TTIMES WORLD: Today's News Report

Sunday, June 23, 2024
Washington, DC, USA


Surgeries Most Commonly Performed By Plastic Surgeons
Both Children and Adults

The work of plastic surgeons encompasses different parts of the body. They work with both children and adults.

1. Reconstructive surgery: It is the main job of a plastic surgery specialist and includes head & neck reconstruction, burns and trauma surgery, skin and soft tissue, breast reconstruction, cleft lip and palate surgery, and more.

2. Aesthetic Surgery: Aesthetic procedures are carried out on both men and women and much of this work is done privately. Some of the aesthetic surgeries include otoplasty, breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, liposuction and facelifts.

3. Augmentation Mammoplasty – Various surgical processes are adopted to give new shape to the breasts. The fat is transformed to breasts from different areas of the body.

4. Robot-Assisted Surgery – Robot-assisted surgery helps in performing complex surgeries with more flexibility, precision, and control. Results achieved are minimally invasive!!

5. Craniomaxillofacial Surgery – This type of surgery is used in treating diseases, injuries, and defects in the head, neck, face, and jaws. It is a globally acclaimed surgical specialty.

6. Liposuction – It is an attempt to transform the shape of the body. In such type of treatment excess fat is removed from the body with the help of surgery.

Diabetes: Treatment, Diagnosis and Prevention
What Diabetes Mellitus is About?


Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. Persons with diabetes have too much sugar in their blood. There is no cure for diabetes. People with diabetes need to manage their disease to stay healthy.
It is a metabolic disease in which the body’s inability to produce any or enough insulin causes elevated levels of glucose in the blood.

Persons with diabetes have too much sugar in their blood. This problem can start when a person is young (Type 1 diabetes) or older (Type 2 diabetes). Type 1 diabetes is usually more serious, this can only be control by insulin (drug/Injection).
Diabetes is a serious complex condition which can affect the entire body. Diabetes requires daily self care and if complications develop, diabetes can have a significant impact on quality of life and can reduce life expectancy. While there is currently no cure for diabetes, you can live an enjoyable life by learning about the condition and effectively managing it. It often referred to by doctors as diabetes mellitus.

Types of Diabetes Mellitus
There are three major types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes
The body does not produce insulin. Some people may refer to this type as insulin-dependent diabetes, juvenile diabetes, or early-onset diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is usually more serious and young people need a medicine called insulin to control it. This problem can start when a person is young or older
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition in which the immune system is activated to destroy the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. We do not know what causes this auto-immune reaction. Type 1 diabetes is not linked to modifiable lifestyle factors. There is no cure and it cannot be prevented.

  • Occurs when the pancreas does not produce insulin
  • Represents around 10% of all cases of diabetes and is one of the most common chronic childhood conditions
  • Onset is usually abrupt and the symptoms obvious
  • Symptoms can include excessive thirst and urination, unexplained weight loss, weakness and fatigue and blurred vision
  • Is managed with insulin injections several times a day or the use of an insulin pump.

Type 2 diabetes
The body does not produce enough insulin for proper function, or the cells in the body do not react to insulin (insulin resistance). Most people with diabetes have Type 2, starting after age 40.
The most common form of diabetes is called type 2, or non-insulin dependent diabetes.
This is also called “adult onset” diabetes, since it typically develops after age 35. However, a growing number of younger people are now developing type 2 diabetes. 
People with type 2 are able to produce some of their own insulin. Often, it’s not enough. And sometimes, the insulin will try to serve as the “key” to open the body’s cells, to allow the glucose to enter. But the key won’t work. The cells won’t open. This is called insulin resistance. 
Often, type 2 is tied to people who are overweight, with a sedentary lifestyle. 
Treatment focuses on diet and exercise. If blood sugar levels are still high, oral medications are used to help the body use its own insulin more efficiently. In some cases, insulin injections are necessary.

Gestational diabetes/Pregnant Diabetes
This type affects females during pregnancy. Some women have very high levels of glucose in their blood, and their bodies are unable to produce enough insulin to transport all of the glucose into their cells, resulting in progressively rising levels of glucose.
High blood glucose is caused because the mother can’t produce enough insulin (a pregnant woman’s insulin needs are two to three times that of normal).
There are two reasons why the mother needs more insulin:
Because pregnancy causes certain types of hormones (that are made by the placenta) to be released., These hormones make it harder for insulin to do its job because the growth demands of the foetus (developing baby) increases the mother's need for insulin

Unlike type 1 and type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes is only temporary and usually disappears after pregnancy. However, a woman who has had gestational diabetes has an increased risk (50-60%) of developing type 2 diabetes in the future; therefore they should be tested for type 2 diabetes each year.

What you need to know about diabetes

  • Diabetes is a long-term condition that causes high blood sugar levels.
  • In 2013 it was estimated that over 382 million people throughout the world had diabetes (Williams textbook of endocrinology).
  • Type 1 Diabetes - the body does not produce insulin. Approximately 10% of all diabetes cases are type 1.
  • Type 2 Diabetes - the body does not produce enough insulin for proper function. Approximately 90% of all cases of diabetes worldwide are of this type.
  • Gestational Diabetes - this type affects females during pregnancy.
  • The most common diabetes symptoms include frequent urination, intense thirst and hunger, weight gain, unusual weight loss, fatigue, cuts and bruises that do not heal, male sexual dysfunction, numbness and tingling in hands and feet.
  • If you have Type 1 and follow a healthy eating plan, do adequate exercise, and take insulin, you can lead a normal life.
  • Type 2 patients need to eat healthily, be physically active, and test their blood glucose. They may also need to take oral medication, and/or insulin to control blood glucose levels.
  • As the risk of cardiovascular disease is much higher for a diabetic, it is crucial that blood pressure and cholesterol levels are monitored regularly.
  • As smoking might have a serious effect on cardiovascular health, diabetics should stop smoking.
  • Hypoglycemia - low blood glucose - can have a bad effect on the patient. Hyperglycemia - when blood glucose is too high - can also have a bad effect on the patient.
Causes of Diabetes Mellitus
Causes of type 1 diabetes
  • Heredity plays an important part in determining who is likely to develop type 1 diabetes.
  • What is known is that your immune system — which normally fights harmful bacteria or viruses attacks and destroys your insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This leaves you with little or no insulin. Instead of being transported into your cells, sugar builds up in your bloodstream.

