Sunday, November 7, 2010

Is Cholesterol the Threat They Tell Us?

Heart Disease is still on the rise despite a constant stream of new preventative pharmaceuticals. Western Medicine's approach to preventing heart attacks is based on study from the 1970s. They compared fat intakes. Our understanding of cholesterol are based on this study.
The problem is that the people eating the higher fat were also eating higher sugar. Was it the fat or sugar? We don't know for sure. Everything we are doing could be wrong and maybe it should be sugar that we are reducing.
Add to this that almost 20% of the population have very harsh side effects from Statin prescriptions (e.g. Lipitor). Two of which are weight gain and high blood pressure. Those are very counter productive in the attempt to reduce heart disease.
I do think High Cholesterol is a problem but I'm not sure it is as bad as they are saying. Yet sugar is a major problem in our country. Reducing that will do nothing but improve your health. And that is a Sure Thing.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Our Responsibility and Medical Errors

According to Institute of Medicine, in the year 2000 between 44,000 & 98,000 unnecessary deaths and more than a million injuries occured due to medical error.

Another study by Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH, shows that medical errors may be the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States. Some of these deaths occur as a result of drug interactions or severe side effects. These happen while using the drugs correctly.

This is not the disease causing the death or injury. This human error.

Within 1 week I had 2 patients come in complaining about side effects of their statin (cholesterol lowering) and Lasix (blood pressure reducing). Both had started their statin 1st and then later had high blood pressure (HBP). In both cases the doctors did not try a non-statin cholesterol lowering drug. A percentage of the population gets HBP from statins. Rather than try a different prescription for the high cholesterol another drug was prescribed to treat the HBP. No other approach was tried even after the woman complained about the side effects.

By changing diets and using herbs I was able do reduce the cholesterol in both patients so low that they did not need the statin which then lowered their HBP so they could get off that drug also.

Neither doctor had checked the side effects of the drugs. Neither doctor counseled on diet. They just wrote another prescription.

Western medicine in emergency situations is fantastic but there are so many drugs available that it has become difficult for doctors & nurses to keep track. It has become the patient's responsibility to watch what is going on.

Report All new symptoms and feelings. Ask questions. Be a partner in your health and recovery.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sitting Your Way to an Early Grave?

A new study has found a direct correlation to the amount that a person sits through the day and their lifespan. Researchers at Louisiana's Ochsner Health System analyzed the health and activity of 120,000 people from 1993 to 2006.
Sedentary was considered sitting 6 plus hours per day versus less than 3 hours per day. Sedentary women were 37% higher risk of death over the 14 year span. Sedentary men showed a 17% increase.

Exercise showed some extension of their lifespan but did not bring it down to the level of the 3 hours or less of sitting. Adjustments were made for smokers and body mass index.

Jay Brooks is the author of the study and an oncologist. He recommends for people that sit at their job, to get up and "expend energy."

Maybe stand while on that phone call. Pacing while in a meeting sounds healthy now!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Getting Bright Ideas

Psychologists at Tufts University gave puzzles to solve, in a limited time, to two groups. One group had a standard light bulb light up partway through the test while the other group had a fluorescent light come on. The ones that saw the light bulb were 50% to 70% more successful at the puzzles than the ones with the fluorescent light.
The researchers running the study felt that the image of the light bulb representing an idea is so entrenched in our society that seeing one come on actually stimulates our creativity.
I say put them in meeting rooms, class rooms, libraries and any place we need to have an epiphany.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mental Health without Prozac

British researchers earlier this year looked at the mental state of 1200 people. This was a compilation of 10 separate studies which looked at the effect of walking, cycling, fishing, farming and gardening on mental health.
Everyone showed a benefit from adding time outdoors but the young and mentally ill saw a greater boost to their self-image. The largest benefit for all came when they exercised in the open air. The studies showed that only 5 minutes per day was all that was needed. A co-author of the study, Jo Barton, said, “There would be a large potential benefit if people were to self-medicate more with green exercise.” Areas with water such as streams or ponds showed more benefit than just green areas but there was measurable improvement in all cases.
Teenagers, with their emotional turmoil, have a tendency to go to the mall but should take up an outdoor activity such as surfing or hiking.
I love my Tai Chi (tai qi) in the park!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cell Phones Do Pose a Health Risk

