Protect Your Kidneys and Control Diabetes

March 14th, 2010 healthwiki Diabetes 0

World Kidney day was observed on 11 March in more than 100 countries of the world. The slogan of World Kidney Day this year was “Protect your kidneys, control Diabetes”. World Kidney Days aims to raise awareness about the heavy burden of chronic kidney disease (CKD) on human lives.

The mission of World Kidney Day is to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney diseases and its associated health problems worldwide. The objectives of the World Kidney Day 2010 were the followings:

* Raise awareness about our “amazing kidneys”

* Highlight that diabetes and high blood pressure are key risk factors for chronic kidney disease (CKD)

* Encourage systematic screening of all patients with diabetes and hypertension for CKD

* Encourage preventive behaviours

* Educate medical professionals about their key role in detecting and reducing the risk of CKD, particularly in high risk population

* Stress the important role of local and national health authorities in controlling CKD epidemics. Health authorities worldwide will have to deal with high and escalating costs if no action is taken to treat the growing number of people with CKD. On World Kidney Day all governments are encouraged to take action and invest in further kidney screening

* If detected early, CKD can be treated by reducing other complications and dramatically reduced the growing burden of deaths and cardiovascular disease worldwide

Kidney diseases are silent killers which largely affect the quality of life. There are, however, several easy ways to reduce the risk of developing this kidney disease.

Seven golden rules:
i) Keep fit and active
ii) Keep regular control of your blood sugar level
iii) Monitor your blood pressure
iv) Eat healthy and keep your weight in check
v) Do not smoke
vi) Do not take over the counter pills on regular basis
vii) Check your kidney function if you have one or more of the high risk factors

Diagnosis of CKD with Diabetes:
People with diabetes should be screened regularly for kidney diseases. The two key markers of kidney diseases are eGFR and urine albumin. Kidney diseases are present when eGFR is less than 60 ml/min.

The Americal Diabetic Association (ADA) and National Institute of Health (NIH) recommend that eGFR can be calculated from serum creatinine at least once a year in all people with diabetes.

Urine albumin is measured by comparing amount of albumin to the amount of creatinine in a single urine sample. When the kidneys are healthy, the urine will contain large amount of creatinine but almost no albumin. Even small increase in ratio of albumin to creatinine is a sign of kidney diseases. Kidney diseases is present when urine contain more than 30 mg of albumin per gram of creatinine, with or without decrease eGFR. The ADA and NIH recommend annual assessment of urine albumin excretion to assess kidney damage in all people with type 2 diabetes and people who have type 1 diabetes for 5 years or more.

Good care makes a differencePeople with diabetes should:
* Measure their HbA1C level at least twice a year which should be kept less than 7%

* Regular insulin injection, intake of other medicines, meal planning, physical activity and blood sugar monitoring

* Blood pressure should be checked several times a year which should be kept <130/80 mmHg

* Regular intake ACEI or ARB medicine for controlling high blood pressure

* To measure effective eGFR yearly

* To estimate urine albumin atleast once a year to check kidney damage

* To take reduce amount of protein in the died at to seek health from the dietitian regarding meal planning

In conclusion early detection and treatment of kidney diseases are the best way to prevent CKD in order to reduced substantial burden of health budget.

Smoking and Diabetes

June 5th, 2009 healthwiki Diabetes 0

The harmful effects of smoking. Studies show that smokers are five times more likely than that of the nonsmokers to have gum disease. For smokers with diabetes, the risk is even greater. If you are a smoker, diabetic and age 45 or order, you are 20 times more likely than a person without these risk factors to get severe gum disease.

Smoking increases your risk of getting type 2 diabetes
Some recent research shows there is a significant relationship between diabetes and smoking. The more you smoke, the more chance you have of getting diabetes. If you smoke 16 to 25 cigarettes a day, your risk for type 2 diabetes is 3 times greater than a non-smoker. When you quite smoking, your risk decreases during the years that follow.

