I hope the New Year has you moving forward in your quest for higher levels of health and wellness. This is a great time of year for clarifying how healthy we want to be, and how good we want to feel.
Take a few key areas and quickly assess where you are and where you would like to be.
Here are some basics: Diet, Exercise/Physicality, Nutrition, Sleep, Fun/Fulfillment! Don't stress on being perfect about this. Just quickly give yourself a score of 1-5 on each (5 being ideal).
For instance, I'll say my diet is a 4, as I would like to lose another 5 pounds. My Exercise/Physicality is a 4.5, as I am reaching my bike riding goal of 50 miles a week once again, and when I lose those 5 pounds I will be at a 5.
My nutrition is a 5, as I am focused on my nutrient intake everyday and do a very good job of getting everything in. My Sleep is a 4.5, if I would just get to bed a little earlier on some of my later nights, I'll be a 5.
So, there you have it, a simple quick run-through with clear steps to take to move me toward high 5's in all areas. Please do a quick run-through on the above for yourself and then let me know how I can assist you in achieving your 2016 Health Goals.
This is officially my February newsletter, even though I'm a few days late. Heart Health month is the most important health focus for anyone over 40, as this is the one condition that has the most impact on shortening the lives of Americans.
Please read on regarding the 2 most important heart tests and be sure to follow up with me on this so we can keep you as healthy as can be in this critical area. Additionally, this is the one area where you probably have a loved one (or 2 or 3 or more) who could also be more proactive.
This is a great area for helping others. Simply either share my articles with them, ask me if I can order these tests for them, or tell them to go see Dr. Dale now, as you want to make sure they live a long and healthy life!
The 2 Most Important Heart Tests
Unfortunately, many doctors, and many patients, think cholesterol testing and a treadmill stress test are the most important heart tests. Let me make this perfectly clear, neither is! The first test below is far superior for detecting atherosclerosis, and the second test is critical for determining whether or not your risk of Sudden Cardiac Death is decreased by up to 90%!
The other great news about these tests are they are very low cost for the value they provide. The Heart Scan is only $150, the lowest price I have ever heard of in the U.S., and the Omega-3 Index test is only $99. Come on by and we can get you set up for both of these. They are also very simple processes.
Please read both of these articles to help extend or save the life of yourself or a loved one.
Why the Heart Scan is so Important
I have been studying this test and using it with patients for over 13 years, and I strongly recommend the Heart Scan for all men over 40 and all women over 45. Make that 5 years earlier if there is a significant family history of heart disease or if you exercise vigorously.
I wish I had a test this good for other key areas of long term wellness! The Heart Scan allows us to very clearly know the amount of hard plaque you have in your heart. It can determine if you don't have any hard plaque at all (which is the case for most of my patients), if you do have hard plaque, and therefore are at risk, how great that risk is, and over time if your plaque is increasing at a fast rate, average rate, slow rate, not increasing or actually reversing. Since plaque build up and/or rupture are what cause the vast majority of heart attacks, this test provides the clearest picture of your risk of heart attack now and in the future. It clearly shows if you have any calcified plaque at all in your coronary arteries and if so, exactly how much, in how many different spots and exactly which areas of the arteries. Learn More
The Omega-3 Index: The New Champion in Testing for Cardiac Risk
Your Omega-3 Index is the most important number relative to your risk for Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD). This is the type of heart attack where an individual frequently dies within 1 - 30 minutes, usually with no time for aggressive intervention. It's the kind of heart attack where an apparent healthy individual, possibly only in his or her 40's or 50's and who may even recently have passed a cardiovascular stress test with flying colors, has a heart attack out of the blue and dies. These heart attacks most commonly result from a rupture of soft plaque, causing a sudden and severe clot that dramatically blocks blood flow in the arteries of the heart. They can also be the result of a sudden, severe arrhythmia.
The Omega-3 Index test specifically measures all the omega-3, -6 and -9 fatty acids in your red blood cells and scores the index of your EPA/DHA compared to the rest of your omegas. Individuals with an index in the desirable range (greater than 8%) have up to a 90% decreased risk of Sudden Cardiac Death compared to individuals with a score in the undesirable range (below 4%). Learn More
At times I come across research headlines in supposedly prestigious scientific journals that get my attention, as they make little to no sense. After reviewing such research I am left to wonder: 1. How did this research get published? 2. What is the motivation behind the researchers' conclusions?
