Prescriptions for Health "Fastrack" on Demand, August 2011
Prescriptions for Health "Fastrack" on Demand, August 2011
Monday August 1, 2011
The People Skills Test for Aspiring MDs
While doctors often save lives, they are sometimes insufferable know-it-alls who bully nurses and do not listen to patients. There is a way of interviewing aspiring physicians to identify those people who jump to improper conclusions, fail to listen, or are overly opinionated. More than a dozen medical schools are now screening applicants to see if they have the people skills necessary to be a good healer.
Tuesday August 2, 2011
The Importance of Family Meals
As children get older it may be more challenging to regularly include them in family meals. This is key to heading off eating disorders, obesity, inadequate nutrition. Teens who eat five meals a week with their families are 35% less likely to engage in disordered eating. They are also more likely to be more connected and healthier.
Family meals should be a time to be together and talk. Cell phones, iPods, etc should not be allowed at the table.
Wednesday August 3, 2011
Angioplasties and Stents are Overdone in Acute MIs
The Occluded Artery Trial published in the NEJM in 2006 concluded that opening a totally blocked artery during an acute MI has no benefit. Yet this information is being ignored because cardiologists are still doing revascularization procedures more than 24 hours after an acute MI. Part of the problem is that insurance companies continue to reimburse for these unnecessary procedures.
Cardiologists are showing much more restraint when patients are not having symptoms of an acute heart attack or having unstable angina.
Thursday August 4, 2011
Arteminisin: A Cancer Smart Bomb
Wormwood is a Chinese herb that is thousands of years old that has applications for malaria and cancer treatment. It is safe, easy to use, affordable, and has great promise in the treatment of cancer. Cancer cells and bacteria accumulate iron far more than normal cells. Artemisinin works in the presence of iron to create free radicals that kill cells that hoard iron. Leukemia cells concentrate iron 1000 times normal lymphocytes and breast cancer concentrates iron 15 times a normal breast cell.
There are three forms of wormwood extract: artemisinin, artsunate, and artemether. It can be given either orally or by rectal suppository and should be pulsed with several days on and several off if taken by mouth because of intestinal tolerance. It is non-toxic and has been used on over 4000 patients without problems.
Its major use is in treating falciparum malaria.
Friday August 5, 2011
Birth Control Pills Reduce Bone Density
Birth control pills (BCPs) reduce bone density in a dose related relationship, but the effects are small and only develop after two years of use. Long term studies have not been done. A woman's risk of fractures later in life is influenced by the bone mass she gains in her teens through her 20s and this age group has the highest use of oral contraceptives. High dose BCPs taken for 2 years showed a 1-2% less gain in bone density in all areas of the body.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Integral Healing with Elliott Dacher, MD
Integral healing involves not only our self, but also how our health relates to our whole life story that includes our families, community, nation, planet, and universe. The composite of what makes a human being includes everything about us: our body, mind, emotion, spirit, and appreciates that we are inseparably connected to all that there is. Developing our psychospiritual essence is key to our evolving as human beings and living a life filled with health and vitality. The contrast of duality and oneness is explored.
When we discover the oneness of the universe and the love and power that it offers, as Dr. Dacher says, "Only the full development of our inner healing capacities can directly address and heal mental distress and its reflection in our body, optimize our recuperative capacities, bring a richness and wisdom to aging and death and most importantly propel us towards human flourishing and perfection."
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Human Flourishing with Elliott Dacher, MD
Human flourishing means achieving optimal well-being that includes a luminosity and presence, aliveness, vitality, enjoyment that can exist in all phases of life that include aging, disease, and death. It is not possible to enjoy health when you are part of a profoundly sick society! Our challenge is to learn to be in the moment and not be preoccupied to worry, planning, thinking and fearing that is remembering the past or worrying about the future. We are born with the ability to be in the moment and we are trained, unfortunately, to leave that space and become engaged in the values of the culture that don't serve us very well. The culture rewards our intellect and cognitive processes, and an educational system that supports achievement by how much we can think and accomplish. This leads to suffering rather than happiness and explains much of why most of humanity is depressed.
Wednesday August 10, 2011
What Is Meditation?
There is a great distinction about meditation as it is taught in our culture as a relaxation technique, as another form of therapy or an "upper class Valium." It is a path of inquiry, self understanding, and a method by which we return to the center of our being to discover the essence of the truth in our life and the essence of the beauty of existence in the goodness of heart.
Meditation is about self knowledge and with learning about the self so one can dispell the misunderstandings, unawareness and confusion that leads to lives lived with a great deal of emotional affliction.
