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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Diabetes - There's Hope of Freedom from this "Silent Killer"?

What are the different types of diabetes?

Type 1 Diabetes | Type 2 Diabetes | Gestational Diabetes | Secondary Diabetes

Finally, diabetes occurs much more frequently in women with a prior history of diabetes that develops during pregnancy called the gestational diabetes.


Gestational Diabetes - can occur temporarily during pregnancy. Significant hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to blood sugar elevation in genetically predisposed individuals. Blood sugar elevation during pregnancy is called gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes usually resolves once the baby is born.

However, 25%-50% of women with gestational diabetes will eventually develop type 2 diabetes later in life, especially in those who require insulin during pregnancy and those who remain overweight after their delivery.

Patients with gestational diabetes are usually asked to undergo an oral glucose tolerance test about six weeks after giving birth to determine if their diabetes has persisted beyond the pregnancy, or if any evidence (such as impaired glucose tolerance) is present that may be a clue to the patient's future risk for developing diabetes.


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Diabetes - There's Hope of Freedom from this "Silent Killer"?

What are the different types of diabetes?

Type 1 Diabetes | Type 2 Diabetes | Gestational Diabetes | Secondary Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes was also referred to as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), or adult onset diabetes mellitus (AODM). In type 2 diabetes, patients can still produce insulin, but do so relatively inadequately for their body's needs, particularly in the face of insulin resistance as discussed above.


In many cases this actually means the pancreas produces larger than normal quantities of insulin. A major feature of type 2 diabetes is a lack of sensitivity to insulin by the cells of the body (particularly fat and muscle cells).

In addition to the problems with an increase in insulin resistance, the release of insulin by the pancreas may also be defective and suboptimal. In fact, there is a known steady decline in beta cell production of insulin in type 2 diabetes that contributes to worsening glucose control. (This is a major factor for many patients with type 2 diabetes who ultimately require insulin therapy.)

Finally, the liver in these patients continues to produce glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis despite elevated glucose levels. The control of gluconeogenesis becomes compromised.

While it is said that type 2 diabetes occurs mostly in individuals over 30 years old and the incidence increases with age, we are seeing an alarming number patients with type 2 diabetes who are barely in their teen years. In fact, for the first time in the history of humans, type 2 diabetes is now more common than type 1 diabetes in childhood. Most of these cases are a direct result of poor eating habits, higher body weight, and lack of exercise.

While there is a strong genetic component to developing this form of diabetes, there are other risk factors - the most significant of which is obesity. There is a direct relationship between the degree of obesity and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and this holds true in children as well as adults. It is estimated that the chance to develop diabetes doubles for every 20% increase over desirable body weight.

Regarding age, data shows that for each decade after 40 years of age regardless of weight there is an increase in incidence of diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes in persons 65 to 74 years of age is nearly 20%.

Type 2 diabetes is also more common in certain ethnic groups. Compared with a 6% prevalence in Caucasians, the prevalence in African Americans and Asian Americans is estimated to be 10%, in Hispanics 15%, and in certain Native American communities 20% to 50%.


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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Liver Cancer: Combat With Fast-Acting Remedies

LIVER DISEASES

Hepatitis    Fatty liver   Cirrhosis    Obstruction    Liver Cancer    Genetic Disorders

Hepatitis and cirrhosis may lead to liver cancer in some cases, but more frequently cancer starts in other parts of the body and then metastasizes (spreads) to the liver. 

When cancer does arise in the liver, it is called primary liver cancer.  The most common type is hepato-cellular carcinoma, cancer that develops in the liver's hepatocyte cells. 


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Fast-Acting Remedies for Liver Diseases (Genetic Disorders)

LIVER DISEASES

Hepatitis ! Fatty liver ! Cirrhosis ! Obstruction ! Liver Cancer ! Genetic Disorders

Hemochromatosis is the most common genetic liver disorder. It involves excess iron storage and is usually diagnosed in adults.


There are numerous genetic liver diseases that affect children. The most common is alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency.

Most of the genetic liver diseases involved a missing enzyme or protein that leads to damaging deposits in the liver (such as galactosemia, the absence of a milk sugar enzyme, which leads to milk sugar accumulation; and Wilson's disease, where copper builds up in the liver).

Although not genetic, a defective element that results in liver injury (such as biliary atresia, where the bile ducts are absent or too small) may also cause problems with abnormal liver function in newborns.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fast-Acting Remedies for Liver Diseases (Obstructions)

LIVER DISEASES

Hepatitis Fatty liver Cirrhosis Obstruction Liver Cancer Genetic Disorders


Gallstones, tumors, trauma, and inflammation can cause blockages or obstructions in the ducts draining the liver (bile ducts).


When an obstruction occurs, bile and its associated wastes accumulate in the liver and the patient's skin and eyes often turn yellow (jaundice); bilirubin in the urine turns it a dark brown color, while lack of bilirubin in the intestines causes the stool to become very pale colored (similar symptoms may develop in acute hepatitis and, occasionally, in cirrhosis).

