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Blood Sugars can be Too Low

In my last two blogs I spoke about lowering blood sugars, as they contribute to risk and feed cancer according to some of the latest research findings from around the world. Yet, too low blood sugar levels are not good either.

I have many patients with low blood sugar. The normal range for blood sugar is 70-100 (from many reference laboratories), though ranges do vary. Too high and there is risk, too low there are other issues to look at. This simple, straightforward blog post will remind you why eating regularly healthy meals balanced in protein, carbohydrates and fats is essential. Some of my patients actually find they lose weight, feel better and control their blood sugars by eating 4 to 6 smaller meals throughout the day. Skipping breakfast, lunch or dinner can lead to rebound symptoms, weight gain and one or more of the following symptoms listed below. If you are experiencing any of these, talk to your doctor immediately.

  • Confusion / Disoriented / Hard to Think
  • Dizziness / Faint
  • Feeling shaky / Jittery insider
  • Hunger/Strong Cravings
  • Headaches
  • Irritability / Snappy / Aggressive
  • Racing Heart/Palpitations / Pounding Heart
  • Pale Skin
  • Sweating / Calmy
  • Trembling or Twitching of Muscles
  • Weakness
  • Anxiety / Feeling Overwhelmed or insecure

These symptoms can be caused for other reasons, yet regardless, if you have one or more of these, be sure to get them checked out.

Regular meals are essential, so never skip meals. It is also critical to remember an acute stressful situation can lead to drops in blood sugar, as can eating sugary foods by themselves, leading to “reactive” hypoglycemia (low blood sugars).

Sugar Feeds Cancer and Disease

There are few things more fear-provoking than the word “cancer”. Due to regulatory restrictions, it is not possible to discuss natural approaches to treating any health condition, especially cancer. But what I am about to share with you could help you protect yourself from countless potential conditions. I tell my patients who want to remain well, to simply avoid sugar.

Researchers have shown that cancer cells have a ravenous appetite and in fact cancer cells will use up to 4 to 5 times more blood sugar than most healthy surrounding tissues. You may say, “I don’t have cancer” but the question is – do you have abnormal cells being created regularly in your body? The answer is yes. I describe this as follows: if you have a plot of land where you want to plant a garden, you first dig up the soil and are all ready to plant lettuce, tomatoes, corn, etc. Is this land also highly fertile ground for a “weed seed” to settle into and grow? The answer is yes!

So, here comes the “weed seed” (abnormal cells) as it settles in; now if you water it and feed it with the best fertilizer (in the body that is glucose), will the weed flourish? Definitely!

My serious patients wanting to be well, avoid sugar like the plague. You don’t want to wait to get diagnosed with something to stop your sugar habit. You don’t have to quit cold turkey, yet it is time to chill out on the sugar addiction or sweet tooth. And as for the pre-diabetics, accounting for 60 million Americans, or the over-diabetics, running rich in regards to sugar levels, this must be controlled.

To better understand this issue, lets look at the diagnostic test called “PET” and how it works. The most common form of a PET scan begins with an injection of a glucose-based radiopharmaceutical (FDG), which travels through the body, eventually collecting in the organs and tissues targeted for examination. Yes, radio-active glucose (the sugar tested for in the blood for diabetes and that surges with a high sugar diet). If the target tissues in question light up, this generally means that there is a high likelihood of cancer or other disease being present. What this tell us is, “cancer cells are pigs” – let’s make sure we don’t feed them.

In Summary:
There are many reasons to avoid a high sugar diet: diabetes prevention, immune support, weight management and yes, possibly even helping making your body just a little bit more resistant to being the place that a “weed-seed” may want to grow. Sugar is like all other habits – it is a hard one to kick, but you’ll be healthier in your victory.

Friendly Bacteria to the Rescue

I routinely recommend a probiotic supplement for my patients who are serious about their health. Before I share the reasons why I think everyone should take a daily probiotic, allow me to share some facts about probiotics, also known as “friendly bacteria”.

They are referred to as either probiotics or friendly bacteria, they are naturally found in high quality live culture yogurts, they serve as part of your body’s natural defenses and may help with allergies as well. As a clinician, author and lecturer, I do not believe there are sufficient quantity or diversity of probiotics in yogurt to fully deliver the benefits I want for my personal patients. That is why I recommend a simple “one a day” probiotic to get the benefits you and my patients deserve. They are your ‘friendly neighborhood watch’ of your GI tract. Each and every bite of food you eat and beverages you drink contain bacteria, and not all of them are friendly. If there are not sufficient friendly bacteria in your GI tract, part of your natural defense against infection is insufficient, leaving you wide open for infection and a series of health issues.

I believe probiotics rank right up at the top of an individual supplement routine, along with a good multivitamin. Clinically, I have found them helpful for bolstering overall immune performance, as well as supporting GI health and regularity. Some research suggests they can even help increase immune protection during cold and flu season.
Your body is made of some 75 trillion cells; a healthy GI tract contains 100 trillion visitors (friendly and unfriendly bacteria). So it is time to send some reinforcements to make sure you have a good healthy defense each and every day, especially as we enter cold and flu season. One probiotic a day, may just keep the doctor away – like your own personal “good neighborhood watch”.

