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IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH - part 1

This section provides an explanation of the key findings that are contributing to your health risk scores in the previous section.

 

Each of the nine health categories contains sub-categories with more in-depth information and diet and lifestyle recommendations tailored specifically for you.

Heart

Restrictive capillary flow


Capillaries are a network of very small blood vessels that pass through all the tissues in the body and form the connection between the arteries and the veins. Arterioles, the smallest arteries in the body, contract or relax to regulate blood flow into the capillaries. If they are constricted, transport of oxygen and nutrients into the tissues can be reduced, affecting vital organs, muscles and blood flow to the extremities (characterised by, for example, cold hands and feet). This can be transitory and may be a result of mental or physical stress, dehydration, the use of nicotine or excessive caffeine. In some cases, arteriole constriction can be a consequence of ageing, chronic inflammation, poor diet or lifestyle choices. Over time, this can contribute to the onset of arteriosclerosis (thickening and stiffening of the arterial walls) and the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries, both of which restrict blood flow.




Dilated larger arteries


Arteries carry blood from the heart at high pressure and need an optimal degree of elasticity to function correctly. Dilation and over-elasticity of the larger arteries can indicate that arterial walls do not have enough tension to manage blood flow throughout the body. During times of stress and physical activity the muscles and tissues need an increased supply of oxygen and nutrients for optimal functionality. Over-dilation of the arteries decreases the efficiency of blood transport and results in decreased muscular power and physical performance.




Constricted larger arteries


Arteries carry blood from the heart at high pressure and need an optimal degree of elasticity to function correctly. Constriction of the larger arteries can reduce the efficiency of blood flow to the rest of the body. Arterial constriction can be transitory and can be a result of mental or physical stress, dehydration and/or intake of caffeine and nicotine. In some cases arterial constriction can be related to ageing, chronic inflammation, poor diet and lifestyle choices. Over time, these can contribute to the onset of arteriosclerosis (thickening and stiffening of the arterial walls) and the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries, both of which restrict blood flow.




Heart risk


The heart is a pump that powers the body’s transport system (the blood), so that nutrients and oxygen can be delivered to where they are needed. It is a muscle that contracts continuously in sequence to push blood initially to the lungs, then to the rest of the body. Efficient heart contraction requires nervous and hormonal control of the heart beat and coordination of electrical flow around the heart. The flow of electricity around the heart causes the heart muscle to contract in the correct sequence to pump blood. The heart muscle requires a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to contract properly. Dysfunction in any of these processes controlling heart function can cause inefficient contraction, missed or additional heart beats, heart pain and angina and in extreme cases, sudden cardiac death. It is important to do regular cardiovascular exercise so that the heart is trained to cope with extra stress and demand when it is needed.





Digestive and oral health

Diabetic risk


When the level of glucose in the blood is too high it means that the body is neither effectively storing glucose nor converting glucose into energy. This can lead to an impaired glucose tolerance and a potential pre-diabetic profile. Causes can range from poor nutrition (i.e. excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugars), obesity, a high body fat percentage, to dehydration or possible genetic predispositions. A raised level of diabetic risk can lead to higher risk of cardiovascular, liver and kidney disease.





Nutritional

Alkalosis


The pH of a solution is a measure of its acidity or alkalinity. The body constantly works to keep its pH within a range that ensures optimal metabolism, digestion, respiration and immune responses. Alkalosis (high pH) occurs when the mechanisms that manage pH in the body are strained by excessive alkalinity or infection. It can result from the use of certain pharmaceutical drugs or supplements, or the over-consumption of alkaline-forming foods. Alkalosis can also be the result of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), obstruction in the urinary system, or kidney problems. Saliva that is slightly alkaline can inhibit the efficient breakdown of carbohydrates in the mouth and is normally caused by bacterial infection or over-consumption of alkaline foods and antacids. If unaddressed, alkaline saliva can lead to potential thyroid problems, weight gain, fatigue, digestive problems or mouth ulcers.




