Dr. Gray's Straight Talk

Honest and blunt healthcare discussion and advice.

Posts Tagged ‘diabetes’

Cholesterol Meds… Yes or No?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, April 8, 2015

As a chiropractor, nutritionist, and acupuncturist, I often get questions from my patients that, I think, are designed to pit my answer against that of their medical doctor. Let me start this by stating that I don’t think this is the way we should approach these kinds of questions. Your health care team should all be questioned with an open mind, and their answers considered, before making an informed health decision. Your health care professionals all come from different backgrounds, philosophies, and different specialties. Take advantage of the knowledge you are paying them for, and make the decision that is best for YOU. Don’t forget, the original Latin term for doctor referred to “teacher,” not dictator. Your health, methods of treatment, and all activities and decisions that affect your outcomes are your choice… and responsibility.

I’ve said for years that with prescription rights, statin medications are the one class of pharmaceuticals that I would never consider prescribing for my patients. However, with further research, my position has changed… slightly. First, we must define what is our purpose for considering statin use. Is it to lower cholesterol? No… cholesterol levels are merely one set of numbers used to evaluate how our body is functioning. The theory is that lowering one’s bad cholesterol levels will decrease one’s risk of death, heart disease or stroke. Therefore, the use of statin medications must be determined based on weighing how well it achieves those goals versus the risk of negative effects as a result of taking them.

Ultimately, the decision lies with the patient and I feel it would be my responsibility to clearly define the pros and cons of statin use. For example, I would point out that 1 of every 50 people who use statins develop diabetes. I would also point out that 1 in 10 develop muscle damage (rhabdomyolysis). About 1 of every 100 develop significant liver damage. Those are pretty strong negatives.

Now for the examination of proven benefits… For those with no history of heart disease,

  • 98% saw no benefit
  • 0% were helped by being saved from death
  • 0.96% were helped by preventing a heart attack
  • 0.65% were helped by preventing a stroke

For those with known heart disease,

  • 96% saw no benefit
  • 1.2% were helped by being saved from death
  • 2.6% were helped by preventing a repeat heart attack
  • 0.8% were helped by preventing a stroke

As a public health measure, this suggests that statins may have an identifiable effect, because while the chances of any one individual being affected are small (19 out of 20 people who took the drugs for five years saw no effect), when one million people who already have a history of heart disease take them roughly 45,000 people saw some benefit, while another 6,000 may see a harm.

Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a senior scientist at MIT, believes statins should never be given to anyone, but being generous one might justify the only two subgroups of people that might benefit from statins as:

  • Those at very high risk of heart attack (based NOT on your cholesterol levels, but on your heart attack risk factors)
  • Those born with a genetic defect called familial hypercholesterolemia, as this makes you resistant to traditional measures of normalizing cholesterol

If you are not in one of those two categories, statin drugs are likely an unnecessary health risk you’re better off avoiding — and you definitely want to avoid the trap of taking them to lower your cholesterol when your cholesterol is actually well within a healthy range.

A better question would be: What are the alternatives to statins that will optimize my cholesterol levels and decrease my risk of heart disease, and stroke?

The most effective way to optimize your cholesterol profile and prevent heart disease is via diet and exercise. It’s actually quite simple too, as 75 percent of your cholesterol is produced by your liver, which is influenced by your insulin levels. Therefore, if you optimize your insulin level, you will automatically optimize your cholesterol and lower your risk of heart disease at the same time.

The primary recommendations for safely regulating your cholesterol, without the need for statin drugs that may damage your liver and your heart, include:

  • Reduce, with the plan of eliminating grains and fructose from your diet. This is the number one way to optimize your insulin levels, which will have a positive effect on not just your cholesterol, but also reduces your risk of diabetes and heart disease, and most other chronic diseases. Use a nutrition plan to help you determine the ideal diet for you, and consume a good portion of your food raw.
  • There is also very good evidence that following a “Mediterranean Diet” (interesting because this diet emphasizes whole grains… be sure to choose the particular nutritional plan that fits for your metabolism) is more successful at normalizing cholesterol levels and decreasing heart disease than using statin medications, and achieves it without any negative effects.
  • Get plenty of high quality, animal-based omega 3 fats, such as krill oil, and reduce your consumption of damaged omega-6 fats (trans fats, vegetable oils) to balance out your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.
  • Include heart-healthy foods in your diet, such as olive oil, coconut and coconut oil, organic raw dairy products and eggs, avocados, raw nuts and seeds, and organic grass-fed meats.
  • Exercise daily. Make sure you incorporate peak fitness exercises, which also optimizes your human growth hormone (HGH) production.
  • Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol excessively.
  • Be sure to get plenty of good, restorative sleep.

