Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Diabetes - You Are Not Alone

Would you be shocked to learn that approximately 20.8 million people in the United States have diabetes? It is a fact, and that is an estimated 7% of the population! Here are some other astounding facts:

Of the 20.8 million people who have diabetes, only 14.6 million have seen their doctor for a diagnosis, while 6.2 million people have not been diagnosed. One in every 400-600 children has Type 1 diabetes, and approximately 176,500 people who have diabetes are under the age of 20. And of the 20.6 million people over the age of 20 with diabetes, 10.3 million (roughly half) are over the age of 60.

Of all of the people who have diabetes, approximately 10.9 million of them are men, and 9.7 million are women. In addition, 13.1 million are Caucasian, 3.2 million are African American, 2.5 million are Hispanic or Latino, and about 100,000 of them are Native Americans.

Each year, approximately 1.5 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed. Diabetes is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, and it is believed that death caused by diabetes is underreported. Having diabetes doubles your risk of death, as compared to people who do not have diabetes, and who are the same age as you.

There are many complications associated with diabetes. Circulation problems is one of them, and of all of the amputations performed in the United States, 60 percent of them are lower-limb amputations of diabetics.

Diabetes costs approximately $132 billion annually, with $92 billion of that being direct costs paid for medical care. The rest of the cost is calculated by disability insurance, loss of work, and premature death.

As you can see, diabetes has become a real problem in America. If you are overweight, take measures right now to reduce your weight, for the purpose of preventing diabetes. If you are overweight, or you have a family history of diabetes, you should contact your doctor for glucose testing as soon as possible.

By Milos Pesic

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Stroke - An Overview

Stroke is the weakness of the limbs on one side of the body; either permanently or transiently often with associated loss or disturbance of speech. Stroke can be completed or evolving, major or minor. One in every four of those suffering from Stroke will die of it within five years. However, Stroke is uncommon before the age of 40 years.

Stroke occurs as a result of deprivation of blood supply to an area of the brain, for a period long enough to cause death (infraction) of brain tissues to that area (in which case the disability is permanent). Where the damage is to the brain tissue is not long enough to cause death (ischaemia), the damage is transient.

This deprivation of blood supply could be due to a blocked vessel supplying the affected part of the brain. This is the most common cause of Stroke responsible for about 80 percent of Stroke cases.

Stroke could occur also due to bleeding into the brain tissue. This accounts for 20 percent of all Stroke cases. Any health condition which could result in any of the above could cause Stroke. Such conditions include Hypertension (which is a major culprit), smoking, heart disease and diabetes.

Any animal fat-rich diet can predispose deposit of fatty plaques in the blood vessel which can cause narrowing. This is associated with hardening of the blood vessel which occurs with aging leading to condition called Arteriosclerosis.

Risk factors which can predispose one to developing Stroke include, a high consumption of alcohol, smoking, sedentary lifestyle and obesity. As has been said, about 40 percent of Stroke can be prevented.

The most important step towards preventing Stroke is to take care of your self. A regular check on blood pressure will help to identify hypertension early and this leads to early control. Low and or moderate alcohol consumption will reduce the risk of Stroke, so will a reduction in weight and cessation of smoking,

An active lifestyle has also been identified to reduce risk of developing Stroke. Regular exercise will help blood flow and weight control.

Treatment takes two forms: immediate treatment and stabilization and rehabilitation. The type of disability depends on the area and size of the brain affected.

While treatment is aimed at preventing further damage and deterioration, rehabilitation aims at helping the patient lead a relatively comfortable life even with the disability. It includes physiotherapy and the control of the cause of the Stroke.

By Noble Ihezie

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Lupus

Lupus is often triggered by an allergic reaction to food. People with lupus commonly have trouble with foods such as peanuts, soy, wheat, corn, meat, dairy, and oranges. A diet that is easy on the kidneys is low in fat, salt, and animal protein. Get plenty of sardines (a good source of essential fatty acids), brown rice, fish, green leafy vegetables, oatmeal, whole grains, and non-acidic fresh fruits. Asparagus, eggs, garlic, and onions contain sulfur, which you need to repair bone, cartilage, and connective tissue. It also enhances the uptake of calcium. Consume fiber daily.

It is important to get your iron from food sources rather than supplements. Iron supplements can cause pain and swelling. Eat fresh pineapple often, as it contains bromelain, which is great for reducing inflammation. However, avoid peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and white potatoes, as these foods contain solanine, which contributes to inflammation and pain. Also avoid alfalfa, caffeine, tobacco, and any foods that contain sugar.

Follow these daily recommendations:

Most Important

calcium (1500 mg)-balances pH and protects against bone loss

magnesium (750 mg 2 times daily)-balances with calcium

N-acetyl cysteine and L-methionine (500 to 1000 mg each, on empty stomach)-vital to skin formation and in white blood cell activity

L-lysine (500 to 1000 mg)-prevents mouth sores

Also Recommended

flaxseed oil (as directed on label)-protects skin cells; aids in the reproduction of all body cells

glucosamine sulfate (as directed on label)-important for healthy skin, bones, and con nective tissue

N-acetyl glucosamine (as directed on label)-may help to prevent lupus erythematosus

garlic (as directed on label)-protects enzyme systems

zinc (50 to 100 mg; do not exceed this amount)-promotes healing; protects organs

vitamin B complex (including 50 mg each of folate, B6 and B12)

(Consult your health care provider regarding the duration of treatment; also ask about DHEA supplementation.)

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture Acupuncture may be helpful in reducing the pain and inflammation associated with lupus. It also can be used to strengthen the patient's immune system.

Chinese Herbal Therapy Many of the same herbs used to treat arthritis can be helpful in cases of lupus jojnt pain as well See "Traditional Chinese Medtclne" in the "Arthritis" entry for more information on specific Chinese herbs and dosages. Likewise, see the "Kidney Disease" and "Kidney Infection" entries for herbs that may be used to treat lupus-induced kidney problems.

By Robin Brain

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