June this year a study from the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer found that there is a 40% higher incidence of glioma or meningioma (2 forms of brain cancer) for heavy cell phone use. The study was on 12,000 people, some in good health, between 2000 and 2004.
The biggest thing to note was that heavy cell phone use was 30 minutes or more per day. More and more people are shifting to cell phones for everything so 30 minutes in a day is not heavy use.
No studies are out yet regarding blue tooth which does reduce the signal strength and thus the risk.
Texting looks better every day- just not while you're driving!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bottled Water

Something to remember when choosing where to get your drinking water. Tap water has to pass strict state, federal and local requirements before it gets into your home.

Bottled water does not. And many of them are simply filtered tap water, such as Dasani and Aquafina.

The Natural Resources Defense Council found that about 1/3 of bottled water brands they tested had chemical contaminants above the the state limits.

So the choice is tap which is free and regulated for purity or bottled which is a gamble on the benefits and costs more than gasoline by the gallon.

I haven't even started with the toxic BPA in the plastic bottles.

I say save your money and if you don't like the flavor get a home filter.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer Foods and Skin Foods

Summer is officially here and we should eat appropriately. Summer time means more heat and sweating so we need foods that cool and replenish our fluids. It is perfect that watermelon comes ripe in summer. It is the coldest of fruits and full of fluids.
All fruits are cooling so be sure to eat a lot of fruits and drink plenty of healthy fluids.

Some summer foods even help us maintain healthy skin. Watermelon, nectarines and cherries are 3 fruits high in lycopene which helps our skin deal with sun exposure.

Lycopene is also in tomatoes. Cooking them actually concentrates this nutrient so cook some veggies in tomato sauce for a side dish at your next barbecue.

Almonds have been shown to help us fight the sun's rays with their high vitamin e content.

Tuna has selenium a nutrient that preserves elastin (which keeps our skin more youthful), and reduces damage from UV exposure.

Eat smart for a fun, healthy summer.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sciatic Pain

I had another patient with sciatic pain today. She's had physical therapy, chiropractic care and appointments with her MD. Yet she was never shown one of the most effective exercises that can help her low back.

The exercise is to lift the leg in front of the body bringing the knee up to waist high. Then hold it. Start at holding for 30 seconds and gradually build to 4-5 minutes each leg. As her back gets healthier I'll give her more exercises to maintain that health.

After receiving her 1st acupuncture treatment she felt less pain immediately when getting off the table.

We reviewed diet tips to make sure she didn't eat foods that would irritate the bulging disk in her lumbar (low back). Alcohol and all sugars are the 2 worst offenders.

Acupuncture, exercises, herbs and proper nutrition will greatly reduce and should eliminate her pain.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

An Interesting Profession

I have a patient that I have grown close with. Now he is better and doesn't need to come in any longer. He spent about 10-12 minutes after his treatment 'saying goodbye' and thanking me. Before he came to me he was told he was incurable. He couldn't show the emotional level of gratitude he felt but discussed it in an old world way. Being over 80 yrs old he couldn't express himself as some younger people would show it.
We made each other laugh. I hope to see him around town.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Food for Our Health

Many years ago a Chinese gentleman said, "food should be our first medicine." Depending on what is wrong food may not be enough but food should always be involved in healing.

What the ailment is decides; what foods will have to be reduced or eliminated, what must be added, and in what combination. Knowing how to adjust your nutrition can make a great difference on the recovery.

Using high cholesterol as an example a person has to add oatmeal (not instant), walnuts, almonds, black beans and lentils to their diet. They must also reduce all fats and eliminate processed (e.g. hydrogenated) fats and fried foods. This is not a complete list but a great start.

While there are herbs and prescription drugs that can lower cholesterol using food first or with treatment improves the results.