Archive for December, 2010

Kidney Disease Diets

Obesity is a growing problem in America and many other places in the world. Many people are way over their recommended body weight, and continue to live an unhealthy lifestyle that is slowly killing them. When you are severely overweight, you have a lot more to worry about than just the lack of proper nutrition. People who are obese are twice as likely to develop chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease.

Out of all of the above mentioned diseases, kidney disease is the one that has a tendency to go unnoticed until it’s too late to keep it under control. While your heart is the life force that pumps blood throughout your body, your kidneys are the body parts that cleanses your blood, filters waste out of your body efficiently and monitors your acidity levels. All of this happens day in and day out without fail. As long as you stay healthy, your kidneys will keep doing their job without interruption. However, when you put yourself at risk by gaining too much weight, it puts a lot of stress on all of your organs, which means your kidneys can begin to fail without you even noticing.

If you’re obese and not too concerned about this happening to you – think again. Millions of people are currently walking around with kidney disease, and you could be one of them. You see, everything that you put into your body has to be processed by your kidneys. Every burger, French fry, donut, snack chip, pastry, piece of fried chicken, overstuffed pork sandwich, cookie, slice of pizza, pill, beer, soda and milkshake ends up in one of those two organs. You’ve got two kidneys, so if one conks out, you have a back up. They take all of that stuff you put in your body and squeeze out the liquid, which goes down the urethra and out the door when you urinate.

They disperse with any toxins that are contained in all of these items that land inside of their walls. Your kidneys also regulate your calcium, sodium, potassium and protein levels. They also keep your hormones and electrolytes in perfect balance. So, when you don’t care about your nutrition, and keep piling in loads of fatty, salty, sugar packed foods, way too much cholesterol, too many drugs, etc. It can get to be too much for your kidneys to handle. Now, it’s also true that just because you’re obese, doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically get kidney disease, but the high risk factor should ring some alarm bells.

It’s no fun having chronic kidney disease, that’s for sure. By the time you do develop symptoms, you’ll be well into it. You may notice that you are getting frequent headaches, your skin becomes pale, your limbs start to bloat up, your skin itches, but you don’t see a rash and you feel lethargic all the time. If you begin experiencing any of these symptoms, you need to see your doctor as soon as possible. Let them know you think you may have kidney disease and ask them to run tests on your kidneys. This disease is so silent, that even medical professionals tend to miss it until it has reached a life threatening point.

Hopefully, they find nothing, but if you are diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, your best bet is to finally make the decision to do something about your bad nutrition. Bad eating habits got you into this mess, and good eating habits can get you out of it. The chronic kidney diet plan can help to clear up your kidneys and get them functioning normal again. That is, if you choose to follow it. If you are under a doctor’s care for your obesity, you’ll need to get the all clear first before you can go on this diet. Kidney disease diets are very strict, and you want to make sure that all of your nutritional needs can be met while you are fighting this disease, and also working on losing an excessive amount of weight.

While before the diagnosis you may have been able to ignore the important role that nutrition plays in your overall health, after you know for certain that you have kidney disease, you can’t afford to fall off the nutritional wagon. Your long term survival is now at stake from obesity and a chronic disease that can cause you to have complete kidney failure if left unchecked.

One of the side effects of chronic kidney failure is having too much protein in your system. Now, you know that protein is necessary to keep the body strong and healthy. However, this is a case where too much protein is not a good thing, because your kidney can no longer keep it at normal levels. Therefore, your diet needs to be altered to cut way down on any foods that have protein. You may not like this, but it’s something that has to be done to prevent further complications from developing.

Being placed on a strict diet for kidney disease to improve your kidney function can also be a blessing in disguise, because it will also help you drop the weight that has been plaguing your for a long time. Now that you know more about kidney disease, and the additional risks that come from living with obesity, I hope that you will be a lot more diligent about the types of foods you eat on a daily basis. Sure, it’s not going to be easy to lose a large amount of weight, and it certainly won’t happen overnight, but when you consider all of the serious health issues that goes along with being overweight, it should motivate you to take steps towards changing your life for the better.

Eczema Cures and Diet Management Plan

It is hard to deal with any problem if you do not know what the root causes are. Eczema is a disease which often causes the skin to become itchy, scaly, and inflamed. The worst thing that could happen is further infection in the affected area if not treated immediately, especially the eczema on face. The causes of eczema are unknown and some believe that it is due to the over reacting of the immune system to allergens. The symptoms of eczema may be caused by external and internal factors such as the substances around us and the food we eat. Nonetheless. There has been limited evidence that suggests food consumption can trigger allergic reactions and can possibly cause the incidence of eczema.

For babies, breastfeeding is highly advisable before introducing certain kinds of foods. Gradual introduction of food will help you and your baby in identifying certain foods which causes allergic reactions. For adults and other children, there are actually eczema diet plans available that could help you in determining the foods you should consume and avoid. You must understand that there are certain foods that could trigger eczema flare up and sometimes could cause infection.

You can do a trial and error to check which type of foods can irritate your skin. Start by listing food groups such as poultry and dairy products. Consume them in one meal and check if you have developed any symptoms of eczema. If rashes started to appear, you must avoid eating these kinds of foods. Sea foods and shellfish could be eczema triggers to others. Some people develop rashes after eating chocolates, tomatoes, and citrus fruits. Food allergy may vary in different people.

Other than the elimination of food allergens, you can also consume foods which are helpful in enhancing and improving your immune system. Babies are easily affected by eczema because they have under developed immune system. You may increase your intake of vitamin and minerals supplements such as Vitamin C and E. Vitamin E is responsible for keeping your skin healthy and it adds extra protection to your skin against the different allergens in the environment.

If you are having difficulty in identifying the food allergens, you may need to visit a dermatologist and seek advice. Some doctors perform “patch testing” to determine which kind of substances and allergens you should avoid. They would also recommend and prescribe medicines and antibiotics you can take for eczema to subside. On the other hand, some people still prefer the natural ways of healing because they are less expensive and has no side effects.

Following these reminders will help you in dealing with this skin condition. You just have to avoid the foods which could trigger eczema and add in your diet those foods that are effective in fighting the symptoms of eczema.

Weber Vs Napoleon Gas Grills

If you are on the lookout for the best brand of gas grill, you are probably perplexed by the numerous choices out in the market for you. They all look reliable and durable. But surely, there are a few brands that stand out from the rest.

Two of the most popular brands of grills today are Weber and Napoleon. They are practically household names when it comes to gas grills. You can narrow down your options to these two brands. But which one is a better choice?

Weber Grills

If you are looking for durability, Weber is a good choice. Most of their customers like their Weber grills because of the durability of the parts. They tend to last for a lifetime. Weber chooses only high grade materials to incorporate in their grills. They also carefully study the mechanisms and the functions of their grills before launching them in the market. It is little wonder why they don’t have a lot of recalled products.

Another great thing about this brand is that there are a lot of options. If you are looking for a portable grill, they have one for you. If you are looking for something that is right on the budget, they have inexpensive models of gas barbecue grills.

Many people have said that you really get what you pay for in this brand. So if you are looking for durability, check out some of the best products of Weber such as the Weber Genesis Grill, the Summit Grill, the Spirit Grill, the Q 100 Propane Grill and the Go Anywhere Portable grill.

Napoleon Grills

They do not disappoint when it comes to durability. Although many people would say Weber is the more durable brand, this one can also give Weber a run for its money. They have a selection of high-end grills that are good for those looking for more grilling features. However, they also have simpler kitchen equipments that are just right for the budget.

What people loved about the grills offered by Napoleon is the consistency of the results. The features are easy to use so you can cook without a hitch. Moreover, it really gives a nice flavour to your grilled dishes.

Some of the grills you have to look for are Prestige, Ultra Chef and Mirage. You might find them a little more expensive than Weber but the price is reasonable considering the number of features included up in their grills.

Mull over your gas grill choices. Consider your grilling needs and your budget and find out which brand of grill is most suitable for you.

