When it comes to living into our golden years, I have become more present to a concept I have fondly coined functional fitness for the woman over fifty. No doubt that it is a broad age range, but I like to think that fifty is a good starting point.
What is functional fitness?
I describe functional fitness as the ability to be able to perform activities that require some form of movement. If you are still working being able to perform your job duties with little to no impairment.
Examples of being functionally fit would include:
Being able to carry your grocery bags home
Being able to get up from the floor unassisted
Carrying out your daily chores at home such as bathing, cleaning with little to no assistance
Going up and down a flight of stairs without feeling tired
Watch the video below for more on the importance of functional fitness for the female over fifty:
Recently, I made a decision to curate a series of old blog posts that relate to topics that have a common thread so that people who are new to this site do not have to go digging through several years of content to find relevant information.
On a personal level, the blog series will also help clients who join our group coaching programs access relevant information.
Well, it’s almost the end of the year, and if you have not already, it’s time to schedule an annual health maintenance examination with your healthcare provider. If you have done that already, bravo.
If you happen to be reading this in the United States, this is also a time called ‘open enrollment’ which is a time to choose a new insurance plan for the next year. There are a lot of decisions that go into the process.
Blog post 1– Most insurance plans require that you have a primary care physician. And even if this is not a requirement, I highly recommend you have a primary care physician. Primary care physicians are specialists in either pediatrics (for children and young adults up to 18), family practice, and internal medicine.
Whom you select as your healthcare provider can have an impact on your overall health and wellbeing. You should feel comfortable sharing your health concerns with your primary healthcare provider. You should also have confidence that they have your best interests at heart and are prepared to be your advocate when it comes to issues related to your overall health and wellbeing. Sometimes that may mean telling you stuff you may not want to hear, but in the long run, it will be beneficial to your overall health and wellbeing. In this post, I share some tips on how to select a healthcare provider.
Blog post 2- It’s time for that scheduled office visit to see your healthcare provider. It is important to make the most use of your visit. This starts from the time you enter the office and interact with the front desk staff to the time you are taken into the private examining room and see your healthcare provider. Here are ten things to make the most of your visit with your healthcare provider.
Blog post 3- For those living with type 2 diabetes, office visits with their healthcare provider is an important aspect of their overall care. Regrettably in our current healthcare environment, these office visits are few and far between and shortened to about 7.5 minutes because of the ‘double booked’ feature that is built into some scheduling systems. In this blog post, I share tips on how to make the most of your visit to your healthcare provider.
Blog post 4– There has been some talk about the ‘futility of the annual physical’ and I tend to disagree with that concept. When I encounter resistance from patients about the need for an annual physical, I playfully ask if they would drive their cars for an entire year without changing the oil? If the answer is no (I hope that is the answer you would give) then why would you not get an annual health maintenance check? Besides most insurance plans will cover an annual health maintenance exam at little or no cost. Inthis final article, I share my personal thoughts about whether you need an annual physical.
It comes as no surprise that one of the first questions someone newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes asks is “What am I supposed to eat?”.
Let’s face it you’ve probably heard over and over again that type 2 diabetes is a ‘disease of lifestyle’. And lifestyle commonly involves food. When it comes to the food choices we make there is a lot of emotional charge attached to that. For some, it may be the way that they have eaten since they were children and this is the only way they know how to eat. Food is a connecting force between us.
So, a common answer someone diagnosed with type 2 diabetes may receive about what to eat from their healthcare provider may sound something along the lines of ‘eat healthy portion sizes, increase fruits and vegetables, cut down on processed foods’. And all these answers are great recommendations.
You’d think it seems pretty easy right to go out there and, ‘eat healthy portions, increase your fruits and vegetables, and cut down on processed foods’. But we know that’s not really what happens.
A lot of people struggle with food choices. Perhaps that’s why we have such a growing epidemic of borderline diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Over the course of my 20 plus years as a physician, I have encountered some really strange interpretations of what a ‘healthy diabetic diet’ means to different people. Let’s face it, the amount of information out there on the internet does not help either.
So when I address the topic of what to eat with anyone diagnosed with type 2 diabetes I start by helping them to normalize their experience. Take a deep breath. This is not a punishment for what you have done wrong. And yes, you can make a choice starting today to do things differently.
My invitation is to consider that diabetes eating is healthy eating.
I intend to give a TED talk with that title because it’s something I passionately believe. If everyone diagnosed with type 2 diabetes looked at this as a way their body was inviting them to eat healthier we wouldn’t have people walking around feeling victimized.
The great news is that by making these changes to how you eat, it is possible to halt the progression of borderline diabetes, type 2 diabetes and worsening metabolic health.
Change can be stressful. So I often start by advising you takesimple small steps.
This will help bypass the gargantuan alarm signals to your primitive brain- the amygdala which ends up keeping you from making any change smack in the middle of your comfort zone.
So back to the question -where do you start?
The Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet is a great starting point when it comes to making some healthy changes to what you eat. The traditional mediterranean diet attracted interest because people who were living on the Greek Island of Crete had less heart disease.
What makes up the Mediterranean diet
fruits and vegetables
extra virgin olive oil
modest amounts of poultry, red meat and fish
legumes (beans, peas etc)
The Mediterranean diet has been extensively researched. Over 50 studies have shown that by eating this way there is an improvement in overall metabolic health parameters- reduced waist circumference, improvement in lipid profile, blood pressure, weight and blood sugar levels.
Perhaps you want to go a step further and you want to develop an empowered relationship to food.
Food can be used as a powerful tool, to bring about healing. In functional medicine, we call this functional nutrition.
There are several food plans used in functional medicine, each targeting different results.
The cardiometabolic food plan is a step above the Mediterranean diet.
Features of the cardiometabolic food plan
low glycemic foods
personalized targeted calories
helps to balance blood sugars
high in fiber
low amount of simple sugars
a healthy balance of quality fats
One of the exciting aspects of the THRIVE group coaching program, will be working with clients on creating a personalized cardiometabolic food plan designed to optimize their metabolic health.
If you would like more information about joining the program, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In my last blog post, I shared one of the common questions I get from patients when they are first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, “How did I get diabetes?”.
One of the reasons I became so passionate about teaching patients and clients to live healthy lives with type 2 diabetes was because of the reaction I got when I told a patient they had type 2 diabetes.
Naturally, a lot of my patients expressed their dismay. However, what I noticed was some people instantly focused on the complications they could get from diabetes, instead of how they could go on living healthy lives. I realized this may have been because this was the only side of diabetes they had ever seen. Perhaps it those people with the complications had been their friends, colleagues, relatives, people in their community etc.
And so, I made it my mission to create a shift in the beliefs people had around being diagnosed with diabetes. With time, I found that I was able to engaged my patients in focusing on how to live healthy lives.
I was excited to see this. I also realized I was sharing the same kind of information that was getting my patients motivated.
Maybe you are like one of my patients and your healthcare provider has just diagnosed you with type 2 diabetes and sent you on your way. You are feeling overwhelmed and you have no idea where to start.
Here are some steps you can take:
Step 1- Normalize your emotions
Yes, it’s important to not let your emotions run wild. Being diagnosed with diabetes or any other chronic illness can be a life altering experience. But you do not need to let it overwhelm you. First, take a step back and deal with the overwhelm. In an earlier blog article, I went into detail about how to deal with overwhelm so that it does not become overpowering. Click here to read the full article.
