Archive for February, 2007

The Waist Twisting Disc: Another Gadget to Help Lose Weight

February 27, 2007

imagesdfghfgh.jpgI just discovered this gadget given to me by a pharmaceutical company which has been sitting on my bathroom floor together with my bathroom scale.  It’s actually an innocent looking small round disc shaped exercise gadget that can make you move in one place anywhere anytime.

This device is an innovative and a safe home fitness device that is made of a strong plastic platform that “allows you to produce an intensive rotating movement when standing on it.”  It allows you to move sideways without stressing your back.  It is small but actually durable enough to withstand our weight and still allows our whole body to move sideways freely. 

It is suited for individuals who are lazy enough to change to a sports attire and drive to a gym.  Great for people who wants a home fitness equipment that can give one a great aerobic exercise program.   And since it is small and light weight, it can be carried inside a backpack and used anywhere, anytime!

I am now a great fan of this gadget.  I started using it during one rainy day and just missed my daily walking regimen.  So as not to give an excuse to not doing my routine, I grabbed my iPod, stepped on the disc and started twisting.  And to my amazement I enjoyed it without having to change my boxer shorts and “kamiseta”.   And to think, I was able to exercise even if it was raining outside.

I thought of writing about it after I’ve been doing this regimen for quite sometime.  I have to make sure it serves its purpose without giving me the muscle aches from the twisting that you have to do.  I do few twists in the morning with my sit-ups before I take a bath then my full routine in the afternoon alternating it with my walking exercise and swimming.  Again… no more excuses that it is raining or the usual excuse “that my knees hurt when I walk”….

imagesas.jpgHere’s One small lightweight gadget that I strongly recommend….

It can help anyone keep fit and healthy…

 and likewise …

help one lose weight while having fun…

The Waist Twisting Disc… Grab One For Health! 

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The Best Time To Do Your Exercise

February 24, 2007

ty.jpgIve been asked this question several times already.  Am not sure if there is a right or wrong answer to it.  What I know is there should be no excuse NOT to exercise because we own our time and therefore we can always incorporate a time to do physical activity anywhere and anytime we deemed it best.  Just like scheduling a meeting with a partner to discuss business prospects, we always allow time to do it in our day to day activity.  So why not put the same scheme with regard to exercise?  Well… just excuses not to do things we hate to do!

Just came from Butuan to give a lecture to my fellow doctors in the Caraga region.  I have to fly to Manila first then to Butuan… it’s pretty tiring but after seeing the doctors appreciate what you have sacrificed for them to educate them further in their quest for further education… it was really worth it!  But since the next day flight out of Butuan was still at 12:30 PM, I had idle times to do things I want to do.  I did not bring my shorts so I cant swim.  I dont have my rubber shoes so I cant walk or run outside.  But I brought my iPod… so with my boxer shorts and sleeveless shirt… I was off to my exercise regimen inside my room!  My point is… you can be physically active ANYTIME, ANYWHERE as long as you have the WILL to do it!

So guys… dont give excuses.  We all know the benefits of being active but we always give excuses not to do it because we’re busy and the lack of time!  Busy earning money enough to spend it all when we get sick! 

So…The Best Time To Do Exercise? ANYTIME!

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Can Coffee Help Prevent Diabetes?

February 19, 2007

3584165971.jpg

On Why I Drink Coffee Everyday…… 

I start seeing patients and doing my thyroid biopsy procedures at 7:00AM.  I do this so I can finish my work early and be home at 3:00PM.  By doing so, I have more time to do other things… for myself… like exercise, doing repairs in the house and other stuff like banks, etc. and the most important part…to have time with my kids!

To keep me active throughout the day, I usually have my coffee beside me. I like caffee latte but with skim milk rather than full cream milk.  No added cream and other fancy frostings because they add up the calories in your coffee.   Likewise I use it to trick my body and tummy that I am putting something in it to keep it from growling for food! As a result  it keeps me from being hungry in between meals.  Another trick that I use to maintain my weight! To my luck, a recent study showed that indeed coffee can help reduce one’s weight.

But what became more interesting with coffee are the studies showing that coffee intake can help lower ones risk to develop diabetes.  This should be GREAT!  You see, my mother is a diabetic, I have 2 siblings who are now prediabetics… so the risk is high for me to become one!  Therefore I follow my own recommendation to everyone: I have to keep fit by making sure I take care of what I eat and be physically active.  The beneficial effect of coffee on ones risk to develop diabetes is a PLUS!  Meaning I am not drinking coffee to prevent diabetes but since I enjoy it every morning, the results of several studies that it can prevent diabetes is an extra benefit to me. 

  • Increased coffee consumption appears to be associated with a decreasing risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to findings of a prospective study of Finnish men and women published in JAMA 2004;291:1213-1219
  • The recent ARIC Study involving 12,000 individuals, showed a significant reduction in the risk of developing diabetes with coffee consumption published in American Journal of Epidimeology in Sept of 2006.
  • The Harvard study based on data collected from >80,0oo female nurses published in Diabetes Care in 2006 showed a 50% reduction in the risk of developing diabetes…  The same institution in their earlier study likewise showed that Men who drink six or more cups of coffee a day were less than half as likely to develop diabetes compared with nondrinkers. While drinking four to six cups helps cut their risk cut by 29%
  • In a recent prospective study among 28,000 postmenopausal published in Archives of Internal Medicine in 2006, coffee consumption was associated with >20% reduction in risk to develop diabetes.

Dr Hu of Harvard Medical School did a systematic review of all proofs regarding coffee and his conclusion was:

Habitual consumption of coffee indeed can lower ones risk for developing diabetes.  And the reduction can be as much as 35% for inidividual taking more than 6 cups a day.

There you go… now you know why I have a cup of coffee on my table while seeing my patients.  And why I prefer drinking coffee than any other beverage: less calories, filling and lessens my chance to become a diabetic!

Another Good News For Coffee Lovers!

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Foods To Eat If You Have High Cholesterol

February 16, 2007

cholesterol.jpgMy previous post reviewed some principles regarding the kinds of fat we eat in the food.  Now to simplify further and for us to easily remember… let me enumerate the foods we allow our patients to eat if we see a high cholesterol level in the blood test.

Foods That Are Allowed:

  1. lean cuts of meat, chicken and fish
  2. skim, low fat milk, low fat yogourt
  3. for those who like eggs: the egg whites are okay
  4. olive, canola, sesame, soybean and safflower oils: 5-8 teaspoons /day only
  5. most breads, wheat bread, cereals, noodles
  6. fresh fruits
  7. plain popcorn, pretzels, tea and coffee.

Foods That You Can Eat Once In A While:

  1.  shellfish like tahong
  2. 2% fat milk, lite cream cheese
  3. 2 x /week of egg yolk
  4. nuts, avocados, seeds
  5. muffins, cornbread, biscuits
  6. homemade cakes and pies prepared with unsaturated fat

Definitely AVOID: Steaks, whole milk, whipped cream in your coffee, COCONUT OIL, coconut, vegetables that are prepared in BUTTER, ice cream, potato chips, buttered popcorn, frappes and floats, croissants, doughnuts, noodles prepared with cream ( yummy but sinful).

The choice of food is realy without limits.  But the option to eat the choices we are offered is up to us.  The need to discipline ourselves and know what is right and healthy depends on our determintation and willingness to know the difference .

 

My advise is:  You can still enjoy your steak BUT get the less fat cut!  Enjoy your popcorn while watching th movie but not the buttered one.  Enjoy your brewed coffee in the mall rather than the frapuccino with whipped cream!

Remember…

The Choice To Be Healthy Is Up To You!

Is There Such A Thing As A Healthy Fat? Protect Your Heart This Valentines Day!

February 14, 2007

4000946914.jpgCholesterol is the fat we all know… its reputation as the culprit for causing heart attack has been known for decades.  But we are still learning more about fats that a lot of consumers are still confused of what foods contain the bad fat and whether there are really foods that contain the so called: Good Fat!

I was invited to talk about cholesterol and heart disease this morning in Mom’s Radio and was intrigued by the questions asked prompting me to write about the topic on FAT!

The most common fat that we are guilty of is the fat that we derive from the food we eat!  This is reflected as Triglyceride in our Lipid Panel test.  This kind of fat comes in several forms:

  1. Saturated Fat: usually is the fat derived from animal sources and the major culprit here is beef. The streaks of fat we see when we eat steak is saturated fat.  Other common sources of this include: BUTTER, BACON and CREAM.  So before we eat our dinner in a restaurant for Valentines day… forgo the bread and butter…go straight to your salad or soup.
  2. Unsaturated Fat: Mainly from Vegetable sources like Canola or Olive oil.  This fat comes in two forms:
  • Monounsaturated Fat: is the kind of fat that does not raise your cholesterol.  The oil in canola and nuts like peanuts and almonds are good sources.  It is for this reason that I allow my Diabetics to eat nuts for snacks.  The good thing with this fat is it can raise the good cholesterol! 
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: it likewise does not increase your cholesterol BUT in contrast to monounsaturated fat , it can lower your good cholesterol.  If you use corn oil to fry food, mayonnaise for your sandwich  and margarine for your cooking…these are the fats that can lower your HDL or good Cholesterol.  Remember a high Good Cholesterol cleans your blood vessels and therefore protective of your heart.  And therefore avoid foods that can do the opposite.     

It’s Valentines Day… you’ll definitely enjoy your night out with your love ones…but just be sure to be critical of what you’ll eat.  Make sure be more consistent in choosing the foods you eat because what you eat can make or break your heart!  Choose a food that contains less saturated and more of the Monounsaturated fat!  Go FISH! You’ll never go wrong in making your heart safe by choosing the fat that’s healthy for you. 

Happy Valentines Day To Everyone!

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The Way To Live A Healthy Life…

February 12, 2007

1978699919.jpgI received this story by email… and I just have to post it in my blog so I can probably read it over and over again just to remind myself that there are really better ways to make this world a better place to live in. It’s a story that will realy make you feel good in times of bad news … and a lesson of a positive attitude that can lead us to a healthy and better life….

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves learning-disabled children, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question: “When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?” The audience was stilled by the query. The father continued. “I believe  that when a child like Shay, physically and mentally handicapped comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.”
 Then he told the following story:

Shay and his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, “Do you think they’ll let me play?”  Shay’s father knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on  their team, but the father also understood that if his son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps. 

Shay’s father approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, “We’re losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I  guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.”Shay struggled over to the team’s bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. His Father watched with a small tear in his eye and warmth in  his heart.

The boys saw the father’s joy at his son being accepted. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of  the ninth inning, Shay’s team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was schedule to be next at bat.At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win  the game? Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.  However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay’s life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make  contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground  ball right back to the pitcher.The game would now be over. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.  Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman’s head, out of reach of all team mates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, “Shay, run to first! Run to first!” Never in his life had  Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled.Everyone yelled, “Run to second, run to second!” Catching his breath, Shay  awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base. By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball … the smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team. He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher’s intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman’s head. Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home.All were screaming, “Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay” Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, “Run to third! Shay, run to third!” As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were  on their feet screaming, “Shay, run home! Run home!” Shay ran to home,stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team.

That day”, said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, “the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world”.

 Shay didn’t make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never  forgotten being the hero and making his father so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day! 

A Great Story and a helpful reminder on how we can make a difference in this world.  It’s not a matter of who wins in what we do but how our attitudes have affected the lives of the many.  Its the legacy of living a fruitful life filled with the thought that your works continue to impact greatly the lives of others in a positive way that matters the most!

Living a Positive Attitude Means A Healthy Life!

Meal Replacement : Another Way To Lose Weight…

February 9, 2007

37907386321.jpgOne easy way to convince patient in strategies to lose weight is meal replacement.  We have heard of Slim fast and locally Herbalife.  Both strategies use meal replacements in a form of low calorie drinks.

Theoritically, it is an acceptable option because you are not deprived of a meal.  The shakes are calculated to give you enough calories for the day but not too much to store these calories as fat.  The problem with these products is the expense associated with buying them because of networking and marketing costs.

Here’s a simple way to do just the same with similar results that’s easy on your pocket.  Meal replacement shakes are available in the market if you just have the time to look for them.  Being an endocrinologist, I usually go for the calculation of 40% of the total calories from fat but should be predominantly monounstaurated with around only 40% of calories from carbohydrate.  This to avoid a sudden surge of sugar after a meal.

I usually advise my patients to replace their morning meals and evening meals with a meal replacement shake.  My choice for this is the product of Nestle called Nutren For Diabetes.  It stands out over the rest because of its whey protein content.   As we know, whey protein contains high levels of both essential and non-essential amini acids, and is low in fat content ideal for my diabetic patients.  The shake can be combined with a fruit ideally an apple, and a pear.  I usually avoid fruits with high glycemic load like banana or mango.

Patient can eat a regular meal for lunch. I also advise them to eat the Nutren Balance cereal bar as mid morning and mid afternoon snacks.  This oatmeal based cereal bar is also calculated with enough calories to avoid weight gain but has enough fiber bulk to delay hunger.

The whole day should end with plenty of water, one multivitamin per day and of course for weight maintenance, daily exercise like walking.

Make sure though you feedback me if this strategy worked for you….

Meal Replacement: Another Alternative to A Healthy Weight Loss Strategy!

Do Read My Other Weight Loss Related Tips:

The Truth Behind The Antiperspirant and Breast Cancer Link

February 7, 2007

3370060387.jpgThe first time I heard about this controversy was around the time a friend developed breast cancer.  She tried blaming it on her underarm deodorant.  I cant imagine not using one after a bath as part of one’s hygienic routines.  But now comes this rumor of a possible link between our daily use of an antiperspirant and breast cancer.  Apparently the compound Aluminum present in antiperspirant and not in deodorant is the culprit.  But are these claims true or just  a myth?

The truth of the matter is that few clinical studies in humans have addressed the issue. 

  • The American Cancer Society has this to say: ” a carefully-designed epidemiologic study of this issue published in 2002 compared 813 women with breast cancer and 793 women without the disease found no relationship between breast cancer risk and antiperspirant use, deodorant use, or underarm shaving.”
  • Likewise in a recent report released by the  National Cancer Institute, the institution concluded that “no conclusive research” exists linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants to breast cancer.

Whew… what a relief.  This controversy tells us one thing.  This baseless rumor in the internet started it all.  So before we believe in anything written on print or on-line… it is better to confirm based only on pure scientific basis and nothing else!  The two major institutions with cancer experts on board say it all!

Now We Can Remain Odor Free With Our Arms UP !

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Are You Satisfied With Your Doctor?

February 5, 2007

2633029124.jpgIn any transactions whether for health or wealth… we make sure that customers are satisfied not only of our goods but more so our service! We see surveys being done in stores or restaurants to make sure that the establishment conforms to the needs of the customers they target.  It is basically not different with regard to doctors handling our patients.  What matters is not mainly the credentials and the expertise of the physician … but more so the way the doctors handle and manage their patients from the time they are in the waiting room to the time they are seen in the clinic room. 

As the dictum at the Mayo Clinic is… patients are there to seek comfort from their illness.  As such we were trained to follow that dictum to always make our patient fell comfortable to face their sickness.

While in Manila attending a convention last weekend, I happened to read an interesting survey in February issue of  Consumer Reports …that looked at this question of patients satisfaction on their doctors.  Interestingly most were positive and were satisfied with their doctors but obviously there were complaints.  The number one complaint was the time spent in the waiting room.  The same is true here in our country especially with doctors following a “no appointment” scheme.  With this… doctors can just come in anytime they prefer.  And it is for the same reason that I always insist on my patients to avail of my” By Appointment” scheme because I believe this is the only way that both parties can be happy with less waiting time. 

Other complaints from patients included:

  •  “Couldn’t schedule an appointment within a week“. This is where I am guilty of and actually the downside of the appointment scheme.  The schedule just fills up fast so patients complain… Any recommendation for a win-win situation?
  •    Spent too little time with me
  •    Didn’t provide test results promptly
  •    Didn’t respond to my phone calls promptly

The survey is really an eye opener for us physicians. I may be guilty of one but pretty much I guess I have a passing mark.

How about you… Any experiences with your doctors you want to share?

Better Still….

Tell Your Doctors What You Think…