Tag Archives: doctors

Medical guidelines may be overaggressive, biased

For the most part I opt for natural remedies over drugs for my own personal health. But, there are times when a doctor’s recommendations may differ from my wishes. So I was fascinated to learn that sometimes medical practitioners may not be totally objective in their appraisals of our health.

Dr. Sunita Sah practiced general medicine for several years in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. When she came to the United States, she noticed something strange.

three person looking at x ray result

Photo by EVG photos on Pexels.com

The U.K. guidelines for tests such as mammograms and colon cancer screenings drastically differed from those in the U.S. – even though they were based on the same medical evidence.

“Having colonoscopy at the age of 50 – that struck me as rather odd when I moved to the U.S., because you don’t really hear about people having colonoscopies as a screening procedure in the U.K.,” said Sah. “It’s much less invasive to test for blood in the stool. It’s also less costly and doesn’t have the risks of undertaking a colonoscopy.”

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Filed under cancer, colonoscopy, doctor visit, doctors, medical guidelines, medicine, personalized medicine

Female doctors may be better – Harvard

About five years ago, I switched to a female doctor and I think she is great. I dropped the male doctor who had been treating me because I got the feeling he didn’t really care about me. In fact, sometimes he gave me the impression that I was a bother. Obviously, my experience is totally anecdotal and may have no relevance to anyone else. After all, for years there were only male doctors and that worked fine.  Regarding my doctor, I think that she genuinely cares about my well being and keeping it up is a priority with her. I trust her and like confiding in her. I did not feel that way with the man who had been treating me.

Here is the latest from Harvard.


Elderly hospitalized patients treated by female physicians are less likely to die within 30 days of admission, or to be readmitted within 30 days of discharge, than those cared for by male physicians, according to a new study led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. It is the first research to document differences in how male and female physicians treat patients result in different outcomes for hospitalized patients in the U.S. Continue reading

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Doctor Jonathan has some really good ideas about living a healthy life. This post is a fine example of that.


All About Healthy Choices


 “In the womb and in early infancy, several risk factors can influence susceptibility to the development of diet-related chronic diseases later in life.”
During childhood and adolescence, the adoption of habits such as unhealthy dietsandlow-levels of exercise, has been shown to increase the risk of developing certain chronic diseases. An unhealthy diet contributes to high blood pressure in children causing changes in the body which are associated with the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and obesity. A high calorie intake in childhood is also linked to an increased risk of cancer in later life.
Most chronic diseases are expressed in adulthood. Risk factors that prevail during adulthood have been strongly linked with cardiovascular disease and diabetes including obesity, physical inactivity, high cholesterol level, high blood pressure and alcohol consumption. An individual’s ability to take control over his or her life and to make…

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Filed under chronic disease, coronary heart disease, Exercise, exercise benefits, heart disease

The Six Best Doctors

I found this in my web wandering and fell in love with it. I don’t even know if it qualifies as an infographic.


In the close to 10 years I have been writing this blog I find that a lot of the loose ends have been burned off. In the beginning it was all about losing weight, counting calories, measuring portions, etc. Now, while I am aware of calories and portions, my focus has shifted entirely to simply living healthy. I weigh in the mid 150 pound range where I have dwelt for around five years. I have total confidence that I can control my weight. I don’t try any more. I am simply doing it. Just like Yoda said, “Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”

I don’t think you need expensive gym memberships or more expensive personal trainers to get control of your weight. You can do it.

This infographic, or set of pictures with captions, tells the whole story for me. Get outside, move, drink water, get enough sleep, eat intelligently and enjoy the sunshine.

I hope you can get it to work for you.

For the record: While I don’t use a personal trainer, I realize that they know a lot about exercise and can be very helpful. Also, I have a number of friends who do that for a living. If you feel you need one, by all means, use one.



Filed under Weight, weight control

John Oliver Explain$ Drug Marketing to Doctor$

John Oliver is cleverly disguising good journalism as comedy every week on HBO. I hope you can spare 17 minutes to watch this video. I promise you will be amazed.

Last year we Americans spent an average of $1000 per person on prescription rugs, or $329.2 billion. That’s a lot of money. Last year drug companies spent $4 billion on marketing. The British Broadcasting Company said that nine out of 10 drug companies spent more money on marketing than they did on research.

If you take nothing else from this video, be sure to check out the link: https://openpaymentsdata.cms.gov/ It allows you to look up your doctor and see if/how much drug companies paid him/her last year. Fascinating stuff. Just type in your doctor’s name and the website does the rest.


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Filed under doctors, drug company payments to doctors

Doctors Prescribing Exercise as Medicine – Wall Street Journal

“The older I get the more medicines I find myself taking,” a Senior Citizen.

This is a common lament among seniors. But the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has a new and better idea. They declared May of 2014 as Exercise is Medicine month.


“Everyone should start or renew an exercise program now as an investment in life-long health,” said Robert E. Sallis, M.D., FACSM, chair of the Exercise is Medicine. “Every person, regardless of age and health, is responsible for his or her own physical activity. There are far more reasons to exercise than excuses not to.”

Research shows that exercise has a role in the treatment and prevention of more than 40 chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and hypertension, an ACSM press release pointed out.

“While there are numerous reasons for soaring health care costs, one undeniable explanation is the poor physical health of so many Americans,” Sallis said. “Exercise is something every person can do to control the rising cost of health care and improve quality of life.”

Eat less; move more has long been the mantra of this blog. It is nice to see the mainstream moving ahead in the same vein.

Today’s Wall Street Journal ran a feature by Laura Landro entitled Doctors Dole Out Prescriptions for Exercise!

This is a direct result of the ACSM program.


“Although the benefits of exercise in preventing and controlling a number of diseases are well-known, studies show that doctors don’t always counsel patients on adding more physical activity. About half of Americans report that they meet federal guidelines to engage in at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, but not everyone owns up to how little exercise they get, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A 2011 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found only about 10% of adults actually met recommended levels, though 62% reported they did.

Regular readers know that I am a senior citizen and instead of medicines, I ride my bike regularly and walk whenever I can. Last year, I pedaled over 7000 miles on my bike and as a a result of that and careful eating, I generally find myself in the best health of my life. I wrote about my aversion to taking statin drugs in Do I Have to go on Statin Drugs for the Rest of my Life to Fight High Cholesterol?

The Journal reported, “So many people look at exercise with fear and trepidation as if it’s something to be endured or swallowed like a bad-tasting medicine. But the reality is once people begin to move and gain strength and fitness they realize what a gift it is to feel agile and healthy,” says Susanna Carter, a Birmingham, Ala., obstetrician and gynecologist who left her medical practice last year to start Project 150, using Skype and email to counsel patients on exercise and nutrition.”

The Journal piece cites numerous examples of folks who took up exercise instead of medication and experienced very positive results.

The ACSM program “Exercise is Medicine” has training for doctors in more than 40 countries.

If you, like a lot of us, are concerned about your medical care going forward as Obamacare becomes the law of the land, it seems a good time to rethink previous sedentary ways and take a positive step toward maintaining your health without having to resort to doctor’s prescriptions.

I hope my excitement about this news and program is understandable, especially to regular readers. I have said from the beginning that we need to get out and move. Check out my Page – Important Facts About Your Brain (and Exercise) for more.


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Filed under ACSM, aging, Exercise, medicine, Wall Street Journal