HOUNDLOVER1   16,308
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Disguises for a deeper problem and walking in your patients shoes

Saturday, November 09, 2013

This is an interview of Peter Attia in the online magazine Med Crunch of June 2013:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOUBBIE 11/10/2013 11:12AM

    Excellent interview. I particularly like his comment that "...this is really at the root of much of the well-documented judgment physicians often have toward their obese and diabetic patients. The treatment fails. We assume itís because they wonít comply. We donít consider the possibility that the treatment might be incorrect, and we abandon them."

The treatment fails. Not the patient.

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JSTETSER 11/10/2013 8:58AM

    Nice interview. I couldn't resist. I had to take the time now.

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JSTETSER 11/10/2013 8:42AM

    I will check it out Brigitte.
I really appreciate the posts that you do to educate your Spark Friends.
I know where to go looking when I have extra time.

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SUNSET09 11/10/2013 8:10AM

  Good point as my Mom raised us to treat others as we would ike to be treated. It becomes a learning opporunity for some and goes both ways. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ERIN1957 11/10/2013 7:02AM

    Good article indeed.
Thanks Birgit.

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Hemoglobin A1c test - checking your blood sugar level

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Most people who have diabetes already know what I am talking about in this post.

But it is important to know that a large percentage of the people who are pre-diabetic or diabetic have no idea and this can be very dangerous to your health. Especially people who are normal weight and quite active and fit don't think they could have diabetes.
But I was one of them and am still working to lower my blood sugar levels with a low-carb diet after eating a little too much fruit this past summer.

Diabetes brings with it the risk of many serious health problems including heart disease, kidney disease, neuropathy (nerve damage) and obesity. When caught early enough all the symptoms of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes are reversible and health can be restored through a low-carbohydrate diet. The person will always be carbohydrate-intolerant but can stay healthy without medication or insulin.
The Hemoglobin A1c test can be done in any doctor's office or you can buy a test kit for under $10.00 in places like Walmart and many drug stores.
This test is different from daily blood sugar testing. It gives a long-term picture of average blood sugar levels by measuring how much glucose is attached to the hemoglobin in your blood. There are a few cases where the A1c test will not produce accurate results (for instance people who do not have normal Hemoglobin levels) but in most cases A1c results are very helpful, especially for people who are not diabetic but may be in the pre-diabetic range and not on medication.
The normal levels for this test are 5.6 and below, pre-diabetic is 5.7-6.4 and anything above that is considered diabetic. The pre-diabetic range was picked because at this level there is already some damage to various parts of the body because of the excess blood sugar and/or higher insulin levels.
Some physicians will recommend A1c levels that are significantly below 5.7 as the healthiest. One of them is Dr. Bernstein, author of this book:

If people change their diet by reducing carbohydrate intake enough (how much depends on the person) in most cases blood sugar and insulin levels will return to normal levels and some or all of the damage done will heal itself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LARRYS48 4/24/2014 8:19AM

  Well, this is all very informative and really appreciated. I live in Canada and have recently had an A1C test done by my physician. I fall in the 65+ age bracket and the results were 7.1 and 6.9 (on the retest). I didn't know that the cholesterol meds had an effect on this test and will definitely ask the doc about that aspect. I have Dr. Bernstien's book and will follow a restricted carbohydrate diet to try and control the blood sugars to within the desired range. One area that I have a hard time understanding is the A1C test results and the regular daily blood sugar tests? A1C is in 5.7 what? whereas daily tests are 85mg/dL. What's the co-relation??

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MOTHEPRO 11/9/2013 8:26PM


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DOVESEYES 11/9/2013 7:43PM

    Great info thanks

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SKATER787 11/9/2013 6:25PM

    Birgit, thanks for the tip about home test a1c. I didn't know there was one. I found a 2-test kit on Amazon for around $40. I'll check out Walmart if they are cheaper.

I've seen Dr. Bernstein's book before, but I didn't order it because I read that his protocol is very strict and that he talks a lot about Type 1 which he had. Although, I'm not diabetic, I have come to the conclusion that everyone is better off following diets that keep blood glucose stable. The glucose spikes are bad news and normally we don't even feel it because our bodies made adjustments. We owe it to the diabetics for this information and awareness.

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NORWOODGIRL 11/9/2013 5:52PM

    I wonder whether the A1c test is available in Canadian Walmarts. I definitely need to check this out. Thanks so much for posting this!

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FLAMENM 11/9/2013 4:39PM

    I never knew I could test A1C at home. Must go investigate!

