Exactly How to lower Cholesterol without Medication?
According to a report by NDC Health which tracks health care trends, statin drugs like Lipitor and Zocor, although highly promoted on TV, have been stopped after four months by two thirds of people for whom they were prescribed. So why are people stopping their statin drugs? Sometimes it’s tiredness and fatigue, or it may be muscle pains and achiness. A common myth promoted by the pharmaceutical companies and some doctors is that “adherence to statins is easy, but adherence to comprehensive lifestyle changes is difficult if not impossible.” This has not been proven to be true. Dr. Dean Ornish who has shown over the past 30 years that diet and lifestyle changes are just as powerful if not more so than medications found in his study that there was a 40% reduction in LDL cholesterol after one year without medication.
For the vast majority of individuals with a mild to moderate cholesterol problem who do not have a familial lipid disease (i.e. about 70% of all Americans) lowering cholesterol without medications starts with a plant based diet consisting of beans and legumes, unsalted nuts and seeds and soy foods. For people who have documented heart disease with blockages of coronary arteries, they should follow a vegetarian diet. For people with just elevated cholesterol without a strong family history of a lipid disorder, a Mediterranean diet with some lean free range chicken and beef and non-farm raised fish along with other plant proteins, fruits and vegetables is a heart healthy diet. If necessary some proven natural supplements can be added if necessary to help the cholesterol numbers.
Once a person sees how diet can lower cholesterol naturally they are encouraged to make that way of eating a way of life. In our lifestyle program we help people make those food and lifestyle changes. The majority of people don’t want to take a statin drug for ever ( or even longer than 4 months). So call us today and let us help you lower your cholesterol naturally.
A commonly prescribed drug for type II diabetes is metformin. It is the first-line drug of choice for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, in particular, in overweight and obese people and those with normal kidney function Its use in gestational diabetes has been limited by safety concerns. It is also used in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome, and has been investigated for other diseases where insulin resistance may be an important factor. Metformin works by suppressing glucose production by the liver. Metformin is the only anti-diabetic drug that has been conclusively shown to prevent the cardiovascular complications of diabetes. It helps reduce LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and is not associated with weight gain. So knowing all this why would people still be looking for natural treatments for type II diabetes?
Well, in the February 7, 2002 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The conclusion of this study found that “Lifestyle changes and treatment with metformin both reduced the incidence of diabetes in persons at high risk. [however] The lifestyle intervention was more effective than metformin.” The lifestyle intervention was a combination of dietary changes and exercise. So this was proof that a natural treatment for type II diabetes was more effective than the prescription. Wow! Why didn’t we hear about this on TV 24/7 like we do about a host of other drugs? Unfortunately there is no profit in selling a natural treatment like lifestyle changes. So since this is a journal for doctors, why haven’t they told everyone of their type II diabetes patients about this natural treatment.
One reason is it takes a lot of time to explain a diet and lifestyle program to a patient–time that most primary care doctors don’t have. At our clinic we specialize in a therapeutic lifestyle program covered through most insurance. We help people with a natural treatment for type II diabetes, cholesterol and weight problems as recommended in the medical literature. See our website for success story video and call us today. We are accepting new patients.
The most severe type of fatigue, Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome has been validated by the Center For Disease control (CDC) as a serious medical disease with a probable genetic vulnerability. The CDC estimates more than 1 million Americans have the condition, with women suffering at four times the rate among men. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complex illness characterized by at least six months of severe fatigue that is not helped by bed rest.
For some of these people, even a simple daily errand can be so taxing for their body they may need to rest for several days to recover. Patients also report such symptoms as muscle pain and impaired memory. Causes may be multiple such as a viral illness, oxygen deprivation from prolonged exposure to high altitude or excessive aerobic exercise, chemical or toxic exposures to name a few. Treatment for Chronic fatigue Syndrome begins with a good history and physical exam.
There are expensive fancy tests for the immune system, usually not covered by insurance, that may tell what is “broken” but do not necessarily lead to treatments to “repair the damage”. The basic problem is damage to the mitochondria, small structures in every cell or our body that produce energy for all our needs. A virus, a toxin or a stress can impair the mitochondrial function leading to a chronic fatigue process in a person who is vulnerable perhaps for genetic reasons.
A Functional Medicine approach is to evaluate nutritional deficiencies and supply the body with the nutrients it needs to have optimal mitochondrial functioning. Progress is usually slow and many people as they start to feel better sometimes overextend themselves since they are so happy to have even some energy. Then they may need several days to recover. I also recommend mind-body approaches such as meditation and visualization techniques to imagine a health immune system. As with many chronic complex conditions, it is unlikely that a single prescription medication can be considered a “one size fits all” treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Metabolic Syndrome, previously known as Syndrome X and cardio-metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance syndrome is defined by any three of the following criteria:
Blood pressure greater than 13O/85
Triglycerides greater than 150 mg/dl
Blood sugar greater than 100 mg/dl
Waist circumference >40 inches in men and >35 inches in women
HDL below 40 mg/dl in men and <40 mg/dl in women
Metabolic syndrome is considered to be a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes polycystic ovaries, fatty liver, stroke and kidney disease. It is also considered to be a Lifestyle Disease because it is caused predominantly by dietary and lifestyle factors rather than genetics. It may “run in the family” mainly because the family has similar dietary and lifestyle habits.
Metabolic Syndrome is thought to be due to insulin resistance which leads to a wide variety of health problems. When there is consistently high blood sugar from a diet high in white flower and white sugar, insulin follows to lower the blood sugar. After several years of this pattern the cells of the body begin not to respond to the insulin signal and stop taking glucose out of the blood. Then the body pumps out more insulin to overcome the problem. Something like “I hear ya knocking but ya can’t come in.” At this point blood sugar continues to rise and the body moves from pre-diabetes to diabetes. Also the persistently elevated insulin levels convert blood sugar to fat in the liver causing fatty liver. Then there is a conversion of muscle to fat producing fatty muscles. The fat cells of the body that were previously quiet now are asked by insulin to take up more fat turning happy fat cells into “angry” fat cells that begin to release inflammatory chemicals causing aches and pains all over. Blood vessels also become inflamed and plaque buildup starts to occur. Treatment for Metabolic Syndrome must address the basic cause: insulin resistance.
The good news is that Metabolic Syndrome and related disorders can be treated and reversed through dietary and lifestyle changes rather than drugs. Treatment for Metabolic Syndrome in Tucson is conducted through our therapeutic lifestyle program called FirstLine Therapy and is covered through most insurance.