– Dr. Gray


Posted in General Health, Nutrition, Prescription Medicines | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Healthy Snacks: Nuts and Seeds

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, May 9, 2011

Research continues to reveal that nuts and seeds do not deserve their bad reputation. Absolutely, they are high in fat; but it’s the good fat, not the bad, and when eaten in moderation, their health benefits far outweigh the dangers of their fat content. The fact is, the more we learn about nuts and seeds, the more we realize that they’re one of the best snack-food options for children.

In 1996, the Iowa Women’s Health Study found that women who ate nuts four or more times a week were 40 percent less likely to die of heart disease. Since then, similar studies performed by the Harvard School of Public Health and Loma Linda University in California have found the same. And the Physicians’ Health Study (2002) determined that men who consumed nuts two or more times per week had a noticeably reduced risk of sudden cardiac death.

Studies performed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that three times as many people who were trying to lose weight were able to stick to a diet that included moderate fat content in the form of nuts and seeds. Researchers suggested that the fat, protein and fiber in nuts helped the dieters feel full longer, so many felt less deprived and ate less during the day.

Another study of women by the Harvard School of Public Health reported that there was a 30 percent reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in those women who ate five or more 1-ounce servings of nuts per week as compared with women who rarely or never ate nuts.

Finally, studies published in the Journal of Nutrition and elsewhere have found that seeds, flax seeds in particular, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have proven benefits in the fight against heart disease, stroke and other circulatory diseases.

Nuts are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, with 1 ounce of Brazil nuts containing 780 percent of the recommended daily intake of selenium, and walnuts providing the most omega-3 fatty acids of any common nut. Almonds are a wonderful source of copper, magnesium and phosphorous, and provide 6 grams of protein per 1-ounce serving. And the June 2004 issue of the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry reported that pecans contain the highest antioxidant capacity of all nuts.

In short, the worst thing you can do for yourself and your children is reach for junk foods when you need a snack. Nuts and seeds are a convenient, healthy snack food that takes the edge off hunger without the added carbohydrates and sugar of most other snack food options. Your doctor can tell you more about the health benefits of moderate nut/seed intake.

– excerpted from an article by Dr. Claudia Anrig of To Your Health magazine

Posted in General Health, Nutrition | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

More Facts About The Cholesterol Myth

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My last article referenced the myth regarding cholesterol, saturated fats, and heart disease. Well, here are some more facts to chew on:

  • There’s never been a single study that proves saturated fat causes heart disease.
  • As heart-disease rates were skyrocketing in the mid-1900s, consumption of animal fat was going down, not up. Consumption of vegetable oils, however, was going up dramatically.
  • Half of all heart-attack victims have normal or low cholesterol. Autopsies performed on heart-attack victims routinely reveal plaque-filled arteries in people whose cholesterol was low (as low as 115 in one case).
  • Asian Indians – half of whom are vegetarians – have one of the highest rates of heart disease in the entire world. Yup, that fatty meat will kill you, all right.
  • When Morgan Spurlock tells you that a McDonald’s salad supplies almost a day’s allowance of fat, he’s basing that statement on the FDA’s low-fat/high-carbohydrate dietary guidelines, which in turn are based on … absolutely nothing. There’s no science behind those guidelines; they were simply made up by a congressional committee.
  • Kids who were diagnosed as suffering from ADD have been successfully treated by re-introducing natural saturated fats into their diets. Your brain is made largely of fat.
  • Many epileptics have reduced or eliminated seizures by adopting a diet low in sugar and starch and high in saturated animal fats.
  • Despite everything you’ve heard about saturated fat being linked to cancer, that link is statistically weak. However, there is a strong link between sugar and cancer. In Europe, doctors tell patients, “Sugar feeds cancer.”
  • Being fat is not, in and of itself, bad for your health. The behaviors that can make you fat – eating excess sugar and starch, not getting any exercise – can also ruin your health, and that’s why being fat is associated with bad health. But it’s entirely possible to be fat and healthy. It’s also possible to be thin while developing Type II diabetes and heart disease.
  • Saturated fat and cholesterol help produce testosterone. When men limit their saturated fat, their testosterone level drops. So, regardless of what a famous vegan chef believes, saturated fat does not impair sexual performance.

