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Fixin' Healthcare

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Antibiotic use in people and on the farm is a complex issue for health. Overuse and inappropriate use present potential danger for serious infection that is difficult, if not impossible, to treat and life threatening. It is important to ask in each and every case if antibiotics are appropriate.  

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hospital Wars

Hospital wars with rankings, advertising and heavy armament are a sad commentary on modern medicine.

Medical Procedures Often Don't Work As Intended

Much of medical practice doesn't work as intended and that includes drugs and surgical procedures. Hopefully, they don't cause any harm but that is not always the case. Of course, we can't overlook the placebo effect, which is far more common than anyone wants to admit. Question everything and try to understand as much as possible. Remember, the highest technology in medicine is contained within the body. Don't screw it up!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

NYC Fruit And Vegetable Prescription Program

One cannot help but admire New York City's aggressive approach to health promotion and disease prevention. This article describes a fruit and vegetable prescription program for overweight and obese people. And keep in mind if people won't eat the prescribed amount of vegetables and fruit, they might drink them.

Whole Grains

Life is not simple. There are many complex matters of importance and it is difficult to become familiar with all of them. Whole grains is an example. It is culture that teaches about many of them. A large complex nation like the United States may appear to have one culture but in reality it has many cultures. Some healthy and some not so healthy. 

Obesity Around The World

Mexico and the United States lead the world in weight with Australia and New Zealand in hot pursuit. Micheal Bloomberg and New York City should be proud for taking the lead in showing ways to resist and reverse this trend.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lifestyle Modification

Weekly support that is convenient, work place or church, helps adherence to a lifestyle modification program.


Skipping breakfast is associated with health problems. But what you eat at breakfast is important also. It is a good time to eat a cereal with high fiber and some plant based protein.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Spread Of Ideas

This is an interesting story about the spread of ideas that change routines and lead to saving lives. It takes time and trust to change for a person and a society. America faces this problem today with the epidemics of preventable chronic diseases where the answer is a change in lifestyles. Not an easy situation to be sure. Rather than a solution, health insurance as currently structured may be part of the problem. I despair when someone taking multiple medications comes to see me. It takes time and lots of support to back them out of that situation and start them on a different path.    

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Vitamin Supplements

This article speaks to one reason why vitamin supplements became so popular. If a prophet is an expert from out of town with slides, Linus Pauling would have qualified. A fully committed authority figure backed by the profit motive is a brew to spawn an industry and it is familiar story in America. Cure-all elixirs with ample alcohol content have been around for a long time. They were popular on the western frontier. And what ever happened to Hadacol?

If someone were proven to be low in an essential vitamin it would be beneficial to replace it. But that would be done best with proper food. There are too many people who eat a poor diet deficient in vegetables, fruit and whole grains but believe supplements can make up the difference. The health status in the United States is not an endorsement for vitamin supplements.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Beginning Of Health Care

In America the medical care system has inhibited the development of a health care system. The pathway to good health is believed to pass through medical care. It makes no difference the data shows this is not the case. Excess investment in medical care propels momentum for more utilization of medical care. That is not to say medical care is unnecessary but life in America creates far more medical care than is justified when it is judged on the basis of outcomes and health status. Poor health generates more medical care that sustains and increases the amount of poor health leading to more medical care. It is a continuous cycle. Much is made of the inefficiency and perverse incentives in the fractured medical care system. Overlooked is the lack of effectiveness for medical care regardless of the efficiency of the system in which it is organized. A health care system consisting of public and community health is beginning to show a better pathway to the best health possible. New York City is an example and there are other communities joining in the effort. That is not to say they will avoid resistance from those who refuse change even to achieve better health and longer life. But these changes are coming and they will restructure society in ways we cannot imagine.         

