Alcoholism Signs Symptoms and Treatment

When Drinking becomes a Problem ?
Signs and Symptoms

Alcoholism Overview

Alcoholism also known by other names like "Alcohol Addiction" or Alcohol Dependence" is a medical condition. This medical condition can easily ruin the life of a person. It can take away the health of a person and social respect of a person. Society often call them by other names such as Drunkard. Those have fallen prey to this problem were often just a moderate social drinkers and they don't even know when they have crossed the line to be an addict. There are various signs and symptoms of this Alcohol Addiction and Alcoholism is a treatable medical condition.

When Drinking becomes a Problem ?

Drinking becomes a problem for you if you notice any of these things.

  • If its causing problems in your social life or family life.
  • If you are hiding your drinking habit.
  • If you face a "black out", where you forget what you did last night after drinking.
  • If you often feel ashamed of your drinking habit.
  • If you need to drink to feel better.

Alcoholism Signs and Symptoms

Signs of Alcoholism are easy to notice and there is no need for a laboratory test. If you know them they you may cure yourself before drinking becomes a problem for you or some of your closed one. Some common symptoms of Alcoholism are:

  • You feel relaxed after drinking and your stress is gone. (Its the beginning)
  • If you drive and operate machinery after drinking.
  • If you neglect your responsibilities at work and at home.
  • If you continue to drink even after knowing that your drinking is causing problems.
  • If you have faced some legal actions on account of your drinking.
  • If you feel that your drinking capacity has increased and you need more pegs to feel relaxed or buzzed. 
  • If you need a drink again in morning to stop the shakes.
  • If you have to stop other activities like playing or hanging out with family, just to continue drinking.
  • If you don't have control over your drinking habit, even after knowing that its harming you.
  • Last and final symptom is "You can't quit it, even if you want to".

Causes of Alcoholism

Causes of alcoholism vary from person to person. Sometimes its genetic factor as well but genetics can be easily overridden if there is a will. Here are some common causes of alcoholism.

  • Stressful changes in life can sometimes easily drag a person towards alcohol so much that it becomes an addiction. For example a breakup or losing someone very close can easily take you to this wrong habit.
  • Some people start drinking daily, taking it as a status symbol, and they don't even know when they become an addict. When we see our favorite movie stars drinking, we think its cool. Very soon this coolness can make us alcoholic.
  • Sometimes our friend circle is responsible for dragging us into that condition. (Sometimes changing your company can save you).

Treatment of Alcoholism

Some Alcoholics remain under the wrong impression that they can quit drinking anytime they want to. But this fact comes out to be wrong when they start to quit it own their own. Therefore here we are discussing some treatment options to treat the problem of Alcoholism.
If you are trying to treat your alcohol problem yourselves then following tips can help you.

  • In the beginning you have to understand that treatment of Alcoholism is a gradual process. It can't be done in a day or two.
  • Tell yourself the benefits of not drinking, whenever you feel an urge to drink.
  • Also tell yourselves the consequences of drinking. (like kidney failure)
  • Set some date as you target date to quit drinking completely. In the beginning you make quit drinking on weekdays. Just drink limited on weekends.
  • Tell about your goals to your friends and family. It will make you try hard.
  • Gradually decrease your consumption and take it to nill.
  • Avoid the company of such friends who can ask you to drink.
  • Try to get engaged in some other activities in your free time.

There are some withdrawing symptoms of Alcohol.

  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Trouble sleeping or concentrating
  • Anxiety and restlessness
  • Stomach cramps and diarrhea
  • Elevated heart rate and blood pressure

If you feel such things then its better to get some professional help by contacting a doctor. If you feel some severe symptoms like listed below then contact 911 immediately.
  • hallucinations
  • severe vomiting
  • extreme agitation
  • confusion and disorientation
  • fever
  • seizures or convulsions
If you feel that you can't do it on your own then you may opt for some professional treatments.

  • Rehab Centers: Some Rehab centers have specialized in Alcohol Addiction. They have different programs for different types of addicts. You may also opt for residential programs in some cases.
  • Consultation: If your condition is not very severe then some consultation with some specialist may also help. They can hear your problems and provide you some good solutions to them which can help you in quitting.

Note: People often blame others for their condition but the truth is that you can't get rid of alcoholism unless you start to take responsibility of your own acts.

