Archive for August 1st, 2006

Are You Getting Enough SLEEP?

August 1, 2006

Imagess SLEEP is one of human’s basic necessities… Not enough sleep results in making you less alert, less vigorous, with less energy level resulting in less productivity and functioning capacity.  Too much sleep however can also be harmful…

Here’s a recent interesting data published in Diabetes Care, March of 2006 on some important facts on sleep and ones risk to develop Diabetes. For those with risk factors for Diabetes as mentioned in my previous blog…please take note:

1. Sleeping between Six to Eight hours is the most healthy.

2. Sleeping between Five to Six hours DOUBLES ones risk to develop Diabetes

3. Sleeping more than Eight hours is worst- it TRIPLES ones risk to develop Diabetes

Too little sleep or Too much sleep therefore will do you no good.

Sleep Tight… and Remain Healthy!

Low FAT Does Not Mean LOW Calorie!

August 1, 2006

“I’ve been eating low fat products…But Why am I Gaining Weight?”Images_1 – a common question I usually get from my patients…Here’s why….

If a product is marketed as low fat… it does not mean that you can eat as much as you want because it wont make you gain weight.  Remember that weight gain is due to Calorie Gain!

Here’s an example: you want a chocolate chip cookie for snacks… you think it’s safe to eat a low fat variety anytime you like especially you’re on a “DIET”

Regular Chocolate Chip has 6 gms of fat with a total of 130 calories

Low Fat Chocolate Chip has only 4 gms of fat but has a total of 110 calories

The low fat products are marketed for people with no plans of weight loss but require a reduce fat meal to decrease their risk for diseases like heart attack. 

Lower fat does not mean lower calories since to retain the flavor of the products, manufacturers often increase the amount of other ingredients like carbohydrates… thus contribute to the total calorie content.

Remember, read the food label for total calories because you can still gain weight even if it’s low in fat!

Be Smart and Eat Smart!

TheMedical Benefits Of Massage

August 1, 2006

3948909740.jpg I usually start my day early… wake up at 5:15 in the morning but see to it that I finish my last patient at 3 PM. This is my way of preventing job burn-out.  I then take my usual afternoon nap then go for a walk and swim. Every Wednesday and Saturday are half day off and are times for my weekly massage.  I look forward to it as my time to relieve myself of the stress accumulated during that week…

But more than that are the Medical Benefits of Massage:

1. It has been shown to provide relief of Anxiety.  Studies proved this especially among patients with withdrawal symptoms after quitting alcohol.

2.It can relieve one of muscle soreness… especially after a hard day’s work, after exercise and sports related activities by improving blood flow to the muscles involved. 

3. It can relieve ones pain among those suffering from fibromyalgia, and migraines.

4.Studies proved massage to boosts ones immune system by increasing the number of natural killer cells involved in fighting infections and cancer cells.

5.Massage being a Touch Therapy has been shown to improve self esteem.

All these benefits beyond that which we know why we go to massage… A form of Relaxation and Stress Relief!!! So…After a Hard Day’s Work…Go Ahead…

Enjoy the Pleasures of


You Deserve It!

Are You Under STRESS?

August 1, 2006

2028023021.jpg If you are undergoing “Stress” lately…here are some tips I got from the Mayo Clinic Division of Medicine that summarizes signs and symptoms to determine if you need to take time out from work and relax a little bit…

Effects of stress
On your body On your thoughts and feelings On your behavior
Chest pain Restlessness Decreased anger control, marked by sudden outbursts with little provocation
High blood pressure Irritability Increased smoking
Muscle aches, such as back and neck pain Sadness Crying spells
Grinding teeth Mood swings Job dissatisfaction
Indigestion Lack of concentration Burnout
Stomach cramping or bloating Forgetfulness
Fatigue Tendency to blame others for how you feel
Weight gain or loss Tendency to see only the negative aspects of people and situations
Skin problems, such as hives

If you have the symptoms…then

Take Charge and Recharge!

