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Dr harold Gunatillake

Insulin Resistance

Dr Harold Gunatillake-Health writer

These two words you find in articles in relation to diabetes. Do you know what they really mean, and how serious it could be in relation to your health and wellbeing?
Insulin is a hormone secreted in specific cells called islet cells in the pancreas gland lying behind your stomach, in the upper part of your abdomen.

Its function, among other things, is to secrete the hormone to match the number of carbs and soluble sugars you consume. If you eat too much of carbs and sweets daily, you do strain the pancreas to secrete more, and that situation insulin could become resistant in acting towards excessive blood sugar.
The most common reason why you get insulin resistance is consuming excessive carbs and foods containing added sugars, on a daily basis. Yes, the pancreas will then increase the production of insulin. With time even with the increased make of insulin, the blood sugar may not be brought to normal levels. This is the situation where we say that the pancreas is strained to produce an inferior less active variety of insulin which is resistant to maintaining a normal sugar level in your blood.

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How do you differentiate between Bacterial and viral infections

Written by Dr Harold Gunatillake-Health writer

You are in the wilderness, there are no doctors or hospitals in the vicinity, you are carrying antibiotics with you, so the dilemma is to put your thinking cap on and decide on taking or not, of those antibiotics in your bag, during the time of an infection like high fever.

This article will ease that situation for you.

Let’s first get familiarized with these germs. Bacteria are not visible to the naked eye; you need to look for them under the microscope. They are single -celled organisms found everywhere, in every country in the world, in the air, some in water or soil. They are living within you dormant till your immune system gets weak to attack you. Some of these bacteria are beneficial and serve vital functions for the environment. For instance, there are trillions of them in your small and large gut, protecting you. They could be your best friends you bring along from your mother’s birth passage and mother’s milk. They make vitamins in the gut for you; they boost your immune system, and also make your gut, less hospitable to bad bacteria. Bacterial infections are caused by harmful strains of bacteria in your body. Common diseases produced by these bacteria are Pneumonia, meningitis food poisoning and so on. The thick-walled ones are called ‘Gram-positive’ bacteria whilst the gram negative -ones the wall is not thick.

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Follow these rules when eating food for health & longevity

Written by Dr Harold Gunatillake –health writer

Hot food joints are always crowded, and it is disheartening to see parents taking their kids for an evening out, away from home cooked food. Even birthday parties are held at these food outlets for kids for convenience and low expenses.

When you visit Colombo, driving along Rajagiriya main road, you’ll come across on the left-hand-side a giant hot food outlet: you’ll be surprised to see the crowds of young people patronizing this joint even closer to midnight. This area of the city is full of hot food street restaurant feeding the locals with unhealthy food. The Diabetic clinic is also in the vicinity.

The main components in these food outlets are foods cooked with bad fats. These foods are bad for your heart. They are full of saturated and trans-fats in foods like burgers, French fries, deep fried chicken, among others. Then there the pastries, pies pizzas, and others baked treats with processed wheat flour with added sugar and salt.

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Health tip for the day

by Dr. Harold How often should you check your pulse?

You should check your pulse rate in your wrist at the base of your thumb once in a while, to detect changes that would warn you if a suspicious disorder of the heart or other endocrine dysfunction is brewing to call your doctor. At rest, in a normal healthy person, the pulse rate would range between 70 and 80 per minute with an average of 72 per minute.

As a lay person, how can you suspect any disorder by feeling the pulse? The easiest way to feel the pulse is to place the index and mid-finger on the outer aspect of the inner (ventral) side of the wrist (shown in picture) and keep moving until you feel a thud. That would be your pulse detectable in your radial artery on
the wrist.

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Feeling Bloated- as appears in Sunday Leader of 22/10

by Dr. Harold Gunatillake

Do you feel bloated most days, uncomfortable enough to avert concentration on your daily work? Most people do not get checked up, but live with the condition. This article will enable you to evaluate your problem, if you have one, to take remedial action.

Bloating may be in most situations a dietetic issue: not eating enough high fibre foods, including fruits resulting in constipation and not having a satisfactory bowel motion.

People eating too much of food can result in gaseous bloating which could be relieved by the next good bowel evacuation. In such situation you burp a few times to get relief.Those who eat small meals more frequently like the Chinese have less chances of getting bloated.

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Good advice by Dr harold Avoid eating processed meat.

The meat you buy at the butcher is fresh frozen meat brought from the abettor, and eating once in a while causes no problems to your health. On the other hand there are processed meats like smoked ones, cured with chemicals, salted ones, and dried and preserved. Hot dogs, bacon, sausages, salami ham, corned beef are all processed meats that are harmful and dangerous. These processed meats should be avoided at all times. Several studies have shown that eating processed meats are linked to a variety of health problems like diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancers. You may have heard that eating sausages frequently can cause pancreatic cancer and large bowel cancer.

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Eating Red Meat is Bad News


Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) test to check on risk of serious heart problems
Written by Dr harold Gunatillake health writer

When you are admitted to Casualty as an emergency with chest pain, doctors, in addition to performing various investigations does a test to measure the blood levels of a molecule called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). Positive results of this test are a sure sign of a heart attack or even death. Prognosis and seriousness of the episode can be assessed by the medical team, from this test alone.

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Can we reverse diabetes?

Written by Dr harold Gunatillake- Health writer

In the early ‘pre-diabetic stage’ of diabetes, one could reverse to a nondiabetic phase just by dieting and exercise daily to keep your blood sugar level low. With the stretching type of exercises, you do build your muscles. Built muscles need a lot of sugar to keep up the energy levels. Inactive muscles do not require as much sugar for energy purposes as those ones that are built up through exercise. That would be the reason why you should daily exercise to keep the muscles trim for better blood sugar levels.

If you suffer from full- blown diabetes and on medication, studies have revealed you could reverse the process to a non-diabetic situation. That is interesting and how can we do it?

Majority of the diabetics are over-weight. Even those on insulin shots daily to control diabetes there is a tendency to add on weight, unlike those on other anti-diabetic medication.

When you are overweight or obese you do not produce enough insulin, or the insulin produced by the pancreas doesn’t seem to work properly.Professor Taylor, from Newcastle University, has found out that diabetes type 2 can be reversed even if you have had the condition for 10 years, by dissolving the tiny fat out of the pancreas.

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What is the best predictor of a heart attack?

Written by Dr Harold Gunatillake-health writer

There are many health nuts, who seems to eliminate risk factors to prevent a heart event, by eating the right foods (low carbs, low saturated and low trans-fat containing foods, low salt, etc.), exercising daily, keeping their weights within BMI calculations, controlling their lipid levels in the blood (LDL cholesterol), checking blood pressures to maintain within normal range and so on. But can we predict in such healthy absolute situations you could avoid a cardiac event?

A good example is the death of former Australian Ironman Dean Mercer who suddenly died of a cardiac arrest at such young age of 47.

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