Archives for November 2015

Staying Healthy During the Holidays: Diabetes & Holiday Stress

The holidays are quickly approaching, which for many people means a season of eating to excess and celebrating with friends and family. However, the holidays can also be an extremely stressful time, especially for those dealing with diabetes. Stress wrecks havoc on blood sugar levels, which makes it extremely important for people with diabetes to be extra careful during this time of year.

Be Aware of How Stress Affects the Body

When the body undergoes high levels of stress, it releases certain hormones, like cortisol, that cause spikes in blood sugar levels. While this happens to everyone regardless of whether or not they have diabetes, it’s especially dangerous for those that do have diabetes. That’s because it’s much more difficult to get blood sugar levels back to normal when you suffer from diabetes. Understanding how stress affects your body will help you better control your blood sugar levels.

Plan Ahead

Before all the holidays hit full steam, make a plan. To-do lists can be very helpful. Make a list of any errands, responsibilities, and events that you have over the next month. Maybe even write out a full calendar so you can visualize ahead of time what each day and week will look like during the holiday season. Knowing ahead of time what you need to do, and when you need to do it, will help reduce holiday-related stress and even allow you to plan out a little time to yourself to relax and de-stress.

Making Health a Priority

The bottom line in keeping holiday stress from affecting your health with diabetes is to make your health a priority, even when it’s the busiest time of the year. Take the time to eat healthy–try to cook at home and buy healthy options like frozen vegetables and whole grain foods. And don’t forget to exercise; physical activity is a great natural stress reliever. Exercise also helps to lower blood pressure and control glucose levels, along with many other health benefits for your body and mind.

ARCpoint Labs offers diabetes testing to determine if you are pre-diabetic or diabetic. We can also assist you in managing the disease. Find your nearest ARCpoint Labs location today.

Healthy Lifestyles: Type 2 Diabetes Prevention

Diabetes affects the way the body can process glucose in the blood. About 29 million Americans have diabetes, meaning that about one in 10 people suffer from the disease. Diabetes is also the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. Those who develop diabetes must deal with the disease for the rest of their lives, meaning that prevention is the only way to reduce the rates of type 2 diabetes. There are several different risk factors for diabetes, including genes, excess weight, excess glucose in the liver, and inefficient communication between certain cells in the body. Diabetes is also the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.

Causes of Type 2 Diabetes

Genetics can play a big role in the development of diabetes. However, behavioral and lifestyle factors make up the biggest influences on development of the disease. Data from several studies has found that five main factors are related to about 90 percent of type 2 diabetes cases. These five factors include being overweight, not getting enough exercise, an unhealthy diet, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Obesity especially can result in insulin resistance. Increases in childhood obesity have also raised concerns about increasing numbers of younger individuals affected by diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes Prevention

Type 2 diabetes is highly preventable by avoiding the risk factors and working towards healthier lifestyles. For example, a study by the Diabetes Prevention Program looked at how weight loss and exercise affected the development of type 2 diabetes among people who were at risk for developing diabetes but hadn’t yet developed the disease. After three years, they found 58 percent fewer cases of development of diabetes in the group assigned to exercise and weight loss than in the control group. There are several things each individual can do for diabetes prevention.

  • Avoiding excess weight or losing weight greatly reduces diabetes rates. In fact, being obese gives a you a 20 to 40 times increased likelihood of developing diabetes.
  • Exercising regularly makes it easier for the body to absorb glucose and use insulin.
  • Having a healthy diet is an important part of diabetes prevention. Try to reduce things like refined grains and sugary foods and drinks, which have a high glycemic index. Instead, eat more whole grains like brown rice and whole grain bread.

Type 2 Diabetes Testing

ARCpoint Labs offers tests that determine if you are pre-diabetic or diabetic. We also provide lab tests to assist in managing the disease if you already have it. Locate your nearest ARCpoint Labs location today.

Lung Cancer Facts: What You Need to Know

Lung cancer is a disease that claims the lives of about 432 Americans every day (Lung Cancer Alliance). It is the leading cause of cancer death, and 80.9% of those affected by lung cancer are current or former smokers. Despite the public awareness about the correlation between smoking and lung cancer, millions of Americans continue to smoke and millions of Americans continue to be affected by lung cancer. Read on for more information about the disease and how to help protect yourself from lung cancer.

What is Lung Cancer?

The lungs are a pair of organs located in the chest that bring oxygen into the body and release carbon dioxide out of the body. Lung cancer is a cancer that forms in these organs. There are two main types of lung cancer: small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Of the two, non-small cell is the more common form. Symptoms of lung cancer include coughing, chest pain, wheezing, and loss of weight. However, individuals rarely notice symptoms early on, meaning that once symptoms are apparent, the cancer is likely advanced.

Causes of Lung Cancer

The most common cause of lung cancer is smoking cigarettes, pipes, or cigars. The risk of cancer increases the more years an individual smokes and the earlier an individual begins smoking. Quitting smoking will help reduce that risk over time. Other factors that increase an individual’s risk of lung cancer include exposure to secondhand smoke, a family history of the disease, radiation therapy, exposure to certain chemicals, and air pollution. Lung cancer is typically detected by a physical exam, laboratory test, or chest x-ray, among other methods of detection.

Treatments for Lung Cancer

In some cases of lung cancer, surgery to remove the tumors is an option. In other cases, doctors may recommend chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Sometimes a combination of these options is used to treat the cancer. Targeted drug therapies, in addition to clinical trials, are newer treatment methods used to target specific cancer cells or mutations. As with all forms of cancer, chances of recovery are higher the earlier the cancer is detected.

Wellness Help

ARCpoint Labs provides services to help with your wellness needs. Find one today near you to learn more.