Posts made in November, 2013

World Diabetes Day | 14 November 2013

Posted by on Nov 14, 2013 in Health Topics | 0 comments

World Diabetes Day  |  14 November 2013

Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes, is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin, or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas, that acts like a key to let glucose from the food we eat pass from the blood stream into the cells in the body to produce energy. All carbohydrate foods are broken down into glucose in the blood. Insulin helps glucose get into the cells. Not being able to produce insulin or use it effectively leads to raised glucose levels in the blood (known as hyperglycaemia). Over the long-term high glucose levels are associated with damage to the body and failure of various organs and tissues.   TYPES OF DIABETES There are three main types of diabetes: Type 1 diabetes used to be called juvenile-onset diabetes. It is usually caused by an auto-immune reaction where the body’s defence system attacks the cells that produce insulin. The reason this occurs is not fully understood. People with type 1 diabetes produce very little or no insulin. The disease may affect people of any age, but usually develops in children or young adults. People with this form of diabetes need injections of insulin every day in order to control the levels of glucose in their blood. If people with type 1 diabetes do not have access to insulin, they will die. Type 2 diabetes used to be called non-insulin dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes, and accounts for at least 90% of all cases of diabetes. It is characterised by insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency, either or both of which may be present at the time diabetes is diagnosed. The diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can occur at any age. Type 2 diabetes may remain undetected for many years and the diagnosis is often made when a complication appears or a routine blood or urine glucose test is done. It is often, but not always, associated with overweight or obesity, which itself can cause insulin resistance and lead to high blood glucose levels. People with type 2 diabetes can often initially manage their condition through exercise and diet. However, over time most people will require oral drugs and or insulin. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are serious. There is no such thing as mild diabetes. Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a form of diabetes consisting of high blood glucose levels during pregnancy. It develops in one in 25 pregnancies worldwide and is associated with complications to both mother and baby. GDM usually disappears after pregnancy but women with GDM and their children are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Approximately half of women with a history of GDM go on to develop type 2 diabetes within five to ten years after delivery. Other specific types of diabetes also exist. Source: http://www.idf.org/worlddiabetesday/toolkit/gp/what-is-diabetes Diabetes in children and adolescents Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood. It can strike children of any age, including infants and toddlers. Yet diabetes in children is often diagnosed late, when the child has very high, potentially life threatening, blood glucose levels. Sometimes it can be mistaken for something else, such as the flu. In many parts of the world, insulin, which children with type 1 diabetes need to survive, is not available because of cost. As a result, many children die of diabetes, particularly in low and middle-income countries. In 2007 and 2008, World Diabetes Day aims to raise awareness to the rising prevalence of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes...

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Coping with Exam Stress

Posted by on Nov 7, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Coping with Exam Stress

With in full-swing now, many teenagers are facing what is, for most, the biggest challenge yet. Everyone’s individual reactions to it will be different. Many students, however, may be panicking. Follow our advice on taking exams, and reduce stress the easy way. Plan your time Draw up a realistic revision schedule and stick to it. Include some time for relaxation — it’s not healthy to constantly have your nose in a book. To maximise your concentration, break up your time into 15-minute segments, interspersed by five-minute breaks. Knowing that you have a break coming up helps to prevent you from losing interest completely. Don’t be unrealistic You’ve spent most of your life at school, and you have a good idea of what you’re capable of. If you’re an average student, you’re unlikely to suddenly jump to the top of the class. Being realistic will help prevent you (and your parents!) from being disappointed when the results come in. The key thing is to do your best. Avoid sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll (but especially drugs) Anything that can give you a high will eventually give you a low. Don’t try to deal with your stress by turning to alcohol or recreational drugs — apart from anything else, you need all the memory you can get right now! Try not to drink too much coffee either — the caffeine won’t help you to concentrate. Drinking plenty of water will keep you hydrated and your brain functioning at its best. Revise methodically Simply reading long swathes of text is not going to help you to remember facts and figures. Write out important dates, facts or passages, use lots of coloured pens and underline key phrases. Go back over these notes a day later, and then a week after that. Your memory will be better and you will feel more confident about your exams. Test yourself Test yourself or get someone to test you on your notes. Bribe a brother or sister to do it for you, or ask your parents. Testing yourself regularly means that you remember facts better and any gaps in your knowledge can be picked up in good time — making the actual exam a lot less stressful. Stick notes around your house Buy cardboard stars in bright colours from newsagents, or make some out of card. Write key facts and phrases on each and stick them around your bedroom (preferably on items where they won’t leave a mark!) in places where you’ll often see them, for example, on your mirror or inside a cupboard that you often open. After a while, these facts will sink in without any extra effort on your part. Ignore your friends Not entirely, of course! But when your mates say how much revision they’ve been doing, they might not be telling the truth. Don’t use them as a benchmark — they might not want to seem daggy for doing lots of revision, or they might not be doing enough. Know yourself and know what you have to do — you’re in this for yourself. Ask for help There are great sources of support available if you feel that you need it. Ask a teacher if you don’t understand a particular topic now that you’re revisiting it — it doesn’t have to the one who taught you if you don’t feel that they’re good at explaining things to you. School counsellors and even good old mum and dad are also great for getting worries “off your chest”. You’re not alone, so don’t feel that you have to be. Have a fall-back plan...

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10 Tips for Healthy Eating During Exams

Posted by on Nov 7, 2013 in Health Topics | 0 comments

10 Tips for Healthy Eating During Exams

When you’re studying for finals, good nutrition often slides way down on the priority list. It’s easy to get into the habit of glugging coffee and gobbling take-out pizza, because you don’t want to waste time on food preparation. But, actually, good nutrition should be part of your study plan because it’s going to help you ace those tests. The better the fuel your brain gets, the better you’ll study. It’s a…well…no-brainer. Here are 10 tips for eating right during exams: How do I eat smarter? Meeting daily vitamin and mineral requirementswill make doing your best much easier. Iron and B vitamins are especially important to maintaining the physical and mental energy necessary to study well. Iron-containing foods include red meat, cereals and spinach; one good meal idea is chili because it contains ground beef and kidney beans. Foods that contain B vitamins include whole-grains, wheat germ, eggs and nuts. Fish and soy are other foods that are said to help boost your brain by providing the nutrients it needs. Dude, chewable Vitamin C is not a meal. Dietary supplements are good, but real food is better. An orange contains not only Vitamin C, but also fiber, beta carotene and other minerals — so it can’t be replaced by a pill. When you’re heading for the library, pack whole-food items like apples, bananas, clementines, carrot sticks or dried apricots. Eat at regular intervals. Eating regular meals helps keep nutrient and energy levels more stable, curbing the temptation of empty-calorie snacks in the vending machine. Big meals keep on turning … in your stomach. You might find that eating the standard three-big-meals-a-day slows you down mentally and physically. Consider 5 or 6 well-balanced, smaller meals, like toast spread with peanut butter, hummus or tuna, or a piece of cheese with fruit. Meet breakfast, your new study buddy. While much is said about thereasons to eat breakfast, less known are the best ways to eat smart in the morning. Coffee and a donut just don’t cut it. The idea is to get some protein, calcium, fibre and a piece of fruit or a vegetable in there. So, a bowl of cereal with milk and a piece of fruit would do the trick. Or try a cereal bar with milk. We have some additional quick breakfast ideas for you to enjoy! Going bananas? Good. Fruit ranks high among the best foods you can eat for your brain. Blueberries (which can be bought frozen in bags) get a lot of attention because they contain powerful antioxidants and other nutrients. The natural sugars in fruit offer clean energy, so you don’t experience the crash that follows consumption of refined sugar. Choose powerful vegetables. Not all vegetables are created equal. The darker the color, the higher the concentration of nutrients. For example,spinach has more to offer the mind and body than iceberg lettuce. Other great vegetable choices include bell peppers, broccoli and sweet potatoes. Smart snacking can enhance studying. Snack smart while studying and you may find that you retain more. Try to get two food groups into your snacks to balance the nutrients and keep your blood-sugar level stable. Some smart snack examples are banana with peanut butter, a small baked potato with cottage cheese, or an English muffin pizza. Gather simple recipes for nourishing foods. It’s easy to feed the brain well. No-fuss recipes let you eat to succeed, without taking too much time. Here are four ideas: Combine scrambled eggs with toast, cheese or salsa Spend 15 minutes preparing chili and continue studying while it simmers for two hours Go Tex Mex with quesadillas, adding whatever veggies you’ve got on hand A little chopping is all it takes to construct a hearty Chef’s Salad Stay well hydrated. Choose your beverages well, though. Caffeine and sugar should be kept to a minimum. Since too much caffeine can make you jittery, try to...

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