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Nurse Bridgid

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Citrus fruits can save your life?

We have known for ages that flavonoid-rich foods are good for you and can help to prevent heart attack and stroke. A new research study published in the American Heart Association's journal, Stroke, recently has touted the role that citrus fruits can play in preventive health for women.

What are Flavonoids?
First of all, we need to discuss flavonoids!  Flavonoids are compounds found in fruits and vegetables, along with dark chocolate, red wine, teas, coffee, etc. and they act just like antioxidants.  The flavonoids appear to protect against damage to the blood vessels.  So by having a higher intake of flavonoids, there is a decreased risk of cardiac disease.  Basically free radicals are chemicals that flow throughout the body and can cause damage to various parts of the body, but specifically blood vessels and cells, the flavonoids help to prevent the reactions with the free radicals before any damage can occur: the flavonoids are an awesome defensive line against very aggressive offensive line up!

What is the Study?
For a period of 14 years, over 69,000 women were followed and the overall study was looking at the protective nature of flavonoids, and the women were asked to report their intake of fruits and vegetables.  So, not only looking at the overall effect of taking in flavonoids on risk factors for stroke and heart attack, but then they more specifically looked at the intake of citrus fruits (and their flavonoids).  So they already found that flavonoids decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke, but now they have found that higher intake of citrus fruits (with high levels of flavonoids) had a 19% decreased risk of ischemic stroke.  (Ischemic strokes are strokes where blood flow is impeded to a part of the brain and can cause pretty significant long term damage if not treated quickly!)  This is kind of a big deal that they have been able to hone in on a specific food, with higher levels of flavonoids, and find a direct link to the health effects.

What does this mean?
In all honesty, I am a huge citrus fruit fan, and I usually eat a minimum of a grapefruit and an orange per day, but as long as you like citrus fruits, and you don't take them at the same time as any medications you are taking (sometimes they can interact- especially grapefruit you need to be really careful with checking interactions) go for it!  Eat your fresh veggies and get your citrus on.  They are full of vitamin C, to prevent scurvy, yummy, and full of fiber which makes a happy and healthy body!!  There is no recommended daily dose of flavonoids but an orange has about 45-50mg, so that is a good base start, and eat as many flavonoid rich foods each day as you can!  So get your fruit on, and reduce your risk of stroke and cardiac disease ladies! And for the men: it can't hurt for you to get your citrus on too!

Yours in Good Health

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

FDA Recall! Check your supplements

Remember how I always tell you to be careful when taking supplements that you get at GNC, Vitamin Shoppes, and other "health" food stores?  Well, here is one of the reasons why: the market is totally overwhelmed with these supplements, and thy FDA does eventually test them, but the man power needed to test these drugs, on top of new drugs, study drugs, etc. the FDA is just trying to keep up with the market. Usually by the time they test these "supplements" they are removed from the market.....just like these products that are being removed form the market immediately:

Mince Belle (dietary supplement)
Everlax (dietary supplement)
Ever Slim Shake Mix (strawberry & chocolate flavors)
Acai-Man Mangosteen Herbal Drink
Perfect Men (dietary supplement)

What was found?
The US FDA found FDA approved drugs IN these supplements that are being sold over the counter as supplements, and they need regulation because every drug has side effects and interactions; they are recalled purely for consumer safety.  Sibutramine, which is an appetite suppressant to help treat obesity, is a schedule IV controlled substance, and can have risks of increased blood pressure and heart rate, which leads to an increased risk if you have a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrythmias, or stroke. Sibutramine was found in the Mince Belle, Everlax, and Ever Slim Shake wonder why people saw results!  Tadalafil is a male Erectile Dysfunction (ED) drug, also FDA approved, that was found in the Acai-Man and Perfect Men supplements, which can have deadly interactions when a man is also taking a nitrate, which is found in some prescription drugs (like nitroglycerin) can cause a drop in blood pressure to dangerous levels.

