Cardiac arrest

Cardiac arrest

 

A cardiac arrest happens when your heart stops pumping blood around your body.

If someone has suddenly collapsed, is not breathing normally and is unresponsive, they are in cardiac arrest.

There is no time to lose. Even if you are untrained your actions can help.

Causes a cardiac arrest.

The most common cause of a cardiac arrest is a life threatening abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation (VF).

Ventricular fibrillation happens when the electrical activity of your heart becomes so chaotic that the heart stops pumping and quivers or ‘fibrillates’ instead. There are various causes of VF. These can be problems with your heart, or other causes.

Can you recover from a cardiac arrest?

It is possible to survive and recover from a cardiac arrest, if you get the right treatment quickly.

VF can sometimes be corrected by giving an electric shock through the chest wall, by using a device called a defibrillator.

This can be done in the ambulance, or at hospital, or it can be done by a member of the public at the scene of a cardiac arrest if there is a community defibrillator nearby.

Immediate CPR can be used to keep oxygen circulating around the body until a defibrillator can be used and/or until the ambulance arrives.

 

Ref : British Heart Foundation

 

Diets for Diabetes

If you’re living with type 2 diabetes and looking for a sensible weight-loss plan, one of these choices may just fit.

According to government figures, more than 85 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese (although excess weight isn’t the only risk factor for this type of diabetes). But for people with type 2 diabetes who fall into that 85 percent, dropping the pounds can help stabilize blood sugar levels and even eliminate the need for diabetes medication.

So which diet can help you achieve your weight-loss goals? There’s no one right answer. But, says Nora Saul, RD, CDE, a certified diabetes educator and manager of nutritional education at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, ÔÇ£people who have diabetes can, with a little forethought, use many of the healthy popular diets.ÔÇØ

Weight-Loss Plans for Type 2 Diabetes

If you have type 2 diabetes and want to lose weight, here are some sensible diet options to try.

DASH Diet: ÔÇ£Although originally designed to lower blood pressure, DASH ÔÇö or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension ÔÇö is an all-around good eating plan,ÔÇØ says Saul. In fact, U.S. News and World Report rated the DASH diet as tops for treating diabetes in a May 2011 article. That’s because the diet is high in fruits and vegetables, which means it’s high in fiber, antioxidants, and potassium. ItÔÇÖs also high in low-fat dairy, calcium, lean protein, and whole grains. ÔÇ£It has meal plans for different calorie levels,ÔÇØ says Saul, which allows flexibility according to your weight.

South Beach Diet: The South Beach Diet is a modified low-carb diet that emphasizes healthy fats. If you want to try it, Saul advises sticking to the maintenance phase of the diet. ÔÇ£The initial phases are too low in carbohydrates,ÔÇØ Saul points out. Yes, people with diabetes have to watch how many carbs and the type of carbs they eat, but you donÔÇÖt want to cut them out entirely. ÔÇ£I encourage whole grains,ÔÇØ says Saul, who warns against eliminating any specific food group, even for weight loss. (Note: Everyday Health is the publisher of SouthBeachDiet.com.)

Weight Watchers: Weight Watchers is a popular commercial weight-loss plan. ItÔÇÖs also a good choice if you have type 2 diabetes, in part because the system provides group support and accountability in addition to a structured eating plan. People with diabetes might need to make some modifications to the diet plan, however. For example, explains Saul, in the latest version of Weight Watchers counting system or “points,” fruit has zero points. But for people with diabetes, a serving size of fruit does count toward total carb intake for the day.

Mediterranean Diet: Though not a specific eating plan, a Mediterranean diet mimics the way that people who live in countries around the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece and Italy, tend to eat. Rich in beans, nuts, fruits, vegetables, grains, and seafood, it isnÔÇÖt so much a weight-loss diet as a different way of eating. ÔÇ£People lose weight because they are full and are not eating a lot of the empty calories they consumed before,ÔÇØ says Saul, who says this concept works well for people with diabetes, too.

Atkins Diet: The Atkins Diet gained fame as the diet that led the low-carb diet revolution twice. This diet may be a good option for some people and can help manage blood sugar levels, but it can be too restrictive and may not be a long-term lifestyle choice for everyone with diabetes. However, reading about and trying out this diet could be a learning experience in terms of understanding how carbs function in your diet.

Jenny Craig: Jenny Craig (now rebranded as Jenny) is a personalized eating and diet program that includes a lot of support as well as prepackaged meals. The catch is that it can be costly and, although the diet plan is intended to ultimately help you make your own meals and food choices, some people might find it difficult to get out of the habit of relying on a stocked freezer. Finally, people with diabetes that is not adequately controlled may be discouraged from enrolling.

GI Diet: A low glycemic index (GI) diet is an excellent choice for people with type 2 diabetes, Saul says. This one might require some research and study until you understand exactly where foods fit in the glycemic index and how you can include the right ones in your diet. The glycemic index lets you know how fast a 50-gram portion of a carbohydrate food raises blood sugar in comparison with white bread. The lower the number, the better the food is for controlling blood sugar.

