serious cases, such as a heart attack or angina, should be treated immediately by a medical professional.

If a person has any doubt, they should avoid using home treatments and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

What are the treatments for obesity?

including diet, a sedentary lifestyle, genetic factors, a health condition, or the use of certain medications. A number of treatment options can help people to achieve and maintain a suitable weight.

Carrying excess weight can increase the risk of a number of health problems. Losing weight can be frustrating and difficult, but even losing just 5–10 percentTrusted Source of body weight can bring significant health benefits, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

For a person who weighs 250 pounds (lb), or 114 kilograms (kg) this would mean losing 12–25 lb, or 5.7–11.4 kg. A small reduction in weight is an important achievement.

Losing weight slowly and constantly, for example, 1–2 lb each week, is often better than losing a lot quickly, because it is more likely to stay off once a person reaches their target weight.

Exercise and dietary changes are useful weight-loss tools. For some people, however, these are not effective. In this case, medication or surgery might be an option.

Sometimes, a health condition — such as a hormonal problem — can result in weight gain. In this case, treating the imbalance can help to solve the problem.

1. Dietary changes

One reason why excess weight and fat accumulate is when a person consumes more calories than they use. Over time, this can lead to weight gain.

Some types of food are more likely to lead to weight gain. Some processed foods contain additives, such as high-fructose corn syrup. This can cause changes in the body that result in additional weight gain.

Reducing the intake of processed, refined, and ready-made food that is high in sugar and fat, while increasing the consumption of whole grains and other high-fiber foods — such as fresh fruits and vegetables — can help a person to lose weight.

One advantage of a high-fiber diet is that the body feels full more quickly, making it less tempting to eat more. Whole grains help a person to feel full for longer, because they release their energy more slowly.

Fiber and whole grains can also help to reduce the risk of a number of conditions related to metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a condition that involves a number of health problems, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular problems. It is more common in people with obesity.

A doctor or dietitian can help to suggest a strategy and possibly a suitable weight-loss program.

Avoid crash-dieting

Trying to lose weight quickly by crash-dieting carries the following risks:

* New health problems may develop.
* Vitamin deficiencies can occur.
* It is more difficult to achieve healthy weight loss.

In some cases, a doctor may suggest that a person with severe obesity should follow a very low-calorie liquid diet. A health professional should monitor this strategy to ensure that the person remains safe while following the diet.

2. Physical activity

While the body does burn some calories even when a person is just sitting or sleeping, for most people, the more active they are, the more calories the body will burn.

However, this can take time. To lose one pound of fat, a person needs to burn 3,500 calories.

Good ways to start getting active include:

* Walking briskly
* Swimming
* Using the stairs instead of the elevator
* Getting off the bus or train one stop earlier and walking the rest of the way

Doing chores such as gardening, housework, or walking the dog all contribute.

The CDC suggest doing 60–90 minutesTrusted Source of moderately intense activity most days of the week.

People who are not used to exercising or who find it difficult to be active due to health or mobility problems should speak to a health professional about how to exercise and how to get started.

A person who is not in the habit of exercising should not start with too strenuous an activity, as this could pose a health risk.

3. Weight-loss medications

A doctor will sometimes prescribe medication, such as orlastat (Xenical) to help a person lose weight.

However, they usually only do this if:

* Dietary changes and exercise have not resulted in weight loss
* The person’s weight poses a significant risk to their health

The National Institutes of Health note that people should use medication alongside a reduced-calorie diet. Orlastat does not replace lifestyle changes.

Side effects include gastrointestinal symptoms, such as fatty stool and increased or decreased defecation. Some people have reported unwanted effects on the respiratory system, muscles and joints, headaches, and others.

From 1997 to 2010, doctors were able to prescribe sibutramine, too, but the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) withdrew approval in 2010, due to concerns about serious adverse effects.

4. Surgery

Weight loss, or bariatric, surgery involves removing or changing a part of a person’s stomach or small intestine so that they do not consume as much food or absorb as many calories as before.

This can help an individual to lose weight and also reduce the risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and other aspects of metabolic syndrome that can occur with obesity.

Surgery can either make the stomach smaller, or it can bypass part of the digestive system.

Gastric sleeve or gastric band

The surgeon uses a gastric sleeve or a gastric band to make the stomach smaller.

After the operation, a person cannot consume more than about one cup of food during each sitting. This significantly reduces food intake.

Gastric bypass

The procedure enables food to bypass parts of the digestive system, specifically the first part of the mid-section of the small intestine. It may also reduce the size of the stomach.

This is generally more effective than restrictive procedures, but there is a higher risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, as the body can no longer absorb as many nutrients.

A doctor may recommend surgery for a person who has a BMI of 30 or above, depending on their individual needs.

These include:

* Whether or not they have complications due to obesity
* The effectiveness of non-surgical treatments they have already undertaken

Surgeons often do bariatric surgery as a laparoscopic, or keyhole procedure.

