Medicine to Move You

If you have been following my “exhalation” s/p (that’s
medical-ese for ‘status post’ meaning ‘after’) attending the SIMPLE conference
in Albuquerque recently, get ready for some more juicy information.  Remembering that this was a conference
designed to unite and educate Integrative Medicine physicians nationwide, I
will be sharing some quick facts or statistics about varied topics.  I will likely expound on them in future
posts, but at this time, I want to purge some good data and let it ignite your
search engine workouts for those topics that interest you.  So here it goes:

Many deaths from cancer are preventable by maintaining a healthy
body weight.  If you are lean, meaning
you have a low and healthy body fat percentage for your age, you can decrease
your risk of dying from several cancers. 
For example, 17% of breast cancer deaths are directly linked to
obesity.  That means almost one out of
every 5 women who die from breast cancer can be saved with attention to
lifestyle!  Even more astounding, 50% of
endometrial (lining of the uterus) cancer deaths are preventable with optimal
body composition.  The last one,
pancreatic cancer, is one that is universally known in the medical community
for a terrible prognosis.  Studies show
that 28% of pancreatic cancer deaths are related to obesity.  Take home tip:  Cancer is terrible enough.  Take as much control of it as you can.  Get lean to improve your odds.  Being lean, not only prevents cancer, but can
help your odds if you are ever diagnosed with some of them in the future.

Dr. Donald Abrams, Integrative Oncologist at the University
of California San Franscisco, enjoys exploring and analyzing the integrative
research to find additional options (AKA hope) for cancer patients.  One simple recommendation (simple to understand,
a little more complex to implement)- avoid sugar and red meat.   Sugar and red meat feed cancer by increasing
inflammation levels in your body. 
Actually, the more I understand integrative medicine, it seems that
sugar and red meat worsen most of the diseases that afflict American adults
today.  If you cannot remove it from your
diet, at least make motions to reduce it and be sure to substitute it with
healthier choices.  For options, go to and take a glance at his
anti-inflammatory food pyramid. 

Staying on this sweet subject, eating low glycemic index
foods (ones that do not raise your blood sugar to unsafe levels) has been shown
to reduce symptoms related to ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder).  Dr. Sandy Newmark is a
leading Integrative Pediatrician and has found, through his years of caring for
these kids, that high glycemic foods trigger worsening symptoms.  As a mother and family doctor, I can easily
see this in action in most children,
not just those with attention issues.  (Just this weekend, my daughter enjoyed 3
glasses of high fructose corn syrup-saturated lemonade with a friend during a
garage sale entrepreneurial venture.  My
sparkling, positive daughter turned into an emotionally sensitive creature for the
rest of the day and most of the next, crying and fighting over things that she
normally would brush off with ease.  No
HFCS for me and my family!)  In his book ADHD
Without Drugs
, Dr. Newmark walks you through the amazing transformation of
Appleton Central Alternative High School. 
This ‘at-risk’ school improved the nutritional content of its school
breakfast and lunch menu and witnessed dramatic behavioral changes such as
“zero weapons on campus, zero expulsions from the school, zero premature deaths
or suicides, zero drugs or alcohol on campus. 
Those are major statistics.”

That’s it for me tonight. 
I am working on getting back to Eastern Standard Time with my sleeping
habits as all Integrative Medicine docs know the value of good sleep.  Wish me luck! 
(By the way, one more tip.  Low
dose melatonin has been shown to help jet-lagged travelers get back to their
original sleep patterns.)


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