Addiction Definition, Types and Effect on Body and Brain

Effect on Brain
Effect on Body
Effect on Life

Addiction Definition

Addiction is dependency on some substance or activity upto a level where it becomes our weakness and we start to crave for it. But in medical terminology the term "Addiction" is used for negative substance that become necessity of our body and brain, and in long term usage of those substance is very harmful for our body.

Types and List of Addictions

There are various types of addiction but here we will list only those which are harming our modern generation.

Addiction to Substances

Addiction to certain Behavior 

  • Gaming Addiction (Usually Video Games)
  • Gambling Addiction
  • Food Addiction
  • Adult Content Addiction
  • Exercise Addiction
  • Shopping Addiction

Addictions effect on our Brain

Our Brain is one of the most technically advanced organ of our body. Some of its function are beyond our imagination and understanding. Our brain can adapt to different environments and substances and change the way it behaves by changing its circuits and functioning. This feature is there so that it can survive in adverse conditions. Long term usage of tobacco, alcohol and drugs makes our brain change its circuitry to adapt to them. We come to know about this addiction when we are in shortage of that substance and our brain craves for it to work with the adapted circuits. In such situation it produces symptoms like headache, body pain, depression and much more. If you are struggling to get rid of some addiction and unable to it on your own then you should consult a doctor or some addiction rehabilitation center.

Addictions effect on Human Body

Our brain adapts to addiction much faster than other body parts. Its because our brain is most important part of body and our body can't afford to loose it. But other body organs can face a lot due to addictions. For example Alcohol can damage of kidneys, smoking can damage our lungs. Even addiction to behaviors can harm our body. Food Addiction can easily make us obese, exercise addiction can make us weak and create muscle strains.

Addictions effect on Our Life

Addiction to any substance makes our life completely dependent on it. Addiction such as smoking and drinking are easily handled by society, but sometimes even these addictions can take us to adverse conditions where society calls you as drunkards. Addiction can make us alone in life. We should start to rehab before such condition arrives. Addict people often taken as people with less will power. Addict people often get involved in illegal activities just to ensure that they keep getting what they need.

Facts about Addictions

  • American Society of Addictions Medicine (ASAM) states sometimes our genes are also responsible for developing an addiction. If its in our genes then there are 50% chances for us to get addicted to that particular addiction.
  • Sometime more than one addiction can occur in the same person. However the level of addiction may differ. For Example the same person can be a smoking and drinking addict.
  • Addiction often occurs with some other mental health condition
  • On an average a drug addict needs $200 per day to support his/her addiction. If he/she is not financially stable then people often steal. It takes $1000 of stolen property to make $200.  
  • Addiction is a disease, which is completely treatable.

Gambling Addiction : Symptoms Causes and Treatment

Side Effects

Gambling Addiction (Problem Gambling)

Gambling Addiction is also known by other names such as Problem Gambling, Compulsive Gambling or Gambling Disorder. It is a condition when you can't stop gambling even when you know that its hurting you and your closed ones. Gambling Addiction is not only related to gambling in Casinos, it can be betting on your favorite team, betting in card games with friends, and gambling online (the latest trend). There are some clear symptoms, causes and treatment to this problem. Mood Disorders and depression are clear indications of Gambling Addiction. Here we will discuss some of these things in detail.

Side Effects of Gambling Addiction

Side effects of Gambling Addiction are not like side effects of other diseases which are visible on our body. Side effects of Gambling are visible in our life and our relationships.

  • There is no need to gamble on daily basis to be a gambling addict. Just playing gamble is sufficient to be an addicts, if you are having the symptoms listed below.
  • Even if you can afford the gambling losses, you can still be in Gambling Addiction. Only financial loss is not to be worried about in gambling. The time you lose in gambling can cost a lot in your relationships.
  • Addict Gamblers often blame their friends that they drive them into gambling, but its just a way of not taking responsibility of their own actions.
  • Non-gambler friends often clear the debts of their Addict friend to help them out of the situation. But its not a right thing to do. It will make their addiction worst.

Symptoms of Gambling Addiction

There are some clear symptoms of Gambling Addiction. You can notice these symptoms in any addict gambler.

