Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Just Say No: When It Makes Sense Not to Take Your Medicine

Time Magazine    It sounds like something a quack would support, but it’s true. There’s growing evidence that lifestyle changes such as eating a healthier diet and exercising more may be enough to prevent and even treat conditions ranging from diabetes to cancer.

The latest comes from a review of studies, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, that analyzed the effects of a combination of behaviors that reduced the rate of Type 2 diabetes among those at high risk of developing the disease. Making over their diets and boosting their amount of daily exercise, as well as quitting smoking and managing their stress were enough to help the participants, all of whom had high blood-sugar levels that precede diabetes, lower their glucose and avoid getting diagnosed with the disease.

And it’s not the first study to hint at the power of the pharmaceutical-free approach. A study published this month in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention reported that brisk walking cut postmenopausal women’s breast-cancer risk by 14% compared with those who didn’t walk. Women who exercised more vigorously enjoyed a 25% drop in risk of developing the disease. Another report in the journal Lancet Oncology found that a plant-based diet, stress management and other lifestyle changes contributed to longer-lived cells among men with prostate cancer. Those results echoed previous work that documented that the same lifestyle-based changes contributed to fewer recurrent tumors among men who had been treated for prostate cancer.

Taken together, the data has more doctors putting away their prescription pads when they see certain patients. The pill-free route isn’t for everyone, however, so it’s important for physicians and patients to understand when it’s appropriate and when it isn’t. [...]


  1. RDE: I've always wondered what the title of your blog, "Daas Torah", is referring to and why you chose that name.

    1. Does the title Daas Torah bother you or you don't understand why topics involving health are included?

      In general Daas Torah refers to a range of legitimate Torah viewpoints. As the Rambam has pointed out - being healthy is a Torah issue. As he puts in one can not properly serve G-d without being healthy.

      Another way of putting is - Daas Torah encompasses an understanding of ideas and issues that are appropriate for a ben Torah to be aware of in order to serve G-d properly

    2. My question has nothing to do with this thread; I had to pick some thread to ask, since none are related to my question.

      I know what the term Daas Torah means and how it is generally used today, I just don't understand how you tie it into this blog. The title doesn't bother me; in fact I like it.

      Are you saying that you chose this title to indicate your desire to discuss ideas and issues appropriate for Jews to be aware of? Can you again clarify how the term Daas Torah fits into that idea? I'm sure it makes sense, but I just don't understand the connection.


    3. I'll try again - Daas Torah is used in two way - one THE CORRECT WAY TO UNDERSTAND ACCORDING TO GEDOLIM WITH RUACH HAKODESH the more traditional understanding is that is is a very which has a Torah basis and is a legitimate way to understand matters. It isn't limited to specific halachos or hashkofas.

      As Rav S R. Hirsch notes in his 18th Letter - one can acquire knowledge and then try to force Torah into compatiblitiy with a secular understanding or one can assimilate knowledge through a Torah perspective

  2. It should be noted that the same study also shows that once you are diagnosed with diabetes and heart disease you cannot cure yourself with diet and exercise. Prevention is the key, otherwise it's pills.

    1. It depends on the heart disease. Dean Ornish pioneered work showing reversal of, among other things, coronary artery disease with lifestyle modification. It isn't easy, but it can often be done.

      It's difficult enough that to say "cure yourself" is mostly inaccurate anyway. It takes skilled professional guidance.

    2. My sister, who is a professor of Nursing at Rutgers was able to reverse her insulin dependent diabetes with diet, exercise and pancreatic enzymes. She weaned herself off insulin with her doctor's blessings and supervision.

      Prevention is better, but it is also not hopeless after the onset of disease.


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