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How Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes

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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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Think Pink: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Pink Ribbon

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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Digestive Tract Paralysis

Digest

In the most comprehensive definition, digestive tract paralysis refers to an inconsistent movement of certain parts of the digestive tract which in turn poses challenges to the smooth operation of the gut. When you take in food, peristalsis ensures that the food is pushed down from your throat to other parts of the digestive system so that further action can be taken on the food material. This smooth movement of food through the system lacks in individuals who have digestive tract paralysis. The muscles are not able to facilitate the push the food further down for more action thus slowing down its movement. This condition can manifest in as either gastroparesis which is partial paralysis of the stomach or intestinal pseudo obstruction which is a paralysis of the intestines. The following are symptoms and treatment of digestive tract paralysis.

Symptoms

If you have digestive tract paralysis, you will notice several symptoms including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling of satiety
  • Heartburn
  • Sweats
  • Lack of appetite

There are also several secondary conditions including malnutrition and dehydration are as a result of vomiting and lack of appetite. Individuals with chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction will present with constipation, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, and loss of appetite. These symptoms, however, will not show at the same time and will, to a large degree, depend on the part of the small intestine that has been affected.

Treatment

It is important to know what causes brings about the condition in order to find out how to treat it. Both conditions of the digestive tract paralysis have an array of causes associated with each most of which are common. They can either be triggered by a problem in the nervous system of the loss of a muscle function. In some cases, these disorders can be inherited. Likewise, individuals who have undergone treatments for chemotherapy or even illnesses like Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis can easily get the disease.

Most treatments of this ailment focus more on easing the symptoms. Aside from medication, changes in eating patterns are some of the approaches used to combat both conditions of digestive tract paralysis. A good chunk of relief comes when the digestion is sped up by watching your diet. For instance, you should avoid fats and fiber. Fats leads to the production of certain hormones that impedes digestion while fiber generally is slow to be digested. Better still, have small meals with regular small intervals to hasten the digestion process.

Medication on the other hand often depends on specific symptoms. If you present with nausea then you will be given anti-vomiting medication, similarly, when you present with diarrhea, ant kinetic comes in handy. Pro-kinetic drugs are also vita in improving bowel movements as well as reducing nausea and bloating. In more advanced cases, you may need hospitalization where you will be given intravenous nutrition for some time before you can manage the condition on your own. Studies are also still underway to test the viability of certain treatments. There are also a variety of approaches that can work excellently to bring relief. If you suffer from this condition frequently then chances are you have a transient condition which is triggered by stress. Meditative chanting among other activities can help to relieve stress and ultimately digestive tract paralysis.

The above are some of the symptoms and treatments for digestive tract paralysis. It is critical that you understand them to the core so that you may know how to avoid it, use remedies, and when to see a doctor.

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National Neuropathy Awareness Week

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Image is from Arizona Brain & Spine Center

The AANEM, Your Source for Neuropathy Information

National Neuropathy Awareness Week is May 12th – 16th yearly to bring to the forefront challenging brain disorders that affect millions of people.

The AANEM or American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine plays a vital part in the lives of people who suffer from over 50 various chronic diseases of the muscles and nerves. You may have one of many different muscles and nerve diagnosis and not know it.

The condition, which the AANEM focuses, plagues millions of people is neuropathy. The AANEM brings to light all of the early signs and symptoms of various illnesses and help people of all ages to deal with their brain diagnosis.

The AANEM states, “Neuropathy is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. Neuropathy is common, misunderstood, underdiagnosed, and misdiagnosed. Treatment for neuropathy is often inadequately treated.”

What is Neuropathy?

The human body’s nervous system contains the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. These two nervous systems are responsible for all voluntary and involuntary muscle movements. It is the peripheral nervous system that transmits signals to your median nerves, brain, spinal cord, and the remaining parts of your body.

If your nerves become damaged, they cannot send out the correct signals to muscle groups and vital organs for voluntary and involuntary movements. When your peripheral nerves become damaged, you may have peripheral neuropathy.

Neuropathy affects one or all of your sensory, autonomic, and motor nerve groups. Doctors can eliminate any of the over 50 brain disorders or slow the progression with early diagnosis and treatment.

Neuropathy Awareness

May 12th – 16th is the time where AANEM educates you and the public on neuropathy, signs, symptoms, risk factors, and treatments available. Currently, many people do not know about neuropathy, what it is, the symptoms, and treatments available.

The AANEM wants you to know that neuropathy is truly a debilitating disease process and is devoted to helping you, your doctor, medical providers, and the public tackle this problem during Neuropathy Awareness Month.

AANEM want you to know that researchers are working tirelessly in the battle against neuropathy through discovering new treatments, possible cures, and appropriate therapies.

A few common muscle and nerve disorders.

  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Bell’s Palsy
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Erb’s Palsy
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome
  • Low Back Pain
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Neck Pain
  • Pinched Nerve
  • Post-polio Syndrome
  • Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Writer’s Cramp

You may develop neuropathy from infections, viruses, or by contacting bacteria. HIV, shingles, and Lyme disease are three of the six conditions where neuropathy develops.

Signs and Symptoms

If you experience in your lower extremities and hands, weakness, tingling, numbness, and pain

Do you have Neuropathy?

As soon as you identify these signs and symptoms, your doctor may order some tests such as an EDX, Needle EMG, Evoked potentials, Creatine Kinase Blood Test, or an Ischemic Exercise Test.

Performing these tests on several nerves in the body help the doctor to determine if you have neuropathy. It is vital to get high-quality testing done as soon as possible.

If your body functions properly, your nerves continue to send electrical impulses to your muscles. Properly functioning nerve signals to your muscles are how you move without even thinking about what has to happen in your body.

If you have a muscle or nerve disorder, your nerves are not sending the correct signals to your muscles to move you properly.

If your doctor suspects you have a muscle and nerve disease, the AANEM stands ready to help you through in-depth education, videos, reading materials, focus groups, support groups, and much more.

 

 

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Autism Risk Factors

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Image is from Spectrum

What is Autism?

Autism was first defined in 1943 by Leo Kanner as the inability to create normal, determined, emotional contact with others. Other definitions surround this primacy of lack of social reciprocity. Over the years, there has been major improvements in the conceptualization of autism and related disorders.

Risk Factors for Autism

There has been a lot of awareness that has been created concerning autism due to the rising number of autism cases in the last decade, but most people are still in the dark when it comes to establishing what puts unborn babies at risk of developing this disorder. With 10-15% of all babies being born with one neurodevelopment disorder or the other, it is crucial for people to be knowledgeable on the avoidable and unavoidable risk factors.

Mycotoxins

Mycotoxins are mold byproducts that are mostly found in wine, grains, coffee and pork. Several studies have been able to positively link the presence of mycotoxins in these foods with autism. Mycotoxins are known to put males at a higher risk of developing theses disorder. Although there are numerous studies being conducted on the effects of mycotoxins on animals and human beings, the jury is still out on the long-term effects. This does not mean that mycotoxins are not a risk factor just that you need to be careful with foods that contain them.

C-Sections

There has been a new study that has shown that babies who are born through C-Section, rather than other traditional methods stand a higher chance of developing autism-related disorders. This study is important because 1 in 3 babies in the United States is born via C-Section. The reason for the increased risk is because the babies are born before their due date. It is therefore important for parents to pursue other methods of giving birth before settling on C-Section.

Maternal Antibodies

This is an unfortunate risk factor since our own bodies produce these maternal antibodies which attach themselves to the baby’s proteins that are used for cognitive and neurological development therefore hindering the normal process of fetal development. Scientists are now working on ways of separating these antibodies and prevent them from causing autism.

Placenta abnormalities

Studies have established a relationship between placentas that have an abnormal structure and children who have neurological disorders such as autism. It is therefore advisable to check the condition of the placenta at birth so as to predict whether the child will have any neurological disorder.

Smoking

Tobacco smoking comes with a plethora of health issues and unfortunately, smoking while pregnant can lead to autism in children. Although a direct link has not yet been established between smoking and autism, women who smoke while pregnant stand a higher chance of birthing children suffering from Asperger’s (an autism spectrum disorder).

Air Pollution

New evidence has come out suggesting that some particles in polluted air may increase the risk of autism. By reducing air pollution indoors and doing our part as the society to deal with outdoor pollution, we can contribute to an overall healthy society.

Endocrine Disruptors

Endocrine disruptors affect chemicals that are crucial in the development of the thyroid and many experts believe that they are hormone related since males are 4 times more likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.

Vaccines

Thimerosals and aluminum found in vaccines have a causal relationship with autism. Vaccines have the power to save lives but we need to do more research so as to establish a clear relationship between ingredients in vaccines and neurological development.

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Tips to help control stress

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Image is from www.helpguide.org

Leading a stress-free life can be elusive in this day and age. Many factors exist that tend to cause different levels of stress. Such factors range from personal decisions to the surrounding environment. Regardless of your stage of life, it is handy to know how to go about the process of handling life’s stresses. Follow and implement the following tips.

Avoid Substance Abuse

Although this tip does not across all people, it would be handy to many others. Provided you are already using some kind of drugs or alcohol; it is necessary to cut that off your lifestyle. Continued use of drugs poses high chances of addiction. If you let that happen, you will end spending a big portion of your income buying drugs.

As a result, the whole process will become a vicious cycle. Instead of relieving, continued drug use will ultimately alleviate your stress levels as you lose your financial footing. To start with, one of the effective ways that would lead you to avoiding substance abuse is reducing the intake. In doing so, you would also want to receive professional assistance.

Get Enough Sleep

Ensuring that you get enough sleep is one of the ways you can use to manage and control life’s stresses. Fully relaxing during your sleep for the appropriate number of hours without any disruption will allow your body to relax and rejuvenate itself. Enjoying great sleeping hours requires you to ensure your bedroom is quiet and comfortable.

