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Health Tips Quarterly NewsLetter


                           News You Can Use                           

Insulin Resistance: Ever wonder what it really is? Could this be a factor in your life and health?



insulin-resistanceFirst, what is it?  Insulin is produced in the pancreas and is responsible for regulating delivery of glucose (sugar) into cells to provide them with the material to create energy.  In insulin resistance the normal receptors on the cell walls that “open up” the cell to let in the sugar do not work.  Consequently the pancreas pumps out more insulin to force the cells to open to the sugar.  This leads to high levels of both insulin and sugar in your body.  Often this is not detected until the condition becomes severe and leads to diabetes.  

adam-metabolic-syndrome-xWhat does it look like?  What problems can it cause?  Insulin resistance promotes weight gain. Weight gain (particularly abdominal obesity)  promotes insulin resistance.  Rather a vicious cycle occurs with insulin resistance promoting weight gain, which promotes more insulin resistance.   It is also associated with high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

How can it be detected?  If you suspect this may be a issue for you, you should ask your physician to check 3 main blood values:  1. your fasting blood sugar 2. your Hemoglobin A1C (both of which done routinely) and your fasting insulin level (not typically done routinely). All are paid by insurance and are critical for determining if you are at risk.

If there is a good deal of belly fat and/or a low level of daily physical activity, the risk is higher.

What can be done about this?  Is it a one-way road to disease?  No it is not!  Increasing physical activity and weight loss will reduce the insulin resistance and reduce your risk of the conditions it leads to.  These life style changes can turn your health around.  


Is diet important?  Absolutely critical!  Eating less bread, more fruits and vegetables, reducing saturated fat intake (fried foods), eating less red meat and more chicken and fish – all will help protect you.

fish-oil-shapeOne more thing:  we keep coming back to the absolute health value of fish oil.  Well, a study published this year reported that omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil) reduces insulin resistance and greatly reduces the level of triglycerides.  So, supplementing with wild salmon or taking a high quality fish oil will be very helpful. 


Smaller than a walnut, no heavier than a grape…affects every function in our bodies. What? Your Adrenal Glands! Unsung hero of our bodies.


adrenalsYour adrenal glands sit atop your kidneys and orchestrate your whole metabolism.  Little gland with a huge role.  These powerful little hormone producing glands manufacture and secrete almost 50 different hormones, including steroid hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol, aldosterone, and the precursors to estrogen and testosterone that are absolutely essential to our health and vitality.

Protective: the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant adrenal hormones like cortisol helps to minimize negative and allergic reactions, such as swelling and inflammation, to alcohol, drugs, foods, environmental allergens, and stress.



Let’s look more closely at one of those hormones: cortisol - a life sustaining adrenal hormone that influences, regulates or modulates:

  • Blood sugar levels
  • Fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism
  • Immune responses
  • Anti-inflammatory actions
  • Blood pressure
  • Heart and blood vessel tone and contraction
  • Central nervous system activation

Too Much Cortisol for extended periods?

Higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol – with chronic stress for example – can have negative effects:

  • elevated levels of inflammation in your body (can lead to chronic illness)
  • foggy brain
  • decreased bone density
  • sleep disruption
  • hypertension
  • decreased immune function
  • slow wound healing
  • increased abdominal fat
  • a condition called “adrenal fatigue”

Want to learn more?

Breast cancer screening. So much conflicting news, so many options, what is the best approach for you?


Medical science is constantly evolving – hence the conflicting news.  Let’s look more closely:

breast_cancer_ribbonsMammograms are a valuable – though not the only valuable – tool used for breast screening.  Martha Grout, MD, explains that “Mammography has been the state-of-the-art screening test for several decades. However, considerable controversy remains regarding its value, particularly in women under the age of 50. Results from the widely accepted BCDDP study documented that the overall ability of mammograms to detect cancer was only 70 percent. This means that 30 percent of mammograms found to be negative for potentially cancerous lesions are actually positive.  Only one biopsy in six was found to be positive for cancer when done on the basis of a positive mammogram or breast examination. The combined false positive rate was determined to be as high as 89 percent.

So, what else should you consider in addition?  There is genetic testing for the BRCA genes that indicate a predisposition to breast cancer, MRIs, ultrasounds, PET scans – all of which cost a great deal and have demonstrated limitations. 

breast_thermographyThen, there is breast thermography.  Breast thermography measures heat emissions from breast tissue (cancer creates heat) and identifies changes in breast tissue.  Dr. Grout: “At least five important studies published between 1980 and 2003 document that breast thermal imaging is a major advancement in identifying breast cancers not only with greater sensitivity and specificity, but also years earlier than with any other scientifically tested medical technology.” 

Which combination of testing is right for you?  Like to know more?  Read on . . .

Compare mammography and breast thermography here. . .


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Phone: 520-743-7008

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