Occasional marijuana use may not damage lungs

Bioethics, Cancer, General Health, Mental Health
The Washington Post "The Checkup" blog reports, "Smoking marijuana doesn't appear to do the kind of damage to people's lungs as smoking tobacco does," according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. "But that may have to do more with the way marijuana is typically smoked than with anything inherent in the substance itself." (more…)
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Pediatric Study: ‘Healthy’ Diet Best for ADHD Kids

Children's Health, Mental Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
Fast foods, sodas, and ice cream may be American kids' favorite menu items, but they're also probably the worst for those with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a new literature review suggests. According to two researchers from Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, a relatively simple diet low in fats and high in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables is one of the best alternatives to drug therapy for ADHD. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid supplements have also been shown to help in some controlled studies, they noted. This state-of-the-art review suggests dietary interventions for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) if: medications are ineffective, parents or children wish to try dietary approaches, or mineral deficiencies were present. Diets to reduce symptoms associated with ADHD include sugar-restricted, additive/preservative-free, oligoantigenic/elimination, and fatty acid supplements. The…
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Mentored by a Milker of Cows

Family Newsletter, Mental Health, Spiritual Health
Long-time readers know of my fondness and appreciation for Bill Judge, a retired dairyman in Kissimmee, Florida, who has been my mentor and coach since the mid-1980's. Now that my father has passed, Bill has become my second dad. In a 2010 blog, "Mentored by a Milker of Cows," I told you the story about Bill's loving mentoring of me. Now this story is being retold by Significant Living magazine: (more…)
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A new worry for soccer parents: Heading

Children's Health, Mental Health, Parenting, Sports Medicine
What happens inside the skull of a soccer player who repeatedly heads a soccer ball? That question motivated a provocative new study of the brains of experienced players that has prompted discussion and debate in the soccer community, and some anxiety among those of us with soccer-playing offspring. Here are the details in a report from the New York Times. It's a long article, but a MUST READ for parents of kids playing soccer: (more…)
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Soccer “headers” may increase risk of brain injury

Children's Health, Mental Health, Parenting, Sports Medicine
NBC Nightly News reported, "a new study that says frequent headers show brain injuries similar to that seen in patients with concussion, also known as mild traumatic brain injury" (TBI). "Those who fared worse are the players who made head contact with the soccer ball over 1,000 times a year. ... One doctor says the worry here is degeneration of brain cells and lacerating nerve fibers in the brain." (more…)
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How to prevent holiday depression and stress

Marriage and Family Health, Mental Health
This last week, I saw three patients in the office all suffering from holiday depression. One was a grandmother who had suffered the tragic loss of her first grandchild this summer. Two others were people who had lost dear ones over the last few months. It was a good reminder to me to keep an eye out this season for those around me to whom Christmas may not be a joy, but an emotional roller coaster. (more…)
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