Monthly Archives: April 2011

Laughter not only feels good, it’s good for your heart

Having a good laugh helps relieve stress and benefits your blood vessels, according to yet another expert.

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Alternative Medicine and Children – Part 1 – Introduction

In this, my newest series of blogs, I want to discuss the growing interest in alternative medicine among adults that has now carried over to children and into the offices of pediatricians and family physicians.

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Less stress and more sleep may help you lose weight

If you or someone you love is overweight or obese, here’s some good news on a couple of other ways (other than better nutrition and exercise) you could consider to lose weight. The Los Angeles Times “Booster Shots” reported, “Getting … Continue reading

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Herbal remedies of limited help for colic

Colic is the bane of many sleep-deprived parents of newborns — but even though some crying, colicky babies may respond to alternative medicine remedies their use has little or no support from clinical trials, according to a recent systematic review. … Continue reading

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Laughter and music lower blood pressure

Laughter and music not only lift the mood, they might also drop blood pressure among middle-aged adults, a new study suggests.

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Cancer risk from airport scanners extremely low, study finds

My previous blogs on airport scanners (see list below) have been particularly popular among readers for obvious reasons. Now, Bloomberg News is reporting, “Airport body scanners pose little radiation risk to travelers, emitting less than 1 percent of the dose a person … Continue reading

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Got earwax? Self-irrigation with a bulb syringe may be effective and save a trip to the doctor

For patients with occluding earwax, self-irrigation with a bulb syringe significantly reduces subsequent demand for ear irrigation by health professionals, according to the results of a study reported in the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Maqui berry is the latest trendy super food

Maqui berry (pronounced “mah-kee”) is one of the hottest new berries being marketed for “weight loss,” “detoxification,” and for “general health.” But, does it work? Or not?

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If you’re 50 or older, get the shingles vaccine

This is a good news story for anyone fifty years of age or older who wants to avoid the pain or after effects of shingles. If you’re in this age group, get this vaccine as soon as you can. Here … Continue reading

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It’s Easter, and ‘He is risen’

Today is the holy day in which Christians celebrate their redemption. And a newspaper editorial tells the “old, old story” as well as any preacher:

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Parents: Do NOT use car safety seats outside the car

The AP is reporting that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) “and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued separate but consistent” new recommendations about car safety seats and and children riding in cars. These new recommendations (see this and the … Continue reading

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Parents: Children younger than age 13 should ride in back seat of your car

The AP reported that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) “and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued separate but consistent” new recommendations about the use of car safety seats with children. These new recommendations will require many families to change … Continue reading

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Parents: Use booster seat in the car until your child is 4 feet 9 inches tall

The AP reports the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) “and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued separate but consistent” new recommendations about child booster seats.

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Popular baby media does not actually advance learning

In past blogs I’ve warned parents, “‘Baby Einstein’ or ‘Brainy Baby’ may turn your baby into anything but,” and “Don’t Count on DVDs to Improve Your Child’s Vocabulary.” Now, as science catches up to the marketing of these DVDs, more … Continue reading

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Many overweight mothers, children underestimate their actual weight

If parents falsely think that their children are normal weight, when in fact they are overweight or obese, then they are unlikely to do anything to correct the situation. Now there are some data that show parents how bad the … Continue reading

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Type 2 diabetes appearing more often in kids

In my book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat, I warn that the childhood obesity epidemic was leading to dramatic increases in the number of kids with diabetes and cardiovascular disease and could shorten their … Continue reading

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Mediterranean diet reduces risk of metabolic syndrome and prediabetes

Researchers have found more proof that the Mediterranean diet is associated with improved blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. In short, it’s one highly healthy choice for family nutrition.

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Study suggests physical exercise significantly reduces IBS symptoms

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be a chronic disease whose symptoms can be difficult to control. Now, HealthDay is reporting that “Increasing one’s physical activity routine can help improve symptoms among irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients.”

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Changing Your Diet May Help Manage IBD

Though no single eating plan works for everyone, changing your diet can help you better manage inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). For people with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, here are the details from HealthDay News:

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CoQ10 test results show high quality, but wide differences in dosages, formulations, and cost

CoQ10 is among the most popular supplements in the U.S. and is used for cardiovascular disease and a range of other conditions. However, it is easy, however, for a consumer to be confused about CoQ10 due to mixed clinical findings, … Continue reading

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Electronic device use prior to bed hindering Americans’ sleep quality

HealthDay reported that “many Americans might be losing valuable shut-eye because they spend the hour before bedtime in front of the electronic glow of a television, cell phone, or computer,” according to the National Sleep Foundation’s annual Sleep in America … Continue reading

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Secondhand smoke may increase women’s risk for delivering stillborn babies

By far, my most read and controversial blog this year was, on the “Surgeon general issuing new tobacco warnings.” Now comes another report also likely to stir this pot.

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CDC Report: Most teens not sexually active, abstinence education works

New data released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirms what will be a surprise to most folks—the majority of teens are NOT sexually active—making it appear that the abstinence education message is getting through to them.

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Cardiovascular safety of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

I’m surprised how many of my patients are NOT aware of the potential cardiovascular risks of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or naproxen (Aleve). If you’re in their camp, don’t miss this report:

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New study reignites debate on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The New York Times notes that after a disease can be “diagnosed reliably through lab tests, creating an accurate case definition” becomes easy. But for illnesses with no known cause and subjective symptoms, such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), competing definitions … Continue reading

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Acupuncture may take edge off menopause symptoms

A recent study is reporting that 10 weeks of treatment with acupuncture reduces the severe hot flashes. Here are the details from HealthDay News:

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Ten tips for getting a better night’s sleep

The following ten tips, provided by the National Sleep Foundation, can help you achieve sleep and the benefits it provides. These tips are intended for “typical” adults, but not necessarily for children or persons experiencing medical problems.

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One in three US adults gets less than seven hours’ sleep a night

As I’ve discussed in previous blogs (see list below), most people (whether children, teens, or adults) are simply not getting enough sleep.  And now a couple of studies are providing more stark proof of what we’re doing to ourselves. The … Continue reading

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Sugary drinks linked to hypertension and obesity

Last week my blog, Diet soda consumption may be linked to increased heart attacks and strokes, was one of my most read postings in some time. Some commented that perhaps they would switch from diet to regular soda. NOT a … Continue reading

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Optimism helps heart patients live longer, while pessimism harms

In my book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People: Becoming and staying highly healthy, I have a chapter on how your attitude about life impacts your health. And no attitude has a more powerful effect than optimism.

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