Gerontology is the scientific study of aging. It’s a relatively new field, pretty well dominated by research PhDs. Certainly it’s a science that was virtually nonexistent when I was in medical school, back when preventive medicine itself got little more than lip service. With the recent arrival of anti-aging medicine/longevity medicine, MDs started paying more […]
Leading an orchestra in Anton Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony is a real workout for any conductor. Tall and straight-backed, the very elegant Swedish Maestro Herbert Blomstedt stepped to the podium and led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for the 66-minute piece. From memory, no score in front of him. He would repeat this performance for two more […]
Just about half the patients we see in our office classify themselves as overweight and wish they weren’t. Not many are in the obese range, likely because when you come to a place called WholeHealth Chicago you’ve got a running start in being interested in health, well-being, and longevity. Still, weight is an issue for […]
Here’s an unfortunate trend: more and more young people (at my age, everyone under 50 is young) are troubled by chronic physical and emotional symptoms. Sometimes there’s a diagnosis: rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s, fibromyalgia. But just as often there are plenty of symptoms and no diagnosis. I can’t count how many times patients have […]
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 […]
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 […]
According to the latest epidemiologic data, half of you reading this Health Tip will, at some point, hear a variation of the phrase “You have cancer.” If you die (cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US), the type of cancer will appear on the cause-of-death line of your death certificate. It […]
That box of chocolate chip cookies you never should have purchased in the first place is sitting there on your kitchen table, luring you, taunting. Your period is due in two or three days and you feel grumpy, depressed, bloated. You’re agonizing. “Just a…couple/two, three at the most” you think, knowing you’ll actually feel emotionally […]
A short article tucked in the New York Times health blog “Well” reported on a Cornell University study published in Microbiome, an obscure medical journal whose circulation is likely in the upper two digits. To my mind, it’s an important piece of research and I’d guess that years from now as we understand more and […]
An important study published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine confirmed what doctors had suspected for some time but had been unable to prove. You can definitely reduce your risk of developing invasive breast cancer by pledging to follow that Mediterranean Diet you’ve read about but never got around to taking seriously. Researchers in Spain […]
The FDA recently approved two new weight-loss drugs and literally within hours of the drugs being officially released a pharmaceutical rep for one of the companies left his card with me and a patient called wanting a prescription. In the weeks that followed, full-page ads for the drugs began appearing in every medical journal I […]
One of the most common reasons people give for coming to our practice is to see if there’s “something other than all these pills” they’ve been prescribed for a medical problem. I frequently hear sentences such as, “I read the side effects of this drug and think: but those are the symptoms I’m being treated for,” or “I take all these pills and I feel pretty much the same.”
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.
Macrobiotics is a philosophy embracing the idea that living one’s life within the natural order will ultimately lead to good health, happiness, and an enhanced appreciation for the constantly changing nature of all things. It is based on the ancient Chinese principles of yin and yang, which represent opposite yet complementary forces believed to exist in all aspects of life and the universe. Things that are yin are flexible, fluid, and cool; things that are yang are strong, dynamic, and hot. According to macrobiotic theory, illness is the result of an imbalance in these two forces. Therefore, macrobiotic practitioners attempt to treat ailments by bringing yin and yang back into balance through diet and lifestyle changes.
On some days, dealing with problems of excessive weight seems to represent the (pardon the pun) bulk of patient complaints. Some of these concerns are genuine: Real obesity does predispose you to a variety of health risks. Understanding the whole issue of being overweight is more complicated than you’d think. Genetics play a part, as does individual metabolism. And don’t forget your environment. There’s no question that for some of us losing weight is hard–and frustrating. We live in a land abundant with good things to eat and everywhere we go, someone is snacking on something.
Hoffmann-La Roche, a pharmaceutical industry giant, enjoyed a tasty chunk of good news this month. Their friends at the ever-cooperative FDA have allowed them to bring a milder version of their prescription fat-blocking drug, Xenical, to the over-the-counter market this summer. The new OTC drug is called alli.