Category Archives: Uncategorized

Natural Ways to Treat Hypertension

You may need to cut back on alcohol Photo copyright: Steve Parker MD

You may need to cut back on alcohol.
Photo copyright: Steve Parker

Drugs to control hypertension can save your life. I prescribe them all the time. However, there are also “natural” ways to control high blood pressure. Click the link at bottom for some of the better known methods from Kerri-Ann Jennings, RD. If you’re trying to avoid drugs, you’ll probably need a combination of tricks. And they don’t work for everybody.

Even if you’re already on drugs, you may be able to cut back or stop them if you adopt some of these tips.

“High blood pressure is a dangerous condition that can damage your heart. It affects one in three people in the US and 1 billion people worldwide.

If left uncontrolled, it raises your risk of heart disease and stroke.

But there’s good news. There are a number of things you can do to lower your blood pressure naturally, even without medication.Here are 15 natural ways to combat high blood pressure.”

Source: 15 Natural Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure

h/t Jan at The Low Carb Diabetic

New Blood Glucose Monitors Should Be More Accurate in Near Future

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued new guidelines for manufacturers of home glucose monitoring devices. The old standard was that the glucose reading of the device had to be within 20% of the actual or true value compared to a medical lab-grade machine.

For example, if the device read 165 mg/dl, the true value could be anywhere from 132 to 198 mg/dl. Or if you think in mmol/l terms, a reading of 9.2 could be anywhere from 7.3 to 11.

Under the new +/- 15% rule, the true number should be between 140 and 190  mg/dl.

I bet you thought your device was more accurate than that.

From the FDA:

“Blood glucose test results are used by people with diabetes to make critical decisionsabout their treatment; therefore, it is important that the results are accurate so that nutritional and drug dosing errors are better avoided. Your studies should demonstrate that your SMBG is sufficient for this purpose by showing that 95% of all SMBG results in this study are within +/- 15% of the comparator results across the entire claimed measuring range of the device and that 99% of all SMBG results are within +/- 20% of the comparator results across the entire claimed measuring range of the device.”

Steve Parker, M.D.

My Video Experiment…

I need to reach more people. Last fall I tripled my blogging frequency and it did nothing to increase viewership. I plan to cut back on written blogging and Tweeting, but will be doing more videos. It’s an experiment.

I’ll try to keep all videos under six minutes out of respect for your time.

This video mentions the topics I’ll be covering. If they sound interesting, please subscribe to the pxHealth YouTube Channel.

Does Exercise Really Prevent T2 Diabetes?

Hop on and ride, ride, ride to prevent diabetes

Hop on and ride, ride, ride to prevent diabetes

Even if you have T2 diabetes already, share this post with someone who has prediabetes or risk of getting diabetes. You could save a life and prevent a lot of hassle.

“A new study, published this week in the journal Diabetologia, takes a deeper look at the role of exercise in the development of type 2 diabetes. It is the most in-depth study to examine exercise independent from other influential factors, such as diet. The conclusions from the report are clear: “This research shows that some physical activity is good, but more is better.” (says study co-author Dr. Soren Brage)

Currently, physical activity guidelines in the U.S. and the United Kingdom recommend 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week; this could include cycling, walking, or sports. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fewer than 50 percent of American adults meet these recommendations.

The current study was a result of collaborative work between two institutions – University College London and the University of Cambridge, both of which are based in the U.K. Data from more than 1 million people was collated. In all, the team analyzed 23 studies from the U.S., Asia, Australia, and Europe.”

***

“According to the analysis, cycling or walking briskly for 150 minutes each week cuts the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 26 percent.

Those who exercise moderately or vigorously for an hour each day reduced their risk by 40 percent. At the other end of the scale, for those who did not manage to reach the 150 minute target, any amount of physical activity they carried out still reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes, but to a lesser extent.”

Source: Exercise vs. diabetes: New level of detail uncovered – Medical News Today

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: If you want to start an exercise program, my books will get you started.

New study suggests “Only drink water when thirsty” 

Be cautious when you approach this watering hole

Be cautious when you approach this watering hole

 

Many folks find it difficult to drink the usual recommended eight 8-oz glasses of water daily. That makes me wonder if there’s an underlying evolutionary mechanism at play, and maybe we don’t need that much water. Drinking untreated water exposes us to disease-causing organisms. The more water, the more pathogens.

I quote MNT:

“But how much water do we need to drink on a daily basis?

While you may have heard that eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day – known as the “8×8 rule” – is the aim, there is no scientific evidence that pinpoints precisely how much fluid is the optimal amount.

Based on studies to date, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommend that women should aim to drink around 2.2 liters of total beverages daily (around 9 cups), while men should aim to consume around 3 liters of total beverages daily (around 13 cups).

However, contrary to these recommendations and the so-called 8×8 rule, the new study suggests we should only drink when we are thirsty, after discovering a mechanism that makes drinking excess water challenging.”

Source: ‘Only drink water when thirsty,’ study suggests – Medical News Today

Merry Christmas!

As a Christian, I'll be celebrating the birth of my Lord and Savior over the next few days, so I won't be posting much.

As a Christian, I’ll be celebrating the birth of my Lord and Savior over the next few days, so I won’t be posting much.

