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Are Lifestyle Changes Impossible?

Many years ago, I became exhausted dealing with a friend who ignored my advice on living a healthy lifestyle. His attitude toward exercise was similar to Oscar Wilde’s “I often take exercise. Why only yesterday I had breakfast in bed.” His attitude toward food, especially restaurant food, was that he didn’t care much about quality […]

Male Menopause: Is It Real?

Short answer: Yes, but don’t hope for any quick fixes—that’s pharmaceutical industry-think. Another way to view male menopause: Sure, a ball will bounce, just not as high over time. I get asked about male menopause all the time, almost always by women (who, admittedly, represent the majority of my patients) and only rarely by my […]

How To Not Gain Weight

Please note this Health Tip will not tell you how to lose weight. If you want to browse the offerings on that topic, go to amazon and search for diet books. Once our largest bookstore attempted to track the numbers, but when they surpassed 95,000 it apparently gave up and now tell us that the […]

Winter Wellbeing

It’s hard to overstate the degree (minus 11 F tomorrow here in Chicago) to which the Midwest has settled into the dead of winter. With the rush of the holidays behind us, two dark, cold months lie ahead. Snowstorms, sub-zero temps, and icy pavement prompt many of us to stay indoors when we’d rather be […]

For A Longer Life…Stand Up Now!

By far the most common answer to my question, “Exercising these days?” is “Not enough.” This is usually accompanied by the briefest flicker of melancholy regret, as if by such a confession my patient has permanently abandoned the hopes and dreams of both a svelte body and enviable longevity. “Don’t worry,” I say, “It’s just […]

How To Get Off Statins

Getting off statins is easy. Stop swallowing the pill. If you’re not in a potentially high-risk group (as described below) and your doc prescribed a statin to get your cholesterol down a bit, you won’t have a heart attack or a stroke that day or week or probably that decade.

Pushing Your Wellness Exam Into The 21st Century

Patients ask me, “What about those wellness exams my health insurance company says I’m entitled to every year at no cost?” Bad news. Let’s review one of life’s basic rules: you get what you pay for. What you receive during your short wellness visit (what many consider a sacrosanct ritual that boosts longevity) is little […]

Pre-Diabetes: What It Is And What To Do

Most physicians, myself included, jot a personal comment on a patient’s lab tests. My favorite is “Everything’s excellent!” which can be typed quickly and concentrates good news into two words that I hope trigger a smile. According to this New York Times article, doctors are writing the sentence “Your tests show you’re now in the […]

Fruitcake, Genes, and Exercise: A Spooky Holiday Story

Starting around Thanksgiving and generally ending on January 2, we’re surrounded by too much food. Many of us who spent the year really (really!) trying to lose weight and eat healthfully dread the havoc these dark days can wreak on our bodies. It’s agonizingly easy to add some pounds. Then, come January, we despair at […]

Osteopenia and Osteoporosis, Part 2

Last week in Part 1 we wrote an overview of osteoporosis and osteopenia. I couldn’t help but note that most US physicians can date their knowledge of both diagnosis and treatment to the saturation marketing of Big Pharma’s variety of osteoporosis medications, most notably the bisphosphonates (Fosamax, Boniva, Reclast). As we all get older, our […]