Announcements & Upcoming Events:
Patient appreciate month was a success
Many of you took advantage of the 20% of all supplements for the month of October. Starting today all supplements will return to being 15% off when purchased through my online dispensary. I recognize that you do not have to buy supplements from my dispensary so thank you for all your support. For future orders follow this link: Dr. Nicholas Morgan's Online Dispensary.
l have ongoing speaking engagements at the East Lansing Food Cooperative. The date has not been set for November but I expect to speak there once a month on Wednesdays at 6:00 PM. My topics of discussion will be on Diabetes, Detoxing, Inflammation, and Food Addiction. To stay up to date on events at the East Lansing Food Cooperative visit their Facebook Page.
During my office visits, I don't have time to break down why and how patients can eat better so that they feel truly empowered. Education is a big part of making better food choices so I designed Learning to Eat with a Purpose. Coming in November I will have a 28 day course consisting of short videos, Power points, and quizzes to dive deeper into how to prevent, manage, and even reverse high blood sugar levels. Additional videos will follow with topics on improving detoxification, combating inflammation, and controlling food cravings. These online course allow you to interact with Dr. Morgan in a discussion forum while receiving over 4 hours of natural medicine education at your own pace in the comfort of your home. For more information visit: Learning to Eat with a Purpose.
November 2016 Edition
The earliest known written record that likely referred to diabetes was in 1500 B.C in the Egyptian Ebers papyrus. It referred to the symptoms of frequent urination.
Simple Guidelines for Preventing & Managing Diabetes
If you've been diagnosed with Diabetes mellitus (DM), or even pre-diabetes, don't take it lightly. Follow treatment plans and lifestyle recommendations. Left untreated, diabetes can lead to many complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. It's the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
Basically, diabetes is a disease in which the body experiences elevated levels of blood sugar (glucose) due to an inability to either produce or use insulin. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, which our body needs for energy. In response to the rise in blood glucose, the pancreas makes a hormone called insulin, to help move the glucose into our cells for an ongoing source of energy. When you have diabetes, the body either doesn't make enough insulin (Type-1 DM) or can't use its own insulin efficiently (Type-2 DM). This causes glucose to build up in the blood, creating a potentially dangerous situation.
Type-1 DM is a chronic health condition in which the immune system ravages the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, causing a loss of the hormone insulin and affecting the way glucose is metabolized. Because of the loss of insulin, the body cannot move glucose from the blood into the cells where it is needed. Instead, glucose levels run high in the blood causing system-wide damage. While holistic health approaches can support the body, there is no cure; life-long management REQUIRES insulin.
Type-2 DM develops from lifestyle choices. A highly preventable disease, it was once most common in middle-aged and older people. Today, it strikes an alarming number of young adults and children. It's directly related to poor eating and exercise habits, which typically results in being overweight - a risk factor for Type-2 DM. In this type of diabetes, your body produces insulin but does not recognize and use it properly. If health is not restored through diet, lifestyle changes, and holistic approaches, Type-2 DM can progress to a state in which insulin is required.
Pre-diabetes is your warning sign, a condition in which your blood glucose level is chronically above normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as Type-2 DM. This is your chance to stop the onset of diabetes in its tracks by improving your lifestyle choices.
A few simple guidelines can help you manage diabetes, and even prevent Type-2 DM.
- Eat fresh whole foods, drink plenty of water, increase dietary fiber and the amount of dark fruits and veggies in your daily diet. Avoid processed foods and added sugars.
- Exercise 30 minutes per day.
- Supplement with a good multivitamin/mineral, EFA and B-vitamin complex.
- Consult with a registered dietician to learn how to plan and prepare healthy meals.
- Ask your practitioner about food allergy testing.
- Keep your skin healthy (hydration and whole foods).
- Use natural remedies such as herbal supplements, vitamins, detoxification, and dietary adjustments under the supervision of a holistic physician.
- Take medications or supplements as directed by your doctor.
