What the Bible says about homosexuality

General Health
As I mentioned in this morning's blog, What if your son asks, "Am I gay?", I wrote two chapters on the topic of homosexuality for my book The Ultimate Guys' Body Book: Not-so-stupid questions about your body. The book was written for boys heading toward and through puberty and their parents. The two chapters I submitted were not printed in the book, as the publisher felt the material was a bit "too mature" for young boys. See if you agree or disagree. (more…)
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What if your son asks, “Am I gay?”

General Health
This is the first of two chapters I wrote for boys on the topic of homosexuality for my book The Ultimate Guys' Body Book: Not-so-stupid questions about your body. The book was written for boys heading toward and through puberty and their parents. The two chapters I submitted were not printed in the book, as the publisher felt the material was a bit "too mature" for young boys. See if you agree or disagree. (more…)
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New diet drugs are new versions of old off-label treatments

General Health
The Wall Street Journal reports that although some doctors who treat obesity patients hailed the FDA's recent approval of Qsymia and Belviq – the agency's first diet-drug approvals in more than a decade – as an advancement in weight-loss treatment, many weight-loss specialists have been prescribing variations of the two drugs off-label for the past 10 years. (more…)
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Group recommends against ECG for low-risk patients

General Health
The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) announced that individuals who face a low risk of cardiovascular disease should NOT undergo routine screening with electrocardiography (ECG). This makes sense to me. In over 30 years of practice, I can think of NO routine EKG in a low-risk patient, at least during an annual health-maintenence or preventive medicine exam, that has changed my treatment plan or therapy. (more…)
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Officials offer advice ahead of worst year for whooping cough in 50 years

General Health
The AP eports, "With nearly 18,000 cases" of whooping cough "so far this year, health officials say this is shaping up to be the worst national epidemic in more than 50 years for the highly contagious disease." The article offers advice to the public, including: "make sure your child is up-to-date on vaccination against whooping cough, or pertussis." The CDC also "advises parents to see a doctor if they or their children develop prolonged or severe coughing fits, vomiting and exhaustion."  (more…)
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Shift workers face increased risk of heart attack, stroke

General Health
On its website, ABC News reports that shift workers may face an increased "risk of heart attack and stroke," according to research published in the British Medical Journal. Investigators "analyzed the findings of 34 studies that included more than two million people who had work schedules including anything other than regular daytime hours." (more…)
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Polypill reduces BP and LDL in healthy patients

General Health
On its website, ABC News reports that "researchers at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine in London tested a polypill consisting of three blood pressure medications – amlodipine, losartan, and hydrochlorothiazide – along with simvastatin, a cholesterol-busting drug," and "found that during a three-month period, a single polypill significantly lowered blood pressure and cholesterol levels in 84 study participants who were age 50 and older and had no history of cardiovascular disease." (more…)
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Egg allergy reduced in some children by daily doses of egg powder

General Health
The AP reports, "Doctors have reversed allergies in some children and teens by giving them tiny daily doses of problem foods, gradually training their immune systems to accept them." In one case, "about a dozen kids were able to overcome allergies to eggs," while "some of the same doctors used a similar approach on several kids with peanut allergies a few years ago." For the effort to work, "it takes special products, a year or more and close supervision because severe reactions remain a risk" according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. (more…)
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New prep for colon screen uses four pills, not liquid laxative

General Health
Prepping for a "virtual colonoscopy" at the Mayo Clinic now only involves swallowing four cleansing tablets, rather than the large amounts of liquid laxative typically required, researchers report. This summer, Mayo embraced the tablet bowel prep as its standard of care for patients undergoing noninvasive colonography, which relies on a CT scan to generate a 3-D snapshot of the patient's colon and rectum. (more…)
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FDA approves second weight loss medication this year

General Health
Coverage of the FDA's approval of Vivus' Qsymia (phentermine/topiramate) was extensive with a focus on adding to the options available to physicians and patients for treating obesity. All stories noted previous problems with weight loss medications and the FDA's previous rejection of it, as well as the other weight loss medication approved earlier this year. Stories also mentioned dangers of birth defects and worries about heart attacks. (more…)
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