The human body is a well-oiled machine that has a lot of different endocrine glands secreting hormones necessary for the body to maintain balance. One such gland is the thyroid gland. It is located in the lower front throat and is called the butterfly gland because of how it looks.

Hyperthyroid symptoms

 

The gland plays a very vital role and the hormones secreted from the thyroid gland influence many organs in our body. The thyroid gland produces the triiodothyronine T3 and the thyroxine T4 hormones. These hormones help in regulating blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, metabolism, and how the body reacts to other hormones. An over-active thyroid gland produces more of these hormones. More than what the body can synthesize. This condition is called hyperthyroidism.

How do I know if I have hyperthyroid?

To diagnose if the thyroid is over-secreting its hormones, the amount of iodine collected and distributed by the thyroid gland is measured. A few symptoms can indicate the risk of a hyperthyroid condition.

  • Fast heart rate
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability Trembling hands
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Muscle weakness
  • hair loss
  • Change in menstrual pattern
  • Prominent “stare” of the eyes
  • Protrusion of the eyes, with or without double vision (in patients with Graves’ disease)
  • Accelerated loss of calcium from bones, which increases the risk of osteoporosis and fractures
  • Mood swings
  • Swollen thyroid gland (goiter)
  • Sensitivity to heat.

If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it would be wise to monitor the gland’s performance at regular time intervals.

Factors that influence the production of thyroid hormones.

An overactive thyroid gland could be the result of a lot of diseases. Other conditions like Grave’s disease, Plummer’s disease, and thyroiditis can cause enlargement or swell in the thyroid gland. Sometimes, overmedication can be the direct cause of the thyroid gland producing excess hormones. Improper diet can be the cause too, sometimes.

Grave’s disease: Grave’s is an autoimmune disease resulting in thyroid enlargement and hyperthyroid. The antibodies in our body affect the thyroid gland and it, in turn, produces too much T3 and T4 thyroid hormones.

Thyroid nodules: This condition is better known as Plummer’s disease. The lumps of tissue formed in the thyroid regions cause the gland to produce hormones at abnormally high rates.

Thyroiditis: An infection that usually attacks the thyroid gland. This causes the gland to swell and leak hormones into the bloodstream.

Excessive Iodine intake may cause hyperthyroidism

Overmedication: Sometimes people receiving an overdose of thyroxine medication can develop hyperthyroidism.

How does a proper, hyperthyroid-friendly diet help?

It is essential to know both what to eat and what not to. Here are a few food sources and minerals that are hyperthyroid friendly.

Cruciferous central – Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts contain compounds that decrease thyroid hormone production. Please make sure that they’re well cooked. The reason Yoda emphasizes the cooking part is because a well-cooked cruciferous diet can also help remove almost 90% of the goitrogens present.

Iron – It’s not just about lowering the secretion. It’s also important that we improve the body’s capacity to synthesize hormones. Iron deficiency impairs the synthesis of thyroid hormones.

Selenium – It’s  another essential mineral that helps with thyroid hormone synthesis. Mushrooms, garlic, onion, egg, beef, liver, shellfish, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds are sources rich in selenium.

Here are things that you’ll have to exclude from or reduce in your diet.

Iodine – Iodine is essential for the iodination of tyrosine residues, leading to the formation of thyroid hormones. Consuming iodine in excess can result in complications like hyperthyroidism, nodule formation, and other autoimmune thyroid diseases. Seafood, eggs, dairy, and iodized salt are rich sources. Please reduce intake of iodine if you have an already over-active thyroid gland.

Soy interferes with the iodine uptake. We advise you to reduce the consumption of foods like soy milk, soybean oil, tofu, edamame beans, and soy sauce.

Gluten – Research suggests that there are overlaps between celiac disease and disorders like Grave’s disease. Celiac disease is a condition that causes damage to the small intestine as the result of gluten ingestion. A gluten-free diet not only helps avoid this complication but also improves the absorption of thyroid medications.

Hearsay does more harm than good.

There are a lot of myths that go around, related to hyperthyroidism. One of the very common ones is statements like ‘thyroid symptoms are obvious’ and ‘it’s safer to treat a thyroid disease with iodine or salt rather than taking prescribed medicines’. These are not true. While there are symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism that can manifest physically, testing for TSH and thyroid hormones will alone lead to the proper diagnosis.

About the iodine intake, it is important to know what you’re eating and how it affects your body, especially if you have a chronic condition. So, please take the prescribed medicine, consult with the experienced nutritionists in our team and get yourself a proper diet plan that complements the medications you take. Thyroid conditions if treated right can even bring back your thyroid hormone secretion to the right levels. Otherwise, you might be doing more harm than good.

Stay informed, stay healthy.

