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MTHFR, Diabetes, And Heart Disease

MTHFR, Diabetes, and Heart Disease

MTHFR, Diabetes, and Heart Disease

Dr. Doni, author of The Stress Remedy, explains the connections between MTHFR mutations, diabetes, and heart disease, and offers tips for optimizing your health.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death (above cancer), and diabetes is known to increase risk of heart disease. That amounts to over 600,000 deaths per year from heart disease1 and over $100 billion spent each year to address diabetes and heart disease, both of which are preventable conditions. That means that by understanding your genes and by making diet and lifestyle changes, you can prevent heart disease and diabetes.
It was previously thought that cholesterol in our diet was the main cause of heart disease and, in fact, that has been (and is still) the basis of most of the work of the medical establishment and of government guidelines on prevention of heart disease. However, research now shows something very different and is beginning to change the way we think of heart disease risk.
We now know that sugar rather than cholesterol and fat, is more of a concern when it comes to heart disease and diabetes risk.
This means that cereals (and other high carb, high sugar foods) are more likely to cause heart disease than eggs, nuts, and bacon. A study from 2014 clearly showed that most adults in the U.S. are consuming an increasing number of calories from sugar2. That same study also found that eating more sugar is associated with an increased risk of death from heart disease.
So the real culprit is sugar, not cholesterol. And that is why, when patients ask me how to decrease their risk of heart disease and diab Continue reading

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Foods to Eat to Help Prevent Diabetes

Foods to Eat to Help Prevent Diabetes

Why is meat consumption a risk factor for diabetes? Why does there appear to be a stepwise reduction in diabetes rates as meat consumption drops? Instead of avoiding something in meat, it may be that people are getting something protective from plants. Free radicals may be an important trigger for insulin resistance, and antioxidants in plant foods may help. Put people on a plant-based diet, and their antioxidant enzymes shoot up. So, not only do plants provide antioxidants, but they may boost our own anti-endogenous antioxidant defenses, whereas, on the conventional diabetic diet, they get worse.
In my video, How May Plants Protect Against Diabetes, I discuss how there are phytonutrients in plant foods that may help lower chronic disease prevalence by acting as antioxidants and anti-cancer agents, and by lowering cholesterol and blood sugar. Some, we’re now theorizing, may even be lipotropes, which have the capacity to hasten the removal of fat from our liver and other organs, counteracting the inflammatory cascade believed to be directly initiated by saturated-fat-containing foods. Fat in the bloodstream—from the fat in our bodies or the fat we eat—not only causes insulin resistance, but also produces a low-grade inflammation that can contribute to heart disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Fiber may also decrease insulin resistance. One of the ways it may do so is by helping to rid the body of excess estrogen. There is strong evidence for a direct role of estrogens in the cause of diabetes, and it’s been demonstrated that certain gut bacteria can produc Continue reading

Patients with Diabetes Are Treated Differently in the ER

Patients with Diabetes Are Treated Differently in the ER

A trip to the ER is different for patients with diabetes compared to those without. Diabetes can lead to more serious complications doctors would be concerned about, as well as influence diagnostics and potential treatments. Emergency room physician Dr. Troy Madsen explains why it’s important your physicians know your diabetic status early with emergency treatment.
Transcript
Interviewer: How does a patient with diabetes change the way emergency room physicians would treat you? That's next on The Scope.
Announcer: Health tips, medical views, research and more for a happier, healthier life. From the University of Utah Health Sciences, this is The Scope.
Interviewer: Dr. Madsen, if somebody comes into the emergency room and you find out they have diabetes, does that change the way that you would treat whatever condition that they're in the ER for?
Dr. Madsen: It really does. It affects the way I look at things and it often affects the way I treat things. And the reason for that is, certainly with diabetes, there are the immediate issues where maybe they have a high blood sugar or really low blood sugar. Either they use too much insulin or maybe they haven't been using their insulin, and certainly there's that factor. But diabetes changes a lot of other things as well.
So if someone comes in and they say to me, "I'm having chest pain," I mean, this is a 30-year-old otherwise healthy person, I'm like, "Okay, we'll get an EK to do some tests," I'm not too concerned. If this person has diabetes even, maybe in their 30s, that heightens my concern a little bit more for heart dise Continue reading

Lack of Sleep Tied to Diabetes in Pregnancy

Lack of Sleep Tied to Diabetes in Pregnancy

Lack of sleep may raise the risk for gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes — abnormally high blood sugar that develops during pregnancy — can lead to excessive birth weight, preterm birth or respiratory distress in the baby, among other problems. It can also increase the mother’s risk for Type 2 diabetes later in life.
Researchers pooled data from eight studies involving 17,595 women. Seven of the studies depended on self-reports of sleep, and one measured sleep duration. After adjusting for variables such as age, body mass index and ethnicity, they found that women who slept less than 6.25 hours a night were almost three times as likely to have gestational diabetes as those who slept more. The study is in Sleep Medicine Reviews.
The reasons for the link are not known, but the authors suggest that hormonal changes in pregnancy as well as systematic inflammation tied to lack of sleep can lead to insulin resistance and high blood glucose levels. But the study is observational and does not prove a causal relationship between poor sleep and gestational diabetes.
“Minimizing sleep disruption is important — limiting caffeine, avoiding electronics at bedtime and so on,” said the lead author, Dr. Sirimon Reutrakul, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “It’s another factor that may influence overall health. But it’s easier said than done.” Continue reading

Is It Time to Change the Type 2 Diabetes Treatment Paradigm? No! Metformin Should Remain the Foundation Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes

Is It Time to Change the Type 2 Diabetes Treatment Paradigm? No! Metformin Should Remain the Foundation Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes

Most treatment guidelines, including those from the American Diabetes Association/European Association for the Study of Diabetes and the International Diabetes Federation, suggest metformin be used as the first-line therapy after diet and exercise. This recommendation is based on the considerable body of evidence that has accumulated over the last 30 years, but it is also supported on clinical grounds based on metformin’s affordability and tolerability. As such, metformin is the most commonly used oral antihyperglycemic agent in the U.S. However, based on the release of newer agents over the recent past, some have suggested that the modern approach to disease management should be based upon identification of its etiology and correcting the underlying biological disturbances. That is, we should use interventions that normalize or at least ameliorate the recognized derangements in physiology that drive the clinical manifestation of disease, in this circumstance, hyperglycemia. Thus, it is argued that therapeutic interventions that target glycemia but do not correct the underlying pathogenic disturbances are unlikely to result in a sustained benefit on the disease process. In our field, there is an evolving debate regarding the suggested first step in diabetes management and a call for a new paradigm. Given the current controversy, we provide a Point-Counterpoint debate on this issue. In the point narrative that precedes the counterpoint narrative below, Drs. Abdul-Ghani and DeFronzo provide their argument that a treatment approach for type 2 diabetes based upon correcting t Continue reading

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