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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Why do Diabetics get heart disease?

Below are parts of other people's recent take of the diabetes/heart disease/alzheimer's link and the CRP (C-reactive Protein) test results.  As you know, I've been saying for a while now...INFLAMMATION CAUSES ALL DISEASE!!!  And CRP tells you how much inflammation is going on.  I guess scientists need work, just like everyone else, but please don't wait for their future studies about why diabetics are getting heart disease and alzheimer's.  Start now reducing your chronic inflammation.  And if you have any pain, especially chronic, that's inflammation.  Take a look at my website ( for my booklet on inflammation is you want strategies for reducing your own! 

People with diabetes are at increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke at an early age. But that’s not the only worry: Diabetes appears to dramatically increase a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia later in life, according to a new study conducted in Japan.

In the study, which included more than 1,000 men and women over age 60, researchers found that people with diabetes were twice as likely as the other study participants to develop Alzheimer’s disease within 15 years. They were also 1.75 times more likely to develop dementia of any kind.

“It’s really important for the public health to understand that diabetes is a significant risk factor for all of these types of dementia,” says Rachel Whitmer, PhD, an epidemiologist in the research division of Kaiser Permanente Northern California, a nonprofit health-care organization based in Oakland, Calif.

Whitmer, who studies risk factors for Alzheimer’s but wasn’t involved in the new research, stresses that many questions remain about the link between diabetes and dementia. The new study was “well done” and provides “really good evidence that people with diabetes are at greater risk,” she says, “but we really need to look at other studies to find out why

There is more to the diabetic CRP story than heart disease. CRP correlates very highly with insulin resistance and measures of blood glucose control. A study at the Medical University of South Carolina published by ADA concluded that "the likelihood of elevated CRP concentrations increased with increasing HbA1c levels. (your long term blood sugar) These findings suggest an association between glycemic control and systemic inflammation in people with established diabetes."   (and you and me, too!)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Today's guest article: Social Proof

I teach marketing as well as issues of health and nutrition so this article by Bette Dowdell fits both bills and appeals to me.  I think to be healthy in this day and age is a challenge and takes some willingness to be pretty different in diet and many typical social situations.  Bette's contact info is at the end.

Social Proof

Social proof is a advertising concept based on the fact most people don’t like to be different. To get people to accept a new idea or product, you have to reassure them that anybody who’s anybody is climbing on board.

If would-be customers think you’re asking them to be different from others, they won’t buy.

For example, a few years ago I was asked to give the invocation at a Martin Luther King program. As the program went on, a group of Native Americans got up to introduce a tribal dance. To start the ball rolling, the leader asked me to join them. So up I got, joined the circle and started bobbing and weaving, proving right there in front of God and the whole world that I don’t have a drop of Native American blood in me. Fortunately, the whole point was about going beyond what separates us, so my lack of native dance skills worked well.

It obviously didn’t look like nearly as much fun as it was, though, because most people refused the leader’s invitation to join in. But he kept at it, and after a while another game soul accepted the invitation, then another, and another, until it became more a group thing than individual performances. The poor guy had to work almost the entire, very large room, but social proof finally arrived.

People who had previously refused to join our merry band realized they were being left out of the fun and all but ran to get into the quickly expanding circle. At that point, joining in became the popular thing to do, and they didn’t have to worry about getting funny looks for being different.

What in the world, you might be asking, does this have to do with health?

Right now, social proof aren’t us. Only a relatively small group of health-field natives talk about becoming our own health advocate. So most people, concerned about fitting in, still follow doctors, the media–any “authority figure” that makes them feel comfortable–and not responsible.

When things go south, and as one neighbor said to me, “It just gets to be patch, patch, patch,” they’re still part of the majority. The sick majority, but a majority none the less.

Those of us who take time to learn how to be healthy and do pretty much anything it takes (notice the allowance for an annual Snickers bar), are the oddballs.

And I salute you, fellow oddball. Yes, being different can get wearisome at times. And having people sneer at the decisions you make gets old really fast.

Well, I’ve been sick and heard people suggest I give in to “my lot in life.” Instead, I walked the road less traveled, made my health a priority and took responsibility for my decisions.

I may be an oddball, but now I’m a healthy oddball.

And here’s some good news. I talk to everybody, everywhere I go, usually about health, and people are more receptive than they used to be. Social proof is still a ways off, but we’re gaining ground.

Maybe we should start an “Odd Like Bette” club. We could wear buttons and figure out a secret handshake and stuff. Maybe that would take us over the top, into the land of social proof.

Or maybe not. No matter.

The important thing is that we take responsibility for our own health–no matter what others think. Living the best possible life is always better than following the crowd into the ditch.

Bette Dowdell