Prevention of Diabetes and Effective Lifestyle Tips

By Cacinda Maloney, DC

images-1Effective Lifestyle Tips– These are five easy and highly doable steps to a better lifestyle (and prevent or reverse diabetes).

 

 

 

 

  1. Exercise. Staying fit is highly important and it is one of the fastest, most powerful ways to lower your insulin and leptin resistance. Get a head start today by reading more about Peak fitness- less workout time, more benefits. It includes working out once or twice a week when you do Peak Fitness exercises, in which you raise your heart rate up to your anaerobic threshold for 20 to 30 seconds, and then you recover for 90 seconds.You would repeat this cycle for a total of eight repetitions. These cycles are preceded by a three-minute warm up and two-minute cool down so the total time investment is about 20 minutes.
  2. Eliminate grains and sugars, especially fructose. Eliminate ALL sugars and grains – even “healthful” ones like whole, organic, or sprouted grains – from your diet. Avoid breads, pasta, cereals, rice, potatoes, and corn (which is, in fact, a grain). until your blood sugar gets under control, you may want to avoid fruits as well.
  3. Get plenty of omega-3 fats from a high-quality, animal-based source.
  4. Monitor your fasting insulin level. Every bit as important as your fasting blood sugar, your fasting insulin level should be between 2 and 4. The higher your level, the worse your insulin sensitivity is.
  5. Get probiotics. Your gut is a living ecosystem of a multitude of bacteria. The more good bacteria you have, the stronger your immunity and the better your overall function will be. Optimize your gut flora by taking a high-quality probiotic supplement.

Multivitamin Use Can Reduce Cancer In Men

A recent long-term study reveals that multivitamin use can reduce cancer in men.  The study followed more than 14,000 men who were physicians and was split among those given a multivitamin and those who were given a fake or placebo pill resembling a multivitamin.

The group was followed for an average of 11.2 years, from 1997 to 2011.  Total incidence of new cancer and the incidence of site-specific cancer such as prostate and colorectal cancer were tracked.  Mortality during the study for all men was also tracked.  Total cancer incidence was reduced by a statistically significant margin in the population given the multivitamin.  This was especially true for those with a history of cancer.  This was not found in the population of men taking the placebo.

The study did not find that site-specific cancers such as prostate or colorectal cancer were decreased.  The study also did not find that mortality (death) among men diagnosed with cancer during this trial decreased.  Obviously, this lends itself to the importance of taking adequate measures to prevent cancer, including early testing.  Both diet and exercise have been implicated in the incidence of cancer, as well as certain prescription drugs.  For example, a recent study linked sleeping pills to a 35% increase in cancer.

Side effects of taking multivitamins over time were also evaluated.  This study found that side effects from vitamins were minimal and of no significance.  The side effects that were studied included effects on the gastrointestinal tract such as peptic ulcer, constipation, diarrhea, gastritis, and nausea.  Additionally, symptoms such as fatigue, drowsiness, and migraine were tracked.  Skin discoloration was also studied.   All of these potential side effects were not found to be increased by using multivitamins.

Other studies on high-dose use of specific vitamins have found conflicting data on their ability to prevent cancer.  Therefore, this study may bode well for the use of a low-dose multivitamin over time and not a high-dose use of limited vitamins in the prevention of cancer, especially for those with a history of cancer.

Patients should be weary of claims that vitamins can cure all ills, and equally weary of those who discount their benefits.      

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1380451

Musculoskeletal Injury Can Cause Brain Dysfunction

A new study confirms that athletic musculoskeletal  injury, in general, can impact cognition (brain function) much like a concussion does.  Cognition refers to mental processes that include memory, language, problem solving, decision-making, and attention.

We know that concussion can cause brain injury and therefore cognitive (brain) dysfunction.  Concussion can occur in sports, falls, and auto accidents.  There is a concerted effort to study and prevent concussion in the population in general and specifically at the high school and collegiate level during athletic activities.  Baseline cognitive function is established at the onset of the athletic season, and these are used to assess the effect that injuries have on the patient in general and on their brains.  This is important because repeated musculoskeletal injuries may continue to impact brain function, and this is something that parents, trainers, athletes and doctors should be aware of.  Brain injury is the most common missed diagnosis in motor vehicle accidents, and all patients involved in a car accident should consult a doctor that is trained to detect potential brain injury as well as other common whiplash associated disorders.

Back Pain in Children: Not Just Growing Pains

It is estimated that 80% of all adults will have a significant episode of back pain in their lifetimes.  While much has been said about the incidence of pain among adults, it is not well understood if the trend starts early in life, and to what degree children in general struggle with back pain.

