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Detecting Silent Diseases Before They Strike

August 2009

By Eric Braverman, MD

Preventing Diabetes

Diabetes is probably the easiest of the silent diseases for you to predict. A sedentary lifestyle paired with excess weight and the overconsumption of high-glycemic-index foods is a recipe for disaster that can lead to Type II diabetes. Careful monitoring of your weight and your food choices will help you prevent diabetes.

Focus on lean proteins at each meal, and restrict your sugar and starch intake. You also need to choose fiber-rich whole grains to release glucose in a steady stream to moderate blood sugar levels. Good food choices include:

  • Dietary fibers
  • Eggs
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Lamb
  • Lean beef
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Nuts and seeds (raw): almonds, sesame seeds, hazelnuts, cashews
  • Poultry
  • Soy products
  • Cold-water fish
  • Veal
  • Yogurt.

Dietary supplements such as chromium, cinnamon, and alpha-amylase inhibitors (such as white kidney bean extract) may also help promote healthy blood sugar levels.64,65 Optimal levels of DHEA and testosterone also help support healthy blood sugar control.66,67

10 Most Missed Medical Messages
  1. Most medical problems are preventable.
  2. An early, thorough assessment of one’s health is crucial.
  3. There is a brain-body connection in illnesses; an imbalance in one area accelerates illness in another.
  4. You may have many untreated co-morbidities.
  5. There is a broader spectrum of illnesses related to and accelerated by menopause.
  6. Multi-modal treatment is more successful than any single treatment.
  7. Close follow-up and regular reevaluation are key to maintaining great health.
  8. Head-to-toe scanning with ultrasound is superior to a standard physical exam.
  9. Disease is a form of accelerated aging.
  10. You are only as young as your oldest part.

Am I Diabetic?

Diabetes is easily confirmed by measuring your blood glucose levels. A more accurate measurement of underlying glucose impairment is the hemo-globin A1C blood test. But be on the look out for these symptoms:

  • Blurred vision
  • Excessive thirst
  • Extreme hunger
  • Increased urination
  • Increased fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Numbness/tingling in fingers and toes
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Weight gain.


Even if you feel vibrant and healthy, disease processes like heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and diabetes may be silently underway, threatening to rob you of your future health. The key to living a long life unencumbered by disease is to identify aging parts of your body that may be experiencing decline before disease strikes and then take action to treat them. This can be accomplished with comprehensive annual check-ups that include advanced screening methods and thorough blood testing. By taking action early utilizing an integrative program of healthy diet, targeted nutrients, bioidentical hormones, and prescription therapies (as needed), you can ensure a bright healthy future free from the silent diseases that rob aging adults of their healthful vigor.

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension Health Advisor at 1-800-226-2370.

About Eric R. Braverman, MD

Dr. Eric Braverman is director of PATH Medical and the clinical assistant professor of neurological surgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in the Department of Neurosurgery. He has conducted extensive research in anti-aging medicine and in brain trauma and health. He is the author of several bestselling books, including The Edge Effect (Sterling, 2005); Younger You (McGraw-Hill, 2008); and most recently, The Younger (Thinner) You Diet (Rodale, 2008).

Body System
Supportive Nutrients

Valve disease, hypertension, coronary artery disease, weak heart muscle/cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias


  • Cinnamon

  • Niacin
  • D-ribose
  • Magnesium
  • Policosanol
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

  • Taurine
  • Garlic
  • Carnitine
  • CoQ10

Immune System
Cancers, cysts, lumps, bumps, family history of cancer

  • Vitamin C

  • Zinc
  • N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
  • Vitamin E

  • Vitamin A
  • Garlic

Weight Loss/Metabolism
Pear-shaped body, abdominal obesity, large hips, large gut, visceral fat


  • Green tea

  • Fiber
  • Pregnenolone
  • Irvingia

  • Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)

  • Chromium
  • DHEA
  • 7-Keto®-DHEA

Metabolic disorders, obesity, memory loss, weight change


  • Iodoral®

  • Zinc
  • Vitamin A
  • Carnitine

  • Tyrosine



  • Vitamin E

  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc

  • Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

  • Biotin
  • Omega-6 fatty acids (borage oil)



  • Vitamin D

  • Vitamin K

  • Calcium

  • Magnesium

Family history of cancer


  • Diindolylmethane (DIM)

  • Saw Palmetto
  • 5-Loxin®
  • Vitamin E

  • Resveratrol

Thinning hair, dry hair/skin/vagina, drooping breasts


  • Isoflavones

  • Diindolylmethane (DIM)

  • Black cohosh

  • (menopause support)

Poor sex drive, abdominal fat,
weak hips

  • Chrysin

  • Muira Rama
  • Nettle

  • Pygeum

  • Tribulus terrestris

Indigestion, GERD, Crohn’s disease, colitis, IBS


  • Fiber

  • N-acetylglucosamine (NAG)
  • Lipoic acid
  • Vitamin E
  • Green tea
  • Silymarin
  • Lecithin

  • Acidophilus

  • Licorice root
  • Glutamine

Fatty liver, liver cysts, liver tumors, hepatitis


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