President Clinton’s Heart Disease!

March 31st, 2010 by admin

Former president Bill Clinton is in the news again. On February 11, he had two stents placed in his clogged coronary arteries. Remember, only about 5 years ago he underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery.

Why did he need another procedure for clogged coronary arteries only a few years after having gone through major bypass surgery? This happens all too often. Every physician knows that. Isn’t it time we look deeper instead of just keep doing damage control by procedure after procedure?

What really causes clogging of the coronary arteries to begin with? Is it simply cholesterol? Then a cholesterol lowering medicine such as statin drug should be able to prevent further clogging of arteries. But does it? Every physician knows that patients on statin drugs continue to require repeated procedures such as stent placements and heart bypass surgery. You can verify it by sitting in an ER and taking history from those coming with chest pain. Why?

Obviously the solution is not as simple as most people are made to believe.

If you don’t identify the real root cause of a problem, you will continue to suffer its consequences.

So what is the root cause of clogging of coronary arteries? In most cases ( especially if you are overweight ) it is Insulin Resistance, a complex process in your body which is responsible not only for the clogging of  arteries, but also can lead to prediabetes, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.
Physicians who are knowledgeable in the field of insulin resistance are Endocrinologists. The irony is people rush to seek help for their clogged coronary arteries from cardiologists who do procedures aimed at fixing the consequences, but in general do not treat insulin resistance, the root cause. Therefore, people continue to suffer more and more coronary events. No one ever thinks of consulting an endocrinologist, the only physician who can take care of the root of the problem.

In additon to a cardiologist, anyone who has a coronary history should consult an endocrinologist for the evaluation and treatment of insulin resistance.

Click here to to learn about Insulin Resistance and Heart Disease.

Written by Sarfraz Zaidi, MD.

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Avandia and Heart Disease

March 31st, 2010 by DoctorZaidi

Avandia (rosiglitazone) is back in the news!

According to the New York Times, an internal F.D.A. reports say “that if every diabetic now taking Avandia were instead given a similar pill named Actos, about 500 heart attacks and 300 cases of heart failure would be averted every month because Avandia can hurt the heart.”

Since late 2007, there has been controversy about the safety of Avandia, but the F.D.A. has decided to keep the drug on the market.

Back in 1999, when Avandia and Actos were released to treat Type 2 Diabetes, like some other endocrinologists, I picked Actos over Avandia. Why? Because although the two drugs belong to the same class of drugs, TZD  (Thiazolidinediones), they are different from each other as far as their effect on Triglycerides (lipids) is concerned.

In Type 2 diabetics, there is an increase in the blood level of triglycerides, which is due to insulin resistance at the level of the fat cell. In the vast majority of Type 2 diabetics, insulin resistance is the root cause.

While Actos consistently decreases the level of triglycerides, Avandia has variable effects and can sometimes increase the blood level of triglycerides. For this reason, I decided to choose Actos over Avandia and was not swayed by the intense marketing done by Avandia’s manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline.

As it turns out, this was a good decision. My patients have benefitted from the great effects of Actos and did not suffer from the potential bad side-effects of Avandia.

Over the last ten years of using Actos in thousands of my diabetic patients, I find this drug to be safe and an extraordinary drug in treating Type 2 diabetics.

Written by Sarfraz Zaidi, MD.

All Rights Reserved.

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Can Vitamin D solve America’s health crisis

March 23rd, 2010 by admin

As I watched the intense debate on “how to fix America’s health crisis,” I started thinking in my physician mode… What about true prevention? What about keeping Americans healthy? How about truly reducing the burden of collective disease?  Then we can spend the given dollar amount more effectively on fewer health problems.

But how? Suddenly, Vitamin D popped into my head. Is vitamin D the answer to America’s health crisis? The more I pondered over it, the more convinced I became: Vitamin D may really be the answer.

Mounting scientific evidence links vitamin D deficiency to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney failure, chronic fatigue, chronic pain syndrome, osteoporosis, fractures, arthritis, common colds, flu, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, depression, dementia,  gingivitis and dental fractures.

The majority of Americans are low in vitamin D. Isn’t it obvious we can dramatically reduce the collective burden of disease by simply ensuring that each and every American has a sufficient level of vitamin D? The treatment of this epidemic of vitamin D deficiency is cheap, effective and extremely safe. The average cost to get a good dose of vitamin D from a supplement is about 20 cents a day, which almost all Americans can afford. Americans simply need direction. We health care professionals owe it to Americans. We must educate everyone about vitamin D.

Imagine the cost savings we can reap by reducing the number of angiograms, stents, bypass surgeries, chemotherapies, MRI scans, CT scans, kidney dialysis, the cost of flu vaccines, just to name a few big items. Then we will have enough funds to effectively manage the much smaller collective health burden. As each individual takes action to improve their VItamin D level, they will not only reap the benefits of improved health, but also help to contribute to the collective health and ultimately, improved financial health of the country. As one great American president once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

Written by Sarfraz Zaidi, MD.

All Rights Reserved.