Monthly Archives: December 2017

Hypokalemia (Potassium Deficiency)

Even mild potassium deficiency can snowball into a life-threatening condition at times and therefore, should not be taken lightly. In this particular article, we will shed light on hypokalemia treatment, so as to give you a rough idea about the process involved.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that only 2 percent of American adults meet the recommended dietary intake of potassium through their daily diet.
Potassium has a crucial role in numerous body functions, ranging from contraction and relaxation of muscles to transfer of messages in the nervous system, and therefore, it is important for us to maintain optimum levels of the same in the body. The optimum levels in this case are in the range of 3.6 to 4.8 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L). A fall in the same results in hypokalemia―a medical condition typically characterized by deficiency of potassium in the body.

If potassium levels are in the range of 3.0 to 3.6 mEq/L, it is known as ‘mild hypokalemia’, and if they are lower than 3.0 mEq/L, it is known as ‘severe hypokalemia’. If blood potassium levels fall below 2.5 mEq/L, it can cause life-threatening complications with fatal consequences. A person suffering from potassium deficiency―regardless of whether it is mild or severe―should be promptly subjected to medical attention to avoid unnecessary complications.

How is Potassium Deficiency (Hypokalemia) Treated?

Basically, the treatment of potassium deficiency will revolve around the treatment of the underlying cause of this condition. Most of the causes of the same are attributed to loss of potassium through urine or the digestive tract as a result of some underlying health problem. Other causes of the same include diarrhea, vomiting, eating disorders, overuse of laxatives and diuretics, and even something as serious as chronic kidney failure at times. Yet another surprisingly common cause of low potassium in the body is lack of potassium-rich foods in the diet.

The treatment options generally range from increased potassium intake to intravenous potassium supplements, depending on―like we said earlier―the underlying cause. The doctor will run some tests to diagnose the condition and recommend the suitable treatment option. If potassium loss is caused as a result of diarrhea or vomiting, then medication for the treatment of these conditions will be prescribed. In contrast, if the condition is triggered by prescribed medication, like diuretics or laxatives, the interfering medication will be replaced with some other medication.

If the person is suffering from mild hypokalemia, wherein the level of potassium in the blood is higher than 3.0 mEq/L but less than the required 3.6 mEq/L, the doctor may prescribe oral potassium chloride supplements. On the other hand, if the person is suffering from severe hypokalemia, wherein the level of potassium is less than 3.0 mEq/L, the doctor will recommend intravenous (IV) supplementation to initiate quick recovery. In case of intravenous supplementation, the condition of the patient will be monitored in order to avoid any complications.

Quit Smoking Cold Turkey

Quitting smoking cold turkey does not come easy as it seems so in black and white. It involves immediate cessation of the habit without any room for gradual reduction in dosages. Know more on this from the following…

‘Cold turkey’, refers to a process taken up by a person to help him shun a habit at once. In this process, there is no room for gradually leaving the habit through reduction or by using any kind of alternative. The prospect of this process is not easy as it may seem. How many people do we come across who have tried shunning the habit of smoking and succeeded. Certainly, not many? Records reveal that only 9 out of 90 people succeed in their first try. If you happen to be a smoker, particularly a chain smoker, then you many not deny the fact that the task of keeping yourself away from those puffs is a daunting one. You just can’t help looking at those slim beauties, and ignore the thought of kissing them and playing around with the smoke. But at the same time, you cannot ignore the plethora of diseases which you might have to go through if you continue to be in love with cigarettes. Going the cold turkey way to quit smoking, although may be difficult, is an inexpensive method which may help you get over smoking for good.

How to Stop Smoking the Cold Turkey Method

# You are most likely to smoke when you are stressed or when alone. So, take a break from your work and go for a short vacation. Keeping your mind stress free provides a great deal of help in quitting smoking. The next tip is to know the importance of drinking plenty of water. Keeping yourself hydrated would reduce the intensity of the side effects which you might experience, when you suddenly stop taking nicotine. Moreover, the water would help to get rid of the impurities from your system.

# Another important point to follow to help quit smoking immediately is to keep your mouth busy. Whenever you feel the urge to smoke, chew sugarless gum or suck on hard candy. It may sound funny, but sucking on a lollipop also helps. Get some changes in your daily routine. Try new exercises and adding new recipes to your diet. If you are not in the habit of cycling, then consider giving it a start. Develop the habit of reading instead of watching TV. All such changes and the like, would surely help you through the initial stages of quitting smoking by making you feel different.

# Not to mention, for the process to work, you need to get rid of your stash of cigarettes and other tobacco products from your home and car. If you find it difficult to do it, then ask your friend or partner to do it.

# You can make up your mind to quit smoking as much you can, but if you are not able to avoid situations which may trigger your cravings, then the whole process would be jeopardized. So learn to identify such situations and avoid them. Having said that, it is important to inform your friends and colleagues about your endeavor so they that may offer their support and motivation. Also, prefer going to public places which do not allow smoking.

