Category Archives: Healthcare

Suicides Have Abnormal Chromosomes, Mitochondria

People Who Commit Suicide Have Abnormal Chromosomes, Mitochondria | American Council on Science and Health – By Alex Berezow — June 14, 2017

Views toward suicide have changed in recent decades. Once largely perceived as a selfish act and a “permanent solution to a temporary problem,” society has become more compassionate toward those who suffer in silence. This is an enormously positive development, and it is likely an outgrowth of our greater understanding of mental illness.

The causes of suicide are complex, but they seem to involve some combination of nature (genetics) and nurture (culture and environment).

According to the CDC, the suicide rate in the U.S. in 2015 grew to 15.7 per 100,000, sparking fears of a “suicide epidemic.”  Continue reading

10 Things My Chronic Illness Taught My Children

10 Things My Chronic Illness Taught My Children – The New York Times – Paula M. Fitzgibbons – DISABILITY AUG. 16, 2017

My children have a mother with a chronic illness. They live with my rheumatoid arthritis just as much as I do.

I was given my diagnosis when all three of them were young, and since then I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about what the daily uncertainty of my condition would mean to them, and whether it would affect their development.

They are all teenagers now, one getting ready for college, and I can attest that my illness has indeed affected them. Here’s how.  Continue reading

Researcher finds antidote to health bullshit

This researcher may have discovered the antidote to health bullshit – Vox – by Julia Belluz and Alvin Chang – Jul 17, 2017,

Andy Oxman is obsessed with the study of bullshit health claims and how to prevent them from spreading.

Oxman, now the research director at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, started to wonder whether the best hope for bullshit prevention lay with children.

The little classroom visit convinced Oxman he had to start schooling people in the ways of bullshit detection early in life.

So he began working with other researchers from around the world to develop curricula — a cartoon-filled textbook, lessons plans — on critical thinking skills aimed at school children.   Continue reading

Mainstream Medicine Smitten by Hocus-Pocus

Mainstream medicine is partly to blame for the ‘treatments’ Goop promotes By Arthur Caplan and Timothy Caulfield – August 2, 2017

It is easy to mock the ridiculous and potentially harmful health advice and product lines promoted by Gwyneth Paltrow and her team at Goop.

Sleeping near healing crystals, lugging around jade eggs in the vagina, swilling moon juice, undergoing raw goat milk cleanses, dabbing on sex dust, and snapping photos of your aura are just some of the ridiculous treatments and remedies offered at high prices to those looking for health ideas from a movie star.

How does this company and other equally daffy outfits pull off these highly lucrative health scams?

Mainstream medicine is partly to blame.   Continue reading

Duration of Antibiotic Therapy: General Principles

Duration of Antibiotic Therapy: General Principles – Pharmacy Times – Maricelle O. Monteagudo-Chu, PharmD, BCPS-AQID, and Nageh Shaeishaa, RPH, MSC – July 2017

Deciding on the duration of antimicrobial therapy for an infection is neither straightforward nor simple. A short or long course of antibiotics can be given to a patient, depending on the drug used, the severity of an infection, and response to treatment (Table 1).

Original image is blurry too 

Continue reading

When “resilience” becomes a dirty word

David Oliver: When “resilience” becomes a dirty word | The BMJ – July 2017 – David Oliver, consultant in geriatrics and acute general medicine

Though this article is about the British National Health Service, it applies just as much to the US these days.

We need to talk about “resilience.”  One dictionary definition is “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.”

Health Education England describes it as “the ability to bounce back—a capacity to absorb negative conditions, integrate them in meaningful ways, and move forward.   Continue reading

Why the advice to take all your antibiotics may be wrong

Why the advice to take all your antibiotics may be wrong – Stat News By Helen Branswell @HelenBranswell – February 9, 2017

If you’re taking antibiotics, don’t stop taking them until the pill vial is empty, even if you feel better. But the warning, a growing number of experts say, is misguided and may actually be exacerbating antibiotic resistance.

The reasoning is simple:

  • Exposure to antibiotics is what drives bacteria to develop resistance.
  • Taking drugs when you aren’t sick anymore simply gives the hordes of bacteria in and on your body more incentive to evolve to evade the drugs, so the next time you have an infection, they may not work. Continue reading

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Protects Brain Against Alzheimer’s

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Preserves Memory and Protects Brain Against Alzheimer’s Disease, New Research at Temple Shows – Jun 2017 – Source Newsroom: Temple University

The Mediterranean diet, rich in plant-based foods, is associated with a variety of health benefits, including a lower incidence of dementia.

Now, researchers at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM) have identified a specific ingredient that protects against cognitive decline: extra-virgin olive oil, a major component of the Mediterranean diet. 

In a study published online June 21 in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, the researchers show that the consumption of extra-virgin olive oil protects memory and learning ability and reduces the formation of amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain – classic markers of Alzheimer’s disease.   Continue reading

How Social Security Decides If You Are Disabled

How Social Security Decides If You Can Work or Are Disabled | DisabilitySecrets – accessed 7/31/17

This is a good explanation of how the process works:

If your medical condition doesn’t match one found on the SSA’s List of Impairments, the SSA will evaluate your remaining abilities (called your residual functional capacity, or RFC) to see if you can do your prior job.

If not, the SSA will perform a medical-vocational analysis to determine whether there is other work you can be expected to learn to do.   Continue reading

Standard antibiotic courses lead to antibiotic resistance

The antibiotic course has had its day | The BMJ – July 2017

With little evidence that failing to complete a prescribed antibiotic course contributes to antibiotic resistance, it’s time for policy makers, educators, and doctors to drop this message, argue Martin Llewelyn and colleagues.

Antibiotics are vital to modern medicine and antibiotic resistance is a global, urgent threat to human health. The relation between antibiotic exposure and antibiotic resistance is unambiguous both at the population level and in individual patients.

However, the idea that stopping antibiotic treatment early encourages antibiotic resistance is not supported by evidence, while taking antibiotics for longer than necessary increases the risk of resistance.   Continue reading