  • When you hide the facts from your family: If you have started to hide the truth about you gambling from your family, then it means that you are going towards the Addiction circle.
  • When you can't stop yourselves until to lose each dollar you have got: A healthy gambler will stop after losing upto a certain level, he will never spend every penny in his pocket in the hope to win the last game.
  • When you spend money you don't own: Addict Gamblers often play games with credit card money or taking money on interest from some lender. Its the beginning of worst phase of an addict gambler. People suffering from Gambling addiction often think in other way (taking themselves as positive thinker) that they will win and clear all debts very soon. Sometimes some adult gamblers suffering from addiction often spend the inheritance of their grown-up children. Sometime people spend the money for their home loan repayment, theirs kids school fee and the money for their monthly expenditure.
  • Mood Disorders and Depression: These symptoms usually remain unnoticed by an addict, but a closed one can easily notice them.

Causes of Gambling Addiction

Some of the causes of Gambling Addiction seems really foolish to healthy people but it happens.

  • Gambling Addiction starts from Gambling. A non gambler can't be a problem gambler.
  • People often start gambling as a way to kill some time or getting impressed from movies.
  • Sometimes too much positive attitude in gambling gives hope to win in the end.
  • Sometimes people think themselves of as an intelligent being and can't loosing makes them feel as a foolish person, and in the hope to show their intelligence they keep gambling.
  • Some people take win and loose on their ego. Their ego don't let them accept the defeat and they keep playing.
  • Some people find themselves as winner in the beginning and in the hope to win a big game they keep playing.
  • Some people gamble to give some excitement to their lives.
  • Some time the boredom also takes people to gamble.
  • The last but not least, some people gamble to solve their money problems. 

Treatment of Gambling Addiction

There are two types of treatment for Gambling Addiction. First is Personal Treatment and second in Professional Treatment. Professional treatment is meant for those where it can't be cured by personal treatment.

Personal Treatment of Gambling Addiction

  • Have company of family or friends: Isolation can very easily take you back to gambling. So try not to be isolated. Always spend your free time with your some friends or family.
  • Engage yourself: Don't let yourself be free or getting bored. Get engaged in some sports or gym. You may also spend your time in any hobby such as watching movies or reading novels or doing something creative.
  • Visualize yourself Loosing: Even after implementing last two steps if you feel an urge to gamble, then visualize yourself loosing a gamble and how you feel after you have lost everything in your pocket. It will discourage you from going for gamble.
  • Postpone: If you still feel the urge then tell yourself that you will go after sometime, and then keep postponing the gamble and engage in some other task.
  • Reduce Internet Usage: If you are online gambling addict then reducing the internet usage can also help you in keeping yourself away from it.

Professional Treatment of Gambling Addiction

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): This therapy specially focuses on gambling addicts by changing their thoughts and false beliefs.
  • The Four Steps Program: Four steps of this program are re-label, reattribute, refocus, and revalue.
  • Group Based Recovery Programs; Such programs have some patients who are going through the same process as you. It helps by sharing thoughts and motivating each other for giving up gambling.
  • Residential Treatment Centers: In such type of treatment you have to live like a hospitalized patient. In such centers you go through various therapies and never get a chance to play a gamble.
  • Luxury Gambling Addiction Facilities: These centers are just like the previous residential treatment centers apart from the fact that they are meant for those who can afford it. Here you get all therapies with the luxury of a good hotel or resort.
  • Executive Gambling Addiction Programs: Its for those who can't afford to live away from their work for weeks or months. Such programs are usually live weekend classes, where therapies are given only on weekends. 
  • Outpatient Gambling Rehab: Its just like OPD in a hospital, where you don't need to get admitted. Here you just need to visit on regular basis for some therapies. Sometimes after attending a residential rehab program you need to attend Outpatient Gambling Rehab for some weeks or months. It helps in monitoring your progress.

Gambling Addiction Helpline and Hotline

  • National Council on Problem Gambling, US: 1-800-522-4700
  • California Council on Problem Gambling: 1-800-Gambler (426-2537)
  • Gambling Helpline New Zealand: 0800 654 655, 8006 for texting
  • Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (CCGNJ): 800-GAMBLER
  • National Council on Problem Gambling, Singapore: 1-800-666-8668

BMI Chart for Men Women Kids Children Adults and Teens

BMI calculation is only based on Height and Weight of a person. There is no impact of being a men, women, kid, children, teen or Adult in its calculation. So BMI Chart are same for everybody irrespective of the sex and age of a person. Height of person is dependent on his/her age. Therefore age makes no difference in measuring the BMI, which is a unit to measure the obesity. Similarly the sex doesn't make any difference in its calculation. Both men and women should have same weight as per their height. BMI Chart provided on this page is correct for all men, women, teens and Adults.

