Friday, 28 December 2012

Lactose Intolerance

More Calcium, Fewer Cramps
As a child you could drink a milk shake or eat a bowl of ice cream, no problem. Now the same foods leave you as bloated as the Agfa blimp. Or running to the nearest loo with diarrhea or crampy and uncomfortable; What’s going on? As you grow older, your intestines begin to produce smaller than usual amounts of lactase, a special purpose digestive enzyme required to break down lactose, the natural sugar found in milk and other dairy products. Symptoms such as bloating, cramp and diarrhea usually appear anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours afterwards as your intestines react to the undigested sugars.
If you feel ready to explode, it’s too late to put that bowl of ice cream that you just consumed back in the freezer. So for quick relief of lactose induced discomfort, women doctors offer this fast action advice. Head for a chemist and try Bragg’s Charcoal tablets or biscuits, over the counter pills that can help absorb gas trapped in your colon and reduce bloating. If you’re feeling bloated and windy, a half hour stroll often will calm your distress. If you have stomach cramps, sometimes the best thing that you can do is nothing at all. Rest relax, have a bath put your feet up, go to bed whatever it takes to wait out the cramps caused by lactose intolerance.
After you’re feeling better, here are some suggestions on how to find out if you can’t digest dairy products. To find out if milk and ice cream are causing your distress, write down everything that you eat, when you ate it and if you experienced any symptoms. If you keep careful track, you should know if you have the problem within a week or so. Don’t have time to track your symptoms? Simply stay away from milk, cheese and ice cream for a week or two. If you stop feeling like a helium balloon, and cramps and diarrhea subside, you probably should stay away from the dairy counter. Foods could contain hidden lactose, whey used in cottage cheese is often an ingredient of canned foods. Non-fat milk solids, soured cream, some breads and salad dressings also contain dairy products.
All milk skimmed, low fat or whole has the same amount of lactose. But even if you have severe symptoms, you may be able to maintain some dairy in your life. An American study found that among a group of 30 individuals thought to be lactose intolerant, almost everyone could comfortably drink a 250 ml glass of low fat milk every day.
Doctors there tested 30 people who consistently reported symptoms including wind pains after drinking less than a glass of milk and found that the symptoms were minimal when they drank a glass of milk everyday at breakfast for a week.
Bridge the Calcium Gap
If you’ve determined that you can eat or drink little more than a glass of milk or its equivalent per day, women doctors says that you still have to address your need for calcium, normally provided in dairy products. Calcium is essential to protect against osteoporosis and heart disease. If lactose intolerance has forced you to cut back on milk, you need to find other ways to reach the 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day that woman doctors say you need. Live yogurt with active cultures is lower in lactose than most other dairy products, and you may be able to eat that. But don’t try frozen yogurt all the active cultures’ are eliminated in the freezing process. Lactase on If you’re not manufacturing much on your own, buy the enzyme in tablet or liquid form. Lactase supplements such as Lactaid are available in some supermarkets and from chemists. Two tables with a glass of milk will improve your tolerance of milk the liquid form converts 70 to 90 percent of the lactose, depending on the number of drops that you add to the milk, so experiment and decide which form is most effective for you. Many juices are now fortified with calcium. Together with lactose reduced dairy products, calcium-enriched orange juice and other juices can help bridge the calcium gap sometimes created by lactose intolerance.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Prostate cancer

