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Diabetes and the complications, symptoms, and reasons why you should get a blood test

If you have diabetes, your blood glucose levels are too high. With type 2 diabetes, this is caused when your body does not make enough insulin. It can also be caused by insulin resistance, which is when your body does not use insulin properly. If you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, there may be a few ways you can prevent or delay developing it. Many Americans are at risk for type 2 diabetes and it is important to order your own blood tests online to monitor your blood glucose levels and other test components. The likelihood of getting it to depend on a combination of risk factors such as your genes and lifestyle. The risk factors include the following:

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  • Having prediabetes which means you have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal but not higher enough to be called diabetes
  • Being overweight or having overweight
  • Being age 45 or older
  • A family history of diabetes
  • Being Asian American, African American, Alaska Native, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having a low level of HDL (good) cholesterol or a high level of triglycerides
  • A history of diabetes in pregnancy
  • Having given birth to a baby weight 9 pounds
  • An inactive lifestyle
  • A history of heart disease or stroke
  • Having depression
  • Having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Having acanthosis nigricans, a skin condition in which your skin becomes dark and thick, especially around your neck or armpits
  • Smoking

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 Why the risk of diabetes has health consequences

If you believe you are at risk for diabetes, you may be able to prevent or delay getting it. Most of the things that you needed to do involve having a healthy lifestyle. So, if you make these changes are you will get other health benefits as well as. You may lower your risk of other diseases as well, and you will probably feel better overall and have more energy. Some lifestyle changes you can consider are:

  • Losing weight and keeping it off. Weight control is an important part of diabetes. You may be able to prevent or delay diabetes by losing FIVE to TEN percent of your current weight. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, your goal would be to lose between 10 to 15 pounds. And once you lose weight, it is important that you don’t gain it back.
  • Following a healthy eating plan. It is important to reduce the number of calories you eat and drink each day, so you can lose weight and keep it off. To do that, your diet should include smaller portions and less fat and sugar. You should also eat a variety of food from each food group, including plenty of whole fruits, grains, and vegetables. It is also a good idea to limit red meat and avoid processed meat.

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  • Get regular exercise. Exercise has many health benefits, include helping you to lose weight & lower your blood glucose levels. These are both lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. Try to get at least 35 minutes of physical activities 5 days a week. If you have not been active, talk with your health care professional to figure out which types of exercise are best for you. You can start slowly & work up to your goal.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking can contribute to insulin resistance, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. you already smoke, try to quit.
  • Talk to your health care provider to see whether there is anything else you can do to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes. If you are at high risk, your provider may suggest that you take one of a few types of diabetes medicines.

How to thwart diabetes or reduce your chances for complications if you have diabetes

Diabetes is a serious and costly disease which has increased 40 percent in the last 10 years. Research has found that one in three people born recently will develop diabetes at some point in their lifetime. The odds of being diagnosed with diabetes is high and the complications of diabetes are serious like coronary heart disease, kidney failure, increased risk of cancer, infections, dementia, and blindness. You can help prevent diabetes or reduce the complications of this disease. It is important you stay in shape and lead an active lifestyle. You should also opt for healthy meals that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Make it a goal to eat more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Lastly, be sure to choose foods that are low in sugar and other refined carbohydrates.

Benefits of taking control of your health and checking your blood sugar and average blood sugar

  • Diagnostic tool to determine if your blood sugar is within normal limits
  • Blood tests can show if you have any issues or complications due to diabetes and should be discussed with your physician
  • Catching diabetes disease early gives patients the best prognosis so order your own blood lab tests at HealthOneLabs.com

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An amylase test is used to measure the amount of amylase in your blood or urine. Amylase is an enzyme, which acts as catalysts for certain biochemical reactions, that aid in the digestion of food. The majority of amylase in the body is created in the salivary glands and pancreas. A small amount of amylase in the urine and blood is normal. The amount you have, whether it’d be larger or smaller amount can mean that there is an infection, disorder of the pancreas, alcoholism, or another medical condition.

 

An amylase blood test can be used to monitor or diagnose an issue with the pancreas, such as pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas. An amylase urine test may be in addition to an amylase blood test. Urine amylase results can aid in diagnosing salivary gland and pancreatic disorders. One or both types of tests may be used to help monitor amylase levels in people who are being treated for pancreatic or other related disorders.

