The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Three words to ask yourself

- Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen

Three little words ... well, certainly, we love you ... but the three words we are talking about today are LDL, glucose and hypertensi­on (or high blood pressure) — L G H. Those are the three words that everyone with diabetes should ask themselves about every day. What is my LDL cholestero­l level? Am I controllin­g my glucose? Do I have high blood pressure?

So, we’re saying “LGH — Let’s Get Healthy.” Don’t get nervous. We understand how hard it is to give up old habits and adopt new ones. Let’s take a look at what might be causing you to miss the mark on your goals for LDL, blood pressure and glucose.

The usual suspects are: stress; lack of physical activity; poor quality sleep; a lack of fiber, fruits and vegetables; and too many processed and prepared foods (full of refined carbs, sugars and unhealthy fats). Excess alcohol and smoking can also cause diabetes disasters. To counter those problems:

Start a LGH journal: Take a minute and write down a descriptio­n of your stress level; an estimate of how many minutes a week you walk and how often you do aerobic or strength-building exercise; an estimate of how many servings of fruits and vegetables you eat a day; and whether you smoke or drink too much. Be honest. You’ll learn a lot.

Pick a stress-reduction technique: Stress triggers the release of counter-regulatory hormones (glucagon, epinephrin­e and cortisol), raising glucose levels. It can also affect your behavior when it comes to diet, exercise, etc.

Studies have found that following a cognitive behavioral stress-reduction program has long-lasting glucose-lowering effects. Meditation, yoga, deep breathing, tai chi and mindful walking are also proven ways to defuse stress. For help, check out “Ted Danson on the Power of Meditation,” “11 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga” and “Your Body During Meditation: What’s Really Happening” at

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. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare. com.

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