# Besides doing good to your health by not smoking, you are doing good to your pocket too. Start saving the money which otherwise would have puffed into the air with smoke.

How Diabetes Affects the Body?

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by an increase in the level of blood sugar. A consistently high level of blood sugar can have serious consequences for various parts of the body, including the vital organs like the heart and the kidneys. This Buzzle article will give a brief idea about how this metabolic disorder can affect the body.

Diabetes usually refers to diabetes mellitus, a condition characterized by high blood sugar or hyperglycemia. This condition can be caused by a deficiency of the hormone insulin, or a failure of the body cells to respond to insulin. Insulin is the hormone secreted by the beta cell of the islets of Langerhans found in the pancreas. This hormone enables the body cells to absorb glucose from the bloodstream.

The pancreas is responsible for monitoring the level of blood sugar, and supply insulin accordingly so as to maintain the level of blood sugar within the normal range. The excess glucose present in the bloodstream is converted into fats and then stored in the adipose tissues. On the other hand, when enough glucose is not present in the body, the body breaks down stored fats to produce energy.

A deficiency of insulin, or an inability of the body cells to respond to insulin can cause the level of blood sugar to rise. Diabetes and an abnormally high level of blood glucose level can lead to several complications over a period of time. A consistently high blood sugar level due to uncontrolled or poorly controlled diabetes can affect the blood vessels and the nerves. This disease can literally affect any part of the body.

Types of Diabetes

Diabetes is mainly classified into three types – type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes, of which type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is caused by the lack of insulin due to the failure of the body to produce this hormone. On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is characterized by the inability of the body cells to use or respond to insulin. This is known as insulin resistance.

Along with insulin resistance, insulin insufficiency can be associated with type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes is the condition that develops during pregnancy. Irrespective of the type, diabetes causes a rise in the level of blood sugar, which can ultimately affect several parts of the body, and cause a number of health problems.

Effects of High Blood Sugar on the Body

The normal range for blood sugar level is less than 100 mg/dL when fasting, and less than 140 mg/dL two hours after having a meal. The effects of type 1 and type 2 diabetes on the body are more or less similar, as both the conditions increase the level of sugar in blood or cause hyperglycemia. In the long run, a consistently high level of blood sugar can affect the entire body.

However, certain parts of the body are more likely to be adversely affected by this condition. The presence of excess sugar in blood makes the red blood cells stiff, which in turn, impairs the circulation of blood. It can also cause deposition of fats inside the blood vessels. It has been observed that the tiny and fragile blood vessels of the kidneys, eyes, and the feet are more likely to get damaged due to hyperglycemia.

The Probable Causes and Symptoms of Diabetes

Diabetes or diabetes mellitus is a condition, where the body fails to manage the level of blood sugar. It can give rise to a number of symptoms in men and women. The following write-up provides information on diabetes symptoms in men, as well as the causes and treatment for this condition.

Diabetes is a medical condition that is characterized by an abnormal rise in the level of blood sugar or glucose due to an inability of the body cells to absorb and utilize glucose from the bloodstream. The body cells require a hormone, known as insulin to absorb glucose from the bloodstream, and insulin is produced by the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans of the pancreas. A shortage of insulin, as well as failure of the body cells to respond to insulin can manifest in the form of high blood sugar or hyperglycemia.

Symptoms of Diabetes in Men

Though diabetes can produce a number of symptoms, many of its early signs can look quite similar to the symptoms of certain other health conditions. This can make it difficult to recognize this condition. But it is important to identify and treat it early, as untreated diabetes can lead to some serious health complications. Knowledge about the symptoms of this condition is immensely important for preventing such complications. The symptoms in men are explained below.

Excessive Thirst and Urination
Excessive thirst and urination are considered as some of the most common symptoms. Both men and women can experience frequent urination or ‘polyuria’ and excessive thirst or ‘polydipsia’. Frequent urination is caused by a high level of glucose, which adversely affects the filtering capacity of the kidneys. The kidneys start to draw more water from blood, as a result of which the affected person experiences an increase in the frequency of urination. Frequent urination causes the loss of excess fluid from the body or dehydration, which manifests in increased thirst.

Unusual Weight Loss and Fatigue
Unexplained weight loss can result due to the fact that the body cells fail to absorb and utilize glucose from the bloodstream effectively. The cells of the body need glucose to produce energy and so, an inability to absorb glucose can also result in unusual fatigue.

Increase in Appetite
Diabetic patients experience constant hunger or an increase in appetite, if the body produces a high level of insulin in an attempt to bring down the level of blood sugar. Presence of a high level of insulin in the body can increase hunger, for which some diabetic patients can start eating more. An increase in appetite can sometimes result in weight gain. However, some of the affected individuals could lose weight in spite of eating more than usual.