What Are The Warning Signs Of Brain Tumors?

Brain Tumor

A primary brain tumor (a tumor that begins in the brain) can be either benign or malignant. This medical condition can occur at any age and its causes are still unclear. A brain tumor comes in all shapes and sizes and this applies to its symptoms too. Nevertheless, some signs are more common than others. Here are some of the major warning signs of brain tumors you should watch out for.

1. Seizures – The tumor irritates the brain making the neurons fire without control. This can cause irregular movements, such as convulsions of the whole body or partial flexing or jerking of a limb or a part of the face. In general, seizures are among the first signs of a brain tumor.

2. Numbness and clumsiness – Losing feeling in a part of the body and/or clumsy movements are especially associated with brain stem tumors. In case you realize you’re losing balance, missing steps, having swallowing and speaking issues, those may be the signs of a brain tumor. Loss of feeling is something you should also keep an eye on.

3. Behavior and personality changes – Family members and close friends may notice changes in personality and behavior first. The shifts aren’t radical, but people with brain tumor can be in a bad mood and feeling confused before they even realize they’re having an underlying medical condition. In most cases, brain tumors can cause memory, reasoning and thinking problems.

4. Nausea and/or vomiting – Feeling nauseous or vomiting early in the morning when it’s not related to other medical conditions are a potential warning sign.

5. Changes in vision – Brain tumors can cause double or blurred vision, abnormal eye movements and vision changes. These symptoms depend on the size, type and location of the tumor. For example, tumors near or on the optical nerve can cause double and/or blurred vision, whereas other tumor types can cause irregular eye movements.

6. Headaches – For a reason, this sign is listed last. Although headaches can be an indicator of a brain tumor, they aren’t among the first symptoms to occur. In addition, a headache can be a result of almost any medical or lifestyle issue, including dehydration and lack of sleep. However, if you get unusual headaches or the ones you normally get become more frequent and/or more intense, it is highly recommended to see your doctor. Headaches that are constant, dull and throbbing from time to time, especially if they wake you up from your sleep or get worse in the morning should be taken seriously.

How to Prevent Brain Tumors?

Since the causes of brain tumors are not fully understood yet, there are no specific ways to prevent it. However, taking care of your overall health would be your best first line of defense.

Make sure you eat a healthy diet that contains a lot of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, good fats, eggs, and other nutritious foods.

Some people choose to supplement their diet with medicinal herbs that have brain-tonic properties, such as ashwagandha, ginkgo biloba, bacopa monnieri, and others. And there are also non-stimulant OTC nootropics that enhance neurotransmitters and brain functions. While no supplements or drugs can prevent brain cancer, they may help reduce the risk by keeping your brain well and strong.

And finally, exercise more often and get adequate rest every night. People who stay awake during the night and don’t get enough sleep are more susceptible to developing mental disorders, which may eventually evolve into a tumor.

How to Treat Brain Tumors?

Depending on the size and location of the tumor, there can be different treatment options including surgery, radiation therapy, drugs, and chemotherapy.

Surgical removal of the tumor is the most effective and common treatment option. This involves either removing the entire tumor or as much as can be removed without causing significant damage to the surrounding healthy brain tissue. In case the tumor was partially removed, the remaining parts will then be treated with chemotherapy or radiation.

Patients need to discuss possible treatment options with their doctor, who can suggest the most suitable treatment route depending on the patient’s age, health, and the characteristics of the tumor.

Let’s Talk About The Health Benefits And Dangers Of Caffeine

Coffee cup and beans

Caffeine has been both mocked and praised over the centuries. It has been blamed for its maddening addiction and other times praised for its heavenly gift of curing laziness. Both are heavy arguments. But have you ever wondered what science says about the benefits and risks of caffeine?

Caffeine in a Few Words

Caffeine is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance, globally. Caffeine is the core reason why coffee has become the world’s most consumed beverage. The beneficial effects aside, coffee in itself is a complex substance that consists of multiple chemical compounds. Several types of research argue that caffeinated and decaf coffee have little or no difference at all. Let us review both the benefits and dangers involved with regular consumption of caffeine.

