Friday, July 14, 2017

An Out-of-the-Box Opinion

Today I'm going to step away a little from the usual type of posts I make; partly because I'm getting pretty tired of undocumented medical and health articles that appear on my Facebook feed. Mostly, I block the crap using FB Purity (awesome FB app you can find on Facebook) but these posts are usually shared by my friends, and I'm picky about who I friend or let see my FB page.

A graphic display of clickbait style titles overlaid with a stop circle.

The issues really come from the fact that too many people simply believe everything they see - if it's on the web it must be true, but ... there is nothing further from the truth than that. So many of the headlines we see are nothing more than clickbait, and contain partial truths, total untruths, or no useful information at all. When you see headlines blazing "YOU WON'T BELIEVE..." or "CURE CANCER (or Diabetes or Alzheimers)" or "SHE DID THIS AND THIS WHAT HAPPENED NEXT..."  you know it's going to be clickbait.

Some of the most recent ones have been the most annoying. One was on the prevention of Alzheimer's Disease. And who wouldn't be interested in that, right?  This is one disease that almost everyone on the planet fears because it can happen to anyone at anytime, and there is no cure, nor even any real treatment that makes much difference. Naturally, you want to know if there's something you can do about it.
Two types of decorative, edible candies composed almost entirely of sugar and fruitcrose.

Is there?  Well, having done the legwork and research ... I'm skeptical about it still. There have indeed been some studies done in the past, real scientific and medical studies, that do indicate some type of link between Alzheimer's Disease and insulin resistance. Right now, that's leading to the "Type 3 Diabetes" articles being tossed around all over the place.  The studies though ... none of them indicate that simply changing your diet will prevent it. And that's what the problem is with these newer articles. While there could be some truth to it, it's still "iffy".

Doesn't anyone stop to think that if it were as simple as avoiding certain foods that doctors all over the world would be educating their patients on this?  Yeah. I think so too. Either that or there would be a vaccine, or a drug treatment that really works.

National Library of Medicine
Mayo Clinic
New Scientist
Endocrinology Network
Healthy Aging 
The Scientist

There isn't (yet). Some of the best studies are nearly 10 years old  (2008) ... don't you suppose that in 10 years they'd have come up with something really useful if it were possible?  Yeah, so do I.

The above links are just a few of the places I went looking for corroborating evidence. There are many more, but some turned out to be "junk science" or "junk medicine" and the others that were fairly decent studies were similar to the couple I posted above. If I posted all the links I researched this post would be a mass of links, but it's not that hard to find the truth if you want to do your own.

I think the other thing you can do if you have an accommodating doctor, is get the insulin testing done. That might tell you how much you need to adjust your diet if you really feel the need.

Two types of whole wheat products - sliced bread and pitas.
Although my skepticism tells me that any particular diet is probably not (on it's own) going to prevent Alzheimer's, I probably will try to cut back even more on some of the carbs (but I doubt I'll be eating a lot of red meat anytime soon). I don't use sugar even in baking anymore already. Stevia is what I usually use but most types of flour contain carbs, as do purchased bread and grain products, and even some types of protein. I could probably knock off a few more carbs a day by dialing back on those a bit more.

I guess if you wanted to do anything possible to help protect yourself, you'll change your diet completely, but that isn't all that simple if you want to keep on enjoying a healthy life either. Suggestions range from cutting out all sugars and sweeteners (not just refined sugars, ALL forms of sugar and sweetener because they become carbs when processed by our bodies and used the same as any sugar), and to cut out all carbs. Not just bad carbs, but carbs from veggies and fruits too (or at least, eat very minimal amounts of those) eat things with natural proteins (ie: meats, dairy as long as there is no carbs). Then, even worse ... after you start to think, okay I can deal with that (me, I already cut out sugar a long time ago, but I still use Stevia - a plant based sweetener) you get hit with a double whammy.

Several clementines, both whole and sliced to show the sections.
If your body has an excess of protein, some people's bodies will turn that extra protein into carbs and
use it for energy, the same way our bodies use sugar.   ... or so the articles go.

For anyone interested in the numbers for common fruits and veggies, you can get that information in a downloadable poster (pdf) from the FDA website.

I don't want to live like that. I don't want to live the rest of my life in fear because I want to eat NORMAL food. Thanks but no thanks. If at some point in the future I get Alzheimer's then I guess there will come a time when I don't know that I have it, so I won't care.  That's what it's come down to.

Maybe at some point in the near future there will exist a real treatment or vaccine that doesn't take a huge chunk out of your life to help prevent things like Alzheimer's.

I'm going to add a little disclaimer here because today there are real medical and scientific advances being made in the treatment of diseases of all kinds. The trick is to know the difference between what's real and works, and what's hype and fluff. Do your homework before taking any action on things you read on the web.

It's the smart thing to do, and the safe thing to do.

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