Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

What Are the Most Dangerous Food Groups?

What Are the Most Dangerous Food Groups?

News Picture: What Are the Most Dangerous Food Groups?

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds — we hear a lot about the “best” food groups for health. But what about the worst ones? What foods should you be eliminating or at least cutting back on?

Research published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at dietary intake and 318,000 deaths from diabetes, stroke and heart disease. In addition to not eating enough omega-3 rich seafood, nuts and seeds, two problematic factors stood out.

These deaths were associated with eating too much salt and too many processed meats. The two go hand-in-hand in sausages, hot dogs, corned beef, beef jerky, canned meat, meat sauces, lunch meats and bacon. Eating too much salty food was associated with nearly 10% of those deaths. Processed meats are a key source of salt, but so are snacks, prepared foods and even packaged vegetables, especially those canned in salt.

A separate study of 400,000 deaths related to heart and blood vessel diseases presented at an American Heart Association scientific meeting came to similar conclusions — finding 9% of these deaths were due to too much salt. The very unhealthy trans fats were also on the dangerous foods list.

Fortunately, these are being phased out of packaged foods.

But again, what you’re not eating makes a difference, too. These researchers also found that not getting enough whole grains, vegetables, and nuts and seeds was detrimental, with each missing food group being linked to between 10% and 11% of the deaths.

When planning your best diet, remember that eating healthy is a balancing act — you want to increase good foods and cut back on the bad ones to make sure that the scales tip in your favor.

 

Remember, we are in this together!

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Health Benefits of Cherries

Health Benefits of Cherries

 

Cherries for gout

100g of cherries has 50 caloriesCherries are especially useful for treating gout.  Gout is a kind of arthritis linked to an unusually high amount of uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid is made in the liver and sometimes too much uric acid is made. Needle-like crystals form as uric acid levels increase, and these crystals build up in the joints over time, resulting in the pain and inflammation typical of gout.

Bing cherries have antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory properties, in particular a compound known as cyanidin, which has been found to inhibit the activity of the enzyme involved in the making of uric acid. Research has revealed that eating the equivalent of a pound of fresh cherries each day is highly effective for lowering uric acid levels.

One study demonstrated that healthy people who ate Bing cherries for 28 days had reduced inflammation markers and they stayed low for days despite discontinuation of cherry consumption.

Another study has also shown that eating cherries may lower risk of gout attacks. Gout sufferers consuming cherries for a 2 day period had a 35 % reduced risk of gout attacks when compared with those not eating cherries. The risk of gout flare continued decreasing with the increase of cherry intake, up to 3 servings over 2 days. It was found that additional cherry intake did not provide any extra benefit.[3]

Nutritional value of cherries (red) per 100g:

  •     How many calories in cherries – 50
  •     How much protein in cherries – 1g
  •     How many carbs in cherries – 12g
  •     What is the fat content of cherries – 0.3g

Nutrients in cherries

Cherries are a very good source of vitamins C and A. They are a good source of copper, calcium, iron, potassium and manganese.

 

Cherries and blood pressure

Cherries and blood pressure

Montmorency tart cherry juice lowers blood pressure

Consuming tart cherry juice is as effective for reducing high blood pressure as blood pressure lowering medications. Participants of a 2016 study who had early signs of hypertension experienced a blood pressure reduction of 7% three hours after consuming a Montmorency tart cherry concentrate and water mixture.[4]

The blood pressure readings of the 15 participants was least 130/90 mmHg, which means they had a higher risk of having cardiovascular related problems. They consumed either 60ml of tart cherry juice concentrate or 60ml of a commercial fruit-flavored drink.

Blood pressure was taken before consuming the Montmorency cherry concentrate and was measured thereafter on an hourly basis. The participants consuming the Montmorency cherry concentrate experienced a blood pressure reduction of 7 mmHg in the 3 hours after consumption.

The greatest systolic blood pressure improvement occurred when vanillic and protocatechuic, the cherry concentrate’s phenolic acids, reached peak plasma levels. The reduction in blood pressure from the consumption of the Montmorency cherry concentrate was comparable to the reduction achieved by blood pressure lowering medication.

A 2018 study found that consuming Montmorency tart cherry juice reduced systolic blood pressure in individuals between the ages of 65 and 80. The 34 study participants in this 12-week randomized controlled trial were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups.[5]

The 1st group drank 240ml of Montmorency tart cherry juice in the morning and 240ml in the evening every day for the 12 weeks. The 2nd group drank the equivalent amount of a cherry flavored placebo drink devoid of tart cherries. Blood pressure as well as blood sugar, insulin, weight and cholesterol were measured when the study began and again when it ended.

The Montmorency tart cherry juice group had a significant reduction (4.1 mmHg) in systolic blood pressure in comparison to the drink placebo drink group.

How much tart cherry juice should you drink a day to lower blood pressure?

The participants in the 2016 study drank 60ml of tart cherry juice concentrate, which is estimated to be equivalent to about 500g of whole tart cherries.

The participants in the 2018 study drank 480 ml tart cherry juice, which was prepared from 68ml Montmorency tart cherry juice concentrate diluted with 412ml water.

Health Benefits of Cherries

Tart cherry juice for sleep
Melatonin in cherries

Montmorency tart cherries have been found to contain substantial amounts of the sleep hormone melatonin, which helps in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Although some other foods also have melatonin, the quantity is too low to be effective, but, according to research, Montmorency cherries have 0.1 to 0.3 milligram of melatonin a serving,[6] and contain about 6 times more melatonin compared to Balaton cherries. At this dosage melatonin has been proven to be an efficient sleep inducer.

 

A 2014 study concluded that Montmorency tart cherry juice helps in improving the quality and duration of sleep, as well as help in reducing insomnia severity.[7] The 7 study participants who suffered from insomnia that consumed the cherry juice in the morning as well as at night slept over an hour longer each night.

Besides Montmorency tart cherries being a good source of melatonin, tart cherry juice also helps in increasing the availability of the essential amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin which helps with sleep.  The tart cherry juice inhibits a tryptophan degrading enzyme and degradation of tryptophan is a predictor of insomnia. The researchers suggest the melatonin and tryptophan combination in Montmorency tart cherries is likely contributing to the benefits of tart cherries for sleep.

Cherries for weight loss

The Chemistry of Cherries

A 2008 animal study has suggested that tart cherries have significant potential for reducing belly fat. Obese rats that were given tart cherry powder combined with a high-fat diet gained less weight than rats that were not given cherries. After 12 weeks, the rats that were given the tart cherry powder had 54% body fat in comparison to 63% for rats that were fed a “Western diet”. The difference in weight gain was particularly pronounced in fat around the waist area, the rats that were given the cherry powder gained less belly fat.

