New in­sights might help in pre­vent­ing Type 2 di­a­betes

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Books - Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is chief well­ness of­fi­cer and chair of Well­ness In­sti­tute at Cleveland Clinic. Email your health and well­ness ques­tions to Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen at youdocs­[email protected]

Q: I know peo­ple who have de­vel­oped Type 2 di­a­betes who aren’t par­tic­u­larly over­weight or seden­tary. Does that mean any­one can get it? What can I do to make sure I don’t de­velop it? — Gra­cie R., Roanoke, Va.

A: That’s a great ques­tion — and there’s new re­search that’s help­ing to pro­vide an­swers.

Type 2 di­a­betes starts ei­ther with the in­abil­ity to use in­sulin prop­erly or when your body doesn’t pro­duce enough of it to reg­u­late your blood su­gar lev­els — even when it pro­duces more in­sulin than nor­mal. That can hap­pen be­cause of in­flam­ma­tion, changes in the gut biome and even ex­po­sure to an­tibi­otics. Ge­net­ics may make you vul­ner­a­ble, as do life­style choices, such as eat­ing high-fat, over­pro­cessed foods; be­ing seden­tary; and not get­ting enough good-qual­ity sleep.

But the lat­est re­search shows that air pol­lu­tion, which trig­gers body­wide in­flam­ma­tion and re­duces in­sulin pro­duc­tion, is also a risk fac­tor, and it con­trib­uted to around 3.2 mil­lion new di­a­betes cases glob­ally in

2016. An­other re­cent study found that women who work more than 45 hours a week are

63 per­cent more likely to de­velop Type 2 di­a­betes than women who work 30-40 hours weekly. This prob­a­bly is re­lated to a chronic stress re­sponse that amps up in­flam­ma­tion, dis­rupts sleep and causes un­healthy eat­ing sched­ules and choices.

Your best moves to avoid Type 2?

■ Get 7 to 8 hours of qual­ity sleep nightly.

■ Main­tain a healthy eat­ing sched­ule, which in­cludes seven to nine serv­ings of pro­duce daily.

■ Get at least 30 min­utes of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity daily and try not to ex­er­cise in highly pol­luted air.

■ In­stall air fil­ters at home.

■ If you work long hours and can’t cur­tail them, find time for daily med­i­ta­tion and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity to dis­pel stress and im­prove sleep qual­ity.

So, there’s a lot that con­trib­utes to de­vel­op­ing the dis­ease and a lot you can do to avoid it. Don’t for­get Dr. Mike’s tip: “Drink­ing four cups of cof­fee over the course of a day will re­duce your risk of Type 2 di­a­betes by 50 per­cent!”

Q: I need to change sev­eral of my doc­tors be­cause I changed jobs and my old doc­tors don’t take my new health in­sur­ance. What am I sup­posed to do? —- Wil­liam C., Wooster, Ohio

A: It’s a prob­lem with to­day’s U.S. health care sys­tem, and no one seems to have an an­swer. A new, ma­jor Bri­tish study that re­viewed out­comes in 22 coun­tries with dif­fer­ent health care sys­tems has found that stay­ing with the same doc­tor(s) for a long pe­riod of time leads to bet­ter health and longevity and is bet­ter for the docs, too. But don’t worry, even though that was the con­clu­sion, if you be­come your own best pa­tient ad­vo­cate, you will emerge from this change in doc­tors as a health­ier you. Here’s how to do it:

No. 1: Spe­cial­iza­tion is in­creas­ing, so your GP’s job is of­fer­ing im­por­tant base­line health mon­i­tor­ing (an­nual phys­i­cals, vac­ci­na­tions) and giv­ing you re­fer­rals to spe­cial­ists like car­di­ol­o­gists and or­tho­pe­dic sur­geons. The key is to have your med­i­cal records avail­able to your new GP, and all your GP’s records avail­able to any spe­cial­ists, so they will know if you have health is­sues that af­fect their care of you. Your task: Have ev­ery doc give you both a dig­i­tal and printed copy of your records; re­view them, and cor­rect any mis­takes. And make sure the doc­tors are com­mu­ni­cat­ing your records to one an­other dig­i­tally; it’s the best way to pro­tect your­self from med­i­cal over­sights when you change docs.

No. 2: The Bri­tish re­search study men­tioned that pa­tients who stay with their docs for long pe­ri­ods of time had what they termed a “greater ad­her­ence to med­i­cal ad­vice.” In other words, folks who move around from doc to doc are less likely to fol­low their doc’s ad­vice. So act like a mem­ber of the care team from the start: Be an en­gaged pa­tient, ask ques­tions, be po­lite to the staff, show you care about qual­ity care and you’ll get it.

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