The meditative state is being in the moment, so the training of meditation is a process of removing all of the obstacles so we can actually see and experience the nature of ourself, which is natually still, quiet, peaceful and loving. This process needs to be integrated into our daily lives.
Thursday August 11, 2011
What is Love?
Love is wanting another person to be happy. It is unconditional. Most of what we call love is meeting our own needs and is a form of self love. Love is not just an emotional experience. Generally, we love somone when they make us feel good. However, this is not loving them, we're loving their satisfaction of our needs.
Making someone happy should be done with discernment. Making a child happy by letting them eat a whole quart of ice cream may make them happy but this is not a good way to make them happy. Short term happiness can have consequences that are negative in the long run. We also have to remember is that we cannot make anyone happy, but what we can wish happiness and treat them with kindness, patience and caring.
Friday August 12, 2011
How to Deal with Human Suffering
Suffering is not necessary, it is a choice. Human flourishing with happiness, well being, and compassion are natural. It is necessary to know about suffering; the experience of suffering and then learn the causes before applying solutions. Most suffering comes from our personal afflictions such as jealousy, anger, pride, greediness, etc. Where do they develop from. We are taught to find success from cultural guidelines that often lead to suffering.
Monday August 15, 2011
Compassion is the Desire to Relieve Suffering
Compassion is wanting someone to be free of suffering. Empathy is an evolked memory about ourself, not another person. Yet there is an empathy that comes from understanding the human condition. By itself, It is not an effective way to help another person. Compassion is not driven by our own emotional story or by emotions at all, it is driven by wisdom. When we understand how suffering come about, we're in a position if we're wise to help another person.
Tuesday August 16, 2011
HDL Cholesterol is Not Always Protective
The Framingham Study showed that for every rise of 1 mg/dL of HDL cholesterol, there was a 2% drop in the risk of an MI. However, not all HDL cholesterol is protective. HDL's protective effect depends on the environment in which it exists. In premenopausal women, generally HDL is protective. However, in postmenopausal women who have the metabolic syndrome and a chemical environment characterized by high triglycerides and inflammation, the HDL that forms is smaller and denser and does not participate in reverse cholesterol transport nearly as well. HDL is being asked to do a job it is no longer capable of doing.
For these reasons, in postmenopausal women with high levels of HDL who have either symptoms or signs of arteriosclerosis should be evaluated fully even if HDL levels are high. Many of these women are insulin resistant, have already had a heart attack, have type 2 diabetes,
There is no value in adding niacin to statin therapy for this group of patients...it doesn't lower the risk of MI or stroke even if HDL goes up. This is particularly true in women with LDL levels in the range of 70.
Wednesday August 17, 2011
Unique Probiotics Trigger Different Immune Responses
The ability of probiotics to influence the immune system differs greatly depending on the strain in question. One probiotic strain is not like another when it comes to immune function. T-cell counts are one marker documenting this. Different strains activate different subtypes of T-helper cells while others specifically induce another subtype.
By building on our current knowledge of strain specific immune modulatory effects it may become possible to design clinically effective, bacteria based strategies to maintain and promote health.
Thursday August 18, 2011
What Happened and What We Face in Fukushima
What happened in Fukushima, Japan on March 11, 2011 may be the most sinister global disaster in the recorded history of our planet. The repercussions of this historic disaster will remain for centuries to come. The manifestations of nuclear radiation from the meltdown of the reactors in Fukushima will haunt humanity in ways that we'll only discover over time. The obvious poisoning of our food, water, and air is just the beginning of what is happening to humanity, animal and plant life, and the planet.
The dangers of nuclear power plants are now obvious. It is remarkable that there are dozens of them in the US and that many of them are built on earthquake faults and that they are vulnerable to natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, tsunamis, and hurricanes. It is time that we take a careful look at what we have done and prepare for the future with more foresight.
Friday August 19, 2011
Congress Cuts Medicare Benefits: Is This The Change We Need?
President Barack Obama's campaign for presidency tag like was that he'd bring us "The Change We Need." He promised there would be no cuts in health care and that we would provide health insurance coverage for millions of more Americans. However, now that the US budget is a huge challenge, he's signed legislation that can cut up to 2% per year in Medicare services. It seems that physician and hospital reimbursements will provide much of the savings.
It appears that the brunt of the economic challenges America is facing will once again be borne by the middle and lower classes while the rich get richer. It is time for an evolutionary change wherein service becomes the highest priority, not economics.
