Tag Archives: preventive medicine

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE EATING?

apple cutI think I’m like most people….in that I have a feeling about most of the foods I eat.   What I mean by that is not….oh, this is tasty….but rather that I have a feeling about whether I’m eating healthy or not.  If I eat a burger….I feel like ‘that’s not good for me’, while if I eat some oatmeal….I feel…”I’m being healthy.”

Our relationship with food is a curious one, and to be honest, I suspect most people in the U.S. have issues with their food choices much of the time.

With this in mind, the latest research that is returning fat and meat to the diet, as healthy choices, is both reassuring and a bit concerning.

Reassuring, for me, as a meat-eater…..giving me cover and making me feel ‘not so bad’ about the choices I make, but disconcerting in that it calls into question all of what we have been told by ‘the experts’ over the past few decades.

Books like Salt, Sugar, Fat....which was popular last summer, and which I commented on previously here in my blog, showed the issues with processed food.   Now, the upcoming book   that looks at meat and fat…. “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet,”  and reasserts that these are healthy and good to resume in our diets.

Why we have changed our minds on these topics, is elucidated in this article from the Wall Street Journal, but I think that the best advice for your diet, came from Aristotle, the great Greek Philosophy.  To shoot for ‘the golden mean’ and to find balance in all things, diet included.

See more on diet, here in my video about Ancel Keys and the Mediteranean Diet.

 

 

MEASLES VACCINATION IN THE NEWS

20633_P50R3Measles is an extremely contagious virus that has virtually been eliminated from the United States since the 1990’s due to broad-ranging immunization of children throughout the country.  Now, with the desire to avoid immunizations for their children, we are seeing a resurgence of this illness.

To understand the history of this disease and to get a superb perspective on the disease and the current issues with vaccination, read here about Dr. Samuel Katz, one of the original three researchers who pioneered the work that brought the vaccine to the public.

Currently an Emeritus Pediatric Professor at Duke University Medical Center, you can hear him talk directly in a short interview.  He is an amazing and humble researcher who has had a profound effect on the health of children in the US and in the world, saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of people worlwide, and some estimate, preventing more than 1 trillion dollars in health expenses due to prevention of illness.

Enjoy this brilliant mind>>>>>HERE.

 

 

 

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MY VITAMIN RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SPECIFIC CONDITIONS

balloonsAs most of you know, I am not a huge proponent of vitamins, based on concerns about the potential negatives they can cause,  as well as the lack of evidence for their general effectiveness.

That said, there are situations in which vitamins can be considered and here is a list of my current recommendations, with particular brands mentioned (that are known to be of high quality.  Other brands may be fine, but these are the ones I am comfortable with.)

Bones (documented osteoporosis with added Vitamin D required.)

Natural Factors Vitamin D3 (1000, 2000, 5000 unit capsules)

Calcium Citrate…..Citrical Brand (all varieties)

 

Memory Loss (ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE):

Nature Made Vitamin E 1000 unit capsules, 2 daily

B Vitamins (folic acid & B-12) in the form of Xymogen Methyl Protect, 1 daily (we have this at our office)

 

Fatty Liver (ALSO CALLED NASH…NON-ALCOHOLIC STEATOHEPATITIS):

Nature Made Vitamin E 400 units capsules, 2 daily

 

Hair Loss (Alopecia)

Nature Made Biotin 2500mcg

Natural Factors Easy Iron, 20mg tablets, 1-2 daily

 

Iron Deficiency Anemia:

Natural Factors Easy Iron, 20mg tablets, 1-4 daily (easiest on the digestion)

Ferro Sequels (Ferrous Fumarate), slow release iron, 1-4 per day

Iron Sulfate 325mg, 1-3 per day

CAUTION ADVISABLE WHEN TREATING INCIDENTAL SCAN FINDINGS

lightbulbWith the progressive improvement in imaging studies, MRI and CAT scans, we are finding more and more ‘incidental’ abnormalities, and there is now a question of ‘what to do’ with such findings.

Some might think that such incidental findings are good fortune to find by accident, so that we can treat the findings and prevent future issues, but as a recent study showed on intervening with a specific type of aneurysm of the brain found on scanning, patients who received such treatment had complications from treatment that suggest these aneurysms are better ‘left alone’.

Of course, treatment in these instances is individualized based on the patient’s situation, but it’s important to understand the limits of our preventive strategies and to keep a cool head, managing such problems in an expectant manner, watching-and-waiting, rather than intervening.