More than 70 % of cancer of the prostate a male gland located below the urinary bladder and in front of the rectum is diagnosed in men who are 65 or older. Prostate cancer usually grows more slowly than other cancers, taking as many as 10 to 30 years before tumors get large enough for doctors to diagnose them, or for the symptoms to show up. More than half of men who reach 80 years old have some cancer in their prostate.
  • Urinating frequently, especially at night
  • Difficulty holding back urine
  • Slow start, weak or interrupted flow of urine
  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating
  • Difficulty having or sustaining an erection
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Frequent pain or stiffness in lower back, hips or upper thighs
Patients with prostate cancer will normally have to undergo prostatectomy, which is a surgical procedure to remove the tumor. The emergence of new surgical instruments means that in most cases, this will involve minimally invasive surgery, which in turn means shorter hospital stays, less discomfort and bleeding, and faster recovery. Another option is brachytherapy, which is radiation therapy delivered from a short distance. Doctors place radioactive seeds or sources in or near the tumor, and increase the radiation dose to the tumor while minimizing radiation exposure to healthy tissues nearby.
Pancreas cancer
Cancer of the pancreas can be difficult to diagnose, as the pancreas lies behind other organs including the stomach, gallbladder, liver and spleen. 
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss for no apparent reason
  • Pain in upper or middle abdomen
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin)
Pancreatic cancer is very difficult to treat as it is usually discovered late. Symptoms often do not emerge early, and screening tools tend not to be effective. Depending on how advanced the cancer is and whether it has spread beyond the pancreas, options for treatment include surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
Bladder cancer
Cancer of the bladder which holds urine usually hit those older than 40, and mostly in those between 50 and 70 years old. Men are five times more likely to be hit by bladder cancer than women in Singapore.
  • Blood or blood clots in urine
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Pain during urination
  • Pain in lower back
Treatment usually consists of one of the three standard treatments surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy – or combinations. New forms of treatment have also emerged, including one called photodynamic therapy, which combines special drugs and light therapy to kill cancer cells. Doctors inject a drug that makes cancer cells more sensitive to light into a patient's bladder, then train a special light on the bladder, which targets the cancer cells and kills them.
Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma can strike both young and old people, but occurrences increase with age. Most patients with this cancer are above 60 years old. The cancer starts in a person's lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system that fights infection and diseases.
  • Swollen, painless lymph nodes in neck, armpits or groin
  • Constant fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Sweating at night
  • Coughing and breathing problem
  • Chest pains
  • Swelling or feeling of fullness in the abdomen
Treatment for lymphoma usually revolves around chemotherapy: Drugs are either injected intravenously or given in pill form. Doctors may also combine targeted chemotherapy with standard cytotoxic chemotherapy, which has given encouraging results. Doctors may also prescribe bone marrow transplants when lymphoma patients have a relapse or are struck by aggressive lymphomas. Not all patients, however, will be suitable for this combination of a transplant with chemotherapy, as high-dose chemotherapy drugs can also kill healthy bone marrow. New drugs have also emerged, along with better supportive treatment that allows doctors to administer chemotherapy at shorter intervals to achieve better results.
Liver cancer
There are two types of liver cancer: Primary liver cancer, or hepatocellular carcinoma, which begins in the liver; and secondary liver cancer, which is the result of cancer spreading from other cancerous organs or sites. Men are much more likely to get primary liver cancer, especially if they are older than 40. Liver cancer is closely linked to chronic Hepatitis B infection, which can lead to cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, liver failure and liver cancer. People usually acquire the Hepatitis B virus during birth or in early childhood - one in 35 adult Singaporeans is a carrier of the virus. The Hepatitis B virus can be transmitted through blood or bodily fluids. As it may not show any noticeable symptoms, Hepatitis B and liver cancer patients are often diagnosed only when they donate blood or undergo health screening. Hepatitis B, however, can be prevented through vaccination. The Hepatitis B vaccine, which is administered in three doses, is 95 per cent effective in preventing children and adults from getting chronic Hepatitis B infection.
Only early liver cancer can be cured, mainly through surgery, which enables up to 80 per cent of the affected liver to be removed. Patients, however, can take assurance from the fact that the liver can re-grow – in fact, it is the only organ in the body that does this – even after half of it has been removed. If surgery cannot remove advanced liver cancer, doctors may prescribe chemotherapy, usually chemoembolisation, which targets the area with the cancer. Some patients with advanced liver cancer may not be suitable for surgery or chemotherapy, but can take heart: There are more options. They include percutaneous ethanol injection, in which ethanol is injected through the skin directly into the liver. The alcohol dries out the tissues and stops the blood supply to the cancer, thus killing it. This is effective for patients who have few or small tumors measuring less than 3 to 4 cm. Another option is radiofrequency ablation, which uses heat to destroy the cancer cells. Radio waves from a laser light are directed through a needle inserted into cancer cells, destroying them in the process.
Treating prostate cancer 
What is good care for prostate cancer? For many men with prostate cancer, no treatment will be necessary. Good care will mean keeping an eye on the cancer, ensuring that it does not develop into a fast-growing cancer. When treatment is necessary, the aim is to cure or control the disease so that it does not shorten life expectancy and it affects everyday life as little as possible. Sometimes, if the cancer has already spread, the aim is not to cure it but to prolong life and delay symptoms. People with cancer should be cared for by a multidisciplinary team (MDT). This is a team of specialists who work together to provide the best treatment and care. The team often consists of a specialist cancer surgeon, an oncologist (a radiotherapy and chemotherapy specialist), a radiologist, pathologist, radiographer and a specialist nurse. Other members may include a physiotherapist, dietitian and occupational therapist. You may also have access to clinical psychology support. When deciding what treatment is best for you, your doctors will consider:
  • The type and size of the cancer
  • Your general health
  • Whether the cancer has spread to other parts of your body
  • What grade it is good care for prostate cancer includes giving information to men and their partners or carers about the treatment of prostate cancer and its effects on:
  • Sex life
  • Physical appearance
  • Ability to control urination and bowel movement
  • Other physical and psychological aspects of masculinity that might be affected by sex hormone treatment
  • Your MDT will be able to recommend what they feel are the best treatment options, but ultimately the decision is yours.
In 2008, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) made recommendations about treatments that are offered to men with the three main stages of prostate cancer: localized prostate cancer that is just in the prostate gland, and locally advanced prostate cancer that has spread beyond the prostate capsule, but is still connected to the prostate gland and relapsed cancer that has returned after treatment and metastatic prostate cancer (cancer that has spread outside the prostate gland, with no remaining link to the original cancer in the prostate gland). Different types of cancers tend to hit different categories of people. Knowing the risks and recognizing the signs could be critical. This is the fourth of a four-part series looking at common cancers that hit women, men, children and the elderly. Older people face a higher risk of cancer. About 77 per cent of all cancers that are diagnosed are found in those who are 55 years and older. If you are 65 or older, the chances of getting cancer are 10 times more likely than if you are under 65. Cancer patients above the age of 65 are also 15 times more likely to die from the disease. This is because the longer exposure to environmental and dietary factors produces a cumulative effect on the body. Older people are also less able to repair cellular damages, which can result in cancer if not removed.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Diabetes; Smart Self-Care

