Ten Easy Ways to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes


Did you know that more than one-third of adults have a disorder that multiplies their risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease? According to the CDC, even though prediabetes can be tested and indicated through a simple blood test, most people with this remarkably common blood sugar irregularity are unaware of their risk and position. The leading cause of about 70% of heart attacks and almost all cases of type 2 diabetes is known as a disorder called insulin resistance(IR). Thank goodness, Dr. Bob discovered these three easy ways to prevent diabetes, which will show some easy steps to avoid the risk of insulin resistance or even help to regress it, if you are already prediabetic.

  1. Be aware of your risk. It is quick and easy to get tested for diabetes, prediabetes, or insulin resistance and is usually covered in your health plan. It is recommended by the American Diabetes Association(ADA) that you get tested if you are 40 years or older or if you have a history with obesity or a history of diabetes in your family. The most accurate test, according to the ADA, is the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), this is a two-hour test in which you would consume a sugary liquid after fasting the night before. Then blood would be taken each hour to measure your glucose levels. There has been research proving that other screenings that do not require you to fast are much less accurate, for instance, the A1c tests. In 2011, a study had discovered that out of about 550 patients, there were over 60% missed diagnoses of IR or prediabetes when using the A1c test. More than 25% of the patients were diagnosed as prediabetic when the highly accurate OGTT proved them to have regular blood sugar.
  2. Shed some weight. Out of 90% of people diagnosed with diabetes are overweight, but with every 2.2 lbs lost, you can reduce the risk by 16%. There have been a few extensive studies that if you cut about 5% to 7% of your body weight as a prediabetic, diet and exercise will help reduce your risk for development by 70%.
  3. Adhere to a plant-based diet. If you increase your intake on legumes, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds and decrease your intake of animal products, you can substantially reduce the risk of diabetes. Dr. Bob recommends following a diet based explicitly on your DNA; for example, if someone has a particular haptoglobin genotype, he would support a gluten-free diet.
  4. Get active. The most common and effective way to reduce your risk of diabetes is by committing yourself to perform thirty minutes of moderate to intense exercise. Not only will it help prevent diabetes, but, according to a recent study, engaging in exercise regularly can help regress or counter more than 40 different diseases like coronary artery disease even with people who carry high-risk genes such as 9P21-the heart attack gene. Check with your medical provider before starting a new fitness routine to make sure it will benefit you!
  5. Watch what you sip. Drinking just one or two sugary beverages like soda or fruit drinks can increase your risk for cardiovascular episodes or mortality due to cardiovascular disease by 35% and your risk for diabetes by 26%, according to a study at Harvard. These sweet drinks are at the top of the list for added sugars in an average American diet. So instead of picking up that can of soda, grab a water, and add some fresh fruit or pick up some sparkling water to try from your local supermarket.
  6. Ditch the use of nicotine and exposure to it. According to the CDC, if you smoke, you are increasing your risk of developing diabetes by almost 50 percent, which offers tips that have helped more than five million smokers kick the habit. Not only will ditching the nicotine and your exposure to it help reduce the risk for diabetes but also heart disease, which is the number one cause of death in America and other potentially deadly diseases.
  7. Keep an eye on your blood pressure. After a seven-year study consisting of over four million healthy people with an average age of 46, evidence showed that those with high blood pressure were 77% more likely to get diabetes later in their life. About half of American adults meet the guidelines for high blood pressure, and many of these adults go undiagnosed. High blood pressure is easily treated and can even be prevented with some simple lifestyle and dietary changes and, in most cases, medications.
  8. Take care of your mouth. About half of adults, 30 years and older have gum disease. Periodontal disease (PD) is a stubborn oral infection that can even lead to the loss of teeth. The high blood sugar level in both people with and without diabetes has been seen in patients with PD and has been linked to a higher risk of developing type two diabetes.
  9. Relieve your stress. If you experience moderate-to-high levels of stress, your risk doubles for type 2 diabetes three years later, according to a 2017 study of 12,844 middle-aged women. Chronic tension within the body from stress was found by researchers to increase the stages of inflammatory compounds and even hinder your ability to metabolize glucose. One of the number one ways to decrease tension is to practice meditation and mindfulness.
  10. Get a good night’s sleep. There have been many studies showing that it is vital to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep to tremendously decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes. There has been evidence that if you sleep for less than 5 hours or more than 9 hours, you are increasing your risk for type 2 diabetes by more than 50%. When you continuously miss out on your sleep, you may find that your production on insulin decreases, which regulates your blood sugar, and drastically increases your risk for cardiovascular disease, obesity, depression, and many other similar chronic disorders.

