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…

The Sweet Scent of Sleep

Although I’m not an expert in aromatherapy, I was recently re-reminded of the benefits of lavender as herbal therapy.  Lavender has been cultivated for over 2500 years, and was used extensively by the Egyptians, Romans and Greeks for its cosmetic and antiseptic properties. Lavender is said to be beneficial for a number of indications, and over the years I’ve had patients…

Update on my favorite herb for managing inflammation

Turmeric, the root from which we get curcumin, is one of the most thoroughly researched plants used in herbal therapy.  Its therapeutic properties have been the subject of over 5600 peer reviewed studies. Turmeric has been used in cooking for millennia.  Remnants of turmeric powder have been found on cooking implements from Asia dated at over 4000 years old.  Turmeric is…

Can Vitamin D help with multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis affects one out of a thousand people, almost 3 million worldwide, with more than 200 new cases diagnosed per day in the U.S. alone. It usually begins between the ages of 20 and 50, is twice as common in women as in men and is the most disabling neurological disorder in young adults. It is interesting that the incidence of…