As one of the best nutritionist avians, or the only one, Yoda cannot emphasize the importance of having optimal eating habits and patterns. However, to understand what’s optimal, we’ll have to trace our steps backward, understand our current diet from the ground up and restructure it to align it with our health goals.

Why do people eat what they eat?

Food is an integral part of our everyday lives. Rightly so, our food habits are shaped right from our childhood. Based on our cultural backgrounds, the peer pressure we go through & the choices we make with our health in mind, and a lot of other factors that influence our food habits.

Our households might influence if we’re vegetarian or non-vegetarian, our peers might influence habits like fast food, smoking, and drinking. As years progress, what we eat is also shaped by our health conditions and preferences of our own.

For instance, people with lactose intolerance eat a lot less dairy products and people who’re actively looking to reduce their cholesterol levels will eat less saturated fats and processed foods.

While it’s not exhaustive, one’s cultural background, peer pressure, health consciousness, health conditions, and other psychological factors are the reason why they eat what they eat. It is very important to know this, because to course-correct yourself, it is important to understand why you were in the course in the first place.

Healthy habits, healthy being.

“Eat healthily” is the most confusing suggestion one can give. ‘Healthy’ is very subjective, and for each individual and their body there needs to be a scientific, evidence-based, and formulaic diet plan. So, blanket diets that claim to be the ‘one size fits all solution’ are not the ideal way to approach food and health.

You’ll have to monitor your health and biomarkers that indicate risks of conditions like diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, etc., and come up with a diet plan that ensures sustainable nutrition that can reduce these risks and bring your biomarkers to their optimum levels.

Constant intervention and diet modification definitely help, but getting started in the right direction is all that matters.

While it is true that specific food habits and particular dietary practices can not be followed by everyone, there are a few habits that wouldn’t hurt if you picked them up. Consider them the very basics; healthy eating 101.

  1. Practice mindful eating.
  2. Whole foods are always friendly. Choose minimally processed veggies and fruits, and add more of them to your plate.
  3. Avoid food that’s processed or refined to a point where there are little to no natural nutrients.
  4. Pay attention to your portion sizes. Smaller, more frequent meals are better than larger meals with huge gaps in between.
  5. Snacking habits need revisiting. Nuts instead of chips, fruits instead of cakes, and soups instead of carbonated drinks!

These are all a few general practices that can take your health a long way forward. Here’s one more – eat on time!

Erratic meal timings and their effect on your body’s clock

Food habits are directly related to health and chronic conditions. One of the most common, yet most detrimental eating habits in today’s world is how irregular our meal timings have become. 3 AM snacks are romanticized and skipping breakfast for work has become a prideful habit. Here’s the ugly truth – irregular, erratic meal timings are spoiling your body’s balance!

These food habits with erratic timings also have downsides such as a drop in energy levels, fatigue, headache episodes as they interfere with the body’s natural circadian rhythm that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. This will impact physical, mental, and behavioral changes.

While circadian rhythm is considered synonymous with sleeping and waking, the sleep cycle isn’t the only clock your body holds. Here’s how out-of-sync meal timings can disrupt your natural rhythm.

It can induce increased calorie intake due to impaired satiety mechanisms through leptin and ghrelin. In simpler words, your body’s confused about being full and being hungry, and we end up snacking a lot or filling ourselves up with cups of coffee.

Things like the body’s temperature, some intestinal functions, and nutrient absorption are all rhythmically regulated.

This is why people who skip breakfast have a higher body mass, and why people that work night shifts have bowel habit alterations, constipation/diarrhea, bloating, and other metabolic syndrome risks.

The human body and the rhythm it functions around is pretty complex and you’ll need to consciously stick to a routine when it comes to eating, physical activity, and dietary plans.

Sticking to a routing

Yoda read a study report that said people who had balanced meals at the right proportion regularly (6 or more meal portions in a day) showed optimal energy expenditure, nutrition absorption, and overall healthy biomarker signals. This means they were less prone to risks like cholesterol, sugar, and hormone balance than people who had a poorer diet plan and irregular meal patterns.

This empirical evidence along with the testimonies of all the clients that we interact with daily, we can confirm that regularity, some amount of self-monitoring, and the conscious food choices that we make will help improve our health and help us reach our health goals. A routine helps you realize that taking care of your health isn’t a one-time activity, but a continuous process!

Take help when you need it

Regulating habits and developing new, healthy ones are easier said than done. Avoiding triggers that make it harder to stick to the routine, to reward or rework your dietary practices based on the feedback from your body, and making constant progress towards a healthier tomorrow is an exciting journey, but a tiny bit exhausting.

So, get professionals to help you with it. Speak to our team of expert nutritionists, and give yourself the healthy lifestyle you deserve.

