Posts made in June, 2012

Belief and the Body: Once a Diabetic, Always a Diabetic?

Posted by on Jun 28, 2012 in News | 0 comments

Body belief and mind Have you ever been told you are diabetic, either type 1 or type 2, and you will always be a diabetic? Or do you even hold that belief at the moment?

In a nutshell, what you deep down believe, you actualize and become. This isn’t just some sweeping statement I’ve concocted out of thin air; it’s important for any of us with diabetes or any condition at all for that matter, because it explains why full reversal is always a strong possibility. It starts with our thoughts and belief system.

As a medical and clinical therapist, I have personally had many people with diabetes come through our practice to see me because they feel depressed. Often when this is in relation to diabetes it is partially due to this very same belief. People often think (and it is because they have been told this), that once they are diabetic, it is set in stone that this will remain so for the rest of their lives. In addition to this, the most positive news they receive is that with some good discipline it can be controlled.

Having had diabetes type 1 for 19 years, I can fully empathize. I think the challenge is that having a particular condition does not imply any change or even personal autonomy in respect of being able to do anything about it (feeling ‘stuck’ with it). Speaking from a personal point of view and experiencing others with the condition, diabetes can take away an element of freedom and full control because you always have to control it, along with all the add-ons that go with it. However, I think we can always do something. We certainly don’t have to accept that we’re ‘stuck’ with it – if we choose not to.

First of all, there is a way we can immediately loosen the belief of ‘once a diabetic, always a diabetic’, just linguistically. As the word ‘diabetic’ suggests, it is ‘stuck’ and ‘sticks’ because it becomes frozen in time and is taken for granted as a defining label. However, I find it much more comfortable to choose not to allow this to define me as a person – I am ‘Em’ and I have diabetes to manage – me as a person isn’t ‘diabetic’ as a whole. This really helps the way I think about myself, how other people think in general and how others perceive me… I know that people are far more than just ‘diabetics’, it’s just a small part of me…not the entirety.

If we really consider it, people have ‘diabetes’ – which is purely a process whereby (at present) your body is not proficiently metabolizing glucose independently due to the destruction or dysfunction of insulin-producing beta cells. ‘Diabetes’ is therefore not a person or a ‘thing’ – it’s a process of internal malfunction that we artificially assist with as and when necessary.

Therefore in this context, a ‘diabetic’ doesn’t really exist – it is just a label. We are people like anyone else and have an added responsibility of externally maintaining part of our internal bodily system.

People are so much more than their ‘condition’. For instance, what is the highest intention of life? I’d imagine most would say… ‘ to live a good and happy life in the best way they can’ and to do this we all eat, drink, sleep, love, procreate, exercise, have fun, do hobbies, study, work and take vitamins, medications, injections or follow various health regimes in order to live well. Having diabetes is just a reason why and therefore something we have to do to maintain our bodies to live well, so it doesn’t have to mean that we are ‘diabetes’ as a whole.

In this respect, it doesn’t matter what any of us do differently to live because on a higher level, we are all the same and we’re all as one. Which is why ‘labeling’ is pretty pointless. So while we all may have certain conditions and maintenance jobs to do as a consequence of this, why choose to be defined as such?

Before I explain the logic behind the notion and possibility of reversal, I mention the word ‘choose’ above for a reason. Even though diabetes has been diagnosed, and while it’s important to acknowledge this and act accordingly to best look after yourself and enjoy a fruitful life; you have a choice whether or not to ‘accept’ whether you’re necessarily stuck with it.

If we can accept being in control of our own minds, being responsible for our decisions, actions and emotions; we will always be able to control what happens to us and know we are responsible for making the relevant choices to ensure this.

Every single thought we have – positive or negative, causes a reaction (no matter how small or large) in our physiology because neurotransmitters (chemical impulses that carry messages in the brain) affect every single cell in the body. These chemicals have been found by scientists to be all over the body, which is why our mind set and belief systems are so important. This is the incredible mind and body connection.

As a minor example, have you ever felt so angry and frustrated that you feel your blood is boiling and you are about to explode and someone says ‘calm down or you’ll give yourself a heart attack’?

Or perhaps you have been so worried, upset and stressed about something and someone says ‘be careful, you’ll make yourself ill’?