Type 1 is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental factors, though exactly what many of those factors are is still unclear.

  • Environmental Factors

Causes of type 2 diabetes
In pre-diabetes — which can lead to type 2 diabetes  and in type 2 diabetes, your cells become resistant to the action of insulin, and your pancreas is unable to make enough insulin to overcome this resistance. Instead of moving into your cells where it's needed for energy, sugar builds up in your bloodstream.
Exactly why this happens is uncertain, although it's believed that genetic and environmental factors play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes. Being overweight is strongly linked to the development of type 2 diabetes, but not everyone with type 2 is overweight.
Causes of gestational diabetes
During pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones to sustain your pregnancy. These hormones make your cells more resistant to insulin.
Normally, your pancreas responds by producing enough extra insulin to overcome this resistance. But sometimes your pancreas can't keep up. When this happens, too little glucose gets into your cells and too much stays in your blood, resulting in gestational diabetes.
 Symptoms/Signs of Diabetes Mellitus
Early signs of diabetes: Later, more serious signs:

  • Always hungry
  • Always thirsty
  • Always tired
  • Frequent vaginal infections
  • Itchy skin
  • Loss of consciousness (in extreme cases)
  • Periods of blurry eyesight
  • Some loss of feeling in hands or feet
  • Sores on the feet that do not heal
  • Urinates (pees) often and a lot
  • Weight loss


How to diagnose Diabetes Mellitus
In order to find out whether a person has diabetes, test her urine to see if there is sugar in it. Diabetes and pre-diabetes are diagnosed with a fasting plasma glucose test, oral glucose tolerance test, or random plasma glucose test. One way to test the urine is to taste it. If it tastes sweet to you, have 2 other persons taste it. Have them also taste the urine of 3 other people. If everyone agrees that the same person’s urine is sweeter, she is probably diabetic.
Another way of testing urine is to use special paper strips (for example, Uristix). If these change color when dipped in the urine, it has sugar in it.
If the person is a child or young adult, he should be seen by an experienced health worker or doctor.

To diagnose GDM
Get tested. During your doctor’s visit, you will likely be tested for GDM through an “initial glucose challenge test” and/or a follow-up “glucose tolerance testing.”
In the “initial glucose challenge test,” you’ll be asked to drink a syrupy, sugar solution and then, after an hour has passed, your blood will be tested to measure your sugar levels.

How to Prevent Diabetes
Tips to help you reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes

  • Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. But to some extent Type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented by making simple changes in our everyday lives.
  • In Type 1 diabetes, the body's immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells, but currently the cause remains uncertain.

Tips to help you reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes

  • Check your risk of diabetes. Take the Life! risk assessment test and learn more about your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A 12+ score indicates that you are at high risk and may be eligible for the Life! program - a free Victorian lifestyle modification program that helps you reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, or call 13 RISK (13 7475).
  • Manage your weight. Excess body fat, particularly if stored around the abdomen, can increase the body’s resistance to the hormone insulin. This can lead to type 2 diabetes.
  • Exercise regularly. Moderate physical activity on most days of the week helps manage weight, reduce blood glucose levels and may also improve blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet. Reduce the amount of fat in your diet, especially saturated and trans fats. Eat more fruit, vegetables and high-fibre foods. Cut back on salt.
  • Limit takeaway and processed foods. ‘Convenience meals’ are usually high in salt, fat and kilojoules. It’s best to cook for yourself using fresh ingredients whenever possible.
  • Limit your alcohol intake. Too much alcohol can lead to weight gain and may increase your blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Men should have no more than two standard drinks a day and women should have no more than one.
  • Quit smoking. Smokers are twice as likely to develop diabetes as non-smokers.
  • Control your blood pressure. Most people can do this with regular exercise, a balanced diet and by keeping a healthy weight. In some cases, you might need medication prescribed by your doctor.
  • Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease have many risk factors in common, including obesity and physical inactivity.
  • See your doctor for regular check-ups. As you get older, it’s a good idea to regularly check your blood glucose, blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.

Tips to help you reduce your risk of GDM

  • Get a family history. The first step in preventing GDM is determining your risk factors for developing it. If it turns out that you are at high risk, then you and your doctor take steps towards lowering your risk and keeping you and the baby healthy.
  • Have your blood sugar tested as early as 3 months before you plan to become pregnant in order to establish your baseline levels and to if you fall in a normal range.
  • Plan to lose any excess weight before pregnancy. Weight loss is not advised during pregnancy, so if you are overweight and concerned about this increasing your risk for GDM, try to lose the extra weight (between 5% to 7% of your body weight if you are overweight) before you become pregnant
  • Meet with your doctor (gynecology) early on in your pregnancy, and frequently throughout, in order to ensure the health of you and your baby
  • Let your doctor know that you are particularly concerned about GDM, either because of your family history or other personal risk factors. Ask if they recommend any special diet, exercise, or testing plans for you to follow during your pregnancy.
  • Eat more fiber. It is important to maintain steady blood sugar levels if you are at risk of gestational diabetes. Fiber will help you stabilize your sugar levels. In a study of the diets of women before they got pregnant, those who increased their daily fiber intake by 10 grams reduced their risk of GDM by 26%. Try to include more high-fiber foods to lower your risk.
  • Take more of portentous food
  • Lean meats, such as chicken, are good sources of protein and safe for pregnant women to consume. Avoid fish as a lean protein source, as its high mercury levels can be dangerous for pregnant women
  • Keep an eye on portion sizes and try to eat several small meals frequently throughout the day to maintain your blood sugar levels.[17] For example, you could eat a 300 to 400 calorie meal once every three hours during the day so that you consume a total of five meals totaling between 1,500 to 2,000 calories.
  • Take more fresh fruit: Fruits are good for you, but sugary fruit juices should be avoided. Fruits are high in natural sugars which in and of itself is not a bad thing, but one small glass of orange juice can contain the juice of as many as 10 oranges and there may also be added artificial sweeteners.
  • Exercises Daily. Safe exercises to participate in during pregnancy typically include low impact exercises, such as walking and swimming. Avoid doing any type of exercise that is high impact or that has a higher potential for injuries, such as contact sports.