 

All of you folks must have come up with new year’s resolutions by now. In fact, a few of them might have dwindled a little too. No worries, Yoda’s here to help. Yoda is a big fan of health and wellbeing and encourages achieving it through a personalized clean diet. In this blog, we’ll discuss how effective health goals are set, pursued, and achieved. Follow through!

Where to start?

Start with the things you want to change. A goal isn’t a task, but a solution to your current lifestyle problems. If your problem is you not being in the shape you want, then your goal is the solution to that problem. Getting enough physical work out every day might be a goal. Eating healthy and avoiding over-processed food is a goal.

Be whatever, start with understanding and receiving signals your body’s giving you. If you are feeling exhausted all the time, if your gut is giving you troubles frequently or if you’re experiencing sleeplessness often, then it means that something’s off and you need to correct the course of your physical fitness.

That is where you start!

What should you keep in mind while arriving at a goal?

The objective of setting a goal isn’t just to set it, obviously. Achieving it and pursuing it consistently is. Realistic goals are usually easy to follow. A dream physique is achievable. However, giving yourself enough time is important. If you set unrealistic, unattainable goals, despite your best efforts you’re getting demoralized. So, set goals you can practically achieve.

That being said, not being to follow a goal mostly has to do with our lifestyle. There are a lot of triggers like past habits and peer pressure that stop us from following the course. If a late-night movie encourages binge eating, it is a trigger. Eating impulsively, eating junk, or skipping gym are all things that you can avoid if you simply figure out what triggers these responses. So, not only is it important to know what a goal must be but also to know what possible factors can stop you from achieving them.

Discipline – A route paralleled by no other shortcuts.

Any new habit that aids your goal needs some ‘fitting in’ in your current lifestyle. Only then is sustainability possible. You’d need to put in time and effort in pursuing your goal. If you’ve decided to eat healthily, then putting effort into measuring portions, counting macros, and monitoring your everyday meal patterns are all things you must do. This takes an ounce of discipline and a lot of patience.

Document your progress.

This brings us to measuring progress. The most important part of pursuing a goal is keeping track of how far you’ve come. Yoda believes self-monitoring is the biggest form of self-love. As far as health goes, self-monitoring starts with keeping track of your biomarkers that indicate risks like diabetes, hypertension, hyper cholesterol, and other conditions. Keep monitoring them, and if the diet plan that you’re following isn’t helping you improve these markers, then it’s time to revisit your goals and realign yourself to a healthier behavioral alternative. Keeping up with your goal is a great achievement, and every time you make progress you deserve a reward! What’s the reward, you ask? A healthier life and a fitter physique.

Yoda’s challenge – Mindful eating

This new year, as your friendly neighborhood owl that knows a lot about food and soul, Yoda’s giving you a challenge. Mindful eating! Mindful eating is exactly what it sounds like. Be mindful of what you eat, whenever you eat. The whole experience of mindful eating is centered around hunger, satiation, and how you perceive food.

What to do?

  1. Approach the food with no judgment at all. Every time you’re served a plate of food, dig into it like you’re eating it for the first time, and have an open mind towards the dish.
  2. Be patient. Take it one spoon at a time. Be in the moment, and be fully aware of the fact that you’re eating.
  3. Experience everything about the food like you’re a beginner. The consistency, the taste, the smell.
  4. Trust the process, and understand how differently your body reacts to different food.
  5. Do not expect something to happen. If you’re eating a salad or a special meal plan, do not focus on what results from you’d get from it. Be in the moment and experience food in the present.
  6. Accept the food that you’re eating for what it is and be thankful for all that has happened for it to land on your plate. Let go of your past experiences, expectations, and everything else, and simply enjoy the meal.

Avoid binge eating, and if you catch yourself reaching for a chip instinctively, stop for a moment and ask if you’re actually hungry enough. If hunger isn’t why you’re eating, avoid it. Try practicing this, and let Yoda know if it helped.

Metabolic syndrome (or MetS) is both a condition and a symptom. To start with, MetS is a group of conditions that affect the body’s normal biochemical balance. Abnormalities such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, excess abdominal fat, high triglycerides, and low HDL cholesterol are all part of the syndrome. In this article, we’ll try and explain the syndrome in detail, what are all the possible causes and how to actually tackle it with a proper diet plan and a healthy lifestyle.

Causes and indicators – How to know if you have metabolic syndrome?

If you take the syndrome apart and look at the conditions individually, you’ll notice one thing. Most of them do not have an on-the-face symptom pallette and the only way to know for sure that you have the condition is by monitoring it and taking readings. Here are a few solid indicators.

  1. Blood pressure: systolic > 130 and/or diastolic > 85 mmHg or drug treatment
  2. Fasting glucose: >100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) or drug treatment
  3. Triglycerides: >150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L) or drug treatment
  4. High-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol: <40 mg/dL (1 mmol/L) (male) or <50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) (female) or drug treatment.

