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Monthly Archives: October 2018

Signs of Diabetes

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Diabetes is divided into two main categories, type 1 and type 2. They are both chronic diseases that develop when the body is unable to regulate blood sugar, also known as glucose. Individuals diagnosed with diabetes lack the ability to use or store sugar from their food, which is vital for producing energy to live. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, delivers glucose into the bloodstream, resulting in sugar distribution to the muscles, liver, fat, and other cells in the body. Insulin levels control sugar levels by indicating to the organs when the body needs fuel, and when insulin needs to be stored in the liver for future energy use. Almost all cells in the body require the presence of insulin to procure glucose from the blood. Diabetes results in protracted high blood sugar levels, which heighten the risk of complications. Following are recognizable signs of diabetes displayed by the two types of diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

Individuals who have type 1 diabetes are unable to produce insulin. The cause for this type of diabetes is still under investigation, however researcher do know that in type 1 diabetic individuals, the body’s immune system is flawed, mistaking healthy body cells for foreign invaders. In responding to the “attack”, the immune system eradicates the beta cells in the pancreas that are responsible for producing insulin. The complete lack of insulin production causes diabetic symptoms to rapidly develop, in just a matter of weeks. Symptoms are typically severe and include:

  • Extreme thirst and increased urination
  • Intense hunger, even after eating
  • Headache
  • Unexplained, rapid weight loss
  • Sores or cuts that don’t heal appropriately
  • Weakness and exhaustion
  • Visible emotional or behavior changes
  • Distorted vision
  • Fruity-smelling breath

Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in childhood, or adolescence, and is often referred to as juvenile diabetes. Insulin must be systematically injected, or pumped, into the body to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes cannot yet be prevented, and there is no cure. Healthy living requires consistent blood sugar testing.

Type 2 Diabetes

The signs of type 2 diabetes often develop very gradually, and may not be apparent to the individual. According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately one-third of all people that have this type of diabetes, do not know they have it. With this type of diabetes, insulin is being produced by the individual, but their body is not able to effectively use the insulin produced. Type 1 and 2 diabetes, share many warning signs, but individuals with type 2 diabetes may experience additional symptoms, because of the delay of onset. For example, pre-diabetes, a condition that occurs when glucose levels are higher than normal, may not produce any systems, and can often, only be determined by a blood test. If the pre-diabetes is not addressed by lifestyle or diet changes, it typically develops into type 2 diabetes within a matter of five years, or less. Along with the symptoms listed above for type 1 diabetes, type 2 sufferers may experience:

  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
  • Dry, itchy skin, particularly around the groin or vaginal area
  • Recent weight increase
  • Numerous yeast infections
  • Darkened skin changes of the groin, armpit, and neck regions
  • Impotency,
  • Decreased vision

A glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test, is the primary method of establishing a diagnosis of diabetes, as it analyzes blood sugar levels for the prior two to three-month period. See your physician if you are experiencing any of the signs of diabetes, or have any concerns.

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What is Colon Cancer?

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Colon cancer is the accumulation of cancer cells in the lower part of the large intestine. These tumors typically begin as small benign growths referred to as polyps that turn into malignant tumors over time.

Stages of Colon Cancer

When a patient is diagnosed with colon cancer, they will be diagnosed with a stage of the disease, depending on it advancement. Colon Cancer is broken up into stages Tis to T4b.

  • Tis -In this stage, cancer cells are only found in the top layers on lining in the colon.
  • T1 –At this stage, the cancer cells have begun to spread to the tissue below the lining of the colon.
  • T2 – During stage T2, the cancer cells have developed into the deeper tissue that is involved in pushing along waste during the digestive process.
  • T3 – At T3 the cancer has spread to the connective tissue that connects the colon to other parts of the body, as well as permeating into some of the other surrounding tissues.
  • T4a – At this point the cancer cells have grown throughout all parts of the colon.
  • T4b – At this final stage the cancer cells have spread past the colon into other parts of the body.

What are the Symptoms of Colon Cancer?

