Category Archives: Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness Substance Abuse

Study: Alcohol May Be Able To Help People With Clinical Depression

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Can a few bottles of alcohol help those who are suffering from clinical depression? New research seems to say so.

According to a study published in the latest issue of Nature Communications, alcohol might be the best quick fix for those who are suffering from clinical depression. They found out that alcohol can produce the same biochemistry as that of antidepressants, as reported in a news release. This means that alcohol produces the same type of neural and molecular changes evident in drugs prescribed to rapidly alleviate clinical depression.

Kimberly Raab-Graham, Ph.D., associate professor of physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest School of Medicine and the principal investigator of the research study, stated that there is now a biochemical and behavioral data supporting the hypothesis that alcohol can benefit those with major depressive disorders.

It is important to note that the study does not suggest that alcohol should be regarded as an effective treatment for depression. Raab-Graham also reiterated that there’s a potential danger in self-medicating with alcohol because it usually leads to addiction and health complications.

The study only shows that alcohol has the same biochemical pathway as rapid antidepressants when tested in animals, which resulted to favorable response. Raab-Graham stresses that additional research is still needed in this area to further provide a biological basis for the natural human instinct to self-medicate.


Health & Wellness

Married Diabetics Have Better Weight Management Than Singles

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A research conducted by Dr. Yoshinobu Kondo and his colleagues at Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine and Chigasaki Municipal Hospital showed that diabetics who are married are less likely to gain weight as opposed to single individuals who have the disease. The study also revealed that married people who have diabetes are less likely to be overweight by 50 percent, according to a news release.

The researchers studied medical records of 270 patients with type 2 diabetes from 2010 to 2016. The pool of people included 180 married patients who were living with their significant other, as well as 90 single patients. The results showed that married people had a lower average body mass index compared to singles.

Along with body mass index, married people also had lower levels of HbA1c (a measurement of blood sugar control) and lower rates of metabolism syndrome compared to the single patients. The risk of metabolic syndrome was lower by 58 percent for married men compared to single men.

Despite that, the researchers were unable to find evidence to directly link marital status and metabolic syndrome in women.

The findings were presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes meeting in Munich, Germany. The findings presented are considered preliminary until its publication in a peer-reviewed journal.


Health & Wellness

What We Know About The Zika Virus So Far

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The United States and the Pacific is experiencing an ongoing and rampant spread of Zika fever, caused primarily by the Zika virus in the middle of 2016. The outbreak of the Zika virus started in Brazil in early 2015, which consequently spread to some parts of Northern and Southern America and affected several parts of the world.

In February 2016, the World Health Organization has issued a statement saying that the Zika virus outbreak has become a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. This is evident with the rise of Zika-induced birth defects and neurological problems.

Origin and Rise to Infamy

The Zika virus was derived from the virus family of Flaviviridae and it is mainly spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. This mosquito-borne Flavivirus was first recorded in Uganda last 1947, and it is loosely related to the following viruses: Japanese encephalitis, West Nile, Dengue and Yellow fever.

To date, the virus has already spread to more than 20 countries in the United States. With the sudden rise and explosion of the virus in the United States, it has clearly caused a cloud of fear among the affected regions because although the symptoms and effects are generally mild, there’s a greater concern with studies showing that there’s a strong link between Zika virus and brain defects in babies.

Virus Transmission

Zika virus is transmitted to people through a bite from the mosquito, which consequently becomes infected when it feeds on a person already carrying the virus. Aside from mosquito bites, it can also be transmitted through sexual intercourse even before the symptoms start to manifest.

Some other ways in transmitting the virus is through exposure or through blood transfusion. Moreover, Zika virus can be passed from pregnant woman to the unborn child, thereby causing some birth defects. Those who are infected with the virus show various mild symptoms such as fever, rashes, conjunctivitis, joint pain, headache, and muscle pain. These symptoms may last from a few days to a week.

Health Problems and Risks of Zika Virus

The incubation period of the Zika Virus disease might take a few days to a week, and it might cause varied symptoms. According to Amesh Adalja, spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, about 20 percent of people infected by Zika virus exhibit symptoms.