The Truth About Heart Attacks


Many believe due to their young age, they may not be at risk for a heart attack, but a new cautionary tale published in The New York Times may change many minds. The article’s author, Trymaine Lee, was physically fit and healthy at the age of 38 when we suffered a close to death experience — a “widowmaker” heart attack. ‘You hit the lottery,’ one of the cardiologists who saved my life told me,” wrote Lee, a nonsmoker with no family history of heart disease or early death now suffered one of the worst heart attacks. “The worst kind of lottery.”

Not only is it possible, but the article also showed evidence that younger people have had an increased heart attack rate. Over the 28,000 people hospitalized for heart attacks between the years of 1995 to 2014, 30% were adults between the ages of 35 and 54, which showed a 5% increase over that time in the number of cases of younger adults suffering from a heart attack. Here are some common myths about heart attacks and different ways to protect your body’s most vital organ.

Myth: If you have normal cholesterol levels, then you are not at risk for heart attack.

Truth: A national study of 136,905 people hospitalized for a heart attack found that about 50% of the participants had “optimal” levels of cholesterol, and most people had levels that fell within recommended values. The screening most people receive consists of a blood test called a “lipid profile” or “coronary risk panel,” which checks the total cholesterol levels, LDL, or bad cholesterol, levels, HDL, or good cholesterol, levels, and triglycerides.

Elevated levels of blood fat, called lipoproteins of Lp(a), cause a triple heart attack risk. High Lp(a) was the cause of Bob Harper, a fitness guru, “widowmaker” heart attack at the age of 52. This disorder was not confronted when he received his lipid panel/coronary risk panel since it does not measure the levels of LP(a) in your bloodstream. For only 20$, Harper was able to crack the mystery as to why he suffered from this deadly heart attack. This makes many wonder whether this was the cause of Lee’s young aged heart attack.

Myth: If there are any issues with your heart, it will be discovered during your annual physical.

Truth: Lee made it clear in his article that his physician never even mentioned cardiovascular disease during any of his annual appointments, so he didn’t care to worry about it. According to a recent study of 3,501 young heart attack survivors ages 18 to 55, all of the heart attack survivors had at least one significant risk factor, and more than half had more than two risk factors. The biggest issue is only half of the patients were aware they were at risk. Even less than half stated their physician had never mentioned their risk or discussed risk modifications, like quitting smoking or eating more plant-based foods, that could have prevented the heart attack!

Although Lee never mentions what techniques his physician used to evaluate his cardiovascular complications, most physicians usually use “risk calculators” to determine how likely their patients are to develop cardiovascular disease. Lately, there have been several studies that prove that these “risk calculators” are incredibly unreliable. For example, a 2015 study of more than 5,000 adults published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that almost all first cardiac episodes don’t occur in patients considered “high risk” based on the risk calculator. Lee is another example of this since he stated that he had no family history of heart problems, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes.

Unlike standard care, the Dr.Bob does not rely solely on risk factor analysis. Dr. Bob recommends testing patients for many of the most common red flags for heart disease or possible cardiac episodes like a heart attack. He also supports the use of advanced lab/imaging tests to check for the hidden signs of arterial disease and other disorders that may cause no symptoms until it’s too late.

Myth: Root canals are one of the leading causes of heart attacks.

Truth: Did you know that there is currently a video on Netflix stating this very myth, that root canals are the leading cause of heart attack? Though this video claims these things, it is all false! Not only did they state it was the leading cause, but also claims physicians advocate for the removal of any root canal treated teeth. Now we are not saying that Oral care and wellness are not crucial because it is. Your dentist may become your lifesaver since oral health plays an essential role in stroke and heart attack prevention.

In a recent study, there is proof that oral bacteria from gum disease is a major contributing factor in heart disease, but it may be treatable. Every dentist visit, have your dentist check for any signs of gum disease and discuss ways to prevent gum disease and improve your oral health. Gum disease affects about 50% of adults over the age of thirty. There are quite a few ways to test for oral pathogens or high-risk bacteria through DNA analysis. It is recommended to use OralDNA, OraVital, or Hain Diagnostics. It is also advised that any teeth that have experienced a root canal get checked using 3D imaging to make sure there are no infections that are not diagnosed or treated.

Myth: If you have a family history of heart disease, then there are no ways to prevent you from getting it.