Step 2- Focus on the ABCs
Once we get over the shock of a life– altering diagnosis, most of us want to try to want to fix it right away. In other words, we want to get straight into action. But if we want to be successful, we need to focus on what I call the ABCs of living with any chronic illness.
The ABCs is an acronym which stands for
Commitment to change.
It is important that you are aware of your ABCs before you
start to get into action.
Do you accept that you have type 2 diabetes? I mean face
on? Do you know have limiting beliefs
around living with a chronic illness such as type 2 diabetes? Are you like a
lot of my patients who instantly went from diagnosis to complications? Perhaps
you know you need to make changes, but do you know there are several stages of
change? Do you know what stage of change you are and what you need to do to
Click on this link to download for FREE, the first three chapters of my award-winning book.
Step 3- Focus on taking simple small steps
You’ve gotten past the initial shock and overwhelm. You’re familiar with your ABCs and the role they will play as you set out to make healthy lifestyle choices. Now you’re going to get into action. There’s one thing you need to be aware of though. We are creatures of habit. And if we try to offset the status quo, this new change sends an alarm signal to an area in the brain called the amygdala.
The amygdala is part of our primitive brain. That’s the part of the brain that is not involved in intellectual functions such as language formation, creativity or thinking. The primitive brain functions on actions related to the survival of our species and dates back to pre-historic time. The amygdala can get stimulated by fear. So, when we decide we are going to make HUGE changes, the amygdala gets triggered and it makes us stop that new thing and go back to what is familiar.
Think about a time you’ve made a major decision that involved some change. Was it easy? Or did you have a feeling of uncertainty and found yourself going back and forth about whether or not to proceed with the change? That was probably your amygdala getting fired off.
The same thing when it comes to making changes to your lifestyle when living with diabetes. You do not want to make too many changes all at once.
Start with simple small changes that are barely noticeable.
Work with someone in your support or buddy system. Create a list of say three simple things you would like to change. Notice the small number we started with.
For example, rather than say you are going to cut out all
soda drinks immediately, how about working on decreasing the amount of soda you
drink by say one serving every 1-3 days?
If you are not accustomed to exercise, start by for example
walking for only 5 minutes. And that may also mean walking in place.
Now the great thing about simple small steps is you can
build on your success. In time you’ll look back and realize you have taken
Step 4- Build in accountability team
Being held accountable for the changes you commit to helps
to create results. Remember that in order to THRIVE with type 2 diabetes or any
other chronic illness, over time you are going to do a lot of things differently.
The reality is that it’s not always going to be smooth sailing. We may
encounter bumps on the road that may challenge our resolve and even our belief
in ourselves. Building in an
accountability team can help keep you on track.
Your team does not have to be complicated. But the members of your team must be people willing to support you in making those lifestyle changes.
For instance, you could have an accountability partner you check in with to make sure you have reached your weekly exercise and movement goals. Another one who helps you make sure you’re planning your meals. Another who helps you track your blood sugars etc.
Your accountability team needs to fit your needs.
Step 5- Consider joining a group coaching program
I believe that there is a lot of power in groups. Groups bring
people who have things in common together and helps them move forward toward a
common goal. Groups help people to produce powerful results.
By joining a group coaching program, you will not only be held accountable, but you will also get to work through different aspects of diabetes care. Group coaching programs will help you become more empowered around the choices you make.
If you have ever wondered about how a diabetes group could help you, I invite you to join my THRIVE group coaching program.
To get started, simply send me an email at email@example.com and we will be glad to send you a link to schedule a FREE no-obligation 20 minute consultation which will help us determine if this is a fit for you.
Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can be a very overwhelming experience. Naturally, those newly diagnosed may have a lot of questions. But one of the most common questions I get asked is ‘how did I get diabetes?’
A lot number of people may not have a full understanding of how certain factors as well as lifestyle can put them at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
In a recent post -summit survey I performed, several participants responded they wanted to learn more about type 2 diabetes.
For those people who do not have diabetes, this information is still beneficial. It will help you to know what your risk and begin now to make healthy lifestyle changes.
Insulin and the pancreas
The pancreas is
an organ located in the abdomen. It produces a hormone called insulin. Insulin
helps the cells in the body to use sugar as energy.
In type 2 diabetes, the cells of the body begin to resist the effects of insulin. This condition is called Insulin Resistance.
I like to use the
metaphor of a landlord who changes the locks to the house on his tenant.
In this metaphor, the tenant is blood sugar. Insulin controls the lock to the house. With insulin resistance, the tenant cannot open the lock, with the insulin.
Insulin resistance is usually present in the body at least five years before type 2 diabetes is diagnosed.
Who is at risk of
developing type 2 diabetes?
Here are some of the things you should know that increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes:
Family History: A big reason why people develop diabetes is genetic. If you have a first degree relative with diabetes, like a parent, sister, brother, then your chance of getting diabetes goes up five to ten times. So it is crucial to know your family history.
Ethnic Groups: Type 2 diabetes is common in certain races such as African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans. So just by being of a certain race puts you at an increased risk.
Pregnancy: 3-5% of pregnant women can develop diabetes in pregnancy, also known as gestational diabetes. The difference is that once the baby is born, diabetes goes away.
If you had diabetes while you were pregnant, you are at risk of developing diabetes later on in life. Make sure that after your pregnancy, you have regular medical check-ups. Your healthcare provider will need to monitor your blood sugars closely.
Environmental Toxins: Environmental toxins which can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes have been coined diabetogens. Exposure to toxins such as pesticides, arsenic, as well as ambient air pollution, to name a few, can all increase the risk of type 2 diabetes through several mechanisms.
Ongoing exposure to the toxin load increases our risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Medications: Some medications can cause diabetes. Usually, this happens to people who were already at risk for developing diabetes.
One of the common drugs that can cause diabetes is steroids. Steroids are used to treat many medical conditions such as transplant patients, chronic lung disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases to name a few.
According to the National Kidney Foundation up to 20% of patients after a kidney transplant may develop diabetes.
There are some
other commonly used medications which can elevate blood sugars.
Statin medications -used to treat high cholesterol.
When it comes to healthy blood sugar control, the A1C is a
vital measuring tool. A1c is the short name for glycosylated hemoglobin. Now,
this may sound like a mouthful. It is abbreviated to the A1C to make it easier
The A1c calculated as a percentage point. Blood glucose
attaches to the proteins in the red blood cells. The A1C measures the amount of
sugars attached to the red blood cells. This is a normal process that occurs in
both people with diabetes as well as non-diabetics.
The average red blood cell last about 120 days, the A1c can measure the blood sugar levels over the prior 6- 8 weeks.
When it comes to managing Type 2 diabetes, the A1c can is
used in two ways:
To diagnose Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes:
An A1c over 6.5% on at least two separate occasions confirms a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes mellitus
An A1c between 5.7- 6.4% on at least two different times is indicative of pre-diabetes
An A1c of less than 5.7% is normal
The A1c can also be used to measure blood sugar control:
The A1c is commonly used to monitor overall blood sugar control. It is important to know what your A1c is. I cannot tell you how many times I have been taken aback by patients who have no idea what their A1c is.
If you are on a mission to THRIVE despite being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, you need to not only knowing what your A1c but also getting it under control.