In a recent study on back pain in children, more than 700 children were followed for 6 years.  One purpose of the study was to better understand the prevalence of back pain (BP), divided into low back pain (LBP), mid back pain (MBP), and neck pain (NP) among children.  A second purpose was to track the incidence of back pain over time, and how many of these children sought treatment due to the back pain.

Children were surveyed at 9 years, 13 years, and 15 years.  Pain was defined as having an episode of pain within the last thirty days.  The study found the following back pain incidence in these children:

  • Age 9 – 33% had back pain, 4% had low-back pain, 20% had mid-back pain and 10% had neck pain, 6% sought care.
  • Age 13 – 28% had back pain, 22% had low-back pain, 13% had mid-back pain and 7% had neck pain, 8% sought care.
  • Age 15 – 48% had back pain, 36% had low-back pain, 35% had mid-back pain and 15% had neck pain, 34% sought care.

It appears that back pain can start early in life for many, and that seeking treatment for the pain increases significantly by age 15.  This may indicate that the parents are taking the pain more seriously, or that the degree of pain is increasing over time.

There are many reasons that children can have back pain, and proper evaluation by both a medical and chiropractic physician should be done if the pain is persistent.  Children are increasingly engaging in sedentary activities (computers, video games, etc.), and that along with dietary changes are leading to increases in obesity, a risk factor for back pain.

Sports injuries are another qualified reason for young people to have pain, and non-treatment of these injuries can lead to more serious pain and injury over time.  Proper management by a qualified chiropractic and medical physician is important to assure the proper healing and long-term function of the injury.

Low back pain in adults, including sciatica, is the second leading cause of visits to the doctor.  Back pain is a significant cause for disability in the adult population.  Appropriate and early intervention for those who need it may help educate and prevent needless suffering and expense.

 

New Evidence Helps Doctors Better Manage Headache Patients

New evidence helps patients with headaches find better solutions and helps their doctors better manage patients with headaches.
Headache is one of the most significant pain disorders and affects more that 60% of the global population. It has been estimated to cost upwards of $13 billion dollars each year in lost productivity to American employers.  Additionally, the actual costs of treatment for this condition and the associated costs for treatment of the drug related side effects are staggering and reach more than $1 billion dollars.  The health related costs to treat a migraine sufferer are more than twice that of a non-migraine sufferer.
Similarly, in my article on diabetes, I discussed the fact that the costs for a diabetic patient are up to 5 times that of a non-diabetic patient.
Headaches are classified as primary and secondary.  Primary headaches account for 90% of headaches and include tension-type, migraine, cervicogenic, and cluster.  Cervicogenic headaches are common and are characterized by a pain that emanates from the upper neck into the head.  Secondary headaches account for the other 10% of headaches and are the result of medical conditions such as a tumor or an infection.
Different headaches respond to different treatments, and not all types need or should be managed with drugs.

A recent study finds that for those patients suffering with migraine and cervicogenic (neck induced) headache, spinal manipulation has a positive effect and is recommended.  Doctors and patients should properly classify their headache, and discuss the pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment options currently available.  Also, proper classification helps avoid unnecessary expense and the negative effects that medications have on the liver, the kidneys, and the digestive system.

Properly classifying the type of headache will help channel the patient to the right treatment.  Since all medications have side effects, and particularly when used long-term, then the proper use on non-pharmacological treatments that are safe is encouraged.

Diabetes could affect 50% of The US Population by 2020

Fully 50% of the US population could be diabetic or prediabetic by the year 2020, states a report produced by UnitedHealth Group.  The cost estimate to manage the health of these patients will be a staggering $3.35 trillion dollars in the next decade .  A trillion seems like a fantasy number, because it is hard to fathom.  Here is the way an Ann Landers reader put it, and it’s pretty amazing.  After you grasp this number the next questions are, how on earth can this be and how can we as a society collectively afford this?

Most of the pain is self-inflicted, and we can’t afford it anymore.

While there are genetic predispositions to diabetes, the truth is that many people with diabetes could have avoided it if they were aware of the warning signs, and were able to engage in appropriate lifestyle modifications that would have helped.  Those that are prediabetic should head the warning signs and engage in modification of lifestyle choices that can avert full blown diabetes and reverse the trend.

Knowing where you stand is the most important part of knowing where you need to go.  Blood pressure above 135/85, fasting blood glucose above 100 mg/dl, triglycerides above 150 mg/dl , HDL below 40 mg/dl for men and  below 50 mg/dl for women are all risk factors for developing diabetes.

Annual diabetes related heath care cost analysis for 2009 for United Healthcare stated that the diabetic person used approximately 2.5 times as many healthcare resources as those without.  More significant was that a diabetic patient with complications would spend about 5 times the money as those without the disease.

Potential solutions include lifestyle modifications to combat obesity,  as it is linked to diabetes among many other diseases.  Lifestyle modifications to help those in prediabetes avert the transition into diabetes is also proposed.  The proper medical management and follow up for patients who do have diabetes.  And finally, lifestyle education for those who have been diagnosed and are currently in treatment.

