BLOG

Memorial Day (May 26, 2014)

Today was my longest run since, 11-11-11, running from Brooklyn to since injuring my leg on the run across the USA 11-11-11. 

 

Lifestyle changes can help tame the diabetes epidemic

Davis Enterprise
April 22, 2007

By Dr. Dennis Godby, NMD, Diabetes Natural Path Center

Type 2 diabetes (T2D), now epidemic in the United States, is a national tragedy, as 1 in 3 Americans – born in the 21st century – are expected to become diabetic, even young children.
I call it tragic because more than 90% of T2D cases are preventable – with fairly simple changes in lifestyle. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, non-traumatic limb amputation, and nerve damage. Diabetes increases the likelihood of stroke and heart disease by 2-4 times; Alzheimer’s disease is 60% more likely. There is no end to diabetes complications.
The following are the “fairly simple” lifestyle changes you can make to prevent/reverse T2D, pre-diabetes or insulin resistance:

1. Nurture a consciousness of health (physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual) in your family.

2. Strive for a balanced lifestyle that includes: enough sleep, building solid relationships, eating meals in peace.

3. If your heart is healthy, get a pedometer and walk everywhere you can, working up to 10,000 steps per day (about 5 miles) or do other aerobic activity, such as swimming or bicycling 45-60 minutes per day.

4. For optimal hormone balance, build muscle mass to slow the aging process.

5. Especially if you are overweight at the waist, get your fasting insulin taken; if it is higher than 10, cut out obvious carbohydrates (potatoes, bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, etc) from your diet.

6. Ideal meals consist of: healthy protein (i.e. wild salmon, beans, lentils, organic meat, poultry and eggs), healthy fats (i.e. oils: extra virgin olive, macadamia nut, cold-pressed canola, coconut, fish, flax; nuts and seeds, avocadoes), low glycemic load, high soluble fiber carbohydrates(i.e. oat bran, quinoa, other whole grains, beans, lentils, vegetables, berries, cherries, etc.). The combination of fats, proteins, and soluble fiber slows the absorption of carbohydrates.

7. Meals made from scratch will almost always be healthier than restaurant/fast food/packaged, processed foods – often loaded with hydrogenated oils and sodium, and without potassium.

8. If diabetic/pre-diabetic, monitor your blood sugar 2 hours after at least one meal per day, in a notebook, listing all foods/drinks for that meal. Analyze which meals are glucose healthy and which need to be changed.

9. If stress is a problem in your life, do saliva testing (more reliable than blood) for cortisol/DHEA hormones, to check status of your adrenal glands. Let go of controlling others, anger and resentment. Forgive yourself and others. If you don’t forgive, your health will be jeopardized.

If you implement these lifestyle changes and attitudes, your blood sugar balance will improve.

Hormones key to dropping excess weight

Davis Enterprise
March 25, 2007

By Dr. Dennis Godby, NMD, Diabetes Natural Path Center

Editor’s Note: This is the second of a two-part series on improving body composition. See below for February 25, 2007

To improve body composition and achieve optimal health, balancing your hormones are critical to short- and long-term success.

There are seven main hormones involved. Insulin, the biggest culprit, was discussed last month.

IGF-1 is the only dependable indicator of bioavailable growth hormone in the human body. In a healthy person, IGF-1 levels are 100 times insulin levels. When there is ample supply of IGF-1, manufactured and released by the liver, there is less need for insulin.

In healthy individuals, insulin levels are very low between meals, in unhealthy people, insulin will be high because IGF-1 is low. Exercise has a powerful effect on increasing growth hormone, and therefore IGF-1 levels.

Cortisol is secreted with perceived stress. In prehistoric times, cortisol increased blood sugar to physically help the stressed individual fight or flee; insulin was not needed for the blood sugar rise because a physical response was necessary.

Today, however, most stress is mental; cortisol increases blood sugar, which raises insulin, thereby increasing fat storage. With middle age and obesity, DHEA drops, leading to lower IGF-1 levels, more insulin and more fat.