Acidosis


The pH of a solution is a measure of its acidity or alkalinity. The body constantly works to keep its pH within a range that ensures optimal metabolism, digestion, respiration and immune responses. Acidosis (low pH) occurs when the mechanisms that manage pH in the body are strained by excessive acidity. It can result from the consumption of acid-forming foods and low levels of hydration. Urine with a low pH can be an indication of low-level metabolic acidosis, which can be associated with kidney stones, metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. Saliva with a low pH, a probable sign of poor dietary choices and/or acid reflux from the stomach, can exacerbate dental problems and symptoms of asthma. It can also result in depleted carbohydrate and protein digestion. Acidosis can contribute to metabolic syndrome (i.e. medical term for a combination of symptoms that increase the risk of heart disease and other health problems), increased triglyceride levels and higher diabetes and cardiovascular risk.




Nutrition malnourished


The body requires an adequate intake of nutrients and minerals to sustain the correct function of all body systems. Efficient digestion will ensure that nutrients are absorbed into the blood where they can be delivered to where they are most needed. A balanced diet, effective digestion and absorption are essential to obtain sufficient levels of nutrients in the blood. A balanced diet contains carbohydrates for energy, protein for repair and maintenance of cells and tissues, and fats for insulation and energy. Inadequate intake of nutrients can lead to increased susceptibility to disease and symptoms of fatigue.




Nutrition overweight


The body requires a balanced intake of nutrients and minerals to sustain the function of all body systems whilst at rest and during exercise. The Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) provides the amount of daily calories needed while at rest to sustain a particular body weight. Eating less than this amount of calories will cause weight loss, and eating more will cause weight gain. Exercise uses calories over and above what is required for your BMR. Any excess calories consumed are either excreted or stored in the body as fat. Certain foods are manufactured to be more palatable and to overcome the body’s natural mechanisms for appetite cessation. It is easy to eat to excess when consuming these foods. Overconsumption of nutrients, poor dietary and lifestyle choices can all lead to weight gain, cholesterol build-up inside the arteries, fatty liver disease, reduced kidney function, diabetes and cardiovascular problems.





Kidney, bladder, liver and detoxification efficiency

Restrictive capillary flow


Capillaries are a network of very small blood vessels that pass through all the tissues in the body and form the connection between the arteries and the veins. Arterioles, the smallest arteries in the body, contract or relax to regulate blood flow into the capillaries. If they are constricted, transport of oxygen and nutrients into the tissues can be reduced, affecting vital organs, muscles and blood flow to the extremities (characterised by, for example, cold hands and feet). This can be transitory and may be a result of mental or physical stress, dehydration, the use of nicotine or excessive caffeine. In some cases, arteriole constriction can be a consequence of ageing, chronic inflammation, poor diet or lifestyle choices. Over time, this can contribute to the onset of arteriosclerosis (thickening and stiffening of the arterial walls) and the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries, both of which restrict blood flow.




Dilated larger arteries


Arteries carry blood from the heart at high pressure and need an optimal degree of elasticity to function correctly. Dilation and over-elasticity of the larger arteries can indicate that arterial walls do not have enough tension to manage blood flow throughout the body. During times of stress and physical activity the muscles and tissues need an increased supply of oxygen and nutrients for optimal functionality. Over-dilation of the arteries decreases the efficiency of blood transport and results in decreased muscular power and physical performance.




Constricted larger arteries


Arteries carry blood from the heart at high pressure and need an optimal degree of elasticity to function correctly. Constriction of the larger arteries can reduce the efficiency of blood flow to the rest of the body. Arterial constriction can be transitory and can be a result of mental or physical stress, dehydration and/or intake of caffeine and nicotine. In some cases arterial constriction can be related to ageing, chronic inflammation, poor diet and lifestyle choices. Over time, these can contribute to the onset of arteriosclerosis (thickening and stiffening of the arterial walls) and the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries, both of which restrict blood flow.




