Archive for June, 2007

Are Your Kids Addicted To Video Games?

June 27, 2007

3788732059.jpgAny form of addiction from food to video games can be “life threatening”. You have heard stories of a kid having lost his life after losing a game online. And when the American Medical Association started to voice out specific concern to include Video Game Addiction as a disease means…it’s now becoming a problem!

According to the AMA council, “up to 90 percent of American youngsters play video games and as many as 15 percent of them – more than 5 million kids – may be addicted.”  Likewise, it further noted that: “dependence-like behaviors are more likely in children who start playing video games at younger ages.”

According to the Associated Press release:

Overuse most often occurs with online role-playing games involving multiple players, the report says. Blizzard Entertainment’s teen-rated, monster-killing World of Warcraft is among the most popular. A company spokesman declined to comment on whether the games can cause addiction.

The telltale signs are ominous: teens holing up in their rooms, ignoring friends, family, even food and a shower, while grades plummet and belligerence soars. The culprit isn’t alcohol or drugs. It’s video games, which for certain kids can be as powerfully addictive as heroin, some doctors contend.

So guys…beware.  Check your kids before it’s too late and before it becomes an Addiction!

Are Your Kids Playing Too Much Video Games?

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The FDA Rules on Dietary Supplements

June 26, 2007

3847290624.jpgFinally!!!…The US FDA has made some firm stand on dietary supplements.  In the medical community it has been a puzzle as to why the health governing agency has always been hands off with regard regulating these dietary supplements!.  And how come nobody monitors the safety and the standards of this multibillion dollar industry.

The same goes with our local FDA and BFAD where supplements boast as being BFAD approved as if this is a tag to prove that the products are safe to be used by consumers.  You hear this on radio and you see these claims on print…Herbal Supplement is BFAD Approved!

So consumers beware because even if your supplements came from the US, the regulation of the sale of these products has not been standardized till now.  Toxic levels of certain substances present in your pill are not monitored nor are labels required… which at least for now is being changed!

Here’s more from the US FDA Fact Sheet:

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“The regulations establish the cGMP needed to ensure quality throughout the manufacturing, packaging, labeling, and storing of dietary supplements. The final rule includes requirements for establishing quality control procedures, designing and constructing manufacturing plants, and testing ingredients and the finished product. It also includes requirements for recordkeeping and handling consumer product complaints.“The final rule will help ensure that dietary supplements are manufactured with controls that result in a consistent product free of contamination, with accurate labeling,” said Robert E. Brackett, Ph.D., director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

Under the final rule, manufacturers are required to evaluate the identity, purity, strength, and composition of their dietary supplements. If dietary supplements contain contaminants or do not contain the dietary ingredient they are represented to contain, FDA would consider those products to be adulterated or misbranded. The aim of the final rule is to prevent inclusion of the wrong ingredients, too much or too little of a dietary ingredient, contamination by substances such as natural toxins, bacteria, pesticides, glass, lead and other heavy metals, as well as improper packaging and labeling.The final rule includes flexible requirements that can evolve with improvements in scientific methods used for verifying identity, purity strength, and composition of dietary supplements.”

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We Need Stricter Rules On Dietary Supplements!

The Truth About Sex and Aging….

June 23, 2007

3046855028.jpgIt may be true that as we age, our sex life tends to deteriorate “literally”.  The frequency of sex may now be a factor due to more stresses in life both on the part of the husband and wife.  Likewise the notion that sex in older people is a “taboo” and not to be talked about is no longer acceptable.

Sex will always be a part of a good relationship.  And no matter how old, sex should be an essential element to a happy and healthy companionship.

The AARP recently in America held a survey on the topic Sexuality at Midlife and these are some of the interesting facts that came out:

  • 5 out of six respondents strongly disagree with the statement that “Sex is only for younger people.”
  • 6 out of 10 people considered that sexual activity is indeed a crucial part of a good relationship.
  • 10% of adults accepted the fact that they don’t particularly enjoy sex
  • 12% agreed never having sex again would be okay!
  • For the majority, the results from the study show that sexual activity is a critical part of a good relationship, and that a satisfying sexual relationship is an important factor affecting quality of life.

