Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Why are regular pediatric checkups important?

There are people in this day and age who still go to a general practitioner for any ailment that they or their family may have. If it’s a mild case of a running nose or a slight fever, that may be a good idea. But it is important to go to specialists for more specific ailments. The same way it is important to take your child to a pediatrician and not to a general practitioner for their checkups, even if they are routine. This is because pediatricians have more experience working with children and will notice certain symptoms and can diagnose illnesses more effectively than a general practitioner.
In a nutshell, pediatricians will take care of the physical, emotional, and social health of infants, pre adolescents, pre teens, and young adults. Many people stop seeing pediatricians once they’re around 16 but according to health definitions pediatricians can look after the welfare of children from birth to 21 years. They have been trained in the assessment, prevention, management and detection of the mental, physical, developmental, and social problems that children may face.

What are the dangers that face children? 

The whole world is a dangerous place to an infant. From the safety of their mother’s womb, they have been thrown into a world of germs and viruses. They need good care. Infants are susceptible to a variety of illnesses. There are many immunizations that protect children from these illnesses. The pediatrician will administer these immunizations and keep a record of them, and make sure the correct prevention is given at the correct time.
As infants grow into toddlers, they start playing with other children. The spectrum of illnesses that they can be exposed to is much more. There may also be cuts and bruises, falls and breaks that need tending to.
Up to the age of nine or ten, children will still be susceptible to infections more easily than adults. Some children might show signs of developmental problems which may be recognized in school. A pediatrician will be able to help the child and the families cope with dealing with these problems. There may be children who still cling on to child like behavior, are still bed wetting etc. These may be related to some kind of mental or social problems that the child may be facing at home or school. Obesity is rising in the country and it is important that your child is eating healthy food and leading a healthy lifestyle.
The teenage years can be very trying for many children. Their immunity levels may have gone up as they grow older and therefore their susceptibility to infections may have gone down. But there are whole host of new problems that face teenagers. Problems in school, sex education, bullying in schools etc are among the many issues that children need help dealing with. Their pediatrician will be someone they are familiar with and someone they trust. What they do not want to tell their families, they may find easier to tell an outsider they trust.
As you can see, a pediatrician’s role in a child’s life doesn’t stop at infancy. They need to be a part of the child’s life for a long time. The pediatrician will know the history of your child, from all the illnesses they have had, to all the issues they have had to deal with. It is important therefore to make a pediatric check up a regular routine in your child’s life. If you do that, illnesses and other problems can be detected early on and help given.
Make time for the pediatrician!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Control your Type 2 Diabetes

What is Type 2 Diabetes? 

Most of us know what diabetes is. But did you know that there were different types of diabetes? Type 2 diabetes is a kind of diabetes that strikes a person after a certain age. It is also called non insulin dependent diabetes, as usually it can be controlled by a healthy lifestyle. But with childhood obesity on the increase, there have been an increasing occurrence of this kind of diabetes in people who are younger. Type 2 diabetes has been found to be linked to obesity.

What causes Type 2 diabetes? 

When a person gets affected by Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas starts producing insufficient amounts of insulin. Insulin is the hormone that controls the blood glucose levels in an individual. The body also builds up something called insulin resistance. It is a Catch 22 situation as insulin resistance increases obesity as the body does not use its sugar sufficiently to produce energy. On the other hand, the body becomes sluggish and it is difficult for a person to lose weight.

What are symptoms of Type 2 diabetes? 

This kind of diabetes causes a number of symptoms that can include some or all of the following.
·         The person is excessively thirsty
·         Urine output becomes more
·         Fatigue
·         Skin ailments
·         Scratchiness
·         Allergies

Preventing Type 2 diabetes 

As ever, prevention is better than cure. You can prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes by following a few simple tips.
·         Make sure that you exercise regularly
·         Make sure that you eat healthy food
·         Eat at regular times
·         Prevent substance abuse
·         Lead a healthy lifestyle
Sometimes Type 2 diabetes is hereditary, and even with following a healthy lifestyle a person can succumb to this illness.

Controlling your diabetes 

The most important part of diabetes control is controlling your sugar levels. This may mean dietary and lifestyle changes. Your doctor and nutritionist will be able to help you figure this out. They may also ask you to have some kind of exercise plan to help.  
For some sufferers of Type 2 diabetes, treatment with dietary changes and tablets is not entirely effective for diabetes management, and they may then need insulin injections.

Help for people who suffer from diabetes 

In earlier days, people had to visit the doctor often to keep track of their diabetes. But these days there are a number of ways in which you can check your own diabetes. There are devices available that allow a person to check their own sugar levels every day. There are applications that will help you keep track of the food that you are eating, and the exercise that you are doing.
But of course no app can take the place of a regular visit to the doctor. These apps are to help you manage your everyday lifestyle. You should record your routine carefully and take it along with you when you see a doctor. The doctor will be able to tell you what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. A regular visit to a nutritionist is also important as they will make sure that you are having a balanced diet, and not missing out on important nutrients while trying to manage your weight and your diabetes. Counseling is also a good idea when dealing with diabetes, as this can be a frustrating journey. Dealing with diabetes on an everyday basis is not easy and getting counseled will help. Your family should also accompany you for the counseling as they will be part of your support group.
With a little care and effort, you should be able to cope with diabetes effectively.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Ways to Stay Motivated

  1. Surround yourself with positive people that support the healthy lifestyle changes that you are making.
  1. Write down what you eat in your Keeping Track Book, in a notepad, or in a phone application that helps you keep track. Examples of popular ones are: “MyFitnessPal,” “Lose It!,” and “FatSecret.” Research shows that people who track what they eat are more successful at losing weight.
  1. Cook twice as much for dinner so you have lunch for tomorrow or dinner for another day.
  1. Cut fruits and vegetables the night before to have them ready for you to enjoy when you are looking for a snack.
  1. It’s okay to have a slip up.  It’s best to learn from it, talk back to negative thoughts and to try again.  Don’t let a slip up make you say “I messed up so the whole day is ruined; I can eat whatever I want now.”  Keep trying and be patient because  Lifestyle changes take time.
  1. If you’re going Out for Dinner Check the menu ahead of time and go in with a plan – or – share an entrĂ©e with someone and order an individual garden salad on the side.
  1. When serving yourself at home, a work potluck or family party - Start by serving half of your plate with a garden salad or green non-starchy vegetables.  Secondly, serve your plate with lean protein.  Lastly, fill in the rest of your plate with small portions of other sides.  Do not deprive yourself; just have less/smaller portions of high fat, high sugary, high processed foods.
  1. Practice mindful eating.  Eat slowly, chew slowly, put your fork down once and awhile, enjoy every bite.  People are used to eating so fast.  When people gulp down their food they can eat very fast and not feel full.  As you practice mindful eating regularly, you realize that you don’t need as much food. 
  1. Learn to manage stress.  Stress is the perception that we do not have power.  In fact, you do have power.  The power is in how your respond to stress.  Step back, take a deep breath, ask yourself, “Am I really in danger?”  Then, evaluate ways to problem solve and ways to relax (ie. Going for a walk, going to the gym, reading a novel).
  1. Always stay active!  This is 1 of the keys to weight loss, maintaining weight loss and in living a healthy, long life.  Park far at the grocery store, walk on your lunch breaks, watch less TV or be active while you watch TV, take your family on a walk after dinner, set-up a regular gym time with a friend, and most importantly have fun! Every step counts.  Every step you take is a step towards bettering your health, wellness and in disease prevention.
By Monica Mireles, Diabetes Prevention Program Supervisor, IHC CWO Department