Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Natural Iron Chef

Raw versus cooked foods. Which is best?

I'm continuously amazed at the contemporary trendiness of what was a revolution for some of us in the 1960s and 70s. Against the social, political, familial, and religious grain we whole heartedly tried raw food diets, fasting, vegetarianism, and macrobiotics (which came later). Now, it's as if it were all some thing completely new.

What's even more amazing to me is the most of the adherents to the latest trendy diet, raw foods included, are not professionally trained in any medical discipline. It's all about opinion and marketing hype. Not at all about knowledge, experience, or wisdom. The good news, however, is that some doctors are getting the message that there's money to be made in natural health and some, self-proclaimed specialists in integrative medicine, are becoming experts in medical detoxification and biological therapies that actually help patients. Two M.D.s in this category are Norman Cousins and Helen Ross who treat diabetes with a 30-day natural raw foods diet.

As you might expect at the end of the 30 days of no Coca Cola, no sugar, no white bread, no processed or junk food of any kind, people started to get better and their blood sugar began to normalize. So, does that mean that raw foods are good for every one all the time and that every body should forever adopt an organic raw foods diet for the rest of their lives? Absolutely not!

But, is a 30-day detox, avoidance of commercially processed foods, and the adherence to a rigid diet of raw vegetables, whole grains, fresh fruits, seeds and nuts, and juices good for you. Absolutely yes! Can it cure diabetes II? Yes, very likely as Drs. Cousins and Ross have shown in their work, and as we in the natural healing profession have demonstrated over decades, diabetes is a life style disease of modern living. It's not that raw foods are a miracle cure. It's that unhealthy, processed foods overloaded with sugars are bad for you.

My recommendations:
  1. Take the 30-Day Detox Challenge promoted in Raw for 30 Days: http://www.rawfor30days.com/
  2. Follow the nutritional supplement guidelines I outline in my previous blog
  3. Monitor your blood sugar (glucose) levels before and after, and also your blood pressure and lipid levels
You can order medical grade nutritional supplements through my website: www.drjewilliams.com.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Diabetes? II

The message to you from my last two blogs is that metabolic diseases are complex and require an integrative solution. A simple diagnosis of diabetes II and standard drug therapy with outdated dietary advice is an incomplete attempt that doesn't work. At best, it helps managing glucose levels, but never cures.

Effective therapeutic strategies include the following:
  • DIET - increased healthy fats and oils, increased (but not excess) protein, NO simple refined carbohydrates and sugars, complex whole grains and cereals, and smaller amounts at meals.
  • EXERCISE - resistance strength training and aerobic exercise is essential.
  • WEIGHT LOSS - many diagnosed with diabetes II are over weight....start a serious, gradual, healthy weight loss program. Aim at losing 4 pounds each month until you reach your ideal BMI (body mass index).
  • NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS: many nutrients support metabolism....the most effective for metabolic disease are lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, vitamin E, vitamin C, chromium, and Omega-3 fish oils.
  • HERBAL MEDICINE: many herbs help lower glucose and support metabolism including ginseng, dandelion root, Gymnema sylvestre, and bitter melon. Traditional Chinese herbal formulas, combinations of synergistic herbs, are very helpful.
It is my clinical experience, that diabetes II and related metabolic diseases are caused by modern living, over eating, and lack of nutrients in our soils. With the right program, these conditions are nearly 100% curable. For more information, see my website: www.drjewilliams.com.

Be strong and healthy!

Dr. Williams

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Confusing Diagnoses II

In my last blog, I described how complicated the diagnosis of diabetes is getting, but how some doctors insist that it's the same old disease of high glucose just different. However, this flawed thinking keeps people sick and dependent on pharmaceutical solutions that don't work. The reason is that these solutions focus on the lab test number and not on the patient. In other words, getting the fasting glucose below 126 is the goal. Sounds simple enough. But what if the patient is obese, has fatty liver disease, smokes, eats processed foods, and doesn't exercise? Because most disorders of metabolism are life style induced diseases, there is no permanent cure without the major clinical focus on diet, exercise, and nutritional supplementation to provide key nutrients to improve body chemistry.

But, is diabetes, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndromes that only confusing diagnoses? By no means! Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, thyroid conditions, autoimmune disorders of the connective tissue, fatigue syndromes, migraine, allergies, fibromyalgia, and many more illnesses are just as confusing to conventionally trained medical and osteopathic doctors.

The next question is does the search for a clearly defined medical diagnosis with the correct terminology and precise clinical reasoning mean any thing to the patient? Unfortunately, other than having a label for their condition, which is still often diagnosed incorrectly, the answer is NO. The reason for this is that the current medical model is based on a paradigm of pathology rather than biological function. These conditions, unlike infections, are caused by disruption of function (rather than infecting microorganisms) in body systems or combinations of systems. For example, a thyroid disorder could be largely in the gland itself or it could be linked (and usually is) to other endocrine glands like the pituitary, or could be even more complicated with age-related changes, stress, oxidative damage from environmental toxins, or damage from radiation. This condition, rather than classical hypothyroidism, becomes a neuroendocrine immune disorder.

