diabetes

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I had a really depressed patient.  She had just had one leg amputated below the knee because of advanced diabetes. Of course, I prescribed some antidepressants, and made sure the medical stuff (medical causes of diabetes) had been eliminated. I asked her why she couldn’t dance. “I can’t walk and you want me to dance?”  she asked, as if holding back tears.

Read more on Never say “Never” — Especially to dancing!…

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I have been friendly with and received referrals from homeopaths. and taken care of patients who have sung the praises of that art.  Since I am known to most folks as an “alternative physician,” this is understandable.  All homeopaths have been gentle folks, and I supposed that they were doing people good, in some way, be it placebo or something else.  I had no reason to fight them. I cannot remember ever actually referring someone to a homeopath.  Some people have told me it did not work for them.  And even though I use alternative methods,  I do things that are scientifically proven to my satisfaction.

I have never told anyone to stop seeing a homeopath who was helpful to them.  I decide on the basis of safety and efficacy for every treatment, as best I can.  Even if I sometimes have wondered about efficacy, I will admit. But for safety, homeopathy is off the charts.  I know of no down-side. I remember looking at the “dilution” level of the remedies.  In general, they are so dilute that they could not possibly have any of the “substance” that was used to make them, not even a molecule.

Read more on The Current State of Homeopathy…

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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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The Emperor’s New Clothes — A great story that seems to have survived the ages. Like most Americans, I heard the Hans Christian Andersen (19th century) version in childhood. In case you missed it, the subject was two fellows employed as weavers, who offered the emperor a suit that would be invisible to those who were not smart or appropriate for their jobs.  The Emperor wears his new suit for a big public parade in front of the subjects, to great acclaim by all.  Nobody mentions the emperor is wearing nothing but underwear until a kid yells it out at the top of his lungs. Read more on The emperor has no clothes!…

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I am always amused by how people make decisions.  The decision about what to eat is a complicated one.  I will admit to having made and changed the decision multiple times in my own lifetime. I am a scientist who goes by data–and I will admit that my most recent choice reversed my diabetes as well as my high blood pressure and myriad evils, so that I am medication free for the first time in several years. There is, however, a subculture devoted to diets that can’t work, don’t work, or probably don’t work.  I don’t expect people to make rational choices — I’ve been a psychiatrist too long to believe that one, even for an instant.  I do know that there is more distance than anyone would imagine (some estimate it at 30 years or more) between science and medical practice.  Add that to the amount of “emotional baggage” people carry around about what they love eating, what they hate eating, and why. Put it all together and the best you can usually do is pseudoscience.  This means there is lots of space for humor. The demands on people to get thin or thinner in the entertainment industry are indeed often “unachievable.”  I am convinced most people resort to simply not eating, or “fasting.” This is maybe not the worst thing possible, for both ancient tradition and modern scientific research have validated it, for brief periods with plenty of water.

Read more on Most Diets Are At Least Good For A Laugh…

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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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This is an update of a previous post:
http://estelletobygoldstein.com/?p=50

Science keeps changing and moving forward so quickly that even an avowed knowledge addict like me can sometimes do little more than hang on for the ride.

Back when I wrote my earlier post, I already knew for sure that I wanted to live for as close to forever as possible.  Calorie restriction had been touted as one possible way to do do so, and change in the gut flora was one possible mechanism. Read more on Update On Calories and Longevity…

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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 read a joke once about a husband’s preemptive strike in the bedroom.  He walks in holding two aspirin and a glass of water.  When his wife asks what it’s for he says it’s for her headache.  She replies “But I don’t have a headache.”  “Gotcha!”

Headaches are no fun, so we might as well get a little chuckle at their expense.  And if you suffer from sinus headaches, there might be quick and inexpensive relief your doctor hasn’t shared with you.

Listen, I have had allergies since I was small but sinus headaches have been rare.  That is, until I got my complete dental implants.  They have wildly improved my quality of life, but I have had more intense and regular sinus headaches as a result.  My surgeon had removed teeth prior to the implants and freely admitted he had been up in my sinus area.  He said I could see an ear nose and throat specialist if the sinus headaches became too much of a problem.  He tried to ignore my laughter as I told him I could fix this myself. Read more on What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Sinus Headaches…

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“There’s no such thing as a free lunch” – but there are plenty of free samples when you go to your doctor’s office for a prescription.

Be wary of free samples.

What? Am I asking you to look a gift pill in the mouth? Drugs are expensive, even the co-pay for drugs can be expensive.  What’s wrong with getting a freebie?

First, the drug companies that make them do not give them out forever.  Usually, they give out samples on a newer drug as part of a launch – kinda like a “grand opening” at a store.  The prices are really great that first week and it gets you trained to go to that store.

Another reason drug companies discontinue free samples is that, very often, the insurance companies or government programs may not have them on the “formulary” (the list of available drugs) right away.  As soon as the relevant insurance (mediCal in California) starts paying for them, you can say “Bye-bye” to free samples. Read more on Free Samples Might Carry Heavy Cost — Health…

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