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How to Lose Weight if You’re a Diabetic

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Although not all diabetics are overweight, majority of the cases are caused by poor eating habits that led to weight gain. If that is the case, then your doctor will recommend that you lose weight so that it will be easier to treat the symptoms and to avoid the complications of the disease.

Here are the things to keep in mind when losing weight as a diabetic.

Consult Your Dietitian
While there are hundreds of diet fads designed to make people lose weight fast, remember that these are not for everyone. Some diets restrict people in eating only a few certain types of food, and that is not necessarily a good thing for you. Therefore, you should consult your doctor or your dietitian about your plans to lose weight, so that they can come up with the right diet plan for you. A diet for a diabetic will usually consist of the following: beans, nuts, poultry, eggs, oily fish, berries, sweet potatoes, non-starchy vegetables, nonfat milk and yogurt or low-fat milk and yogurt, and whole grains.

Learn to Count Calories
Ideally, a diabetic should have a diet of high fiber, lean protein, low-fat dairy, low sodium, vegetable-based fats, and fruits. But more importantly, you need to learn how to monitor your daily carbohydrate intake, which should be 60 grams per meal for men and 45 grams per meal for women. Some of the food you need to avoid are the following: processed grains, fruits with sweeteners, full-fat dairy, fried food, high-trans fat or saturated food, food with refined flour, and high-glycemic content food.

Get Regular and Proper Exercise
Regular exercise can help lower your blood sugar levels and improve your health overall, but before you begin any exercise regimen, you need to consult your doctor especially if you have other existing health problems such as hypertension. Most doctors recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise daily, but you can start slowly if you have not been active for years. You also don’t need to sign up for a gym membership, because general activities such as doing household chores can count as exercise. Other activities such as brisk walking, light jogging, and bike riding are good alternatives. However, make sure that you look out for hypoglycemia by eating properly and taking the right medication as per doctor’s instructions before exercising.

Check Your Sugar Levels
Lastly, do not forget to monitor your sugar levels regularly by observing the following ideal numbers:

• Fasting: 80 to 130 mg/dl or 4.4 to 7.2 mmol/L
• 2 Hours after a Meal: not more than 180 mg/dl or 10 mmol/L
• HbA1c: 7% or less

Record the results of your blood tests, especially if you are taking rapid-action insulin or practicing a rigorous exercise routine.

Managing Your Blood Sugar Level if You’re a Diabetic

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Controlling the blood sugar level will enable a diabetic to have a productive, healthy life regardless of the type of diabetes that is affecting the body. This means arming yourself with the right information about normal blood glucose levels, testing and recording blood glucose levels, and coming up with the right diet plan, exercise, and weight control regimes.

Understanding the Blood Sugar Chart
For a diabetic, the blood sugar chart is usually divided into three sections with different values for fasting, HbA1c, and two hours after meal.

The blood sugar level for a non-diabetic after fasting should be between 70 to 99 mg/dl or 3.9 to 5.5 mmol/L. For a diabetic, the numbers are slightly higher, such as the fasting blood sugar level that should be between 80 to 130 mg/dl or 4.5 to 7.2 mmol/L. After a 2-hour fast, the level should be less than 180 mg/dl or 10 mmol/L, while your HbA1c should be at 7% or lower.

Fasting blood sugar (FBS) means that you should not eat anything for at least 8 hours before checking your blood glucose levels, while the 2-hour postprandial measures your blood glucose level 2 hours after the last meal. FBS is the standard test to determine if you are diabetic or not. HbA1c on the other hand, refers to hemoglobin A1c or glycated hemoglobin test, a method that determines how well you are controlling your condition over the past 2 months.

Testing and Recording Blood Glucose Levels
A diabetic should check his/her blood glucose daily at home or as recommended by the doctor. There are blood glucose meter kits sold in pharmacies at Singapore or you can get one from your healthcare provider. It comes with test strips, lancets and a lancet device, and a blood glucose meter.

