Friday, February 12, 2010

Dr. Abby Hearts 'Dr. South Beach'

Originally posted

Lifestyle Management for Cardiac and Diabetic Concerns

Welcome to our fourth installment of “Face-Off: Dr. Abby Vs. Dr. South Beach!” In this piece, we discuss hearts and sugar – appropriate metaphors for love and sweets during this Valentine week!

Dr. Agatston's profession as a cardiologist originally led him to investigate dietary changes that positively affected heart problems. His discoveries led to some important conclusions and recommendations about preventing cardiac sumptoms as well as diabetic concerns.

Dr. Abby: Dr. Agatston, can you please comment on the connection between diabetes and cardiac problems, and the best prevention for both?

Dr. Agatston: One thing you can say about diabetes that is not recognized enough, is that Type 2 adult onset diabetes was considered a problem of blood sugar, primarily because of the technology available for testing. Now we appreciate that insulin clears fats after a meal, not just sugar. The clearing of fats is probably more important. When fats are hanging around because of insulin resistance, they are definitely making differences in lipid particles that produce atherosclerosis. The main message is that adult onset diabetes is more of a cholesterol/lipid problem than a sugar problem, and of course a weight issue. One bad thing I see in my practice occurs when adults with high blood sugar/ Type 2 diabetes are put on insulin. They tend to gain weight, and tend towards dislipidemias. Some endocrinologists unfortunately concentrate on the blood sugars instead of dislipidemias.

Dr. Abby: So the way to get rid of the lipids hanging around is not through insulin, but through...

Dr. Agatston: Diet and exercise!

Dr. Abby: OK, that’s what I thought you were going to say. So it’s not all medication based, it’s more lifestyle.

Dr. Agatston: Yes, lifestyle. There are situations where it is not lifestyle at all and it’s inherited, but insulin resistance and adult onset Type 2 diabetes is primarily lifestyle. If you just give medications you’re just papering over. There’s a place for medication, but it’s primarily lifestyle.

Dr. Abby: Right, it’s not instead of a healthy lifestyle. I would agree 100%!

Commentary: Once again, Dr. Agatston and I found an area of agreement! I find this information fascinating, since general knowledge typically assumes that blood sugar imbalances are the main culprit in adult onset Type 2 diabetes. The fact that insulin clears dietary fats as well as sugars is an important discovery, ostensibly due to innovative technology. How unfortunate that insulin treatment often causes weight gain. Yet, it is encouraging that a healthy lifestyle can create significant improvements in this condition, as well as improvement in cardiac concerns. Thanks for enlightening us, Dr. Agatston!

This is part 4 of the Dr. Abby vs. "Dr. South Beach" interviews. Check out the first three installments here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Dr. Abby

NOTE: A more complete version of this interview will be found in my next book, Dr. Abby’s Diet Revolution! This is a small excerpt from a rather extensive interview. To obtain a free PDF of my current book, Your Final Diet, please click here. Some editorial license was used to edit Dr. Agatston’s lengthy answers to my questions. Every effort was made to preserve the integrity of content.