What should be the target A1c in someone living with Type 2 diabetes?
About 20 years ago, there was a landmark study on people with Type 1 diabetes. The research found that when diabetes was detected early and blood sugars well controlled, this helped to reduce the complications associated with type 2 diabetes.
To learn more about the complications associated with type 2 diabetes, and other information, you can download this free e-book, which is the first three chapters of my award-winning book.
According to recommendations by the American Diabetes Association, the target goal for A1c should be less than 7.0%. An A1C of less than 7% correlates with sugars on average less than 140 mg/dl.
For every percentage above 7%, the blood sugars go up about 30 mg/dL. The higher the A1c, the higher the blood sugars. The higher the blood sugars, the greater the risk of complications.
So the goal for most people is to keep the A1c less than 7%
Now there may be some caveats to these recommendations-
For instance, if you over 80 years of age, then tighter blood sugar control may not be a reasonable goal. So have a discussion with your healthcare provider about what a reasonable goal should be at that point. Perhaps an A1c between 7-8% may be a more reasonable goal.
What are some factors that may affect getting the A1c to goal?
For some suggestions on how to achieve healthy blood sugars, I recently put together a mini-course series which is a collation of prior blog articles on just that topic. To learn more click here.
In summary, the A1c is a percentage measure of the amount of blood glucose that is attached to the red blood cells. The less the blood glucose attached to the red blood cells, the better the A1c. So we need to focus on what we need to do to achieve healthy blood sugars.
I recall when I first started hearing the buzz around going “keto” “ketogenic” ketolife” I was very skeptical. With the roll of my eyes I dismissed it as a soon to be done fad that would blow over. But it didn’t.
After my community talks, I’d have a few people stop by and ask my thoughts on going “keto”. Again, my response would be I thought it was just another fad and would pass away. And oh by the way if you happened to be someone living with type 2 diabetes, this probably was not for you!
How wrong I was on both counts especially the latter.
Well you know the saying “what you resist persists”? Keto has persisted. And now it’s becoming
The ketogenic diet was developed almost a 100 years ago- in the 1920s- by a faith healer who was trying to help children with epilepsy. There was some success with this diet intevention at the time. However, when drugs were developed for the treatment of epilepsy it fell out of favor.
How does the ketogenic diet work?
The ketogenic diet works by converting the body’s source of predominant fuel from carbohydrates to fats which are the source of ketone bodies predominantly beta hydroxybutyrate. This leads to an increase in the production of energy source -ATP.
The ketogenic diet is now being used to treat a host of diseases and conditions. In the article below I list some of the benefits of a ketogenic diet.
Improved insulin resistance and reduced inflammation
By utilizing fats as a source of fuel versus carbohydrates there is less need for insulin. This leads to less insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the hallmark of type 2 diabetes. There is research showing the benefits of a ketogenic diet to reverse pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance is also associated with more inflammation because of an increase in free radical production. Inflammation is linked to a host of chronic diseases such as auto-immune diseases, arthritis, thyroid disease, bowel disorders, mental and cognitive decline (type 3 diabetes). Less insulin resistance=less inflammation, which allows the body to heal.
Improved Fat Burning leading to weight loss By definition, being in a state of ketosis means you’re burning fat for energy. If you have excess body fat, you’ll be able to burn it at a much more efficient rate. This trend can lead to weight loss. The advantage of using fat as fuel, is that you do not have as much hunger cravings as when you are using carbohydrates as a main source of fuel.
Mood stabilizing effects A ketogenic diet changes the energy matrix of the body. In the brain, a ketogenic diet helps to modulate mood by not only a reduction in inflammation but also changes in monoamine oxidase levels, GABA transmission, as well as mitochondrial biogenesis.
Improved Energy Increased energy from a ketogenic lifestyle is due to a combination of factors including less inflammation, upregulation of mitochondrial biogenesis, more ATP per molecule of ketone and more stable blood sugar.
Improved Mitochondrial Biogenesis &Anti-aging Our bodies are trained to use glucose (sugar) as a natural source of energy. Our mitochondria are the energy powerhouse of our bodies. With aging, we tend to have less efficient mitochondria. The ketogenic diet helps to stimulate new and stronger mitochondria. Because mitochondria have such a profound impact on energy production, inflammation levels and gene expression (and therefore an overall function of the body), promoting mitochondrial health can be of great benefit when it comes to anti-aging.
How do you know you’re in ketosis?
There are a number of kits on the market which can help you to detect when you are in ketosis. Kits that measure blood levels are more accurate than urine test strips.
How do you know if keto is right for you?
Despite it’s popularity a ketogenic diet may not be safe
for everyone. Despite a plethora of websites offering do it yourself keto plans
and diets, I highly recommend that you invest in working closely with a
qualified healthcare professional who is well versed on what to look out for if
you have any of the following conditions:
decline such as alzheimer’s type dementia
snps such as ApoE4
The next thing to consider is – how long do you need to be on a ketogenic diet?
The reality is that maintaining ketosis for prolonged periods of time can be a challenge for most.
In summary, a ketogenic diet can be a useful tool for helping to improve metabolic health. Be sure to use it under the supervision of a qualified healthcare practitioner who will be able to customize it to your unique goals as well as determine a safe duration of therapy.
Welcome to the second installment of the ‘blog post series’. Whether you are a new subscriber or just happened to stumble on this site through a google search or a referral, the blog post series is a collation of 3-4 prior posts that not only have a common theme but also provide the reader with some very important information.
I have found this to be quite useful when I have to refer clients or people asking me questions about common topics.
Blog post 1
It is not uncommon after the age of 50 to develop a low acting thyroid. At times some of the symptoms a woman may be experiencing may be easily confused with menopausal symptoms and rightfully so. In this blog post, I provide you with information in an easy to understand format about the symptoms of thyroid disease What every woman needs to know about thyroid disease.
Blog post 2
Currently, the leading cause of liver failure and the need for liver transplant is not alcohol abuse, but a condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This article highlights what you need to know about NAFLD including common things that can place you at risk of developing this condition. I highly recommend that if you have ever been informed in the past by a healthcare provider that you have ‘fat in your liver’ that you take this information very seriously.
Blog post 3
We speak figuratively of how something broke our heart. But do you know that stress can literally lead to a form of heart failure and that women are at an increased risk? This article in the series highlights the impact of stress on a woman’s heart.
Blog post 4
One of the leading causes of infertility in women is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It is closely linked to metabolic syndrome. By working closely with a functional healthcare provider, this condition is reversible.
I trust that this will provide a useful resource to reference articles on this blog.
As always I welcome your comments, questions or suggestions.
Imagine this, you’re a woman and you’re about to hit or you’re just a little past “the big Five-O”.
Perhaps you’ve raised the kids. You’ve reached the pinnacle of your career. You may have launched that successful business. Or you’re in that sandwich generation- a caretaker for your elderly parents plus raising kids. Whatever the scenario, you’re at a reflective stage in your life and perhaps even in the process of setting new life goals.
And then BOOM! Suddenly something just doesn’t seem quite right? You start going through mood swings, just can’t seem to get control of those “hot flashes”. Hair seems to be growing (or not growing) in the most inconvenient places. And let’s not talk about the sex (what’s that I hear you say?!)
Or maybe, just maybe you go to the doctor and you’re diagnosed with a dreaded chronic illness……
This, cannot be happening to you…..
Currently there are 4 out of 10 Americans living with at least one chronic illness. Some examples of a chronic illness are type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, thyroid disease, auto-immune diseases, arthritis, or cancer, to name but a few.
In my experience as an allopathic physician, it seems that living with a chronic illness seems to suck the very life out of their sufferers. I see it all the time and maybe you have also. People who seem to spend a great amount of time going from one doctor’s appointment to the next, taking medications, some of which cause side effects and all the while really not feeling any better.
Is that a way to live? Do you dread any of these scenarios happening to you?
For some people over 50 this is their reality. But it does not necessarily have to be yours.
My premise is that you can make a conscious choice to THRIVE in your golden years. And it has been proven over and over again. In my over 20 years as an internal medicine physician I have treated healthy and vibrant nonagenarians (people in their 90s) and even centenarians.
Even if you have been diagnosed with a chronic illness, you can still THRIVE into your golden years.
recently had the pleasure of taking care of a 103-year-old woman who
still cleaned her 8 room house every single day, and until a year ago
was still gardening!
I dare to state boldly, that being diagnosed with a chronic illness should serve as an invitation to become deeply acquainted with yourself, and to let your body become your Divine Teacher ….
Even though I am trained as an allopathic physician, this healthcare model has not done such a great job of helping us manage or prevent chronic disease.
So, with that
in mind, I decided I was going to mastermind with other experts in the
functional health arena. I sent out an invitation and was I amazed at
A lot of our experts have defied a chronic illness and have used functional and integrative ways to heal themselves.
-And yes! The ability to THRIVE well into your golden years
What’s more, you’d be setting an example for your family to follow. And this would become a ripple effect of good health affecting our communities, towns, countries and literally going around the planet! One small change at a time. We indeed are a global village.
Well, you can access all this information from the convenience of your home. And the great news is it is completely FREE!
A lot of times, I come across patients who have to use insulin and aren’t quite sure whether they have Type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
I hope to be able to clarify the difference between the two, especially in an adult.
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is commonly called ‘juvenile onset diabetes.’ Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in young children, often under the age of 5 years. Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease. An auto-immune disease is when the body forms antibodies against itself.
In the case of type 1 diabetes, the body develops antibodies against the cells in the pancreas responsible for producing insulin. These are called the beta cells. When the beta cells are attacked and destroyed, the result is a rise in blood sugars. Someone with type 1 diabetes requires insulin.
During community talks as well and media appearances, I take the time to emphasize the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
It is fairly common for people to flippantly state that “Diabetes is a disease of lifestyle” without differentiating between the two.
Type 1 diabetes is not a disease of lifestyle.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is different. It is not caused by a lack of insulin; instead, it is caused by a condition called insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, the cells of the body do not respond to insulin efficiently. In my book, I compare insulin resistance to the landlord changing the locks on the door to your apartment so that the key no longer works. The beta cells have to put out more insulin to overcome the resistant cells.
When someone with type 2 diabetes starts using insulin, does that mean they now have type 1 diabetes?
No. It is possible that with the ‘natural progression’ of type 2 diabetes, some people may need to start using insulin. They may also have a condition called late auto-immune diabetes of adulthood (LADA).
Individuals with LADA have a slower progression toward needing insulin than someone with type 1 diabetes.
There are also other scenarios where someone newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes needs to be started on insulin right away. This still does not make them a type 1 diabetic.
What can happen with type 2 diabetes is that with time, the beta cells (the cells that produce insulin in the pancreas) may begin to degenerate and so cannot keep up with the production of insulin. It may be necessary to start insulin to keep blood glucose levels within the normal range and reduce the complications of diabetes.
How can you tell the difference between LADA, and Type 2 diabetes?
There are several blood tests that your healthcare provider can perform to help tell the difference between LADA and type 2 diabetes. This is particularly important as the treatments are different.
So it’s important to be pro-active when it comes to your overall health and wellbeing. Do not be afraid to ask questions.
I’ll be sharing more details in my upcoming online course, “What your doctor does not tell you about type 2 diabetes’. For more information about Type 2 diabetes, you can download a free copy of the first three chapters of my award-winning book, “Dr. Eno’s A-to-Z Guide to Thriving with Type 2 Diabetes”, by clicking here.
Whether you have been following this blog for several years, or like most people you are a new subscriber, or simply just stumbled upon this site during a google search, with time there comes a challenge. The content becomes buried beneath newer content and sometimes older content is still very relevant.
I found this challenge to be an issue a couple of weeks ago as I started working with a new client on reversing his metabolic syndrome. As he fervently searched the internet or discovered some new information about his blood sugars he would send me a message.
And most times, I’d respond with a link to a blog post I had published in the past. This got me thinking if I simply sent my client to my blog how was he to know how to navigate the wealth of information contained here?
Introducing the Mini-course series
And so I have decided once a month to create a post series that highlight a short collection of blog posts that share a similar theme.
The first of this series is about healthy blood sugar control. This series consists of four blog posts designed so you can get through them easily.
You can also save these posts and refer to them in the future.
Blog post 1– Diabetes is not only about blood sugars. The ABCs of knowing your diabetes numbers- In this article, you will gain a basic understanding of what the different blood tests important to know as it relates to reducing complications and achieving healthy control of type 2 diabetes.
Blog post 2– When it comes to healthy blood sugar control, one experience any person living with Type 2 diabetes may run into is the lousy feeling they begin to experience even when their blood sugars begin to drop into the normal range. In this article, I share how to bring blood sugars down without feeling that way.
Blog post 3- Another challenge for even the seasoned individual living with Type 2 diabetes may be how to check blood sugars several times a day in order to get a better idea of “sugar spikes”. Are they first thing in the morning? Late at night? Or after a meal? This article shares ways to check your blood sugars once a day whilst still providing vital information.
Please note- this strategy should not be used if you are on insulin and have to inject several times a day.
Blog post 4- The final article in the series relates to how to reduce low blood sugar complications. Hypoglycemia is dangerous complication and should be avoided as best as possible.
I would love to read your feedback about how you’ve enjoyed the article mini-series. Also, please send me suggestions about some topics you would like to learn more about.
You can also download a free copy of my e-book which highlights the first three chapters of my award-winning book, “Dr. Eno’s A-to-Z Guide to Thriving with Type 2 Diabetes” by clicking here.
Finally, it looks like winter 2018 is finally behind us. For those of us in the Midwest, we had one last ‘winter storm’ this past Sunday. Hello Spring! With that in mind, we’re at the end of the first quarter of the year. If you are like most people, perhaps at the beginning of the year, you set some New Year resolutions. Yet we know that by the beginning of Spring, more than 70% of resolutions have been broken.
Springtime is the perfect time to take stock of what you have achieved thus far this year.
First of all, it is never too late to press the reset button and revisit your resolutions. That’s because the word “resolution” goes way beyond just New Year.
I looked up the dictionary definition of resolution. It says ‘a firm decision to do or not to do something.’
Let’s take a look at the first part of that statement- a firm decision.
When you’ve made a resolution in the past, be it a New Year resolution or not, was it really a firm decision? Or just on a whim at the end of the year holiday office party? Perhaps you said it because you believed it at the time.
