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Health Issues

Health Issues

Med Advice: Dr. Douglass' Alt-Med "Daily Dose" Archive -- Some good non-std medical advice
"I've been called the conscience of modern medicine. But, I've also been labeled a maverick, and several less flattering names too, by some of the biggest names in the government and health establishments -- but, hey, that's part of the territory."

2017-03-17: Ars Technica: Genome study reveals human groups evolved to eat different diets
A new study of hundreds of human genomes has revealed that groups in various regions of the world have evolved for diets with different amounts of meat and vegetables. Our genomes have responded rapidly to changes in our diets for thousands of years. We are not optimized to eat what people ate 50,000 years ago as hunter-gatherers.

2017-03-09: New Atlas: Low-gluten diets linked to increased risk of diabetes, by Rich Haridy
Gluten-free diets have exploded in popularity in recent years, but many have questioned whether this new food trend is actually medically helpful for those without a diagnosed celiac disease. A new study released by the American Heart Foundation points to a possible relationship between low-gluten diets and a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes.

2017-03-04: Ars Technica: New non-addictive opioid works only where it hurts, by Beth Mole
With a straightforward chemical tweak, the addictive and often deadly opioid painkiller, fentanyl, may transform into a safe, non-addictive, targeted therapy, esearchers reported Thursday in Science. In rats, a chemically modified form of the opioid could only work on inflamed, hurting tissue -- not the rest of the body. Plus, it wasn't deadly at high doses, and it wasn't addictive.

2017-02-23: Epoch Times: Why Getting Dirty Is Good for Your Health, by Lynn Jaffee
Your well-being is connected to the microbes you carry on and in your body, and the greater variety that you are exposed to, especially as a child, the better the odds that you will be healthy as an adult. So explore the natural world. Check out wildflowers in the spring, study minnows in a nearby creek, explore pond ecology, touch and examine. It's OK to get a little dirty.

2017-01-26: TIME: What Happens When Doctors Only Take Cash, by Haley Sweetland Edwards
Obamacare and the increase in high-deductible medical insurance policies have accelerated the formation of a business model offering medical services for a much lower price than a traditional hospital. In exchange for up-front pricing transparency and a truly free-market approach to medical services, no insurance of any kind is accepted -- only cash.

2017-01-16: WT: Is veganism a mental disorder?, by Rick Berman
Humans are naturally meat-eaters. Our bodies require Vitamin B12 for proper brain function. Vitamin B12 is only found naturally in animal products. Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to fatigue, megaloblastic anemia, early dementia, increased risk of heart disease, nerve dysfunction, forgetfulness, lack of coordination, and psychiatric disorders. (So strict veganism could lead to mental derangement, and thus Liberalism.)

2016-12-21: Telegraph: Breathalyser can detect 17 diseases, by Henry Bodkin
As far back as 400 BC, Hippocrates advised his students to smell their patients' breaths to detect if they were ill. Now, researchers in America have invented a system which does just that, only rather more scientifically.

2016-12-12: BW: Is Kratom a Deadly Drug or a Life-Saving Medicine?, by Bryan Gruley
Advocates believe the powder helps people kick opioids without risk of addiction. When the DEA tried to criminalize it, they fought back.

2016-10-23: Roanoke Times: Va. company creates first sheets to prevent bed sores, by L. Rife
It's a first for a bed sheet, and it flips conventional thinking: Instead of sheets and pads protecting the mattress, they protect the patient. ... "Through 11 clinical trials, we showed the surface of the mattress is a lot less important than what touches the skin." -- James Barry, business manager for Precision Fabrics' health products

2016-09-02: Ars Technica: FDA bans antibacterial soaps, by Beth Mole
"Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water. In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term." -- Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER)

2016-08-23: Xinhua: Aussie drug melting cancer cells approved for human use in U.S.
A tablet developed in Melbourne that "melts away" cancer cells has been approved for use in the United States. The FDA announced on Tuesday that venetoclax was approved for prescription outside of human trials for patients with chronic lymphotic leukemia (CLL).

