Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Getting Rid of Excess Fats in People With Disabilities

Bulging Belly Image from
I remember when I was in a physical therapy clinic for my rehab training; the therapist noticed that my belly was starting to bulge. He asked me, “Is that because of beer?” It was a little embarrassing for me because I don’t drink beer. I just said, “No, I don’t drink beer.”

I’ve realized that a bulging belly doesn’t really look very good. It doesn’t seem to show a sound lifestyle. It seems to give an impression of being undisciplined especially when it comes to eating. At least, I have an excuse: I can’t do enough physical activity that would be enough to make my body get rid of the excess fats. You see, paralysis has affected not only my lower extremities but also my upper body. It’s a bit frustrating.

mini bike image from amazon
However, I believe that physical activity doesn’t necessarily entail gym work out for people with disability like me. We just have to be creative enough to improvise some muscle building exercises that can help us get rid of excess fats. Like for example; I work out with mini exercise cycle and dumb bells. Maybe, those are not enough if you want to build huge muscles but those are enough to make the body less sedentary.

In an article I’ve read before, the writer recommends starting exercise early in the morning before eating breakfast. It helps burn fats three times more than in any other time of the day. He explains that when we’re asleep, the body uses the carbohydrates in our body as energy source. By the time we wake up, our body has used up all our carbohydrates so it starts using our fats as energy source. I guess, that explains why we get thin when we fast. Doing exercises at this time will burn fats easily. In addition, morning work out elevates metabolism for the whole day, which means we’re likely to burn more calories and lose more fats in the process.

If it works for able-bodied people, it will also work for *PWD’s. It isn’t easy in many respects but the benefits far outweigh the hardship.

*PWD: People With Disabilities

Friday, August 20, 2010

Obesity, Fats and Calories!

Image from
I used to be skinny but now I’m stuck with a bulging belly and double chin. I probably weigh close to 180 lbs. I don’t know when and how I started to grow laterally but the added weight has affected me negatively. Perhaps, my sedentary lifestyle has largely contributed to my condition but it is not because I don’t exercise, I couldn’t exercise enough. I have been on a wheel chair for more than twenty years now and since I’m a paralytic, my movements are limited. Before, I could still lift my body up but now, I could not get up without help. I’d need to ask someone to carry me so I could ride a vehicle (that's primarily because of my paralysis).

Manuel Uribe, the fattest man in the world suffered from almost the same experience. He was not a paralytic but his lifestyle had been sedentary. He was in his twenty’s when he began to grow. He used to drive from home to work and his job required him to sit down on his table for his entire working time. Too much eating and no exercise brought him to his undesirable situation.

Apparently, the factors that contribute to obesity are too much calories in the food that we eat and a sedentary lifestyle. So, how do we manage these factors? The idea is eat less and burn more.

Normally, the body needs 1,200 calories of food daily as body fuel. If there are unused calories, the body will store those as fats. Once you’ve gained for example, a pound of fat, you’ll need to burn 3,500 calories to lose that. On the average, we burn 50 calories per hour but if you do stationary jogging for 15 minutes straight, you can burn around 141 calories. If you’ll do that 3 times a day, you can burn 423 calories a day. If you’ll do it continuously, you can shed off a pound of fat in 8 ½ days, if you won’t add more fats to that 1 extra lb.

By keeping a healthy lifestyle, you can avoid many health problems. Live healthy to enjoy life.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Increasing Incidence of Juvenile Diabetes

Each year more than 15,000 children and young adults are diagnosed with diabetes in the United States. That's more than 40 adolescents each day, according to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International.

Photo Courtesy of:

Does your child urine frequently? Does he have a wound that takes a long time to heal? Does he feel extreme weakness or fatigue and unexplained weight loss? It’s probable that your child has juvenile diabetes.

It’s all natural for little children to crave for chocolate bars, cotton candies, cakes and ice cream. It’s their joy aside from playing games. However, once they acquire the disease, they can no longer give in to their craving.

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder, which causes high glucose level in the blood. This is due to deficient amount of insulin in the pancreas. If untreated, high glucose level in the blood can cause acidosis or diabetic coma and death. It also causes irritability or behavioral changes in children.

Many say that kids in this generation are susceptible to acquire the disease because of their sedentary lifestyle. Children today consume most of their time with computer games and eating unhealthy food, which makes them obese. However, clinical studies point at auto-immune disorder as the culprit for diabetes incidence in children and not directly obesity or the overeating of sweets. It means that the body’s own anti-bodies destroy its pancreas, which causes the organ’s inability to create insulin.

