How to Lose Weight on a Low-Carb or Glycemic-Index Diet

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.The Atkins diet consists mostly of protein and fat.

Carbohydrates have been identified by many diet experts as a prime cause of excess weight. Many popular diets are based on a low-intake of carbohydrates. A subgroup of low-carb diets, glycemic-index diets, focus on the carbohydrate effect of blood sugar levels. In this article, we'll discuss these weight-loss plans, starting with the popular Atkins Diet.

Atkins Diet: The Premise

Dr. Robert Atkins is still the king of low-carb diets, even though he passed away in 2003. He began his reign almost 35 years ago with his first diet book, Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution. His empire includes the updated and renamed Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution and the latest book, Atkins for Life, as well as a cookbook, a Web site, a line of supplements and food products, and The Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine in New York City. Follow his diet plan, Atkins said, and you'll remove toxins from your body's cells, stabilize blood sugar, and rid yourself of fatigue, irritability, depression, headaches, and joint pain.

What's for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner?The Atkins diet consists mostly of protein and fat in the form of meat, oils, butter, and cream. During the two-week "induction" period, only 20 grams of carbohydrate a day are allowed; that's less than the amount in one slice of whole-grain bread. The diet recommends that the carbohydrates come from salads and vegetables.After the two-week induction period, the dieter can increase carbohydrate consumption to 25 to 90 grams a day, depending on total daily calorie intake (that's equal to 100 to 360 calories, which is less than 10 percent of calories). Even that increase is still a tiny daily carbohydrate allowance. A healthy diet usually obtains 50 to 60 percent of calories from carbohydrate, which amounts to at least 250 grams a day.

Fact or Fiction: What the Experts Say Does the diet work? There are plenty of followers who swear by the diet's effectiveness. But according to Keith Ayoob, Ed.D., R.D., director of nutrition at the Rose F. Kennedy Center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the fact that people generally lose weight on the Atkins plan isn't necessarily a good thing. Sure, ketosis may help you lose weight, but it's also what happens when people starve. Despite Atkins' claim that the body is flushing out a lot of extra calories in the urine, one study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that only about 100 calories a day make their way into urine.

Bottom-line: There's no metabolic magic about the Atkins diet. Weight loss is inevitable when you're cutting out major food categories, thus reducing your calories. You may profit initially from the diet, but you may regain weight when you grow weary of the limited food choices and return to your previous eating habits, says Ayoob.

Since the diet does not supply enough of the body's preferred source of fuel -- carbohydrate -- your body breaks down its own muscle for energy. You lose more water as it breaks down muscle. Thus, much of the weight lost in the early weeks is the result of an unhealthy loss of muscle tissue and water.

The side effects of a low-carb, high-protein diet plan may include fatigue, nausea, headaches, constipation, and bad breath, which are caused by the buildup of ketones in the body.

People who follow a low-carbohydrate diet typically see initial improvements in blood cholesterol and glucose levels even though the diet is often high in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Experts believe those reductions are associated with the weight loss. However, studies looking at long-term effects of the diet on heart health have not been conducted. Plenty of evidence points to an increased risk for heart disease and some forms of cancer from a diet high in fat and saturated fat. Recently the Atkins program has revised its thinking on meats, bacon, eggs, and other saturated fats, saying that people should limit the amount of fatty meats and saturated fat they eat.

The Atkins diet is shy on vital nutrients supplied by fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products, including B vitamins; vitamins A, C, and D; antioxidants and phytochemicals; and calcium. Over time, a diet high in protein can draw calcium from the bones, increasing the risk of osteoporosis and hip fractures. High intake of protein can also put an added burden on the kidneys and liver.

Now let's move on to another low-carb diet: the Carbohydrate Addict's Lifespan Program Diet. It's in the next section.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

The Carbohydrate Addict's Lifespan Program Diet

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.Sugar is not on the menu for this low-carb diet.

Carbohydrate Addict's Lifespan Program maintains that excessive production of insulin triggers carbohydrate cravings that make you overeat. We'll discuss this low-carb diet here.

The Carbohydrate Addict's Lifespan Program: The Premise

This is one in a series of diet books written by the husband-and-wife team of Richard and Rachael Heller. Most of these books are follow-ups to their original 1991 book, The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet. This updated version was written with the over-40 reader in mind, but it is basically the same song with some different verses. The Hellers believe that 75 percent of overweight people -- and many people of normal weight -- are addicted to carbohydrate and that dealing with that addiction is the key to successful weight loss.

