Diabetes Myths and Truths

Despite the tremendous amount of medical information now available to the public, many inaccurate ideas still persist about the nature and treatment of diabetes. Read on to separate fact from fiction.

The Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.

The Truth: Years ago, folks called it “sugar diabetes,” implying that the disease was caused by eating too much of the sweet stuff. Medical experts now know that diabetes is triggered by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. However, being overweight ÔÇö which can result from indulging in high-calorie sugary foods ÔÇö does increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. If you have a history of diabetes in your family, eating a healthy meal plan and getting regular exercise are recommended to manage your weight.

The Myth: People with diabetes can’t eat any sweets or chocolate.

The Truth: If part of a healthy meal plan, or combined with exercise, sweets and desserts can be eaten by people with diabetes. They are no more “off limits” to people with diabetes than they are to people without diabetes.

The Myth: People with diabetes can only eat special diabetic foods.

The Truth: A healthy meal plan for people with diabetes is the same as that for everyone: low in fat (especially the saturated and trans fats found in butter, lard, full-fat dairy products and meats, and solid vegetable oils), moderate in salt and sugar, with meals based on whole-grain foods, vegetables and fruit. Diabetic and “dietetic” versions of sugar-containing foods offer no special benefit. They still raise blood glucose levels, are usually more expensive and can also have a laxative effect if they contain sugar alcohols.

The Myth: All diabetics have to take insulin injections.

The Truth: Injected insulin is usually only necessary for those with Type 1 diabetes, in which the body no longer produces it own insulin. Those with Type 2 generally have plenty of insulin, but their bodies don’t respond well to it. Some people with type 2 diabetes, particularly if blood-glucose levels are poorly controlled, do need diabetes pills or insulin shots to help their bodies use glucose for energy. However, most type 2 cases can be helped without medication, by losing weight, adopting a healthier diet, increasing exercise and other lifestyle changes. (By the way, insulin cannot be taken as a pill, as the hormone would be broken down during digestion just like the protein in food. Insulin must be injected into the fat under the skin for it to get into your blood.)

The Myth: If you have diabetes, you have to stay away from starchy foods like bread, potatoes and pasta.

The Truth: Whole-grain breads, cereals and pasta, brown rice and starchy vegetables such as potatoes, yams, peas and corn are part of a healthy meal plan and can be included in your meals and snacks. These foods, high in complex carbohydrates, are also a good source of fiber, which helps keep your gastrointestinal system running smoothly. The key is portion size. Most people with diabetes should limit themselves to three or four servings of complex carbohydrates a day.

The Myth: Type 2 Diabetes only affects blood-sugar levels, decreasing your energy.

The Truth: Type 2 diabetes affects many different systems and organs of the body, including the cardiovascular system, leading to stroke or heart disease; the eyes, which can result in conditions from dry eye to retinal disease (retinopathy); the nerves, causing severe damage (neuropathy) that can necessitate lower-limb amputation; the kidneys, which fail and require dialysis; and the skin, which can become prone to infections. Experts predict that, over the next 30 years, there will be 35 million heart attacks, 13 million strokes, 8 million new cases of blindness, 6 million kidney failures, 2 millions amputations and 62 million deaths ÔÇö all linked to diabetes. Learn more about many serious complications and how to cope with them.

The Myth: Only adults can develop Type 2 Diabetes.

The Truth: Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in school-aged children. About 1 in every 400 to 600 children has type 1 diabetes, which was used to be called “juvenile diabetes,” which is caused by disruption of the pancreas’ ability to produce insulin. However, in recent years more and more children and teens have become overweight (10 to 15 percent, about double the number of two decades ago), and so increasing numbers of young people are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. According to several studies, since 1994, cases have increased from less than 5 percent to between 30 and 50 percent. Two million of those age 12 to 19 (or 1 in 6 overweight adolescents) have pre-diabetes.

Ref: everydayhealth

Top 10 Health Tips for Women

1. Zap your stress.

“The biggest issue I see in most of my patients is that they have too much on their plates and want to juggle it all. Stress can have significant health consequences, from infertility to higher risks of depression,anxiety, and heart disease. Find the stress-reduction method that works for you and stick with it.”

2. Stop dieting.

“Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to forgo your favorite glass of wine or a piece of chocolate cake now and then. The key is moderation. Get a mix of lean proteins, healthy fats, smart carbs, and fiber.”

3. Don’t ÔÇ£ODÔÇØ on calcium.

“Too much absorbed calcium can increase the risk of kidney stones and may even increase the risk of heart disease. If you’re under 50, shoot for 1,000 milligrams per day, while over-50 women should be getting 1,200 milligrams per day mainly through diet — about three servings of calcium-rich foods such as milk, salmon, and almonds.”

4. Do more than cardio.

“Women need a mix of cardio and resistance or weight-bearing exercise at least three to five times a week to help prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Exercise also promotes good self-image, which is really important to a woman’smental health.”

5. Think about fertility.

“While many women have no problem getting pregnant in their late 30s and even into their early 40s, a woman’s fertility may start to decline as early as 32. So if you want to have kids, talk to your doctor about options, like freezing your eggs.”

6. Appreciate birth control.

Birth control gets a bad rap, but not only can it keep you from getting pregnant before you’re ready, studies show it can lower the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer as well as regulate your cycle.”

7. See your doctor every year.

Make┬ásure you get a Pap test to check for cervical cancer every 3 years if you are 21 or older. If you are 30-65, you can get both a Pap test and HPV test every 5 years. Older than that, you may be able to stop testing if your doctor says you are low risk. If you are sexually active and have a higher risk for STDs, get tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis yearly. Take an HIV test at least once, more frequently if youÔÇÖre at risk. Don’t skip your yearly checkup. Your doctor needs to annually assess many other issues such as potential infection, your need forcontraception, and sexual complaints.”

8. Have good sex.

“Sex reduces stress and may lower the risk of chronic disease — but only if you enjoy it. If anything prevents you from sexual fulfillment, such as dryness or pain, talk to your doctor to find a solution.”

9. Get more sleep.

Sleep needs differ, but if you have trouble getting out of bed, tire easily, or have trouble concentrating, you likely aren’t getting enough. Recent studies suggest this can put you at greater risk of heart disease and psychological problems.”

10. Consider genetic testing.

“Doctors can now screen people with a family history of breast cancer,ovarian cancer, and chronic diseases to assess their risk — and then consider preventive measures. Talk to your doctor.”

Ref : “WebMD Magazine.”

Miscarriage risk associated with couples’ pre-pregnancy caffeine consumption

A woman is more likely to miscarry if she and her partner drink more than two caffeinated beverages a day during the weeks leading up to conception, according to a new study from researchers at the National Institutes of Health and Ohio State University, Columbus. Similarly, women who drank more than two daily caffeinated beverages during the first seven weeks of pregnancy were also more likely to miscarry.

However, women who took a daily multivitamin before conception and through early pregnancy were less likely to miscarry than women who did not. The study was published online in Fertility and Sterility.

ÔÇ£Our findings provide useful information for couples who are planning a pregnancy and who would like to minimize their risk for early pregnancy loss,ÔÇØ said the study’s first author, Germaine Buck Louis, Ph.D., director of the Division of Intramural Population Health Research at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

The researchers analyzed data from the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) Study, which was established to examine the relationship between fertility, lifestyle and exposure to environmental chemicals. The LIFE Study enrolled 501 couples from four counties in Michigan and 12 counties in Texas, from 2005 to 2009.

For the current study, researchers compared such lifestyle factors as cigarette use, caffeinated beverage consumption and multivitamin use among 344 couples with a singleton pregnancy from the weeks before they conceived through the seventh week of pregnancy.

The researchers reported their results using a statistical concept known as a hazard ratio, which estimates the chances of a particular health outcome occurring during the study time frame. For example, the researchers evaluated caffeinated beverage consumption in terms of the daily likelihood of pregnancy loss over a given time period. A score greater than 1 indicates an increased risk for pregnancy loss each day following conception, and a score less than 1 indicates a reduced daily risk.

Of the 344 pregnancies, 98 ended in miscarriage, or 28 percent. For the preconception period, miscarriage was associated with female age of 35 or above, for a hazard ratio of 1.96 (nearly twice the miscarriage risk of younger women). The study was not designed to conclusively prove cause and effect. The study authors cited possible explanations for the higher risk, including advanced age of sperm and egg in older couples or cumulative exposure to substances in the environment, which could be expected to increase as people age.