To test your sugar levels (either before breakfast or 2 hours after a meal), you prick your finger with a lancet and add the drop of blood on a test strip. The strip should then be inserted into the meter so that it will display figures indicating your blood sugar level. Record all the results of your tests in a diary or a notebook so that you can show it later to your doctor during routine check-ups. How often you need to check your blood glucose level will vary for each diabetic.

Correct Diet, Exercise, and Weight
Diabetics are advised to observe a diet that is very low in calories, low in carbohydrates, and low in fats. The advisable calorie intake should be between 1,500 to 1,800 per day, and with a ratio of 60:20:20 for carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. You will feel more confident about what you eat if you prepare the food yourself.

With proper diet and regular exercise, you should be able to control your body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 to 24.9. You should also remember that your waistline should not exceed 80 cm (females) or 94 cm (males).

Nail Fungal Infections You Should Be Aware Of

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Although nail fungal infections are very common, they can be difficult to treat and can spread easily among people. Other nail conditions suspected to be fungal infections are also misdiagnosed nail dystrophies, bacterial infections, dermatitis, lichen or mold, eczema, and psoriasis that is why it’s important to get a proper diagnosis. Some types produce less serious symptoms, but there are nail fungal infections which can be painful and difficult to manage.

Symptoms of Nail Fungal Infection
Although the severity of the symptoms will vary, there are common signs of nail fungal infection that should be easy to spot, such as; the discoloration of the toenail/s (they can turn yellow, black, green, or white), changes in the shape and texture of the nails, pain and discomfort when pressure is placed on the toes, and the breaking or cracking or crumbling of the nails.

• Candida Onychomycosis
Also called yeast infection, this type of fungal infection affects the skin around the nails as well. The symptoms may include pain, weakened nails and nail bed, distorted nail shape, discoloration of the nails, thickening of the nails, and infected skin around the nails. The nail might also separate from the nail bed if the condition is not treated.

This is treated with oral medication, topical creams, and laser treatment if there is an infection.

• Distal Subungual Onychomycosis
The fungi that causes this infection is also the same fungi that causes athlete’s food and is also the most common nail fungal infection in the world. The fungi affect the nail bed and nail, making the area weak and crumbly, resulting in the accumulation of nail and skin debris.

Unfortunately, the condition can be difficult to treat, and part of the nail might have to be removed if there is an infection. Laser surgery is usually performed, but it will require several visits to the podiatrist.

• Proximal Subungual Onychomycosis
This type of fungal infection affects the nail base and causes it to thicken, resulting in the separation of the nail from the nail fold. People with this condition are also prone to infections. Although not common, most people with this type of fungal infection have human immunodeficiency virus.

The treatment for proximal subungual onychomycosis is like that of distal subungual onychomycosis because the fungi that caused the infection is the same. It is also difficult to treat and may take years before any improvements can be seen through a combination of oral medication, topical creams, and laser treatment.

• White Superficial Onychomycosis
Another common type of nail fungal infection, this is probably the easiest to treat among the four. It is characterized by the appearance of white spots on the nails, and if not treated, the affected nails will eventually crumble.

To treat this fungal infection, the doctor will recommend topical medications and laser treatment. Oral medication is rare because the side-effects can sometimes be nastier than the nail fungal symptoms.

The 5 Most Common Fatal Diseases in Singapore

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Although Singapore’s health and mortality rate is considered good, according to several health-related studies, the most common causes of death are related to lifestyle practices. These are diseases that are non-communicable and may be acquired by people through heredity or bad eating and drinking habits.

In a 2015 survey, external causes like accident came in only at 5th among the causes of death. The following diseases are the common culprits.

1. Cancer

The common types of cancer in the country that affect the women are breast, colo-rectum, lung and corpus uteri cancer. For the men colo-rectum, lung, prostate, liver and lymphoma cancer are prevalent. This is regardless of ethnic and economic background. There are types of cancer that can be cured, but statistics in different studies are conflicting.

