INTRODUCTION The moment we hear someone we know just diagnosed with PCOD, it’s a gut-wrenching feeling. It’s something you wish your loved ones never have to go through. Unfortunately, as I have noticed this trend is only climbing & affecting more younger populations with each passing day. All this got me thinking. What is a PCOD? How bad is it? Is there a way to prevent it? Or are we all resigned to the fate of rapidly increasing such disorders? So many questions to answer, so I am sharing my research and I hope it will add some value to your lives.   **This is not a medically accurate article. If you are experiencing any symptoms contact your doctor immediately.   What is diabetes? metabolic disorder of multiple etiology characterized by chronic hyperglycemia with disturbances of carbohydrate, fat (dyslipidemia), and protein metabolism resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both. i.e having a blood glucose level of 126 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or more after an overnight fast (not eating anything).  Normally, the pancreas (an organ behind the stomach) releases insulin to help the body store and use the sugar and fat from the food we eat. Diabetes occurs when one of the following occurs: When the pancreas does not produce any insulin When the pancreas produces very little insulin When the body does not respond appropriately to insulin, a condition called “insulin resistance” Diabetes is a lifelong disease. Approximately 18.2 million Americans have the disease and almost one-third (or approximately 5.2 million) are unaware that they have it. An additional 41 million people have pre-diabetes. As yet, there is no cure. People with diabetes need to manage their disease to stay healthy. TYPES OF DIABETES    Type 1 Diabetes Type 1 diabetes is also called insulin-dependent diabetes. It used to be called juvenile-onset diabetes because it often begins in childhood. It is an autoimmune condition. It happens when the body attacks the pancreas with antibodies. The organ is damaged and doesn’t make insulin. Genes might cause this type of diabetes. It could also happen because of problems with cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Many of the health problems that can come with type 1 happen because of damage to tiny blood vessels In the eyes (called diabetic retinopathy),  Nerves (diabetic neuropathy), and  Kidneys (diabetic nephropathy). Also a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. Type 2 Diabetes Type 2 diabetes used to be called non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes. But it’s become more common in children and teens over the past 20 years, largely because more young people are overweight or obese. About 90% of people with diabetes have type 2.  It involves a more insidious onset where an imbalance between insulin levels and insulin sensitivity (Insulin resistance) causes a functional deficit of insulin. The pancreas usually creates some insulin. But either it’s not enough or the body doesn’t use it as it should.  It is often milder than type 1. But it can still cause major health complications like type 1. People who are obese — more than 20% over their target body weight for their height — have an especially high risk of type 2 diabetes and the health problems that can follow. Obesity and an inactive lifestyle often cause insulin resistance. Although not everyone with type 2 diabetes is overweight. These things are responsible for about 90% to 95% of diabetes cases in the United States. The Role of Pancreas in Diabetes After eating, food travels to the stomach and small intestines, where it’s broken down into nutrients that include glucose. The nutrients are absorbed and distributed via the bloodstream. The pancreas is a gland located behind the stomach that performs an essential role in the digestion process. It creates enzymes that break down the fat, starches, and sugar in the food. It also contains: Beta cells  Alpha cells.  Beta cells produce Insulin hormone: When we eat food, glucose is absorbed from our gut into the bloodstream, raising blood glucose levels. This rise in blood glucose causes insulin to be released from these cells so glucose can move inside the cells and be used. As glucose moves inside the cells, the amount of glucose in the bloodstream returns to normal and insulin release slows down. Alpha cells release Glucagon: It is released in response to a drop in blood sugar, prolonged fasting, exercise, and protein-rich meals. Beta and alpha cells are continually changing their levels of hormone secretions based on the glucose environment. Without the balance between insulin and glucagon, the glucose levels become inappropriately skewed. People with