Saturday, December 28, 2013

Your prostate gland, love it or loose it

Lets go back to basics. A diseased prostate gland is the most regretful thing to most men. We men, take our prostate gland for granted. We don’t really know much about the gland, much less care about it.

Yes, we panic with horror when we are diagnosed with the prostate cancer. So lets go back to the basics. Get to know about the organ that gives you the most pleasure and procreate at will. Know the organ that allows you to urinate naturally after a few beers. Know the organ that won’t leak on you 24/7. Yes your prostate gland is a vital organ. Love it or loose it.

The Whole Life Prostate Book is written by H Ballentine Carter MD and Gerald Secor Couzens.  This is the book about everything that every man at every age needs to know about maintaining optimal prostate health. This book is very comprehensive and well written in an understandable presentation.
The author is a renown urologist with the John Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has been pioneering prostate treatments for his entire career. He states that most men living past 80 years old will have prostate cancer that began years ago and most men past 40 years old will have some degree of discomfort with lower tract symptoms (LUTS).  Good lifestyle habits, healthy diet and exercises will certainly prevent decline in male health. Deciding what treatments and therapies to address prostate cancer and LUTS will baffle most men.

Today prostatitis, which is the common medical term for inflammation of the prostate is further defined as chronic prostatitis/ chronic pelvic pain syndrome ( CP/CPPS.) BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) is now defined as BPE (Benign Prostate Enlargement.)

The author is firm that being over weight or obese, especially amassing abdominal body fat is a major health risk for men. Chronic inflammation increases with excess body fat and can affect the prostate, leading to cellular damage that promotes prostate disorders, including cancer. Metabolic syndrome, a combination of disorders of weight, lipids and glucose increases the risk of prostate diseases.
Lifestyle modifications including dietary changes and physical activities can reverse metabolic syndrome. A moderate amount of exercise and physical activities can reduce the risk and progression of prostate cancer.

This is a must have book for men of all ages.

Take care

Allen Lai

Friday, December 27, 2013

Pain management

The PENS apparatus

Pain is either acute or chronic. It is a symptom arising from hurt or damage to the body tissues, nerves etc. Advanced stage cancer almost brings chronic pain, particularly to the bones, organs and spine. Pain cannot be cured but the root cause to pain is curable.

The management of pain is one of the hardest tasks for doctors. Because he cannot see nor feel the pain. Only the patient can describe it. Of course there are excellent medication to manage pain, but it comes with a price and side effects.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) prescribed pain management in a ladder format. Patients are to take medication from mild to stronger types. Smaller to larger doses. The WHO pain management ladder is still valid today.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses herbs, massaging and acupuncture to cure pain. It does bring relief to pain but only temporary.

New studies in pain management for acute and chronic pain focuses on the affected nerves and muscles. Hypersensitive pain spots can be detected by ultrasound scan. In the past acupuncture and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerves Stimulation (TENS) have managed relive arthritic pain. TENS places electrodes into the skin of the effected area.

We now have PENS (Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) a similar concept to TENS. PENS uses needle nodes and electrical impulses are sent into the affected area like acupuncture. PENS is used for patients who fail to get relief from acupuncture or TENS. PENS combine the benefits of acupuncture and TENS. PENS is well tolerated and is minimally invasive.
PENS is now available in Hospital HUKM and PANTAI Medical Centre Kuala Lumpur.

Read the local media for more information.

Take care

Allen Lai

Monday, December 23, 2013

You are what you eat - Not quite

Tis the season for makan makan again. Following through to Chinese New Year at the end of January 2014. How not to indulge and over eat for the next two months? An annual “No diet period” for me at least.

We are what we eat, NOT QUITE.

Let us rephrase it. We are what our bodies does with what we ate. Not a great Aha moment? Food for thought. Let us digest and discuss this new paradigm. We are what our bodies does with what we ate.
For decades we were told that we are what we eat. So the bogeyman is out; bad foods for you. You can eat this, you should not eat it that. So frightening, scary and limiting. We keep looking for the food that are “good” for us. Yes good for us not me.

