Our Story, By Us
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By Dr Cory Couillard
A new study indicates that drinking one or more cans of soda a day can increase one’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. One in five were at elevated risk of diabetes with as little as one can per day according to statistics published in the journal Diabetologia. Soda has also become a well-known cause of weight gain, obesity and heart disease.
The diabetic findings were similar to research published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation. There study followed 42,833 men’s diet, weight, smoking and exercise patterns for an average of 22 years. The primary finding of the study was men who drank one sugar-sweetened beverage per day had a 20 percent higher risk of suffering a heart attack.
The latest diabetes research was compiled from over 350,000 individuals in the UK, France, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark and Sweden. ”The consumption of sugar sweetened soft drinks increases your risk of diabetes – so for every can of soft drinks that you drink per day, the risk is higher,” says lead researcher Dora Romaguera.
By Dr Cory Couillard
A newly published study in the journal BMJ Open has strongly associated the occurrence of male pattern baldness and coronary heart disease. The analysis of nearly 37,000 people found a 32 percent relationship between the two despite adjusting for other risk factors such as age and family history.
Male pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss for men. This type of baldness occurs in 80 percent of men under 70 according to WebMD. Symptoms include the continual thinning of hair that eventually creates a U-shaped pattern of hair on both sides of one’s head. Male pattern baldness is often related to one’s genes and male sex hormones. It is typically characterized by thinning of one’s hair on the crown versus a receding hairline. A receding hairline often has different causative factors and not linked to the same genes and male sex hormones. The study found that a receding hairline did not seem to have the same impact on coronary artery disease.
By Dr. Cory Couillard
Doctors are reporting that a child born with HIV that was put on an unusually aggressive treatment regimen has been functionally cured of the infection. Using the most sensitive HIV testing available, they were able to find only trace amounts of HIV “particles” but no virus capable of replicating, the research team reported.
“If there is a trial that shows this can happen again, then this will be very important,” said Dr. Karin Nielsen, a pediatrician who specializes in infectious diseases at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. “You’ll be able to treat people very intensively and reverse the disease.”
The news provides no answers for adults living with HIV but it can be a landmark victory in the health of future generations. Every year, 300,000 to 400,000 babies are born infected with HIV according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases.
The treatment consisted of giving the newborn a three-drug regimen instead of just one antiretroviral drug. The more extensive treatment was first administered when the girl was just 30 hours old. A month of continued treatment allowed the child’s viral load to become undetectable with standard HIV testing.
The girl received treatments over 15 months and due to unknown circumstances the treatment ceased as the mother stopped bringing her to the doctor. The virus should have returned without ongoing treatment under normal circumstances.
The next step is to attempt to replicate the results in other HIV-positive infants said Dr. Deborah Persaud, a virologist at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. If the triple-drug treatment regimen can replicated it could prove life saving for millions of children.
By Dr. Cory Couillard
Serious questions and concerns constantly arise in the medical community about dietary recommendations. Some doctors say, “don’t take sugar” while others say, “when you lack sugar in the body, you end up developing cancer.” Which one is it?
Every person regardless of health status should be encouraged to improve and modify their diet in order to help control the growing threats of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The trouble starts when many people seek advice from a doctor, a dietician, a friend or even unqualified individuals. The recommendations often vary greatly. Hippocrates is known as the founder of modern medicine and is regarded as the greatest physician of his time. One of his most famous but often forgot about quotes is, “Let food be your medicine and medicine your food.”
Your body needs carbohydrates
The truth is that sugar broken down from carbohydrates is one of the body’s most important fuel sources. It’s readily accessible by most organs and tissues, available in large quantities and a preferred fuel for the brain and muscles. Everyone is different and no one diet is right for everyone. Be weary of anyone that promotes only one diet regardless of person or condition.
By Dr. Cory Couillard
Food labels can be a useful tool in determining the nutritional value and overall safety of a food choice. However, it is very common for individuals to not fully understand the labels and miss the most important components. The percentage of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, calories and serving size is not the most important part of the food label. This component of the food label does not take into account the quality of the labeled nutrients and will mislead the consumer.
The recommended daily values do not take into account the age, gender, activity level or specific dietary needs a person may have. All of these factors are known to impact the body’s ability to utilize nutrients in the food. An unknown, complicating factor is the abundance of highly processed foods in restaurants and grocery stores. Convenience is becoming the most important part of our food – not nutrients. Recent studies show that the amount of grinding, slicing, mashing and manipulating away from a food’s natural state affects the availability of calories people get. Processing increases the amount of calories one can get from the food.