2016-07-27: AMAC: Dizziness and Aspartame, by Gregory DeGlorgis
My story began in September 1993 at age 29. I am a general contractor, working six to seven stressful days a week. I began waking around 5 a.m. with dizziness episodes that would incapacitate me. After many false diagnoses and one needless surgery, saw a news program about aspartame, the sugar substitute designed for diabetics. ...

2016-06-24: Science Daily: New doubts on Zika as cause of microcephaly
Brazil's microcephaly epidemic continues to pose a mystery -- if Zika is the culprit, why are there no similar epidemics in other countries also hit hard by the virus? One possibility that has been raised is the pesticide pyriproxyfen, which is applied to drinking water in some parts of Brazil to kill the larvae of the mosquitos that transmit Zika.

2016-06-21: Gizmag: First cold-pressed cow's milk on sale in Australia, by Stu Roberts
Australian outfit Made by Cow says that homogenizing and pasteurizing milk eliminates much of its goodness and flavor, so has created a new cold press method that makes milk safe to drink much closer to its fresh state.

2016-05-23: Guardian: Official advice wrong on low-fat diet, cholesterol, says health charity
In a damning report that accuses major public health bodies of colluding with the food industry, two British health charities call for a "major overhaul" of current dietary guidelines. They say the focus on low-fat diets is failing to address Britain's obesity crisis, while snacking between meals is making people fat.

2016-04-25: Epoch Times: How to Lose Weight Fast - Proven 3-Step Plan, by Kris Gunnars
The three-step plan outlined here will make you lose weight fast without being hungry. Here's pretty much all you have to do: 1) Eliminate high-carb foods; 2) Eat protein, saturated fat, and veggies; 3) Exercise 3–4 times per week (optional, but recommended). Drinking water half an hour before meals also helps.

2016-04-21: BW: FDA Considers Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids, by Paul Barrett
Under existing FDA rules, "hearing aids" can be sold only by licensed hearing experts. And this has created a protected industry that keeps prices high. "Personal sound amplification products" (PSAPs) are available with often equivalent technology for a fraction of the price, but can be sold only for "recreational use". FDA's rules on this may be about to change.

2016-04-13: NYT: Old Study, Rediscovered, Challenges Advice on Saturated Fat, by A. O'Connor
A four-decades-old study -- recently discovered in a dusty basement -- has raised new questions about longstanding dietary advice and the perils of saturated fat in the American diet. Subjects on saturated diets had higher cholesterol levels than those on corn oil diets; they also lived longer.

2016-03-10: BW: Monsanto's Roundup gets new scrutiny in Europe, by A. Martin L. Mulvany
Tests have found chemical residue in British bread, as well as in the urine of people across Europe. In early March, the European Union put off a vote to renew a 15-year license for glyphosate after several member states balked.

2016-03-04: CBS: Sex linked to better brain power in older age, by Cari Nierenberg
People over age 50 who are more sexually active also have better memory and cognitive skills than people who get busy less often, a new study from England suggests. ("See dear, now don't you want to help me better remember what you tell me?")

2016-02-16: Sky News: 'Extraordinary' Cancer Breakthrough Revealed
In one study, more than nine out of ten participants with a severe form of leukaemia saw their symptoms completely vanish. The technique involves removing immune cells called T-cells from patients, tagging them with "receptor" molecules that target cancer, and putting them back into the body in an infusion.

2016-02-09: Algemeiner: Int'l Research Team Reverses Alzheimer's Symptoms in Mice
An Israeli research professor, heading an international team of scientists, has discovered a way to inhibit the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease by studying the plasticity of the brain, fundamental to learning and memory, using a certain small protein which inhibits the processes normally associated with impairment.

2015-11-04: WaPo: A Maryland farm now sells raw milk -- for pets, by Karen Heller
At their farm in Brandywine, Md., Sally Fallon Morell and her husband, Geoffrey, sell 24 gallons of raw milk a week -- limit one gallon per family per week. The milk is marked for use only for pets, to pacify the Maryland food police. (In 1999, the Morells founded the Weston A. Price Foundation to promote "wise traditions in food, farming and the healing arts".)

2015-10-15: EMR & HIPAA: One Doctor's Perspectives on the Evolution of Health Care
"The American Medical Business model is antithetical with respect to this concept and as such I believe dangerous to your health. So, in my world view, HIPPA is a costly infringement on my ability to care for my patients and as such, potentially harmful to their health."