Early detection is still crucial in the treatment of insulin-dependent diabetes among children. Treatment includes insulin shots twice a day and a regulated diet, which is 1,000 calories per day. Doctors do not totally prohibit sweets to children with diabetes, as long as they constantly monitor their blood sugar level and calorie intake. 

According to statistics, 1 out of every 5 adult Filipinos has diabetes and about 3 out of 5 are likely to develop the disease if they don’t change their lifestyle. Among children, statistics are scarce but according to a US study, one in every seven thousand children in America has insulin-dependent diabetes.

If your child shows any indication that he has the disease like, frequent urination, extreme thirst or hunger, extreme fatigue, unexplained weight loss, chronic wounds, numbness in the hands or feet or blurred vision, it would be best to seek medical attention immediately.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Imminent Menace of NDM-1 Superbug: an Anti-biotic Resistant Gene

Connie Sison
Photo from QTV-11
I was watching “24 Oras” (GMA 7-TV news) last night. Connie Sison reported about a new strain of gene that turns bacteria like E. Coli into a super bug: the gene NDM-1 or New Delhi Metallo Beta Lactamase enzyme.

Enlarged E.Coli Bacteria/Photo from wikicommons
British scientists announced the medical news yesterday. They said that the new super bug gene can enter bacteria and move from one specie of bacteria to another and makes it resistant to any form of anti biotic medicine available in the market. They reported 37 confirmed cases in UK. According to their study, these 37 people returned to UK from India after undergoing medical procedures, which makes them conclude that they got the gene infection from India. There were also reports that the gene had been detected in Australia and the US, in Canada, the Netherlands and Sweden. Around 50 cases had been recorded.

India had been a top medical tourism destination in recent years. Since, many medical tourists around the world had been going in and out of India, experts fear for a worldwide infection. However, India rejected the claim of the British scientists’ that the NDM-1 came from them. The Indian health ministry said that the claim was unfair and called it a “malicious propaganda”. They further said that the “plasmid” (DNA molecule) related to antibiotic resistance is found in the environment and in animal or human intestines generally.

The super bug infection can transfer from one person to another through physical contact like a simple hand shake. It can enter the body through the openings of the mouth, eyes, nose and open wounds. The Department of Health believes that it may take time before antibiotics for this new strain of gene will become available. As of today, there is no NDM-1 infection on record here in the Philippines but we must keep watch. The best remedy for any bacterial infection is still cleanliness.

Perhaps, the origin no longer matter now. The health ministries around the world must work hand in hand so that the imminent menace of this NDM-1 super bug may be eliminated before it starts.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Gene Testing: The Future of Clinical Diagnosis

Photo courtesy of 
According to comedian, Arnel Ignacio, her friend Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez used to have this fear about getting cancer. Whenever she would hear about someone else’s cancer story, “I felt like this”, “It felt like that”, it would affect her extremely. She would start thinking about it and would start feeling the same symptoms. Fortunately, she has overcome the fear.  

The possibility of developing diseases haunts many people especially if they know about occurrences of those diseases within their family line. Recently, a medical procedure, which they call “gene testing”, shows the possibility of detecting diseases like cancer, diabetes or Parkinson’s disease before they could even develop. The procedure tests a person’s DNA for possible genetic abnormality, which may develop into a disease later in his life.

With modern medicine, diseases like cancer are already curable if it has been detected in the early stages. We all have heard this, “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”. If prevention is that important, medical practitioners say that early detection is crucial to disease prevention.

However, most of the time, patients don’t feel the symptoms until the latter stages when cure is medically improbable. This is where gene testing can help.

The most common type of gene testing is the “newborn screening”. Experts test newborn infants’ blood samples for possible genetic anomalies, which causes diseases like mental retardation.

Even adults can benefit from gene testing. Through it, a person can determine if he’s a carrier of a particular genetic abnormality, which he can pass on to his children, if he has a predisposition to develop a particular disease and his inherent genetic reaction to particular medicines.

Modern medicine may offer intervention to reduce the risk or reverse the condition through gene therapy (the deactivation of the defective gene) or by replacing it.

In the US, gene testing kits are available over the counter, which cost from $20 to $50. However, the result is not automatic like a pregnancy test kit. The user must send the saliva sample to a research lab for evaluation. The user can get the result via internet through packages ranging from $79 - $179.

Gene testing is now available in the Philippines for P60,000. The saliva sample will be evaluated in a laboratory in Shanghai, China.

Gene testing may be costly but it’s a scientific breakthrough that could help people fight disease in the future.
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