But hey, aren’t we all different? Maybe going by the ballpark rule, we are 80% same but 20% not the same. Why some people could eat no fat and some could eat no thin?  Why some people get well with a medication, but others does not get well with the same medication? This is because no two person are the same in body composition, health, age, blood count, acidity/alkali level; and hydration and oxygen levels in the body. We maybe built the same, even looks the same as in twins, but never the same with body composition, enzyme production and metabolic rates.

So someone’s meat is someone else’s poison.

Yes I do agree that there are good and bad foods, more precisely functional foods and foods which causes allergies to some people. Sometimes our genetic disposition will also make us intolerant to some foods, as with milk, soy, glutton, casein etc etc.

 We should be able to eat all type of foods moderately at least, and indulge with caution when we are diabetic or have digestive problems.

When we eat, we ingest the food differently, (Gluttons don't chew their food) we digest differently and also our metabolic rates are definitely different. So even when we ate the same food, same quantity, our bodies will make use of the food at the level of capacity possible in our bodies. We are what our bodies does with what we ate.

On that premise, let us eat and be merry.  Give yourselves a treat.

BTW for your new year’s resolution; start with improving your health, your body weight and composition, your immune system and your homeostasis. You can eat more for the next annual No diet period.

The bottom-line is not about the foods anymore, but it is about your own body that you should focus on.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Allen Lai

Saturday, December 21, 2013

When to eat what

WHEN TO EAT WHAT is written by Heidi Reichenberger McIndoo MS, RD, LDN

There are as many nutrition and healthy eating books as there food. McIndoo is a registered dietitian. She knows diet and nutrition. She was a former spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and has written for Shape and Prevention magazines. 

This book describes bare facts about how to become healthier and manage your body weight. All information herein are based on research and science. There is no fad diet.

Here are some pointers extracted from the book

Harris Benedict formula:

Calories needs:
66+(6.23Xweight in lbs) + (12.7X height in inches) – (6.8X age in years) = X calories
665 + (4.35 X weight in lbs) + (4.7 X height in inches) – (4.7 X age in years) = X calories

To eat calories needed for each day, Multiply X calories by the following factors based on how active you are on a daily basis:
No exercise:  X calories times 1.2
Light exercises: (1 to 3 days per week ) X calories times 1.375
Moderate exercises: (3 to 5 days per week) X calories times 1.55
Hard exercises: (6 to 7 days per week) X calories times 1.725
To reduce weight one lb per week, eat 500 calories less or burn 500 calories in exercises per day.
Eating less than 1300 calories per day is unhealthy.

Guidelines to what to eat:
30% of calories from fats (1 gram of fats = 9 calories)
15-20% from proteins (1 gram of proteins = 4 calories)
50-55% from carbohydrates. (1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories)
Nutrient needs =
Total calories X nutrient % divide by calories per gram of nutrient.
Nutrient % for proteins = 0.20
Nutrient for carbohydrates = 0.50
Nutrient for fats = 0.30

If the diet is fixed for 1800 calories per day
Proteins needs:
1800 X 0.20 divide by 4 = 90 grams of proteins per day
Carbohydrate needs:
1800X 0.50 divide by 4 = 225 grams of carbohydrates per day
Fats needs:
1800 X 0.30 divide by 4 = 60 grams of fat per day

Recommended daily fiber needs:
Male 14-50 years old 38 grams
Male more than 51 years old 30 grams
Female 14 – 18 years old 26 grams
Females 19 -50 years old 25 grams
Females more than 51 years old 21 grams

Read the book for full details and yummy recipies
Take care

Allen Lai

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Malaysian prostate cancer support group

Hello Malaysia,

Thursday 19 December 2013, 5 pm, at the Hospital Kuala Lumpur Urological Department.

We welcome Brig Jeneral Dr. Dato Selvalingam Socthilingam's initiative to form up a prostate support group together with the Max Foundation Malaysia Chapter.

Seven prostate cancer survivors and two advocators attended the meeting. We welcome Colonel Malik and Sabastian for their support.

The prostate cancer support group will be under the auspices of the Malaysian Urological Association and Max Foundation.

This new prostate cancer support group will endeavour to branch out to all states in the country. Registration is open now.

Dato Kalam, Tony Lee Hai Chooi, Sabastian and Lee Yoke Meng volunteered to spearhead the startup of the group. More volunteers are needed. 

Doto' Selva with Mei Ching and Yee Jia

Dato Kalam, Tony and Lee Hai Chooi

Sabastian, Dato Kalam and Tony

Survivors of prostate cancer, caregivers and every Malaysian are welcomed to register to join our prostate support group.

The next group meeting is scheduled on 19 January 2014 at 10 am at the Academy of Medicine , Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur premise for planning and strategic developments.

Read more about the Max Foundation here:

And Malaysia's own Max family here

Take care

Allen Lai

Saturday, December 14, 2013

UMMC Mid Study reviews

Saturday 14 December 2013. 

Almost three months into the UMMC Programme. Dr Nahar prepared us for a mid study review. Most of us had improved results from baseline data. 

I lost 2kg in weight. My VO2 max upped to 25.03 from 19.85.  
Fitness level up to 68 from 65. 
BMI dropped a point to 23.8

Also converted 2 kg body fat to body muscles. 

Thank you Dr Nahar, Gabriel and all UMMC Staff. Thanks for "pushing us". 

Keep it up BB GANG. We are almost there.

DR Nahar with Ester, Zack waiting...

Peter's turn

New kid on the block. Sam Yap (right)  just started

Gabriel keying in data for the records

 My VO2Max reading improved greatly

Heart beat count down in recovery mode.

Long way to go.

Take care

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

No count calorie foods

I am at war with sugars. All of them. Glucose, sucrose, fructose, maltose and table sugar. Definitely also all the artificial sweeteners. I am Diabetic Type 2 and needs to control my blood glucose daily. Alas I am also a prostate cancer survivor.

Cancer cells thrive on sugars; basically simple sugars from carbohydrate. All of them. So I would kill two birds with one stone if I could find the remedy for my love and consumption of sugars.
It is a fact that sugar is the common denominator for all our diseases. Sugar is the basic root cause to our ailments.

I came across Jorge Cruise’s The 100. A book describing his diet in counting only sugar calories and lose up to 18 lbs in two weeks.  Yes it is a weight loss book whose diet is proven by science as usually proclaimed.

I have read many books on diets but none come close to Cruise’s The 100 in practicality, simplicity and conceptually agreeable.

It is a fact that all carbohydrates are indeed sugars, some simple sugars and some complex sugars, nonetheless sugars. Table sugar is half glucose and half fructose. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is 55 fructose and 45 glucose. HFCS is the most threatening carbohydrate.

The old understanding of you are what you eat is further explained that you are what your body does with what you ate. Cutting edge nutritional science proves you are what you eat is only half-truth. You are what your body does with what you eat.
A calorie is not a calorie any more. All calories are not created equal. This debunks the theory that one should be able to lose weight if one consumes less calories than one’s needs. Calories are now determined as sugar calories and no-count calories. You can eat as much no-count calories without any penalties.

Counting calories for weight control does not work anymore. We now know more about the metabolic syndrome and insulin spikes. We now also know how metabolism works and distributes the carbohydrates, fats, nutrients, and proteins to our organs, blood and cells. The whole ensemble and processes of sending and receiving chemical signals and messages are determined by that part of the brain called hypothalamus. The hypothalamus works with the other independent systems in the body including the endocrine, nervous, digestive, circulatory, respiratory, muscular and productive systems. The body’s chemical messages are its hormones. Insulin is the master hormone. Insulin is the main regulator of fat storage and mobilization, and how all energy in the body is disseminated
Cruise had researched what foods are No-count calories foods and these should be the foods we should eat if we want to control our weight. There is no specific mention to cancer fighting benefits with these foods. But then don’t we feed the cancer cells less by restricting consumption of sugars? This is my personal “Ahha” moment.

