New Research means Bright Future for Type 1 Diabetics

Type 1 diabetics that are currently controlling their disorder through pills or injections may never need to poke themselves every again! Since type 1 diabetics cannot produce insulin, a naturally-occurring hormone of the human body, human guts cells that may be able to produce insulin might help to solve their condition. 

Researchers from Columbia University studied gastrointestinal cells located in the human torso. What they have found is that by turning off a single gene, named FOX01, in these arrangements causes those cells to start producing insulin. From this information, there is possible hope for a drug creation that would reinstruct cells in diabetics to start producing this much needed hormone. 
Researchers, using stem cells, created a tissue model of a human intestine and trained those cells to stop the FOXO1 gene which, within a week, started producing the crucial hormone. What really made this research plausible, was the cells only started producing insulin when they were provided with sugar, just like the natural process of the human body. 

Since the human immune system can reject cells that are foreign to them, current procedures using stem or embryonic cells, will become obsolete. With this research, patients will be able to train their own cells to produce insulin allowing the prevention of procedural rejections and increasing the amount of successful patients. 

More research is still needed before this becomes available to the public. However if it does the efforts of medical researchers over the past twenty years will finally end in victory. 

Production of insulin in the gastrointestinal cells investigation was published in the journalNature Communications.

Is Sushi Really Healthy?

International Sushi Day is upon us and every year sushi is becoming more and more popular. It is looked at as the healthier choice of take out, date night, or girl’s night out. However, as healthy as it might sound, some maki sushi rolls can be loaded with more calories and fat than a cheeseburger! 

Use these tips to keep your rolls tasty but still nutritious:  

1. Ask for Brown Rice: Although this option only saves you a handful of calories, it is the whole grains that make it healthy. Whole grains have been proven to be heart healthy and protective!
2. Skip on Tempura or any fried rolls: Fried anything is filled with extra calories and fat. You can still eat your favorite rolls by asking the restaurant not to deep-fry it. 
3. Choose Veggies: Vegetables rolls, such as avocado, cucumber, shiitake mushrooms, and many others only offer heart healthy goodness while keeping the calories low. 
4. Eel is an ill choice: Eel is very high in calories and fat, and although it is delicious, limit yourself to this roll once in a while.
5. Be Selective on Spicy Mayo: Spicy Tuna rolls are delicious and tuna is a great choice, but when drenched in mayo it becomes a waste of calories. 

Try this Healthy Spin on your Favorite Sushi Roll at Home:

Quinoa Sushi

Ingredients – Serves 3:

- 3 sheets of nori

- 170g/half a cup of quinoa

- 3 tbsp thick greek yogurt

- 2 carrots, grated

- Half green pepper, sliced

- Half a salmon fillet, cooked

See the rest of the recipe here on Hungry Healthy Happy’s Blog

EZDOCTOR: Lupus Q & A with Rheumatologist: Dr. Santiago

Dr. Santiago-Casas joined Drs. Kahn and Riskin’s practice (South Florida Rheumatologist) after serving as an attending physician and Associate Professor of Medicine in the Department of Rheumatology at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

You can book an appointment with Dr. Santiago-Casas in Hollywood, Florida here: 

What is systemic lupus erythematosus or lupus? 

This is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system that normally works to fight infections and harmful cells fails and attacks the body. It is 10 times more frequent in women and usually affects 20-30 year old women.  Lupus is most common in certain ethnic groups including African Americans, Asians and Hispanics. It is a chronic disease that can affect multiple organs in the body including the skin, joints, kidneys, lungs, and brain.  

What is the cause of lupus?

The exact cause of SLE is not known. However, both genetic and environmental factors have been linked to its development.

What are the symptoms of lupus? 

Lupus is a disease that affects multiple systems in the body. The symptoms of lupus include the following: tiredness or fatigue, weight loss, fever without cause, headaches, skin rash especially with sun exposure (this includes the characteristic rash that may appear on the nose and cheeks shaped like a butterfly), hair loss, mouth sores, easy bruising, joint pain, swelling, and/or stiffness, foamy urine, difficulty concentrating, and mood changes.  The spectrum of manifestations of SLE is wide, meaning that some people may present mild symptoms, while others present severe manifestations. The symptoms of arthritis occur in many lupus patients, commonly affecting the fingers, wrists and knees. The majority of the patients have periods of time where the disease is active (commonly known as flares), followed by inactive disease.  

How is SLE diagnosed?

SLE is diagnosed by evaluating the signs and symptoms the patient presents, as well as by the findings in physical examination. Certain laboratory tests are crucial for confirming a diagnosis of lupus. The most important screening test measures ANA, but having a positive ANA does not necessarily mean that a patient has lupus. If the patient presents a positive ANA, more specific tests are necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

What is the treatment of SLE?

There is no cure for SLE. However, there is very good therapy to control the disease and limit the damage to the organs. This therapy has particularly advanced over the lasts years.  The specific type of therapy depends on the manifestations and the severity of lupus. Milder symptoms may respond to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs). Therapy also involves hydroxychloroquine and steroids which are used to control the immune system and prevent damage related to the disease. Steroids are very useful in lupus however their use should be carefully monitor as to prevent unwanted side effects such as weight gain, weakening of the bones, and diabetes, among others.  

-Other medications that suppress the immune system might be necessary to control lupus activity including mycophenolate, cyclophosphamide, and azathioprine. Newer medications that have been used to treat lupus patients include biologic agents such as rituximab, abatacept and recently belimumab, which has been FDA approved for treating SLE. 

-Avoiding the sun exposure is very important since it has been linked to flares of SLE. It is especially important to avoid exposure between 10 AM and 3 PM. Patients are advised to use protective clothing and sunscreen with SPF of 50 or greater. 