The Importance Of Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

When you have type 2 diabetes it is essential that you know the importance of healthy blood sugar levels so that you can achieve optimum health. When you maintain your blood sugar levels effectively you will be able to avoid the nasty complications that are associated with this terrible disease.

Understanding the importance of how blood glucose affects our bodies is vital. Your blood glucose is the body’s fuel that feeds our brain, tissues and our nervous system. When you have a healthy body your body makes glucose from the carbohydrates, proteins and fats that you consume.

Glucose is directly absorbed into your bloodstream from your intestines that results in an increase in your blood sugar levels. The pancreas releases a natural hormone called insulin that helps the prevent your blood sugar levels rising too high and it also helps to move the glucose into your cells. When this process occurs, it gives you the energy requirements that your body needs to function properly.

Your blood glucose levels are at a healthy normal range when your readings are between 4mmol/L and 7mmol/L. If your readings are constantly outside of this range you at a high risk of developing complications that can be very serious.

Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is vital and can be achieved by following the guidelines listed below:

  • Eating on a regular basis and at the same time each day is essential
  • Drink plenty of water each day
  • Make sure that you add plenty of fruits and vegetables to your diet
  • Make sure that you do at least 30 minutes of exercise per day
  • Add fish to your diet at least twice a week
  • Always choose lean meats
  • Always choose the low fat variety of food products
  • Avoid processed foods at all times
  • Avoid all foods that are high in saturated fats
  • Limit your salt intake
  • Limit your alcohol intake, and
  • Add the right amount of carbohydrate, proteins and fats to your diet

A glucose test will be conducted to see if you have type 2 diabetes and whether you have healthy blood sugar levels if you have the following symptoms:

  • An increase in thirst
  • An increase in urine output
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Infections that won’t heal

It is vital that you realise the importance of healthy blood sugar levels when you have type 2 diabetes, by maintaining your levels effectively you can reduce your risk of long-term complications that are associated with diabetes.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin May Not Be As Good As We Thought

It has long been accepted that Glucosamine, sometimes combined with Chondroitin, is beneficial for sufferers of osteoarthritis. It has the reputation for being able to prevent damage to cartilage and even to rebuild and strengthen this vital substance. It is of particular relevance to knee joints, which are more prone to this problem than some other joints.

There are many millions of arthritis sufferers in the world (about 27 million in the USA) and a large percentage of these patients make regular use of Glucosamine and Chondroitin as they are easily available without prescription. There is, therefore, a multi-billion dollar market in these supplements.

The long-held perception that glucosamine is a proven contributor to the relief of arthritis pain has been challenged by a recent clinical trial, carried out in 2010, by a team of professional researchers. They maintain that there is no evidence that glucosamine reduces joint pain.

These conclusions seem to be directly opposite to the results of a very similar trial, carried out in the USA in 2008 and places some doubt on the effectiveness of these products. This exercise was performed by sixteen universities and hospitals and co-ordinated by The University of Utah School of Medicine.

The study group comprised 1,583 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, average age 59 and two-thirds of whom were women. In a blind trial, some participants were given glucosamine and/or chondroitin and others received a placebo. They were identified in two groups, those with mild pain and those with moderate to severe pain. The group with only mild pain was the much larger, with 1,229 members (78%).

The researchers found that, in the smaller group with moderate to severe pain, for 79% of those tested, glucosamine combined with chondroitin sulfate provided statistically significant pain relief, versus about 54% for placebo. For patients in the mild pain subset, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate together or alone, did not provide statistically significant pain relief. Therefore, 280 participants out of the total of 1,583 experienced significant pain relief. This is only 18%.

The more recent trial, in 2010, was carried out by Professor Peter Juni and a team at the University of Bern, in Switzerland. This group was more than twice as big, involving 3,803 patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee. These researchers decided that there was no clinically relevant effect from glucosamine and chondroitin on perceived joint pain whether taken singly or together. As regards any effect on cartilage, there was no evidence of any impact on narrowing of the joint space.

The results of these two very similar clinical trials, with very different results, carried out by professional medical researchers, would seem to indicate that a relatively small number of arthritis sufferers with severe pain could expect some significant relief but for most other people, glucosamine and chondroitin are not much different to a placebo.