Monday August 22, 2011
How to Get More Veggies into Kids' Meals
Kids often don't eat a healthy diet. They particularly don't get the 7+ servings of fruits and veggies they need every day. It is possible to puree these foods and slip them into other foods such as meat loaf, mac and cheese, and casseroles. This was done in public schools and the kids could not tell the difference, but they ate fewer calories and far more fruits and veggies.
Replacing food with too much carbohydrate, especially high fructose corn syrup, and unhealthy fats, with pureed veggies and fruits may help with the epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes as well as minimize the malnutrition many of our kids have.
Tuesday August 23, 2011
Abused Kids Have Long Term Resistant Depression
Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse occur in 10-25% of kids and often leads to PTSD that is long term and resistant to treatment. Balancing neurotransmitters is treating symptoms not the cause. The best treatment addresses the underlying cause and often involves both psychotherapy and somatic psychotherapy.
Wednesday August 24, 2011
Do Herbal Supplements Interfere with Chemotherapy?
Doctors tend to urge cancer patients to discuss supplements with their doctors before beginning treatment because they may negatively affect chemotherapy. Some herbs interfere with the metabolism of chemotherapy drugs. Another problem is that MDs are not trained in nutrition, herbs and supplements and generally discourage the use of any treatment they are unfamiliar. They should be asking the same questions of most pharmaceutical drugs as well, but tend to trust them blindly. It is possible to treat with supplements away from chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Some herbs could support chemotherapy and others are interesting complementary styles of chemotherapy too.
Thursday August 25, 2011
Small Bowel Overgrowth Syndrome
Bacterial overgrowth syndrome occurs when the normally low numbers of bacteria inhabiting the small intestine becomes overtaken by bacteria or pathogens. The prevalence of bacteria in the upper GI tract depends on gastric acidity, peristaltic activity, damage to the mucosa or atrophy, the redox potential, pH, diet and much more. The workup for this condition includes a CDSA, various breath tests that involve hydrogen, bile acids, and xylose, and at times endoscopy.
Treatment with antibiotics is often tried empirically with one of many antibiotics such as tetracycline, augmentin, rifaximin, cleocin, flagyl, and many others. A single 7-10 day course may solve the problem in as many as 90%. Serial antibiotic courses are often necessary to relieve symptoms.
Friday August 26, 2011
Sniffer Dogs Detect Lung Cancer
Sniffer dogs can accurately identify people with lung cancer even through, smoker, copd, They can smell volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) that are breathed out by the lungs. It is safe, affordable, accurate, non-invasive, and may someday be used by MDs to screen for cancers. One day thorough the use of spectrophotometry it is promising that chemicals specific only to cancer will be discovered that make the diagnosis of cancer far easier.
Monday August 29, 2011
Rethinking Health Care Funding
The rate of spending for health care has outstripped economic growth in almost every country for the past 15 years. There aren't obvious ways of controlling health care costs that seem realistic. Approaches that have been considered include Universal Health Care programs, cuts in health care services, increasing taxes, entrusting more services to private health insurance companies, and adding or increasing co-payments for insurance.
Trying harder to make a system that is fatally flawed is not the answer. Wellness, prevention, and lifestyle medicine would certainly lower health care costs considerably, but the sick care system we have generates a lot of the gross national product and converting to a health care system simply would disrupt this income considerably.
Tuesday August 30, 2011
C. difficile: How to Treat It
A natural defense mechanism used by cells in the gut neutralizes toxins generated by the C. Diff microorganism. The toxin produced requires multiple sectionings in order to become activated and this can be blocked by stopping this effect. Cysteine protease is the enzyme that can do this and researchers are hoping to discover how to stop this process in clinical practice.
Despite the possibility that this information could lead to additional therapies for C. diff, it is no more than continuing the same narrow and often misguided approach that looks to killing the microbe rather than boosting immunity to eliminate the infection.
Wednesday August 31, 2011
Do Spices Prevent Cancer?
The spice, saffron, shows promise in preventing liver cancer in animal models. Rats treated with the chemical carcinogen, diethylnitrosamine (DEN) there was an inhibition of cell proliferation and stimulation of apoptosis, both of which are important cancer treatment mechanisms. Chronic infection with hepatitis B or C are major risk factors for primary hepatocellular carcinoma. DEN is an environmental carcinogen found in tobacco smoke, cosmetics, gasoline, and processed foods including milk and meat products.
Saffron has antioxidant, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties.
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!
Fastrack Archive September 2011