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Mediterranean Diet Basics

Mediterranean Diet Basics

Many of your patients who are looking for a healthier eating plan, whether for weight loss or for overall health, have explored the Mediterranean diet. Below is a primer on this regimen so that you can address your patients’ questions and concerns, and help them adopt this program, or one like it, to improve their overall health.

We know that healthy diets should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. However, the Mediterranean diet is not a conventional diet in that it incorporates a mix of traditional cooking styles, eating habits, and lifestyle behaviors of people living in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, including Italy, Greece, Spain, France, and the Middle East. For millennia, people in this region have enjoyed their traditional foods, leisurely dining, and regular physical activity without considering the healthful properties of their lifestyles.

Researchers Pinpoint Upper Safe Limit of Vitamin D Blood Levels

Researchers Pinpoint Upper Safe Limit of Vitamin D Blood Levels

Researchers claim to have calculated for the first time, the upper safe limit of vitamin D levels, above which the associated risk for cardiovascular events or death raises significantly, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology  Metabolism (JCEM).

Salk Scientists Find Potential Therapeutic Target for Cushing's Disease

Salk Scientists Find Potential Therapeutic Target for Cushing’s Disease

The protein, called TR4 (testicular orphan nuclear receptor 4), is one of the human body’s 48 nuclear receptors, a class of proteins found in cells that are responsible for sensing hormones and, in response, regulating the expression of specific genes. Using a genome scan, the Salk team discovered that TR4 regulates a gene that produces adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which is overproduced by pituitary tumors in Cushing’s disease (CD). The findings were published in the May 6 early online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Hair Analysis Reveals Elevated Stress Hormone Levels Raise Cardiovascular Risk

Hair Analysis Reveals Elevated Stress Hormone Levels Raise Cardiovascular Risk

Unlike a blood test that captures a snapshot of stress hormone levels at a single point in time, a scalp hair analysis can be used to view trends in levels of the stress hormone cortisol over the course of several months. This approach allows researchers to have a better sense of the variability in cortisol levels. The study found seniors who had higher long-term levels of the stress hormone cortisol were more likely to have cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular Risk May Remain for Treated Cushing’s Disease Patients

Cardiovascular Risk May Remain for Treated Cushing’s Disease Patients

Cushing’s disease is a rare condition where the body is exposed to excess cortisol – a stress hormone produced in the adrenal gland – for long periods of time.

Researchers have long known that patients who have Cushing’s disease are at greater risk of developing and dying from cardiovascular disease than the average person. This study examined whether the risk could be eliminated or reduced when the disease is controlled. Researchers found that these risk factors remained long after patients were exposed to excess cortisol.

Study Finds Up to Half of Gestational Diabetes Patients Will Develop Type 2 Diabetes

Study Finds Up to Half of Gestational Diabetes Patients Will Develop Type 2 Diabetes

The prospective cohort study tracked 843 women who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes between 1996 and 2003 at Cheil General Hospital in Seoul, South Korea. About 12.5 percent of the women developed Type 2 diabetes within two months of delivering their babies. During the next decade, the number of women diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes continued to grow at a rate of 6.8 percent a year.

Dolphin-Assisted Therapy

Dolphin-Assisted Therapy

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) involves incorporating an animal into a person’s therapeutic process or treatment. Dolphins are an increasingly popular choice of ATT to address psychological problems and developmental disabilities, especially in children. A growing and controversial group of global entrepreneurs claim dolphin-assisted therapy (DAT) can help patients feel better by putting them in close contact with dolphins. There are now more than 100 organizations offering DAT around the globe in such widely scattered places as Florida, Hawaii, Mexico, Israel, Australia, and Ukraine.

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