Can a genetic test predict if you will develop Type 2 diabetes? : The Conversation

When I got home after work I was surprised to find my husband and three children sitting by the television and watching the news. They had just learned that the direct to consumer genetic testing company 23andMe was now offering a report that assessed the customers’ risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. “Is it true?” my husband asked. “Can they now study my genes and predict whether I will get Type 2 diabetes?”

As a primary care physician who is exploring how to integrate genetic testing into traditional family medicine – a combination we now describe as precision medicine – I was excited to explain the science behind this new report and the barriers to using 23andMe’s new diabetes risk score in current clinical care.

As a family physician, I am eager to identify my patients most at risk for developing diabetes, as this is a very costly and debilitating disease with numerous health consequences such as kidney failure, heart disease, painful neuropathy and limb amputation. In the U.S. alone more than 30 million Americans have Type 2 diabetes and of these 7.2 million are undiagnosed and unaware of their condition. Another 84.1 million adults older than 18 are at high risk and considered prediabetic. So how did 23andMe calculate this risk score, and would it help the millions who were unaware of their state of health?

Calculating risk of Type 2 diabetes


Source: Can a genetic test predict if you will develop Type 2 diabetes? : The Conversation

A single workout could save your life : The Conversation

There is plenty of evidence that being physically active can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, but when do the benefits of exercise start to pay off? You might think that it’s after a few weeks – or even months – once you’ve lost some weight and your cholesterol levels have come down. But our latest review provides strong evidence that a single workout protects your heart immediately.

It is commonly thought, even among healthcare professionals, that exercise prevents cardiovascular disease by reducing risk factors such as excess body weight, cholesterol levels, insulin levels and fat mass. But it can take weeks or even months for these risk factors to be affected by exercise and, even then, the effects are often modest. However, our review summarised studies that found that just one bout of exercise may protect the heart.

Researchers have studied animals, such as mice and rats, to see if exercise can reduce the size of a heart attack. For our review, we looked at studies where scientists had induced a heart attack in rodents by blocking one artery in the heart and then examined the size of the heart attack. In other words, they examined how much tissue died.

The researchers performed this test in animals that had just exercised and compared them with animals that did not exercise at all. All of the studies that we included in our review showed that a single bout of exercise is associated with a smaller heart attack – and the ability of exercise to reduce the size of a heart attack remains for several days.

For obvious reasons, these experiments can’t be performed in humans


Source: A single workout could save your life : The Conversation

Exercise can help adults better cope with ADHD symptoms — ScienceDaily

Exercise, even a small amount, can help alleviate symptoms of ADHD in adults, according to a new study. About 6 percent of American adults report symptoms consistent with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, which lead to anxiety, depression, low energy and motivation, poor performance at work or school and also increased traffic accidents.

Source: Exercise can help adults better cope with ADHD symptoms — ScienceDaily

Prostate Cancer Kills: Everything A Man Should Know

Great advice and information, recommended reading for all males

Madamsabi's Blog

In the last twenty years, the number of young men diagnosed with prostate cancer has increased by over six times. Although in times past, prostate cancer affects mostly older men in their 70’s and 80’s of which the cancer grows slowly in them.


Older men who were found to have early-stage prostate cancer usually die from other non-cancer related causes.

It’s quite different for the younger men because attention is paid to the older folk as they are more likely to be diagnosed with the disease and as such prostate cancer is more aggressive and extremely dangerous in this group of young men due to self-negligence in going for prostate-specific-antigen, PSA and rectal exams until the recommended age of fifty-years.

This unconscious act makes the prostate cancer more aggressive when it is finally diagnosed in men younger than fifty-five-years because the cancer would have already progressed to a late-stage and is…

View original post 764 more words

Obesity Treatments

Original post from


A quarter of adults in the UK are clinically obese and therefore at an increased risk of developing chronic diseases. NHS advice is to eat fewer calories and take more exercise to lose weight. Increasingly, drug treatments and surgery are being considered as a means to lose weight for extremely obese people who have had difficulty in adhering to lifestyle changes. This briefing discusses the current methods used to manage and treat obesity.

Jump to full report >>


Try entering your details into this BMI calculator from the BBC and see where you stand in your country.