Preparing before sleeping is something you would also want to consider. Start by avoiding energy drinks or caffeine few hours before going to bed. At the same time, a shower or bath, or reading a book would relax and enhance your sleep. The other important aspect of having a meaningful sleep is maintaining a schedule.

Time Management

When you have a problem, the best way to deal with it is identifying and sorting out its root cause. From an analytical point of view, it is clear that poor time management usually leads to a lot of the life’s stresses. That idea points towards a clear solution. You need to plan out your days and tasks properly.

While coming up with a schedule, prioritize important tasks. If possible, you can go further by breaking down such tasks into blocks of manageable units. The approach will enable you to complete assigned tasks and avoid situations where tasks pile up and end overwhelming you.

Do Physical Exercises

A great deal of the life stresses that affect most people currently originate from their lifestyles regarding their daily physical activities. The number of individuals spend most of their working days seated all day with minimal physical activities. Such inactive bodies tend to produce stress-dealing hormones that are not good for the body.

As such, you can easily deal with that problem by engaging in regular physical activities or exercises for your body to metabolize the unnecessary stress hormones. In turn, you would end up refreshing your body, which leads to a relaxed and calm state of mind.

Healthy Eating

Always avoid taking solace in food whenever you are stressed. Instead, incorporate a healthy eating style at all times. Eating the wrong food or in excess amounts will still lead to other health complications that would only add up to your stress. Grains, vegetables, fruits, and lean protein should be constant portions in your food.

It is clear that you can handle life’s stresses. Having some sort of control over your life and keeping a positive attitude primarily summarize what you need. Ultimately, you will lead a happy and less stressful life.

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Complications for Type 2 diabetes

Premier-banner-COMPLICATION-TYPE2-DIABETES

The onset of Type II Diabetes occurs after adulthood, and usually between ages of 40 and 50. The causative factors and the treatment, however, is very much the same as for juvenile diabetes: Daily blood sugar level tests and injections of insulin and/or oral medication to provide the body with necessary insulin the pancreas cannot produce.

Carrying high glucose levels damage blood vessels, nerves, and vital organs. Even a mildly elevated glucose level without displaying any symptoms can have long-term and very damaging effects. Complications of Type II Diabetes are life threatening.

  • Heart Disease and/or Stroke

If you have diabetes I or II, you’re five times more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke shortening your life and quality of it. Uncontrolled blood glucose levels over a long period of time increase the chance of atherosclerosis, causing your blood vessels to clog and narrow with fatty deposits. This commonly will result in poor blood supply to your heart, causing pain in your chest. This condition also increases the blockages of vessels in your heart or brain, causing heart attack or cerebral stroke.

  • Nerve damage

High glucose levels damage blood vessels in nerves, causing tingling and burning with pain spreading from your fingers or toes through your limbs. It also causes numbness, leading to ulcers of the feet, and these ulcers contribute to eventual amputation loss of that limb. Regular examination of a foot specialist is necessary for Diabetes I and II patients. Damage to the peripheral nervous system, including all of the nervous system outside the central nervous system, is peripheral neuropathy.

  • Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is the name for the disease striking the light-sensitive layer of the retina, the tissue layer in the back of the eye. Blood vessels in the retina that have become either blocked or actually leaky can experience haphazard growth, preventing light to completely pass to your eye retina. This damages vision and can blind. Annual eye checks are necessary. If significant damage has occurred the patient can be referred to a specialist in treatment of eye conditions. Therefore, the more control you have over your blood glucose levels, the lower your risk of blinding eye problems. Diabetic retinopathy can be managed by specialists using laser treatment if early enough in the disease. However, this does not improve the sight; it only preserves the sight you have left after damage.

  • Kidney disease

If the smaller blood vessels in your kidney are blocked and/or leaky, your kidneys react by not working efficiently. This condition is linked to high blood pressure and treatment is an important management process. In severe kidney disease, kidney failure occurs, requiring a kidney transplant, dialysis treatment or resulting in death.

  • Sexual Dysfunction

For Men:

Males with diabetes, particularly smokers, suffer nerve and blood vessel damage leading to impotence, usually treated with medication.

For Women:

Women with diabetes may experience the following:

  • loss of libido and sex drive;
  • vaginal dryness;
  • inability to orgasm;
  • pain during sex.

Use of vaginal lubricant or gel can ease those dysfunctions.

  • Miscarriage and stillbirth

Pregnant women with diabetes have a high risk of miscarriage or a stillbirth.

If your blood glucose level is uncontrolled during early pregnancy, there’s also a higher risk of the baby being born with a birth defect. Pregnant women with diabetes must have their checkups in hospital or diabetic clinic to provide protection for their baby and the mother-to-be. This gives your pregnancy care team a close eye on your blood glucose levels and control of your insulin dosage, including monitoring development of your baby.

 

 

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