Heart risk


The heart is a pump that powers the body’s transport system (the blood), so that nutrients and oxygen can be delivered to where they are needed. It is a muscle that contracts continuously in sequence to push blood initially to the lungs, then to the rest of the body. Efficient heart contraction requires nervous and hormonal control of the heart beat and coordination of electrical flow around the heart. The flow of electricity around the heart causes the heart muscle to contract in the correct sequence to pump blood. The heart muscle requires a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to contract properly. Dysfunction in any of these processes controlling heart function can cause inefficient contraction, missed or additional heart beats, heart pain and angina and in extreme cases, sudden cardiac death. It is important to do regular cardiovascular exercise so that the heart is trained to cope with extra stress and demand when it is needed.





Hydration

Restrictive capillary flow


Capillaries are a network of very small blood vessels that pass through all the tissues in the body and form the connection between the arteries and the veins. Arterioles, the smallest arteries in the body, contract or relax to regulate blood flow into the capillaries. If they are constricted, transport of oxygen and nutrients into the tissues can be reduced, affecting vital organs, muscles and blood flow to the extremities (characterised by, for example, cold hands and feet). This can be transitory and may be a result of mental or physical stress, dehydration, the use of nicotine or excessive caffeine. In some cases, arteriole constriction can be a consequence of ageing, chronic inflammation, poor diet or lifestyle choices. Over time, this can contribute to the onset of arteriosclerosis (thickening and stiffening of the arterial walls) and the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries, both of which restrict blood flow.




Dilated larger arteries


Arteries carry blood from the heart at high pressure and need an optimal degree of elasticity to function correctly. Dilation and over-elasticity of the larger arteries can indicate that arterial walls do not have enough tension to manage blood flow throughout the body. During times of stress and physical activity the muscles and tissues need an increased supply of oxygen and nutrients for optimal functionality. Over-dilation of the arteries decreases the efficiency of blood transport and results in decreased muscular power and physical performance.




Constricted larger arteries


Arteries carry blood from the heart at high pressure and need an optimal degree of elasticity to function correctly. Constriction of the larger arteries can reduce the efficiency of blood flow to the rest of the body. Arterial constriction can be transitory and can be a result of mental or physical stress, dehydration and/or intake of caffeine and nicotine. In some cases arterial constriction can be related to ageing, chronic inflammation, poor diet and lifestyle choices. Over time, these can contribute to the onset of arteriosclerosis (thickening and stiffening of the arterial walls) and the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries, both of which restrict blood flow.




Heart risk


The heart is a pump that powers the body’s transport system (the blood), so that nutrients and oxygen can be delivered to where they are needed. It is a muscle that contracts continuously in sequence to push blood initially to the lungs, then to the rest of the body. Efficient heart contraction requires nervous and hormonal control of the heart beat and coordination of electrical flow around the heart. The flow of electricity around the heart causes the heart muscle to contract in the correct sequence to pump blood. The heart muscle requires a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to contract properly. Dysfunction in any of these processes controlling heart function can cause inefficient contraction, missed or additional heart beats, heart pain and angina and in extreme cases, sudden cardiac death. It is important to do regular cardiovascular exercise so that the heart is trained to cope with extra stress and demand when it is needed.





Stress

Restrictive capillary flow


Capillaries are a network of very small blood vessels that pass through all the tissues in the body and form the connection between the arteries and the veins. Arterioles, the smallest arteries in the body, contract or relax to regulate blood flow into the capillaries. If they are constricted, transport of oxygen and nutrients into the tissues can be reduced, affecting vital organs, muscles and blood flow to the extremities (characterised by, for example, cold hands and feet). This can be transitory and may be a result of mental or physical stress, dehydration, the use of nicotine or excessive caffeine. In some cases, arteriole constriction can be a consequence of ageing, chronic inflammation, poor diet or lifestyle choices. Over time, this can contribute to the onset of arteriosclerosis (thickening and stiffening of the arterial walls) and the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries, both of which restrict blood flow.




