headache


The Internet is so convenient, so easy but yet it is so dangerous.

It came to light in Singapore that a man and a woman in their early 20s had suffered symptoms of psychosis such as hearing of voices, hallucinations, confusion and thyrotoxic symptoms such as anxiety and increased heart rate after using a product named Relacore, a product they bought over the Internet.

So what is wrong with this anti-‘belly fat and stress control’ dietary supplement?

This product was not declared to have included a Western drug, a potent substance known as Sibutramine. Sibutramine is a prescription drug marketed under trade names such as Meridia in the USA, Leptos in India, Reductil (read Want to slim down? Don’t count on weigh-loss drugs) in Europe and other countries. It is used as an appetite suppressant in the management of obesity. That means that it works by making you feel more ‘full’ with less food (it reduces appetite and enhances satiety).

On Wikipedia, it is documented that frequent encountered side effects from sibutramine are: dry mouth, paradoxically increased appetite, nausea, strange taste in the mouth, anorgasmia and delayed ejaculation, upset stomach, constipation, trouble sleeping, dizziness, drowsiness, menstrual cramps/pain, headache, flushing, or joint/muscle pain.

It can substantially increase blood pressure and pulse in some patients. Therefore all patients treated with sibutramine should have regular monitoring of blood pressure and pulse.

Infrequent but serious ones that require immediate medical attention: cardiac arrhythmias, paresthesia, mental/mood changes (e.g., excitement, restlessness, confusion, depression, rare thoughts of suicide).

Symptoms that require urgent medical attention are seizures, problems urinating, abnormal bruising or bleeding, melena, hematemesis, jaundice, fever and rigors, chest pain, hemiplegia, abnormal vision, dyspnea and edema.

Could what they have consumed a counterfeit version? Health Science Authority (HSA) is investigating now. In HSA’s press release today, it has said that Given the borderless nature of the Internet and the ease with which this product could be bought and sold in different countries around the world, HSA has alerted its international network of enforcement counterparts to be on a lookout for the adulterated product and where appropriate, to act against websites selling this product within their respective jurisdictions.”

This is the second case in the last 6 years concerning slimming product that created adverse reaction. Slim 10 pills in 2002 hit headlines in Singapore after it killed a woman and caused severe liver damage to local actress Andrea De Cruz which would have killed her if not for an emergency liver transplant done with the liver donation from her then-fiance actor Pierre Png (now husband). The China-made diet pills contained fenfluramine, an appetite suppressant that has been banned in the U.S. since 1997 for damaging heart valves and which doctors later confirmed also caused liver failure.

What killed MC King?

The entertainment industry and local public were shocked to learn from the TV and radio on 4th January afternoon that MC King, the chubby and lovable actor/comedian has died suddenly from breathing difficulties. The day after, news of him hit the front cover with many pages coverage in the 2 popular evening Chinese papers, Lianhe Wanbao and Shin Min Daily News.

.Comedy icon MC King

So well remembered as the character in the TV Channel 8 series Friends Next Door, who was perennially on medical leave (MC), his awarded stage name MC King overshadowed his actual name, Lan Qin Xi (蓝顉嘻), aka Jimmy Nah.

It was reported that this healthy-looking 40-year-old actor/part-time radio deejay/events host does not smoke; does not drink alcohol; no high blood pressure or high cholesterol; did not have other medical history and was given a clean bill of health in a recently medical checkup.

So, what killed him ?

His fengshui master had analysed his destiny and cautioned him about his heart. In 2005, he was advised by the fengshui master that for the well-being of his acting career, he was to drop to below 84kgs from 94kgs or to increase to 102kgs.

An actor/comedian had commented that he once seen him gasping for air after laughing hysterically and joked with him that it can become fatal.

Other acting colleagues and radio DJ friends have reported that he had not been looking well and displaying an obvious sign of fatigue. He was known to be very stressed up with acting commitments, worried over payment for his house and car as well as worried if his contract with MediaCorp (broadcasting company) will be renewed next month.

He was said to be consuming weight-loss medicine as he was weighing over 80kgs. In 2005, following his fengshui master’s advice, he invented his own “carbo avoidance” slimming method. His daily dietary routine according to Shin Min was :-

Breakfast : just plain water with 1 apple

Lunch : eat anything but non-starchy food

Dinner : eat less and still avoiding any food containing starch.

After work, he will walk up the 16 storeys to his house and he swam 200 meters at least once a week. That routine reportedly helped him lose 10kg in a short 2 months.

However, he was seen eating without any reservation at a recent party which raised the suspicion that he might have switched to using weigh-loss medicine.