Easy ways to control Blood Sugar
Diabetes is metabolic problem that affects your body’s ability to make or respond to insulin, a hormone. Insulin regulates the delivery of blood glucose to your body’s organs and tissues, where it’s used for energy. Type 1, or insulin dependent, diabetes, is an inherited disease that affects the pancreas, destroying that organ’s ability to make insulin. Type 1 diabetes usually occurs during childhood or adolescence. 
Smart Self-Care
Women doctors say that if you have been diagnosed with diabetes of either type, you should be under medical supervision usually a GP, and often a registered dietitian, a nurse and an eye specialist, all working as a team. Change in diet, exercise and other self-care strategies that follow are important, but should be checked with your doctor or other health care professionals, particularly if you plan to have children. With proper blood sugar management, women with diabetes can get pregnant and deliver healthy children. Make sure that your blood sugar is meticulously controlled before you get pregnant. Women can do to control diabetes, lose fat, lose weight and four out of five women with type II diabetes are overweight, and they may even control their diabetes or reduce their medication if they lose weight. Calorically, fat is denser than protein or carbohydrates, so if you reduce the grams of fat that you eat, you automatically reduce calories. To lose weight, aim for a diet with fat grams comprising 20 to 30% of your total calories. Foods high in fibre may help people with diabetes control their blood sugar, fibre slows the absorption of carbohydrates that you ingest. And after eating a high fibre meal, you feel full. This can also help with weight loss.
Eating a big bowl of high fibre cereal for breakfast and a big bowl of chili for lunch, could help keep your blood sugar levels stable. According to one study, People with Type II diabetes who ate meals with 20 grams of fibre had significantly lower post meal blood sugar than others who ate meals with only 10 grams of fibre.
We use uncooked corn flour from the supermarket in people being treated for diabetes who experience episodes of hypoglycaemia, or low blood sugar. Uncooked corn flour is a very slow release type of sugar it takes up to 6 hours for your body to break it down and absorb it. Stir one or two teaspoons of uncooked corn flour into a glass of milk or sprinkle it into a pudding suggest consuming corn flour with an evening snack to prevent low blood sugar during the night, or before exercise, which affects blood sugar levels.
Consider a chromium supplement, tests show that people with diabetes may have lower blood levels of chromium than people without diabetes. Chromium may help people with Type II diabetes, because the body needs chromium to be able to respond to insulin. It is sometimes difficult to get beneficial amounts of chromium from food, so look for a multivitamin that supplies the recommended amounts for chromium 50 to 200 micrograms daily.
In the past, people with diabetes were told that they could not eat certain foods namely, refined carbohydrates like biscuits or sweets. But research shows that all carbohydrates will elevate blood sugar the same way; a biscuit is equal to a piece of bread, which is equal to a piece of fruit. If there’s food that you really like, make sure to include it in your diet. If your favorite snack food is biscuits but you never eat them, it’s easy to feel deprived and frustrated, and that can lead to bingeing. Have one bickie and enjoy it. The key here is to treat yourself in moderation don’t eat the entire packet.
Walk, swim, cycle, dance, and do some exercises burns fat and calories and can help you lose excess pounds. For women with diabetes, exercise offers added bonuses; Exercised muscles are more sensitive to insulin, improving the way our body metabolizes sugars. Plus, regular exercise lowers the risk of heart disease, a special concern for people with diabetes. The current recommendation is to exercise at least three times a week for about 30 to 40 minutes. Start out slowly. According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 8.4 million women in the US have diabetes, but only half know it. See your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms for than a week and then work your way up. Walk swim, cycle, dance do whatever you enjoy. This should be done under a doctor’s supervision, she adds as your medication and diet may need adjustment to accommodate your increased activity.
1.     Increased thirst, urination or appetite
2.     Dry Mouth
3.     Vomiting
4.     Diarrhoea
5.     Blurred Vision
6.     Rapid or irregular heartbeat
7.     Dizziness
8.     Unintentional weight loss
9.     Recurrent yeast or urinary tract infections.

