Diseases

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Symptoms and Causes of Diabetes

Insulin resistance is a silent condition with no symptoms that, because it goes unrecognized and untreated, causes diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 57 million adults are estimated to have insulin resistance – also known as (AKA) “impaired glucose tolerance”, “impaired fasting glucose”, “prediabetes” and “metabolic syndrome”.

And you know what? You have more power over this condition than your health professional does. A diagnosis of diabetes is a life changing event. Read this post to see what you can do to head diabetes off at the pass and prevent it.

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Diabetes Diagnosed - Now What?

When you are diagnosed with diabetes for the first time, you get a whole lot of information pushed at you in a very short time. I strongly encourage you to attend formal diabetic education classes. If you are a newly diagnosed diabetic, here’s a checklist of things it’s important to learn about and understand. Once you know this stuff, you’ll find handling your diabetes isn’t such a big hairy deal after all. Everything will start to fall into place.

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Do You Take Omega 3 Fish Oils? Are You Taking Enough?

After reading this post see this link for an UPDATE: Should I Take Fish Oils - or Not

The American Heart Association recommends that patients with elevated triglycerides take 2 to 4 grams (that’s 2000 to 4000 mgs) of omega 3 fish oils a day. In my practice, I recommend 4 grams per day for almost everyone – particularly those people with abnormal cholesterol profiles, Metabolic Syndrome, diabetes, and/or cardiovascular disease.

That’s the dose I take myself - for prevention - even though my cholesterol profile is normal. But when I ask my patients how much they take, most of the time they say “one a day” – and that is not enough. Read here why more omega 3s are better than not enough.

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The Vytorin Controversy: What’s a Patient to Do?

Note; This post was originally published on May 15, 2008 and updated updated on January 16, 2009. Click here to read the update. This has remained one of the most frequently read posts on this blog.

When all the controversy about Vytorin hit the popular press in January 2008, patients immediately began calling my office for more information. They are asking a lot of good questions. They want to know whether they should stay on the drug or stop it; whether it is doing them any good – or more importantly, whether it is doing them any harm. I’m going to try to explain what the controversy is all about and give you some information that will help you figure out what to do.

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The Vytorin Controversy One Year Later - An Update

On January 8, 2009, the FDA issued the following safety review of Vytorin and concluded: “patients should not stop taking Vytorin or other cholesterol lowering medications and should talk to their [health provider] if they have any questions about these medications.”

Dear patient, you have been drawn into a medical slugfest that is being fought among leading cardiologists, so what are you to do? Read my prior post to get some background on the Vytorin controversy and then read this post to see where we are one year later.

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Mammogram Guidelines – What to Do Now?

The U.S. Preventive Task Force Services (USPTF) has recommended that screening mammograms were no longer routinely required for women in their 40s and that self-breast exam is no longer advised. What!? Is this just cost-cutting or is this good medicine? Read this post to learn more.

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Asbestos - Have You Been Exposed?

The folks at Asbestos.com and Mesothelioma Help.org contacted me to ask me to give you a heads up about mesothelioma, an environmental cancer.

If you are like me, when you hear “asbestos” and “mesothelioma”, you think of those TV commercials for lawyers asking you to call them if you know have been exposed. Why all those ads?

There are 30 billion dollars (that’s billions, not millions) in trust funds put aside by companies that either manufactured or used asbestos-containing materials to care for victims of asbestos exposure. That’s a lot of incentive for lawyers!

FULL DISCLOSURE: Both of these sites are owned and run by lawyers. I have received no compensation for publishing these links. I have checked both of these sites out and they seem offer high quality information and resources. I am posting these links for information purposes only. I would like to hear from readers if you are ever solicited by the lawyers that run them. That is not how we roll here at Maverick Health.

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Smart Women Missing Stroke Risks and Warning Signs

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in both men and women (right behind heart disease and cancer). It occurs equally in men and women until age 75. After age 75 women are at much greater risk for stroke than men. Stroke incidence has been increasing in women of all ages. In recent years strokes have surged in the age 45 to 54 age groups – groups usually at low risk for stroke. Why? Experts believe it’s because of an increase in risk factors that lead to stroke.

In a recent study published in the February 2009 issue of the medical journal Stroke researchers reported that 215 women, all having at least one risk factor for stroke, were unable to identify their risks. Furthermore they did not consider themselves to be at risk and were doing nothing to reduce their risk. The researchers concluded “Educational strategies must advocate for and target high-risk women.”

Read this post to learn the risks and warning signs of stroke these women missed.

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Your Lifestyle Choices: Are You Preventing Disease – or Inviting It?

Maverick Health and my book, A Nurse Practitioner’s Guide to Smart Health Choices, are all about using your lifestyle behaviors to prevent or control chronic diseases. I’ve been at this for over a decade now and every day I read studies and hear news-bites that only validate what I write about on this blog and talk about in my book.

But until you know what I know and, more importantly, act on what you know all this information is useless. Read this post about a study in Europe that looked at how well people controlled their risk factors after they’d already had a heart attack or serious cardiac event. Hint: reviewers that read the study found its results “ominous”.

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Synch to Your Body’s Own Clock and to Mother Earth for Better Health

In March 2009, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published research done at the Division of Sleep Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Researchers studied 10 subjects – 5 men and 5 women – to see what happened to their cardiovascular and metabolic systems if their behavioral and circadian rhythms were disrupted.

If you want to know what effect being out of synch with your body’s own clock and the rhythms of the Earth has on your health, read this post.

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