Smoking affects the way insulin works in your body
In type 2 diabetes, the body does not respond to insulin made by the pancreas. Insulin helps blood glucose enter into the cells for fuel. When you smoke, your body is less able to respond to insulin. When your body resists insulin, your glucose level increase in the blood. Resistance does not start to reverse until you do not smoke for 10 to 12 hours.

Smoking makes it harder to control your diabetes
Studies show that smokers have poorer glucose control than non-smokers do. Smokers who quit have the same blood glucose control as non-smokers. When you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, glucose control is very important. The HbA1c test checks how well you control your glucose level over 3 months. The goal is to keep your A1c at 7 percent or less. When you have diabetes and you smoke, your A1c level increases. If you quit smoking, your A1c level may decrease to the same level as a non-smokers.

Smoking increases your risk for getting other problems from diabetes
When you have diabetes and smoking habit, your chances are greater for getting other health problems form diabetes — complications. You can get serious eye problems, kidney problems, nerve problems, heart and blood vessel disease and so on.

Even for people who do not have diabetes but smoke, the risk of getting other health problems is greater. The more and the longer you smoke, the more your risk increases. Smoking and diabetes together greatly increase the danger of getting complications. To lower your risk, you must control your glucose levels and quit smoking. Diabetic people will be benefitted in many ways when they quit smoking.

Experts’ views
All smokers need stop smoking in a clear, strong and personalised manner. Ask every tobacco user if s/he is willing to make and attempt to stop smoking at this time (within the next 30 days for example).

Assist all people with smoking cessation. For those unwilling to attempt cessation at this time, stress the 5 R’s.

Relevance: provide individualised information on the hazards of smoking.

Risks: Emphasise the increased risks of heart disease and diabetes complications arising from the combination of smoking and diabetes.

Rewards: Review benefits of smoking cessation.

Roadblocks: Assure people of your willingness to assist in their efforts to stop smoking.

Repetition: Review people’s thoughts about cessation during their following visit.

Key messages
* Review major steps of smoking cessation

* Set a date to stop smoking

* Identify likely relapse triggers and make specific plans for coping with them before stopping smoking

* Assess for nicotine replacement therapy

* Discuss any concerns about weight gain and other concerns related to diabetes

* Make referral for additional smoking cessation support, prescribe nicotine replacement, provide self-help materials, or otherwise assist in a specific plan

* Arrange for ongoing contact

* Schedule follow-up contact either in person or via telephone

* Follow-up contact should occur soon after the date set to stop smoking, preferably within the first week.

Diabetes Nutrition Focuses on Healthy Foods

February 23rd, 2009 healthwiki Diabetes 0

Diabetes nutrition focuses on healthy foods. But you can eat sweets once in a while without feeling guilty or interfering with your blood sugar control. The key to diabetes nutrition is moderation.

The scoop on sugar

For years, people with diabetes were warned to avoid sweets. But what researchers understand about diabetes nutrition has changed.

* Total carbohydrate is what counts. It was once assumed that honey, candy and other sweets would raise your blood sugar level faster and higher than would fruits, vegetables or “starchy” foods such as potatoes, pasta or whole-grain bread. But this is not true, as long as the sweets are eaten with a meal and balanced with other foods in your meal plan. Although different types of carbohydrates can affect your blood sugar level differently, it is the total amount of carbohydrate that counts the most.

* But don’t overdo empty calories. Of course, it is still best to consider sweets as only a small part of your overall plan for diabetes nutrition. Candy, cookies and other sweets have few vitamins and minerals and are often high in fat and calories. You will get empty calories — calories without the essential nutrients found in healthier foods.

Have your cake and eat it, too
Sweets count as carbohydrates in your meal plan. The trick is substituting small portions of sweets for other carbohydrates — such as bread, tortillas, rice, crackers, cereal, fruit, juice, milk, yogurt or potatoes — in your meals. To allow room for sweets as part of a meal, you have two options:

* Replace some of the carbohydrates in your meal with a sweet.

* Swap a high carb-containing food in your meal for something with fewer carbohydrates and eat the remaining carbohydrates as a sweet.

Let’s say your typical dinner is a grilled chicken breast, a medium potato, a slice of whole-grain bread, a vegetable salad and fresh fruit. If you would like a frosted cupcake after your meal, look for ways to keep the total carbohydrate count in the meal the same. Trade your slice of bread and the fresh fruit for the cupcake. Or replace the potato with a low-carbohydrate vegetable such as broccoli. Adding the cupcake after this meal keeps the total carbohydrate count the same.

To make sure you are making even trades, read food labels carefully. Look for the total carbohydrate in each food, which tells you how much carbohydrate is in one serving of the food.

Consider sugar substitutes
As part of diabetes nutrition, artificial sweeteners can offer the sweetness of sugar without the calories. Artificial sweeteners may help you reduce calories and stick to a healthy meal plan — especially when used instead of sugar in coffee and tea, on cereal or in baked goods. In fact, artificial sweeteners are considered free foods because they contain very few calories and don’t count as a carbohydrate, a fat or any other food in your meal plan.

Examples of artificial sweeteners include:

* Acesulfame potassium

* Aspartame

* Saccharin

* Sucralose

Artificial sweeteners don’t necessarily offer a free pass for sweets.

* Keep an eye out for calories and carbs. Many products made with artificial sweeteners, such as baked goods and artificially sweetened yogurt or pudding, still contain calories and carbohydrates that can affect your blood sugar level.

* Sugar alcohols are not calorie-free. Sugar alcohols, another type of reduced-calorie sweetener, are often used in sugar-free candies, chewing gum and desserts. Check product labels for words such as “isomalt,” “maltitol,” “mannitol,” “sorbitol” and “xylitol.” Although sugar alcohols are lower in calories than is sugar, sugar-free foods containing sugar alcohols still have calories. And in some people, sugar alcohols can cause diarrhea.

Reconsider your definition of sweet
Diabetes nutrition does not have to mean no sweets. If you are craving them, ask a registered dietitian to help you include your favorite treats into your meal plan. A dietitian can also help you reduce the amount of sugar and fat in your favorite recipes. And don’t be surprised if your tastes change as you adopt healthier eating habits. Food that you once loved may seem too sweet — and healthy substitutes may become your new idea of delicious.

The Rising Concern Childhood Weight

February 8th, 2009 healthwiki Child Health 0

Do you know when to be concerned about your child’s weight? Of course, all children gain weight as they grow older. But extra pounds — more than what is needed to support their growth and development — can lead to childhood obesity. Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents.

It occurs when a child is well above the normal weight for his or her age and height. Childhood obesity is particularly troubling because the extra pounds often start kids on the path to health problems that were once confined to adults, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Although there are some genetic and hormonal causes of childhood obesity, most excess weight is caused by kids eating too much and exercising too little.

Children, unlike adults, need extra nutrients and calories to fuel their growth and development. But children who eat more calories than needed gain weight beyond what is required to support their growing bodies.

Risk factors
Many factors — usually working in combination — increase your child’s risk of becoming overweight like diet, inactivity, genetics, psychological factors, family factors, socioeconomic factors and so on.

When to seek medical advice
Not all children carrying extra pounds are overweight or obese. Some children have larger than average body frames. And children normally carry different amounts of body fat at the various stages of development. So you might not know just by looking at your child if his or her weight is a health concern.

If you are worried that your child is putting on too much weight, talk to a physician. S/he will evaluate if your child’s weight is in an unhealthy range.

Obese children can develop serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease, often carrying these conditions into an obese adulthood.

Overweight children are at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, Metabolic syndrome, High blood pressure, Asthma and other respiratory problems, Sleep disorders, Liver disease, Early puberty or menarche, Eating disorders, Skin infections

The social and emotional fallout also can hurt your child, especially resulted in low self-esteem and bullying, behavior and learning problems and depression.

Healthy eating
Parents are the ones who buy the food, cook the food and decide where the food is eaten. Even small changes can make a big difference in your child’s health.