Online BMI Calculator

BMI Chart for Men, Women, Teens, Adults


Ayurveda on Hernia Treatment

Some types are hernias are considered curable in Ayurveda while some don't. Incisional Hernia is one of those types which can't be cured by ayurvedic medicines. If there is no pain your hernia and its size is not large then surgery will not be suggested by any doctor. But your condition is severe then even the ayurvedic doctors will suggest surgery as the better option.

Ayurvedic Medicines for Hernia

There are various types of Hernia and therefore we can't suggest a single medicine for all types of hernias. Sometimes the ayurvedic medicine is given to give relief from some symptoms. For example constipation can cause some types of hernia and can make hernia worst, therefore ayurvedic medicines are given to get relief from constipation. If you think that those were medicines for hernia, then you are wrong. So its better to take prescription from an ayurvedic practitioner after describing your complete hernia condition. There is Hernia Ayurvedic Medicine Package available in the market, but we suggest you to consult a ayurvedic doctor before taking it.

Yogasans for Hernia Patients

Hernia Patients are not advised to practice hard yogasans. Only mild yogas and pranayams are advised for hernia patients. If you are a hernia patient and going to some yoga class then we advise you to tell it to your instructor. Some yogasans such as Chakrasana are never advised for hernia patients. Those yogasanas which exert pressure on abdominal region are harmful in hernia.

Those Yogasans that you can do with hernia are listed here. You should do these yogas under strict supervision and in case of any discomfort stop doing it.

Here is the list of yogansans for hernia patients:

  • Sarvangasana
  • Matasyasana
  • Pawan Muktasana
  • Utthan Pada Asana
  • Pashchimotasana Vajrasana
  • Shashanka Asana
  • Ushtra Asana
  • Pranayamas  such as Bhramari, Anulom Vilom
  • Mudras such as Ashwini Mudra, Vajroli Mudra

Ayurvedic Advise for Umbilical Hernia

if the size of your Umbilical Hernia is less than 1 cm then it can be cured by yogasanas insted of taking medicines. A combination of proper diet and exercise is always a better thing to treat a health problem.
Yogasanas for Umbilical Hernia

  • Uthitha Padasana
  • Paschimottasa
  • Pavanamuktasana
  • Padahastasana
  • Supta Vajarasana
  • Uttana Padasana
  • Savasana
  • Yog Nidra

Pranayamas such as Ujjayi, Kapalabhati, Anulom Viloma are also better for Umbilical Hernia.
If size of Umbilical Hernia is more than 2.5 cm then surgery is advised.

Hernia: Symptoms, Types, Treatment, Surgery and Prevention

Hernia Overview

Hernia is a medical condition in which an organ pushes itself out of a weekened tissue wall or muscles. Mostly this condition occurs in abdominal region when intestine bulges out of abdominal region. There are various types of Hernia depending on the location of bulge. Sometimes it can be treated by medication, but in adverse conditions surgery is suggested immediately.

Symptoms of Hernia

Hernia usually occurs in two age groups. Before the age of one or after the age of Fifty. It doesn't mean that it can't happen in between. Everybody should have basic knowledge about Hernia and its symptoms. Sometimes kids under the age of one can't tell it if they are having hernia. Its the responsibility of parents to notice the condition and immediately concern the doctor. Most of the symptoms of Hernia are self-diagnosable.
Here are a few symptoms of Hernia:

  • A bulge coming out of body in Abdominal or Groin area. Location of bulge depends on the type of hernia.
  • The pain in bulge may vary from mild to severe.
  • The pain in the bulge increases with time if not treated.
  • Abdominal discomfort and tenderness.
  • Sometimes hernia can cause chest pain and pain with eating.
  • Most commonly hernia occurs on right side of abdomen.
  • Discomfort in coughing and going to toilet.

Causes of Hernia

  • Some previous open appendectomy can cause Hernia.
  • Sometimes its genetic and occur more often in certain families.
  • Smoking is also considered as one of the factors.
  • Hernia occur more often in obese people.
  • Putting stress on abdominal muscles, such as heavy weight lifting can sometimes cause hernia.
  • Constant constipation is also a risk factor for hernia.

Types of Hernia

Following Types of Hernia are based on the location of bulge.

  • Inguinal Hernias: Its most common type of hernia. More than 60% of total cases of hernias are Inguinal Hernias. It occurs more often in men. There is a inguinal canal, where a man's testicles must descend before birth, it leaves a space in the abdominal wall. If this space is not sealed properly naturally, then at some point in life the intestine might try to come towards that space into the inguinal canal. Thats why its called Inguinal Hernia. If inguinal hernia occurs on both sides (both inguinal canal ) then its called bilateral inguinal hernias.
  • Femoral Hernias: This type of hernia is more common in females. There is a space called femoral canal, a space near the femoral vein that carries blood from the leg. During Pregnancy or Childbirth the intestinal sac can drop into this femoral space due to pressure in the abdominal region. Femoral hernia can cause complications during pregnancy hence advised to repair as soon as they are noticed.
  • Ventral Hernias: Also known by other name incisional hernia, occur on a site of previous surgery in the abdominal region. It can occur weeks, months or years after surgery.
  • Umbilical Hernias: It occurs near the bellybutton or navel due to natural weakness from the blood vessels of the umbilical cord. Mostly it occurs before the age of one and resolves by the age of 3 or 4 years. But if it occurs in an adult, then it does not resolves itself and need medical intervention. Excessive coughing, obesity and pregnancy are some of the reasons behind the occurrence of Umbilical Hernias.
  • Epigastric Hernias: This type of hernias are relitively uncommon and occur due to gaps and weakness in muscle tendons in the abdominal wall. Epigastric Hernias occur more in men.
  • Hiatal Hernias: It occurs due to weakness in diaphragm, which is a group of muscle separating chest cavity from abdominal cavity. Its surgery is more complicated than other types of hernias.
Hernias can also be classified in two more ways.
  • Reducible and Nonreducible Hernias: Reducible hernias are those which flattens when the person attains a certain position. Such hernias are not immediate danger to a person's health. While if the hernia doesn't flatten itself and has taken a prominent shape, then it called nonreducuble hernia. Nonreducible hernia often pains a lot and need immediate medical attention.
  • Acquired and Congenital Hernias: Congenital hernia are present from child birth due to weakness of some tissues while Acquired Hernias are caused by our life-style such as smoking, weight lifting, constipation, pregnancy etc.

Treatment of Hernia

Mostly Doctors try to make your hernia condition better through lifestyle changes.

Lifestyle changes treatment of Hernia

  • Eat lesser food at a time / Avoid heavy meals.
  • Don't lie down just after having meal.
  • Reduce Weight if your are overweight or keep your body weight in a healthy range.
  • In case of Hiatal Hernias, stop consuming spicy foods, tomatoes and all such food items that can cause acid reflux or heartburn.
  • Giving up cigarettes can also help in reducing the symptoms of Hernia. 

Treatment of Hernia through medication

Medication for Hernia treatment should be taken only on medical prescription. Some over the counter drugs like antacids, H-2 receptor blockers, and proton pump inhibitors can help in certain conditions.

Surgery to Treat Hernia

Sometimes surgery is suggested to treat hernia if it can't be treated with lifestyle changes. If your hernia is growing larger and causing pain then surgery is the only option to treat it. During surgery the hole in abdominal cavity is sewed with the help of some surgical mesh as a patch to repair the hole. Laparoscopic surgery is also done in some cases which require very short incision and takes lesser time to recover. Normal Surgery of Hernia takes upto 6 weeks to recover while laparoscopic surgery much lesser time to recover. In some cases of Hernia, such as Inguinal Hernia , lapraroscopic surgery is not suggested.

How to prevent Hernia

As somebody said prevention is better than cure, same is with hernia. A healthy lifestyle can help you in preventing the occurrence of hernia. However no prevention is 100% safety, as genetic reasons can't be avoided. But still we suggest following prevention to avoid hernia.
  • Quit Smoking
  • Treat constipation without any delay.
  • Don't be obese. Obesity is a risk factor for Hernia, and being slim can prevent it.
  • Never start Heavy Weight Lifting suddenly. Increase the weight gradually.
  • Don't take any bulge in abdominal area as normal. Proper treatment on time can save you from surgery.

HIV Symptoms in Men and Women | Signs of AIDS

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is considered as one of the most dangerous virus in the history of diseases in mankind. The infection caused by this virus is called AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).