There are various health effects and risks brought about by the Zika virus. Here are some of the health-related issues that you need to know about:

  • Zika infection during pregnancy can cause different defects such as microcephaly and severe fetal brain defects.
  • Current CDC research suggests that GBS is strongly associated with Zika; however, only a small proportion of people with recent Zika virus infection have been diagnosed with GBS.

Zika Virus and Gullian-Bare Syndrome

The recent outbreak of Zika virus in South America has been on the rise since the middle of 2016, with several studies showing that Zika virus is linked to birth defects especially when pregnant mothers are infected.

A rare and progressive neurological disorder called Guillain-Barré syndrome is triggered by infection to the Zika virus. This neurological syndrome and disorder occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your nerves, resulting to weakness and paralysis. Most patients can recover over time; however, some experience long lasting effects like numbness and difficulties in movement.

In the New England Journal of Medicine, health officials have reported that there is a significant increase in the number of cases of GBS with countries that have Zika virus endemic. Health officials and researchers reported to have as much as 877 percent increase on the incidence of GBS. An official report evaluated that between April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016, there has been a total of 164,237 confirmed and suspected cases of Zika virus infections, with 1,474 cases of GBS.

Testing for Zika

Getting tested for Zika virus is different from testing for flu or pregnancy. There are only a few accredited and certified laboratories that can test for the Zika virus and as a result, specimens have to be shipped to a different location to proceed with the lab testing.

If your city health department doesn’t have any laboratory to do the testing, it will coordinate with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Please note that the processing and results may take longer at roughly more than 2 to 4 weeks, especially when the spread of virus increases.

Zika virus testing is only recommended for some people, and it is only recommended that you undergo Zika testing if you have lived or traveled to an area known to have Zika outbreak or if you had sex with a partner who lives in or has traveled to a Zika-infested area.

An IgM-positive or Zika ELISA test can only be indicative and diagnosed on flavivirus infection. Furthermore, the methods available to test for Zika antibodies cross-react with dengue antibodies. Here are some tips on how to get tested for the Zika virus:

  • Determine the need for testing. If you think you’re experiencing Zika virus symptoms, seek the help of your doctors. Your doctor may decide to test you for Zika or other viruses.
  • Get the approval of Health Department before submitting samples.
  • Collect the samples to be forwarded for testing.
  • If your health department or laboratory will perform the actual testing, the results will be sent to your doctor.

Facts and Figures on Zika Virus

  • In 2007, several islands in the Pacific region have experienced outbreaks. Zika virus disease is gradually becoming an infectious disease. In 2015, there are reported outbreaks in the U.S. and the Caribbean.
  • According to the World Health Organization, there is a scientific concurrence that the Zika virus causes microcephaly, GBS, and congenital nervous system malformations.
  • Phylogenetic analysis reports that there are two Zika virus lineages: African lineage and Asian lineage.
  • The first noted case of Zika virus in the United States occurred in January 2016 at Harris County in Texas.
  • There are 45 countries and territories with confirmed indirect transmission of Zika virus disease in different U.S. states since 2015.
  • Fifteen countries and territories in the United States were reported to have cases of congenital syndrome associated with the Zika virus. Moreover, there are three additional countries that were reported to have suspected cases of congenital syndrome associated with Zika virus, and these are Barbados, Nicaragua and Guatemala.
  • On August 9, Canada confirmed to have two cases of maternal-fetal transmission of the Zika virus, including severe neurological congenital anomalies.
  • In Asia, Malaysia reported its first case of Zika virus infection in a woman who was travelling to Singapore.

Treatment and Prevention of Zika Virus

Generally, there are no specific medication and vaccination for the Zika virus. To treat the virus, symptomatic measures and treatment should be done to treat the symptoms that come with it. Those infected with Zika virus are advised to treat the symptoms and to get plenty of rest and fluids. Please take note to avoid drinking aspirin and non-inflammatory drugs to reduce the risk of internal hemorrhage or bleeding. Take medicines such as acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain.