They define carbohydrate addiction as a compelling hunger, craving, or desire for carbohydrate-rich foods: an escalating, recurring need or drive for starches, snack foods, junk food, or sweets. The Hellers maintain that for some people eating carbohydrate is like doing drugs. Their diet plan greatly restricts carbohydrate intake, distributing it in measured amounts at a single meal. There is a Carbohydrate Addict's plan for just about everyone, including carbohydrate-addicted kids.

What's for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner?Though the Hellers' plan is basically a low-carb diet, it doesn't restrict carbohydrate to the extent that the Atkins diet does (see sidebar). In fact, it allows for a single carbohydrate-rich meal each day. Their diet prescription calls for two no-carb meals (called "craving-reducing" meals) and one controlled-carbohydrate meal (called a reward meal) each day. The daily reward meal consists of one-third protein-rich foods, one-third carbohydrate-rich foods, and one-third non-starchy vegetables. If you want second helpings, you have to dish up the same one-third, one-third, one-third distribution on your plate -- and eat everything. You can eat as much as you want, but you must eat it all within a one-hour time limit. The Hellers recommend eating complex carbohydrates such as pasta, bread, and potatoes. Sugar is not on the menu. Once you've lost the weight, you can add carbohydrate to your reward meal a little at a time if you're maintaining your weight.

Gains and Losses/What's the Damage? Though not as extreme as the Atkins diet, the Hellers' diet plan is just as likely to be low in calcium and fiber and high in cholesterol-raising saturated fat. The symptoms, such as weakness, irritability, and dizziness that the Hellers attribute to carbohydrate craving could be due to any number of medical conditions and should be checked out by your health care provider, not treated with a diet book. And, ironically, the lack of concentration that they attribute to overindulging on carbohydrate is actually a symptom of not getting enough carbohydrate. That's because glucose, the sugar the body manufactures from the carbohydrate you eat, is the brain's primary fuel. Like the Atkins plan and other low-carb diets, the Hellers' plan is likely to result in weight loss, at least in the beginning. But limiting all carbohydrate intake to one meal a day is not realistic, and it's unlikely that most people would be able to stick to that regimen for a lifetime.

Now let's move on to the Schwarzbein Principle Diet -- in the next section.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

Schwarzbein Principle Diet

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.A typical meal might include scrambled eggs and sausage.

The Schwarzbein Principle prohibits refined carbohydrates and other high glycemic-index foods. Learn more in this section.

Schwarzbein Principle: The Premise

As suggested by the subtitle, The Truth About Weight Loss, Health and Aging, this book is about adjusting your diet to curb disease, turn back the biological clock, and lose weight. Endocrinologist Diana Schwarzbein offers her own version of a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet that she says will help control insulin. High insulin levels, the result of a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet, are responsible for a wide variety of ills, accelerate the aging process, turn off your metabolism, and cause weight gain, food cravings, depression, and mood swings, according to Schwarzbein.

Instead of using a food pyramid model, she has developed a food box representing four food groups -- proteins, fats, nonstarchy vegetables, and carbohydrates -- that need to be eaten together in the proper amounts to balance the body's hormone systems. Sugar, says Schwarzbein, is addictive. To complement her diet plan, she recommends a variety of supplements, including a multivitamin, magnesium, calcium, 5-hydroxytryptophan, and essential fatty acids.

What's for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner?The diet provides four weeks' worth of sample menus for the "healing program," which Schwarzbein says reverses insulin resistance and repairs your metabolism. She also provides four weeks' worth of menus and recipes for vegetarians. The menus are designed to keep your insulin-to-glucagon ratio and your glycemic index balanced by providing only 15 grams of carbohydrates per meal and by including foods from the four designated food groups in the proper proportions. A typical day's menu might include scrambled eggs and sausage, oatmeal with butter and cream, and sliced tomatoes for breakfast; Cobb salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing and an apple for lunch; and roast pork loin, brown rice with butter, asparagus with butter, and a mixed-greens salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing for dinner. Two snacks are allowed, one of sunflower seeds and another of almonds and string cheese.

