Suplements for Colds or the Flu. What works? What does not?

Alternative Medicine
Demand continues to rise for supplements for colds and flu ... despite the lack of hard evidence for most of them. However, some may work. Find out more about them here. Nasal saline irrigation can reduce nasal congestion, sore throat, and cough. I suggest that my patients irrigate once a day or more often if needed. Zinc lozenges might help decrease a cold's duration. But I caution my patients that zinc has a metallic taste and too much can lead to copper deficiency. The Natural Medicines Database tells doctors, “Remind people to throw away old recalled Zicam nasal products. Nasal zinc can cause a loss of smell.” Adequate vitamin D levels are associated with a lower risk of respiratory infections. This looks promising, but it doesn't prove that vitamin D…
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How to Keep Normal Labor Normal – Part 8 – Patience

General Health, Woman's Health
This blog series is designed to help women who are developing a birth plan join together with like-minded birthing professionals so as to have a shorter and safer labor and birth. Although written primarily for professional birth attendants, I hope information will be helpful to lay women planning their birth. Today we’ll look at the sixth “P” of my 10 “P’s” of keeping labor shorter and birth safer — patience. “We’ve forgotten that most women deliver in time.  If you allow 24 hours to elapse before intervening, you wouldn’t have the high cesarean rate ... we’re  not doing the combination of the right things in managing labor.”(29)  Not only are the “24-hour” or the “12-hour” rules open to debate, but the “2-hour” rule is also being questioned:  “The two-hour rule for…
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The Grass Is Not Always Greener: A Look at National Health Care Systems Around the World – Part 7 – Norway

Bioethics, Medical Economics
In the midst of our national debate about healthcare reform, people on both sides of the debate seem to pick and choose among the facts and myths about the nationalized healthcare available in a number of other countries. The fact is that every nationalized health care system in the world is battling issues of rapidly rising costs and decreasing access to care. But, these systems also have some very attractive benefits. So, let’s take a look at the pro’s and con’s of the Norwegian system. (more…)
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Do You Want the Federal Government Paying for All Abortions?

General Health
Just moments ago, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi revealed the federal healthcare “reform” bill that pro-abortion legislators have been working on behind closed doors. In just a few days, the Speaker wants Congress to vote on the bill. So our time to act and speak out to our legislators is very, very short. We must do so today. No one in this short time can analyze the many details of this bill, but one thing is sure: This legislation would radically change U.S. policy by having the government subsidize abortion on demand. So our message to Congress is quite simple: Keep our government from paying for abortions in any way. When you tell your legislators this simple message, you may get excuses in response. Don’t buy the excuses: The…
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What Lessons Massachusetts Holds for U.S. Health Care Reform

Bioethics, Medical Economics
Mark Trumbull of the Christian Science Monitor has an article, reprinted by ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=8899142, that I found instructive as we here in the U.S. consider national health care reform. A mandate on individuals to buy health insurance can work   just don't expect it to reduce the cost of care. That, in a nutshell, may be the lesson from Massachusetts as Americans consider healthcare reform ideas backed by President Obama. The message is significant, because Democratic proposals in Congress have big similarities to reforms that Massachusetts adopted in 2006. Common elements include: • A mandate on individuals to buy insurance. • Subsidies to help lower-income people pay for it. • Exemptions for people who don't qualify for subsidies and can't afford insurance. • An "exchange" where people shop for…
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Kids’ cereals: 85% more sugar, 65% less fiber than adults’

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting
USA TODAY A new study confirms what savvy consumers have long suspected: Most breakfast cereals advertised to kids are chockfull of sugar and low on fiber. In fact, cereals marketed to kids have 85% more sugar, 65% less fiber and 60% more sodium than those aimed at adults, according to the report from Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. SURVEY: Fiber-rich cereals that finally meet taste test PARENTS: Help kids maintain a healthy diet without a hefty cost Researchers analyzed the content of popular cereals using a nutrient profiling system and reviewed data on how cereals are marketed to kids. Findings released over the weekend: •The least nutritious cereals are often the most heavily marketed to children. Among them: Reese's Puffs, Corn Pops, Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast…
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Spare the Rod? Is Spanking a Child Harmful or Helpful? – Part 7 – Does spanking teach a child that “might makes right,” that power and strength are most important, and that the biggest can force their will upon the smallest?

Children's Health, Parenting
Opposition to parents spanking their children has been growing significantly in elite circles over the past few years. And, my blogs on spanking are among the most read of those I publish. Therefore, I’ve decided to, with the help of the research of my friends Den Trumbull, MD, S. DuBose Ravenel, MD, to look a the arguments used against spanking, to see if they hold any water. This is the seventh in a 12 part series. OppositionOpposition to parents spanking their children has been growing significantly in elite circles over the past few years. And, my blogs on spanking are among the most read of those I publish. Therefore, I’ve decided to, with the help of the research of my friends Den Trumbull, MD, S. DuBose Ravenel, MD, to look a…
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The Ten Commandments of Preventive Medicine – Part 10 – Smoke and CO Detectors

Children's Health, General Health, Parenting
In my newest book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People, I teach people how to utilize ten essentials that are necessary in living a happy and highly healthy life. Under The Essential of Self-Care, teach what I call “The 10 Commandments of Preventive Medicine. Here’s the ninth installment of this ten-part series. These “Ten Commandments,” which I’ve long suggested to my patients and to my radio and television audiences, target exclusively the physical wheel. I suspect we could identify several more commandments related to preventing disease, but these are an excellent start. In my newest book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People, I teach people how to utilize ten essentials that are necessary in living a happy and highly healthy life. Under The Essential of Self-Care, teach what I call “The 10…
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The Grass Is Not Always Greener: A Look at National Health Care Systems Around the World – Part 6 – Japan