Diagnosis of the Zika virus is largely based on the patient’s travel history, symptoms and even test results. To confirm the diagnosis, blood or urine test must be done to quickly check if you’re positive with the virus. Zika virus can remain in semen for more than 93 days and it can last longer in other bodily fluids like urine, blood and vaginal fluid.

To prevent you and others from contacting the Zika virus, it is best to protect yourself and your loved ones from mosquito bites especially since there is no medical vaccine to prevent the virus from spreading.

Here are more tips on how to prevent the spread of the Zika virus:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Treat your clothing with permethrin.
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellants and always follow the instructions on the product label.
  • Do not use insect repellant on babies under the age of 2 months old.
  • Avoid travelling in areas with Zika outbreak.
  • Use condoms to avoid sexually transmitting the virus to another person.

The Zika virus can be indicative of a more severe case especially with the explosion of the outbreak. The best way to prevent Zika is to avoid mosquito bites, and everyone can eventually help control mosquitoes. The government and health organizations can control the outbreak by developing mosquito control plans and to evaluate effective methods and actions needed to prevent or lower down infection to the virus.

Meanwhile, you and your neighbors can also take precautionary steps to reduce the spread of mosquitoes by properly following water disposal. Pregnant women who live in or have traveled to regions with higher Zika incidents may be extremely risky. It is most important to always exercise precautions.

Furthermore, pregnant women are advised to subject themselves to ultrasound scans moe frequently. This method is the most reliable and effective way in detecting microcephaly before the baby is born. Birth defects aren’t usually identified until the second trimester, and that is why it is important for couples to use all necessary preventive measures.

The government and health organizations can protect you by activating Emergency Operations Centers so that scientists can monitor cases of the virus, work on better solutions, and to freely run studies and tests on pregnant women who test positive for Zika virus.

As of the moment, the National Institute of Health is already developing a vaccine that can potentially help put a stop to the rising number of incidents. Scientists are tweaking a vaccine that was initially developed for the West Nile virus, and they expect to launch a safety trial for it within the year.


Health & Wellness Substance Abuse

New Painkiller Drug Removes Risk of Overdose

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An elite group of international researchers led by scientists from Stanford University, University of North Carolina and the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany has developed a new drug that works as a painkiller like morphine but without triggering and eliciting dangerous side effects such as respiratory suppression.

In a research study recently published in Nature, researchers said that they have identified the new opioid drug by using the computational techniques that allowed them to experiment and explore more than four trillion different chemical effects and interactions. The team of researchers also noted that they used the atomic structure of the brain’s receptors to reverse-engineer the novel drug that promises to block pain but does not have the potentially dangerous side effects.

While the drug compound has only been studied and tested on mice, the indication and implication of the drug may be massive. In the research experiment, the mice were exposed to a solution that contains the compound in varying degrees. Results showed that the mice displayed alternating and indifferent attitudes, which suggest that it has low addictive potential.

This novel drug compound is also known to not interfere with breathing, which remains to be the main cause of death in overdosing on painkillers. Moreover, the new drug also appears to bypass the brain’s dopamine-driven addiction to prevent drug-seeking behavior on mice.

More work still needs to be established to make sure that the compound is truly non-addictive. More tests are also needed to confirm it is as safe and effective in humans as it is for rodents. If this is confirmed, this drug could transform the fight against the ongoing epidemic of prescription painkiller addiction.

Health & Wellness

Diabetes Rate In Teens Higher Than Estimated, Study Says

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A recent study revealed that more American teenagers have diabetes or prediabetes. Surprisingly, the new data showed that the figures are actually higher than those that were previously estimated.

According to the new survey, almost 1 percent of more than 2,600 teens had diabetes. Of these, one in three cases were undiagnosed. The researchers also found that nearly 20 percent of the group studied were affected with prediabetes – a condition where the blood sugar levels are higher than normal and yet are not high enough to be medically considered as diabetes.

