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March 11, 2010

Prevent Diabetes, Improve Kidney Health


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World Kidney Day is March 11 and at Stanford University Hospital and Clinics there will be exhibits about preventing diabetes as a way to prevent kidney disease.   It’s an important message to get out and I think it’s fantastic that Stanford is so committed to spreading the word about the links between the two diseases.

The concern is justified.   With diabetes becoming epidemic, can epidemic levels of More on Prevent Diabetes, Improve Kidney Health


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January 11, 2010

Resolve to take better care of your dental and physical health


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It’s resolution time.  If we all kept those resolutions, by March we’d have lost over 10 pounds, become financially stable, reorganized our closets and be on the way to competing in our first triathlon.

Realistically, we have good intentions but just don’t stick with the program – or we take on too much as once.  That’s why I was intrigued by Huffington Post health writer Eva Norlyk Smith’s blog The Complete Couch Potato’s Guide to a Healthy 2010:  Ten Easy Ways to Improve Health.

Of course I loved her first one – Floss Your Teeth.  If my patients only followed one New Year’s resolution, flossing their teeth at least twice a day would be the one I’d choose.

Norlyk Smith points out that not only does flossing help prevent periodontal disease, but that it may help prevent heart attacks and strokes and lower your risk of diabetes – something you’ve heard me preaching about for a long time.   She also points to studies done in the United Kingdom that suggest that the gum disease can also affect your mental functioning.  

Flossing is a simple thing to do and the benefits – reducing your risk of gum disease, preventing heart attack and stroke, lowering your diabetes risk and staying mentally sharp are well worth it.  

Her other tips are important as well.  Norlyk Smith talks about on the importance of:

  • Vitamin D for overall health
  • Not drinking soda
  • Hanging out with people who have healthy habits
  • Not slumping
  • Focusing on happiness
  • Avoiding processed foods
  • Arriving early and giving yourself extra time on deadlines so that you’re not always time pressured
  • Getting adequate sleep
  • Reconnect with your body and listen to it

 All good advice.  I urge you to read her post.  If you qualify as a couch potato, take it to heart.   And make flossing your first resolution.

Unfortunately I – and every Dentistry For DiabeticsSM dentist – see plenty of people who neglect their oral health care basics – like flossing – and end up with gum disease.   If you have diabetes or prediabetes, this can make your control more difficult.  Why not talk your health and oral health issues over with Dentistry For DiabeticsSM dentist who is extensively trained in the interactions between type 2 diabetes and gum disease.  Follow this link to find a Dentistry For DiabeticsSM dentist near you who knows how to lower blood sugar.


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December 30, 2009

Finally The A1C Is New Standard In Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis


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We’ve written volumes about the A1C as the gold standard for a long-term blood sugar level chart. It’s important in dentistry because it’s so closely related to a higher risk of gum disease in people who have diabetes and who also have difficulty maintaining a normal blood sugar count. Now, the American Diabetes Association has just given the A1C new prominence in prevention, screening and diagnosis for type 2 diabetes.

There are some real advantages to using the A1C. First of all, you don’t have to fast in order to take the test – you can do it at any office call. Another plus is that it gives you more than a snapshot of your day to day blood sugar control – it gives you an overall picture of your average blood sugar range for the past 90 days.

Because a glucose molecule that attaches itself to a red blood cell never leaves, it’s a sure-fire way to track glycated red blood cells over their life span, which is about 90 days. The new ADA guidelines adjust the diagnosis categories a bit, calling it diabetes at a blood sugar reading of 6.5 percent and above. The former cutoff was 7. A blood sugar range of 5.7 – 6.4 is now termed an increased risk for diabetes. It used to be known as prediabetes.

Fortunately, there’s some very good scientific evidence that a specific dental therapy can reduce your A1C levels substantially. Scientists at the University of Sao Paolo-Ribierao Preto in Brazil found that scaling and root planing can drop nearly a full point off your A1C level. When combined with antibiotic therapy, A1C levels dropped by a point and a half.

You can bet there’s a Dentistry For DiabeticsSM dentist somewhere doing this procedure nearly every single day. Put your A1C in the hands of a Dentistry For Diabetics dentist who is extensively trained in the interactions between type 2 diabetes and gum disease. Follow this link to find a Dentistry For Diabetics SM dentist near you who knows how to lower blood sugar.


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December 14, 2009

Genetic Risks Linked To Metabolic Changes In Type 2 Diabetes


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Scientists have known for some time that certain variations in specific genes are risk factors for developing the high blood sugar levels that characterize type 2 diabetes. What hasn’t been so clear is the nuts and bolts mechanics of exactly how these genes led to elevated blood sugar readings.

The first crack in nature’s shell of secrecy around these mechanics was just opened by researchers in Germany. They found two specific gene variants that cause changes in the way the body metabolizes important building blocks of lipids, a type of molecule that includes fats and signaling mechanisms that help determine whether the fats are stored or burned.

Mind you, they didn’t find out all the details. There’s still a large body of painstaking scientific discovery yet to be accomplished before we find all the keys to what determines who has a normal blood sugar level and who develops type 2 diabetes. But this discovery is a firm step towards identifying genetic markers that flag specific changes in the metabolism that make it more likely for some people to wind up with blood sugar control problems.

What’s this got to do with your dental health? Well, other researchers found that in patients with severe periodontal disease, changes in their blood cholesterol increased a particularly dangerous type of lipid in the blood, what you often hear referred to as the bad form of cholesterol.

Fortunately, every Dentistry For DiabeticsSM dentist has extensive training in all the links between diabetes and gum disease. They also know how to lower blood sugar using specific dental therapy that can also make a significant impact on other systemic problems associated with gum disease, so follow this link to find a Dentistry For DiabeticsSM dentist in your area.


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November 16, 2009

Short exercise times may improve diabetes control


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“I want to exercise but I just can’t fit it into my schedule.”   If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that from a patient who really does need to exercise, I’d have retired to a Caribbean Island a long time ago. 

Now I’m not taking any excuses after reading a study done in Scotland on relatively young – and inactive – men.   They were put on exercise bikes for short bursts of high intensity exercise about six times in a two week period.   Even though some of these young men exercised minimally – four to six 30 second bike sprints a week – researchers found they were able to lower their blood sugar and their insulin function was improved.   

Now we all know that exercise for longer periods is better for overall health and especially for longevity – but this shows that doing a little something every day is better than nothing. So the next day that you can’t find time to squeeze in 30 minutes or an hour to get a full workout – know that you can do your body some good by fitting in at least a few minutes of walking, stair climbing or other physical activity that can do your body good.

Now this isn’t for everyone.   This type of high intensity exercise probably isn’t a good idea if you’ve got heart problems, high blood pressure or some other medical condition.   Like all exercise programs, it’s important to check with your doctor before starting on starting any exercise program – no matter what type of exercise you’re doing or the amount of time you plan to exercise.

In addition to watching your diet, following a diabetes diet and integrating exercise into your daily routine, good oral health care can help control your diabetes or prediabetes. If you are looking for a dentist that is extensively trained in how good oral health care and the prevention of gum disease can make it easier to control type 2 diabetes, then you need to check out your area’s Dentistry For DiabeticsSM dentist. Follow this link to find a Dentistry For DiabeticsSM dentist near you who knows how to lower blood sugar.


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October 26, 2009

Teflon – in your kitchen and in your diabetes treatment?


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Teflon may hold the key to successfully allowing medical professionals to implant insulin-producing cells into people with diabetes.  And that could be good news for those who are dependent on as many as four daily insulin injections to treat their diabetes.

Yes, the same Teflon that was used to coat non-stick pans has been used by scientists at the University of California San Diego and the Burnham Institute for Medical Research to cover a tiny implant of insulin-producing cells.  What they’ve found is that the Teflon coating seems to stop immune system cells from attacking More on Teflon – in your kitchen and in your diabetes treatment?


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October 19, 2009

A Common Supplement Lowers Heart Disease Risk


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Are you vitamin D deficient?  If you are and if you have diabetes, that could double your risk of cardiovascular disease.  Now researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis think they’ve found out why this is true.

What they’ve found is that people who have diabetes can’t process More on A Common Supplement Lowers Heart Disease Risk


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October 12, 2009

Diabetes and its Effect on Your Life


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An online study by The Research Partnership of 2,000 type 2 diabetes patients from the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany has taken a look at people with diabetes and how having the disease can affect their lives and More on Diabetes and its Effect on Your Life


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October 5, 2009

Invasive vine could become diabetes preventive


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Here in Virginia and throughout most of the southeastern United States, the word kudzu vine strikes fear in the hearts of horticulturalists, environmentalists and gardeners.  Brought into this country in the late 1800s, it was initially promoted as a forage crop, an ornamental plant.   In the 30s and 40s it was advocated as a plant that could help decrease soil erosion.

Unfortunately it’s also highly invasive and has taken over hundreds of thousands of acres – about 150,000 a year.  

Yes, it does have its usefulness in a variety of ways – soaps, lotions and jellies, to name a few.   But the exciting news is that kudzu is getting attention for its medicinal potential.  Long used in traditional Chinese medicine, scientists in Iowa and Alabama have been studying the use of kudzu to fight metabolic syndrome – often called insulin More on Invasive vine could become diabetes preventive


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September 28, 2009

Scientists Make Gains in Developing Stem Cell Treatments


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It sounds like science fiction, stem cells made by reprogramming skin or other cells from the patients who need them.   It has the potential to create cells genetically matched to each patient, so there’s no fear of rejection by the body’s immune system.

It’s something that scientists are getting closer to achieving and it’s exciting because these cells could have the potential to create insulin-producing beta cells for people who have diabetes or More on Scientists Make Gains in Developing Stem Cell Treatments


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