Is There a Link Between Obesity and Diabetes?

8232Diabetes is the nation’s seventh-leading cause of death and a prime cause of kidney failure, blindness, nontraumatic limb amputations, heart disease, and stroke. Of the people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, about 80 percent are also diagnosed as obese. This fact provides a clue to the link between diabetes and obesity.

Being overweight places extra stress on your body in a number of ways, including your body’s ability to maintain proper blood glucose levels. Just being overweight can cause your body to become resistant to insulin. If you already have diabetes, this means you will need to take even more insulin to get sugar into your cells. And if you don’t have diabetes, the prolonged effects of the insulin resistance can eventually cause you to develop the disease.

In this Health Matters program, Dr. Alan Saltiel joins host Dr. David Granet to examine the link between weight and diabetes, how our metabolism can influence our health, the role evolution plays, and where current research is trending.

Watch Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes and visit the Health Matters series to browse more programs.

Sleep Apnea on Health Matters

8232Do you wake up in the morning tired and unrested? If so, sleep apnea may be to blame.

Though conventionally thought of as a condition that only affects older, overweight men, sleep apnea can affect anyone of any age, weight, or gender. Insufficient sleep due to sleep apnea can affect not just your day to day life but also your long-term health.

Dr. Robert Owens joins our host Dr. David Granet to discuss how much sleep we really need, how sleep apnea affects the body, as well as new techniques for diagnosing and treating sleep apnea. Go inside the UCSD Sleep Medicine Center and see how sleep tests are conducted and get the lowdown on the latest medical devices to help you get a good night’s rest.

Watch Sleep Apnea on Health Matters.

Fast Facts about Testosterone

8232Dr. T. Mike Hsieh sat down with Dr. David Granet to discuss diagnosing, treating, and living with low testosterone. Here are a few key takeaways from their talk:

  • Chemically, testosterone is a steroid hormone.
  • Andropause is the term for when a man’s testosterone level begins to decrease.
  • Restoring a hormone balance along with lifestyle changes can promote healthy weight loss.
  • Testosterone is the same in everyone’s body but the hormone receptors we have are very different. Men with less sensitive receptors are more susceptible to testosterone-based health issues.
  • Testosterone is not a magic bullet to aging.

To learn more about low testosterone, Low Testosterone with T. Mike Hsieh on Health Matters.

You've been invaded – by your Microbiome!

8232“If you like science fiction, I’m going to open with this,” begins David Granet. “You have been invaded. And the invaders are 10 times more than the number of cells in your body. They affect your health, they affect much about what your life does, and about who you are, and what you look like. What are these? It’s your microbiome.”

Microbiome researcher, Rob Knight, Phd joins host David Granet, MD for a fascinating discussion about our massive microbiome.

These tiny organisms have been with us since birth and we continue to acquire them and lose them based on our environment, our diet, and our age. Indeed, various parts of our bodies have different microbiobes which can include bacteria, fungi, and other single-celled organisms.

But don’t panic just yet! According to Knight, we don’t want to wage war on our microbiobes. Instead, he says, “You want to think of them more as a landscape you want to nurture rather than as a battlefield where you want to eliminate everything that is not you.”

So, how might our microbiome affect our health?

Here’s the story of two mice: one skinny and one fat. Each mouse has exactly the same genetics, eats the same foods, and exercises the same amount. Researchers insert the microbiome of one mouse into the other. The skinny mouse becomes fat. The fat mouse becomes skinny.

And it’s not just mice. Our human microbiome has also been shown to impact our health. Rob Knight works with the America Gut project which has collected the microbiome of thousands of people and continues to learn more about how it relates to our health and even our behavior.

“If we can start putting together that map of people who have different medical conditions and the kinds of micriobes that lead them to different places on that microbial map,” says Knight, “then we can tell you a lot more about what’s likely to happen to you, what’s happened already, and potentially what you should do about it.”

“It’s really incredible how they run us,” says Dr. Granet.

Learn more about our incredible microbiome and how it helps to define who we are.

Watch Our Micriobiome – Health Matters.

Silicone Breast Implants and the Politics of Risk

8232Silicone, not to be confused with Silicon, a chemical element that exists in nature, was first polymerized in the late 19th century. Not much was done with it until the 1930s when a chemist at Dow Corning refined it for use as a lubricant in submarines and planes. The first known medical use of silicone was during World War II as a lubricant for glass syringes.

Since then, silicone has regularly been used in electronics, cookware, the automotive industry, and especially in the medical field due to its biocompatibility. Silicone is used in liquid form as a lubricant, and in gel form as bandages, dressings, breast implants, contact lenses and more. Because silicone is extremely biocompatible, studies have shown no marked harmful effects on humans or the environment.

Despite the science, in the 1980’s several diseases were directly attributed to breast implants. Fear and panic spread as the media spun stories of breast implants causing various maladies even though existing research did not corroborate the reports.

Surgeon and historian Jack C. Fisher, author of Silicone on Trial: Breast Implants and the Politics of Risk, sits down with Dr. David Granet to discuss the controversial history of silicone medical devices – including breast implants. Though the fear surrounding their usage was unwarranted and not based in scientific fact, battles waged about their safety and government regulation followed suit. Dr. Fisher argues that regulatory policy should rely on valid science and not on the fear of risk.

Watch Silicone Breast Implants and the Politics of Risk, and browse more programs on Health Matters.