Chart for No-count calories foods (Zero Sugar calories).

Chicken breast
Cornish Hen
Turkey breast

Chicken eggs
Duck eggs
Egg whites
Goose eggs
Beef Jerky
Ground beef
Lamb chop
Corn beef
Devon sausage
Hot dog
Meat loaf
Pork roll
Roast beef
Veggie Patties
Alfalfa spouts
Bell pepper red
Bok Choy
Brussels spouts
Swiss chard
White corn
Green onion
Romaine Lettuce
Mustard green
Pepper Jalapeno
Pickles Dill
Summer squash
Turnip greens
Basil fresh
Animal fats
Avocado oils
Flaxseed oils
Olive oil
Sesame oil
Walnut oil
Blue cheese
Brick cheese
Brie cheese
Cheddar cheese
Colby cheese
Cottage cheese
Edam Cheese
Fontina cheese
Gorgonzola cheese
Gruyere cheese
Havarti cheese
Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese
Ricotta cheese
Soy cheese
Swiss cheese
Teleme cheese
Coconut milk
Sour cream
Soy milk
Whipped cream
Baking powder
Brazil nuts
Cashew nuts
Black coffee
Macadamia nuts
Pine nuts
Pumpkin seeds
Sesame seeds
Soy source
Sunflower seeds

If you want to find out the sugar calories of foods not listed above. Look at the label and multiply the carbohydrate listing by four.

Insulin spikes causes the following:
Impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, and diabetes
Elevated triglycerides
Abdominal obesity
Leptin resistance
Inflammation and oxidative stress
Endothelial dysfunction
Microvascular disease
Renal (kidney) damage
Fatty liver disease
High blood pressure
Metabolic syndrome

Here is some food for thoughts.
If you are one of those who believes that fruit is healthy no matter how much you eat, I would strongly encourage you to have your uric acid level checked to find out how sensitive you are to fructose. Eat the amount of fruit you feel is right for you for a few weeks and then check your uric acid level and see if your levels are healthy. If they are elevated you might try reducing the fruit to recommended levels and rechecking your uric acid level. Many who are overweight likely have uric acid levels well above 5.5. Some may even be closer to 10 or above. Measuring your uric acid levels is a very practical way to determine just how strict you need to be when it comes to your fructose – and fruit -- consumption.
Fructose in Fruits:
Serving Size
Grams of Fructose
1 medium
1 medium
1 cup
Passion fruit
1 medium
1 medium
2 medium
Date (Deglet Noor style)
1 medium
1/8 of med. melon
1 cup
1 medium
1 medium
1 cup
Star fruit
1 medium
Cherries, sweet
1 cup
Cherries, sour
1 cup
1 slice (3.5" x .75")
Grapefruit, pink or red
1/2 medium

More fruits:
Serving Size
Grams of Fructose
1 cup
Tangerine/mandarin orange
1 medium
1 medium
1 medium
Orange (navel)
1 medium
1/2 medium
1/8 of med. melon
1 medium
1 cup
Date (Medjool)
1 medium
Apple (composite)
1 medium
1 medium
1/16 med. melon
1 medium
1/4 cup
Grapes, seedless (green or red)
1 cup
1/2 medium
Apricots, dried
1 cup
Figs, dried
1 cup

Listen to Robert Lustig MD, USLC department of Pediatrics’s presentation called “Sugar the bitter truth” here.
A word of Caution

Do not starve the cancer cells of their food completely. Starving cancer cells activate Cachexia and muscle atrophy, literally eating you up. This is known as the wasting syndrome.
Eat well ya?

Allen Lai