Archive for the ‘Disease Information’ Category
Obesity and overweight are the second most major reasons of preventable deaths in America. Stagnant lifestyle and junk food is to be blamed for more than three hundred thousand deaths per annum. The sad thing is that this problem is on the rise. Obesity is a chronic disease which poses serious health risk to the health of an individual. Also, obesity is the easiest recognizable medical problem, but is very difficult to deal with.
People usually confuse obesity with overweight. Overweight is gaining of a few extra pounds. A person is considered obese when the total body weight is minimum ten percent more than the recommended weight for his/her body structure and height. According to an estimate every year hundred billion dollars are spent on the obesity problem. It is very important to treat the problem as early as possible. Obese children between the age of ten and thirteen have eighty percent chances of growing into obese adults, unless they change their ways and adopt a healthier lifestyle. The obesity problem starts from the age of five and continue till adolescence.
Obesity can be caused due to complex reasons including biological, genetic, cultural and behavioral factors. Usually a person gets obese when he/she consumes more calories than the body burns. Also there are fifty percent chances of becoming obese when both one of the parent is obese and when obesity has affected both the parents, the chances increases to eighty percent. One percent of obese people can have that fat because of health reasons, as obesity can be caused due to few medical disorders. The causes of obesity in adolescence are overeating, family history, bad eating habits, little or no exercise, medical illness, low self esteem, medications, depression, emotional problems, stressful life, and family problem.
Obesity can cause many major problems. Some of them are diabetes, sleeping disorders, high blood pressure, breathing problems, emotional problems and increase in heart disease risk. Teenagers are more prone to get emotional problems. Because of the weight, they develop low self esteem. They get into depression, obsessive compulsion disorder and anxiety.
Adolescents who want to tackle the obesity problem should approach a pediatrician who will thoroughly evaluate the cause. If no physical disorder is to be blamed, the weight is reduced by limiting the calorie intake and increasing physical activity. The doctor can advice a weight management program and change the eating habits of the teenager, slowly. The patient must avoid oily, fatty, fast and junk food. The potions must be reduced in order to decrease the calorie intake. If the adolescent has developed emotional problems because of obesity, an adolescent psychiatrist can collaborate with the pediatrician in order to make a comprehensive plan for treatment. The plan includes reasonable goals, behavior modification, family participation, and management of physical activity.
Self motivation is extremely necessary in loosing weight. Because obesity is more a family problem and not an individual problem, the whole family can switch to eating healthy food and exercising regularly. This can make the weight control program a success. Parents can play a major role by boosting the self esteem of their children by concentrating on their strengths and encouraging them, instead of targeting the weight problem. The whole family should eat meals together, instead of eating individually while watching a movie. This helps all the members to focus on the food and the quantity being eaten. If the teenager isn’t getting support from his family members, he/she can join support groups which can help towards the goals.
After the adolescent has lost weight, it is very important that he/she maintains it. In majority of the cases, people shift back to their old eating habits after loosing weight. That is the reason why obesity is more of a lifetime issue. So the main aim of any weight loss program must be make the adolescent like healthy food. He/she must also be made to exercise regularly, irrespective of the weight.
High blood pressure is a condition where the blood pressure is more than normal. It is also known as hypertension. Heart pumps out blood, so that oxygen can reach to different parts of the body via blood. The pressure with which heart pumps blood is known as blood pressure. The blood pressure comprises of two measures, the systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure is the larger figure and represents the pressure within the artery of the heart, when contractions take place which pump blood to different parts of the body. Diastolic pressure is the pressure within the artery of the heart, when the blood is filling in the heart and it is at rest. Both the pressures are measured in millimeters of mercury or mmHg. High blood pressure is abnormal increase in systolic pressure or diastole pressure.
Blood pressure is measured by putting a blood pressure cuff on the arm and placing a stethoscope on the chest. There can be very little variation in blood pressure depending upon the time, emotional moods, age, gender, weight, height, physical activity, stress and other illness such as heart disease and kidney disease. Children and adolescents become anxious when they visit the doctor. This is also an important factor which affects the blood pressure and the readings taken get tampered because of it. That is the reason why many blood pressure readings are taken in order to determine whether the adolescent has high blood pressure or not. The nurse may even ask the adolescent to calm down while taken the readings. Time gap is given between each reading, so as to give time to the adolescent to calm down. Emotions can also affect the blood pressure reading.
An infant will have a normal blood pressure reading of 80/45, where as an adolescent will have a normal blood pressure reading of 110/70. Therefore, age, gender, and height are important factor when determining the normal blood pressure level. Adults will have a higher blood pressure than the infants and teenagers. Also, boys have a higher blood pressure when compared to girls and tall people have a higher blood pressure than short people. An adolescent is said to have high blood pressure when the blood pressure is more than the blood pressure of ninety percent people of his/her age, gender and height.
There are many risks associated with hypertension or high blood pressure. The risk of developing coronary heart disease increases proportionally. The arteries will develop greater resistance towards the blood flow, because of which the heart will pump blood harder. Stroke is also another risk. Adolescents who have had high blood pressure as a child, develop harmful effects on the blood vessels and heart till the time they turn twenty.
The causes of high blood pressure can be classified as primary and secondary. If the causes are definite, they are primary and if the cause is linked to some illness, it is secondary. Primary causes are high blood cholesterol levels, smoking, stagnant lifestyle and overweight. Secondary causes are obesity, immobility due to chronic illness, prescription drugs, intense pain due to burns or cancer and illegal drugs. High blood pressure can develop due to hereditary reasons.
Hypertension is diagnosed by blood test and urinalysis. The kidney function will also be checked, along with blood cholesterol levels. Family history check is another important factor. Adolescents’ eating habits, exercise levels, activities in school and home will also be studied thoroughly. High blood pressure is dealt with by weight reduction, healthy diet, and increase in physical activity. If hypertension is due to illness, the illness is treated first. These treatment measures will decrease the systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. It will also strengthen the heart and decrease the level of cholesterol in blood. This also helps to keep heart diseases at bay. The good thing is that only one percent of the adolescents, who have high blood pressure, need medication to bring back the blood pressure to normal.
Diabetes is a rapidly growing, serious health problem among youngster today. Above thirteen thousand adolescents are diagnosed for type 1 diabetes, every year in America. There has also been an increase in the number of teenagers with type 2 diabetes, which was more common among adults above forty and who were overweight. Clinics are reporting that nearly half of the new childhood diabetes cases are of type 2. Adolescents, who are obese and had type 2 diabetes in the family history, are at a greater risk of developing diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease where the human body is incapable of producing or utilizing insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the body in order to get energy by converting starches, sugar and other items. Since the insulin isn’t used properly in diabetic people, the blood sugar level increases. This glucose buildup is found in blood and is then passed onto the urine and comes out of the body and the major source of body energy is lost.
Diabetes is a serious chronic disease and should be handled at proper time; otherwise it can create serious problems. It can pose a risk and can damage parts of the human body such as eyes, teeth, gums, blood vessels, nerves, and kidneys. This is the reason why diabetes is responsible in most of the cases of adult blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputations. And if left untreated, it can cause stroke, heart disease and eventually, death. These problems are not only faced by adults, but also adolescents who get diabetes in their childhood. The important factor in treatment of diabetes is to keep the blood sugar level normal at all times.
There are basically two types of diabetes that will affect an adolescent. It is type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes affects the immune system’s function as the systems attacks the pancreas’ insulin producing cells, also known as the beta cells. Because of this, the pancreas loses the ability to manufacture insulin. This is the reason why people with type 1 diabetes take insulin everyday. The symptoms are weight loss, increase in urination & thirst, blurred vision, tiredness and constant hunger. And if the adolescent isn’t treated at the right time, he/she can slip in to diabetic coma which can endanger his/her life. In type2 diabetes, the body is incapable of properly using the insulin produced by the body and requires insulin from an external source, too. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes are similar to type 1 diabetes. The teenager feels sick, tired, nauseated, and thirsty. The wounds will recover very slowly; he/she will get infections frequently, will develop blurred vision and will experience weight loss.