Obviously the drugs found in the supplements were not listed on the label, called something else, which is why it is really important, and I cannot stress it enough, not to take herbal or health supplements, without the approval of your HCP.  You really don't know what is lurking in these supplements and it is really important if you are taking other medications or have chronic medical careful!! No offense to the people that work at the "health" stores, but don't trust them that the supplements are healthy, because as you can see by this one minor recall, they can sometimes kill you.

Yours In Good Health

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Power Bracelets: Are they for me?

Walking through the mall a week ago, my friend and I were being harassed by the workers at a kiosk for power bracelets. We politely declined, but they started telling me how awesome the bracelets were super amazing at increasing strength, power, and balance.  Of course, me being who I am, asked how a little bracelet could, without any exercise or training, make me stronger and more powerful.  Let me give you some insight: there was no science at all behind his answer, but he did tell me that lots of professional athletes use them to help with strength and power. Clearly I'm skeptical, but I decided to look into it and find out more about these "magical" bracelets.

What's the deal with power bracelets?
The main claims of the power bracelet are that they use "holographic technology" that responds to the "natural energy field" of your body to increase your sporting ability.  Sounds pretty darn scientific to me! There were all sorts of paid professional athletes as spokespeople saying that there was scientific research to back up the claims...not so.  In fact, there were numerous studies disproving that there was any effect at all, including placebo effect.  Two of the largest studies were performed by the University of Wisconsin and the Independent Investigations Group which found that all of the claims related to the power bracelet were bunk.  Sorry dudes and dudettes, but they don't work....and the company was actually sued for false accusations and were forced to refund all bracelets they sold under false pretenses.  But, if you just want to look super cool wearing a plastic bracelet on it, with a hologram sticker for $30, be my guest!

Do any of the health bracelets work?
Since I figured that the power bracelet is a bunch of crap, and despite two of my friends touting how awesome the Ionized bracelets are.  One claimed that their balance is so much better wearing one...and that they are so much stronger.  Again, I called BS early on, but I figured I'd check this one out too.  It is hard for me to wrap my brain around a bracelet totally changing how your body functions and reacts, but I am all about it, if it works!  The most famous is probably the Q-Ray Ionization Bracelet, it supposedly works with your bodies Chi to relieve bone pain from arthritis and muscle pain.  It first came to the market in 1996 (in the US- they had been available in the EU for years before) and millions of people bought them, thinking they would be relieved from chronic pain merely by changing/manipulating their Chi. In 2002, the Mayo Clinic performed a rather large study, in which they found that there was no significant difference in comfort levels between placebo and non-placebo groups.  In other words, the Ionized bracelets are bunk too....and they can cost up to $350!  All that being said, there are plenty of people that wear them and absolutely swear by them, I guess those people just aren't in any of the study groups ;)

My best advice? Skip the bracelets and if you want strength lift weights, for balance try yoga, and if you want pain relief, talk to your HCP about anti-inflammatories and physical therapy!  Your money would be better spent on co-pays and gym memberships than buying these bracelets.  Hold onto your cash and remember that if something seems to good to be true, it is!!!

Yours in Good Health

Monday, February 20, 2012

Are you hanging low?

WARNING: There are graphic pictures in this blog.

I will be completely honest, I was asked about a surgical procedure this weekend that I didn't know existed; I should have known it existed, but seeing as I am not a man and I don't think about these things, why would I know about scrotum reduction surgery?  It seems like you can get everything else nipped and tucked, so why not your scrotum!  I also had no idea how much the average man worries about this issue.

