Diet and exercise can keep Diabetes helps to keep diabetes at bay

type-two-diabetesDiet and exercise can keep diabetes at bay for a decade, cutting the risk for the disease by more than a third in the most susceptible people, a new US study finds.
In the UK one person is diagnosed with diabetes every three minutes and three people die from its complications every hour.
Most people have type 2 diabetes, which is linked to poor diet and sedentary lifestyle. In addition, a lot of adults have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, which raise the risk of a heart attack or stroke and the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.
But new research, published in the Oct. 29 online edition of The Lancet, shows that losing weight and exercising can delay or prevent the onset of diabetes more effectively than the prescription drug metformin or a placebo.

“Interventions that result in weight loss lower the risk of diabetes, and that lower risk appears to persist for a long period of time,” said study author Dr. William C. Knowler of the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

For people who are at high risk of getting diabetes, losing weight “is clearly to be recommended,” he said. In addition, using a drug like metformin may also benefit people unable to lose weight through exercise and diet alone, he said.

About the study
For the diabetes prevention study, 3,234 overweight or obese adults with elevated blood sugar levels were randomly assigned to either lifestyle changes or metformin to control their blood sugar, or a placebo.
After 10 years, 2,766 remained in the trial, and those taking metformin saw an 18 percent reduction in their rate of developing diabetes, compared with those on placebo.

But those who had made lifestyle changes — reducing caloric and fat intake and exercising at least 150 minutes a week — reduced their risk of getting diabetes by 34 percent compared with those on placebo, the researchers found.

In the first year of the trial, people in the lifestyle group lost an average of 15 pounds, regaining all but about five pounds over 10 years. People on metformin maintained a five-pound weight loss, and those on placebo lost less than two pounds over 10 years, the researchers note.

Over 10 years, after all the participants made lifestyle changes, the yearly diabetes incidence rates for the drug and placebo groups had dropped to about 5 to 6 percent, the same rate as the lifestyle group.

“Lifestyle intervention, even when provided later, also seemed to lower diabetes incidence rate,” Knowler said.

Loosing weight is difficult
But losing weight is difficult, and simply telling someone to slim down won’t work, he acknowledges.
“To make things like this happen on a large scale, we have to do more than simply tell people to lose weight,” he said. People need access to weight loss clinics that can teach them about diet and exercise, he added.
Dr. Anoop Misra, director of the department of diabetes and metabolic diseases at Fortis Hospitals in India, and author of an accompanying journal editorial, said that “prevention of diabetes is important to curb epidemic of diabetes globally. Diet and exercise remain the most important modalities to prevent diabetes, and any drugs are less important.”

Targeting groups at risk
At-risk groups of diabetes need to be identified, especially certain ethnic groups, and taught proper lifestyle management strategies, Misra said. “Young adults with family history of diabetes should be carefully managed along the same lines,” he said.
Diabetes prevention makes economic sense as well, by decreasing costly, lifelong expenditures on management of the disease and its complications, Misra said.
All nations, particularly developing countries, seeing a rapid rise in diabetes should devise or strengthen a national diabetes-control program to help curb the epidemic, he said.
“In particular, regulations should apply for advertisement and sale of energy-dense junk food to children, and regular physical activity should be encouraged starting at a young age. Spreading awareness about proper lifestyle and adverse consequences of obesity and diabetes should be at the top of health agenda of all nations,” Misra said.

Getting results
Regarding the study findings, other experts are optimistic. Dr. Ronald Goldberg, a professor of medicine at the Diabetes Research Institute of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, whose institution participated in the study, said that “seeing quite significant effects lasting this long really bodes well for the utility of these interventions for diabetes prevention.”
Cutting calories and increasing physical activity clearly slow the progression to diabetes, Goldberg said. “Lifestyle works, and every effort needs to be made to begin and maintain a lifestyle program in the long-term.”

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Three techniques to stop smoking

stop smokingOnce a person starts to smoke cigarettes, it can become extremely difficult to stay away from at least one puff a day. Quitting smoking can’t be done alone. It requires the help of a combination of people including your family, friends, etc. There are so many ways to quit smoking. Depending on the receiver, different kinds of techniques may work on different people, giving various results.

Nicotine addiction can be very hard to stop, as this targets almost each organ in the body. It is a battle that has to be won physically as well as mentally. A person ought to make sacrifices and commit themselves towards the goal of quitting smoking as each step can be a struggle.

If you have been a regular smoker, then the following ways to quit smoking will work. But not all these ways will work on all types of smokers, therefore one must select the ways that will work best on them and discard the rest.