 

Your physician or healthcare provider may order both amylase blood and urine test if you are showing symptoms of a pancreatic disorder. Some of the symptoms included are nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, fever and severe abdominal pain. Your health care provider may also think it is appropriate to order an amylase test to monitor an existing condition, like pregnancy, eating disorder, or pancreatitis.

 

For an amylase blood test, a health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. Once the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. It may cause a stinging feeling when the needle goes in or out. This process will most likely take less than five minutes. For an amylase urine test, you will be given instructions to provide a specimen that is referred to as a “clean-catch” sample.

 

The clean-catch method includes the following steps:

  1. Wash your hands
  2. Clean your genital area with a cleansing pad given to you by your provider. Men should wipe the tip of their penis. Women should open their labia and clean from front to back.
  3. Start to urinate into the toilet.
  4. Move the collection container under your urine stream.
  5. Collect at least an ounce or two of urine into the container, which should have markings to indicate the amounts.
  6. Finish urinating into the toilet.
  7. Return the sample container as instructed by your healthcare provider.

 

If you want to order any blood tests, we recommend you look at www.HealthOneLabs.com where you can order many discount online blood lab tests without a doctor’s prescription.

 

The healthcare professional onsite may ask that you collect all your urine during a 24-hour period. For this test, your healthcare provider will provide a container and specific instructions on how to collect the samples at home. It is important to follow all of the provided directions carefully. This 24-hour period for the urine sample test is used because the amounts of substances in the urine, including amylase, can vary throughout the day. This is why collecting several samples in a day may give a more accurate picture of your urine content. There are no special preparations required for amylase blood or urine test. There is a very small risk of having a blood or urine test. During a blood test, you may experience slight pain or bruise at the spot where the needle was put in, but for the most part, these symptoms go away soon after having your blood drawn.

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If your lab results show abnormal levels of amylase in your blood or urine, it may be because you have a pancreas disorder or other medical condition. High levels of amylase may indicate many issues. For example, acute pancreatitis, which is a sudden and severe inflammation of the pancreas. When treated promptly, it usually gets better within a few days. It can also mean there is a blockage in the pancreas or pancreatic cancer. Low levels of amylase is an indicator of the following conditions: liver disease, cystic fibrosis, and chronic pancreatitis, which is an inflammation of the pancreas that worsens over time and can lead to permanent damage. Chronic pancreatitis is usually caused by heavy alcohol use.

 

It is critical to tell your healthcare provider about any over the counter medicines or prescription you are taking because they can alter your results. If you would like more information about your results, be sure to have a conversation with your physician. If they suspect you have pancreatitis, they may order other blood tests, like a lipase blood test, along with an amylase blood test. Lipase is another enzyme that is generated by the pancreas. Lipase tests are considered to be a more accurate way to detect pancreatitis, especially in pancreatitis that is caused by alcohol abuse.

 

The pancreas is a large gland behind the stomach and close to the duodenum, the very first part of the small intestine. It is responsible for secreting enzymes into the duodenum through a tube called the pancreatic duct. Pancreatic enzymes join with a liquid produced in the liver, bile, and stores it in the gallbladder to digest food. The pancreas also releases the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream, which helps the body regulate the glucose it takes from food for energy. Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed. With pancreatitis, sometimes the enzymes become activated and begin to digest the pancreas itself. Treatment can be very painful and requires hospitalization most of the time.  If it’s not caught early, it can turn into a life-threatening illness. The most common cause of acute pancreatitis is the presence of gallstones, which are small, stone-like substances made of hardened bile that can cause inflammation in the pancreas as they pass through the common bile duct.  Heavy alcohol consumption is another common cause.  Acute pancreatitis can occur within hours or as long as 2 days after consuming alcohol. Other causes of acute pancreatitis include abdominal trauma, medications, infections, tumors, and genetic abnormalities of the pancreas. Researchers studied the problem of pancreatitis and learned that eating vegetables can lower the risk of developing pancreatitis.   The study found that people who ate at least four servings of vegetables a day lowered their risk of developing pancreatitis by 44 percent compared to people who seldom ate vegetables. The following are a few ways that may help prevent pancreatitis: limit your intake of alcohol as much as possible, keep your triglycerides in a healthy range (less than 150 mg/dL), and eat four or more servings of vegetables each day.

 

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute has found that a deficiency of a fat cell hormone known as adiponectin may heighten the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Adiponectin is a hormone in the bloodstream and is used to reduce inflammation and helps with the body’s sensitivity to insulin.  If you are deficient in the fat cell hormone, you are at increased risk for many diseases.  The study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital analyzed data from cancer pancreatic cancer patients as compared to healthy patients and found a relationship between low adiponectin levels and pancreatic cancer development.

 

Scientists know that there is a link between obesity, insulin resistance, and pancreatic cancer risk, but this new study shows additional correlation with the hormone adiponectin and the increased probability of developing pancreatic cancer. The pancreas produces two hormones, insulin, and glucagon, that help with regulating blood sugar levels.  Although studies do not know if diabetes causes pancreatic cancer, it is more commonly diagnosed amongst those who have diabetes. Watch for the following symptoms that may be related to pancreas issues: some symptoms of pancreatic cancer include, dark-colored urine and feces, jaundice, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, abdominal pain, and lack of pain.

 

Physicians will use blood tests, in addition to ultrasounds & MRIs, to diagnose and treat pancreas issues.  The most prevalent blood test is a general screening test. To prevent the condition, it is recommended that people abstain from smoking, eat a diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and exercise frequently.

 

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Why the Pancreas and Amylase blood test are related

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A healthy pancreas produces the correct chemicals in the proper quantities, at the right times, to digest the foods we eat.

Two of the main pancreatic hormones are insulin, which acts to lower blood sugar and glucagon

 

Why having your blood tested for amylase enzymes is a good health indicator

An amylase blood test is usually done if your doctor suspects pancreatitis.  Pancreatitis means that the pancreas is inflamed, in which case your amylase levels will be higher than normal.  Other pancreatic disorders could include pancreatic pseudocyst, pancreatic abscess, and pancreatic cancer.

 

Benefits of a-amylase blood test

  • Diagnostic tool to determine if your pancreas is functioning correctly
  • Blood tests can show if you have any issues with your pancreas and should be discussed with your physician
  • Catching pancreas disease early gives patients the best prognosis
  • Ordering your own lab tests can save you time and money

 


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What is the importance of the liver?

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The importance of your liver

The liver is a very important organ as its job is to filter all the blood in your body. It continually filters toxins, drugs, and wastes the body creates. A healthy liver is imperative for the body to function properly. Increased use of prescription, over-the-counter drugs, alcohol consumption, and illegal drugs can inhibit the liver from doing its job. The liver has to break down alcohol and drugs to remove it from the body. An excess of substances like drugs or alcohol can damage the liver.  Increasingly, people are mixing both drugs, like acetaminophen, and alcohol which can lead to acute liver failure. It’s the only internal organ that can regenerate itself but that still doesn’t mean you should abuse it. The liver stores vitamins that are fat soluble and minerals, such as iron, and releases them to the blood as necessary. It also generates bile, which is a greenish alkaline fluid that aids digestion, to break down fats.  It’s important to make sure your liver is functioning correctly and we recommend you get your liver enzymes tested periodically.

The liver is one of the biggest organs in the body. It is responsible for numerous significant metabolic functions. It transforms the nutrients in the foods you consume into substances that the body can use, stores these substances, and provides cells with them when necessary. Another key function of the liver is it takes up toxic substances and turns them into harmless substances or makes sure they are released from the body.

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The human adult liver weighs about 3.1 pounds and is found in the right upper abdomen, right below the diaphragm. It is quite large, so it takes up most of the space under the ribs and even some space in the left upper abdomen. If you viewed it from the outside, you can easily distinguish a larger right lobe and smaller left lobe. These two lobes are split up by a band of connective tissue that keeps the liver in the abdominal cavity. The gallbladder, where bile is kept, is found in the small hollow near the liver.

Liver tissue is made up of many miniscule units of liver cells that are called lobules. Lots of canals that carry blood and bile run between the liver cells. Blood that comes from the gallbladder, and pancreas flows through the portal vein to the liver, thus carrying nutrients, medication and even toxic substances. Once these substances get to the liver, they are processed, stored, transformed, detoxified, and passed back into the blood or released in the bowel to be eliminated. This process allows the liver to, for example, get rid of alcohol from your blood and remove by-products from the breakdown of medications.