Woo hoo! Three cheers for the mainstream, high-volume, low-quality, cheaply produced food industry! Say it with me folks… “Follow the money!” Refined sugars, vegetable oils, enriched grains, boxed or canned foods, fast food… what do they all have in common?

  1. They cost less to produce
  2. They result in more profits
  3. They last longer on the shelf
  4. They offer “convenience” to the consumer
  5. Most importantly… they offer the minimum amount of nutrition to be considered FOOD.

In our next article, I think I’ll list some words that we hear regularly and see on “food” advertisements… and then give you the true definitions. Until then, take care.

Dr. Gray

Posted in General Health, Nutrition | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Preventing Diabetes

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Diabetes currently affects almost 21 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Even more alarming is that the age of onset has dropped dramatically. It used to be that diabetes was primarily a “senior” disease, affecting those over age 45. Sadly, this is not the case any more.

There are two main types of diabetes: type I, which usually is diagnosed in childhood and requires insulin; and type II, which does not require insulin treatment but may require medication. Most cases (about 95 percent) are type II, which can be prevented in the overwhelming majority of cases with proper diet and exercise. What is particularly frightening is the rise in type II diabetes among children.

The effects of diabetes can be felt, literally, from head to toe, according to the CDC.

  • People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have a stroke than those without the disease.
  • Poorly controlled blood sugar may lead to glaucoma and blindness.
  • Gum disease and high blood sugar are related.
  • Diabetes, particularly in conjunction with high cholesterol or high blood pressure, may lead to heart disease.
  • Kidney damage may result from diabetes, especially in combination with high blood pressure.
  • Diabetes has been linked to male sexual dysfunction (impotence).
  • Nerves in the feet may become damaged, sometimes leading to amputation.

Fortunately, there are much easier and less dangerous ways to not only control diabetes if you have it, but actually prevent getting it in the first place. Both the CDC and the National Institutes of Health agree that there are two basic elements to this: exercise at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week; and eat foods low in fat and reduce total caloric intake. Pay attention not only to the types of food you eat, but also the portions. The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends the following:

  • Eat a variety of fruits (2 cups per day for a 2,000 calorie diet) instead of just juice. You can have these fresh, frozen, dried or canned. An example would be: one small banana, one large orange and ¼ cup of dried apricots or peaches.
  • Make your veggies more colorful by adding dark green (broccoli, kale, spinach) and bright orange (carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and other winter squashes). Also add more beans and peas to the mix (kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, lentils).
  • Eat more calcium for healthy bones. The USDA recommends three cups of low-fat or fat-free milk per day. You can substitute the same amount of low-fat yogurt and/or low-fat cheese (1 ½ ounces of cheese is equal to one cup of milk). Try lactose-free milk if you have trouble digesting dairy products.
  • Focus on whole grains. Make them at least half of your total grain intake. Try to eat at least 3 ounces of whole grains per day. This is equal to one slice of bread, 1 cup of breakfast cereal or ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta.
  • Go lean with the protein. Opt for lean meats such as chicken or fish. Be sure to prepare it in a healthy manner, such as baking or broiling. Don’t forget that nuts, beans and peas are also good sources of protein.

The point is that while it might seem that preventing a major disease such as diabetes is a daunting task, it actually isn’t. All it really takes is common sense, a bit of creative planning and a positive attitude. With these three things, you are well on your way to success.

– taken from Sweet Success, To Your Health March, 2008 (Vol. 02, Issue 03)

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Schoolchildren WILL Eat Healthy Lunches

Posted by Dr. Gray on Monday, August 31, 2009

Great news for parents: Schoolchildren are willing to eat healthy lunches. The days of corn dogs, tater tots, sloppy joes and french fries are slowly being replaced with apple slices, turkey hot dogs and vegetables.

