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health prevention

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes

examining-eye

Diabetes is a condition that occurs when your blood sugar is too high. This occurs because the disease makes it difficult for your body to make enough insulin or use it properly. There are two types of diabetes. Type I diabetes is also known as juvenile diabetes and it occurs in children and young adults. This type occurs when the body doesn’t make insulin. The second type is Type II diabetes. This type can occur at any age and it is caused if your body doesn’t make insulin or if it doesn’t use it well.

If not treated properly, diabetes can cause serious health problems including:

  • Kidney disease
  • Food problems
  • Nerve damage
  • Dental problems
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Eye problems

What Is Diabetic Eye Disease?

Diabetic eye disease is more than one disease that can affect people who suffer from diabetes. People who don’t keep their diabetes under control are at greater risk of eye complications. Also, each of the conditions can cause serious vision loss and even blindness. If you suffer from diabetes, it is important that you understand each of the diseases and what they can do to your eyes.

  • Diabetic Retinopathy: Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss and blindness in people who have diabetes. The condition affects the blood vessels in the retina, which lines the back of the eye. If your blood sugar is often high, it can cause damage to the retina’s tiny blood vessels. This can result in the blood vessels bleeding or leaking fluid which can cause distortions in the vision. When the condition progresses, it can result in scarring and cell loss in the retina, causing complete blindness. In many cases, vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy is irreversible. Early detection and treatment can reduce your risk of going blind by 95 percent.
  • Diabetic Macular Edema (DME): DME often occurs in people who have diabetic retinopathy. While it often occurs when the disease progresses, it can occur at any time. It is a build-up of fluid in the macula. This part of the eye is used for seeing straight ahead to read, drive, and recognize faces. Half of the people who develop diabetic retinopathy develop DME. If left untreated, it can cause vision loss.
  • Cataracts: A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens. When a person has cataracts, their natural lens would be removed and replaced with an artificial one. Anyone can develop cataracts, however, people with diabetes are two to five times more likely to develop cataracts than those who aren’t diabetic.
  • Glaucoma: Glaucoma damages the eye’s optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain. Glaucoma is often the result of high pressure in the eye, and it is very common in people with diabetes. Studies have shown that adults who suffer from diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma than those who don’t have the disease.

Preventing Diabetic Eye Disease

The only way to prevent diabetic eye disease is to be vigilant when it comes to your blood sugar levels. You should also see your eye doctor every six months. The sooner a problem is detected, the sooner it can be treated, saving your eyesight. Many of the diabetic eye diseases won’t show any symptoms at first, therefore, it is very important that you see your eye doctor regularly.

Diabetes can wreak havoc on many of the body’s systems including your vision. The only way to prevent permanent vision loss and blindness is to check your blood sugar levels regularly and take the necessary steps to keep it at a healthy level.

 

 

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Hepatitis Causes and Prevention

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Hepatitis means inflammation of a person’s liver cells due to an injury to the liver. There are different types of hepatitis you can get that can be determined through a laboratory test. Hepatitis can heal on its own without the need of treatment, but in some cases, treatment is necessary since the virus causes a chronic infection. The main types of hepatitis are A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis A, B, and C cause the most liver damage.

Hepatitis can be a symptom of another disease, and it is mainly a symptom of autoimmune diseases. The hepatitis is a disease that is mainly caused by a viral infection. Hepatitis often starts as an acute disease but can progress and become chronic if not detected early. The disease can cause liver cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer to the patient.

Causes of Hepatitis

Hepatitis can be caused by toxins from drugs, alcohol or other sources of toxins. It can also be caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites or an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the liver. However, the most known common cause of hepatitis is a virus.

Hepatitis A and E are short term viral infections that are mainly transmitted through water or food that is contaminated by human or animal waste. Other sources of these forms of hepatitis include under cooked food or raw food that has not been handled in a hygienic way.

Hepatitis B can be spread through having direct contact with infected blood. It can also be sexually transmitted or spread to a child during childbirth.

Hepatitis C can be spread through direct contact with infected blood. It is rare for the disease to be spread from mother to child during childbirth or during sexual intercourse.

Hepatitis D can also be spread through infected blood. However, you can only get hepatitis D if you were infected with hepatitis B. Those who are at the greatest risk of getting the infection include drug users since most share needles. Other at-risk groups include those who have unprotected sex with multiple partners.

