Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I have seen the enemy and it is us

Hospital’s obesity billboards stir debate
A Northwest Indiana hospital that erected billboards with the message “Obesity is a disease. Not a decision” is facing a backlash from people offended by the signs’ suggestion that obesity isn’t a lifestyle choice.

Winfield resident September Vawter lashed out at the weight-loss program’s message in an email she sent to the hospital. She feels strongly that obesity is the result of lifestyle choices.
“There is no disease that causes your body to drive to McDonald’s to go get some fries. There is no disease that makes your hands unwrap a candy bar. It’s all habits,” her email said.

Actually, if you have Hyperinsulinemia and eat low fat food- you will become hypoglycemic. Not surprisingly- low blood sugar strongly affects the prefrontal cortex and decision making abilities... and causes a desperate craving for food. Not to mention the excess insulin converts almost all that food to fat and starves your brain even further.
In susceptible people - compulsive eating is triggered by the very diet doctors recommend to treat obesity.
That's endocrinology, not habits.

(Although I applaud the sentiment of the billboard, I don't approve of the goal- which is to fill up their bariatric surgery center- not to truly treat the illness they claim is the cause...)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Money for Nothing

Lisa Martinez vs The Dentists' Cartel
Dentists earn above-average wages because they possess highly specialized skills that most of us lack, and no one should begrudge them that. But dentists have also gotten quite canny at padding their earnings by enacting regulatory restrictions on the provision of tooth-related services by non-dentists even if the service in question doesn't actually require a dentist's specialized skills.
This really needs to change. I was just thinking dental hygienists should be able to work at salons and become a real part of our beauty regimen...

But then we probably wouldn't ever need dentist's "highly specialized skills", huh?
Funny, that.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Circle of Insanity

The stark contrast between modern medicine's ability to deal with acute illness and it's inability to prevent that same illness makes my head spin.

They patched Jeff's dad up in a couple hours. Got him back in decent working order.
And then proceeded to insure he has another heart attack in the future.

I gotta dissect the cognitive dissonance a while before I can even rant...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

We are thankful that Jeff's father survived his heart attack and was released from the hospital today.

You guys eat some carbs and have a nice nap for me.
I'm busy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Flying monkeys out their @ss

Merck to pay $950 million for illegal marketing of Vioxx
The FDA approved Vioxx for three medical purposes in 1999 but did not approve its use against rheumatoid arthritis until April 2002. The government says that for nearly three years in the interim, Merck promoted Vioxx for rheumatoid arthritis. An FDA warning letter was sent to Merck in 2001 for making the claims.
Officials say that while this is not a record settlement, the $950 million agreement places it among the top five on record.
They will say and do anything to sell their shit before anyone figures out it doesn't work. Because they haven't been truly successful in ages... it's all smoke and mirrors.

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's not your imagination

A very cool experiment-

Passing Through Doorways Might Spur Forgetfulness
Ever go into another room for something and then forget what you were there for? A new study suggests that simply passing through a doorway can cause you to forget why you came into a room or what you wanted to find.
"Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an 'event boundary' in the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away," Gabriel Radvansky, a psychology professor at the University of Notre Dame, said in a university news release.
"Recalling the decision or activity that was made in a different room is difficult because it has been compartmentalized," he explained.

Tic Tic Tic Tic Tic

Drugs Used for Psychotics Go to Youths in Foster Care
Doctors are treating foster children’s behavioral problems with the same powerful drugs given to people with schizophrenia and severe bipolar disorder. “We simply don’t have evidence to support this kind of use, especially in young children,” Dr. dosReis said.
In recent years, doctors and policy makers have grown concerned about high rates of overall psychiatric drug use in the foster care system, the government-financed program that provides temporary living arrangements for 400,000 to 500,000 children and adolescents. Previous studies have found that children in foster care receive psychiatric medications at about twice the rate among children outside the system.

Is it just me or does the underlying pattern of mental health 'care' go something like this:
The more vulnerable you are, the more likely it is that doctors will give you drugs that destroy your decision making ability.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

How to Change the World

So I went out and tried to find dental health programs in school. Apparently we teach them HOW, we just don't actually make them do it...
I could only find a couple examples.