Either way, it’s likely you did get run down in some way, be it from a skin breakout, cold, flu, some form of virus or irritable bowel syndrome to high blood pressure, panic attacks or worse. However, on the other hand this also means it is very possible to re-tune, re-train and control everything that happens to us; from spontaneous terminal cancer remissions to alleviating general allergies and even reversing diabetes. This is because how we think and everything we do in our minds eye as well as what we process – all we see, hear, feel and even say to ourselves, affects us physically. If what we think of carries a negative connotation, it often manifests itself as dis-ease, discomfort, illness or undesirable behaviors and lifestyle as part of us.

It is therefore important to adopt an excellent belief system, emotional well-being and way of thinking because this will in turn affect your feelings, behavior and physiology (your physical and mental health!)

I don’t believe in false claims (and there are a few reported) about reversals of diabetes as many are utter rubbish, false hope and very irritating, but it’s a realistic notion that almost any condition is possible to reverse due to the mind and body connection – which is great news to work with and it is far more than simply theory.

For a positive example of the physiological response to our mind set and emotion – consider how the body can also heal itself.

For example if we have an open wound or broken leg, it naturally heals and repairs itself, all instigated by neurotransmitters to initiate the healing process. It appears to be that we just expect this – it’s deep within our belief system. In this respect, the question is ‘why should any other healing process within the body be any different?’ The difference I propose is simply a question of ‘precisely how we do this’ in our minds – how do you get your cuts and bruises to start healing…?

Think about when you were last genuinely really happy and fully content – how well did you feel?

Or… times when you may have had head ache but when you began to unwind and relax or drift to sleep (that’s when the unconscious mind takes over running the body!) or even got completely distracted with something really important… and it amazingly disappears.

Or… people that overcome cancer because they hold an exceptionally strong, positive belief and have faith in their own self- healing ability and visually see themselves healing. There are many such like documented case studies of these stories.

Or… even people with serious conditions that have really been given an artificial pill (as good as a sweet or water) whilst believing their doctor has given them an effective treatment; but they have nevertheless miraculously recovered.

So for now, the bigger picture is that a healthy belief system generates a healthy body – and your belief system isn’t just what you are aware of consciously, it’s also about your deep seated beliefs and values. In addition to this, our cells change and renew all the time. A good 98% of the atoms and cells you had a year ago, aren’t the same, although we do have ‘cell memory’ so it’s also important to re-train your body gradually to return it to the way you would like. It’s always a good idea to be as fit, healthy and well controlled with diabetes as you possibly can.

How can anyone possibly say or know that you WILL ALWAYS have diabetes any more than you can know that you WILL NOT have it?

The answer is that you cannot; but if you have this belief, it is guaranteed that it will actualize itself by way of becoming a self-fulfilled prophecy. Everything comes down to personal choice, our personal decisions, thoughts and beliefs (cause and effect)- so the better these are, the better we are!

On that note, the best of luck with everything and if I can assist you in anyway, please feel free to get in touch.

Contributed by Emah Mardlin, a Medical and Clinical Therapist and partner of The Pinnacle Practice. She can be reached by email at:
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Does the Diabetic Drug Metformin Have Anticancer Properties?

Posted by on Jun 26, 2012 in News | 0 comments

Metformin, Metformin is one of the oldest drugs in the pharmacopeia, has been around for nearly 60 years, and has withstood the test of time. It’s a relatively safe drug, inexpensive and works well when it comes to lowering of blood sugar.

In the last few years, there have been a number of reports indicating that metformin may have anticancer properties. Researchers looked at diabetic patients who took metformin for many years and observed that the incidence of certain cancer was somewhat low compared to the general population. Further, laboratory studies indicate that the drug may prevent certain cancers in animals.

Now a recent clinical study from the Harbor UCLA Medical Center indicates that women with diabetes who took metformin had a 25% lower risk of developing breast cancer over a ten year follow up period.

While this is great news, it was only an observational study and much more detailed studies are needed. At the moment, Metformin is only indicated for diabetics and should not be taken by non-diabetics as it can cause lowering of blood sugar and coma.

Consumers should understand that many diabetics do die prematurely from complications related to diabetes and this may be one reason why they do not develop cancers.