Please monitor your blood pressure, glucose levels, and cholesterol levels at regular intervals. A few of the common causes for these conditions are obesity – especially an overinflated waist, physical inactivity, genetics, predisposed insulin resistance, and consuming more calories than expended for a very long time.

Complications that come with MetS

Metabolic syndrome is not simply a group of conditions put together for diagnostic or treatable simplicity. These conditions are extremely serious and their complications as individual conditions are bad enough already, but if they’re diagnosed as a cluster it puts the person at a much higher risk. Atherosclerosis or the hardening of arteries is one of the major problems with MetS. Why? Then it leads to all the complexities that are the result of a blockage in arteries, like stroke, cardiovascular illnesses, peripheral artery disease, heart attack, and a lot more.

If tackled right, the severity and the aftereffects of the metabolic syndrome-related complexities can be reduced greatly. What do we mean by tackling metabolic syndrome though?

How to handle metabolic syndrome?

As nutritionists, we’ve always believed that a well-researched diet can lay down a solid foundation to deal with any bodily anomaly. Metabolic syndrome is no different. Here are a few things that a MetS friendly diet must have, and mustn’t.
First things first, a high fiber diet has a lot of positive impacts on several metabolic disorders such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, heart diseases, and colon cancer. So loading your diet up with plant-based fiber is highly recommended.

When it comes to fat, make sure to consume 30% of the total calorie intake per day in the form of fat. However, consumption of saturated fat is generally discouraged and should not make more than 10% of your total energy consumption. So, a diet low in saturated fat but high in monounsaturated fat can bring balance to your cholesterol levels.

As far as other components of your diet are concerned, a lot of complex carbohydrates from legumes, food that’s rich in Omega-3-fatty acids, and potassium are all good additions to have in your diet. Sodium and simple sugars are generally discouraged.

Sweat it out

To complement this nutrition-rich diet, you’ll also have to put yourself through moderately intense exercises, for at least 30 to 60 minutes a day for most weekdays. Monitor yourself, and how your physique reacts to different workout routines, and stick to the one that’s most effective. This combination of a sound diet and a solid workout pattern will bring your vitals to their optimal performance, and you can see the indicators that we spoke about earlier resetting towards their optimal values gradually. You’ll also have to listen to your physician and continue medications as well, whatever is appropriate.

We hope that your understanding of the metabolic syndrome and how to deal with it has become a little better. If you’re finding it difficult to find the right diet plan for you, we recommend you have a talk with our team of experts, and we’ll help you in any way we can!

In this article, we’d like to speak about something the world has become so uptight and sensitive about, but in all the wrong ways. We’re approaching obesity – a condition that’s become so common, yet with so little understanding and help. We’re here to scientifically break down the condition, explore causes, examine complexities, and provide you with solutions that’ll help improve your quality of life.

Understanding the condition

The first question to ask ourselves – what is obesity. It is a condition that’s caused by not one, but many factors. Fat accumulated in our body up until a point where it starts affecting the health and quality of life is called obesity, and one of the main reasons seems to be long-term energy imbalance.

By energy imbalance, we mean the disproportion between the calories consumed and the calories expended. When the calories consumed are chronically higher than the calories expended, there’s usually an increase in weight.

What are the causes of obesity?

Seems like a no-brainer, right? If somebody has a poor lifestyle, is binge-eating, and does not indulge in a lot of physical work, then they’ll inevitably become obese one day. Yes, true. However, this isn’t the ONLY cause. There are a lot of other causes as well.

  1. Genetics affects the amount of fat stored in the body and how it’s distributed. This could be a reason.
  2. The history of obesity in the family is a reason. Genetics, yes. But here we mean the eating habits, lifestyle choices, and food preferences among other things when we say, family.
  3. Stress or anxiety-induced eating, too much anger, or certain other hormonal imbalances and emotional factors can lead to an increase in weight.
  4. Medical conditions like hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, PCOS can all cause obesity.
  5. Oversleeping or conditions that affect sleep can cause an increase in appetite, inadvertently increasing body weight.

How can obesity affect your health?

The reason people don’t take obesity seriously is the genuine lack of awareness about the condition. It’s not just some extra pounds, but the gateway to much worse health complications. Here are a few conditions that obesity enables, directly or indirectly.

  1. Type 2 diabetes
  2. Hypertension
  3. Coronary heart diseases and stroke
  4. Metabolic syndrome (a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity).
  5. Cancer
  6. Gallstones
  7. Gastroesophageal reflux diseases(GORD)
  8. Osteoarthritis
  9. Reduced fertility
  10. Sleep apnoea
  11. Liver and kidney diseases
  12. Pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, fetal defects.

Tackling obesity – start from the source.

The most effective way to lose weight is to set realistic lifestyle goals and follow them. Challenge yourself to be more active physically, or to monitor and control calorie intake. Ideally, aiming to drop a kilo or two per week is safe, and it’ll give time for your body to adapt to the new lifestyle changes you’re making.