Dilated larger arteries


Arteries carry blood from the heart at high pressure and need an optimal degree of elasticity to function correctly. Dilation and over-elasticity of the larger arteries can indicate that arterial walls do not have enough tension to manage blood flow throughout the body. During times of stress and physical activity the muscles and tissues need an increased supply of oxygen and nutrients for optimal functionality. Over-dilation of the arteries decreases the efficiency of blood transport and results in decreased muscular power and physical performance.




Constricted larger arteries


Arteries carry blood from the heart at high pressure and need an optimal degree of elasticity to function correctly. Constriction of the larger arteries can reduce the efficiency of blood flow to the rest of the body. Arterial constriction can be transitory and can be a result of mental or physical stress, dehydration and/or intake of caffeine and nicotine. In some cases arterial constriction can be related to ageing, chronic inflammation, poor diet and lifestyle choices. Over time, these can contribute to the onset of arteriosclerosis (thickening and stiffening of the arterial walls) and the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries, both of which restrict blood flow.




Heart risk


The heart is a pump that powers the body’s transport system (the blood), so that nutrients and oxygen can be delivered to where they are needed. It is a muscle that contracts continuously in sequence to push blood initially to the lungs, then to the rest of the body. Efficient heart contraction requires nervous and hormonal control of the heart beat and coordination of electrical flow around the heart. The flow of electricity around the heart causes the heart muscle to contract in the correct sequence to pump blood. The heart muscle requires a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to contract properly. Dysfunction in any of these processes controlling heart function can cause inefficient contraction, missed or additional heart beats, heart pain and angina and in extreme cases, sudden cardiac death. It is important to do regular cardiovascular exercise so that the heart is trained to cope with extra stress and demand when it is needed.





Diabetic risk

Diabetic risk


When the level of glucose in the blood is too high it means that the body is neither effectively storing glucose nor converting glucose into energy. This can lead to an impaired glucose tolerance and a potential pre-diabetic profile. Causes can range from poor nutrition (i.e. excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugars), obesity, a high body fat percentage, to dehydration or possible genetic predispositions. A raised level of diabetic risk can lead to higher risk of cardiovascular, liver and kidney disease.





Inflammation and the immune system

Alkalosis


The pH of a solution is a measure of its acidity or alkalinity. The body constantly works to keep its pH within a range that ensures optimal metabolism, digestion, respiration and immune responses. Alkalosis (high pH) occurs when the mechanisms that manage pH in the body are strained by excessive alkalinity or infection. It can result from the use of certain pharmaceutical drugs or supplements, or the over-consumption of alkaline-forming foods. Alkalosis can also be the result of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), obstruction in the urinary system, or kidney problems. Saliva that is slightly alkaline can inhibit the efficient breakdown of carbohydrates in the mouth and is normally caused by bacterial infection or over-consumption of alkaline foods and antacids. If unaddressed, alkaline saliva can lead to potential thyroid problems, weight gain, fatigue, digestive problems or mouth ulcers.




Acidosis


The pH of a solution is a measure of its acidity or alkalinity. The body constantly works to keep its pH within a range that ensures optimal metabolism, digestion, respiration and immune responses. Acidosis (low pH) occurs when the mechanisms that manage pH in the body are strained by excessive acidity. It can result from the consumption of acid-forming foods and low levels of hydration. Urine with a low pH can be an indication of low-level metabolic acidosis, which can be associated with kidney stones, metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. Saliva with a low pH, a probable sign of poor dietary choices and/or acid reflux from the stomach, can exacerbate dental problems and symptoms of asthma. It can also result in depleted carbohydrate and protein digestion. Acidosis can contribute to metabolic syndrome (i.e. medical term for a combination of symptoms that increase the risk of heart disease and other health problems), increased triglyceride levels and higher diabetes and cardiovascular risk.




