Category Archives: Health

Diabetes -wish it would trend like Trump- in an ideal world (sigh)


Diabetes is a scourge of modern day living. Why are we not winning ?

This is a simple disease – type 2 that is perfectly PREVENTABLE and perfectly treatable and yet we are losing this battle left right and centre.

Dialysis, amputations, blindness abound and really should not.

WE have the tools but we do not have political will or the will of the people.

We live in an age where as humans we choose easy street time and time again. Easy street in eating, easy street in not exercising, easy street in unhealthy choices.

One hundred years ago we were skinny and ate half of what we do currently and guess what we had a almost nil type 2 problem. Fast forward to 2016 and the numbers are staggering (like a drunkard) – out of control.

For a disease that is preventable and treatable.

A sugar above 10 has an effect much like coke on the floor – everything becomes one sticky stuck together mess – that’s a poorly controlled diabetic’s body.

Keep your sugar below 10 and voila – no problems in fact, keep your sugar at target and you live longer than a non-diabetic !

Easy peasy lemon squeezy – but we are not doing it ?

I urge you to look after your body – the only one you have – check your sugar regularly -pick up diabetes early and treat it. Better still eat healthily and exercise and skip it. It is possible. It is really possible – however if you would rather just be fat and still – have some diabetes.

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How the heck?


Oh my shattered nerves how on earth has 2016 happened and unfolded this way? Is democracy the way forward ?

I am pretty sure that New Yorkers did not vote for Trump, as Londoners did not vote for brexit. Is it just me or are there way too many stupid people out there. Well if Donald Trump can say the things he has and get voted as the president, I think we should take a leaf out of his book and be less pc going forward.

Perhaps honesty may get us somewhere.

And why the heck did the media lull us into a sense of all is ok with the world by saying Hilary would win?

What does this mean? For the world at large??

Where do we stand and is the world at large a safe place ?

Donald strikes me as quite selfish, is he simply going to forget about the rest of the world?

Today, for once I am glad to live in south africa with our version of stupid as president.donald-trumpzumazump

On giving birth and what I have learnt


I believe that from the moment of conception something changes inside of you. Something that you can not quite put your finger on and something that eventually is what one might call motherhood. That in itself is a whole dimension of complicated intertwined emotion and a whole lot more.

From the moment I knew that I was essentially a “mom” I was changed and I wanted only the very very best for this little creature growing inside of me who was body, spirit, soul.

This, combined with hormones (and they were certainly not friendly to me) was a complicated mix of “stuff” to deal with.

I knew that conception is natural. I knew that for 1000s of years women delivered babies at home. I also knew the flip side (being a doctor) and that many things can and do go wrong. This was not a good combo for me personally.

I delivered two babies naturally with epidurals that only worked on one side (both times – apparently I have a filament). The first time was with a “doula” and quite an elating experience. The second was without  (you can read my birth story for reason , I still wish I had had one rather). The second time around I was 39 and things really just never actually

went according to plan.

Long story short I had a near-death and out of body experience. The pain I had AFTER delivering was something I never ever wish to experience again. Despite being a doctor and complaining of pain I was treated unkindly (to say the least)(there are many other phrases I could use). I was eventually resuscitated and taken to theatre. It was unpleasant mildly put. I was not even able to really bond with my little for at least 48 hours. All of this could have been prevented. Recently I had surgery and realised that I had actually ruptured my uterus with the birth (this healed miraculously by itself). There are many miracles that happen every day. I thank God for mine.

I am writing this in part as catharsis and in part to women out there at large.

Lessons I have learnt :

1.) If you are in pain – you really are in pain and don’t let anyone tell you that you are not. Pain is nature’s loud speaker and it should NEVER be ignored. Only the patient knows if they are in pain regardless of how loud (or not) they scream.

2.) Pain (extreme pain ) always means that there is something not right and it needs to be figured out and fixed. It can be ignored however the risk of death or damage is high.

3.) When you are over the age of 35 it may be better to cut your losses and have a caesarian section – provisor – if all goes 100% to plan at dates (term) and your labour progresses as it should by all means go for it. However if one requires induction, long labour etc have a caesarian section.

