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Book Summary Video Interviews with Dr. Neal Barnard, M.D. on his book “Program for Reversing Diabetes” for HealthBootcamps.
Neal Barnard, MD, FACC, is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC, and President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Dr. Barnard has led numerous research studies investigating the effects of diet on diabetes, body weight, and chronic pain, including a groundbreaking study of dietary interventions in type 2 diabetes, funded by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Barnard has authored more than 80 scientific publications and 20 books for medical and lay readers.
As president of the Physicians Committee, Dr. Barnard leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research. He has hosted four PBS television programs on nutrition and health, and is the editor in chief of the Nutrition Guide for Clinicians, a textbook made available to all U.S. medical students. His research contributed to the acceptance of plant-based diets in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In 2015, he was named a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. In 2016, he founded the Barnard Medical Center in Washington, DC, as a model for making nutrition a routine part of all medical care.
Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, Dr. Barnard received his M.D. degree at the George Washington University School of Medicine and completed his residency at the same institution. He practiced at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York before returning to Washington to found the Physicians Committee.
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[00:01] REENA JADHAV: Hi everyone its Reena Jadhav with the live longer podcast as well as the health bootcamps program and I’m excited that you are listening into our book master class on Dr. Neal Barnard’s program for reversing diabetes, which originally came out in 2007 and is now a revised addition as of 2018 and of course it also has a beautiful cook book as an add on new book that Dr. Neal Barnard has come out with. Today on this particular interview we are going to talk about chapter one. Dr. Neal Barnard welcome.
[00:36] DR. NEAL BARNARD: Thank you, it’s great to be with you today.
[00:38] REENA JADHAV: So let’s start with chapter one which is the new basic is the title. How do I know if I have diabetes?
[00:46] DR. NEAL BARNARD: Diabetes is relatively simple to diagnose, with most people the problem is they never actually went to their doctor to even get the diagnosis. But what your doctor is going to do, is going to do one of two blood tests; the old fashion one is blood glucose, more and more are using something called A1C, hemoglobin A1C and that is your measure of your blood sugar control over the past three months or so, more and more people are using that and here are the numbers, if you are A1C is below 5.7 you don’t have diabetes, you don’t have pre diabetes, you are fine. If you are at 5.7 your doctor is going to say oh oh! You don’t have diabetes yet but that’s a sign that your blood sugar is getting too high and if it is 6.5 or above that’s diabetes. So those are the numbers that you need to know. The good news is that these numbers will change, so well, we used to think once you got diabetes that’s it, we now know that you can change your diet, your lifestyle and you can get those numbers down. So a person with pre diabetes can go direct to not having it, a person with diabetes can improve to and in some cases they can get rid of it as well.
[02:05] REENA JADHAV: So clearly one is testing, what about symptoms; I personally experienced a lot of this interesting symptoms when I was starting to see some insulin imbalances. Dr. Neal can you share for someone who hasn’t gone to be tested yet but is thinking, I wonder if I should go and get tested, what should they be looking out for?
[02:22] DR. NEAL BARNARD: Great, the classic symptoms that we look for are number one, you are tired and a lot of people are tired it’s so non specific there are a million reasons to be tired. But the reason people are tired when they got diabetes, is the sugar glucose powers your muscles and diabetes the sugar doesn’t get into the muscles its staying out in the blood and so if your muscles don’t have their fuel, you feel tired. Symptom number two- you are in the bathroom a lot, it’s simply put you are peeing a lot; what’s that about, if you have too much sugar in your blood sooner or later that sugar goes through the kidneys and it carries a lot of water with it and so you are urinating a lot. Symptom number three- you are thirsty and that’s basically because you are losing all the water. So you go to the doctor and say, ‘I’m tired all the time, I’m in the bathroom so much and I’m really thirsty’, and the doctor says, ‘ they told me this up in medical school, let’s do the blood test’, and doctor will see the numbers and says you got diabetes or you got pre diabetes or you don’t. Those are the classics, be cautious a lot of people are diabetes without any symptoms at all, yes there first symptom is a blood test that said you got diabetes. It’s very… very common now and it’s becoming common all the time but many people do have those symptoms. There can be late symptoms to, where you had a wound that dint heal very well things like that, but that’s really pretty much it.
[03:55] REENA JADHAV: You mentioned something very interesting which is, people might not have symptoms at all, so at what age do you recommend people just go get tested in case they are curious about whether they are starting to see some imbalances.
[04:07] DR. NEAL BARNARD: Yeah, so first of all anybody who doesn’t feel well really should get tested because getting a blood sugar test is so easy, so cheap and you might be getting a cholesterol test or something else any way, it’s the easy thing in the world for them to also check how your blood sugar control is doing. If you are overweight, for just about anybody over 40 high index because we are starting to see type 2 diabetes in kids, never used to see it now we do; kids 16, 15, 14 years of age are starting to get it. It’s not because there genes are changing it’s all because of food. Nonetheless despite how troubling it can be to know that kids are a t risk for something like diabetes that is the time when it is easiest to intervene as long as the kids and their parents are willing to think this through. Imagine if you have a child, let’s say kids pick up a cigarette, they are 16 years old and they are walking home from school and they are smoking cigarettes oh you think the kids are going to get lung cancer, yeah sure true but if that kid stops smoking and stays cigarette free do you think they are going to get lung cancer? Probably not, so when you had a shot across your bow which is you got a high blood sugar and you are 16 years old; if the whole family together says wait a minute, we don’t eat very well come on team lets wrap it up, all of that can change and it can change very well and not just for the kid, it can change for the brothers and sisters, the parents, the aunts, the uncles, the whole family culture will change.
[05:52] REENA JADHAV: I love that, well on the next video for this book master class we are going to talk about reversing type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Neal Barnard
Address: 5100 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Ste.400, Washington DC, 20016
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