Good relationship with dad can help fight stress

Children's Health, Marriage and Family Health, Parenting
Do you remember playing games with your dad or having heart-to-heart talks? For men, many years later, that turns out to be incredibly important. The relationship you had with your father, and the way that you treat your sons, may be more influential than you think. Here are more details from WebMD: A new study presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association reveals that men who had positive relationships with their fathers are better equipped to deal with the stress of everyday life than men who did not remember their dads fondly. "A big take-home message is that if there is a father present in a child’s life, he needs to know how important it is to be involved," said Melanie Mallers of California State University, Fullerton.…
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Birth Order May Affect a Child’s Intelligence and Personality

Children's Health, Mental Health, Parenting
Birth order within families has long sparked sibling rivalry, but it might also impact the child's personality and intelligence, a new study suggests. First-borns are typically smarter, while younger siblings get better grades and are more outgoing, the researchers say. The findings weigh in on a long-standing debate: What effect if any does birth order have on a person's life? While numerous studies have been conducted, researchers have yet to draw any definitive conclusions. The results lend support to some previous hypotheses — for instance, that the eldest sibling tends to have higher aptitude. But the study also contradicts other proposed ideas, for example, that first-borns tend to be more extroverted. Here are more details from a report in Fox News: The findings shed light on the influence of sibling…
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What are the Healthiest Fast Food Breakfasts?

Men's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
Healthy fast-food breakfasts? Sounds like an oxymoron, eh? Well, there may be some options for your consideration. And according to at least one expert, they'll help you keep calories low while you're on the go! Here are the details in a report from CBS: Breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day, but if you're traveling or in a hurry, it's hard to find a healthy one. Now though, some of the major fast food chains are starting to offer healthier options. In the last few years, they've had to publish their nutritional info, which has put them under the nutrition miscroscope. On "The Early Show," nutritionist Tanya Zuckerbrot, a contributor to Cooking Light magazine pointed to several choices that are healthier than typical fast food…
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The Blessing of Anastasha – Part 13 – Day of Life 221

Children's Health, Marriage and Family Health, Mental Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
Little Anastasha, whose life we’ve been following for the last 13 weeks, is now about 221 days old, despite her terminal diagnosis of anencephaly. She continues to grow and prosper in her mom’s womb, and she continues to bless her parents, her siblings, her family, and all of who are able to follow her journey and pray for she and her family. Here's the latest update from her daddy, family physician Craig DeLisi" Here's a quick snippet from a conversation in our house the other day that took me by surprise: Ariana (11 years old, who is helping potty train her soon to be 3 year old brother, Cale) - "Cale, don't go tee-tee on Elmo (on his big boy underwear). Do you know what happens if you go tee-tee on…
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CDC: Flu Vaccine Has Arrived … Get Yours ASAP

Children's Health, Men's Health, Woman's Health
The CDC's 'Flu Ends with U' Campaign has started and most doctors offices and pharmacies already have the vaccine in stock. It may still be late summer, but this year's flu vaccine has already arrived -- and the CDC wants you to get yours right away. And, that "you" means "everybody." For the first time, the seasonal flu vaccine is recommended for all men, women -- including pregnant women -- and children over age 6 months. Exceptions include only those allergic to eggs or those with other health issues that make vaccination unwise. And there will be plenty of vaccine out there. Manufacturers tell the CDC they'll have 170 million doses on hand. They've already begun shipping the vaccine across the nation. Here are more details from WebMD: No, this isn't…
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Generics As Good As Costly Blood Pressure Meds, Study Finds

Heart Health, Men's Health, Woman's Health
A new study is reporting what I've been telling my patients for years: generic blood pressure medications are as good as the far more costly brand name medications -- plus, fewer deaths seen in the group taking no-brand-name diuretics after 8 to 13 years. Here are the details from HealthDay News: Costly, brand-name blood pressure-lowering drugs are no better at preventing cardiovascular disease than older, generic diuretics, reveals long-term data from a large study. It included more than 33,000 patients with high blood pressure who were randomly selected to take either a diuretic (chlorthalidone) or one of two newer drugs -- a calcium blocker (amlodipine) or an ACE inhibitor (lisinopril). Data from the Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial (ALLHAT) released in 2002 showed that after four to…
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A Good Doctor’s Visit Starts With a Little Homework

