Fight di­a­betes with proper med­i­ca­tions

Lethbridge Herald - - HEALTH & LIFESTYLES -

In one “Satur­day Night Live” skit, Kristin Wiig plays a woman in a Chan­tix com­mer­cial. As in any real drug com­mer­cial, the nar­ra­tor comes on list­ing pos­si­ble side-ef­fects: “If you no­tice ... a pow­er­ful, over­whelm­ing de­sire to kill the per­son you love most, call your doc­tor right away.” And, “If you no­tice symp­toms such as rashes, fever, droopy lip, jazz hands, Robert De Niro face or In­cred­i­ble Hulk strength, call the po­lice right away.”

The list of side-ef­fects jammed in at the end of real drug com­mer­cials of­ten seems stag­ger­ing, but a new re­view in the journal Di­a­betes, Obe­sity and Metabolism looked at 1.6 mil­lion peo­ple with Type 2 di­a­betes and found that a third of pre­scrip­tions for met­formin, the first-line drug used to man­age di­a­betes, are never filled. Re­searchers think the drug’s side ef­fects, like gut prob­lems or hav­ing to take one or more pills daily, dis­cour­ages folks from tak­ing it.

If you’re skip­ping your pre­scribed di­a­betes med(s) or know some­one who is, work with your doc or talk to them about do­ing so. Find a treat­ment rou­tine to stick with. There are lots of op­tions, more ev­ery year.

Tak­ing your pre­scribed di­a­betes med­i­ca­tion is cru­cial to help pre­vent com­pli­ca­tions like eye, nerve, heart and kid­ney dis­ease, and AM­PU­TA­TIONS! (Life­style up­grades also are cru­cial: daily ex­er­cise — 10,000 steps — and avoid­ing the Five Food Felons of added sug­ars and syrups, pro­cessed grains and sat and trans fats.)

ONLY BREASTFEEDING OR FOR­MULA FOR SIX MONTHS: WHY IS IT SO HARD?

Breastfeeding moms have been ha­rassed for feed­ing an in­fant in mu­se­ums, on planes or trains and in shops and restau­rants. One was even ar­rested last year for breastfeeding in a se­cluded sec­tion of a Wal­mart in Lynch­burg, Vir­ginia.

Such dis­ap­proval of pub­lic breastfeeding makes is easy to un­der­stand why so few women con­tinue ex­clu­sively breastfeeding an in­fant for the first six months as rec­om­mended by the Na­tional In­sti­tute of Child Health and Hu­man Devel­op­ment. In fact, only 51 per cent of moms are breastfeeding at all by the time their baby is six months old.

New data gath­ered from 2009-2014 finds that only 32.5 per cent of ba­bies in the U.S. were in­tro­duced to com­ple­men­tary foods (in­clud­ing cow’s milk, juice, su­gar wa­ter, baby food, wa­ter) at six months, when it’s rec­om­mended. Around 16 per cent got such food be­fore four months; al­most 39 per cent at four to five months.

To make it pos­si­ble for you to con­tinue feed­ing your baby only breast­milk or for­mula for the first six months:

• De­velop strate­gies for pump­ing: Em­ploy­ers are re­quired to pro­vide a pri­vate, clean space to do so.

• Af­ter a few months, con­sider us­ing for­mula to com­ple­ment breast milk when head­ing into po­ten­tially dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions.

At least the Pope gets it: He just is­sued a state­ment declar­ing that women are wel­come to breast­feed dur­ing church ser­vices in the Sis­tine Chapel. Hal­lelu­jah!

GO FOR THE GREENS

Be­tween 1984 and 2010 there were four movies ti­tled “Green”! They ranged in sub­ject mat­ter from a bad LSD trip and liv­ing ru­ral (1984), to mak­ing money run­ning a mar­i­juana busi­ness (2010). All are rated one star.

Some­how they missed the news that the real power of green is to fuel your brain. A new study in Neu­rol­ogy of 960 older folks — av­er­age age 81 — found that the top 20 per cent of leafy green eaters (they ate an av­er­age of 1.3 serv­ings daily) de­layed their cog­ni­tive ag­ing by 11 years com­pared with the 20 per cent of folks who had never seen a salad they liked (they ate less than a tenth of a serv­ing of leafy greens daily).

The nu­tri­ents in green leafy veg­gies — such as spinach, col­lard greens, kale, bok choy, turnip greens, dark-green leafy let­tuce, wa­ter­cress, arugula and mesclun — that are the brain boost­ers in­clude vi­ta­min K, lutein, beta carotene, ni­trate, fo­late, the flavonol kaempferol, and a form of vi­ta­min E called al­phaTo­co­pherol.

So what should you do to get the full rec­om­mended amount of seven to nine daily serv­ings of veg­gies and fruits?

• Eat at least three to four serv­ings of dark-green leafy veg­eta­bles; get the rest of your veg­gies from a va­ri­ety of colours to max­i­mize your nu­tri­ent in­take. Opt for at least two serv­ings of fruit (a whole small ap­ple, one cup chopped melon) daily.

• Raw green leafy veg­gies: one cup is one serv­ing. Cooked green leafy veg­gies: 1/2 cup is a serv­ing be­cause they cook down.

WHEN LYME DIS­EASE LINGERS, IT’S IN YOUR BODY, NOT IN YOUR HEAD!

On a “Se­in­feld” episode, Jerry has given Kramer his spare keys, but keeps find­ing Kramer in his apart­ment at in­op­por­tune times. Fi­nally, Jerry brings a date home, only to see Kramer and his girl­friend emerg­ing from his bed­room. “All right, that’s it. Hand ’em over,” says Jerry. Fi­nally, Kramer agrees to, but threat­ens, “You’re go­ing to re­gret this.” Prob­a­bly not!

Ush­er­ing out a “guest” who just won’t leave is the same as KO-ing a stub­born bac­te­rial in­fec­tion and restor­ing your good health. But what if you are in­fected with a bac­te­ria that just won’t go? Turns out, that’s some­times the case with the Lyme dis­ease bac­te­ria.

A study in PlosOne re­veals that the in­fec­tion can linger af­ter you’ve taken long-term an­tibi­otics and tests show you’re OK (even though you keep feel­ing lousier and lousier). That’s be­cause it’s pos­si­ble for Lyme bac­te­ria to sur­vive the typ­i­cal 28-day course of an­tibi­otics. In fact, sur­viv­ing bac­te­ria can mi­grate to or­gans like the heart and brain, even when tests for the bac­te­ria show neg­a­tive re­sults.

So, if you’ve been treated for Lyme dis­ease and fa­tigue, joint pain, con­fu­sion, numb­ness, heart prob­lems or other hard-to-fig­ure-out symp­toms per­sist, you’re not crazy! Your symp­toms well might be re­lated to a con­tin­u­ing Lyme in­fec­tion.

UN­DER­STAND­ING HOW THE BRAIN CRE­ATES STUTTERING

When Bri­tish ac­tress Emily Blunt hits the big screen as Mary Pop­pins in the De­cem­ber re­lease “Mary Pop­pins Re­turns,” few will guess that she stut­tered as a child. She told an in­ter­viewer in 2008: “I was a smart kid, and had a lot to say, but I just couldn’t say it ... I never thought I’d be able to sit and talk to some­one like I’m talk­ing to you right now.”

What changed every­thing? “One of my teach­ers at school had a bril­liant idea and said, ‘Why don’t you speak in an ac­cent in our school play?’... It was re­ally a mir­a­cle,” says Blount.

Well, it turns out there’s a sci­en­tific ex­pla­na­tion for the brain ac­tiv­ity that trig­gers — or avoids — stuttering. Whether it’s ini­ti­ated by ge­net­ics, a head trauma, pre­ma­ture birth, a birth com­pli­ca­tion or some un­known fac­tor, it’s a dis­rup­tion in the mo­tion or mus­cle move­ment in­volved in speak­ing that causes the speaker to “get stuck.” In a stut­terer’s brain, hy­per­ac­tiv­ity in re­gions of the right hemi­sphere causes other brain ar­eas in­volved in the ini­ti­a­tion and ter­mi­na­tion of mo­tor move­ments to mal­func­tion.

What does this mean for those who stut­ter? One day soon, there will be ways of restor­ing nor­mal func­tion to those brain ar­eas, so mo­tion re­lated to speech starts and stops nor­mally. But un­til then, the best op­tions are speech ther­apy, cog­ni­tive be­hav­ioral ther­apy and us­ing elec­tronic de­vices that can im­prove flu­ency.

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