Why does my scrotum hang?
To make it simple, there is a muscle completely responsible for your scrotum to tighten and loosen up (the testicles need to be about 2 degrees colder than the body so that your sperm can swim, live, and be merry.) Your scrotum helps to regulate that by moving them closer to your body when they are super cold (think jumping into the cold ocean) and when they are getting toasty (after a long hot shower.....or run.)  The lovely muscle in charge? The cremaster muscle.  It is a two sided muscle that runs from the internal obliques, to under the testicles.  Unfortunately, just like any other muscle, and with that constant pull of gravity, it can lose muscle tone with age, and just start to droop. It's a bummer, but it's part of the aging process.  It seems that there are no true "medical" issues that arise from this issue, but it is more of an aesthetic issue, although I hear a lot of complaints about inner thigh irritation, skin " sticking" to thighs, etc causing a lot of discomfort .... and quite honestly, awkward situations.

What can I do to prevent it?
The good news for all you men out there, you can do Kegel exercises (I have blogged extensively already, so click the link and check it out if you are interested) but hey help to keep that cremaster muscle in shape; like yoga for your scrotum. Just bear with me, dig deep, and get through it!  If kegels don't work, and you feel like they are really causing you discomfort and you just don't dog staring at a sagging scrotum sack, there are surgical options: scrotal reduction.

What's the deal with scrotal reduction?
Really, all that happens is that the excess skin of the scrotum is cut off (surgically they say the skin is "excised" but all that means is they remove it by cutting it off).  It is a relatively minor surgery, and is usually one day surgery, meaning that you have the procedure (30 minutes to an hour), recover from anesthesia, and go home later that day.  The recovery period is usually 4-5 days, because the more you rest the area and allow it to heal, the better the results will be from the surgery; but immediately after the surgery you will have bruising, swelling, and some small scars (all of which will fade/go away over time).   But of course, like any surgery, there are risks associated with it, like bleeding, infection, poor wound healing (it can re-open), and chronic pain (from nerve damage). If the muscle is damaged in any way during surgery, it may create an issue with muscle mobility which can lead to sterility or decreased viability of sperm (they may be too hot or too cold in the scrotum- apparently sperm is very finicky!)  And, if you have any chronic medical conditions, it may make anesthesia more difficult for you, so you will have to be pre-screened and possibly get a letter from your Primary HCP stating that you are fit for surgery.  Most insurance will not cover this surgery, it is considered cosmetic, so be ready for a hefty bill (It can cost $850-2000 depending on who you go to, their experience, etc.)

If you are having changes due to age, or you feel like you are having problems with your scrotum, it is worth it to go talk to your HCP and see if this is right for you. If you have the means, are prepared for the complications versus what you deal with day to day, this may be beneficial for you and your lifestyle.....but try the kegels first, won't you??

Yours in Good Health

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

In Honor of Heart Month: Learn to Save a LIFE!!

So, it's heart month!  I haven't been wearing red, like I should, basically because with my job, every day is heart day and it seems to be the organ that most consumes my life!  But, for all of you that aren't so cardiac obsessed, I thought I would instill a little info that can help you save a life (or maybe multiple!)  When an adult has a cardiac arrest, the faster they get CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), the higher their chances of survival are. And sadly, less than 1/3 of people who have sudden cardiac arrests outside of the hospital setting get that help.

How can I save a life?
Well, in 2010 the American Heart Association (AHA)started a huge campaign to tout Hands-Only CPR (TM). So many people are (and were) creeped out about giving mouth to mouth to a stranger, if they found someone in distress on the street. I totally understand that, you want to help, but you aren't willing to risk your own safety and health to save them.  Got it! I also understand that if you see someone go into sudden cardiac arrest, you might be scared that you are making things worse or doing the wrong thing...that is why Hands-Only CPR (TM) is the best!  You basically call 911 when you find a person and immediately start doing chest compressions. Push hard and fast in the middle of the chest, you may feel snapping underneath your hands (its ribs breaking and it is totally normal with the amount of force you need to push on someones chest to compress their heart), and the actions that you take can only help them!!  It can be scary, and it will feel awkward to you at first, but you are doing  the right thing, just take some deep breaths, and help compress that heart to keep blood flowing to the brain. The less time the brain has blood flowing to it, the higher the risk of a person not waking up, or regaining a full recovery.