Children brush teeth at school (Christchurch AU)
Each school day, usually after lunch, children retrieve their individually numbered brushes fixed to the wall, put adult-strength fluoride paste on them and head back to their desks for five minutes of brushing. They each get a water cup for rinsing. They dump their used water into a big plastic bin, which is disposed of by a teacher or supervisor.
And then there's America-
Swish, spit, protest: The new Mass. tooth brushing law
The state Department of Early Education & Care is requiring all children in day care longer than four hours and/or who eat a meal to have their teeth brushed on-site. (Parents send in the brush, which is to be replaced every few months, or if the kid is out sick.)Some schools are adopting the regulations for older kids as well, so we'll certainly be seeing more of it in the coming months.
Parents can opt out of this rule, and from what I hear anecdotally, quite a few are angrily doing so.
I also found a program in Virginia that provides flouride rinse to kids because the water supply doesn't.
Antibacterial mouth rinse would work better, but it's a start.

Hey now here's a great idea:
Keewatin and Ely Students Receive Dental Care At School
The Smiles Across Minnesota program is available to any child regardless of ability to pay or whether they have insurance. Students get X–rays, cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants, fillings, crowns and teeth pulled all from a dentist without ever having to leave school.
"Instead of missing a half a day or a whole day to travel far to find a dentist who accepts medical assistance, the children miss on average only about thirty minutes from school," Sarah Wovcha, Executive Director of Children's Dental Services said.


Germany, Sweden, Japan- anyone out there who can tell me if you guys do this?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dopamine rules us all

Gene Impedes Recovery from Alcoholism, Swedish Research Finds

Researchers in the longitudinal project Göteborg Alcohol Research Project (GARP) have been investigating the dopamine D2 receptor gene and found that a variant of this gene is overrepresented in people with severe alcohol dependency, and that it is linked to a number of different negative consequences that can be of vital significance to the person affected.
"Our research shows that alcohol-dependent individuals, who are also carriers of this gene variant, run 10 times the risk of dying prematurely, compared with the average population," says Claudia Fahlke, a representative from the research team.
In a study published recently in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism (issue 46), the research team shows that this gene variant also appears to be associated with a higher tendency among these individuals to suffer a relapse, even if they have undergone treatment for their alcohol dependency.

The autoimmune streptococcal antibodies that I believe cause much of mental illness-

Infection is why abstaining from alcohol does not solve the problem...
And why we live fast and die young.

Things that make me scream

One In Four Women Takes Mental Health Drugs

The medical establishment is just fine with this.
Because we are obviously very messed up. Not them.

Edit: Aaaahhhh, this video keeps flashing in my mind...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Brain Damage on a Plate

This explains a lot.

Toast sandwich is UK's 'cheapest meal'
Britain's 'cheapest' lunchtime meal was unveiled by scientists on Wednesday - the toast sandwich.
The Royal Society of Chemistry (!!!) is reviving the mid-Victorian dish, which, unsurprisingly, consists of two slices of bread around a slice of toast.

The End of the World as we know it

And I am totally fine with that.

New Mouthwash Targeting Harmful Bacteria May Render Tooth Decay a Thing of the Past
A new mouthwash developed by a microbiologist at the UCLA School of Dentistry is highly successful in targeting the harmful Streptococcus mutans bacteria that is the principal cause tooth decay and cavities. Most common broad-spectrum antibiotics, like conventional mouthwash, indiscriminately kill both benign and harmful pathogenic organisms and only do so for a 12-hour time period.
In a recent clinical study, 12 subjects who rinsed just one time with the experimental mouthwash experienced a nearly complete elimination of the S. mutans bacteria over the entire four-day testing period. The findings from the small-scale study are published in the current edition of the international dental journal Caries Research.

Know your limitations

I have verbal problems all the time. I stammer and have a sketchy memory for proper names.
I also do not like to study world politics all that much.
That is why I think I should not run for President.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I worry about Japan

Their obsession with robots and cute animals is surely a symptom of something.

A robotic polar bear pillow that fights snoring

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Yo Doctors

Never underestimate a parent's desire to heal their child.

Father's homemade machine helps disabled son to walk

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tests tests and more tests

New advice on kids' cholesterol
New guidelines due out this weekend are expected to recommend that more children get a screening test for high cholesterol before they reach puberty.
Guidelines from a leading pediatrics group now advise screening just kids with a family history of early heart disease or risk factors such as obesity and high blood pressure. But many doctors feel that is missing too many kids with high cholesterol.
The guidelines, from experts appointed by the federal government, will be presented at an American Heart Association conference on Sunday.
They've gotten all the adults on statins, then lowered the baseline as much as they possibly can, so now they're going after children to get more customers. Go figure.

This is borderline malpractice. There is no evidence that serum cholesterol levels predict heart disease, and certainly none for children.

For the record, the last I looked, the American Heart Association website had NO information regarding periodontal disease or infectious causes of atherosclerosis. NONE.
Why aren't they teaching kids how to properly care for their mouths?

