Diabetes – How Much Do We Know ?

We’ve all heard of diabetes – but what many of us may not know is just how serious and widespread the condition is. Poorly controlled  diabetes greatly increases the risk of a host of diseases and medical complications that can affect the whole body. These include nerve damage, blindness, heart and blood vessel diseases, stroke , kidney failure and amputations.

in 2014, diabetes was present in half of all heart attack cases; two in three new kidney failure cases; and two in five stroke cases. Additionally, the disease has a profound impact on quality of life, shortens life expectancy by 12 to 14 years and imposes a large financial and social burden on familites.

 

Sickly Sweet Danger

So what is diabetes ? The disease is more than a case of eating too much sugar. Diabetes is a failure of the body to recognise sugar and convert it to energy. This can happen when the body cannot produce insulin at all or when it becomes resistant to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that tells the body when to use sugar (glucose) or when to store it for the future. In this way, insulin regulates blood sugar levels from getting too high or too low.

Type 1 diabetes

Occurs when the body cannot produce insulin at all. This condition is usually diagnosed in childhood and those with Type 1 diabetes require daily insulin injections for life. This form of diabetes is congenital and cannot be prevented.

 

Tpye 2 diabetes

Occurs when cells are insulin-resistant and cannot recognise insulin. This causes them to lose their ability to know when to absorb and use sugars in the blood. This causes cells to starve and glucose to build up in the bloodstream. Excessive amounts of undigested sugars in the bloodstream build up over time, cause damage to delicate cells and blood vessels across the whole body – particularly those in the nerves, eyes, kidneys and heart.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 per cent of diabetes cases. This form of diabetes typically occurs in adults and is largely due to a mix of genetic factors and preventable lifestyle factors.

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60-Second News: Why Leafy Greens Are Your Friend

Abbott studies show two nutrients found in kale and spinach help keep your mind sharp.

Kale is the star of the leafy green vegetables. It’s said to help digestion, lower cholesterol, and boost iron levels.

But if you’re still unsure about trying the “superfood,” these two Abbott studies might just make you a believer.

Brain gain
One study showed the nutrient lutein (loo-teen) — found in leafy greens like kale and spinach, as well as egg yolks, broccoli, and avocado — is linked to brain health and intelligence in older adults. Click here to read more.

The other study showed that lutein and quercetin (kwur-si-tin) — found in kale, apples, and many other fruits, veggies, and grains — improved brain function in mice when combined with other nutrients. Read the study’s abstract here.

We use a blend of lutein, DHA, and Vitamin E in our infant formula Similac OptiGRO. The nutrients are common in breast milk, and help support the development of a baby’s brain, eyes, and immune system.

Baby steps
What does this mean for you?

Making small changes to what you eat, like adding more leafy greens to your meals and snacking on fruit, could help keep your memory, decision-making, and problem-solving skills sharp as you age.

Click here for a short video on how lutein gives your brain a boost.

 

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The Diabetic’s Guide To Dessert


 

 

 

 

Dessert isn’t out of the question if you have diabetes. Learn how to keep your sweet tooth happy with these tips.

Diabetes is not – as mistakenly perceived – caused by eating too much sugary food, but is a condition where the body can no longer ‘unlock’ the energy from carbohydrates (including sugar), causing dangerous spikes and dips in blood sugar.

This means that when it comes to choosing what to eat, diabetics need to control not only their intake of sugar but carbohydrates in general. Carbohydrates refer to sugars, complex carbohydrates and fibre – all of which can be found in foods such as rice, bread, noodles, fruit and sweet foods.  All these, not just sugar, count towards a diabetic’s carbohydrate quota for the day.

Carbohydrates have the greatest impact on blood sugar levels causing it to rise

In process and packaged foods, carbohydrates may be labelled as starch, sugar, honey, alcohol, polydextrose or maltodextrin. Even foods that are labelled “sugar free” or “diabetic friendly” may still contain a substantial amount of other types of carbohydrates and have a significant impact on  blood sugar. Thus , it is important to read the nutrition information panel and/or the ingredient list to make wiser choices.