diabetes either don’t make insulin or their body’s cells are resistant to insulin (Insulin resistance), leading to high levels of sugar circulating in the blood, called simply high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Insulin role The function of insulin is to help transform glucose into energy and distribute it throughout your body, including the central nervous system and cardiovascular system. Without insulin, cells are starved for energy and must seek an alternative source. This can lead to life-threatening complications. It is a key player in developing type 2 diabetes. Here are the high points: The food you eat is broken down into blood sugar. Blood sugar enters your bloodstream, which signals the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin helps blood sugar enter the body’s cells so it can be used for energy. Insulin also signals the liver to store blood sugar for later use. Blood sugar enters cells, and levels in the bloodstream decrease, signaling insulin to decrease too. Lower insulin levels alert the liver to release stored blood sugar so energy is always available, even if you haven’t eaten for a while. The major effects of insulin on muscle and adipose tissue are:  Carbohydrate metabolism:  It increases the rate of glucose transport across the cell membrane, (b) it increases the rate of glycolysis by increasing hexokinase and 6-phosphofructokinase activity, and (c) it stimulates the rate of glycogen synthesis and decreases the rate of glycogen breakdown. (2)


INTRODUCTION The moment we hear someone we know just diagnosed with PCOD, it’s a gut-wrenching feeling. It’s something you wish your loved ones never have to go through. Unfortunately, as I have noticed this trend is only climbing & affecting more younger populations with each passing day. All this got me thinking. What is a PCOD? How bad is it? Is there a way to prevent it? Or are we all resigned to the fate of rapidly increasing such disorders? So many questions to answer, so I am sharing my research and I hope it will add some value to your lives.   **This is not a medically accurate article. If you are experiencing any symptoms contact your doctor immediately. WHAT IS PCOS / PCOD Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine and metabolic disorders in premenopausal/childbearing-age women. Heterogeneous by nature, PCOS is defined by a combination of signs and symptoms of androgen excess and ovarian dysfunction in the absence of other specific diagnoses. It causes a woman’s ovaries (the reproductive organs that produce and release eggs) to create excess male hormones leading to reproductive hormonal imbalance. As a result, people with PCOS often have erratic menstrual cycles, missed periods, and unpredictable ovulation. Small cysts may develop on ovaries (fluid-filled sacs) due to a lack of ovulation (anovulation). However, despite the name “polycystic,” it is not compulsory to have cysts on ovaries to have PCOS. PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility. It can also increase the risk of other health conditions. Healthcare providers can treat PCOS based on symptoms.   COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS Who can get PCOS? A woman can get PCOS at any time after puberty. Most women are diagnosed in their 20s or 30s when they are trying to get pregnant. Excess weight Obesity or any family history of PCOS increases the chance of getting PCOS. How common is PCOS? PCOS is very common — up to 15% of women of reproductive age have it. Can I have PCOS but not have any symptoms? Yes, it’s possible to have PCOS and not have any symptoms. Many women don’t even realize they have the condition until they have trouble getting pregnant or are gaining weight for unknown reasons. It’s also possible to have mild PCOS, where the symptoms are not severe enough to notice. Can I prevent PCOS or its effects? There is no proven way to prevent PCOS, but you can take small steps to reduce your symptoms. For example, eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and managing your weight can help you avoid the effects of PCOS. Does polycystic ovarian syndrome ever go away? The hormone changes caused by menopause may make PCOS go away, but not always. Sometimes the imbalance of hormones continues into menopause, meaning hormonal imbalance does not change with age. If symptoms are bothering or affecting the quality of life, then the healthcare provider can recommend symptomatic treatment. CAUSES: The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. Several factors also play a role in causing PCOS/PCOD: Hormonal etiology Genetic etiology Environmental etiology Hormonal etiology Women with PCOS have a hormonal imbalance that disrupts