POSTnotes POST-PN-0495

Authors: Peter Border; Lucy Robinson

Topics: Science, Health finance, Diseases, Health services, Obesity, Health education and preventive medicine

Download the full report


Reduce Anxiety with These Natural Lifestyle Tips

Original post from Care2


Reduce Anxiety with These Natural Lifestyle Tips

Millions of Americans live with anxiety, and far too few are getting any help in managing the stress. For some, anxiety is induced situationally. For others, anxieties may be part of a mental disorder.

No matter the cause, maintaining the best mental health possible should be a priority for all of us. These simple suggestions are designed to provide you with more options to manage (and possibly alleviate) unwanted anxiety so you can be your best self.


The Anxiety and Depression Association of America points to studies that show even a 10-minute brisk walk can be effective at combatting anxiety symptoms. As the organization highlights, one study showed vigorous exercisers to have a 25 percent reduction in their likelihood to develop anxiety or depression over a five-year period.

Mayo Clinic explains that the relief of anxiety through exercise is related to the release of “feel-good” brain chemicals, like neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids.

Exercise is also a general mood enhancer that helps prevent a series of ailments often associated with aging.

So hit the gym, go for a walk or join an activity team!

Talk Therapy

For many people, anxiety disorders are rooted in issues best addressed by a therapist. Many folks are afraid to speak with a therapist for fear of either stigma or that they’ll be medicated, which is a major misperception since only psychiatrists dispense medications.

If going into an office makes you uncomfortable or you simply can’t find time, consider trying one of the new messaging platforms that will put you in touch with a licensed therapist you can message at lunch break or after the kids are in bed. (I personally use TalkSpace.)

There are so many benefits to talk therapy that it would be hard to overstate them.

Cut Back on Alcohol and Caffeine

Anxiety disorder and alcoholism share a link that’s not widely discussed. The two are so linked that research is currently unclear about whether alcohol can directly cause anxiety (and depression) or if people who already suffer are turning to alcohol for relief.

For people on medication for anxiety, alcohol can interact with the prescriptions in ways that actually make anxiety worse.

Caffeine can also be a factor for some sufferers of anxiety. The reasons are two-fold. First, caffeine can increase nervousness. But more subtly, caffeine consumption can interfere with sleep patterns.

In short: people living with anxiety should be incredibly careful with alcohol and caffeine.


As I’ve pointed out in the past, mindfulness meditation is an effective way to help manage anxiety. The practice is easy to learn, although one’s skill will improve greatly with time and dedication.

PsychCentral describes the anxiety-reducing effects of mindfulness meditation to be a “pleasant side effect” accomplished through the shifting of focus from past or future-related worries onto the present space.

Mindfulness meditation also trains the mind to view thoughts without judgment, rather than engaging possibly unhealthy cycles. This can help ease worry and anxiety.


Eat a Healthy Diet

Having an imbalanced diet can negatively impact your mood and increase symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders.

Mayo Clinic recommends including a healthy dose of protein with your breakfast, because this can positively regulate your blood sugar and keep you feeling energetic.

The organization also suggests eating complex carbohydrates (like whole grains) instead of simple carbohydrates (sugary foods and drinks). These are believed to help calm your mind through the production of serotonin.

Ask Your Doctor about St. John’s Wort

The popular supplement taken to combat depression may also be effective for the management of general anxiety.

Studies have shown the herb to improve mood and possibly aid in sleeping. This is especially encouraging because lack of sleep is a common culprit in exacerbating anxiety symptoms.

It’s a powerful supplement and interacts poorly with many drugs, so you’ll definitely want to talk with your trusted healthcare provider before starting this one.

(Note: St. John’s Wort is not considered effective for social anxiety.) …………’

Chris Sosa

Chris Sosa is the Lead Staff Writer at Care2. He’s worked in journalism, politics and advocacy for the past decade. His primary passions are animal rights and ethical living. When Chris isn’t trying to save the world, he can be found rocking out at metal shows across the East Coast.  …………’



8 Tips to Instantly Boost Your Energy

Original post from Health

‘…………Tired? Here’s how to transform your body into a fatigue-fighting machine.

laughing-black-woman-400x400Get energized

by Sarah Jio

From Health magazine

Feeling sleep deprived and yawning at your desk? Follow these tips on how to transform your body into a fatigue-fighting machine.