 

Balancing Act

If you are diabetic, identifying and knowing just how much carbohydrates you are eating is important because it means you can better maintain a good carbohydrate balance – and even enjoy the occasional dessert. A “diabetic-friendly” dessert, should be one that is relatively low in carbohydrates and calories. Ideally, it should also be high in fibre. This includes frozen low-fat yogurt with nuts, fresh fruit or even homemade low-sugar cookies. This means you don’t have to give up dessert altogether, but carefully tweak your diet so you can still enjoy a sweet finale.

 

Opt for brown instead of white rice, boodles or pasta and eat a little less than your usual serving

– This means you can still “afford” to have a small slice of cake after your meal without going beyond your ‘carb quota’.

Celebrating a special occasion with care or ice cream ? Halve your portion or share it with a friend.

Cut back on sugar by using low-calorie sweeteners – though keep in mind that , depending on the sweetener, these also contain some carbohydrates.

You can also curb  sugar cravings by complying with your diabetes medication, eating regular balanced meats and getting regular exercise. Poor diabetes control caused saliva to turn sweet, dulling the ability to taste sweet foods and increasing sugar cravings. — Remember that sugar is not forbidden, but, rather focus on quantity, quality and frequency.

 

KNOW YOUR SUGAR SUBSTITUTES

Sugar Alcohol – sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol, glycerol, lactitol, erythritol, isomalt

Artificial Sweeteners – aspartame, sucralose, saccharin and acesulfame potassium

These can be used to sweeten drinks or in cooking. However, keep in mind that these do not help reduce sugar craving and should be consumed in limited amounts.”

 

 

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Your Diabetes Questions Answered

 

question-markWill eating and drinking too much sugary stuff cause diabetes ?

Consuming too much of anything, including sugary food and drink, will likely lead to obesity, a major cause for insulin resistance.  Excessive  consumption of sugar puts the pancreas under tremendous stress to produce enough insulin to match the spikes in blood sugar levels. Over time, this may increase the risk of insulin resistance and thus, Type 2 diabetes.

 

There are tips online to reverse type 2 diabetes. Is this possible ?

There is currently no cure for Type 2 diabetes. However, there is enough evidence to suggest that bariatric sugery in obese patients causes diabetes to enter a phase. Although there is no cure for diabetes at this point in time, adhering to a healthy lifestyle coupled with regular check-ups and medication compliance can keep diabetes under good control and prevent complications.

 

Does Diabetes Really Result in Sugar In The Urine ?

In healthy people, the kidney is able to absorb all of the sugar that it filters from the blood. In patients with previously undiagnosed or poorly-controlled diabetes, the high sugar load in the filtered blood means the kidney is not able to absorb all of the sugar. As a result, large amount of sugar are passed out in the urine. Sugar in the urine increases the risk of fungal infection of the external genitalia (e.g. thrush) and urinary tract infections. It also leads to the passing of large amounts of urine and consequently, dehydration.

 

Why Are Some Diabetic Cases Treated by GP’s (general practitioners) while others are treated by Specialist At Hospital Outpatient Clinics ?

Answer : In most case, the condition can be managed by primary care doctors, but patients with complications from advanced diabetes or pregnant women with diabetes will require diabetes specialists to provide guidance

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War on DIABETES and OBESITY

Diabetes causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined , and if left undetected,, untreated or poorly managed, it may lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure , blindness and amputations (Every day, on average, 20 diabetic patients underwent an amputation in the state.).

Diabetes and Obesity are main causes of end stage kidney failure. How do you protect your kidneys while being burdened by these 2 diseases ? Empowered yourself to protect you and your family Today !

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Treating Diabetes With Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an effective way to cure diabetes without any drugs. It is also a common approach to treating diabetes in China.
It is achieved through activating definite pressure points in the body, which helps in controlling the symptoms of diabetes by managing various metabolic activities and helps in maintaining the insulin level in the body.