The results of the study are significant because teenage or childhood diabetes is associated with the early development of several risk factors and complications that arise from the blood sugar disorder. These medical complications include heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation of extremities.

Those with prediabetes are at a risk of developing type 2 diabetes unless lifestyle changes are introduced immediately. The condition is potentially reversible as long as the patient strictly adheres to the recommended diet plans and observes regular physical activities.

The new findings are disturbing because it indicates that diabetes is beginning to affect a much younger population on a larger scale. Parents are urged to be more fastidious in the preparation and monitoring of their children’s meals. The key is to observe a low-sugar, low-fat diet and to make sure that their kids maintain an active lifestyle by performing at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activities 5 times a week. Also, children should be subjected to blood glucose screening methods and regular check-ups regardless of whether or not there is a family history of the illness.


Health & Wellness Substance Abuse

Breast Cancer Treatment Effectiveness Decreased By Cigarette Smoking

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Smoking may reduce the effectiveness of breast cancer treatment.

This was according to new research, which revealed that smoking had little or zero effect on the benefit of other drugs, such as chemotherapy or tamoxifen as well as radiation treatment. However, lead researcher Helena Jernstrom revealed in a news release that the findings of the study need confirmation. When confirmed, smoking status must be considered when choosing the kind of breast cancer therapy.

In breast cancer patients taking aromatase inhibitors, smokers were three times at risk of their cancer returning than nonsmokers, the researchers revealed. However, the study could not develop a cause-and-effect link.

Common aromatase inhibitors such as Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane), and Femara (letrozole) hindered the production of estrogen in postmenopausal women. It lowers the amount of estrogen needed for the stimulation of the hormone receptor-positive breast cancer cells.

Hormone receptor-positive breast cancer is the most common type of breast cancer, which accounts for 2 of every 3 cases. The American Cancer Society reveals that early detection and treatment can mean 100 percent survival of the patients for more than five years.

The study involved more than 1,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer in a 10-year period from 2002 to 2012. From that number, 1 in 5 women were found to be smoking before breast cancer surgery. The research revealed that women 50 years and up who underwent treatment with aromatase inhibitors fared considerably worse during the follow up period if they smoked than if they didn’t.

As only a small percentage of smokers quit during the treatment, Jenstrom said that there is no information on whether quitting smoking while taking aromatase inhibitors will increase the effectiveness of the drug.


Health & Wellness

Study: Higher Risk Of Death In People With Heart Disease and Diabetes

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Findings of a new research from a global study revealed that the combination of Type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease can be lethal.

Spearheaded by a physician from UConn Health, the study concluded that patients diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes admitted into the hospital for congestive heart disease have a 1-in-4 chance of dying within the next one and a half years. The new findings present a grim picture of the outcome of diabetes patients with severe heart diseases.

Dr. William B. White, who is the study’s principal investigator, said that patients diagnosed with both acute coronary syndrome and Type 2 diabetes require more attention to prevent a cardiac attack. Dr. White is also a professor at the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center at UConn Health. He also adds that congestive heart failure is likely for people with Type 2 Diabetes, as reported in a news release.

With these new findings, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration now requires all new diabetes drugs to be formally tested for their potential effects on heart and stroke outcomes.

Patients with Type 2 diabetes are two to three times at risk of heart disease compared to the general population. This is attributed to obesity and other illnesses such as hypertension and high cholesterol levels which can lead to both diseases. The hormone insulin is also reportedly a contributor to heart disease. Insulin is needed by patients with Type 2 diabetes for their treatment.

The results of the new study were presented during the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in New Orleans. It was also published online in the ADA journal Diabetes Care.


Health & Wellness

Men’s Health Week on June 13-19

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Men’s health is not just an issue exclusive to males alone. It is a family matter that can affect spouses, kids, and other members of the family.

This year marks another celebration of Men’s Health Week on June 13-19, 2016 with the theme, “We all get stressed. The question is: what do you do about it?”

This year’s celebration puts emphasis on stress and how it should be dealt with. Most often, stress is taken for granted, not knowing that leaving it unresolved can lead to greater problems. Studies show that one out of four males will likely develop mental health problems due to stress.

