Archive for April, 2013

A Microalbumin urine test is used to detect very small amounts of albumin in urine. Albumin is a blood protein and is used to detect early signs of kidney damage.  This test is typically ordered by those that have chronic conditions that can adversely affect the kidneys:  diabetics (both Type 1 and Type 2) and those with high blood pressure.

kidney awareness Kidneys – Your Body’s Filter

When kidneys are functioning properly, they will filter the waste from your blood. Albumin is present in the blood and there is virtually no albumin present in urine.  If the kidneys stop functioning correctly due to disease, they lose their ability to filter properly and albumin will appear in the urine.  Having albumin protein in the urine reflects increasing kidney failure due to poor filtering capability and you should immediately discuss this with your physician.
Having albumin in the urine indicates issues with the kidney, but research shows that people are also at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

The National Kidney Foundation recommends that the microalbumin urine test should be taken each year for diabetics between the ages 12 and 70.  Additionally, the American Diabetes association advises that this test should be conducted annually for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

If any amounts of albumin are discovered in the urine:

  1. contact your physician
  2. re-test to verify detection of albumin

Those with hypertension should have a microalbumin test at regular intervals as recommended by their physician.
This test is offered by www.HealthOneLab.com by itself or as part of the diabetes test package which includes important tests for all diabetics:

  1. The Hemoglobin A1c test tests for long term glucose levels. Molecules of glucose (sugar) in the blood bind to this fraction of hemoglobin, and stay bound to it for months. The higher the amount of blood glucose, the higher the amount of hemoglobin A1c, and according to its value, one can obtain the average blood sugar during the previous 8 to 12 weeks. The test indicates how well your diabetes has been controlled in the 2 to 3 months before the test. Information gained from this test can help determine whether your diabetes medication needs to be adjusted. It can also help your health professional estimate your risk of developing complications from diabetes, such as kidney failure, vision problems, and leg or foot numbness. The A1c level is directly related to complications from diabetes: the lower your A1c level, the lower your risk for complications.
  2. Microalbumin, Random Urine A microalbumin test checks urine for the presence of a protein called albumin. Albumin is normally found in the blood and filtered by the kidneys. When the kidneys are working properly, albumin is not present in the urine. But when the kidneys are damaged, small amounts of albumin leak into the urine. This condition is called microalbuminuria.
  3. The Comprehensive Health Profile has been our most ordered lab test for 30 years. The profile screens for cardiovascular risk, major organ function, anemia, diabetes, infection, blood disease, and other indications of illness. This is the blood test routinely ordered as part of an annual physical exam and it includes the components of a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel.

Take Control of Your Health

Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
twittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Diabetes, Blood Sugar and Glycemic Index

Posted on:

Your blood sugar has highs and lows throughout the day.  Typically, blood sugar increases after meals but will drop lower later on.  What you eat can lesson the intensity of the blood sugar swings.

Glycemic Index (GI)

The glycemic index is a tool to rate carbohydrate containing food by how much they boost the blood sugar in your body.  Many people who are diabetic use this tool to help keep their blood sugar under control and to keep the high peaks and low valleys in their blood sugar from affecting daily life.  Not only is a low glycemic diet good for moderating blood sugar but it has also been shown to reduce the risks for cancer, heart disease and other diseases.

low glycemic image resized 600

Carbohydrates and the Glycemic Index Values

There are many foods that contain carbohydrates which are basically made up of sugar molecules such as glucose and fructose.  There are other types of carbohydrates that are considered starches and can be found in potatoes, corn and wheat which are just chains of glucose.  When we think of food with carbohydrates we typically think of bread, pasta, cereals, beans, etc., but carbohydrates are in many foods.

The Glycemic Index (GI) is an indicator of how a carbohydrate containing food affects the blood sugar levels.  It is determined by how quickly the food type breaks down in the digestive system, releasing the sugar molecules.   The index measures how the food will boost your blood sugar as compared to digesting pure glucose.  For example, a slice of white bread has a glycemic index of 71 so it would increase your blood sugar as much as 71% as compared to 100% if you ingested pure glucose.  The higher the glycemic index the higher it can raise your blood sugar as would eating straight glucose.  Naturally, you want to keep the glycemic index of the food you eat in a lower range or you can add some fat or acid to offset the impact on your blood sugar. For instance, if you eat bread with olive oil or something acidic, like vinegar or lemon juice, can slow the conversion of starch to sugar, and so lower the glycemic index.

The internet has many charts that will provide the glycemic index of common foods and you should use this as a tool when eating or planning meals.

Low Glycemic Index for Diabetes and Other Health

A low glycemic index diet can help regulate blood sugar but there are other health benefits.  Since most low glycemic index foods are low in carbohydrates, are not processed, contain whole grains, and vegetables, it helps with other health issues.  Studies have shown that high glycemic index diets have been linked to increased risk of certain cancers:  prostate, colorectal, breast and pancreatic.  It has also has been linked to the increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

How to Incorporate the Glycemic Index in Your Diet

  1. Try to substitute high glycemic index food items with low glycemic index foods.
  2. Choose low glycemic index foods with values of 55 or less
  3. Eat low glycemic foods more frequently throughout the day to avoid blood sugar lows and highs

Some easy substitutes for common foods include:

Ditch the instant oatmeal and opt for slow cooked or steel cut oatmeal

Ditch the white rice and opt for brown rice

Ditch the white bread and opt for whole-grain bread

Ditch the corn and opt for lettuce, cooked greens or leafy vegetables

Recommendation

To see the long term impact of blood sugar levels, it is recommended to have your Hemoglobin A1c tested every three months.  The Hemoglobin A1c provides an average of your blood sugar control over a six to 12 week period and is used in conjunction with home blood sugar monitoring to make adjustments in your diabetes regimen.

Take Control of Your Health

Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.  Please visit www.HealthOneLabs.com for more information.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
twittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

A recent study, published in the American Heart Association Journal, Stroke, studied Japanese men and women and reported that both coffee and green tea can help cut the risk of suffering a stroke.

The research discovered that the more green tea a person drank, the more it reduced the risk of suffering a stroke.  The study showed an almost 20% lower risk of stroke in green tea drinkers versus those that did not or rarely drank green tea.  Similarly, coffee drinkers only needed one cup per day to receive the same 20% decrease in the risk of stroke during the 13 year follow-up period.

tea benefits

What is the Science?

Green tea contains compounds called catechins.  Catechins are known to regulate blood pressure and improve blood flow through an anti-inflammatory response.  Likewise, coffee has caffeine and quinides compounds that affect our health positively although through a different mechanism.

Note that many of these studies that refer to tea and coffee as good dietary practices do not include those drinks that are laden with fat and sugar.  There has been an increase in both tea and coffee consumption, but those extra large lattes and teas can contain high amounts of fat and sugar when cream, milk and sugar are included.  The US Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion states that a 6-ounce cup of black coffee contains just 7 calories. Add some half & half and you’ll get 46 calories. If you flavor a liquid nondairy creamer, that will set you back 48 calories. A teaspoon of sugar will add about 23 calories.

Regular coffee, sans the heavy cream & sugar has been linked to a range of benefits that reduced the risk of Type 2 diabetes and to have a protective effect against Parkinson’s disease.

Be cautioned:  drinking coffee and tea is not cause and effect as there may be other lifestyle habits amongst java and tea drinkers that lead to reduced risk of disease.  So if you currently drink a cup ‘o joe or have some tea, there’s no need to stop.  If you don’t, maybe enlist a friend for some tea, that is, after you do your exercise and eat your healthy meal.

Take Control of Your Health

Medical Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. The writer is not a physician or other health provider.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
twittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube