I had a very pleasant follow-up conversation with a patient the other day. When I picked up the phone, I was greeted with, “Hello Dr. Colicci. I just read your blog!” What a wonderful surprise. I guess I never really expected anyone to read it. This patient was happy to see another A type blogging. She expressed some frustration with keeping to the regime, and I assured her that she is not alone. This blog is dedicated to her….
Very often we hear patients voice their struggles with keeping on track with the diet. Do I advocate the Blood Type Diet? You bet I do! Do I find it the easiest thing in the world to do? Not always! That’s right, I said it! I will be the first person to admit that there are times that I really do miss those avoids, and boy oh boy is it ever a struggle to force myself to eat fish… Growing up, my mother (who happens to be an amazing cook) fed us well. She was always health conscience and kept herself well read when it came to nutrition. She used to own a fish market. Suffice to say, growing up around it made me not want to eat it. I think she now gets amused when she sees me eating it. I stopped by her house this evening on my way home from the clinic, and there it was beautifully placed in a dish waiting for me….COD!!!! Thanks Mom…..
So what is the key to success? I know that there are many answers to this question, as we all have our individual vices. My answer has a few simple points. First and most important, you need to believe in what it is that you are doing. The resistant grip loosens when both your heart and mind agree that something just “feels” right.
Second, try not to look at it as if you are dieting. In reality, it is so much more than that. It is more like a healthy lifestyle that incorporates healthy choices. You are not punishing yourself, but actually giving your body gifts every day. The better you take care of it, the better it takes care of you. I think this is why the BTD has sustained the test of fad diets.
Third, and I owe this one to the man himself, don’t spend so much time concentrating on what you can’t eat, rather concentrate on what you can eat. This probably seems like a play on words, but trust me, if you do this, it is so much easier!
The last issue I want to concentrate on is breakfast. Everyone asks me what I eat for breakfast, so I guess it is an important struggle point. My advice on breakfast is this: If you can eat it any other time of the day, you can eat it for breakfast. I am not sure exactly how foods got categorized as items that you only eat in the morning, but we need to break the mind set here. Don’t be surprised if you stop by the clinic in the morning and see me eating my cod…. :-)
My First Blog Entry...
Dr. D'Adamo thought it would be a wonderful idea if I joined the blog and took the time to introduce myself, and I agree, so here it goes...
My name is Natalie and I have been a resident of lovely Connecticut all my life. While employed with the U.S. Department of Justice, I attended the University of New Haven, West Haven, CT, where I received my BS in Forensic Science with a minor in Chemistry. I later attended the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine, Bridgeport, CT, where I received my ND degree. In addition, I attended the college's Nutrition Institute were I received my MS in Human Clinical Nutrition.
While I was a medical student, I performed a 100 hour preceptorship at the D'Adamo Clinic over a period of six months, as well as an addition 131 hour externship with the clinic¡¦s former resident, Dr. M. Samm Robinson. I have both the Fellow and Master certifications from the Institute for Human Individuality. Besides an individual approach to both nutrition and medicine, I have a special interest in endocrinology and auto-immune disease. Enough of the "details".....
I was first introduced to the Blood Type Diet in 1997 when a close relative was reading the book. I remember thinking how interesting a concept it was to approach diet based on an individual's blood type. I never thought I would actually have the opportunity to one day be mentored by the genius we call Dr. Peter D'Adamo! It never ceases to amaze me how things in life just fall in place. An interesting side note, at birth my parents were told that my blood type was B+. This couldn¡¦t be possible based on my parents' blood types, but the hospital insisted it was. During immunology class as an undergrad, I identified my blood type myself. I am actually an A- (the same as my dad, to include all the other markers), so I guess it is a good thing that I didn't need a blood transfusion when I was born!
Over this past summer, I acted as Dr. D'Adamo's locum tenens while he was on sabbatical finishing his new book. In August, Martha and Dr. D'Adamo asked if I would like to join the clinic staff full time. I gladly accepted! Who wouldn't want to continue to learn and grow in an environment with one of the greatest physicians of our time?! Not to mention an amazing group of patients that makes their health a personal mission!
My experience at the clinic thus far has been nothing short of amazing. I am an extremely family oriented individual having been raised in a large but close knit Italian family. It is wonderful to be in a work environment that feels like home. From the caring staff at the clinic and NAP, right down to the patients, you can not help but feel like everyone is part of the bigger picture. It is unbelievable how bringing everything down to individuality really puts things into unity. :-)
What I hope to accomplish with this blog is for me to be able to share some of the clinic experience with you. If you haven't been to the clinic for some time, you may notice some changes since your last visit. Besides my addition, we have two wonderful and talented 4th year medical interns from the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine with us, Leigh White and Lauren Cassandra. They take an active participation in your individualized healthcare experience, and I am positive that you will find them to be a pleasure. Gordon is doing an excellent job handling our patients' dispensary needs. Last, but certainly never least, we can't forget Joan, the woman with many hats. Joan does an amazing job juggling the schedule and pretty much holding down the fort! (She has made my transition into part of the clinic staff much smoother.)
I look forward to meeting all of you at your clinic visits. :-)
Well, until I blog again...
Yours in health,
STUDY: Women with early-stage ovarian cancer may do better if they receive chemotherapy immediately after undergoing surgery.
JOURNAL: Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2003;95:94-95,113-132
AUTHORS: Dr. Mahesh Parmar
ABSTRACT: Two large, newly released European studies suggest that women with early-stage ovarian cancer may do better if they receive chemotherapy immediately after undergoing surgery.
COMMENTARY: Both studies found chemotherapy reduced the risk of a cancer recurrence. One found the treatment increased survival, but the other did not.
However, the studies are not the final word on the benefits of chemotherapy following surgery, said Dr. Debbie Saslow, of the American Cancer Society, who was not involved in either study.
"Women still need to discuss their particular situations with their doctors and decide about which course of treatment may be best for them."
Currently, women diagnosed with early-stage ovarian cancer tend to have surgery and if the cancer comes back, additional surgery and chemotherapy are recommended, according to Saslow, director of breast and gynecologic cancer at the American Cancer Society. In about 50% of cases, women with early-stage cancer experience a relapse after surgery.
Previous studies have shown that some women with early-stage ovarian cancer can be cured by surgery alone and therefore can avoid the devastating side effects of chemotherapy.
One important factor is to determine how far the disease has progressed so an informed decision can be made, Slaslow explained.
In the first study, the International Collaborative Ovarian Neoplasm Collaborators led by Dr. Mahesh Parmar of the Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit in London, England looked at 477 women who either had chemotherapy after surgery or had surgery alone.
After five years, women who received chemotherapy had a 9% greater overall survival (79% versus 70%) and an 11% greater chance of not having a recurrence of their cancer (73% versus 62%), according to the report published in the January 15th issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
In the second study, 448 women with early-stage ovarian cancer had either chemotherapy and surgery or had surgery alone.
In this study, after 5.5 years no difference in overall survival was detected between the two groups of women. However, women who got chemotherapy were less likely to have their cancer come back, according to the study's lead author, Dr. J. Baptist Trimbos of Leiden University Medical Center in The Netherlands and colleagues.
Overall, 76% of patients treated with chemotherapy were recurrence-free compared with 68% of patients not treated with chemotherapy.
The trials included a mix of patients, some with a poor prognosis and others with a better prognosis, based on the types of tumors they had. The studies do not help determine which women can be spared chemotherapy.
More research needs to be conducted to better identify women "who do not require additional therapy, while also seeking to improve therapy in patients who do."
STUDY: Losing just over two pounds is associated with a 1% reduction in cholesterol and a 2% reduction in triglycerides.
JOURNAL: Journal of the American Medical Association 2003;289:323-330
AUTHORS: Dr. Anne McTiernan
ABSTRACT: Regular, moderate exercise can lower the risk of heart disease among older women by boosting fitness and trimming tummy fat, new research shows.
COMMENTARY: The study found that postmenopausal women who began an exercise program of brisk walking or cycling five days a week lowered their levels of abdominal fat by about 6% and lost weight, regardless of body weight or age.
Not surprisingly, the most active women lost the most body fat and the most weight.
Women who did no cardiovascular exercise but performed stretching exercises one day a week actually saw intra-abdominal fat and weight increase slightly after a year.
The results suggest a strategy for lowering the risk of heart disease, a leading cause of death among women. Intra-abdominal fat is considered a major risk factor for heart disease and is also associated with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Fit individuals, or those able to maintain an elevated heart rate over time, are also less likely to die of heart disease regardless of body weight, Dr. Anne McTiernan from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, and colleagues explain.
Therefore, the study has implications for the soaring rates of obesity in the US. Nearly two-thirds of the adult population is now considered overweight or obese, as measured by body mass index (BMI). An adult with a BMI above 25 is considered overweight and one with a BMI exceeding 29 is considered obese.
Dieting, previous studies have shown, may be just part of the solution. To investigate the effect of regular exercise on body fat and weight, researchers divided 168 inactive women aged 50 to 75 years into two groups. All women had BMIs over 25.
The exercisers were instructed to walk on a treadmill or cycle on a stationary bicycle for at least 45 minutes, five days a week, for one year. Weight training was recommended but not required. Women in the control group performed a series of stretching exercises one day a week for the year.
The most active women, or those who exercised more than 3 hours and 15 minutes a week, lost about 7% of their intra-abdominal fat, compared with a loss of 6% among intermediate exercisers, as measured by a CT scan. Those who exercised less than 2 hours and 15 minutes a week lost 3.4% of their intra-abdominal fat, while women in the control group gained 0.1% intra-abdominal fat, the study found.
Body weight decreased by an average of 1.3 kilograms (kg) or nearly three pounds in the group of exercises, while body weight rose very slightly (.2 pounds) in the group of stretchers.
"Women should be relieved that when they increase their exercise levels, they are doing good things for their bodies and health, even if they don't see much change on the scale," McTiernan said in an interview.
According to a study cited in her article, losing just over two pounds is associated with a 1% reduction in cholesterol and a 2% reduction in triglycerides, a type of body fat associated with heart disease. Losing this amount of weight can also reduce fasting blood sugar, an indicator of diabetes risk.
STUDY: Preventing infant sleeping problems should be more cost-effective than treating them after they have arisen.
JOURNAL: Arch Dis Child. 2003;88:108-111
AUTHORS: M. Nikolopoulou and Ian St. James-Roberts
ABSTRACT: Newborn infants that feed too often are at high risk for disrupted night sleep. However, these infants may benefit from a simple preventive behavioral program.
COMMENTARY: Many Western parents find infant and child night waking to be a source of substantial stress, both for themselves and their relationships with their children.
In a community sample of 316 newborn infants, those who had more than 11 feeds per 24 hours at one week of age were 2.7 times (95% confidence interval, 1.5 - 4.8) more likely to fail to sleep through the night at 12 weeks of age.
The infants and their families were randomized to receive one of three interventions: a three-step behavioral program, an educational booklet and helpline access for sleeping problems, or routine services. The behavioral program consisted of maximizing the difference between night and day environments by minimizing light and social interaction at night; avoiding feeding or cuddling at night; and from the age of three weeks, gradually delaying feeds when the baby awoke at night.
At 12 weeks, 82% of at-risk infants who received the behavioral program slept through the night, compared with 61% of at-risk infants who received the other interventions. The findings were similar for both bottle- and breast-fed babies.
"Preventing infant sleeping problems should be more cost-effective than treating them after they have arisen," the authors write. "This study provides evidence that it is possible to identify infants who are at risk of failing to sleep through the night at an early age, and that a simple, three step, preventive behavioral program increases the number who sleep through the night by 21%."