The rats were given either a high fat and moderate carbohydrate diet,  or a low fat and high carbohydrate diet, both of which came either with or without tart cherry powder. The cherry enriched diet rats experienced a total cholesterol level reduction of approximately 11%.The TNF-alpha inflammation marker was reduced by 40% and interleukin 6 (IL-6) was reduced by 31%.

Health Benefits of Cherries

Cherries and cancer

Cherries have quite high levels of anthocyanins (the flavonoids giving cherries their intense red color), which give them anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and chemopreventative properties. Tart cherries contain the natural compound perillyl alcohol, which seems to be very effective in reducing the incidence of all kinds of cancer.  Perillyl alcohol has tested well for treating advanced prostate, breast and ovary cancers.[9] Research suggests that substances in tart cherries can reduce the formation of the carcinogenic chemicals (HCAAs) that develop from the charring of meat.

Cherries for colon cancer

Two of the anthocyanidins present in cherries, quercetin and isoquerxitrin, have been found to prevent the growth of colon cancer.

Cherries for breast cancer

Cyandin-3-glucoside, another anthocyanin found in cherries and other fruits, has antioxidative and anti‐inflammatory properties and also induces the death of  breast cancer cells. Cyandin-3-glucoside inhibits the cytokine VEGF, which plays a key role in tumor angiogenesis. Angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation) plays a major role in breast cancer progression by providing cancer cells with nutrients, oxygen, and blood vessels for cancer cells to spread.

Delphinidin is another  anthocyanin found in cherries and other brightly colored fruits and veggies, and is also found in certain dietary supplements used as complementary cancer treatment. Delphinidin induces cell death in HER2+ breast cancer cells. Delphinidin also inhibits epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling in breast cancer cells.

Cherries and muscle soreness

Tart cherry juice benefits for exercise

Tart cherry juice improves exercise recovery

Cherries help to alleviate muscle soreness after exercising. A cup of tart cherry juice can help in reducing the soreness and inflammation of the muscles that is experienced after strenuous exercise. Marathon runners consuming tart cherry juice twice a day for 7 days before a race experienced less post race pain compared to runners not consuming cherry juice.

A 2011 study revealed that men who had tart cherry juice after weight training exercises experienced less muscle pain as well as less strength loss.

A 2019 study found that active women consuming tart cherry concentrate twice a day for eight days experienced reduced muscle soreness after exercising.

Tart cherry juice improves exercise performance

A 2019 study concluded that Montmorency cherry supplementation improves cycling performance. Eight trained cyclists supplementing Montmorency tart cherry for 7 days improved cycling time-trial performance. The exercise performance improvement was accompanied by muscle oxygenation enhancement which suggests that the cherry polyphenols’ vasoactive properties could be supporting the performance improvement effects.

Cherries and osteoarthritis

Tart cherry juice for arthritis

Commonly used pain medication for osteoarthritis doesn’t actually reduce inflammation and has  unwanted side effects such as kidney or liver damage. The pain relieving properties of tart cherries have been show to be effective for the relief of pain associated with osteoarthritis without the side effects of conventional treatments.

A 2007 study revealed that pain and function improved significantly in osteoarthritis of the knee patients when they were given tart cherries in supplement form for 8 weeks.

Cherry juice for inflammation

In a 2012 double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, 20 patients suffering from inflammatory osteoarthritis had significant reductions in inflammation markers after consuming tart cherry juice twice daily for 3 weeks.

The study participants included twenty  40 to 70 year old women experiencing at least moderate osteoarthritis pain. They consumed 10.5-ounces of tart cherry juice or a placebo cherry drink twice daily for 3 weeks. There was a statistically significant reduction in inflammation among those individuals who consumed the tart cherry juice, which was indicated by reduced C-reactive protein levels. The reduction in inflammation was greatest for individuals who had shown the highest levels of inflammation at the beginning of the study.

Cherry juice for pain relief

Cherries are a natural pain reliever. Researchers have found that anthocyanidins from cherries have the ability to block both COX-1 and COX-2, enzymes considered to cause pain. Of all the fruits which were tested, cherries had the highest amounts of key anthocyanidins. The COX-inhibitory activities of the anthocyanidins in cherries were even found to be comparable to those of naproxen and ibuprofen.

Cherries and heart health

Tart cherries and cholesterol

Elevated LDL cholesterol levels are a risk factor for atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases. The standard medical approach to help reduce LDL cholesterol levels to a safer range is to prescribe statins to reduce blood lipid levels. However, some patients encounter Statins are however not without side effects such as muscle pain to liver dysfunction.

A 2011 study reported a 26% reduction in cholesterol levels in mice fed tart cherry powder. A  reduction in early death of 65% was also reported, which was believed to be as a result of an improvement in cardiovascular health.

Another 2011 study in humans reported a reduction in of triglycerides levels of more than 17% on average after consuming 8-ounces of tart cherry juice daily for 4 weeks.[21]

A 2018 study reported a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol levels after participants drank Montmorency tart cherry juice made from concentrate. Study participants drinking 480ml of Montmorency tart cherry juice daily for 12 weeks experienced a reduction in LDL cholesterol levels as well as lower levels of total cholesterol.

How to Freeze Cherries

Benefits of cherries for skin

What is oxidative stress?

Oxidative stress when the body has an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals. Free radicals are produced by the cells of the body during normal metabolic processes, and free radical neutralizing antioxidants are also produced by the cells. The body usually maintains a balance between free radicals and antioxidants.

Oxidative stress plays an important part in the aging process, especially in the skin. Aging results in the thinning of the epidermal (outer) as well as dermal (under) layers of the skin. This leads to fine wrinkles as a result of reduction of elastic fibers, collagen, and hyaluronic acid.

What are antioxidants?

Free radicals are unstable molecules which can cause damage in the body, and antioxidants neutralize free radicals by giving the free radical an electron. Antioxidants are produced naturally by the body and can also come from food such as fruit and veggies.

Several human studies have shown that sweet as well as tart cherries reduce oxidative stress. Melatonin, carotenoids, anthocyanins, polyphenols,  and vitamins C and E are all contributors to the antioxidant properties of cherries.

Cherries are an excellent source of anthocyanins, the flavonoid pigment that gives the cherry it’s color, and which has the greatest antioxidant capacity of any of the flavonoids. Tart cherries have more anthocyanins in comparison to sweet cherries. Scientific evidence has suggested that anthocyanins could possibly delay the appearance of signs of skin aging.