Truth: Well, more than half of Americans carry genes that increase their risk for cardiac episodes. For example, 9P21, this gene represents heart attacks. It is recommended to use genetic testing to learn your genetic risk for cardiac events as well as a personalized plan to follow to help prevent and stabilize the gene. An example of a customized plan would be a dietary plan based on your DNA. There has even been research showing evidence that simple genetic testing and prevention plans based on your DNA can help with arterial difficulties like blockage, which can lead to a heart attack.

Overall, if you live a lifestyle that will keep you at optimal health, it can drastically reduce your risk for cardiac episodes even if you have the high-risk genes. In a study consisting of more than 500,000 people with genetic risk, those who got the most amount of exercise, whether it was a full aerobic workout or biking their risk for heart disease dropped by nearly 50%! There was also evidence that physical inactivity is responsible for prematurely killing 5.3 million people every year. It is advised to discuss ways to prevent heart disease and cardiac episodes with your physician, especially if you carry any high-risk genes.

Have You Heard About Functional Medicine Breakthroughs in Preserving Cognition?


It’s both exciting and frustrating when you learn that the majority of what you have been taught about a subject is likely wrong. The exciting part only applies when you find out that something that was thought to be irreversible can be changed for the better. The frustrating part is that it was probably right in front of our eyes all along and we just couldn’t see it because of the way we think about and approach certain problems like the loss of cognitive function.

We are losing millions of nerve cells every day and at the same time we are making tens of millions of new connections between nerve cells. I have always thought that there is a network effect. Memory is not localized to a single area but spread out across the brain in arrays of nerve cells that fire together forming functional networks. As we strengthen these networks we become more resilient, wiser and in a lot of ways smarter. So even with the loss of brain cells, in many ways we can get smarter and smarter.


This says to me that the quality of the networks we build and the effort we put in to maintain and build them over time are critical factors in how well our brain works as we age.

We have been taught that for those who start to get cognitive decline that once the problem starts to take ahold there is often a steady decline and not much to do about it. A few simple blood tests, an imaging study, a questionnaire or more formal testing of cognitive function, and a medicine or two that might or might not slow your decline is the best you can hope for. What an abysmal and sad story. And worse yet it’s a story we have lived with for years and years. A story that should horrify current generations as we age and a larger percent of the population moves into the age ranges where cognitive decline is most prominent.

We’ve also been taught that there is one type of Alzheimer’s disease. Other dementias were certainly recognized like dementia that happens after a series of mini-strokes or dementia that goes along with Parkinson’s disease. We’ve known that dementia-like conditions occur with Vitamin B12 deficiency, with thyroid problems, and with depression. The dementias with Vitamin B12 deficiency, thyroid problems, and depression were even fixable in a certain percentage of patients. We have also been learning that repeated small head injuries – like those that happen to boxers and football players, and even a single large head injury – can lead to dementia. You may recall that Ronald Reagan fell off his horse in Mexico and got a subdural hematoma a while before it was clear he had Alzheimer’s.
Little Red Riding Hood, still making the trek to Grandma’s House through the woods many years later, is now fearing the Alzheimer’s Wolf. Grandma it turns out is alive and well in her advancing years, probably from healthy living, getting exercise traipsing around the forest every day and eating berries. When a furry four-legged canine jumps out of the brush and onto the path Red naturally fears the Wolf. But instead she is greeted by a coyote – not just any coyote mind you, but the shape shifting Coyote of Native American myth and legend. The Trickster himself. And instead of taking a bite out of her or even wanting to he does something far more radical. He tells Red her paradigm is all wrong.

Red and most of the rest of us have been under the illusion that cognitive decline is just something that happens to us, something that jumps out from behind a tree and bites us, something inevitable for many of us that must be from our genes. And while there are certainly genetic variants that are higher risk, the wrong genes are by no means a certain sentence that you will get dementia. After we got all wound up in the double helix we used to think that 90% of what happens to us occurs because of the genetic patterns we are born with and there wasn’t much you could do about it.

The new king in town is Epi-Genetics. Not to worry, Genetics still has a nice condo overlooking the river. But Epi-Genetics – the science of which genes are turned on and off and by what is now living in the palace. And when those living in the palace mostly eat from the lush garden that surrounds the joint instead of heading down to the local pub for bangers and mash or fried everything soaked in ethanol then good things start to happen. Genes that can cause harm tend not do to so. Genes that repair your cellular architecture start to do so. Now it looks like 90% of what happens to us is wrapped up in the diet, lifestyle, social and environmental factors that modulate epigenetic phenomenon.