Fact or Fiction: What the Experts SayThe Schwarzbein Principle is basically a variation on several other high-protein, low-carb diets. If weight loss results, it's due to a reduced-calorie intake, not a dietary manipulation of hormones. Carbohydrate intake is so restricted that it could be energy draining. And the levels of cholesterol and saturated fat in the diet far exceed what almost all experts recommend for a heart-healthy diet. There is no proof, say experts, that following this diet will exert some sort of hormonal control over your body that will speed weight loss and ultimately slow the aging process.

Gains and Losses/What's the Damage?

Whether or not weight loss would actually result is unclear from the menu plans, since recommended serving sizes for many foods, including high-calorie foods, are not provided. Despite what Schwarzbein says about not focusing on calorie counts, if you eat too many calories, you'll gain weight. With the menus provided and the limited information on portion sizes, it would be easy to actually gain weight on this diet. Don't expect to lose weight fast, even if you're keeping your total calorie intake in check. Because of the limitations placed on several nutrient-rich foods, the diet could easily fall short of several nutrients, including calcium, vitamin D, folic acid, and fiber.

Let's continue looking at low-carb diets with Enter The Zone -- in the next section.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

Enter the Zone Diet

©2006 Publications International, Ltd. At dinner, Enter the Zone dieters must eat the same number of each type of block from earlier meals.

Enter the Zone advocates eating more protein and large amounts of low-glycemic index vegetables to lose weight.

Enter the Zone: The Premise

The Zone is basically a high-protein diet plan for better health, with weight loss as an added bonus. Dr. Barry Sears (a Ph.D., not an M.D.), founder of the Zone, advocates eating more protein and large amounts of low glycemic-index vegetables (those that do not raise blood sugar levels too much) to lose weight and stay healthy. In that way, his diet is much like Dr. Atkins' plan. Sears believes that it's too many carbohydrates, especially high glycemic-index carbs, that cause you to put on pounds, not extra calories.

Still, his rendition of the high-protein diet allows for considerably more carbohydrate than the Atkins diet, and he has devised his own dietary proportions, which he refers to as the "golden ratio": 40 percent carbohydrate, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fat (40/30/30). Sears insists that his diet is better at alleviating hunger and generating mental and physical energy. He claims that the diet not only burns fat, but it helps fight heart disease, diabetes, PMS, chronic fatigue, depression, and cancer, and that it helps alleviate the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and AIDS.

The Rationale

By adhering to his dietary formula -- what he calls "entering the Zone" -- Sears promises dieters a reduced risk of several diseases as well as easy weight loss. Like some other weight-loss diets, which have very little in common with the Zone, Sears' plan is supposed to do this by controlling and bringing into balance the body's hormones, particularly insulin. Sears goes so far as to say, "Food is the most powerful drug you will ever encounter. Learning how to control hormonal responses to food is your passport to entering and staying in the Zone." Though Sears has little good to say about most carbohydrates (they take you out of the Zone and are stored as excess fat), the diet allows for 40 percent of calories from high-fiber, carbohydrate-rich foods such as broccoli, cauliflower, kiwi, cherries, chickpeas, and black beans.

What's for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner?

Sears insists that the 40/30/30 ratio is the secret to good health and must be adhered to at every meal and snack, not just over the course of the day. The diet recommends that you eat five times a day and that you always eat a Zone meal or snack within one hour of waking. Food is dished up in "blocks," which are divided up into protein, fat, and carbohydrate. A meal could consist of 2 to 4 blocks of protein, carbohydrate, and fat, but it must be consistent.

In other words, if you have 2 blocks of protein, 2 blocks of carbohydrate, and 2 blocks of fat at breakfast, you must eat the same number of each type of block at lunch and dinner, too. The diet generally ends up providing about 800 to 1,200 calories a day. The guidelines about the number of blocks each of us needs are fairly strict, and the book guides readers in determining protein needs based on body size, age, and activity level. Once you know what your protein needs are, you'll also be able to set limits for the amount of fat and carbohydrate you can eat.

But it's difficult to plan and follow the ratio, making sure to choose the right food and stick to the prescribed number and proportion of food blocks at each meal. Because the carbohydrate foods allowed generally provide so few calories per serving, the dieter is required to consume large quantities from the "favorable carbohydrates" list. To avoid hunger and maintain your energy, you should never let more than five hours pass without eating a Zone-favorable meal or snack. Several packaged Zone-friendly foods, such as snack bars, microwavable meals, and drinks, as well as Zone-friendly supplements, are available for purchase online at http://www.zoneperfect.com/. (By joining the ZonePerfect Club, you get discounts on the Zone products.)