- Take particular care of your feet. Carefully monitor wounds, because many people with DM experience poor circulation and neuropathy.
Food for Thought. . .
"Your imagination is your preview to life's coming attractions." - Albert Einstein
Love Those Lentils!
Around the world, people enjoy the health benefits of lentils, part of a group of proteins known as pulses, which also includes beans, peas, chickpeas. Naturally gluten-free, lentils are rich in dietary fiber, protein, calcium, potassium, zinc, and iron. They help lower cholesterol and are a great addition to the diet especially for people diagnosed with blood glucose disorders.
Prior to the use of pharmaceutical medicines, lentils were used to treat diabetic conditions. When included with a meal, the high fiber content helps prevent blood glucose from rising rapidly after eating. Although calorie dense (230 cal/ one cup serving), lentils are low in fat and very filling - you won't be hungry after a lentil meal!
You can find lentils in the bulk bin aisle or in prepackaged containers. When purchasing in bulk, try to buy organic and make sure there is no moisture in the bin or in the packaging. Look for whole, not cracked lentils. Store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark and dry place. They will keep up to a year. When buying canned lentils, watch for added salt or other preservatives. Unlike other canned veggies, lentils do not lose much of their nutritional potency.
Lentils are easy to prepare (no presoaking required as with other dry beans). Wash and strain lentils under cool water before cooking. You can boil lentils and store in the fridge for later use in casseroles, soups, rice or pasta dishes, salads, spreads/hummus, or soups. Cooked lentils stay fresh in the fridge in a covered container for about three days.
Wild Salmon with Lentils and Mustard-Herb Butter (Saumon aux Lentilles)
In this entree, salmon's strong flavor gets a lemony-pop from mustard-herb butter. The French green lentils add texture and flavor not found with brown lentils. Combined with tarragon, leeks and chives, you have a robust healthy meal that looks pretty on your plate.
Makes 4 servings
For mustard-herb butter
- 5 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
- 1 Tbs chopped chives
- 1 tsp chopped tarragon
- 2 tsp grainy mustard
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 cup French green lentils
- 4 cups water
- 2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only)
- 1 Tbs unsalted butter
- 1/2 to 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 4 (6-ounce) fillets of skinless wild-caught salmon
- 2 Tbs unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper mixed together
Make mustard-herb butter:
Stir together all ingredients with 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper.
Bring lentils, water, and 3/4 tsp salt to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are just tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid, then drain lentils.
While lentils cook, chop leeks, then wash thoroughly. Cook leeks in butter in a heavy medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add lentils with reserved cooking liquid to leeks along with 3 Tbs mustard-herb butter and cook, stirring, until lentils are heated through and butter is melted. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and keep warm, covered.
Sauté salmon while leeks cook:
Pat salmon dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper mixture; distribute evenly between fillets.
Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sauté salmon, turning once, until golden and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes total.
Serve salmon, topped with remaining mustard-herb butter, over lentils.
Cook's notes: Mustard-herb butter can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Soften at room temperature before using (1 hour)
Lentils can be cooked (but not drained) 1 day ahead and chilled in cooking liquid, covered (once cool).
Triple Threat against Diabetes: Alpha Lipoic Acid, Chromium & Vanadium
If you have diabetes, you know there are multiple approaches to managing your health and improving how your body uses insulin. Talk with your holistic physician about employing nature's own "triple threat" to diabetes - the supplements Alpha-lipoic acid, chromium, and vanadium.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA)
Within the body, Alpha-lipoic acid is found in every cell, where it helps turn glucose into energy. People with Type-2 diabetes take ALA supplements to help their body use insulin more efficiently, as well as protect against cell damage and diabetic neuropathy. Food sources include liver, lean red meat, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes.
Chromium helps cells make efficient use of glucose. Without chromium, insulin's action is blocked and glucose levels increase. Chromium deficiency may be a factor in the number of Americans who have diabetes. A chromium supplement can lower fasting blood glucose levels, improve glucose tolerance, decrease insulin resistance, and decrease total cholesterol and triglyceride levels while increasing HDL-cholesterol levels. Food sources include meat, fish and fruits.