Technique 1 :

Do realise that the best way to stop smoking is to reduce consumption progressively. When the body gets used to the lesser amount of nicotine that’s taken into the body, the mind will keep asking for less too. Isn’t that great? However, if it’s only the amount of cigarettes that you lessen and still end up smoking, you wouldn’t end up with proper results.

Technique 2 :

Setting a ‘quit smoking’ date and actually quitting smoking on that day is the correct thing to do. However don’t kid yourself, setting goals and targets is hard. Give yourself some time. If you feel that you can stop earlier then change that date.

Technique 3 :

Getting the support and encouragement by the people around you is invaluable. Quitting smoking is not easy as it requires lots of time, lots of courage and determination. If you expect help from your family and friends, then be sure to keep them informed about your decision to quit smoking. They would most probably watch over you and keeping cigarette packs, ash trays, and lighters away from you. Ask them for support.

If none of the above methods worked, do not worry as there are always other ways to quit smoking. Doctors prescribe different types of medications to help flush out the nicotine out of your body. Apart from these, doctors also use different approaches such as therapy, etc in treating patients who are addicted to smoking.

Making yourself busy is another way to stay away from your smoking habit. It will keep the mind and body occupied leaves you with lesser time to think about smoking.

Although there are several ways to quit smoking, one must always keep in mind that no technique will work out if a person lacks the proper mind set, courage and determination to really quit this awful habit.

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About the buzz on the new depression drug called Agomelatine/Valdoxan

valdoxan_agomelatineBack in September 2009, started the buzz about a new drug that is more effective than Prozac in treating depression.

Background

At just £1-a-day, the drug agomelatine – also known as Valdoxan – was found to help 77.7% of people with severe depression. In comparison Prozac was found to help 68.8%.
Previous research has shown that, in the first week of treatment, agomelatine works in twice as many people compared to the antidepressant venlafaxine – Efexor.
There are also fewer side-effects from agomelatine, which can include weight gain, sexual problems and difficulty sleeping.
The latest study was carried out on 515 patients with an average age of 42, who were followed for eight weeks.

Prozac can cause nausea
The authors concluded: “This study demonstrates the superior efficacy of agomelatine over fluoxetine – Prozac – in treating severe depression, with a good tolerability profile, confirming that agomelatine offers a good alternative for the treatment of depression including the severe forms.”
Lead researcher Professor Tony Hale, head of division of psychiatry at the University of Kent, added: “These results, showing better efficacy over Prozac, one of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants in the UK, add to the growing wealth of evidence supporting agomelatine as a new and important alternative for the treatment of depression.
“Despite the wide range of currently available antidepressants, there are still unmet needs in the management of depression.”

Positive Buzz
There are a lot of people buzzing about the drug about, i caught the following comments:

“I was part of a clinical trial with agomelatine last year for GAD (General Anxiety disorders) and was on agomelatine for 4 months. At the beginning I was extremely skeptical, which I think could be attributed to being a neuroscience PhD student. I’ve done preclinical research in the area of antidepressants for years and my knowledge of the field has led me to be very questioning towards such medications. But the effects of agomelatine really forced me to change my point of view. Before this trial I had never taken anything for my GAD and I found that I started to feel different after about 2 weeks. The experience was absolutely life changing and I’ve never been able to replicate it with other medications since.

The thing that made the biggest impression was the quality of my sleep. My sleep was incredible. I can’t even fully describe it. I hadn’t even realized that my sleep was so bad until it changed. I would wake up feeling absolutely refreshed and energized. I would be very alert and awake all day and right up until bedtime. My sleep was very regular and very efficient. I found I needed much less sleep and felt better than ever.

My GAD symptoms also pretty much disappeared with absolutely NO side effects. And I appreciate this so much more in hindsight because I seem to be VERY sensitive to side effects of SSRI’s and I’ve been struggling in vain since I stopped agomelatine.

When I came off the drug I wasn’t aware of it (after 4 months of medications we started a period of double-blind placebo), but it was obvious within the first week. I didn’t experience any actual withdrawal symptoms, I just went back to the way I had been before. My sleep was terrible and all my GAD symptoms came back over the course of a few weeks.”

How does it work?
Valdoxan (agomelatine) is the first melatonergic antidepressant. The drug combines antidepressant efficacy with an extremely favourable side-effect profile and has
the additional benefit of sleep regulation in depressive patients.
So you have tow effects there :
First the drug does promote serotonin reuptake as usual SSRI drugs do, but you don’t get the traditional side effects.
Second the drug relieves from sleep disruption without affecting daytime vigilance.
The combination of these two effects is seen as a key advantage for an antidepressant.

