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Insulin Tips

Cinnamon and Health Benefits

Dt. Surabhi Jain 91% (528 ratings)
MSc
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Lucknow
Cinnamon and Health Benefits

Dalcheeni, also known as cinnamon, cassia, Ceylon cinnamon or Saigon cinnamon is a commonly used spice, found to be a natural healer for various ailments. It provides pain relief and helps to treat infections because of its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. 

Cinnamon is greatly productive in dealing with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) mainly because it helps in reducing insulin resistance, which is believed to be the major cause of PCOS. It also lowers down the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients. 

If mixed in hot water and consumed regularly, cinnamon can repress appetite and food yearnings, which helps women dealing with PCOS to cope with obesity. Cinnamon is also Scientifically proven to be a bountiful source of calcium, manganese and dietary fibre. 

Cinnamon boosts phosphorylation of insulin receptors which improves insulin function and sensitivity. A diet rich in cinnamon helps in revamping the menstrual cycle and also helps during pregnancy or by increasing fertility at the time of conception. 

Women with PCOS are comparatively more prone to developing diabetes and high blood sugar levels due to insulin dysfunction. Cinnamon balances the insulin levels and thus, lowers blood sugar and the pressure; and facilitates speedy weight loss. A cinnamon rich diet will also reduce the risk of acquiring cardiovascular diseases. 

After eating a carb-rich diet, women with PCOS face a rapid rise in insulin which causes multiple problems and hormonal dysfunctions. However, if they add cinnamon to the same diet, it will minimise the insulin reaction. 

It is, therefore, highly recommended by experts to include cinnamon in your diet if you have PCOS. Since it does not have any side effects, a teaspoon of dry cinnamon twice a day should pose no harm. It can also be consumed with water or in baked products like muffins. Even if you are taking medicines or other supplements, cinnamon is a safe choice. An overdose, however, might lead to hypoglycaemia, so do not consume more than two teaspoons a day.

How to Boost Testosterone With Foods and Supplements?

Dr. Vinod Raina 90% (4546 ratings)
MD - General Medicine
Sexologist, Delhi
How to Boost Testosterone With Foods and Supplements?

How to Boost Testosterone With Foods and Supplements?

Do you have energy and stamina that you had in your twenties?

Trust me, you are not alone. Men begin losing testosterone once they cross 30 and the effects of low testosterone become apparent by the time they reach 40.

Some of the most common effects of low testosterone include reduced libido and energy, erectile problems, weight gain, loss of lean muscle, weaker bones, irritable behavior etc.

However, it is possible to boost testosterone levels in your body with the help of some simple changes in diet. Listed below are some foods that can help elevate your testosterone levels:

1. Red meat - I know it is high in cholesterol but it is also high in protein. Foods that are rich in protein can help increase testosterone production in the body. The key is to have them in moderation. So, just enjoy your steak!

2. Fish - Fish is not just a great source of protein but is also rich in essentials fats like omega 3 fatty acids. It is important to know that your body needs essentials fats to produce steroid hormones like testosterone. Apart from this, such fats also keep your arteries well oiled to ensure better blood circulation. This can help boost your libido too.

3. Nuts and beans - including a small serving of nuts and beans in your daily diet can help ensure a testosterone boost for your body. Nuts and beans are a rich source of essential fats and minerals like zinc that help stimulate testosterone production in the body.

4. Oysters - I am sure you are already aware of this one. Oysters have long been used as a libido booster. What makes them great for increasing testosterone is that they are rich in zinc.

5. Cut Down on Carbs - You must also try to avoid foods that are rich in simple sugars. This is because they tend to spike Insulin levels in your body that tends to interfere with testosterone production. Thus, you must avoid or cut down on chips and potatoes.

6. Go Slow on Sweets - Sweets and other foods that are rich in sugar work just like the way carbohydrates do. Therefore, it is important to limit their intake.

7. No More Beer - Alcohol is proven to slow down testosterone production in the body. It can also give you a belly bulge, which again tends to be counter productive for testosterone production in the body.

