Monday, December 30, 2013

Dogs are Good For You

The American Heart Association has declared that owning a pet might be a factor in preventing heart attacks. Of course, a randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial would be required for definitive proof. I am not sure how that could possibly be done. But I am sure that a dog who shows gratitude and affection would be good for you. See Family Practice News, June 15, 2013, p. 9. Celebration of Health Association website

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Not Enough Estrogen Can Increase Belly Fat in Men

Testosterone deficiency is a common problem in men, but now we know that insufficient estrogen can cause problems too. Actually, if you are given supplemental testosterone, some of it might be converted to estrogen, which can be a good thing. Recent protocols actually block that conversion, which is not so good. Your doctor can guide you through hormone imbalance, especially if he or she uses bio-identical hormones. Dr. Peter Snyder at University of Pennsylvania Medical school for more info. Celebration of Health Association website

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Foods Can Help You Sleep

Things to avoid to prepare you for sleep are large meals at bedtime, chocolate, and alcohol. Things to help include lite bites of food (unless you have reflux), kiwis in the evening (increases serotonin), and tart cheery juice (increases melatonin). During the day, go outside for natural sunlight and some exercise and at night, sleep in a dark room with no electronics. See the AARP newsletter, Strive for Healthy Living, Fall, 2013. Celebration of Health Association website

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Diabetic Drugs Cause Cardiovascular Disease?

In 2011, the FDA slammed restrictions on the diabetic drug, rosiglitazone, because it apparently increased the risk of vascular problems. Most diabetic complications are vascular. Other new diabetic drugs also had suspicious results. Now the FDA is saying there isn’t enough evidence to say they are safe or dangerous. A much better choice would be IV chelation therapy. The TACT study showed a 40% decrease in cardiac events in patients with diabetes and a history of a heart attack when they took chelation for only a year and a half. See Hunting for cardiovascular signals from diabetic drugs in Family Practice News, 11/1/13, p. 1, 17. and Google TACT.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Recent Evidence on Screening Procedures

A Family Practice journal’s editorial reports that evidence now states that testicular and breast self-exams are no longer recommended. PSA’s in men and mammograms for women younger than 50 have mixed benefits at best. But the most harm could come from genomic screening. What would you do with the information if you found out that at age 30 you have the gene that makes it likely that you will develop Alzheimer’s disease? Currently there are no early interventions “approved” to alter that gene, although in alternative medicine we have some nutritional approaches to try to alter gene expression. Some might take the information as a challenge, but others could develop crippling depression. My inclination is to focus on the factors we can do something about and act accordingly. See J Hickner, Will Screening Open Pandora’s Box? Journal of Family Practice 2013;62:465. Celebration of Health Association website