Nutrition malnourished


The body requires an adequate intake of nutrients and minerals to sustain the correct function of all body systems. Efficient digestion will ensure that nutrients are absorbed into the blood where they can be delivered to where they are most needed. A balanced diet, effective digestion and absorption are essential to obtain sufficient levels of nutrients in the blood. A balanced diet contains carbohydrates for energy, protein for repair and maintenance of cells and tissues, and fats for insulation and energy. Inadequate intake of nutrients can lead to increased susceptibility to disease and symptoms of fatigue.




Nutrition overweight


The body requires a balanced intake of nutrients and minerals to sustain the function of all body systems whilst at rest and during exercise. The Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) provides the amount of daily calories needed while at rest to sustain a particular body weight. Eating less than this amount of calories will cause weight loss, and eating more will cause weight gain. Exercise uses calories over and above what is required for your BMR. Any excess calories consumed are either excreted or stored in the body as fat. Certain foods are manufactured to be more palatable and to overcome the body’s natural mechanisms for appetite cessation. It is easy to eat to excess when consuming these foods. Overconsumption of nutrients, poor dietary and lifestyle choices can all lead to weight gain, cholesterol build-up inside the arteries, fatty liver disease, reduced kidney function, diabetes and cardiovascular problems.





Lung function and blood oxygenation

Restrictive capillary flow


Capillaries are a network of very small blood vessels that pass through all the tissues in the body and form the connection between the arteries and the veins. Arterioles, the smallest arteries in the body, contract or relax to regulate blood flow into the capillaries. If they are constricted, transport of oxygen and nutrients into the tissues can be reduced, affecting vital organs, muscles and blood flow to the extremities (characterised by, for example, cold hands and feet). This can be transitory and may be a result of mental or physical stress, dehydration, the use of nicotine or excessive caffeine. In some cases, arteriole constriction can be a consequence of ageing, chronic inflammation, poor diet or lifestyle choices. Over time, this can contribute to the onset of arteriosclerosis (thickening and stiffening of the arterial walls) and the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries, both of which restrict blood flow.




Dilated larger arteries


Arteries carry blood from the heart at high pressure and need an optimal degree of elasticity to function correctly. Dilation and over-elasticity of the larger arteries can indicate that arterial walls do not have enough tension to manage blood flow throughout the body. During times of stress and physical activity the muscles and tissues need an increased supply of oxygen and nutrients for optimal functionality. Over-dilation of the arteries decreases the efficiency of blood transport and results in decreased muscular power and physical performance.




Constricted larger arteries


Arteries carry blood from the heart at high pressure and need an optimal degree of elasticity to function correctly. Constriction of the larger arteries can reduce the efficiency of blood flow to the rest of the body. Arterial constriction can be transitory and can be a result of mental or physical stress, dehydration and/or intake of caffeine and nicotine. In some cases arterial constriction can be related to ageing, chronic inflammation, poor diet and lifestyle choices. Over time, these can contribute to the onset of arteriosclerosis (thickening and stiffening of the arterial walls) and the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries, both of which restrict blood flow.




Heart risk


The heart is a pump that powers the body’s transport system (the blood), so that nutrients and oxygen can be delivered to where they are needed. It is a muscle that contracts continuously in sequence to push blood initially to the lungs, then to the rest of the body. Efficient heart contraction requires nervous and hormonal control of the heart beat and coordination of electrical flow around the heart. The flow of electricity around the heart causes the heart muscle to contract in the correct sequence to pump blood. The heart muscle requires a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to contract properly. Dysfunction in any of these processes controlling heart function can cause inefficient contraction, missed or additional heart beats, heart pain and angina and in extreme cases, sudden cardiac death. It is important to do regular cardiovascular exercise so that the heart is trained to cope with extra stress and demand when it is needed.





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