07 April 2011

How Much Fiber Is Enough? Part 1

I do have to wonder when the different medical groups are going to become unified in their recommendations for daily dietary fiber intake. I see different ranges quite often. One groups orders 31 grams of fiber for everyone, another claims that women only need 25 grams, and men need 38 grams of daily dietary fiber. Most seem to recommend within this range, but I have seen more precise suggestions based on age, weight, and other factors.

Do we need standardization? It would seem wise as too many medical groups recommend on one number fits all. They do not specify what age range they are talking about or even if there are other factors involved in the determination. I am not sure whose recommendation to use and therefore I go with one I trust more that most which is the Mayo Clinic (see page 2). While their recommendation is from the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine (IOM), which I hesitate to use, it is reasonable.

This recommendation does not account for children for which I fault the IOM and Mayo Clinic. It does say that age 50 and younger for women the amount of daily dietary fiber should be 25 grams and for women age 51 and older the need drops to 21 grams. For men age 50 and younger the amount of daily dietary fiber should be 38 grams and for men age 51 and older the need decreases to 30 grams.

The best table for dietary fiber is this table by the World Health Organization and you can find it here. You may wish to bookmark it for future reference. It does account for children and the table is about one third down the page. There is other valuable dietary fiber information on the site as well.

Dietary fiber is sometimes referred to as bulk or roughage. Dietary fiber is found in plants, fruits, vegetables, and grains. Dietary fiber is part of a heart-healthy diet. It adds bulk and the full feeling quicker which helps control weight, aids digestion and makes bowel movements easier.

Dietary fiber is of two types – soluble and insoluble Insoluble fiber facilitates easier movement through you digestive system and increases stool bulk. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like material. This helps lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. The amount of each type of fiber varies by plant foods. This is why everyone recommends eating a wide variety of high fiber foods.

Benefits of a proper level of fiber in your diet are many and this is the reason for making this known over and over to people. Of course, the correct amount of fiber in your diet makes bowel movement easier and can help with preventing loose stools and for some people it may provide assistance from irritable bowel syndrome. Other benefits of a proper fiber diet is that it may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids, and possibly other colon diseases.

Next a study and more in fiber – part 2.

06 April 2011

I Will Attempt to Have Posts, But I Am Down Right Now

There has been some diabetes news, but most have been shockers trying to get peoples attention to lure more grant monies for research. To me this is not news, but gamesmanship to attract grant funds.

I have seen so many of these lately, that I am jaded in my views and need to get away from some of them. I am not sure that some of them are even legitimate studies or even designed to obtain results other than what the companies want to be shown.

A lot of this started for me when I wrote and posted this blog. To have a government agency develop a 10-year plan and not even encourage finding a cure, but to concentrate on managing diabetes and preventing complications, leaves me wondering whom has paid off whom at the government level.

Yes, this is an undocumented accusation, but it bothers me that our government does not care about finding a cure. Letters to my congressional representatives have not yielded even an acknowledgment of receiving them. I was asking questions that normally should yield answers.

So for the time being, if I am not here with a blog, I may not have found something that deserves attention or I have more research to complete before posting.

Thank you for your patience.

04 April 2011

Primary Care to Enter the Dentist's Office?

Can you get past the fear of the dental office to accept dentists doing some primary care? I am not sure I could even though I have no fears of the dental office. I think I would be forced to look elsewhere for my dental work if primary care came to the dental office where I get my dental work done.

I know that the primary care physicians may be in short supply in the near future, but I am having serious problems with the ones trying to fill this vacuum. First the pharmacies, see my blog here, and now the dentists. I guess my initial reaction is one of lets not change the current system.

With what is happening, this may be wishful thinking, but I will do my best to avoid these situations. The doctor interviewed for this article, is very convincing and well-intentioned. He raises some excellent points and knows this will not happen overnight. He is determined that this should be the course of action for dental students of the future. Figuring that this will take three to five years for this to start, another five years for the first ones to graduate, we are eight to ten years before this begins to happen.

Then for other dental schools to actively turn out graduates, would require at least that long and you know that many students will not chose this area so even with all dental schools putting graduates in to the profession some areas will start to have this in ten to 15 years and probably a full 20 to 25 years before this becomes a complete reality.

The one area that could definitely be an advantage for the dental profession is aiding in the detection of diabetes. The doctor did not say diagnosis, but did emphasize screening and referring the patient to their doctor or referring them a doctor knowledgeable about diabetes. Since many primary care doctors have abdicated their responsibility in the area of screening and diagnosis, this is one positive I could see since often there can be signs that the dentist might see earlier like periodontal disease which has a link to diabetes.

So it will be up to the patient whether they will to accept some primary care from the dental profession. How fast this could become a reality remains to be seen, but if limited in nature, there may be a place for some types of primary care.

Read the interview here.