Health Benefits of Cherry Juice

Cherry juice and diabetes

There is some evidence to suggest that consumption of cherries could help in promoting healthy glucose regulation and reducing diabetes risk.

The enzymes dipeptidyl peptidase-4 and α glucosidase which are involved in the promotion of diabetes are inhibited by chlorogenic acid, one the main polyphenols of tart cherry juice.

Study results suggest that blood glucose could be reduced from anthocyanins by slowing the production of glucose from complex carbohydrates. The production of glucagon by pancreatic α cells could also be reduced, and hepatic glucose uptake and production of insulin by pancreatic β cells increased.

A 2008 study revealed a significant decrease in hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) after diabetic women supplemented 40 mL of concentrated tart cherry juice day for 6 weeks. Fasting blood glucose was also decreased by 8%.

History of cherries

Cherries were named after the ancient Turkish town of Cerasus and go as far back to at least 300 B.C.

Cherries were among the first fruits the early settlers brought to America. The first cherry orchard was planted in northern Michigan in the 1600s. The 1st commercial tart cherry orchards in Michigan were planted in 1893.

The ultimate celebration of cherries is the National Cherry Festival, which is held each year in July in Traverse City, Michigan.

Cherry trees have played a part in American folklore since George Washington chopped down his father’s cherry tree, then couldn’t tell a lie and told his father what he’d done.

Sweet cherries are cultivated throughout North America and Europe. France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Russia are big producers in Europe. Sour cherries are cultivated in Eastern Europe, Germany, Russia, and the United States. Germany tops the world in cherry production, followed by the United States.

Remember We Are In This Together!
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth
Article reviewed by Dr Patricia Carrothers, Regenerative and Preventative Medicine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Newer Diabetes Drugs Linked to ‘Flesh-Eating’ Genital Infection

Newer Diabetes Drugs Linked to ‘Flesh-Eating’ Genital Infection

News Picture: Newer Diabetes Drugs Linked to 'Flesh-Eating' Genital Infection

Say you have type 2 diabetes and you are taking a newer class of medications to treat your disease — but one day you notice pain, redness and a foul odor in your genital area.

If this happens, new research suggests you need to see your doctor immediately, because you may be suffering from Fournier gangrene. Also known as a “flesh-eating” disease, this infection attacks your genital or anal region and can quickly kill tissue as it spreads rapidly.

Unfortunately, it has become a rare but still possible safety concern for people taking diabetes medications known as SGLT2 inhibitors, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration scientists.

SGLT2 inhibitors are a newer class of diabetes medications, introduced in 2013. Drugs in this class include canagliflozin (Invokana), dapagliflozin (Farxiga) and empagliflozin (Jardiance).

Fournier gangrene occurred in 55 people taking these drugs between March 2013 and January 2019. For comparison, the researchers looked for cases of Fournier gangrene in people taking other diabetes medications from 1984 to 2019. They found only 19 such cases.

Still, the risk for Fournier gangrene remains very low, the researchers stressed.

“In 2017, an estimated 1.7 million patients received a dispensed prescription for an SGLT2 inhibitor,” said study author Dr. Susan Bersoff-Matcha, a medical officer in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. So, “Fournier gangrene is a rare event,” she said. “While our study shows an association between treatment with SGLT2 inhibitors and Fournier gangrene, we don’t know exactly what the risk is, or if Fournier gangrene can be predicted.”

Broad-spectrum antibiotics and surgery to remove the dead tissue are treatment options, the researchers said.

SGLT2 inhibitors work in the kidneys, allowing excess blood sugar to be removed in the urine, they said.

In addition to lowering blood sugar levels, the drugs may also reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke in some people with type 2 diabetes.

But possible side effects include urinary tract infections and genital infections, such as yeast infections. Kidney problems can also be a concern with this class of medications.

All of the patients with Fournier gangrene identified in this study needed to be hospitalized. Some had several surgeries. Three of the 55 people died from Fournier gangrene.

The average age of the people with Fournier gangrene was 56. Thirty-nine were men. Forty-one cases occurred in the United States. Thirty-one of the 55 cases identified were also taking an additional diabetes medication.

Of those with Fournier gangrene, 21 were using canagliflozin, 16 were using dapagliflozin and 18 were taking empagliflozin, the study said.

Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the clinical diabetes center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, said that while the study was well-done, it cannot prove a cause-and-effect link between the drugs and the disease.

“Infections of the pubic and rectal area are quite common in people with diabetes, they don’t have Fournier’s. Fournier’s is a very aggressive, but extremely rare, disease,” said Zonszein, who wasn’t involved with the study.

When Fournier gangrene does occur, it’s hard to know if it is caused by a medication. He pointed out that a number of clinical trials have been done on SGLT2 inhibitors that have included tens of thousands of people, and there haven’t been any reports of Fournier gangrene.

“I counsel my patients about infections in the genitalia. The main concern is to be aware that they can occur. And, providers need to be more aware of Fournier’s. They have to immediately try to establish the cause of infection and aggressively treat it if they suspect Fournier gangrene,” Zonszein said.

He said a far bigger concern is uncontrolled diabetes and the risk of complications when blood sugar levels aren’t controlled. “The benefits of these medications outweigh the risks,” he said.

In a statement, Boehringer Ingelheim, the company that makes Jardiance (empagliflozin), said the company actively monitors for side effects related to their medications.

“We remain confident in the positive benefit-risk profile of empagliflozin, and empagliflozin-containing products, as outlined in the prescribing information,” the statement from Boehringer Ingelheim said.

The prescribing information of all SGLT2’s was recently changed to reflect the possible risk of Fournier gangrene, as directed by the FDA.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, maker of Invokana (canagliflozin), and AstraZeneca, maker of Farxiga (dapagliflozin), did not respond to requests for comment.

The findings were published May 6 2019 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

 

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EHS Telehealth

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Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Diabetes Drugs and Flesh Eating Infection

Newer Diabetes Drugs Linked to ‘Flesh-Eating’ Genital Infection

News Picture: Newer Diabetes Drugs Linked to 'Flesh-Eating' Genital Infection

 

Say you have type 2 diabetes and you are taking a newer class of medications to treat your disease — but one day you notice pain, redness and a foul odor in your genital area.

If this happens, new research suggests you need to see your doctor immediately, because you may be suffering from Fournier gangrene. Also known as a “flesh-eating” disease, this infection attacks your genital or anal region and can quickly kill tissue as it spreads rapidly.

