Metabolic Syndrome

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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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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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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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Unleashing Your Inner Olympian

I was talking to a diabetic patient of mine one day who was was worried about the an upcoming trip to Disney with his grand-daughter where he would have to do more walking than he was accustomed to. I asked him if he exercised. He held up his hand in a “stop right there” gesture and said, “Do not speak to me about exercise, I follow the religion of comfort and exercise is uncomfortable.” His statement left me completely speechless (and if you knew me you would appreciate how uncharacteristic that is).

This post is for all of you who have lost touch with your inner Olympian.

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Jumping JUPITER – Do You Know Your CRP?

One of the biggest splashes in medicine this year came when, in November 2008, the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a study called JUPITER.

It has the whole medical world talking. This study was done to see if taking a cholesterol-lowering statin drug for primary prevention would help healthy people prevent heart attacks, strokes, heart bypass surgery, hospitalization for chest pain, and death from cardiovascular events. It did.

Read on to see why this study may change national treatment guidelines and what your health provider recommends to reduce your health risks.

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Alcohol and Medications – Are You Making Smart Choices?

The holidays are here and many of us will be attending celebrations where alcohol is served. If you take medications and drink occasionally (or even regularly), you face a dilemma. Should you take your medications when you drink?

What’s the smart choice? You may be surprised at the answer.

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Tim Russert and Metabolic Syndrome

Tim Russert’s sudden and untimely death should have been preventable. All the risks that contributed to his death were controllable, except his inherited risk. We will never know if he might have avoided his premature death had he taken better care of the controllable risks earlier. But it would have given him a better shot – and the same goes for you.

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