As far as your dietary goals go, avoid deep-fried food. Limit foods that are prepared with partially hydrogenated oils like doughnuts, cookies, crackers, muffins, or cakes. Treat yourself with whole grain food, legumes, nuts, and veggies. Processed sugar and salt intake need to be limited. DO NOT cut nutrition groups out of your diet. We’ve heard a myth that’s been going around lately – cut carbs to lose weight. NO! It does not work this way. You must be mindful of what you eat, agreed, but it is very important to maintain a wholesome, well-rounded diet. Wanting to lose weight does not mean you compromise on health.

Consistency is key.

Make it a casual habit to measure the number of macros you consume in a day, and make sure that it does not go beyond the amount that your body needs. By macros, mean carbs, protein, and fats. Hydration is quintessential, and there’s no substitute for actual water.

Another important thing to keep in mind when you’re trying to lose weight is your meal portion. Avoid oversized portions. Measure your food in and take it in smaller portions. This is an effective way to both keep the calorie intake in check and be mindful of what you eat.

Apart from the dietary part of losing weight, physical activity and lifestyle are other important elements that help in tackling obesity. Tracking weight loss, changing habits like too much TV that go alongside binge-eating, and getting physically active. Start small, incorporate these physical activities into your everyday life, and gradually increase the amount of workouts you get. A classic example – take the stairs instead of the elevator!

Help yourself; let us help you.

There are a lot of fad diet plans that’ll promise weight loss in two weeks. In our experience as nutritionists, we can assure you that it’s not healthy. Avoid oil, you’ll lose weight. Eat a lot of fruits, you’ll lose weight. Skip a meal. Liquid only diet! NO. Dealing with obesity demands a lot of awareness about your own body and your lifestyle. Come talk with us. We’ll walk the road with you.

Just a couple of weeks ago, we took apart type 1 diabetes as a condition and looked at the nature, diagnosis, and coping mechanisms of the condition. This time, we’ve taken up a more common type of diabetes, type 2 diabetes mellitus. We’ll look at the possible causes of the condition, what puts you at the risk of type 2 diabetes and what risk it puts you in, and ways to effectively deal with it once diagnosed. Read along!

What’s type 2 diabetes? How different is it from type 1?

Type 2 diabetes is a condition characterized by dysregulation of carbohydrate, lipid, and protein metabolism, and results from impaired insulin secretion, insulin resistance, or a combination of both.

Unlike the autoimmune condition of type 1 diabetes where the insulin-producing b-cells are destroyed by the body’s immune system, the insulin-producing cells are still intact in people with type 2 diabetes. However, the insulin secretion by these b-cells or insulin usage by the body is not optimal, and hence the dysregulated blood sugar levels.

The onset and symptoms of type 2 diabetes

Statistically, older adults are the ones commonly diagnosed with diabetes. However, in recent days, due to lack of physical activity, poor diet and alarmingly increasing obesity in children, the risk of them being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has gone up multifold.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, one can be at high risk of being diabetic if one or many of the following conditions are met –

  • Family history of diabetes
  • Being Overweight
  • Unhealthy diet pattern
  • Not physically active
  • Being an Older adult
  • High blood pressure
  • History of gestational diabetes

Apart from these, ethnicity and not having enough nutrition during pregnancy might as well be reasons for diabetes. The condition of type 2 diabetes usually sets in slowly and develops gradually, so there is no way to find out for sure other than monitoring your blood sugar levels at periodic intervals but there are a few symptoms that people experience.

Here are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes
  • Excessive thirst and dry mouth
  • Frequent urination
  • Lack of energy, tiredness
  • Slow-healing wounds
  • Recurrent infections in the skin
  • Blurred vision
  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet.

It is possible that you do not experience these symptoms yet have dysregulated or high blood sugar levels, so please make sure to get it tested regularly.

Diet myths around diabetes

Common beliefs are that if you’re diabetic, you can’t eat fruits, carbohydrates, or sweet food. This isn’t essentially true. While fruits, sweet food, and simple carbohydrates can all cause a spike in your blood sugar, consuming them as part of a wholesome meal with fiber, vitamins, and minerals help. What matters is portioning your meals effectively and laying down on processed sugar and keeping your plate balanced.

Myths like ‘diabetes are caused by consuming a lot of sugar’ and ‘you can control blood sugar levels by consuming bitter food’ are all results of little to no information about the condition. Please understand that diabetes is caused by impaired insulin secretion or acceptance, and blood sugar levels can be kept under control by a regulated, portioned diet and even insulin treatment in select cases.

What are the types of diabetes?

Apart from the most common type 2 diabetes and the lesser-known counterpart, autoimmune diabetes or type 1 diabetes, there are a few more types as well.