Cholesterol and bile pigments (bilirubin) in the bile may form stones in the gallbladder, where bile is stored. These stones may or may not cause symptoms and problems, depending on their size and location.

If present for a long time, they may damage the gall bladder and prevent it from working properly; this often causes a feeling of bloating and discomfort in the upper abdomen after meals, especially ones high in fat.

The gallstones may block the duct that drains bile from the gallbladder, causing sharp pain to develop suddenly in the upper right part of the abdomen, and, in many cases, leading to infection of the gallbladder and fever.

Obstruction of the hepatic vein, the vein from the liver, may also occur, reducing blood flow out of the liver. This obstruction may be due to tumors pushing against the vein or from blood clot formation within the vein.

Obstruction may be chronic and cause few symptoms, but they can also be acute and life-threatening.

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Fast-Acting Remedies for Liver Diseases (Cirrhosis)

LIVER DISEASES

Hepatitis ! Fatty liver ! Cirrhosis ! Obstruction ! Liver Cancer ! Genetic Disorders

Anything that causes severe ongoing injury to the liver can lead to cirrhosis. It is marked by cell death and scar formation and is a progressive disease that creates irreversible damage.


Cirrhosis is treated by trying to limit further damage. If it is caused by a virus or another treatable cause of liver injury, treating the cause can stabilize the disease and prevent deterioration in liver function.

Cirrhosis has no signs or symptoms in its early stages, but as it progresses, it can cause fluid build-up in the abdomen, muscle wasting, bleeding from the intestines, easy bruising, enlargement of the breasts in men, and a number of other problems.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Importance of Breast Self-Exam: Breast Cancer Battle Can Be Won

Part [1]     [2]     3     [4]

The Importance of Breast Self-Examination

It is important to examine your breasts each month past age twenty at the same point in your menstrual cycle, preferably the first week after your menstrual period ends.  Do not examine them during your menstrual period.  

Before the period, a woman's breasts may swell and become tender or lumpy.  This usually decreases after the period.  



The breasts also become larger and firmer during pregnancy, in preparation for breastfeeding.  Familiarize yourself with the normal feel of your breasts so that you can detect any changes such as enlargement of a lump.  A woman who is accustomed to the way her breasts feels is better able to notice subtle changes.  Any changes in your breasts should be reported to your health care provider, and you should be rechecked by a professional if you have any doubt concerning your examination.  

Since men also can get breast cancer, they can benefit from self-examination as well.  

The following is the recommended procedure for breast self-examination: 
  1. While standing and looking in the mirror, raise your hands over your head and press them together.  Notice the shape of your breasts.  Place your hands on your hips, apply pressure, and look for irritation or dimpling of the skin, nipples that seem to be out of position, one breast that looks different from the other, swelling in a portion of the breast, nipple pain, an inward curve of the nipple, a discharge from the nipple (other than breast milk), or red scaling or thickening of the skin and nipples.
  2. Raise one arm above your head.  With the other hand, firmly explore your breast.  Beginning at the outer edge, using a circular motion, gradually work toward the nipple.  Take your time when examining the area between the nipple and the armpit, and feel the armpit as well.  You have lymph nodes in the armpit; they move freely and feel soft, and are not painful to the touch.  Look for lumps that are hard and not mobile.  Cancers are often attached to underlying muscle or the skin.  When you have finished examining one breast, repeat this on the other side.
  3. Lie down on your back and repeat Step 2.  Lumps may be more easily detected in this position.  Also, squeeze each nipple gently to check for blood or a watery yellow or pink discharge.
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In addition to monthly self-examination, the American Cancer Society recommends that women between the ages of twenty and thirty-nine have their breasts examined by a physician every one to three years.

After age forty, the exam should be performed every year.  Women should get their first mammogram by age forty, then have one every year along with their yearly exam. 

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Mammograms can detect small tumors and breast abnormalities up to two years before they can be felt, when they are most treatable.  A mammogram should be scheduled within the first fourteen days of your menstrual cycle, when the breasts are less likely to be swollen.  You should not use any anti-perspirant, deodorant, or powder on the day of the test, as it can interfere with the reading.
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When breast cancer is caught in the very early stages--when it has not invaded nearby tissues--the cure rate is near 100 per cent with surgery alone.  Tumors of 1 centimeter or less in size carry a particularly good prognosis--less than a 10-percent likelihood of recurrence within ten years.  In general, the risk of recurrence rises with increasing tumor size and lymp node involvement.
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The connection between exercise and cancer is a fairly new area of research.  Some studies suggest that getting regular exercise in youth might give life-long protection against breast cancer.  Even moderate physical activity as an adult may lower breast cancer risk.  More research is underway to confirm these findings.  Outdoor exercise where you are getting some (but not too much) sun exposure also raises Vitamin D levels (low levels have been associated with a greater risk of cancer).


[SOURCE:   Phyllis A. Balch, CNC and James F. Balch, MD, Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Third Edition, p. 222, 223]

Part [1]     [2]     3     [4]    

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