Zombie Shopping

Check it out. 25 lb. bags of gluten-free flour.
Cash & Carry is a restaurant supply, it's also known as Smart and Final in California. I don't know what the equivalent is back east.
I haven't checked Costco or SamsClub though.

Monday, November 7, 2011

No Kidding

Hit reset on cancer screening: 'Tests not perfect'
Last month, a government panel recommended an end to routine prostate cancer screenings, a step further than other major medical groups that urge men to weigh the pros and cons and decide for themselves. But the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force found limited, if any, evidence that screening average men improves survival. That's largely because so many men are diagnosed with slow-growing tumors that never would have killed them; still, they have treatments that can cause incontinence, impotence or even lead to death.

"We really — underline the word 'really' — have to pull back the messaging on prostate cancer," says the cancer society's Lichtenfeld, who himself isn't sure of the test's net worth. PSA testing took off on the basis of "blind faith" that they would work, not science, he says.

Blind Faith seems to be what a whole lot of modern medical advice is based on.

It's freakin flabbergasting.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Don't Drive Glutened

Narcoleptics are more dangerous than drunks. No Excuses.

It's Drowsy Driving Prevention Week
The NSF says new data shows that 96 percent of Americans feel it’s unacceptable for someone to drive when they are so sleepy they have trouble keeping their eyes open, yet about one-third of Americans admitted doing so in the past 30 days.
“People know that they shouldn’t text or drink when they drive, and that’s great,” says David Cloud, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation. “However, many don’t realize that driving while drowsy is also very dangerous. If you’re so tired that you can hardly keep your eyes open, you could fall asleep for just a few seconds and not realize it. If that happens at 65 miles an hour, you could drive the length of a football field in an unconscious state.”

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Brain Eating Zombie of the Day

Psychological Traumas Experienced Over Lifetime Linked to Adult Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The psychological and emotional traumas experienced over a lifetime--such as the death of a loved one, divorce, natural disaster, house fire or car accident, physical or mental abuse -- may contribute to adult irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to the results of a study unveiled at the American College of Gastroenterology's (ACG) 76th Annual Scientific meeting in Washington, DC.
Trauma may sensitize the brain and the gut, according to Dr. Saito-Loftus, who said that the results of this study indicate that patients with IBS experience or report traumas at a level higher than patients without IBS.

HOLY CRAP. It's 2011 and an actual doctor will publish this nonsense and present it to her peers.
Don't they require reading in school anymore? The existing data shows the causality goes the other way.

Correlation FAIL

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A bad day for the Pharmas

Chantix Unsuitable for First-Line Smoking Cessation Use, Study Finds
The researchers found that 90 percent of all reported suicides related to smoking- cessation drugs since 1998 implicated varenicline, even though it was on the market only four years in the nearly 13-year study period. They also found that varenicline was eight times more likely to result in a reported case of suicidal behavior or depression than nicotine replacement products.
Chantix is EVIL. And you can be sure they are still trying to find a way to sell it.

Glaxo Settles Cases With U.S. for $3 Billion
The cases against GlaxoSmithKline include illegal marketing of Avandia, a diabetes drug that was severely restricted last year after it was linked to heart risks. Company whistle-blowers and federal prosecutors said the company had paid doctors and manipulated medical research to promote the drug.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

They don't know what their drugs do

Lipitor Rage
If statins carried a rare but serious side effect, would we ever find out?
Monkeys put on cholesterol-reducing diets become more aggressive, and numerous studies have linked low or lowered cholesterol to violent behavior in people, too. For instance, one study compared the cholesterol measurements of nearly 80,000 Swedes who’d enrolled in a health-screening project against police records and found that violent criminals had significantly lower cholesterol levels than noncriminals.

It has also been shown that omega-3 supplementation reduces aggression in prison populations.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Psychology in a paragraph

from the Onion, of course.
SANTA ROSA, CA—A study released by the California Parenting Institute Tuesday shows that every style of parenting inevitably causes children to grow into profoundly unhappy adults. "Our research suggests that while overprotective parenting ultimately produces adults unprepared to contend with life's difficulties, highly permissive parenting leads to feelings of bitterness and isolation throughout adulthood," lead researcher Daniel Porter said. "And, interestingly, we found that anything between those two extremes is equally damaging, always resulting in an adult who suffers from some debilitating combination of unpreparedness and isolation. Despite great variance in parenting styles across populations, the end product is always the same: a profoundly flawed and joyless human being." The study did find, however, that adults often achieve temporary happiness when they have children of their own to perpetuate the cycle of human misery.

Now that we have that clear, can we move on to something that might actually alleviate some suffering?