2015-10-13: Examiner: U.S most obese in the world, has fattest kids, by Paul Bedard
The United States is put at No. 1, ahead of 33 other nations, despite years of work by the Obama administration, the first lady and the Agriculture Department, which has been pulling sugar and salt out of school lunches. The report shows obesity at 35% for Americans, 4% for Japanese and 25% for Canadians.

2015-10-06: Waking Times: Heart surgeon reveals truth about heart disease, by Alex Pietrowski
The discovery that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated. The long-established dietary recommendations have created epidemics of obesity and diabetes, the consequences of which dwarf any historical plague in terms of mortality, human suffering and dire economic consequences.

2015-08-19: AP: Scientists find how obesity gene works, by Marilynn Marchione
The FTO gene turns out to influence obesity indirectly, as a master switch that affects two other genes that control whether the body produces brown fatty tissue -- the so-called "good fat" which burns calories -- or the more common white fat which stores them.

2015-08-19: BW: Is ketamine the best hope for curing major depression?, by Caroline Winter
Ketamine was first developed in 1962 as a fast-acting anesthetic. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn't approved ketamine for the treatment of mood disorders, but dozens of medical studies show that it can quickly alleviate severe depression.

2015-07-12: ProPublica: Coumadin/warfarin often misused in nursing homes, by Charles Ornstein
From 2011 to 2014, at least 165 nursing home residents were hospitalized or died after errors involving Coumadin or its generic version, warfarin, a ProPublica analysis of government inspection reports shows. Studies suggest there are thousands more injuries every year that are never investigated by the government.

2015-05-28: WaPo: Why doctors quit... and Part 2, by Charles Krauthammer
My argument is simple. If electronic records are such a great boon -- as I believe they eventually will be -- they will be adopted over time as the benefits begin to exceed costs. Let the market work. Let doctors breathe. And while you're at it, drop the Medicare penalty.

2015-05-15: WaPo: Exercise alone won't make you lose weight., by Aseem Malhotra
Exercise is fine, but it won't help you to lose weight. If weight loss is your goal, your diet is what really needs to change.

2015-05-11: Epoch Times: Why 80 Percent of Us Are Deficient in Magnesium, by Dr. Mark Sircus
"Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency" ... "magnesium is the most critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body. A magnesium deficiency may be responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient." -- Dr. Norman Shealy

2015-04-21: BW: Buttered Coffee Could Make You Invincible, by Gordy Megroz
Dave Asprey is using himself as a health guinea pig. He's completely dismantled the food pyramid and argues that the proper diet should consist of as much as 70 percent fat. "[T]he membrane of every cell in your body is made of fat," Asprey says. "When you go on a low-fat diet, you limit the performance of so many key systems in your body that it's no wonder you have cravings and feel tired."

2015-04-14: WSJ: Feds to Probe Generic Drug Price Increases, by Ed Silverman
Following prodding from Congress, the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health Human Services says the office will review generic drug price increases between 2005 and 2014 in order to determine the extent to which generic drug prices exceeded the inflation rate.

2015-04-11: Guernsey Press: Dog prostate cancer detection rate '98% reliable'
The latest research, by the Department of Urology at the Humanitas Clinical and Research Centre in Milan, involved two German shepherds sniffing the urine of 900 men -- 360 with prostate cancer and 540 without. Scientists found that dog one got it right in 98.7% of cases, while for dog two this was 97.6%.

2015-04-06: WaPo: Many scientists say gov't salt guidelines too low, by Peter Whoriskey
According to studies published in recent years by pillars of the medical community, the low levels of salt recommended by the government might actually be dangerous. "There is no longer any valid basis for the current salt guidelines, so why are we still scaring people about salt?"

2015-03-26: Epoch Times: MIT doctor links Glyphosate herbicide (Roundup) to Autism spike
Dr. Stephanie Seneff from MIT finds a perfect correlation between use of Roundup in food production and the rise in autism -- from 1 in 10,000 in 1970, to 1 in 68 today, and 50% by 2025. "The glyphosate is being soaked up by the plants and getting into the food system, and the U.S. government is doing very little monitoring to even see if that's true." (Related article.)