For years people have underestimated children’s willingness to eat healthier foods and schools’ ability to produce appealing, nutritious lunch options. According to a recent University of Minnesota study, school lunch sales don’t decline when healthier meals are served. Children will eat fruits and vegetables if they are presented to them. Moreover, nutritious lunches don’t necessarily cost schools more to produce.

The research, published in the Review of Agricultural Economics, evaluated five years of data involving 330 Minnesota public school districts to determine compliance with federal standards for calories, nutrients and fats. Results suggested that nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables are actually less costly than processed foods, which offsets the higher labor costs involved with producing healthier lunches.

Change is always tough – to make healthy lunches a reality, many school districts will have to adjust by upgrading their kitchens and training their staff to prepare fresh, whole foods in bulk. But if the results achieved in Minnesota can be replicated on a national level, healthy eating at school can finally be a regular part of American life.

To Your Health, January, 2008 (Vol. 02, Issue 01)

Dr. Gray’s comments: You want to show me real “health care reform?” This study was done two years ago and many other similar studies have proven this again and again. For years, we’ve known that providing healthier meals to our schoolchildren actually costs the school district less than providing processed, enriched, frozen, crap. We’ve also known that, although they complain, kids prefer the healthier meals to the other crap. Do you know the number one health affliction in our kids today? … Obesity. Why? Because we are feeding them crap! They’re getting processed, enriched, sugary, artificial junk that their bodies don’t recognize as real food. And we’ve known this for years! But how many of your kids continue to get lunches consisting of chicken nuggets, tater tots, rectangular pizzas, and nachos? Next time someone from the government says they want to “improve health care” in this country, ask them why they won’t improve what they’re already doing before they try to screw the rest of it up!

Posted in General Health, Nutrition, Political | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why Are You Hungry?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Article by Dr. Josh Sonsiadek

There are two main drives that influence our desire to eat and consume food energy, hunger and appetite. These two things differ tremendously.

Hunger, our main physical drive to eat, is under the direct control of physiology inside our bodies. Organs, such as the liver and brain, interact with hormones, hormonelike (neuroendocrine) factors, the nervous system, and other aspects of body physiology to influence feeding behavior. For example, as nutrients are absorbed, the liver and surrounding organs communicate with the brain through the Vagus nerve. This changes subsequent food choices by sending information about the rate of digestion and energy metabolism from the gastrointestinal tract and the liver to the brain.

Appetite, on the other hand, is controlled by external food choice mechanisms such as seeing a desert or big juicy steak. The problem with appetite is that there are many external factors that control it, such as environmental and psychological factors. Appetite is not necessarily a biological process like hunger is, but it does influence food intake. Many of us eat to celebrate or overcome a stressful event. We associate certain foods with an event that relaxes us or puts us at ease. In most of these cases food is sought for the purposes of comfort and not for its real purpose, and that is energy.

With all this said, it is time to put hunger and appetite into perspective. Remember the physiological influences on eating behavior the next time you pick up a Snicker’s Bar or go to the Chinese Buffet a second time. Body cells (brain, stomach, intestine, liver, and other organs), hormones (like insulin and cortisol), neurological components (like histamine and serotonin), and emotions all influence food intake. Where food is in abundance, appetite- not hunger- triggers most eating. Keep track of what triggers your eating for a few days. Is it primarily hunger or appetite?

Posted in General Health, Nutrition | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

What the Heck are “Superfoods?”… and Who Cares?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, June 23, 2009

“Superfoods”… Great. Another buzzword and miracle supplement to think about. Just what you need, right? Well, let’s try to shed a little light on the subject and figure out if you should care or not.

First, let’s define what “superfoods” are not. They are not the latest, greatest multi-level product to annoy your friends and family with. They are not miracle pills that are overpriced and underwhelming. They are not wonder powders that will cure everything from Alzheimer’s to yeast infections. They are not the diet of Batman, Spiderman, Superman, or any other superhero.

Simply put, superfoods are just regular foods that happen to be extremely high in beneficial vitamins & minerals and other health promoting nutrients. Including some of these foods in your regular diet will go a long way towards improving your overall health and general well-being. Eating these foods maximizes your return for the amount you take in. A ton of research has been done, and continues today, proving the health benefits of these foods, such as: improved immune system, detoxification of blood and soft tissues, supreme antioxidants, improved mentality, decreased risk of cancer, decreased risk of degenerative diseases, etc. No… these superfoods aren’t a miraculous cure-all. However, for thousands of years, the health benefits of these foods have been known and used medicinally in different cultures around the world.

