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Chapter 2. The Changing Times

MD Heather Tick New World Library ePub

As to diseases, make a habit of two thingsto help, or at least, to do no harm.

— HIPPOCRATES, Epidemics

As it stands, the American health care system is the most expensive in the world. Yet what do we have to show for it? The United States ranks approximately fiftieth in the world for life expectancy.1 A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2000 concluded that our health care system itself is the third-leading cause of death in the country. This study took into account only hospitalized patients, but it covered a host of causes, including errors, unnecessary surgeries, infections, and the side effects of properly prescribed drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration.2 The study estimated that there are 225,000 patient deaths per year. Only the fast-food and cigarette industries can compete.3 In our current health care system, there is very little care and almost no attention to health. I would go so far as to say that we don’t have a health care system; we have an illness-management system. How did it come to this?

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13. Type 2 Diabetes

Farris, Russell Basic Health Publications ePub

13

Type 2 Diabetes

… a knowledge of sugar metabolism in animals will for long prove a difficult and laborious problem. Such knowledge must necessarily precede the elucidation of diabetes, but it must be remembered that diabetes is not a disease of carbohydrate metabolism alone, but is associated with marked changes in protein and fat metabolism as well.

—HUGH MACLEAN, M.D., D.SC., M.R.C.P, GLYCOSURIA AND DIABETES, 1922

Understanding diabetes is still a difficult and laborious task, but the task is easier if you begin by studying infections and cortisol, as we are doing in this book. Here is a brief description of diabetes from the National Institutes of Health:

Although usually thought of in terms of … elevated glucose levels, diabetes is a complex metabolic disorder with abnormalities in carbohydrate, lipid, and protein metabolism.… Most diabetic patients die of cardiovascular disease (CVD), with CVD rates in diabetics two to four times those of the non-diabetic population.1

Roughly 16 million Americans have diabetes, and about one-third of them are unaware of it. Diabetes is the leading cause of adult blindness, lower-limb amputations, and end-stage renal (kidney) disease in the United States. More than 80 percent of all diabetics will die from some form of heart disease.2

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2. Antioxidant Vitamins

Gormley, James Basic Health Publications ePub

CHAPTER 2

You are constantly exposed to a wide range of compounds called xenobiotics, basically the bodys version of evil aliens from outer space: toxic, destructive, and cancer-causing chemicals.

Many of these chemicals are in the human diet. They can react with large cellular molecules (macromolecules), such as proteins and DNA, or directly with cell structures to cause damage. On top of this, some naturally nonreactive chemicals can be biologically morphed into reactive molecules inside cells.

Free radicals (reactive oxygen species) are produced as a normal byproduct of the bodys workings. Unfortunately, environ mental factors, such as cigarette smoke, polluted air, chlorinated hydro carbons (which used to be found in all aerosol sprays), heavy metals, sunlight, and x-rays cause excess free radicals to be formed in the body.

Antioxidants Vitamins, minerals, enzymes, or other compounds that help us fight off the formation of free radicals and the damage caused by them.

The two main defense systems your body uses to fight these free radicals are detoxification enzymes and antioxidant systems.

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Medium 9781591203568

PERK #13: The Use of Medicinal Marijuana

Strang BA BEd MEd, Florence Basic Health Publications ePub

Perk #13

The Use of Medicinal Marijuana

Let me make one thing clear: I am not the type to scrimp on drugs. When it comes to natural childbirth, for example, I am completely against it. If there is a drug out there to ease pain and suffering of any kind, you can give it to me (I’m talking legit, prescribed meds of course). After all, that is why God created pharmaceuticals.

When I was diagnosed with cancer, one of my biggest concerns was about the side effects of chemo. I was fine with losing my hair, but just the thought of being sick made me sick. I was so relieved when my oncologist explained to me the variety of drugs available to cancer patients: steroids, diuretics, and antinausea pills, to name a few. If all else failed, she could even prescribe medicinal marijuana!

Suddenly, I had visions of myself in a long, flowing skirt, my arms weighed down with bangles, puffing contentedly on a joint as I listened to Bob Marley tunes. I even briefly considered getting the peace symbol tattooed on my ankle. However, my daughter Kaitlyn put an abrupt end to my fantasies when she said, “Mom, don’t even think about trying to be one of those COOL cancer patients. You can’t pull it off.” And so, my friends, I am sad to say that while the use of medicinal marijuana is a perk of having cancer, for me it was a missed perk. Although I do think I AM cool enough to pull it off!

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Medium 9781591201199

5. Carnosine for Longevity

Moneysmith, Marie Basic Health Publications ePub

CHAPTER 5

CARNOSINE FOR LONGEVITY

Aging is a complex process that affects us in many different ways. For some people, growing older means living with the discomfort of a joint disease, like osteoarthritis. For others, it could translate into weight gain, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, difficulties with vision or hearing, or all of the above. Once believed to be as inevitable as the passing of time, aging is the subject of a great deal of study today, as researchers attempt to extend life span and increase the number of active, healthy years at the same time.

Some of the most exciting news related to carnosine and longevity comes from Russia, where scientists have been studying the compound since its discovery in 1900. Researchers there recently discovered that supplemental carnosine could extend the life span of male fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) to match that of their long-lived female counterparts. The experts speculated that carnosine provided protection against age-related damage by free radicals.

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