the menstrual cycle, ovulation, and possibly, conception. These hormones are like an intricate web and the function of the female reproductive system relies heavily on its balance. The hormones that play a role in PCOS are: High levels of Androgens (like testosterone and androstenedione): They’re often called male hormones, but women have them too. Women with PCOS tend to have higher levels of androgens. High androgen levels can lead to: Acne Excessive hair growth Weight gain Problems with ovulation can also cause small cysts in ovaries. Causes for excess androgen production: Genes  Insulin Resistance Inflammation    Insulin resistance:  Insulin is a hormone that the pancreas produces. It controls the way the body processes glucose (sugar) and uses it for energy. Insulin resistance means the body doesn’t process insulin correctly, leading to high glucose levels in the blood. When cells can’t use insulin properly its demand increases and more insulin is produced to compensate. Increased insulin levels cause the ovaries to make and release male hormones (androgens). This, in turn, suppresses ovulation and contributes to other symptoms of PCOS. Not all individuals with insulin resistance have elevated glucose or diabetes, but insulin resistance can lead to diabetes. Elevated Luteinizing hormone (LH). Elevated Gonadotropin–releasing hormone (GnRH) Low Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). High levels of Testosterone and Progesterone. Genetic etiology  Family history of PCOS is relatively common; however, familial links to PCOS are unclear. A lack of phenotypic information prevents a formal segregation analysis. Nonetheless, the current literature suggests that the clustering of PCOS in families resembles an autosomal dominant pattern. Environmental etiology PCOS is an emerging health problem during adolescence therefore promotion of healthy lifestyles and early interventions are required to prevent future morbidities including insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease.  Can be exacerbated by: Poor dietary choices. Physical inactivity. Infectious agents and toxins may also play a role. PCOS signs and symptoms are typically more severe with obesity. The reproductive and metabolic features of PCOS are sometimes reversible with lifestyle modifications such as weight loss and exercise. Being overweight also contributes to chronic low-grade inflammation indicated by high blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and white blood cells. SYMPTOMS: PCOS is a syndrome disease defined by a group of signs (physical findings) and symptoms (patient complaints). Symptoms can vary from woman to woman. Some women start seeing symptoms around the time of their first period. Others only discover they have PCOS after they’ve gained a lot of weight or they’ve had trouble getting pregnant. The most common symptoms of PCOS include: Irregular periods: Abnormal menstruation involves missing periods or not having a period at all. It may also involve heavy bleeding during periods. Abnormal hair growth: Excess facial hair and heavy hair growth on the arms, chest and abdomen (hirsutism). This affects up to 70% of women

Role Of Food In Stroke & Stroke Prevention

Introduction The moment we hear someone we know just had a stroke, it’s a gut-wrenching feeling. It’s something you wish your loved ones never have to go through. Unfortunately, as I have noticed this deadly trend of stroke attacks is only climbing & affecting more younger populations with each passing day.  All this got me thinking. What is a Stroke? Are all strokes equally bad? Is there a way to prevent stroke? Or are we all resigned to the fate of rapidly increasing lifestyle disorders?   **This is not a medically accurate article. If you are experiencing any symptoms contact your doctor immediately.   What Is Stroke? Stroke is classified as a lifestyle disorder. When a stroke happens, you lose blood flow to part of your body. This usually happens because of atherosclerosis disease. Atherosclerosis is when a buildup of plaque makes arteries narrow. There may be other reasons why blood flow decreases to certain parts of the body.   Transient Ischemic Attacks involve clots in arteries that usually cause symptoms of an illness but go away by themselves. TIA usually causes temporary problems with vision, memory, or speech, but it does not increase the risk of stroke.   Ischemic Stroke causes a blood vessel to close off completely, blocking blood flow to the brain. Symptoms include paralysis or weakness on one side of the body; sudden numbness or tingling of an arm or leg; dizziness or loss of coordination; trouble speaking or understanding speech; vision problems such as blurred vision or double vision; confusion; slurred speech; seizures; or sudden severe headache. Complications include damage to other parts of the body due to a lack of oxygen-rich blood reaching them (particularly the heart and kidneys), resulting in coma, death, or serious disability.   