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Every now and then do you enjoy a glass of wine with your dinner? Or perhaps, do you and your significant other sit, open a bottle of wine, enjoy some food and relax with each other? All of these aforementioned things can be fine and healthy and certainly are commonplace in adult society. So, should one worry if you like to include wine in your lifestyle?
Experts say that when it comes to food, to eat all things in moderation. However, how many moderates do you really know? Look around you with two-thirds of American society either overweight or obese, clearly the word moderation is not well understood. Yes, one can argue that weight status has nothing to do with enjoying the seasonal varietal, however such an argument might be short sighted. Weight status is related to how many calories we eat (consume) and how much we burn throughout the day and more importantly, over time. Can a single night of having perhaps instead of one glass of wine, but now three negatively affect you?
A new research study has found that having three glasses of wine can alter brain chemistry and decision making over the next 24-hours. In this study survey of over 2,000 adults, more than 50% said whenever they had three glasses of wine or more, within the next day, found themselves binging on food. The binge resulted in anywhere from 2,000 to 6,000 calories being eaten within the 24-hour period. As you might guess, the majority of people in this study also did not exercise the day after they binged (meaning the day after just having three glasses of wine).
So if you know that you might be having more than three glasses of wine and do not want to suffer all of the consequences possible from this, what might you do?
No one purposely wants to overeat when knowing that they can end up overweight and unhealthy. Drinking three or more glasses of wine can affect thinking and other mental processes. Being aware of this when just enjoying a bottle of wine with a friend or a mate can help you prepare for success the next day versus overeating or binging on extra food. These three little steps can help protect you from unwanted next day and longer effects of a nice evening.
To Your Health!
– Douglas S. Kalman PhD RD
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We have all experienced the benefits of reaching out to and leaning on others to get us through a difficult time. And we also know that we seem to derive more comfort from talking to some people rather than to others. Now, researchers from the University of California, University of Southern California and University of Leuren in Belgium have conducted a study which may clarify an important component of this phenomenon – emotional similarity. In other words, to what degree does the person we are turning to either feel the same thing we are feeling, or has been through something similar to our situation and can relate to what we are feeling. The study design called for placing pairs of individuals in anxiety-provoking situations, measuring how similar they were feeling during the waiting period, and then measuring their stress response when they were finally exposed to the anxiety-inducing situation. Essentially, the results indicated that if the individuals perceived each other to be feeling in a similar fashion, they were able to better tolerate the stressful situation and get through it with less anxiety.
Apparently, misery really does love company, but only if the company we are in is just as miserable as we are. The practical application of this study is that we will experience some comfort and increased capacity to handle a stressful situation when we have someone accompanying us – particularly if that individual is either in the same boat as we are or we perceive that that person has the experience to empathize with us and understand the emotions that we are feeling.
-Dr. Rafael Rivas-Vasquez PsyD – Psychologist
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Over the past several years, we have seen an increase in adults coming into our practice wondering whether or not they have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This is not surprising, given the amount of stress that people are under, as well as all the “attention” that ADHD has received recently. However, many things besides ADHD can produce poor attention, so it may be helpful to review some chief characteristics that are required in order to determine whether an adult meets the criteria for ADHD.
Attention is a complex cognitive process that is regulated by various brain regions and neurotransmitter systems. Effective attention can be thought of as a two-step process: We must be able to focus our attention on a primary source of interest (e.g., reading a book), while at the same time blocking or tuning out meaningless distractions. Many things can cause poor attention, the most common ones being fatigue, stress, depression, and even certain medical conditions (e.g., hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia).
ADHD is thought to represent a certain degree of inefficiency in the frontal lobes, the brain region that is responsible for controlling attention and behavior. Not only do people with ADHD have difficulty with focus and attention (e.g., distractibility, forgetfulness, procrastination, poor time and task management), they can also have problems with hyperactivity (e.g., restlessness, feeling fidgety, always “on the go”) or impulsivity (e.g., lose temper easily, interrupt others, impatient, difficulty awaiting their turn). A critical element to make the diagnosis of ADHD in adults is that several of these behaviors must have been present during childhood (before the age of 12) and had to have caused some level of difficulty at home and at school. It is estimated that 30% to 50% of children with ADHD will continue to manifest symptoms into adulthood, so it certainly is possible that adults presenting with attention and focusing problems have ADHD, but again, there must have been ADHD behaviors present during childhood.
If you present any of these symptoms, it is important to seek a consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.
Dr. Rafael Rivas-Vasquez PsyD – Psychologist
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