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USMAWIFE 11/9/2013 10:07AM

    My A1c when out of whack due to my cholesterol meds. we changed meds, aded cinnamon capsules or chromium picantate and it is back in the normal ranges

I used both pills before as did hubby who is a diabetic who suffers from metabolic syndrome, and it brings things back within normal levels and also helps a lot with the carb cravings. and best of all it is cheap

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WOUBBIE 11/9/2013 9:12AM

    I should look into this for my DH, who is definitely in the pre-diabetic category and apparently just won't be satisfied until he's full-blown Type 2 like his dad. The fasting tests and home stick tests just don't seem to get through to him, since once in a while they'll read in the normal range.

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KMVBBAM 11/9/2013 7:45AM

    My mother-in-law is a tight control diabetic and about two years ago she had her first episode in over twenty years where she drove for a half hour, had a wreck and doesn't remember even driving. She is considered a tight control diabetic. If they want her numbers between 70 and 100, she kept it close to 70. Her A1C was consistently under 5.5. There can be danger also for people who are tight control as the body may not recognize when your blood sugar drops.

Research is emerging that older individuals need higher numbers. They now have my mother-in-law keeping her numbers between 120 and 130. Of course she kept it between 120-125. Her last A1C was 5.9. They are now telling her they want her numbers between 130 and 160 with her next A1C test between 6.1 and 6.5.

She is frustrated but I am happy about it as I can't convince her, she needs to eat more than 1000 calories, especially with her exercise program. I can't convince her, she needs to vary her meals and not eat the same things because her body adjusts to this.

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JSTETSER 11/9/2013 7:23AM

    I agree! Read my blog today. I talk about this very subject.
I did not know that I could test my own A1c at home.
Hospitals are such a racket. I have a poor quality insurance policy right now, and would pay over $50 for the test.

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ERIN1957 11/9/2013 5:09AM

    I find this all so interesting and appreciate how simply you presented it here. I hope others will see this and check into it.
We have to be proactive in our own health. Before we end up with serious health issues.
Thanks so much Birgit.

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ANNETTEMARIE63 11/9/2013 3:09AM

    this was a very good post. My husbands A1C was totally out of control when he moved in with me and I changed his diet. Of course it did get complicating for him because I was working with not only the diabetes end of it but also add the dialysis diet and the blood thinner diet to it. But I actually got his blood sugar to normal levels after many years of it being out of control. It takes time to learn it but if you are consistent and determined it can happen emoticon

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Washington voters decide against labeling GMO's

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Or maybe I should say they let those decide for them who voted against labeling.
Monsanto and other big food corporations won this round by being allowed to spray crops with dangerous pesticides like roundup without this so-called food having to be labeled as GMO in stores.
There is only one way to avoid it: avoiding processed food and some produce unless they are labelled organic and to buy locally grown food from producers that you know.
What many people still don't seem to realize is that the main threat is not necessarily from the modified genes but from the pesticide-resistance that has been bred into these modified genes. I guess as long as the average consumer is not willing to be politically infor med and can easily be swayed by ads not much will change and the majority in this country will continue to eat toxic fake foods. National healthcare will not fix the damage that these people will do to their own health any more than drugs will fix the result of eating sugar-laden foods.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NORWOODGIRL 11/8/2013 10:37PM

    There is definitely something wrong with the system. I just read an article that stated much of the food being sold to U.S. consumers would never be allowed to be sold in other countries. Incredible!

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PAMNANGEL 11/7/2013 11:39AM

    Ignorance is bliss!

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JSTETSER 11/7/2013 11:36AM

    All we can do is keep on educating people. Don' t give up! It's not OVA yet!

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LOSER05 11/7/2013 9:36AM

    I always signed petitions against that... america is NOT america any more emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/7/2013 9:37:34 AM

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NASFKAB 11/6/2013 10:53PM

  sorry to see the big Companies win again

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LINDIEMAE 11/6/2013 8:52PM

    I was truly disappointed when I saw on the news that the yes vote was trailing. Education is what is needed but you have to educate people at their level of understanding and most of the population has a grade 6 reading comprehension ability. Which is why they read the news papers or watch news stories. I saw the adds for both sides, and even organic is no guarantee that there is no compromised seeds - the seeds for organic and non organic are from the same source, at least that is what I have been told. Monsanto had to win this with such resistance happening all over Europe and other countries who are retaliating against Monsanto's hold. The processing industry is just as bad - they laden our foods with sugar salt fat - those along with grains we have no business eating is a poison bullet but that is just my humble opinion. I buy organic when ever I can but will local farmers tell me the truth? Dunno ... Only time can tell and modified foods have been out in the market place for over 30 years.. so its nothing new really. emoticon

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JLKL1980 11/6/2013 8:26PM

    Makes me want to grow my own garden next year!


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HOUNDLOVER1 11/6/2013 2:20PM

    If the gap were not so big the chances would be better. Theoretically there is still a tiny chance, we'll have to wait and see.
While I agree that the primary fault lies with the companies who supported this crazy advertising campaign, advertising can be counteracted with education and every voter has a responsibility to learn about the issues they are voting for from more than just ads. This country (the United States) has much lower voting participation then most developed countries and lower than many developing countries as well. If you don't vote you don't get to decide and can't complain later.
Too many adults in this country are emotionally immature with their focus only on consumerism, entertainment and immediate gratification. Too many of the rest are so poor that they are fighting just to survive and have no extra energy to devote to these issues.

Comment edited on: 11/9/2013 1:27:52 AM

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AKHEIDI 11/6/2013 2:18PM

    It's complacency- they don't think anything will hurt them or someone would step in and do something about it. It will be them that do the most complaining in the end but they did nothing to prevent it in the beginning.

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ROSEWAND 11/6/2013 1:08PM

    There still maybe hope. I just received an email
from Organic Consumers Association stating
that it is still to close to call. All ballots are mailed
in and it may take up to a week to determine the

They have been very active in this battle as they were
in California. Six weeks ago 66% of voters were for
it then as in California, Monsanto and big bio-ag
put 22 million in to the media markets to confuse
and scare people from voting for it. They used
the same tactics in California. The supporters
were only able to raise about 8 million and did
not have the resources to counter the slick ad
campaign designed to mislead people once again.

Yes, it is frustrating that people are bamboozled
by the onslaught of sophisticated advertising
techniques. But our anger should be directed
and the Corporations like Monsanto and the
other players not the misled voters.

Comment edited on: 11/6/2013 1:12:24 PM

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ERIN1957 11/6/2013 12:08PM

    I will apologize for what I am about to say very rudely...stupid people! OK smart people doing stupid things like not giving a hoot until it is to late, OK back to my first statement, stupid people. What a death wish, slow suicide, wake up people!! Sorry if I offended anyone, but really?!

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HOUNDLOVER1 11/6/2013 11:18AM

    This tells us how powerful money, and the ads money can buy, really are. Important lesson, but very sad indeed.

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WOUBBIE 11/6/2013 11:09AM

    Nooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe people don't want to JUST LABEL IT for God's sake!!!!

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This video can turn around the health care crisis - Dr. Robert Lustig

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

This is a new video that is available on youtube by Dr. Robert Lustig, a now famous pediatric endocrinologist.
He explains about the danger that a large number of Americans are in without knowing it, especially those who are not obese; the world-wide rise in obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes; the connection between the hormones insulin and leptin and why hormones are the cause of obesity , the role of fructose and much more.
He gives answers that many people still can't get from their doctors, dieticians and personal trainers about why they are sick and have trouble keeping weight off.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ICEDEMETER 11/6/2013 1:08PM

    Thanks for posting the link.

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SKATER787 11/6/2013 10:51AM

    Wonderful. I've been looking for more details on the working of Insulin and Leptin for several weeks. The two books I bought (Dummies and the First Year Type 2 Diabetes, didn't go into details) It makes sense that I'll need to learn from an endo expert such as Dr. Lustig. I've gone through the video once but will watch it again until I get it. I've also ordered the book, Fat Chance. Thanks Birgit.

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NASFKAB 11/6/2013 9:45AM

  thanks for sharing

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WOUBBIE 11/6/2013 9:13AM

    Thanks! I have some free time this evening, I'll try to look it over then.

I agree with Erin. Sadly, even with science finally on the right side of the debate, there will still be "deniers", who will refuse to acknowledge that what we've been told for the past 40 some years was incorrect. All we can do is be good examples and better advocates.

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 11/6/2013 8:46AM


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JSTETSER 11/6/2013 5:52AM

    I will watch it later. Thanks for the post!

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ERIN1957 11/6/2013 5:21AM

    I believe we will see a wave, no a tsunami of information flooding the media here soon, as well as the attacks against the science. There will be a line drawn very clear and two standing one on each side; low fat high carb vs high fat low carb. I know which side I will be on. The side of truth and science.

I still see people fighting wanting their voices heard, as their minds stay closed to even a possibility that fat is not the enemy to health.

Thanks Birgit!

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ZRIE014 11/6/2013 12:51AM


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CHIBIKARATE 11/6/2013 12:42AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Another side of eating low-carb - freeing up my mind and emotions

Monday, November 04, 2013

The thoughts that I am writing down are very much spur of the moment impressions, not to be weighed too heavily or taken as absolute truth.
I noticed today that food has started taking on a different role in my life, at the same time more important and much less important.
When I was eating a much higher carb diet many a waking moment was spent either eating, planning the next meal, buying food or deciding when to eat next, also how to avoid eating too soon again. The total amount of energy devoted to food was huge.
Food was one of the greatest pleasures of my life and I knew I'd better be really smart about finding ways to be able to continue enjoying it without hurting my health. So I became good at cooking, baking and otherwise preparing food. I improvised a great deal, modified recipes and tried new combinations. I also spent more money on higher quality food. All of this was a necessary and good step in the process of getting healthier.

