Archive for November, 2015

November is Diabetes Awareness Month!

Friday, November 6th, 2015
Diabetes Awareness

Diabetes Awareness

Diabetes is a disease that is characterized by high glucose levels that result in the body’s inability to properly use or produce insulin. There are 3 different types of diabetes; type 1, type 2 and Gestational diabetes, with type 2 being the most common. More than 29 million Americans have diabetes and more than 8 million people are undiagnosed. Diabetes can be controlled with a proper diet, regular exercise, losing weight and checking blood glucose levels. However most people with this disease will progressively get worse and many patients will need to take insulin. Additionally, as people age, their risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases. This is probably due to people gaining weight and becoming more sedentary as they age.

There are many complications that can arise from not getting your blood sugar under control. These conditions include cardiovascular disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, foot damage which could lead to amputation, hearing problems and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Common symptoms of diabetes include excessive thirst, frequent urination, intense hunger, tingling and numbness in hands and feet, wounds that won’t heal, blurry vision and an increase in yeast infections. Women with diabetes are more prone to bladder and vaginal infections and men often experience sexual dysfunction.

So what can you do to control your diabetes?

  • Lose 10 pounds- this is an achievable goal which can greatly impact your glucose levels.
  • Get more exercise- walk, swim, take the stairs instead of an elevator
  • Quit smoking- smoking makes diabetes harder to control
  • Relax/ Rid yourself of stress – meditate, practice yoga, go for a walk
  • Monitor your blood glucose levels- do this throughout the day so you can see how the changes you’ve made are making a difference and what you may need to do more of to help.

 

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November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month!

Monday, November 2nd, 2015
Alzheimer's Awareness

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia. It is a disease that causes problems with thinking, behavior and memory. Over 45 million people in the world suffer from Alzheimer’s and these numbers are expected to triple over the next 35 years. This disease is usually slow to progress however symptoms usually worsen over time and people with this disease have difficulty performing daily tasks. Although this disease mostly affects the aging population and most people with Alzheimer’s are over age 65, it is not a normal part of aging.

There are some risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s. The obvious one is age. But family history and genetics also play a major role. Other risk factors that may play a role in developing Alzheimer’s include head trauma, heart conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol and diabetes. Additionally, because Latinos and African Americans are at greater risk for developing a heart condition, they are also at greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s.

So what can you do now to keep yourself healthy and possibly keep Alzheimer’s at bay as you age? Studies suggest that having good overall health may help. Stay with in a healthy weight, don’t drink excessive amounts of alcohol, don’t smoke, get regular exercise, be mentally stimulated, and connect socially with friends. Some recent studies also suggest that eating a Mediterranean diet may help. This includes consuming mostly fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, fish and chicken a couple times a week and even a glass of wine daily.

So what are some of the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s? Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Memory loss
  • Trouble with daily tasks
  • Confusion with time or place
  • Misplacing things
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Mood changes

 

Although there is no cure for this disease, there are medications available that will help to slow the progression, making daily activities easier. If you feel that you or a loved one may be starting to show symptoms of Alzheimer’s please make an appointment to see your doctor. Some medications that are commonly prescribed for Alzheimer’s patients include Aricept, Exelon Patch, Namenda, Namzaric and Razadyne.

For more information about Alzheimer’s and care giving, please visit http://www.alz.org/

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