Daily Archives: November 22, 2010

Devotional for Men – Healthy Through and Through – Part 4 – The Emotional Wheel of Health

Here’s the fourth of an eight-part devotional for men based upon my chapter on health in Coach Joe Gibbs best-selling book, Gameplan for Life. The devotional was featured by the Men of Integrity ministry of Christianity Today. I hope you enjoy the series. Here’s Part 4 of 8:

THE SERIES’ THEME: Healthy Through and Through. What does it mean to be a truly healthy man of God?


KEY BIBLE VERSE: A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired. (Proverbs 17:22, The Message) Dig Deeper: Proverbs 14:30, 15:13

My friend Ben is a model of emotional health. For years, I’ve watched him handle whatever life throws at him. He doesn’t pretend things are better than they are, nor does he treat the inevitable letdowns of human existence as catastrophes.

Ben is comfortable with his own emotions, neither running from nor chasing down the lows and highs along his journey. Now in his 40s, Ben is one of the most authentic people I’ve ever known. His willingness to lean into and experience the rich scope of emotion inspires me to do the same, even when it’s uncomfortable.

Being mentally healthy requires healthy brain function. Charles, a former patient of mine, lives with a severe, inherited form of chemical depression. This dysfunction, if untreated, throws his physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual wheels out of balance.

At his worst, Charles loses his appetite, motivation, and concentration. But by taking a prescribed medication, eating right, exercising, and proactively balancing his other wheels, Charles has been able to dramatically decrease the impact that his depression would otherwise have on his mental and emotional health.

MY RESPONSE: What lessons about caring for my emotional health could I take from Ben? From Charles?




THOUGHT TO APPLY: Cheerfulness, sir, is the principle ingredient in the composition of health.—Arthur Murphy (Irish actor, writer)

I have a free assessment tool that can help you evaluate your four wheels of health. You can take it now, or at the end of this devotional series. You can download it for free here.

You can learn more about this principle in my book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People: Becoming and staying highly healthy. Autographed copies are available here.

10 E's

Here’s the entire series:

Adapted from Game Plan for Life (Tyndale, 2009) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.

FDA announces crackdown on chelation therapy — finally!

I’ve written about chelation for many years. In my book, Alternative Medicine: The Christian Handbook, I conclude, “Evidence against (chelation’s) effectiveness in heart disease is so clear, its continued use raises serious ethical questions. The therapy is very expensive and can be very lucrative for providers. But, it’s virtually worthless for consumers.” Some of my past blogs on chelation have included: Chelation therapy for autism not only potentially harmful, it’s based on faulty premise and Federal investigators uncover major problems with chelation study. Now, finally, comes news that the FDA is going to crack down on these quacks.

The Washington Post reports that officials from the Food and Drug Administration have “announced a crackdown on” chelation, “a controversial therapy widely hawked on the Internet and elsewhere as an alternative treatment for conditions such as autism, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease by ‘cleansing’ the body.”

In fact, the FDA “said it has sent warning letters to several companies notifying them that the substances they sell without a prescription for …’chelation’ are ‘unapproved drugs and devices,’ which makes them illegal.”

The Chicago Tribune reports that the chemicals used in chelation, “which help remove metals from the body, are potent drugs that carry serious risks, including kidney damage, dehydration, and even death, said FDA Medical Officer Dr. Charles Lee.”

In a separate but related piece, the Chicago Tribune notes that the FDA letters “come a year after a Chicago Tribune investigation found chelation treatment is popular among parents of children with autism, even though the therapy is … based on a disproven hypothesis that children with the disorder are actually suffering heavy metal poisoning.”

In fact, “in 2008, the National Institutes of Health halted a controversial government-funded study of chelation before a single child with autism was treated” after investigators “had found that rats without lead poisoning showed signs of cognitive damage after being treated with a chelator.”

The AP reported that the agency’s “warning letters call on each company to immediately stop marketing and selling their products or face legal action.” The products in question are freely available online and “come in a variety of forms, including sprays, capsules and drops.”

You can learn more about chelation is the QuackWatch.com article, Chelation Therapy: Unproven Claims and Unsound Theories, or read my chelation chapter in Alternative Medicine: The Christian Handbook.

Chelation Therapy:
Unproven Claims and Unsound Theories

Watermelon extract may lower blood pressure

The Los Angeles Times and Orlando Sentinel reported that, according to a study published in the American Journal of Hypertension, there is “evidence that eating watermelon could reduce … blood pressure.”

In fact, “in a small, pilot study led by food scientists at Florida State University, researchers found that eating six grams of watermelon extract a day for six weeks lowered blood pressure in all nine middle-aged subjects with prehypertension.”

The study authors “suggest that watermelon may prevent prehypertension from progressing to full-blown hypertension.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel “Health & Science Today” blog quoted one of the study authors, who explained that “watermelon is the richest edible natural source of L-citrulline, which is closely related to L-arginine, the amino acid required for the formation of nitric oxide (which is) essential to the regulation of vascular tone and healthy blood pressure.”

So, from those of us from the south, this is good news — our beloved watermelon is found to be highly healthy in yet another way.

FDA approves Botox as treatment for chronic migraines

On the front page of its Business Day section, the New York Times reported, “The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved Botox, the anti-wrinkle shot from Allergan, as a treatment to prevent chronic migraines, a little more than a month after the company agreed to pay $600 million to settle allegations that it had illegally marketed the drug for unapproved uses like headaches for years.”

Botox “had worldwide sales last year of about $1.3 billion, divided equally between medical and cosmetic uses.” But Allergan said “sales of Botox for chronic migraine and other medical uses would soon eclipse sales of the drug as a wrinkle smoother.

The Los Angeles Times “Booster Shots” blog reported, “The FDA’s decision expands the potential market for Botox, which burst upon the American cosmetic scene in the late 1980s, to 12% of the US population – the proportion of Americans thought to suffer from the throbbing, pulsating pain of migraine headaches.”

The approval allows Allergan “to advertise to consumers and promote to doctors the use of Botox for chronic migraine.”

The FDA “underscored Friday that Botox does not appear to be useful in treating or preventing less frequent migraines, or headaches that are not caused by the activation of nerve fibers within the brain’s blood vessels–the definition of migraine headache.”

The AP reported, “For the new use, doctors are directed to inject patients in the neck or head every 12 weeks to dull future headaches.”

The FDA “approved the new use based on two company studies of more than 1,300 patients who received either a Botox injection or a dummy injection.” Those “who received Botox reported slightly fewer ‘headache days’ than patients given the sham treatment. In the more significant of the two studies, patients on Botox reported about two fewer headache days than patients who didn’t receive the drug.”

Bloomberg News reported, “… the company settled a 2 1/2-year investigation of its Botox marketing that analysts said held up FDA approval for the migraine treatment.”

Allergan “pleaded guilty and was ordered by a judge to pay $375 million to resolve Justice Department allegations it promoted Botox for headache, pain and juvenile cerebral palsy from 2000 to 2005 without FDA approval.”

CNN reported, “The drug – whose generic name is onabotulinumtoxinA – has not been shown to work against migraines that occur 14 days or fewer per month, nor has it been shown to work for other forms of headache.”