The Benefits of Playing Badminton…

August 1, 2006

imagesd.jpgPlaying badminton or basketball or any other ball games that require physical activity is not only fun but beneficial to one’s health!  Here’s Why….

Exercise can have beneficial effects on the wellness of one’s body:

1. It can increase ones HDL or good cholesterol by 13%, therefore reduces your risk for heart disease.

2. It can decrease Blood Pressure by as much as 11/8 mm Hg, therefore reduces the burden to your heart.

3. It can decrease the production of sugar by the liver and therefore overall can decrease fasting blood sugar.  In fact in one study…the Diabetes Prevention Program… exercise was able to decrease the incidence of developing Diabetes by 58% even better than medication.

4. It can cause weight loss… a 7% weight loss was proven to be enough to reverse or stop the progression of certain diseases related to obesity like diabetes and hypertension.

5.It can improve cardiorespiratory fitness, improve sense of well-being, improve mood and self esteem and therefore….overall

Exercise can enhance

Quality of Life….

so MOVE!!!!

Knowing The Numbers Mean Wellness

August 1, 2006

1997049824.jpg When you have an executive check up… you have many numbers to analyze…but what do they mean?

Here are some tips for you to know … knowledge of these numbers mean you know when to act!

1. Fasting Blood Sugar: normal blood glucose is now 99 mg/dl and below.  Anytime it reaches 100- you are categorized as prediabetic and therefore requires further workup.  Review your previous readings and check if the numbers have been hovering between 100 to 125.  Anytime, it exceeds 126 mg/dl on 2 occasions, a diagnosis of diabetes is given.

2. Blood Pressure: 120/80mmHg is no longer normal! it is already a prehypertension stage!  Lifestyle changes like dietary modification with limitation of salt and increase physical activity with weight loss are a priority.

3. Body Mass Index: You divide your weight in kilos by your height in meters squared.  The cutoff has been shown to differ according to ethnicity. For Asians, a BMI of 23 is already considered OVERWEIGHT and therefore is associated with increased co-morbidities.

4. LDL or Bad Cholesterol: Depends on your risk factors for heart disease (Diabetes, High blood pressure): aim for a level of less than 130 mg/dl in general. However if you are a diabetic, the lower the LDL, the better… We aim for a level of <100

All these numbers should be kept at goal…to remain healthy and fit!

Keep a Close Watch on

These Numbers…Keeping

Them Right Means Wellness.

Osteoporosis: The Silent Killer

August 1, 2006

637275227.jpg Osteoporosis is a silent killer.  Due to thinning of the bones, one’s bones become porous enough that even mild bending to do vacuuming chores or coughing can cause a fracture.  Studies have shown that once you get an osteoporotic fracture especially of the hip, your life span is decreased since you end suffering from complications arising from being bed-ridden.

Everyone can be at risk for osteoporosis.  A family history of fracture is significant.  Other risk factors which are preventable include smoking, sedentary lifestyle, intake of medications like thyroid hormones, steroids or diuretics… all can increase one’s likelihood to suffer from this disease.

Low intake of calcium during childhood also predicts one’s chances of developing this disease.  Very prevalent among women ( due to loss of estrogen with menopause), it is advised that intake of 1000 to 1500 mg of elemental calcium is recommended during the premenopausal state.

It is advised that enough calcium in the diet can help. Some Rich sources of calcium includes: milk, yogourt, cheese, brocolli, sardines, oats and soy products as tofu.

Important health tips to prevent osteoporosis:

1.weight bearing exercise like jogging or walking but not swimming

2.proper intake of calcium in the diet

3.avoidance of smoking since it affects absorption of calcium and reduce estrogen effect on the bone

4.limit caffeine : 2-3 cups of coffee is okay as long as you have enough calcium in the diet

5.limit or avoid alcohol. Consuming 2 alcoholic drinks a day can decrease bone formation

If you’re past 45 or menopausal, have yourself screened… if your past 70, age related bone loss is prevalent…

Be Warned…Take Care of Your Bones!

