Preventive Medicine

Dr. Kent Speaks at Harvard Medical School Conference

Naples Lifestyle Medicine Physician Speaks at Harvard Medical School Conference on Healthy Aging

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Kriston Kent M.D. MPH, a Naples lifestyle medicine physician, recently spoke to over 400 attendees at the Harvard Institute of Lifestyle Medicine conference entitled: “Practicing Lifestyle Medicine: Tools for Promoting Healthy Change“. This course took place in Boston on June 26-27.

DrKent_Harvard1Dr. Kent’s presentation highlighted his model of using a team approach to creating a lifestyle change. The “Dream Team“, as it was called at the conference, included a lifestyle medicine physician (Dr. Kent), a nutritionist, an exercise specialist, a behavior specialist, and a health coach. Dr. Kent is the owner/medical director of the Kent Center for LIFE which often uses this team approach to help patients avoid chronic diseases and treats patients with chronic diseases using lifestyle modification instead of medications and medical procedures. This approach actually treats the cause of most chronic illnesses, instead of just the symptoms.

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By |July 9th, 2015|Healthy Aging, Healthy Living, Preventive Medicine, Speaking Engagements|Comments Off on Dr. Kent Speaks at Harvard Medical School Conference

Treating the Type 2 Diabetes Epidemic

(This article will be published in the November 2014 issue of Southwest Florida Health & Wellness.
Read the article on that site here.)

Type 2 Diabetes Epidemic: Should we treat the symptoms, or should we treat the cause?

By Kriston J. Kent, M.D., MPH

Type 2 Diabetes EpidemicType 2 Diabetes, formerly known as the Adult Onset Diabetes (because it almost never occurred before adulthood), is now occurring in epidemic proportions in the US, and in many areas throughout the world.  Genes almost certainly play a role in the predisposition to type 2 Diabetes.  However, it is equally clear that those who are predisposed to diabetes are not destined to develop it unless they also develop poor lifestyle/health habits.  Furthermore, it is refreshing to note that, even in those who have developed type 2 Diabetes, it can be reversed with significant changes in lifestyle habits.

Study after study has confirmed, and I have witnessed, multiple patients who have reversed all of their signs, symptoms, and lab values of type 2 Diabetes using simple lifestyle modification.  With the reversal of certain biometrics and lab values, it has been proven that severe problems, like blindness, kidney failure, and heart disease can be completely avoided in these patients.

On the other hand, using standard medical therapy of oral medications and/or insulin typically leads to weight gain, and a myriad of other health problems.  Simply treating high blood sugar levels (a symptom of diabetes) with medications which lower blood sugar levels does not, in any way, treat the cause of diabetes.  Ironically, though medications may be necessary at first, if appropriate lifestyle changes are made, then there […]

By |November 4th, 2014|Healthy Living, Preventive Medicine|Comments Off on Treating the Type 2 Diabetes Epidemic

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

(This article will be published in the October 2014 issue of Southwest Florida Health & Wellness.)

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month:
Can Lifestyle Changes alter Gene Expression and Alter our Destiny?

This month has become known as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Due to the fact that 1 in 8 females in the US will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime, this designation seems more than appropriate.  In addition to our acknowledgment, support, and concern for the victims of breast cancer, it seems essential that we concentrate on the “Awareness” aspect of preventing this devastating, health denying disease.  Awareness of the lifestyle habits and medications which are strongly associated with the development of breast cancer can potentially provide an opportunity to prevent most breast cancers, and to successfully prevent recurrence in individuals who have already suffered from breast cancer. Finally, it is preferable to avoid the challenges associated with conventional treatment.

Does Our Destiny lie in our Genes?

Like most of the most common debilitating and deadly diseases in our country, there is definitely a genetic predisposition to developing breast cancer.  However, having inherited the genes which make us susceptible to developing breast cancer does not mean that breast cancer will inevitably occur.  In actuality, new and evolving research leads us to believe that gene expression is more controlled by lifestyle habits, and what we choose to eat, than by preprogramming.  Said another way, what seems to be more important are what we do, and what we do not do, than what genes we inherit.

Or is it our “Epigenes”

So, if we are unfortunate to inherit a genetic predisposition for breast cancer, how it is possible to avoid the eventual development of breast cancer?  The […]

By |September 23rd, 2014|Healthy Living, Preventive Medicine|Comments Off on October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • heart
    February is Heart Month February is Heart Month

    February is Heart Month

February is Heart Month

Can heart attacks be virtually eliminated?

A recent editorial in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology stated that medical research “has revealed enough about the causes and prevention of heart attacks that they could be nearly eliminated.” Yet the reality is that 16 million Americans are living with coronary heart disease and half a million die from it each year. In fact, coronary heart disease is the number-one killer in our country and a major contributor to our health care crisis.

So why does our country’s number-one health problem, which is essentially preventable, continue to be so prevalent? It’s not because prevention doesn’t work—and not because it’s “too late” once heart disease or heart attacks have already occurred. The most likely culprits are our lifestyle choices and behaviors, as well as the current trend of treating the precursors and symptoms of heart disease aggressively, but overlooking the causes and failing to prescribe a path toward prevention.