Unfortunately, it has become a rare but still possible safety concern for people taking diabetes medications known as SGLT2 inhibitors, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration scientists.

SGLT2 inhibitors are a newer class of diabetes medications, introduced in 2013. Drugs in this class include canagliflozin (Invokana), dapagliflozin (Farxiga) and empagliflozin (Jardiance).

Fournier gangrene occurred in 55 people taking these drugs between March 2013 and January 2019. For comparison, the researchers looked for cases of Fournier gangrene in people taking other diabetes medications from 1984 to 2019. They found only 19 such cases.

Still, the risk for Fournier gangrene remains very low, the researchers stressed.

“In 2017, an estimated 1.7 million patients received a dispensed prescription for an SGLT2 inhibitor,” said study author Dr. Susan Bersoff-Matcha, a medical officer in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. So, “Fournier gangrene is a rare event,” she said. “While our study shows an association between treatment with SGLT2 inhibitors and Fournier gangrene, we don’t know exactly what the risk is, or if Fournier gangrene can be predicted.”

Broad-spectrum antibiotics and surgery to remove the dead tissue are treatment options, the researchers said.

SGLT2 inhibitors work in the kidneys, allowing excess blood sugar to be removed in the urine, they said.

In addition to lowering blood sugar levels, the drugs may also reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke in some people with type 2 diabetes.

But possible side effects include urinary tract infections and genital infections, such as yeast infections. Kidney problems can also be a concern with this class of medications.

All of the patients with Fournier gangrene identified in this study needed to be hospitalized. Some had several surgeries. Three of the 55 people died from Fournier gangrene.

The average age of the people with Fournier gangrene was 56. Thirty-nine were men. Forty-one cases occurred in the United States. Thirty-one of the 55 cases identified were also taking an additional diabetes medication.

Of those with Fournier gangrene, 21 were using canagliflozin, 16 were using dapagliflozin and 18 were taking empagliflozin, the study said.

Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the clinical diabetes center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, said that while the study was well-done, it cannot prove a cause-and-effect link between the drugs and the disease.

“Infections of the pubic and rectal area are quite common in people with diabetes, they don’t have Fournier’s. Fournier’s is a very aggressive, but extremely rare, disease,” said Zonszein, who wasn’t involved with the study.

When Fournier gangrene does occur, it’s hard to know if it is caused by a medication. He pointed out that a number of clinical trials have been done on SGLT2 inhibitors that have included tens of thousands of people, and there haven’t been any reports of Fournier gangrene.

“I counsel my patients about infections in the genitalia. The main concern is to be aware that they can occur. And, providers need to be more aware of Fournier’s. They have to immediately try to establish the cause of infection and aggressively treat it if they suspect Fournier gangrene,” Zonszein said.

He said a far bigger concern is uncontrolled diabetes and the risk of complications when blood sugar levels aren’t controlled. “The benefits of these medications outweigh the risks,” he said.

In a statement, Boehringer Ingelheim, the company that makes Jardiance (empagliflozin), said the company actively monitors for side effects related to their medications.

“We remain confident in the positive benefit-risk profile of empagliflozin, and empagliflozin-containing products, as outlined in the prescribing information,” the statement from Boehringer Ingelheim said.

The prescribing information of all SGLT2’s was recently changed to reflect the possible risk of Fournier gangrene, as directed by the FDA.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, maker of Invokana (canagliflozin), and AstraZeneca, maker of Farxiga (dapagliflozin), did not respond to requests for comment.

 

 

If they advertise it on Television, Dont take it!

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

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Dr Gemma Carney
Annals of Internal Medician

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

What Is Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy?

WebMD shows you how to improve your balance and ideas for exercises to help you prevent or lessen the numbness and pain of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

Diabetic neuropathies are a family of nerve disorders triggered by diabetes. There are four forms of this disease, with diabetic peripheral neuropathy being the most common. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy occurs when a patient’s feet and legs are affected by nerve damage, followed by the hands and arms.

Diabetic peripheral neurophathy will first show signs in the feet, then cramps in ones legs, and unlike other neuropathies, the pain in the leg will be on both outsides of the leg, and along the shinbone.

The Mayo Clinic points out that while the cause of the disease is unclear, a combination of factors likely play a role in the development of diabetic neuropathy, such as the complex interaction between nerves and blood vessels.

High blood sugar levels are known to interfere with the nerves’ ability to transmit signals and weaken the capillaries or walls of the small blood vessels that provide oxygen and nutrients to the nerves.

As long as 20 years in the making, this type of neuropathy started, and some may have drank too much in their 20’s or 30’s, been around heavy metals, or had a sweet tooth all of which might have been accompanied by too much stress in ones life, and is now stressing your body.

 

Symptoms and Complications of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Some of the initial symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy include:

  • Numbness or insensitivity to pain or temperature

At a point in your life you may have been able to handle cold or hot temperatures better than your peers, and now mainly the cold is very hard on your body.

PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY: What you need to know about this disorder that results from damage to your peripheral nerves and often causes unusual sensations such as vibrations, tingling, burning, numbness, weakness, loss of balance, and even pain. Symptoms are usually in the hands, feet but can occur in other areas of the body. Do you have this? Share your story with us. www.mollysfund.org

  • A tingling, burning or prickling sensation

One of the earliest symptoms is to have a burning or hot sensation in the bottom of ones feet, and mostly ignored.  Then a prickly, or even itchy type of sensation would have followed.

 

Diabetes leg pain and cramps often occur as a result of damaged nerves (diabetic peripheral neuropathy). Neuropathy can also cause tingling and numbness.

  • Sharp pains or cramps

People get cramps, especially in their legs and brush it off.  They may even go to the doctor and get something for them, and that is it.

  • Extreme sensitivity to touch, even light touch

Sometimes a soft touch is nice, but when one gets that “creepy” feeling along with it, that is sensitivity.

 

Fibromyalgia vs. peripheral neuropathy: Causes, symptoms, risk factors, and complications

  • Muscle weakness

When you say to yourself ” I use to do this,  and I remember I use to be able to do that”    Those are , and should be a large red flag to  your healthcare provider.  Muscle weakness is a powerful warning sign.

 

Nerve Regeneration Sound Therapy | Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment Binaural Beats Meditation Music - YouTube

  • Loss of reflexes, especially in the ankle

Did you ever wake up and feel like you twisted your ankle, but you dont remember anything?    When you walk, does it feel like you are flat footed, but it probably is your ankle reflexes gone.    Orthopedic shoes are usually recommended, but in fact will make this problem worse.