2. Pneumonia

The symptoms of pneumonia resemble common colds so most people overlook the condition until the damage becomes too obvious to ignore. Pneumonia is a viral or bacterial infection of the lungs that causes inflammation from mucus and pus. The person will experience difficulty breathing, high fever and shoulder and chest pain.

3. Ischaemic Heart Diseases

This is also known by the name coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease. The blood flow and circulation of oxygen in other parts of the body is constricted. The arteries become narrower and affect the heart in the long run. The problem with this condition is that a lot of people aren’t aware that they have this until they experience a heart attack.

4. Cerebrovascular Diseases

When the blood supply to the brain is limited or restricted, the brain becomes inflamed. This could lead to a stroke or impairment and dementia. The person will experience an intense headache at first. Cerebrovascular diseases include thrombosis, hemorrhage, embolism, atherosclerosis, and aneurysm.

5. Hypertensive Diseases

These are conditions caused by high blood pressure. If hypertension isn’t managed, it could result to the thickening or enlargement of the heart, narrowing of the arteries, arrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, heart failure, stroke and cardiac arrest. People with this condition are advised to lose or maintain the right weight, exercise, and minimize intake of cholesterol, fat and sugar.

Other diseases to watch out for:

Diabetes Mellitus

When the body has high sugar levels for an extended time, the person has diabetes. Hyperglycemia is the result of lack of or the failure to use the insulin hormone produced by the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes is common among young people. The immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells. Type 2 diabetes manifests among older people and is characterized by the body’s inability to properly use insulin.

Kidney and Liver Diseases

When the kidney can no longer function properly, the body cannot clean the blood, filter extra water and control blood pressure. Kidney diseases are usually complications of diabetes, high blood pressure, and viral diseases. Liver disease on the other hand can cause vomiting and nausea, abdominal pain, jaundice, fatigue and weight loss. It is caused by alcohol abuse, different types of hepatitis, and cirrhosis.

5 Surprising Health Benefits of Napping

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Napping has long been seen as a sign of both luxury and slackery, but taking naps shouldn’t have this stigma anymore. From lowering your blood pressure to boosting your memory, getting some midday shut-eye can actually be beneficial for your health and productivity at work.

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  1. Boosts Alertness. Among the known benefits taking power naps is an added boost in one’s alertness. A NASA study even found that pilots who snoozed for 40 minutes showed higher levels of alertness compared to those who didn’t rest. In fact, even a 10 to 20-minute shut-eye is already enough to make you feel more alert throughout the day.

 

  1. Enhances Creativity. Our mind love naps, and there’s no denying it. Spending a couple of hours for some daytime sleep actually aids in boosting your cognitive processing, improving memory recall and enhancing your creativity. This happens because taking longer naps allows sleepers to enter REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase, leading to a better performance on coming up of creative solutions on most word problems.

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  1. Increases Productivity. Experts agree that taking an afternoon nap is in fact the opposite of being lazy in the workplace, because having a siesta break actually helps in improving one’s work output. In fact, taking a short power nap is already enough for a worn-out, sleep deprived employee to be more productive at work.

 

  1. Lifts Willpower. Boosting your willpower can be tough when you’re sleep deprived and tired. A good way to lift your willpower? Having a midday power nap. Being able to rest midday can aid in reversing your usual willpower drain from day- to night-time. Aside from that, a siesta break also reduces stress, improves mood, and restores your focus at work.

 

  1. Zaps Stress. Part of the reason why you’re smiling after taking a nap might be related to relaxation. Just the luxury of escaping from all your present problems can already be great stress-reliever, even if you don’t nap for too long. Experts even recommend that you consider it as a ‘mini-vacation’ from all the stress at work.

You might think of napping as an act of slacking at work, but taking a few minutes to snooze actually does the opposite. So consider taking a good power nap now, and reap its amazing health and productivity benefits.

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