The liver, with the help of vitamin K, creates proteins that are preventers  of  blood clotting. It also plays a vital role in all metabolic processes in the body. In fat metabolism, the liver cells break down fats and in turn produces energy. They produce about 800 ml of bile per day. This olive green liquid is collected in small ducts and then goes through the main bile duct, which carries it to the part of the small intestine called the duodenum. As mentioned, bile is critical for the breakdown and absorption of fats.

The liver also plays a role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, as it helps to ensure that the level of sugar in your blood, otherwise known as blood glucose, stays continuous. When blood sugar levels go up, like after a meal, the liver takes the sugar from blood supplied by the portal vein and keeps it in the form of glycogen. On the other hand, if someone’s blood sugar levels are lower, the liver breaks down the glycogen and releases sugar into the blood. In addition to sugar, it also keeps vitamins and minerals, such as iron and copper, and lets them into the blood when necessary.  It’s important to test for blood sugar, at least annually, and we recommend a simple blood test that you can order online

The liver also plays a significant role in protein metabolism. The liver cells transform amino acids in foods, in order for them to be used to create energy or produce fats or carbohydrates. There is a toxic substance that is called ammonia, and it is a consequence of this process. The cells in the liver turn ammonia to a less toxic substance called urea, and it is released into the blood. Urea is then moved to the kidneys and leaves the body in urine.

Different Types of Liver Tests

There is a blood test, also known as hepatic function test, that is used to screen the liver to see if it is functioning normally. Levels for the following are included in the test are bilirubin, liver enzymes, and blood proteins. There are many acronyms associated with the different components of this blood test and there are acceptable levels that physicians use to help diagnose problems with the liver. Albumin, Globulin and Total Protein levels are used to measure the amount and type of protein in your blood. They are a useful index of total health and nutrition. Abnormal results are an indicator of malnutrition, liver or kidney disease, cirrhosis, multiple myeloma, sarcoid, amyloid, lupus, and/or major infections. Globulin is the antibody protein important for fighting disease. If one of these values is high, but the other values are within expected ranges, the result is probably not significant, but only your physician can confirm this. See the discount online blood lab tests available that you can order yourself to see if your liver and other organs are functioning properly.

LDH (Lactate Dehydrogenase) levels are an enzyme found in blood and tissues. Elevated levels are found in various diseases including myocardial infarction, cancer, and anemia. A hemolyzed blood specimen can falsely elevate levels. Slightly decreased levels are usually insignificant but only your physician can confirm this. The Gamma GT (GGT) component is a liver enzyme whose elevation may indicate liver disease. Moderate intake of alcohol and some common medications may cause elevated levels to occur. Bilirubin is a primary pigment found in bile. It is derived from hemoglobin and prepared by the liver and builds up when the liver is functioning poorly or when some other disorder reduces the normal flow of bile. It is expanded also when there has been elimination of red blood cells. Finally, AST & ALT are caused by injury to cells which then releases these enzymes into the blood. Liver disease and heart attacks, as well as severe physical injury can cause elevation of these values. small values are probably not significant, but can only be confirmed by your physician.

Maintaining a healthy liver is crucial for your overall health, as there are many common liver diseases. Fatty liver disease is when there is extra fat in the liver cells and is typically associated with those that drink too much alcohol.  This type of diseases generally does not have any symptoms.  If diagnosed, fatty liver disease will go away once alcohol is eliminated from the diet. Hepatitis B is a severe liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis purpose the liver to swell and become damaged. Hepatitis C is an infection produce by a virus that attacks the liver and leads to inflammation. Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver; hard scar tissue replaces soft healthy tissue Cirrhosis occurs in response to chronic damage to your liver. If you believe you may be suffering from any of these liver diseases, it is important that you see your primary health physician to find a course of action that works best for you.

