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Tag Archives: fat cholesterol diet

Is Preventative Health boring?

Gavin LeSueur - August 15, 2016

Driving along carefully in a well serviced safe new car is a good way to reach a destination but it has none of the excitement of going off road in a beat up beast of a vehicle with a high chance of breakdown. Life is a balance and even the adrenalin junkie has a limit that allows for calculated risk. As humans we are fallible and emotional and I can understand why we are not all that enthusiastic about a spin around the block in the family sedan when a sports car on the drag strip might be on offer. But life is a balance and to achieve some things you need to be prepared, emotionally and physically. So sometimes we have to put in time doing the boring bits to be able tobe out there having the adventures. There are very few emphysematous smokers having ‘the time of their lives’. The big adventure if you have morbid obesity is probably finding the TV remote. These are, in most cases, choices. Make the choice and find the time, even one hour, once a year, to consider your preventative health regime and options. If you choose the ones leading down a destructive route then at least it has been an informed choice.

Breast cancer prevention? really?

Gavin LeSueur - August 19, 2014

The focus of eDoc.net is on the recommended health screens and breast cancer screening has been around for a long time and is well proven to have an impact on breast cancer detection rates and survival rates. By way of a change in focus everyone should also be aware that there are lifestyle changes have been shown in studies to decrease breast cancer risk even in high-risk women. The following are steps you can take to lower your risk:

  • Limit alcohol. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. If you choose to drink alcohol — including beer, wine or liquor — limit yourself to no more than one drink a day.
  • Don’t smoke. Accumulating evidence suggests a link between smoking and breast cancer risk, particularly in premenopausal women. In addition, not smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
  • Control your weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. This is especially true if obesity occurs later in life, particularly after menopause.
  • Be physically active. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps prevent breast cancer. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly, plus strength training at least twice a week.
  • Breast-feed. Breast-feeding may play a role in breast cancer prevention. The longer you breast-feed, the greater the protective effect.
  • Limit dose and duration of hormone therapy. Combination hormone therapy for more than three to five years increases the risk of breast cancer. If you’re taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor about other options. You may be able to manage your symptoms with nonhormonal therapies, such as physical activity. If you decide that the benefits of short-term hormone therapy outweigh the risks, use the lowest dose that works for you.
  • Avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollution. Medical-imaging methods, such as computerized tomography, use high doses of radiation, which have been linked with breast cancer risk. Reduce your exposure by having such tests only when absolutely necessary. While more studies are needed, some research suggests a link between breast cancer and exposure to the chemicals found in some workplaces, gasoline fumes and vehicle exhaust.

Although it is a good idea for many other reasons, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables hasn’t been consistently shown to offer protection from breast cancer. In addition, a low-fat diet appears to offer only a slight reduction in the risk of breast cancer.

Screening is important but not the only way of reducing your risk. Consider making the changes today.

Time to put on the tape measure

Gavin LeSueur - November 18, 2013

Being overweight is a significant risk factor for many health conditions, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Ask your doctor to check your body mass index (BMI) and waist measurement every two years if you are aged under 40 years. If you are older than 40, you should have your weight checked annually

Your waist measurement compares closely with your body mass index (BMI), and is often seen as a better way of checking your risk of developing a chronic disease.

Measuring your waist circumference is a simple check to tell how much body fat you have and where it is placed around your body.  Where your fat is located can be an important sign of your risk of developing an ongoing health problem.

Regardless of your height or build, for most adults a waist measurement of greater than 94cm for men and 80cm for women is an indicator of the level of internal fat deposits which coat the heart, kidneys, liver and pancreas, and increase the risk of chronic disease.

How to measure your waist

1. Find the top of your hip bone and the bottom of your ribs.

2. Breathe out normally.

3. Place the tape measure midway between these points and wrap it around your waist.

4. Check your measurement.

Are these waist measurements suitable for everyone?

Waist measurements should only be used for adults to check their risk of developing a chronic disease. The waist measurements above are recommended for Caucasian men, and Caucasian and Asian women. Recommended waist measurements are yet to be determined for all ethnic groups. It is believed that they may be lower for Asian men.

Along with being overweight or obese, the following conditions will put you at greater risk for heart disease and other conditions:

Risk Factors

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol)
  • Low HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol)
  • High triglycerides
  • High blood glucose (sugar)
  • Family history of premature heart disease
  • Physical inactivity
  • Cigarette smoking

For people who are considered obese (BMI greater than or equal to 30) or those who are overweight (BMI of 25 to 29.9) and have two or more risk factors, it is recommended that you lose weight. Even a small weight loss (between 5 and 10 percent of your current weight) will help lower your risk of developing diseases associated with obesity. People who are overweight, do not have a high waist measurement, and have fewer than two risk factors may need to prevent further weight gain rather than lose weight.

Talk to your doctor to see whether you are at an increased risk and whether you should lose weight. Your doctor will evaluate your BMI, waist measurement, and other risk factors for heart disease.

The good news is even a small weight loss (between 5 and 10 percent of your current weight) will help lower your risk of developing those diseases.

You are what you eat. The Cholesterol story…

Gavin LeSueur - March 3, 2013

Cholesterol is a type of fat that is part of all animal cells. It is essential for many of the body’s metabolic processes, including the production of hormones, bile and vitamin D. However, there’s no need to eat foods high in cholesterol. The body is very good at making its own cholesterol – you don’t need to help it along. In fact, too much cholesterol in your diet may lead to heart disease.

Health authorities provide recommend cholesterol levels If there are other cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking and high blood pressure or pre-existing cardiovascular (heart) disease then the recommended levels are lower. In developed countries approximately half the adult population has elevated cholesterol levels. A one in two risk!

This makes high blood cholesterol a major health concern.

Lifestyle tips to cut cholesterol

Changing some of your lifestyle habits may also help to reduce your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Suggestions include:
Cease alcohol consumption or reduce your alcohol intake to no more than one or two drinks a day. Avoid binge drinking. This will to help lower your triglyceride levels.
Don’t smoke. Smoking increases the ability of LDL cholesterol to get into artery cells and cause damage.
Exercise regularly (for example, at least 30 minutes of brisk walking daily). Exercise increases HDL levels while reducing LDL and triglyceride levels in the body.
Lose any excess body fat. Being overweight may contribute to raised blood triglyceride and LDL levels.
Control your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes. High blood sugars are linked to an increased risk of atherosclerosis (‘hardening of the arteries’).

Building the database

Gavin LeSueur - July 5, 2009

this project started in 2008 with a concept to bring quality health advice direct to the public. After a year of reviewing preventative health recommendations and trying to design a format that is patient friendly and undertandable, eDoc.net is now ready to go onto the web. Many of the preventative health and screening protocols are designed in ‘doctor-speak’ and thus make little sense to patients. I am writing the explanations and getting my 16 year old daughter and local tradesman friends to read them before I post them. If they cannot understand what is needed then I re-work the explanation until it is useful.

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