Both male and female consumption of more than two caffeinated beverages a day also was associated with an increased hazard ratio: 1.74 for females and 1.73 for males. Earlier studies, the authors noted, have documented increased pregnancy loss associated with caffeine consumption in early pregnancy. However, those studies could not rule out whether caffeine consumption contributed to pregnancy loss or was a sign of an unhealthy pregnancy. It’s possible, the authors wrote, that these earlier findings could have been the result of a healthy pregnancy, rather than caffeine consumption interfering with pregnancy. For example, the increase in food aversions and vomiting associated with a healthy pregnancy led the women to give up caffeinated beverages.

Because their study found caffeine consumption before pregnancy was associated with a higher risk of miscarriage, it’s more likely that caffeinated beverage consumption during this time directly contributes to pregnancy loss.

ÔÇ£Our findings also indicate that the male partner matters, too,ÔÇØ Dr. Buck Louis said. ÔÇ£Male preconception consumption of caffeinated beverages was just as strongly associated with pregnancy loss as females’.ÔÇØ

Finally, the researchers saw a reduction in miscarriage risk for women who took a daily multivitamin. During the preconception period, researchers found a hazard ratio of 0.45 ÔÇö a 55-percent reduction in risk for pregnancy loss. Women who continued to take the vitamins through early pregnancy had a hazard ratio of 0.21, or a risk reduction of 79 percent. The authors cited other studies that found that┬ávitamin B6┬áand┬áfolic acidÔÇö included in preconception and pregnancy vitamin formulations ÔÇö can reduce miscarriage risk. Folic acid supplements are┬árecommended┬áfor women of childbearing age, as their use in the weeks leading up to and following conception reduces the risk for having a child with a┬áneural tube defect.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer information on the steps men and women of reproductive age can take to help ensure they have a healthy baby-whether they are planning pregnancy or not.

Source

Couples’ pre-pregnancy caffeine consumption linked to miscarriage risk.. NIH News, March 24, 2016.

Should we eliminate SUGAR from our diet?

Sugar seems to have developed a reputation as the big bad wolf in relation to health. Medical News Today have reported on numerous studies associating sugar intake with increased aging, cardiovascular disease, obesity and even cancer. Such research has led to many health experts around the globe calling for reductions in recommended sugar intake, with some saying we should cut out sugar completely. But is it really that bad for our health? We investigate.

Put simply, sugar is a crystallinecarbohydrate that makes foods taste sweet. There are many different types of sugar, including glucose, fructose, lactose, maltose and sucrose – also known as table sugar.

Some of these sugars, such as glucose, fructose and lactose, occur naturally in fruits, vegetables and other foods. But many of the foods we consume contain “added” sugars – sugar that we add to a product ourselves to enhance the flavor or sugar that has been added to a product by a manufacturer.

The most common sources of added sugars include soft drinks, cakes, pies, chocolate, fruit drinks and desserts. Just a single can of cola can contain up to 7 tsps of added sugar, while an average-sized chocolate bar can contain up to 6 tsps.

It is added sugars that have been cited as a contributor to many health problems. In December 2014, MNT reported on a study in the journal Open Heart claiming added sugars may increase the risk of high blood pressure, even more so than sodium. And in February 2014, a study led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) associated high added sugar intake with increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Perhaps most strongly, added sugars have been associated with the significant increase in obesity. In the US, more than a third of adults are obese, while the rate of childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents over the past 30 years.

A 2013 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages increases weight gain in both children and adults, while a review paper from the World Health Organization (WHO) notes an increase in the consumption of such beverages correlates with the increase in obesity.

Are we becoming addicted to sugar?

In support of these associations is Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California-San Francisco and author of the book Fat Chance: The Hidden Truth About Sugar, who claims sugar is a “toxic” substance that we are becoming addicted to.

“The food industry has made it into a diet staple because they know when they do you buy more,” he added. “This is their hook. If some unscrupulous cereal manufacturer went out and laced your breakfast cereal with morphine to get you to buy more, what would you think of that? They do it with sugar instead.”

In her popular blog, Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow cites sugaraddiction as one of the reasons she decided to quit sugar completely.

“The bottom line is that sugar works the addiction and reward pathways in the brain in much the same way as many illegal drugs,” she writes. “Sugar is basically a socially acceptable, legal, recreational drug with deadly consequences.”

Statistics show that we are certainly a nation of added-sugar lovers. According to a report from the CDC, adults in the US consumed around 13% of their total daily calorie intake from added sugars between 2005-2010, while 16% of children’s and adolescents’ total calorie intake came from added sugars between 2005-2008.

