Saturday, August 06, 2011

Metformin ER to the Rescue

A safe and inexpensive medication can be prescribed off-label: Metformin, Metformin ER, Glucophage, Glucophage XR

I am not in favor of unnecessary medication, and very much in favor of targeted supplements, reducing dietary carbohydrates, aerobic and especially weight training exercise, for blood sugar related health concerns. But observation and logic suggest using metformin to control appetite and for diagnosed conditions closely linked to elevated insulin and insulin resistance, like high cholesterol and high blood pressure, reactive hypoglycemia, PCOS, inflammatory conditions such as rosacea, and possibly to prevent and control some types of dementia / Alzheimers, as well as the on-label use of managing type II diabetes. 1

With both parents diagnosed diabetic, I am a nurse who has probably had insulin resistance since I started gaining weight too easily at about 6 years of age. With diabetes on both sides of my family, after nursing school I researched and practiced controlling insulin with diet, exercise, and supplements, and found raw Green Smoothies (see my earlier blogpost Make It Simple, Make It Happen).

After reading about off-label use of metformin by a researcher in England to control insulin and possibly prevent diabetes-related dementia, I decided ask my doctor to let me try metformin er, most often prescribed for for type II diabetes. A low dose, Metformin ER (extended release) 500 mg taken after my morning smoothie and before lunch, along with lifestyle measures outlined above, has brought me back to the normal sugar metabolism I never enjoyed as even a young adult, and it feels miraculous. I have had such excellent results, may I suggest along with your healthy lifestyle changes not instead of, consider talking to your doctor about trying Glucophage XR, or Metformin ER (generic form2) for controlling insulin and taking back your life.

1 Metformin / Glucophage has enjoyed an excellent safety record for many years; like all drugs, metformin has side effects you may wish to discuss with your doctor. Metformin should be discontinued before MRIs and certain other types of imaging.
2 all generics are not created equal: diabetesupdate.blogspot.com/2006/10/not-all-generic-metformin-is-same.html

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Make It Simple / Make It Happen

Think of raw foods as an interesting dietary option that is easy to try and healthful for almost anyone. -- Charles Gerras, feasting on raw foods (no downside, is how I like to think of it. -- ajw)

After I read how fresh produce kick-starts fat-burning, I Googled "Green Smoothies" a term from a raw food website for smoothies made from fresh fruit and veggies. One young woman normalized her weight by losing a hundred pounds on a Green Smoothie fast in a few months. Alex in Colorado, a beautiful healthy Raw Baby, was raised on raw food, including raw breast milk, of course. (picture, below)

With no downside I could see, I tried Green Smoothies in 2007. I had more energy than the Energizer Bunny, zapped back and joint pain, and normalized blood sugars, which had been creeping up, a family problem. I have been overweight most of my adult life, not for lack of dieting, but on smoothies my weight tends towards normal. Eating mostly fresh (raw) food and drinking smoothies I lost up to a pound a day. Eating traditional cooked meals with one morning smoothie, I lost 1 to 3 pounds/wk, for a total of 25 pounds September through November 2007.

On one fresh produce smoothie a day for six months, my brother’s blood pressure dropped like a stone from high to low-normal. My sister-in-law lost 30 lbs.

Strategy is your overall plan. Your strategy for health and reverse-aging is eating more fresh and raw food.

Tactics Because I am always trying to improve and incorporate evidence-based research, I am still working on tactics. My tactic for eating more raw food is Make It Simple / Make It Happen. There is a limit to how many raw salads, however delicious, I am likely to eat daily. Smoothies are my “Salad In A Blender”. Work days I have two; weekends I have one. With about two ounces raw plantain daily in my smoothie for the "second meal effect" I can eat a variety of common cooked foods up to four hours after my smoothie, without blood sugar and insulin swings / reactive hypoglycemia.

I eat more:

  • Salads (including seared ahi)
  • Raw Smoothies*
  • Finger Snacks (apples, celery and carrots, broccoli slaw, raw nuts, etc.)
Consider taking High Dose Fish Oil as recommended by Barry Sears, PhD.

* For One Raw Smoothie: Fruit and veg ingredients washed, trimmed, and cut into uniform-size pieces, as for a salad. Rinse frozen fruit / veg and pre-washed greens, then blend all in blender until smooth. If you want your smoothie frosty, use cold ingredients, and about half the produce you use in your smoothie should be frozen.

For one serving smoothie:

  • 1 serving raw fruit (smallish peeled kiwi, or one half pear or apple, or 5 large strawberries, or a handful of blueberries, etc)
  • 1.5 serving raw veg (small handful napa cabbage, packaged cole slaw, handful broccoli slaw, or other packaged salad, rinsed in tap water, PLUS half a peeled zucchini, half a peeled cucumber, a summer squash, or other mild-tasting vegetable.)
  • For adults, 1/3 to ¼ peeled sliced green banana or plantain as tolerated, about 2 ounces
  • 1 scoop whey protein powder 15 – 20 gm protein, under 6 gm carb
  • ½ tsp finely ground cinnamon
  • homemade unsweetened tea concentrate, cold coffee, cold water, ice cubes, other non-chlorinated or raw liquid
  • non-caloric or raw sweetener to taste – I use the pink sweetener -- or try stevia or raw cane juice
  • 1 tsp to 1 Tbsp, use a variety of healthy oils: first cold pressed olive oil, high-lignan flax and other minimally-processed monounsaturated and omega 3 oils
  • optional 6 oz. plain active-culture yogurt
color note: the peeled kiwis go nicely with a handful of frozen greens and a mild veg like zucchini or peeled cucumber, and make it a pretty green color. Strawberries and cherries make your smoothie pink and blueberries make it purplish-blue. Apples, pears, and bananas brown, and aren't attractive if you are saving half your smoothie for later.

IMPORTANT: If you are under treatment or taking medicine for any medical condition, tell your doctor you are changing to a diet that may reduce the need for some medication. If you are diabetic or take blood pressure medicine, check and record blood pressure and blood sugar, because raw food can dramatically reduce the need for insulin, oral hypoglycemics, blood pressure and cholesterol medicine, among others. For the chronically ill, very old, very young, or immune compromised, check with the doctor before changing your diet. Increasing the raw component of your diet up to around 80% may reduce general inflammation and improve immunity from infections.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Preventive Health Makes Care Affordable

As a parent, preventive health nurse, and scientist, I care deeply and advocate strongly for wholesome foods, education, and personal health control. In classes, books, and online, new information links nutrition to specific illnesses. My job is testing information against the yardstick of evidence: how does the evidence stack up? (Does it work?)

With my young family, I found simple ways to keep my family healthy, with evidence based nutrition. I looked for better and easier ways for my husband, working far from home, to eat healthfully.

My sons, now adult men who cook for themselves, know the basics of healthy eating and food preparation. My husband, working out-of-state, spreads a gospel of healthy eating, delighting friends, family, and coworkers with delicious healthy, raw fruit and veg blender smoothies.

Today, I work for a fledgling nonprofit. I continue to research, write, improve recipes, and teach health classes to people who want to know what they should eat to

  • help control pain
  • heal colitis
  • control weight, blood sugar, blood pressure
  • manage their moods / attention deficit
  • help prevent and treat numerous health conditions

For our parents and grandparents who may not have much appetite or patience for regular food, I have a project planned to deliver Senior Smoothies so they can enjoy superb nutrition in a milk shake-like drink delivered to their door.

Now, more than ever, the need is pressing for information to stay healthy. Now, more than ever, my life's work is still the care and feeding of my family, and today my family is you, your loved ones, and the family of man. Now, more than ever, I need ideas for funding to continue and expand my work.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Low Tech Solution for High Tech Problem -- The Science

A Little Background (from First for Women Magazine, by Brenda Kearns & Olga Norstrom-Ojeda, July 30 2007)

...Although there's been solid research since the 1920s proving that enzymes are essential to health, mainstream medical practice has largely ignored their significance, in part because of confusion about different kinds of enzymes. Digestive enzymes, the ones most people think of when they hear the word "enzyme," are responsible for bringing together digestive agents and food so the food can be broken down into the tiny particles that are best absorbed by the gut without excess gas or discomfort.

The Power of Metabolic Enzymes

But there's a larger class of enzymes called metabolic enzymes that's critical to alleviating tiredness, burning fat and optimizing health. These are the brokers that minimize our risk of heart disease and diabetes by creating reactions that lead to clear arteries and balanced blood sugar. They help keep our skin glowing, our hair shiny and our joints limber. It's the interrelationship between digestive and metabolic enzymes that has baffled the medical community for decades. Although the two types of enzymes function to aid very different bodily functions, they are both produced by the same organs -- the pancreas and the liver. When our bodies don't have enough digestive enzymes, these organs switch from creating metabolic enzymes -- because they can't let food "just sit there" -- to making sure there are enough digestive enzymes to break down food. So things like converting fat into energy have to wait. According to Joseph Brasco, M.D., gastroenterologist at The Center for Colon & Digestive Diseases in Huntsville, AL, there's another metabolic cost to the manufacture of digestive enzymes. "Because the pancreas and liver need energy to produce enzymes, the resulting drain renders these organs temporarily unable to perform their functions of detoxification, blood sugar control and fat burning."

Raw Baby - Transformed into a happy and healthy Raw Toddler

12-07-08 rawtoddleralex.blogspot.com/

(from EU Jacksonville, Erin Thursby, October 4th 2007)

...many scientists agree that a diet high in raw fruits and vegetables is one of the healthiest things you can do to prevent and mitigate the spread of cancer [heart disease, and other major illnesses -- ajw].

ccording to rawchef.com "Living [raw -- ajw] foods are those plant-based foods that are still abundant with active enzymes. When we heat up foods to anything above 116 degrees Fahrenheit, we break down and destroy these living enzymes, stopping all enzymatic activity within the food. Most foods, in their raw form, contain everything we need to run our bodies efficiently. Cooking foods breaks down [destroys and deactivates -- ajw] some important enzymes and nutrients that can keep us healthy. Cooking changes the food’s makeup on a molecular level. Cooking can introduce carcinogenic elements, particularly in meat.

There are many different types of raw foodists, some of whom do eat meat;
many are vegans or vegetarians. Many cancer survivors (or those who are just looking to follow a more healthy diet) will sometimes incorporate raw food into their regular diet, with raw food accounting for about 60-80% of their overall diet...

Wikipedia’s breakdown of the types of raw food diets:

Instinctive eating (anopsology) – fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and meat (typically excludes dairy).
Fruitarianism – fruit, nuts and seeds (including sprouts)… grains & legumes.
Primal diet – fatty meats, dairy and vegetable juices.
Raw foodism – unheated food from all food groups.
Raw Paleolithic diet – “wild” game/meat, fish, plants, fruit, nuts, seeds, honey and eggs.
Raw veganism – fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouts (usually includes grains and legumes but excludes ANY animal byproducts).
Raw vegetarianism – fruit, vegetables, sprouts, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, dairy, eggs and honey.
Wai diet – fruit, nuts, fish, and eggs.
The Garden Diet – fruit, vegetables, sprouts, nuts, seeds, honey, Celtic sea salt, olive and flax seed oils.

see also,
Enzyme Therapy by Ron Kennedy M.D. Santa Rosa, CA http://www.med-library.net/content/view/47/41/

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Coach A.J.’s Quick-Start 5 Minute Exercise Program®


Coach AJ’s® Evidence-Based Health Recommendations “ Prevent Health Problems Before They Start

Coach A.J.’s Quick-Start 5 Minute Exercise Program®

Simple, Powerful ** InTraining ** with Health Coach AJ®

(Adults need to get their doctor's permission to exercise. Kids should get their Mom or Dad’s permission.)

Resistance and Aerobic “Interval” Training

Get pumped: "It wasn't until I put on more muscle through resistance training that
I was able to keep the weight off -- almost effortlessly," says an exerciser who went
from a size XL adult to a medium. The reason? Muscle burns bodyfat and more
calories *around the clock,* and normalizes blood sugar and hormone levels.
Building muscle requires dietary protein and some special fats called essential
fatty acids.

My Quick-Start program is easy, fun, and gets amazing results. Start on your exercise bike, trampoline, other home equipment, at a gym, up and down stairs, or running on the street in front of your house. One workout takes five minutes a day. You can also exercise more; for example, 2 or 3 five-minute workouts a day are even better than one, but one is enough to start.

Best to do this first thing in the morning. You can exercise when you get home from work or school, in addition to morning, or instead of, but at least one time per day. Try to exercise six days a week. I exercise on a stationary bike and use a watch with a second hand to time heartbeats/minute (pulse.)

To start exercising:

Plan A

1) Warm up doing your chosen exercise for two minutes, not at your fastest rate.

2) To stretch calf muscles point toes, hold, point heels, hold. Bend forward to stretch backs of thighs, hold, pull ankles up behind you one at a time to stretch fronts of thighs. Twist left at waist, hold; twist right at waist, hold.

3) Exercise hard for one minute, raising heart rate to over 120 beats per minute.

4) Two-minute cool down: keep moving (more slowly) to allow heart rate (pulse) to drop below 100.

5) Stretch using after-workout stretches, or contact Kathy at StressLess KMillspaw@comcast.net for more stretches.

Plan B

1) Warm up doing your chosen exercise for two minutes, not at your fastest rate.

2) To stretch calf muscles point toes, hold, point heels, hold. Bend forward to stretch backs of thighs, hold, pull ankles up behind you one at a time to stretch fronts of thighs. Twist left at waist, hold; twist right at waist, hold.

3) Exercise hard for 30 seconds, raising heart rate to over 120 beats per minute.

4) Continue at a slower pace, for about 45 seconds, increasing intensity for 15 seconds, to maintain pulse over 120.

5) As above, continue at a slower pace, for about 45 seconds, then increase intensity for 15 seconds.

6) One or two-minute cool down: keep moving (more slowly) to allow heart rate (pulse) to drop below 100.

7) Stretch using after-workout stretches, or contact Kathy at StressLess KMillspaw@comcast.net for more stretches.

Go on about your day, knowing you are burning body fat and the calories from your food at a higher rate. You will feel more energetic, less apt to be moody, and less hungry. You can see the advantage of doing this in the morning before you start your day, and also when you get home from school or work in the afternoon.


You can get more exercise going for walks, bicycling, swimming or horseback riding with friends. Learn to use the machines at your local gym. Housework and yard work count as exercise. Be creative; come up with new ways to exercise. But at least do one 5 minutes exercise “interval” every day. Exercising makes you feel so good you’ll want to do more.

©AJsBodBlog 2002 All Rights Reserved Do not copy distribute electronically store or reproduce HealthCoachAJ@gmail.com for permissions

**************************************************** With the most expensive medical care in the world, Americans are becoming disabled and dying every day from lack of good, useful, up-to-date information about nutrition. We need to know today what we should be eating to stay healthy, and how to regain our health when possible with fewer drugs and less surgery. I care and want to help. -- A.J.


Document Compliments of AJsBodBlog Health Consultant

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