We have to accept the fact that as our body changes with age, so do the changes of sexuality follow.  Hormanal changes that occur especially with the declining testosterone levels in men resulting in loss of desire and erectile dysfunction as well as in women resulting in the loss of libido all contribute to the decline in sexuality.  But the good news is… there are now ways to address these medical needs so as we can continue to enjoy this one thing in life that is free and enjoyable!

Live stress as part of ones life and not let it deter you to enjoy sex.  If your mind is so preoccupied with the other thoughts then the pleasure from sex will be lost and depression can set in.  Stress maybe unavoidable but solving the problems besetting us should be done outside the bedroom!

There’s  no age limit to enjoying sex…there’s no limit to the frequency of sex.  Enjoy every minute of it and just have FUN!

Living and Aging Graciously Equates Wonderful Sex! 

Cancer Cases Are Rising…..

June 20, 2007

imagescancer.jpgThis alarm comes not as a surprise to me.  I got hold of this news release from the Associated Press which I want to share just to make us all wake up and think twice before we eat, and before we plan things in our lives…..

___________________________________________________________________________Longer Longer life spans and changing diet and lifestyles are among the factors that could lead to a dramatic increase in cancer cases in Asia by 2020, experts attending a conference in Singapore warn.If current trends continue, the total number of new cancer cases in Asia could climb from 4.5 million in 2002 to 7.1 million in 2020, the Associated Press reported.That increase could cause a major health crisis as poorer Asian countries struggle to pay the cost of cancer screening, vaccines and treatment, the experts said.“This will put a tremendous burden on patients, their families and the health-care system in each country,” said Singapore Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan, the AP reported.Smoking is a major cancer threat. In a number of Asian nations, more than 60 percent of males smoke, said Dr. Donald Max Parkin, a research fellow at the University of Oxford’s Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit.In many Asian nations, large numbers of people have moved from rural areas to the cities. That switch has led to more sedentary lifestyles, increased consumption of meat and fried foods, and fewer vegetables in the diet._____________________________________________________________________________

Havent you noticed that whether we are talking about Obesity, Diabetes or Hypertension… and now The Big C, the modifiable risk factors are all the same…The Lifestyle!  It may be a challenge to change the urban lifestyle but any chage for the better is worth the package! 

 

Changing Habits for the Better Means A Healthier Lifestyle!

Tips to Overcome WORRY…

June 18, 2007

2741649040.jpgEver so often I have patients who worry too much on something that for me is so trivial that needs no worrying.  To worry can be normal but prolonged worrying can be bad!  The stress hormones associated with worrying can result in long term harm to ones body. I beleive in counting my blessings first before I start to consider if this thing is worth my worrying or not!

Worrying from time to time is normal, even healthy, because it is the body’s way to respond to threatening situations. But be careful because if this continues for long this will lead to anxiety and panic attacks and the obsession of something is going to happen to you will occupy your whole self leading to a destructive self image.  How then can we deal with worries?

Here are some tips that I got from the Harvard Health Beat:

What If You Are Just Plain Worried?

Not everyone who suffers from frequent worry has an anxiety disorder. If you don’t have anxiety disorder, but think you worry too much, the following advice may help. Practice relaxation techniques. Listen to music or to relaxation recordings to take your mind off whatever is worrying you. Or try progressive muscle relaxation.

Exercise regularly. Studies have found that exercise improves mood and modestly decreases anxiety symptoms. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity on all, or most days.

Consider biofeedback. Biofeedback helps you become aware of your body’s responses to stress and teaches you control them using relaxation and cognitive techniques.

Think twice: Is it worth my time? Is it worth my worry?

Count Your Many Blessings and Ask: Do I Need To Worry?

The Life Expectancy of a Diabetic…

June 16, 2007

imagesrtyui.jpgI was reading through several articles today and one study that struck me is one that calculated how long a diabetic can live.  It is known that a diabetic patient is at risk of developing heart attack in his lifetime but how about the effect of diabetes on how long a diabetic can live.

It is known that being a diabetic increases ones risk to develop heart disease. In this study, having diabetes was shown to significantly increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (hazard ratio 2.5 for women and 2.4 for men) and of dying when cardiovascular disease was present (hazard ratio 2.2 for women and 1.7 for men).  Suggesting the need to be vigilant in targeting the prevention of the different risk factors that will increase this risk. 