Stress may be categorized as either routine, sudden and traumatic stress.

  • Routine stress has something to do with the day-to-day activities we do, like work and relationship towards family, friends, neighbors and colleagues.
  • Sudden stress is caused by unexpected events in life, such as divorce, illness and getting fired from work.
  • Traumatic stress is caused by accidents, bad experiences or events that pose danger to self.

Our body responds in almost the same way to all these stress types, but it is hardest to detect if a person is suffering from routine stress. The signs and symptoms can be misconstrued for another illness. Most heart ailments are stress-related, much like diabetes, hypertension, depression and anxiety.

The message of the awareness campaign for all men is to face the issue and address the problem. Doing regular exercise can boost mood and well-being. It is also crucial to know when to seek professional help since you need to deal with current health conditions and mental issues. Last but not the least, you need to get emotional support from family and friends to lessen the impact of stress.


Health & Wellness

All You Need To Know About Diabetes

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Diabetes is a lifestyle disease that affects millions of Americans and is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. According to the 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 29.1 million people in the country have diabetes. The CDC further estimates that about 8.1 million people have diabetes but are undiagnosed or unaware of their condition.

Though not immediately life-threatening, the disease increases the risk for developing complicated medical conditions including cardiac disease, hypertension, and kidney disease. More severe cases can cause kidney failure, blindness, and loss of limbs to amputation.

However, diabetes can be managed and prevented by making healthy lifestyle choices.

diabetes awareness

Types of Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disease characterized by elevated blood sugar levels. Glucose builds up in the blood when the hormone called insulin cannot metabolize the sugar from the food that has been ingested. This occurs in either of three ways: when the pancreas cannot produce sufficient insulin, when it overproduces insulin, or when the insulin released cannot be utilized properly by the body because the cells have developed a condition called insulin resistance. Here is a brief discussion of the types of diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

In type 1 diabetes, there is underproduction of insulin. The disorder is commonly diagnosed among children and young adults. The disease was previously called “juvenile diabetes.” The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that only about 5 percent of diabetic patients have this form of diabetes.

Insulin is the hormone responsible for breaking down the sugar components, carrying the glucose from the bloodstream to be distributed throughout the cells of the body, and converting it into energy. Because those with Type 1 Diabetes do not produce sufficient amounts of the hormone, they need “insulin therapy” to survive. Thus, type 1 diabetes is also referred to as the “insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.”

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is more common compared to Type 1. It is estimated that about 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases are of this form.

The disorder occurs when the pancreas produces insulin but the body cannot effectively use it. This condition is called insulin resistance. This causes the pancreas to overproduce the hormone in order to keep up with the demands to metabolize the sugar in the food ingested by the body. Over time, the pancreas will simply be unable to produce sufficient amounts to break down the glucose components, causing it to build up in the blood.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is the type that affects women during pregnancy. Most pregnant women develop the condition around the 24th week or after the baby’s body has been formed.

This does not indicate that the woman had diabetes prior to conceiving. It only means that she has high blood sugar levels during her pregnancy. However, she may be at risk for developing type 2 diabetes later on in life. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), women who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes have about 35 to 60 percent chances of acquiring type 2 diabetes within 20 years.

Gestational diabetes can be harmful to the fetus. The glucose in the mother’s bloodstream can cross over the placenta which in turn, causes the baby to have high blood sugar levels. The extra sugar is stored as fat. As a result, the fetus may develop “fetal macrosomia,” a term used to describe a baby who is born with a significantly higher birth weight than normal.


Prediabetes is a condition where a person has blood sugar levels that are higher than normal and yet are not high enough to be considered diabetes. Those with prediabetes are at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes compared to those with healthy blood glucose levels.

According to the CDC, about 15 to 30% of those diagnosed with the condition are likely to develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years. However, prediabetes is potentially reversible. Those who maintain a healthy diet and active lifestyle can prevent the onset of diabetes or reduce the chances of progression by as much as 50 percent.

