However, Dr. Yancy pointed out a number of undesirable side-effects of low-carbohydrate diets, which include water loss, sodium deficiency, fatigue, dizziness, constipation, headache, weakness, bad breath, diarrhea, and muscle cramps. He said these symptoms were most common in the first two weeks of a low-carb diet plan and could be mitigated by increased fluid and sodium intake, use of constipation remedies, and adequate consumption of vegetables.
Dr. Yancy said: “Low-carbohydrate diets have some unique benefits, including reduced hunger, greater daily energy expenditure, reduced hemoglobin A1C, reduced hypoglycemic events, more weight loss, and they allow diabetes patients to reduce and, in some cases, stop taking their diabetes medications entirely. But it can also cause some side-effects, particularly when people are just starting a low-carbohydrate plan, and so it is important to emphasize fluid intake, especially in the first two weeks, and even to advise a sodium supplement to help people maintain their hydration and avoid symptoms like dizziness, headaches, fatigue and constipation that can occur with dehydration.”
Dr. Amar Salam, senior consultant cardiologist and chief of cardiology at Al-Khor Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), and Dr. Rasha Kaddoura, chief pharmacy specialist at HMC Heart Hospital, gave a presentation titled ‘Brugada Syndrome, the New Silent Killer: What Every Physician Should Know About It’. Brugada is a genetic disorder characterized by abnormal electrical activity in the heart that causes abnormal heart rhythms and increases the risk of sudden cardiac death. It is more common in men and in people of Asian descent and symptoms often occur alongside febrile episodes.
Dr. Salam explained the diagnostic criteria for Brugada syndrome, which is based on the presentation of patients, use of ECG tests, examination of family history and genetic testing. Dr. Kaddoura and Dr. Salam then discussed the medications to use to manage the condition, which include drugs to counteract ion current imbalances and antiarrhythmics such as quinidine and bepridil. They also explained which medications should be avoided as possibly harmful to people with Brugada syndrome and discussed two illustrative case studies.
Dr. Salam said: “There is a strong interest in Brugada syndrome as this is a relatively new disease to us all and it can kill people, so it is good that so many healthcare professionals are interested in learning how to recognize this syndrome. What I hope people will find most useful and memorable from this presentation is how to recognize Brugada syndrome from an ECG test.”
Both lectures were accredited locally by the Ministry of Public Health’s Department of Healthcare Professions – Accreditation Section and internationally by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).
About Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar
Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar is a partnership between Cornell University and Qatar Foundation. It offers a comprehensive six-year medical program leading to the Cornell University M.D. degree with teaching by Cornell and Weill Cornell faculty and by physicians at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Aspetar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, the Primary Health Care Corporation, the Feto Maternal Center, and Sidra Medicine, who hold Weill Cornell appointments. Through its biomedical research program, WCM-Q is building a sustainable research community in Qatar while advancing basic science and clinical research. Through its medical college, WCM-Q seeks to provide the finest education possible for medical students, to improve health care both now and for future generations, and to provide high quality health care to the Qatari population.
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