Whatever diet you decide on, there are a few overarching principles that should guide your choice. Among them, look for diets that include food you like (or will come to like) and that donÔÇÖt rely on expensive supplements or tools. And be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any weight-loss regimen.

Ref : everydayhealth

Menopause and Type 2 Diabetes

Menopause is a topic that often generates a lot of opinions from women ÔÇö those who welcome it and those who dread it. ThereÔÇÖs also a lot of discussion about whether itÔÇÖs something that should be ÔÇ£treatedÔÇØ or left to occur naturally, without any medications.

For some women, menopause is more than just the end of their child-bearing years. It can have a profound effect on chronic illnesses such astype 2 diabetes. Women with diabetes often have to be more aware of the changes than most other women.

Type 2 Diabetes and Menopause: Changes Within ÔÇ£the ChangeÔÇØ

If you usually ovulate every 28 days or so, you may have wide variations as you approach menopause. You may have cycles that go 40 days or longer between periods and at other times find that your periods come only a couple of weeks apart. While this is happening, the levels of your hormones, estrogen and progesterone, are changing quite a bit, too. These hormonal changes can affect your blood glucose levels, which for women with type 2 diabetes could cause problems.

To avoid complications from type 2 diabetes, itÔÇÖs essential to keep your blood glucose levels as even as possible ÔÇö something that can be tricky during menopause.

Type 2 Diabetes and Menopause: Recognizing Menopause Symptoms

Some symptoms of menopause could be confused with signs of too high ortoo low blood glucose, including dizziness, sweating, and irritability. With symptoms being so similar, it may be hard for a woman to tell which is which. Rather than guessing, you should check your blood glucose levels when youÔÇÖre experiencing these signs. If the symptoms persist or get more uncomfortable, try talking to your doctor about treatment options.

Women with type 2 diabetes who are overweight may undergo menopause later than their type 1 diabetes peers. ItÔÇÖs been found that estrogen levels in women who are overweight drop more slowly than those who are underweight or of normal weight.

Type 2 Diabetes and Menopause: At the Onset

Menopause is also a time when women who didnÔÇÖt know they had type 2 diabetes may first be diagnosed with it. Brian Tulloch, MD, an endocrinologist at Park Plaza Hospital and Medical Center and clinical associate professor at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, explains, ÔÇ£The biggest issue here is with certain minorities who have a three- to five-fold higher chances of having type 2 diabetes.ÔÇØ Hispanics, for example, have a higher rate of diabetes than whites, he says. Add to this higher genetic risk the frequency of obesity and the decline of physical activity, and you see why so many women are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes as they begin the onset of menopause.

Type 2 Diabetes and Menopause: Health Complications

Women with type 2 diabetes who have gone through menopause may no longer have wild hormonal swings affecting blood glucose levels, but they do have other health issues to keep in mind. They are at higher risk of developing atherosclerosis, the hardening and thickening of the artery walls that can lead to stroke or heart attack. Weight gain after menopause isnÔÇÖt unusual, but it seems to be more common among women with type 2 diabetes. This adds to the risk of heart disease.

With menopause and a more sedentary lifestyle comes another risk: osteoporosis, the bone-thinning disease. While women with type 2 diabetes arenÔÇÖt at as high a risk of osteoporosis as those with type 1 diabetes, they do have a higher risk of breaking bones than a menopausal woman who does not have diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes and Menopause: Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), or hormone therapy, after menopause remains a controversial topic, but could be an option for women with type 2 diabetes who are experiencing difficult menopause signs and having trouble keeping their blood glucose under control.

Studies on HRT safety after menopause have conflicting results, but some doctors seem to be coming around to favoring hormone use again, albeit in a more careful manner. Says Dr. Tulloch, ÔÇ£ThereÔÇÖs now a tendency to go against what was believed five years ago, when [the WomenÔÇÖs Health Initiative study of post-menopausal hormone use] suggested post-menopausal estrogen wasnÔÇÖt such a good idea. I think the pendulum has swung back the other way.ÔÇØ

However, not all doctors agree with this. The general consensus is that a woman should begin HRT only if her symptoms, such as hot flashes, are severe and canÔÇÖt be managed any other way. If a woman chooses not to go on HRT, she should discuss her diabetes medication with her doctor, as she may need a lower dose than she was on before menopause. Be sure to discuss your individual situation with your own doctor to come to the best course for your well-being.

Menopause involves change for every woman; working with your medical team at this important life passage will help you make the healthiest transition.

Ref : Everydayhealth

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

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

Dangers of self-medication

Popping pills without a doctor’s prescription, even if the ailment is minor, could have serious repercussions, warns medical expert, Lalitha Suppiah

We often pop pills for common ailments like fever, colds, cough and headache, without bothering to consult a doctor . Self-medication, even for minor ailments, could lead to medical complications. A large number of potent drugs such as pain relievers, cough remedies, anti-allergies , laxatives, antibiotics, antacids and vitamins are sold over-the-counter (OTC). Selfmedication with OTC medicines could cause allergy, habituation, and addiction. For example, excessive use of vitamins can cause hypervitaminosis , or vitamin poisoning. Antimicrobial resistance is a worldwide problem, particularly in India where antibiotics are often available without a prescription. The dangers of self-medication could include the following:

Misdiagnosing the illness:

A minor health issue which could be resolved easily with the doctor’s advice may become a major problem over time. Symptoms may subside temporarily with self-medication , but it would become difficult for a doctor to correctly diagnose and treat later.

Habituation:

You could become addicted to prescription drugs such as antacids, cough syrups and pain relievers.

Allergic reactions:

Some antibiotics such as penicillin or sulpha drugs can cause severe reactions in the body for some people. These could be fatal.

Insufficient dosage:

Incorrect dosage of medicines will not cure and will prolong recovery. On the other hand, over-dosage may damage liver , kidneys and other organs. Indiscriminate use of antibiotics : These could, over a long time, lead to antimicrobial resistance . Consequently, the antibiotic may become ineffective when taken in the future.

Risk of stroke:

The most commonly misused medicines are painkillers. Analgesics can induce gastritis and can also increase risk of stroke by four times in patients with high BP.

 

Drug interactions:

 

Some herbal drugs and medicines may cause drug-to-drug interactions and adversely affect the body.

 

Self-medication by pregnant women:

This could adversely affect the unborn child causing congenital anomalies and birth defects. Unlike other facets of selfcare , self-medication involves the intake of drugs, which have the potential to be beneficial or harmful . Their improper use can have serious health implications, especially among children, the aged, and in people with special physiological conditions such as pregnancy and lactation. The government and health authorities must ensure that only safe drugs are made available OTC. Consumers should be given adequate information about their u

High Levels Of Insulin affects lungs

High levels of insulin are bad for lungs and for Indians who have the lowest lung function, the focus should be on improving diet and lifestyle to tackle pre-diabetes and diabetes, according to a study.

In the study, a team of experts from India, Europe and the US has connected the dots between raised insulin levels and impaired lung structure and function.

Raised insulin is a strong marker of future diabetes.

“Most people use insulin raising strategies to improve blood glucose in diabetes, without considering what the side effects of higher insulin would be,” Anurag Agrawal, principal scientist at CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) and lead author of the study, told IANS.

“We have shown for the first time that high levels of insulin directly damage lung structure and function,” he said.

A collaborative study between IGIB, Mayo ClinicCollege of Medicine, University of Groningen, the Netherlands, University of Copenhagen, Research Centre for Prevention and Health, Denmark, examined and analysed the implications of raised insulin levels against the backdrop of obesity, insulin resistance and emergence of inhaled insulin.

“Never use inhaled insulin. Injecting insulin or giving drugs that make more insulin to curb excess blood sugar can, over the time, result in lung problems,” said Agrawal.

For Indians, the findings drive the message of improving diet and exercising.

“Indians born in the country (but not those born abroad) have the lowest lung function globally, and our children are born with high levels of insulin,” Agrawal said.

The obvious concern that I have is that everybody is focused on glucose these days, with lower cutoffs for diabetes, he added.

“Unless Indians improve diet and lifestyle, it is doubtful if we will ever have good lung function,” he concluded.

ref : The Economic Times

New discoveries on the connection between nicotine and type 2 diabetes

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have made two new discoveries with regard to the beta cells’ ability to release insulin. The findings can also provide a possible explanation as to why smokers have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

The study was conducted on mice and donated beta cells from humans, and is now published in the scientific journal Cell Reports.

The researchers have discovered that so-called nicotinic acetylcholine (nicotine-sensitive) receptors influence the normal release of insulin. They also show that a specific genetic alteration renders dysfunctional nicotine-receptors affecting the number of functional nicotine-sensitive receptors found in beta cells. A reduced number of functional receptors leads to a decrease in insulin secretion, thereby increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

“The receptors in the beta cells that stimulate the release of insulin are normally activated by the signal substance acetylcholine, but they can also be activated by nicotine. Never before has the importance of nicotine-sensitive receptors been shown in terms of the function of beta cells. Our research indicates that people who lack these receptors are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” says Isabella Artner, researcher at Lund University responsible for the study.

Isabella Artner and her colleagues have also discovered that the gene MafA (muscoloaponeurotic fibrosacoma oncogene family A) found in insulin-producing beta cells control the number of nicotine-sensitive receptors and thereby their ability to receive signals from the central nervous system.

“The effect that this single gene, MafA, alone has on insulin secretion was previously unknown, and nicotine receptors have never before been connected to type 2 diabetes,” says Isabella Artner, and continues:

“We know that smokers have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but the reason why has not been firmly established. Perhaps it has to do with the nicotine-sensitive receptors we describe. Our findings increase knowledge about the connection between smoking and type 2 diabetes.


Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Lund University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.