4.) Miracles do happen but medical science is very clever now make sure your “carers” do all they can in terms of what we know to date.

 

 

 

 

 

Anxiety and fruit flies


There are many lovely TED talks about anxiety and mental disorders but I recently watched one about some research using fruit flies to determine brain function. So interesting to realise that the brain is superbly complicated and yet we can actually get to understand things at molecular as well as genetic level.

Can you untangle the mind of a fly and genetically modify the circuit? Well yes!

Who would have thought. And this has taught us – the human race quite a lot about the finesse of operations of the brain.

The brain is not a bag of chemical soup and we can not change the flavour of the soup to treat psychiatric disorders. This specific researcher likens using “broad spectrum” anti-depressants to treat disorders to pouring oil over the whole engine rather than into the oil holder. WE need to be more specific in order to get better results and have fewer side-effects.

On another note, the brain is also intuitive and there are many many ways in terms of anxiety that one can tone down or up. Deep “proper” breathing is one of them. Also our bodies are designed to move a whole lot more than we do these days and you will be surprised at how much you can unwind your mind by winding and unwinding your body.

Food for thought – fruit flies brains can actually teach us a whole lot about our wonderfully complex brains and yet some of the answers we so desperately seek are actually in front of our very own eyes.

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The cost of health


What is health worth? Can you actually quantify it? Is there a price to quality and longevity of life?

Good health is a sum of a few parts : luck, good living, what you put in your mouth, exercise, balance, mental health and probably a few other factors like genetics and environment too. It unfortunately can not be bought. I do feel it is worth pursuing in terms of doing the things that can be done.

Sometimes though this does seem to cost a lot of money and that is sad in a way. Largely as this puts people off doing what could save them their lives.

There are a few conditions that can actually be prevented and that should not cause premature death and I do think that these are worth preventing. Science proves this.

There are many things we know as well as many things that we do not. When it comes to heart disease, stroke, complications of uncontrolled diabetes there is a lot we can do to prevent that is cost effective in terms of quality and quantity of life. Most governments even realise this.

How much can we measure and what is unquantifiable?

How much does a life cost? Does it differ on different continents?

Each of us comes into this life by ourselves and departs by ourselves despite being part of a family and a community. I do think healthy living is worth pursuing and cost-effective in the end.

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A1c – what does it mean?


What does the A1 c mean?

Definition : 3 month average of sugar, i.e. it totals up all the blood sugars over a 3 month period and gives and average value. Little more complex than that it is a blood test that piggy back off the “metabolism” so to speak of the red blood cell.

The more well controlled the A1c the more the post prandial is contributing. The higher the A1c in other words more out of control the more the fasting is contributing.

There is a big difference between fasting sugars and post-prandial (after a meal) sugars and how they affect things. Also think about this if you consistently go very low and very high you may well have a beautiful A1c and think you are great when actually you are not!

Glycemic variability is a BIG problem.

I would far rather my patients ran an a1c slightly higher with less variability.

So is it worth doing? I honestly feel that the A1c gives us some information, however for myself I feel the download is far more useful in type 1 diabetics and that I am able to tweak therapy far more accurately with a download or a CGMS.

For type 2’s it is a good test to follow, i.e. a trend. Is it going up or is it coming down or is it stable so to speak.

What is A1c – it’s an average and it has its uses but context is everything and for type 1’s glycemic variability is the difference between health and illness.

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Innate packages


Examples of our packages

Day 1

arrive and unpack, lunch and settle in around 10 am

lunch

doctors consult/life coach/ pilates (each an hour)

sundowners and dinner

Day 2

breakfast and carb count with Fran

kinesiology/biokinetics/ one on one with dietician

lunch and carb count

Pm : podiatrist, massage, chill (massage optional extra)

dinner with Tanya (cooking demo)

day 3

breakfast and carb cont

group session

doc consult/group talk

lunch (optional)

2 nights and 3 days

*** excludes beauty/pamper treatments

multi-disciplinary sessions can be chosen by patient : dietician, podiatrist, biokineticist, educator, life coach, kinesiologyhealthy foodhealthspa

on this specific package R5900.00 of which R2700 claimable from the medical aid and R3200 paid out of your own pocket (does depend on different med aids)