And, there is an AHA App for droids, iPhones, and Palm Pre's that helps to walk you through saving someones life.  Imagine your loved one having a massive heart attack in front of you, and how helpless you would feel just sitting there watching them as you waited for the Emergency Medical Response to come, but if you had the app, or learned about Hands Only CPR (TM) you could not only activate the Emergency Medical Response system but you could actually help to save their life as the response team is coming.  That's amazing! You can learn to do what we do in the hospital to save lives day in and day out-that is the SAME initial reaction our health care workers have!

I think this is one of the MOST amazing things you can do for yourself and for your loved ones....learn how to save a life, and encourage others to learn too!  If everyone took a few minutes to learn Hands Only CPR (TM) imagine how many lives would be benefitted and how many people we would save? Make a pledge to yourself and to your loved ones to check out the website, learn, and save a life this heart month!  Go to the website, watch the video, and get the app, I promise you won't regret it!

Hands-Only CPR 

Yours in Good Health

Monday, February 13, 2012

All welled up?

Eyes can pose so many different issues for people, but I recently had a question posed to me about watery eyes.  Like super watery, all the time, so that it ruins eye makeup, and looks like your eyes are constantly watering.  Besides being a total sap and crying 24/7 and merely pretending it is a medical condition, I am here to tell you, it actually IS!

What's the deal?
Epiphora is a condition where there is an overflow of tears onto the face, and it is usually due to the inability to drain the tears through the nasolacrimal system. Basically the inner corner of your eyes, can drain fluids from your eyes into your nasal canal to help get rid of the fluids, whisk them away (if you will), and when that system is blocked, or just overrun (like a sewer drain in heavy rainfall) the fluids go down your cheeks- like when you cry.  Just as an FYI, this flow of fluids into the nasal canal is one reason why everyone gets a runny nose when they cry- it is impossible not to....well, I guess unless you have this condition and the ducts are blocked!

Why does this happen?
So these blockages usually occur due to age (occurs gradually), infections, irritation or allergic reactions. And in babies it can be due to the inability of the duct from opening (just plain bad luck), or in the case of someone who has had any facial trauma (broken nose, facial bones around the eyes) the tissue poorly healed after the trauma and allowed for the ducts not to open properly.  When you go to see your HCP, if you have this problem with weepy eyes, they can add some dye to your eyes, and essentially watch to see where the tears go (with imaging- like a CT scan): into your nose or just bubble right over your eyelids onto your cheeks?  If they don't go into the nasolacrimal system, you have your answer: a blocked duct it is!  And some people just have an overproduction of tears from irritants such as fumes/chemicals/eye makeup OR an allergic reaction.  The best way to figure this one out is to notice when the overproduction of tears occur, i.e. is it always after putting on make-up?  After petting your cat? When you are exposed to certain fumes or chemicals?  If so, you need to see an allergist!

How do I treat it?
So, if it is merely an infection or allergic reaction, you treat the bacteria with antibiotics, and for an allergic reaction you can either take antihistamines OR stay away from the irritant (i.e. stay away from chemicals that cause the reaction or change brands of eye makeup).  If the ducts are blocked, or in the case of aging, you can have surgery to fix the issue. So there are two types of surgery depending on the issue: sometimes with aging the eyelid just gets saggy and turns outwards (ectropion) and the surgery merely tightens up the eyelid to stop the dropping and ends the weeping.  If the duct is completely blocked, you might need surgery called a dacryocystorhinostomy (that's a mouthful, right??) basically where they recreate the nasolacrimal duct that drains into the nasal passage, and it bypasses the area that was blocked.  If the ducts are not fully blocked but just small, they can be widened, under anesthesia, to allow for proper flow of tears from your eyes.