Prevention

New cases of hepatitis have been significantly reduced through vaccinations. There are vaccines available for prevention of hepatitis A and B. the vaccinations are effective in reducing the number of infections in children as well as adults.

Currently, there is no vaccine for hepatitis D. however; the disease can be prevented once you get immunized for hepatitis B.

Babies who are delivered to mothers suffering from hepatitis B should get the vaccine within 12 hours of birth to prevent them from getting infections.

Other things that can be done to prevent infection include the following:

  • Washing your hands and encouraging other people to do the same with water and soap after changing a diaper, after coming from using the bathroom and before handling any food.
  • Avoid eating raw foods from unknown places and always drink bottled, boiled or chemically treated water.
  • Practice safe sex. Using condoms goes a long way in preventing the spread of the infection.
  • Do not share sharp objects or toothbrushes.
  • When performing first aid, always wear gloves.
  • Disinfect all blood spills and wear gloves when cleaning up any body fluids.
  • Seek regular prenatal care when you are pregnant.

To reduce the risk of getting a non-viral type of hepatitis, avoid taking excessive alcohol. Also, consult a physician before starting a new prescription and on taking supplements. Hepatitis is a disease that needs to be taken seriously as it can cause severe damage to your liver.

 

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Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

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Image is from Diabetes Research

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder which is characterized by, among other symptoms, a high concentration of sugar in the blood. With the myriad of disorders, the beta cells located in the pancreas find it hard to produce enough insulin to assist in the regulation of blood sugar levels. Diabetes occurs in two types, type 1 and type 2. Type one is caused by an autoimmune reaction that usually occurs in the pancreas while insulin resistance characterizes type 2. Type 2 can develop and result in the loss of beta cells. Both types of diabetes are chronic and incurable. However, they are treatable with insulin injections and dietary adjustments.

Diabetes is often seen in those who are over 30 years of age. The number of people who are diagnosed with these conditions keeps rising each day. This is attributed to the unhealthy lifestyles and dietary decisions that they take up. It is imperative to have some information on these conditions as it will be easy then to help the patients lead a better life. To get to know about these two closely related diseases, you must learn the difference between the two. Usually, people tend to confuse the two types of diabetes. However, they have different causes, and as such, different treatments. Taking medication for one type if you have the other, can be detrimental to your health and even lead to death in some instances.

Test for insulin levels

To begin with, you must discern the difference between the two types of diabetes. First, the level of the c-peptide of type 1 diabetes is very low while I type 2, the same is either normal or elevated. The level of c-peptides is a determinant of insulin levels in the blood. It is a more reliable way than just measuring the level of insulin itself.

Let’s look at the functional difference between diabetes type 1 and diabetes type 2

Type 1 diabetes

In type 1 diabetes, insulin is no longer produced by the pancreas since the beta cells have been destroyed through the process of autoimmune response. This is, essentially, to say the person’s body has rebelled against them and, particularly their pancreas, leading to the destruction of something that is desperately needed by the body. Without insulin, it ‘s hard for your cells to absorb the sugar into the bloodstream. This basically means the cells will be starved. If your body lacks insulin, your cells will no longer function properly, or worse, stop working at all. The people with diabetes in this category need to get regular insulin injections.

Type 2 diabetes

People with Type 2 diabetes have almost similar effects as type 1s although the type 2 patient gets the effect for a different reason. Here, the individual’s body is still producing. However, the insulin may not be absorbed properly. At other times, the absorbed insulin may not be sufficient for the amount of sugar present in the blood. Unlike with type 1, the patient in this type of diabetes may not even need insulin at all. Here, the primary factor that causes it is lifestyle choices including the kind of food you take. A significant percentage of people with type 2 are overweight though are factors have a hand too. The person often takes food high in calories and lives a sedentary lifestyle. Type 2 diabetes can, in many cases, be readily managed.

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Risk factors of type 2 diabetes

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Image from the liberatehealth.us

Factors Listed

As a brief checklist, run over the following items and see how many describe your lifestyle:

  • Diabetes In The Family History
  • Gestational Diabetes In Family History
  • Ethnicity
  • Bad Nutrition In Pregnancy
  • High Blood Pressure
  • IGT
  • Increasing Age
  • Poor Diet
  • Lack Of Physical Activity
  • Being Overweight

Should you or a loved one be described by more than two or three of these items, consulting a physician about being at risk for Type II Diabetes makes sense.