Treatment for Diabetes Mellitus

All types of diabetes are treatable. Diabetes type 1 lasts a lifetime, there is no known cure. Type 2 usually lasts a lifetime; however, some people have managed to get rid of their symptoms without medication, through a combination of exercise, diet and body weight control.
When a person gets diabetes after he is 40 years old, it can often be best controlled without medicines, by eating correctly and getting plenty of exercise. The diabetic person’s diet is very important and must be followed carefully for life.
The major goal in treating type 1 and type 2 diabetes is to control blood sugar (glucose) levels within the normal range, with minimal excursions to low or high levels.
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is treated with:

  • Insulin
  • Exercise

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is treated:
First with weight reduction, a type 2 diabetes diet, and exercise
Oral medications are prescribed when these measures fail to control the elevated blood sugars of type 2 diabetes.
If oral medications become ineffective treatment with insulin is initiated.

The diabetic diet:

Fat people with diabetes should lose weight until their weight is normal. Diabetics must not eat any sugar or sweets, or foods that taste sweet.It is important for them to eat lots of fresh vegetables and high fiber foods, such as whole grain breads. But diabetics should also eat some other starchy foods, like beans, rice, and potatoes, and also foods high in protein.

Diabetes in adults can sometimes be helped by drinking the sap of the prickly pear cactus (nopal, Opuntia). To prepare, cut the cactus into small pieces and crush them to squeeze out the liquid. Drink 1 ½ cups of the liquid 3 times each day before meals.
To prevent infection and injury to the skin, clean the teeth after eating, keep the skin clean, and always wear shoes to prevent foot injuries. For poor circulation in the feet (dark color, numbness), rest often with the feet up. Follow the same recommendations as for varicose veins

Diabetes Home Remedies/Home Cure

  • Whole sum diet: Diet which is a combination of vegetables and fruits get a rich array of antioxidants such as vitamin C. Antioxidants prevents the oxidation and damage of artery walls, which otherwise can lead to plaque build-up and heart disease.
  • Basil leaves: Basil leaves have power to lower blood sugar levels. Basil leaves contain potent antioxidants that relieve oxidative stress; it's this stress that compounds problems in diabetics.
  • Bitter Gourd: Bitter gourd, also known as bitter melon, can be helpful for controlling diabetes due to its blood glucose lowering effects. It tends to influence the glucose metabolism all over your body rather than a particular organ or tissue. It helps increase pancreatic insulin secretion and prevents insulin resistance. Thus, bitter gourd is beneficial for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. However, it cannot be used to entirely replace insulin treatment. Drink some bitter gourd juice on an empty stomach each morning. First remove the seeds of two to three bitter gourds and use a juicer to extract the juice. Add some water and then drink it. Follow this treatment daily in the morning for at least two months.

Also, you can include one dish made of bitter gourd daily in your diet.

  • Cactus juice and flax seeds: Cactus juice from is also helpful. Cactus juice can help decrease and stabilize blood glucose and insulin levels. Consuming flax seed reduces postprandial sugar level by 28 per cent.
  • Exercise: Exercise has the potential to control the diabetes by nonmedical means. It reduces the severity of the disease and significantly reduces the risk of long-term complications. The energy needed for exercise can help people to lose weight which helps to take some of the risk related to central obesity. Exercise is known to increase insulin sensitivity which essentially helps to tackle the root cause of type 2 diabetes. Also, regular exercise can also help to reduce cholesterol levels and help people to reduce high blood pressure. Even a little extra activity each day can help.
  • Moringa leaves: Also called Drumstick, the leaves of this plant are best known for their ability to boost one’s energy. In the case of diabetics, the moringa leaf increases satiety and slows the breakdown of food and lower blood pressure.

Tip: Take a few drumstick leaves, wash and crush them to extract their juice. Now take about 1/4th cup of this juice and drink it on an empty stomach, every morning to keep your sugar levels under control.

  • Green Tea: Unlike other tea leaves, green tea is unfermented and is high in polyphenol content. Polyphenol is a strong antioxidant and hypo-glycaemic compound that helps control the release of blood sugars and helps the body use insulin better. Read more 10 types of flavoured green tea that have 20 health benefits.

Tip: Steep a bag of green tea in hot water for 2-3 minutes. Remove the bag and drink a cup of this tea in the morning or before your meals.

  • Holy Basil (tulsi) leaves: The leaves of holy basil are packed with antioxidants and essential oils that produce eugenol, methyl eugenol and caryophyllene. Collectively these compounds help the pancreatic beta cells (cells that store and release insulin) to function properly and increase sensitivity to insulin. An added advantage is that the antioxidants present in the leaves help beat the ill effects of oxidative stress.
  • Indian blackberry (Jamun): A glycoside present in the seeds of Indian blackberry prevents the conversion of starch to sugar. It lowers blood sugar and helps prevent insulin spikes. Jambul also has properties that can protect you from heart diseases and other vascular disorders.

Tip: Eat around 5 – 6 jamuns in the morning to control your blood sugar levels. Alternatively, you can also add a spoonful of jamun seeds powder to a glass of warm water or milk and drink this daily for better control of diabetes.

