All posts tagged health

2016: the year of the dengue vaccine

Published มกราคม 11, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Considered the most important mosquito-borne viral disease, dengue today affects at least 50 to 100 million people every year, with about one per cent or 500,000 of those affected suffering from potentially deadly haemorrhagic manifestations.

Considered the most important mosquito-borne viral disease, dengue today affects at least 50 to 100 million people every year, with about one per cent or 500,000 of those affected suffering from potentially deadly haemorrhagic manifestations. In the AEC region, dengue is one of the leading causes of severe illness among children and one of the most serious health concerns for expatriates. Now, with the availability of the first vaccine against dengue, 2016 could be a milestone year in the fight against this disease.

Dengue is caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes. Quite aggressive, these mosquitoes can bite throughout a 24-hour period but do so more frequently during daylight hours and can be recognised by the white markings on their legs.

There are four different strains (or serotypes) of dengue virus (from 1 to 4). Infestation with one strain confers lifelong immunity but only to that strain. It is thus possible to contract up to four dengue infections during one’s life.

The incubation period is usually from four to seven days. Most dengue infections cause no or few minor symptoms such as transitory fever for a few days. Typical dengue symptoms include severe headache, high fever, extreme weakness and back pain. There is often a measles-like, non-itchy rash over the face, thorax and limbs. The symptoms subside within 10 days but marked fatigue persists for a few more weeks.

About five to 10 per cent of infected patients develop the severe form of dengue, called dengue haemorrhagic fever, which is responsible for multiple bleeding. The first indication of bleeding is a haemorrhagic rash with small red spots found on any part of the skin. Bruising, bleeding from the nose or gums and, more worryingly, intestinal bleeding may occur. About 10 per cent of patients suffering from patent haemorrhagic complications progress to life-threatening dengue shock syndrome – popular Thai actor Tridsadee “Por” Sahawong is a recent case in point – and should immediately be admitted to a well-equipped intensive care unit.

Importantly, individuals who have suffered dengue a first time have an increased risk of a more severe dengue syndrome in the future compared with those who have not been previously exposed to the disease. This unusual and still poorly known phenomenon is referred to “antibody dependent enhancement” and represents an additional challenge in vaccine development.

Accurate diagnosis requires a simple test to detect the presence of dengue virus in whole blood through immunologic techniques.

There is no specific treatment for the dengue virus itself. Besides blood transfusion in high-risk patients, supportive therapy is provided to maintain the vital functions.

In a proper medical environment, the dengue mortality rate is below one per cent as long as the illness is recognised early. Dengue awareness among newly arrived expats is thus essential.

After 20 years of laudable research by the French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi, a vaccine is now available. It was registered in three countries last month and should hopefully be available this year throughout the whole AEC region.

Administered through three injections at six-month intervals, the vaccine efficacy rates vary from 50 per cent to 78 per cent depending on the causal viral strains.

When pooling the results of trials, the vaccine prevented the dengue infection in 60.3 per cent for all ages but was more pronounced among children aged nine years and older (65 per cent) than younger children (45 per cent). More importantly, vaccine efficacy against hospitalisation for dengue (admission due to more severe manifestations) was 80.3 per cent. There were no safety concerns.

However, in younger children (the under-nines), from the third to fourth year of follow-up after vaccination, it appeared that the risk of dengue infection became higher among those who were vaccinated compared with those who did not get the vaccine shots. As a result, the dengue vaccine is unfortunately indicated for adults and children above nine years of age only.

Even though the number of individuals over the age of nine is much higher than those younger than nine, these findings, if confirmed, might represent a significant drawback, not least because the severe forms of dengue are found predominantly in infants four to nine months of age and in children aged five to nine years.

That said, taking account of the potential complications of dengue infection and while waiting for the completion of follow-up studies, the available data show that vaccination is justified for individuals above nine living in endemic regions.

As dengue is indeed a public health concern, its effective control will now depend on the successful implementation of government-sponsored immunisation programmes throughout the country. |And this in turn will mainly depend on the political commitment of country’ health authorities to effectively control this endemic disease.

DR GERARD LALANDE is managing director of |CEO-Health, which provides medical referrals for expatriates and customised executive medical |check-ups in Thailand. He can be contacted at

Make a real New Year’s resolution: Restart your diet plan

Published มกราคม 11, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

The holidays are coming and with them the inevitable New Year resolutions. That means it’s time to have another shot at your goals, especially if you failed to stick to them last year.