Type II diabetes can be effectively treated through acupuncture.
However, make sure the procedure is performed by professionals.

Mentioned below are 4 important acupressure points for treating diabetes :

Acupoint massages

Massage  each acupoint for 3 to 4 minutes, as frequently as you like. They help  to address different TCM syndromes associated with diabetes. They can be done on one or both limbs.

MASSSAGE 1 : NEIGUAN (内关)

What it does: Regulate qi throughout the body.

Use a finger to feel for the two tendons on the wrist of the other hand.

Acupoint 1 : Neiguan

Mark out the area that is approximately one-sixth the distance from the wrist to the elbow, then identify the acupoint that lies between these two tendons.

Massage this acupoint with a finger, or pinch this point with your
thumb and index finger.

Alternatively, you can use the tip of a pen to do the massage.

 

MASSSAGE 2 : ZUSANLI (足三里)

What it does: Promote qi circulation in the stomach meridian to resolve bloatedness, excessive hunger and tiredness.

足三里

Identify the hollow point of the outer knee.

 

zusanli

Place four fingers below this point.

 

Just below the level of your little finger,  identify the point that is about one thumb’s width from the tibia (shin bone).

You should feel a bit of soreness when you massage this point.

 

 

MASSSAGE 3 : SANYINJIAO(三阴交)

What it does: Eliminate blood stasis.

三阴交1

三阴交1

Identify the highest spot on the inner ankle.

 

三阴交

三阴交

Place four fingers above this point.

 

三阴交

三阴交

Identify another spot above the topmost finger and behind the tibia (shin bone).

Massage this acupoint with a finger. You should feel a bit of soreness when you press on this point.

.

MASSSAGE 4: TAIXI (太溪)

What it does: Nourish kidneys to alleviate excessive urination, thirst and urinary incontinence.

 

The Tai Xi acupressure point

The Tai Xi acupressure point

Identify the hollow point between your inner ankle and edge of the tendon adjacent to it.   Massage this point.

acupoint

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Traditional Chinese Medicine – Remedy For Diabetes

TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) offer food remedies to help treat syndromes that can be traced to the disease

author

 

 

Diabetes is a growing problem here. As many as one in three Singaporeans will develop this metabolic disease by the time they reach 69.
Type 2 diabetes, which is far more common, occurs when the body fails to produce enough insulin or is unable to use it properly.

Type 1 diabetes arises when the pancreas does not make insulin.
While type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, one can guard against or control type 2 diabetes by modifying his /her lifestyle.

Dr Clement Ng, a volunteer TCM physician with the diabetes clinic in Singapore Chung Hwa Medical Institution, said uncontrolled diabetes is commonly known as xiaoke (translated as emaciation-thirst).

TCM practitioners typically classify diabetes into three types: upper, middle and lower xiaoke.
The upper type is characterised by excessive thirst, the middle by excessive hunger, and the lower by excessive urination.
At some point in their illness, most people with diabetes manifest symptoms of all three types.
Dr Ng said that diabetes is linked to various factors: a diet of excess fat and sugar, which causes “heatiness” in the body; emotional disturbances, such as depression; a weak body constitution; and other environmental factors.

Five common syndromes can be traced to diabetes :

DAMP AND HEAT SYNDROMES

 Causes : Exposure to a hot and humid environment and excessive consumption of fried and spicy food, which causes heat to build up in the body. Taking too much cold food and drinks also weakens the spleen and results in dampness.
• Symptoms: Thirst with no desire to drink, hunger with no desire to eat, a bitter taste in the mouth, a general feeling of heaviness of the body, and a tongue with a thick, yellow and greasy coating. Patients may also have dark-coloured urine and a rapid pulse.
Food remedy: Cook 100g of celery with 250g of tofu in vegetable oil. Add some green onions, ginger and corn flour, as well as salt and sesame oil to taste.