See your doctor if you have diabetes ad you is pregnant or thinking of starting a family. Women with poorly controlled diabetes have higher risk of complicated pregnancies that could affect mother and baby.
Women with diabetes are also prone to problems with circulation or loss of feeling in their feet. So inspect your feet for red, dry, cracked skin; infections calluses or blisters. And see your doctor if you see signs of infection. Untreated even minor cuts or infections can lead to serious medical problems.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Low Blood Pressure

Low Blood Pressure
Pump Up your BP and Your Well-Being
Thirty seconds earlier, Pamela had no idea that she would find herself lying on her back in the middle of a crowd of people waiting for a bus in the midday heat. But there she was, prone on a hot pavement. A month of strenuous dieting and daily tennis matches had left her vulnerable to a abrupt drop in blood pressure, and when it dropped, so did she. In the absence of problems, BP hovers around 120/80 mm of mercury or so. What makes it tumble? In women Pamela’s age in their forties or younger BP can drop below 90/60 mmHg during pregnancy, hot weather or crash dieting. If someone is on high BP medication or has heart issues, the BP drop can be even more significant.
Pump Up the Blood Pressure
Low blood pressure can leave you feeling light-headed, sluggish or headachy. On the other hand, you can walk around with low blood pressure and not know it or feel it unless you happen to have your blood pressure checked for some reason. If you tend to experience bothersome drops in blood pressure, giving it a boost is easy. In that situation you need to drink lots of fluids. When you are sweating your way through a heat spell, BP can plummet quickly because of dehydration. If you are feeling faint, reach for a sports drink or consomm√©. Replace lost fluids, and your blood pressure will return to normal, relieving your symptoms. The sugar in these drinks will speed fluid into your cells, and the salt will help it stay there. Of course, plain water will also work wonders. Eating and feeling woozy and when was the last time that you ate? If it has been more than a couple of hours since your  last meal or snack, grab a bite to eat, even if it’s just half a sandwich or a piece of fruit. You will feel better in a jiffy.
Stand up slowly. Some people feel dizzy when they first stand up after sitting or lying down, a cardinal sign of momentarily low BP. This is caused by blood rushing to your legs from other areas. But your body can quickly adjust to it If you sit, jiggle your legs for a few moments, then sand slowly. If the light headedness returns, simply sit or lie down again until the feeling of faintness passes. Then stand up more slowly.
If you are repeatedly feel faint and light headed during the day. Check with your doctor. Also see your doctor if are actually losing consciousness upon standing or if you repeatedly feel light headed, tired or weak along with signs of internal bleeding such as dark stools. In younger women low BP may be a sign or chronic fatigue syndrome. In older women especially, symptoms of low BP may suggest the possibility o serious problems such as heart disease. 