 

  • Loss of balance and coordination

Dizziness, tripping, occasionally feeling like you are leaning to one side or the other.   Not able to try out for a tightrope walker?   When you tell this to your healthcare provider, they want to check your ears right away.  They may even send you to see someone else, and some precautionary measures may be taken, but they dont have an answer.

  • Serious foot problems such as ulcers, infections, deformities and bone and joint pain

Notice if any of the bones in  your feet and/or toes have changed shape.

Diabetes can damage the nerves that help you feel pain, heat, and cold, especially in your feet. Learn about the symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy and the problems it can cause, what you can do about it, and how to prevent it.

 

These are some of the main symptoms at the first level, with each level there are more symptoms.  If you have been diagnosed with neuropathy and also diabetes it is good to know these symptoms, and what might happen if you ignore them.

These symptoms are known to worsen at night. Many diabetics already show signs of neuropathy that a doctor can take note of, but patients themselves don’t feel them.

If left untreated, diabetic peripheral neuropathy can lead to muscle weakness and loss of reflexes, especially at the ankle, eventually causing changes in the way a person walks. Foot deformities, such as hammertoes (a deformity that causes the toe to bend or curl downward instead of pointing forward) and the collapse of the midfoot, may occur too.

Should pressure or an injury remain unnoticed, this can prompt blisters and sores to appear on numb areas of the foot. If there is an infection that’s not treated immediately, it can spread to the bone and may require the foot to be amputated. Fortunately, many amputations are preventable if minor problems are examined and treated immediately.

This is not necessarily something one has to live with.  There are many methods people have used to send this disease into remission, sometimes permanently, or at least try to decrease the symptoms, and not move on to a worse state.

This is a progressive disease, and you want to STOP it!, NOT, put up with it!

Other Risk Factors of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy can also be triggered by factors apart from diabetes, namely:

  • Shingles (post herpetic neuralgia)

Never get the shingles shot, if you think you have this condition

  • Vitamin deficiency, particularly of vitamin B9 (folate) and B12

Do  not start taking either of these supplements without a good provider telling  you the other supplements that MUST be taken with them, so as to cause no more harm.

  • Alcohol intake
  • Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or Guillain-Barre syndrome

If this disease is not handled correctly you will develop one of these conditions also.

  • AIDS, whether from the disease or its treatment, or from syphilis or kidney failure

 

  • Inherited diseases such as amyloid polyneuropathy or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

 

  • Exposure to toxins, such as heavy metals, gold compounds, lead, arsenic, mercury and organophosphate pesticides

If you work with metals, you have a greater chance to develop this condition.   Stay away from heavy metal work, if you are already a diabetic, and also fertilizer.

  • Cancer therapy drugs like vincristine (Oncovin and Vincasar) and antibiotics including metronidazole (Flagyl) and isoniazid

Remember these medicatios, and have your healthcare provider order something else.

  • Diseases such as neurofibromatosis, Fabry disease, Tangier diseases, hereditary sensory autonomic neuropathy and hereditary amyloidosis (albeit rare)

 

  • Statins —    neuropathy caused by this group of  medications is rising at an alarming rate.  Yet, sometimes some of the symptoms are masked.  

Do everything you can to get off of a statin drug, especially if you are already a diabetic.

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a major health concern. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned here, consult a good healthcare provider immediately. If someone you know exhibits these signs, but is unaware that they are symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, talk to them about having their condition checked.

Always contact us here at :  healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

You can make a big impact in improving their health and may even help save their lives by being aware of this disorder.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

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Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Diet Soda Linked to Risk for Diabetic Blindness

Health and Wellness Associates

Diet Soda Linked to Risk for Diabetic Blindness

Here's why you should be drinking less, plus tips on how to make the transition easier. | Health.com

Drinking diet soda may raise the risk for a severe type of diabetic eye disease that can lead to blindness, a new study says.

The study, published in Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, is the first to evaluate the link between soft drinks and what’s called proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

“In our clinical sample of people with diabetes, consuming more than four cans, or 1.5 liters, of diet soft drinks per week was associated with a twofold increased risk of having proliferative diabetic retinopathy,” first author Eva Fenwick, PhD, told Medscape Medical News. Fenwick is a clinical research fellow at the Singapore Eye Research Institute and an assistant professor at the Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore.

The study did not find the same results among those who drank regular, sugar-sweetened soft drinks.

More studies are needed to tell whether soft drinks are unhealthy alternatives to sugar-sweetened beverages, Fenwick says.

Diet soft drinks have been marketed as healthier than regular soft drinks, yet a growing body of evidence has suggested that artificial sweeteners may also harm your health. Past research has linked diet soda to a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Some researchers believe that diet beverages may “fake out” the body to assume that it has taken in more energy than it really has. That may lead to more hunger and higher calorie intake in the long run.

The study included 609 adults — 73 with type 1 diabetes , 510 with type 2 diabetes, and 26 with an unknown type of diabetes — at an eye hospital between 2009 and 2010. The average age of the participants was 64.6 years. They came from the Diabetes Management Project, a study of English-speaking adults with diabetes in Melbourne, Australia.

Participants reported how many soft drinks they drank as part of a 145-question food questionnaire. Of the total sample, 46.8% drank regular soft drinks, and 31.2% drank diet soft drinks.

Almost a quarter had proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

Those who drank more than four 12-ounce servings of diet soda a week were 2.5 times more likely to have the disease, researchers found. The researchers adjusted results for things that usually make diabetic retinopathy more likely, such as diabetes duration, smoking, and body mass index.

Those who regularly drank sugar-sweetened soft drinks were not as likely to have the disorder.

“Our finding that regular soft drink was not associated with increased risk of proliferative diabetic retinopathy could be due to the small numbers of high consumers. We had to merge the high-consumer category with the moderate-consumer category, and this may have masked the true relationship,” Fenwick told Medscape Medical News.

“Although the results of our study must be interpreted within the context of several limitations, they add to the growing body of literature on the harmful effects of diet drinks on a range of health outcomes, including CVD [cardiovascular disease], diabetes, and metabolic syndrome,” Fenwick said.

“Given that diet soft drinks are perceived as a healthy alternative to regular soft drinks, clinicians and patients should be aware that diet soft drinks may not be without risks of their own,” she concluded.

The main component is aspartame that is causing the problem.  I know of only one company at this time , Shasta, that is a diet soft drink without aspartame.  With that one needs to drink one glass of water for one glass of soft drink.

Health and Wellness Associates

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Good Sleep is the Door to Good Health!

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

Good Sleep is the Door to Good Health!

sleepmercola

Sleep is one of the great mysteries of life. Like gravity or the quantum field, we still don’t understand exactly why we sleep—although we are learning more about it every day.

 

We do know, however, that good sleep is one of the cornerstones of health.

 

Six to eight hours per night seems to be the optimal amount of sleep for most adults, and too much or too little can have adverse effects on your health.

 

Sleep deprivation is such a chronic condition these days that you might not even realize you suffer from it. Science has now established that a sleep deficit can have serious, far reaching effects on your health.

 

For example, interrupted or impaired sleep can:

 

Dramatically weaken your immune system

Accelerate tumor growth—tumors grow two to three times faster in laboratory animals with severe sleep dysfunctions

Cause a pre-diabetic state, making you feel hungry even if you’ve already eaten, which can wreak havoc on your weight

Seriously impair your memory; even a single night of poor sleep—meaning sleeping only 4 to 6 hours—can impact your ability to think clearly the next day

Impair your performance on physical or mental tasks, and decrease your problem solving ability

When your circadian rhythms are disrupted, your body produces less melatonin (a hormone AND an antioxidant) and has less ability to fight cancer, since melatonin helps suppress free radicals that can lead to cancer. This is why tumors grow faster when you sleep poorly.

 

Impaired sleep can also increase stress-related disorders, including:

 

Heart disease

Stomach ulcers

Constipation

Mood disorders like depression

Diabetes

Auto-immune disorders

 

Sleep deprivation prematurely ages you by interfering with your growth hormone production, normally released by your pituitary gland during deep sleep (and during certain types of exercise, such as Peak Fitness Technique). Growth hormone helps you look and feel younger.

 

One study has even shown that people with chronic insomnia have a three times greater risk of dying from any cause. Lost sleep is lost forever, and persistent lack of sleep has a cumulative effect when it comes to disrupting your health. Poor sleep can make your life miserable, as most of you probably know.

 

The good news is, there are many natural techniques you can learn to restore your “sleep health.”

 

Whether you have difficulty falling asleep, waking up too often, or feeling inadequately rested when you wake up in the morning—or maybe you simply want to improve the quality of your sleep—you are bound to find some relief from my tips and tricks below.

 

Optimizing Your Sleep Sanctuary

  1. Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin. Even the tiniest glow from your clock radio could be interfering with your sleep. This will help decrease your risk of cancer.

 

Close your bedroom door and get rid of night-lights. Refrain from turning on any light at all during the night, even when getting up to go to the bathroom. Cover up your clock radio. Cover your windows—I recommend using blackout shades or drapes.

 

All life evolved in response to predictable patterns of light and darkness, called circadian rhythms. Modern day electrical lighting has significantly betrayed your inner clock by disrupting your natural rhythms. Little bits of light pass directly through your optic nerve to your hypothalamus, which controls your biological clock. Light signals your brain that it’s time to wake up and starts preparing your body for ACTION.

 

  1. Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F. Many people keep their homes and particularly their upstairs bedrooms too warm. Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is quite cool, between 60 to 68 degrees. Keeping your room cooler or hotter can lead to restless sleep.

 

When you sleep, your body’s internal temperature drops to its lowest level, generally about four hours after you fall asleep. Scientists believe a cooler bedroom may therefore be most conducive to sleep, since it mimics your body’s natural temperature drop.

 

  1. Check your bedroom for electro-magnetic fields (EMFs). These can disrupt the pineal gland and the production of melatonin and serotonin and may have other negative effects as well. To do this, you need a gauss meter. You can find various models online, starting around $50 to $200. Some experts even recommend pulling your circuit breaker before bed to kill all power in your house.

 

  1. Move alarm clocks and other electrical devices away from your bed. If these devices must be used, keep them as far away from your bed as possible, preferably at least 3 feet. Remove the clock from view. It will only add to your worry when you stare at it all night… 2 a.m. …3 a.m. … 4:30 a.m.

 

  1. Avoid using loud alarm clocks. It is very stressful on your body to be suddenly jolted awake. If you are regularly getting enough sleep, an alarm may even be unnecessary. I gave up my alarm clock years ago and now use a sun alarm clock, an alarm that combines the features of a traditional alarm clock (digital display, AM/FM radio, beeper, snooze button, etc.) with a special built-in light that gradually increases in intensity, simulating sunrise.

 

  1. Reserve your bed for sleeping. If you are used to watching TV or doing work in bed, you may find it harder to relax and drift off to sleep, so avoid doing these activities in bed.

 

  1. Consider separate bedrooms. Recent studies suggest, for many people, sharing a bed with a partner (or pets) can significantly impair sleep, especially if the partner is a restless sleeper or snores. If bedfellows are consistently interfering with your sleep, you may want to consider a separate bedroom.

 

Preparing for Bed

  1. Get to bed as early as possible. Your body (particularly your adrenal system) does a majority of its recharging between the hours of 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. In addition, your gallbladder dumps toxins during this same period. If you are awake, the toxins back up into your liver, which can further disrupt your health. Prior to the widespread use of electricity, people would go to bed shortly after sundown, as most animals do, and which nature intended for humans as well.

 

  1. Don’t change your bedtime. You should go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, even on the weekends. This will help your body to get into a sleep rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep and get up in the morning.

 

  1. Establish a bedtime routine. This could include meditation, deep breathing, using aromatherapy or essential oils or indulging in a massage from your partner. The key is to find something that makes you feel relaxed, then repeat it each night to help you release the tensions of the day.

 

  1. Don’t drink any fluids within 2 hours of going to bed. This will reduce the likelihood of needing to get up and go to the bathroom, or at least minimize the frequency.

 

  1. Go to the bathroom right before bed. This will reduce the chances that you’ll wake up to go in the middle of the night.

 

  1. Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed. This can provide the L-tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production.

 

  1. Also eat a small piece of fruit. This can help the tryptophan cross your blood-brain barrier.

 

  1. Avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains and sugars. These will raise your blood sugar and delay sleep. Later, when blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia), you may wake up and be unable to fall back asleep.

 

  1. Take a hot bath, shower or sauna before bed. When your body temperature is raised in the late evening, it will fall at bedtime, facilitating slumber. The temperature drops from getting out of the bath signals your body it’s time for bed.

 

  1. Wear socks to bed. Feet often feel cold before the rest of the body because they have the poorest circulation. A study has shown that wearing socks to bed reduces night waking. As an alternative, you could place a hot water bottle near your feet at night.

