Diabetes- The soft and silent killer !

The minute most of us hear “Diabetes”, we think of Blood Sugar.

Blood sugar is elevated level of sugar or glucose in the blood which if unchecked overtime, leads to diabetes. Diabetes is a disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates, inability of our body to convert sugar into glucose and subsequently elevated levels of glucose in the blood.

We all know about Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes but whats important is what happens in the body, when we have elevated levels of sugar in the body for long.

Common Effects and Risks associated with high sugar levels and diabetes are:

Diabetes
Diabetes complications affected organs. diabetes affects nerves, kidneys, eyes, vessels, heart, brain and skin

Risk of stroke: Diabetes or elevated sugar levels, increase our risk of stroke, about 4 times more than non diabetics

Risk of Heart Disease:  Diabetes increases risk of heart attack , heart disease. As the blood vessels get damaged, it puts the heart under pressure and an increased risk of heart attacks.  High glucose levels also lead to fatty deposits. Coupled with obesity, high blood pressure, it puts you at a severe risk and an angioplasty  or an open heart bypass surgery may even be required.

Risk of Cataract: Diabetics are at an increased risk of developing cataracts

Risk of Glaucoma: Glaucoma risk is significantly more for diabetics. If left untreated, Glaucoma can lead to blindness.

Risk of Pancreas Malfunction: A malfunction in pancreas leads to diabetes and higher blood sugar levels in turn continue to damage the pancreas.
Risk of Gastroparesis:   Increase in blood sugar levels also makes it hard for the  stomach to empty completely. This also in turn leads to an increase in blood sugar levels. Nausea, vomiting, bloating, and heartburn are common symptoms.
Risk of Kidney Damage:  Unchecked High sugar levels and diabetes, damages the kidneys, leads to diabetic neuropathy and eventually one may need a dialysis or even a kidney transplant.
Risk of Nerve Damage: Diabetics often  have tingling sensation in the foot and suffer from nerve damage. Lack of sensation or peripheral neuropathy is dangerous as due to lack of sensation, one may fail to notice injuries

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Foot Problems:  Unchecked diabetes can lead to diabetic foot where the entire foot may even need to be amputated.
Ketoacidosis:   In absence of insulin,  the body uses alternate hormones to turn fat into energy, which creates a high level of toxic chemicals such as acids and  ketones, which may lead to a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis.  Diabetic ketoacidosis  often leads to loss of consciousness and other life threatening complications. A Fruity Breath or a sweet smelling breath is often an indicator of diabetes and calls for a check on blood sugar levels.
Visual Problems:  Diabetics often face visual problems, as high glucose levels often lead to swollen, leaky blood vessels in the eye, leading to a condition called diabetic retinopathy.  These vision problems,  may even lead to partial or total loss of vision Vision problems can be gradual hence routine eye checkups if you are diabetic or have pre diabetes are a must.

Risk of damage to blood vessels:  High blood sugar levels or high glucose levels,
restrict blood flow, damaging the blood vessels.

As unchecked diabetes, leads to a host of problems, it is important to make life style changes. Pre diabetes conditions can be reversed by exercise and dietary changes.  Type 2 diabetes can be controlled and even reversed if significant life style changes are made.

One of the most important life style change is to Quit smoking as diabetes and smoking leads to an enhanced risk of heart disease.

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Is your tooth pain, an indicator of disease ?

 

Tooth ache,Ddental problems
Tooth Ache, Dental Problems, Health Problems

Teeth: As per Merriam Webster, teeth are defined as the hard bony appendages that are borne on the jaws in the mouth or pharynx and exist for eating food and as weapons of offense and defense.
Over the years, modern physicists have discovered that there is indeed a direct relationship between teeth and Qi ( Energy ). The Chinese found a way to measure Qi and map the pathways – this led them to the conclusion that if Qi was normal, there was good blood flow in the body ; however, if there was disturbed Qi – it symbolised disease and disturbed blood flow.

According to them, teeth are indicative of the state of internal organs in the body and hence pain often indicates trouble in the connected body organ. One’s lips are related to the spleen, teeth are related to various organs in the body, the gum is related to the stomach, and the tongue is related to the heart.

