Fastrack Archives May 2011
Prescriptions for Health "Fastrack" on Demand, May 2011
Monday May 2, 2011
Are Dietary Supplements Working For You?
People who take dietary supplements tend to believe that this will make them healthier and they they can take more risks with an unhealthy lifestyle because of it. Knowing which supplements and when to use them is a complicated skill. There is no treatment more effective at maintaining good health than a healthy lifestyle. There are many instances when supplementation is not safe and should not be used that relate to vitamin A, C, E, beta carotene, and much more. Regulation is needed but over-regulation is a danger that has been raised by codex alimentarius.
Tuesday May 3, 2011
Why Defensive Medicine Won't Go Away
Defensive medicine leads to ordering too many tests that are often costly and potentially dangerous. It leads to skyrocketing insurance premiums but it tends to protect physicians from malpractice suits. What is needed is a more personal relationship between physicians and patients that includes patients in the decision-making process in assessment and treatment of healthcare problems. This comes at an estimated cost of $210 billion per year
Wenesday May 4, 2011
Do Painkillers Interfere with Antidepressants?
Antidepressants, especially those in the SSRI category such as Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, may not work in people also taking painkillers such as ibuprofen and aspirin. This combination leads to lowered serum levels of the antidepressant and less antidepressant effects. This is just one more example of how many potential complications there are to using SSRI antidepressants. Other possible side effects include, osteoporosis, breast and ovarian cancer, arteriosclerosis, suicide, etc. Unfortunately, it has become commonplace to manage depression with drugs that help with symptoms but do not deal with the underlying problems causing the depression.
Thursday May 5, 2011
Overuse of Medications in Pregnancy
The CDC recently reported that there is widespread and increasing medication use among pregnant women even though there is insufficient information on the risks and safety of the vast majority of medications, whether OTC or prescription. About 3/4 of all pregnant women use at least one medication during the first three months of their pregnancy. Over the past 30 years, the use of 4 or more medications during the first trimester tripled. The use of antidepressants is one example even though there are well known congenital abnormalities associated with their use. Both MDs and patients need to be cognizant of this problem
Friday May 6, 2011
Bullying Linked to Family Violence
Both bullies and their victims are more likely to live with violence at home and are associated with increase likelihood of suicide, substance abuse, and poor academic achievement. Kids don't often have the tools needed to deal with domestic abuse and do the best they can to cope with situations that they are ill-equipped to manage. It is necessary to offer these kids classes where they can learn the coping skills they need to find solutions to their anger, frustration, anxiety, depression and insomnia that so often accompany these situations. Our educational system should be primed to support these kid's needs and avoid the serious consequences of prolonged mental health disturbances.
Monday May 9, 2011
What is Your Intestinal Bacterial Type?
An individual's intestinal bacteria flora falls into certain patterns that are independent of nationality, gender, and age according to a 2011 article in the journal, Nature. They believe that the composition of the GI microflora is a new biological fingerprint, just as our blood type or tissue type. We depend on our GI microflora to metabolize hormones, carcinogens, and toxins, synthesize vitamins K, B5, B6, and biotin, crowd out pathogenic bacteria, and stimulate our immune systems. When the microflora is abnormal it can cause maldigestion, malabsorption, consumption of vitamin B12, destruction of essential fatty acids, leaky gut syndrome, yeast overgrowth, and IBS.
Tuesday May 10, 2011
Use Calcium and Vitamin D Before Drugs for Osteoporosis
Prescription bone-building drugs such as the bisphosphonates should be a last resort according to new research from the University of Illinois in 2011. Even though these drugs have been proven to reduce osteoporotic fractures, they have very significant side effects that include GI bleeding, atrial fibrillation, muscle and joint pain, and osteonecrosis of the jaw. It was suggested that calcium and vitamin D should be replaced as the first approach along with healthy lifestyle to restore normal bone density. Weight bearing exercise, an alkaline diet, and avoidance of smoking and alcohol are important. However, the avoidance of many pharmaceutical drugs such as the purple pill, anticonvulsants, anticoagulants..........
Wednesday May 11, 2011
Excercise Protects The Heart via Nitric Oxide
Exercise reduces the risk of both heart attack and protects against heart injury by increasing its production and storage of nitric oxide. It is stored in blood vessel walls and heart muscle as nitrite and nitrosothiols in reservoirs that can be immediately available. Nitroglycerine stimulates the release of nitric oxide (NO) just as the amino acid, l-arginine does
Thursday May 12, 2011
Aspirin Cuts Heart Attacks But Not Deaths or Strokes
Low dose aspirin can lower the risk of heart attacks in people without a history of heart disease by about 20%, but it does not lower the death rate or the risk of stroke. Also, there is the added risk of GI bleeding secondary to aspirin use. The risk for getting a heart attack in primary prevention is lowered from 2.3% to 1.8%, which comes to a 20% lower risk of having a heart attack. How impressive this number is depends on how you look at the numbers!
Friday May 13, 2011
Low Glycemic Index Linked to Higher Mortality
For patients over the age of 60 it appears that the target hemoglobin A1c level of less than 6.0% are associated with a higher death rate. This happens despite the fact that the complications of type 2 diabetes are far lower when A1c levels are less than 6.0%. The best overall outcomes occur with A1c levels between 6.0 and 8.0 Nonetheless, the best treatment for type 2 diabetes is lifestyle management. Ironically, one of the very things drugs are designed to do is lower the risk of heart attack; yet most drugs substantially increase the risk for heart attack! Avandia is the classic example. It is disappointing that our FDA has not followed European drug administrations by banning its use.