Contributed by Dr. Steven Bhimji, M.D.
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New Study Sheds Light on Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

Posted by on Jun 22, 2012 in News | 0 comments

The latest news is that an early and aggressive approach in people on the cusp of developing type 2 diabetes can help prevent the disease.

There are some people who have prediabetes, meaning that they have blood sugar levels that have not yet reached levels seen in diabetes. In these patients, an early and aggressive approach to lower the blood sugar can help prevent full-blown type 2 diabetes.

Worldwide, diabetes rates have skyrocketed and millions of people are affected by this chronic disorder.

In the latest study, patients with prediabetes who were treated with lifestyle changes and/or drugs were much less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

For the consumer this is excellent news. Patients who have high levels of blood sugars but have not been confirmed to be diabetics should start making drastic changes in their lifestyle as soon as possible.

Once type 2 diabetes has become established, it can create havoc and lead to many complications that cannot be reversed. Moreover, diabetes is a very expensive disorder to take care off.

The simplest way to prevent type 2 diabetes is to reduce weight, exercise regularly, and eat healthy.

Contributed by Dr. Steven Bhimji, M.D.
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Deep Vein Thrombosis: More Common in Diabetics than Once Believed

Posted by on Jun 19, 2012 in News | 0 comments

Contributed by Dr. Steven Bhimji, M.D.

Diabetics can develop a variety of complications that include heart disease, poor circulation in the legs, kidney failure, stroke, and neuropathy. All these complications are related to poor control of blood sugars. Now a study shows that diabetics are also at high risk for development of blood clots in the legs (DVT).

DVT is a serious complication and can send life-threatening blood clots to the lung. With increased emphasis on other well-known diabetic complications, the risk of DVT in diabetics was previously ignored.

Now a study from Boston reveals that Deep Vein Thrombosis is in fact quite common in diabetics. The researchers observed that risk for DVT in diabetics include 1) acute infections, 2) heart failure, 3) long standing lung disease, 4) kidney failure, and 5) heart disease. Each one of these factors can lead to immobility in a diabetic and increase the risk of DVT. Moreover, it was also observed that often diabetic patients did not receive proper prophylaxis against DVT when in hospital.

The study highly recommends that doctors beware of DVT in diabetics because if missed the morbidity and mortality is very high.

For diabetics who want to prevent DVT, the simple answer is to remain mobile. If the blood circulation in the leg is not compromised, one may wear compression stockings. The use of aspirin like drugs should first be discussed with the doctor to ensure safety.

Contributed by Dr. Steven Bhimji, M.D.
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Can Bariatric Surgery Work for Obese Diabetics Patients?

Posted by on Jun 12, 2012 in News | 0 comments

In the last few years, there are some surgeons who have been advocating bariatric surgery for obese diabetics. The premise behind this idea is that obese diabetics who lose weight may be better able to control their diabetes and also avoid the long term complications of obesity.

There are many anecdotal reports about the effectiveness of bariatric surgery for obese diabetics. Unfortunately many of these reports are published by individual surgeons or manufacturers of equipment needed for the surgery.

As far as clinical trials regarding bariatric surgery in diabetics is concerned, there are not many randomized clinical trials. However, one recent study of note looked at 150 obese diabetic patients who underwent surgery and followed them for 12 months. Several types of surgical procedures were performed and compared to medical therapy.

The surgery resulted in no deaths. The most significant observations were that obese diabetic patients who underwent surgery had a drastic decrease in their diabetic medications; better control of blood glucose and the weight loss was significant. Serious complications were more common in obese diabetics who underwent gastric bypass.

This is the first study, which reveals gratifying results in obese diabetics. Because the researchers only followed patients for 1 year, it is not known if the weight loss and other benefits are sustained.

So, should all obese diabetics undergo bariatric surgery?

No. On the negative side, bariatric surgery is not a cheap undertaking and is fraught with serious complications. For patients who are seriously thinking about bariatric surgery, the foremost thing is to find a decent surgeon. If for any reason, the surgeon does not explain the potential complications of the surgery, it is important to seek a second opinion. Some of the complications that occur after bariatric surgery are worse than diabetes itself.

Contributed by Dr. Steven Bhimji, M.D.
Source: Bariatric surgery versus intensive medical therapy in obese patients with diabetes.
N Engl J Med.  2012; 366(17):1567-76
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