The diet's official Web site, http://www.zonediet.com/, offers an online health profile assessment, customized meals, interactive tools, shopping lists, online nutritionists, and other extras not found in the book. You'll pay $52 for every 3 months of membership.

Fact or Fiction: What the Experts Say

Chris Rosenbloom, Ph.D., R.D., associate professor of nutrition at Georgia State University, has analyzed and even followed the diet herself and says it's hard to plan and stick with Sears' recommendations. And all his talk about "carbohydrate hell" -- the physical problems that eating too many high glycemic-index foods cause -- has little basis in fact. The diet may work for some people, but it's no magic formula for weight loss, Rosenbloom says.

Gains and Losses/What's the Damage?

Rosenbloom's analysis of the Zone found it came up short in B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc. The restrictions to only low glycemic-index foods leave some super-nutritious foods, which happen to be high glycemic, out of the plan. Moreover, the diet advises against dairy foods and wheat and therefore could come up low in calcium, vitamin D, and fiber. Ironically, though Sears promises dieters increased energy, sticking with the diet too long could end up making you feel dragged down. That's because the calorie levels can be far too low to keep you going or provide all the nutrients necessary for good health.

SugarBusters! is another glycemic-index diet. Click on the next section to learn more.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

SugarBusters!

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.SugarBusters! incorporates unprocessed, whole foods.

SugarBusters! is a glycemic-index diet that eliminates sugar and foods high in sugar. Learn more in this section.

SugarBusters!: The Premise

This diet program, described most recently in The New SugarBusters! Cut Sugar to Trim Fat, has become a virtual classic among dieters. The message is straightforward and clear: Sugar makes you fat; only by avoiding it, as well as foods that cause blood sugar to rise, can you hope to lose weight and keep it off. The diet doesn't restrict your total carbohydrate intake, but it prohibits or severely restricts certain carbohydrate foods such as refined sugar, honey, white potatoes, white bread, beer, rice, pasta, and corn. SugarBusters! also includes a little bit of food-combining theory in the mix, recommending that you eat fruits by themselves. You don't need to count calories, weigh foods, or calculate grams of carbohydrates on this plan, but you are expected to balance the portions on your plate and "eyeball" your portion sizes. And no going back for seconds or thirds.

The Rationale

What's for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner?The SugarBusters! diet is based on low glycemic-index (GI) carbohydrates (those with the least effect on blood sugar levels), including high-fiber fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; lean meats; and fats. The book has several charts showing the GI of foods, as well as lists of acceptable foods and foods to avoid. According to the SugarBusters! theory, the lower a food's GI, the less effect it has on blood sugar levels and the better it is for weight loss.Because you'll be eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you'll be taking in lots more vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals (disease-preventing compounds found in plant foods). The book provides two weeks of sample menus; about one-fourth of the book is devoted to SugarBusters!-friendly recipes. Although you don't have to count carbohydrate grams on this diet, by avoiding refined sugar and processed grain products, you'll likely eat fewer carbohydrates than you do now. The SugarBusters! Cookbook offers 175 recipes that fit into the SugarBusters! Meal plans and a shopper's guide for easy access to guidelines while shopping.

Fact or Fiction: What the Experts Say This is an area of controversy. Proponents of the insulin theory say that eating a diet full of high glycemic-index foods causes the body to overproduce insulin, prevents the breakdown of fat, and encourages fat storage. Opponents believe that overproduction of insulin is caused by insulin resistance, in which fat, liver, and muscle cells become insensitive to normal levels of insulin. With insulin resistance, larger and larger amounts of insulin are pumped into the blood in an effort to lower blood sugar. This, they say, is caused by obesity. Insulin-theory proponents, on the other hand, say that overproduction of insulin is the cause, rather than the effect, of weight gain.

There's research to back up both points of view. According to Hope Warshaw, M.MSc., R.D., a certified diabetes educator and author of Diabetes and Meal Planning Made Easy, eating too much of any kind of carbohydrate can cause too much insulin to be produced, and it can result in weight gain because of the extra calories. The general recommendation today, even for people with diabetes, is to tightly control the total number of carbohydrate grams you eat each day rather than worry about their source.

Gains and Losses/What's the Damage?