  • Leaves of bilberry plant and cinnamon: The leaves of the bilberry plant are known to lower blood sugar levels. Also, 1gram cinnamon in the diet for a month lowers the blood sugar levels
  • Mango Leaves: The delicate and tender mango leaves can be used to treat diabetes by regulating insulin levels in the blood. They can also help improve blood lipid profiles. Soak 10 to 15 tender mango leaves in a glass of water overnight. In the morning, filter the water and drink it on an empty stomach.

You can also dry the leaves in the shade and grind them. Eat one-half teaspoon of powdered mango leaves two times daily.

  • Neem: Found abundantly in India, the bitter leaf has a number of amazing medicinal properties. Neem enhances insulin receptor sensitivity, helps improve blood circulation by dilating the blood vessels, lowers blood glucose levels and reduces one’s dependence on hypoglycaemic drugs.  Here are more health benefits of neem.

Tip: Drink the juice of the tender shoot of neem leaves on an empty stomach for best results

  • Meditation: Meditation lowers the insulin resistance in our body. Stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenalin intensify the production of insulin and glucose levels. Reducing these neurohormones through the Transcendental Meditation technique helps to balance glucose and insulin in the blood. This helps to normalize metabolic syndrome and diabetes.


Complications of Diabetes Mellitus
Type 1 Complications

  • Anxiety
  • Ear Damage
  • Eye damage
  • Fingers, toes, and lips damage
  • Headache
  • Heart disease
  • Seizures
  • Sleepiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sweating
  • Whiteness of skin

Type 2 Complications

By keeping your blood glucose level in a healthy range through meal planning, physical activity, and medications, you can avoid long-term complications of diabetes.
These complications develop over many years and they all relate to how blood glucose levels can affect blood vessels. Over time, high blood glucose can damage the body’s blood vessels, both tiny and large.
Damage to your tiny blood vessels causes microvascular complications; damage to your large vessels causes macrovascular complications.
Microvascular Complications: Eye, Kidney, and Nerve Disease
You have small blood vessels that can be damaged by consistently high blood glucose over time. Damaged blood vessels don’t deliver blood as well as they should, so that leads to other problems, specifically with the eyes, kidneys, and nerves.
Eyes: Blood glucose levels out of range for a long period of time can cause cataracts and/or retinopathy in the eyes. Both can cause loss of vision.
To avoid eye problems associated with diabetes, keep your blood glucose within range and have yearly eye check-ups that include a dilated eye examination with an eye doctor to monitor your eye health.

Cardiovascular disease: affects the heart and blood vessels and may cause fatal complications such as coronary artery disease (leading to heart attack) and stroke. Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in people with diabetes. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood glucose and other risk factors contribute to increasing the risk of cardiovascular complications.

Kidney disease (diabetic nephropathy): caused by damage to small blood vessels in the kidneys leading to the kidneys becoming less efficient or to fail altogether. Kidney disease is much more common in people with diabetes than in those without diabetes. Maintaining near normal levels of blood glucose and blood pressure can greatly reduce the risk of kidney disease.

Nerve disease (diabetic neuropathy): diabetes can cause damage to the nerves throughout the body when blood glucose and blood pressure are too high. This can lead to problems with digestion, erectile dysfunction, and many other functions. Among the most commonly affected areas are the extremities, in particular the feet. Nerve damage in these areas is called peripheral neuropathy, and can lead to pain, tingling, and loss of feeling. Loss of feeling is particularly important because it can allow injuries to go unnoticed, leading to serious infections and possible amputations. People with diabetes carry a risk of amputation that may be more than 25 times greater than that of people without diabetes. However, with comprehensive management, a large proportion of amputations related to diabetes can be prevented. Even when amputation takes place, the remaining leg and the person’s life can be saved by good follow-up care from a multidisciplinary foot team. People with diabetes should regularly examine their feet.

Eye disease (diabetic retinopathy): most people with diabetes will develop some form of eye disease (retinopathy) causing reduced vision or blindness. Consistently high levels of blood glucose, together with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, are the main causes of retinopathy. It can be managed through regular eye checks and keeping glucose and lipid levels at or close to normal.

Pregnancy complications: Women with any type of diabetes during pregnancy risk a number of complications if they do not carefully monitor and manage their condition. To prevent possible organ damage to the fetus, women with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes should achieve target glucose levels before conception. All women with diabetes during pregnancy, type 1, type 2 or gestational should strive for target blood glucose levels throughout to minimize complications. High blood glucose during pregnancy can lead to the foetus putting on excess weight. This can lead to problems in delivery, trauma to the child and mother, and a sudden drop in blood glucose for the child after birth. Children who are exposed for a long time to high blood glucose in the womb are at higher risk of developing diabetes in the future.

Complications of gestational diabetes
Most women who have gestational diabetes deliver healthy babies. However, untreated or uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause problems for you and your baby.
Complications would affect the mother and the baby and the could cause this for the baby:
Excess growth. Extra glucose can cross the placenta, which triggers your baby's pancreas to make extra insulin. This can cause your baby to grow too large (macrosomia). Very large babies are more likely to require a C-section birth.
Low blood sugar. Sometimes babies of mothers with gestational diabetes develop low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) shortly after birth because their own insulin production is high. Prompt feedings and sometimes an intravenous glucose solution can return the baby's blood sugar level to normal.

 Death: Untreated gestational diabetes can result in a baby's death either before or shortly after birth.

As for the mother complications can include:
Preeclampsia: .This condition is characterized by high blood pressure, excess protein in the urine, and swelling in the legs and feet. Preeclampsia can lead to serious or even life-threatening complications for both mother and baby.
Death: Untreated gestational diabetes can result to death during labour or after birth.


The Recommended Cholesterol Levels by Age


Good heart health is like a building block: It’s cumulative.

The earlier you try to start making healthy lifestyle choices, the better off you can be as you get older. Think about making small changes now that will lead to big changes years later. It’s like a train altering its course slightly, which leads to a big difference in its final destination.