This may appear to be good news but processed foods often contain artificial colorings, sugars, preservatives and other added chemicals that are unhealthy and addictive. Being addicted to these foods will increase consumption, increase calories consumed and encourage weight gain, diabetes and heart disease. Processed foods may serve a purpose for the under-nourished but over-nourishment and weight gain has become the most prevalent health complication in the world. The rates of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are increasing out of control in most regions.
Dr. Cory Couillard
World Cancer Day is being celebrated on 4 February 2013. Each year the World Health Organization (WHO) supports the International Union Against Cancer and promotes ways to ease the global burden of cancer.
The WHO statistics show that cancer claims more than 7.6 million people annually; ranking it as one of the leading causes of death. About 70 percent of all cancer deaths occur in low- to- middle-income countries. Deaths from cancer worldwide are projected to continue to rise to over 13.1 million by 2030.
The deadliest forms of cancer include breast, cervical, stomach, colon and liver. One-third of all cancer cases can be prevented through improving one’s diet, exercise and lifestyle habits. Cervical and breast cancer account for over 750,000 deaths each year with the vast majority of deaths occur in developing countries.
By Dr. Cory Couillard
The global obesity epidemic is a problem that threatens a lot more than one’s health. It is a direct threat to the nation’s social, economic and physical health. Obesity is largely preventable and treatable with the implementation of sustainable educational programs and improved healthcare policy. Obesity among children is also on the rise and is a common cause of type 2 diabetes and a variety of cardiovascular conditions. The heart is the hardest working muscle in the body. It spends every second pumping blood throughout the body and obesity causes it to work harder and become less efficient.
Beyond cardiovascular conditions, excess weight will have other negative consequences throughout the body. Excess body fat negatively affects the brain and nearly every organ in the body as well. A poor lifestyle causes excess weight to accumulate over many years. Even a small amount of excess weight can lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease. These two health conditions notoriously develop silently over time resulting in a large percentage of the population to have undiagnosed conditions. Type 2 diabetes can cause numerous severe health conditions including heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, nerve pain, blindness, amputation and even death if the condition goes undiagnosed or if it’s poorly controlled.
Small weight gains, big health problems
Globally there has been a rapid growth in commercialized foods that are laced with excess sugars and unhealthy fats. Sadly, these foods are readily available around every corner and in nearly every take-away restaurant.
By Dr. Cory Couillard
A new study with 431,479 study participants has reinforced that an individual having relatively no weight troubles can be at risk of developing the same conditions as an obese individual without the proper amount of exercise. Researchers call the study a wake-up call for couch potatoes of all sizes. Researchers found that 30 minutes of exercise can add an average of 3.5 extra ‘good’ years to one’s life. Higher intensity exercise was found to boast even greater results – an additional 4.2 years.
There is a stigma that overweight people are always sick and skinny people are generally healthy. The research highlights that one’s weight and body type do not always matter. Choosing a healthy lifestyle and implementing proactive, preventative techniques like diet and exercise work for people of all waist sizes.
Obesity, BMI and longevity
Obesity is infamous for causing diabetes and heart disease. BMI is a ratio of an individual’s height to weight. A similar study has found waist size to be more useful than BMI in predicting the risk factors of disease. This system’s effectiveness has been under question as it fails to distinguish between physical fitness, muscle mass and the amount of body fat. It should be no surprise that exercise is good for you and will help you live longer but sadly the number of inactive people are growing.
Dr. Cory Couillard
There is no country in the world that does not bear the burden of diabetes, Suriname included. There are an estimated 371 million adults living with diabetes according to the 2012 Diabetes Atlas Update published by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF).
Diabetes is estimated to kill 4.8 million adults in 2012 alone – one person every seven seconds. Even more frightening is that it’s estimated that only half of the diagnoses are even known to the sufferer.
“Four out of five of the people with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries, where health systems are struggling to keep pace with the growing burden of non-communicable disease,” says the IDF.
Type 2 diabetes was once thought to be a disease of the elderly and was reflectively called adult-onset diabetes. The name was forced to change due to the alarming rates of childhood-induced diabetes.
By dr. Sasha Ammersingh, MD
We’re slowly chugging along towards the end of this year.
Ahead of us are festivities and days filled with holiday cheer and fun.
For many, this holiday season will also carry painful memories, lonesomeness and sadness.
That’s why this year’s last post is called: Surviving Sadness, Dancing with Depression
Understanding one’s sadness and depression is the first step towards healing.
The words ‘sadness’ and ‘depression’ are often used at random though both are very different. Sadness is a normal, healthy feeling, one of the many basic human feelings (others are: fear, love, happiness, anger). Sadness indicates that the person should through a process to deal with certain situations in life. Depression, on the other hand, may include profound sadness, but is rather a general state of being that indicates the person has not been able to complete a process.