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Books for a healthy happy long life

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February 26, 2011



I don't know that a diagnosis of pre-diabetes is overboard at all. A blood sugar test is easy to do and inexpensive. And it's a wake up call to change your lifestyle and possibly prevent full-blown diabetes while it's still relatively easy to do. Studies show that losing a bit of weight can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes for people with pre-diabetes. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to have complications, which means that delaying it can add healthy years to your life. The benefit would decrease with age of onset. It's not a useful diagnosis if you're 80. But I'd want to know if I had pre-diabetes at the age of 30.

I'll have to read the book, though. Maybe they have an argument I haven't thought of.

Healthy Librarian

You are right MollyJade, that a blood glucose test is a quick inexpensive screening test--and prevention, in terms of weight loss, diet change, & exercise are the best first line of defense. Drug therapy, however, for "insulin-resistance", is not w/o side effects, and can become lifelong.

I just didn't go into depth with the details (but check out the Science Friday transcript for a quick overview)--it's the idea of mass screening of people who are healthy & who have no symptoms, risk factors, or complaints & turning them into lifelong patients, that's the concern the authors are talking about--and they back this up with data & ample examples.

Each disease category has a different story & it's far more nuanced than I got into with a short summary. PSA's & mammograms often find insignificant/benign results that cause lifelong anxiety, & treatment for conditions that statistically weren't ever going to result in disease, but once found "require treatment". In the case of prostate treatment--for slow-growing non-aggressive findings--the treatment can cause lifelong problems.

There is also the whole issue of the number-(of patients) needed-to-treat (with prescriptions) to show any statistical benefit--and the value of mass screening in this respect is extremely questionable when you start treating pre-diseases. Often the risks of the drugs/procedures/and therefore, the screening tests outweigh the benefits.

The authors argue that patients need to be aware of the risks/benefits of a particular screening test or treatment--before they make a decision to partake.

The book's point is about not treating conditions like pre-diabetes, elevated cholesterol, & pre-hypertension with lifelong prescriptions, that have real side effects--but instead, with the lifestyle changes, like weight-loss & diet & exercise--that can actually prevent the disease.


I love what you are doing with this blog. Thank you. You are a tremendous resource on this journey.

Sherry Cooke

As always, thanks for your great information. As an evidenced base practioner, I am always looking for the facts. Love your information and support! Glad you got to see the launch. I am the same as you, not a huge space enthusiast either, but what an opportunity to be able to witness a great event in history!


Loving all your information - it's changed my life!
I was wondering about seeds (pumkin, sesame etc.) since Esselstyn's book & recipes doesn't mention them at all. They do add nice texture and flavors to otherwise boring combinations..
Thank you again!


My husband got his pre-diabetic diagnosis last fall and that got us started on the McDougall plant & starch based diet. Now he has lost weight, got his blood sugar controlled and lowered his cholesterol. We have both been on the vegan diet since Dec 1 2010. Love your website and all the fantastic info you provide.


Not trying to be catty, but don't you and your husband just love being the fittest looking people in any of your photos with other couples ?! You've worked hard for it, and it shows !


Carolg: For the same reason as nuts, Dr. E advises to avoid seeds. If you Google "Esselstyn" and "seeds", you can read the whole interview with Howard Lyman.


"In an attempt to avoid lawsuits, doctors have begun to leave no test undone, no abnormality--no matter how incidental--overlooked (OK--this one's a press-release exaggeration, IMHO)"

This is, unfortunately, quite true and not an exaggeration. My husband is a cardiologist. He is a wonderful, brilliant and caring physician...HOWEVER, he and all other doctors are frequently the object of lawsuits, and if there is any possible test that might have not been done, no matter how unecessary in the opinion of the doctor, it leaves him/her open to liability. How prevalent are medical malpractice suits? Well, if 99 year-old grandpa dies, there is a good chance the family will sue. And if there is any test that could have ANY possible relevance to Grandpa's condition that was not done, the doctor is in trouble.

I know it sounds absurd, but such is the state of medicine these days.

Healthy Librarian


My apologies. You aren't the only one to write the exact same comment about my statement. I heard about it from emails to mk. In interviews, Dr. Welch, prefaced the lawsuit statement by saying something life, "My colleagues wouldn't forgive me if I didn't mention the pressure to run tests to protect oneself from lawsuits. No one ever was sued for taking too many tests." Thanks for writing!


I'm enjoying all your posts! Thank you especially for posting recipes. I'm getting tired of the same old whole wheat pasta and non-fat marinara sauce all the time :) Can't wait to try the burgers and soup!

I started on the vegan (sort of Esselstine) diet in Oct 2010. Since then, I've lost 25 lbs and my cholesterol level dropped 39 points. I am still on a low dose statin, but my goal is to be off it forever in a few months.

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