Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Reactive Hypoglycemia Diet - The Key to Relief

If you suffer from reactive hypoglycemia, then you know just how much of a pain the symptoms of this frustrating disorder can be. - The moodiness, the anxiety, the hunger pangs, the fatigue, the heart racing, the dizziness, the tremors and the list goes on. So how do you control the disorder? Do you absolutely have to take medication? Do you have to rely on chemicals to treat your symptoms rather than treating the disorder naturally? Well honestly, you don't! You can alleviate the symptoms naturally. - And get remarkable relief at the same!
As you know, reactive hypoglycemia is a condition that occurs 1 to 4 hours after taking in a high-carb load. This tells us one thing; that this disorder is directly caused by eating and/or diet. So that also tells us another thing, this condition can be fixed and the symptoms can be alleviated through proper diet. Does that sound about right? Well it did to me! - And it is what helped me end the battle with RH.
With reactive hypoglycemia, when you eat simple carbohydrates like white bread, candy, cake, white potatoes etc., your blood sugar spikes significantly. When this happens, your insulin levels surge and continue to surge even past the point of "stable" blood sugar levels. This is when the clinically defined reactive hypoglycemia symptoms kick in due to low blood sugar. (The symptoms mentioned above.) So the trick is to eat foods that do not spike blood sugar and/or to eat foods that only permit blood sugar levels to rise slowly.
Foods that don't spike blood sugar include whole grains, peanut butter, nuts, cheeses, steak, chicken, fish, pork, bacon, berries, certain vegetables and more. With reactive hypoglycemia it's always best to eat a meal that is well-balanced with complex carbs, protein and fiber. For example, a great meal for someone suffering from this disorder would be chicken and brown rice with a serving of green beans. For even more information on foods that are great for people with RH to eat, research foods that are "low glycemic".
Now, we all know it's virtually impossible to go our whole lives without another piece of chocolate, another piece of grandma's cake and other great desserts. So, if you plan on having one of these desserts, make sure you have it after a well-balanced meal. Never eat a piece of cake or pie all by itself. This will definitely cause you have a reactive hypoglycemic episode.
Be well, eat well!

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Lyme Disease Co-Infection

A single tick bite can transmit more than Borrelia, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. One tick bite can infect a person with one or several diseases. Many of these tick borne diseases share the same symptoms: fatigue, joint pain, fever, stiff neck, and muscle aches. It is not uncommon for a patient to experience the symptoms of Lyme disease, and test negative for Lyme.

The first antibody the body produces after exposure to Borrelia is immunoglobulin type M. It takes anywhere from two to four weeks for this antibody to be present in enough quantity to be detected by testing. If a patient is tested before this antibody is detectable, the test results will be negative. This antibody remains in circulation about six months after the patient is cured.

The second antibody the body produces following immunoglobulin type M, is immunoglobulin type G. This antibody circulates in the blood about four to six weeks after exposure, and disappears in less that a year. This antibody does cross the placenta, but does not necessarily infect the fetus.

A commonly used test to detect Lyme disease antibodies in patient serum is an enzyme linked assay (ELISA). It is quick, easy, and inexpensive. The problem with this test is that the Borrelia species changes its surface proteins during cell division. The body's response to this change renders it unable to produce the typical immune response. Even though the patient is infected with the Lyme bacteria, the test results are negative. Another issue with this test is the probability of different strains of Borrelia that cause Lyme disease. The ELISA does not detect these other strains.

To further complicate the disease, a single tick bite can transmit several bacteria at the same time. Co-infection with Borrelia and other pathogens make it more difficult to diagnose and treat. The immune response may be different after exposure to other microbes. Therefore, results of the ELISA test may be inaccurate.

The drug of choice for Lyme disease is doxycycline. This drug covers a broad spectrum of microbes transmitted by ticks, however, not all. Sometimes a combination of antibiotics must be used to cure a patient. In cases where a diagnosis of Lyme disease is made, but the infection is caused by a microbe not susceptible to doxycycline, the patient will remain ill.

Further studies are underway to better understand how co-infection progresses once the patient is infected. Results of this study will help with diagnosis and treatment of Lyme and other tick-borne infections.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

HIV Reservoirs and Viral Eradication

The advent of combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) more than 15 years ago has dramatically changed the outcome of HIV infection from a deadly to a chronic disease. However, patients still experience problems of compliance, resistance, toxicity and cost. Furthermore, these therapies are not available worldwide, in particular in poor-resource areas where most of HIV-infected patients live.

If plasma viremia can remain undetectable in the majority of patients taking everyday cART, HIV remains in hidden reservoirs allowing viremia to rekindle within a few weeks each time therapy is stopped.

Over the past few years major advances have been made in understanding the nature and persistence mechanisms of these HIV reservoirs. It is currently believed that HIV remains latent in some memory T cells, which have a very long life span and not affected by cART. This reservoir of a few million cells in the body is considered as the major obstacle towards HIV eradication in treated patients.

However, if a decade ago almost nobody dared to speak of curing HIV infection, scientific advances have allowed developing potential strategies for a cure, some of which have already reached clinical trials.

This renewed optimism has been spurred by 3 clinical observations:

1-The Berlin patient:

This case has been widely reported. It involves a man who developed acute leukemia during the course of HIV infection and received a bone marrow transplant from a donor with a genetic mutation that protects against HIV infection. With now more than 5 years of follow-up, this patient is off cART and has not experienced viremia rebound or immune deterioration.