Monday, June 30, 2014

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM): Glucose Challenge Test or Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT)

What is gestational diabetes?
The hormone insulin moves glucose or sugar from your blood and into your body’s cells, where it is used for energy. When you have diabetes, this process is blocked and your cells become “insulin resistant”.  This causes you to have too much glucose in your blood. In pregnancy, the hormones from the placenta, which help your baby to grow, can cause your cells to become insulin resistant. Usually in pregnancy the body produces more insulin to counter this but in some mothers this doesn’t happen and they develop gestational diabetes.

Mom's Diet Right Before Pregnancy Can Alter Baby's Genes

Pregnant women have heard it time and time again: What you eat during those nine months can have long-term effects on your child's health.

One study even found that when pregnant women eat a diverse diet, the resulting babies are less picky in the foods they choose.

So what about mom's eating habits before she even knows she's pregnant?

Nutritional deficiencies right at the time of conception can alter a baby's genes permanently, scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine report Tuesday.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Raises Tenfold risk by Diabetes gene : A study on Greenland

Fig. Greenland: The island's population is only 57,000
A genetic susceptibility that gives a tenfold increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes has been discovered.
The gene mutation, found in the population of Greenland, will give clues to the different causes of the condition, say Danish scientists.
The research, published in Nature, adds to evidence genetics plays a role in the chances of developing diabetes.

Mobile phones carry owners "Bacterial fingerprint"

By Helen Briggs

Fig. The bugs from our bodies end up on our smartphones
Smartphones reflect the personal microbial world of their owners, say US scientists.
More than 80% of the common bacteria that make up our personal bacterial "fingerprints" end up on their screens, a study suggests.
Personal possessions, such as phones, might be useful for tracking the spread of bacteria, they report in PeerJ.
They reflect our microbiome - the trillions of different micro-organisms that live in and on our bodies.
Mobile phone users have been found to touch their devices on average 150 times a day.

Scientists have found an overlap between the collection of micro-organisms naturally present on our bodies and those on the screens of smartphones.
They say this could one day be used to track people's exposure to bacteria.
In the study, biologists from the University of Oregon sequenced the DNA of microbes found on the index fingers and thumbs of 17 people.
They also took swabs of the subjects' smartphones.
A total of 7,000 different types of bacteria were found in 51 samples.
On average, 22% of bacterial families overlapped on fingers and phones.
Some 82% of the most common bacteria present on participants' fingers were also found on their phones.
They included three families that are commonly found on the skin or in the mouth - StreptococcusStaphylococcus and Corynebacterium.
Men and women both shared bacteria with their phones, but the connection was stronger in women.
Lead researcher Dr James Meadow said while the sample size was small, the findings were "revealing".
"This project was a proof-of-concept to see if our favourite and most closely held possessions microbially resemble us," he said.
"We are ultimately interested in the possibility of using personal effects as a non-invasive way to monitor our health and our contact with the surrounding environment."
The researchers say there is no evidence that mobile phones present any more infection risk than any other possession.
But they say our phones might one day be used to study whether people have been exposed to certain bacteria, particularly healthcare workers.
Emotional connection
The study confirms that "we share more than an emotional connection with our phones - they carry our personal microbiome", Dr Meadow added.
There is increasing scientific interest in the human microbiome - the population of trillions of micro-organisms that live in our gut, mouth, skin and elsewhere on our bodies.
Bacteria can be harmful but they can also have beneficial effects, particularly in the gut, by digesting food and making essential nutrients and vitamins.

(Source: BBC Health news)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How to Lower Cholesterol without any drug ?

There has been a substantial increase in people having high cholesterol levels. It has been proven in many studies that an unhealthy increase in blood cholesterol levels can lead or be associated with the development of heart disease. High cholesterol levels can also increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death among people living in industrialized societies such as the US. The increasing incidence of high cholesterol levels in people living in this part of the world can often be contributed to a high saturated fat diet, smoking and leading a sedentary lifestyle.

There are several dugs now available that is being used to treat unhealthy cholesterol levels in people. Most popular of these is the HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitor or what is more simply known as Statins. This group of cholesterol lowering drugs come in different name drugs and is increasingly being used in order to help high risk patients drastically lower their cholesterol levels. Statins can also increase the levels of HDL or "good" cholesterol.

Although statins and other known drugs being used to lower cholesterol levels have been proven to be very effective, there are also other ways available for people to lower their

Monday, June 9, 2014

Good and bad cholesterol : What is the difference?

Fig. Difference between Good and Bad Cholesterol
For years we've heard about how cholesterol ratio is the leading indicator for heart disease potentiality. That's great to know, but rarely was that information bundled with an actual description of what cholesterol ratio means and how to adjust yours to lead to a longer, healthier and happier life.

Let's start simply: Your cholesterol ratio is the ratio of your total cholesterol to your High-density Cholesterol (HDL). Your total cholesterol level is determined by adding your Low-density Cholesterol (LDL) and your high-density cholesterol. Low-density cholesterol is frequently called your "bad" cholesterol, while your high-density cholesterol is frequently called your "good" cholesterol.

Henderson-Hasselbalch equation:

For carbonic acid/bicarbonate buffer system pK = 6.1.
The normal ratio of bicarbonate to dissolved carbon dioxide in plasma is (25 mmol/L)/(1.25 mmol/L) = 20/1. This equation shows any change in bicarbonate or dissolved CO2 is accompanied by change in pH.  The numerator characterizes primary metabolic disturbance and is the renal component and denominator characterizes primary respiratory disturbance and is the respiratory component. 
The application of Henderson-Hasselbalch equation to human acid-base physiology can be illustrated by lever-fulcrum (teeter-totter) diagram:



A buffer is a mixture of a weak acid and salt of its conjugate base that resists the change in pH upon the addition of acid or base. If acid and base components of buffer are equal, the pH is equal of pK. Generally buffer works best at pH ±1 unit of its pK. Buffer work best when the ratio of acid : base is within the range of 10 : 1 to 1 : 10. Buffers are also effective at higher concentration.

Find out your risk for Metabolic Syndrome

Researchers have found certain variables play an important role in a person's chances of developing heart disease. These variables are called risk factors. In recent years, researchers have found that some of these heart disease risk factors cluster together in certain people. This clustering of risk factors is known as metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is also called Reaven syndrome, insulin resistance syndrome, or Metabolic Syndrome X.

Fig. Metabolic Syndrome
People with metabolic syndrome have a clustering of the following risk factors:

• Central obesity (extra weight around the stomach)
• Diabetes or glucose intolerance
• High levels of triglycerides and low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good cholesterol") in the bloodstream
• High Blood Pressure (hypertension)

There is still much to be learned about metabolic syndrome. Doctors do know that people with metabolic syndrome have an increased risk of heart attack or coronary artery disease.

Researchers think that metabolic syndrome maybe a genetic condition. This means that the genes are passed down from one generation to the next. For the most part doctors do not fully understand why metabolic syndrome happens.

People with insulin-resistant conditions, such as diabetes and hyperinsulinemia are more likely to have metabolic syndrome. Diabetes is a condition where the body cannot make or respond properly to the hormone insulin. Hyperinsulinemia is a condition where large amounts of insulin are pumped into the bloodstream. What are the signs of metabolic syndrome?

Patients with metabolic syndrome will not feel any symptoms. But there are signs that might lead doctors to a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome.

Doctors can check your HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and weight, all of which are warning signs of metabolic syndrome. You may also need blood tests to measure the levels of glucose and insulin in your bloodstream.
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