Children's Health, Men's Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
In my newest health book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People: Becoming and staying highly healthy, I discuss the essential of being your own healthcare quarterback. Now, consumer experts are joining me in saying that preparation before a doctor's visit may improve your health and save you money. Here are the details in a report from HealthDay News: Whether buying a toothbrush or a new car, it's become routine for shoppers to research before buying so they know all the options and can strike the best possible bargain. Far less often, though, do people apply those tactics to one of their most important regular purchases: a trip to the doctor's office. But medical services ought to be tackled the same way any other purchase would be, consumer experts say. That begins with doing…
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Reminder: Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet This Weekend

General Health, Health Headlines, Parenting
Americans are being encouraged to gather expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs from their medicine cabinets this Saturday and take them to one of the more than 4,000 drop-off sites around the country. The national "Take-Back" campaign is part of the effort to reduce the growing problem of teen abuse of prescription drugs, the Associated Press reported. "We have an epidemic," said acting Drug Enforcement Agency Administrator Michele Leonhart. The DEA is working on the "Take-Back" with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and thousands of state and local agencies. "Our research shows that the No. 1 source of medicines that kids abuse is their own home medicine cabinet or a family member or friend's home," Steve Pasierb, president of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, told the AP. Americans…
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Got a Tattoo? Then Be Sure to Get a Hepatitis C Test!

Children's Health, Men's Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
The global fad for tattoos, particularly among young people, is growing -- and along with it the risk of acquiring hepatitis C, according to a multinational study. A systematic review of 124 published studies from 30 countries found that people with tattoos were almost three times as likely to have hepatitis C as those without tattoos, according to Dr. Jane Buxton of the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control in Vancouver and colleagues. Here are the details in a report from MedPage Today: But in some subgroups -- particularly non-injection drug users -- the odds of having the virus were almost six-fold, Buxton and colleagues wrote online in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases. In recent years, tattoos have become increasingly popular. An estimated 36 percent of Americans under 30 have…
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ED Supplement Causes “Worrisome” Heartbeat Changes

Alternative Medicine, Men's Health
Enzyte, a popular dietary supplement marketed for "male enhancement," causes electrical abnormalities in the heart that could be potentially fatal in some people, new research suggests. Doctors should tell their patients not to use the product until more safety information is available, Dr. Brian F. McBride of Loyola University Chicago in Maywood, Illinois, and his colleagues conclude. Vianda, the Cincinnati-based company that makes Enzyte, did not respond to calls or emails seeking comment. Here are the details from Reuters Health: According to Vianda's Web site, Enzyte promotes "firmer, stronger, fuller-feeling erections." The company also states that "over 5 million men worldwide" use the supplement. But, because Enzyte is a dietary supplement, the company is NOT required to provide data to back up claims of its effectiveness. Under U.S. law, dietary supplements…
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Male Enhancement Supplement Has Undeclared Prescription ED Drug

Alternative Medicine, Men's Health
Makers of a supplement marketed as a male sexual enhancement product issued a voluntary recall of the product after an FDA analysis found undeclared traces of sulfoaildenafil, an analog to the erectile dysfunction drug sildenafil. The supplement Prolatis is considered an unapproved drug because of the unlisted ingredient. Like its analog, sulfoaildenafil may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure in patients taking nitrates. Here are the details from MedPage Today: The product was sold in double blister packs and 40-count bottles. All products manufactured before Aug. 9, 2010 are included in the recall. The manufacturer of Prolatis has not received any adverse event reports related to the product recall, the company said in a prepared statement. The company asked consumers to return the product for a full credit toward a new item.
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A Toolkit For Banishing Bullies

Children's Health, Mental Health, Parenting
For years I’ve been a medical consultant for HealthTeacher.com. Recently they published a very helpful article on “Banishing Bullies.” I hope that readers who are parents, teachers, coaches, pastors, and others who love and care for children will find this information helpful. This time last year, 15-year-old Phoebe Prince was getting ready to start high school in South Hadley, Mass. Today, as her classmates prepare for their sophomore year, her family and friends mourn their loss. One January afternoon, after enduring three months of relentless torment at school and online, Phoebe came home from school and committed suicide. The circumstances were horrible, but the truth is Phoebe's story has helped shine the spotlight on this serious issue. The Health Resources and Services Administration estimates that up to 25 percent of…
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Rules for Preventing Bullying