We are learning that addressing all the various factors from nutrition, to antioxidants, subtle chronic infections, heavy metals, persistent organic pollutants, loss of beneficial bacteria in our gut and beneficial trophic factors such as hormones along with dysregulation of blood sugar in the brain and the body along with many more identifiable and definable ingredients create an environment where the brain is damaged one cell at a time. By sorting these critical factors into groups – sugar related, toxin related, repetitive trauma, vascular insults, and loss of key beneficial factors Alzheimer’s is coming into focus. Not as a single disease, but as a final common pathway that can result from dysregulation and disruption of multiple paths.

When we can more clearly categorize something, we have a chance to address it. For people at the earliest stages of cognitive decline some dramatic success stories are starting to emerge from Functional Medicine practitioners using multimodal programs to address and patch these defects. Red can rest a little easier when she gets to Grandma’s. Maybe if she stays there long enough the fearsome wolf will be evicted and the entrepreneurial Coyote will own the forest for the benefit of all. That would be a trick worthy of a Trickster or a non-linear scientist and healer.

SURPRISE: There is a 15-17 Year Gap Between Discovery and Medical Practice – BUT THERE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE!

science, chemistry, research and people concept - close up of science

It turns out that many if not most significant advances in science take 15-17 years to make their way into the routine clinical practice of medicine. There are lots of reasons for this some of them good and some of them absurd. When something new comes along insurance companies who are often the payors frequently call it “experimental” for as long as they can. This lets them not pay for it.

Medicine is by nature conservative. That is generally a good thing and one of the main tenets of the practice of medicine is “First, do no harm”. So, the system often assumes that anything new has potential harms.  But it is also possible for entrenched interests to not embrace new breakthroughs because they are structurally set up to benefit from the current ways of doing things.

Even academic scholars who are not profiting directly from the old ways are still guardians of their territories. This is how dogma gets to be dogma – it is sanctified by those who defend it because they are its keepers. It is not instinctive to embrace change, it takes a certain type of person to reach for the new.

Take the field of Cardiology for instance.  There has been good evidence in the lab for a number of years that what happens to cause blood vessel disease results from an inflammatory process. A standard medical approach to cardiac disease looks for critical blockages in the artery and to this day will often recommend and do catheterization and stenting procedures to these specific narrowed spots. The problem is that these are not the only spots at risk. Most heart attacks happen when inflamed plaque ruptures causing a clot and blockage of downstream. Just treating the one small area of one or two blood vessels does little to mitigate the risk of plaque rupturing in a lot of blood vessels.

Traditional Cardiology will treat risk factors like elevated cholesterol, high blood sugar and high blood pressure with a combination of medications.  This helps but it is not getting at the root cause of the inflammatory process.

Blood vessel problems tend to be system wide. If you have inflamed blood vessels in your heart you likely have a similar problem in other critical blood vessels as well like those going to your brain or your kidneys. By looking for underlying root causes and aggressively treating inflammation and oxidation damage it’s often possible to put out the fire. Sometimes this is done with diet, sometimes with supplements, and sometimes with traditional medications. The point is to address the system wide problem and the lifestyle factors that led to it in the first place.

Integrative and Functional Medicine doctors, holistic cardiologists like Dean Ornish and even Traditional Western Medicine doctors using treatments such as “The Bale-Doneen” approach have all gotten spectacular results using these more integrated and system wide ways of looking at and treating heart disease. They have stabilized and even reversed heart and blood vessel disease in patients for whom Traditional Medicine said there was nothing that could be done.

Studies like Carotid Intimal Thickness testing and advanced biomarkers to look at inflammation in different layers of blood vessels can find problems at early stages BEFORE something bad happens. Advanced lipid profiles that look at cholesterol particle numbers, sizes, and functionality can also give more detailed predictive information than the usual cholesterol numbers that are measured. When these are combined powerful predictive, preventive and personalized plans can often be developed and implemented for an individual to catch things early and stabilize and reverse blood vessel disease throughout the body.

We think that’s a good idea. Even if you have to pay for it yourself. Most people we know would rather avoid having a major vascular event like a heart attack or stroke than avoid paying for a test that could save their lives. In our practice, we recommend following an array of biomarkers on a regular basis that can guide lifestyle choices and therapies to stay out of harm’s way.  We are betting that if you stay well you will have all sorts of great ideas about fun things to do, places to go, and new areas of life to explore!