  1. Sprouts (broccoli, brussels, alfalfa, etc.) – Although the mature plants are very high in nutritional value, the younger sprouts contain a higher concentration of phytochemicals and compounds.
  2. Pomegranate – The history of this ancient fruit may be evident in The Bible and Greek mythology, but it is modern science that is extolling the its virtues. It’s been shown to fight hardening of the arteries, diabetes, heart disease, and a particularly good fighter of prostate cancer.
  3. Barley – This cereal grain, similar to wheat, contains all eight essential amino acids and can aid regulation of blood sugar for up to 10 hours. (sorry guys… this does not include beer and whisky!)
  4. Green Foods – These can be things like wheatgrass and the like… basically bright green plants.
  5. Buckwheat – Buckwheat contains rutin, a medicinal chemical that strengthens capillary walls, reducing hemorrhaging in people with high blood pressure and increasing microcirculation in people with chronic venous insufficiency. Buckwheat contains D-chiro-inositol, a component of the secondary messenger pathway for insulin signal transduction found to be deficient in Type II diabetes and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). It is being studied for use in treating Type II diabetes.
  6. Legumes (alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, peanuts, etc.) – Although the many different types of beans, lentils, peas, etc. have individual variances and health benefits, most are also great sources of protein and fiber.
  7. Hot Peppers – Chilis contain high amounts of vitamin C and carotene (“provitamin A”). In addition, peppers are a good source of most B vitamins, and vitamin B6 in particular. They are very high in potassium and high in magnesium and iron. Capsaicin is a safe and effective analgesic agent in the management of arthritis pain, herpes zoster-related pain, diabetic neuropathy, postmastectomy pain, and headaches.
  8. Nuts & Seeds – Nuts like walnuts and almonds are a great source for healthy fats and protein. Due to the high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, research has suggested these help in the prevention of heart disease, anti-inflammation, and others.
  9. Turmeric – This is an incredibly powerful spice that is most commonly associated with Indian cuisine. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. The health benefits of turmeric are widespread and ancient. Recent research is focusing on beneficial aspects with regards to Alzheimer’s, cancer, and liver disease. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, relieves the pain of irritable bowel syndrome, supports nerve growth, and is a natural selective monoamine oxidase inhibitor. Taking or eating turmeric with black pepper increases absorption by up to 2000% without any adverse affects.
  10. Allium Family (garlic, onions, chives, shallots, etc.) – Perhaps the most powerful medicinal plant and herb family known to man. Garlic is antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antihelminic (worms), and its anticancerous properties are being researched.

So… superfoods… should you care? Absolutely. Make these foods a part of your regular diet and you will reap the benefits of their potent nutritional value. However, don’t fall for the hype coming from some product salespeople. If you’re asked to spend an asinine amount for a bottle of wonder juice that’ll cure anything you can throw at it… run the other way. You can likely find a near identical product at your local health food store at a more reasonable cost.

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Five Ways To Kick the Sugar Habit and Avoid Diabetes

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Crave sweets? How many times have you told yourself, “I shouldn’t…” but had an urge you couldn’t resist?

Sugar addiction, whether you know it or not, is the most prevalent eating disorder in the country. More than one and a half million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed every year. That is an incredible figure! According to death certificate reports, diabetes contributed to a total of 233,619 deaths in 2005, the latest year for which data on contributing causes of death are available. However, diabetes is likely to be under-reported as a cause of death. But, what is the “epidemic” or “pandemic” we’re all hearing about? Swine Flu??? I’m not discounting the seriousness of this disease, but there have been less than 50 deaths in America related to the swine flu virus… and nearly 250,000 deaths per year due to diabetes and pancreatic exhaustion. Where’s the perspective?

