Archive for May, 2010

Glycemic Index Food List

The glycemic index is widely recognized as being one of the most important dietary discoveries over the past 25-30 years. With it’s associated glycemic index food list which highlights the low glycemic foods, it has revolutionized the way diabetics eat, and the way newly diagnosed diabetics are educated about their disease.

The glycemic index is basically a measure of carbohydrate quality. It compares the carbohydrate quality of various foods against each other gram for gram, based on their immediate effect on the blood glucose level following ingestion. The measurements are rated against a known control food (glucose) which is set at 100, so carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion with a correspondingly fast and high blood glucose response are classed as high glycemic index foods whereas foods that break down slowly releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream are considered low glycemic index foods.

A couple of myths about food for diabetics and concerns many diabetics have that need to be dispelled are:

1) Sugar and sugary foods have no greater impact on blood sugars than many starchy foods. There should be more concern for people with diabetes around over-processed flours, grains, and saturated fat

2) Sugar, despite many who believe to the contrary does not directly cause diabetes. It is foods that constantly produce the high blood sugar spikes that lead to increased risk of diabetes. (In fact, food items like dried dates, baked potatoes, and some rices, like jasmine rice will do more raise your diabetes risk than eating sugar directly)

So, when it comes to eating the best diabetes diet plan that there is, it involves utilizing the values of the glycemic index food list. This will help to maintain stable levels of blood sugar without the spikes, and help you to control your type 2 diabetes for longer without the need for drugs, or medication. However in saying that, the glycemic index food list was never meant to be used in isolation. Some foods have relatively low GI levels due to the fact that they may have high fat, or high protein levels, and when you compare those to ‘healthier alternatives’ it can be somewhat confusing, for example mashed or boiled potatoes have a higher GI than say the less ‘healthy’ and ‘higher fat content’ salted potato crisps, so often a little logic needs to be applied when selecting the most suitable ‘low glycemic index foods’.
Maintaining good type 2 diabetes control requires understanding of the glycemic index food list, which is essential to minimize the damage high blood sugar can do to your body. It’s not rocket science, but from the time become diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic, it becomes important to focus on low glycemic index foods to eat. Having type 2 diabetes is definitely a life changing disease, but it needn’t be a life sentence, because it really does provide the opportunity for you to start living a healthy, fulfilling life. If you want to get on top of your type 2 diabetes naturally, there are natural ways to control and normalize your blood sugar levels that definitely work.

Asthma – Symptoms and Triggers

Asthma is a common respiratory disease that affects a person’s airways. Around 7 percent of the US population has asthma, ranging from mild to chronic types. During an asthma attack, the bronchi constricts, obstructing the airflow. In chronic cases, it can cause long term lung inflammation.

There are several factors that cause asthma and they are mainly genetic or environmental factors. According to some studies, environmental factors include air pollution, stress, and viral respiratory infections. These factors apparently can influence how severe an individual’s asthma would be and how well that individual would respond to medication. Some people who got asthma as children sometimes outgrow it while ones who got the condition through environmental factors may have it for life.

In mild cases, asthma may only manifest with just a few sneezes; though most asthma attacks usually go with wheezing, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath and coughing. These symptoms can be compounded by flu or colds and difficulty sleeping at night due to coughing. Asthma triggers vary from person to person. Allergens like dust, pollen and mold, sudden changes in temperature, stress, exercise, and air pollution can trigger an asthma attack. Early signs of asthma include irregular breathing, coughing, difficulty speaking, plus stuffy nose, fatigue, and itchy throat.

Emergency help may be needed during severe asthma attacks, so those who have asthma or have a family member with the condition should remember to keep emergency numbers and inhalers handy.

There are a couple prescription medications for those with asthma like beta-2 agonists, corticosteroids, and leukotriene antagonists, though those with mild asthma can try out home remedies. One popular technique to stop an asthma attack is to breathe inside a paper bag. Though this is only a temporary solution to hyperventilating, the technique does help regulate air intake.