Testosterone Supplements - Apart from the above foods, a natural testosterone supplement can help boost your T-levels. Some of the best supplements include natural ingredients like tribulus terrestris, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, zinc etc. They are proven to be a safe alternative to testosterone injections. They do not have any side effects and have been getting more and more popular.

Eating According To Your Internal Body Clock - Can It Help You Lose Weight?

Dr. Suneet Khanna 89% (79 ratings)
MBBS, D.P.H & H, DFW & CH
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Delhi
Eating According To Your Internal Body Clock - Can It Help You Lose Weight?

When we talk about losing weight, the focus is always on what we are eating, as some diets prescribe fewer crabs and fats while others talk about increasing your protein intake. However, apart from looking at what you eat, you should also be looking at when you eat your meals in order to lose weight. There’s a time and a place for everything and this holds true with food as well. Each of us has an internal body clock that monitors various activities and primes the body to react in different situations and this is known as your circadian rhythm. To boost your metabolism and maintain a healthy weight, you should eat meals in tune with your circadian rhythm.

Quick tips that can help:

  1. Don’t wait too long for breakfast: You should ideally eat your breakfast within an hour and a half from the time you wake up. This jump starts your metabolism and energizes you for the day. Breakfast should be a heavy meal of about 300 calories. The ideal breakfast has proteins, complex carbs, and fresh fruits. This keeps you satiated through the morning and helps avoid mid-day snacking.
  2. Limit your snack time to morning: If you feel the urge to cheat on a diet, try snacking between 11 am and 2 pm. Avoid snacking in the evenings. This way, your body has enough time to burn the energy being generated. This keeps the glycogen being produced from being stored as fat.
  3. Space your meals evenly: Do not let your stomach be empty for too long between meals. Ideally, the gap between your breakfast and lunch should be the same as the gap between our lunch and dinner. This keeps you from overeating and gives your body enough time to digest one meal before getting started on the other. If you feel like the gap in the evening is getting too long, break your dinner into two parts and have 4 meals instead of three.
  4. Eat your last meal before sunset: You should finish eating your dinner before the sun goes down. The later you eat your dinner, the easier it is to put on weight. This is because our bodies are designed to slow down after sunset. Thus, digestion takes longer. This can result in a slower metabolism and insulin fluctuations. A late dinner can also interfere with your sleep cycle thus making you start the next morning cranky. You should give yourself at least three hours between your dinner and your bedtime. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
1 person found this helpful

Hirsutism - Excessive Hair Growth in Women!

Dr. Sameer Pahlajani 90% (10 ratings)
MBBS
IVF Specialist, Raipur
Hirsutism - Excessive Hair Growth in Women!

There are women who feel their looks are spoilt because of the presence of excessive body hair. While hair on women's body is common, excessive body hair isn't a normal condition and must be taken seriously. Women are generally unaware that the condition is known as Hirsutism.

What is Hirsutism?

Hirsutism can be defined as growth of excessive facial and body hair in women. With the world obsessed with flawless skin, such changes from feminine hair pattern (soft, fine, vellus hair) to masculine hair pattern (hard, dark, terminal hair) in a woman is generally unwelcoming and, hence, very distressing for the woman.

Why do some women develop Hirsutism?

In order to understand the reasons for such excessive growth in some women, it is important to understand the differences in the physiology of men and women. The male or female appearance of one's body is dependent on a delicate balance between male and female sex hormones. There is a predominance of the hormone estrogen in a woman's body, whereas androgens (testosterone) are the predominant sex hormones among men. However, some amount of androgens is secreted by the ovaries and adrenal glands (located next to kidneys) in women also. But, an excessive production of these hormones results in Hirsutism. Hormonal imbalance is by far the most common cause of Hirsutism.

Causes of Hirsutism

The common causes of hirsutism include:

1. Endocrine causes

  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) - PCOS is a condition of hormonal imbalance in the body, which can result in an irregular menstrual cycle, enlarged ovaries with a cystic appearance on USG, infertility, obesity and hirsutism. For more information on the causes and management of PCOS.
  • Cushing's syndrome - Excessive production of hormone Cortisol by the adrenal glands can lead to symptoms such as high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, skin discoloration, muscle weakness, irregular menstruation, and hirsutism etc. This syndrome is known as Cushing's syndrome.
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) - CAH is a condition of excessive production of hormones Androgens and Cortisol by the adrenal glands and generally manifests in childhood in the form of virilization. In such cases, CAH can present with symptoms such as ambiguous genitals, obesity, hypertension etc. However, sometimes the manifestation of CAH is deferred to early adulthood and results in milder symptoms, hirsutism being one of them.

2. Tumors - Tumors in ovary or adrenal glands can again cause hirsutism due to excessive production of androgens

3. Medications

  • Long term steroid consumption (commonly used for immunosuppression, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis)
  • Performance enhancing drugs (often used by athletes)

4. Idiopathic - the woman may be having hirsutism despite normal hormone levels

Treatments

There are essentially two lines of treatment for hirsutism - one is medical management and the other is a cosmetic treatment.

Medical treatments for hirsutism -

A. Birth control pills - It's possible to reduce the severity and intensity of hair growth using birth control pills- the most commonly prescribed medical intervention! The birth control pills help by decreasing the production of androgens by ovaries. Besides this, estrogen present in the pills also helps the liver to produce more of sex hormone binding protein- these proteins bind to circulating androgens, thereby reducing their action on the body. Both these actions help in reducing the growth of hair on the body.

B. Anti-androgen medications - There are three categories of anti-androgen medications, which are commonly used for the treatment of hirsutism.

  • I. Spironolactone - Spironolactone is a diuretic medicine, which blocks the effects of androgens on the hair follicles, thus controlling hair growth.
  • II. Finasteride - Finasteride works by blocking the conversion of body testosterone into its more potent chemical entity, thereby limiting the effect of testosterone on hair growth.
  • III. Flutamide - Flutamide is a potent anti-androgen, which blocks the actions of androgens and helps in controlling the hair growth.

However, we have to ensure that the woman is not pregnant when taking any of these three medications. These medicines are often combined with oral contraceptives, which also have a synergistic effect in reducing the severity of hirsutism. One should also seek an expert opinion before starting these medications as there can be serious side effects, especially on liver.

C. Steroids - Low dose dexamethasone can be used to control the overactive adrenal glands when used carefully. However, long-term steroid therapy has got its own side effects and this therapy should only be considered under expert care and guidance.

D. Insulin sensitizing medicines - Medicines such as Metformin and Pioglitazone (Basically these are anti-diabetic medications) help in reducing insulin resistance in the body, which, in turn, helps in controlling the effects of excessive circulating androgens.

Cosmetic treatment for hirsutism -

One very important aspect of cosmetic management of hirsutism is self-care. This can include shaving, waxing, use of depilators and bleaching creams. All these measures help to reduce the amount of visible hair in undesired parts of the body. But, this needs to be done very frequently for a sustained visible effect.

Permanent hair removal is also possible using electrolysis or LASER treatment. In electrolysis treatment, electric current is passed into the hair follicle using a needle, which damages the root of the hair permanently. Similarly, LASER treatment uses LASER to destroy the hair follicle. Both these are effective methods to get rid of the undesired hair. However, we do not yet know if there are any long-term complications or side effects of these methods and these methods are not yet approved by the US FDA. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

Related Tip: How Safe is Laser Surgery for Facial Hair Removal??

 

Exercise for Diabetics

Dr. Vishwanath B L 96% (74 ratings)
Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Internal Medicine Specialist, Bangalore
Exercise for Diabetics

Diabetes and exercise 
Morning exercise is a bliss for whole day. Most people know exercise is good but hardly few people do it consistently.
Unlike smoking and alcohol, people are not addicted exercise because gratification is delayed in the latter and faster in former.

The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will involve the patient in the proper use of food, fresh air and exercise.

Why is exercise must for diabetics?
Muscles can use glucose without insulin when exercising
This is the biggest benefit in diabetes 

Benefits of exercise for diabetics
1) lowers blood sugar level 
2) increases insulin sensitivity so that insulin acts better to control sugars 
3) it lowers blood pressure 
3) lowers basal and postprandial insulin concentration 
4) lowers glycosylated hemoglobin (hba1c)
5) improves cholesterol levels 
6) improves functioning of heart (cardiovascular system)
7) increases strength and flexibility of joints 
8) burns fat 
9) reduces psychological stress by the action of endorphins 
10) increases self-esteem.

When to exercise?
Exercise whenever you gets time. Traditionally morning time is better.
For people with high blood sugars after food (post prandial, it's advisable to do 15 min walking after dinner.

Precautions before exercise 
1) ideally it is better to check your blood sugars before exercise but it's not possible always.
2) if the fasting blood sugar is less than 100mg /dl, I recommend to eat 100 g fruit before exercise.

Best exercises for diabetics 
1) brisk walking 
2) weight training 
3) yoga 
4) swimming 
5) stationary cycling 
6) tai-chi 

In my next posting, I will explain in details about above exercises and specific guidelines for maximum benefits.

2 people found this helpful

Simple Steps to Lower Your Diabetes Risk

Dr. Pankaj Chhajed 89% (41 ratings)
BHMS, M.D Homoeopathy ( Practice of Medicine )
Homeopath, Nashik
Simple Steps to Lower Your Diabetes Risk

Making a few lifestyle changes can dramatically lower the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. The same changes can also lower the chances of developing heart disease and some cancers.

Control Your Weight

Excess weight is the single most important cause of type 2 diabetes. Being overweight increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes seven fold. Being obese makes you 20 to 40 times more likely to develop diabetes than someone with a healthy weight.

Losing weight can help if your weight is above the healthy-weight range. Losing 7 to 10 percent of your current weight can cut your chances of developing type 2 diabetes in half.

Get Moving—and Turn Off the Television

Inactivity promotes type 2 diabetes.  Working your muscles more often and making them work harder improves their ability to use insulin and absorb glucose. This puts less stress on your insulin-making cells.

Television-watching appears to be an especially-detrimental form of inactivity: Every two hours you spend watching TV instead of pursuing something more active increases the chances of developing diabetes by 20 percent; it also increases the risk of heart disease (15 percent) and early death (13 percent). The more television people watch, the more likely they are to be overweight or obese, and this seems to explain part of the TV viewing-diabetes link. The unhealthy diet patterns associated with TV watching may also explain some of this relationship.

If You Smoke, Try to Quit

Add type 2 diabetes to the long list of health problems linked with smoking. Smokers are roughly 50 percent more likely to develop diabetes than nonsmokers, and heavy smokers have an even higher risk. 

The Bottom Line: Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

They key to preventing type 2 diabetes can be boiled down to five words: Stay lean and stay active.

1 person found this helpful

Cinnamon and Health Benefits

Dt. Surabhi Jain 91% (528 ratings)
MSc
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Lucknow
Cinnamon and Health Benefits

Dalcheeni, also known as cinnamon, cassia, Ceylon cinnamon or Saigon cinnamon is a commonly used spice, found to be a natural healer for various ailments. It provides pain relief and helps to treat infections because of its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. 

Cinnamon is greatly productive in dealing with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) mainly because it helps in reducing insulin resistance, which is believed to be the major cause of PCOS. It also lowers down the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients. 

If mixed in hot water and consumed regularly, cinnamon can repress appetite and food yearnings, which helps women dealing with PCOS to cope with obesity. Cinnamon is also Scientifically proven to be a bountiful source of calcium, manganese and dietary fibre. 

Cinnamon boosts phosphorylation of insulin receptors which improves insulin function and sensitivity. A diet rich in cinnamon helps in revamping the menstrual cycle and also helps during pregnancy or by increasing fertility at the time of conception. 

Women with PCOS are comparatively more prone to developing diabetes and high blood sugar levels due to insulin dysfunction. Cinnamon balances the insulin levels and thus, lowers blood sugar and the pressure; and facilitates speedy weight loss. A cinnamon rich diet will also reduce the risk of acquiring cardiovascular diseases. 

After eating a carb-rich diet, women with PCOS face a rapid rise in insulin which causes multiple problems and hormonal dysfunctions. However, if they add cinnamon to the same diet, it will minimise the insulin reaction. 

It is, therefore, highly recommended by experts to include cinnamon in your diet if you have PCOS. Since it does not have any side effects, a teaspoon of dry cinnamon twice a day should pose no harm. It can also be consumed with water or in baked products like muffins. Even if you are taking medicines or other supplements, cinnamon is a safe choice. An overdose, however, might lead to hypoglycaemia, so do not consume more than two teaspoons a day.

3 people found this helpful

PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome): What You Need to Know?

Dt. Surabhi Jain 91% (528 ratings)
MSc
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Lucknow
PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome): What You Need to Know?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, abbreviated as PCOS in women actually refers to the formation of multitudinous cysts in their ovaries caused by rapid overpopulation of a hormone called Androgens. Excess Androgens are released due to the production of a much higher level of insulin in the blood, which the body is unable to effectively utilise. Women affected with PCOS tend to have irregular or no menstruation at all. They are usually obese and have acne and hairfall complications. 

If PCOS is not restrained on time, it might lead to endometrial cancer, heart diseases, diabetes or high blood pressure. Therefore, a balanced diet is paramount. 

Here is how you can assist your self :- 

WHAT TO ADD?
Fibre rich vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, pumpkin, potatoes and sprouts. In case of PCOS, one should have a diet rich in green leaves like lettuce. Other food items like lentils and beans; almonds and berries and pepper (green and red) can be consumed. 

Lean protein such as chicken, fish and tofu are helpful in case of PCOS. Anti-inflammatory foods and spices such as turmeric and tomatoes; spinach, walnut and olive oil; as well as fruits like strawberries and blueberries are beneficial. 

WHAT TO SUBTRACT?
Foods with high glycaemic index like white rice; mashed potatoes; cakes and muffins should be avoided in case of PCOS. 

Sugary snacks and beverages which might stimulate insulin levels in the blood should be steered clear from. Inflammatory foods such as processed and raw meat, pasta noodles and French fries should be strictly stayed away from. 

Dairy and soy products should also be consumed in minimum quantity. 

Other Changes Since most women suffering from PCOS are overweight, exercise and daily physical movement is very crucial. Any person afflicted by PCOS should maintain a low inflammation diet and ensure nominal sugar intake. PCOS induces stress, therefore practicing Yoga and/or speaking with a therapist are noteworthy options.

PCOD - Treat It With Ayurveda & Don't Let It Affect Your Life!

Bnchy Wellness Medispa 85% (310 ratings)
Bachelor of Naturopathy & Yogic Sciences (BNYS), M.sc in yoga and naturopathy, Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), Bachelor of Physiotherapy
Ayurveda, Delhi
PCOD - Treat It With Ayurveda & Don't Let It Affect Your Life!

Are you suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome and are looking for an ideal remedy? Polycystic ovarian disease or PCOD is a common female health condition. It is a complex disorder and involves several factors which include insulin resistance, obesity, irregular menstrual bleeding, insufficient ovum production, and abnormal menstrual cycles. PCOD commonly occurs during the reproductive age of a woman and accounts for being a major cause of infertility.

According to Ayurvedic principles, PCOD occurs primarily due to the imbalance state of your doshas. The dosha vaishanmya is linked to the symptoms of PCOD, and the relationship between the doshas and lakshans is permanent.

