Health Tip: Help Prevent Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome occurs when being overweight or obese -- combined with other risk factors -- increase a person's chances of developing heart disease and diabetes.
These risk factors include abdominal obesity, elevated triglycerides, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar and a poor ratio of good-to-bad cholesterol.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute suggests how you can help prevent metabolic syndrome:
- Maintain a healthy body-mass index (BMI) of less than 25.
- Keep your waistline at a healthy size. Less than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men is ideal.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Talk to your doctor about the best weight for you.
- Stick to a low-calorie, low-cholesterol and low-fat eating plan.
- Get regular exercise. In general, 60 minutes worth, five-to-seven days per week, is recommended for most people.
- Visit your doctor regularly, and frequently test your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.
Health Tip: Understanding Various Types of Insulin
If you or a loved one has diabetes, you know that insulin is a lifeline to better health. But not all types of insulin are the same.
The American Diabetes Association offers this information about insulin's different forms:
- "Rapid-acting" insulin, often called Humalog or lispro, begins to work right away after injection and is most effective after about an hour. It's usually taken just before mealtime.
- "Regular," or short-acting insulin, may be taken 30 minutes to 45 minutes before meals, but it takes longer to work, and keeps working longer.
- "Intermediate-acting" insulin, often called NPH or Lente, is combined with another substance that helps it work more slowly. This type of insulin can last as long as 18 hours.
- "Long-acting" insulin, dubbed Ultralente, is commonly taken early in the morning or at bedtime, and can last for up to 20 hours.
- "Very long-acting insulin," or glargine, begins working about an hour after it's injected and can remain consistently effective for about 24 hours.