This is particularly true when it comes to high cholesterol.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance your liver makes. It’s also found in certain foods. Your body needs some cholesterol to function properly. But having too much of the bad type of cholesterol — LDL — puts you at risk for having a heart attack or stroke.

Cholesterol in your bloodstream can build up in blood vessel walls, causing blockages that can lead to:

  • reduced blood flow to the heart and increased risk for heart attack
  • decreased blood flow to the brain and increased risk for stroke

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, having high cholesterol raises your risk for heart disease.

Your total cholesterol level is the overall amount of cholesterol found in your blood. It consists of:

  • low-density lipoproteins (LDL)
  • high-density lipoproteins (HDL)
  • triglycerides

LDL is also called “bad” cholesterol because it blocks your blood vessels and increases your risk for heart disease. HDL is considered “good” cholesterol because it helps protect you from heart disease. The higher your HDL, the better.

Finally, total cholesterol includes a triglycerides count. These are another type of fat that can build up in the body and are considered the “building blocks” of cholesterol.

High levels of triglycerides and low levels of HDL raise your risk for heart disease.

Cholesterol in adults

The American Heart Association recommends that all adults have their cholesterol checked every 4 to 6 years, starting at age 20, which is when cholesterol levels can start to rise.

As we age, cholesterol levels tend to climb. Men are generally at a higher risk than women for higher cholesterol. However, a woman’s risk goes up after she enters menopause.

For those with high cholesterol and other cardiac risk factors, such as diabetes, more frequent testing is recommended.

Cholesterol chart for adults

According to the 2018 guidelines on the management of blood cholesterol published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), these are the acceptable, borderline, and high measurements for adults.

All values are in mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) and are based on fasting measurements.

Cholesterol in children

Children who are physically active, have a healthy diet, are not overweight, and don’t have a family history of high cholesterol are at a lower risk for having high cholesterol.

Current guidelinesTrusted Source recommend that all children have their cholesterol checked between ages 9 and 11, and then again between ages 17 and 21.

Children with more risk factors, such as having diabetes, obesity, or a family history of high cholesterol, should be checked between ages 2 and 8, and again between ages 12 and 16.

Cholesterol chart for children

According to the JACC, the following are the recommended cholesterol levels for children:

All values are in mg/dL:(milligrams per deciliter) and are based on fasting measurements.

Lifestyle changes

The good news is that lifestyle changes are reasonably effective in helping you to reduce cholesterol levels. They’re also fairly straightforward and can be done at any age.

Changes include:


Physical activity can help you lose weight and boost your HDL cholesterol. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes a day of moderate cardiovascular exercise, such as biking, jogging, swimming, and dancing, at least 5 times a week.

Eat more fiber

Try to add more fiber to your diet, such as replacing white bread and pasta with whole grains.

Eat healthy fats

Healthy fats include:

These are all fats that won’t raise your LDL levels.

Limit your cholesterol intake

Reduce the amount of high-saturated fatty foods like:

Quit smoking

Smoking decreases HDL cholesterol. If you smoke, quitting can help you better manage your cholesterol levels.

It’s important to remember that everyone is different.

Family history and whether or not you have other conditions, such as diabetes or obesity, play a role in your individual risk.

Talk to your healthcare provider about your cholesterol levels and ask what they think your numbers should be.

“The key is to have normal cholesterol levels throughout your lifetime.

“One misconception is that people can have poorly controlled cholesterol for years and then decide to take action. By then the plaque could already have built up,” says Dr. Eugenia Gianos, director of Cardiovascular Prevention for Northwell Health in New York.

Limit your alcohol intake

The American Heart Association recommends drinking alcohol in moderation, which means, on average, no more than two drinks per day for men and no more than one drink per day for women.

Drinking too much alcohol can raise levels of triglyceride fats in the bloodstream and lead to conditions, such as:

Lose Weight

Losing excess body weight can help to lower your cholesterol levels.

To lose weight, here are a few tips.

  • Try to make healthy dietary changes and focus on portion control.
  • Try to choose lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Try to limit unhealthy fats, processed foods, and sugary snacks.
  • Try to add more physical activity to your weekly routine to increase your calorie burn so the number of calories you’re consuming is less than the number you’re burning.

Check Your Levels

You can see a doctor or use an at-home test kit to check your cholesterol levels.

What are the Benefits of getting a COVID-19 Vaccine?


COVID-19 is easily transmitted and can lead to serious illness and death, even for people who are young and healthy.

Vaccines for COVID-19 will only be approved for use in this country if large, rigorous, and thorough scientific studies show that they safely reduce your risk of getting COVID-19. They would do that by preparing your body’s natural defences – the immune system – to recognize and fight off the virus that causes COVID-19.

Scientists are studying whether people who get vaccinated for COVID-19 would also be less likely to pass the COVID-19 virus on to other people. If that’s the case, getting vaccinated could be a powerful way to not only protect yourself, but also your entire community.

How will we know if COVID-19 vaccines are safe?

COVID-19 vaccines go through rigorous, multi-stage testing process, including studies that involve tens of thousands of people. These trials, which include people at high risk for COVID-19, are specifically designed to identify any common side effects or other safety concerns.

At the moment, vaccines available for COVID-19 have efficacy of between 60-94%, and are effective in preventing symptomatic disease. The World Health Organization guidance is that COVID-19 vaccines should demonstrate at least 50% efficacy against severe disease.

Have COVID-19 vaccines been approved for use in Ghana?

Yes. The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has given Emergency Use Authorization to two COVID-19 vaccines: (i) Sputnik V vaccine from Generium Joint Stock Company, Russia; and (ii) Covishield from the Serum Institute of India. The FDA, a WHO Maturity Level 3 regulatory agency, has reviewed both of these vaccines and concluded that they are efficacious, safe and of good quality

When will COVID-19 vaccines be ready for distribution in Ghana?

The COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed in phases in Ghana. The first phase will be will start in March, 2021.

Will there be enough COVID-19 vaccines for everyone? If not, who will get them first?

It is likely that the supply of COVID-19 vaccines will be limited at first, which means not everyone will be able to get vaccinated right away.

As doses of COVID-19 vaccines become available, they will be provided first to those at highest risk. The specific groups that are eligible for the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines may vary depending on the vaccine. However, initial groups will likely include frontline health workers at high risk of infection, older adults, and people at high risk of death because of underlying conditions like asthma, heart disease and diabetes. Once adequate doses become available, we will encourage all those who qualify to get vaccinated.

Will vaccines authorized in Ghana be as effective as the ones in other countries?

Yes. The COVID-19 vaccine authorized in Ghana will be as effective as any vaccine authorized by other countries. This is because various phases of clinical trials data reviewed by the FDA showed that the vaccines are safe and efficacious.

Will COVID-19 vaccines provide long-term protection?

The COVID-19 vaccines will provide protection for at least a year – if not longer. This will be updated when information becomes available. Early data from clinical trials indicate that some vaccines will require two doses.

If I get a COVID-19 vaccine, will I still need to take other precautions such as physical distancing, wearing of mask and other?

Yes. Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. Vaccines strengthen your immune system so that it is ready to fight off the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like masks and social distancing, help reduce your chances of being exposed or spreading the virus. Together, vaccination against COVID-19 and recommendations on how to protect yourself and others will provide the best protection against COVID-19.

If I have had COVID-19 before and have recovered, do I still need to be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available?

There is not enough information currently available to say whether or for how long after infection a person is protected against COVID-19 again. This is called natural immunity. Early evidence suggests that natural immunity to COVID-19 may not last very long, but more studies are needed to better understand this.

How quickly could COVID-19 vaccines control the pandemic?

We don’t know how quickly COVID-19 vaccines could control the pandemic. That will depend on many factors, such as the level of vaccine effectiveness; how quickly they are approved and manufactured; how many people get vaccinated; and the continuation of measures such as physical distancing and mask use.  In the UK, with 20 million people vaccinated, the pandemic is said to be about 80% controlled.

How can I learn more about COVID-19 vaccines?

Everyone is encouraged to rely on reputable and authoritative sources of information, such as health care providers and public health officials, to help them make informed choices and stay up to date. The latest information about COVID-19 vaccines from the World Health Organization is available here.

How is it possible to develop a safe vaccine so quickly?

While COVID19 vaccines have been developed faster than any other vaccine in history, safety was just as much a focus as in any other vaccine development. Scientists prioritized COVID19 vaccine development because of the global emergency.

The vaccines that are now being reviewed and approved by regulatory bodies have been through the same amount of testing and safety processes as other vaccines. The speed in the development of COVID-19 vaccine has also been made possible because of the availability of new tools and technologies used in vaccine development.

What is vaccine confidence?

Vaccine confidence is the belief that vaccination, and the providers, private sector, and political actors behind it, serve the public’s best health interests. Like ‘hesitancy,’ it is highly variable and rooted in political economic context. This will affect the populations’ trust in vaccines.

Can the vaccine give me COVID-19?

No. You cannot get COVID 19 from the vaccine. As of December 2020, vaccines being administered or reviewed for approval did not contain any live virus of the type that causes COVID-19.

How quickly does the vaccine work? How long does it last?

Your immune system needs to generate a response, so generally the protection from the virus starts after about seven days. In the case of vaccines which need to be given in two doses, that means that you benefit from the full protection of the vaccine about a week after the second dose. We don't yet know for sure how long protection will last. It is likely to be at least several months, but it may be that repeat vaccinations are needed. Researchers are studying this closely.

Is it safe for me to get a COVID-19 vaccine if I would like to have a baby one day?

Yes. People who want to get pregnant in the future may receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Based on current knowledge, experts believe that COVID-19 vaccines are unlikely to pose a risk to a person trying to become pregnant in the short or long term. Scientists study every vaccine carefully for side effects immediately and for years afterward. 

The COVID-19 vaccines are being studied carefully now and will continue to be studied for many years, similar to other vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccine, like other vaccines, works by training our bodies to develop antibodies to fight against the virus that causes COVID-19, to prevent future illness.

There is currently no evidence that antibodies formed from COVID-19 vaccination cause any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta.

In addition, there is no evidence suggesting that fertility problems are a side effect of COVID-19 vaccine. People who are trying to become pregnant now or who plan to try in the future may receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them.

What is Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)?

This is when a medical product is authorized for use during a pandemic to ensure timely access to much needed health products. The objective is to make medicines, vaccines and diagnostics available as rapidly as possible to address the emergency, while adhering to stringent criteria of safety, efficacy and quality. This authorization is given for the duration of the pandemic. In the EUA manufactures are requested to submit any additional documentation on the product as and when it becomes available.

EUA is given only when the National Regulatory Authority (NRA) is satisfied that the product has met all efficacy, safety and quality specifications.

Do the COVID19 vaccines have adverse reactions?

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause adverse reactions. Most of these are mild and short term, such as pain at the injection site, tiredness or a headache. Many people don't get any side effects. It can happen with many vaccines that some people might feel slightly unwell because their immune system is responding to the protein, but this is not a COVID-19 illness and the vaccine can’t give you COVID-19.

How can one report of adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine

In the unlikely event of an adverse reaction such as fever, welling of the injection site or fever after receiving the vaccine, you can report to the nearest health facility for treatment and also send a report to the Medsafety App.

What to do to keep yourself and others safe from COVID-19?