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Helping your child Lose Weight

The fact that one is every five children in America is overweight is of real concerns, says obesity expert C.Wayne Callaway, M.D associate clinical professor of medicine of George Washington University in Washington. D.D Overweight in childhood is associated with heart disease, diabetes, and other problems later in life. An excess of fat cells developed as a child can also lead to a lifelong struggle with obesity. Some suggestions from Experts;
Don’t put your child on a diet. Kinds on a low calorie diet will stop developing normally. At best they will start cheating, but then you have put them into the position of being duplicitous, kids should be able to eat normally.
Follow the Food Guide Pyramid. A wide variety of nutritious foods is your best bet for retraining your child into healthy, satisfying eating habits.  Be sure your child gets enough calories. Energy demands for growing bodies especially adolescents, are higher than for adults. Whereas a grown woman may need 1400 calories a day, a teenage girl may need 2000 to 3000. As long as a child is eating healthy food, calories consumed and calories needs tend to balance out.
Encourage physical activity. Leisure time spent in front of a TV set instead of outside playing is one big factor in childhood obesity. Enroll your child in an after school program. Better yet, get out of the house and play with your kids yourself.  

Protect your Kids from Heart Disease

How old do kids have to be before you have to start worrying about protecting them from heart disease? Would you believe age 2? Medical research is indicating that having high blood cholesterol levels at a young age may lead to atherosclerosis (Heart disease) later in life. In this condition, cholesterol combines with other substances to form plaque a thick, hard deposit that can clog the arteries feeding the heart and brain. There is compelling evidence that this damaging process begins in childhood and progresses slowly into adulthood. The it often leads to coronary heart disease, which is the number one killer of American men and women. Check out these facts;
About 37% of American youth age 19 and younger have blood cholesterol levels of 170 mg/dL or higher. In adolescents this is considered high, comparable to a 200 mg/dL level in adults. About 42% of the people discharged from hospitals for coronary heart disease are younger than 65 years. Many of these adults have children who may have coronary heart disease risk factors that need attention. 

Recognizing and Treating Food borne illness

Many intestinal illnesses thought to be stomach flu are actually food poisoning, according to the centers for Disease Control.
Symptoms; Abdominal discomfort, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue and fever are the most common. Symptoms usually appear and pass within 4 to 48 hours after beating contaminated food. They can, however, appear anywhere from 20 minutes to two weeks after eating. 
Treatment: your best bet is to rest and drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Don’t use anti-diarrheal medications because they may slow elimination of the bacteria from your system.
Please consult with Doctor: Symptoms persist more than three days.
Diarrhea or vomiting is excessive which could lead to dehydration if fluid isn’t replaced quickly. If you haven’t urinated for 12 hours you are perhaps dehydrated.
Diarrhea is bloody. This could be a symptom of E.Coli 0157:H7 infection, which could lead to kidney failure and death.
You get a stiff neck, severe headache, and fever all at once. This could signal meningitis, inflammation of the brain’s lining, which can be caused by Listeria bacteria.
You are at high risk. Young children, elderly people anyone whose immune system is compromised person undergoing treatment for cancer or people with AIDS for example and pregnant women are more vulnerable to serious illness. 

Belching Brust Your Bubbles

A belch is swallowed air that comes back up normally, with a noisy, embarrassing vengeance. In fact, 70% of air in the gastrointestinal tract is swallowed airs, says by Dr Ernestine Hambrick, a colon and rectal surgeon. You gulp in air because youeat too fast, drink carbonated drinks or chew gum or sometimes because you are nervous, Probably you swallow air when you talk and eat simultaneously. “Along with the peas goes in air. A few simple tricks can minimize belching. Try simethicone. Available over the counter, this enables you to belch, so the bloating goes down.
Skip the bubbly stuff and bubble gum. Certain foods and drinks are particularly wind producing. Stay away from sparkling drinks and chewing gum. Drink from a straw. Drinking through straw results in less air swallowing. The more quickly you eat, the more likely you are to take in air. If you chew your food thoroughly before you swallow it, air is less likely to enter your digestive tract.
Put a few morsels in your tummy. Haven’t eaten all day if your stomach gets too empty, it’ll fill up with windy air. Problem is, the air doesn’t stay put, but sooner or later comes out as wind and you can’t control when. Switch to relaxed fit jeans. Sometimes wearing tight girdles or belts or too snug, trousers and skirts can force air up and out. To keep the belching down to a minimum, wear loose comfortable clothes.