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Diabetes Can Be Prevented and Cured

In 2007, 233,619 Americans died from diabetes. Sixty percent of the U.S. population over 65 suffers from diabetes or pre-diabetes and most have not even been diagnosed (Diabetes Care, February 2009). Four important reports should spur you to act if you have any of the risk factors for diabetes: “Diabetes Doubles Your Chances of Suffering from Dementia” (Diabetes, January 2008); “HBA1c Test Predicts Which Diabetics Will Lose Brain Function” (Diabetes Care, February 2009) “Rigorous Workouts Lasting as Little as Three Minutes May Help Prevent Diabetes by Helping to Control Blood Sugar” (BioMed Central Endocrine Disorders, February 2009); and “Exercise Capacity Predicts Which Diabetics Are at High Risk for Dying Prematurely” (Diabetes Care, March 2009).

If you have any combination of the following risk factors, suspect that you may be diabetic and check with your doctor:
* store fat predominantly in your belly, rather than your hips
* family history of diabetes
* overweight
* exercise less than three times a week
* high blood pressure
* HDL cholesterol lower than 40 mg/dL
* triglyceride level greater than 150 mg/dL
* history of diabetes during pregnancy or birth to a 9-pound baby
* thick neck
* polycystic ovary syndrome
* dark, thick skin around neck or armpits
* history of blood vessel disease to heart, brain, or legs
* HBA1C greater than 5.8
* fasting blood sugar greater than 100
* sugar two hours after eating greater than 100
* member of a high-risk ethnic population (e.g., African-American, Hispanic/Latino- American, American Indian, Alaskan Native or Pacific Islander)

You can become non-diabetic by losing weight, exercising, avoiding refined carbohydrates, and treating vitamin D deficiency so D3 blood test is greater than 75 nmol/L. More on diagnosis and treatment of diabetes

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Dear Dr. Mirkin: I understand how aerobic activities such as running or cycling help the heart, but what about weight lifting?

Most authorities recommend both endurance and resistance exercise for heart health, even for people who have recovered from heart attacks. Now a study from The University of Athens in Greece shows how resistance exercise may help prevent heart attacks (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, February 2009). Nine healthy, untrained male volunteers performed leg presses, with eight sets of six repetitions and three-minute rest intervals. One day later their blood fat levels were lower than normal after a high-fat meal. This shows that a single bout of weight lifting can prevent a high rise in blood fats one day later. A high rise in fat or sugar after meals increases risk for heart attacks. Exercising and exercised muscles help to remove sugar and fat from the bloodstream and this effect can last as much as twenty-four hours.

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Dear Dr. Mirkin: Are athletes allowed to take cortisone-type drugs during competition?

Yes, but I believe that cortisone-type steroids should be put on the list of forbidden drugs for athletes. Cortisone-type drugs decrease immunity, prevent injuries from healing and cause high blood pressure, diabetes, and unreasonable manic behavior, so most doctors think that athletes will not take them to improve performance. However, an article from Université d'Orléans in France shows that 60 mg of prednisolone/day for one week taken before exhaustive exercise almost doubled time to exhaustion from 64 to 107 minutes (British Journal of Sports Medicine, December 2008). This is not surprising because cortisone-type drugs raise blood sugar to very high levels so that extra fuel is available to power the muscles during endurance events.

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Recipe of the Week:
Something new in salads from sister-in-law Marian:

Warm Kidney Bean Salad You'll find lots of recipes and helpful tips in The Good Food Book - it's FREE

June 22nd, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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