The Healthy Food Choices

August 1, 2006

2342431513_1Heart Disease is now the leading cause of morbidity and mortality all over the world. It’s a disease of lifestyle and bad habits. We know certain foods are bad but… we seem not to care what the consequences are out of habit.

I thought it would be helpful to review some healthy food choices we can serve in our tables daily.

1. Limit meat and poultry to 6 ounces p er day. Choose the leanest cuts of beef like the round or loin cuts. The word ” Prime” among the grades of beef means the highest proportion of fat! Trimming fat from a meat before cooking prevents the fat from “migrating” into the meat. White meat like chicken breast or fish is healthier than red meat.

2.When planning meals, put fruits and vegetables at the center stage and use meat and poultry as mere complements rather than the other way around.

3. Diary foods are good sources of calcium and protein BUT also of SATURATED fat! So substitute regular milk with skim or non fat products.

4. Reduce dependence on fat and salt to enhance flavor of food- use instead lemons, vinegar, skimmed milk and plenty of herbs and spices for flavoring.

5. Do not stock your refrigerator with ready to drink juice or chocolate bars that you and your kids can easily get when you feel hungry…. Supply of apples, pears and low fat milk would be better choices. If you or the kids are hungry…it’s how you become used to having apples instead of chips that will make a difference.

Make A Difference… Start Eating Healthy!

Increase Your Good Cholesterol For A Healthy Heart

August 1, 2006

36074848671.jpg HDL cholesterol can be found in your Lipid Profile.  It is part of your executive Panel workup but the result of which is often overlooked..

A Low HDL is defined as a level below 40 mg/dl.  It is now shown to be an independent predictor of Cardiovascular Disease.  In fact a low HDL is also part of the cluster of diseases in the so called Metabolic Syndrome ( high sugar, high blood pressure, obesity )which is a condition that increases one’s risk to develop Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovasular Diseases like Heart Attack and Stroke.

Lifestyle Intervention can increase your good cholesterol. Here are some tips:

1. Regular brisk aerobic exercise for 150 min per week.  In order for exercise to be effective in increasing your HDL, it has to be coupled with weight loss.

2. Quit smoking.  An increase in HDL will be evident 30-60 days after quitting.

3. Mild consumption of alcohol has been shown to increase HDL by 4 mg/dl.

4. A Diet that’s low in saturated fat but high in Poly and Monounsaturated Fat. This can be achieved if foods are cooked using Olive or Canola oil.  For snacks, you may like to eat Nuts like almonds, peanuts, walnuts and for your meat serving, you may try coldwater fish like salmon or mackerel and shellfish.

Checking you Cholesterol level does not mean only the Bad Cholesterol or LDL. A high Total Cholestrol likewise does not mean it is all Bad Cholestrol.  Therefore insist on checking your lipid profile because a high Total Cholesterol may be due to a high Good Cholesterol and therefore is protective rather than harmful and does not require medication. 

Remember the tips are basic lifestyle changes that will not only improve your good cholesterol level but more importantly ones general well being.

Healthy Lifestyle Means Long Life.

Why Health Rules

August 1, 2006

462277176.jpgAs an endocrinologist, practicing medicine requires a lot of time for teaching and educating our patients with regard to simple measures like taking time to take care of oneself. I deal with illnesses that are considered chronic specifically an epidemic called Diabetes. It will inflict approximately 300M people by year 2025.

Diabetes being a metabolic disease is genetically determined with the environment pulling the trigger. We usually inherit the trait to develop diabetes but it is up to us if the disease will manifest as a disease.

Taking time to take care of oneself through proper diet and exercise will tremendously have an impact in ones well being and in preventing this disease from manifesting toward dreaded complications like blindness, kidney failure strokes and heart attacks.

My blog will however not focus mainly on diabetes but on health issues in general.  This is my way of helping reach out to my patients and the public in general in what I love most… Teaching Through Proper Education!

Definitely our Health Rules… because Health is Wealth… because if we spend more time earning big bucks to the point of neglecting our health… we will definitely end up spending practically all that we’ve earned just to get back our health!

Health Is Your Wealth…

Hello world!

August 1, 2006

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