Monthly Archives: December 2010

Study links excessive texting among teens to alcohol, sex, and drugs

How many texts does your child send and receive in a day? Could an increasing number indicate an increasing risk for problems? And, could a certain number indicate your child is more likely to experiment with drugs or sex? The … Continue reading

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Overweight Children Are Affected More By Stress

American kids are really stressed out — not least of all overweight and obese kids, according to a new survey from the American Psychological Association. The report found that children who are overweight or obese feel particularly stressed, more so … Continue reading

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Adolescent obesity associated with risk of severe obesity in adulthood

Like many physicians who care for children and teens, I’m acutely aware of and concerned about the epidemic, the tsunami, of childhood overweight and obesity. Because of that, I headed a research project at Florida Hospital in Orlando, Florida, that … Continue reading

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Eating monounsaturated fats boosts heart health

We’ve actually known this fact for sometime. In fact, monounsaturated fats are one of the reasons the Mediterranean Diet is so healthful. Which just shows that the success of a low-cholesterol diet can actually be improved by adding monounsaturated fat, … Continue reading

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Should smokers get a screening CT scan?

With the news that CT scans — or computerized tomography — can prevent lung cancer deaths, smokers and ex-smokers may wonder whether they should ask for a screening. USA TODAY did a nice job in asking experts for their advice: … Continue reading

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New Guidelines for Antidepressants

New guidelines say to select antidepressants based on side effects, other medical conditions, drug interactions, and cost … because they’re all similarly effective. This means the best bets for initial therapy are usually an SSRI, SNRI, bupropion, or mirtazapine … … Continue reading

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A Christmas story – Part 3

Monday, I began a Christmas story that came from my book Bryson City Seasons. Part 2 was posted Wednesday. Here’s the last of three parts. I hope it’s been a Christmas blessing for you and yours: ======================================= “Evan, I know God … Continue reading

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Holiday Depression And Stress

Yesterday, my last day in the medical office before Christmas, I saw three patients 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 … Continue reading

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Toy Safety Tips for Christmas Day

As the presents are being opened tomorrow, if you have small children in the house, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges gift-givers to keep safety in mind when choosing and opening toys for young children. The CPSC estimates … Continue reading

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A Christmas story – Part 2

Last time, I began a Christmas story that came from my book Bryson City Seasons. Here’s the second of three parts. I hope it will be a Christmas blessing for you and yours: ================================================ I passed through the lobby and … Continue reading

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Give Yourself the Gift of a Stress-Free Holiday

Here are some steps you can take (if not this year, next) to protect your and your family’s health by keeping it simple during the Christmas season. This was originally published at HealthFinder and I hope it’s helpful: ‘Tis the … Continue reading

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Ten Ways to Avoid Christmas Tree and Holiday Allergies

Here are some nice tips from the folks at Fox News. Of course, by now, some of us have learned the hard way, right? Rule No.1 – Keep your decorations “off season” in enclosed containers, this will reduce dust and … Continue reading

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A Christmas story – Part 1

My most popular books, at least based upon sales and letters, are the Bryson City series. The series includes: Bryson City Tales: Stories of a Doctor’s First Year of Practice in the Smoky Mountains (read a chapter here) Bryson City Seasons: More … Continue reading

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Books for those considering the mission field (or praying for missionaries)

My dear friend, John McVay, who is the Chief of Staff at the In His Image Family Medicine Residency and also directs their Medical Missions Program wrote me to say: I am writing to ask if you would spread the word about … Continue reading

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The ABCs of CPR Rearranged to “CAB”

Every shopping season we all hear a wrenching story or two of someone who dies of a heart attack at a mall with people standing around but NOT offering help. I think it’s not only because so many have not … Continue reading

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Good Conversation Can Boost Brain Power, Study Finds

As I’ve grown older, I’ve become fonder of sitting and just having conversation with dear friends. I’m privileged to participate in an authors’ group that meets every couple of weeks just to chat. And now, along comes some data showing … Continue reading

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Five ways your cell phone could save your life

Whether you own a BlackBerry, iPhone, Android, or just a cell phone, there are applications and other tools you can use to turn your device into a safety tool. Here are a few suggestions from CNN: 1. Program your cell … Continue reading

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Vitamin E consumption for stroke prevention may be harmful

In a past blog I told you, “… a spate of high-profile studies published in the last few years shows that a variety of popular supplements — including calcium, selenium, and vitamins A, C and E — don’t do anything … Continue reading

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Vicks VapoRub may help ease nighttime cold symptoms in children

My mom, a nurse, used Vicks VapoRub on us boys as we grew up. She believed in it, as did our pediatrician, Gloria Weir, MD. And, Barb and I used it on our kids. Loved it. And, it seemed to … Continue reading

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Regular exercise wards off colds and flu

Earlier this week I discussed how regular exercise can reduce your risk of depression. It can also help you reduce your risk or colds and the flu. The CNN “The Chart” blog reported, “Working out regularly helps ward off colds … Continue reading

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Kids’ use of electronic media at night linked to problems

More than half of children who use electronic media before bedtime may have mood or learning problems during the day, a preliminary study of 40 young people suggests. The kids in the study, average age 14½, were all treated at the … Continue reading

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Exercise Reduces Depression Risk

In past blogs I’ve told you about how exercise can help both prevent and treat depression. I also discuss this phenomena in my book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People: Becoming and staying highly healthy. Now, along comes one of … Continue reading

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Want to Marry Your Soul Mate? Could This Lead An Increased Risk of Divorce?

I must confess: this one surprised me. But, after reading the details, I wonder … After all, Brad Wilcox is one of my favorite researchers and writers. See what you think … A surprising new study has reported that the … Continue reading

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More US adults aware they have hypertension. Do you?

Finally some good news in the recognition and treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension). The AP reports that, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “more American adults are aware they have high … Continue reading

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Seniors should get whooping cough vaccine

An across the street neighbor was complaining the other day that her daughter and son-in-law in southern California were not going to let them visit their new grandbaby until they both had their influenza and pertussis vaccines. My comment, “Good … Continue reading

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Warning About Pacifiers Containing Honey

One of the joys of my professional life is serving as a member of the visiting faculty of a Christian family medicine residency, In His Image, in Tulsa, OK. One of the residents recently sent out this note which is … Continue reading

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Pros and cons of the meningitis booster shot recommendation for 16-year-olds

For a number of years, I’ve been recommending the meningitis vaccine for kids at 10 to 11 years of age. I’ve always told parents, right now it looks like it will just take a single vaccination, but, in the future, … Continue reading

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Deficiencies Found in B-Complex Supplements

Tests of B vitamin supplements, including B-complexes and shot-sized energy drinks, revealed problems with the quality of 4 out of 18 products selected for review by independent testing organization ConsumerLab.com. One widely-sold B-complex supplement was found to contain only 17.9% … Continue reading

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Heavy smoking more than doubles the odds of developing Alzheimer’s

USA Today reports that, according to a study published by the Archives of Internal Medicine, “heavy smoking in midlife more than doubles your odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease.” For the study, researchers from Kaiser Permanente “evaluated the records of 21,123 … Continue reading

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Breast Cancer Surgeon Explains How Abortion Elevates Risk for Women

As breast cancer awareness increases among women, one leading breast cancer surgeon and professor has written a full explanation of one of the risks women need to keep in mind when talking with friends and family about the deadly disease … Continue reading

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