Family History

If your family has a long history of diabetes, it is likely there are habits in eating which have sentimental or psychological value that could have been passed down to you. Additionally, you or a loved one may have genetic disposition which trends the direction of diabetes. Knowing whether or not this affliction has been part of your family’s history is a great way to determine whether or not there is inherent risk for the condition’s development.

Gestational Problems

If there is a history of gestational diabetes in your family, this is a very big indicator that the condition definitely exists in your family, and that you may be at increased risk of developing it.

Ethnicity

Believe it or not, your ethnic background could be a contributing factor for the same reason a history of diabetes in your family could be. Ethnicities are basically just expanded families, when the tree is traced back far enough; so this is really just an extension of that point.

Bad Nutrition During Pregnancy

There are a number of ways you can have poor nutrition throughout the course of a pregnancy. Ways to accidentally do this to yourself include eating too much junk food, not getting enough physical activity at key times during the pregnancy, or not getting fed well enough due to conditions like poverty. Again, and as a general rule, the more natural something is, the less likely you’ll develop a condition like diabetes by eating it in healthy amounts.

Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can indicate a lot of things. One of them happens to be Type II Diabetes.

IGT

IGT isn’t a supermarket, it’s an abbreviation for Impaired Glucose Tolerance. This is a condition wherein a person develops higher-than-normal levels of glucose in the blood. It’s not quite at the threshold of diabetes, and is a clear warning sign that Type II Diabetes is near.

Age

Your pancreas is a bodily component subject to entropy like you. The older you get, the greater your likelihood of developing diabetes.

Diet

If all you eat is meat and sugar, you’re on the diabetic train. Get minerals and vitamins in you. Fruits, vegetables, wheat that is not made from enriched flower, bananas (a good source of potassium)–in general, anything natural and/or unprocessed.

Physical Inactivity

You do not have to be fat and unhealthy in your diet to develop diabetes, excessive physical inactivity may also contribute to the condition.

Being Overweight

Not all diabetic people are morbidly obese. Some are actually quite muscular. Everybody has a different body, and factors inducing diabetic reaction are definitely variable. But one big indicator is being overweight. This can be combated with healthy diet and exercise, however.

Warning Signs

There are a lot of indicators which may indicate you or someone you love is at risk for Type II Diabetes. Diabetes can be prevented with proper diet and exercise, even if it is in a family’s history. At least, Type II Diabetes can. Type I diabetes is understood to be too severe. If you pay attention to available warning signs, you could save yourself years of discomfort and at-risk living.

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How to manage Hepatitis C


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Hepatitis C is a virus that is normally carried in the bloodstream to the liver. Then, it can affect and damage your liver. This virus can also affect other body parts, including the immune system, the digestive system, and the brain. Hepatitis C infection calls for proper and accurate medical attention, and failure to do so may not only aggravate the situation, but can be fatal as well.

For this article, the purpose is to show you how you can manage hepatitis C and avoid its grievous effects.

Practice Healthy Lifestyle Habits

There are things you can do in your everyday life to help limit any damage to the liver and prevent the infection from spreading to other body parts. They include:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Healthy eating
  • Limiting your alcohol intake or avoiding it completely
  • Quitting smoking
  • Not sharing personal items, like toothbrushes and razors

Get Sufficient Sleep

Individuals suffering from hepatitis C normally have difficulty sleeping, particularly during treatment. These may not seem like a big deal to you, but you should realize that getting enough sleep is essential. Hepatitis C symptoms, such as fatigue, can worsen with sleep deprivation.

While there is no special treatment for hepatitis C-induced insomnia, there are measures you can take to ensure you have a good night’s rest:

  • Reserve your bedroom for sleep only – no electronic gadgets, work, pets etc.
  • Go to bed at the same and wake at the same time, every day.
  • Keep your bedroom cool.
  • Use soft fabrics for sheets, blankets, and pillows.
  • Avoid alcohol, large meals, and exercise with 2-3 hours of sleep time.
  • Skip naps.