Monday May 16, 2011
The Electronic or the E Cigarette
As a child I remember walking down to the corner convenience store to buy a candy treat. In my time you could take a quarter and buy a candy bar and get change. If you wanted to look cool, you would buy the white candy cigarettes with the pink tip and puff your way home. The FDA banned candy cigarettes in 2009 and on June 23, 2010 candy cigarettes became illegal in the United States. Now we have the Electronic Cigarette. Manufacturers of these cigarettes claim them to be safer than tobacco cigarettes because they contain no tar or carcinogenics and they don't produce second hand smoke......
Tuesday May 17, 2011
Prediabetes: Is It a Disease?
Having a blood sugar range in the high normal as opposed to the low normal range is associated with a 2-3 times risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. The best treatment is lifestyle that includes a healthy low carb diet to lower our insulin needs and maintain a healthy weight, plenty of exercise, controlling stress, and getting enough sleep. Using drugs to control blood sugar levels and thereby lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is not a good approach.
Wednesday May 18, 2011
H. Pylori DNA Reduces Inflammation from Colitis
DNA from H. pylori minimizes the effects of colitis in mice with regard to weight loss, GI bleeding, and stool consistency. More than 50% of the world has significant amounts of this microbe in their intestinal tracts. The bug in some settings could be good for us! Radical treatment with triple therapy that includes several antibiotics, acid blockers, and Peptobismol would no longer be appropriate in many clinical settings. Just a single dose caused a significant difference in bleeding and inflammation.
Thursday May 19, 2011
Forgiveness Can Improve Immunity
A study on HIV patients revealed that individuals who truly forgave someone who had hurt them in the past showed improved immune function. CD4 percentages (not total numbers) increased significantly. The degree of forgiveness correlated with the amount of improvement. One mechanism could be the effect of stress hormones that suppress immunity.
Friday May 20, 2011
Physicians Prefer Big Pharma Medical Education
While physicians realize medical industry funding of continuing medical education credits leads to bias, they continue to prefer this to paying higher fees for independent educational events. Big Pharma and device companies sponsor 60% of the billion dollar CME industry! This shows a serious lack of concern on the part of MDs in obtaining information that is reliable and a naiveness about their own vulnerability to slanted medical education courses. Only 15% of MDs felt that these companies should be banned from giving educational courses
Monday May 23, 2011
Physicians Are Prescribing Non-traditional Medicines More Often
More than a third of Americans are now using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and about one in thirty physicians is making a referral for CAM services. Generally, mind-body therapies are recommended, but only after conventional therapies have been exhausted. Yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises are being prescribed most frequently. Thirty four billion dollars were spent in the year 2007 on CAM services. Twenty two billion was spent on natural products and twelve billion on more than 350 million visits to CAM practitioners. Yet, this only amounts to 1.5% of all health care costs.
The show above was the last Prescription for Health "Fastrack" show that is audio. All "Fastrack" shows from this point on will be in Video!
Tuesday May 24, 2011
Gut Microbes, Brain Chemistry, and Behavior
The microflora of the gut have more metabolic activity than any organ system in the human body. They live in a complex ecosystem that consists of trillions of microbes with which we live in a critical symbiosis. Studies in mice show that when they are treated with oral antibiotics their behavior can change from outgoing and curious to passive and withdrawn. As the microflora returns to normal so does the original behavior. Studies on mice with a sterile GI tract show that when microbes from an outgoing and curious mouse is transplanted into their gut, they become outgoing and curious. So, the relationship between the microbes of the GI tract and behavior is important. We also know that there is more neurotransmitter receptor sites for serotonin in the gut than in the brain.
Gut Microbes, Brain Chemistry, and Behavior
Wednesday May 25, 2011
Middle Aged Running Speed Predicts Heart Attacks
How fast you can run a mile at age 55 is predictive of your risk for a heart attack. If you can run a mile in 15 minutes your lifetime risk of a heart attack is 30%. If you can run a mile in 8 minutes, your risk is under 10%. Exercise benefits our risk for hypertension, type 2 diabetes, being overweight, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and fitness. There is no treatment on the planet that does more for anti-aging than exercise. Being fit improves quality of life and longevity.
Middle Aged Running Speed Predicts Heart Attacks
Thursday May 26, 2011
People facing terminal illness can get great enjoyment from music...music heals. Studies on Australian pediatric wards showed that music therapy helped with pain relief, overall comfort, relaxation, elevated mood, and general well-being. Languages that connect us with spirit include imagery, sound/spoken words/music, movement/rhythm, art, ritual, and more. When we are centered in the moment we automatically connect with spirit and find great relief from stress.
Friday May 27, 2011
Medical Journal Ads: Can You Trust Them?
Less than half the claims in ads from top ENT journals are backed by data referenced by the advertiser. The problem is that MDs are swayed by these same ads. A few reputable journals have banned ads, but most have not. Income from journals comes from both subscriptions and from advertisers. Big Pharm knows that for every dollar they spend on an ad they generate from $2-5 in return. Perhaps this is one of the major reasons why it spends twice as much on advertising as it does on research. Only about 1/3 of the ads are supported by referenced data. Of course, ads are designed to attract interest and create sales. The problem is that the primary purpose of drug companies is to generate profits, not particularly to provide service.
Medical Journal Ads: Can You Trust Them?
Prescriptions for Health Radio Show: Fastrack Archives
This archive is a work in progress. At the end of every week, the most recent editions of Prescriptions for Health, Fastrack edition, will be posted on the DoctorSaputo.com Radio page. Shows from the previous week are then archived. There can be as many as 40 shows archived for a month.
All "Fastrack" Archives starting in June are in video!