It is clear to anyone familiar with medical literature that maintaining an appropriate diet and engaging in moderate physical activity on a daily basis can reverse or eliminate major cardiovascular risk factors. And when major cardiovascular risk factors are eliminated, the chances of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality are drastically reduced. In other words, it really is true that heart attacks can be virtually eliminated without the need for drugs, surgery or some new “miracle breakthrough.” It’s as simple as paying careful attention to our diet, physical activity, and our addictions and stress levels.

Heart Health Tips:

 • Use Food As Your Medicine

  • Eat whole, non-processed, food—mostly plants, and not too much
  • At least 5 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables daily, preferably 9
  • Avoid refined grains
  • Eat beans and nuts daily
  • Eat food sources […]
By |February 19th, 2014|Healthy Living, Preventive Medicine|Comments Off on February is Heart Month
  • Stretching
    Can heart attacks really be virtually eliminated? Can heart attacks really be virtually eliminated?

    Can heart attacks really be virtually eliminated?

Can heart attacks really be virtually eliminated?

An editorial in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology recently suggested that “medical research has revealed enough about the causes and prevention of heart attacks, that they could be nearly eliminated”. On the other hand, they lamented that 16 million Americans are living with coronary heart disease and half of million die from it each year. In fact, coronary heart disease is by far the #1 killer in our country, and a major contributor to our health care crisis.

So why is the #1 health problem in our country essentially preventable and yet it continues to be so prevalent? It’s not because prevention doesn’t work, and not because it is “too late” once heart disease or heart attacks have already occurred. The most likely reason is because of our lifestyle choices and behaviors combined with the current approach of treating the precursors and symptoms of heart disease aggressively, but not the causes. It is quite clear to almost all who know the medical literature that an appropriate diet and moderate physical activity on a daily basis will lead to the absence of major cardiovascular risk factors. Furthermore, the absence of major cardiovascular risk factors is clearly shown to be highly protective against cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. In other words, it is really true that heart attacks can be virtually eliminated without the need for drugs, surgery, or some new “miracle breakthrough”. It is as simple as paying careful attention to our diet, our physical activity, our addictions, and our stress levels.

By |October 23rd, 2013|Healthy Living, Preventive Medicine|Comments Off on Can heart attacks really be virtually eliminated?
  • HealthyFood
    The miracle of the Mediterranean diet and what is “Sofrito”? The miracle of the Mediterranean diet and what is “Sofrito”?

    The miracle of the Mediterranean diet and what is “Sofrito”?

The miracle of the Mediterranean diet and what is “Sofrito”?

Another study recently concluded the incredible benefits of the Mediterranean based diet. The study, recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, looked at nearly 7500 individuals with major cardiac risk factors. These include hypertension, overweight, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and smoking. Any of these sound familiar?

The study was very well-designed and controlled, and carefully monitored each of 3 groups. Over a 5 year period the participants were placed in 1 of 3 groups. The first group was assigned a low fat diet consisting of reduction in both animal and plant fat. The next 2 groups were considered “Mediterranean diets” and included either daily extra virgin olive oil (4 TBSP/day) or regular consumption of nuts (3 or more servings/week) combined with the following: Fruits–3 servings daily, Vegetables–2 servings daily, Fish–3 servings or more/week (preferably fatty Fish), beans–3 or more servings/week, Sofrito–2 or more servings/week. A glass of wine with dinner was optional and only recommended if already a regular habit. For those who are unfamiliar with Sofrito, it is a traditional Mediterranean sauce which consists of tomato, onion, garlic, EVOO, and herbs.

The results were clear: After 5 years, the participants who followed either of the two Mediterranean diets showed a substantial reduction in the risk of suffering a cardiovascular death, a myocardial infarction or a stroke. How much reduction? Greater than 30%!

Once again, we see that the evidence is clear: For cardiovascular health, a diet high in whole plant foods, and ample portions of healthful fats beats a low-fat diet AND a typical American diet every time! (And some fatty fish each week may help too).

 

 

By |April 22nd, 2013|Preventive Medicine|Comments Off on The miracle of the Mediterranean diet and what is “Sofrito”?
  • Berries
    Power of Prevention: An ounce of prevention… Power of Prevention: An ounce of prevention…

    Power of Prevention: An ounce of prevention…

Power of Prevention: An ounce of prevention…

According to a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), chronic diseases account for 75% of health care expenditures. Ironically, most of these chronic diseases have proven modifiable risk factors. In fact, 4 health behaviors (smoking, diet, physical activity, and alcohol) are directly related to development of these chronic diseases, or avoidance of these chronic diseases. While most Americans await the latest biomedical advances to address these health behavior issues, simple lifestyle modification provides far more success. A glaring example of this is seen by the fact that a new diabetes or anti-obesity drug can make headlines if it reduces glycohemoglobin levels or body weight by 0.5%. In contrast, exercise can lower the incidence of diabetes by 50%, and appropriate diet modification can have dramatic effects on weight loss. Yes, Benjamin Franklin was right! It is still as true today as it was over 200 years ago: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. And the corollary is: Prevention is not something that we can have done for us by a  professional, nor is it something that works well by avoiding lifestyle change and using medications and supplements and medical procedures to address the symptoms. We all have the power within us to positively modify our health now and more importantly, to avoid the development of most chronic diseases in our future.

By |April 22nd, 2013|Preventive Medicine|Comments Off on Power of Prevention: An ounce of prevention…