These levels are well above those currently recommended by WHO, which state we should consume no more than 10% of total daily calories from “free” sugars – both naturally occurring sugars and those that are added to products by the manufacturer.

In 2013, however, MNT reported on a study by Prof. Wayne Potts and colleagues from the University of Utah, claiming that even consuming added sugars at recommended levels may be harmful to health, after finding that such levels reduced lifespan in mice.

Is eliminating sugar from our diet healthy?

The array of studies reporting the negative implications of added sugar led to WHO making a proposal to revise their added sugar recommendations in 2014. The organization issued a draft guideline stating they would like to halve their recommended daily free sugar intake from 10% to 5%.

“The objective of this guideline is to provide recommendations on the consumption of free sugars to reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases in adults and children,” WHO explained, “with a particular focus on the prevention and control of weight gain and dental caries.”

In addition, it seems many health experts, nutritionists and even celebrities like Gwyneth have jumped on a “no sugar” bandwagon. But is it even possible to completely eliminate sugar from a diet? And is it safe?

Many people turn to artificial sweeteners as a sugar alternative, but according to a study reported by MNT in 2014, these sweeteners may still drive diabetes and obesity.

The study, published in the journal Nature, suggests artificial sweeteners – including saccharin, sucralose and aspartame – interfere with gut bacteria, increasing the activity of pathways associated with obesity and diabetes.

What is more, they found long-term consumption of artificial sweeteners was associated with increased weight, abdominal obesity, higher fasting blood glucose levels and increased glycosylated hemoglobin levels.

“Together with other major shifts that occurred in human nutrition, this increase in artificial sweetener consumption coincides with the dramatic increase in the obesity and diabetes epidemics,” the authors note. “Our findings suggest that artificial sweeteners may have directly contributed to enhancing the exact epidemic that they themselves were intended to fight.”

Ref : Medicalnewstoday

Enjoy the Summer. Precautions to be taken for Summer

Summer is here and the temperatures are roaring, all of us need to take precautions to prevent general conditions. These conditions may feel normal and nothing out of course, but it may worsen if not taken care of.

Below are listed few preventive measures for the most commonly occurring ailments:

STROKE:

Everyone is well versed with this phenomenon. The temperature of the body rises due to excessive exposure to heat. But we usually ignore the signs and symptoms. This summer, make sure to follow simple rules when you step outdoor.

ÔÇô Wear clothes which allow good ventilation make sure the fabric of the clothes is light.

ÔÇô┬á There are certain medications and other conditions like sleep deprivation, sun stroke history, etc. which may predispose sun stroke. It is wise to take all the factors into consideration.

ÔÇô Always wear sunscreen and drink plenty of fluid. Always carry a drink together.

SUN BURN:

Sunburns are caused when the skin is exposed to ultraviolet radiations. This increases the risk of skin cancers, which makes it very important to practice precaution.

ÔÇô Sunscreens help protect skin. Re apply sunscreen every 3-4 hours when working outdoors. Make sure you apply sunscreen to all the exposed skin.

ÔÇô It is advised to cover the face with light clothing. Wearing hats and sunglasses provide full protection to the face and the eyes.

DEHYDRATION:

Dehydration applies to a condition when the body is deprived of fluids. Excessive loss of water from the body along with metabolic disruption is not met with enough intake of fluid. The causes of dehydration can be many, but the condition is aggravated during summers, due to high temperatures. Preventive measures include:

-Intake of enough water whenever outdoors or exercising. It ensures that the body is provided with as much fluids as it losses during activities.

-It is very important to carry bottle with water or any other energy drink to replenish the lost fluids.

Avoid outdoors at the pitch hour of the day. If the work can be wait till later, no better option than that!

EPISTAXIS DUE TO SUN:

General term for epitaxis is nose bleeding. Many people suffer from nose bleeds during summers. This is a result of extreme heat. Most of the patients have history of epistaxis during summers. The precautions should be:

-To avoid putting any kind of pressure on the nose.

-It is advisable to cover face when outdoors; it prevents direct contact with high temperatures outdoors.

Above all, consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables during summers will help the body maintain healthy tissue and fight back any bodily disruptions effectively.

These simple, yet very crucial preventing measures will make the summers more enjoyable for everyone.

 

Ref : careinfo.in