Yawn away

“Yawning is your body’s way of cooling down the brain, essentially waking it up,” explains Andrew Gallup, PhD, a research associate at Princeton University.


Get moving

Two hours.

That’s how long you’ll feel revved up after taking just a 10-minute walk, according to a study inPersonality and Social Psychology.

Go to YouTube

It’s official: We give you permission to watch that dancing hamster video at work. A good laugh raises your blood pressure and boosts heart rate, too, which can pump you up when you’re feeling sluggish, says Robert R. Provine, PhD, author of Laughter.

See some red

Spotting something scarlet can actually kick you into high gear. Seeing the fiery color makes your muscles move faster and work harder, giving you a burst of energy when you need it most, according to University of Rochester research.

Keep crimson flowers in your sight line to pep up a jam-packed day.

Sprinkle these

Not into espresso shots? Get your energy from chia seeds. They’re packed with a revitalizing combo of B vitamins, fiber, and protein, so they pick you up without making you jittery.

You can simply stir them into your yogurt.

Stretch it out

Dragging? Try this invigorating stretch: Stand in a doorway, facing forward with feet several inches apart, and reach to the sides of the frame. Grab the frame with your fingers, then push your chest forward until you feel a stretch in your torso and back; hold for 30 seconds.

“This stretch stimulates the sympathetic nervous system,” explains Timothy McCall, MD, a yoga instructor in Oakland, California, “so it’s energizing for the body and mind.”


Fifty-eight percent of women feel most energized after they’ve had a workout, according to a poll.

Eat nutritiously

Studies show omega-3 fatty acids improve mood and brain function, essential for avoiding a midday slump.

5 Energy-Boosting Snack

If you’re fighting the urge to nap on your desk after lunch, the mid-day cup of coffee just isn’t cutting it. Stave off the afternoon slump and swap your caffeine for one of these 5 light, low-cal bites that fight fatigue and keep you going between meals.  ……………..’

Obesity; Ban Fast Food

Obesity appoint Tsars

An obesitytsar’ should be appointed at every NHS trust to tackle a crisis affecting  millions, leading doctors say. Is this feasible, can the NHS afford for each trust to appoint an Obesity Tsar, when apparently there is already a NHS funding crisis.  Wards closing, fewer nurses and complaints rising, perhaps an additional member of staff for each Trust is pushing it.

But what can be done, lets have a look.  Over the years some other activities have been cause for concern and they were or are being dealt with.

Cigarettes are bad for your health, so they are heavily taxed, advertising is virtually banned, plain wrapped cartons with explicit health warnings. Alcohol is bad for health, still heavily taxed and threat of minimum prices and buying offers to be banned to try to restrict binge drinking.

Now it is obesity, lets look at some causes, lack of exercise, bad diets and drinking. What more can be done about drinking, with the exception of banning it completely. Oh, just a minute, tried in the USA 1920-1933. Exercise, favourable taxes could be applied for Gym membership, but this would favour some of the rich (Labour and Lib Dems object) and no money available due to current financial circumstances of the country.

I know, what about banning or heavily taxing fast food, precedent set , see cigarettes and to some extent drinking. This is unlikely to affect the rich, therefore Tories may be in favour. But just a minute, what about the not so rich, Oh go ahead, does anyone care.

But obesity is a problem, but is mainly of ones own making, the only way for obesity to be tackled is for everyone who has an obesity problem, to want to over come it. But in the first instance, it may be convincing some people that they have an obesity problem.  Possibly a second is the thought that they have a right to be obese, if they so wish. Obesity will be a major problem for some time, possibly for ever, do you have the answer?

Now it is too much sugar

So The Royal College of Physicians needs to alter their thinking, an ‘Obesity Tzar’ is not required, just reduce sugar content.

But if sugar content is reduced, how will the food taste, we have all grown accustomed to the sweetish taste in our foods.

Lets face it, ingest too much of anything and it is in some way not good for you.

There are now so many answers to so few questions, so how do we know what to do?