Hemorrhagic Strokes are often fatal because bleeding into the brain causes death. Strokes may cause sudden loss of control of arms, legs, face, speech, sight, hearing, and sometimes swallowing and breathing (respiratory arrest). The types of hemorrhages are subarachnoid and intracerebral. Subarachnoid refers to an injury to the membranes that cover the brain–the meninges. Intracerebral means inside the brain.   What Is Lifestyle Disorder?  Hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, behavioral problems, higher cholesterol, and obesity affect more people now. People get trapped with these diseases at a younger age when they adopt unhealthy and inappropriate lifestyles.   High-calorie diets without exercise may lead to weight gain. Improved nutrition and medical care have helped to extend life spans. However, industrialization, economic liberalization, and the widespread use of modern technologies have led to an epidemic of obesity. A high-calorie diet without physical activity results in health problems including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and cancer.   Does Physical Activity Help? Aerobics & light workouts can help reduce risk factors for lifestyle disorders and a person’s overall health. Physical activity helps control body weight in both children and adults.   How does Smoking Contribute to the Rising Number of Stroke Cases? Smoking cigarettes greatly increases your chances of suffering a stroke. Quitting may lower your risk of stroke while still smoking. Ask your doctor for advice about how to stop smoking. Don’t start if you aren’t already a smoker.   Role Of Diet In Prevention Of Stroke As we discuss how to prevent stroke, we also have to look at what causes them. Let’s go through that one by one.   Let’s look at an example: A person who weighs over 200 pounds and is 5’6″ tall has a very high chance of having a stroke. This is because people who weigh more than this have a higher risk of having a stroke.   Cholesterol Your doctor should test your cholesterol level at least once every 5-years. A simple blood test can determine if you need treatment. You may be prescribed medication or told to make some lifestyle changes to lower your risk for stroke.   Blood Pressure High blood pressure should always be monitored by a health professional because there may be serious consequences if left untreated. Having high blood pressure means you need more than normal amounts of blood circulating through your body. Your doctor can help assess whether or not your blood pressure needs to be treated, but if you do experience any symptoms, make an appointment for a checkup right away.   Sodium is bad for health because it causes high blood pressure. You should avoid salt if possible. Your doctor may ask you to eat less salty food, or he might give you medication to reduce your blood pressure. Your diet might be altered to make it more healthy. Diabetes Diabetes is a disease that affects how your body metabolizes glucose or blood sugars. People who have diabetes must test their blood sugar levels often.   Talk with your healthcare team. You should talk about lifestyle modifications including exercise and eating healthy foods. This will help you stay under good control of your sugar levels and reduce your risk for stroke. Dietary Measures To Cure And Prevent Stroke Bring Variety To Plate A healthy diet consists of many different kinds of food. Eating a wide range of produce gives us the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients needed for good health. Eat diverse meals daily.   Eat Vegetables Of Different Colors People must eat various kinds of nutritious fruit and vegetable dishes. They should always select a variety of colorful foods when dining out. This helps them get vitamins.   A rainbow approach means eating foods in different colors. This can help you consume a wider variety of vitamins and minerals. These colors come from a mixture of the primary pigments found in plants. Red includes carotenoids such as lycopene and beta-carotene; orange contains vitamin C; yellow contains lutein; green contains chlorophyll; blue contains anthocyanins and tannins; purple contains flavonols and anthocyanidins, and white contains vitamin B2.   Choose Five Different Kinds Of Fruit And Vegetable Daily. Fruits and vegetables are considered healthy because of their vitamin content. Increasing fruit and vegetable intake can lead to

What is Weight Managemnt?