If making a New Year resolution is indeed a firm decision for most people, then why do 70% of resolutions fail by the beginning of spring?
Why do we have such poor results if we are really trying to to make lasting change in our lives?
Do we like to see ourselves fail? Or do we keep making resolutions because somehow we feel inside ourselves that we are destined to succeed?
Having trained as a professional life coach, I believe in the possibility for all people.
I think that we make resolutions because we are drawn to want more in our lives. We are intrinsically wired to be creative
I also feel that that perhaps we need a different set of tools to create those results we say we want in our lives.
Setting Goals as a Tool:
One of the more important coaching tools is the SMART system.
One of the empowering tools when it comes to achieving results is the way we set goals.
A SMART goal is an acronym that stands for
• Specific • Measurable • Achievable • Results in • Time
You’ve probably heard this before. So let’s say your goal is to do a 5K walk/run this year. You’ve not even gotten off your couch but you feel you want to set this goal.
And now you want to use the SMART goal system to gauge the likelihood that you will succeed.
Here’s an example of what a SMART weight loss goal would look like:
Is your goal to walk a 5K (3.1 miles) specific? –yes it’s precisely 3.1 miles or a 5K
Is your goal to walk a 5K (3.1 miles) measurable?- yes the course will be outlined with distance markers
Is your goal to walk a 5K (3.1 miles) achievable?– yes thousands of people have achieved this goal before, so can you.
When you walk 5K (3.1 miles) will you see the results?- yes, you will gain results from the moment you start training until you cross the finish line at the race.
Do you have a set time to achieve these results?– yes you can choose to run/walk this race in the fall which gives you plenty of time to train.
Write down your goals
Let’s get back to goal setting as part of making a firm decision to do something. You now know to make sure that you have a SMART goal.
The next step is to write down your goals.
More than 80% of people who write down their goals succeed at them.
Commit to having your goals in a visible place and reading them every day. In fact, Napoleon Hill in his famous book, ‘Think and Grow Rich’ wrote about reading your goals out aloud to yourself twice a day- once in the morning and once at night.
Remember that goal setting goes beyond the intellectual exercise. You are priming your subconscious mind to work with you when reading out a goal.
If you want to get a different result, then get an accountability partner.
Another reason people fail at their resolutions is that they do not hold themselves accountable. Change is not easy. A lot of times we need to have an accountability partner to help us keep going along the path of transformation.
That’s precisely why when we make those resolutions, and when the rubber hits the road, we falter and find a reason why we really can’t reach those goals.
Then you become discouraged or even doubt why you made that decision in the first place. Perhaps you’ve been trying to lose weight like I have and the scale just doesn’t seem to be tipping in the right direction or as fast as you want it to. 🙁
This is when you need an impartial accountability partner, such as a coach. A coach is someone who can call you on your stuff and who is not biased. They have no agenda. An accountability partner or a coach should be willing to be that stand for you in those times when you say to yourself perhaps this was not such a great idea after all. That’s the power of a coach.
It’s often said that if you are up to great things in your life, then you need a life coach.
I agree with that. Not merely because I am also trained as a life coach, but because I see the power that coaching has to create a change by empowering people to see much more than what they see for themselves.
So as we embrace the upcoming warmer months of Spring into summer, here are some questions that I have for you:
• Are you tired of doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result? • When it comes to your health and overall wellbeing are you up to making 2019 a breakthrough year for you? • Would you like to play a different game than just making a New Year resolution? • If you knew you could not fail what dream goal would you like to see manifest in the next 12 months?
Now you may be wondering what all this has to do with managing type 2 diabetes or any other chronic illness. We are inundated with an internet that provides us with tons of information at the ‘click of a mouse.’
If it’s just having access to knowledge, then we should be able to achieve the results we say we want very quickly right? Wrong.
If we do not become aware of how our habits may sabotage us, or the thought patterns that hold us, hostage, we will never produce the results we say we want.
This is one of the reasons why I found coaching to be so transformational and why I am passionate about the power of coaching when it comes to helping clients and patients develop tools which will allow them to make permanent changes.
For a limited time only, I am offering a free 20-minute discovery session. I’d love to hear what you’re up to this year. Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to check in and let me know what you are up to. If you would like to schedule an appointment simply let me know and a member of my team will get back to you with my availability.
Perhaps there are people out there who can relate to this statement. There are some projects that we know we should do, but we keep putting off. This could go on for years…..
Intuitively, we know we’ll be better if we finally get to them. But the thought of going through the process of change just seem overwhelming and even painful. Eventually, we place these projects on the backburner for what may look like forever. In coaching, we refer to this attitude as tolerations.
And then finally something shifts inside of you and suddenly you’re ready to get into action.
Well, that happened to me a couple of weeks ago with my pantry. My pantry is a super-small room right off my kitchen. Over the years I’ve gotten into the bad habit of just stacking stuff one on top of the other in what later became an “orderly mess”.
My pantry had become a “painful toleration”.
I finally decided the toleration of accepting a cluttered and nonfunctional pantry was far worse than the liberation of creating some order in it.
I like the famous quote by Anais Nin: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
But something had to change within me in order to change my relationship to my pantry.
Whether you need to overhaul your pantry because it’s cluttered like mine, or you want to make healthier lifestyle choices, I came up with six steps to overhaul your pantry in under an hour.
The first step is your mindset. Be resolute. You are committed to doing this. You are ready to get into action. Put your game face on and “Just Do It” attitude.
Step 2 Go through your pantry and throw out every food item that has expired.
Step 3 Next, if there are any packages or cans that you may have purchased some time back, you know you’re not going ever to use them. They are not expired. Place these items lovingly in a paper bag to donate to a nearby food pantry.
Next, take everything else remaining off the shelves. You can stack them on the kitchen table. Take the opportunity to clean the shelves. Seems pretty basic but I found that de-cluttering the shelves had such a therapeutic feel to it. You may see that there are some more items that you are willing to let go off. Place them in the bag to donate to a food pantry.
If you have only shelving in your pantry, then you may want to buy some clear storage bins for this part. I did. Next, organize food items in common groupings. For instance, all the grains in one container or two, broths and soups in another, cans in another bin. If at all possible create a flow to your pantry, where the items that you commonly use, are more accessible than items you don’t use all the time.
Finish off by stacking items like bottles and storage containers or other sundry items in a separate space, say in the under shelves.
There you have it, a de-cluttered pantry in under an hour!
I can’t begin to tell you what a rewarding feeling it is to have this new relationship with my pantry.
Here are some of the benefits of having an organized pantry: • I know where everything is a vast time-savings • I’ve challenged myself to cook with the supplies I already have in my pantry before I go out and buy new groceries. That simple step saves on my grocery bill. • Also, this process allowed me to get rid of some of the foods I had long taken out of my diet such as pasta and white rice.
I humorously used the example of my pantry project to highlight our relationship to change. Whether it’s a new diet or exercise program, we tend to want to jump straight into action without first finding out what stage we are in.