WHO recommends the following combined actions:

  • Maintain at least a 1-metre distance between yourself and others to reduce your risk of infection when they cough, sneeze or speak; maintain an even greater distance between yourself and others when indoors.
  • Make wearing a mask a normal part of being around other people. The appropriate use, storage and cleaning or disposal are essential to make masks as effective as possible.
  • Clean your hands before you put your mask on, as well as before and after you take it off, and after you touch it at any time.
  • Make sure it covers your nose, mouth and chin.
  • When you take off a mask, store it in a clean plastic bag, and every day either wash it if it’s a fabric mask, or dispose of a medical mask in a trash bin.
  • Don’t use masks with valves.
  • Get the COVID-19 vaccine

Association Seeks Integration of Pharmacists into Patient Management teams

The Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN) has expressed regrets that some health institutions in Nigeria are yet to integrate pharmacists into their patient management teams.

The association, therefore, enjoined such healthcare institutions to put the machinery in motion to ensure that they make amends, stressing that such has become the gold standard of practice of pharmacy all over the world.

Health Benefits of Martial Arts
Workouts with Intended Results


What are the Health Benefits of Martial Arts Workouts?


Practitioners believe martial arts has a unique history full of historical events, though it has the capacity to strive and still revive after decades. Most people know martial arts only as a combat sport. Along with that, martial arts provide a number of excellent health benefits as a complete workout.

Martial arts workouts are also beneficial to instilling discipline and confidence in students. Along with learning these good traits, students of martial arts will also be able to build a healthier body and by extension, lifestyle as well.

Some of the health and fitness benefits are closely intertwined, let’s explore the following 10 health benefits of martial arts workouts.

Cardiovascular Health

Cardiovascular health, in particular, is essential to manage, as it is closely linked to the health of the heart and blood vessels. Meeting the physical activity according to the given outline by the physicians is very important for every person's wellbeing.

According to the studies, only five adults actually meet their required amount of exercise, which is really not good news. Martial arts workouts are way too beneficial for your cardiovascular health. The martial arts workout contains vigorous activities that increase your heart rate and respiration by raising the oxygen and blood flow throughout the body.

Weight Loss

Effectively, martial arts workouts help improve your metabolism in one way or another. Although, martial art is a great workout, more effective if you practice two or three times per week. Martial arts workouts usually consist of aerobic exercises and according to the CDC, at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, definitely helps with weight loss.

Muscle Tone

Certainly, students of martial arts can easily increase muscle mass and help them become more toned overall. However, punching and kicking in martial arts requires a lot of strength, power, and agility, demanding the muscles in your arms, legs, and core hard work.

Therefore, muscle mass and metabolism are connected, so the more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism demands become. This means that your body will burn more calories, even after the hours of workout.


Every fighter knows that fast reflexes are the requirement of good martial arts. Whether it is a real fight or sparring with a friend, blocking and dodging the attacks of your opponent is important to every martial art.

Although, the best way to improve your reflexes is through repetition. Your reflexes will improve and you’ll learn to notice faster reaction times in the ring. Moreover, quick reflexes help with a number of day-to-day activities, such as cooking and driving.

Strength and Power

Perfect form and body shape matter a lot in every martial art. Furthermore, it is important for an effective punch or kick. Strength is also required to make certain that your attack is powerful. Contrarily, practicing martial arts will bestow you with the opportunity to train your body to become stronger and more formidable.

Some martial arts disciplines like Taekwondo require a lot of strength when it comes to some of its techniques. Performing these kicks, punches, and other moves consecutively will increase your entire body’s strength over time. Although, repetition of the same action is another factor that can help improve your body’s muscular structure.


A martial artist should be able to move faster and more efficiently than usual. However, many martial arts disciplines require mobility and agility, and practicing martial arts is a tremendous way to improve your body’s ability to move faster and more efficiently.

Stay determined and keep practicing, though, over time, you will notice greater speed in your movements, especially if your martial arts require a lot of footwork. Provide a complete range of motion to your muscles by wearing a perfect workout outfit.  

Mental Health

A number of studies have shown that physical exercise along with physical exercise can help improve your mental health as well. Certainly, martial art workouts can help relieve you of your daily life stressors and help you focus on your task at hand by providing you the opportunity to get rid of distractions.

Unlike other exercise routines, martial arts workouts also help your body to release endorphins by keeping it active, which reduces the risk of premature death. Martial arts also come with certain philosophies that help the student learn more about themselves. Moreover, it promotes self-discipline, healthy competition, and goal-setting. 

Blood Pressure

Last but not least, one of the benefits of engaging in any martial arts workout is helping improve blood pressure. Most martial arts disciplines require rigorous training that contributes to improved fitness.

During training, repetitive movements can behave like high-intensity interval training, which causes an increase in heart rate and improves your blood pressure throughout the body. Moreover, these types of training will help improve your cardiovascular strength, slowing down your resting heart rate, and control your blood pressure.


Martial arts are not only beneficial as a combat sport, you can incorporate it as a workout routine to enjoy all the health benefits. So, what are 

Why Fruit Juice Without Added Sugar is Still Linked to Weight Gain
A new study finds 100% fruit juice is linked to increased weight gain. Tanja Ivanova/Getty Images


Why Fruit Juice Without Added Sugar is Still Linked to Weight GainShare on Pinterest

By Kaitlin Vogel on January 19, 2024 — Fact checked by Kelsey Costa, MS, RDN

  • A new systematic review and meta-analysis found a link between drinking 100% fruit juice and weight gain among children and adults.
  • One of the reasons fruit juice contributes to weight gain is that it does not make us feel full, which leads to consuming more calories.
  • The healthiest beverage swap for both children and adults is water. And if you do drink fruit juice, cut it with water or seltzer.

High in sugar and calories, health experts are finding more evidence that 100% fruit juice may cause weight gain.

In a recent systematic reviewTrusted Source and meta-analysis, researchers looked at 42 studies, which included 17 that focused on children and 25 on adults.

They discovered a link between consumption of 100% fruit juice and weight gain in children. For adults, they also found a positive association.