Beauty consultants and doctors Shin Min interviewed had cautioned consumers about using weigh-loss medicines such as those which contain ingredients such as ephedrine. Ephedrine or ma huang (麻黄)is a traditional Chinese medicine that treats symptoms of upper respiratory infections, headaches, fevers, colds, and hay fever. Because of its appetite suppressing capability, it is used as weight-loss medicine. However, some of the recorded side effects are nervousness, dizziness, tremors, rapid heart rate, headaches, jitters, palpitations, insomnia, increase blood pressure. When taken at higher levels, drastic increases in blood pressure, as well as irregular, faster or slower than normal heartbeat can occur.

It was reported that weight-loss medicine are not suitable for those with heart, liver, kidney or thyroid gland problems; pregnant women as well as those under 18 years or over 65 years old.

As for MC King, we’ll have to wait for the Coroner’s report (expected in 1-2 months time) to know the cause of his death. However, whatever it might be, heart attack, stress or both, judging by the 50 Mediacorp artistes, broadcasting colleagues as well as nearly one thousand people who wept at his funeral and sent him off to the crematorium today (7th January), he is definitely missed badly by them who had enjoyed his entertaining and cheerful bubbly face.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Drinking Tea
by Lynn Grieger, RD, CD, CDE

There are lots of reasons why I enjoy a hot cup of tea: I love the aroma of various flavors of tea; holding onto a hot tea mug warms my hands on a cold winter morning; sipping tea in front of the fireplace is a great way to relax. And those are just the feel-good reasons. If you’re not drinking tea yet, read up on these 10 ways tea does your body good and then see if you’re ready to change your Starbucks order!

1. Tea contains antioxidants. Like the Rust-Oleum paint that keeps your outdoor furniture from rusting, tea’s antioxidants protect your body from the ravages of aging and the effects of pollution.

2. Tea has less caffeine than coffee. Coffee usually has two to three times the caffeine of tea (unless you’re a fan of Morning Thunder, which combines caffeine with mate, an herb that acts like caffeine in our body). An eight-ounce cup of coffee contains around 135 mg caffeine; tea contains only 30 to 40 mg per cup. If drinking coffee gives you the jitters, causes indigestion or headaches or interferes with sleep — switch to tea.

3. Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Unwanted blood clots formed from cholesterol and blood platelets cause heart attack and stroke. Drinking tea may help keep your arteries smooth and clog-free, the same way a drain keeps your bathroom pipes clear. A 5.6-year study from the Netherlands found a 70 percent lower risk of fatal heart attack in people who drank at least two to three cups of black tea daily compared to non-tea drinkers.  

4. Tea protects your bones. It’s not just the milk added to tea that builds strong bones. One study that compared tea drinkers with non-drinkers, found that people who drank tea for 10 or more years had the strongest bones, even after adjusting for age, body weight, exercise, smoking and other risk factors. The authors suggest that this may be the work of tea’s many beneficial phytochemicals.

5. Tea gives you a sweet smile. One look at the grimy grin of Austin Powers and you may not think drinking tea is good for your teeth, but think again. It’s the sugar added to it that’s likely to blame for England’s bad dental record. Tea itself actually contains fluoride and tannins that may keep plaque at bay. So add unsweetened tea drinking to your daily dental routine of brushing and flossing for healthier teeth and gums.

6. Tea bolsters your immune defenses. Drinking tea may help your body’s immune system fight off infection. When 21 volunteers drank either five cups of tea or coffee each day for four weeks, researchers saw higher immune system activity in the blood of the tea drinkers.

7. Tea protects against cancer. Thank the polyphenols, the antioxidants found in tea, once again for their cancer-fighting effects. While the overall research is inconclusive, there are enough studies that show the potential protective effects of drinking tea to make adding tea to your list of daily beverages. 

8. Tea helps keep you hydrated. Caffeinated beverages, including tea, used to be on the list of beverages that didn’t contribute to our daily fluid needs. Since caffeine is a diuretic and makes us pee more, the thought was that caffeinated beverages couldn’t contribute to our overall fluid requirement. However, recent research has shown that the caffeine really doesn’t matter — tea and other caffeinated beverages definitely contribute to our fluid needs. The only time the caffeine becomes a problem as far as fluid is concerned is when you drink more than five or six cups of a caffeinated beverage at one time. 

9. Tea is calorie-free. Tea doesn’t have any calories, unless you add sweetener or milk.Consuming even 250 fewer calories per day can result in losing one pound per week. If you’re looking for a satisfying, calorie-free beverage, tea is a top choice.

10. Tea increases your metabolism. Lots of people complain about a slow metabolic rate and their inability to lose weight. Green tea has been shown to actually increase metabolic rate so that you can burn 70 to 80 additional calories by drinking just five cups of green tea per day. Over a year’s time you could lose eight pounds just by drinking green tea. Of course, taking a 15-minute walk every day will also burn calories.

http://health.ivillage.com/eating/0,,7kq79l90,00.html