The bummer is that there is no magic pill to fix this problem, but the good news is that there are ways of trying to figure out the issue on your own, like changing eye makeup, taking antihistamines, and trying to figure out if it is an allergic reaction or irritation versus a real life blocked duct.  If it is just one eye, then you might have a blocked duct and you should go to your HCP to see what is going on with those weepy eyes!  But there is no need to look like a little dog with weepy, wet eyes all the time, so go see your HCP and get to the bottom of those wet cheeks and make excuses no more!

Yours in Good Health

Friday, February 10, 2012

A warning for those who take "workout supplements"

I am pretty lucky, I guess, and I tend to make muscle pretty easily, and I just plan a schedule where I can get my workouts in without ruining my life, so I really feel no need to rock out with the supplements but I know a lot of people that take them for different reasons (get cut faster, see the results they want, etc.) Supplements all have different ingredients and work different ways, but there are two that are going to be in the public eye soon, after two soldiers died during standard training after taking these supplements.  Yikes!  It really creeps me out that supplements like this can be sold to people, and labelled as "healthy", when they could be unknowingly taking something super dangerous.

What is the Deal?
There are two supplements that were being taken by different soldiers who had massive heart attacks and died during training, to which the US Army is directly linking to a pacific ingredient in the supplements.  The Department of Defense has now removed these supplements, that are easily found at Vitamin Shoppes and GNC's everywhere, from all military bases: Jack3d and OxyElite Pro.  The two supplements both contain the ingredient DMAA (AKA dimethylamlymine, geranimine, and natural geranium extract) which is touted as a supplement that will boost your energy, concentration, and metabolism.  DMAA is one of those things that straddles the line as a "supplement": if it is labelled as such, the FDA does not need to regulate it, but MANY people in the medical field feel very strongly that it should be labelled as a drug so that it can be regulated and controlled in who uses the product.  DMAA is  on the World Anti-Doping Authorities list of banned stimulants for athletes in the Olympics.  And in Canada, it has been labelled as a drug, and no longer allowed to be sold in supplements.

How does DMAA work?
Really, DMAA is a super stimulant, and acts similar to Ephedrine ( a "supplement" that was banned after numerous people started having heart attacks and dying after using it) and DMAA has been labelled "the new Ephedrine" by users.  Apparently when used in high doses, it also has psychoactive results, which has lead to its use as a party drug, which is why some countries, like New Zealand, has banned the drug altogether. DMAA is basically like taking speed (amphetamines): It speeds up your metabolism, allowing you to burn fat faster, and gives you a ton of energy, so you can workout and see results faster, plus you have more energy to work out and out in longer, harder workouts. Within 10 minutes of taking the supplement users resort of feeling of euphoria, along with a racing heartbeat and racing mind.  After about 90 minutes users report that they are able to concentrate and the racing thoughts slow, but their heart rate and blood pressure usually remain elevated.  These symptoms are bad enough, but combine with caffeine, extreme working out, dehydration, and users are at a very high risk of heart attack and stroke from taking this "supplement".  Some other less lethal side effects are impotence, depression, and mood swings (due to dopamine shifts in the brain- any time there is a super euphoria, there will be a super low to offset it!)

Despite that there were only two deaths with soldiers using these products with DMAA, the Army has numerous reports of cases of kidney and liver failure, seizures, rapid heartbeats and arrythmias, and loss of consciousness with various military personnel while using these products. The drug has numerous names is labeled as many different sorts of "extracts" in many different supplements, so I urge everyone to beware when taking supplements, and hopefully this will be regulated by the FDA soon.  I know I probably sound like a broken record, to those of you who read my blog all the time, but you need to be really careful with any dietary supplement; they are not regulated at all, and you really don't know the effects of what you are putting in your body.  You should talk to your HCP before starting any supplement that isn't prescribed for you, especially if you have any chronic medical issues or take daily medications.  You could be trying to get fit, and cause irreparable damage to your body.

Yours in Good Health

Monday, February 6, 2012

E-cigarettes: Are they healthy?