Vanadium supports the body's use of carbohydrates by improving how cells respond to insulin. Prior to the discovery of insulin in 1922, vanadium was used to control blood glucose. While modern conventional medicine does not recognize vanadium as an essential element in diabetes treatment, available studies suggest that the supplement does have a positive effect on blood glucose levels. Holistic practitioners carefully monitor their patients who supplement with vanadium. Food sources include mushrooms, shellfish, parsley, dill weed, unfiltered extra virgin olive oil, and grain products.
Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia)
A cousin of watermelon, cucumber and pumpkin, Bitter Melon is shaped like a cucumber, only larger with lighter green and more gourd-like skin. In tropical cultures, where it's cultivated, bitter melon is used to support digestion because of its ability to break down carbohydrates. When using for medicinal purposes, the entire plant can be used, dried or fresh, from leaves and stems to the actual juice.
Holistic physicians and researchers are interested in Bitter Melon for its effect on blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes mellitus. Chemicals in the extract act similar to insulin. A number of studies have found that bitter melon juice, fruit and dried powder have a moderate effect on lowering blood glucose. In other studies, a "plant insulin" injection given to patients with Type-1 diabetes showed a decrease in blood glucose. The decrease was not as significant for patients with Type-2 diabetes, but there was a decline in blood glucose levels compared to a control group. It seems that source and type of preparation, as well as individual patient factors, may play a role in the effect of bitter melon on diabetes, which will inspire further research.
Blend bitter melon into various foods and enjoy it several times a week when in season. Although considered relatively safe, consult your holistic practitioner to determine the appropriate type and amount to use for your particular needs. If you are pregnant or nursing, only use the supplement under the care of a qualified practitioner.
Warm Feet, Cold Feet: Health Benefits of Contrast Hydrotherapy
A contrast hydrotherapy foot bath (CHFB) is an excellent way to strengthen your immune system, alleviate congestion, soothe sore muscles, and improve circulation. It's also beneficial for individuals with diabetes, as they are prone to a foot problem known as peripheral neuropathy. This condition causes unrelenting burning, stabbing pains, numbness and aching in one or both feet.
Contrast hydrotherapy involves alternating applications of cold and warm compresses or immersion in cold and warm water for specified times. You're probably familiar with using it for muscle injuries such as a sprain. For individuals with diabetes, it can reduce swelling and pain and improve blood flow circulation. Additionally, when under medical observation, if a change in blood flow to the feet is not achieved, it can signal an impairment in circulation that requires further assessment. Adding Epsom Salts to the warm water may help increase circulation and ease pain or discomfort.
Indulge in a Contrast Foot Bath:
- Purchase two basins and keep them for your foot baths, each one large enough for both feet and sufficient water to cover them.
- Gather up a pair of cozy socks and a supply of towels (water will splash when you move from one basin to another).
- Fill one basin with ice water, and another with warm water. (Test water with your hand to make sure it's not too hot).
- Start with the warm water, from 3-5 minutes.
- Immediately switch to the cold water for 30 seconds to one minute.
- Repeat the process about 3-5 times
- Always end with the cold water.
- Gently dry legs and feet and put on warm socks.
- Rest for 20 minutes
Important: if you have inflammation or open wounds on the legs or feet, varicose veins, thrombosis or phlebitis, consult with your health practitioner before using a foot bath.
The information offered by this newsletter is presented for educational purposes. Nothing contained within should be construed as nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.
Dr. Nicholas Morgan became a naturopathic physician to help individuals seeking safe, effective, affordable, and quality integrative medicine. Using a comprehensive approach, he reviews patient's medical history to gain insight into the underlying issues affecting their health and makes lifestyle, botanical, and nutritional recommendations to correct their imbalances. He has special interests in metabolic medicine (mitochondrial health), functional medicine, nutrigenomics, and rheumatology.