AIDS is a STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) and people often suspect themselves at its risk after an unprotected intercourse. People often try to diagnose it themselves, without going for a test. The best way to diagnose a HIV infection is to get it diagnosed in a lab. But still we will tell HIV symptoms in Men and Women. These are signs of AIDS but not 100%. If you feel that you are feeling some of those symptoms then don't conclude that you are suffering from AIDS. These symptoms also belong to some other diseases. But if you were indulged in some risky behavior in recent past then you may be at risk.

HIV Symptoms are usually same in both Men and Women. Women have a few extra organs compared to men and immune system of women is expanded into these organs, so women feel few extra symptoms related to those organs. Most of the common HIV symptoms of men and women are listed below.

HIV Symptoms in Men and Women

  • Fatigue: HIV infection often makes you getting tired early compared to your previous stamina. Fatigue is caused due to inflammatory response caused by immune system.
  • Acute Retroviral Syndrome (ARS): This is a condition when you experience flu like symptoms. A mild fever of around 102 degree is also noticed.
  • Short term Nausea: 30 to 60% patients in the early stages of HIV infection experience Short- term nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Weight Loss: HIV infection can cause weight loss in a short period of time even if you are having a good diet.
  • Skin Rashes: Rashes on the trunk of body and boil-like pink areas on arms are both early and late symptoms of AIDS.
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes: Lymph Nodes are a part of our body's immune system and Lymph Nodes usually get inflamed when HIV is present in our body.
  • Muscle and Joint Pain: People often take it as a viral infection but sometimes muscle and joint pain is a result of HIV infection.
  • Prolonged Dry Cough: Dry Cough is an early symptom of HIV infection.
  • Confusion and Difficulty in Concentration: This symptom is often taken as a psychiatric problem, but its a sign of HIV- related dementia. Its also accompanied by memory and behavioral problems.
  • Numbness or Tingling sensation: numbness and tingling sensation is also noticed in some cases of HIV AIDS.
  • Menstrual Irregularities: Menstrual irregularities are also noticed by women suffering from HIV Infection.

Note: In the early stages of HIV infection its hard to detect it. Most of the HIV tests depend on the antibodies generated by body to combat HIV infection. But in the early stage of HIV body don't produce any antibodies, hence its hard to be traced as HIV positive.

HIV Virus attacks the immune system of our body and destroys its ability to combat with different types of infections and diseases. Therefore our body become prone to other diseases and its becomes hard to get rid of those diseases with medicines.

Researches are going on to find an answer to HIV virus. We hope that mankind will find an answer to AIDS and millions of lives can be saved.

Glycemic Index

What is Glycemic Index ?

Glycemic Index is a number that shows effect of a food item in rising the blood glucose level. In short Glycemic Index is known as GI. A GI value of 100 is given to pure Glucose.

How was Glycemic Index invented ?

1980-81 Dr David J. Jenkins was researching on foods that can be best for diabetic people. During his research he invented the term Glycemic Index and calculated it values for different food items.

Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load

Glycemic Index is a simple value given to a food item, it does not take into account the amount of food consumed by a person. Therefore a related measure Glycemic Load (GL) is calculated by Multiplying the Glycemic Index (GI) of the particular food item with the amount of carbohydrate in the serving. Sometimes the GI and GL values differs a lot. For example Watermelon has a high GI but low GL for the quantity normally consumed. While Fructose has low GI, but high GL if large quantity in consumed.

Limitations of Glycemic Index

Glycemic Index generally depends on the carbohydrate content of the food item. If we talk about Steak, which has no carbohydrate but very high protein value, has no Glycemic Index due to absence of carbohydrate. But if it does not have Glycemic Index, it does not mean that it will not rise blood sugar level. 50% of protein in Steak can be converted to Glucose if very little to no carbohydrate is consumed with it. Therefore some nutrition experts use "Insulin Index" for food comparison instead of Glycemic Index. Insulin Index measures the amount of insulin released by our body after consumption of that food item.
Insulin Resistance: The reason behind Diabetes
Glycemic Index are not considered accurate in some cases. One GI value is given to a particular food item, but in reality the variations in same food item can vary its effect on blood glucose level. The ripeness and cooking methods can easily change that value. One example of such food item is Potato, which range from very moderate to high GI value.