 

 

MAD COW CALCULATIONS

dreamstime_l_5740056I must admit to being a burger-junkie.  How bad such burgers are for you is a matter of great discussion and certainly for those of us who have difficulty helping ourselves, it is cause for some consternation.

To the rescue is the MAD COW CALCULATOR  which provides a simple, and reassuring way to find out how likely you are to get MAD COW DISEASE from your burger habit.  In addition, it provides a risk assessment for heart disease as well, so you get two statistics for the price of one.

Great news….MAD COW DISEASE is not that likely at all.  Best to find something else to worry about…or perhaps, continue to worry about it despite the statistical improbability.  That probably works better.

TAKE 100 ASPIRIN AND CALL ME NEXT YEAR

Should you take an aspirin daily to prevent strokes and heart attacks?  That question seems simple enough, and based on general comments you might think it is a good idea, but the scientific data on daily aspirin remains mixed.

Yes….aspirin prevents many heart attacks and strokes, but it does have side effects that are significant.  These include: excessive bleeding, including bleeding strokes….and stomach irritation from aspirin (which is known to cause ulcers).

Bayer-AspirinFor the average person these negatives are approximately equal to the positive preventive effects of aspirin, but there is an additional benefit to aspirin that is definitely worthwhile and that is the prevention of colon polyps and colon cancer.  Aspirin has been shown to confer a benefit in this regard, and when you add this benefit to the heart attack & stroke benefit, this definitely outweighs the complications.

I recommend for most people who are interested in taking aspirin daily that they purchase a bottle of #100 Coated Baby Aspirin.  Then, over the course of a year, they take the entire bottle, which is approximately 1 every 3 days or so.  With aspirin effects lasting 7 days, this program will minimize the bleeding issues while maintaining all of the potential benefits of blood thinning.

 

DO YOU HAVE CRS? DOES IT MATTER?

brainWhat is CRS? Well…it’s not a scientific term….it stands for “CAN’T REMEMBER SQUAT” …and is shorthand for the memory issues that develop as we get older.

Memory issues develop as young as 40 years-old, with the latest research showing that the 40+ brain is in decline as regards memory, and this is 10-20 years earlier than we previously thought.

With the conversation about dementia increasing with the aging of the population, the concerns about Alzheimer’s disease specifically, is becoming greater and there is an interest in educating the public about this condition.  As a result, efforts have been underway to identify patients with memory loss early to consider interventions in experimental studies.  Unfortunately, there are no medications for early memory loss, so the basics remain:  Good diet, Good exercise, and Good Habits (no smoking…to prevent strokes).

The latest article in the British Medical Journal calls into question the value of identifying patients with ‘CRS’ type memory issues early, as labeling individuals for memory loss may not be strongly associated with future issues of dementia.  Although we all remain concerned about this issue, it may be best to just ‘observe’ your memory and let things be, only  intervening with yourself or your loved-ones if the memory declines to a point of impairing day-to-day function.  Early identification may not provide benefit and may create more worry than help.

 

CHEMICALS EVERYWHERE

water bottleIn the New York Times this Sunday there was an Editorial on the topic of chemicals in our environment, organic chemicals found in many common objects and bottles, that we use every day, and the potential unknown risks they may pose.  Most interesting was the connection between these chemicals and obesity.

Yes….it’s possible that your bottled water is making you fat.  How?  Well, there are a new category of chemicals known as ‘endocrine disrupters’.  These organic chemicals are found in all sorts of plastic items, in water bottles, and in cosmetics.   They can act to interfere with normal hormone action in the body, creating a change in the metabolism that can lead to many illnesses, including obesity.

Just look at the picture accompanying his article.  Sobering information….about a topic that is just beginning to be uncovered.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/20/opinion/sunday/kristof-warnings-from-a-flabby-mouse.html?_r=0

 

 

EXCITING NEW RESEARCH FROM HOPKINS …MAKING THE PAP TEST BETTER

good news 2Pap testing is a superb method for screening for cancer of the cervix (the opening of the uterus), but there is potential promise for the pap smear as a screening test for ovarian and uterine cancer, and in a recent scientific article from Johns Hopkins, research have performed initial innovative research showing ‘proof of concept’ that the PAP test can screen for additional cancers.

Althought not ready for a few years, this technique offers great promise and we will keep you posted on the potential uses here, on our website.

Read more here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/10/health/pap-test-may-prove-useful-at-detecting-more-types-of-cancer-study-suggests.html?hp&_r=0