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Why you want to have your liver tested

  • Ensure your liver is functioning correctly by getting a discount online blood tests
  • The liver is the ultimate filter; including toxic substances
  • The liver is one of the few organs that can regenerate
  • Alcohol and medications can strain the liver so it is important to check your liver functions with periodic blood tests
  • The liver breaks down bile which helps metabolize fats

Why having your blood tested for liver enzymes is a good health indicator

You will want to get a liver function test at least once a year to help diagnose and monitor liver disease or damage. The tests measure the levels of certain enzymes & proteins in your blood.  When you get your blood tests back from www.HealthOneLabs.com, it will show if you have tests within the normal range or outside the normal range. Based upon the results, you will want to see your physician to review the tests to determine if you have liver disease

Benefits of a liver function test

  • Diagnostic tool to determine if your liver is functioning correctly
  • Blood tests can show if you have any issues with your liver and should be discussed with your physician
  • Catching liver disease early gives patients the best prognosis
  • Ordering your own lab tests can save you time and money

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What Are Adaptogens?

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What Are Adaptogens?

Adaptogens are substances that are becoming more and more popular because of their promise to help your body adapt to different stressors. These herbs are unregulated by the FDA and are believed to reduce stress/anxiety, promoting homeostasis, and supporting the adrenal glands. Some examples of these herbs include ashwagandha, Rhodiola, ginseng, reishi, and Chaga. As of right now, there is more data on adaptogens for animals than humans. Studies have found that after 12 weeks, symptoms of depression were no different in those who took placebos than those who took 340 mg of Rhodiola every day.

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Some small studies show that ashwagandha can lower the stress response hormone, cortisol, in the morning. However, cortisol levels vary throughout the day, so a single measurement in the morning doesn’t provide much information. The idea that supplements like adaptogens can balance hormones is not backed up by science, and your body already has natural mechanisms to balance hormones. The lack of scientific data also means that there is not much information on the effects they could have. If you are concerned by fatigue or hormone imbalance, speak to primary care physician to find the best course of action for you.  You may also want to consider ordering your own online discount blood tests at https://www.healthonelabs.com/tests_offer/index/24


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What is the best nut butter?

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What is the best nut butter?

Peanut butter is the most popular nut butter, but it may have some competition. To name a few there is almond butter, sunflower butter, and cashew butter. Most of these provide protein, magnesium, vitamin E, zinc, and copper. It is becoming increasingly popular to add things like collagen, omega-3s, and coconut to nut and seed butters for added health benefits, but are all of these additives necessary? The answer is, it depends. The most important thing when determining if a nut butter is healthy is reading the label. Look for nut butters that have no more than 3 grams of added sugars, less than 3 grams of saturated fat, 6-8 grams of protein, less than 150 mg of sodium.

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A good rule of thumb when reading food labels is if you can pronounce the ingredients, then there is a good chance that it’s a good option. There are also options that are similar to nut butters for those that are allergic to nuts such as sunflower butter, soy and pea butter, and tahini. When looking for the healthiest versions of these nut-free butters look for options with minimal ingredients. Lastly, you should beware of spreads that resemble nut butters, but are actually spreads with more sugar than nuts. A few examples include cookie butter, chocolate spread, and granola butter. Overall, nut butters are a great snack option full of vitamins and nutrients, but it is important to select options made with clean and minimal ingredients.


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Does daily physical activity boost your mood?

It is widely known that regular exercise is key for overall good physical health, however, it is possible that it could prevent depression. A study done by JAMA Psychiatry found that there was a 26% decrease in chances for individuals to become depressed for each major increase in physical activity. It was even something as simple as replacing 15 minutes you would usually spend sitting with a 15-minute run. Before this study, it was unsure whether exercising improves mental health or if moving less is an effect of being depressed.

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The study found that exercise independently reduced the risk of depression. It was also found that everyday tasks and activities like walking to get coffee or taking the stairs to count towards your daily physical activity. This is great because it means you don’t necessarily have to exercise the conventional way every single day on a treadmill or Stairmaster, but simply making small changes like walking instead of driving makes a big difference. This also increases your chances of staying active daily because exercise doesn’t have to be daunting, but should be time to unplug and de-stress.To live a healthy active lifestyle you have to find what works for you, whether it’d be going to a group exercise class or going on a walk. Ensuring you exercise daily will help improve your mental well being, so go out there and find physical activities that are enjoyable to you.


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Why Low-Fat Diets Fail?

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Why Low-Fat Diets Fail?

One of the most common misconceptions people have when trying to lose weight is that they need to cut out fat or eat foods that are labeled low-fat in order to achieve their goal or live a healthy lifestyle, however by doing this you could actually be doing more harm than good. Reducing fat often leads to a higher intake of refined carbs, and cuts out healthy fats that your body needs. Research has found diets with high amounts of saturated fats are associated with a higher risk of heart attacks and high blood cholesterol levels.