Another highly recommended home remedy for asthma is chamomile. Chamomile is known to give some calming effects, and reportedly, it contains natural antihistamine properties as well. Other herbal remedies include ginger and nettle leaves, among other things. Some activities are also recommended to help people with asthma regulate their breathing, like swimming. Activities like yoga that relax the body and reduce stress are also prescribed to asthmatic individuals.

Those who suffer from asthma should always be on the lookout for their asthma triggers and keep away from them as much as possible. Also, it is important to always have medication handy in case an attack strikes.

Sinusitis Nose Problems

Most people don’t dread winters as much as they dread problems like sinusitis, which are more common in winters than in summers. Naturally, along with cold, cough and influenza, it’s a well-known fact that more and more people will be afflicted with sinusitis nose problems.

Nose: one of the most used sensory organs of the human body. It helps you to smell danger, tells you what’s cooking in the kitchen and also helps you to stay alive by breathing in oxygen. Indeed a nose is an essential part of our existence. We may be able to stay alive without hearing or even seeing things, but we definitely can’t live without a nose!

Hence, it’s hardly a surprise that sinusitis nose problems irritate people more than anything else in the world. After all, who would want a stuffy or a runny nose that makes you speak through a handkerchief and makes people feel that you are crying all the time (watery eyes). Sinusitis or the infection of the sinus can lead to some very unbearable symptoms. Firstly, you are bound to lose your sleep over the matter simply because it’s difficult to sleep with a blocked nose! Lack of sleep can hamper your performance at work and make you listless and irritated. The postnasal drip can also cause throat infections. Many people eve experience a lot of pressure on their nose due to the infection of the sinus. In some cases, the infection may even spread to the middle or inner ear via the Eustachian tube, which can lead to problems like dizziness.

Sinusitis nose problems can be eliminated by getting rid of sinusitis. For one, it requires the elimination of the bacteria and other pathogens. The excessive mucous needs to be cleared in order to allow free passage of air. The best way to take care of these problems is to visit your doctor. He will be able to determine if the infection is bacterial or viral. Bacterial infections are best treated with the traditional antibiotics. Other kinds of infections can be cleared up by a number of remedies. In all these cases, it is important to ensure adequate hydration. This ensures that the mucous does not remain thick. Vapor inhalation can help in clearing up the situation. Medications like expectorants and decongestants need to be used with caution and under the advice of a doctor since excessive use can lead to other complications.

Sinusitis nose problems can be prevented if the sinus infection is nipped in the bud or treated as soon as it is discovered. Most people mistake sinus infection for a prolonged cold, which further causes, the condition to deteriorate and acquire a chronic form. Hence, its important to get your sinusitis nose problems treated as soon as possible so that you can have a good night’s sleep and smell all the good things of life; including the roses!

Etiology of Sickle Cell Crisis

The clinical manifestations of sickle cell anemia vary markedly in severity and frequency. The most acute symptoms of the disease occur during periods of exacerbation called crises. There are four types of episodic crises vaso-occlusive, splenic sequestion, aplastic, and hyperhemolytic crises.

Vaso-occlussive crises are the most common and the only painful ones. They are the result of sickled cells obstructing the blood vessels, causing occlusion, ischemia, and potentially necrosis. The major symptoms of this crisis are fever, acute abdominal pain from visceral hypoxia, hand-foot syndrome, and arthralgia, without an exacerbation of anemia.

Splenic sequestration crises are caused by the spleen sequestering (pooling) large quantities of blood, causing a precipitous drop in blood volume and ultimately shock. The crisis may be acute or chronic. The chronic manifestation is termed functional asplenia. The acute form occurs most commonly in children between 8 months and 5 years of age and may result in death from profound anemia and cardiovascular collapse.

Aplastic crisis is diminished red blood cell production, usually triggered by a viral or other infection. When superimposed on the existing rapid destruction of red blood cells, a profound anemia results.

