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Fixin' Healthcare

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Social Connections

Social connections make a better brain and leads to better health. Don't bowl alone.

Stay Physically Active

Stay physically active. You will last longer.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Why We Live 40 Years Longer Today Than In 1880

Why do we live 40 years longer than in 1880? An interesting question and this brief article with an informative graph by Joe Pinsker from The Atlantic offers some answers. "Breakthroughs like germ theory, antibiotics, and widespread vaccination, as well as major public-health advances in sanitation and regulation, neutralized many long-leading causes of death. Life expectancy skyrocketed as a result, but brought with it new demons. For the past 50 years, medical innovation has focused less on eradicating disease and more on managing chronic conditions. Does this indicate a slowdown in medical progress and a coming plateau in life expectancy? Or have we merely hit a lull before the next wave of major fixes?"

The insight that for the past 50 years medical innovation has focused less on eradicating disease and more on managing chronic conditions is spot on. But it lacks the added perspective that more of that additional 40 years in life expectancy came from the public-health advances, including widespread vaccination, than medical care. The current stall in life expectancy and huge economic burden of health care on society comes from an over emphasis on medical care. The medical care system in the U.S. is inefficient for treating sick people and ineffective for improving health status and life expectancy. The over emphasis on medical care is widespread and comes from the public, medical care providers, businesses with vested interest and public policy. It diverts attention from the lifestyle changes necessary to prevent and reverse many chronic health disorders. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending upon your perspective, these lifestyle changes would restructure society as we know it. But there are glimmers of hope. The consumption of sodas is decreasing.       

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Good farming and good nutrition go together. And good farming protects the environment, especially the top soil. Soil is more than dirt.

Monday, October 21, 2013


Get up and get moving. I can't say it often enough or loud enough. It is powerful medicine with endless benefits. Start slow and work up to a faster pace for longer distances. Dogs are the most reliable companions for walks. They adore you and they are always ready to go when you are.

Unhealthy Trends

There are multiple unhealthy trends in modern society. Agriculture, including meat production, the processed food industry and the medical care "industry" are among them. Elements of these trends converge and reinforce each other. Medical care is involved because people believe it can absolve them of lifestyle modification. That belief is especially prevalent in the US and providing more access promotes a false sense of security. Medical care treats sickness and the lack of effectiveness in achieving cures begets more medical care all the while ignoring or avoiding lifestyle modification that can prevent and/or reverse some of these chronic diseases.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Brain During Sleep

There is evidence that during sleep the brain cleans itself. Human anatomy, mechanical function and metabolism are extremely complex but they are highly functional. It speaks to proper maintenance and the only tools we have for that is lifestyle. The earlier we start in life the better but it is never too late to begin.   

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Medical Society

I have been in medicine for 53 years. During that time medicine has become a business. The business of medicine is to create more business. As a business medicine is inefficient but it is also ineffective. There is a lot of treatment and few cures in medicine. If there were more cures the price would not be so painful because the total cost would be less.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Cancer is the most frightening of diseases. It is best to prevent cancer but that is far from certain with current knowledge. Treating cancer is frustrating, painful and costly. Continued research leads to progress, however slow, and some successes with treating cancer . Don't overlook the value of no smoking, exercise and eating more vegetables and fruit to avoid cancer and assist with any necessary treatment.

Monday, October 14, 2013


Oh how we love medications and/or supplements. But they do not work as expected. Take osteoarthritis for example. Losing weight and regular physical activity are the most effective treatment for osteoarthritis pain.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Exercise For Health

It is difficult to lose weight with exercise alone but exercise is helpful for maintaining weight loss. And exercise is essential for achieving and maintaining good health. Drugs address the consequences of poor health not the cause and they don't do a particularly good job of treating those consequences. That is not to mention drugs don't make people feel better, quite the opposite, and a rational exercise program has every chance to make people feel better. Lack of exercise is a cause of poor health and exercising prevents poor health. When the side effects and cost of drugs is added to the consideration there is no contest as to which course of action to pursue. 

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Fat Cells

There is a difference among fat cells and the difference influences the state of health. The mechanism appears to reside in the function of the mitochondria but the reasons are not clear. Age does appear to be a factor. 

Exercise and Breast Cancer

Recently I was asked to suggest alternative hormone treatment for an obese postmenopausal woman with breast cancer. My advise was to lose weight. Supplemental estrogen in any form is estrogen and carries increased risk for breast cancer patients. Exercise can reduce the risk for developing breast cancer probably by changing the way estrogen is metabolized. Get up and get moving while eating plant based whole foods (mostly vegetables and fruit, especially blueberries, apples with the skin, grapes and grapefruit) and eliminating processed food and most meats, especially red meat. Not as easy as taking a pill but much more effective.  

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The Nacho Dorito

This article analyzes the nacho Dorito and the Doritos Locos Taco. It shows how we can get hooked on food that does not contribute to health. But it is good for the business of those who sell them.