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Dr. Vineet Saboo provides answers that are very helpful. Thanks doctor
Small endocrine glands, which are located on top of each kidney are known as Adrenal glands. These Adrenal glands produce hormones that regulate blood sugar, stress and sexual functions. Any problems in the pituitary gland can affect the Adrenal gland as the pituitary gland regulates all endocrine glands.
Different types of Adrenal gland disorders are:
- Cushing's disease: This disorder occurs when the Adrenal glands produce too much cortisol in the body. Cortisol is a hormone that Adrenal glands produce when a body is exposed to stress. The cause of this disease is the intake of steroids and tumors present in the pituitary gland. Its symptoms are increase in blood pressure, weakness in the muscles and weak bones.
- Adrenal cancer: Presence of cancerous cells in the Adrenal cortex leads to Adrenal cancer. Symptoms of the disorder are stomach cramps, blood pressure problems and irregular menstrual cycle.
- Addison's disease - This disease occurs when the Adrenal glands produce less cortisol. This disorder is linked with the immune system as the Adrenal glands are attacked by it during this disorder. Symptoms of this disorder are nausea, loss of appetite, constipation and muscle pain.
- Pheochromocytoma - It is a tumor that develops in the adrenal gland and causes excessive production of a hormone called catecholamine. These hormones help in regulating blood pressure. The primary causes of this disorder are genetic factors. Common symptoms of this disorder are headaches, shortness of breath and sweating.
- Conn's syndrome - This disorder occurs when the hormone Aldosterone is produced in excess by the Adrenal glands. Symptoms of this disorder are feeling excessively thirsty, muscle weakness and high blood pressure.
Over the last few decades, the word cholesterol has assumed a different connotation. It has come to be known as a silent killer that spells doom for health. However, what we need to realize is that a certain amount of cholesterol is essential for the proper functioning of the body. The liver produces about 85% of the cholesterol that is required by the body normally. The ever changing food habits have introduced a lot of processed foods that are loaded with saturated fats. Along with this, reduced physical activity has led to accumulation of cholesterol in the blood.
The types of cholesterol are based on the density and we have 2 types of density that is Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and High Density Lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is more dangerous than HDL, called as bad and good cholesterol respectively. In addition, the triglycerides and lipoprotein are also critical indicators of overall cholesterol levels. Depending on a person's age, height and weight, normal levels are derived for each of these four.
Because of their density of the cholesterol molecules, as they are circulating in the blood stream, they tend to get sluggish and settle down along the walls of the blood vessels, referred to as plaque. This plaque attracts more and more cholesterol from the blood and the layer gets gradually thicker. This reduces the thickness of the blood vessels and in severe cases even completely blocks blood flow to important organs like the brain and heart, leading to severe conditions like stroke and heart attack respectively.
However, it is not always that all cholesterol is bad. It is one of the essential things for the proper body functions with the main functions listed below:
- Each cell in the body requires it to form the cell membrane, the protective layer around the cells
- Synthesis of vitamin D is done with the help of cholesterol, which is very essential for skin health
- It also helps in hormone formation. In addition to steroids, other hormones like testosterone, estrogen, cortisol require cholesterol as a main ingredient
- Formation of neurotransmitters and overall nerve function requires cholesterol. This ensures optimal neurological functioning.
So, as noted above, there are, both good and bad aspects to cholesterol. It is not all that dangerous a thing that it is made out to be. The trick is to maintain a good level of cholesterol so that the body's requirements are met, and at the same time, the harmful effects are kept at bay. Some important parameters to manage, include the percentage of bad cholesterol in the blood and the ratio of triglycerides to HDL in the blood. These are considered fair indicators of heart health and if need be, lifestyle changes and/or medications can be undertaken to manage overall health and reduce risk of heart disease and stroke.
Certain habits can cause damage to your heart even if you maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly. According to researchers, working people having who have a desk job are more prone to suffer from heart conditions due to stress in their work life, lack of proper rest, limited movement, etc. Most of the times you tend to ignore your bad habits as the side effects do not occur immediately but can cause serious damage to your heart. Following are the common bad habits that you should avoid for a healthier heart-
1. Sitting all day
Something as seemingly trivial as it is, sitting all day can have an adverse effect on your heart. According to studies, if your job involves sitting on a desk for more than five hours then you have double the risk of suffering a heart failure compared to a person who has an active lifestyle. Make sure you take at least a five minute walk in an hour to reduce chances of hardening the arteries. A sedentary lifestyle has serious side effects on your overall health too.
2. Stress too much
Stress causes the body to release adrenaline which influences the way your body functions. In that case there might be an increase in heart rate or your blood pressure level. Over time, stress can cause damage to the blood vessels in your heart and increase your risk of sudden stroke or heart attack.
3. Overdoing it on salt
Excessive sodium can spike your blood pressure thereby making your more vulnerable to heart conditions. Processed foods like potato chips, canned vegetables, frozen meals and meats contain a fair amount of sodium which can have an adverse effect on your heart. It is important to take the nutritional value of these foods in account before purchasing it so that you get the ones with lowest amount of sodium.
4. Not getting enough sleep
The heart rate dips when you sleep and goes up and down as a response to your dreams in various stages of your sleep. It is important for your heart to rest as it actively works in your waking hours. Sleep deprivation has similar effects on your heart like stress and can wreck your cardiovascular health. It is of utmost importance to sleep for at 7 hours to keep your heart healthy.
