Posted 06/24/2013 You’d never guess this would be a hotly debated topic among physicians, since an affirmative answer seems so obvious. As for patients, assuming you have insurance, a doctor, and nothing’s really wrong with you, you still might like someone to look things over and ensure nothing’s amiss, no evil lurking inside that will […]
I suspect men have wanted to control female sexuality since the dawn of time. Certainly aphrodisiacs (named after Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and desire) appear in the medical writings of ancient Greece, and in Chinese medicine the perfect combination of acupuncture and herbs is supposed to work wonders. Ayurvedic practitioners have suspected that chiropractic […]
Try this experiment. Sit somewhere unobserved, like a Starbuck’s or a doctor’s waiting room, and just watch people. If you see someone sitting alone, likely she’ll be checking her smart phone or laptop or plugging into music. People sitting in groups of two or more will interrupt themselves to glance at their phones, text-checking. If […]
I imagine diet books began appearing worldwide shortly after the Gutenberg Bible hit the shelves. And ever since, physicians, nutritionists, alchemists, personal trainers, and others have attempted to convince us that their diet is the one that will change everything. All diets fail for the same reason, an assertion I base on my experience both […]
At least once or twice a week, one of our staff people will observe me at my phone, fist clenched, smoke rushing from both ears, my feathers clearly ruffled. I’m told I also sound a bit like Gilbert Gottfried, but I think that’s unfair. So what is it that’s setting me off? Well, folks, it’s […]
Happy Valentine’s Day! People who know me will say today’s health tip on the dangers of sugar is just typical, badgering innocent people on a holiday dedicated to love, romance, and dessert. Before we get started, let me pull out my two favorite passive-aggressive chestnuts: “I’m just looking out for your best interests” and “I […]
Posted 01/23/2012 One of my favorite books has always been the 1964 classic The Myth of Mental Illness, by Thomas Szasz, MD. A psychiatrist and still writing at the ripe age of 91, Szasz castigated his fellow professionals for labeling too many people with relatively mild emotional symptoms “mentally ill,” especially when it came to […]
Here’s another persistent patient story, a woman who endured years of symptoms and no definite answers. Then, six months ago, when her symptoms went into high gear, she knew she had to do something. I first met Claudia, a bright, healthy looking woman, just a few weeks ago. She told me her longstanding digestive symptoms […]
When I was in pre-med (back in the Pleistocene Era, to many of you), I worked as a lab technician in a small hospital. All those blood and urine tests you’ve had whose results are now fully automated were once processed slowly and painstakingly by hand (mine among them). The so-called metabolic profile of about 20 tests that today takes a few seconds to complete would have occupied me for nearly a full workday.
For me it was a summer night in the 1960s, at the Aragon Ballroom on Lawrence Avenue in Chicago, the club during those years temporarily renamed The Cheetah. Seemed like a cool name to me, with my shoulder-length hair, bellbottoms, and paisley everything else. The band for the evening was Blue Cheer, billing itself as the loudest band in rock and roll. I was in the first row.
My staff people were chatting up the TV show Hoarders, about people who obsessively hoard stuff. I think you can’t really use the word “enjoy” or even “be entertained by” reality TV. At best the German word schadenfreude might apply, which loosely translates as “secret pleasure in watching the misery of others.”
Yes, I mean you. You were the one complaining about your weight, right? Yeah, I thought it was you.
I recently listened to the sociologists-epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett discussing their book The Spirit Level on NPR. A few days later, they were on Book TV and soon I was reading a lengthy piece on them in the London Review of Books. The publicity worked and I bought the book. By the way, a spirit level is the same as a bubble level, the carpenter’s device containing a bubble in liquid to ensure whatever’s being constructed is plumb.
DMAE, or dimethylaminoethanol, is a compound found in high levels in anchovies and sardines. Small amounts of DMAE are also naturally produced in the human brain. Health-food outlets sell it in capsule form to “boost brain power.” While it probably won’t make you smarter, DMAE may play a role in treating memory lapses and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Some evidence suggests it may also play a beneficial role against the impulsive and disruptive behaviors caused by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a plant compound derived from digesting indole-3-carbinol, which is found in Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. It promotes beneficial estrogen metabolism in women and men, thereby working to balance Hormone levels. It also detoxifies the intestines and liver and supports a healthy immune system. Researchers believe indole-3-carbinol, and thus DIM, also might be one of the cancer-protective agents found in the cruciferous vegetables.
The steroid Hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) has been hyped as a supplement that will deliver the virtual fountain of youth, with extravagant claims that it can slow aging, melt away Fat, enhance memory, prevent osteoporosis, and increase libido. Naturally produced and released by the adrenal glands, DHEA is ultimately converted into estrogen (the female sex hormone) and androgen (the male sex hormone).
That’s the number of titles that pops up when you enter “diet books” into amazon.com, and this reflects only books still in print. Diet books have been regularly published for more than 100 years, including such gems as the Cigarette Diet (“Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet”), The Drinking Man’s Diet, The Beautiful People’s Diet, and even The Eskimo Diet.
Click here for the original post. Q: You write a lot about how sunshine increases vitamin D and serotonin. Do you recommend using a tanning bed or booth to accomplish this? A: Short answer: No. Longer answer: You shouldn’t be using ultraviolet tanning salons for anything. A World Health Organization position paper on tanning beds […]
When I was a teenager, where acne was concerned I was convinced there was a conspiracy between doctors and parents. It seemed like everything we kids enjoyed eating would cause my face to explode. Greasy foods were taboo, and everything delicious was greasy: burgers, pizza, fries. Sugar? I don’t recommend it, but I lived on the stuff, especially soft drinks and chocolate.
DLPA is a depression fighting mixture that combines two forms of the amino acid, phenylalanine. The L-portion of phenylalanine, found in protein-rich foods, bolsters mood-elevating chemicals in the brain, specifically dopamine and nor-epinephrine, while The “D” form of phenylalanine is made synthetically in a laboratory. It appears to block a nervous system enzyme that amplifies pain signals. In other words, DLPA may prevent the breakdown of the brain’s natural pain relieving chemicals. This one-two punch can relieve minor episodes of depression and chronic pain syndromes. The DLPA combo is preferable to the pure L-form, which has been associated with increases in blood pressure.