Fatty liver-an epidemic for mid-life Americans

OK, most of us have to admit that we’ve put on a little bit of the fluffy stuff over the years.  Unfortunately, for every portion of those exterior pinchable pounds, we pack an equivalent ratio of fat into and around our interior organs.  One example of this would be the pressure on the gut from intra-abdominal fat that causes excess acid…

Magnesium deficiency and migraines

If we asked the classic “you can take only one non-drug therapy for migraine to a desert island” question, the answer would easily be magnesium.  Magnesium activates hundreds of enzymes, plays several key roles in nerve and smooth muscle physiology, and is known for its calming effect on both muscle and nerve.  For those with migraines, a magnesium deficiency may: -cause…

Brittle bones and blocked blood vessels: a cautionary tale

The current pharmaceutical standard of care for management of bone loss is supplemental calcium and the bisphosphonate drug class. The generics for the latter have the name formula of : ”XYZ – dronate”. Currently there are six versions on the market, and they are prescribed more than 25 million times per year. Obviously, brittle and broken bones are not only a…

Breast Cancer: Early detection versus prevention

From time to time I’ll hear some well-intentioned advice reminding women to “prevent breast cancer with regular screening”, usually referring to getting a mammogram.  While we would probably all agree that with any health disorder an early detection of the problem is half the cure; early detection only allows effective treatment after the fact, not prevention of the problem itself. Which…

Senior moments and the social drinker

For those who enjoy the occasional adult beverage, the end stage plight of the falling down drunk seems afar off.  For those of us who see alcoholics in the ER setting, the long term negative impact of the habit on cognitive function is as clear as day…or night, as is more commonly the case.   The most severe version of alcohol induced…

Folate, folic…what’s the difference?  It’s more than you think.

Since the national agency in charge of our health awareness says its National Folic Acid Week, I’d like to take a few minutes to tell you why you should not take extra folic acid.   The folates are water soluble B vitamins known collectively as ‘B9’.  The word folate comes from the Latin ‘folium’, because the natural forms were first found in…

Planning a critical care hospital stay? I thought not…but then again…

  …most of us do not plan a serious hospitalization in advance.  But emergencies do happen, and if you already have a serious medical problem, your odds of an eventual and significant hospital stay are not trivial.  So, it might be a good idea to think ahead about how you could reduce the time you might have to spend there.  Through…

Boundaries: important in real estate and in real life.

You’ve probably heard the saying: ‘good fences make good neighbors.’  And if you’ve bought property, you will see that the land deed carefully lays out the edges and angles of the surveyor’s boundary markers. If you and I know where my driveway ends and your hedge of rose bushes starts, we’re less likely to have misunderstandings about ownership issues later. Boundary…

Diagnosed with cancer? Learn to love your killer cells.

A diagnosis of cancer tells us that a rogue cell group escaped the body’s immune surveillance, and grew up to become a serious medical threat.  In most cases, if they are not stopped, they’ll kill their owner…eventually.  So, how did these bad apples escape detection?  Cancer cells have several ways of eluding the protective interrogation that is constantly asking cells ‘do…

Sleep, hormone ratios and the peri-menopausal transition

I’ve often said that if I could only fix only one hormone driven problem encountered in the years leading into menopause, it would be to ensure a deep and restorative night’s sleep.  While there is still much science does not know about how and why sleep is so critical to the human brain, each of us know that when we don’t…

Inflammation and the problem of chronic pain

Current studies suggest that up to 100 million of us here in the US have some form of chronic pain.  This doesn’t always mean that the pain is there all the time, but rather that it is an ongoing problem for the person.  The lasting results of trauma, episodic bouts of gout or migraine, low back, hip or knee arthritis, irritable…

Will that carb calorie make you fat? The answer may be right on the tip of your tongue.

There are few things in the dietary world that stir as much controversy as the carbohydrate (starch and sugar) content of one’s diet.  Should it be low carb?  Do they need to be low glycemic carbs?  Should we mix carbs and protein in a meal?  The more you read, the more confusing it gets.  Now, to add to the complexity, we…