Hypoglycemia, commonly referred to as low blood sugar is the condition of the body, when the level of blood sugar falls down below the normal level. This accounts for clumsiness, feeling shaky, feeling confused, losing consciousness, serious seizure. Severe lowering of blood sugar may cause death. You are likely to feel exhausted and very hungry. The symptoms usually show quite quickly.
Hypoglycemia is commonly caused due to diabetes medicine like insulin, sulfonylureas or biguanides. Starving for long hours, over straining the body or extreme alcohol consumption may lead to hypoglycemia. Failure of the kidneys, liver diseases, metabolism disorders also lead to hyperglycemia.
Fall in the the blood sugar level must be taken very seriously and never be ignored. If you feel the symptoms of lowered blood sugar, it is advised that you immediately take a sugar test. You must also indulge in high calorie food items such as sweets or chocolates. You need to increase the glucose intake, so that the blood-sugar level rises up.
Here are some steps you should follow to control hyperglycemia:
- Keep away from the practices, which lead to hyperglycemia: The best way of keeping away from hyperglycemia is by taking all measures, which would avoid the condition to develop. The medical schedule of diabetic patients should be closely monitored and optimized by the patient's caregivers. Their lifestyle should be kept under check. It should be ensured that the patients do not skip meals. Insulin should be avoided as much possible.
- Discuss problems with the patient: Patients and their guardians must be properly educated about the disease and what important steps they should take, in spite of all kinds of prevention treatments they take. Teach them about the symptoms and the steps to be taken in case of any emergency. Use of glucose tablets should be encouraged. They must know that the process is ongoing. Every patient is different from another and hyperglycemia differs from person to person.
- Use glucagon: Glucagon is basically a hormone, which stimulates the liver to release pre-stored glucose all over your bloodstream in case your blood-sugar level falls down steadily. Glucagon is usually injected, and kits are available. Prescribed by doctors, glucagon can be used to treat a person who has fallen unconscious after a fatal reaction due to insulin. You should consult an expert before buying a glucagon kit.
Hypoglycemia is a serious problem. Lowering or fall in your blood sugar level must never be ignored, and measures must be taken to regain your sugar balance immediately. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Endocrinologist.
What should we eat for a working women to control sugar. She goes at 9.00 am and comes back at 8.00 pm
Stroke affects the arteries that lead to the brain. This serious, life-threatening condition happens when blood supply to a part of the brain gets cut off.
Many myths surround this medical condition :
Myth 1: Only older people suffer from strokes
This isn't true - young people can experience strokes as well. About a quarter of stroke cases are reported by people aged 65 and below. More importantly, irrespective of the age group, the warning signs are the same; it is only in response that differences can be found between younger and older people.
Myth 2: Women don't suffer from strokes
The opposite is true. It is women who suffer strokes more often than men. This is because women tend to live longer than men whose longevity gets affected by heart disease. Since they live longer than men, they tend to be more vulnerable to strokes.
Myth 3: Strokes can't be prevented
Through changes in your lifestyle, strokes can easily be prevented. You can reduce your chances of getting a stroke by having a balanced diet, exercising, keeping an optimum body weight and limiting alcohol consumption as well as quitting smoking. Moreover, up to 80% stroke cases can be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle.
Myth 4: Strokes aren't easy to recognise
Strokes can be easily diagnosed through the Face, Arm, Speech and Time test (FAST). If you suffer from slurred speech, facial droop or numbness on one side of the body, you're said to suffer from a stroke.
Myth 5: Strokes are similar to one another
This is another misconception about stroke. No two strokes are the same. While certain strokes happen when blood flow to the brain gets interrupted, there are others that take place when blood vessels in the brain get ruptured. Recovery depends on the extent of damage, the type of stroke and your health condition before the occurrence.
Myth 6: Strokes are a form of heart attack
Although strokes and heart attacks are closely related, they are not the same. In strokes, blood supply to the brain gets interrupted; on the other hand, in heart attacks, blood supply to the heart gets severely affected. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Endocrinologist.
Vitamin d deficiency is caused when your body does not get enough exposure to the sun that is the primary source of vitamin d for your body. It is crucial for the health of your bones, skin and neurological system, therefore, its deficiency may lead to a number of problems and risks such as rickets, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis etc.
Here is a list of four symptoms that can help you to identify if you suffer from a deficiency of vitamin d.
1. Bone pain and muscle weakness
Adults who suffer from a deficiency of vitamin d feel a lot of achiness and pain in the bones and muscles of their body. Also, they are troubled with joint stiffness and fatigue that lowers the overall quality of their life.
2. Fits of sadness and grief
Exposure to the sun (and hence, vitamin d) improves the level of the neurotransmitter serotonin in your body that is responsible for lifting your spirits. However, deficiency of vitamin d prevents you from having a more positive outlook towards life. So, another symptom that can help you identify that your body is deficient in vitamin d is that you've got a lot of blues.
3. A lot of head sweat
If your head sweats a lot, you can be assured that you suffer from an acute deficiency of vitamin d. Head sweating is another prominent symptom associated with vitamin d deficiency. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an endocrinologist.