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So, instead of taking an approach that completely eliminates or significantly reduces fat, you should opt to include healthy unsaturated fats in your diet. Healthy fats are actually an essential macronutrient because they help your body absorb nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, and K, and antioxidants. Omega-3 fats optimize heart, nerve, and brain function. You should include healthy fats into your diet like avocados, olive oil, nuts, and fish, and try to limit your consumption of “reduced-fat” fat foods that are high in refined carbs and added sugars. A healthy diet includes healthy fats, primarily unrefined carbohydrates, and protein.


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The Relationship Between Blood Sugar and Dementia

Keeping your blood sugar levels under control is a proven practice to help prevent diabetes. A simple blood test can provide you with important information about your fasting blood sugar level, glucose levels, and your risk for diabetes. But there may be other uses for measuring blood sugar than diabetes alone. Research shows that seniors that keep blood sugar levels low can help keep your brain healthy and prevent dementia. Among non-diabetics, those who develop dementia have higher fasting blood sugar levels. Those with higher glucose levels are 20 percent more likely to develop dementia. Among diabetics, the increase in the risk of dementia is even higher – 40 percent higher in those with higher blood sugar levels. Whether you’re diabetic or not, adopting a lifestyle to help control blood sugar levels is good for the brain and may help you avoid developing dementia. Here are three proven ways to lower your blood sugar:

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  1. Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, even losing 10 to 15 pounds can help lower blood sugar levels.
  2. Get regular aerobic exercise such as brisk walking for 30-plus minutes daily. The exercise helps burn up extra sugar in the blood in both diabetics and non-diabetics.
  3. Choose healthy meals – high in fiber from whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and legumes. Eat foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and limit red meats and high-fat dairy products. Follow a low-glycemic diet by avoiding soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages and snacks. And limit potatoes, white bread, white rice, and other refined grains.

If you are a diabetic, you should monitor your blood sugar levels daily and adopt healthy lifestyle habits to prevent complications from this disease. Your doctor may also adjust your medications to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range, as measured by an A1C level of less than 7 percent.


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Are Food Labels Tricking You?

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Are Food Labels Tricking You?

There are a plethora of options at the grocery stores that make claims like “No Artificial Colors”, that increase the want for the product because they are seen as the “healthier” option, however, this may not always be the case. The food manufacturers choose the wording on their products’ packages very carefully to increase the desirability of their products as long as it fits in the regulations of the Food and Drug Administration.

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Often times the claims that are made on food labels are not what the consumer thinks they are getting. For example, a product could say it is low in sodium, but according to the FDA, it just means it has 140 mg or less per serving. Another example would be when the words ‘simple’, ‘natural’ or ‘free from’ are plastered on food packaging, it is not verified by the FDA. In this case, be sure to check the fine print to see what the company’s definition is for the terms they have on their food packaging. Unfortunately, it is up to the consumers to figure out if a product is healthy or not. You have to read the nutrition label on each package in order to tell if the product is actually a healthy option or not. When reading a nutrition label, pay close attention to sodium, type of fat, sugar and whole grains.


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How to Improve Sleep Hygiene

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How to Improve Sleep Hygiene

Getting enough quality sleep is such an important aspect of good physical health. It is the time where your body heals and repairs itself. Sleep deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Your ability to function during the day depends on the amount and quality of sleep you are getting. The following are steps you can take to better your sleep hygiene:
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  • Set up a healthy and realistic sleeping schedule
  • Stop eating 2 hours before bedtime
  • Don’t drink fluids after your last meal, this will decrease the chances you’ll have to wake up to use the bathroom
  • Reduce the amount of blue light you get an hour before you go to bed. Bluelight comes from computer, television, and phone screens, and this type of light arouses the brain.
  • Avoid napping throughout the day. If you do take a nap, make sure it is before 3 pm, so that you are tired by the time it’s time to go to bed.
  • Ensure your room is a tranquil space for you, especially your bed
  • Establish a nighttime routine
  • Set up relaxation techniques you practice before going to sleep
  • Wake up at the same time every day
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine, especially close to the time you go to sleep

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