See the October Issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Smoking is responsible for 29% of all cancers—lung, throat, stomach, liver, colon, pancreas, and kidney cancers. Smoking is the biggest risk factor for heart disease. Chronic Lung Disease is directly related to smoking in most cases. 40 million people in the U.S. continue to smoke, putting themselves at risk as well as loved ones from second-hand smoke. Our present strategy of gradually increasing the taxes on tobacco and limiting the places where smoking is allowed is not working. Cigarettes are dangerous, and they should be outlawed.
Monday, November 28, 2016
Dr. James Cherry of UCLA Medical School was the lead author of a study that found that babies who get the measles before being vaccinated have a higher incidence of a terrible fatal complication called subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE). MMR vaccines cannot be given prior to 15 months of age. Whether parents vaccinate with MMR or not, their children might have a small risk of this complication if a child gets infected at an early age. Homeopathics might offer some protection, but they were not included in the study.
See Washington Post Article, October 29, 2016.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
A study published on-line by the AMA claimed that a “rigorous” study disproved that cranberries can be helpful in preventing recurrent urinary tract infections. The study was limited to nursing home patients and did not target women who were known to be susceptible to infections. Treated patients were given only 2 pills a day, while double that amount would more likely be effective. There were only 10-12 infections in the two groups and more occurred in the placebo group. Other studies have shown beneficial effects. This study was guilty of the “weak science” that it claimed to debunk. In my experience, cranberry supplements (without sugar) can be effective in selected patients. If that does not work, d-mannose is another choice.
See Associated Press article in the Toledo Blade, October 29, 2016, section A, p.7.
Monday, November 14, 2016
Those patients with hypertension who sleep less than 5 hours sleep per night have a 4-fold increased risk for all-cause mortality. It is crucial for these patients to get at least 6 hours of sleep per night.
See Family Practice News, February 15, 2016, p. 28-29.
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Statin drugs (or red yeast rice supplements) do give some benefit to patients who have already suffered a heart attack. However, proof is lacking and inconsistent that statins are effective in the prevention of cardiovascular events for patients that have elevated risk scores. Despite this lack of evidence, millions of patients are being treated with these drugs. This increases the cost of care and exposes patients to side effects from the drugs. Evidence-based medicine is being ignored for true prevention. You would be better off donating a unit of blood twice a year.
See Dubroff, Statin Therapy and Cardiovascular Risk, The American Journal of Medicine, March 2016, p. 235-7.
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Thursday, October 27, 2016
Lead can be ingested by eating old paint chips and by drinking contaminated water. The crisis in Flint, Michigan has brought awareness for the need to test municipal water supplies and several new problem areas have been identified. A more common source that is often missed lies in the fields where food is raised. Years of plowing with tractors run by leaded fuel have contaminated our food supply still to this day. A safe blood level was listed as 60 mcg/dl in 1970. Now that level is down to 5 mcg/dl. The truth is that no level is safe. Further, a challenge test is more accurate than blood screening, but it is rarely performed.
See Family Practice News, March 1, 2016, p. 30-32 for more details.
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Thursday, October 20, 2016
Dr. John Walkup of Cornell University emphasizes that many children who have been labeled as ADHD, autism spectrum, or even depression are simply anxious. They have difficulty focusing and concentrating because their minds are full of worry and anxiety. Rather than medications, we usually treat this problem with herbal and homeopathic supplements. Better yet, they can receive Sensitivity Reduction Technique (SRT), which involves light tapping on acupuncture points (no needles). This treatment can give long-term relief.
Contact our office at 800-788-4627 for more details or see our website.