Tag Archive for Health News

Will the Dukan Diet Turn Kate Into a Bridezilla

Be prepared for the newest trend in weight loss. It’s called the Dukan diet. Carbs are out, yet again. Do you want to lose pounds? Follow this high-protein diet that insists you eat only protein for an entire day once a week (Thursday is recommended), and say good-bye to most fruits and vegetable every day Read more

Psychoanalysis Journeying Into Therapy

Third in the series Ink-Stained for Life
When it came time for my therapy I started in the deep end of the pool.
My marriage had ended. It was time for me to change jobs after heading a clinical service at a prestigious teaching hospital. I had a young son who would soon get to know divorce first hand. I felt depressed, guilty about everything, too alone, and staring into a deeply uncertain future Read more

Training for a Marathon Tips to Refuel After a Long Run

Sure, marathon training is all about physical endurance. But do you know the nutritional musts for finish line success? We sat down with resident Nutrition Advisor Alyse Levine to get her take on how to best recover post-run with the right nutritional choices. Here, her expert insight.
Q: When most people think of marathon training they initially think about the physical training schedule and what that will entail. How important is nutrition in the marathon training process?
Nutrition plays a critical role in the marathon training process Read more

The Coming Latino Weight Boom

If we consulted the health statistics kept by the rich countries club, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, the OECD, we might not be too surprised to find that the United States has the highest rate of obesity, at 30.6 percent. What country, would you guess, is number two? Mexico … with an adult obesity rate of 23 percent.
That’s a new development on a couple of levels. It’s a sign of Mexico’s economic progress that the country is a member of the OECD Read more

Myths About Psychiatry

Let’s explore the myth that psychiatric conditions aren’t as well defined as other medical diseases and psychiatric treatments aren’t supported by as much scientific evidence, and don’t work as well, as other medical treatments. Even my fellow psychiatrists believe this. I’ll take broken limbs and that sort of thing out of the equation and go on from there.
Are psychiatric conditions nothing more than labels for normal behaviors? Is a person with social anxiety disorder just a shy person? Is depression just an experience we all have to live with during hard times? What makes a super-punctilious person a case of obsessive-compulsive disorder? It’s true that some psychiatric conditions exist on a continuum with normal reactions, normal states of being Read more

Being Fat in America

We can, as a society, be astoundingly cruel to people who are obese. They might be creative, caring and hopeful people, but we don’t see that. Far too often, we see only their weight.
What does it say about us that we act as though you can take the measure of a person by the size bathing suit they wear?
Maybe this partially explains why obese people are flocking to a restaurant outside Phoenix, Arizona, whose name, and I am not making this up, is the Heart Attack Grill Read more

The Key to Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

It is estimated that approximately 57 million people have prediabetes. To me, one million sounds like a lot, I can’t even begin to fathom a number as big as 57 million. This enormously, huge number is twice the number of people that already have diabetes, estimated to be 26 million.
A little over one-quarter of these people, approximately seven million don’t even know that they already have the disease Read more

Natural Ways to Protect Against Radiation

The nuclear reactor meltdown in Japan has provoked fears about radioactivity and the implications to your health. Many anxious patients and readers called in last week to inquire about the health threats of radiation. This article is an attempt to address any radiation concerns you may have, relating both to the reactor meltdown and everyday exposure in normal life. Read on to discover natural ways to protect yourself from exposure and reduce radiation load on your body.
First, you should know that radioactivity from Japan has little impact on U.S Read more

Prevention Works Affordable Care Act Is Already Building Health Where You Live

As we celebrate the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act this week, we also mark a huge turning point in the way we think about health. A year ago this week, our country made a down payment on a transformative notion.
The communities where we live, work, learn and play should thrive. Your family, the kids your children play with at school, the family that lives next door to you, deserve support as they strive to be healthy Read more

System Failure Health Care

A friend of mine, far from indigent, had her teeth cleaned three weeks ago. She was the picture of health when she went in to the dentist, and today she is dead, a victim of everything that is wrong with our system, although not of any malpractice. She is the second person in my life to die from the most serious problem in our health care system: lack of continuity of care.
The first died of misdiagnosed malaria in an emergency room in Arizona. They sent him home telling him he had the flu, even though he told them he had just returned from Africa.
The most recent died Wednesday night only hours after being discharged from the hospital with a pic line and a supply of intravenous antibiotics and no understanding of how sick she was Read more

Poverty Is a PreExisting Condition Why the Affordable Care Act Matters

Last week I wrote about asset poverty and the huge difference it makes to a family’s economic security to have assets — savings, home equity, etc. — that they can tap into during tough times. As we mark the one-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, we should remember what a crucial role the health care reform law is starting to play in protecting people’s financial safety net.
That health and wealth are connected is thoroughly documented. For example, people in the highest income group can expect to live, on average, at least six and a half years longer than those in the lowest Read more

Low Sex Drive A Possible Reason

There are multiple physical reasons for not desiring sex with your partner, ranging from hormonal changes and poor dietary or sleep habits, to medical conditions and prescription medications. But one reason that is rarely talked about is poor body image.
Carmen, a female client who recently turned 50, confessed that she hadn’t had sex with her husband for several months. When I asked her why, her reply was,
This was an important distinction I wanted her to articulate. What was standing in Carmen’s way of rekindling her sexual life with her husband was her own attitudes and emotions about her appearance, not her husband’s Read more

How Air Pollution Affects Your Heart

You know air pollution hurts your lungs.
But what about your heart?
Dirty Indoor Air Bad for Heart
It turns out that air pollution is another factor that contributes to cardiovascular disease. According to a new study, air pollution can increase inflammation, which leads to many chronic diseases.
This study looked at the effect of air pollution that occurs inside the home, and a step that may reduce that pollution.
Indoor air pollution poses a particular problem to overall health because we spend most of our time inside.
That’s why the new research from Canada is important, because it found that a type of indoor air filter could help cut risks to cardiovascular disease from pollution. This fascinating research further expands our understanding of the link between pollution, inflammation and disease Read more

Consider Surgery

I don’t mean consider having surgery. I mean think about the concept of surgery for a moment. Whether it’s a heart transplant or a knee replacement, all surgeries have certain things in common.
First of all, they exist to correct a problem, and they require a surgeon who has extensive knowledge (and preferably a degree) in his or her field. No matter what the operation may be, the surgeon needs many tools to get the job done.
A scalpel is the obvious first tool that comes to mind Read more

Health Care Reform We Need to Reframe the Questions

One year after passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the debate roars on, in Congress and everywhere else. And these debates often revolve around a big question, even when it is left unspoken or implied: Is health care a basic human right?
In 1990 I made a quantum leap from practicing in the Navy’s single-payer, universal-coverage health care system into civilian pediatrics. Having been insulated from the profit end of health care for almost a decade, the move to the U.S. healthcare system of haves and have-nots turned out to be a culture shock.
My first civilian job was at Wood River Community Health Center in Rhode Island, and one of my first patients was Jennie, a 3 month-old who had been placed in foster care because of her mother’s drug addiction Read more

Iodine For Radiation Who Needs It And When

The extensive media coverage of the nuclear crisis in Japan, as well as the even more extensive reactions to it reverberating through cyberspace, suggest to me that there is fairly widespread confusion about both the risks of radiation, and the specific defense afforded by iodine supplementation. Drawing on general medical knowledge, rather than any dedicated expertise in radiation medicine, I write to clarify.
1) Thyroid hormones are manufactured by the thyroid gland using iodine. I believe it is commonly known that long-standing iodine deficiency leads to goiter, and hypothyroidism. In fact, goiter is still common in many parts of the developing world, and the World Health Organization supports an iodine distribution program to help combat that problem.
2) The thyroid gland can develop several kinds of cancer, and is more vulnerable to cancer to many other body sites because of its generally high rate of metabolic activity Read more

World TB Day 2011 Diagnostics Offer New Hope For Treating TB

Co-authored by Vince Forlenza, president and COO of Becton, Dickinson, and Company.
When Dr. Robert Koch discovered Mycobacterium tuberculosis in 1882, pulmonary tuberculosis killed two out of every three people it infected. If untreated, this highly transmissible respiratory infection — known a century ago as consumption and today simply as TB — colonizes the human lungs, slowly suffocating its host.
Koch’s achievement led to a crude but effective TB diagnostic known as sputum microscopy Read more

