The role of Vitamin D in preserving health

Vitamin D is part of a group of fat-soluble vitamins which can be obtained from a few foods, sunlight and supplements. The main role of Vitamin D is to assist in the metabolism of Calcium and Phosphorus and also in mineralization of bones. Till now, different forms of Vitamin D have been discovered, namely Vitamin D1, D2, D3, D4 and D5 respectively.

Vitamin D Deficiency – Reduced dietary intake or inadequate exposure to sunlight can lead to a deficiency of Vitamin D in the human body. Some studies have defined deficiency as a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of less than 20 ng per mL (50 nmol per L), and insufficiency is defined as a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of 20 to 30 ng per mL (50 to 75 nmol per L). In case of insufficient Vitamin D levels, 25 hydroxy- cholecalciferol was brought to the kidney and thus the kidneys cannot respond naturally and they fail to connect with blood calcium. The levels of calcium phosphate crystals begin getting low and hence form less soft tissue in the body. Less calcium from the circulation also creates the bone releasing all available calcium, for normality of blood calcium level. The bones, as a result, turn soft and bendable. Calcium in the bone activates the action of the osteoclasts and works as a synthesizer to the bone as well. But Vitamin D deficiency can cause dematerialization the bone. Some significant symptoms are bone pain & soft bones, frequent bone fractures, bone deformities or growth retardation in children.

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Diabetes effects in UAE

The effect of Diabetes in the UAE

November is designated as the official Diabetes Awareness Month, and Specialist Physician Dr. George Cherian sat down with the reporters of Friday Magazine to give his insights on the condition and the effects of Diabetes in the UAE. Here are the excerpts from the published interview.

Diabetes in 2017;  how is it affecting people here in the UAE, any statistics/numbers that you can share? 

The International Diabetes Federation states that 415 million people globally have diabetes. As per research conducted by the International Diabetes Federation, 19.3% of the population in UAE are living with Diabetes.

Diabetes is extremely common these days. Earlier it was seen in people above the age of 50. These days there are innumerable cases of youngsters who have diabetes. There are two common types of diabetes, namely Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is much more common than Type 1 and typically develops in adults, although now children as young as 13 years of age develop the condition. The increase in type 2 diabetes appears to be driven by genetics and unhealthy lifestyle conditions. Genetic factors are out of individual control, however, lifestyle factors like healthy dietary practices and maintaining a healthy weight are factors that can be controlled and managed at an individual level.

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Facts about Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) encompasses a vast array of psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, irritability, loss of confidence and mood swings. There are also physical symptoms, typically bloatedness and breast pain. It is the timing, rather than the types of symptoms, and the degree of impact on a woman’s daily activity that supports a diagnosis of PMS.

Four in ten women (40%) experience symptoms of PMS and of these 5% – 8% suffer from severe PMS. Although the cause remains uncertain, it is assumed that some women are ‘sensitive’ to progesterone and progestogens. The second theory implicates the neurotransmitters serotonin and c-aminobutyric acid (GABA), in causing PMS symptoms. Reducing salt, caffeine, and stress along with increasing exercise is typically all that is recommended in those with mild symptoms. Calcium and vitamin D supplementation may be useful in some. Anti-inflammatory drugs may help with physical symptoms.  In those with more severe symptoms, birth control pills may be useful.

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Defeating Diabetes

The International Diabetes Federation states that 415 million people globally have diabetes. As per research conducted by the International Diabetes Federation, 19.3% of the population in UAE are living with Diabetes. [1]

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which a person has high blood sugar caused by discrepancies in producing sufficient insulin. It is a serious chronic condition caused when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body is unable to effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas and is responsible for regulating and maintaining the blood sugar levels in the normal range. Insulin deficiency causes an imbalance in the blood sugar levels, raising it to higher than normal levels, resulting in Diabetes.

Every year, the 14th of November is recognized as World Diabetes Day, in order to spread the word about diabetes and its health consequences of being left untreated and ineffectively managed. World Diabetes Day 2017 goes to the theme Women and Diabetes – Our right to a healthy future.

Half of the people affected by diabetes globally are women. The burden of diabetes on women is unique because it can affect a woman and her unborn child. There are majorly 2 types of diabetes; Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the pancreas considering it to be a foreign body. The pancreas stop functioning and there is no insulin production, hence causing the buildup on sugar levels in the blood. Type 2 diabetes generally develops after the age of 35 and is caused when the body doesn’t develop sufficient insulin or becomes insulin resistant.  Women, however also suffer from a condition called as Gestational Diabetes.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Mammogram

  • What exactly is a mammogram?

A mammogram is like an X-ray of the breast. You will be made to stand in front of a machine with your breast placed on a plate-like surface. Another plate will press against the breast from above in and hold it in place for the X-ray. This step is repeated to get a side view of the breast. A mammogram helps the doctor get a closer view of the breast in order to understand any changes that may not have been felt during a breast examination.

  • Are mammograms painful?

Mammograms are not painful, although they do cause a certain amount of pain or discomfort when the breasts are compressed against the plate-like surface. However, if you experience any pain during the mammogram, make sure to report it to the radiologist. Do not ignore the pain if it feels like more than a pinch.

  • When should I get a mammogram screening?

Breast cancer is common in women over the age of 50. Hence, women over 50 years of age should get screened once in two years. Younger women must consult their doctors to check for the best time to start getting screened. However, self-breast assessment is advised in younger women in order to understand and report immediately in case of any abnormalities in the breast.

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