Children's Health, Mental Health, Parenting
For years I’ve been a medical consultant for HealthTeacher.com. Recently they published a very helpful article on “Banishing Bullies.” I thought that this section of the article, on "Rules for Preventing Bullying" was particularly helpful. I hope that readers who are parents, teachers, coaches, pastors, and others who love and care for children will find this information helpful. Jonathan Cohen, president of the Center for Social and Emotional Education, says more than 160,000 American students stay home from school on any given day because they’re afraid of being bullied. Understand what bullying is, and isn't: Despite the prevalence of bullying, Cohen says there’s actually a lot of confusion as to what is and what is not bullying. “Most bullying prevention experts focus on two key critical factors: power and intent,”…
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Young teens underestimate bullying … wonder “Is it just me?”

Children's Health, Mental Health, Parenting
How to help your child cope with a bully New research is suggesting that adolescents underestimate the degree to which their peers are bullied. The online study of 1,454 adolescents ages 12-17, conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, tried to gauge the differences between school bullying and cyberbullying and found that young people underestimate the bullying of their peers, particularly when it takes place online. At least one incident of school bullying was reported by 77% of adolescents; 72% reported having been cyberbullied. But when young people were asked how much their peers may have had similar experiences in school and online, just 61% thought peers were bullied in school and 50% said peers had these experiences online. "Even though we think of the online context of…
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The Blessing of Anastasha – Part 12

Bioethics, Children's Health, Mental Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
Little Anastasha, whose life we've been following for the last 12 weeks, is now about 214 days old, despite her terminal diagnosis of anencephaly. She continues to grow and prosper in her mom’s womb, and she continues to bless her parents, her siblings, her family, and all of who are able to follow her journey and pray for she and her family. And, she continues to bless her parents, her siblings, her family, and all of who are able to follow her journey and pray for she and her family. Her daddy, Dr. Craig DeLisi, has sent out a brief update this week. But, it’s a powerful one: This is a song that our kids have fallen in love with. For a kids' worship song, it is saturated with truth about God.…
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Stressed women may have reduced chance of becoming pregnant

Mental Health, Woman's Health
We've known for many years that stress and anxiety can affect a woman's pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Now, a new study is connecting stress and conception. USA Today reports that "a new study in the journal Fertility and Sterility lends credence to a link between stress and time to conception, and not just in couples dealing with infertility." The new "study involved 274 British women 18 to 40 years old" who "were followed for six menstrual cycles or until they got pregnant, whichever came first." The Time "Wellness" blog reported that the study found "no correlation between women's levels of cortisol, another more commonly measured stress hormone, and their chance of conception," however. But, "the researchers worry that, in a cruel twist, the inability to conceive may create a vicious…
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Women should try to conceive as early as possible after miscarriage

Parenting, Woman's Health
In the past, when I've had a family suffer a miscarriage, I've advised them to wait three to six months before trying to conceive again. There were a couple of reasons for this: (1) this gives the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) time to recover and refresh itself, and (2) this gives the family time to deal with the loss of their child emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. CNN recognizes this when it reports, "When women have a miscarriage, one of the first questions they often ask is how long they should wait before getting pregnant again." Now, research from Scotland may change the advice that I (and other doctors) give because it indicates that "the sooner they start trying, the better." In fact, those "who conceive within six months of a miscarriage…
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Low-fat or low-carbohydrate diets may produce similar weight loss

Nutritional Health, Obesity
My patients ask me all the time about the differences between the low-fat diets (i.e., South Beach) and the low-carb diets (i.e., Atkins). In the past, I've had little data on which to guide them, but my personal preference has leaned toward the South-Beach-type diets. Now we have some data to help me answer the questions. USA Today reports that low-fat and low-carbohydrate diets "produce similar weight loss and improvements in many health measures," according to a study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. "To compare the two types of diet plans, researchers at three major medical centers tracked the weight loss of more than 300 obese people for two years. Half of participants followed a low-carb diet, consuming about 20 grams…
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Having a Sister Can Be Good For Your Emotional Health

