Dr harold Gunatillake

What is HbA1C test and why is it done on diabetics regularly?

Written by Dr harold Gunatillake-FRCS, FIACS (US), FICS (US), MBBS (Cey), AM (Sing).-Health writer

When you do a finger prick blood test on a strip inserted into your glucometer, you are assessing the blood sugar level at that moment. Most diabetics do a fasting level in the morning before breakfast and the reading is of no significance for the control of blood sugar. It is a very reliable test to diagnose diabetes and prediabetes. Beyond that the test is of no significance.

An A1C test measures how well the body is maintaining blood glucose levels for the past three months which is the most important test to assess the control of your diabetes.

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Be watchful of foods you eat with saturated fat

Written by Dr Harold Gunatillake-Health writer

Some cardiologists seem to dispute this theory that saturated fats are linked to heart disease. Written by Dr harold Gunatillake-health writer Cholesterol- is a word in every one’s mouth today 75 % of cholesterol required for body functions is synthesised in the liver from
Acetyl-CoA through the HMG-CoA cycle and not from fats in your food. Only 25% comes from the food (saturated fat), we eat like eggs and dairy.

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Are you getting enough vitamin A?

Written by Dr Harold Gunatillake-Health writer

There are 4 fat soluble vitamins- A. D. E. K. They are referred to as fat soluble as fatty acids are required for absorption, in contrast to vitamin C which is water soluble, If you do not eat sufficient fatty food, these fat soluble vitamins may rush through the gut and get excreted. Thus – the importance of including fatty foods in your daily diet. Bile secreted in the liver too helps to absorb fat soluble vitamins, including cholesterol.

Further important fact is that fat soluble vitamins are retained and stored in the body and taking too much may lead to toxicity. Further fat soluble vitamins are not destroyed by heat, contrary to the water soluble ones are very unstable and you can take in excess with no toxic symptoms. They are easily destroyed by heat. 

We all get adequate vitamin A requirement though we are not aware of it, unless you suffer from ill-nourishment or chronic gastro-intestinal disorders like coeliac disease, cystic fibrosis, cirrhosis among others. Rice eaters may not get sufficient vitamin A due to lack of carotene. Vitamin A deficiency is a common protein energynutrition as in Marasmus and Kwashiorkor.

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Energy production in our Cells and to fight cancer eat less carbohydrates

Written by Dr harold Gunatillake-health writer

Every cell in our body produces energy for survival. In each cell there is a structure called mitochondrion. In addition to supplying cellular energy mitochondria are involved in other tasks such as signalling cellular differentiation and cell death. Our red blood cells have no mitochondria, whilst the liver cell can have more than 2000. Each cell is composed of a cytoplasm which forms the main cell component, and a central nucleus. Mitochondria are found in the cytoplasm. The nucleus contains the DNA material.

Our cells produce energy in two ways: in the presence of oxygen then we call it aerobically or anaerobically in the absence of oxygen. Anaerobic energy production by the mitochondria generates lactic acid which is considered toxic to the body. So we need to breathe in atmospheric air containing oxygen right through life to prevent lactic acid formation…

We all have cancer cells floating in our body controlled by the immune system. These cancer cells over-produce lactic acid in the presence of oxygen-aerobically. Now that would be the difference between our normal body cells and cancer cell metabolism.

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Are you feeling tired all the time?

by Dr. Harold Gunatillake

Were you been active in life interested in your work, enjoying nature and the birds, spending time with your family, now suddenly lost interest, feel tired and not motivated to do the things you did before?

You should not neglect your feeling of tiredness and take it for granted, hoping you’ll feel better soon.

You may be too stressed at work and more pressure from your superiors and having sleepless nights can all make you fatigued and tired.
If the condition does not improve with time, with your daily routine and participating in activities with your family and relax, you may have an underlying cause and need to see your family doctor.

Anaemia can bring about tiredness. With fewer red blood cells in your blood for transporting oxygen through the blood stream to the tissue can bring about tiredness. Lack of iron could be the reason. Vegans do sometimes lack iron, as most of the iron is obtained from meat sources.

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Taking Salt In Your Food

by Dr. Harold Gunatillake

Do you know how much of salt you consume daily in your food, including from sauces, salad dressings, pickles, cheeses and restaurant food among others? There is much salt in your processed foods, canned soups canned tomato sauce, deli meats, smoked fish and dry fish, lunu miris and seeni sambol and all that. Some individuals further add more table salt at the dining table, quite a common habit we see. Do you know that one cup of self-rising wheat flour has heaps of sodium as baking soda and salt? This means that all baked goods you eat; including bread, pasta has lot of hidden salt.

Your body needs salt for your muscles, tissues, nerves and circulatory system. Sodium helps to sustain your blood pressure, blood volume and required in the body fluids-intra-and extra cellular to maintain electrolyte balance.

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You need to eat anti-inflammatory foods – by Dr. Harold Gunatillake

Inflammatory process in our bodies is a defensive mechanism against infections. How does it happen? As soon as an infection occurs due to some germs in any part of the body- the regional blood vessels promptly expand opening a pathway for the defensive cells and immune cells to get into the focus of infection. There are cells called macrophages that eat up the germs that are causing the inflammatory process. The whole system of this defence process is complicated, but the main fact is that such a system in our body is a great benefit for the elimination of any local inflammatory process.

This mechanism can fail due to the overreaction of the immune system and start attacking healthy body tissues.

There are certain foods that enhance the defensive mechanism to ward of infections and you should concentrate on such foods for daily consumption

Such foods are- Fatty fish: Chocolate: Cruciferous and dark leafy vegies including broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussel sprouts: Bob choy: Spinach: Flaxseed: Green Tea: Tomatoes: Mushrooms: Olive oil: Beans: Turmeric: Nuts like cashew, almond and walnuts: soy: chickpeas: Fruits like Papaw: Avocados, strawberries, blue berries, cherries and oranges: dairy foods: water: herbs like cloves, cinnamon, oregano, Pumpkin, sage: whole grain as opposed to refined, white bread, cereals, rice and pasta, and a few more

Mediterranean diet that incorporates of olive oil, wholegrains, fish, vegies and red wine is anti-inflammatory and no wonder the people in the Mediterranean belts live healthily a long life.

All anti-inflammatory foods are rich in antioxidants to help fight free radicals. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules- are responsible and contribute to aging. These foods help reduce your risk of heart disease and developing cancer. Berries including strawberries, blue berries and acai berries contain polyphenols which may combat cancer and degenerative diseases like arthritis.

Fibre in these foods may help to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol numbers in your blood and prevent constipation. Fibre also feeds the microbiomes in your gut that boosts your immune system.

All meat products are inflammatory and their consumption should be reduced to a minimum. On the other hand fish is anti-inflammatory and as cold as a cold fish.

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