Developing healthy eating habits is one of the most popular plans people try to follow over and over again. A good diet is one that not only helps you lose excess weight, but also gets you fit and healthy. However, sticking to a diet plan is never easy because temptation seems to be everywhere. Many people quit their diet after a few weeks, or sometimes even days. A survey from the UK recently found that women start, on average, three different diets a year, and stay on each one for an average of about 19 days – and by Day five, two-thirds have already cheated – tempted by at least one of the top five diet deal breakers: chocolate, potato chips, wine, pizza and cake.

Fortunately help is on its way! Thanks to Susan Bowerman, director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife, you can set a realistic weight loss goal for the coming New Year and be prepared to achieve it. Just remember that getting in shape is the best New Year’s gift for yourself!

Bowerman shares five reasons why it is so hard to stick to your diet and explains how to fix them.

Diet failure reason #1: It doesn’t fit your lifestyle

This happens when people try to adopt a diet plan that just doesn’t fit with their lifestyle. Maybe it calls for a lot of food preparation and you just don’t like to cook, or don’t have time. Maybe there are too many restrictions – so you quickly get bored, or you can’t find anything you can eat when you go out with friends or family.

Easy diet fix

Rather than trying the latest “diet”, focus on making lifestyle changes for the long term. If you don’t have time to cook or don’t enjoy it, seek out recipes that are quick and easy, and learn your way around a restaurant menu so that you can always find something that works for you.

Diet failure reason #2: Your expectations aren’t realistic

Once you’ve made the decision to “go on a diet”, you may have high expectations for your weight loss – especially if you find yourself making a lot of sacrifices. But if you expect to lose more than you can safely achieve over a period of time, you’re just setting yourself up for failure. And if you expect that you’re going to follow your new diet to the letter, you’ll probably abandon the whole thing as soon as you make a slip.

Easy diet fix

First, recognise that a safe and reasonable rate of weight loss is about 0.5 – 1 kilogram per week. And recognise, too, that when you’re working to establishing healthy new habits, it’s natural to slip once in a while. Rather than letting that diet slip turn into a diet fail – and giving up altogether – try to learn from your mistakes and allow some time for the new habits to get established.

Diet failure reason #3: You don’t change your environment.

Your environment has a big effect on your eating. Think about what you keep in your refrigerator, freezer and cupboards at home, the snacks you have stashed in your desk, the burger places or bakery shops you pass on your way to work every day. There are temptations all around you, and if you don’t take charge of your environment, it’s just too easy to give in.

Easy diet fix

Clear tempting, high-calorie foods out of your house and replace them with healthier items. Rather than a jar of candy on your desk or a bag of cookies on your kitchen counter, put out some fresh fruit or protein snack bars. Cut up some fresh veggies and put them in a highly visible spot in your refrigerator where they’ll be the first things you see. And if you can’t drive or walk past your favourite food shops that contain an unhealthy menu without taking a detour into the shop, find another route.

Diet failure reason #4: You don’t eat regular meals and snacks

Too often, people think the quickest way to weight loss is to just eat as little as possible. So, they skip meals and snacks – which leaves them hungry, tired and cranky … and craving sugar and caffeine to get them through the day. Skipping meals and snacks usually doesn’t help you lose weight, because you’re likely to just eat more at your next meal.

Easy diet fix

Work on establishing a regular eating pattern that will keep you from getting overly hungry. In general, people feel the need to eat about every 3-4 hours during the day, which means that most people need – at a minimum – three meals and a snack in the afternoon. When you know you’re going to eat every few hours, it makes it easier to control your portions at each meal and snack, too. And make sure that each meal and snack provides some low-fat protein to help keep your hunger under control.

Diet failure reason #5: You eat for reasons other than hunger

Emotional eaters turn to food when they’re feeling depressed, lonely, angry or stressed. If you find yourself eating when you’re not really physically hungry, you’ll want to work on finding other ways to make yourself feel better.

Easy diet fix

Rather than ‘stuffing down’ the negative feeling with food, just let it be. It might help to write down how you’re feeling, or to call a friend and talk it out. You can also tell yourself that you’ll wait 5 or 10 minutes before giving in – chances are you’ll get busy doing something else and forget about eating altogether. And exercise is one of the best mood-lifters around. Instead of drowning your sorrows with sweets, put on your shoes and go take a walk, or get down on the floor and stretch instead.

Back pain

Published มกราคม 11, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation–30275385.html


About 80 per cent people will experience back pain at some point in their lives.

The spine is a very important part of the body because it serves as the sole foundation of movement. And when there is pain in that area, it can be a troublesome sign.

Most people who suffer from back pain are of working or “career” age. For most patients under 50 years old, back pain mostly relates to daily activities, working posture, or an accident.

For people in older age groups, the causes of back pain usually come from joint degeneration, osteoporosis, or a spinal fracture-related trauma.

Another cause of back pain that people often do not take into consideration is smoking. Nicotine can lead to inter-vertebral disc and early spinal degeneration.

Back pain is widely divided into two major types:

1. Back pain only

2. Back pain with associated symptoms such as radiated pain to a leg or numbness or weakness of the leg muscles.

Doctors begin the diagnosis process by reviewing patients’ medical histories and performing physical examinations. Some patients might be sent for additional testing, such as x-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in order to provide the doctor with more in-depth information to aid in diagnosis.

The treatment depends on the diagnosis and the overall medical condition of the patient. Medications, physiotherapy or surgery will be recommended based on what is appropriate for each individual patient.

Back muscle exercises are important for improvement in handling daily activities. Strengthening the back and the abdominal muscles is very important to help decrease back pain. Doctors can provide assistance to patients to ensure that exercises are done safely and correctly. This part of the treatment will be controlled and closely monitored by the spine doctor.

The following are precautions you can take to prevent accelerated spinal deterioration:

  • Sit up straight, preferably in a chair that has lumbar support
  • Do not sit with incorrect posture for extended periods of time
  • Do not reach for objects if they are elevated beyond your comfortable field of reach
  • Do not carry items that are too heavy and can strain your back
  • Do not bend from the back, instead crouch from the knees to pick up objects
  • If you have had a back problem, check with your doctor to determine the best sleep position to help your back
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • See a doctor immediately if you start experiencing back pain. Otherwise, the condition may worsen to the point of requiring surgery.

You should consult a spine orthopaedic doctor immediately if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

1. Chronic back pain for more than 4-6 weeks

2. Unimproved back pain, even with prescribed medications

3. Back pain associated with work posture, daily activities or movement

4. Back pain with poor function or difficulty controlling bowel movements

5. Severe back or leg pain

6. Numbness or weakness in lower extremities

7. Recurring back pain at night

8. Recurring back pain with poor appetite and weight loss

9. Back pain with fever

Dr Prakit Tienboon is an Orthopaedic Surgeon attached to Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital’s Spine and Joint Centre.

Call (02) 378 9000.

Hospitals fear major impact of legal advice

Published มกราคม 5, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


National Health Security Office to continue with current budgetary practices in bid to stem fallout

MEDICAL service providers and patients stand to experience a huge impact from the State Council’s ruling on universal health coverage, which could prevent its budget being used for hospital utility expenses and preliminary financial assistance in medical malpractice cases.

But, to prevent massive adverse impacts, the National Health Security Office (NHSO) board resolved yesterday that it would continue with its current budgetary practices.

“I will take responsibility for this and so will other board members,” Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn said in his capacity as chairman of the NHSO board. “This is because we have to act in the public interest”.

He added that the NHSO board also planned to appeal the ruling.

Using a budget of about Bt165 billion, the universal healthcare scheme covers about 48 million people.

Though it has managed the scheme for a long time, questions have recently emerged on whether the NHSO has used the funding properly. Hence the case was taken to the State Council.

Late last year, it was concluded that some funding was being wrongly spent on hospitals’ utilities, providing initial financial assistance for medical malpractice victims and for procuring equipment via the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO).

If the ruling is enforced, many |hospitals will also not be able to hire temporary workers or pay overtime.

Nimit Tien-udom, former NHSO board member, said such a ruling could destroy the very principle of the scheme and cause huge problems.

“It will significantly increase the financial burden on hospitals, as they use this budget to cover operational costs and staff salaries. This ban will see the hospitals face financial crisis and affect the morale of medical staff.”

He also said that procuring equipment in bulk through a central system made it cheaper than purchasing it separately.

The Thai Kidney Club said the scheme’s budget management was very beneficial to chronic kidney disease sufferers.

Piyasakol said he has already asked State Council representatives to explore solutions with the Public Health Ministry and the NHSO.

“For the short term, we may need to amend regulations. For the long term, we may have to amend the Act to facilitate smooth operations,” he explained.

Betong Hospital’s director Banyong Laocharensuk revealed that the scheme’s budget restrictions would not really affect his hospital, because it already had funding to cover operational costs. However, some hospitals may face problems if they do not have enough funding.

Dr Wasan Udayachalerm of the Cardiovascular Interventional Association of Thailand, however, said he was not that worried about the ruling when it came to the procurement of medical equipment, such as the purchase of stents.

Wasan said he believes it would be more appropriate to let hospitals purchase stents for heart-disease patients directly instead of having the NHSO purchase them for the sake of transparency.

“Though the NHSO can purchase them at a cheaper price, the stents are not always of the best quality and many models are not even being used in many countries.

“Therefore, it would be better to have the hospitals purchase their own stents using NHSO funding,” he said.

PM not to cut health scheme despite cost problems

Published มกราคม 1, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha receives a warm welcome from residents and officials while inspecting the Rubber City project in Hat Yai, Songkhla province yesterday.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha receives a warm welcome from residents and officials while inspecting the Rubber City project in Hat Yai, Songkhla province yesterday.

Panel studies options to save universal healthcare scheme via copayment

PRIME MINISTER Prayut Chan-o-cha assured the public yesterday that there would be no abolition of universal health coverage (UHC) or other public-welfare services.

Meanwhile, a committee studying sustainable long-term funding mechanisms for the UHC scheme is holding a conference today to discuss proposals for submission to Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn.

During an official visit yesterday to Ban Nong Rian School in Surat Thani’s Ban Na Doem district,Prayut said he had no intention of ending public welfare programmes, despite chronic budget deficits. He added that the public should not believe reports to the contrary.

“Nowadays, Thailand suffers from a budget deficit every year because we have more expenses than income,” Prayut said. “This is the government’s task to solve, so there will be no abolition of public welfare programmes such as free transport, free education or free healthcare.

“Therefore, I ask you not to listen to provocative statements that I will cancel these welfare programmes. I am only looking where I can find more money and how to improve the public welfare.”

The prime minister also warned people not to protest against the government’s UHC plans, adding that the proposed database of individuals will be compiled using identity cards encoded with data such as that used in credit cards. The database will be used to identify people who do not have to pay for public-welfare services.

Prayut added that it would neither constitute a classification of people nor involve a stamp on ID cards that could stigmatise poor people.

Amid debate about how to prevent the UHC scheme from going bankrupt, committee member Nimit Tienudom said the conference today would discuss options for strengthening the programme.

Nimit said the committee would not propose a single solution, but instead would present proposals in accordance with the “SAFE” principles of sustainability, adequacy, fairness and efficiency.

Thailand currently operates three different healthcare schemes: care provided to all Thai citizens under the UHC; the social security programme for salaried employees; and coverage provided to civil-service employees.

To sustain all three programmes, Nimit said the committee intended to submit proposals to manage the state budget, co-payments and household expenses in line with both the government and general public’s capacity to invest in long-term healthcare.

To ensure adequate coverage, he said proposals would allot a sufficient government budget to cover general healthcare, the provision of medicine and the development of medical technology so that every citizen would have access to care without fear of bankruptcy.

The principle of fairness will be applied in terms of the different payment options for people accessing healthcare in each of the three schemes and regarding the levels of funding that hospitals across the country will receive.

Finally, Nimit said efficiency would be achieved both in a technical capacity and through an efficient allocation of resources.

“It can be seen that there are many methods that we can explore, such as improving the management of the three health security schemes or controlling the price of medicine,” he said. “We don’t only have to increase the budget.

“The conference will decide which suggestions will be presented to the public health minister,” he added.

‘Better transport needed to facilitate medical services’

Published มกราคม 1, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


THE COUNTRY needs to improve the transportation system for patients needing medical services, particularly accident victims, to reduce the risk of physical disabilities, Dr Wanee Pinprateep told a press conference yesterday.

As head of a National Health Assembly subcommittee, she described the improvement as a solution for “Urban Health: Development of a participatory healthcare system in an urban area”.