Treatment
PCOD is associated with stri beeja and rajah formation, along with medhodhantu to some extent. These should be attended to while the condition is being treated. The Ayurvedic treatment of PCOD aims at providing ideal care by correction of the ama dosha. By this, you achieve koshta shuddi, which in turn regularizes your tridoshas. The way or approach towards Ayurvedic treatment for PCOD includes the following:

  1. Treatment of agnimandya at both dhatwagni and jataragni levels.
  2. The alleviation of sroto avarodha is an essential part of PCOD treatment using Ayurveda. You should undertake purificatory therapies which are based on the grade of your doshic vitialation, and the exact area of affliction. These should be followed by rasayana drugs, which are free radical scavenging agents.
  3. The regularization of the apana Vata is essential as well. You must firmly avoid vihara and kaphkara ahara.
  4. Yoga and meditation are very important for the Ayurvedic treatment of PCOD. You should perform yoga asanas regularly. Some of the ideal postures for PCOD management include sarvangasana, matyasana, and shavasana.
  5. It is also very important for you to work out regularly, undertake different physical exercises. This will make your overall life much healthier.
  6. You must follow a healthy, balanced diet regularly, which should consist of fresh vegetables and fruits.

Ayurvedic herbs for the treatment of PCOD

  1. The varuna crataeva nurvala is an effective herb which helps in the clearance of channels, which reduces your cyst’s size.
  2. You can try hareetaki because of its amazing laxative effects, which reduce the morbidity of your body.
  3. Bilva or aegle marmelos heps in reducing the size of your growth, via its digestive effect.
  4. Strotasshuddhi is required and herbs likes Punarnava, kaphhar medicines are advised.
  5. Phytooestrogen sources and female tonic Shatavari is very much advised.
  6. Agnimantha, similar to lions. Lake er dhareyjata
  7. Guduchi is another effective remedy for PCOD and has a rejuvenating effect.
  8. Kanchnar is the drug of choice for Thyroid as per AYURVEDA, Strotasshuddhi is done by using Trikatu, Punarnava and other medicines. Rasayan like Shatavari are advised for enhancing female hormones.

If you are experiencing any symptom of PCOD, it is recommended for you to visit an Ayurvedic practitioner. This ensures that proper diagnosis is undertaken so that you can start treating the condition as early as possible. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

470 people found this helpful

Lifestyle Changes That Help Keep Heart Diseases At Bay!

Dr. Anurag Bajpai 90% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Paediatrics, FRACP - Pediatrc Endocrinology, SCE, Endocrinology
Endocrinologist, Kanpur
Lifestyle Changes That Help Keep Heart Diseases At Bay!

One of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) is diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to major heart problems. It is thus pertinent to take timely actions to control the insulin-related issues and save ourselves from CVD.

It is important to understand how diabetic patients are more prone to CVD than others to take pre-emptive actions to control it.

  1. Atrial Fibrillation: Atrial Fibrillation means an irregular and rapid heart rate which can increase the risk of stroke, heart failure and other cardiac issues. Individuals with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation. This risk is higher among patients with a longer duration of treated diabetes and poorer glycemic control.
  2. Hyperglycemia: Hyperglycemia means high (hyper) glucose (gly) in the blood (emia). Your body needs glucose to properly function. Your cells rely on glucose for energy. Hyperglycemia is a defining characteristic of diabetes, when the blood glucose level is too high because the body isn't properly using or doesn't make the hormone insulin.
  3. Hypertension: Hypertension in diabetes is considered a major contributor to the increase in mortality from cardiovascular diseases. Diabetic patients, especially those with Type 2, need to always have their blood pressure checked every visit to the doctor. Self-monitoring at home is also a must to maintain and control the rise of blood pressure. The American Diabetes Association recommends a target blood pressure of not more than 130/85 mm Hg to maintain a good level of blood pressure.
  4. Smoking: Smoking has been determined dangerous to our health. Studies show that smoking indeed increase risk of premature death and cardiovascular disease in diabetic patients. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
367 people found this helpful