-It is recommended that lupus patients follow a well-balanced diet which is low in fat and high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  Since steroid use (prednisone) may be required, weight gain might be a possible side effect of therapy. It is important for patients to remain active.  Especially in patients who take steroids, calcium and vitamin d supplementation is advised. Calcium is recommended at a range of 1000-1200 mg daily, while vitamin d is recommended at 400-800 units daily, in order to decrease bone loss (which can occur with steroid use).

-A number of medications have been linked to worsening of lupus symptoms. It is crucial that patients tell their doctors they have lupus and the medications they are taking. 

Lupus and pregnancy

It is important that patients with lupus plan their pregnancies and discuss their desires of pregnancy with their doctors early in this process. The chances of having a pregnancy without complications improve when patients become pregnant once their lupus is in control. If the lupus is active, patients should avoid pregnancy due to the high risk of possible complications.

Lupus is a complex disease, many times very challenging to manage. Thus, it is crucial to follow with a Rheumatologist who is the expert in diagnosing and treating autoimmune diseases such as SLE in order to start therapy promptly and effectively.
This is the butterfly or malar rash, a red rash that involves the cheeks and nose and that is frequently triggered by sun exposure.
Lupus is a disease that can affect multiple organs. It can cause inflammation in the kidneys, the tissue lining the lungs (pleura) and heart (pericardium), and the brain.

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Good Carbs, Bad Carbs: Who’s to Blame?

Confusion about Carbohydrates – Change Your Diet, Change Your Body

By Brooke Huber

Yes, Carbohydrates are energy producing nutrients, but too much of a good thing can be bad! It is important to understand the difference between good carbs and bad carbs.

Good carbohydrates include high fiber foods containing an abundant amount of vitamins and minerals to maintain an even supply of energy. Good Carbohydrates Examples: whole grains, beans, fruit and vegetables. Bad carbs come from white bread, white rice, pastry, sugary sodas and other highly processed foods, which can lead to obesity. If you eat a lot of these bad carbs they will increase your risk for disease.

When you intake carbohydrates, your pancreas releases insulin, this hormone enables you to digest starches and sugars. The more sucrose you have (table sugar) the higher your insulin level becomes. When exercising, the first thing your body burns off BEFORE the fat, is insulin. So the more carbs you have in your body, the longer it takes to lose that weight. If you really want to be healthier and shed off those pounds quickly, cut out the bad carbohydrates and try replacing them for good carbohydrates and protein. The difference you will see in your weight loss is night and day. If you’re not in taking as many bad carbs, then there is less insulin in your body and you will begin to immediately burn off the fat. Here, use this diagram to help you better understand.

Notice the layer of carbohydrates (insulin) in the body above. When you intake carbohydrates, a layer of insulin formulates around the fat like you see in the picture. While many people will exercise and believe they are burning this fat, many have not even reached that stage. Many people will also leave the gym and have a high carb meal without being aware. This leaves your workout merely pointless. Replacing those bad carbs for good carbs and protein will keep that layer of insulin thin. Thus, making your goal to lose weight achievable and your risk for diseases much lower by obtaining a healthy balance in your diet. Feel and look great fast, change your diet and create a better you!

Easy and Effective Ways to Manage Stress

Stress can come from many factors: work, home life, finances, family, relationships, etc. It directly effects our health and can cause related damage to our bodies including headaches, wrinkles, thinning of hair, and anxiety. Stress is a part of our daily lives but there are many easy and effective ways to manage it.

Use these methods to better control your stress and get your health back on track:

Identify the Source

By Identifying the source of where your stress if coming from, you can then figure out ways to control and manage it. A great way to figure this out is to start a Stress Journal. Use this to make a daily log of when you are stressed and make a notes of what caused it, how it makes you feel, and your response to it. This will help you narrow down the stress factor.

After you have figured out the source then learn how to cope with it.

Reach Out

Having a good support social group is a key factor in relieving stress. Just having someone to talk to about your stresses will take a major weight off your chest. Even talking about the stress will help get you back on track and give you the strength you need to conquer it.

Be In the Now

You've heard the phrase "Stop and Smell the Roses" right? Well, it is true. When you take time out to live in the present and really appreciate all you have in that moment you forget about all you have to do. Focus on your senses and all that is around you and you should feel the tension leave your body.

Laugh More

Give yourself a little laugh break once in a while. Laughing doesn't only relieve stress but it also releases endorphins that help boost your mood. Watch a funny cat video, listen to a good joke, or call that person you know makes you smile.


Any type of exercise at any age, from walking to swimming, can help with depression and anxiety. Exercising releases those feel-good chemicals into your brain, which once again helps to boost your mood. So take a quick walk at lunch or a hike with the family.

Find More Great Tips and Information about Stress Management visit these great sites:

Images courtesy of stockimages /

National Nut Day and their Health Benefits

We are nuts about nuts!

Reasons to Be Nuts About Them Too:

-Packed with Healthy Vitamins and Fats:

- Unsaturated Fats (fats that your body needs on a daily basis that digest easily and promote better health)

- Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Which is proven to help with heart health)

- Vitamin E

- Fiber

-Great for Energy and Fuel:

- Nuts are a great pre-workout snack to help give you that added boost to perform well in your daily workout

- Healthy everyday snack that will give you the nutrients your body needs while leaving you full and satisfied

Helps With:

- Weight Management

- Stress

- Prostate Cancer

- And Many More

Just be aware that these benefits come from nuts in their raw form, meaning no salt, sugar, chocolate or other additive.

Read More About the Benefits of Nuts Here: