What’s Causing That Pain in Your Back?

Professional office woman with back pain

Most Americans have suffered from a form of back pain at some point in their life and many live with it daily, so don’t worry, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, there are many things that we do in our everyday life that can contribute to back pain. Whether it’s a sore muscle, a pinched nerve, or something with your spine, there are many contributors to back pain. The best place to start in managing back pain is to know the possible causes. When you know the source, it is easier to avoid back pain triggers, so let’s take a look at some of the most common contributors.

Sciatica

If you experience back pain after working out or doing heavy lifting, it is usually caused by straining a muscle, but it is possible the pain could be a result of a bulging or ruptured disc. If this disc presses against the sciatic nerve it can cause pain from the buttock all the way down your leg, and this is called sciatica.

Posture

Your mom wasn’t just giving you a hard time when she told you to sit or stand up straight. Your back is best at supporting weight when you’re not slouching. When you’re standing, keep your weight evenly distributed on both feet. The ideal conditions for sitting are good lumbar support, shoulders back, and a low stool for your feet.

Work

Whether you are doing heavy lifting or sitting at a desk, your job can contribute to your back pain. A physical job that involved lifting, pullng, or twisting can all contribute to back pain. The same can also be said for your office job, as we mentioned earlier about posture. An uncomfortable chair or a tendency to slouch can lead to a hurting back.

Arthritis

Osteoarthritis can certain impact your lower back. There are circumstances where arthritis on the spine can cause the area around the spine to narrow, this is referred to as spinal stenosis.

Osteoporosis

Reduced mass causes bones to weaken. When this happens on your spine’s vertebrae, compression fractures can occur.

Bag

Purses, backpacks, briefcases can all add to your back pain. Even though these items generally rest on our shoulders, your back is the one carrying the weight of your upper body and anything resting on it. Day after day of literally shouldering the burden – in this case, the weight of your bag – can certainly put some strain on your lower back.

Workout

A hard workout at the gym, golfing, or playing softball are some most common ways to overextend muscles in the back, which can lead to low back pain. If you are mostly sedentary during the week, this can increase the odds of injury when you spend hours at the gym, golf course, or softball fields.

These are some of the most common contributors to back pain. They say knowing is half the battle, and knowing what can cause back pain will help you in avoiding some of these triggers. If you experience severe back pain, it is best to see a doctor to be sure your pain is not something more serious.

To learn more about clinical research for low back pain and other topics, click HERE or call us directly at 817-281-4156.

Detecting Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes symptoms detection infographic

Although type 2 diabetes can be very manageable, it’s nothing to take lightly, which means it’s crucial that it’s detected as early as possible. It is estimated that 29 million Americans have diabetes, and 1 in 4 of those are unaware that they have it, according to the CDC. That means there are more than 7 million Americans who are not receiving the proper treatment, not making the proper lifestyle changes, and are at risk of serious complications. It may be hard to detect, the symptoms of diabetes – types 1 and 2 – can be fairly subtle. It’s possible to have developed type 2 diabetes and not know for years, so it’s important that you know what symptoms to look for. These are some of the more common signs of diabetes.

Increased Thirst and Frequent Urination

The excess sugar build-up in your bloodstream causes fluids to be pulled from the tissues of your body, which can cause excessive thirst and increased urination. Essentially, your body is trying to flush out the extra glucose.

Increased Hunger

In addition to extra thirst, individuals who develop type 2 diabetes may develop excessive hunger as well. Without proper insulin levels, your muscles and organs may become fatigued. When blood sugar levels drop sharply, the body may think it needs to be fed and will crave more glucose than is necessary.

Weight Loss

Despite the likely increase in food consumption, weight loss can still occur. Individuals may lose 10-20 pounds in a matter of a few months, but not in a healthy manner. The inability to properly metabolize glucose causes the body to use other means, such as protein and calories.

Fatigue

With the extra work your body is putting in to compensate for its glucose deficiency, and if cells aren’t getting the sugar they need, it can cause the individual to become tired and irritable.

Blurry Vision

Elevated blood sugar levels can cause fluid to be taken from your lenses, which may cause difficulty focusing or flashes of light to be seen.

Slow Healing

When someone is diabetic, cuts and bruises might become more difficult to heal, and their ability to fight infections could weaken.

Skin Problems

Different skin conditions, such as itching or darkened skin, may occur with diabetes. Itching may be caused by dry skin or poor circulation. Darkened skin is referred to as acanthosis nigricans and usually occurs in the neck or armpit areas – which may be a sign of insulin resistance.

These are some of the most common signs of diabetes, but you can find other symptoms and more information at www.Diabetes.org. Catching diabetes as early as possible is important to reduce the chances of complications arising from this disease. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s imperative that you see your doctor, and he or she will likely administer a diabetes test in order to check glucose levels.

Learn more about living with diabetes and how you can become a participant in one of our studies!

What Happens Upon Completion of a Clinical Research Trial?

clinical research lab and scientists

Most potential participants have many questions about what is involved during a clinical trial, and understandably so. But what happens afterwards?

Upon completion of the study, the global study team (which includes our staff as well as those working for the study sponsor) will carefully analyze the information that was collected throughout the duration of the trial. This allows us to determine what the findings actually mean, and if further testing is required. If further testing is deemed necessary, the investigational drug moves onto the next phase of 4 possible phases.

Finding from the study are regularly published for peer-review. This allows other experts to review the results prior to release, in order to ensure accuracy of conclusions. If the data is especially important, they may even be presented in news media, or in patient advocacy groups. If this new treatment is proven safe and effective, it is likely to move into mainstream practice.

You should always feel comfortable and confident during any clinical trial. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to call us directly at 817-281-4156.

5 Cookbooks Every Diabetic Should Check Out

Food, insulin, and blood glucose levels are intricately intertwined in the body. But you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that healthy foods will benefit any individual living with diabetes.

Which foods are healthiest for diabetics? How can you make diabetic-friendly meals and stay within your budget? Look to these five diabetic cookbooks to find a wealth of information on diabetes and the recipes you need to keep your blood sugar under control.

The Glycemic-Load Diet: A Powerful New Program for Losing Weight and Reversing Insulin Resistance

Author: Dr. Rob Thompson The Glycemic-Load Diet

If you’re a diabetic, you’ve probably heard about the glycemic index. Essentially, every food with carbohydrates is assigned a number based on how much it raises blood glucose levels. In general, foods with lower numbers are healthier than food with higher numbers. However, as Dr. Rob Thompson points out in this book, there are some flaws in this methodology.

Dr. Thompson uses his book to explain a new concept: glycemic load. He outlines the importance of serving sizes and details how diabetics can use the principles of glycemic load to lose weight. His recipes promote eating whole foods that are quality sources of nutrition: meats, cheeses, vegetables, fruits, and the like.

Betty Crocker’s Diabetes Cookbook: Everyday Meals, Easy as 1-2-3

Authors: Dr. Richard M. Bergenstal, Diane Reader, and Maureen DoranBetty Crocker's Diabetes Cookbook

Coming from the queen bee of cookbooks, this one contains 140 recipes and includes the nutritional breakdown of every dish. The editors have even created a seven-day meal plan using recipes from the cookbook. The recipes are divided into eight sections, featuring everything from breakfast to dessert.

This cookbook also serves as an educational tool. The beginning pages outline the main aspects of diabetes and provide a Q & A page with answers from a dietician. There is also a helpful carbohydrate chart and a glossary of commonly used diabetic terms.

The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook: More than 175 Ultra-Tasty Recipes for Total Health and Weight Loss

Author: Dr. Mark HymanThe Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook

Dr. Mark Hyman is physician and well-respected author who has had seven books hit the #1-spot on the New York Times best sellers list. He’s a strong advocate of functional medicine—a patient-centered, whole-body treatment approach that focuses on the underlying causes of diseases.

In this cookbook, Dr. Hyman focuses on using proper nutrition to reverse diabetes and obesity. Before he lists any recipes, he encourages readers to take a series of quizzes to gauge the severity of their condition. He also provides guidelines for stocking the kitchen and shopping at the grocery store.

Finally, on to the recipes! Dr. Hyman doesn’t use any convenience foods, but instead focuses on a variety of real foods. These recipes are far from traditional “meat and potatoes” meals and many of the recipes take dedicated preparation, but the results are well worth it.

Biggest Book of Diabetic Recipes: More than 350 Great-Tasting Recipes for Living Well with Diabetes

Author: Better Homes & Gardens Editors Biggest Book of Diabetic Recipes

This diabetic cookbook is easy, straightforward, and a great option for beginners. The recipes utilize ingredients that are easy to find at any grocery store. Plus, they feature just the right spices to bring out the natural flavoring of foods without unnecessary added salt, sugar, or fat.