Unfortunately, the average person reading headlines from media sources, in this case Medscape and Science Daily, can easily be persuaded that this information is "science," therefore it must be true!
This research went like this: Take 2 groups of mice. Feed one group a low-fat chow and the other a high-fat chow. By 16 weeks the high-fat chow mice had gained more weight, developed high blood sugars, high insulin levels, glucose intolerance and showed signs of emotional distress! At this point in reading the article I'm scratching my head, we know healthy fats are great food for the brain and for keeping blood sugar balanced.
They actually gave the sick mice Lexapro to see if it would help with their depression. It didn't work! I'm sure the mice were depressed after seeing their pretty figures rapidly growing in the mirror.
The study's authors concluded that high-fat diets may lead to type 2 diabetes, which could lead to depression and anxiety, which in this case didn't respond to antidepressants.
Then when you look at the details of the study, you can only question the motives behind their conclusions. They can't be dumb; these are people that are working toward a PhD or already have one.
The key details are: Yes, there was more fat in the high-fat chow, however, there were also 70% more calories, and 1,300% more refined carbohydrates, half of which were pure sugar!! The low-fat chow group had only 3% sugar, while the high-fat chow had almost 700% more! This difference in calories alone was enough to make these mice gain weight. However, it was the difference in the sugar and refined carbohydrates that drove the diabetes issues, and likely the mood changes.
Now that you have more of the facts, I think it's easy for anyone to understand how important it is to be aware that "research can be dangerous to your health" and that researchers may have a hidden agenda.
Reflux Drugs and Health Risks
The list of health risks associated with reflux or GERD medications (Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec) continues to grow. Most of these risks were quite predictable once these drugs became so commonly used. They are being prescribed for much longer periods of time than the FDA has recommended, resulting in lots of drug sales (approximately $14 billion per year), and unfortunately more and more complications and conditions are being created from taking these drugs.
These medications stop the normal physiological process of stomach acid production, which creates a huge problem. Stomach acid is necessary for digesting and absorbing numerous nutrients, including protein, calcium, magnesium and vitamin B-12. Additionally, our normal acid levels protect us from gastrointestinal infections.
New research has added an increased association of these drugs with dementia. Patients using these drugs for as little as 4-5 months out of 18 months, were 44% more likely to develop dementia than those not taking them. Other conditions that these drugs create are an increased risk of are kidney disease, fractures (osteoporosis), low magnesium levels, gastrointestinal infections, including Clostridium Difficile (C-Diff), and pneumonia.
Increased FDA Warnings on Popular Pain Relievers
The FDA is increasing its warning labels on popular over-the-counter pain relievers such as Ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, and Aleve. The warnings have to do with increased risk of heart attacks and stroke, even after these drugs have been used for less than a week. Unfortunately, many people believe these drugs are safe, but problems due to gastrointestinal bleeding associated with long term use have been known for some time. Now it is important to understand that even short term use can be dangerous.
These new warnings for over-the-counter pain relievers come more than 11 years after the prescription pain reliever Viox was pulled from shelves. This also follows similar warnings regarding Celebrex and prescription strength Naproxin, which are still on the market.
Medical researchers in England recently released a new warning about statins, the popular cholesterol lowering drugs. This warning from professor Reza Izadpanah, a stem cell biologist, published in the American Journal of Physiology, said: "Our study shows statins may speed up the aging process." Statins prevented stem cells from performing their main functions: to reproduce and replicate other cells in the body to carry out repairs. This research was most specifically related to generating new bone and cartilage.
This warning is added to a list of side effects that already includes memory loss, chronic muscle pain, diabetes, cataracts, liver dysfunction and fatigue.
I have been using nanogreens10 in the clinic for 10 years now. It is the best "greens" product I have yet to find. From now until the end of this month, we are offering a 10% discount on quantities of two or more. That comes to $44.95 each instead of $49.95.
To learn why I love nanogreens10 so much, please read this more extensive article that I have written.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that."
If you haven't already, please go back to my first article and do that short 5-minute self assessment so we can support you in a very healthy 2016!
Yours in Health, Dr. Dale