Another type of bone marrow crisis is megaloblastic anemia, which is attributed to an excess nutritional need for folic acid/ or vitamin B12 during periods of pronounced erythropoiesis. Since infection is not always antecedent to aplastic or hypoplastic crises, it is possible that folic acid deficiency is a causative agent.

Hyperhemolytic crisis occurs when there is an even greater rate of red blood cell destruction. It is characterized by anemia, jaundice, and reticulocytosis. It is a rare complication and frequently suggests other coexisting abnormalities, such as glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, which is also common in black persons.

  • Diagnostic evaluation
  • Although sickle cell anemia has been reported during the neonatal period and early part of infancy, it may not be recognized until the toddler and preschool period. It is frequently first diagnosed during a crisis, after an acute upper respiratory or gastrointestinal infection. Crisis, after an acute upper respiratory or gastrointestinal infection.

    Several tests are available for detecting sickle cell anemia. Although most of the routine hematological tests described are done primarily to evaluated the anemia, this discussion focuses on the four tests specifically used to detect the homozygous or heterozygous for of the disease. For screening purposes either the sickling test of the sickledex is commonly used. If the test is positive, hemoglobin electrophoresis is necessary to distinguish between those children with the trait and those with the disease. Screening for sickle cell trait has become a controversial subject, especially among the black community, since there is no method of preventing the disease other than selective birth procedures.

  • Stained blood smear
  • Examination of the stained smear of blood may reveal a few sickled red blood cells. However, since the erythrocyte assumes its normal discoid shape under adequate oxygenation, non-sickled cells may be present even in the homozygous form of the disease. Whenever sickle cells are found, the diagnosis is usually positive for sickle cell anemia, not sickle cell trait.

  • Sickling test (sickle cell slide preparation)
  • The simplest method to detect sickling is to place a drop of blood on a slide and cover it with a sealed cover slip to produce de-oxygenation. Eventually sickling of the red blood cell occurs. Unfortunately this test may take several hours before results are obtained, and it is not specific for the disease or trait. False negatives for the trait can occur if the blood contains a very small amount of hemoglobin S.

  • Hemoglobin electrophoresis (“fingerprinting”)
  • In this test, the blood is specially prepared and separated into various hemoglobin by high-voltage electrophoresis. The resulting pattern of the separated peptides as it appears on paper is referred to as “fingerprinting” of the protein

    Antibiotics and Sinusitis

    Here are some useful facts that you should know about antibiotics for sinusitis, particularly when using it as treatment for sinus infections.

    • Antibiotics sinusitis is commonly used for infections due to bacteria. There are other types of parasite-related and fungal infections which can be cured by using antibiotics as well.
    • Antibiotics sinusitis can cure both acute and chronic sinus infections. Acute sinusitis is a short-term type which includes symptoms such as facial pain, headache, excessive mucus, nasal congestion, fever, coughing and fatigue. When the patient is experiencing such symptoms severely, physician would often recommend antibiotics to prevent complicating the infection.
    • Chronic sinusitis usually keeps coming back within a certain period of time and may usually last for more than 3 months. Symptoms are often similar to those of acute sinusitis, with a difference in severity. Antibiotics sinusitis is usually administered to disinfect and prevent any other damages that might occur within the nasal passages and sinus tissues.
    • Antibiotics are classified into various kinds. Wide spectrum or broad-range antibiotics are recommended for bacterial infection of unknown type. Although this method works fine, precaution is still required as the patient’s immune system might develop resistance to the medication due to prolonged use.
    • Narrow spectrum or narrow-range antibiotics sinusitis targets bacteria of certain types. This can also be helpful in certain fungi, although there are some antibiotics might worsen the situation. That is why it is essential to get into details with your physician for you to find out which types of antibiotics are best to combat fungal sinusitis.

