According to Stephen Kopecky, MD, a preventive cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, “nutrition is now the number one cause of early death and early disease in our country and the world.” Moreover, he says that while having genes for disease will increase your risk by 30% to 40%, having a bad lifestyle for disease will increase your risk by 300% to 400%.
WebMD (March 7, 2023) – About 20 years ago, Kopecky says, the cause of death worldwide changed from infection to non-infection (like non-communicable diseases). “In those last 20 years, that’s grown in terms of what kills us and what gets us sick,” he says. “The three big non-communicable diseases are heart disease, cancer, and rapidly rising is Alzheimer’s. But there’s also diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure — all those things are also related to diet.”
Forty-eight-year-old James, of Fredericksburg, VA, knows this all too well. James asked that his last name not be printed, to protect his privacy. For the last 30 years, he’s been managing type 1 diabetes and complications of insulin resistance, along with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, thyroid disease, and low testosterone. As a former Division 1 college athlete, James exercised regularly and ate what he believed to be a responsible diet.
When we think about insulin, we know that all of our bodies have a pancreas that sits in the middle of it and, within the pancreas, there specialized cells that go ahead and release insulin. The way I like to think about it is it’s a key that unlocks ourselves so that the food and nutrients we eat are able to be metabolized and used for fuel by our body.
In Type 1 diabetes, we always tell families it’s an autoimmune process. So for some reason, your body sees those insulin producing cells within your pancreas as being foreign, so it starts attacking those cells. So going back to that key analogy, we think about, all of a sudden there’s not a lot of keys available.
Youth with Type 2 diabetes have a different situation going on. In that situation., it’s an issue with insulin resistance and so the way that I think about it is that you still have keys, but the keys are the wrong shape now. The difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is really the fact that, in Type 1 diabetes, you are relying on exogenously administered insulin for survival.
In Type 2 diabetes, you have insulin that your body’s making. However, you cannot use it appropriately and so youth present with high blood sugars, but in conjunction with that, they often have high insulin levels and so we need to initiate insulin therapy. So giving injections, but over time we may be able to transition to alternative means to manage their glucose levels and I have to say, Yale is at the cutting edge of developing new treatments for kids diagnosed with diabetes.
When using injected insulin therapy or pumping insulin, what we’re trying to do is closely match what your body should be making and so there’s lots of different insulin therapies out there and the amazing thing to think is, you know, 100 years ago this was just discovered, it was one of the initial presentations on insulin therapy. It was here at Yale. People started on insulin therapy in 1922 and it’s come such a long way.
As somebody living with Type 1 diabetes, I can share with you that in 1987 when I was diagnosed, I was on purified pork insulin and so I don’t feel very old, but saying that I took a purified pork insulin therapy makes me feel very, very old and very grateful for how these therapies have improved and how we’re better able to match the physiologic profiles of what your body should make.
Learning about multiple sclerosis can be intimidating. Let our experts walk you through the facts, the questions, and the answers to help you better understand this condition.
Video timeline: 0:24 What is multiple sclerosis? 1:15 Types of multiple sclerosis 1:29 Who gets multiple sclerosis/risk factors? 3:11 Multiple sclerosis symptoms 3:40 How is multiple sclerosis diagnosed? 4:39 Treatment options 5:29 Coping methods/ What now? 6:23 Ending
Old age is an inevitable condition if you are lucky enough to live a long life. Middle aged people say it begins at 70 years of age. According to an Elysium survey of people 40 and older, the average American FEELS old for the first time at age 47 years.
In the distant past, 50 was CONSIDERED to be old. The generally better conditions and Medicine of modern times keeps extending LIFESPAN, if not always HEALTHSPAN. Old age is certainly a Condition, and it is for sure Chronic, thereby qualifying for inclusion, but is it a Disease?
It is not considered a disease by the authorities, and so it doesn’t gather research funds like it should. What exactly IS old age? Being 88 Years old, and a physician, I feel qualified to comment. Old age is a collection of past accidents and sports injuries plus complications of past illnesses engrafted on a gradually deteriorating body.
Where does Obesity and Metabolic syndrome fit in this rubric? The Plague of our time fits in the disease category. It is definitely preventable, although with difficulty. Please search past postings for more information on this topic.
In what way does the body gradually deteriorate? Any organized, non-random high information structure gradually becomes more disordered, and “worn away” with the passage of TIME, the destroyer. Entropy (disorder) gradually increases, in the absence of corrective energy input.
Even rocks and mountains eventually erode, given enough time. One of the most interesting characteristics of life is that it maintains its integrity for an inordinate amount of time, given its complexity and furious dynamism.
Every day our DNA sustains thousands of molecular ruptures from high energy radiation and other stressors. Proofreading and repair mechanisms are employed, at high energy cost, to repair these breaks. This corrective is especially efficient when we are young and vigorous; In our youth, our reproductive years, growth and repair predominate. Gradually, growth ceases, repair mechanisms age, and we become old.
Our Darwinian “warranty” expires. We are left with an aging body, unimportant to evolution. We are long on experience and short on future. But we still have a marvelous metabolism at our disposal, depending on our lifestyle. There are a number of metabolic pathways which affect aging, 2 of which have been more studied.
The mTOR pathway is most attuned to youth, senses nutrients and gears up for ANABOLISM, or growth. If you have not been careful to tailor your food intake to suit your decreasing requirements, your efficient metabolism stores it away for a rainy day, around your belly and in your arteries, a bad effect from an essential mechanism. Antagonistic Pleiotropy is the name for a body mechanism that can be good for one function (or age) and bad for another.
The Sirtuin system is also important in aging, and has a variety of housekeeping functions, including mitochondrial maintenance. It is activated by exercise. The cells of our bodies change with aging. In old tissues, there are less stem cells and other young, functional units. There are more damaged, dysfunctional “zombie” cells that don’t do much but promote inflammation, and hence more inflammatory cells accumulate.
Controlling the mTOR System and promoting the sirtuins help increase apoptosis and get rid of dysfunctional cells, including cancer. DOCTORS SHOULD PRESCRIBE EXERCISE, as well as SLEEP AND DIET, like they do medicine, and maybe we wouldn’t need so many pills. We might also feel better into old age.
COVID 19 is a nasty disease, in case you hadn’t noticed. It is SNEAKY: you can catch it from a person who has no symptoms.
It is UNPREDICTABLE: you may develop no symptoms or Die from it. It can affect any part of your body, including HEART and BRAIN.
And now we hear that it can DRAG ON. The outstanding infographic, “a multi-systems disease, which is intended for PRIMARY CARE PROVIDERS, has a lot to offer patients, who can do a lot to Care for themselves:
–They can get a THERMOMETER and a PULSE OXIMETER to watch their own temperatures and oxygen saturations
–They can monitor their own COMORBIDITIES, like Diabetes and HYPERTENSION, which are common with severe Covid. In patients who get very ill .
–They can watch their GENERAL HEALTH, including SLEEP and DIET (the exercise part is relegated to DOCTORS recommendations).
You should also RESTRICT Alcohol, Caffeine and it goes without saying CIGARETTE SMOKING. Of course PREVENTION, with DISTANCING, MASKING and being Outside, coupled with SLEEP, DIET and EXERCISE is always best.
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