There are several stages to change. Let me illustrate the stages of change using my pantry project:
• Pre-contemplation– clearing out the pantry? Not even on my mind! • Contemplation– Maybe someday in the distant future (when I retire) I may declutter that pantry. • Preparation– Hhmmm… This pantry is becoming a nuisance. Good idea to gather information about how much time it’s going to take me to clean it out. • Action– I’m done with the status quo. I’m ready to make some changes. I’m prepared to clean out the pantry! Let’s do this! • Maintenance– Now the challenge is maintaining the new habit of keeping everything in its place. • Relapse– This is the stage old habits that die hard may creep up on us like a Ninja warrior! Be prepared. I know there may be some days that I’m exhausted after a long day and I may come home and just throw things on the shelf resolving to ‘tidy up later.’ I know this, and so I have my systems in place if that should happen. Simply resolve to go back to place the stuff in the grouping system I have already created. • Termination– This is the final stage of change. I’m a pro at handling my well-organized pantry!
Here are some action steps I invite you to take
Spend the next week or so writing out a list of your tolerations. This could be projects you haven’t gotten to. It could be you’re living with a chronic illness but you’ve put your health on the back burner.
Next, review the stages of change and identify exactly where you are with each toleration.
Then, see if you can move one or two items on your toleration list from say the ‘pre-contemplation’ or ‘contemplation’ phase to the preparation stage and even action.
Spring is finally upon us. For
those of us in the northern hemisphere I must say we had quite a challenging
winter 2018. What with the polar vortex and all. Even my dogs didn’t look
forward to going on their daily walks on those cold days.
As the temperatures get warmer and the days get longer there is a tendency for us to want to spend more time outdoors. Some of us may have packed on a couple of “winter pounds” for a myriad of reasons- less activity, more comfort food, being in “hibernation mode” (I know I have :).
And there belies the question-
which is better for you- Exercise? Or movement?
Caution: Before starting an exercise program, please consult your
healthcare provider to ensure that you are safe to start a moderate intensity exercise
There is a myriad of benefits to exercise. For some of its benefits, check out a post I wrote here.
There are four types of exercise.
Aerobic (cardiovascular exercise)
Resistance (strength training) exercise
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that a
well-balanced exercise program consists of all four types.
The US Surgeon general, recommends in order to improve our
health and wellbeing that we need to exercise at least 150 minutes of moderate
intensity, or 75 minutes of intense activity every week.
As I type these numbers, it doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of time. And yet it almost seems hard for us to squeeze in that 75-150 minutes a week. I mean I know that I come up with reasons sometimes that I’m not able to set aside time to exercise 30 minutes 5 times a week. According to the CDC only 23.5% of adult Americans perform aerobic and strength training weekly.
A sedentary lifestyle is if you are not participating in at least 30 minutes of moderate activity at least 3 days a week for at least 3 months.
Having said all that, do you know that between 6-8 hours is spent in sedentary behavior. I happen to wear a fitness device called an oura ring, and it sends me an alert every hour advising me to get up and stretch.
You may be someone that goes to the gym, does a daily run, etc., but how much activity you spend doing the rest of your day is also important.
I find it very intriguing that even though I may have gotten in a workout on my peloton bike, at the end of the day the activity score shown on my oura ring is pretty low if I do not keep moving throughout the day.
So now you can see that even if you are someone who exercises regularly, that you could still fit into the “sedentary behavior” basket.
You may have heard the saying “sitting is the new smoking”? Well, that is because sitting time increases our all-cause mortality.
Now let me be honest, if you are that person who is the true definition of sedentary for whatever reason, I do not expect to get you to jump off the couch and go follow the surgeon general’s recommendations. I know this because, throughout my clinical career, I have actually had patients that
So there comes the concept of movement. Movement is merely
the act of moving our bodies.
There is a concept called nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). It is the energy we expend performing activities that are not sleeping, sitting or related to exercise. When we increase NEAT we can improve our overall exercise expenditure.
So how can we improve NEAT? By increasing everyday movement.
So here are some suggestions to increase movement throughout your day:
Set a reminder to take a 2-3 minute walk every hour.
Get a dog and walk it every day. 🙂
If you work in an office, work toward spending at least half of your office time standing, moving or doing light intense activities such as stretching, chair dips, lunges, etc.
Ditch the remote control and get up to manually change the TV/cable channel.
Purchase a fitness tracker and work up to and beyond 10,000 steps a day
If you are sedentary for whatever reason, perform exercises such as leg lifts, arm circles, biceps curls.
If you have to drive, park further and walk.
Climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
In between commercials on TV stretch, do some jumping jacks, chair dips, lunges, wall pushups, etc.
If you take your child to their after-school activity, take that time to do some movement yourself rather than sitting around watching your child. 😉
In summary, both increasing
physical activity, as well as movement which improves NEAT, are equally
important. None should be done to the exclusion of the other.
Until next time,
To your Health & Wellbeing,
What do you think?
When you hear the word “exercise” what does that bring up in you? What are some ways that you can think of to increase your physical activity?
I would love to hear your comments. Send me an email at email@example.com
It’s an exciting time in my life right now. I hope that by sharing my experience, it will help someone else in their life journey.
I’ve been working hard behind the scenes with my virtual manager and business coach putting together my first online summit featuring over twenty speakers scheduled to launch this May. I’m really excited, but the truth is reaching this point has taken me a long, long time.
You see, for the last ten years, I have been in the ‘planning to execute‘ phase. Due to my passion for promoting wellness I have wanted to transition from clinical medicine.
I trained as a professional coach in 2010, continued to attend course after course and hired coach after coach and was growing increasingly frustrated. Life kept getting in the way, and I kept telling myself I wasn’t quite ready.
When I came across functional medicine a year ago, I was exhilarated. I dove straight into the training modules. Finally, I had found my tribe! Now I felt armed with the tools to make the transition a reality.
My mission is to create a global wellness platform that provides women over 50 with tools to optimize their health and wellbeing so they can thrive into their golden years.
I’m being vulnerable in sharing my vision this way because even though I feel strongly about it and recognize the need for this kind of information in this particular demographic, I have dealt with a lot of self-doubts. In fact, at times, I wanted to quit.
You see I have been deeply attached to ‘my story.’ And I am still working through it.
Some time back, I wrote a post about how our stories prevent us from reaching our full potential . You see we all have a story we tell ourselves.
A story is a tale that you repeat over and over again. In the beginning, the story may have been told to you by someone in authority. It may have been your parent(s), a teacher, a pastor.
That ‘someone’ initially shared this story with you. And you believed it. It becomes the lens through which you see your life. Then it became your perception of your reality. It does not have to be “a bad story.” The more you hear the story, the more significant potential it has to limit how you see yourself and potential.
Let me share “my story” again and how up till now as a woman in her fifties, it has continued to stop me:
I was born a premature baby in London, UK. My mother was getting very ill, and so when she went into pre-term labor, the goal was to save her with no thought about her baby. In the 1960s the odds of a premature birth under or close to 7 months surviving were a lot less than they are now. My mother who was a nurse at the time promised herself that if I survived, I would become a doctor to ‘give back.’ and so that was the story that was told to me from the time I was a little girl.
Since I graduated from medical school in 1987, I have enjoyed a successful medical career. However, over the span of my career, I am keenly aware of the impact lifestyle choices have on overall health.
As time went on, I became more passionate about focusing on disease prevention and wellness.
About 10 years ago, I was introduced to the field of professional life coaching. It lit me up. And so I trained as a professional coach. I felt that coaching was a model that could help people deal with their mindset and empower them to make healthy lifestyle choices. I also spoke at some community events and saw the impact my words had on my audience.