Depression Can Cause Physical Challenges

Each year as the sun begins to dwindle, many individuals start to feel a little more blue and melancholy. This transition of seasons that impacts millions is called Seasonal Affective Disorder. Yet, even without the changing seasons, tens of millions suffer from year-round depression. The power of depression is often under-appreciated by friends, family and even healthcare providers that have not themselves suffered the plight of truly feeling down. But the story does not end with the mental symptoms, there are very real physical challenges that plague individuals with depression as well. These can include:

  • Headaches
  • Joint and Muscle Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Stiff Necks
  • Altered Sleep Patterns
  • Chest Discomfort (that should always be evaluated to rule out other issues)
  • Gastrointestinal/Digestive Changes
  • Feeling Off-Balance/Dizziness
  • Weight Changes and Altered Appetite

So, what is a person to do? Well, first and foremost, talk to your doctor if you have signs and symptoms of depression. Sometimes it can be caused by physical conditions such as low thyroid, low testosterone, low estrogen, anemia, sleep apnea and countless other physical ailments. Yet, other times the following simple recommendations can work wonders for mild to moderate depression.

These include, using 5 HTP daily, a natural building block for serotonin, often called the “happy” brain chemical. Yet, 5 HTP can’t work by itself – it works best when combined with a good Vitamin B complex. Finally, as a doctor with a very busy practice and years of clinical practice, there is no question that pumping up the Vitamin D levels for most individuals can help establish a healthier foundation for full body wellness, including a happier mind and body.

If you or a loved one suffers from depression, realize it impacts more than just your frame of mind, it can cause countless physical symptoms and you deserve to feel better. So, talk to your healthcare provider and give yourself the nutritional support to fuel your natural pathways.

Are Your Symptoms Pointing to a Diabetic Warning?

We all know that diabetes is something we don’t want to ever get. If you already have diabetes, you have read the statistics – that if you don’t control your blood sugars, you increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney, eye, nerve and a whole lot of other problems. You might have read this far and with confidence, sighed a breath of relief, ‘thank goodness that I don’t have diabetes.’ All I can say is, not so fast. I have long told my patients, there is no “imaginary line” that is okay to be up to and not cross for blood sugars relative to diabetes risk.

Let me give you an example. Currently, it is hoped that healthy individuals strive for a long term blood sugar measure reading called HbA1c of 6.0 or lower. So let me ask you, if you are at 5.9, are you safe? The answer is no! The real goal is to be a whole lot closer to 5.0, than 6.0. By the way, a few years ago, 7.0 was the acceptable level. You might be asking, how can that be? The answer is simple – far too many people were converting to overt diabetes. In fact, there are 60,000 million pre-diabetics in the United States alone. Thus, the government wants to catch people earlier, with the hope of putting the brakes on this run-away killer. Yes, diabetes kills. In fact, it is the fastest rising cause of death.

How do you know if you have pre-diabetes, that’s often associated with “metabolic syndrome”? Well, the symptoms include often-rising body weight, rising blood pressure, increase in cholesterol and triglycerides, to name a few. So, if these numbers have been creeping up each year as you do your annual blood work, it is time to realize that you have been put on notice, that your body is “warning you”. It is estimated in the latest 2010 study reported, that 25 percent of North Americans have metabolic syndrome.

SHOCKING FACT: 70 recent studies that included a total of nearly one million patients were reviewed, and the researchers discovered that those with metabolic syndrome are up to 2.5 times more likely to die of heart-related causes and to have heart disease, a heart attack or stroke, compared to healthy individuals.

Natural Solutions: First and foremost, if you have been gaining unwanted and unneeded weight, it is essential to adopt a reasonable and sustainable exercise program. You don’t need a fancy gym membership to achieve your goal; to start with, add an extra 20 minutes to whatever your exercise commitment is per day. I recommend to my patients the “10 minute rule” – simply from either your home or work during lunch, walk 10 minutes in any direction briskly relative to your fitness condition, then walk back. That is your 20 minute work out. If you want, you can use your pedometer or other fitness monitoring tool.

Second, whenever eating carbohydrates, eat fiber at the same time. I have a saying that I share in My Great Health Book, it goes like this: “When indulging a sweet tooth or two, fiber is your friend.” The rationale is that a high glycemic index food can be partially neutralized by fiber, thus lowering the glycemic load. I also routinely use chromium to aid in carbohydrate metabolism and also helping curb sweets cravings.

Lastly, it is essential to use a good multi-vitamin, specifically designed for either men or women.

If you are diligent, tone up your body, lose weight if needed, exercise a little more and de-stress, I have observed that the human body responds nicely. So, whatever you do, take the first step. If you are still “in the safe zone”, don’t sit back in your chair and get too comfortable. It is now that you need to get active to maintain your wellness, otherwise with aging, it can easily slip away. For those that already are looking to fight their way back into a safer zone, the same applies – take action. Waiting for a New Year’s Resolution, Birthday, or the like merely means that more momentum in the wrong direction will have been gained. I wish you well and while you are at getting or maintaining wellness, remember it is great to bring a friend or family member along to share the journey.

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Health Tips On the Go!

Improve Posture

  • 1.Avoid slouching. Be aware of your posture as you walk, sit, and drive, keep shoulders squared and head pulled back and up.

  • 2.Imagine a thread pulling the top of your head toward the ceiling. Visualization can help improve your sense of position.

  • 3.If your job requires you to sit for long periods, take frequent breaks to stand, stretch and shake it out.

  • 4.Maintain a strong core to help support proper posture. Add core-training exercises to your daily routine.

  • 5.A firm mattress and ergonomic pillow help achieve proper back support while you sleep, so you'll stand straighter in the a.m.

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