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Blood Glucose, MGUS, Myeloma & Metformin (Part One)

Home/Nutrition, Support, Tips/Blood Glucose, MGUS, Myeloma & Metformin (Part One)

Blood Glucose, MGUS, Myeloma & Metformin (Part One)

Last month our old friend and guest columnist, Danny Parker, approached me about writing a multi-part series about his passion: helping to control multiple myeloma using a combination of lifestyle, diet and possibly complimentary drugs not normally used to treat myeloma.

IMG_1124I’m not sure how many of you know this, but Danny is a prolific and well respected author of World War II history; he’s published several books about America’s life and death struggle with Nazi Germany.

In his day job, Danny is a research scientist with the University of Central Florida, where he studies how to transform our houses to zero energy homes. He’s busy.

Labeled early on as a high risk myeloma patient in 2010, Danny has responded to therapy better than expected. Could one reason be the way that Danny has zealously modified his lifestyle to make it harder for myeloma to get comfortable and grow?

For years, Danny has advocated a diet low in sugar and carbohydrates and high in foods and spices with anti-cancer properties. In his nine part series, Danny outlines his recommendations, including the latest research showing the possible addition of a well-known diabetic drug that may work to slow multiple myeloma, too.

The nine part series has been medically reviewed by a trio of well known myeloma experts: Dr. Steven Rosen at City of Hope in California, Dr. S. Vincent Rajkumar with Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and Dr. Robert Orlowski at M.D. Anderson in Houston.

Learning this tipped me off; expect Danny’s nine part series to push the boundaries of conventional myeloma therapy and help usto learn about the difficult challenges faced by cancer researchers.

We’ll run two installments a week, starting today:

Blood Glucose, MGUS, Myeloma&Metformin: Could an Anti-Diabetic Drug Become a Useful Therapeutic Agent to Help Treat Multiple Myeloma?

1) Introduction

It’s not been a good month for sugar or bacon.

“Every food a person might eat either fights or contributes to disease,” says Dr. Stephen L. Kopechy with the Mayo Clinic.

I have been writing for Pat for some time about myeloma, diet, exercise and quality of life. If you’ve followed my recommendations, you might note I advocate a diet for myeloma patients similar to that recommended for patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

http://multiplemyelomablog.com/2012/11/diet-and-multiple-myeloma-danny-parkers-dietary-recommendations.html

That means eating a healthy diet so as to foster a stable and non-elevated blood glucose.

Dr. Kopechy of Mayo tries to steer patients towards the Mediterranean Diet—rich is vegetables, fish, nuts, olive oil and limited in carbohydrates, red and processed meatsand sugar.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/11/09/before-taking-medication-some-experts-suggest-foray-into-mediterranean/?_r=0

Of course, this is easier said than done for those of us who love carbohydrates or dessert, but that has remained my advice. And everything I have learned has only made that seem more valid and important.

Unless there are extenuating circumstances (e.g. renal concerns or post stem cell transplant issues) myeloma patients should aim to eat a diet low in refined carbohydrates and sugar and high in fiber, healthy fats and with plenty of vegetables and whole fruit.This will help in maintaining a stable glucose. I’ve also recommended a diet rich in various nutrients associated with possible anti-cancer proliferation potential (cruciferous vegetables, plants such as apple and basil rich in ursolic acid or parsley or celery with apigenene, or tofu with genistein).

Finally, I advocate staging the way you eat foods to help with blood sugar stability: vegetables and proteins first, carbs later and sugars the very last. Sugary drinks—a mainstay of modern American society—being a real disaster.

IMG_1185-2Did you know that a bottle of Vitamin Water—an outrageously popular beverage masquerading as a health drink– contains more sugar than three Kristy Kreme doughnuts?

Drink water folks, and if you need flavoring, then chooseone of the zero calorie sparkling waters.

Clearly sugar itself is a problem in the American diet. Did you know that the FDA just moved to recommend limiting sugar in the American diet? Worst is all the sugar that is hidden in restaurant and prepared foods.

If you are a sugar lover, you’d best not look at the following article:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/11/meals-you-can-eat-to-get-enough-sugar/415344/

And beyond avoiding the sugar debacle, you should also aim to get frequent exercise to help promote stable blood glucose. Stop looking at this computer and get out and walk.

Now, it is important for the myeloma community to know that I am not claiming that blood glucose is the most important factor in controlling myeloma. Our genetics, age, treatments and treatment history are clearly the largest influences. But there is reason to believe that controlling serum glucose might be a secondary factor.

And now, there is increasing corroboration for these recommendations from a surprising source. This time we learn of a treatment for Type 2 diabetes that may turn out to be a helpful adjunct therapy for multiple myeloma.

Thanks, Danny. I can’t wait to read tomorrow’s installment.

Feel good and keep smiling! Pat