I appreciate that people understand how horrible smoking is for you, and they are always trying to find new ways to quit.  Cold turkey is miserable and many people fail with that technique.  Thus, the electronic cigarette was born.  I think that a LOT of people are on the same page as I was, I had no idea what they were, why the were created, or what you were actually inhaling/exhaling.  After some pretty exhausting research, I got the scoop, and font out if they are actually healthy for you.

What are electronic cigarettes?
Basically they are electronic versions of cigarettes, in that they are devices that simulate cigarette smoking by creating an inhaled mist that contains the flavor and nicotine of cigarettes without all of the carcinogens or actual smoke.  A propylene glycol solution is humidified into a mist for inhalation, giving the sensation of inhaling smoke and also you do exhale vapors that look like smoke.   There is a cartridge that you can replace in the inside, that holds the liquid (propylene base along with nicotine and other flavors- like Marlboro, Camel, Vanilla, etc). The base fluids are all FDA approved fillers that pharmaceutical companies use for medications, so they are generally considered safe for ingestion.  They are usually battery powered and were created as an alternative to cigarette smoking or as a smoking cessation device.

Why do people use them?
Most people started using them as a cessation device; to quit smoking.  But because they are a rather new product and there are no set governmental laws, so some people find that they are able to smoke electronic cigarettes where they cannot smoke real cigarettes.  Some states have started cracking down, and internationally, many places have made them illegal.  And, they are WAY cheaper than regular cigarettes. Obviously, I don't smoke and all state taxes are different BUT, most packs of cigarettes cost $8-$12 and a "starter kit" for an e-cigarette is between $50-$150 and each cartridge is about $1.50 and can be used up to the same about of time as 10 burning cigarettes.  So, after your start-up fees it is much cheaper, I will give them that!

Are they healthy?
Bottom line, at this point you all know my feelings, if it isn't a food source, water, or clean air, I won't label it healthy for you BUT I do think it is better than grabbing that pack of Camels. And, this goes without saying, if you are pregnant or have any chronic conditions you shouldn't smoke, even e-cigarettes. Although, there is very conflicting research about how much better they are for you if you use them long term.  They clearly have way less carcinogens than cigarettes, they are odorless, and the risk of the tobacco isn't there but you are still inhaling something that is regarded as safe by the FDA in another use, propylene glycol really hasn't been studied for long term use as an inhalant, so we don't know the effects that it may have on your lungs. Honestly, my best guess is that it will still cause lung cancer.  You are inhaling something other than air, frequently, that is an irritant to your lungs....what else do we think will happen?  It causes continuous injury to your lung tissue.  That being said, it hasn't fully been studied for long term effects, but if you are using it as a conduit to quitting smoking, for cessation purposes, I say give it a go!  (After talking to your HCP, of course!) Anything is better than being a smoker!

Yours in Good Health

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Get paid to work out?

There are so many people that post on Facebook or I hear chatting about their exercise and weight loss goals for the new year, which I think is awesome, and I LOVE to hear it!  But I  know that it can be tough to keep up the daily workouts, especially when you feel like you have hit a rut, the days are long and dark, and you are just exhausted and cold.  How do you change that?  Hit yourself where it hurts: your wallet! WHAT?!?!?

