Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Middle-Aged Marathoners Might Have Increased Risk of Heart Attacks

Dr. Jonathan Swartz reported at a recent American College of Cardiology meeting that middle-aged marathoners had lower cholesterol levels, slower heart rates and lower body mass indices, but had increased calcium in their coronary arteries, higher blood pressure, and more aortic stiffness than controls who were not runners. This indicates that high intensity, long-term running might be hazardous. A more moderate schedule is certainly beneficial. This is study had similar findings to a 2008 clinical trial in Germany that was published in the European Heart Journal.

See Family Practice News(click here), May 15, 2010, p. 10.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

HRT is Still Indicated but could be a Lot Safer

The 2010 position statement by the North American Menopause Society continues to recommend hormone replacement therapy around the time of menopause but discourages long-term use. Clear indications include severe hot flashes, vaginal atrophy, pain on intercourse, high risk of osteoporosis, and possibly diminished mental capacity. HRT is not indicated in patients with uterine cancer, but studies with breast and ovarian cancer are inconclusive. HRT does not reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Progesterone should be used along with estrogen unless there has been a hysterectomy. Most unfortunately, the statement does not distinguish natural progesterone from synthetic. The latter is dangerous, while the natural form has considerable positive benefits. In my opinion, bio-identical hormones are safer and more effective than Premarin and other pharmaceutical products.

See Suzanne Somers (click here) books and Family Practice News (click here), April 15, 2010, p. 33.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Topical Treatments for Osteoarthritis are Safer than Oral Treatments

Long term treatments with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) for wear and tear arthritis has been discouraged in recent years. Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Celebrex, Tylenol and similar drugs have been linked to gastric ulcers, kidney damage, hypertension, and possibly cardiovascular disease. In Europe, topical treatments are much more common than in the U.S. Drugs such as Diclofenac and Pennsaid have recently been approved for topical use. Natural prescriptions using DMSO, curcurmin and other substances also appear to be effective as well. Oral natural products such as glucosamine, MSM, bromelain and boswelia can also be very effective without the risk.

See Family Practice News (click here), April 15, 2010, p. 32.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Chamomile Shown to be Effective for Depression and Anxiety

In a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Mathew A. Shore reported that chamomile extract in doses of 220mg 1-5 times a day was effective in relieving general anxiety disorder and depression. The study was randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled. Side effects were much more common in the placebo group. A soothing cup of chamomile tea appears to be a very safe, effective way to lessen the effects of stress.

See Family Practice News (click here), April 15, 2010, p. 21.