    Antibiotics may be taken in various ways depending on the patient’s age and condition. These ways include:

    • Oral – the easiest way to take medicine through the mouth. Antibiotics when taken in will go through the stomach, into the bloodstream and all the way through the infection.
    • Inhalers, nebulizers, nasal sprays – antibiotics sinusitis made of liquid solutions or mixtures can be inhaled through the nose to acquire treatment faster. This topical solution can also be very helpful in relieving nasal passages from dryness and irritation due to sinus infections.
    • Injection – this is considered as the fastest way of curing sinus infections as antibiotics sinusitis are being injected directly into the patient’s veins.

    There are various antibiotics sinusitis available and may be taken by adults anyway they want to. But it is important to check with your physician first to make sure that you are taking the right medication. There are those who have allergic reactions to certain antibiotics and so it is important to ask your physician for an alternative medication.

    Kidney Stones Symptoms

    Getting a kidney stone is a horrible experience, and can be depicted to you in full, and painful detail by any poor soul that has it. It is has been compared to the pain of child birth without drugs, but depending on the condition, it could be even worse. Millions of people around the world have encountered this wretched disorder. I know of several relatives that have suffered through it and they’ve told nail-biting stories about the pain and agony. Kidney Stones are not an uncommon disorder, and unfortunately, they are one of the most common disorders of the urinary tract.
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    kidney stones

    So what exactly are Kidney Stones? To find out we must find what the urinary tract or system. It consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. They work together to balance the level of salt and other substances in the complex human body. They occur when a hard mass developed from crystals separates from the urine within the urinary tract. Tiny stones will easily pass through urine without any pain or difficulty. It contains various combinations of chemicals including calcium, oxalate or phosphate.

    Doctors don’t know exactly what causes kidney stones to form, but there has been some proof and speculation that some foods have been said to promote stone formation but extensive research by scientists has proven to be indecisive in figuring out if specific foods cause the disorder. However, many believe eating too many vegetables, such as spinach is a common cause of kidney stone formation, because of the excess vitamins and minerals in the food. If you receive symptoms of kidney stones, you should not ignore it or it could lead to future discomfort, pain, and harm to your body. If your family history shows that several members have had the disorder it is also likely you can get it, as it has been proven as being hereditary.

    The best thing to prevent them is to drink many liquids especially water. Annual blood and urine tests can help spot kidney stones. These symptoms and help you detect kidney stones and take the necessary steps. Sudden and severe pains in the back, side, abdomen, groin, or genitals are telltale signs that it is passing through your urinary tract. It is also possible to have problem while using the bathroom and the stone will block the flow of urine. In this case, you should usually visit a clinic or doctor to see your options.

    kidney stones symptoms

    Feeling nauseous or vomiting and sweating are also symptoms of kidney stones. Blood in the urine is a symptom that occurs when the stone stays in the kidney. The blood can be either seen by the naked eye, in which case the stone is rather large and painful, or by a microscope in which the stone is much smaller, but generally still large enough to not pass through the urethra. Frequent and painful urination occurs when the it leaves the bladder.

    Kidney stones are known to be one of the worst pains you can endure in life, even worse than childbirth, but if you persevere, you can conquer it.

    Chronic Sinus Infection

    There are two types of sinus infection. It could be acute or chronic and among the two, more people get afflicted with the chronic sinus infection.

    The difference between chronic and acute sinus infection is the fact that this can last for 12 weeks or longer and this can recur once you get better. An acute sinus infection is gone after a week.

    Common causes for chronic sinus infection include allergies, airborne fungus, nasal or sinus obstructions, trauma to the face, certain medical conditions and respiratory tract infections.

    As a result, some of the symptoms that most people feel include headaches, congestion, difficulty breathing, reduced sense of smell, ear pain, fatigue, cough, nausea, sore throat and aching in the upper jaw or teeth.

    Since you probably tried already to self medicate yourself without any positive results, the doctor is your only hope to make it go away.

    After reviewing your medical history, some test will need to be done such as an MRI, CT scan, nasal endoscopy, extracting nasal or sinus cultures and an allergy test.

    An MRI or CT scan is similar to an X-ray machine because they can show details of your sinus and nasal area without inserting anything into your body.

    If this is needed, the doctor will have to do a nasal endoscopy by putting a thin, flexible tube with fiber optic light up your nose to see what is happening inside.

    Not many people like that because it is like putting a similar tube up your anus. If possible, they will give a nasal or sinus sample instead so this can be checked.

    If your doctor has not yet determined the exact cause of the chronic sinus infection, you may be referred to another specialist especially if he or she suspects that this is caused by an allergy so they can conduct an allergy test.

    Once the results come in, the doctor will probably prescribe some antibiotics until you are free of the symptoms. To deal with the inflammation and swelling in the nasal cavity, you will be prescribed a corticosteroid. If this doesn’t work, then you will probably try antihistamines, decongestants and expectorants.

    The doctor may also try moisture or humidification to help flush the nasal cavity and loosen the dried mucus. Should the chronic sinus infection be caused by an allergy, it can be treated with immunotherapy. A method designed to stimulate the antibodies that block the body’s reactions to a specific allergy.

    Chronic sinus infection can be prevented and the steps that you take are not that different when you are suffering from an acute sinus infection. You just have got to practice proper hygiene, get flu shots once a year, stay away from people who have colds as it is a contagious illness, limit your drinking, keep yourself hydrated at all times, buy a humidifier and avoid being in polluted areas or around people who smoke.

    Should you already have chronic sinus infection, just follow the instructions of the doctor and update him or her on any progress.

    Chronic sinus infection is no joke. Just to give you an idea of how serious it is, over 30 to 40 million Americans get it every year. If you don’t want to be another person added to the statistics, do what is needed so you are always healthy.

    Right Cold Sore Treatment

    Although cold sores are certainly something that has been known to happen to everyone, what happens if you do not find the right cold sore treatment option for you? What happens if you do leave the disease unattended? Well, we are going to explore some treatment options as well as make sure that you know some natural treatments that work for you.

    herpes simplex

    Cold sores are something that can transmit from birth and even through your genes. A lot of people do not realize that if their parents are actually a carrier of the herpes virus, their children might be. So if you get the disease, just know that your parents probably had them. Typically, it takes up to fourteen for a cold sore to heal, so keep that in mind if you do want to think about not treating the disease.

    Whenever you have a cold sore, you want to make sure that you steer clear of close contact. This includes kissing and allowing someone to drink after you. That way, the herpes does not spread to other people, especially if you are not doing any treatment on the disease at all, which is not recommended.

    Drinking a lot of water and also ensuring that you keep yourself hydrated is a fantastic way to ensure that the disease healing time is cut down, almost by half. Not just water is acceptable though, you can drink fruit juice as well.

    Teabags are another great treatment that works wonders for keeping the swelling and the inflammation down. Just placing a teabag right on the cold sore is a great treatment for it, however, keep in mind that this treatment does not heal it but it can halt the virus from spreading all over.

    Finally, Witch Hazel is another herb that is going to work fantastic on the disease. It brings down a lot of the inflammation and witch hazel is actually an herb that has been used a lot in North America, where it grows. It has been used to treat many different illnesses and certainly can help treat you cold sores.


    The last treatment option that we are going to discuss is using the gel from an aloe vera plant. This gel has been known to treat sunburns but is actually really good for cold sores as well. Now, keep these treatments in mind whenever you have the disease, that way you can make sure that the virus does not spread, as it can when you leave it untreated.

    Read through my article to discover more on the infection and all the natural treatment that will help to control the symptoms and cure it!

    Candida Treatment

    Simply put, Candida is a condition which is characterized by the overgrowth of fungus in your body. It commonly affects areas in your body that easily retains moisture including your armpit, and the areas around your genitalia.

    The physical symptoms of Candida includes, but are not limited to, the following: redness, itchiness, discomfort, and white vaginal discharges, among others. Some of the more common causes of Candida may be pregnancy, diabetes, the use of certain medication, wearing of tight clothing, etcetera.

    On the other hand, treating Candida is possible and this article will show you 3 very simple ways via which you can do just that.