  • Diabetes is caused by diseases of the exocrine pancreas, such as pancreatitis, trauma, infection, pancreatic cancer, and pancreatectomy.
  • Diabetes due to endocrine disorders that cause excess secretion of hormones that antagonize insulin.
  • Drug and chemical-induced diabetes from drugs that disrupt insulin secretion or insulin action.
  • Infection-related diabetes is caused by viral infection associated with beta-cell destruction.
  • Uncommon specific forms of immune-mediated diabetes (e.g. immunological disorders other than those that cause type 1 diabetes).
  • Diabetes is caused by other genetic syndromes (i.e. Prader- Willi syndrome, Down’s syndrome, Friedreich’s ataxia).
How do I tackle diabetes?

Here’s a hard-to-swallow pill – If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, it is most likely to become part of your life after. So, tackling diabetes is more of a lifestyle change, rather than a temporary measure.

Balanced meal patterns, regular physical activity, and medications will alone solve half your problems, and minimize diabetes-propelled health complications. Keeping your cholesterol, body weight, and blood sugar levels at optimal levels and monitoring them regularly can also help.

Yoda is here to help you fight! Call us up and we’ll talk more about diabetes-friendly diet plans and more information on the condition. Stay informed, stay fit.

The human body is complexly wired. Each nutrition type, each cell organ, and each cell behaves a certain way to keep our physical health in optimal condition. In a few people, these cells behave in ways that aren’t ideal, for reasons yet unknown. One such condition is type 1 diabetes.

What exactly does type 1 diabetes mean?

Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is a disorder where the body’s immune system mistakenly destroys cells that are responsible for insulin production. These cells are called the islets of the pancreas, and the insulin they secrete helps the cells absorb glucose from the bloodstream. Without the islets, your body cannot produce enough insulin, thus resulting in high blood sugar levels and less glucose absorption in cells.

What’s the optimal blood sugar level?

To start with, the HbA1c levels should be anywhere between 4 and 5.6 percentage. This indicates the levels of glucose attached to your hemoglobin. As far as the plasma glucose levels go, the criteria to be diagnosed with diabetes are the fasting plasma glucose level being greater than 126 mg/dL and the random plasma glucose levels being greater than 200 mg/dL.

What are the symptoms of type 1 diabetes?

You have to understand that this disorder is more common in children than adults. So it’s really important to understand these, as a parent. Do lookout for these symptoms in your child, and get their blood sugar levels checked.

  • Abnormal thirst and dry mouth
  • Frequent urination
  • Lack of energy, tiredness
  • Constant hunger
  • Blurred vision
  • Bedwetting
  • Weight loss—even though you are eating more
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Aren’t adults affected by type 1 diabetes at all?

This is a very common myth around this disorder. While children are the ones we risk the most, adults are prone to LADA. The latent autoimmune diabetes in adults sets on late and progresses slowly. The initial stages of LADA often seem so much like type 2 diabetes. People diagnosed with this disorder are usually over 30. Like the autoimmune disease type 1 diabetes, LADA occurs because your pancreas stops producing adequate insulin, most likely from some “insult” that slowly damages the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

Risk associated

Though there are no causes for type 1 diabetes, in some cases there’s a correlation between family history, genetics and occurrence. Though people of all ages are at risk, it appears that there are two noticeable peaks. The first peak occurs in children between 4 and 7 years old, and the second is in children between 10 and 14 years old.

The disorder of not coping with responsibility can lead to several problems. Complications associated with type 1 diabetes are

  1. Retinopathy, where there are risks of the disorder affecting the eye.
  2. Dyslipidemia, a condition where the cholesterol levels and fat levels are unnaturally high.
  3. Neuropathy, a complication that causes weakness, numbness and passion in the items and feet due to nerve damage.
  4. CKD, the risk of renal failure and diseased kidneys.
Treatment, diet and ways to cope

General treatment for type 1 diabetes indispensably includes insulin. According to the physician’s directions, insulin intake becomes mandatory to support your body functions. In adults, Sulphonylurea drugs like Metformin, Thiazolidinediones and Insulin therapy are administered.

It is very important that you maintain a cleaner, healthier diet in general. Proteins, good rest and adequate physical activity helps keep your blood sugar levels in check. Constant monitoring and a regulated lifestyle will get you through a lot of complications. Stay informed about the condition, and stay on top of it.

Blood Cholesterol Levels – The what, why and how.

High cholesterol level in blood has become so common, that almost 10 million people are diagnosed with it, every year. A seemingly simple explanation for this is our sedentary lifestyle, but the issue is a little more deep rooted than just lifestyle. What makes up your plate eventually makes up your physique, and we’re here to help you sort the plate out.

What is cholesterol, really?

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that your body needs for a lot of functions, like hormone secretion, metabolism and maintaining overall health. Carried through the body by lipoproteins, cholesterol essentially helps your body maintain balance and is a good friend.

Until, there’s too much of it in your blood. Too much blood cholesterol has a lot of consequences, but first, how much is too much?

Interpreting your blood cholesterol numbers.

There are two types of cholesterol, the High-Density Lipoprotein and the Low-Density Lipoprotein, commonly referred to as the good and the bad cholesterol. HDL absorbs excess cholesterol and takes it back to the liver, while the LDL collects on the walls of blood vessels.

Total cholesterol level HDL LDL
Optimal Less than 200 mg/dl <40 mg/dl in men,
<50 mg/dl in women.
<100 mg/dl
High Anything over 240 mg/dl is very high ≥130 mg/dl

 

While it is true that cholesterol levels must be kept in check, neglecting cholesterols is not the way to go either. Any HDL reading below 40 mg/dl in men and 50 mg/dl is considered low, and is not advisable in the long run.

How would I know?

Symptoms for high cholesterol levels in your blood will not show as explicitly, so the risk of it being undetected until it’s serious is quite high. The only way to find out and know for sure that you have high blood cholesterol is to have it tested by a physician.

A few physical symptoms however, are fatty bumps on your skin, called xanthomas, or grayish-white rings around the corneas in your eye, called corneal arcus. These mostly develop in people who have familial hypercholesterolemia. But waiting for these symptoms might not be the wisest decision. Have your blood cholesterol levels periodically checked and keep yourself on the know.

Who’s at risk?

Statistically people between the ages of 40 and 59 are the ones commonly diagnosed with high blood cholesterol. Other than age, there are a few other risk factors that can increase your chances when it comes to getting diagnosed with high blood cholesterol.

As far as lifestyle choices are concerned, eating foods high in saturated fats or trans fats regularly, lack of physical activity, smoking, chronic stress and drinking too much alcohol can pose a threat. Apart from these, high blood cholesterol could also be genetic.

If you have other conditions like obesity, PCOS, Diabetes, Hypothyroidism and/or are taking medications like diuretic, steroids, or medications for chemotherapy, they might be reasons for high levels of blood cholesterol.

Dealing with it

Left unchecked for prolonged periods of time, high blood cholesterol levels can lead to serious problems, such as heart attack and stroke. So it is very important that you cope well and keep your numbers at bay.

First things first, work on what you eat. Reduce the consumption of saturated and trans fats that are found in fatty cuts of meat, dairy products, and many packaged snacks and desserts. We recommend eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, nuts, and the usage of certain vegetable oils such as olive oil. The DASH eating plan will help reduce your LDL, or the “bad cholesterol”.

Working on a healthier lifestyle along with a proper diet can work wonders. By healthier lifestyle we mean being physically active, keeping yourself free of too much stress, not smoking, limiting your alcohol consumption and taking the right meds when needed. Speak with your doctor and stick to the protocol, and you’ll be mighty fine!

Hello, Yoda here. Today, we’ll discuss one of the most prevalent conditions in the world. As of 2019, hypertension, or high blood pressure had affected around 26% of the world’s population. The number was estimated to grow up to a whopping 29% by 2025, and the pandemic-infused stress has only made it worse.

To tackle hypertension, we must understand the condition first.

So, what is hypertension?

Hypertension is a condition in which the blood vessels have persistently higher pressure than optimum. This means that the blood in the arteries is flowing at a higher pressure than normal, and arteries are overclocking consistently.

It is commonly expressed as the ratio of Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) to Diastolic Blood Pressure (DBP). Systolic blood pressure is the pressure that the blood exerts on the arterial walls when the heart contracts and diastolic blood pressure is the pressure exerted when the heart relaxes.

How much should your SBP/DBP read, exactly?

Optimally, your SBP should read less than or around 120 and DBP should be less than 80. Here’s a table that’ll help you understand numbers around hypertension better.

 

 

What are all the possible causes of high blood pressure?

To understand why someone’s blood pressure is high, we must first learn about the two types.

Primary or essential high blood pressure is the common type. It develops with old age, a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, stress, or an irregular/insufficient sleeping pattern.

Secondary blood pressure on the other hand is usually the result of a prevailing medical condition or a side effect of certain medicines. This fades gradually after treating the initial condition or as the medicines that cause hypertension are stopped.

How would one know if they have hypertension?

Here’s the tricky part – The only way to be sure if you have high blood pressure is to get it checked by a health professional. There are symptoms like the ones discussed below, but they don’t always show, and if you’re experiencing any of these, you must start taking immediate action.

Speaking about noticeable symptoms, you will experience early morning headaches, occasional nosebleeds, irregular heart rhythms, blurred vision, and a buzz in the ears.