Still complicated? Many internet marketing companies use this confusing medical situation to their advantage and offer simple natural solutions for a reasonable price that don't work. Let me tell you right now that after over 25 years of clinical experience with more than 135,000 patient visits, 3 health books, over 100 articles and papers, and thousands of hours of research that there is no simple easy quick answer. The solution lies in understanding the problem and appreciating the complexity.

In my next blog, I'll explain some of the entry level therapeutic strategies for the underlying causes of these conditions, and begin to outline some integrative solutions to help you regain your health.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Confusing Diagnoses - Diabetes?

Medical schools used to prepare graduates for most commonly occurring diseases. Diagnoses were based on presenting symptoms and signs, and proceeded to a treatment plan. Whether it was allopathic medicine or Chinese medicine, the situation was much the same: patient presentation lead to diagnosis. But some thing changed in the 1970s. Diagnosis became complicated. Cases of fatigue were not just anemia (allopathic) or qi and blood deficiency (Chinese). They were complex, convoluted, involved. Allopathic M.D.s blammed it on the patient and referred them to psychologists. The shrink business boomed. By the 1980s, it was clear that talk therapy wasn't working for these cases. Alternative medicine practitioners claimed to have the answer and their ranks swelled. In the 1990s, the internet took over with claims for rare and wild cures for the price of a bottle of herbal capsules. The truth is that none of these claimed solutions and cures worked for all people all of the time. In fact, they didn't work for most of the people most of the time. What was going on?

Let's take diabetes as an example. I was taught that there were two types of diabetes: a juvenile form and an adult form. The juvenile type needed insulin and the adult type only occurred in older people and usually didn't require insulin. These two types were also called insulin and non-insulin dependent diabetes. In fact, diabetes was not a common disease. Some thing changed, because gradually I was seeing more cases of adult diabetes and they were not getting younger.

Instead of considering why there were increasing numbers of diabetes in younger adults, the medical community simply relabeled the disease into type 1 (insulin dependent) and type 2 (non-insulin) diabetes. Then it got even more complicated. Another condition, similar to diabetes, labeled Syndrome X, appeared in doctors' offices. It formed a cluster of symptoms that crossed over into the cardiovascular system. Syndrome X was later relabeled as Metabolic Syndrome. But instead of stopping there, diabetes and metabolic disease continues to get more complicated and is more confusing to doctors than ever. What is going on?

In my practice, I started to see patients with low insulin levels in their blood, which should classify them as diabetic. However, they had none of the usual symptoms or any other signs. In fact, they usually presented as being hypoglycemic. What they were showing was a mixture of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Without elevated glucose over 126 mg/dL, these patients couldn't be classified as diabetic even if they had other symptoms such as difficulty managing weight that suggested diabetes. Patients were in a quandary and doctors were confused.

The Chinese medicine assessment was just as confusing. Rather than simple "spleen qi deficiency" they had a mixture of energy imbalances including with the qi of the liver and kidney, and often with the heart meridian. Strange indeed!

The easy answer was to blame all metabolic diseases, including diabetes, on the increasing incidence of obesity. However, thin people also get diabetes and have insulin resistance, an aspect of metabolic syndromes. Easy answer were obviously not working.

Now, we've found that some people have symptoms of type 1 diabetes but their lab test results suggest type 2. This mixed syndrome type has been called "type 1.5" or double diabetes. The mainstream view of allopathic physicians is that it is really the same disease or an over lay of two different but similar diseases of how the body regulates blood sugar. However, it's certainly more complicated than that as we know that at least 10 percent of people with typical type 2 diabetes have autoantibodies in their blood suggesting an autoimmune disease. Where do autoimmune diseases come from and why is the incidence of all types of autoimmune diseases increasing?

Conventional wisdom once again offers an elegant and simple answer: genetics. But the gene hypothesis of susceptibility is only part of the truth. Shoehorning people into clear cut diagnoses has proven inadequate for this disease over the last twenty-five years. It's time to look further at not only diet, but the quality of foods we eat...AND, to look at the influence of toxic chemicals in the environment that may trigger autoimmunity. Yes, there may be susceptible genes, but when immune imbalances occur the stakes go up and so do the costs of medical care for these individuals.

So what are some solutions? First, eliminate refined sugar and all refined carbohydrates like white bread and pasta. Next, improve the function of your liver and pancreas. Eat less, attain normal weight, improve muscle tone and cardiovascular fitness. I provide more details in my free newsletter, which can be accessed through my website.

Friday, April 27, 2007