Articles

How Effective Is Sunscreen?

Many consumers might be surprised to learn that, for years, a debate has centered on the usefulness of sunscreens in preventing cancer. Some people have even suggested that sunscreens increase the risk for skin cancer. In truth, there are several possible explanations for reports claiming a link between sunscreens and skin cancer: Some people use sunscreens to prolong their time in the sun rather than to reduce their UV exposure, many use an inadequate amount of sunscreen to protect themselves...

A Personal Manifesto for Facing Diabetes

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 12 years old. Even at that young age, I was already familiar with diabetes. About a year and a half earlier, my older brother was admitted to the hospital for fatigue and other strange symptoms and emerged as a person with diabetes. For a young girl, the implications of my brother’s diagnosis were more interesting than alarming to me. He monitored his “sugar” by urinating into little beakers. It was all very scientific and interesting,...

Approaching Diabetes with Positive Thinking

Repeated thoughts take on a certainty, meaning that if your brain replays the message “I am sick, I can’t do it,” pretty soon you’ll be completely convinced. Likewise, if you allow your mind to dwell on the “why me?” aspects of diabetes, you’ll never get to the “what next?” parts. Self-limiting beliefs are convictions about yourself that get you stuck, but they can be eliminated with a little effort. First, you have to be able to identify your particular self-limiting beliefs...

Multiple Sclerosis and Emotional Issues: Uncertainty, Anxiety, and Adaptation

Uncertainty and anxiety set in as soon as the first symptoms appear. Multiple sclerosis (MS) can begin in a variety of ways, perhaps with a strange tingling sensation or numbness, sudden loss of vision, or unexplained weakness. Uncertainty surrounds these upsetting and unexplained symptoms. “Is it a brain tumor?” “Am I going crazy?” In some cases, the uncertainty drags on for some time until a diagnosis is finally established. Many people actually experience a brief sense of relief when...

When It’s Not Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Getting a diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) can be challenging. No test gives a definitive diagnosis of PCOS; diagnosis is based on identifying a set of common symptoms and ruling out any other cause for them. A good diagnostic workup has three components: a thorough history, a physical exam, and laboratory and medical imaging tests. Because PCOS is a diagnosis of exclusion, much of the diagnostic workup is meant to rule out other possible disorders as the cause of your symptoms....

Aging and Sleep Disorders

We often assume that it is normal for older people to get less sleep during the night than younger people. This assumption often is further explained by the assumption that “older people don’t need as much sleep.” In fact, both of these assumptions are open to question. It is true that people over 50 years of age typically do get less than 7 hours of sleep during the night compared with 8 hours for people 19 to 30 years old. But older people also appear to take more frequent daytime...

Treating Sleep Apnea with CPAP Systems

CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is the best treatment for most people with sleep apnea. CPAP completely eliminates sleep apnea, and by doing so it removes the serious risks of cardiovascular and heart disease that result from untreated sleep apnea. CPAP also improves the person’s sleep, energy levels, and ability to enjoy life, so that it is possible to resume activities and career goals that have been restricted by the fatigue and exhaustion of untreated sleep apnea. Finally, CPAP...

Correctly Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

The diagnosis of sleep disorders is a challenge. Unlike with most other diseases, a person may be completely unaware that he has a sleep disorder. Therefore, he may not be able to describe the most obvious symptoms because he is asleep when they occur. In some rare instances, a person will report a feeling that the throat is closing off during sleep, a feeling of choking on the tongue, or a feeling of gasping for breath during the night. Usually, however, people are completely unaware of any problem...

Drinking Responsibly with Diabetes

Alcohol is unlike carbohydrate, protein, and fat. However, alcohol is metabolized, or handled, by the body in a manner similar to fat. This means that calories from alcohol can easily be stored as fat unless you burn them off. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram; fat contains 9 calories per gram, and carb and protein contain 4 calories per gram. So alcohol is a prime source of calories. If you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight, you need to think about this carefully. An occasional...

Healthy, Low-Carb Snacks for Diabetics

Snacks can be a double-edged sword for people with diabetes. They may help stave off hunger and overeating, while keeping blood sugar levels from dropping too low. But serious snack attacks can also derail your best efforts to eat healthy and manage your weight. Read on for the best in diabetes-friendly snacking and sweet treats. Mozzarella String Cheese This is the new Snickers bar. Talk about a perfect, portable snack. How do you eat your string cheese? Do you peel...