What Is Weight Management

Overview Weight management covers a broad spectrum of health-related weight it is not just about losing weight but also about gaining weight. It has major implications on health and even though it looks and feels like a very small part but plays a vital role and lifestyle diseases and other health problems. Weight management is not to be confused with fat management which all for the sake of convenience can be put into the same but it is not necessarily the same. According to a quick Google search on what is weight management will so many results claiming so many different things that any person even with some reasonable knowledge can easily get overwhelmed and confused. So as I looked upon the situation, I figured why not dive deep and see what I can find. After quite a bit of research here is what I could summarize. What is Nutrition? The nutritional aspect of weight management programs includes education about healthy eating, as well as changing a person’s food intake. Role of Nutrition in Weight Management Most weight management programs are based on a diet that provides adequate but unfortunately not the complete amount of vitamins and minerals because of inefficiencies in food; 50 to 63 grams of protein per day; adequate intake of carbohydrates (100 g) and fiber (20-30 g); and no more than 30% of calories per day from fat. The Good Weight Management Diet is intended to teach people how to make wise food choices and to encourage gradual weight loss. Some diets are based on a fixed menu, while others are based on a food exchange. On a food exchange diet, a person can choose from several items from a specific food group when following a menu plan. For example, if a person’s menu plan allows for two items from the vegetable group at lunch, they might have one raw vegetable and one cooked vegetable or one serving of vegetable juice with another. More detailed information on these and other weight management diets is available in a booklet from the National Institutes of Health Weight Information Network, titled Weight Loss for Life. , listed in the “Resources” section below.  Difference between Weight & Fat Management  Weight Management In essence, it refers to not just weight loss but also weight gain if needed. The primary objective is to bring a person’s Body Mass Index (BMI) in the range of 20 – 25. However, these numbers are not set in stone and are not the only driving measure for a person’s health. There are a lot of factors that need to be taken into consideration. Living conditions, if the person drinks or consumes a lot of chocolates, also what they eat on regular basis to name a few.   Fat Management Fat Management differs from weight management primary because it targets your visceral fat and excess fat around your organs. The key to managing those kilos is not in calories but rather in the timing at which you eat and more specifically how much carbohydrate and fats you consume on a regular basis. Overweight & Obese  Being overweight and obese are not the same. People who are overweight weigh more than they should for their height. Excess weight can come from muscle tissue, body water, or bones, as well as fat. An obese person has too much fat relative to other types of body tissue; so it is possible to be overweight without being obese. There are several ways to determine if a person is obese. Some measurements are based on a relationship between a person’s height and weight. The oldest measure of this correlation is the weight table that lists the desired weights for a given height. A more accurate measure of obesity is body mass index or BMI. BMI is an indirect measure of body fat. BMI is calculated in English measurements by multiplying a person’s weight in pounds by 703.1 and dividing that number by the person’s height in inches squared. A BMI between 19 and 24 is considered normal; 25-29 is overweight; 30 to 34 is moderately obese; 35-39 is severe obesity; 40 or more is defined as pathological obesity. More direct methods of measuring body fat include measuring the thickness of the skin folds on the back of the arm and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). Bioelectrical impedance analysis measures the total amount of water in the body using a special tool to calculate the different degrees of resistance to electric current in different types of body tissues. Fat tissue is more resistant to electrical currents than body tissue with a larger amount of water. Does Exercise help in Weight Management Regular exercise is a major part of a healthy lifestyle because it increases the number of calories the body uses and helps the body replace fat with lean muscle tissue. However, just relying on it is not a good strategy as it covers a rather small aspect of weight management that is calorie consumption. Exercise does help reduce emotional stress levels and promotes an overall sense of well-being. However, people should consult a Certified Physical Trainer, before starting an exercise program to ensure that the activity they are interested in is safe from any other health concerns they may have. For example, people with osteoarthritis should avoid sports that have a strong impact on the knee and ankle joints. Good options for most people include swimming, walking, cycling, and stretching exercises. Psychological Aspect of Weight Management Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that has been shown to be effective in reinforcing the changes in food choices and eating habits required for weight management. In this form of therapy, patients learn to change their eating habits by keeping diaries and notes about what they eat, events or sensations that trigger overeating, and any patterns. Other things they perceive are related to their eating choices or eating habits. They also examine their attitudes towards diet and weight management and try to