Below are a few health problems which our teeth, gums and tongue indicate :

  • The normal colour of lips is bright red and moist. Dry lips indicate pathogenic dryness, Pale lips indicate blood shortage or anemia, and purple lips indicate coldness or poor circulation.
  • Dry teeth indicate insufficient liquid in the kidneys.
  • Pale gums indicate blood deficiency, Red and swollen lips indicate stomach fire, and Bleeding from the swollen gums indicates the blood vessel damage. Furthermore, the various teeth in the mouth also indicate the state of various organs.

    Dental
    Teeth, how tooth pain is an indicator of poor health
  • Bladder, Kidney and Ears : Link to Upper and Lower Incisors
  • Liver and Gall Bladder: Canine Teeth
  • Lungs: Pre Molars
  • Stomach Heart, Pancreas and Spleen : Molars

But, does this mean that the damage of the teeth is responsible for all internal damages?
Thankfully, no. However pain in various teeth may indicate problems with specific body organs.

Given below are the connections between the teeth and the organs :

  • As the top and bottom 4 incisors are directly related to the kidney and bladder. Pain in upper and lower incisors could mean infection or inflammation in the kidney, inflammation of the prostate gland or even middle ear infection.
  • As top and bottom 2 canines are directly related to the liver and bladder. Thus pain in your canines could indicate a Hepatitis A,B. C infection or inflammation of the gall bladder.
  • Lungs and large intestines are related to the top and bottom 4 bicuspids or premolars, pain may indicate, inflammation of the colon, bronchitis, asthma, other lung problems such as COPD.
  • The first and second molars are directly related to the spleen and stomach and pain could indicate gastric problems, pancreatitis and even ulcers.
  • The third molars or the wisdom teeth are directly related to the small intestine and the heart and pain may indicate cardiac disease, coronary heart disease and even congenital heart defects such as PDA, TOF, Fontan, VSD, ASD , ASO,  AV Canal and may even pre empt a CABG or an Angioplasty
  • Build up of plaque in the arteries, problems with arteries, varicose veins may be the actual trouble spots if you have pain in the sixth lower teeth.
  • Thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism, sinus, spleen and even inflammation of ovaries may be the real reason behind pain in sixth upper teeth.
  • Arthritis, problems with colon, pain in joints such as knee, elbow and shoulder may be the reasons for pain in the upper and lower fourth teeth.

So next time you have tooth pain, look for the real reason before heading for a tooth extraction or  ( RCT) root canal treatmentA tooth pain, may be a warning in disguise for you to watch out and take care of the impending health problem?

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Heart Disease -Stuff you must know !

open heart bypass surgery
open heart bypass surgery

Heart disease kills more people than any other disease. Over 30% of deaths across the world are due to heart disease as per WHO estimates.

Ignorance, lack of awareness, refusal to get basic routine checkups, account for the high mortality rate.

Unhealthy dietary habits, alcohol abuse, use of tobacco, lack of exercise, obesity, diabetes, hypertension and genetics are the primary reasons for developing heart disease.

Most cases go undiagnosed till the patient suffers a heart attack.

Here is a list of types of heart disease which we should all know about.

Clogged Arteries: Fat and cholesterol build up in the arteries leads to plaque and mineral deposits which restricts or blocks blood flow to the heart. Usually clogged arteries are not diagnosed unless one gets chest pains or gets breathless. An angiography is often carried out for diagnosis. Stenting or an angioplasty takes of blocked arteries. A surgeon may insert a balloon or a wire mesh to open up your arteries. If the blockage is severe, a CABG or open heart bypass surgery may be required. In CABG, or open hear bypass surgery, blood vessels from other parts of the body are taken and damaged blood vessels of the heart are replaced or bypassed.

Arrhythmia: Irregular heart beat can either be too slow or too fast. Although rarely fatal, arrhythmia increases pre disposition to heart attack, heart failure and even stroke.
An ICD  detects irregular heart beat and send electric impulses to takes care of Arrhythmia.

Hole in the heart :  PDA, VSD, ASD, Mitral Valve Defects,  commonly known as hole in the heart, sometimes congenital heart defects are not diagnosed even till adulthood. Growth milestones may be compromised and problems may persist later in life.
Serious defects require surgical intervention however some can be managed with medical management.

Heart Muscle Disease: Our heart is a muscle which weakens due to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and hence the heart struggles to pump blood in the body.
Heart muscle disease or cardiomyopathy can lead to heart failure.