“This comprehensive review is the first to evaluate 100% fruit juice consumption and body weight in children and adults using both prospective cohort studies (which follow large groups of people over time to assess relationships between exposures such as diet and lifestyle with health outcomes) and RCTs (which assign groups of people to an intervention or control and examine differences in outcomes between the group),” Michelle Nguyen, lead author of the study, PhD Candidate at the Department of Nutritional Sciences Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, told Healthline. “The use of both these study designs are critical to evaluate the totality of evidence.”

Whether 100% fruit juice is a healthy beverage is a question of great interest from clinicians, the general public, parents and caregivers, and policy makers.

The evidence on 100% fruit juice and weight gain has yielded mixed findings from both observational studies (prospective cohort studies) and clinical trials, Nguyen explained.

Study findings indicate that 100% fruit juice consumption was associated with weight gain in children, especially among younger children. Among prospective cohort studies in adults, they found that 100% fruit juice was associated with weight gain among studies that did not account for intake of calories in their statistical analyses (unadjusted for calories), suggesting that excess calories play a role in this association.

“Ultimately, these findings support public health guidance to limit the consumption of 100% fruit juice, especially in young children – to consume whole fruit rather than fruit juices. Our findings are in support of the AAP guidelines on 100% fruit juice consumption in children. We hope these findings will inform clinical practice guidelines and public health strategies to reduce overweight and obesity,” Nguyen stated.

How does 100% fruit juice contribute to weight gain?

The reason for weight gain is mainly due to the high sugar content.

“I find that most people have an easy time understanding how soda can lead to weight gain. But sometimes we forget how similar soda and fruit juice are,” Dr. Nate Wood, physician at the Yale School of Medicine and culinary school graduate, stated. “Although fruit juice originally comes from a whole fruit (and we know whole fruits are healthy), soda is made in a factory. Otherwise, the two drinks are largely the same: they are both very sugary water.”

Wood continued: “Although sugary water is high in calories, drinking it does not make us feel full. For this reason, the calories in sugary beverages like fruit juice are sometimes called ’empty calories.’ Drinking these calories frequently is one common way that we end up consuming more energy than our bodies need. This extra energy is then converted to body fat, which leads to weight gain.”

However, it is important to note there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration to know what’s causing the increase in BMI.

“The authors of this study looked at studies that compared fruit juice to a non-caloric beverage, so it makes sense that the drink that has calories will be linked with a higher BMI,” said Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD, author of Planted Performance. “And correlation doesn’t equal causation. This means that just because kids who drink fruit juice tend to gain BMI, it’s impossible to know if it’s from the fruit juice alone.”

In addition, the consumption of liquid calories has been shown to result in greater weight gain compared to the consumption of solid calories, Nguyen explained.

Furthermore, “the lack of dietary fiber in fruit juice compared to its whole fruit form can result in decreased satiety and overconsumption of these beverages. In children specifically, studies have indicated that early introduction of fruit juice may lead to increased risk of overweight and obesity due to increased preference for sweet food,” said Nguyen. “Thus, delaying the introduction of 100% fruit juice in young children, moderating serving sizes, and choosing whole fruit rather than fruit juice is recommended.”

This raises the question: “is it advisable to have the actual fruit and skip on the juice?”

“The answer is nuanced because some kids refuse fruit, but they will accept 100% fruit juice. And 100% fruit juice is made from fruit and has no added sugar, so a kid who drinks it is still getting plenty of vitamins and minerals from drinking the juice,” Rizzo explained. “As a matter of fact, older researchTrusted Source states that kids who drink 100% fruit juice have higher intake and adequacy of dietary fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium. But, if a kid is willing to eat fruit instead of drinking juice, then it’s a good idea to have them do so.”

Nutritional guidelines for children and adults regarding fruit juice 

Children under 12 months of age should not be given any fruit juice, Wood explained. For children and adults above 12 months of age, it’s reasonable to occasionally consume fruit juice as a sweet treat.

“The key way to look at fruit juice is a sweet treat, not a health food,” said Wood. “It’s not the same as eating a serving of whole fruit. Fruit juice is not essential for children in the same way that it’s not essential for adults. We’re certainly better off opting for whole fruit.”

Limiting fruit juice consumption is advised.

“Kids tend to be more selective in what they will and will not eat,” said Rizzo. “Because of that, they will refuse other healthy options and over consume certain beverages, like juice. So for kids, I would recommend limiting juice intake if they are neglecting other things, like milk or water.”

Adults have more knowledge of nutrition and are able to make more informed choices, so they can limit themselves to a serving of juice, rather than over consume. Both children and adults don’t need to fully avoid juice, but they should limit the serving size, Rizzo added.

Healthy beverage replacements

“Water is always the best choice for kids and adults,” Rizzo stated. “And milk is important for kids to get calcium and Vitamin D. If a kid wants fruit juice, makes sure it’s 100% juice and limit the serving to 4 ounces per day.”

Unsweetened, fortified soy milk is another option rich in calcium and vitamin D for children who can’t have dairy or whose families prefer plant-based options.

The most important thing when selecting juice is to opt for 100% juice, Wood stated. There are many products out there that look like juice but are actually a juice cocktail made with extra sugar. It’s also important to note that some fruit juices are higher in sugar than others.

For instance, grape juice can have 36 grams of sugar in a single cup, whereas orange juice has about 21 grams of sugar per cup.

“I often tell folks to cut their juice with a little still or sparkling water,” said Wood. “For instance, you could add 4 ounces of grape juice to a lime seltzer. It’s fizzy and fun, slightly sweet, has a zip from the lime, and contains much less sugar than a glass of pure grape juice would.”

He added: “Another option would be to take whole fruit, muddle it in the bottom of your glass, and then add some water or seltzer. This works particularly well with berries or slices of citrus — lemon, grapefruit, and lime.”

According to a new systematic review and meta-analysis, there is a positive association between drinking 100% fruit juice and weight gain among children and adults.

Fruit juice is a contributing factor to weight gain because it is high in sugar and calories. It also doesn’t make us feel full, which leads to drinking too much.

Health experts suggest switching to water for both children and adults.

Article Gotten From Google - Healthline

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