To understand better the reasons for this onslaught of diabetes, we need to understand how the body processes sugars. Basically, sugars come in two forms: simple and complex. Simple sugars are composed of one to three molecules, while complex sugars are hundreds or thousands of sugar molecules linked together. Simple sugar sources are table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, etc. The more simple the sugar, the sweeter it tastes. Complex sugar sources include potatoes, tomatoes, whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, etc. The beauty of complex sugars are all of the corresponding nutrients that accompany them… vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and other essential compounds. As sugar is “refined,” converted to simple sugar and thus sweeter, all of the supporting nutrients are stripped away, leaving a very sweet substance… with no nutritional value.

When the body ingests sugar, it must convert it down to glucose, or blood sugar. With simple sugars, there is relatively little breakdown the body needs to do, so it rapidly goes right into the bloodstream. Whereas, with complex sugars, the body has to breakdown very long molecular chains and the glucose is metered into the blood more slowly over time.

Next step: getting the sugar to the tissues. In response to blood sugar levels, the pancreas releases insulin to transport the sugar to the organs and tissues. A big spike in blood sugar levels, such as after drinking a soda (high amounts of  simple sugar), forces the pancreas to release all available insulin as quickly as possible to respond to the high amounts of sugar dumped rapidly into the blood. This taxes the pancreas to the brink, after which it must work extra hard to produce more insulin in preparation for the next spike. With high amounts of insulin, the sugars are rapidly transported and either used up or stored for later (making you fat). Now, your blood sugar level dive bombs and you experience what’s known as the “sugar crash.” With complex sugars, glucose is slowly released into the blood like a “time released capsule” allowing the pancreas to release small amounts of insulin and keep a good supply ready while producing more. In this way, the pancreas is never pushed to the edge or forced to work beyond its capacity.

Analogy time: Two identical cars. The driver of car #1 always floors the accelerator, then slams on the brakes at the next light. The driver of car #2 gently accelerates and then coasts to a slow, controlled stop at the next light. Who’s car is going to last longer? Obviously, car #1 is going to break down or need extensive repairs much sooner than car #2. In the same way, the constant barrage of rapid stop-and-go on the pancreas leads to abnormal wear-and-tear, and eventually… the pancreas wears out. That’s a simplified version of diabetes in a nutshell.

So, how do you avoid diabetes? Drive smart… check and change the oil… get the right gas… you following the analogy? Make smart health choices… practice preventative health care… eat the right foods… etc.

Still craving sweets? First, detox the liver and colon (more on that in another post). Then check out these 5 ways to kick the sugar habit:

  1. Exercise regularly – Rigorous exercise brings a rush of endorphins (feel good chemicals) normally associated with high sugar intake… this is what your body is craving, and one of the main components of sugar addiction
  2. Graze On Healthy Snacks Throughout The Day – The full feeling after a meal turns to hunger in a matter of three or four hours, leaving you susceptible to sugar cravings
  3. Drink Water. Lots Of Water – A craving is often a sign of plain dehydration, not a cry for food
  4. Cut Back On Caffeine – Plain and simple, caffeine can cause a drop in blood sugar levels. Switch to herbal tea if possible
  5. Grab A Piece Of All-Natural Fruit – Reward yourself with a piece of fruit, such as a pear, apple or orange. Fructose sugars don’t send blood sugar levels on a rollercoaster ride, and the fiber in the fruit will fill you up


Engebretson, J; The Truth About Sweets; To Your Health; February, 2007 (Vol. 01, Issue 02)

National Diabetes Statistics, 2007; National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse

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Alternatives to “8 Drugs Your Doctor Wouldn’t Take”

Posted by Dr. Gray on Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Some time ago, I read this article in Men’s Health magazine. It’s a well written article, but with a very small amount of research, it could have been so much more. Perhaps I was wanting too much from a brief article, and it was meant as more of an attention grabber than an informative discussion of alternatives. With that in mind, here is some of the info I would have liked to see regarding the eight drugs (and the conditions they are meant to treat) referenced:

Advair – an asthma medication that can increase the severity of an asthma attack. The author’s suggestion was to just take corticosteroids instead. How about this… find out what’s leading to the asthma and fix that!? Mild asthma, for which Advair is intended to treat, is most often associated with a trigger that leads to an abnormal reaction in the respiratory tract. First, avoid the trigger… be it pet dander, food sensitivities, chemical irritants, cigarette smoke, etc. Then, determine why your body responds differently from the guy next to you when you’re both breathing the same air, or performing the same activities. Once the dysfunction is identified, correct that. Although it’s been given little emphasis in the research literature, most natural health providers can relate multiple instances of asthma resolution following homeostasis-based techniques. Asthma is basically an overactive immunologic response to an irritant… in other words, your body is over-reacting to something it perceives as a threat. Bring the body’s functions back into balance (homeostasis), and it won’t over-react.