There is, however, a recognition in both cases that the beneficial effect of the placebo administered to some patient was significant. With this in mind, the conclusion is, ” if you think they are doing you some good, then keep taking them, because they will do you no harm”.

Chia Seeds Will Help Build A Low Cholesterol Diet

Among the best strategies to improve cardiovascular heath is to craft a daily diet that uses both foods low in cholesterol as well as supplements like chia seeds. Some recent studies indicate that it is very possible to lower overall cholesterol levels by as much as 20% just by sticking with a low cholesterol diet plan.

To be considered as “low cholesterol” you should have a diet that is high in the healthy fats found in vegetable and fish while excluding food that is high in saturated and trans fats.

For this diet to work it must be followed faithfully without fail. Here are some ideas on how to build a diet that is low in cholesterol and stick with it:

The first step is to clean out both your refrigerator and your pantry everything that does not support a low cholesterol life style. Since replacing this food will cost money some pre-planning is a good idea. I suggest that this be done at one time rather than phase in the lower cholesterol foodstuffs over time as you run out of things. Replacing things gradually won’t help; if you have made the decision now is the time to do it.

Replacement stuff can include dry or canned beans, fresh fruits and fresh vegetables. whole grain products, and fish. Substitute butter with canola or olive oil, or spreads made from plant sterols.

Read labels when shopping. Look for items that have been created specifically for lower cholesterol diets. Some examples to replace butter, for one example, are “Smart Balance” or “Benecol” products that have plant sterols which will help block the body’s absorbing cholesterol. White wine vinegar is another good butter substitute to use in cooking. It will not add fat nor will it change the taste of the food your cooking.

  • One of the best cholesterol fighters you can have is oatmeal. Adding it to your daily menu, preferably for breakfast, will help a lot.
  • Eggs are out, they are just not helpful in fighting high cholesterol. Instead use one of the cholesterol free egg substitutes such as Crystal Farms “Better “N Eggs”.
  • If you are a milk drinker, use only skim, or 2% milk. Better yet (but costlier) is Soy milk.
  • Replace red meat with any variety of fish as well as chicken or turkey without skin. If you must have meat in your diet, add it sparingly and use only lean cuts. By all means stay away from processed meat products like hot dogs, sausage, and bacon.
  • In addition to diet there are supplements such as Chia seeds, Flax seeds, and Fish Oil that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are instrumental in fighting cholesterol. These supplements are frequently suggested by medical professionals and can be found in many groceries and all health food stores. Personally, I prefer chia seeds because they are easily used in any number of recipes without changing the flavor, are high in many vitamins and minerals in addition to omega-3 fatty acids.

A Heart But No Soul

This year is my tenth anniversary. It’s not one of those happy anniversaries that we look forward to either. Ten years ago I suffered a heart attack.

At the relatively young age of 33, whilst playing football, it happened to me. Me! I couldn’t and still can’t believe it. A brief history. Since around the age of 9, I have either trained, or played football twice a week. When I say I played football, I mean proper organised football, at an amateur level. Nothing great but at the same time competitive. I trained hard and kept fit. I have never been overweight, I don’t use salt, and probably only ate greasy foods once a week. So I ask again. Why me?

Everyone has their Achilles heel right? Why would I be any different? Well it turns out that I’m not. I’ve smoked cigarettes since the age of 15. As a teenager you don’t tend to think about the future too much. So the smoking cycle begins. You hit your twenties thinking that you can stop at will. By the time you’re 25 you may have tried quitting a few times and by the time you hit 30 you wish you’d never started. That’s how it went for me anyway.

I’ve always had that little voice in my head saying, “Don’t worry you’re fit and healthy”. Besides, heart attacks are for fat people. Well I’ve got news for you, no one is bullet proof. Like most people I realised all of this too late. And the sad thing is I still haven’t. I convinced myself that I couldn’t stop and have continued to smoke.

