Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Children Damaged by Toxic Stress

The American Academy of Pediatrics has launched a campaign to deal with children who have been exposed to emotional abuse, neglect, caregiver wrongdoing, violence and other stressors.  There is no perfect screen and no specific intervention to offer.  It would seem helpful to me to teach stress coping skills in elementary school, where they could be most helpful.  Offering them to everyone might identify children at high risk and yield long-term benefit to those who need them.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Two Major Problems of Senior Patients are Often Missed

Balance problems that can lead to hip fractures and sleep apnea that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and strokes.  I either of these problems is unaddressed, it can be fatal.  Don’t wait for your doctor to ask, make the inquiry yourself.  Ask if you are at risk, and if so, ask to be tested.  Treatment is available.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Doctors Charged with Medicare Fraud

In the seventh national operation, involving 400 law enforcement officials from across the country, 90 individuals and 27 health care providers, including doctors, were charged with Medicare fraud.  Among other accusations, the most common alleged offense involved treatments and services.  I do not know how many integrative physicians were included in the operation, but I do know that some very good doctors have been charged in the past.  The problem is that there are no codes for many integrative procedures, but if you participate in Medicare, you are required to put down a code, even if it doesn’t fit.  If Medicare judges your code to be inaccurate, you are charged with fraud, which can lead to stiff fines and possible jail.  That is why integrative doctors like myself do not belong to Medicare.  It would be stupid to put yourself in such a terrible position.

See Family Practice News, June 15, 2014, P.4.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Stents Might be Causing Heart Attacks Rather than Preventing Them

Dr. Robert Rowen puts out an excellent newsletter.  I urge you to subscribe to it and read it.  In the July, 2014, issue he rightly raises his voice in anger because 4 million medicated stents have been surgically placed in U. S. patients in the last decade.  The studies supporting the use of these stents are woefully inadequate.  The drug coating on the stents may cause 4,500 new heart attacks each year, almost half of them fatal.  Bare metal stents might often be a safer choice.  Those who get the medicated ones are often treated with Coumadin (rat poison) for extended periods of time.  A few years back, I published a paper contending that EDTA chelation would be much safer and quite effective with or without a stent.  So far that has landed on deaf ears.

Call 800-791-3445 to subscribe to Second Opinion, Dr. Rowen’s newsletter.

 

 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Spinal Stenosis Responds Poorly to Steroid Injections

400 patients at 16 medical centers evaluated the effectiveness of epidural injections of steroids for treating spinal stenosis and published the results in the New England Journal of Medicine.  The study showed that patients injected with steroids along with local anesthetics had no less pain and no better function than those who received only local anesthetics.  Hundreds of thousands of injections of steroids are given each year for this problem with a great deal of pain and some potential risk.  Some insrance companies require the injections before they will approve surgery.  I find that prolotherapy and/or pain reduction techniques are safer, cheaper, and more effective for both the short and long run.  Ask your orthopedist about this study.  The findings were dramatic.

See The Blade, Toledo, section A, page 6, Monday, July 7, 2014.


 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Interpersonal Relations Affect Blood Pressure and Life Expectancy


Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have shown that spouses who argue frequently have higher blood pressure.  Those who have a lot of friends or who are surrounded by family with frequent contact have a lower risk of heart disease and are more likely to live longer.

 Google Rodlescia Sneed or Karen Mathews at the University of Pittsburgh for more info.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Annual Pelvic Exams are Found to be Unnecessary

The American College of Physicians published a controversial guideline this spring stating that annual pelvic exams are unnecessary in asymptomatic women who are not pregnant.  Visual inspection of the cervix and periodic pap smears are still recommended.  Many gynecologists disagree with the guideline because a number of abnormalities such as pelvic floor weakness, ovarian cysts, and uterine fibroids can be detected by the exam.  It would appear that women on hormone replacement therapy should still have annual exams.