Monthly Archives: April 2009

Swine Flu – Updated FAQ

Here’s an update on the rapidly evolving news about what is being called the Swine Flu. As more information comes available, I’ll post it here for you. Feel free to distribute this to your family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and faith community.

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Swine Flu: Top 5 Reasons Your Should Not Panic

Public health physicians and medical journalists have a tough job when it comes to informing the public about the Swine Flu as we have to walk the tightrope between informing you so that you can protect yourself and your family, and sending people into anxiety attacks. No doubt you are interested in the topic, as my blog posts on the Swine Flu on Monday, April 27 drew more hits than any blog on any day since I started blogging. So, why should you NOT panic – at least for now?

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An influential doctors group is backing off its call for annual prostate cancer tests

“Many men do not need yearly (prostate cancer) screening,” but each man’s risk should be individually assessed, said Dr. Peter Carroll, who led the panel that wrote the American Urological Association’s new guidelines that were issued this last Monday at the group’s annual meeting in Chicago.

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Adult Stem Cells from Fat Tissue Offer Hope for MS Treatment

Let’s see: how many stories have you seen in the news about embryonic stem cells helping even one human being? Uh . . .  none. And, how many stories have you seen about adult stem cells helping humans? Hundreds. Do you see a pattern developing here? And, today there’s another story in the news about adult stem cells.

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Swine Flu: Questions and Answers

What is the Swine Flu? How do I avoid It? What do I do if I have flu symptoms? These are all questions that came into our clinic today and over the weekend. Also, you can read a couple of my other blogs: Is It a Cold or Sinus Infection?, 7 Ways to Protect Yourself from the Flu (in general) or the Swine Flu (in particular), and Swine Flu: What You Need to Know.

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Swine Flu: What You Need to Know

As officials warn of the spread in swine flu cases across several countries around the globe, there are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself and your children from this unique virus. Also, you can read a couple of my other blogs: Is It a Cold or Sinus Infection? and 7 Ways to Protect Yourself from the Flu (in general) or the Swine Flu (in particular).

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7 Ways to Protect Yourself from the Flu (in general) or the Swine Flu (in particular)

Prevention of the flu, and protection from the virus, is really no different than any other cold or flu. Just remember “the simple things” are what work best – wash your hands a lot, don’t shake hands or hug or kiss people if you or they are sick, don’t go to work if you or others or sick (or self-qurantine yourself if you or others are sick). 

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Faith-Based Health and Healing – Part 12 – Biblical Principles on Which to Base Medical Decisions and The Power of Faith

This is the last entry in this series — which has been one of the most popular I’ve written. I hope it’s been helpful for you and hope you recommend this blog series to your friends as the Bible gives clear principles on which we can rely when making decisions about alternative therapies with spiritual roots. Some have noted that most of the passages condemning occult practices come from the Old Testament. Most theologians teach that Christians are not bound by many of the Old Testament laws, such as those related to worshiping in God’s temple. Does that mean that prohibitions of divination and magic no longer apply to Christians?

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Amazing new study suggests breastfeeding may lower a mom’s risk for hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease later in life

I’ve been an incredibly strong advocate of breast feeding since my earliest days as a family physician, writer, and medical journalist. But, my support and advocacy for my patients and my readers has primarily been due to (1) the many positive benefits for the baby and (2) the emotional benefits for the mother. Now comes news of an amazing study that suggests that a mother who breastfeeds may have reduced rates of for hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease when she gets a bit older. This is rather stunning information.

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His Brain, Her Brain: The Impact upon Patient, Personal, and Professional Relationships

In 2008 I was honored to be asked to present this topic to the 36th Annual Conference of the American Academy of Physician Assistants in San Antonio, TX. The talk and the handout were prepared from my and Barb’s book His Brain, Her Brain: How divinely designed differences can strengthen your marriage. I thought you might be interested in seeing a copy of the handout I prepared for the meeting. Feel free to share it with others.

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What Are Friends for? A Longer Life!

Tara Pope, one of my favorite columnists, reports in the New York Times: “In the quest for better health, many people turn to doctors, self-help books or herbal supplements. But they overlook a powerful weapon that could help them fight illness and depression, speed recovery, slow aging and prolong life: their friends.” How important is your relational health (your friends, your spouse, and your social support) to your physical, emotional, and spiritual health? You may be surprised.

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Considering an Alternative Therapy? Here are signs that it may be fraudulent and unsafe

According to HealthDay News, alternative therapies, such as herbal remedies, acupuncture, or acupressure, are becoming increasingly popular. But you should always use caution when experimenting with any alternative therapy, because it is not regulated by any government agency. Here are some tips to avoid quackery and medical fraud for you and your loved ones.

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Unchristian – What a new generation really thinks about Christianity … and why it matters

While teaching a “Saline Solution” conference in Denver recently, one of the attendees recommended I read a recently released book: Unchristian — What a new generation really thinks about Christianity … and why it matters. The book is written by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. Kinnaman is president of The Barna Research Group and Lyons is founder of the Fermi Project, a network of social entrepreneurs working to make positive contributions to culture. In addition to the results of extensive research on the perspectives of church ‘outsiders’ born between 1984 and 2002 (the youngest Busters and the oldest Mosaics), the book includes the reactions from more than two dozen Christian leaders. It explores six broad themes of objections raised by church ‘outsiders.’ Reflection on this information, I believe, has the potential to help us as Christians see ourselves and our faith more clearly.