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of diabetes vary according to the elevation level of the blood sugar. Some patients may not notice any signs in the early stages and may not detect the disease unless some blood tests are conducted. The symptoms common to both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes include: increased thirst, frequent urination, food cravings despite having eaten, fatigue, inexplicable weight loss, tingling sensation in the feet, numbness in the feet, blurred eyesight, dry and itchy skin, irritability, slow-healing sores, and infections in the gums or mouth.

Tests and Diagnosis

Early detection and diagnosis are critical to an effective management and treatment of diabetes. A person who suspects that he may be manifesting some of the symptoms should get himself checked immediately. Parents who notice some signs of type 1 diabetes in their children should promptly discuss these with the child’s pediatrician.

Since symptoms of diabetes may not become immediately evident, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that people with risk factors or genetic predispositions be regularly screened. These include people with a body mass index higher than 25 regardless of age, those aged 45 years and older, and those with additional risk factors such as hypertension. The risk factors are expounded on in the later part of this article.

diabetes test treatment

Here are the tests to determine if a person has the following types of diabetes:

Type 1, Type 2, or Prediabetes

When either prediabetes or any of the types of diabetes is suspected by the doctor, he may order that the patient undergoes one of the following tests, as reported by Mayo Clinic:

 Glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test

This blood test is used to ascertain the average blood sugar level for the past two or three months. It works by measuring the percentage of blood sugar that has attached to the hemoglobin, a protein that carries the oxygen in the red blood cells.

An A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests indicates diabetes. A level between 5.7 and 6.4 percent indicates prediabetes. A reading belong 5.7 percent is considered a normal or healthy blood sugar level.

Random Blood Sugar

This is performed by taking blood samples at random without regard to the time of the last meal or drink taken. A random blood sugar level of 200 milligrams decilitre (mg/dL) or of 11.1 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) and higher is suggestive of diabetes.

Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS)

In FBS, a patient is first required to fast for at least 8 hours. During the fasting period, even water intake is prohibited. A result that shows an FBS level between 100 to 125 mg/dL (5.6 to 6.9 mmol/L) is indicative of prediabetes. An FBS level of 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) on two separate occasions suggests that the patient has diabetes. A reading below 100 is considered normal.

2 Hour Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT)

To conduct a GTT, a patient must first undergo an FBS test. Afterward, he is asked to drink a glucose liquid and more blood is drawn to test glucose levels two hours after the drink is taken.

A blood sugar level less than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) is normal. A GTT reading of more than 200 mg/dL (11.1 mmol/L) indicates diabetes. A GTT reading between 140 and 199 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L and 11.0 mmol/L) indicates prediabetes.

Additional Tests for Type 1 Diabetes

To confirm a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes, other tests specifically designed to establish the presence of certain antibodies that would indicate the condition are performed. These are:


The test measures C-peptide levels in the blood. A low level suggests that a person has type 1 diabetes because C-peptide levels correlate to the amount of insulin being produced by the pancreas.

Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase Autoantibodies (GADA)

The GADA test is used to verify the presence of autoantibodies directed against beta cells in the pancreas which produce insulin.

Insulin Autoantibodies (IAA)

In type 1 diabetes, the immune system produces antibodies that attack the insulin produced by the body. The IAA test is used to ascertain whether such antibodies are present.

 Insulinoma-Associated-2 Autoantibodies (IA-2A)

This is similar to GADA the sense that the test aims to locate antibodies. What makes IA-2A different is that it searches for the presence of antibodies that attack specific enzymes in the beta cells.

Gestational Diabetes Tests

A pregnant woman may be asked to undergo some blood tests to check for gestational diabetes. These are:

Initial Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT)

To perform a GTT, the patient is asked to drink a glucose solution. After an hour, blood is drawn to check the blood sugar level. A blood sugar level below 140 mg/dL (7.2 to 7.8 mmol/L) is considered normal. A higher reading indicates a potential risk for gestational diabetes. A follow-up test needs to be done to conclude the diagnosis.