Symptoms of colon cancer can come on suddenly or develop gradually over time. Often times symptoms of colon cancer are mistaken for gastrointestinal issues or discomfort. Some symptoms of colon cancer include,

  • Blood in the stool
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Abnormal changes in your bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhea that lasts for more than a month
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Fullness in bowel even after going to the bathroom.

Risks for Colon Cancer

While there is no specific cause for every case of colon cancer there are risks that may make you more likely to develop colon cancer.

History of Polyps

While many times polyps are found and easily removed, repeated development of polyps is linked to an increase in colon cancer.

Low Fiber Diet 

Low fiber and high fat diets have been linked to an increased chance for developing polyps and colon cancer.

Obesity 

Those with a BMI in the obesity level have an increased risk of getting colon cancer as well as an increased risk of suffering more complications from it.

Inflammatory Gastrointestinal Problems

Chronic disease of the gastrointestinal track, including colitis and Crohns disease, can increase the risk of development of colon cancer.

Age

Most colon cancer patients are 50 years of age or older.

Genetics

A family history of colon cancer increases your chance of developing the disease as well. There are also genetically passed conditions that can greatly increase your risk for colon cancer including,

  • Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, otherwise known as lynch syndrome
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis, which leads to an increase of the development of polyps in the colon.

Diagnosing Colon Cancer

Diagnosis of colon cancer is either done through routine screenings that are part of annual physicals or testing when gastrointestinal problems are present. To diagnose colon cancer patients will,

  • Receive blood tests to check for cancer markers
  • Undergo a colonoscopy which involves a camera scope of the patient’s rectum, colon and intestinal track.

Treatment Options

Treatment options for colon cancer are typically determined based on the stage of cancer the patient is in. Treatment options can include,

  • Polyp removal during colonoscopy
  • Partial colectomy
  • Removal of lymph nodes
  • Colon resection
  • Targeted drug therapies
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation treatment

When it comes to treating colon cancer, routine wellness screenings are important as early diagnosis will lead to the best prognosis.

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Types and Causes of Kidney Failure

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Your kidneys are one of the most significant organs in the body. They are a pair of organs located towards your lower back and serve the purpose of filtering your blood to remove toxic and waste substances from the body. The toxic substances can be detrimental to your health if they are not removed out of the body.

What is a kidney failure?

Kidney failure is the condition where both of your kidneys or just one of them cannot serve their function to the required level of performance. This can be brought about by a myriad of factors that may interfere with the health and proper function of your kidney. Some of them include:

  • Kidney trauma
  • Some acute and chronic diseases
  • Toxic exposure to environmental pollutants
  • Severe dehydration

When your system is burdened with toxins and dangerous wastes resulting from a kidney failure, what follows are life threatening conditions that can be dangerous to your health. This is the reason why you should always seek the services of a doctor the moment you realize you have a kidney problem.

What causes kidney failure?

The following factors could predispose you to kidney failure

  • Loss of blood flow to the kidney

Kidney failure is often prompted by a sudden loss of blood flow to the kidneys. Some of the diseases and conditions that may lead to loss of blood flow to the kidneys include:

  • Heart attack
  • Severe burn
  • Dehydration
  • Liver failure
  • Allergic reactions
  • Urine elimination problem

When your body finds it difficult to eliminate urine from the system, there is a consequent build up and overloading of the kidneys. Certain cancers can lead to blockage of urine passageways. Such cancers include prostate cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer, and bladder cancer. Other conditions which that can interfere with urination include

  • Trauma on the nerves controlling urination
  • Blood clots within the urinary tract
  • Kidney stones
  • Enlarged prostate

Other causes

Certain diseases and conditions can lead to kidney failure. They include:

  • A clot of blood in the kidney
  • Drug and alcohol
  • Dyes used in certain imaging tests
  • Chemotherapy drugs (medications that treat autoimmune diseases and cancer)
  • Overload of toxins from heavy metals
  • Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. (A disorder that causes blood clot in tiny vessels)

Types of kidney failure

Below are the types of kidney failure

Acute Prerenal kidney failure

Without enough flow of blood into the kidneys, the kidneys find it difficult to filter out the toxic wastes hence the occurrence of acute perennial kidney failure. This problem is usually solved once the problem leading to the low supply of blood has been determined.