The thyroid hormone is secreted by the thyroid gland is responsible for maintaining the body’s metabolism. Every cell in the body is affected by the effects of the thyroid hormone. When there is decreased production of thyroid hormone, this is called hypothyroidism.
When there is overproduction in the thyroid hormone, this is called hyperthyroidism.
Up to one percent of the general population in the United States has clinical hypothyroidism. Ten percent of women have a condition called subclinical hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism mainly affects women more than men.
There is also a condition where the body forms antibodies that begin to attack the body’s own organs. When this happens in the thyroid gland, this is called autoimmune thyroiditis. Up to 27 percent of women have autoimmune thyroiditis.
Reasons for loss in thyroid function
There are many reasons why thyroid function becomes disrupted. Some of these may include:
Stressors – whether mental, emotional or physical stress.
Exposure to toxins- At least 150 industrial chemicals have been shown to affect thyroid function. These include pesticides, mercury, lead, etc.
Food intolerances or sensitivities.
Autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease
Nutritional deficiencies such as iron, selenium, and certain B vitamins.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism
Some of the common symptoms of low functioning thyroid include:
Weight gain or inability to lose weight
Thinning of the eyebrows (especially the outer eyebrows).
Dry and brittle nails.
Puffiness of the face or the extremities.
Depression (including postpartum depression).
Enlarged thyroid (goiter).
How is hypothyroidism diagnosed?
Hypothyroidism is routinely diagnosed with a screening test called the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). However, there is a caveat when using the TSH level alone. The laboratory reference range for TSH is extensive, ranging from 0.50-4.00 mU/L. Because of this wide range, it’s challenging to assess the presence of hypothyroidism even though an individual’s TSH level may be in the normal range, despite them exhibiting symptoms of hypothyroidism.
I like to explain to my patients and clients that everyone has a set point. If their TSH was at one setpoint and then there is a significant change to that number on another blood test, even though it is still in the “normal range” that is a significant change for that person and deserves further investigation.
More specialists particularly functional health practitioners are leaning toward more detailed testing by measuring individual thyroid hormone levels.
Here we are looking for any potential factors that may have caused thyroid disorder. This is where a functional medicine practitioner is an excellent resource in helping to uncover possible triggers, nutrition evaluation, exposure to toxins, medications, etc. as laboratory testing. Your functional medicine practitioner will recommend a food plan that will help provide nutrients needed to support thyroid function. If needed you will also be placed on supplements that provide thyroid support It is also essential to focus on ways to reduce stress as well as increase exercise/movement.
Replacement of thyroid hormone
It may also be necessary to replace the thyroid hormone. This can be done with synthetic or natural sources of supplement. Your thyroid health is an essential aspect of your overall health and wellbeing.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms I have outlined in this article, please be sure to have a conversation with your healthcare provider.
If you would like to know how functional medicine can help optimize your overall health, feel free to schedule a free 15-minute discovery session with me by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, here’s to your health and wellbeing,
Welcome back. This week I’m attending via Livestream a functional medicine conference as part of my certification program. The conference is focusing on the topic of cardiometabolic health which happens to be an area that I am passionate about.
In my last post, I highlighted information what makes up our metabolic health and why this is important to know. It’s so synchronous that the conference is on cardiometabolic health. In the coming months, I look forward to bringing you up to date information on information in this rapidly changing field particularly as it pertains to how we can use food as medicine.
As you may know, the month of February is heart disease awareness month, and Friday, February 7 was “Go red for women day” in which women were encouraged to wear red and spread awareness that heart disease accounts for more deaths in women than breast cancer.
Having good metabolic health reduces the risk of developing heart disease, by reducing risk factors related to lifestyle.
As a recap, metabolic health looks at five measurements. (The numbers parenthesis show the normal range).
• Triglycerides (normal less than 150 mg/dL)
• Waist circumference (women less than 35 inches; men less than 40 inches)
• Fasting blood sugars (less than 100 mg/dL; or A1c less than 5.7%)
• Blood pressure (less than 120/80 mm Hg)
• Body weight (BMI less than 25.0)
Tons of research shows that we can improve our overall health when we make changes to our lifestyle by improving our diet and getting more exercise. By so doing, we can also improve our metabolic health.
However, there is a simple lifestyle strategy we can add as an adjunct to diet. This strategy is called intermittent fasting.
Fasting is merely cutting out food for some time. It may be as short as a few hours in 24 hours to days and even months. When most people hear the word fasting, they feel there is no way that they can do this. They think that if they fast, they will be left feeling hungry and deprived of food. It may be true for the initial period as the body is adjusting. With time, the hunger cravings get better. Fasting requires self-discipline. But there are many benefits to fasting.
The benefits of fasting
Fasting has a myriad of proven benefits. One significant fasting benefit is that it helps to improve our metabolic health. Fasting does this by improving insulin resistance. Improved insulin resistance means that our cells become more efficient at taking in and breaking down glucose. This reduces the risk of diabetes. Fasting also helps improve the gut microbiome (more on this fascinating topic later). Fasting also helps with weight loss.
In women, fasting has also been found to have benefit when it comes to breast cancer. In a review of data between 2009-2010 of women participating in a study, they were able to determine that the longer an overnight fast, the better was blood glucose control and also reduced the risk of breast cancer.
Some other benefits of fasting include:
Reduces oxidative stress and cellular inflammation
Improves brain function
Fasting helps with weight management.
How to start Intermittent Fasting
There are many ways to fast. One of the easiest ones to start is intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is fasting for a certain amount of time during a 24 -hour period. I often explain to patients and clients that they can easily incorporate at least a 12-hour intermittent fasting period into their lifestyle simply by leaving 12 hours between dinner and our first meal the next day. For instance, if you have dinner at 6 PM, a 12-hour intermittent fast means that you will not eat until 6 AM the following day. It’s that simple.
Now fasting will require a mindset shift, For instance, you may have a habit of having a late night snack. To be successful at intermittent fasting, you will have to give this up. Instead, try having a cup of herbal tea.
If you have diabetes type 2 and you are taking medications, do not embark on fasting without first consulting your healthcare provider. You may need to have your medications adjusted and closely monitor your blood sugars to make sure that you do not develop hypoglycemia.
There are other methods of fasting that can get more detailed and complicated and beyond the scope of this article. But start small.
Please consult your healthcare provider, or if you would like to learn more about how fasting can improve your metabolic health.
You can also schedule a free initial discovery consultation with me by sending an email to email@example.com.
According to a recent published study by the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey between 2009-2016, only 12% of Americans have good metabolic health. This means that 7 out of every 8 Americans do not have good metabolic health. These are pretty dismal numbers by all accounts.
What was concerning with this study was that even people with so callednormal body weight may not have good metabolic health! The paper goes on to warn that these implications pose a high concern for public health.
article we’ll go over what metabolic health is. Why we need to be concerned
about metabolic health. How this is different from other health parameters. How
we can quickly assess our metabolic health. Why we need to be concerned about
it and finally what are some of the measures we can start taking to improve our
What is Metabolic health?
health is a term that is used to identify a cluster of measurements that could
increase the risk of developing cardiometabolic diseases such as type 2
diabetes, heart disease, and strokes.
looks at five measurements. The parenthesis show the normal range.
