Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids, also called piles, are swollen and inflamed veins in anal canal. This common problem can be painful, but it’s usually not serious. Veins can swell inside the anal canal to form internal hemorrhoids. Or they can swell near the opening of the anus to form external hemorrhoids. You can have both types at the same time. The symptoms and treatment depend on which type you have.

Normally, tissue inside the anus fills with blood to help control bowel movements. If you strain or sit on the toilet a long time to move stool, the increased pressure causes the veins in this tissue to swell and stretch. This can cause hemorrhoids. Diarrhea or constipation also may lead to straining and can increase pressure on veins in the anal canal. Pregnant women can get hemorrhoids during the last 6 months of pregnancy. This is because of increased pressure on the blood vessels in the pelvic area. Straining to push the baby out during labor can make hemorrhoids worse. Being overweight can also lead to hemorrhoids.

Signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids may include:

  1. Painless bleeding during bowel movements — you might notice small amounts of bright red blood on your toilet
  2. tissue or in the toilet bowl
  3. Itching or irritation in your anal region
  4. Pain or discomfort
  5. Swelling around your anus
  6. A lump near your anus, which may be sensitive or painful
  7. Leakage of feces

Hemorrhoid symptoms usually depend on the location. Internal hemorrhoids lie inside the rectum. You usually can’t see or feel these hemorrhoids, and they usually don’t cause discomfort.

Internal hemorrhoids often are small, swollen veins in the wall of the anal canal. But they can be large, sagging veins that bulge out of the anus all the time. They can be painful if they bulge out and are squeezed by the anal muscles. They may be very painful if the blood supply to the hemorrhoid is cut off.

External hemorrhoids can get irritated and clot under the skin, causing a hard painful lump. This is called a thrombosed, or clotted, hemorrhoid.

Cholesterol

atherosclerosisCholesterol helps your body build new cells, insulate nerves, and produce hormones. Normally, the liver makes all the cholesterol the body needs. But cholesterol also enters your body from food, such as animal-based foods like milk, eggs, and meat. Too much cholesterol in your body is a risk factor for heart disease.

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance found among the lipids in the bloodstream and in all the body’s cells. It is important to the healthy functioning of our bodies.  It is needed to form cell membranes and hormones.

Cholesterol is carried through our blood by particles called lipoproteins: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). High levels of LDL cholesterol lead to atherosclerosis increasing the risk of heart attack and ischemic stroke.  HDL cholesterol reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease as it carries cholesterol away from the blood stream.

Estrogen, a female hormone, raises HDL cholesterol levels, partially explaining the lower risk of cardiovascular disease seen in premenopausal women.

Triglycerides are another fat in our bloodstream. Triglyceride is the most common type of fat in the body. Normal triglyceride levels vary by age and sex. But if you have heart disease or diabetes you are likely to have high levels.

High levels of triglyceride combined with high levels of LDL cholesterol speed up atherosclerosis increasing the risk for heart attack and stroke.

High cholesterol itself does not cause any symptoms, so many people are unaware that their cholesterol levels are too high. Therefore, it is important to find out what your cholesterol numbers are. Lowering cholesterol levels that are too high lessens the risk for developing heart disease and reduces the chance of a heart attack or dying of heart disease, even if you already have it.

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes mellitus (or diabetes) is a chronic, lifelong condition that affects your body’s ability to use the energy found in food. There are three major types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes.

All types of diabetes mellitus have something in common. Normally, your body breaks down the sugars and carbohydrates you eat into a special sugar called glucose. Glucose fuels the cells in your body. But the cells need insulin, a hormone, in your bloodstream in order to take in the glucose and use it for energy. With diabetes mellitus, either your body doesn’t make enough insulin, it can’t use the insulin it does produce, or a combination of both.

Since the cells can’t take in the glucose, it builds up in your blood. High levels of blood glucose can damage the tiny blood vessels in your kidneys, heart, eyes, or nervous system. That’s why diabetes – especially if left untreated – can eventually cause heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and nerve damage to nerves in the feet.

Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is also called insulin-dependent diabetes. It used to be called juvenile-onset diabetes, because it often begins in childhood. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition. It’s caused by the body attacking its own pancreas with antibodies. In people with type 1 diabetes, the damaged pancreas doesn’t make insulin.

This type of diabetes may be caused by a genetic predisposition. It could also be the result of faulty beta cells in the pancreas that normally produce insulin.

A number of medical risks are associated with type 1 diabetes. Many of them stem from damage to the tiny blood vessels in your eyes (called diabetic retinopathy), nerves (diabetic neuropathy), and kidneys (diabetic nephropathy). Even more serious is the increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

Treatment for type 1 diabetes involves taking insulin, which needs to be injected through the skin into the fatty tissue below. The methods of injecting insulin include:

  1. Syringes
  2. Insulin pens that use pre-filled cartridges and a fine needle
  3. Jet injectors that use high pressure air to send a spray of insulin through the skin
  4. Insulin pumps that dispense insulin through flexible tubing to a catheter under the skin of the abdomen

Having type 1 diabetes does require significant lifestyle changes that include:

  1. Frequent testing of your blood sugar levels
  2. Careful meal planning
  3. Daily exercise
  4. Taking insulin and other medications as needed
  5. People with type 1 diabetes can lead long, active lives if they carefully monitor their glucose, make the needed lifestyle changes, and adhere to the treatment plan.

Type 2 Diabetes
By far, the most common form of diabetes is type 2 diabetes, accounting for 95% of diabetes cases in adults. Some 26 million American adults have been diagnosed with the disease.

Type 2 diabetes used to be called adult-onset diabetes, but with the epidemic of obese and overweight kids, more teenagers are now developing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes was also called non-insulin-dependent diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is often a milder form of diabetes than type 1. Nevertheless, type 2 diabetes can still cause major health complications, particularly in the smallest blood vessels in the body that nourish the kidneys, nerves, and eyes. Type 2 diabetes also increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.

With Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas usually produces some insulin. But either the amount produced is not enough for the body’s needs, or the body’s cells are resistant to it. Insulin resistance, or lack of sensitivity to insulin, happens primarily in fat, liver, and muscle cells.

People who are obese – more than 20% over their ideal body weight for their height – are at particularly high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and its related medical problems. Obese people have insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, the pancreas has to work overly hard to produce more insulin. But even then, there is not enough insulin to keep sugars normal.

There is no cure for diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can, however, be controlled with weight management, nutrition, and exercise. Unfortunately, type 2 diabetes tends to progress, and diabetes medications are often needed.

Gestational Diabetes
Diabetes that’s triggered by pregnancy is called gestational diabetes (pregnancy, to some degree, leads to insulin resistance). It is often diagnosed in middle or late pregnancy. Because high blood sugar levels in a mother are circulated through the placenta to the baby, gestational diabetes must be controlled to protect the baby’s growth and development.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the reported rate of gestational diabetes is between 2% to 10% of pregnancies. Gestational diabetes usually resolves itself after pregnancy. Having gestational diabetes does, however, put mothers at risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Up to 10% of women with gestational diabetes develop type 2 diabetes. It can occur anywhere from a few weeks after delivery to months or years later.

With gestational diabetes, risks to the unborn baby are even greater than risks to the mother. Risks to the baby include abnormal weight gain before birth, breathing problems at birth, and higher obesity and diabetes risk later in life. Risks to the mother include needing a cesarean section due to an overly large baby, as well as damage to heart, kidney, nerves, and eye.

Treatment during pregnancy includes working closely with your health care team and:

  1. Careful meal planning to ensure adequate pregnancy nutrients without excess fat and calories
  2. Daily exercise
  3. Controlling pregnancy weight gain
  4. Taking diabetes insulin to control blood sugar levels if needed

Herbal sugestions:

  • Yacon
  •  Tithonia diversifolia
  • Andrographis paniculata
  • Tinospora crispa