Is Posting Calorie Counts on Restaurant Menus Enough to Help Us Be Healthier

By Rachel K. Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.
Call me a geeky dietitian, I don’t care. I’m a diehard nutrition-label reader and love having that information readily available. So imagine my delight when I recently went into Starbucks in my hometown in Vermont and finally saw calorie counts prominently displayed on the coffee menu board and in the bakery case Read more

Better Benefits and Better Health for Women

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act. But in the twelve months since it was signed, the law has already given Americans more freedom and control over their health care choices. The law’s key goals for America’s families: better benefits and better health.
The Affordable Care Act created a Patient’s Bill of Rights that put an end to the worst abuses of the insurance industry Read more

Why Families Need Health Care Reform Now More Than Ever

When I set out to make “No Woman, No Cry”, a documentary film about the
Global state of maternal health three years ago, I had no idea just how dismal a job we were doing for our nation’s families. I was inspired to highlight the under-reported issue of maternal mortality after learning that almost all of the hundreds of thousands of maternal deaths that occur each year are preventable. Yes, 90 percent! And yet, when I came to know these facts, I discovered that little progress had been reported (for decades) in many countries around the world.
We, as a global community, could and should be doing more if we value our women. The majority of the global burden of maternal deaths occurs in the developing world Read more

Panel to Examine Murder and Suicide Associated With Antidepressants

On Saturday morning April 9th of this year, a panel discussion will be held for the public and professionals on the theme of “Psychiatric Drug Tragedies: Personal, Legal and Medical Perspectives.”
The two-hour presentation focuses on suicide and murder potentially caused by antidepressant medications. It is part of the international Empathic Therapy Conference put on by the Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy, Education & Living (April 8-10, 2011 in Syracuse, New York).
The panel will present a unique examination of an antidepressant-related suicide from three perspectives: Mathy Downing, the mother of a twelve-old-child who committed suicide; Karl Protil, the lawyer in her case, which was settled without any admission of negligence; and myself as the medical expert in the case. Mathy will be accompanied by her surviving daughter. Other family members will tell the stories of two more children who committed suicide, a father who committed suicide, and a husband who murdered his two young children–all while taking prescribed antidepressants.
A great deal is now known about suicide and violence in association with the newer antidepressants such as Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), Luvox (fluvoxamine), Celexa (escitalopram), Lexapro (escitalopram), Cymbalta (duloxetine), Effexor (venlavaxine), Pristiq desvenlafaxine), and Wellbutrin (bupropion) Read more

Telomeres The Aging Process Between Our Cells and Our Selves

The topic of telomeres and telomerase is not a new one. These “caps” at the ends of our chromosomes have a primary function of preventing the “fraying” of our chromosomes as our cells replicate. We have known for many years that as a cell ages, its telomeres become shorter. Eventually, the telomeres become too short to allow cell replication, the cell stops dividing and eventually dies Read more

Affordable Care Act Helping Americans Stay Active and Independent as They Age

Aging can be hard. The aches and pains start to add up — and a lifetime of calories, cholesterol, and time spent sitting on the couch catches up with us.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes some new measures that can help us be more active and independent as we age — and make our Golden Years more golden.
As of January 1, 2011, Medicare now covers an annual wellness visit to make it easier for seniors to visit their physician for a check-up. This provision allows physicians to work with Medicare patients to develop a personalized prevention plan so seniors can take proactive steps on their own to make healthier decisions and prevent illness or injury (for more information, see ACA 4103) Read more

The Power of Prevention

I want to commemorate the first anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and a healthier American people.
One year ago, we took the first step toward a true public health system when the federal government committed to helping people take personal responsibility for their own health by making healthy choices easier choices.
Included in the ACA — which eliminates co-pays for proven, effective preventive services — is the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a $16.5 billion investment over the next 10 years that goes to communities around the country to help them keep Americans healthier and more productive.
One hallmark program of the Prevention Fund is the Community Transformation Grants (CTG), which provide communities with the resources needed to work together at the local level to create health initiatives tailored to their specific needs. This can involve small business owners, faith leaders, youth leaders, employers, community groups, parents, law enforcement officials, schools, and health care providers Read more