About 2 years ago, whilst walking my dog I began to have spells of breathlessness. As the days and weeks passed it began to worsen. At first I could walk for 20 minutes before feeling it, then 15, and then 10. I convinced myself that I had a cold, or maybe a chest infection. But eventually reality kicked in. After a trip to the doctor I was diagnosed with angina. I was informed that I would need an angioplasty. A simple procedure where a balloon is inserted into a coronary artery to remove a blockage. Simple! Not when it’s your heart! I lay on an operating table for 50 minutes, fully conscious watching a complete stranger cut my wrist and then “tamper” with my heart. Not only did I get to watch him, but to see your own heart on a 40′ LCD screen is a memory that I will never forget.

The day after my operation and for the next 6 weeks I had a whole new lease of life. In less than 24 hours I was playing on a trampoline with my 2-year-old daughter. We were running around the local park, playing on swings, climbing. My little family went for a short break and stayed in my sister’s cabin in the Scottish Highlands. We went hill walking; life was good being healthy again. But then the mind starts playing tricks on you, you’re “as good as new” according to the doctor. If you’re as good as new then it goes without saying that I can start smoking again. Strangely enough I returned to the 15-year-old that didn’t think about the future. I considered myself to be bullet proof and I would have years of happy smoking ahead of me.

There is no real happy ending to this story. I have repeated the cycle and now at the age of 43 find myself again wishing that I had never seen a cigarette. I still live in hope that one day I will quit for good, but it makes you wonder how many chances you get. In these past 10 years I’ve had more than enough warnings and chances to change but alas the mind is a powerful entity. If I could overcome that, maybe I’ll get one last chance. As is my way, I live in hope.

Foods a Diabetic Should Stay Away From

The foods that you eat on a daily basis will ultimately determine the health level of your body. What you eat can eventually keep you alive or cause death.

The reason as to why foods can be so harmful is that certain types of food contain high sugar which your body does not have the insulin to break it down. That is how you end up with diabetes.

It is vitally important that you keep your sugar levels as normal as possible. If your sugar levels are too high it can cause great damage to your body but on the other hand if it is too low you can also put your body at risk.

Medication will be able to control your diabetes but you also need to eat healthier. It does not help you take the medication or insulin injections but you indulge on sugary and fatty foods.

The big thing about this is also to keep your weight as low as possible. The moment your weight increases, you are adding bad and excessive cholesterol to your body that cannot only cause heart diseases but worsen your diabetes. Not many people truly realize the devastating effects that diabetes can have.

Most young adults as well as children suffer from diabetes because they do not eat healthy anymore. In the old days mothers used to cook, healthy vegetables from the garden and children used to pick their fruit from the trees. They did not treat fruit and vegetables with all types of chemicals.

It is not just the chemicals damaging your body but the fact that with the haste in life today it is easier to order take away foods or purchase ready-made frozen meals. It is unbelievable to see the amount of fat in these types of fast foods. Take a normal chip for example. The moment you hold a dry chip over a flame, it will turn black and fat will drip from it.

Another thing these bad foods will affect is your metabolism. It will slow down causing you to pick up weight that will affect your organs as well as your problem with diabetes.You might not know this now but diabetes can even cause you to go blind.

When your kidney and liver are not able to cope for long, you will end up in a coma and possibly die.

The types of food that you must avoid include white rice, white pasta, white flour, white sugar, fatty foods, caffeine as well as alcohol.

Also,instead of choosing these white wheat products, you should opt for brown wheat products. Use brown sugar instead of white sugar. Instead of deep-frying your food, you can steam it with fresh herbs that will taste much better..

Yes, you will not be able to go on nights where you and your friends order pizza and binge drink. It might sound like fun but your health and life is much more important.

Cold Chain Plays Key Role in Successful Vaccine Delivery

The successful distribution of a vaccine during a disease outbreak or epidemic depends upon each phase of the cold chain distribution system through which it moves working in harmony. From the laboratory to the point of administration to the public, the proper delivery of temperature-sensitive vaccines requires discipline throughout the entire distribution chain.