2015-03-02: US Guidelines To Lift Limits on Dietary Cholesterol, by Dr. Mercola
The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) has recommended limits on dietary cholesterol be removed from the upcoming 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This is a reversal of the cholesterol limitations that have been widely circulated since the 1960s. The exception is oxidized cholesterol, formed when polyunsaturated vegetable oils (such as soybean, corn, and sunflower oils) are heated.

2015-01-29: WT: Weighing childhood risks of contact sports, by Joseph Maroon, Julian Bailes
As neurosurgeons and early researchers of concussions and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), we recommend that parents permit their kids to play football, ice hockey, lacrosse and other contact sports. The benefits of organized contact sports on childhood and adolescent development far outweigh the risks, given the available medical data.

2014-12-22: TIME: Medicine Gets Personal Again with Direct Primary Care, by David Von Drehle
Primary care and specialized care have two very different missions, and need different business models. After all, car insurance doesn't cover oil changes, and homeowners' insurance doesn't cover house paint. So why should insurance pay for your annual checkup or your kid's strep swab?

2014-12-21: Wisc Journal Sentinel: Benefits of diabetes drugs dubious -- Follow the money!
The number of people with diabetes or pre-diabetes and who are candidates for drugs has been magnified by organizations and doctors with financial ties to drug companies. But from 2004 to 2013, none of the 30 new diabetes drugs that came on the market were proven to improve key outcomes, such as reducing heart attacks or strokes, blindness or other complications of the disease.

2014-12-14: Delta Inst Int'l: BX Protocol - Lyme Disease Medical Breakthrough -- video(18:02)
A lot of people around the world suffer from Lyme disease, a complex bacterial destruction of a cell's mitochondria. The disease goes largely undiagnosed, and even when detected, is not treated effectively in most cases. If you know someone with Lyme disease, pass this link along to them. It may help.

2014-11-26: Reuters: Celiac disease showing up in many forms and at all ages, Janice Neumann
"Anyone can have celiac disease, it's common and underdiagnosed," said Dr. Peter Green. "The message we want to get out is if you think you've got celiac disease, don't just go on a gluten-free diet, test for it."

2014-11-22: Robert Rowan: Rapid Ebola Infection Cure -- Rowen-Robins Treatment Protocol
A physician at an Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone accidentally stabbed himself with an Ebola contaminated needle. This doctor had been recently trained in the Rowen-Robins Ebola Treatment Protocol, which uses the specific Robins Method of Direct Intravenous infusion of ozone gas (DIV), costing less than $40. Result: cured in two days.

2014-08-20: New Scientist: Young blood to be used in ultimate rejuvenation trial
In California, people with Alzheimer's will be given transfusions of young blood to see if improves their cognition -- there's good reason to hope it might.

2014-08-04: STICK: ObamaCare...Condensed Version -- 10,535 pages condensed to 4 sentences

2014-07-15: Mosaic: Why do we have blood types?, by Carl Zimmer
More than a century after their discovery, we still don't really know what blood types are for. Do they really matter? Carl Zimmer investigates.

2014-06-21: Epoch Times: A New Understanding of the Cause of Cancer, by James Grundvig
Cancer is thought of as being triggered in 5–10 percent of cases by mutations; 15 percent by infections; with the remaining 80 percent deemed to be sporadic, a euphemism for having an 'unknown cause'. Could cancer also be caused by chronic inflammation, just like arthritis and heart disease?

2014-06-21: TIME: Ending the War on Fat, by Bryan Walsh
Thirty years of low-fat dogma has produced a nation fatter and sicker than ever, and the "science" supporting the dogma wasn't science at all. (Sounds similar to the global warming argument.)

2014-05-30: Telegraph: Bicycle helmets are useless, says brain surgeon
A leading neurosurgeon has controversially claimed that cyclists who wear helmets are wasting their time. "I see lots of people in bike accidents and these flimsy little helmets don't help."

2014-05-03: Book: Missing Microbes: How Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues
Everyone has a pet theory to explain the rise of modern scourges -- obesity, diabetes, celiac disease, autism, asthma, allergies, esophageal cancer, etc. But perhaps it's not plastics, pesticides or GM wheat -- but antibiotics.