In a word? GymPact.
So this is one of the coolest IPhone apps to date (sorry droiders- coming soon but only available for iPhone now) far as exercising and keeping motivation up! Gympact is an app created by a couple of recent Harvard grads, and people basically link their Gympact account to a debit card, make a "pact" about how many times they will go to the gym in a week, and you go and "check-in" at your gym (like using Foursquare) and you have to be there for a minimum of 30 minutes. When you set-up your account you assign a dollar amount to your workouts from $5 to 100, and whatever that amount is, it will be charged to your account every time you miss a work out.  Yup.  You say, you are going to do it, you do it, or you pay for it.  Like that?  I do!  Because, the upside is that if you do workout, and even if you beat your goals, you get cash prizes! So, you actually get paid for working out! Now that is both negative reinforcement for those who are skippers and positive reinforcement for those who are kicking butt and sticking to their goals.  How does that work?  Each week, GymPact pools the money from the people who didn't meet their goals, and splits it up between the people that did workout and meet their exercise goals, and if you workout more or longer than you made a "pact" for, you get more cash.  Plus, you can challenge a group of friends/family/coworkers or just jump on in solo and challenge the average person.  Now, you can opt out from any one week, if you are on vacation or know that you have a rough week at work....but it has to be planned, you can't opt out in the middle of the week unless you are injured or ill with a note from a Healthcare Practitioner.  On average people have been making $0.50 to $1.00 per workout which equals out to around $100 to $200 extra per year just from working long as you do what you SAID that you were going to do around New Years. Plus, it is international, so ALL of my readers can take the challenge!  No excuses!!

GymPact is asking you to put your money where your mouth is, and I think that is fabulous! If only I worked out in a gym, I would clean up ;)  So, iPhone users, do what you said you were going to do....I bet you'll stick to your goals.  How much do you want to put on that?

Yours in Good Health

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Diabetes: long term outcomes

I know that I had already broken down the info related to Diabetes Type 1 and 2 and what causes it, but it was brought to my attention lately that a lot of people do not understand the long-term effects of poor blood sugar control.  Diabetes can be very serious and cause significant health problems if not controlled well.

What can happen?
-Elevated blood glucose (sugar) levels lead to cellular dehydration, which over time can cause kidney damage and lead to renal failure.
-High glucose in the blood can cause blood vessel damage: poor wound healing after cuts and scrapes, or after surgery, and it increased your risk of wound infections.
-Along with blood vessel damage, with poor blood flow to areas you can have: retinopathy (damage to the eye from poor blood flow), blindness, peripheral vascular disease, skin ulcerations due to lack of blood flow, tissue ischemia (poor blood flow to tissue), and gangrene (tissue death).
-With poor blood flow, can occur peripheral nerve death (nerves live off of the blood flow from blood vessels near them) which can lead to: heart arrhythmias, poor bladder control, decreased sensations in the hands and legs/feet (can be dangerous with holding hot objects- you can get serious burns and might not feel the damage).
-Secondary health issues: hypertension (high blood pressure due to the renal damage and poor blood flow) and atherosclerosis (a hardening of the arteries due to a build up of fat and cholesterol from poor renal function).
-Also, having poorly controlled blood glucose levels can decrease your immune system and not only put you at higher risk for infections with cuts and wounds, but also put you at higher risk for the common cold, flu, pneumonia, etc.

What are the treatments?
-The only "cure" for renal failure: Dialysis (where your blood is filtered by a machine that acts like your kidneys three to four times a week) and/or a kidney transplant.
-With wound infections you can be treated with antibiotics, require surgery to cut out the infected tissues, and have very long healing times that may require hospitalization.
- Poor blood vessel blood flow: retinopathy, blindness, and peripheral vascular disease have no cure. For issues with tissue ischemia, you can have surgery to "bypass graft" (basically re-route your vasculature to allow better blood flow to the area). With gangrene, the only treatment is to amputate (remove) the affected area completely.
-Peripheral nerve death: the arrhythmias, bladder control, and decreased sensations can all be treated with medications to deal with the side effects, they can't always be "cured".
- Secondary heath issues can be treated with medications
-Decreased immunity use needs assist with flu shots, good hygiene, and you need to be careful during high illness times.

It might seem like a pain to check your blood sugars,  treat yourself with insulin, and watch your carbohydrate intake, but doing so can help prevent all of these complications, that won't just happen when you are 70 or 80 years old, we see patients in their 30's with these issues due to poor diabetes management.  Take control of your life and your disease, and take a step towards health and wellness!

Yours in Good Health