How GI of a food item is calculated

The glycemic index of a food is defined as the incremental area under the two-hour blood glucose response curve (AUC) following a 12-hour fast and ingestion of a food with a certain quantity of available carbohydrate (usually 50 g). The AUC of the test food is divided by the AUC of the standard (either glucose or white bread, giving two different definitions) and multiplied by 100. The average GI value is calculated from data collected in 10 human subjects.

Usually GI is used only for foods with carbohydrates. Those foods which are rapidly digested and release glucose rapidly into blood stream have a higher GI value, while those food items which are digested slowly and release glucose gradually have a lower GI value. Therefore a lower GI value of food suggests that its slow in digestion.

Glycemic Index Table for Different Food Items

ClassificationGI RangeFood Items
Low GI55 or lessfructose; beans (black, pinto, kidney, lentil, peanut, chickpea); small seeds (sunflower, flax, pumpkin, poppy, sesame, hemp); walnuts, cashews, most whole intact grains(durum/spelt/kamut wheat, millet, oat, rye, rice, barley); most vegetables, most sweet fruits (peaches, strawberries, mangos); tagatose; mushrooms; chilis
Medium GI56–69white sugar or sucrose, not intact whole wheat or enriched wheat, pita bread, basmati rice, unpeeled boiled potato, grape juice, raisins, prunes, pumpernickel bread, cranberry juice,regular ice cream, banana
High GI70 and aboveglucose (dextrose, grape sugar), high fructose corn syrup, white bread (only wheat endosperm), most white rice (only rice endosperm), corn flakes, extruded breakfast cereals, maltose,maltodextrins, sweet potato (70), white potato (83), pretzels, bagels

Sugar vs Honey as a Sweetener

From past few years people have started to move away from Sugar and that place is being captured by Honey. We were told that Honey is Natural while Sugar is prepared after a chemical process. This fact matters a lot for those who want to live a better life by being close to natural products. Here we will discuss if honey is really better or not, and can it be used as a sweetener in place of sugar.

Composition of Sugar vs Honey

Both Brown and White Sugar are 100% sucrose. They are made after extracting it from Sugarcane or Beetroot.75% of Honey is some form of sugar. Half of this 75% is Glucose and half is Fructose (this proportion varies depending on what bees are feeding on). Remaining 25% are protein, fat and fibre.

Calories in Honey and Sugar

  • Sugar: 100g white sugar has 1700kJ/406Cals
  • Honey: 100g of honey has 1400kJ/334Cals

Do you measure honey by a spoon ?

If you take 1 tablespoon of Honey in place of 1 tablespoon of Sugar, then you are doing nothing good to yourselves. Honey is denser than Sugar.
1 tablespoon of Honey = 28 Grams
1 tablespoon of sugar = 16 Grams
So if you really want to get benefit from Honey reduce the tablespoons to half, else the extra sugar and extra calories will get deposited in your body as fat.

What is Glycemic Index or GI ?
Glycemic Index is the relative ability of a carbohydrate food to increase the level of glucose in the blood. The GI value of a food item is directly affected by fructose level in it. Higher fructose level means a lower GI value. Know more about Glycemic Index

Glycemic Index of Sugar and Honey

  • Sugar: Both White and Brown sugar have a GI value of around 65.
  • Commercially Blended Honey: GI value varies from 45 to 64.

If the Honey you are eating has a GI value above 60 then you are doing nothing good to you. GI value of Honey is directly affected by fructose level. If the bees have used more nectar of flowers then its rich in fructose and thus lower GI value. Floral Honey can be consumed by diabetic people as its effect on blood sugar is very mild.

Don't give Honey to Kids under 1 Year

Honey can sometimes contain inactive spores of Clostridium botulinum, the tiny bacteria responsible for botulism food poisoning. Usually healthy adults can't get sick from them but infants can easily get infected. Honey is OK for kids above 1 year of age.

Honey is an attractive sweetener by its better to reduce its quantity if you are on a weight loss diet. Honey can also contribute to tooth decay just like sugar.

Some usage of Honey for your Health

  • According to some researchers honey acts as mild disinfectant. It can be taken with hot water and lemon to sooth sore throat.
  • Honey is an important part of weight loss programs. Its consumption with lukewarm water in the morning helps you in being slim. Ayurveda on Using honey for Weight Loss
  • Honey is well known for its antibacterial effect. It is used in dressing of minor wounds, skin ulcers and burns.
  • Honey is also used as a mild laxative.