Lifestyle modification is the common theme amongst these recommendations.

It is important for all of us to understand where we are as far as our biomarkers for prediabetes and diabetes.  If one more person who is prediabetic transitions to diabetes that will be a shame, but if all of the people who are prediabetic transition as is the current trend, that will be a catastrophe.

 

 

Spontaneous Abortion Linked to Use of nonaspirin NSAIDs

A recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal indicated that for pregnant patients who took prescription nonaspirin NSAIDs (diclofenac,  naproxen, celecoxib (celerex), and ibuprofen), the risk of spontaneous abortion was 2.43 times that of women who did not take these drugs. Depending on the particular drug taken, the rate of spontaneous abortion rose by 2.19 to 3.09 times relative to those that did not take the drugs.  Dose dependency was not found, indicating that none of these drugs are safe at any dose during pregnancy.

Rofecoxib (Vioxx), which has been removed from the market, was also studied and found to contribute to spontaneous abortion.  Vioxx was withdrawn after associating the drug to increased heart attack and stroke.  It was also found that the maker of this drug (Merck) had kept data about these risks from doctors and patients for several years, and the estimate is that between 88,000 and 140,000 cases of serious heart disease were the direct result, many leading to premature death.  Vioxx generated $2.5 billion in yearly revenue for Merck before it was taken off the market, and caused an estimated 30,000 to 60,000 premature deaths.

Clinicians and their patients who are pregnant should consider safe and natural approaches to pain relief.  For more information on the chiropractic approach to a healthier pregnancy, see this article on pregnancy and chiropractic care.

 

 

Sleeping Pills Linked to Increased Death and Cancer?

A recent study published in the BMJ Open Journal obtained records from more than 10,000 patients enrolled in a large US health network who had taken at least one hypnotic class prescription sleeping pill, and compared them to more than 23,000 records of patients who were similar, but who had not received a prescription for sleeping pills.  The study compared these two groups over 2.5 years to determine the extent to which hypnotic prescription sleeping pills increase the rate of death and or cancer.

The study found that for people who took these types of prescription sleeping pills, the rate of death during the study was between 3.6 and 5.3 times higher than those who did not, depending on how many pills had been prescribed in one year.  Increased likelihood of death was found at even very low doses, as low as one pill per year.  Prescription pill use was also linked to a 35% increase incidence of cancer at 18 pills per year or higher.

This study further describes the danger of these hypnotics which has been under suspicion since a 1979 study associating cigarette and hypnotic use to increased death.  There have been at least 18 studies that associate prescription sleeping pill use to increase death.  There have been no studies that suggest that these pills can prolong life.

The estimate is that between 6% and 10% of US adults consume these pills each year, and the authors conclude that in 2010 some 320,000 to 507,000 additional deaths occurred from these drugs alone.  Staggering numbers for sure, and a real tragedy if true.  This number may be elevated depending on your formula, but how many is too much?

Clinicians and patients should reassess the risk vs. reward ratio if currently taking these prescriptions, and additional low risk alternatives as well as lifestyle changes should be explored.

 

Quit Smoking and Save Your Bladder

A recent study in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology attempted to understand the link between smoking and bladder function in women, and found some disturbing relationships.

Among all the women surveyed in this study, a clear and disturbing correlation was found indicating that smokers are approximately three times more likely to suffer from conditions such as urinary frequency and urgency when compared to non-smokers.  It also appears that the more a person smoked, the more likely the incidence of both frequency and urgency.  It also appears that nocturia (the need to wake up to urinate), and stress urinary incontinence (losing urine without your control) were not associated with smoking.

Patients and clinicians should consider a multifactorial approach to bladder symptoms, including their relationship to smoking.  Smoking also smells bad, dulls your senses, causes breathing difficulties and is a risk factor for cancer.

Women (and presumably men) who smoke should consider that the more they smoke, the more health challenges they will face over time.  It really is never too late to quit a bad habit, and to start something good.

 

Exercise and Keep your Brain Young

There is growing evidence that exercise can offset the effects of brain aging and reduce the risk of dementia.  This study primarily speaks of aerobic exercise, which is essentially defined as exercise than raises your heart rate and the need for oxygen.  Typically this involves sustained activity for a period of about 20-30 minutes.

There is also evidence that resistance exercise, defined as pushing or pulling against a fixed weight, can also improve brain function.

Exercise has also been shown to help prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as well as lowering bad cholesterol and blood pressure.

Dementia poses a significant threat to our aging population, and can strain the well-being and financial stability of the families involved.  We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle as we age.

So there you are, one more reason to start moving safely and deliberately: keeping your brain young.