Maintaining the correct temperature throughout cold chain distribution is vital to the successful administration of vaccines and ensuring public health. The recommended temperature range for the storage of vaccines is 2-8 degrees Celsius. Failure to properly store vaccines and keep them from fluctuating out of this safe temperature range can cause the vaccine to lose its effectiveness. Temperature excursions could not only prove wasteful and result in costly product losses, but could also result in improper administration of the vaccines and pose health risks to the public.

Therefore, it is vital to have the most efficient refrigerated shipping containers, mobile refrigerated units, and overall best cold chain solutions available for the purpose of efficiently transporting vaccines to their destinations. This need for competent temperature-controlled shipping services has resulted in the modernization of the cold chain industry, and companies that specialize in cold storage greatly contribute to humanity by playing such a critical role in the delivery of life-saving medicines.

The technology behind temperature controlled packaging continues to be refined and has advanced to the point where concerns about spoilage during the delivery of critical vaccines, pharmaceuticals, and medicines have been greatly diminished. The insulation and packaging technologies within temperature controlled containers has evolved to the point that hold times have been greatly extended. Additionally, advanced temperature monitoring and reporting features that convey vital statistics and can be downloaded to a designated personal computer or a hand-held device, help to validate hold time performance throughout the shipping process

In the mid-1970’s, the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) was established to standardize immunization procedures and build a reliable world-wide immunization infrastructure. At the time, there were no real means for healthcare workers on the receiving end of vaccine shipments to tell if a shipment had been compromised-thus losing its potency-due to exposure to heat.

Along with the implementation of the EPI came the high standards that those in the cold chain shipping industry were required to meet. Achieving these standards was costly at first as new refrigeration techniques and equipment had to be developed. Although there was some initial scrambling by providers to come up to speed on cold chain shipping options, in the long run the EPI strategy proved to be effective. It brought about the modernization of insulated containers and the cold chain shipping industry on the whole, compelling those in the industry to develop more stable and efficient equipment. This resulted in safer and much more reliable vaccine shipments, and for the most part, the goal of the EPI had been achieved.

Standards and controls have been established by entities such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF for the entire vaccination cycle. This has fostered a safer and better-organized system. From research and development to delivery, all parties involved-including those in the cold chain shipping industry-have risen to meet vaccine distribution challenges, and have exceeded established standards.

Chronic Disease Management

Many people seek to learn more about chronic disease management. This is especially true regarding those currently suffering from a medical condition or those that are at a high risk of getting one. Dietary supplements are typically aids that help you to get the right nutrients you need each day. Some people use them often when they cannot eat a certain type of food, or at least do not eat enough of it to get the recommended daily allowance.

Supplements typically come in a pill form, but can also be administered in a powder or liquid. The most common supplements that people take along with their diet include those for vitamins, protein, and fiber. These can be taken when the person is not receiving enough of the nutrients from the food he/she consumes.

Supplements have been found to aid in chronic disease management. This is because they provide your body with the nutrients that it needs to stay healthy. Fish oil, for example, is a common supplement that provides the body with fatty acids. Good sources of fat keep you healthy by reducing bad cholesterol as well as promoting an increase in the good cholesterol. This can help prevent hardening of the arteries would could lead to a heart attack or cardiovascular disease.

Studies have been conducted to test a number of different supplements to find the benefits of including them in your diet. Many have been found to help reduce the chances of you getting a chronic disease in one way of another. Supplements, like the fish oil mentioned above, work to keep your body healthy. This assistance can help to reduce your risk of contracting a serious medical condition. Other things that supplements can help you avoid include high blood pressure, stroke, kidney failure, and heart disease.

It is important to note that you still need to maintain a well-balanced diet, even if you do use supplements for chronic disease management. The best source of vitamins and minerals are the foods we consume at each meal. The supplements will help to fill in the gaps as far as the important nutrients our bodies need. However, it is always best to shoot for getting most of the substances from food rather than a dietary aid.

As you can see, supplements can help keep you from developing a chronic disease. They can also assist in controlling any serious condition you have. They have been known to help kelp the body healthy so that your risk of getting a disease is lowered. It is essential that you only use the supplements as an assisting tool, and not your sole method for acquiring certain minerals, unless you cannot eat the foods that will give you the nutrients in a natural manner.

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