5. Hormonal treatment

Hormonal treatment might one day help people with obesity. Scientists who published a studyTrusted Source in 2014 noted that part of the success of bariatric surgery may be the impact it has on gut hormones.

Harnessing these hormones could lead to novel, non-surgical options.

The researchers suggest that combining certain hormones might provide an effective therapy.

6. Browning white fat cells

Humans and other mammals contain two types of fat cell:

* Brown-fat cells burn calories and produce heat.
* White-fat cells store calories.

Scientists have been looking for ways to reprogram white-fat cells so that they behave more like brown-fat cells. They call this “beiging” fat cells.

If they can do this, they might be able to produce a therapy that can cause the body to burn fat more quickly.

Experts do not yet know how to achieve this, but a research team who published a reviewTrusted Source in Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology expressed hope that new genetic tools in the pipeline might hold the key.

Health risks and weight

Obesity increases the risk of a number of health problems.

Some of these — such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure — come under the umbrella of metabolic syndrome, a collection of features that often occur together, frequently with excess weight and obesity.

Health risks that increase with obesity include:

Osteoarthritis: Additional strain on the joints can lead to bone and cartilage degeneration.

Coronary heart disease: Heart disease becomes more likely when a person carries extra weight. This is often due to high cholesterol levels and the extra weight putting additional strain on the heart and blood vessels.

Gallbladder disease: Consuming foods that are high in sugar and fat may not necessarily lead to obesity, but it can cause the liver to overproduce cholesterol, resulting in gallstones.

High blood pressure: Excess adipose tissue in the body may secrete substances that affect the kidneys. This can result in high blood pressure, or hypertension. The body may also produce extra insulin, and this, too, can raise blood pressure.

Respiratory problems: These can occur if the extra weight puts pressure on the lungs, reducing the space available for breathing.

Several cancers: According to the CDC, 13 typesTrusted Source of cancer become more likely to occur if a person has obesity, including colorectal cancer.

Sleep apnea: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) note that weight reduction often improvesTrusted Source the symptoms of sleep apnea.

Stroke: Obesity often develops alongside a buildup of cholesterol. In time, this increases the risk of blockages in the blood vessels. These, in turn, can lead to heart disease and stroke.

Type 2 diabetes: This is a key aspect of metabolic syndrome.

Help is available for people who are concerned that they have too much weight. A change in diet and increase in exercise can help in many cases.

If these do not work, a doctor may be able to recommend another solution.

How to naturally lose weight fastHow to naturally lose weight fast

These strategies include exercising, keeping track of calorie intake, intermittent fasting, and reducing the number of carbohydrates in the diet.

In this article, we consider nine effective methods of weight loss.

Science-backed ways to lose weight Methods of weight loss that scientific research supports include the following:

1. Trying intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting (IF) is a pattern of eating that involves regular short-term fasts and consuming meals within a shorter time period during the day.

Several studiesTrusted Source have indicated that short-term intermittent fasting, which is up to 24 weeks in duration, leads to weight loss in overweight individuals.

The most common intermittent fasting methods include the following:

* Alternate day fastingTrusted Source (ADF): Fast every other day and eat normally on non-fasting days. The modified versionTrusted Source involves eating just 25–30 percent of the body’s energy needs on fasting days.
* The 5:2 Diet: Fast on 2 out of every 7 days. On fasting days eat 500–600 calories.
* The 16/8 method: Fast for 16 hours and eat only during an 8-hour window. For most people, the 8-hour window would be around noon to 8 p.m. A study on this method found that eating during a restricted period resulted in the participants consuming fewer calories and losing weight.

It is best to adopt a healthy eating pattern on non-fasting days and to avoid over-eating.

2. Tracking your diet and exercise

If someone wants to lose weight, they should be aware of everything that they eat and drink each day. The most effective way to do this is to log every item that they consume, in either a journal or an online food tracker.

Researchers estimated in 2017 that there would be 3.7 billion health app downloads by the end of the year. Of these, apps for diet, physical activity, and weight loss were among the most popular. This is not without reason, as tracking physical activity and weight loss progress on-the-go can be an effective way of managing weightTrusted Source.

One studyTrusted Source found that consistent tracking of physical activity helped with weight loss. Meanwhile, a review studyTrusted Source found a positive correlation between weight loss and the frequency of monitoring food intake and exercise. Even a device as simple as a pedometer can be a useful weight-loss tool.

3. Eating mindfully

Mindful eating is a practice where people pay attention to how and where they eat food. This practice can enable people to enjoy the food they eat and maintain a healthy weightTrusted Source.

As most people lead busy lives, they often tend to eat quickly on the run, in the car, working at their desks, and watching TV. As a result, many people are barely aware of the food they are eating.

Techniques for mindful eating include:

* Sitting down to eat, preferably at a table: Pay attention to the food and enjoy the experience.
* Avoiding distractions while eating: Do not turn on the TV, or a laptop or phone.
* Eating slowly: Take time to chew and savor the food. This technique helps with weight loss, as it gives a person’s brain enough time to recognize the signals that they are full, which can help to prevent over-eating.
* Making considered food choices: Choose foods that are full of nourishing nutrients and those that will satisfy for hours rather than minutes.

4. Eating protein for breakfast

Protein can regulate appetite hormones to help people feel full. This is mostly due to a decrease in the hunger hormone ghrelin and a rise in the satiety hormones peptide YY, GLP-1, and cholecystokininTrusted Source.

ResearchTrusted Source on young adults has also demonstrated that the hormonal effects of eating a high-protein breakfast can last for several hours.

Good choices for a high-protein breakfast include eggs, oats, nut and seed butters, quinoa porridge, sardines, and chia seed pudding.

5. Cutting back on sugar and refined carbohydrates

The Western diet is increasingly high in added sugars, and this has definite links to obesityTrusted Source, even when the sugar occurs in beveragesTrusted Source rather than food.

Refined carbohydrates are heavily processed foods that no longer contain fiber and other nutrients. These include white rice, bread, and pasta.

These foods are quick to digest, and they convert to glucose rapidly.

Excess glucose enters the blood and provokes the hormone insulin, which promotes fat storage in the adipose tissue. This contributes to weight gain.

Where possible, people should swap processed and sugary foods for more healthful options. Good food swaps include:

* Whole-grain rice, bread, and pasta instead of the white versions
* Fruit, nuts, and seeds instead of high-sugar snacks
* Herb teas and fruit-infused water instead of high-sugar sodas
* Smoothies with water or milk instead of fruit juice

6. Eating plenty of fiber

Dietary fiber describes plant-based carbohydrates that it is not possible to digest in the small intestine, unlike sugar and starch. Including plenty of fiber in the diet can increase the feeling of fullness, potentially leading to weight loss.

Fiber-rich foods include:

* Whole-grain breakfast cereals, whole-wheat pasta, whole-grain bread, oats, barley, and rye
* Fruit and vegetables
* Peas, beans, and pulses
* Nuts and seeds

7. Balancing gut bacteria

One emerging area of research is focusing on the role of bacteria in the gut on weight management.

The human gut hosts a vast number and variety of microorganisms, including around 37 trillion bacteria.

Every individual has different varieties and amounts of bacteria in their gut. Some types can increase the amount of energy that the person harvests from food, leading to fat deposition and weight gain.

Some foods can increase the number of good bacteria in the gut, including:

* A wide variety of plants: Increasing the number of fruits, vegetables, and grains in the diet will result in an increased fiber uptake and a more diverse set of gut bacteria. People should try to ensure that vegetables and other plant-based foods comprise 75 percent of their meal.
* Fermented foods: These enhance the function of good bacteria while inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria. Sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt, tempeh, and miso all contain good amounts of probiotics, which help to increase good bacteria. Researchers have studied kimchi widely, and study results suggest that it has anti-obesity effects. Similarly, studies have shown that kefir may help to promote weight loss in overweight women.
* Prebiotic foods: These stimulate the growth and activity of some of the good bacteria that aid weight control. Prebiotic fiber occurs in many fruits and vegetables, especially chicory root, artichoke, onion, garlic, asparagus, leeks, banana, and avocado. It is also in grains, such as oats and barley.

8. Getting a good night’s sleep

Numerous studies have shown that getting less than 5–6 hours of sleep per night is associated with increased incidence of obesityTrusted Source. There are several reasons behind this.

Research suggestsTrusted Source that insufficient or poor-quality sleep slows down the process in which the body converts calories to energy, called metabolism. When metabolism is less effective, the body may store unused energy as fat. In addition, poor sleep can increase the production of insulin and cortisolTrusted Source, which also prompt fat storage.

How long someone sleeps also affects the regulation of the appetite-controlling hormones leptin and ghrelin. Leptin sends signals of fullness to the brain.

9. Managing your stress levels

Stress triggers the release of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which initially decrease the appetite as part of the body’s fight or flight response.

However, when people are under constant stress, cortisol can remain in the bloodstream for longer, which will increase their appetiteTrusted Source and potentially lead to them eating more.

Cortisol signals the need to replenish the body’s nutritional stores from the preferred source of fuel, which is carbohydrate.

Insulin then transports the sugar from carbohydrates from the blood to the muscles and brain. If the individual does not use this sugar in fight or flight, the body will store it as fat.

Researchers foundTrusted Source that implementing an 8-week stress-management intervention program resulted in significant reduction in the body mass index (BMI) of overweight and obese children and adolescents.

Some methods of managing stress include:

* Yoga, meditation, or tai chi
* Breathing and relaxation techniques
* Spending some time outdoors, for example walking or gardening

It is important to remember that there are no quick fixes when it comes to weight loss.

The best way to reach and maintain a healthy weight is to eat a nutritious, balanced diet.

This should include 10 portions of fruit and vegetables, good-quality protein, and whole-grains. It is also beneficial to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.