Posted 04/07/2014 The statistics are simply staggering. The National Institutes of Health estimates that more than 20 million people in the US, roughly 10% of the population, have depression, defined as a recurring major depressive disorder, a constant state of depression (dysthymia), or bipolar disorder. Officially, these three are called mood disorders, considered separate from […]
First, because the word metabolism is involved with virtually everything in our bodies, it helps to know exactly what we’re talking about. “Metabolism” means the sum total of all the chemical processes going on inside you that are necessary to keep you alive. When your metabolic rate is normal you feel pretty good. If it’s […]
The extremely talented actress and director Angelina Jolie made world news last May when she revealed in a New York Times op-ed that she’d taken the proactive step of having both breasts removed to prevent dying of breast cancer, as her own mother had at age 56. Jolie had learned that she had a specific, […]
I saw a pleasant but very worried 40-something woman a few weeks ago who had written on her intake form “Candida!” “Food allergies!” and “I don’t know what to eat!” To be honest, she didn’t look particularly healthy, likely because she was both poorly nourished and depressed. Her story is provocative. Many months earlier, feeling […]
Let me begin this case study health tip with some related background. Girding their corporate loins for the arrival of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the health insurance industry has taken some predictable steps to prepare for 35 million new enrollees, many of whom, having had no health care most of their lives, are probably […]
Does anyone remember the late director Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 movie “Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”? A deranged US Air Force officer manages to launch a nuclear attack against the Soviet Union (now Russia). When the president calls in the Russian ambassador to apologize for this embarrassment, the […]
Please read the important announcement about our acupuncturist Mari Stecker at the end of today’s Health Tip Let me pass on a tale of woe a new patient recently shared. There’s a useful lesson in health care within, and while I wouldn’t classify the event as malpractice (since no permanent damage occurred), it’s the story […]
Right up front, let me say if alternative medicine therapies could cure cancer they wouldn’t be alternative. Conspiracy theory alert: there is no plot on the part of oncologists, radiation therapists, pharmaceutical companies, et al. to keep lifesaving alternative therapies just beyond your reach so they can control your lives (and pocketbooks). If the mainstream […]
What a pleasant surprise to open this week’s Archives of Internal Medicine and find the results of a trial on the benefits of eating legumes–beans, lentils, and chickpeas. This was a real clinical trial, working with a group of people who had mild Type 2 diabetes. During the three-month study period, half the enrollees ate […]
Probably few of you remember that at one time there was virtually no acupuncture available in the US. Until the late 1970s the phrase “Why not try acupuncture?” simply didn’t exist. In 1971, when President Nixon made his historic visit to the People’s Republic of China, his press secretary James Reston experienced acupuncture for post-operative […]
A recent issue of Hepatology, a medical journal devoted to liver diseases, featured a lengthy discussion about acetaminophen, the main ingredient in Tylenol and many other medicines.
Acetaminophen is sold both over-the-counter and by doctor’s prescription, and more than 600 products now contain it. The conclusions of this article are definitely worth sharing with you.
Posted 02/20/2012 Patients seem to be divided equally in their attitude toward antibiotics. Either they love ‘em, remembering relief from a painful bladder infection, a nagging cough, or clogged sinuses, or they hate ‘em, recalling minimal relief along with lots of diarrhea and/or an industrial-strength vaginal yeast infection. That first group often progresses to what […]
Posted 01/17/2012 “That gut feeling.” We’ve all experienced it, but we may have difficulty describing the sensation. We sense or “know” something internally, feeling butterflies in our stomach, almost as if our entire intestinal tract were a second brain, low on reflective skills but high on intuitive ones. During the past decade an incredible amount […]
I’ve been curious for some time about the arrogance and rudeness in my profession. When a new patient starts to relate her health history and interrupts herself with a comment like, “The so-and-so doctor was awful” (or really unpleasant or disrespectful), I inquire “Oh? What happened?” And she’s truly glad to tell someone, especially a […]
Ever since 2009, when that guy smuggled plastic explosives in his Jockey shorts and tried to blow up a plane on its way to Detroit, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been pushing for full-body scanners at all airports.
Ever notice how people age? Some people just look younger or older than their actual age. We see an old friend after an absence of a few years and think, “Jeez! Did he age!” and wonder what might have befallen him to press the fast-forward button on the aging process.
Last week we talked about a blood test for allergies. This week a few integrative approaches for treating them, but first a quick review of conventional treatments: Antihistamines (Claritin, Zyrtec, and many others) block the effects of histamine, the chemical released by disrupted mast cells when whatever you’re allergic to (ragweed, cat dander) lands on […]
Well into my teenage years, every summer I’d get so throttled by allergies that I became consolidated into 4/7ths of Snow White’s dwarves. Some years later, after my allergies had temporarily eased up, I would add a fifth: Doc.
Most doctors I know swallow one of those low-dose healthy heart aspirins every day. I count myself among them (here’s the 81-mg version I take, but many brands are available, Costco’s among them). When research studies first started appearing well over 20 years ago showing a daily smidgen of aspirin could prevent both heart attack and stroke, the general attitude among most doctors was a profound: “Well, it couldn’t hurt…”
The next two weeks are the year’s most dangerous when it comes to the radius of your waist, the width of your thighs, and the heft of your chins.
As I write, it’s two degrees below zero in Chicago and I think we can safely agree most of us won’t be jogging off the extra calories we’re facing from now into the new year. Driving to the health club in a winter storm is also a bit off-putting