Saturday, October 27, 2007

Atkins Diabetes Revolution

The Diabetes Crossroads

It's a frustrating fact of life: We don't have much say over whether we fall victim to life-threatening diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's, or, to a large extent, some types of heart disease. However, there is one, all-too-common killer disease over which we have a great deal of say. Most people do have a choice when it comes to Type 2 diabetes. Astonishing as it sounds, this epidemic disease is almost entirely preventable. Of course, no one consciously chooses to get diabetes. Various factors-some in our control and some not-combine to create the unfortunate scenario. But if we all took proper care of our bodies and kept vigilant rein on the factors that are within our control, there would be no diabetes epidemic. Do you think we're overstating things? No way. In fact, what we hope we have created with this book is a realistic and practical guide to wiping out Type 2 diabetes, one individual atatime.

According to the National Institutes of Health, in 2002, a record number of Americans -- 18.2 million, or 6.3 percent of the population -- were thought to have diabetes. Of these, 13 million were already diagnosed, while 5.2 million probably have diabetes but haven't been diagnosed yet. That means many millions of Americans are blindly chugging down this dangerous road. Sadly, in our experience, many well-meaning health care professionals give their patients the standard information, some of which perpetuates the very disease it's supposed to cure or prevent. That's why Dr. Atkins felt it was crucial to write this book.

In 2002 and 2003, the American Diabetes Association redefined and standardized the criteria for blood sugar abnormalities. Unfortunately, none of these changes were implemented in order to find patients earlier in the process. Our interest is in identifying patients with these metabolic problems long before they advance to the "official" blood sugar level defined as diabetes.

If you know what to look for, you can identify the metabolic signposts that signal trouble even earlier in the process -- and intervene immediately. If you are reading this book, you are clearly concerned about your health or perhaps it's someone you love about whom you're concerned. Either way, congratulations to you for picking up this book. Let's not waste another minute.

We will show you how to make relatively simple lifestyle changes that can significantly reduce your risk of ever getting diabetes, even if you already have some of the preliminary symptoms. And if you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, this book can help you mitigate its effects or maybe even stop further progression.

We can be your guides on the road to better health, but it is you who must take control of your destiny by making and implementing the right choices. Imagine that you are standing at a crossroads in the map of your life. Ahead of you lie two paths. One almost inevitably leads to diabetes and its accompanying health problems; the other leads to optimal health. Which will you choose?

THE RIGHT ROAD

Let us tell you about the path that Dr. Atkins recommended to his patients for decades. It differs dramatically from the treatment with drugs most health care practitioners have been taught. Instead, his path identifies risks for diabetes as early as possible, focuses on prevention, and involves permanent lifestyle changes to address the underlying metabolic problems that lead to diabetes. These lifestyle changes can be as simple as changing what you put on your plate -- a better option, we think you'll agree, than swallowing an array of expensive and potentially dangerous drugs. Those of you who have read Dr. Atkins' other books will recognize a point he hammered home for decades: Instead of treating the symptoms, his approach can correct the problem itself.

Finally, for individuals whose blood sugar abnormalities are further advanced or who already have diabetes, this path decreases or eliminates the need for drugs to treat these conditions. (Did you know that some of these drugs actually make it harder to lose weight? Talk about a vicious cycle.) Whether you're just beginning to be concerned about diabetes or you've already been handed the official diagnosis, controlling carbohydrates is the vehicle that will take you off the rutted road of self-destruction and onto the smooth one of recovery and excellent health.

The decision to improve your health is an obvious one, but to follow this "right road" -- and stay on it-you need clear directions and a good map. That's what the Atkins Blood Sugar Control Program (ABSCP) gives you. The ABSCP is a highly individualized approach to weight control and permanent management of the risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. And it works.

I've witnessed these life-changing improvements in patients such as this 45-year-old woman. Ruth L. weighed 375 pounds, with a body mass index (BMI) of 60.5 and uncontrolled Type 2 diabetes. Although Ruth took three medications daily in an effort to control her blood sugar, her glycated hemoglobin (AlC)was 11 (more than two times the norm, demonstrating very poor blood sugar control). The day she began the program, I had her stop all her blood sugar medications. After two months, her AJC was down to 7.7. After 18 months, she had lost 132 pounds, her lab values were normal, with an A1 C of 5.4, and she remained off blood sugar medications.
--MARY VERNON

The ABSCP builds on the basic controlled-carbohydrate concepts of the famed Atkins Nutritional Approach and individualizes it specifically for people like Ruth who have -- or are at risk for -- blood sugar abnormalities and diabetes.

Once you're heading in the right direction, the program helps you to stay with it and map your progress as you pass milestones along the way. The ABSCP includes controlled-carbohydrate nutrition; supplementation with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients; and exercise -- all of which are customized to your needs.

To begin, you need to understand more about this insidious disease. Let's start with the basics.

Excrpted from
Atkins Diabetes Revolution
The Groundbreaking Approach to Preventing and Controlling Type 2 Diabetes. Copyright © by Robert Atkins. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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