;;;

 

 

Fish Are Polluted: Is It Still a Good Idea to Eat Them?

Dead whole fish aren't very appealing to many folks

Dead whole fish aren’t very appealing to many folks

Probably so. Mercury is the key pollutant people think about when considering polluted fish. Mercury toxicity isn’t on the list of top 10 killers in the U.S., but heart disease is.

Heart disease is #1 on the list of top causes of death, followed by cancer and chronic lower respiratory tract disease. “Heart disease” is a broad category; the primary killer is heart attacks.

Eating fish regularly seems to reduce your risk of heart attack. I favor the cold-water fatty fish like salmon, trout, herring, and sardines.

I quote the NYT:

“Numerous studies have found that people who eat fish on a regular basis are less likely to die of a heart attack than those who don’t eat it or eat it less than once a month, and a 2006 Harvard review concluded that eating one to two servings of fish rich in omega-3s every week cut the risk of dying of a heart attack by one-third.”

Source: Why Is Fish Good for You? Because It Replaces Meat? – The New York Times

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Accidents are the #4 cause of death, and suicide is #10.

PPS: Click for ideas on reducing your risk of cancer.

Overweight Women Lose More Weight and Improve Insulin Resistance If Main Meal Is Lunch Instead of Dinner

Conquer Diabetes and Prediabetes, Steve Parker MD

It may not matter whether you eat this particular low-carb meal at lunch or dinner

They say that to lose excess weight, you should eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.

A recent study tested whether weight loss in dieting women was more effective by making lunch rather than dinner (evening meal) the main meal of the day. Over the course of 12 weeks, dieters making lunch their main meal lost 4 lb (2 kg) more than the other group. Furthermore, the lunch eaters had better improvement in their insulin resistance (as measured by HOMA-IR)

From the abstract:

“Background: The association between the time of nutrient intake and health has been described in a few studies. To our knowledge, no study has evaluated the relation between high energy intakes at lunch compared with at dinner on weight loss in overweight and obese subjects.

Objective: We compared the effect of high energy intake at lunch with that at dinner on weight loss and cardiometabolic risk factors in women during a weight-loss program.Design: Overweight and obese women [n = 80; body mass index (BMI; in kg/m2): 27–35; age: 18–45 y] were asked to eat either a main meal at lunch (LM) or a main meal at dinner (DM) for 12 wk while in a weight-loss program.

Conclusions: The consumption of higher energy intake at lunch compared with at dinner may result in favorable changes in weight loss in overweight and obese women after a weight-loss program of 12 wk. The consumption may also offer clinical benefits to improve insulin resistance.”

Source: Beneficial effect of high energy intake at lunch rather than dinner on weight loss in healthy obese women in a weight-loss program: a randomized clinical trial

I don’t have the full text of the research report, so I don’t know what kind of diet the women were on. The researchers seem to be based in both Iran and Great Britain. I don’t know the nationality of the women participating. The metabolism of Iranians may be different from Brits.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: My books don’t taste good at either lunch or dinner.

How Much Weight Will You Gain Over the Holidays?

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MNT has the details:

“Around the world, weight gained from holiday feasting takes months to lose, a study found.

Christmas Day in particular is a holiday that appears to pack on the pounds: in a study of some 3,000 individuals in three countries, Americans showed an average 0.4% weight gain from 10 days before Christmas to 10 days after; Germans gained 0.6% more weight; and the Japanese 0.5%.

U.S. participants packed on 0.7% more weight in total during the full Christmas-New Year holiday season, but the Germans had us beat with a 1.0% weight gain, according to Brian Wansink, PhD, of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. and colleagues.”

Source: Holiday Feasts Take Months-Long Weight Toll | Medpage Today

Those percentages aren’t very helpful, are they? In real life, if you weigh 180 lb (81.8 kg) and gain an extra 0.7%, you’re all the way up to a whopping 181.26 lb (82.4 kg). But if you do that—1.26 lb—every year for 20 years and fail to lose the weight, you’re up to 205 lb (93.2 kg) and now you’ve got diabetes and high blood pressure.

Here are a few tips to avoid the weight gain:

  • On the day of the major feast, just eat two meals, and make one of them small
  • Don’t  snack or graze; just eat at mealtimes
  • Work in some extra exercise
  • Minimize the alcohol that weakens your discipline

Steve Parker, M.D.

Pro Tip: Read one of my books before you make your annual New Year’s weight-loss resolutions.

PPS: Click for the research report in NEJM.

NYT Suggests That the Paleo Lifestyle May Be Here to Stay

“To the uninitiated, the much talked about Paleo diet — a nutritional regimen centered around pasture-raised meat, eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables, and nuts, in the spirit of our cave-dwelling forebears — may seem like another low-carb fad, the South Beach diet dressed up in a mammoth hide. But the time has passed when it could be written off as a fringe movement of shaggy-haired Luddites with an outsize taste for wild boar meatloaf.

Lately, Paleo has charged toward the mainstream, not only as a hugely popular diet (it was most-searched diet of 2013, according to the Google Trends Zeitgeist list), but also as a cave-man-inspired lifestyle that has spawned a fast-growing industry.”

Source: The Paleo Lifestyle: The Way, Way, Way Back – NYTimes.com