 

YIN DEFICIENCY DUE TO EXCESSIVE HEAT SYNDROME

Causes: A body constitution weak from childbirth or ageing, inadequate rest and a preference for “heaty” food.
Symptoms: A dry throat and mouth, thirst with a desire for cold beverages, constipation and frequent hunger pangs that lead to overeating. The person may perspire abnormally at night, have warm palms and feet or have little or no coating on the tongue.
Food remedy: Cook porridge with 50g of cooked rice and 100g to 150g of spinach.

 

DEFICIENCIES IN QI AND YIN

Causes: This double whammy occurs in the later stages of diabetes, when unchecked “heatiness” in the body depletes both qi (vital energy) and yin (the element that cools organs).
Symptoms: Excessive thirst, fatigue, shortness of breath, a reluctance to speak, heart palpitations, insomnia, and warm sensation in palms and soles.
Food remedy: Cook soup with 20g of black fungus, 50g of lean meat and 10 wolfberries. Add ginger and onion to taste.

 

DEFICIENCIES IN YIN AND YANG

• Causes: A prolonged yin deficiency will lead to a yang deficiency. For instance,
a person who speaks often would deplete his yin through the loss of salivary fluids and eventually stop the physical activity of talking, which is represented by yang (the element linked to heat).
• Symptoms: Dry mouth, fear of the cold, aching back and knees, frequent night-time urination, dizziness and a tongue with a thick coating that is etched with teeth marks. The person’s heart palpitations or insomnia will be worse than those with deficiencies in qi and yin.
• Food remedy: Stir-fry 300g of enokitake mushrooms with 100g of pork. Add spring onions, salt and sesame oil as desired.  enokitake mushrooms and pork

 

BLOOD STASIS

• Causes: Untreated chronic diseases will damage the collaterals, which are branches of meridians (channels through which qi flows) in the body.
A prolonged lack of qi, yin and yang will lead to numbness and, eventually, sharp painful sensations within the body.
• Symptoms: Pain in the chest, waist or back, and diabetic complications that involve the small blood vessels, such as numbness of the feet.
The person’s tongue may appear dull and the lips may have a bluish tinge.
Heart palpitations and insomnia may occur.
• Food Remedy : Stir-fry 350g of cabbage with 30g of black fungus. The fungus has to be soaked till it is soft and cut into pieces before it is cooked.

Cabbage and black fungus

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Essential Tips To Lose Weight Healthily

weight-loss-tips

Losing too much weight too quickly is not a good thing. Healthy weight loss should not exceed 0.5kg to 1 kg per week.

by Joyce Teo

 

The promise of quick weight loss is always attractive but the effect does not last.
Besides, losing too much weight too quickly is bad for our health.
Dr Liu Han Ping, an aesthetic doctor at Thomson Well Women Clinic, said: “For most people, the initial weight-loss target should be a 10 per cent reduction from the baseline body weight over a period of about four to six months.”
Healthy weight loss should not exceed 0.5kg to 1kg a week, he said.

“The best diet is one that is low-fat, high in complex carbohydrates and high in fibre.”
Dr Liu added: “This also includes avoiding food with a large amount of calories, such as oily food, sweetened drinks and alcohol.”
Furthermore, it is important to have an appropriate exercise plan to preserve lean body mass and increase daily energy expenditure.
This involves gradually increasing a simple aerobic regimen from 20 minutes, three times weekly, to 30 minutes, five times weekly and, finally, to 45 minutes, five times weekly, said Dr Liu.
Here are a few tips from him.

 

PLAN ALL MEALS AND SNACKS

Ideal planning of meals means that you should not feel hungry most of the time.
Some ways to achieve this include snacking on low-calorie drinks, consuming fruit and raw vegetables, such as carrot sticks.
A good way to reduce our staple food intake of rice and noodles is to switch to brown rice or eat more servings of vegetables and fruit during meals.
This helps to slow down digestion and absorption, which allows you to remain full for a longer period of time.

