Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Reducing Knee Pain from Osteoarthritis

Two measures were reported in Family Practice News in the December issue showing reduced knee pain due to osteoarthritis.  The first was oral chondroitin sulfate 1200 mg a day for two years compared to the drug, celecoxib.  Both groups improved nicely with reduced pain.  Of course, the natural substance had much fewer side effects.  The second was a report from Brazil using weekly injections of ozone gas for two months, compared to placebo.  Patients treated with Ozone did significantly better for 2 months after the shots were discontinued with minimal side effects.

See Family Practice News, December 25, 2015, p. 9.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

It is Safer and Cheaper to Have a Heart Attack in the Midwest

A report from the American Heart Association meeting in Orlando showed that those who have heart attacks in the Northeast and West have higher mortality rates by 14 % than those who are stricken in the Midwest.  Patients also spent quite a bit more money for their heart attack hospitalization in the West ($66,000) than in either the Midwest ($55,000) or the south ($54,000).  The reason for the difference was “unknown”.  However, it seems to me that increase cost is fueled by more aggressive interventions, including surgery and stents.  The more complicated the care given, the worse the result?  I am certain that a more natural approach would yield better results.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Heart Disease Takes a Back Seat for Women Patients

Even though heart disease is the number one killer of women, primary care docs and cardiologists pay more attention to obesity and breast disease, especially among younger women and minorities.  This can be counterproductive since most overweight women do not sustain weight loss.  Other risk factors are often ignored.  A good place to start might be the ASCVD risk calculator or other similar tools that are available on-line.
Women’s Heart Alliance, Dr. Holly Anderson.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Excessive Sitting is Dangerous

People with desk jobs need to be on their feet at least two hours a day.  Otherwise, they have increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, and depression.  The risk might even exceed the risk of smoking.  Intensive exercise before or after work might be helpful but still might not be enough to offset the risk of sitting too much.  Stand up desks can be very beneficial.

See author Gavin Bradley, as quoted in The Week, December, 25, 2016, p. 31.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Belly Fat is an Independent Risk Factor

A Mayo Clinic study found that belly fat is a concern, even if you are thin.  Your risks for heart disease, stroke and diabetes are all elevated due to increased visceral fat that wraps around internal organs.  The author calls for “waist loss” instead of “weight loss” to live longer and feel better.

See Cardiologist Paul Poirier at the Mayo Clinic.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Are Dietary Supplements Safe?

The Centers for Disease Control has issued a warning that supplements are responsible for 2,100 admissions to hospitals each year.  It is true that nutrients are sometimes laced with stimulants that can lead to chest pain, palpitations, and dizziness, especially those that claim weight loss, energy boosts, and enhanced sexual performance.  As long as you stay away from stimulants, however, dietary supplements are extremely safe, much, much more so than prescription drugs.  The CDC’s warning sounds like it is condemning all supplements, which is totally inappropriate.

See The Week, December 25, 2015, p. 31.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Pick Your Poison for Gastric Reflux

Research from Stanford shows that those who take long-term Protein Pump Inhibitors (Prilosec, Protonics, Nexium) to control G.E.R.D. have an increased risk of heart disease.  A reasonable substitute might be an H2 Blocker (Tagamet, Zantac, Pepcid), which do not carry that risk.  Better yet, get tested for food allergies and digestive factors such as digestive enzymes and in some cases HCl to get to the cause.

See a doc from InternationalCollege of Integrative Medicine