Avandia – a diabetes medication that increases one’s risk of heart failure or heart attack. I was impressed with the author here. He actually did mention the use of niacin, a natural B vitamin. Although diabetes is a difficult condition to treat, the best treatment is not to get it in the first place! Follow a healthy lifestyle from the start, and you’ll likely never have to worry about this disease of malnutrition. Too many sugars, processed foods, additives, preservatives, and worthless calories and the pancreas eventually runs out of gas. Eat right, exercise, and feed the body the nutrients it needs and it will take care of you.

Celebrex – a pain reliever linked to increased risks of stomach bleeding, kidney trouble, and liver damage… and could double or triple your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. “You may die, but at least your back will feel better.” There are volumes of research on alternatives for pain relief. Obviously, chiropractic works wonders in cases involving structural causes. Acupuncture has proven very effective with pain control. Natural enzymes have been known to aid in the control of the inflammatory process. Studies have shown Omega-3 Fatty Acids to be as effective, if not more, than traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDs). Given that there are so many alternatives when it comes to pain relief, why would anyone continue to choose a medication so dangerous?

Ketek – if you have to have an antibiotic, don’t pick this one which has a much higher incidence of severe liver damage. Choose instead to boost your immune system and help your body fight the infection off naturally. Simple way to think of it is, Don’t feed the infection. Avoid foods or liquids that bacteria thrive on; sugars, carbohydrates, etc. Eat foods high in antioxidants and water content. Cruciferous veggies (asparagus, cabbage, brussel sprouts, etc.) are an excellent choice if you’ve been exposed to infectious organisms. Slam your system with whole food source Vitamin C (ascorbic acid is not “Vitamin C”) and get your rest. Garlic is the best and most powerful herb known to be antiviral, antibacterial, antihelminic, anticancerous, and overall just darned good for you.

Prilosec and Nexium – antacids that ruin your digestion, raise your risk of pneumonia, and have a suspected link to heart attacks. Easiest way to control heartburn? Lose weight! Excess belly fat, and overstretching related to overeating, lead to weakness of the sphincter that prevents acid from getting into the esophagus. Abnormal amounts of acid in the stomach can also contribute to reflux. Make sure there is uninterrupted nerve communication between the stomach and brain. This is often affected by chiropractic adjustment at the T6/7 level. Avoid digestive irritants such as NSAIDs, sugars, animal fats, alcohol, and smoking. Probably most important in this era… supplement your diet with natural digestive enzymes.

Visine – “gets the red out.” Unfortunately, continued use can actually lead to even more redness due to the perpetuation of the dilation-contraction cycle. Artificial tears are a safer option for wetting the eyes without chemically affecting the vasculature.

Pseudoephedrine – constricts blood vessels, then raises the blood pressure and heart rate… can you say “stroke” boys and girls? It’s a decongestant for God’s sake. Are you really willing to risk a stroke to get rid of a stuffy nose? Use a neti pot… acupuncture… cayenne pepper… gargle salt water… eat garlic and/or horseradish… use menthol/camphor… there are so many natural ways to loosen up a stuffy nose, it’s ridiculous to settle for these dangerous medications simply because the TV ad made it look good.

These are just the eight meds this author chose to report on. The list of medications most doctors won’t consider taking is long and distinguished. The main problem I see is the constant reliance on this pill or that pill to “fix” whatever condition one has, when instead, the emphasis should be on, “What aspect of my lifestyle is allowing this condition to get started?” I would venture to guess that a very high percentage of the diseases that are prevalent in society, are completely avoidable if only we would alter our lifestyle choices. Go back to the quote on the “About This Blog” page:

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” – Thomas Edison

Now ask yourself, are we moving closer to or further away from this mentality?

Dr. Gray

Gray Chiropractic is a full-service natural health care office in Independence, east of Kansas City. For further information check our website www.graychiropractic.com.

Posted in General Health, Nutrition, Prescription Medicines | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

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