Archive for February, 2010

Lowering Blood Sugar Naturally- Sylvia’s Story

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Sylvia is a busy stay-at-home mother to three active boys. Although slim as a teenager, Sylvia has found that her weight has crept up since giving birth to her sons, and her busy lifestyle means that she doesn’t have as much time to devote to exercise as she would like. On a recent visit to her doctor, she was told that blood tests indicate that her fasting blood sugar is 120 and her HbA1c is 5.5. She was informed that these levels indicate that she is at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Sylvia is startled by this news. Several people in her family have diabetes, and she herself has had gestational diabetes with her last two pregnancies. Frantic to find some way to avoid the same fate as many of her family members, Sylvia begins to do some research into natural methods to lose weight and, in the process, lower her blood sugar levels.

In her research, Sylvia stumbles upon a product called PreCrea, an herbal product from plant-based sources that naturally promotes reduction in blood sugar levels and weight loss. She begins the twice-daily formulation and also begins exercising more regularly and watching her diet more carefully. Soon, her entire family is on board- they begin pursuing exercise as a family and planning their meals together. Sylvia is thrilled to discover that within six months she has shed the extra weight from pregnancy and, best of all, her doctor informs her that her blood sugar levels are now in the normal range.

If you would like to learn more about PreCrea, please visit

Lowering Cholesterol- John’s Story

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

John S. went for his yearly physical and was surprised to find out that his cholesterol was high. The doctor explained to John that high cholesterol was a risk factor for developing heart disease. John is also overweight and has borderline high blood pressure. The doctor counseled John that he needed to address these issues or risk having a heart attack or stroke someday, especially given the fact that his father and one brother had already suffered heart attacks at a relatively young age. John’s doctor wanted John to start taking Lipitor to combat his high cholesterol, but John was reluctant to use drugs and preferred to try natural methods first.

John began exercising and attempting to lose weight by watching his diet more carefully and including healthier food choices. A friend told him about PreLipid, an all-natural plant-based product that he had used successfully to lower his own cholesterol. John was a little skeptical but decided to try it for three months. He asked his doctor, who could think of no reason why John should not try it.

John returned to see his doctor in three months and was ecstatic to discover that not only had his cholesterol dropped 25 points, but his weight was down substantially. John’s doctor was astounded that John had been able to accomplish so much in so little time without the use of drugs. John continued to take PreLipid in combination with a healthy diet and exercise and his cholesterol is now within normal limits.

If you want to learn more about lowering your cholesterol using a proven natural product, please visit

Ankylosing Spondylitis: A Less Common Form of Arthritis

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Many people are well aware of arthritis and its symptoms, but may be less well informed about ankylosing spondylitis, a condition that causes inflammation in the joints of the spine and pelvis. The condition causes considerable pain and can lead to deformity. Ankylosing spondylitis can also cause inflammation in other parts of the body, including the eyes and intestines.

Ankylosing spondylitis often affects younger people, with onset of disease generally occurring from the late teens to 40 years of age; more males are affected than females. Heredity plays a role, with most affected individuals having the HLA-B27 gene, which increases susceptibility to the condition. Symptoms include:

  • Back pain and stiffness, often worse upon arising
  • Fatigue, weight loss, lack of appetite
  • Flares, where the disease becomes worse and then subsides somewhat
  • Pain in other joints, such as the knees, hips and shoulders
  • Eye inflammation
  • Breathing problems related to stiffness in the joints between the ribs and spine
  • Progressive deformity of the spine

Diagnosis is made by history, physical examination, imaging studies, and blood tests to detect inflammation. There is no cure for ankylosing spondylitis. Treatment is geared towards reducing inflammation, controlling pain and maintaining mobility.

Source: Ankylosing Spondylitis

Statins Increase Risk of Diabetes

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Research which included 90,000 subjects from 13 different studies has shown that there is an increased risk of developing diabetes in people who use statins to combat high cholesterol. Although the risk is low (a 9% increase in the four-year risk of developing the disease), researchers also looked at the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke and concluded that the benefits of taking statins outweigh the risk of developing diabetes. The risk of developing diabetes was highest in the studies that included older people. There was no difference in risk among the statins tested, which included Zocor, Crestor, Lipitor, Mevacor, and Pravachol.

The researchers concluded that physicians should be aware of this risk and, in addition to monitoring liver function and CK (creatinine kinase, which might indicate muscle damage if elevated), doctors should also check glucose levels periodically in their patients taking statins to reduce cholesterol. They also recommended that physicians should weigh the risk of developing diabetes in patients who have a lower risk of heart disease before prescribing statins. The study appears in The Lancet.

Pre-Lipid is an all-natural product designed to safely and effectively lower cholesterol using plant-based ingredients, without the side effects associated with the use of statins.

Source: Diabetes Risk of Statins Outweighed by Heart Benefit

HRT Early in Menopause Does Not Protect Against Heart Disease

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

The current guidelines for HRT (hormone replacement therapy) are that women take HRT for the shortest time and in the smallest dose possible to treat symptoms of menopause. Studies in the past suggested that taking HRT early on in menopause protected women from heart disease, but new data does not support this idea.

The Women’s Health Initiative was a huge study of 16,000 women, half of whom received HRT while the other half received placebos. The study was halted in 2002 when it was discovered that the women taking HRT had higher rates of blood clots, heart disease and breast cancer. It was this study that ignited the fierce debate about HRT therapy and its safety that has raged ever since.

Researchers recently turned their focus to the women in the study who began HRT early in menopause and discovered that there was a slight increase in risk of heart disease, although the numbers were not considered significant. The researchers debunked the theory that HRT taken early in menopause has a protective effect against heart disease. It should be noted that the women in the WHI study took higher doses of hormones than women typically use today.