    #1 Antifungal Herbs…
    Using antifungal herbs for treating Candida is not only effective, but has been successfully used by a lot of people. If you decide to go for this, you should try using the herbal remedies that are specifically for Candida.

    This is because they contain substances that eliminate the growth of yeast or fungus; substances like acidophilus and so on. You may also take yeast-free multi-vitamins as an alternative method for curing Candida…

    #2 Yeast-Free Multi-Vitamins…
    What yeast-free multi-vitamins do for your body is that it increases its immunity or immune system. These multi-vitamins include, but are not limited to, the following; daily dosage of extra Beta Carotene, Vitamin E (400 IU dry), and Vitamin C (an effective dosage of this is 1000 milligrams taken four times daily).

    To repopulate your intestines with good bacteria, you can also opt for bifidobacteria and lactobacillus acidophilus. Additionally, you could simply add yogurt containing active cultures to your daily diet…

    #3 Yogurts…
    Treating Candida can be made stress free and almost easy by including yogurts into your daily diet. You need to ensure that the kind of yogurts you opt for contains “live cultures” which fights Candida.

    What this does for you is that it increases lactobacillus acidophilus which aids your body increase the good bacteria it needs. As stated earlier, to purchase yogurts containing these much needed “live cultures”, you need to read the label.

    On its label it should have written “live cultures” or “active cultures”; these are the ones containing the necessary ingredients you require.

    You should continue to take yogurts even after you have treated your Candida because it has other benefits including preventing a case of recurring Candidiasis. Moreover it is one of the most pleasant drinks you can take which also doubles as a curative.

    Role of Cholesterol in Heart Disease

    Heart disease is the number one killer of people in the United States. This has led to a plethora of information concerning steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of heart disease. However, what does all of the advice concerning exercise, reducing cholesterol, and new prescription drugs really mean?

    One of the major factors that is implicated in the development of heart disease is cholesterol. Cholesterol is a crucial biomolecule without which our bodies could not function. It is a structural component of our cells and the precursor to many vital hormones. However, like all things, an excess of cholesterol is bad. It is what contributes to atherosclerosis, the process by which plaques build up in blood vessels, eventually constricting blood flow and causing heart attacks and strokes.

    Not all cholesterol is created equally. There is a distinction between high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) and low-density lipoproteins (LDLs). These lipoproteins are essentially cholesterol “packages” which are what allow cholesterol to be transported in the bloodstream. LDL is known as the “bad” cholesterol. It is primarily synthesized in the liver and delivered through the blood to the rest of the body. HDL is the “good” cholesterol and is transported back to the liver for degradation. Thus, it is best to have high levels of HDL and low levels of LDL.

    Cholesterol may either be ingested from food sources or produced inside the body from other chemical precursors. Synthesis of cholesterol in the body occurs by a complex pathway of events that is highly regulated. When too much cholesterol is in the blood, such as from direct ingestion of cholesterol-containing foods, production slows down and cells decrease their absorption of free cholesterol. When cells do not absorb the cholesterol, it is free to stay in the blood and cause plaque buildup in vessels. This is one reason why dietary changes are recommended to reduce risk of heart disease.

    However, because a great amount of cholesterol is produced endogenously, dietary change is often not enough. There are now several popular prescription drugs such as Lipitor, Crestor 10 mg pills online, and Zocor, which belong to a class of compounds known as statins. These drugs are inhibitors of the key enzyme in cholesterol biosynthesis, HMG-CoA reductase. Blocking this enzyme significantly lowers the body’s ability to produce cholesterol. In addition, it helps to increase the absorption of cholesterol by cells, removing it from the bloodstream where it can contribute to atherosclerosis.

    The role of cholesterols in developing heart disease is complex, but keeping cholesterol under control need not be a complicated process. Studies have shown that simple lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, as well as the reduced ingestion of saturated fats and cholesterol can raise HDL and lower LDL. In addition, there are various natural supplements on the market, such as Vasacor, and several prescription drugs that can also help keep cholesterol levels in balance.