Acute intrinsic kidney failure

Direct trauma causes this kind of kidney failure to either one of the kidneys or both of them. An accident or physical impact can lead to the trauma. Its causes are ischemia and toxic overload making it difficult for the kidney to perform its function in the right manner. Ischemia may be caused by

  • Obstruction of renal blood vessel
  • Shock
  • Severe bleeding
  • Glomerulonephritis

Chronic Prerenal kidney failure

This is the condition where the kidney begins to shrink thus losing its function. The primary cause of this is insufficient blood flowing into the kidneys.

Chronic intrinsic kidney failure

This usually occurs when there is a long-term damage to the kidneys as a result of intrinsic kidney diseases. Direct trauma causes these intrinsic kidney diseases to the kidneys like severe bleeding or insufficient oxygen.

Chronic post renal kidney failure

This is caused by a long-term blockage of the urinary tract thus hindering urination. The consequent is pressure which in turn cause kidney failure.

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Think Pink: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Conquering Cancer

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is between October 1st and 31st this year. This tragic condition affects approximately 1 in 8 women throughout their lives. That’s 12.5 percent of the total population, according to those numbers. If the world has a population of seven billion, that means a whopping 875,000,000 women will eventually encounter breast cancer at some point in their lives.

Now, the funny thing about statistics is that they’re prospective, not necessarily representative. While they can be used to identify a trend, and help prevent against that trend, they aren’t ironclad numbers representing the history of that trend’s ultimate impact. For example, statistically, it may be unlikely for a person to make a living as, say, an entertainer. Artists who paint, act, tell jokes, or make music represent a minority of the population; though they do ultimately have a big impact. But just because it’s statistically unlikely to be a successful artist doesn’t mean you can’t be a successful artist. It just means getting there is more difficult.

Likewise, with breast cancer, just because statistically 1 in 8 women come down with this condition over the course of their lifetime doesn’t mean that out of eight women you know, one of them will find a malignancy in her breast. According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that 2017 will see 252,710 invasive breast cancer cases diagnosed in women (because, though a minority of the population, men can also get breast cancer), and it’s predicted that 40,610 will die from this condition. You’ll notice that this represents a fraction of the 12.5% supposed by the earlier statistic. Though it is still a debilitating condition, in some countries it is being successfully contended with.

That said, these numbers also don’t take into account the many women who get breast cancer but go without diagnosis until it is too late, and they’re already terminal.

Surprising Causes

What is known is that there are certain causes for breast cancer which are often ignored by mainstream media outlets for reasons of economy. For example, certain compounds in beauty products are often toxic. Have you ever used deodorant and found yourself breaking out where you applied it? This is because the deodorant blocks your pores. Now according to the ACA

, only a few studies have ever indicated a correlation between antiperspirants/deodorants and breast cancer; but there have been studies that have found a link.

It’s just possible that part of breast cancer’s cause stems from social norms which are unhealthy. Without raising awareness for this reality, the scourge of preventable cancer will not be lessened. But that scourge is lessening, and part of that has to do with the pink ribbon army sweeping our nation.

Get Your Pink Ribbon

You’ve seen the ribbons on license plates, bicycles, instrument cases, bumpers, back windows, bulletin boards and more. The pink ribbon represents breast cancer, and raising awareness for the condition. This coming October, you may feel compelled to do your part to combat breast cancer. Some suggestions involve:

  • Buying And Decorating Visibly With Pink Ribbons
  • Raising Awareness On Social Media
  • Doing Your Own Research To Better Understand The Condition
  • Reaching Out To Friends And Loved Ones Living With This Cancer
  • Helping To Educate Women On Possibly Dangerous Activities

The best way to fight cancer is with proper diet, proper exercise, healthy supplementation, and the avoidance of known unhealthy activities. Don’t spend too much time in the sun, don’t use substances which are known to be toxic, and avoid questionable beauty products. The more aware people are, the better this cancer can be fought.

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