If you set aside some unproven explanations as to why the diet works, SugarBusters! offers up a healthful diet plan that encourages dieters to eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while avoiding junk foods and sweet desserts. However, physical activity takes a back seat in this diet. The suggestion to exercise for at least 20 minutes four days per week is considerably less than the amount of exercise recommended in current national guidelines. A change in diet combined with an increase in regular physical activity is the best formula for weight loss and weight-loss maintenance. Very little dairy is included in the SugarBusters! diet plan, so it's likely to be low in calcium and vitamin D. But a multivitamin plus a calcium supplement should be more than enough to make up the difference.

We'll talk about the famous South Beach Diet in the next section.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

South Beach Diet

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.South Beach Diet encourages high-fiber vegetables.

The South Beach Diet eliminates carbs for the first two weeks, then gradually reintroduces "good carbs."

South Beach Diet: The Premise

The South Beach Diet was developed by Dr. Arthur Agatston, a cardiologist, out of frustration with his patients' lack of results when they followed high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets. His plan is neither low carb nor low fat. Instead, Agatston concentrates on teaching you how to eat the right carbs and the right fats to help you lose weight and reverse health problems associated with being overweight.

He blames highly processed carbohydrates for creating food cravings and says that learning to control the cravings will lead to weight loss. Considered by some to be a relaxed version of the Atkins diet, the South Beach Diet starts with a two-week phase that eliminates most carbohydrates. After this, the diet gradually reintroduces "good carbs," including fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber grains, and healthier unsaturated fats.

What's for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner? Agatston believes that hunger undermines weight-loss plans, so he doesn't require you to count calories, carbohydrate, protein, or fat. If you follow his eating plan, he says, your hunger will be under control. In the first two weeks of the plan, you cleanse your body by eliminating carbs altogether. There are no limits on allowed foods, but meals should be just enough to relieve your hunger. In Phase 2 you liberalize your carb intake gradually while watching your weight and how you feel. Preferred carbohydrates during this phase are those with a low glycemic-index score (a measure of the degree to which a certain food increases blood glucose levels), such as whole grains, some fruits, and plain yogurt). But you should not go overboard on the good carbs, either, because large portions of these foods can still increase your blood glucose and insulin levels. Once you reach your goal weight, you can move into Phase 3, the maintenance phase. At this point, any food is allowed, including desserts on occasion, but if you begin to gain weight, you are directed to go back to Phase 1 or 2 to get back on track. Two weeks of sample meal plans and dozens of recipes are provided for each phase of the diet. More recently, Agatston released The South Beach Diet Cookbook offering many more recipes and tips. At most supermarkets, you can find various packaged foods carrying the South Beach Diet name, including snacks, cereals, cookies, crackers, frozen entrees, wraps, and desserts. These are healthy and convenient options, but considerably more expensive than buying whole foods.

Fact or Fiction: What the Experts Say After the first phase, the diet is much more moderate than the Atkins diet. However, there are no limits on any of the allowed foods during Phase 2 and 3, which could be a concern. While Agatston instructs dieters to eat normal-size meals, this could be a problem for those who have problems interpreting their feelings of hunger and fullness. On the flip side, the plan does encourage snacking and desserts, which can help keep hunger at bay and reduce feelings of deprivation. Many experts contend that making food choices based on glycemic index is a limited way of looking at foods. Doing away with carbs such as carrots, potatoes, pasta, bananas, pineapple, and watermelon during the early phases of the diet simply because of their higher glycemic score ignores the fact that these foods contain essential nutrients.

Gains and Losses/What's the Damage?

Overall, the diet recommended in Phases 2 and 3 is fairly well-balanced and moderate. You can expect to have lower glucose, insulin, and cholesterol levels, though more likely as a consequence of weight loss than the diet itself. Agatston recommends exercise but says it's not necessary to lose weight; rather, it's key for faster weight loss and for reducing insulin and glucose levels. The recommendation to go back to Phase 1 or 2 any time you start gaining weight could cause nutrient shortfalls if you stay on the restrictive Phase 1 diet too long. Since weight loss will slow during Phase 2 and pounds may creep back on during Phase 3, dieters may get frustrated and want to return to, or stay on, Phase 1. The online program allows you to better personalize the diet compared to the book alone, but plan to pay about $65 for 3 months of this service. With the online ability for personalization, The South Beach Diet has more potential for lasting and healthy results.

Now you've got "the skinny" on low-carb and glycemic-index diets. Consider whether one sounds right for you.

©Publications International, Ltd.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.