The public and private sectors should boost their cooperation to improve health services in urban areas, she said.

She was speaking at the three-day 8th National Health Assembly under the theme of “Synergy of Wisdom and Network, Creation of a path to Thai well-being” that ended yesterday at Impact in Nonthaburi.

The event attracted 2,618 people from the public and private sectors. The participants came together to exchange information and discuss recommendations on healthy public policies or public health.

On the “Revisit of the NHA resolution on the management of smoke affecting health”, Wanee said it was suggested that a committee of the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry and other agencies be established to tackle the problem.

“Studies on using agricultural waste are also among the proposed solutions because when agricultural waste is gone, farmers won’t have to light a fire to clear them,” she said.

She said it was agreed at the forum that an Asean-level committee would address the haze problem that hit many Asean nations, including Thailand this year.

Jetsada Mingsamon, head of the Eighth National Health Assembly, said the resolution on “Well-being of farmers” that was approved by the committee included establishing a committee of the National Farmers Council, Thai farmer unions and agencies to support rice farmers’ health, such as organic rice farming and demand-oriented farming.

The committee also said the National Farmers Council should have representatives on the Rice Management and Policy Committee and the Joint Committee of the Public and Private Sectors.

Besides urban health, haze and the well-being of rice farmers, three other topics were discussed at the meeting including the crisis of anti-microbial resistance and integrated problem-solving, and the policy on reduced salt and sodium consumption for non-communicable disease reduction.

The proposed agenda discussed during the forum was selected based on four criteria – importance of the issue, magnitude of the problem, public interest and feasibility of the issue to become a policy or an action.

The result will be submitted to the National Health Commission, chaired by the prime minister. After that, the recommendations will be submitted to the Cabinet.

Be a part of life

Published ธันวาคม 21, 2015 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Alex Face's campaign

Alex Face’s campaign

A brand new Thai crowdfunding initiative serves up a wealth of worthy projects

Crowdfunding websites have been around for the best part of a decade but only now is Thailand getting its very own online platform and it’s been designed to support creative artists,

The new platform recently presented its ideas via, a website run by a team that includes IT and marketing specialists Jon Lor and Chris Hwang, Sanji Tandan, former managing director of Warner Music UK, artists Khanngoen Nuanual and Montonn Jira, and social entrepreneur Pranitan Phornprapha.

Spread across the four key categories of music, food, fashion and art, Asiola gives fans an unprecedented opportunity to have a closer connection to the artists they admire. By contributing towards the funding goal, they can also earn exclusive rewards. And to waylay participants’ concern about their donation, Asiola has entered into partnership with Kasikorn Bank to create a safe, fast and easy online payment platform known as K-Payment Gateway, which makes the online payment process more effective and practical.

“Asiola is Thailand’s first curated crowdfunding platform, built to support creative artists,” Lor explains.

“We see this as the beginning of something new for online businesses and start-ups in Thailand. Artists joining the campaign will have the opportunity to do what they want. Likewise, their fans will be able to support the artists and help them fulfil their dreams with the help of Asiola. The ideas proposed by the artists are creatively groundbreaking as they come from the artists themselves without any limitations. These ideas will in turn inspire and push youngsters to express themselves more freely and to break the mould. It’ll make a difference and give fans the ability to personally connect with some of their favourite artists.

Khanngoen Nuanual of leading Thai hip-hip outfit Thaitanium says his aim is to crowdfund an educational workshop that will allow the band members to share their extensive knowledge, skills and insights into the music business, accrued over years of experience, with the next generation of Thai rappers.

“Fans that support the Thaitay Rap Boot Camp can receive first-hand tips and techniques on rapping, composing and recording directly from us. Some friends from Thaitanium Entertainment like freestyle rap champion Tong Twopee from Southside will also help us to teach everything up-and-coming Thai rappers need to know.”

Ploi Horwang has also launched a campaign and it comes with rewards for her supporters.

“I’d like to take Thailand’s fashion industry to a new dimension with lively, unusual designs showcased in the very first fashion show for the latest Him and Her Studio collection, at an event that will be anything but ordinary. If this campaign succeeds, one of my supporters will get the chance to have a head-to-toe makeover with us, or join us for an exclusive shopping trip in South Korea for 4 days and 3 nights”.