2014-04-28: WSJ: A Doctor's Declaration of Independence
I don't know about other physicians but I am tired -- tired of the mandates, tired of outside interference, tired of anything that unnecessarily interferes with the way I practice medicine. No other profession would put up with this kind of scrutiny and coercion from outside forces.

2014-04-16: WSJ: More People Pick Elimination Diets to Discover Food Sensitivities
The adage that you are what you eat doesn't quite ring true for some people. A growing group is swearing by the idea: You are what you don't eat. The fad and science behind not eating entire food groups for weeks at a time.

2014-04-05: NY Post: America rejoice! Being fat may actually make you healthier
"The Obesity Paradox" presents compelling evidence that those with excess baggage might be healthier and better able to fight off diseases than normal-weight counterparts. Conversely, the "thin and unfit" waifs have the worst body types for long-term health.

2014-04-01: CBS: Study - Vegetarians Less Healthy, Lower Quality Of Life Than Meat-Eaters
A new study from the Medical University of Graz in Austria finds that the vegetarian diet -- characterized by a low consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol that includes increased intake of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products -- carries elevated risks of cancer, allergies and mental health disorders.

2014-02-06: Krauthammer: The health-care myths we live by
After "first, do no harm", medicine's second great motto should be "above all, humility". Even the tried-and-true may not be true. Some myths: "Emergency room usage"; "Medicaid's effect on health"; "Electronic records will save zillions".

2014-01-17: Examiner: A conservative case for universal coverage
If we could substitute Switzerland and Singapore's health care systems, which achieve universal coverage while spending a fraction of what we do and broad access to high-quality doctors, for our own, it would exceed the wildest dreams of American conservative reformers.

2014-01-16: AMAC: What ObamaCare is Really About
Submitted by a Concerned Citizen -- I'm a 54 year old consulting engineer and make between $60,000 and $125,000 per year, depending on how hard I work and whether or not there are work projects out there for me...

2013-12-19: AMAC: ObamaCare's New Year's Day Surprise: Deep Cuts to Medicare
As if ObamaCare's botched website, coverage cancellations, and higher costs were not bad enough, the Obama Administration has quietly dealt yet another blow -- this time striking millions of the nation's most vulnerable seniors, by deciding to deeply cut funding for the Medicare program's home health benefit as a way to help pay for ObamaCare.

2013-12-04: Reuters: Dementia epidemic looms
Many governments are woefully unprepared for an epidemic of dementia currently affecting 44 million people worldwide and set to more than treble to 135 million people by 2050, health experts and campaigners said on Thursday.

2013-10-23: Minn Post: Another call to end the war against saturated fat, by Susan Perry
Reducing saturated fat intake causes large LDL levels to fall, while levels of the dangerous small LDL remain essentially the same. And that's because small LDL levels appear to be influenced by the consumption of sugar and other carbohydrates, not saturated fat.

2013-10-15: HBR: India's Secret to Low-Cost Health Care, by V. Govindarajan & R. Ramamurti
Health care costs in India, even after adjusting for the difference between Indian and US wages, are 20% of US healthcare costs. The reason is that consumers have to pay 40%-60% out of pocket, so the health industry has an incentive to be efficient and frugal. In the U.S. we used to pay 50% out of pocket in 1960, but now it's only 10%.

2013-02-20: TIME: Bitter Pill - Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us, by Steven Brill
Steven Brill, in this article for TIME Magazine, brings up some good points about current health care in the U.S., including the "chargemaster" maintained by every hospital but not available for viewing by patients. You may or may not agree with Brill's recommended solutions.

2007-06-27: Discovery Health: How can nicotine be good for me?, by Jacob Silverman
Nicotine use has been shown to reduce incidence of Alzheimer's disease. And it actually boosts the growth of new blood vessels, leading to possible new treatments for diabetes.

1939-xx-xx: Nasty, Brutish and Short?, a summary version of Dr Weston A Price's famous work.

1939-xx-xx: Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, the classic work of Dr. Weston A. Price
This is the classic work of Dr. Weston A. Price, published in 1939, which compares the Paleo-like diets and health of 14 primitive peoples from around the world, as contrasted with that of Westerners.