Parents play a vital role in determining the problem. They should constantly observe their child for eating disorders or signs of depression. Although cigarette, drugs and alcohol should be avoided by all adolescents and children, it is even more important that youngster with diabetes should stay away from these things as they can worsen the situation. A person with diabetes, who switches to smoking, is at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and circulatory problems. Consumption of alcohol can cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. It is the duty of the parents to make their child aware of the possible risk they would face if they start to smoke, drink alcohol or take drugs.
Children and adolescents, who have diabetes, face many challenges while trying to lead a normal life. They have to think twice before doing simple things as going to a party, playing sports and even when staying over with friends. This is because they require to intake oral medication or insulin. Their blood sugar level must be checked many times through out the day. Also, at gatherings, they have to avoid many food items. Because of this they will feel different from the crowd and can feel left out. Not only does diabetes pose behavioral challenges, but also emotional challenges.
Along with doctor consultation, a psychologist must also be consulted who can deal with the emotional challenges of the adolescent. The family should also play an active role in making the youngster feel better. The family should work in collaboration with physician, dietitian and diabetes educators. Teachers, counselors, school nurses, day care providers, and other community members can provide extended support and guidance. They can provide help with transportation, mental health counseling, health education, social services and financial services.
Consuming less salt can be easy, if you know what’s safe to eat.
- Buy vegetables that are fresh, frozen, or canned “with no salt added.”
- Use fresh poultry, fish, and lean meat, rather than canned or processed types.
- Use herbs, spices, and salt-free seasoning blends in cooking and at the table. Read the rest of this entry »
Gestational diabetes develops in 2% to 5% of all pregnancies but usually disappears when a pregnancy is over. Gestational diabetes occurs more frequently in African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and people with a family history of diabetes than in other groups. Obesity is also associated with higher risk. Women who have had gestational diabetes are at increased risk for later developing type 2 diabetes. In some studies, nearly 40% of women with a history of gestational diabetes developed diabetes in the future. Read the rest of this entry »
There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. While basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas account for 95 percent of all skin cancers, melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer and accounts for more than 75 percent of all deaths due to skin cancer. Each year about 48,000 cases of melanoma are diagnosed in the United States, and 3,700 cases are diagnosed in Canada. The single greatest risk factor is sun exposure, especially during childhood. Melanoma occurs more frequently in people with fair skin and freckles.
Melanoma begins in the melanocytes, cells that produce the skin pigment known as melanin, but is likely to spread to other parts of the body. Symptoms include any change in the size, shape, color, or texture of a mole or other darkly pigmented area of the skin. Any mole that begins to itch or becomes tender may be a sign of skin cancer. Other signs include sores that do not heal or black spots under a toenail or fingernail that extend beneath the cuticle. For melanoma patients, the five-year survival rate in the United States is 88 percent and climbs to almost 96 percent if the cancer is detected early.
Leukemia is cancer of the blood cells. About 31,000 new cases of leukemia are diagnosed in the United States and 3,500 new cases are diagnosed in Canada each year. Leukemia is typically thought to be a childhood disease, but in fact it strikes many more adults. Smoking increases the risk of developing leukemia, as does long-term exposure to high levels of the chemical benzene and high-dose radiation exposure.
There are four types of leukemia, classified by the type of blood cell affected and whether the cells are mature or immature. The four major types are acute myelocytic leukemia (AML), chronic myelocytic leukemia (CML), acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). AML and CLL are most common in adults, while ALL is the most common form in children. CML also affects adults. Acute leukemias progress rapidly, while chronic leukemias tend to develop slowly.
