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Why The A1C (Glycated Hemoglobin) Test For Diabetics Does NOT Give Us The Whole Picture

Why The A1C (Glycated Hemoglobin) Test For Diabetics Does NOT Give Us The Whole Picture

Diabetics are familiar with the A1C test.  It is performed to assess roughly a 90 day period of sugar that is attached to your hemoglobin.  It is supposed to tell us if we are taking good care of ourselves.  The test is performed every 3 months because the average life of a red blood cell is 90 days.

Diabetics are told that the A1C is the ‘holy grail’ of knowing if you are in good health or not.  It’s the aim of most every diabetic to get that number lower!  I’ve been diabetic for over 35 years and it’s great to learn new things.  What have I learned?  I now know that the A1C, although a great test to determine the ‘average’ blood sugar reading over 3 months, does really nothing more than that.  It does NOT accurately tell us all we need to know about our diabetic health.

The A1C for a non-diabetic person is about 5.7%.  A ‘well-controlled’ diabetic will have an A1C at 6.5% or lower.  If someone’s A1C is 8.0% or higher, then they are generally in trouble!  Long-term high blood sugar levels lead to high levels of oxidative stress (free radical damage).  This damage is mostly what is responsible for killing diabetics.  Afterall, 65% of diabetics will die from heart disease/stroke and this damage is caused by, you guessed it, poor blood sugar control. Continue Reading →

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We Are A Sick Society, Literally!

We Are A Sick Society, Literally!

When we look at what Americans spend on prescription drugs yearly, we see that we are really an unhealthy society.  In fact, last year we spent over $374 billion dollars. Spending on prescription drugs went up 13%..and that is a huge amount of money.

Besides trying to fathom this amazingly huge number of dollars spent on prescriptions, what more-so led me to write this blog was the sick feeling I got in my stomach after reading the statement by Michael Kleinrock, director of research development at IMS Health. Although there was a lot of great news on the treatment/cure of Hepatitis C, the overall dollars are very high.  On the news of the $374 billion, he was quoted as saying “This was an outstanding year, really a once-in-a-lifetime year.  It was the largest dollar growth in a single year we’ve ever measured. This is a huge amount of extra spending.”  Continue Reading →

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Oxidative Stress and Low Back Pain

Oxidative Stress and Low Back Pain

A new study in the high impact orthopedic journal Spine discusses what we have seen for some time with patient care but have not been able to validate in the literature: oxidative stress contributes to low back pain.

This is a topic of huge importance.  As our patients know, we use a Raman Spectrometer (Biophotonic Scanner), not unlike the one Yale uses in their studies,  to determine the oxidative stress of our patients through means of a dermal carotenoid scan.  The Raman Spectrometer (RS) has been determined in many studies to offer clinicians the optimal way to analyze oxidative stress as the test is not costly to perform, is not invasive, and it makes it easy to track changes in diet/nutrition/supplementation.  This is important for all healthcare providers.  Being a sports chiropractor, I find the RS to be an absolute necessity for all of us who work in the neuromusculoskeletal fields.  Simply put, if we cannot assess oxidative stress, we have no idea if our patients are healthy and this directly affects clinical outcomes.  This is not only limited to low back pain.  We are not what we eat, but what we absorb. Working with unhealthy patients reduces the effectiveness of our treatments and we should know this before we commence treatment.  This is only fair to the patient. They need to know if they have hindered healing ability or not.

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