Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Woes of Soda Pop

Last week the Center for Science in the Public Interest issued a press release reporting on how the caramel coloring used in dark colored pops - e.g. Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper, is made with a process of sugar and ammonia that makes the resulting caramel food dye carcinogenic.  They called on the FDA to ban the ingredient.  

My response to this is almost a yawn and "so what?"  There are a lot of reasons not to be drinking pop, what is one more?  In light of the article, the stupidity begins, in general, with how much synthetic food dye is utilized by processed food and beverage manufacturers (and it IS

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Dozen Breast Health Tips

So I gave the resounding critique of 3-D mammograms a couple days ago.  Here are some sound tips on keeping your breasts as healthy and at as low risk for breast cancer as possible.

To Do List:
  1. Watch your BMI (body mass index) and keep your weight within a normal range.  Google BMI calculator to find out what yours is.  Excess body fat produces estrogen, which stimulates cancer growth in a large number of breast tumors.
  2. Breast self-exams at least once a month, at the same time in your monthly cycle.
  3. Exercise -- at least 3 times a week enough to get near winded for 20-30 minutes.  Exercise = circulation.  Improved circulation keeps the immune system on guard duty.  Exercise also reduces stress and helps with the BMI.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

3-D Mammograms

The FDA has approved 3D-Mammograms.  The news of this development was all over the TV and newspapers.  I can already imagine radiologists donning their 3-D glasses and pouring over the films.  The hype leaves the impression that women are going to be better off with this newer better technological improvement over the standard 2-D X-rays they now have.  There are a few problems here in Mudville, however.

The first issue is that there is only a 7% diagnostic improvement.  The pro-mammogram elements in medicine have tried to gloss over the rather dismal accuracy record of mammograms, misleading women into thinking they were essential screenings regardless of accuracy.  Yet the truth has been they've always only had about a 54% accuracy rate in

Monday, February 7, 2011

Ten Common Homeopathic Remedies

A good thing for people to have around the house is a homeopathic first aid kit.  Homeopathics are an excellent, safe, and effective means of dealing with common health problems that arise at home.  If the right remedy is given early on in the problem, it can often nip that problem before it can get going.  Here is a list of  the ten most common remedies I suggest to my patients in the middle of the night or before setting out to find a doctor.  All of these remedies should be readily available at a health food store near you.  They typically come in 6x or 30c potency.  6x will require more frequent administration of the dose, but either will work.  These are especially handy to have around for children and grandkids because they have only a sweet taste and don't require swallowing pills.

  1. Apis -- for stings or insect bites, also can try with hives
  2. Arnica -- for any kind of bruising blow or injury where bruising is likely.
  3. Belladonna -- for a fever that leaps in out of nowhere and the person has a flushed appearance.
  4. Chamomile -- for oversensitive & excessive irritability with aversion to being comforted, also green mucus
  5. Cantharis -- for any kind of burn or for urinary tract infection involving a burning symptom
  6. Gelsemium -- fear, anticipation, e.g. prior to a performance; lethargy and lack of thirst from fever
  7. Hypericum -- crushing wounds or injuries to nerves or with shooting pains
  8. Mag Phos -- for cramping pains, particularly menstrual.
  9. Nux Vomica -- great for food poisoning situations and vomiting.
  10. Pulsatilla --  yellow discharges, sensitive, wanting to be comforted

There are probably 3,000 or more remedies, so this is just a very limited number, but my clinical experience for the last 16 years says these are used the most, and are the remedy bottles that are most often empty at my house.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Some Diabetes Prevention Tips

New Diabetes diagnoses are hitting all time highs and one can wonder looking at the growth curve whether or not everyone will be diabetic in a few years.  Here are a number of tips to help you regulate your blood sugars better.  Prevention is worth more than a needle in the tummy and a finger prick a couple times every day for the rest of your life.  Start now and avoid big problems later!

1.  Sugar consumption is just past the obscene level.  It's in every processed food, in addition to what is just consumed in junk food of all kinds.  So, start whittling back on your sweet tooth!  Every granule and drop of sugar you eliminate and choose to go without pulls you back from the precipice of diabetes.  Read labels -- sugars are listed!  4 gms of sugar = 1 teaspoon of sugar.  Do the math and think of just spooning in the teaspoons of raw sugar!

2.  Exercise: 10-20 minutes of brisk walking at least 3 times a week is an impressive start if all you're doing is laying around watching Lifetime and sucking down hot chocolate.  If you're already doing that amount add more days a week and then increase the minutes. 

3.  Avoid artificial sweeteners.  They are synthetic and your body doesn't know what to do with them other than mess up your metabolism and brain.

4.  Essential blood sugar management minerals are calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, selenium, and molybdenum.

5.  Bring your weight down.  Carrying extra pounds increases diabetes risk.  Use the Push Away Diet.  Push away from the table before you're done! You're a grown-up.  Your mom is not going to punish you for not cleaning your overstuffed plate!!  And, if she wants to send your leftovers to China, hand her a mailing envelope.

6.  If you're female of child-bearing age, breast feed your children.  Women who do reduce their diabetes risks later in life.

7.  Herbs which can help manage blood sugar or up metabolic rates include: garcinia cambosia, bitter melon, green tea, acai berry, and siberian gingseng.

8.  Avoid white foods -- white rice, white potatoes, white sugar, white flour/breads...  White is the sign of over processed grain or starch, which simplifies the carbohydrates making them too volatile for your blood sugar control systems to manage.
These all look simple on paper.  Start today, start somewhere!  Each item you undertake is a big step toward being in the minority in 2020 when more people will have diabetes than don't!  If you're choosing to stay on the diabetes track, you should buy some pharmaceutical stock and at least benefit financially during the disease misery and from the drugs they'll have for you.