 

DON’T FORGET TO DRINK ENOUGH WATER

Hydration is important in optimising the body’s metabolic rate and, hence, its energy expenditure.
The average recommended daily water intake is eight to 10 glasses of 250ml each.
But listen to your body too. If you feel thirsty because of hot weather or after an exercise session, for instance, drink more water.

 

AVOID ALCOHOL

Alcoholic drinks are high in calories. Biochemically, the drinks also suppress fatty acid oxidation, the process by which fatty acids are broken down by various tissues to produce energy.

 

DO NOT SKIP BREAKFAST

In today’s fast-paced world, the most common method that people use to lose weight is to skip breakfast. However, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
When we do not eat breakfast, our body goes into starvation mode and tries to protect itself by conserving energy.
As a result, the body’s metabolism is not at an optimal rate. We will tend to snack before lunch or overeat during the next meal. Our moods will get affected.
All three meals of the day should not be missed.
We must listen to our body and eat a healthy meal when hunger strikes.
A successful weight-loss programme should minimise hunger and fatigue.

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Primary School Maths Quiz (just for laughs)

Have you got the right answers ?

diabetes_maths_quiz

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Don’t Let Diabetes sneak up on you



You should take your medicine today to prevent any complications that may come five or 10 years later. These are what will really hurt you, not the diagnosis of diabetes. .

 

Type 2 diabetes often sneaks up on a person, going undiagnosed for months or even years, until complications appear.

By the time that happens, the individual’s health would have been compromised.

Studies show that about half of patients would already have diabetes-related complications when diagnosed.

Type 2 diabetes is on the rise at epidemic proportions.
In the United States alone, it is estimated that there are eight million people with undianosed diabetes. As many as two in 10 Americans with newly diagnosed diabetes would already have signs of small blood vessel deterioration, suggesting that they have been suffering from diabetes for eight to 11 years.

Long-term diabetes could also lead to the loss of sensation or nerve damage in the peripheral areas of the body , which could then lead to numbness, pain and a loss of balance.

A study here has shown that this particular complication of diabetes, also known as peripheral Neuropathy, is associated with the greatest reduction in patients’ quality of life.

There are 4 primary types of neuropathy :

  • Peripheral neuropathy – targeting the toes, feet, legs, hands and arms. This is the most common type of neuropathy and causes pain, tingling, or numbness in these extremities.
  • Autonomic neuropathy – causing changes in digestion, bowel and bladder function, sexual organs, heart, blood pressure, lungs, and perspiration.
  • Proximal neuropathy – resulting in pain in the thighs, hips, or buttocks and causes weakness in the legs and loss of balance.
  • Focal neuropathy – bringing on sudden weakness of one nerve or group of nerves including: eyes, face, ears, pelvis, lower back, chest, or any other location.

Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy are wide and varied, but may include :

  • Tingling, pain or numbness—especially in the hands, feet, toes, legs, or arms
  • Inability to completely empty the bladder, resulting in frequent urinary tract infections
  • Nausea, vomiting, abdominal bloating, diarrhea, or constipation
  • Fainting or dizziness caused by low blood pressure upon standing
  • Problems achieving or maintaining an erection

While there are 400,000 people here with diabetes, it is not known how many more have undiagnoses diabetes.

Studies have not proven the effectiveness of mass testing for diabetes in people with no symtoms.
But the risk factors for diabetes are known, including being overweight, High blood pressure and high level of blood fat, smoking, having a sedentary lifestyle and ageing.

The American Diabetes Association recommends blood glucose screening if you are 45 years or older and overweight, or, if you are younger but overweight, and with one or more additional risk factors for type 2 diabetes (such as family history).

There are also steps you can take to prevent diabetes, including exercising more, eating more fibre and whole grains, and losing weight.

And to get yourself tested – earlier treatment means fewer complications down the road.

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