Androgens (androstenedione, DHEA testosterone, and possibly progesterone) are the anti-fat hormones. They oppose cortisol and insulin. When androgens are optimal, as in adolescence, the tendency to get fat is less likely.

Androgens, reaching their peaks in early adulthood for both males and females, decline slightly each year after 25. Obesity is caused by increased body insulin and cortisol with a fall in androgens.

Estrogen can contribute to obesity in some females when hormonal levels are higher than normal, which can raise insulin and lower androgens. One example is the estrogen-induced weight gain from birth control pills. When estrogen levels are high, however, IGF-1 release is inhibited.

Thyroid optimal function is critical to metabolism. Make sure that your thyroid is operating efficiently, or losing fat will be an uphill battle.

Epinephrine is necessary to activate cortisol and thyroid receptors to maintain normal metabolism. Epinephrine deficiency may result from hypochlorhydria (insufficient stomach hydrochloric acid), leading to poor disassembly of proteins, and a deficiency of available amino acids such as phenylalanine or tyrosine, necessary for production of epinephrine.
The second cause of epinephrine deficiency is shortages of vitamins and co-factors, necessary for its biosynthesis.

Dropping weight is as American as apple pie

Davis Enterprise
February 25, 2007

By Dr. Dennis Godby, NMD, Diabetes Natural Path Center

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part series on improving body composition and shedding unwanted, hard-to-lose pounds.

My goal is to help you to get to your help you to get to your ideal body composition, and stay there, while simultaneously helping you to achieve optimal health. First, understand the following important points:

1. Being thin and healthy are not necessarily the same thing.

2. The real health issue is not losing “weight,” but excess fat, especially at the waist. We all have different frames, and differing amount of muscle. Measure your success with percent body fat/lean body tissue, not with your weight…

3. A person can appear: thin and healthy, but actually have a high percent body fat and be unhealthy.

4. Adults need to be careful about what they say around children and teens about dieting, about being fat, etc. that could contribute to perpetuating anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders – which are widespread in the U.S.

5. Nutritional plans can work, diets rarely do.

William Ferril, MD in, “The Body Heals,” says emphatically that “obesity can be cured only when hormones are optimal, and not until.”

There are seven main hormones involved – insulin is the biggest culprit; the other other six will be discussed next month.

If you have excess abdominal fat, make sure that your doctor does a “fasting insulin” to determine if you are storing fat, and are insulin-resistant. If your fasting insulin is above 5, lowering it through better nutrition and exercise will help you lose belly fat.

Insulin stores fat. Some individuals have a genetic predisposition towards craving carbohydrates – living in this simple carbohydrate and sugar-addicted nation, trying to avoid junk carbohydrates is challenging. The pancreas has to work harder to make extra insulin, to deal with the simple, low-fiber carbohydrates, especially if exercise is not done daily.

Higher-than-optimal insulin levels, powerfully stimulates the appetite, leading to an obsessive desire for more carbohydrates, overeating, abdominal obesity, increasing triglycerides (fats) in the liver’s blood supply, and, eventually, ineffective insulin receiving sites (keys to the locks don’t work) leading to insulin resistance.

More insulin has to be produced by the pancreatic beta cells, causing the fat cells to make even more abdominal fat, raising triglycerides even higher, causing even more insulin to be produced because of increased insulin resistance. Eventually more and more insulin-producing beta cells become exhausted. Type 2 diabetes often follows because blood sugar can no longer be lowered by insulin, due to either ineffective insulin receptors and/or an exhausted pancreas.

Next month, the other six hormones necessary in optimizing a healthy body composition will be discussed, in addition to the other critical components in losing undesirable fat.

Gut feeling: Some bacteria need to survive

Davis Enterprise
January 28, 2007

By Dr. Dennis Godby, NMD, Diabetes Natural Path Center

Americans fill 300 million antibiotic prescriptions every year – one for every man, woman and child. Antibiotics have undoubtedly saved many lives, including my son at 6 years of age, and have significantly reduced suffering for millions of others. However, this column is about the other critically important part of the story about antibiotics that does not seem to be reaching the masses, and could be jeopardizing the American people’s health – maybe even yours or your loved one’s health.

The very word “antibiotic” means “against life.” Antibiotics kill harmful and beneficial bacteria. How often do you hear people talking “around the kitchen table,” about the good, essential to life bacteria in our gut, where 100 trillion plus bugs live – a greater number of bacteria than all the cells of the body – 100 to 500 bacterial species.

When the balance between the “good” (about 85%) and the “bad” bacteria and yeast (about 10-15%) is disrupted, a condition can develop called “dysbiosis” – which is almost always caused by heavy use of antibiotics. If left untreated, it can result in very serious, and tragic health consequences.

There are many things you can to improve your levels of friendly flora (bacteria) in your gut. Nutrition makes a huge difference in the body’s population of gut bacteria. Adding soluble fiber to your diet helps to grow friendly bacteria; reducing or eliminating sugar and other simple carbohydrates, which grows unfriendly bugs, is very helpful. Eating: tempeh (fermented soy), sauerkraut, cultured foods like organic, unsweetened yogurt or kefir that contain live cultures, identified on the label, such as: L. acidophilus, or B. Bifidobacterium, contribute greatly to gut health.

For best results with treating or preventing dysbiosis, friendly flora supplements called “probiotics” are also available. However, it is imperative to choose a brand where the probiotics have been assayed for: high levels of live, beneficial organisms and contains no contaminants. Very few brands meet this criteria. The absolute minimum dosage is 2.5 billion live organisms per day, and up to 20 billion for more serious conditions.

Studies have shown that, amazingly, it takes approximately 18 months of supplementation with a high quality probiotic to replenish the flora after just one 7-day course of antibiotics.
Probiotics, clinically and in research, are known to: significantly improve digestion, help increase tolerance to lactose, reduce blood cholesterol, enhance immune system, deactivate potential cancer-causing chemicals, enhance and balance estrogen, protect against food poisoning, and many other benefits.

Huge scientific breakthrough affects everybody directly

Davis Enterprise
December 24, 2006

By Dr. Dennis Godby, NMD, Diabetes Natural Path Center

Incredibly, a couple of years ago, the entire Human Genome was mapped! You might be thinking, “What is that and how does it affect me?”

If you were playing poker, would it be helpful to know the cards you were dealt? It is now possible to find out the genes you were dealt, so that you can target your lifestyle, accordingly.

Although more than 99% of the human DNA sequence is the same in all humans, there are variations in gene sequences from the usual pattern (polymorphism), that can make us more or less likely to acquire certain diseases.

Genes are the blueprint for building life. Genes tell your body how to develop and function. Even certain elements of your “personality”—are strongly influenced by your genes.

Lab tests using cells from a single blood draw or a simple mouth rinse, measure certain parts of the genetic code called single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs. SNPs are genetic code variations that indicate risk of certain conditions, but not certainty, because lifestyle heavily influences outcome.

In almost all cases, a gene’s ability to promote disease depends heavily on its being switched “on” or “off” by other factors in its environment, like over-consuming alcohol or being chronically nutritionally deficient. Most genetic polymorphisms only have the potential to cause health problems, if exposed to the wrong “mix” of harmful agents over time.

By considering all of these factors together—genes and lifestyle—an individual can more accurately estimate his or her unique health risks and take proactive steps to help prevent chronic disease.

Once you know your cards, you can develop the most effective strategy to play out your hand. Generic medicine is coming to an end. Many people with chronic conditions who do not respond to conventional treatment, have learned that each person’s body functions and responds in unique ways.

Testing can show what specific genetic factors could pose a potential problem for you. For example, is your blood pressure highly influenced by your intake of salt? Once you have this information, you can develop a strategic plan to overcome this pattern —and better prevent your genetic risks from becoming realities.

These tests can help you and your healthcare team design a preventive program that works best for your body. Knowing your genetic strong points and weak points allows you to devise a targeted, personal approach that increases your chances of remaining fit and active as you grow older.

If you would like more information about predictive genomic testing, you can contact a natural healthcare practitioner.