The Shelter-In has been extended here in Illinois and a lot of other places, too. This past weekend was better than the previous one for me. This past week I made a concerted effort to connect more with friends and family, move more and exercise my mind. We had many rainy days which made it difficult to get outside as much as I wanted. When I exercised my mind I made sure it was not on a depressing or negative topic. In other words, I really minimized the news I was watching and reading.
At times during the Shelter-In, I have been eating more sugar than I typically do. Unsettled emotions seem to heighten my interest in sugar and ice cream and cupcakes. This week I will be working on getting more physical movement as well as eating less sugar! How have you been? What do you want to be working on this week? Please let me know.
Inflammation is a sign the body’s immune system is working overtime. Our immune system is our body’s protection. Clearly, it is even more important to take care of and support our immune system since it is responsible to prevent COVID-19 from infecting us.
In a recent post, I discussed two labs (C reactive protein and Sedimentation rate) that quantify inflammation. But what about common everyday things that contribute to inflammation?
Sugar. Sugar. Sugar.
It is everywhere and in just about every processed food. There is a whole history of when “low fat” was in ‘vogue’ the food manufacturers started to use more and more sugar. I remember seeing a chart that listed 100 names manufacturers use to disguise sugar! Here is Sugar Science a website created by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco. They have an exhaustive review of the scientific literature to date regarding sugar and disease (heart, liver and diabetes). They list 61 names for sugar!!!
HgA1C, also known as glycated hemoglobin, or hemoglobin with glucose attached to it. Hemoglobin, as you remember, is the protein that carries oxygen in the red blood cell. Once glucose binds to hemoglobin it stays attached for the life span of the red blood cell, which is 90-120 days. The higher level of glucose in the blood the more glycated hemoglobin is formed. Conventional labs use the HgA1C value of 6.5 as a diagnostic of diabetes. 5.7 – 6.4% is classified as pre-diabetes. In the functional medicine world, a HgA1C of 5.7 is concerning. Usually, a value of 5.2 and under is considered optimal. When I see clients I am working with them to change their diet and exercise in order to keep the HgA1C as close to optimal as possible. I know that as HgA1C rises so does their inflammation which means the development of disease including heart disease, liver disease and dementia (brain inflammation). So go take a look at any old labs you have had done and see what your HgA1C is. Or the next time you see your physician ask her to order a HgA1C. If your physician is too reluctant to do that or you don’t want to wait you can check out cash labs like I have on my website. You don’t need a physician order and it is much cheaper that if you went through your insurance.
In the near future I will have Megan, our nutritionist, have some sugar free recipes that are delicious and you won’t even notice the ‘lack of sugar’. Take it from me a former sugaraholic, once you eat less added sugar for a period of time, your palate will change and you will be much more sensitive to the taste of sugar.
Reminder: Everyday Things You Can Do To Support Your Immune System
- wash your hands
- get a good amount of sleep
- eat lots of vegetables and fruit
- taking your supplements
- connect with family and friends
- disconnect from new and other negative sources
- keep an optimistic attitude.
Dr. Laurie Goldman is a medical doctor, psychiatrist, and functional medicine practitioner who’s been in private practice since 1999. She founded Clear Path Wellness to help her patients reach their maximum state of mental and physical health using a personalized, comprehensive approach powered by the principles of functional medicine, which treats the whole person, not just symptoms.