Women should consider the risks and benefits of HRT and should discuss these factors with their personal physician. Many women are choosing to use lifestyle and natural remedies to cope with menopause symptoms.

PreMenora is a twice-daily all-natural formulation that decreases menopausal symptoms by 80% and provides immediate and long-term results. It is easily affordable and offers a safe alternative to HRT.

Source: Early HRT Doesn’t Reduce Heart Risk

What are NSAIDs?

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

NSAIDs are a class of drugs which inhibit prostaglandins. Prostoglandins are produced by cells in the body by the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX). Prostoglandins produce inflammation, fever and pain. They also protect the stomach from damaging acid and assist in platelet function. There are 2 COX enzymes:  COX-1 promotes platelet function and protects the delicate stomach, while COX-2 does not afford as much stomach protection. NSAIDs that block COX-1 are more likely to cause stomach bleeding.

NSAIDs are used to treat a variety of conditions, including fever, headache, injuries, menstrual cramps and arthritis. They can be very effective at reducing fever and pain; however, long-term use does not come without risk. NSAIDs can often cause gastrointestinal upset (nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, constipation, loss of appetite). In addition, prolonged use may lead to live damage, prolonged bleeding, ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding. They may also increase blood pressure in some individuals. People who take blood thinners, such as Coumadin (warfarin) should not take NSAIDs because of an increased risk of bleeding.

People with chronic conditions such as arthritis should be monitored by a physician if they are taking NSAIDs long-term to assess their risk for adverse events such as gastrointestinal bleeding and liver damage.

Source: Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

What You Need to Know About Statins

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Statins are drugs that help to lower cholesterol in humans. They work by lowering an enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase) in the liver, the end result of which is the increased clearance of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) in the blood. When taken regularly, they start to work in approximately one week, with peak effect seen in 4 to 6 weeks. Drugs in this class include Pravachol, Crestor and Lipitor, to name a few.

Statins are widely prescribed to people with high cholesterol to decrease their risk of heart attack and stroke. However, their use is not without risk. There are several side effects attributed to statins, including:

  • Muscle pain
  • Liver damage
  • Headache
  • GI upset (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)
  • Rash
  • Headache

By far, the most serious side effects of statins are liver damage and muscle pain, which may indicate rhabdomyolysis, a rare but deadly condition which results in muscle cell death and can lead to kidney failure. Persons who are taking statins should report muscle pain to their physician; as well, liver function should be assessed through blood tests periodically to ensure the liver is functioning normally.

Snow Shoveling Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Shoveling snow is one activity that is not for the faint of heart. Anyone older than the age of 50 who has heart disease and shovels snow may be at risk of suffering a heart attack. Studies have demonstrated that heart attack and sudden death rates increase following a blizzard.

Experts cite the following reasons why shoveling can be harmful to some. A shovel full of snow may weigh as much as 15 to 16 pounds. Men in good health who have been studied while shoveling snow are found to have equaled or surpassed the heart rates achieved through maximal exercise testing. Coupled with breathing cold air, which causes the heart’s blood vessels to constrict, this too-rapid heart rate can lead to a heart attack. In addition, people who are shoveling may not be aware that they are in trouble, as they are focused on the activity and not on related symptoms, such as shortness of breath or pain in the chest or jaw.

Anyone middle-aged or those with heart disease should not shovel snow, state experts. Instead, they encourage those at risk to find alternatives to shoveling the snow themselves, such as hiring a neighborhood teen to do the job.

Is Shoveling a Risk for Heart Attack? Yes

A Synopsis of the H1N1 Virus

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

For the past year, the H1N1 virus has snared headlines, as fears of unprecedented infection rates and deaths due to the vaccine caused global concern. In the first real assessment of the impact of the disease, the CDC has released figures for the outbreak thus far in the United States:

  • An estimated 57 million Americans have had the disease (this figure is mid-range and may be as high as 84 million)
  • An estimated 183,000 to 378,000 Americans were hospitalized because of the illness
  • An estimated 8,300 to 17,000 Americans may have died from H1N1
  • Approximately 19 million cases occurred in those under the age of 18
  • Approximately 33 million cases occurred in the age group 18 to 64
  • Approximately 5 million cases occurred in those older than 64 years of age
  • More  older people than children died from the illness; however, the age group hit hardest is the 18 to 64 year age group

Although the H1N1 flu would appear to be subsiding at the moment, the CDC urges caution and warns that upsurges in disease activity can still occur. At risk people, including those with lung disease, heart disease, and diabetes should still consider getting the vaccine if they have not already done so. The virus continues to cause illness, hospitalizations and death.

Source: 57 Million Americans Sickened by H1N1 Flu: CDC

Migraines and Heart Attacks Related?

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

People who suffer from migraines are almost twice as likely to suffer a heart attack, but the reason for the connection between the two is not clear, according to a new study appearing this month in Neurology online.

In one of the largest studies on the subject to date, 6,102 people with migraine and 5,243 without were compared; there was a 4.1% incidence of heart attack in the migraine group, versus 1.9% in the control group. In addition, it was discovered that those migraine sufferers who experienced aura were 3 times as likely to have a heart attack. Migraine sufferers were more likely to have risk factors for stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular disease, such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.

Researchers concluded that people who suffer migraines are at higher risk for heart attack for unknown reasons, and that these people need to be extra vigilant about controlling what risk factors they can. Controlling weight, cholesterol and blood pressure may be even more important for migraine sufferers than the general population. Migraine sufferers are more often young women, and their physicians should be aware of this link, intervening early to prevent heart disease and stroke.

Source: Migraine Linked to Increased Heart Attack Risk