 

  1. Wear an eye mask to block out light. As discussed earlier, it is very important to sleep in as close to complete darkness as possible. That said, it’s not always easy to block out every stream of light using curtains, blinds or drapes, particularly if you live in an urban area (or if your spouse has a different schedule than you do). In these cases, an eye mask can be helpful.

 

  1. Put your work away at least one hour before bed (preferably two hours or more). This will give your mind a chance to unwind so you can go to sleep feeling calm, not hyped up or anxious about tomorrow’s deadlines.

 

  1. No TV right before bed. Even better, get the TV out of the bedroom or even completely out of the house. It’s too stimulating to the brain, preventing you from falling asleep quickly. TV disrupts your pineal gland function.

 

  1. Listen to relaxation CDs. Some people find the sound of white noise or nature sounds, such as the ocean or forest, to be soothing for sleep. An excellent relaxation/meditation option to listen to before bed is the Insight audio CD.

 

Another favorite is the Sleep Harmony CD, which uses a combination of advanced vibrational technology and guided meditation to help you effortlessly fall into deep delta sleep within minutes. The CD works on the principle of “sleep wave entrainment” to assist your brain in gearing down for sleep.

 

  1. Read something spiritual or uplifting. This may help you relax. Don’t read anything stimulating, such as a mystery or suspense novel, which has the opposite effect. In addition, if you are really enjoying a suspenseful book, you might be tempted to go on reading for hours, instead of going to sleep!

 

  1. Journaling. If you often lay in bed with your mind racing, it might be helpful to keep a journal and write down your thoughts before bed. Personally, I have been doing this for 15 years, but prefer to do it in the morning when my brain is functioning at its peak and my cortisol levels are high.

 

Lifestyle Suggestions That Enhance Sleep

  1. Reduce or avoid as many drugs as possible. Many drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, may adversely affect sleep. In most cases, the condition causing the drugs to be taken in the first place can be addressed by following guidelines elsewhere on my web site.

 

  1. Avoid caffeine. At least one study has shown that, in some people, caffeine is not metabolized efficiently, leaving you feeling its effects long after consumption. So, an afternoon cup of coffee or tea will keep some people from falling asleep at night. Be aware that some medications contain caffeine (for example, diet pills).

 

  1. Avoid alcohol. Although alcohol will make you drowsy, the effect is short lived and you will often wake up several hours later, unable to fall back asleep. Alcohol will also keep you from entering the deeper stages of sleep, where your body does most of its healing.

 

  1. Make certain you are exercising regularly. Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day can improve your sleep. However, don’t exercise too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake. Studies show exercising in the morning is the best if you can manage it.

 

  1. Lose excess weight. Being overweight can increase your risk of sleep apnea, which can seriously impair your sleep. Please refer to my nutrition plan for recommendations.

 

  1. Avoid foods you may be sensitive to. This is particularly true for sugar, grains, and pasteurized dairy. Sensitivity reactions can cause excess congestion, gastrointestinal upset, bloating and gas, and other problems.

 

  1. Have your adrenals checked by a good natural medicine clinician. Scientists have found that insomnia may be caused by adrenal stress.

 

  1. If you are menopausal or perimenopausal, get checked out by a good natural medicine physician. The hormonal changes at this time may cause sleep problems if not properly addressed.

 

If All Else Fails

  1. My current favorite fix for insomnia is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Most people can learn the basics of this gentle tapping technique in a few minutes. EFT can help balance your body’s bioenergy system and resolve some of the emotional stresses that are contributing to your insomnia at a very deep level. The results are typically long lasting and improvement is remarkably rapid.

 

  1. Increase your melatonin. Ideally it is best to increase levels naturally with exposure to bright sunlight in the daytime (along with full spectrum fluorescent bulbs in the winter) and absolute complete darkness at night. If that isn’t possible, you may want to consider a melatonin supplement.

 

In scientific studies, melatonin has been shown to increase sleepiness, help you fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep, decrease restlessness, and reverse daytime fatigue. Melatonin is a completely natural substance, made by your body, and has many health benefits in addition to sleep.

 

As always Melatonin should not be used if you have a heart condition, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, any gastrointestinal inflammatory problems or pregnant.

 

Call your healthcare provider or give us a call for your personal healthcare needs.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr Gemma Carney

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Lack of Sleep and Diabetes Linked

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth

 

Lack of Sleep and Diabetes Linked

 

New research links lack of sleep with heightened risk for type 2 diabetes in youth

 lackofsleep

A new review of scientific literature on the importance of sleep in youth suggests that a lack of sleep can lead to decreased appetite control and body weight regulation, all of which can raise risks for the development of type 2 diabetes.

 

The largest decline in sleep duration and poor sleep quality over the past decades has been seen in children and adolescents, a trend that earlier studies say may contribute to weight gain, increased risks for cardiovascular disease and poor mental health.

 

This new review of evidence, published in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes, has looked at 23 studies on the topic of risk factors for type 2 diabetes and sleep variables to try and elucidate the mechanisms that may explain the association between the two.

 

Researchers from Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, in Canada, reviewed studies that not only assessed risks from inadequate sleep, described as sleeping less than six hours per night – a two-hour or so sleep deficit compared to standard advice for children – but also sleep architecture.

 

A healthy sleep architecture refers to having the right number of restorative sleep cycles and rapid eye movement phases to feel sufficiently well-rested. An out of whack sleep architecture has been associated in past studies with insulin resistance.

 

In terms of sleep duration, researchers have found that the lowest risk for type 2 diabetes is observed, similar to the figure given for adults, at a minimum sleep duration of seven to eight hours per day.

 

Drawing from the findings of the different studies evaluated, they have identified a number of mechanisms by which the lack of sleep can elevate risks for type 2 diabetes among children.

 

One of them, perhaps the most prominent one, is the increased exposure to the stress hormone cortisol due to short sleep duration. This may contribute to the accumulation of visceral fat and subsequent increased insulin resistance.

 

The reason for this is that the authors also noted that the association between sleep quality and insulin resistance was not independent of the level of adiposity – the increase in the number of fat cells.

 

There may also be another phenomenon implicated that has to do with the nervous system which, in response to the stress of not sleeping, negatively influences the hormone leptin.

 

While we sleep, leptin usually rise to control appetite. However, when sleep is restricted, leptin gets inhibited. The inhibition of leptin leads to an increase in hunger and a decrease in satiety. These effects can translate into progressive weight gain.

 

Sleep is a modifiable lifestyle habit associated with the prevention of type 2 diabetes. One randomised trial that was part of the review conducted among children aged 8 to 11 years showed that increasing sleep duration by just 1.5 hour per night over a week resulted in lower food intake and lower body weight.