The author of the study which was published in the June 11, 2007 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine also said it straight to the point in heartwire: “We showed that diabetes cuts out about eight good years of your life. While diabetics and nondiabetics have a similar number of years with cardiovascular disease, the disease process starts earlier in diabetics.

 Effect of diabetes on life expectancy with and without cardiovascular disease at age 50 years (men)

Life expectancy (y) Without diabetes With diabetes
Total life expectancy 28.8 21.3
Life expectancy with CV disease 6.8 7.1
Life expectancy free from CV disease 22.0 14.2

Effect of diabetes on life expectancy with and without cardiovascular disease at age 50 years (women)

Life expectancy (y) Without diabetes With diabetes
Total life expectancy 34.7 26.5
Life expectancy with CV disease 6.6 6.8
Life expectancy free from CV disease 28.0 19.6


The above table shows that a diabetic at 50 cuts his life expectancy by 8 years!!!!

The study authors explained this finding that :” diabetic patients reach the final stages of the movie prematurely by missing out on some of the best bits in the middle.” These findings underscore the importance of diabetes prevention for the promotion of healthy aging. Toward this end, it is essential to implement global strategies to change the current Western lifestyle and to promote the adoption of physical activity and healthy diets.”

The fundamental objective of everyone therefore at risk of developing Diabetes is to implement strategies of lifestyle changes that can reduce ones risk to develop the disease…. meaning…

Prevention Is The Key To Long Life Span!

Check Out My Other Related Posts:

Yoga and Your Weight…

June 13, 2007

2622133215.jpgExercise your body has been shown to help lead healthier lives.  But there may be some exercises which make a person more inclined to eat.  It is now known that aerobic exercises like running can trigger this response.  But a study conducted on yoga proved this to be a better option in helping patient maintain weight or be conscious of their body image resulting in weight loss.

But waht is Yoga?  According to Wikipedia: Yoga is a group of ancient spiritual; practices that originated form India and has become primarily associated with the practice of asanas  or postures.  You can see several yoga centers anywhere in the world but I have only come accross this article only now that looked at the benefit of yoga on weight.

It is said that “Yoga may make women feel better about their bodies, steering them away from eating disorders.”, according to a  new study  published in Psychology of Women Quarterly by affecting the mind-body relationship.  Likewise, yoga may actually help prevent and treat eating disorders.

In the study, the authors compared women who practiced yoga regularly with those who did other forms of exercise. Women who hadn’t done either form of exercise for at least two years were also included.  The result showed that yoga indeed can affect a persons attitude to self image and may in fact affect bad eating habits that may lead one to gain weight.

Here’s one tip for those desiring to exercise but is confused as to what regimen to use.  Is Yoga good for you?  Well based on this study… it has benefits.  Its a form of mind and body relaxation and an activity that may prove to work for you! 

Cheers To Yoga!

Sleep and The Risks of Obesity and Diabetes…

June 9, 2007

One of the highlights of the Endocrine Society meeting that I attended just this week in Toronto Canada was  a plenary session on Sleep Debt and the Risk of Diabetes and Obesity

While reading Canada’s daily newpaper, the headline was that… companies are now allowing their workers also to take a nap in between work schedules with nap stations in their offices to allow workers to relax and sleep and be more productive as a result.  Suggesting that sleep debt is actually affecting productivity in the work place!

BUT how much sleep is healthy? or how many hours of sleep are needed to reduce diabetes and obesity risks? 

The magic number is 7 hours!!!

A study published in Diabetes Care this March of 2006 showed that  men who got little sleep (< 7 hours ) or a lot of sleep (8-10 hours) were more likely to develop diabetes than men with 7 hours of nightly sleep.  The same token people with less than 7 hours of sleep have a 23% to 73% increased risk of obesity!

But quality of sleep is also as important. Deep sleep is a must.  Even 7 hours of light sleep may do no good but harm.

Again the stress hormones may be responsible as more activation of the sympathetic nervous system resulting in overproduction of cathecholamies may be result in the increased risk.  Likewise, obesity may follow if you sleep less because you easily feel hungry and you tend to eat more if you’re awake!

So…..

Sleep Well and Be Well!