Benefits of Caffeine

1. Boosts Physical Performance

A cup of black coffee half an hour before workout increases energy and performance. It enhances adrenaline levels in the body. This hormone is responsible for the “fight or flight” response which helps you stay alert and prepared during physical exertion.

2. Maintains Weight

The potassium and magnesium found in coffee help our body absorb more insulin which regulates blood glucose levels while reducing cravings for carbs and sugar. Regular consumption of coffee helps you maintain a well-shaped body.

3. Burns Fat

Similarly, caffeine found in coffee also breaks fat cells and allows our body to consume energy from these fat cells during training or any other physical activity.

4. Improves Focus

One of the key advantages of caffeine is that it improves focus and mental acuity. 1-3 cups of caffeine a day would reduce your sleep time and increase focus during any mental work.

5. Prevents Premature Death

Studies show that caffeine reduces the risk of premature death up to 25%. It prevents heart attacks by keeping blood circulation in good shape.

6. Prevents Cancer

Caffeine prevents the development of basal cell carcinoma which is responsible for several types of skin cancer. Coffee reduces the risk of endometrial and prostate cancer by 25%. People who consume about 2-3 cups of coffee a day are at a lower risk of developing cancer.

7. Prevents Parkinson’s Disease

Research shows that regular consumption of caffeine significantly reduces the chances of developing Parkinson’s disease. The evidence shows that coffee stimulates activity in the area of the brain which is responsible for the development of Parkinson’s disease.

8. Contains Antioxidants

The antioxidants found in coffee fight against free radicals and prevent several types of infections and skin diseases.

9. Prevents Diabetes

By decreasing your insulin sensitivity it impairs glucose tolerance which therefore reduces the chance of developing type II diabetes.

10. Beats Depression/Makes You Happy

Probably the most loved and desired benefit of caffeine is that it enhances the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline, which brightens up your mood. Consuming more than two cups of coffee could reduce the risk of depression and anxiety in young and old people of both sexes. It has also been shown – according to research – to reduce the chances of suicide due to depression by 50%.

Risk Factors of Caffeine

1. Can be Toxic

Just as everything has quality, coffee too has several different types with varying quality. If by any chance you are consuming bad coffee that contains impurities, it could cause infections, sickness, allergies and nausea. Damaged or overripe coffee beans can be injurious to health.

2. Restlessness and Insomnia

It is hard to determine whether or not you are caffeine sensitive. If by any chance you are, it causes restlessness and insomnia. The amount of coffee you should and can tolerate per day depends on your DNA.

3. Unhealthy in Pregnancy

A fetus is sensitive to caffeine. Drinking coffee during pregnancy can affect the development of the fetus. Therefore it is recommended to control the daily intake of caffeine by reducing it to one cup a day during pregnancy.

4. Raises Cholesterol

Patients who have a high cholesterol level should avoid consuming caffeine in a high amount. The two ingredients found in caffeine known as kahweol and cafestol raise the LDL cholesterol in the body. Espresso comparatively could be a little safer for such patients.

5. Addiction

Maddening addiction of caffeine is another drawback. Once you get addicted to it, it causes withdrawal effects when you stop its intake. For example, one day without caffeine for addicts would lead to headaches, nausea and anxiety. Caffeine addiction can cause side effects similar to those of smoking, which requires a long period of healing before the withdrawal effects dissipate.

Conclusion

Too much of anything is bad. For some, caffeine is a blessing, while for others it could lead to serious health damage. For example, patients with high cholesterol levels would suffer, whereas sufferers of depression would feel significantly much better because of caffeine. Therefore the benefits and risk factors vary from person to person. As long as you drink the recommended amount and toxin-free quality coffee you should be good. The recommended amount of caffeine a day is normally about two cups.