Follow-up Glucose Tolerance Test

This is done if the initial GTT result is suggestive of gestational diabetes. The pregnant woman is asked to fast overnight and then the FBS is measured. Afterward, she is asked to consume a syrupy sweet solution of higher glucose concentrations. The blood sugar levels will be checked every hour for a period of three hours. When at least two out of the three test results show a blood sugar level reading that is higher than normal, she is conclusively diagnosed to have gestational diabetes.

Treatment and Management

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that requires effective management. The goal of treatment is to lower and stabilize the patient’s blood sugar levels. To accomplish this, doctors advise patients to religiously take the prescribed medications and to incorporate changes in lifestyle.

sugar crystals diabetes

A healthy diet is a major component in the management of diabetes. Meals should consist mainly of foods that are high in fiber and nutrition such as whole grains, white or lean meat, vegetables, and fruits with a low glycemic index. Foods consisting of refined or processed sugars and starch should be avoided. It is recommended that a dietitian is consulted to help the patient draw the proper meal plans.

Patients diagnosed with type 1, type2, and prediabetes could significantly benefit from incorporating some form of physical exercise in their daily routines. Aerobic exercises lower the blood sugar levels and improve the cells sensitivity to insulin.

Medications for type 2 diabetes aim to increase insulin output, reduce the amount of glucose released from the liver, and increase the cells’ insulin sensitivity. A drug called Metformin is usually prescribed for this disorder. In some cases, insulin therapy is prescribed in addition to oral medications.

Those who have type 1 diabetes need insulin therapy. Insulin is injected with a needle and syringe or an insulin pen. An insulin pump may also be used. A doctor may prescribe a combination of insulin types, depending on the patient’s needs and lifestyle.

The treatment for gestational diabetes and prediabetes are similar to the therapies prescribed for type 2 diabetes. Those diagnosed with prediabetic conditions must observe a healthy diet and aim to have at least 150 minutes of aerobic activities per week to delay or prevent progression to type 2 diabetes.

Regardless of the form of diabetes, patients should monitor their blood glucose levels several times a day to make sure they maintain the target blood sugar level.

Risk Factors

The cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown and it is difficult to prevent. Among the diabetes risk factors are family history, race, the presence of autoantibodies, and a diet low in vitamin D.

Some people are more predisposed to type 2 diabetes than others. Certain factors elevate the chances of developing the disorder. These include family history, race, age, weight, high body mass index, physical inactivity, and a diet rich in sugar and carbohydrates. Those with health conditions such as hypertension, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and high levels of triglyceride and cholesterol are also predisposed to the disease.


Various researches and clinical studies are being undertaken to find more remedies for the treatment of diabetes. In the meantime, patients can delay the onset of complications and manage their symptoms. The disease is controllable for as long as those diagnosed are committed to change their lifestyle and cooperate with their physicians.


Health & Wellness

Celebrate UK Diabetes Week 2016 on June 12-18

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Diabetes Week is being celebrated this week in the U.K. on June 12-18, 2016. Spearheaded by Diabetes U.K., the event is designed to spread information and awareness about the condition, as well as generate funds for their projects.

Diabetes has become one of the most well-known diseases in the world. Approximately 3.5 million British are diagnosed with the condition and an additional 549,000 have diabetes but are not aware of it yet. Many people have friends and family members who are suffering from diabetes. The condition is still hugely misunderstood and there are myths and misconceptions surrounding it.

The theme of this year’s celebration is “Setting the Record Straight.” For this year’s celebration, everyone is invited to share straight talking stories, facts, and videos to let everyone know the real score about diabetes.

Here are some of the ways that people can get involved, even if you’re outside Europe:

  • Download the pack of awareness raising posters here, and share them with your local community in order to spread information to as many people as possible.
  • Share your stories and experiences about diabetes by taking part in the online conversation. Use the hashtags #actuallydiabetes or #diabetesweek.
  • A Diabetes Week for Professionals page is designed for healthcare professionals who want to debunk myths about diabetes care.

For more information, check out the Diabetes Week page.