Marriage and Family Health, Woman's Health
My wife's sister, Sue, is in town this week. Barb and Sue are extremely close and are having a wonderful time together. So, in honor of Barb and Sue, here's a report from USA Today on the health benefits of having a sister: Sisters can fend off ex-boyfriends, mean gossip — and also, apparently, depression. Having a sister protects young teens "from feeling lonely, unloved, guilty, self-conscious and fearful," according to a study released in the Journal of Family Psychology. Researchers from Brigham Young University studied 395 families from Seattle with two or more children. At least one child in each family was between ages 10-14. The research, conducted in 2007 and 2008, found that affectionate siblings have positive influences on each other no matter their age, gender, or how…
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Consumer Reports Finds 12 Supplements with Unsafe Ingredients

Alternative Medicine, Children's Health, Men's Health, Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
ABC World News reported, "Dietary supplements are a $27 billion a year business in this country, but Consumer Reports has an alert" on "supplements the magazine says can be dangerous to your health." Consumer Reports' Nancy Metcalf said, "With the dozen supplements that we've identified, we think it's all risk and no benefit." The CBS Evening News also reported, "Consumer Reports analyzed data from 1,100 supplements and identified 12 that are linked to serious health problems. These include ingredients in weight loss products ... which can cause heart problems and liver damage." Certain other supplements "used for cough ... are associated with liver cancer and even death." CBS noted that the "FDA cannot regulate" the supplements, which are labeled as foods, "until after a product is already on the market." The Los…
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U.S. Dietary Supplements Often Contaminated: Consumer Reports

Alternative Medicine, Children's Health, Men's Health, Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
Many popular dietary supplements contain ingredients that may cause cancer, heart problems, liver or kidney damage, but U.S. stores sell them anyway and Americans spend millions on them, according to a report from the trusted Consumer Reports. Here are the details from Reuters Health: The consumer magazine published a report highlighting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's lack of power to regulate such supplements, and said the agency rarely uses what little power it does have. The report from the influential group urged Congress to speed up small moves toward giving the agency more clout, especially in regulating supplements. Despite the "natural" labels carried by many of the supplements, many are contaminated. Yet Americans flock to take them, according to the magazine, citing the Nutrition Business Journal as saying the…
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MEDIA ALERT – Dr. Walt to be on The Harvest Show on Thursday, 9/16

Marriage and Family Health, Men's Health, Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
I'm scheduled to be a guest on the The Harvest Show (on the LeSEA national cable TV network) discussing my newest health book, "10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People: Becoming and staying highly healthy" on this Thursday, September 16, 2010. There are a couple of ways you can catch the broadcast: Watch it live. You can find where to view the program in your area by clicking here. Or you can view it on the web, anytime this week, by clicking here. As far at the book itself: You can order signed copies here. You can read the Table of Contents of the book here. You can read the Forward to the book, by Dr. Paul Brand (his last published words), here. You can read the First Chapter of the book here.…
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AP Surprises With Article Showing Adult Stem Cell Research Far Outpacing Embryonic

Bioethics
The Associated Press surprised me and, I suspect, many other readers with a dramatic story on the contrasts between adult and embryonic stem cell research and a headline indicating what pro-life advocates and readers of this blog have long known: the use of adult stem cell research is helping patients now and far outpacing embryonic studies. Here's a report on this development from the folks at LifeNews.com: "For all the emotional debate that began about a decade ago on allowing the use of embryonic stem cells, it's adult stem cells that are in human testing today. An extensive review of stem cell projects and interviews with two dozen experts reveal a wide range of potential treatments," AP admitted. A few of the examples highlighted include multiple sclerosis, heart damage, juvenile diabetes,…
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Windpipes Made with Adult Stem Cells Help Cancer Patients

Bioethics
In a story coming out of Rome, Italy, LifeNews.com is reporting that Italian doctors have announced the use of patients’ own adult stem cells to fabricate new tracheas for two cancer patients. Long-time readers to this blog know of the many successes of adult stem cells, and the miserable failures in embryonic stem cell research. Here's another exciting report on yet another success for adult stem cell research: The surgical team was led by Dr. Paolo Macchiarini, has used this technique in prior surgeries, though not for cancer patients. The two patients were a 31-year-old Czech woman with a 6-month-old son, and a 19-year-old British woman. The surgeries took place on July 3 and 13, and both patients are in good condition and have been released from the hospital in Florence…
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HHS Dept Releases Funding for Abstinence Education Despite Obama Plan

Bioethics, Children's Health, Marriage and Family Health, Parenting
The Department Health and Human Services has released the federal funding for abstinence education that groups fought for in Congress after President Barack Obama made a request to eliminate it. The funding is one of the few silver linings of the pro-abortion health care bill Obama signed. Here are the details from LifeNews.com: In May, Obama announced he would zero out all funding for abstinence education and replace it with $178 million to “prevent teen pregnancy." The National Abstinence Education Association and others fought the request and members of Congress eventually voted to restore some of the funding. “The bipartisan vote among members of Congress that provided for the continuation of this funding, demonstrates an understanding of the common sense approach that Abstinence Education provides and that a majority of Americans…
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The Blessing of Anastasha – Part 11

Bioethics, Children's Health, Mental Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
Little Anastasha, only about 207 days old, despite her likely terminal diagnosis of anencephaly, continues to grow and prosper in her mom’s womb. And, she continues to bless her parents, her siblings, her family, and all of who are able to follow her journey and pray for she and her family. Her daddy, Dr. Craig DeLisi, has only sent out a brief update this week. But, it's a powerful one: This song has ministered to me a lot lately. Rather than looking at the pain of our situation, I want to dwell on God and Who He is. This song is simple but profound. It's a beautiful song about how precious our brokenness is to God, performed by someone who I suspect knows that place well. You can watch a video of…
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Having good friends appears to ‘boost’ survival

Marriage and Family Health, Men's Health, Mental Health, Woman's Health
Last week I blogged on the topic that "Strong relationships improve chances of living longer." Now, another study is showing that having a good network of friends and neighbours boosts survival chances by 50%. Here are the details from a report from the BBC: A Brigham Young University team number-crunched data from nearly 150 studies looking at survival odds and social networks. And they calculate that having few friends is as damaging to survival as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or being alcoholic, PLoS Medicine reports. They believe caring about others makes us take better care of ourselves. But they warn that in today's modern world social networks are deteriorating as we struggle to juggle careers and families and find a happy work-life balance. Losing this social support, they say,…
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New Lesbian Parenting Study Makes Claims Unsupported by the Evidence

Children's Health, Marriage and Family Health, Parenting
You probably heard or read a headline saying something like this, "The National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS) published byAmerican Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers the following conclusion: 'Adolescents who have been reared in lesbian-mother families since birth demonstrate healthy psychological adjustment.'" Now, Dr. A. Dean Byrd, PhD, MBA,MPH, has evaluated the data and comes up with a completely different conclusion. Here are the details from Life Site News: Authors Gartrell and Bos generalize their findings to the lesbian population at large, claiming their research offers "implications for same-sex parenting." Making an enormous scientific leap, they conclude that their study provides scientific proof that there is "no justification for restricting access to reproductive technologies or child custody on the basis of the sexual orientation of the parents." Implied, though not…
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Two new studies lend more support to compression-only CPR

Heart Health
As you may have heard, the rules of CPR are about to change, as two newly published studies question the way millions of us learn to administer it. Indeed, most experts all agree the most important thing to do is call 9-1-1 immediately. It's the next part that's in dispute. At present, the American Red Cross still teaches mouth-to-mouth as part of CPR. But, that may be about to change. Now, new research confirms that for bystanders with no training, chest compressions on adults are enough to restore life. And there is no benefit to performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. This is noteworthy, because it's estimated that only one third of those who go into cardiac arrest get CPR from a bystander. The hope is that by making it easier to do,…
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Strong relationships improve chances of living longer

Marriage and Family Health, Men's Health, Mental Health, Woman's Health
In my book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People: Becoming and staying highly healthy, I discuss what I call the "four wheels of health": physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational. In the book I say, that relationships are so important to health, that people should "avoid loneliness like the plague." Now, CBS Evening News is reporting, "Researchers at Brigham Young said today strong relationships can improve your chances of living longer by 50%." Time reported, "A healthy social life may be as good for your long-term health as avoiding cigarettes, according to a massive research review released Tuesday by the journal PLoS Medicine." After examining "pooled data from 148 studies on health outcomes and social relationships -- every research paper on the topic they could find, involving more than 300,000 men and…
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