(normal less than 150 mg/dL)
circumference (women less than 35 inches; men less than 40 inches)
blood sugars (less than 100 mg/dL; or A1c less than 5.7%)
pressure (less than 120/80 mm hg)
weight (BMI less than 25.0)
Why metabolic health is important?
health is simply looking at these
five measurements and comparing it to the normal range. It is letting us know
your current health status as it
relates to these five categories.
Why are these
five measurements important? These measurements happen to be the same measurements
used to determine your risk for a cluster of abnormalities called the metabolic
If any 3 out of the 5 measurements above are abnormal, then this is called metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome there is a higher risk for cardiometabolic disease is higher. To learn more about metabolic syndrome click here.
How to measure your metabolic health
Step 1 -check
your weight and take your height.
recommend checking your weight first thing in the morning, after you have used
the bathroom and preferably with no clothes on. This gives a more accurate measure
of your fasting body weight with no fluid fluctuations that could occur during
Again I prefer
this measurement first thing in the morning after a stretch. Stand against a
door post and have a friend or family member mark the top most part of your
head with a marker.
these two numbers into a BMI calculator.
Your waist is
the mid-point between the tip of your hip bones and your lower midcage. If you
bend to the side the crease you see is your natural waist line. Measure your
waist circumference with a measuring tape at this point standing up tall and
after you have completely exhaled. In women the waist circumference should be
less than 35 inches and in men less than 40 inches.
Step 3 -check
your blood pressure
Blood pressure can be measured with a machine called a sphygmomanometer. Most local pharmacies and even department stores have digital blood pressure machines. You can also schedule a nurse visit at your healthcare provider’s office and have your blood pressure checked there. It’s important to take a few deep breaths, sit up straight with your two feet on the ground and using the left arm. It’s a good idea to take three readings at least five minutes apart and then take use the best of the three readings.
Step 4 – have your
fasting blood sugar and your fasting lipid panel checked.
You may need to
schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to have this done.
Once you have
all the measurements, you’ll be better able to know your metabolic health.
Remember that knowledge
is the first step to personal empowerment. Perhaps your metabolic health is not
at par. That’s not really where I want to focus on right now. We already know
that only 12% of Americans meet the criteria for being metabolically healthy. So,
let’s not focus on the doom and gloom.
What I find
reassuring when I look at this information, is that these measurements can be
modified. They are called modifiable risk factors.
that you can do something about them.
As I point out in my award-winning book, “Dr. Eno’s A-to-Z Guide to Thriving with Type 2 Diabetes” the first three steps to dealing with any challenge are critical mindset strategies- acceptance, belief, and commitment to change.
we know what we need to do, eat ‘healthier’ and exercise more. But if it were
as simple as that why do we have an obesity epidemic?
My mission is
to provide you with tools which will allow you to create a permanent shift in
your way of being so that you can become more empowered in the choices you make
when it comes to your overall wellbeing.
In my next article
I’ll be reviewing how fasting can help improve your metabolic health.
To your health and wellbeing,
To download a free copy of the first three chapters of my book click here
Happy 2019! I trust you are off to a great start. It is great to be back to blogging after such a long time. As I shared in an earlier newsletter, late summer we had some challenges upgrading the platform and then as the holidays approached, I had a rather grueling work schedule, in addition to a brief media blitz in Wisconsin. I am currently writing to you whilst on a much-needed vacation in Nigeria.
This is a re-purposed article from an older blog article. I like to start the new year highlighting New Year resolutions.
Now that we are in a New Year, we can press the reset button and set some New Year resolutions to reach your healthy blood sugar goals.
What is a resolution?
A resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something. Research has shown that close to 90% of resolutions fail by the end of the first quarter of the year.
If you are committed to thriving with type 2 diabetes, then consider developing an empowered relationship to resolutions. Remember you are not just a person living with type 2 diabetes.
Here are Five New Year Resolutions to start with:
It all begins with the ABCs
In my award-winning book, “Dr. Eno’s A-to-Z Guide to thriving with Type 2 Diabetes”, the first three chapters focused on what I started calling the ABCs. The ABCs is an acronym which stands for A-Acceptance, B-Belief and C-Commitment to change.
No matter what challenges you may be dealing with, whether it is learning to live with a chronic illness such as type 2 diabetes, or simply deciding to make a new year resolution it all begins with your ABCs.
The reason many New Year resolutions fail, is because we tend to avoid change by making excuses. First is the need to accept some things need to change. Next is developing a belief that you can make changes. The final step is making a commitment to improve. To download a free e-book of the first three chapters of my book, click here.
Learn all there is to learn about type 2 diabetes
I continue to emphasize that knowledge is the first step toward personal empowerment. The field of diabetes care is rapidly changing. Become curious about the latest information particularly as it may pertain to diabetes care. Search for reputable sources of information.
If you find a treatment option that you feel may work for you, then be sure to have a discussion with your healthcare provider about this. Remember that there are several ways to treat diabetes, however, making changes to your lifestyle is the foundation for reaching healthy blood sugars. So this year, make a commitment to taking stock of your current lifestyle. Look for ways that you can make some changes. Always remember to start with small changes and then build on them. With time small changes can create significant shifts in your overall health and wellness.
Do what it takes this year to achieve and maintain healthy blood sugars. There may be times when your blood sugars get out of control. This can be very discouraging. At times some people living diabetes may become discouraged and resigned. The thing to keep in mind is that uncontrolled blood sugars are associated with a higher risk of complications. So if you commit to doing whatever it takes to achieve and maintain healthy blood sugars, you will reduce the risk of complications. It may mean, increasing the amount of physical activity, watching portion sizes a lot more closely, and cutting out the excuses.
See your healthcare provider on a regular basis.
Early in the year is an excellent time to look at your calendar and schedule visits with your healthcare provider as well as any specialists on a regular basis are vital in helping to detect any early complications. Not only should you see your healthcare provider on a regular basis, but also I suggest that you even know what kinds of testing you need to have done. For instance every three months, you should have an A1C performed. This test allows your healthcare provider as well as you to know how well controlled your blood sugars have been. For tips on how to choose a healthcare provider
Know your “ABC numbers.”
The ABCs stand for another acronym. It is essential to know your ABC numbers. This means- A1C, Blood sugars and cholesterol. Have a discussion with your healthcare provider about what your target ranges are.
Your numbers are based on guidelines recommended by the American Diabetes Association:
A1C <7.0 %
Blood sugars (fasting) 80-120 mg/dl
Cholesterol- LDL (think bad lousy cholesterol) less than 100 mg/dl; HDL (think good happy cholesterol) more than 60 mg/dl.
Keep up with routine health exams.
Once a year schedule an annual physical exam, as well as routine screening tests. Do not leave these to chance. This is because type 2 diabetes increases your risk of some other diseases such as heart disease as well as strokes as well as certain cancers.
I suggest marking this on your calendar early in the year. Perhaps you may want to pick your birthday month, for instance, to get all your routine medical exams done.
So there you have it. Five New Year resolutions to get the year off to a robust start in achieving healthy blood sugars.
My New Year resolution is to create more consistent content for this platform as well as online and in-person programs that can help you reach your goals of thriving by helping you to improve your metabolic health.
So let’s get started! Click here to download the free e-book of the first three chapters of my book. And if you would like to purchase a copy of my book, click here.