A Pacemaker is implanted to take care of heart muscle disease.

Enlarged Heart: As the heart muscle becomes weak, the heart enlarges in order to pump blood and the rhythm increases. However the heart also becomes weaker and consequently it leads to decreased blood flow.

Heart Attack: Clogged arteries can restrict and even stop blood flow to the heart. Without blood flow, our heart doesn’t get the oxygen required which damages the heart and this is what is known as a heart attack. The more restricted the blood flow, the more life threatening and severe, the heart attack.

Heart Failure: Failure of the heart to pump blood to the body is known as heart failure and this can lead to death.

Without surgical intervention or medical management as may be required, heart disease progresses and even post diagnosis and surgical intervention, drastic life style changes are required for managing the medical condition.

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Good Health – A few vital indicators!

 Good health
Vital parameters for good health

We all talk of good health. Are there some common parameters which indicate good health ?


Blood Pressure :The force of blood pressing against your artery walls is your blood pressure
Ideal BP is 120/80mm.  BP over 140/90mm increases risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Cholesterol : Cholesterol is a fat-like, waxy substance in the blood which gets deposited in your arteries and reduces blood supply.
Ideally total cholesterol, which should be less than 200mg/dL; tri-glycerides, which should be less than 150mg/dL; good’ HDL cholesterol, greater than 60mg/dL and ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, less than 100mg/dL. Higher levels of cholesterol may block blood flow to the heart an increase risk of heart disease.
 BMI or Body Mass Index is a key indicator for fat in the body  measures body fat using your height and weight.
Ideally  BMI should be between 18.5 to 24.9. BMI less than 18, indicates under weight with possible nutritional deficiencies.
A BMI of 25 and above is considered to be overweight, while 30 and above is considered to be obese. 
Sugar: The amount of glucose in the blood is called sugar
Sugar is measured by Fasting Sugar, PP sugar or HbAIc tests (hemoglobin Alc ).
A high HbAIc indicates pre diabetes, insulin resistance which lead to diabetes. Ideally HbAlc should be less than 5.7% and fasting glucose should be less than 126mg/dL.
Diabetes is usually diagnosed when HbAlc is 6.5% or higher, while your fasting glucose is 126mg/dL or higher. High sugar levels can damage blood vessels, increasing risk of heart disease and kidney failure.

Better Safe Than Sorry ! Watch out for early indicative symptoms of a Heart Attack before it happens

Heart Attack, Open heart surgery cost in IndiaHeart Attack:

Cardiac arrest or a heart attack is a leading cause of premature death around the world.

Stress, junk food, lack of exercise, smoking, high blood pressure, too much alcohol and an unhealthy lifestyle are the biggest culprits.

Very often a cardiac arrest catches you unawares but it is possible to recognize early symptoms and not be caught unawares.

Symptoms of Heart Attack:

The following symptoms may be indicative of “A Cardiac Arrest On Its Way”

Shortness of Breath- Breathing difficulty or shortness of breath just means a heart attack around the corner. As your heart  gets less blood, your lungs do not get enough oxygen. This is a critical indicator and if you suddenly feel short of breath, just make a dash to your doctor.

Dizziness-  Less blood flow means less blood circulation to the brain as well and hence the dizziness. Though it could be an indicator of other problems, it could be an indicator of an upcoming heart problem as well

Cold Sweat- Breaking into cold sweat is a big red flag and calls for an immediate visit to the doctor

Fatigue- General weakness is often a result of poor blood circulation and less oxygen due to narrowed arteries.  As the heart gets reduced blood supply, there is  subsequent less oxygenation and consequently fatigue and weakness.

Chest Discomfort- Most patients with heart attacks often complain of tightness, discomfort in the chest over months and the tightness may  build up till an actual heart attack happens.

Angiography or an angiogram can tell us on the number of blocked arteries, in which case stenting or angioplasty may be required.

Sometimes, an open heart surgery may also be required.

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Coronary Angioplasty

Angioplasty is  used to treat a heart attack. During coronary artery bypass grafting, a healthy artery or vein from your body is removed. The artery or vein is then connected, or grafted, to bypass the blocked section of the coronary artery. The grafted artery or vein bypasses or  goes around the blocked portion of the coronary artery providing a new route for blood to flow to the heart muscle.