Unlike hardcover or paperback cookbooks, this collection of recipes is put together in a plastic spiral binding that allows the pages to lay flat on the countertop while you cook. Plus, it includes several days of meal plans and seven categories of recipes.

Diabetic Slow Cooker

Author: Diabetic Living Editors Diabetic Slow Cooker

Everyone loves slow cooker meals! They’re a cinch to prepare and the low-and-slow cooking time gives the food a great flavor. This cookbook from Diabetic Living gives diabetics quick tips on how to makeover traditional slow cooker meals and turn them into diabetic-friendly dishes.

There are 150 recipes in this book. You’ll find healthy recipes for chicken wings, meatballs, sandwiches, desserts, and much more. Plus, each recipe page also includes suggested side dishes and nutritional content.

Diabetes Clinical Research

Diabetes: Control Your Blood Sugars through Smoking Cessation

Control Your Blood Sugars through Smoking Cessation

There are many things that can have serious impact on your overall blood sugars. One of the largest effects on your blood sugar is not actually what you eat, it is what you breathe. Smoking is unhealthy for anyone, even those who don’t currently have any health problems. Even second hand smoke can have the same effects. When it comes to diabetics smoking, the risks can be worse, it can actually cause chronic blood glucose problems until you are able to quit.

Smoking in Relation to Diabetes

Smoking not only puts you at risk for having high blood sugars on a regular basis, but it can also be a major cause for the diabetes diagnosis. Many scientific studies have proven that the chemicals in commercially sold tobacco can increase blood sugar, nicotine being one of the main culprits.

Studies have also shown that after the first puff of each cigarette, your blood sugar shoots up. It returns to normal about 30 minutes after the last puff.

The worst association of smoking and diabetes is that it can also contribute to developing insulin resistance, which means your body will have trouble responding to most conventional methods of treating high blood sugars.

Quitting Smoking for Diabetics

Unfortunately, most products that are sold over the counter are not a good fit for a diabetic who is attempting to quit smoking. This is because the patch, the gum, lozenges, and even the inhaler contain nicotine. When your body is exposed to high doses of nicotine for a prolonged period of time, your blood sugar could become dangerously high.

There are many prescription medications, such as Chantix and Wellbutrin that have provided amazing results for a wide range of people. It is important to talk to your doctor to ensure that you are a good fit for these medications. Certain disorders that are caused by diabetes, or lead to diabetes, are affected by these medications, so not everyone can take them.

Considerations for Quitting

Regardless of what method you use to quit, it is important to carefully monitor your body’s response. Many people tend to eat more and on more regular intervals when they stop smoking. As a diabetic, you have to take special care not to over-eat, and not to eat the wrong types of foods. Eating fruits and vegetables that are low on carbohydrates and processed sugars can help curb the cravings, and still allow you to maintain your blood sugars.

You may have to check your blood sugar more often as you are quitting smoking, especially if you are using snacks to help curb cravings. This is because stress can also increase your blood sugar and can have negative effects. This is why most physicians choose to use Wellbutrin to aid diabetics in their efforts to quit smoking. In clinical studies, this medication has also shown positive effects on reducing the stress level, and counteracting any depression that may be associated with quitting.

Diabetes CTA

Exercises for Diabetics Who Suffer from COPD

Exercises for diabetes and COPD

As a diabetic, you know how important it is to maintain your weight and in some cases, reduce your weight. If you are a diabetic who also suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), this can be very challenging. COPD is an overall diagnosis that covers a lot of respiratory illnesses. The illnesses that are typically categorized in this group are emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and asthma.  These disorders cause shortness of breath, and make exercise very difficult. [Read more…]

5 Reasons To Participate In A Clinical Research Study

Most people don’t think about participating in a clinical research study simplye because they are not familiar with clinical research.  But there are big advantanges to be found in clinical research, such as: [Read more…]

Ensuring Patient Rights and Safety In Clinical Research

It’s understandable to have a few concerns or even reservations when considering to participate in a clinical research study.  While plenty of information can be the provided about the study drug or the study itself, many potential volunteers still want to know who is going to maintain their safety and protect their rights.  The FDA actually says that is our job as clinical research professionals.

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Diabetic Medication 101

Managing your diabetes will always begin with a proper diet and plenty of exercise. However, depending upon your symptoms, your doctor may decide to start you on medication as well to help control your blood sugar levels.

Diabetic patients are often overwhelmed by the range of diabetic medication available in the US – let’s try simply these medications into 3 main groups.
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