GOING GLUTEN-FREE

Gluten is a particular kind of protein that is not found in eggs or meat but is in barley, rye, wheat and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). Going gluten-free means avoiding these grains. A gluten-free diet is essential for those who have celiac disease, a condition that causes inflammation in the small intestines, or gluten allergies.  Symptoms of celiac disease include anemia, constipation or diarrhea, bloating, gas, headaches, skin rashes, joint pain and fatigue.

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A DIET FOR HEALTH & WEIGHT LOSS

Have you noticed? Look around and you’ll see a majority of Americans who are either overweight or obese. Look in supermarkets and you’ll see a plethora of food products, many of them processed or high-fat and/or sweet laden.  Consuming such a diet often leads to poor health and weight gain. It is not surprising that the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. A number of diseases, including pre-diabetes, diabetes, stroke and depression, are linked to how we eat .....

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ANTIBIOTICS IN OUR FOOD

Just what is in the food we eat? Considering the food chain, did you know adding antibiotics to food dates back to the 1940s? Antibiotic use has led to a dramatic reduction in illness and death from infectious diseases, yet there is a downside to this practice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others encourage health care professionals and patients to use antibiotics more wisely and seek education and understanding about both the risks and benefits of using them.

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a tongue brush, a tongue scraper or special cleaners. Mouth rinsing is another important oral hygiene practice. Choose your mouth rinse carefully. Some rinses have fluoride intended to decrease cavities, but this does nothing for gum disease or bad breath. Other rinses are meant to be used prior to brushing. The best types of mouth rinse for gum disease and bad breath – which are of great concern for people with diabetes – address bacteria and their byproducts that contribute to these problems. Mouth rinses containing oxidizing agents are recommended, and they should also be sugar-free. Another concern for people with diabetes is the amount of alcohol in a rinse because it has a drying effect. Saliva plays an important role in oral health. Anything that dries out oral tissues is likely to increase oral health problems, including the potential for bacterial growth.

Diabetes is linked to increased periodontal disease, tooth decay and tooth loss. Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gum and bone supporting the teeth. It begins when the bacteria in plaque causes the gums to become inflamed. It is a serious infection that, if left untreated, leads to tooth loss. For diabetic patients, it can be life threatening. People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than others; more than 70 percent of diabetic patients also have periodontal disease. This is probably because diabetics are more susceptible to infections.


Research suggests the link goes both ways: Periodontal disease may make it more difficult to control blood sugar and uncontrolled blood sugar can make it more difficult to eliminate periodontal disease. Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar. Research has shown that after treating periodontal disease, it is easier to manage a patient’s diaetes.


Diabetes increases the likelihood of tooth decay. “In diabetic patients, due to the slow glucose metabolism rate and low immunity, a high glucose level in saliva leads to bacterial infection, resulting in diabetic oral manifestations like swollen gums,” said Dr. Vikas Goud. “The insulin, which would have helped in glucose metabolism, is now used to fight infections. Therefore, the sugar level goes up further, posing a risk to

DIABETES AND DENTAL HEALTH

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by Angela s. hoover

diabetic patients. Once the sugar level comes down, the swollen gums become normal.”


A recent study from the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine showed people with diabetes were more than twice as likely to lose all their teeth than people without diabetes. A cohort study from 1971 to 2012 found this risk is highest in non-Hispanic blacks.


Oral Care for People with Diabetes


Regular oral hygiene and visits to the dentist are imperative for people with diabetes. Teeth should be brushed at least twice daily with a soft brush. When possible, brush them about 30 minutes after meals. Brushing with soft bristles is important because stiff bristles or brushing too vigorously can damage the gums and increase the potential for dental problems. Teeth should also be flossed at least once a day.


Tongue brushing is a good practice for oral health. You can use a tooth brush,