Food now has become less important in the sense that I don't have to constantly think about which foods I can have.
I avoid all highly processed foods, all grains including rice, all legumes (beans, peas, lentils), starchy vegetables like potatoes, sugar, high-sugar fruit by not keeping them in the kitchen and staying out of restaurants for the most part.
Everything else I eat and combine in any way I feel like, paying little attention to traditional meal choices unless I feel like them.
I make meals based on what's in season (in our garden or local) and what's available for a good price.
I don't worry about meal times or eating regularly. My body can sustain itself from body fat for several days if necessary without any problem.
My preferred drink, water, is always there (Thank God for this blessing which we often take for granted) and I can make tea or decaf if I feel like a hot drink in cold weather. Not having to haul soda, juice, beer and wine and other heavy beverages must save at least one shopping trip a week.
My family has also gotten creative (I guess out of necessity since I don't cook 3 square meals a day emoticon ) and help themselves to whatever their heart desires whenever they feel like.
Common meal time is now truly about spending time together, not necessarily all eating the same food. It used to annoy me if there was a lot of conversation happening during meal time (kind of embarrassing to admit but true) because it kept me from enjoying my food while it is still hot. Now I truly enjoy talking more and listening to what people have to say. I don't even feel the need to shove food in my mouth while someone else is talking.
The other thing that has gotten easier is to get things done, anything: cleaning the house, doing the laundry, reading a good book, exercising, going shopping, spending time with people who are important to me, all of this is not interrupted by thoughts about food any more than by my breathing or my pulse. Just like my breathing, digestion and pulse are happening without conscious thought, eating is something that is very important, it sustains me with all the replacement parts that my body needs. It is also pleasurable at times. But it is much more in the background.
Do any low-carbers know what I'm talking about?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLKL1980 11/5/2013 5:56PM

    Birgit - I have been noticing the same thing for about 3 or 4 weeks now. And that is what has been the best thing about lowcarbing for me - the cravings just stop. And if they do occur for me, it's because I have let the carbs creep back up on me. But I know I can fix that very simply now just by getting back into ketosis again.

Great Blog!


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-HEALTHYAMY 11/5/2013 9:34AM

    My hope is to get where you are. I want to stop obsessing about the scale says and stop thinking so much about what I should and not be eating. I am less obsessed about my next meal by following LC but I have some work to do. Thanks for blogging.

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ERIN1957 11/5/2013 6:14AM

    I am striving for what you are experiencing.
I am finding a new found freedom in the kitchen and it takes so much less time in there and as well preparing.
I do enjoy the process of cooking and the true joy in wonderful whole fresh beautiful foods. Like I said, I have clean homemade or grown food envy LOL
The meals are simpler, quicker and healthier.
I am back enjoying and more relaxed with food and the choices I have. Simple ingredients .
I am hoping someday when I get to goal I will ease into a more freedom schedule. Tracking and rebuilding now is taking front and centered stage, as I struggle with the food yet.
But it is getting there.
Birgit your brain is healing along with your body and function is becoming automatic. This is by far a great accomplishment.

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LPRUNWALK 11/4/2013 10:56PM

    Hi Birgit,
This sounds like heaven!
I think I am experiencing a version of this without going low carb. I went out to lunch with my mom today, on the last day of her weekend visit from Boston, and was able to completely focus on our conversation while enjoying a big plate of heritage greens, grated carrot and cabbage, a few cherry tomatoes and about a half cup of chopped chicken, all lightly covered in a dressing of olive oil and lemon. It was simple and delicious, left my blood sugar nice and level, and allowed me to easily segue back to work. For me, the key seems to be eating a bit less of everything and staying completely away from refined sugar.
In the past, my mother and I would always have ended our meal by sharing some sort of decadent dessert, like a fudge brownie or a piece of cheesecake. There were so many times when we regretted this indulgence almost as soon as we were finished! Today, after four days in which we did yoga together and stuck to my new eating routine, we didn't even talk about having dessert..
It's such a pleasure to be more or less free of cravings!!

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WOUBBIE 11/4/2013 10:38PM

    Absolutely. I'm by no means perfectly compliant, but even so, I'm often surprised at how uninteresting food has gotten. It has lost much of its power over me.

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CINDYTW 11/4/2013 8:29PM

  I do. In 3 short days on low carb, I remember now what that is like, not to be ruled by the drops in blood sugar, and feel like you HAVE to eat and be hungry all the time. It's something I am quite enjoying!

I do still have to spend time cooking, tracking, counting and measuring right now because I am just starting back up. When it becomes routine I can let that go too!

Another pleasant side effect is that it has been much easier to give up my wine and hard cider than I thought it would be. I think I was craving those more from low blood sugar as well...

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