Representing the food campaign, chef Chalee Kader of Inside Knock’s Kitchen says support for his Knock’s afterhours Food Truck campaign will allow him to launch the perfect late night dining destination, open from 11pm onwards to satisfy partygoers’ cravings following hours of dancing.

“With the satisfaction of hungry customers in mind, we’re hoping to add a new flavour to Bangkok’s late night cuisine scene, with the additional convenience of a mobile app that pinpoints the location of the Knock Food Truck in seconds,” he explains.

Heading up the socially responsible campaign is Duangrit Bunnagm who wants to bring his design of a modular house for the 2004 tsunami victims to fruition.

“These houses never went into production because of the high cost. Thanks to Asiola, I see the opportunity to crowdfund the production of the ‘Good House’, a pre-fabricated wooden house that can be assembled by hand using basic tools, in case another disaster hits. This campaign gives supporters a chance to help those in need.”

Artist Alex Face aims to promote civic consciousness and unity among young citizens via his campaign, “Peace for Bangkok”, a symbolic bronze sculpture, which he hopes will instil peace in the heart and minds of children as they climb on it. A miniature bronze sculpture is among his rewards.

The other artists currently using Asiola as a platform to make their innovative ideas come to life include Yellow Fang, Hugo, Montonn Jira and Hanna, Black Tiger, The Creative District, O Witaya and Zieght.

Bitter sweet

Published ธันวาคม 21, 2015 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation



The health-damaging aftertaste of sugar and artificial sweeteners

Thai chefs are renowned for expertly combining sweet, salty, spicy and sour ingredients in delicious salads, curries, marinades, and more.

Of the four famous flavours of Thai cuisine, sweetness, provided by sugar, palm sugar, or artificial sweeteners should be reduced significantly in our daily diet, says Dr Somboon Roongphornchai, anti-ageing and weight loss physician with Bangkok’s Vitallife Wellness Centre.

“As reported in many health magazines, newspaper columns, blogs, and TV shows, excess sugar in the diet has been identified as the cause of a wide range of diseases including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis,” Dr Somboon adds.

“Excess sugar consumption has also triggered higher rates of diabetes, obesity and fatty liver. Worryingly, more young people and children are being diagnosed with these conditions than ever before – in the past, these diseases were mostly associated with adults in their 40s and above.”

While sugar moderation is highly recommended for good health, Dr Somboon adds that not all sugars are the same.

“Glucose is the sugar our bodies create from natural, simple carbs like pasta or rice. It is easily absorbed into the liver and will move onto other parts of the body – glucose is vital because it provides energy for our cells, especially brain cells.

“Fructose on the other hand, is a sugar found in many fruits and vegetables, and added to drinks such as sodas and processed fruit juices. It differs from glucose because it doesn’t provide energy to muscles or the brain, rather it metabolises in the liver and is stored quickly as fat if not fully used.

“In addition, fructose does not stimulate insulin to be released. Quite simply, people with high intakes of dietary fructose are very likely to develop metabolic syndrome symptoms such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels to raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes.”

Dr Somboon says High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) – a cheap sweetener derived from corn and added to many processed foods and drinks – is the number one ingredient to avoid.

“Developed in the late 1950s, HFCS is the preferred sweetener in many processed foods today, because it is cheaper than sugar cane and beets. It is estimated that HFCS is added in up to 80 per cent of foods eaten by many people every day.

“The surge in HFCS intake has major health implications because they are around 42-55 per cent fructose. Prolonged eating and drinking of HFCS high foods and beverages impairs liver function and suppresses the leptin hormone which regulates appetite – in other words, HFCS tricks the brain into overeating and can cause intestinal damage.”

To regulate sugar and HFCS in your daily diet, Dr Somboon urges people to read food labels to identify hidden sugar. He also encourages people to cook more often so they can control what goes in, and on, their food.

“Many people have a sweet tooth and it is fine to have a soda, cookie, ice cream or chocolate bar now and again – but make them treats not part of a regular diet. And if you want to add sugar to food when cooking, that’s okay, but try to avoid processed products made with added sugar like ketchup for example.

“Home chefs can also consider sweetening alternatives such as herb stevia or organic honey and cane sugar in small amounts.”

People who have high blood sugar levels can seek advice and guidance from Dr Somboon and his team. After analysing the patient’s diet and lifestyle, Dr Somboon will design a strict diet to reduce sugar, wheat and processed carbohydrates and increase the intake of vegetables and good fats such as omega-3 fatty acids.


The misery of incontinence

Published ธันวาคม 21, 2015 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


Incontinence is the accidental or involuntary loss of urine from bladder (urinary incontinence) or bowel motion, faeces, or wind (flatus) from the bowel (faecal or bowel incontinence).

Incontinence is the accidental or involuntary loss of urine from bladder (urinary incontinence) or bowel motion, faeces, or wind (flatus) from the bowel (faecal or bowel incontinence).

People of all ages, cultures and backgrounds may experience incontinence. Women are prone to bladder and bowel problems earlier in life than men as a result of pregnancy and childbirth. Amongst older men and women, however, the number of people with incontinence is fairly even for both sexes. Incontinence can be investigated and managed. Treatment may help you to improve or possibly cure the incontinence.

Normal urinary function is defined as emptying the bladder 4-8 times each day. The bladder can hold up to 400-600 ml of urine, but usually feels quite full at about half this amount (200-300 ml). You may wake you up once at night to pass urine, twice if you are older

Bladder problems and urinary incontinence can happen for many reasons, so there are different types of incontinence. The following are the most common.

Stress incontinence

Stress incontinence is urine leakage with physical exertion or effort – coughing, sneezing, laughing, exercising, walking or when lifting things.

Both men and women may develop stress incontinence, although it is mainly women who suffer from it as the bladder outlet (urethra) is very close to the birth canal (vagina). Both the urethra and vagina pass through the pelvic floor muscles. Pregnancy and childbirth can stretch and weaken the pelvic floor muscles which support the urethra.

Oestrogen, a female hormone, is important to the pelvic floor muscles and the pelvic organs and assists in keeping the lining of the vagina and urethra thick. The thickness of the lining keeps the urethra sealed after passing urine, much like a washer seals water from leaking in a tap. Less oestrogen is produced after the menopause and the lining of the urethra thins. As a result, in some women the urethra does not close fully. A chronic cough, constipation and being overweight all strain the pelvic floor and can eventually lead to stress incontinence.

Urge incontinence

Urge incontinence occurs with a sudden, strong urge to pass urine. It is very often associated with frequency, the need to pass urine more often than usual. It is also associated with nocturia (waking several times at night to pass urine). Some people have such a strong urge and so little warning that they wet the bed or their clothing.

Urge incontinence is often caused by an over-active or unstable bladder. This can happen at any age, but becomes more common as people get older. Often the cause of an unstable bladder is unknown.

It can happen following a stroke, in Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and other health problems which interfere with the brain’s ability to send messages to the bladder via the spinal cord. T|his affects a person’s ability to continue to hold and store urine.

Overflow incontinence

Overflow incontinence happens when urine leaks out from an already over-full bladder. The bladder does not empty completely. Urine continues to fill the bladder and then overflows with little |sensation or warning.

Symptoms include:

l Little or no warning when you need to pass urine

l Passing urine while asleep

l Frequent urinary tract infections or cystitis

l Dribbling” more urine after visiting the toilet.

Causes include

A blockage to the urethra by a rectum full of very hard faeces |(this puts pressure on the urethra, making it difficult to pass urine)

A prolapse of pelvic organs in women (which also can block the urethra)

Damages to nerves that control the bladder, urethra sphincter and pelvic floor muscles ( so that the bladder cannot empty properly)

Diabetes, MS, stroke and Parkinson’s disease (these conditions can interfere with the sensation of a full bladder and with bladder emptying)

Some medicines can interfere with bladder function, including herbal products

Other problems can cause or worsen urinary incontinence:

l Urinary tract infections are usually associated with pain or burning when passing urine. They cause urgency and frequency during and sometimes following the infection.

l Not drinking enough makes urine more concentrated. This irritates the bladder to give a feeling of urgency and causing it to contract or squeeze.

l Going to the toilet more often than you need to or “just in case” trains the bladder to store less than it should be able to store.

l Constipation puts pressure on pelvic floor organs. This can obstruct the urethra or move the bladder or bladder-neck into a |position where it cannot completely empty, or causes frequency.

l Caffeine drinks (such as tea, coffee and cola) upset the bladder lining.

l Alcohol increases production of urine and causes frequency.

l Medicines can affect your bladder and bowel. For example, water tablets (diuretics) make the kidneys produce urine more |quickly, increasing urgency.

What you can do if you have urinary incontinence?

l Do drink normally- – 6-8 cups of fluid per day are recommended unless you have been advised differently by your doctor.

l Drink more if the weather is hot or when exercising. Drink |mostly water.

l Reducing your fluid intake definitely makes things worse not better.

l Cut down on caffeine drinks, carbonated beverages, |and alcohol.

l Avoid constipation through regular exercise and this promotes bowel activity and try to maintain an ideal body weight.

ASST PROF DUANGMANI THANAPPRAPASR is an Obstetrician-Gynaecologist at Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital. Call (02 711 8555.

Keeping a constant watch

Published ธันวาคม 21, 2015 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

Sven Mueller, 15, a German diabetic, in Leichlingen./DPA

Sven Mueller, 15, a German diabetic, in Leichlingen./DPA

Insulin pump on the stomach of Sven Mueller/DPA

Insulin pump on the stomach of Sven Mueller/DPA


Teen monitoring his own blood shows the path to beating tomorrow’s diabetes epidemic

For as long as he can remember, 15-year-old diabetes sufferer Sven Mueller’s day has begun and ended by measuring his blood-sugar levels.

“It has been an integral part of my daily routine for the last 12 and a half years,” he says. “Measuring my blood sugar levels six to seven times a day, including at night, is what I just do.”

Before every meal, the youngster has to determine the carbohydrate value of the food and the drink on the table in front of him in order to calculate what dosage of insulin he needs to inject himself with.

“It’s very time consuming, but I have it under control and can’t afford to miss a step,” says the teenager, who lives in Leichlingen near the western German city of Cologne.

Diabetes harms the body with high levels of blood sugar over prolonged periods. It is becoming more prevalent with more than 6 million people in Germany alone currently receiving treatment for the disease, according to the German Diabetes Society (DDG).

This figure is expected to increase to 8 million by 2030. Experts believe a further 2 million people in Germany remain undiagnosed and, accordingly, are receiving no treatment for their symptoms.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease. It is caused by poor diet, obesity and lack of exercise.

Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, affects around 300,000 Germans and results from the pancreas’s failure to produce enough insulin.

Sven was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of four.

“I found it difficult to cope as a young child,” he explains. “Other children could eat what they wanted, but I couldn’t.”

Basal insulin is the background level of insulin the body needs 24 hours a day.

As Sven suffers from type 1 diabetes, he has very low or no basal insulin, meaning injections are required to ensure the slow, steady release of insulin needed to control blood glucose and to keep cells supplied with energy when no food is being ingested.

The teenager usually injects insulin into his abdomen and also has an insulin pen for use when he is on the go.

“If I suddenly feel weak on my feet, then it is a warning sign to measure my blood sugar levels and eat something,” says Sven.

Diabetes can cause strokes, heart attacks and kidney failure as well as leading to foot amputations and blindness.

Such serious consequences mostly only affect older sufferers. Young people are more likely to experience loss of consciousness as a result of low blood sugar levels.

The treatment of diabetes has improved with the advent of the insulin pump, which delivers rapid- or short-acting insulin 24 hours a day through a catheter placed under the skin.

The pump helps the diabetes sufferer to keep blood glucose levels within set target ranges.

“We also have modern insulin, which works more quickly, although still not quickly enough,” says Ralf Ziegler from the DDG.

Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) has been available for almost a decade and provides real-time glucose readings, throughout the day and night, allowing people with diabetes to see their glucose levels and track how quickly they’re increasing or decreasing.

Researchers hope to combine insulin pumps and CGM into a single device that can optimise the delivery of insulin to a patient.

A healthy diet and exercise can prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes and also helps in the treatment of type 1 diabetes, which is why Ziegler believes a “sugar tax” should be introduced.

“Healthy food should be cheap while unhealthy food such as sweets and confectionery should be more expensive,” he says.

“It is also important to ban misleading advertising for obesity-causing foods that specifically target children.”

Adolescence is a difficult time for diabetes sufferers, due to hormone changes and a growing sense of independence that often leads to ill-considered risk taking, such as the experimentation with alcohol.

But Sven is aware of the risks and follows a strict regime.

“I don’t feel that I am restricted,” he says. “But I know I can never have more than one or two beers at a party. I can’t afford to lose control.”


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