Most symptoms of leukemia result from the lack of normal blood cells that occurs when leukemia cells crowd out normal cells. General symptoms include weight loss, fever, and loss of appetite, and less often, profuse bleeding from the gums and mucous membranes under the skin. Low levels of red blood cells may also indicate the presence of leukemia.
In the United States the five-year survival rate varies according to the type of leukemia and the age of the patient. Almost 68 percent of the people diagnosed with CLL live at least five years. The five-year survival rate for adult ALL is almost 56 percent and is 70 percent for children with ALL. More than 27 percent of those diagnosed with CML survive five years or more. AML is the most fatal of the leukemias. The five-year survival rate for adults with this disease is just over 11 percent, while for children it is 40 percent.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women, and the second most common cancer in North America. Every year 183,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in the United States, and 19,200 cases are diagnosed in Canada. The majority of cases occur in women over 50, and as with most cancers, the risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. An American woman who lives to age 80 has a one in eight chance of developing breast cancer. Breast cancer strikes men as well as women, but male breast cancer accounts for less than 1 percent of all breast cancer cases. Cancer researchers have found that approximately 5 percent of all breast cancer cases are associated with inherited mutations in genes such as BRCA1, BRCA2, and p53. The protein HER-2 (also called HER2/neu), produced by oncogenes, is present in about one-third of all breast cancers. Other risk factors include a family history of the disease, early onset of menstruation, late menopause, never having children, or having a first child after age 30, conditions that seem to extend the duration of estrogen exposure in the body.
The breast is made up of milk-secreting glands called lobules; ducts that connect the glands to the nipple; and fatty, connective, and lymphatic tissue. Breast cancer occurs in any of these components of the breast. Ductal carcinomas account for 80 percent of all breast cancers. Between 10 and 15 percent of breast cancers are lobular carcinomas. Other types of breast cancer are much more rare; combined, they make up the remaining 5 to 10 percent of all breast cancer cases.
Most breast cancers are first detected as an unusual mass or lump in the breast. If the cancer is detected and treated early, the odds of recovering from breast cancer are quite good. The American five-year survival rate for all breast cancers is 83 percent, but if the tumor is detected early, it rises to 96 percent.
Cancer prevention: Here’s some very useful and important information about cancer prevention:
1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more
cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size.
2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in person’s lifetime.
3. When the person’s immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumour
4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors.
5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune system.
6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastro-intestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.
7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.
8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumour size. However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumour destruction.
9. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications.
10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites
11. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells by not feeding it with the foods it need to multiply.
a. Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc are made with Aspartame and it is harmful.
A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasse but only in very small amounts.
b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soya milk cancer cells are being starved.
Milo, Ovaltine, Horlicks are made with milk and best avoided.
c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic and it is best to eat more vegetable & fruits. Rather than taking meat. Because meat also contains livestock antibiotics,growth
hormones, parasites, etc which are all harmful to people with cancer.
d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits helps put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh
vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells.
e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have caffeine.
Five-leaf ginseng which is caffeine free is a better alternative and has cancer-fighting properties.
12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines become putrefied and leads to more toxic buildup & the calcium content in human body will be “destroyed” slowly.
13. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body’s killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.
14. Some supplements (must be wholesome, which means not going thru a chemical process to extract) build up the immune system (IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs etc) to enable the body’s own killer cells to destroy cancer cells. Other supplements (Maitake e.g .) are known to cause cancer cells apoptosis, that is, induce cancer cells to commit suicide. ABM Mushroom, Shatake Mushroom, Ling Zi, Yun Zi, are able to activate the natural killer cells of our body a few times active to combat with the cancel cells.
15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor.
Anger, unforgiveness and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax, enjoy and trust God for healing.
16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment.
Exercising daily and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.
17. Cancer can be reversed with nutrition, supplements and clinically proven complementary and alternative therapies.