Monthly Archives: August 2014
In 2007, the estimated economic cost of diabetes was $174 billion. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of this amount, $116 billion was direct medical costs and $58 billion was due to indirect costs such as lost workdays, restricted activity and disability due to diabetes.
Diabetes refers to how your body uses blood sugar, or glucose. Having diabetes, no matter which type, means that you have too much glucose in your blood. Having too much glucose can lead to serious health issues such as cardiovascular disease, nerve damage in the limbs, kidney damage, foot damage, skin conditions, hearing impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.
Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the US in 2010.
An estimated 79 million adults aged 20 and older have prediabetes and most of them aren’t aware of it. Prediabetes is a condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be called diabetes. Those with prediabetes are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes within the next 10 years.
People with type 2 diabetes either lose the ability to respond to insulin or their bodies no longer make enough of it. Insulin helps the body use glucose as fuel and without it, sugar builds up in the bloodstream. People with prediabetes belong to a large group of individuals with a condition known as insulin resistance syndrome, or IRS, in which the body gradually loses sensitivity to the blood-sugar-regulating hormone.
Individuals with IRS tend to have a family history of heart disease and diabetes, as well as a characteristic of obesity in which weight settles around the abdomen rather than below the waist, high levels of triglycerides in the blood, high blood pressure and low levels of “good” cholesterol.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends blood glucose screening if you have any of the above risk factors for prediabetes.
If you are diagnosed with prediabetes, healthy lifestyle choices can help bring your blood sugar levels back to normal or to help keep it from rising toward the levels seen in type 2 diabetes. Guidelines from the American College of Endocrinology suggest the following to treat prediabetes:
- Eat healthy foods. Choose foods low in fat and calories and high in fiber.
- Get more physical activity. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five time a week.
- Lose excess pounds. If you’re overweight, losing five to 10 percent of your body weight can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
At Health Concerns, we have a variety of formulas that can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, which in turn, helps your body regulate your blood glucose levels (click the formula name to view its monograph):
Everybody experiences digestive problems from time to time, but not everyone feels comfortable with discussing them. In 2009, there were 51 million visits to American physician offices, hospital outpatient and emergency departments with digestive disorders as the primary diagnosis, according to the Center for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC).
This evidence suggests that digestive disorders are steadily becoming a problem. Below are eight of the most common digestive disorders many Americans experience.
Symptoms of reflux, such as heartburn, are among the most common of the digestive difficulties. In 2004, approximately 20 percent of Americans reported reflux symptoms that have occurred at least weekly. Frequent symptoms may indicate a person has gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
Heartburn is defined as a burning sensation in your chest, just behind your breastbone. “It may be accompanied by a sour taste in the mouth, hypersalivation, or even finding food or fluid in the mouth,” said Michael Gold, a gastroenterologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C.
Peptic ulcers are open sores that develop on the inside lining of your esophagus, stomach and upper portion of your small intestine. According to the CDC, over 25 million Americans will suffer from an ulcer at one time in their lives. The most common symptom of a peptic ulcer is abdominal pain.
Every year, nearly 1 million Americans are diagnosed with gallstones. Gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluids, which are primarily made of cholesterol and bile salts. Only 25 percent of people with gallstones will require treatment.
Gallstones can vary in size from as small as a grain of sand to as large as a golf ball. Some people may develop only one gallstone, while others may develop multiple gallstones at one time.
Lactose intolerance, also known as lactose deficiency, is caused by a person’s inability to digest the milk sugar (lactose) in dairy products. Between 30 and 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant, with the majority affected being African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Native Americans.
Though symptoms are not deadly, they can be uncomfortable. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include cramping, bloating, gas, nausea and diarrhea.
Diverticulitis occurs when small, bulging pouches, called diverticula, form in your digestive system such as in your esophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine. Diverticula are common in people 40 and older, yet only 20 percent will experience complications.
Diverticulitis can cause severe abdominal pain, nausea, fever and a change in bowel habits.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) involves inflammation of part or all of your digestive tract. Two of the most common inflammatory bowel diseases are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Ulcerative colitis causes long-lasting inflammation in part of your digestive tract, usually in the innermost lining of your colon and rectum. Symptoms usually develop over time rather than suddenly.
Crohn’s disease causes inflammation anywhere along the lining of the digestive tract and spreads deeply into affected tissues. Symptoms involve abdominal pain, severe diarrhea and even malnutrition. The inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease can involve different areas of a person’s digestive tract in different people.
About one percent of the U.S. population has Celiac disease, which is an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Symptoms vary from person to person and may include abdominal pain, bloating, chronic diarrhea, vomiting, constipation and pale, foul-smelling or fatty stools.
According to the Mayo Clinic, constipation is described as having less than three bowel movements a week. Occasional constipation is common, but some people experience chronic constipation and may have difficulty going about their daily routine. Signs of chronic constipation include fewer than three stools passed weekly, lumpy or hard stools and straining to have bowel movements.
At Health Concerns, we have a variety of formulas that can help you treat a variety of symptoms for your digestive problems. These formulas include: