Breast cancer is common these days except for the fact that the awareness among people has increased multifold times. We can even notice women being upfront about removing their breasts to avoid breast cancer when it seems to be dominant in their genes. Breasts, the part of the body that’s important for feeding a newborn also holds a special place in every woman’s heart as it establishes her womanhood and makes her attractive to the male gender (this might sound silly and unnecessary but we do have to agree upon the facts of the world, isn’t it?) There might be different reasons behind removing one’s breast and there are various reasons for going for breast implants too- altering the size of the breast, changing their shape or to make them appear more even.
The surgical procedure for a breast implant is only 60-90 minutes but this is not a surgery that’s to be decided in the spur of the moment. Apart from being an expensive procedure the results are also not favorable to the patient many times. Many women plan for a surgery to achieve cosmetically attractive breasts but these implants can hinder breast feeding abilities, cause constant pain and result in removing the implant within 10 years of the surgical procedure. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) indeed has approved breast implant surgeries for augmenting breast size, reconstructing breasts after breast cancer and to correct developmental defects. While there are multiple ways to carry on a breast implant the FDA in the United States has approved only two of them: saline-filled and silicone gel-filled. While saline implants are filled with sterile saltwater any damage to the implant causes all the water content to ooze out and be expelled out of the body naturally. Silicone implants contain silicone gel which need to be often checked by the physician to ensure that it remains intact.
Realizing the Risks of Implant Surgery
Though breast implant surgery is approved by the FDA, accusations and reports from thousands of women residing worldwide that breast implants are causing extreme pain and debilitating side effects have now made the FDA to focus more on what exactly is going on with the procedure, with these woman and their health post-surgery. According to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (BAAPS), breast implant illness (BII) is a term used by individuals suffering from symptoms such as tiredness, joint aches, immune-related symptoms and sleep disruptions owing to silicone implants. While the woman suffers excruciating pain, BII is not yet recognized as a medical condition and hence, there are no diagnostic criteria or protocols to establish a treatment procedure. Though thousands of women had complained of these symptoms they were ignored quoting reasons such as being dramatic, looking to claim health insurance benefits or were experiencing the symptoms as a result of some other illness that coincided with breast implant timings. Such women who have removed their implants have been able to return to full health and some of them even though couldn’t get back to their usual self, have found great differences in their symptoms and pain, for the better. Feelings of extreme fatigues, tiredness as though the individual had taken part in a marathon or suffering from inability to perform even daily activities disappeared once these silicone or saline gels were out of the woman’s body.
Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures in America and in 2018 alone it was performed for more than 3,00,000 times (https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/03/fda-breast-implants/585829/). Many of them have been performed by unauthorized plastic surgeons and some of them have even cost the lives of patients though the blame remains unaccepted and the procedures continue to happen. Another critical problem is an uncommon cancer of the immune system called as anaplastic large cell lymphoma that’s affected more than 400 women who have undergone breast implant surgeries. While taking off the implant stops symptoms and eliminates the disease there have been 17 of them until now who have died due to this cancer despite removal of the implant.
There are more than 10 million women who get breast implant surgeries mostly for cosmetic reasons and some for reconstruction after mastectomy. Though the silicone implants first evolved in 1960s they were banned in the United States in 1992 except for using them for mastectomy patients or to replace previous implants owing to the hazardous side effects quoted by women that even made them quit their jobs. But commercialization, business requirements and the huge flow of cash involved brought these surgeries back into the market in 2006 but with abundant rules and regulations to be followed. Another investigation involving The Guardian showed that there were more than 1,200 serious incidents linked to breast implants that have been reported in the UK since 2015 most common of which was a rare type of cancer.
There are medical devices in the market worldwide that are causing severe side effects on patients. There is an urgent need to monitor these devices, stop a few, correct many of them and then allow for a reentry into the market for use. Loving our body is one way to love ourselves. Rather than choosing cosmetic enhancement surgeries to uplift our self-esteem it’s better to cherish our gifted body and stay as much healthy as possible to lead a good quality of life. Though breast implant surgeries don’t cause side effects on all patients there is a greater chance that things could go wrong anytime with anyone. Hence, it is the physician’s duty to inform the patient of the potential side effects and ensure that the woman takes an informed decision after knowing all the side effects of the surgery, if in case she wants to proceed with it.
Reports of Breast Implant Illnesses Prompt Federal Review: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/19/health/breast-implants-fda-illness.html
Breast Implant Studies Reveal Serious Safety Concerns: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/nov/26/breast-implants-study-reveals-serious-safety-concerns
Check out if you are up to date on the ways to free yourself from the burden of experiencing the first of many things-stroke, heart attack or heart complications. Maybe you recall reading it in the health section of the newspaper or somewhere online but what follows now are the latest guidelines laid down by the American Heart Association (AHA) that’s surely going to be an eye-opener of all sorts. Heart exists as the central organ responsible for our health but its obvious from the way we treat this integral organ and the statistics backing heart-related problems as being among the top health risks faced by individuals that humans don’t pay enough respect nor show enough concern for its well-being. Revisiting certain things and correcting them might make your heart smile and your life filled with laughter.
Safeguarding your heart is unlike building a spacecraft and it requires no technical knowledge. Much common sense, recognizing symptoms at an early stage and taking precautionary steps is the best way to keep the heart healthy.
Individual: The Only Real Focus Here
Question the use of aspirin
Physicians suggest using low doses of aspirin in those individuals at a high risk of heart attacks, strokes and heart diseases. But research of late have triggered our mind to start questioning the reliability of using aspirin as it has been shown to increase the risk of bleeding in the intestinal tract. Latest guidelines suggest taking aspirin only when other risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, exercising and weight issues have been met. Also, people above the age of 70 are advised to never take aspirin as the risk of bleeding is even greater than the sum of benefits that this medicine could proclaim upon the person.
Going Away from E-cigarettes
Smoking is a grave risk factor and quitting smoking is the only advice that’s apt. Latest guidelines also deal with the negative consequences associated with e-cigarettes that’s being increasingly used as an alternative to quitting smoking. Rather, its suggested that people choose something between nicotine replacement patches, gums or smoke cessation medications instead. But truly, avoiding any of these and getting an expert’s help is the best way to deal with the problem.
No Changes to your Blood Pressure Recommendations
The guidelines don’t change here and it is recommended that every individual tries to maintain recommended BP ranges-130/80 mmHg as revised by the 2017 guidelines. High BP is a grave risk for heart ailments and the better attention you pay to these ranges the more advantageous is it for you.
Workout on Lowering Cholesterol Levels
High levels of the bad cholesterol, LDL, has also been an ever-existing risk for heart disease. Go for a healthy lifestyle change by modifying your diet routine, exercise habits and smoking weakness. Despite these, if cholesterol levels fail to lower it is better to discuss it with the physician who can recommend medications such as statins.
Keep Type 2 Diabetes under Control
The latest guidelines go beyond prescribing meds such as metformin to treat diabetes but also suggesting those kinds of drugs that help cells in the body to flush out glucose or make the pancreas secrete more insulin to break down blood sugar.
The Environment in which you Live Matters
Our health is based on our lifestyle. Many factors such as proper housing facilities, hygienic food availability, access to good healthcare facilities and social environment play a critical role in deciding the patient’s wellbeing. Planning to reduce the risk of an individual must be based on the individual’s goals, circumstances and values.
Stay on a Healthy Weight
Physicians and health experts advice individuals to always take care to maintain a normal body weight by exercising regularly, eating more of fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts and cereals and avoiding trans-fat and saturated-fats as much as possible. Failing to stay on a healthy weight can lead to a series of problems that can put your life in a shamble. Get in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com to reduce weight, control diabetes, save yourself from high LDL levels and attain overall wellness.
Staying active and doing exercise regularly is the best way to stay health. It is recommended that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week. Avoid over exertion but do as much as possible to stay active. Stop giving lame excuses and if you feel you don’t have the time to do 30 minutes of activity daily start with 5 minutes of exercise a day. I am not joking but there have been several studies proving that some degree of activity is better than no activity at all for better heart health.
Lifestyle exists as the perfect example of the Cause and effect’ theory. An individual who does not follow a proper lifestyle (cause) is at every risk of suffering from blood pressure (effect). The cause also exists as the solution for treating BP-improvement in lifestyle improves blood pressure rates and keeps them under control. In words, it sounds extremely simple to handle but practically most people lose control at some point in life and suffer from blood pressure effects.
High Blood Pressure
Blood circulating inside us sometimes exerts pressure on the walls of the arteries. This pressure causes damage to the arteries which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke over time. Also called as hypertension, risk factors include age and family history, but lifestyle choices remain as the No. 1 risk factor for triggering increase in blood pressure levels.
Even the American Heart Association Hypertension Guideline recommends lifestyle changes as the first step in reducing blood pressure. Despite repeated insistence on an active lifestyle for reducing BP individuals rely completely on medications. The recent study comes as a solid proof for these guys who doubt the effects of a lifestyle modification in reducing blood pressure levels.
Many reputed physicians and RDNs believe that eating healthy food and exercising regularly decrease the need of medications in a majority of BP patients especially those whose systolic numbers range between 130 and 160 mmHg and diastolic numbers between 80-99 mmHg. The study group selected 129 obese men and women between the ages of 40 and 80 years who had high blood pressure. Each one of them had blood pressure measuring between 130-160/80-99 mmHg but none were into BP medications at that point of study. Almost more than 50% participants needed antihypertensive medications according to the BP guidelines at the start of the study. Each of the participants were assigned to one of the three groups during the 16 weeks of study. Participants in the first group underwent diet modifications and also took part in weight management programs. Diet modification included pursuing a DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) plan that has been approved universally by established healthcare organizations, RDNs and physicians for lowering blood pressure levels. DASH is a diet approach that focuses mainly on consuming fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy minimizing consumption of red meat, salt and sweets. Participants in the second group were given a DASH diet plan without any instructions on physical activity changes. The third group neither changed their food habits nor introduced physical activity in their day-to-day life.
Results showed that:
A DASH diet is low in total fat, saturated/trans fat and cholesterol and rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium and fiber. Dietitians and nutritionists specializing in BP management at www.firsteatright.com can help in planning a healthy diet plan suiting your requirements and control BP in the perfectly healthy way. It is also recommended to limit sodium intake, avoid alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking and manage stress with the right approach (such as meditation and yoga) to keep BP under control. It is also necessary to stay physically active. Choose the right activity that keeps you happy as this might also keep you stress-free. Choose anything between walking, jogging, swimming, playing a sport or dancing.
Different factors have different effects on blood pressure rates and a combination of these can have a strong impact on your body. Its been agreed that similar to weight loss, even a similar reduction in BP levels can have tremendous effect on the body lowering the risk of heart diseases and other diseases. Abnormal blood pressure rates are prevalent among a majority of the population worldwide. The solution remains clear and simple. Its now time that people awake, arise and fight against increasing blood pressure rates by taking care of their body properly.
Delivering a child and recovering from its effects are treated as a rebirth for women. Pregnancy brings about joy and happiness but also a sense of anxiety in the mom-to-be as she starts to fervently wish for a safe delivery and a healthy infant. Some start feeling hungrier, wish to eat all sorts of food available and still there are many who practice the age-old concept of ‘eat for two’. Insulin secretion and sensitivity increase which thereby increase the amount of maternal fat and glycogen storage. More than external factors there are various factors from within the woman such as the placental hormones that serve as insulin antagonists. Normally, a pregnant woman undergoes increase in insulin secretion to overcome insulin resistance but sometimes, the pregnant women becomes unable to regulate insulin secretions and starts showing signs of gestational diabetes.
Forerunner to Type 2 Diabetes
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a sign of glucose intolerance that’s exposed initially during pregnancy which occurs in almost 7% of pregnant women. This phase is temporary in most pregnant women and glucose levels stay balanced after delivery negating any need for diabetes medications. But suffering from gestational diabetes during pregnancy exists as a significant risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. This is a clearly evident result of a study involving more than 800 participants who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes between 1996 and 2003. It showed that almost 12.5% women developed type 2 diabetes within two months of delivery and during the next ten years the number of women who were classified as diabetics steadily increased at the rate of 6.8% per year.
This study included a thorough research on Asian women and came to the conclusion that almost 50% of Asian women with gestational diabetes were at a risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the next eight years of childbirth. The research team followed up on 370 participants for more than a year after childbirth. 105 of them developed type 2 diabetes within two months of childbirth and the rest were unable to participate in the follow up study. Women either developed diabetes within two months or took a significant amount of time (a year or so) to become a diabetic. When analyzing for the difference in duration before developing diabetes they came with the reason that defect in insulin secretion was the primary reason for developing diabetes early during postpartum period. These women also displayed a variation in the HHEX gene that’s majorly associated with Type 2 diabetes.
Whereas, women who showed a slower ability to become glucose intolerant showed changes in the CDKAL1 gene that’s also associated with type 2 diabetes.
Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes Progressing into Type 2 Diabetes
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.