Health Issues

These diet tips will help you improve insulin resistance

Insulin, a vital hormone in our body, helps the body absorb glucose, keeping blood sugar levels under control. However, due to Insulin resistance absorbing glucose becomes harder. This condition can lead to type 2 diabetes. People with insulin resistance often have prediabetes.

Causes of insulin resistance

Numerous research have shown that ethnic and genetic factors may increase the risk of insulin resistance. However, lifestyle factors also make a big difference. Making positive changes to lifestyle can greatly reduce the risk of insulin resistance.

Other factors that affect insulin resistance are diet, overweight, not enough exercise, smoking, older age, sleep issues and use of steroid.

Diet tips

Following a healthful diet plan, such as the Mediterranean Diet, can greatly enhance insulin sensitivity. Mediterranean diet recommends consuming lots of plant-based foods, having fruit as a dessert, and olive oil as the main source of fat. Poultry, fish, and dairy products should be eaten in moderation. It also recommends very small amount of red meat and a little wine during meals.

A very simple way to tackle insulin resistance is to eat foods that have low glycemic index (GI). Low GI foods do not produce as many sugar spikes and they are digested slowly. Carbohydrates have a high GI and can cause elevated blood sugar. As a result it puts more demand on the pancreas to make insulin.

Western diets typically do not contain nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, fiber, and potassium. People with insulin resistance should look for food rich in these nutrients, as they are important for maintaining blood sugar levels.

The following foods will help you support insulin sensitivity:

  • High-fiber foods, such as beans and whole grains
  • Non-starchy vegetables, such as broccoli and peppers
  • Protein-rich foods, including lean meats, fish, and nuts
  • Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon
  • Antioxidant foods, such as berries
  • Sweet potatoes, which are lower GI than other potatoes
  • Water, especially as a substitute for sweetened drinks
  • Unsweetened teas

Foods you should avoid

There are certain foods that are known to raise blood sugar. Avoid or limit these foods to help maintain a steady blood sugar level:

  • Sweetened beverages, such as, soda, fountain drinks, and even fruit juices.
  • Alcohol, especially grain alcohol and beer in large quantities.
  • Grains may worsen insulin sensitive in some people. Avoid grains, whether is refined or whole gran.
  • Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, pumpkin, corn, and yams.
  • Sugary sweets that are high in sugar, such as cupcakes, ice cream, or chocolate bars.
  • Processed snacks and boxed foods.
  • Cow-based dairy, especially milk.
  • White bread, pasta, rice, and flour, which is lower in fiber than whole grain.
  • Fried foods, even if the food is otherwise healthful.
  • Foods high in saturated fats, including chocolate, butter, and salt pork

If you do not want to completely avoid these foods, limit them and replace them with more healthful options as often as possible.

Sticking to a plant-based, fiber-rich diet with low added sugar can steadily improve insulin sensitivity. It is also important to be active. Exercise daily. These lifestyle changes can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other health conditions.

26/03/2017 / by / in
Parkinson’s Dementia: Causes and symptoms

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic and progressive disease of the nervous systemthat can affect thepatient’s mobility and their ability to perform daily tasks.

People with Parkinson’s have a lack of chemical called dopamine because specific nerve cells inside their brain have died. Why these cells die is not known.

Lack of dopamine makes a person slow in their movements and it takes them longer to do things, which makes everyday tasks, such as getting dressed, eating, or using a phone or computer, difficult or frustrating.

The cause of the disease is unknown, and although there is presently no cure, symptoms can be managed by available treatment options such as medication and surgery.

The most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are trembling of the hands, arms, jaw, and face; stiffness of the trunk and limbs; slowness of movement; and loss of balance and coordination.

Parkinson’s dementia

Parkinson’s disease dementia is caused by Lewy bodies, a protein known as alpha-synuclein building up in the brain.

The dementia affects the mind as well as the body.

What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease dementia?

Symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Delusions
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Difficulty sleeping well
  • Paranoia
  • Memory changes
  • Difficulty speaking clearly
  • Difficulty taking in what is seen and interpreting it
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness and rapid eye movements

Causes and risk factors

Most causes of Parkinson’s disease are idiopathic, meaning thephysician does not know why a person has the condition. However, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, early-onset Parkinson’s disease is most commonly attributed to genetic defects, possibly those inherited from a parent.

According to scientists, early-onset Parkinson’s disease could be associated with genetic flaws passed on from a parent. They have identified several factors that may cause a Parkinson’s disease patient to experience dementia. The risk factors are:

  • Advanced age at time of diagnosis
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Hallucinations before onset of other symptoms of dementia
  • Mild thought impairment history
  • Having a specific Parkinson’s symptom, which causes a person to have difficulty attempting to take a step or who may halt mid-step when walking
  • More severe movement impairment symptoms than most people with Parkinson’s disease

However, it is still unknown why some individual with Parkinson’s disease experience nerve damage that affects thinking as well as movement problems.

How does Parkinson’s disease progress over time?

Around 50 to 80% of patients with Parkinson’s disease will experience Parkinson’s disease dementia, according to Alzheimer’s Association. After diagnosis of Parkinson’s it takes about 10 years for the condition to progress to dementia.

This type of dementia leaves a person unable to live by themselves.

Diagnosis

Most often a person is diagnosed with PD before start of any dementia symptoms. This is because mobility problems are more likely to occur before any cognitive impairment.

A person should see a doctor if they experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Hallucinations

Although some of these symptoms can be side effects of Parkinson’s disease medicines, a person should notify their doctor if he or she experiences any of these symptoms.

It may be very difficult to diagnose dementia because there isn’t one test that can undoubtedly say anindividual has dementia or a specific dementia type.

The first step for a doctor will be to consider the person’s overall health. They can also note any changes to movement, health, and behaviour over time. Sometimes family members or caregivers may help with providing this information, as the person may not recall or be aware of all changes.

If a Parkinson’s disease patient starts to experience dementia symptoms one year or longer after their diagnosis, the condition may be diagnosed as Parkinson’s disease dementia.

At this point, a doctor will also recommend magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, which can pinpoint any brain changes that may be responsible for the symptoms. For example, a tumour in the brain or restricted blood flow to the brain. [ Read more How low-fat dairy could increase your Parkinson’s disease risk]

How to treat and prevent Parkinson’s disease dementia?

There is no cure for Parkinson’s dementia. Treatments, including medications are focused on lowering symptoms associated with dementia.

Medications include:

Antidepressants. Selective Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac, Lexapro, Celexa, or Zoloft to reduce depression.

Cholinesterase inhibitor.  These drugs are aimed at reducing the effects of cognitive decline in those with dementia.

Clonazepam. This drug helps improve sleep quality.

L-dopa. This medicine is intended to reduce Parkinson’s disease-affected movement but can worsen dementia symptoms.

Antipsychotic drugs may also be prescribed but must be done with caution. This is because the side effects may decrease psychotic episodes but increase Parkinson’s symptoms. These medications may also trigger increased confusion and changes in consciousness.

Pimavanserin, or Nuplazid – a new drug recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration – has been shown to effectively treat hallucinations, without causing the side effects of some other antipsychotic drugs.

A combination of these medications may be prescribed as a means to reduce symptoms. Doctors should discuss both benefits and side effects when considering treatments.

Physical, occupational, and speech therapy may also be applied in order to enhance movement and communication abilities.

Preventing Parkinson’s dementia

As of yet, scientists do not know how to prevent Parkinson’s disease. Although some patients may have a genetic predisposition toward the condition, no specific gene has been identified.

Genetic tests will not work, as most people are not affected by Parkinson’s until later in life. This may mean that a person will not know they are affected until he or she has grand children.

Parkinson’s in the UK

  • In the UK, every hour someone is told they have Parkinson’s.
  • One person in every 500 has Parkinson’s. That’s about 127,000 people.
  • Most people with Parkinson’s are aged 50 or over but younger people can get it too.

06/12/2016 / 10 Comments / by / in
Signs and Symptoms of Pre-eclampsia

Pre eclampsia  signs and symptoms of pre eclampsia

The nine months of pregnancy may be accompanied by several pleasant as well as undesirable events. More commonly, women complain of issues such as severe nausea and vomiting during the early periods of pregnancy, and stomach acid reflux all throughout their gestational time. These troubles are relatively minor events and can easily be dealt with using specific medications and remedies.

However, certain fatal conditions may also arise anywhere within these 37-38 weeks of pregnancy, like the one we are about to discuss here- Pre-eclampsia.

What is pre-eclampsia?

A mother-to-be shall experience fluctuating blood pressure several times a day. Blood pressure during pregnancy may fall below the optimum range or may rise up to fatal limits. Pre-eclampsia is a condition which is designated as a ‘pregnancy complication’ identified by high blood pressure and excess protein in urine. This complication mostly arises in the third trimester of pregnancy and tends to worsen if not controlled immediately.

Note: raised blood pressure in pregnancy is said to occur if a woman experiences blood pressure ranges greater than 140/90 mmHg, at two separate times, at least four hours apart from each other, more preferably at the 20th week of her gestation.

Who can develop pre-eclampsia?

Pre-eclampsia may be followed by certain risk factors in a lot of the cases, nevertheless, it may also develop without any specific influence. Following are the conditions which make a pregnant person prone towards the development of pre-eclampsia:

  • If she is obese
  • If she is has primary hypertension
  • If she has a positive family history of hypertension
  • If she has a positive family history of pre-eclampsia
  • If she is affected with diabetes mellitus
  • If it is her first pregnancy and is bearing twins
  • If she is facing some abnormalities with the placental development

Testing for pre-eclampsia becomes routine in the third trimester even if the last two trimesters remained uneventful. Blood pressure and urine tests are mandatory to keep a check for the developing condition.

What are the signs and symptoms of pre-eclampsia?

Edema:

Edema is referred to a condition when fluid from within the cells shift in the extracellular environment. It forms an important diagnostic sign of hypertension. During pregnancy, excessive swelling of hands, face and feet may indicate towards an increasing blood pressure, which could ultimately develop into pre-eclampsia if not controlled.

Proteinuria:

Presence of large amounts of protein in urine is known as ‘proteinuria’. It is also an important symptom of pre-eclampsia. Women going through pregnancy are tested for protein in urine at every clinical visit.

Severe headache, disturbed vision, nausea, vomiting, difficulty in  breathing, and pain in the upper abdomen are also signs and symptoms of pre-eclampsia

How is pre-eclampsia managed?

Someone that develops pre-eclampsia and is near to her term is recommended to have her child delivered as soon as possible.

Anti-hypertensive medications are prescribed to control the rising blood pressure.

If the symptoms exceed and hypertension is causing damage to the organs, then corticosteroids may be prescribed under an expert’s supervision.

Women with pre-eclampsia are recommended to take a bed rest.

15/11/2016 / by / in