More severe ones include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, and muscle tremors. Again, with hypertension, the symptoms are not regular and persistent, which makes it easy to miss. However, ignoring it can cause persistent pain in the chest – a condition called angina, heart attacks, heart failure, and irregular heartbeats. Hypertension left unchecked leads to sudden death, even. so it is important to notice any discomfort or symptom and get your blood pressure checked regularly.

Am I at risk?

One of the most common mistakes a lot of people make is assuming that they are free from the risk of being affected by hypertension because they are young. While it is true that people over 55 are more likely to be affected by it, age isn’t the only criterion here.

Your chances of having high blood pressure increase if you

  • Are overweight
  • Eat salty food or food rich in sodium
  • Do not have an active lifestyle
  • Smoke
  • Consume alcohol a lot
  • Have a family history of high blood pressure

How do I cope with high blood pressure?

The first thing to do is to periodically check your blood pressure levels. If recommended by your physician, do take your medicines every day. Having an active lifestyle definitely helps reduce the risk of hypertension, so do exercise regularly. Keep your body weight in check, and quit smoking. Limit your alcohol intake, and finally, maintain a good sleep cycle.

The last thing to understand when talking about hypertension is that diet plays a very important role in keeping your blood pressure levels low. Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or the DASH eating plan is one effective meal plan that helps.

The DASH eating plan

The DASH eating habit helps keep your hypertension in check by limiting sodium intake. It encourages foods that are rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and protein. Here are a few food groups and foods recommended in the DASH eating plan.

 

 

There are a lot of other foods that are recommended as part of the DASH eating plan. The focus here is to simply limit your salt/sodium intake and load up on a wholesome, nutritious meal that’ll help regulate your blood pressure. According to the DASH diet, the total sodium intake should not be more than 2,300 mg per day.

Remember to relax

Hypertension, though if left unchecked could become a lot more serious, is not a threatening illness if you follow a decent protocol in diet and lifestyle. Kick back, relax, take the right nutrients, keep fit and move along. Yoda’s here to help you loosen it up.

Change the way you look at nutrition this decade…

New decade, No fad diets

 

We’ve all experienced the growing trend of fad diets this last decade: Atkins, Paleo, Keto, AMAD, and these are just the more prominent ones! The average person seems to value short term gain over long term health. It’s no secret that the world is all about the now, the present, the moment. But while all those things are important, one should think about the future while making current choices. 

 

Although we no longer believe in statements like “A minute on the lips, forever on the hips”, there is truth in the fact that “We are what we eat”. This decade let’s focus on eating for ourselves and our bodies. Forgo these ‘fad diets’ and ‘quick fixes’ and choose the optimal food for your lifestyle.

 

Disprove nutrition myths

 

In the age of whatsapp forwards and inane tweets, nutrition myths have experienced a boom like no other. “Eating aloe vera is a cure-all, even for the common cold”, “Drink pumpkin juice in the morning to lose weight”, “” are just a few in the sea of nutrition-related myths. We’ve already dedicated some time this year to disproving a few such myths: 

 

 

Even if you receive information from your smart relative or your sensible friend, do take some time to check the science before you eat it! 

 

Learn sustainable nutrition 

 

Sustainable energy, sustainable fashion, sustainable fitness, sustainable sustainable sustainable. While it does sound like yet another buzzword taking the world in a storm, it is true that sustainability is the key to a long lasting future. Nutrition is certainly not to be left out in this. We strongly believe that setting sustainable nutrition practices in place is the best start towards a glorious decade. 

 

Learning how to eat is not difficult. With a little effort from your part and oodles of easy-to-access knowledge on the internet, a systematic approach to your food will bring about a wealth of change in your life. Check out our information centre for handy recipes and blogs that are sure to aid you in your journey. 

 

Work towards your goals 

 

It’s that time again when you’re reminded of your dreams and goals of the years before and your hopes and wishes for the years to come. Take a second and think of all that you’ve accomplished this year alone. You’ve made it this far, and isn’t that truly something special? 

 

When you’re making your goals for the new year and new decade, we recommend doing a small intro-retrospective: identify what has worked best for you in the past and what works best for you as a person. Once you’ve got those down, align your goals keeping your strengths and weaknesses in mind. Don’t go too easy or too hard on yourself, make a reasonable plan that will work in your best interests. 

 

P.S. A gentle reminder that progress is not linear. Bear that in mind during your highs and lows, and take solace in your near and dear. You’ll do just fine. 

 

Enjoy a holistic lifestyle 

 

Now put them all together and what have you got? A holistic lifestyle, indeed! Do understand that achieving these goals is a lifelong process with revisions and changes and additions. Every little step you take right now will make an impact in some way. You’ve got your dreams, now just add some determination and discipline and you have the keys to a spectacular life! 

 

All the best for the new year and new decade from the ONP team! 

 

Here’s to 2020 and beyond! 

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