Thursday, October 31, 2013

Is Obesity a Disease or Not?

This summer, the AMA recognized obesity as a disease. This is good and bad. It is good because it recognizes obesity is a condition that is not always caused simply by over-eating. It will allow some patients to get insurance treatment for treating obesity. Obesity will be taken more seriously by physicians and patients alike. On the other hand, calling obesity a disease instantly labels a great many people “sick” who are actually healthy, especially since there is no widely accepted definition or specific symptoms for the condition. Some claim that treatments such as surgery and dangerous drugs will be used more since obesity is officially a disease. Medicare no longer lists obesity as a disease, but the IRS accepts treatments as tax deductible. So far, we continue in a state of confusion on the status of obesity. Celebration of Health Association website

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Toxic Chemical Pose a Pregnancy Risk

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a warning this fall that practically all women of child-bearing age are exposed to a minimum of 43 chemicals with potential toxicity. The warning suggested that doctors taking care of pregnant women should ask about exposure and offer suggestions to be careful. Eating fish and drinking from plastic bottles are two activities that should be limited, mercury and PCB’s from the fish and BPA from plastic containers. They should also have discussed milk thistle as a general detoxifier and EDTA or DMPS for heavy metals. These treatments should be prescribed only for documented toxins, and they should be taken before conception, not during pregnancy. See doctors who are familiar with toxicity, such as members of International College of Integrative Medicine, American Academy of Environmental Medicine, and American College for the Advancement in Medicine. Celebration of Health Association website

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Five Numbers That are Important for Your Health

The Toledo Blade ran an article by Allie Shah of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that listed five important health numbers. I enclose his five with my comments. Blood pressure 120/80 or less—ideally this is true, although 130/80 is acceptable. Total Cholesterol less than 200—this depends a lot on other lab factors, such as the HDL (the good part of the Total cholesterol), the triglycerides, the CRPsens, the homocystiene, and other tests. Fasting Blood Sugar less than 100—true for diabetes prevention but less than 90 to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Body Mass Index (BMI) less than 25 or Waist Size less than 35 inches for women and 40 for men—these are variations on the same factor, not to be overweight. My fifth factor would be Vitamin D3 level of greater than 60. And I would add a bonus factor of 2 ½ hours of exercise per week. See the Toledo Blade, Sept 9, 2013, Section D, page 1.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

CT scans and Cancer Risk

Statisticians have calculated that one year’s total number of CT scans performed on children create an extra 4,879 future cancers. This number could be reduced by 43% if the amount of radiation could be reduced from high doses to the average dose for these tests. Always ask, “How will a scan change my child’s medical care?” If the CT scan is clearly warranted, ask, “What are you doing to make sure that the dose of radiation is as low as possible?” CT scans produce 200 times as much radiation as chest X-rays. See Diana Miglioretti at the University of California, professor of biostatistics. Celebration of Health Association website

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Life Expectancy Increases but the U.S. Falls Behind Other Countries

In the last twenty years the U.S. life expectancy rose from 75.2 to 78.2 and the healthy life expectancy increased from 65.8 to 68.1. However, the life expectancy at birth the U.S. dropped from 20th to 27th compared to other developed countries during that time period. The healthy life expectancy in the U.S. dropped from 14th to 26th. These numbers are terrible. I am sure that we top the world in the use of prescription drugs and surgery. There is a message here that we need to make better lifestyle choices and utilize more natural treatments that are both safer and more effective. See Medical Economics, July 25, 2013, . Celebration of Health Association website