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Climbing Stairs

Climbing stairs is the equivalent of jogging and exercise is most easily done when it is part of the daily routine.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Rate Of Dementia Declines

The rate of dementia declines and it may be the result of a healthier and better educated population.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Vegan vs Meat

This article presents the pros and cons of a vegan vs a meat and dairy diet. It is interesting the lack of consensus about something as important as what we eat every day. However, Colin Campbell has a lot of data to back up what he preaches and the status quo represents an overweight nation plagued with chronic diseases.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are not as reliable as we think and drugs are not as effective as we would like.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Merits Of A Cancer Doctor

In this article a cancer patient discusses the merits of a cancer doctor. It seems to me these are the qualities one would want in every doctor.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Artificial Sweeteners and Diet Sodas

Artificial sweeteners and diet sodas are link with several health problems. This does not prove cause and effect but it is worth noting the large number of overweight people who drink diet sodas. There is the possibility that diet sodas contribute to weight gain but it certain they seldom assist with weight loss.

Antibiotics In Animals Bred For Food

Indiscriminate use of antibiotics in animals bred for food leads to resistant bacteria that are a danger to humans.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cat Poop

Don't panic but I would be careful with cat poop. It can contain a parasite that can infect humans and cause harm to health.

Super-Low LDL Cholesterol

The finding of a super-low LDL cholesterol associated with a genetic mutation is exciting. I cannot fault the scientists for investigating the finding, the press for reporting the finding, the pharmaceutical companies for pursuing the finding or people with onset of heart disease early in life for wishful hope about the promise for the finding. But like all medical miracles this one should be viewed with caution until more is learned. And, as is always the case with biomedical issues of this nature, the public should be reminded that medical breakthroughs treat health problems to sustain life but they do not restore good health. Medical care is an alternate route but it is not the main stream of life.    

Better Broccoli

A plant scientist at Cornell University is developing a better broccoli.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

ADHD Drugs Don't Boost Grades

Studies show that drugs for ADHD, such as Ritalin and Adderall, don't improve academic performance in school.


The study of nostalgia indicates it is helpful for mental health. No doubt, music takes people back in time but smells and locations do a pretty good job of it also.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Fecal Transplantation

This article discusses the issues of fecal transplantation and describes a case of successful resolution of ulcerative colitis with fecal transplant. No doubt, the high technology involved in the symbiotic relationship  with bacterial populations on and in our body is an important frontier for health.

Saturday, July 06, 2013


Aspirin is a marvelous compound associated with multiple health benefits that includes reducing the risk for cancer. This article describes a finding that seems to explain the reason for reducing cancer.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

What People Want

It is tempting to downplay the influence of social culture and lifestyles. However, social culture and lifestyles are expressions of how and what people are thinking. Human behavior is determined by how and what people are thinking.

This is a complex process involving the interaction of a vast number of forces. The forces may not be rational and seldom are they coordinated. It is difficult, if not impossible to detect all the forces in play at any given time and to understand every aspect of their influence.

Government policies don't lead, they follow. And they often get it wrong depending on how far they are behind the leading edge of the curve. It should be no surprise that government policies often work at cross purposes to each other. There are policies that support inappropriate goals and many policies have no bearing upon their intended purpose.

A good example is health care. People seek financial security and they fear the strain and hardship of an illness. But they are more interested in good health than insurance, especially when it costs so much.    

Moving Prevention To The Front Of The Line

Building prevention into everyday life is a real and necessary possibility. It will take time and effort. A good start is to recognize that primary prevention is a culture and public health issue not a medical care issue. The call for more physicians due to Obamacare is a false assumption. The same goes for the friction between physicians and nurse practitioners. More medical care propagates more sickness. Meanwhile, there is a large unmet need for public health and primary prevention. More communities throughout the nation are beginning to pay attention to this. Younger people interested in health will define this arena and carve out new approaches to the problem of a sick society. Certainly, the medical care "system" of today is not the answer.

Exercise Calms Anxiety

Exercise has a wide influence on metabolism. All the lights come on. Among other things exercise creates new brain cells and can calm anxiety.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

New Drugs For Weight Loss

Drugs for weight loss are tools that help someone do what they need to do to lose weight. They are not cures and none of them work all that well. The new ones cost more and they are of no extra benefit.

Monday, July 01, 2013

What A Tangled Web We Weave

These articles concerning the high cost of colonoscopies and obstetrical deliveries plus government policy for orphan drugs and taxes, as well as the ever increasing level of CEO compensation offer a not so pleasing insight into our society. Keep in mind that hospital administrators are referred to as CEOs. It seems to be all about money. I won't say that medical care is leading the "charge" but it is caught in the draft somewhere near the front.