Bioethics, Medical Economics
In the midst of our national debate about healthcare reform, people on both sides of the debate seem to pick and choose among the facts and myths about the nationalized healthcare available in a number of other countries. The fact is that every nationalized health care system in the world is battling issues of rapidly rising costs and decreasing access to care. But, these systems also have some very attractive benefits. So, let’s take a look at the pro’s and con’s of the Japanese system. (more…)
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How to Keep Normal Labor Normal – Part 7 – Procedures

Medical Economics, Woman's Health
This blog series is designed to help women who are developing a birth plan join together with like-minded birthing professionals so as to have a shorter and safer labor and birth. Although written primarily for professional birth attendants, I hope information will be helpful to lay women planning their birth. Today we’ll look at the fifth “P” of my 10 “P’s” of keeping labor shorter and birth safer — procedures. A primary dictum of ethical medical care is to not cause harm. Therefore, increased evidence of outcome or evidence based decision making is clear in the literature. “While enthusiasm for ... evidence-based medicine is growing, several barriers ... persist.”(67) One of the best discourses on this topic merits repeating: “First, ‘seduction by authority’ has reigned for centuries. Decisions about a new…
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Spare the Rod? Is Spanking a Child Harmful or Helpful? – Part 6 – Does physical punishment make the child angry at the parent?

Children's Health, Parenting
Opposition to parents spanking their children has been growing significantly in elite circles over the past few years. And, my blogs on spanking are among the most read of those I publish. Therefore, I’ve decided to, with the help of the research of my friends Den Trumbull, MD, S. DuBose Ravenel, MD, to look a the arguments used against spanking, to see if they hold any water. This is the sixth in a 12 part series. Argument #5: Physical punishment makes the child angry at the parent. Counterpoint: All forms of punishment initially elicit a frustrated, angry response from a child. However, progression of this anger is dependent primarily upon the parent's attitude during and after the disciplinary event, and the manner of its application. Any form of punishment administered angrily…
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FDA urges consumers to avoid buying H1N1 treatments online

General Health, Medical Economics
CNN is reporting that the FDA is warning Americans to "avoid buying treatments for the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu, online." FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said, "Products that are offered for sale online with claims to diagnose, prevent, mitigate, treat or cure the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus must be carefully evaluated." I would say, "They must be avoided." (more…)
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The Dark Side of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Bioethics, Cancer, Woman's Health
It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the brilliant (and omnipresent) pink-ribbon campaign is once again raising huge amounts of money in the "race for the cure." But despite the billions of dollars dedicated walkers have brought in during recent decades, the breast cancer rate continues to soar … while the rates for all other major cancers decline. Ever wonder why? (more…)
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How to Keep Normal Labor Normal – Part 6 – Pain Control

Woman's Health
This blog series is designed to help women who are developing a birth plan join together with like-minded birthing professionals so as to have a shorter and safer labor and birth. Although written primarily for professional birth attendants, I hope information will be helpful to lay women planning their birth. Today we’ll look at the fourth “P” of my 10 “P’s” of keeping labor shorter and birth safer — pain control. “Controlling the pain of labor without harm to (the) … labor process remains a major focus for maternity care.”(61) This focus has resulted in the escalation of epidural use, despite the fact that epidurals continue to be controversial. Even so, meta-analysis and critical reviews are available. “Epidural, when properly administered, provides excellent analgesia, although it is associated with prolonged labor, results…
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The Grass Is Not Always Greener: A Look at National Health Care Systems Around the World – Part 5 – Germany

Bioethics, Medical Economics
In the midst of our national debate about healthcare reform, people on both sides of the debate seem to pick and choose among the facts and myths about the nationalized healthcare available in a number of other countries. The fact is that every nationalized health care system in the world is battling issues of rapidly rising costs and decreasing access to care. But, these systems also have some very attractive benefits. So, let’s take a look at the pro’s and con’s of the German system. (more…)
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Spare the Rod? Is Spanking a Child Harmful or Helpful? – Part 5 – Is appropriate spanking harmful to a child?

Children's Health, Parenting
Opposition to parents spanking their children has been growing significantly in elite circles over the past few years. And, my blogs on spanking are among the most read of those I publish. Therefore, I’ve decided to, with the help of the research of my friends Den Trumbull, MD, S. DuBose Ravenel, MD, to look a the arguments used against spanking, to see if they hold any water. This is the fifth of a 12 part series. Argument #4: Physical punishment is harmful to a child. Counterpoint: Any disciplinary measure, whether physical, verbal, or emotional, carried to an extreme can harm a child. Excessive scolding and berating of a child by a parent is emotionally, relationally, and spiritually harmful. If chronic, it can lead to stress that can even be physically harmful.…
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Physician calls for increased FDA regulation of dietary supplements

Alternative Medicine, Nutritional Health
In my book, Alternative Medicine: The Christian Handbook, I lament the lack of regulation of dietary supplements in the U.S. Because of this lack, it's very difficult for consumers to know, when it comes to herbs, vitamins, and supplements, if what they purchase actually contains what the label says. It's almost impossible to know if the natural medication is contaminated or not. As a result, there are now other voices beginning to call out for at least some regulation of these substances. (more…)
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