Disease

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She was, and is, a close and cherished friend. Someone decided she had Alzheimer’s.  At least somebody said she did.  She had wonderful plans for retirement.  Now the retirement community she had been dreaming of did not seem to want her and her husband around.  She has just made the decision (I don’t know with who’s help) that it is a better idea she does not drive. She would surely not remember the details of how the diagnosis was made.  I wonder if it had been made properly.  Probably not.

Read more on All That is Demented is not Alzheimer’s…

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Natural treatment of obsessionality. “Estelle, you’re such a little worrier.  Yes you are.” When I was little, I never understood why my Auntie Charlotte always addressed me this way.  I did know that my family had “adopted” her which seemed to give her the right to “adopt” me.  Her orthodox Jewish family had rejected her because she wanted to marry a guy who had been married before, even though he was very Jewish. I was not supposed to know or care about such things.  But I did know she was the first person in my life to tell me I worried too much about things that didn’t need worrying about.

Read more on Obsessions…

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Everyday health advice. If I read any more “health advice,” mental or physical, that is supposed to be practical advice but is totally wrong and built on mythology, I might explode. Given the “mainstream” unproven drivel that gets reproduced in popular magazines, I think it is pretty amazing any Americans are still alive at all. A little relaxation (deep breathing and focused meditation) — I am doing a lot better.  After all, we still have freedom of speech, although it sometimes gets fragile and needs loving protection.  And you have me, the Renegade Doctor, to tell you what is truthful and right. I didn’t start out to trash “Reader’s Digest” (RD).  My parents of blessed memory had some kind of lifetime subscription, and kept it with a very few cherished books by their bedside, on top of my mother’s premarital “Hope Chest,” which she told me contained clothes she could only “hope” she would fit into again one day. She never did. Read more on Everyday health advice drives me nuts!…

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Anaphylaxis is frightening — it can and does kill people. It is an acute allergic reaction that affects about 0.5  to 2% of the population, at some point in life, and the frequency seems to be rising as we speak. Symptoms include hives and itches and swelling, which about 20% of the time can affect the upper breathing system and close the windpipe.

In theory any substance that is not included as part of the body can cause it.  I have heard about it being caused by bee stings, snake bites, foods and drugs and such. I have actually treated people for post-traumatic stress disorder caused by an allergic attack.  It is a serious stress to find your windpipe closing up and not know why. The lifesaving immediate emergency treatment is injected epinephrine (adrenaline) and getting the victim to a medical center to follow up with antihistamine and steroids as needed. My own allergies have given me some weird things over the years — lots of positive skin tests.  I used to suffer through “desensitization” protocols — allergen injections that made me sick, and prize-winning hay fever attacks. Read more on The EpiPen Mess and How To Work Around It…

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I was chatting with an M.D. woman friend, and told her my medications and my natural supplements and herbs and my “numbers” — my blood sugar and my blood pressure — when I still was convinced that I had those things.

My blood sugar was 120 mg/dL. My blood pressure with medications was around 140/85.

She surprised me with her reaction. Read more on What The Heck Has Happened To Medicine?…

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The ketogenic diet is a high-fat content diet in which carbohydrates are nearly eliminated so that the body has minimal dietary sources of glucose. After depleting carbs consumed in food, the body metabolizes body fat, converting it to glucose — which is the true fuel of the body and especially the brain. However the metabolized fat also produces ketones, which are the most efficient fuel for the body and brain. The ketogenic diet has been in clinical use for over 80 years, primarily for the symptomatic treatment of epilepsy.

Read more on Neuroprotective and Disease-Modifying Effects of the Ketogenic Diet…

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It’s not that I don’t like folks who grow grains.  I mean, I am related to some wonderful folks who grow wheat for a living, who are on my husband’s side of the family. I’ve been to their church bazaars and eaten their jello molds.

In France, I went to medical school at Amiens in the Somme, the breadbasket of France, and I took care of lots of stalwart folks who grew wheat for a living. Read more on Dump the Breadbasket and Turn That Food Pyramid on its Point…

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He was just 18. He had been followed by child psychiatry with a diagnosis of depression. He had long refused to take any pills.  As far as this poor, agricultural county was concerned, I was just seeing him so I could bill MediCal and fatten up the county coffers. The previous psychiatrists had simply noted he was depressed, was not suicidal, and refused any participation in his own treatment.

He was a young man of few words, with a common Hispanic name.  He sat there and twirled one of his lush curls. It became pretty obvious he wasn’t going to give me a complete history.  He said he would never take pills, not ever. To his credit, he did say I could talk to his mother, if I wanted to, but he had to be in the room and hear what she said. Someone brought her to me, from the waiting room.  She spoke only Spanish; fine with me. I learned my Spanish mostly from my patients, who in that time and place could rarely communicate well in either Spanish or English. His mother was charming, really grateful that I wanted to talk to her. She kept complimenting my clothes and elegance. I told her it was all thrift shop.  I doubt she believed me. Read more on Diagnosis From The Guts…

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Okay, so my Continuing Medical Education Provider gave me every imaginable disclaimer on this one.

Abstracts at a meeting, so the demands were not as rigorous as for published articles. There could be confounding factors. A British study; maybe they aren’t wired the same way us yanks are. People who take a nap of at least a half hour during the day have lower blood pressure 4 mm. lower 24 hr. average systolic than folks who don’t. Espresso, on the other hand, raises blood pressure. This study was done on Italians.  Are they wired like us? Drinking enough espresso may also be increasing the incidence of type 2 diabetes, by some kind of an effect on long term glucose (sugar) metabolism. Read more on Helpful Hints From A Former Caffeine Fiend…

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I found this one in the general plumbing of news that is the delight of the internet.

If someone in the U.K. thinks that DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) is safe, then somebody is clearly worried that it is not.

Mosquitoes are very dangerous, and DEET is one of the most powerful ways we have to get rid of mosquitoes. Read more on Deet As An Insecticide…

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