What is Valdoxan expected to be used for?
Valdoxan is expected to be used in adult patients to treat major depressive disorder. In major depressive disorder, patients have disturbances of mood that interfere with their everyday life. They may suffer from deep sadness, feelings of worthlessness, loss of interest in favourite activities, sleep disturbances, feeling of being slowed down, feelings of anxiety, changes in weight. The key symptoms are depressed mood and loss/diminished interest or pleasure. Patients often suffer relapses (when the disease comes back after it has been treated).

Is it available ?
Agomelatine was launched in the UK by manufacturer Servier in June at a pack price of £38.53 for a packet of 28 25mg tablets – compared to the £1.02 net cost of a 30-cap pack of 20mg fluoxetine.

Data on Valdoxan here:
http://emc.medicines.org.uk/medicine/21830/SPC/Valdoxan/
http://www.paxilprogress.org/forums/showthread.php?t=14390
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agomelatine

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Basic techniques to cope with stress

stressed-outA little bit of stress is good for the body, but when it builds up we need to learn how to deal with it, so take a deep breath and get working for a better mental health.

First : Identify the problem
Try to view stress as a warning that some aspects of your life might need changing. In order to beat stress, you’ll need to work out what these aspects are. OK, it sounds simple, but often we are unaware of just how much stress a relationship/job/lifestyle is causing us. Try and think about the causes of your stress and make a mental note of them. Once you have identified the causes you need to tackle them.

Second : Think positive

“Everything’s getting on top of me”, “I can’t cope”, “My life feels out of control”. Most of us find ourselves having thoughts like this from time to time, but it is possible to take control of these negative tendencies. Just a bit of positive thinking can turn you back onto the path of happiness and healthiness. Clearly, negative thinking can make you sick. Tests have shown that people who focused on bad times had weaker immune systems and also displayed increased activity in the part of the brain associated with mental problems such as depression.

My best advice here is to use NLP on yourself.
If you think you’re not good enough on something -> Repeat yourself you’re the best. Litteraly, just tell yourself ‘I’m the best’ and keep going. Yes you gotta keep going and repeat this to yourself day and night for weeks, then months until this becomes second nature. This just works

Third : Relax

There are endless ways to relax your body and mind; it can be as simple as closing the door to the world and having half an hour on your own with a book, but introducing some formal relaxation into your life will really pay off too. Here are a few suggestions:

Breathing: OK, so we do it all the time, but very few of us do it properly. Re-train your breathing patterns and you’ll soon see an improvement in anxiety and tension levels as well as your state of mind. Mental health charity Mind can suggest some simple breathing techniques.

Massage: Use this hands-on remedy and feel an instant improvement to your body’s built-up tension. Try to find a masseur, it’s usually 30 pounds an hour outside London. Really well worth it. If your budget doesn’t stretch that far, ask a partner or friend to work on your body tensions instead.

Exercise: Choose the right exercise and you’ll feel both energised and relaxed. As a general rule, yoga and Tai Chi are excellent for reinstalling calm by focusing on breathing and centring the mind, but any physical exercise will reduce stress by using up adrenalin and other hormones that the body produces under stress, as well as relaxing the muscles. If you’re skin just watch some Youtube Yoga video and copy the moves

Orgasm: Unlikely to be prescribed by your GP, but the powers of letting off steam in the bedroom can work wonders. Can you honestly think of a time that you’re more relaxed than those post-coital moments curled up in bed? Thought not.

Other stress-busters:
Eat a healthy diet: Processed foods, too much salt, sugar, alcohol and caffeine can all drain energy and often leave you with that ‘wired’ feeling.

Get enough sleep: The best way to do this is to regulate your sleeping hours by going to bed and waking up within a time slot of 1-2 hours.

De-clutter your life: Take anything you don’t use to a charity shop, recycle old magazines and clear away the pizza boxes from under your bed. Then go to work/college on Monday and give your desk the once over. This is the quick-fix of all de-stressers.

Just say “no”: To demanding colleagues/friends/family. You know how much you can cope with, so pick out the important stuff and delegate the rest. Prioritising lists can often help you decide what really needs to be done – and what can wait.

Try to set aside at least 30 minutes each day to switch off from the world, unwind and focus on what has stressed you during the day.

Laugh: Of course laughing works, it does improve our mood, it also relieves stress and improves our immune system. The next time you find yourself with a frown on your face, consider this: four-year-old children laugh on average 400 times a day, whereas adults only laugh 14 times. So go on, get those funny videos out and invite your friends over for some serious cheering up.

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