 

Although more studies are needed to shed light on the mechanisms linking insufficient sleep with type 2 diabetes risk, there’s no possible risk in children and teens improving their sleep and getting enough of it on a regular schedule each night.

 

If you need help, have concerns or just want a healthcare plan for YOU, then contact us and we will help you.

 

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Dr. Mark Williams DPsych

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Statins Can Raise Your Sugar Levels and Increas Risk of Diabetes

statins

Statins Can Raise Your Sugar Levels and increase Risk of Diabetes

 

Taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs can raise the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 30 percent in some vulnerable people, say scientists from Albert Einstein School of Medicine.

The study was a follow-up to an earlier study which investigated whether or not modest weight loss or treatment with metformin — a diabetes medication that helps control blood sugar levels — could reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes in people at high risk.

For the study, obese people were given standard advice on healthy eating and exercise, and were randomly assigned to either an intensive lifestyle program, treatment with metformin, or a dummy drug (placebo).

Their blood fats and blood pressure were measured annually. Blood glucose was measured twice a year, at which point new statin treatment was recorded.

The most commonly prescribed statins were simvastatin (40 percent) and atorvastatin (37 percent). The likelihood of being prescribed a statin drug rose substantially after a diagnosis of diabetes.

At the beginning of the trial fewer than 4 percent of volunteers were taking statin drugs, but usage gradually increased so that by the end of the 10-year study period, about a third of patients were taking them.

When treatment groups were combined, taking a statin was associated with a 36 per cent heightened risk of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, compared to those who had not been prescribed these drugs.

This risk fell slightly to 30 percent after taking account of the clinical criteria used to determine the need for statins.

After analyzing all risk factors for developing diabetes, statin use was itself associated with an increased risk of being diagnosed with diabetes, regardless of which treatment group the participants had been in during the trial.

To find out if the strength of the statin had any bearing on the risk of developing diabetes, the researchers grouped the drugs into low (pravastatin, lovastatin, fluvastatin) or high potency (atorvastatin, simvastatin, rouvastatin, cerivastatin).

They found no link between the potency of the statin used and diabetes risk, nor between the reduction in low density lipoprotein or “bad” cholesterol.

The researchers theorize that statins contribute to the development of diabetes by impairing the production of insulin, the hormone that lowers blood glucose.

 

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Dr A Sullivan

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The study was published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.

Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Your Earwax Can Tell Us a Lot about Your Health

earwax

Your Earwax Can Give You Important Clues about Your Health

 

 

I have asked many patients about wax and drainage in their ears.  Sometimes they look at me with that unbelieving eye, because no other healthcare worker has ever asked them about it. For the most part, we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the inside of our ears, apart from a very general “are they clean?”. Perhaps we should be giving them more thought because the color of our earwax can say a lot about our general health, and it can give us valuable clues when something is wrong.

The Role of Ear Wax in the Body

Earwax is often viewed as a gross and annoying nuisance, but it is actually a very crucial part of our natural defense system. Ear wax is formed from wax glands in the external ear canal and it protects the skin and ear from water and infection.

Everyone differs in the amount of ear wax that they have, and the consistency. Ear wax can be wet, or dry, and too much or too little can be quite dangerous, increasing the risk of infection. So, you really want to have just the right amount.

 

What is the Right Amount of Ear Wax?

Every individual is different in terms of how much ear wax is the right amount, and the only way to truly know if the amount of earwax in your ears is normal is to give us a call and talk to us about it.

If you’re experiencing the following symptoms you may have a buildup of earwax, and you should call us:

Earache, fullness in the ear or a ‘plugged’ feeling

Partial hearing loss

Tinnitus, ringing, or noises in the ear

Itching, odor, or discharge

Coughing

 

What Your Earwax Says About Your Health

Color

The color of each person’s ear wax can vary, but there are some colors that are natural, and others that indicate a serious health problem.

 

“Normal earwax ranges from light orange to dark brown, but if it’s yellow, green, white, or black, that suggests an infection and you need to see your personal physician, and bring a sample with you” says Benjamin Tweel, MD, an otolaryngologist at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

 

Odd Smell

Your ear wax should never have an odor. If it does, this could be a sign of an infection.

 

“In my experience, it’s the patient who notices a smell, but it’s very possible other people might bring it up as well,” says Tweel. “Regardless, it needs to be treated.”

 

Flakiness

If your ear wax is dry and flaky you could have another skin problem that is prevalent, such as eczema. This consistency, accompanied by soreness could also be psoriasis, though it’s less common.

This is usually one of the first stages of having a problem, and it can be corrected quite easily.

 

Itchy Ears

Scratching your ear every once in a while, doesn’t mean that there’s a problem with your ear, but if you are constantly itching and scratching there is a chance you have a systemic problem.  Again, this is a first stage problem, and if it is not corrected fluid builds up in your ears and if you do not find out the cause will develop an infection.   This is what usually happens in children when ear problems are treated, but not cured.

 

Earwax Removal: Do It the Right Way

Ear wax isn’t bad, it keeps your ears dry and prevents infection, but you do want to keep it from blocking your ears. Ideally, the ears will never have to be cleaned, but this is not always the case. If you are experiencing symptoms that are interfering with your day-to-day life, consult a doctor or clean your ears safely using proper methods.

First things first, when it comes to earwax removal, do not use cotton-tipped applicators (such as Q-tips) because you risk breaking your eardrum. It’s also possible to jam ear wax even deeper into the ear shaft. These applicators may also increase the risk of bacterial infection in the external ear canal

Try this safe ear cleaning method at home:

 

Soften the wax – Use an eyedropper to apply a few drops of natural baby oil or glycerin in your ear canal.

Use warm water – After a day or two, when the wax has softened, use a rubber-bulb syringe to gently squirt warm water into your ear canal. Tilt your head to straighten the ear canal and allow the water to enter the ear, and when you are finished irrigating tip your head to the side and let the water drain out.

Dry your ear canal – When you’re finished, gently dry your outer ear with a clean towel

 

Do not have your ears irrigated if you have diabetes, a hole in the eardrum (perforation), ever had a tube in the eardrum, skin problems such as eczema, cardiac conditions, allergies or a weakened immune system.

 

For something that’s thought about so infrequently throughout the day, earwax can give us some important clues as to our general health and well-being. Taking good care of our ears will ensure that our hearing remains top-notch throughout our lives. Something as simple as changing the way that you clean your ears can have a big impact on your health.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr P Carrothers

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Restorative and Preventative Mediciine

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