* When buying groceries, choose fruits and vegetables over convenience foods high in sugar and fat. Always have healthy snacks available. And never use food as a reward or punishment.

* Limit sweetened beverages, including those containing fruit juice. These drinks provide little nutritional value in exchange for their high calories. They also can make your child feel too full to eat healthier foods.

* Sit down together for family meals. Make it an event — a time to share news and tell stories. Discourage eating in front of a screen, such as a television, computer or video game. This leads to fast eating and lowered awareness of how much you are eating.

* Limit the number of times you eat out, especially at fast-food restaurants. Many of the menu options are high in fat and calories.

Physical activity
A critical component of weight loss, especially for children, is physical activity. It not only burns calories but also builds strong bones and muscles and helps children sleep well at night and stay alert during the day. Such habits established in childhood help adolescents maintain healthy weight despite the hormonal changes, rapid growth and social influences that often lead to overeating. And active children are more likely to become fit adults.

To increase your child’s activity level:

* Limit recreational screen time to fewer than two hours a day.

* Emphasise activity, not exercise.

* Find activities your child likes to do.

* If you want an active child, be active yourself.

* Vary the activities.

Whether your child is at risk of becoming overweight or currently at a healthy weight, you can take proactive measures to get or keep things on the right track.

* Schedule yearly well-child visits. Take your child to the doctor for well-child checkups at least once a year.

* Set a good example. Make sure you eat healthy foods and exercise regularly to maintain your weight. Then, invite your child to join you.

* Avoid food-related power struggles with your child.

* Emphasise the positive. Encourage a healthy lifestyle by highlighting the positive — the fun of playing outside or the variety of fresh fruit you can get year-round, for example.

* Be patient. Many overweight children grow into their extra pounds as they get taller. Realise, too, that an intense focus on your child’s eating habits and weight can easily backfire, leading a child to overeat even more, or possibly making him or her more prone to developing an eating disorder.

Coping and support
Parents play a crucial role in helping children who are obese feel loved and in control of their weight. Take advantage of every opportunity to build your child’s self-esteem.

Consider the following advice:

* Find reasons to praise your child’s efforts.

* Talk to your child about his or her feelings. Help your child find ways to deal with his or her emotions that don’t involve eating.

* Help your child focus on positive goals.

Blood Tests May Show Inherited Diseases in Fetuses

November 26th, 2008 healthwiki Diabetes 0

Doctors may soon be able to diagnose inherited diseases such as cystic fibrosis, thalassaemia and sickle cell anemia in fetuses by simply testing a blood sample taken from the mother.

Until now, prenatal diagnoses of such disorders have been possible only through invasive procedures like amniocentesis, which carry a risk of fetal miscarriage.

Amniocentesis is the extraction of a small amount of fluid from the sac surrounding a developing fetus.

But scientists in Hong Kong and Thailand may have found a way to diagnose in fetuses such “monogenic” diseases, which are caused by a single error in a single gene in the human DNA.

This is only possible because fetal DNA circulates in maternal blood, a discovery Lo and his colleagues made several years ago.

Many scientists have since been trying to find the best way to differentiate fetal DNA from maternal DNA, before they can even get down to looking for any anomalies in the fetal DNA. But these efforts have not met with much success.

In an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Lo and his colleagues said they had devised a counting system that could “bring non-invasive prenatal diagnosis of monogenic diseases closer to reality.”

Using highly precise digital blood testing technology, both mutant and normal DNA sequences are counted in maternal plasma and that is then used to calculate the number of mutant genes inherited by the fetus and to determine the probability of the fetus developing any monogenic disease.

Lo, however, noted that the accuracy of this method would depend on the concentration of fetal DNA in maternal blood.

Thalassaemia is a blood related genetic disease that can result in reduced fertility or even infertility. Early treatment can improve the quality of life of patients.

Cystic fibrosis affects the respiratory, digestive and reproductive systems and can lead to fatal lung infections.