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Pro-Life Group Calls Obama Embryonic Stem Cell Research Guidelines a Human Cloning Bait and Switch

One prominent pro-life group doesn’t have much good to say about the new guidelines the NIH put out on Friday to implement his decision to overturn the limits President Bush put in place on embryonic stem cell research funding. The National Right to Life Committee said the Obama administration is pushing step-by-step the creation and harvesting of human embryos for research.

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Faith-Based Health and Healing – Part 11 – Look to the Bible, Not Inner Voices, for Guidance

When investigating an alternative therapy, be concerned about those that involve listening to other spirits. But what about listening to an inner guiding voice? Guidance by intuition and inner voices has become more in vogue today than guidance through reason and objective evidence. Postmodernism has contributed to this acceptance with its notion that we all create our own reality, that whatever we believe is OK. But, is it?

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Employed by God: If you are a Christian and you are working in a secular position, are you working for God?

The delusion (the fixed false belief) that some people do sacred work for God while the rest of humanity settles by doing secular work is an ancient one. In Western thought, this idea developed from Greek philosophy, which taught that any kind of menial work with physical materials was beneath the gods or men who had the means to choose how they spent their time. Slaves did the menial work, while those with means spent time in pursuits of the mind: religion or philosophy. But, the Bible teaches something completely different: if you are a Christian and you are working in a secular position, you are working for God full time.

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Saving your baby’s umbilical cord blood in private cord blood banks not a wise investment

Prospective parents face an array of medical decisions before their baby is born, but now families are facing a new question: “Should they shell out $1,500 or more to store blood taken from their baby’s umbilical cord and placenta during delivery?” 

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Adult Stem Cell Research Has Yet Another Victory – Helps Type 1 Diabetics

New research using adult stem cells is showing further insulin independence for Type 1 diabetes patients. The study, led by Richard Burt of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, is the second in the last two years to show significant progress in diabetes using the noncontroversial stem cells.

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USA Today calls for educating parents, teachers on benefits and risks of ADHD treatments.

USA Today editorializes, “Look around a school lunchroom these days and odds are that one out of every 20 boys (and one in 43 girls) will have been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder,” and “more than half of those boys will be on Ritalin (Methylphenidate), Concerta (methylphenidate) or Adderall (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine).” 

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What’s the most proficient killing machine in the United States? It’s not the military!

The most proficient killing machine in the U.S. is the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) – and according to their new annual report PPFA is committing more abortions than ever. Not only that, they bring in over $1 billion a year – a third from our tax dollars. “For decades now, Planned Parenthood has operated the most proficient killing machine in the United States,” said Douglas R. Scott Jr., president of Life Decisions International (LDI) in a recent interview. “And for decades, the machine has killed more preborn children than the year before.”  

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Faith-Based Health and Healing – Part 10 – Biblical Characters Condemned for Pursuing Certain Forms of Healing

The Bible recognizes the great temptation inherent in healing by evil spirits and illicit healers. The Old Testament describes an intense conflict between legitimate and illegitimate approaches to healing and spirituality. An incident involving King Ahaziah, the eighth king of Israel, clearly demonstrates this:

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New poll: Obama plan to scrap conscience rule panned by the public and a threat to patients

The Christian Medical Association (CMA), the nation’s largest association of faith-based physicians, today warned that the Obama administration’s plan to scrap a conscience-protecting healthcare regulation is very unpopular and threatens to cut off patient access to healthcare professionals and institutions nationwide, especially imperiling the poor and medically underserved populations.

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Doctor Mehmet Oz Tells Oprah’s Audience Embryonic Stem Cell Research Debate is Dead

Readers of this blog know the many reasons that we should abandon even considering experimenting with embryonic stem cells. Now, Dr. Mehmet Oz, a cardiovascular surgeon at Columbia University and a regular on Oprah Winfrey’s popular eponymous television program, is agreeing with me that embryonic stem cell research is obsolete.

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First-Ever Treatment of Stroke Using Adult Stem Cells (another reason embryonic stem cell research is doomed)

In what is believed to be the nation’s first such procedure, doctors in Texas were able to successfully use adult stem cells from a patient to treat the effects of his stroke. Physicians from Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and the University of Texas Medical School at Houston were involved in the process.

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Should you use camphor products, like Vicks VapoRub, on your kids? Dr. Walt says no.

The Prescriber’s Letter reports that camphor-containing products such as Vicks VapoRubare now being used more frequently in children due to the recent warnings about NOT using cough and cold products with children. But using camphor products may NOT be a a good idea. Why?

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Study shows one-fifth of four-year-olds are obese. What can you do to protect your kids?

A striking new study says almost one in five American four-year-olds is obese, and the rate is alarmingly higher among American Indian children. What did the study find and what can you do to protect your children?

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Faith-Based Health and Healing – Part 9 – Life Energy and Medical Magic

Alternative therapies based on “life energy” use principles just like those generally attributed to magic. Although “magic” is difficult to define concisely, magical practices do have common features. Magic involves specific techniques or rituals by which people attempt to manipulate supernatural powers to meet their immediate needs. How should Christians respond?

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