Learn to Relax

Living with hepatitis C, as well as undergoing its treatment, can be tough, and it is easy to let your worries get to you. In fact, depression is always a risk when undergoing hepatitis C treatment. In order to fight anxiety and depression, you need to exercise regularly, as it helps your state of mind.

Try out some massage and relaxation techniques, as many people have benefited from them. Also, don’t live an isolated life. Hang out with friends and do things you enjoy. Never let your worries about hepatitis C prevent you from doing the things you have always done.

Use Hepatitis C Medications

Until recently, treatment for hepatitis C normally involved taking two primary medicines:

  • Ribavirin, which is an antiviral medication that prevents the virus from reproducing.
  • Pegylated interferon, which is a medication that stimulates the immune system to attack the virus.

These medications were usually just taken together. Nowadays, however, they are normally combined with a third medication, like sofosbuvir or simeprevir. These are newer hepatitis C medications, which have been proven to make treatment more effective.

In certain situations, you may take a combination of these newer medications without having to take ribavirin and/or pegylated interferon as well. Hepatitis C medications are normally taken as tablets 1-2 times a day, for 8-48 weeks, depending on your hepatitis C genotype, the exact medicine you are taking, as well as the severity of your condition.

Infection with Hepatitis is among the leading causes of ill health and mortality all over the world. As such, this condition needs to be accorded proper and accurate medical attention, lest it gets worse and even results in death. Fortunately, there is treatment for hepatitis C, some of which aren’t as complex as you may have thought them to be. If you follow the above hepatitis management practices, you’ll manage to avoid the complications associated with the infection.

 

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Heart Disease Prevention


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Heart disease is among the leading causes of death across the globe. The incidence of cardiovascular complications continues to rise. This is largely attributed to the stress of modern life, the pollution in the water we drink and the air we breathe, as well as the abundance of unhealthy food. Whereas all these factors have a part, it often comes down to your individual lifestyle choices. In that light, we look at a few tips that you can follow to lower your risk of heart disease.

Practice Healthy Eating

Nutrition and diet play an integral role when it comes to preventing heart disease. In fact, research shows that in spite of having a family history or genetic predisposition for cardiovascular problems, maintaining a healthy diet can lower your risk. In order to avert heart disease, you need a diet rich in vegetables, raw fruits, fiber-rich whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Moreover, in the spirit of practicing health eating, there are foods that you’ll have to limit or avoid altogether. They include:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Foods with high amounts of salt and sugar
  • Foods with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil

Also, you’re advised to watch your calories. It’s important to know how many calories you need and focus on consuming a variety of foods that are abundant in nutrients and low in calories.

Work Out for Your Health

Regular exercise is another essential habit when it comes to prevention of heart disease. You need to realize, however, that getting exercise doesn’t have to include the gym or the grueling aerobic sessions. You can actually exercise at work, school, home, or anywhere else.

Here are some effective, but less strenuous exercises:

  • Walk instead of driving
  • Park the car a little far from your destination, and walk the rest of the distance
  • Always take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • When you are at the store, just make an extra trip around the aisles, to ensure you picked everything on your shopping list.

Wherever you are, you need to be conscious of the amount of workouts you have every day. This will not only improve your overall health, but will also make you look and feel better than ever.

Uphold Positive Habits

When it comes to heart disease prevention, positive habits include:

  • Reducing or avoiding alcoholic drinks
  • Stopping smoking
  • Managing stress

Managing stress may not be easy, but with a few tricks, you will be able to live longer, healthier, and happier. Just counting to ten or taking a couple of deep breathes will normally calm you down, and make you feel more under control, in even the most stressful of circumstances.

Medication

If you have a particularly high predisposition of cardiovascular complications, your doctor may prescribe medication to lower your risk. The medications that are often used to help prevent heart disease include:

  • Blood pressure tablets – these include angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors that are used in the treatment of high blood pressure.
  • Low-dose aspirin – this is used to prevent blood clots.
  • Statins – are used to minimize blood cholesterol levels.

With the number of heart disease cases rapidly increasing, it has become more vital than ever to take care of our hearts. In that light, it is imperative that you seriously follow heart disease prevention methods. Fortunately, heart disease prevention isn’t so difficult, and you can do it with a few lifestyle changes. Therefore, follow the above lifestyle habits to safeguard your heart health and improve your general health and well-being.

 

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