05/29/2014

Creating Your Meal Plan

The goal of your meal plan should be to control your blood sugar, maintain a healthy body weight, and feel well enough to carry on your daily activities and work. A Registered Dietitian (R.D.) can assist you in planning the right amounts of foods, types of foods, and timing of meals. You can reach an R.D. through your local diabetes education program, or by calling the American Dietetic Association at 1-800-366-1655.

As you begin to develop your own meal plan, you may want to start by thinking about the foods that you normally eat. You can do this by keeping a list of everything you eat for three days, the time you eat them, and the amount you eat. After you have completed this list, work with your healthcare team to analyze the results. As you analyze your diet, ask yourself the following questions:

  • how does your diet compare to the Food Guide Pyramid?
  • what are your favorite foods?
  • do you have "problem foods," such as donuts or French fries, that are not healthy and that you probably eat too much of?
  • what size are your food portions?
  • how often do you eat?
  • how often do you over-eat?
  • do you have a time of day that is more difficult to follow your meal plan?

After you analyze your diet, you should work with your healthcare team to develop a meal plan that makes sense for you. This plan should consider the foods you enjoy as well as your usual eating habits, age, sex, weight, level of physical activity, and medications. Your own meal plan will tell you the kinds and amounts of food to eat. Even with this plan, you'll still have to make daily choices about food.

22:41 Posted in Blog, Science | Permalink | Comments (0)

Statins: Medication for Lowering Cholesterol

Medication for lowering cholesterol is the largest selling prescription medication in the market, therefore a huge business for pharmaceutical companies. One of the most effective medications for lowering cholesterol are statins. Statins have been known for some serious side effects which are fortunately rare, that said, some specific statins have shown to have some pretty high occurrence of serious side effects, including instances of death. There is a group of scientists and doctors that believe that cholesterol-lowering medications do more harm than good, there is actually a movement against using these medications, it’s called The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics. Obviously, those who have had or have seen serious side effects from statins happening are against the medication, on the other hand numbers show that since using the medication the occurrence of death from heart attacks has decreased.

I did quite a bit of research on this, and from the looks of it there a certain age groups that don’t seem to benefit from taking these medications, particularly those over 70 years old. Moreover, many studies show questionable results regarding the benefit of use associated with these medications for women, however, the general consensus among doctors is that the medication is overall beneficial, though many believe that it’s overused and for instances where the problem can be solved by nature a means, like exercise and proper diet, a certain number of physicians just prescribe the medication anyways, instead of following through and making sure that patients stick to a healthy proper diet and regular exercise regime. Obviously in today’s pace of life a lot of people just choose the easy way of taking the cholesterol-lowering medication and not bothering with lifestyle changes necessary to take the issue under control, and quite honestly, knowing how insane the pace could be, it’s difficult to blame them.

22:40 Posted in Blog, Science | Permalink | Comments (0)

Idiopathic Cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy is a term used to refer to a group of heart disease disorders that are related to the heart muscle. There are 4 specific types of cardiomyopathy including restrictive, dilated, hypertrophic and alcoholic cardiomyopathy. Each type can have various causes such as alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders, hereditary or genetic disorders or even pregnancy. In cases where the cardiomyopathy cause is not clearly known, the patient may be diagnosed with idiopathic cardiomyopathy. Idiopathic refers unknown etiology or unknown cause. 

The most common kind of idiopathic cardiomyopathy is dilated cardiomyopathy in which the heart muscles are enlarged and sometimes weakened muscles that become enlarged and stretched over time and this causes the heart to fail to meet the blood flow pumping needs of the vital organs of the body. Because it happens overtime and is usually undetected, dilated cardiomyopathy is usually referred to as idiopathic. Other forms of idiopathic cardiomyopathy include hypertrophic and ARVD, a rare type of idiopathic cardiomyopathy that is often found in younger teenagers and children.

As with other kinds of cardiomyopathy, all forms of idiopathic cardiomyopathy can be inherited genetically or as a result of several things such as alcohol and drug abuse. It is common in most age groups particularly between adolescence and late adulthood. Idiopathic refers to unknown cause and since this heart muscle disorder has most people that have this disorder do not really know about it until it is too late, there are various symptoms that can indicate the possibility of cardiomyopathy.

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Symptoms & Diagnosis

The best way to detect idiopathic cardiomyopathy of all kinds is to check the symptoms early even if the cause is not known. Symptoms can range from difficulty in breathing such as shortness of breath, fluid retention or even swelling of the ankles, feet and abdomen. Some other symptoms might also include fatigue and a high urine outtake. These symptoms should be taken seriously as all forms of dilated or idiopathic cardiomyopathy can result in heart failure and untimely death. 

A doctor or cardiologist should be able to diagnose the symptoms to provide a clear diagnosis of the heart condition that a patient is suffering and recommend treatment. In many cases, there might be a need to elaborate on family genetic history to examine if the disorder is inherited or is the result of other causes. Since the disorders’ exact cause is unknown, a doctor or cardiologist might recommend several types of treatment to resolve the disorder.

How to Treat Idiopathic Cardiomyopathy 

Treatment for idiopathic cardiomyopathy can range from being put on a life support system or pacemaker to having heart surgery or just being put on medication. The medication that is given might help to lower blood pressure and assist a patient in regaining normal blood pressure and blood flow. For long term results, the best approach would be to have heart surgery or being assisted by a pacemaker. A heart transplant may be a last resort is the heart muscle has been severely damaged. 

Dealing with idiopathic cardiomyopathy earlier than later is always the best way to guarantee some kind of reversing this disorder before it is too late. 

22:38 Posted in Blog, Science | Permalink | Comments (0)

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