Diseases

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Do You Want to Prevent a Stroke? Behave This Way

Working on my book over 10 years ago, I already knew from experience that behaviors - not mysterious diseases - are the cause most of today’s illnesses. After years as a critical care nurse, I saw how medical treatments arrive too late in the game – way too late – to spare people the pain and suffering that comes from having a chronic disease or suffering a catastrophic health event like a stroke. Nobody was talking much back then about health risks or the behaviors that create them, but they are now.

Study after study keeps proving that certain lifestyle behaviors promote health and prevent disease. Two recent studies – one published in the British Journal of Medicine  and one in the journal Circulation- both showed how specific lifestyle behaviors dramatically reduce stroke risk.

Read this post to see what those behaviors are.

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Vitamin D Update – Are 3 out of 4 Americans Really Deficient?

Six months ago, in September 2008, I wrote a post on vitamin D. Since then info keeps pouring in about the apparent benefit of this supplement. This month researchers at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine reported that three out of four Americans are deficient in vitamin D. They claim that’s up from about one out two 20 years ago. Some have argued that it might just seem that way because of how vitamin D was measured then and now.

After I researched and wrote that post 6 months ago, I started measuring my patients’ vitamin D levels. I am shocked at the results.

Read this post to see what vitamin D levels are like here in the “Sunshine State” of Florida.

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Unleashing Your Inner Olympian

I was talking to a diabetic patient of mine one day who was was worried about the an upcoming trip to Disney with his grand-daughter where he would have to do more walking than he was accustomed to. I asked him if he exercised. He held up his hand in a “stop right there” gesture and said, “Do not speak to me about exercise, I follow the religion of comfort and exercise is uncomfortable.” His statement left me completely speechless (and if you knew me you would appreciate how uncharacteristic that is).

This post is for all of you who have lost touch with your inner Olympian.

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Jumping JUPITER – Do You Know Your CRP?

One of the biggest splashes in medicine this year came when, in November 2008, the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a study called JUPITER.

It has the whole medical world talking. This study was done to see if taking a cholesterol-lowering statin drug for primary prevention would help healthy people prevent heart attacks, strokes, heart bypass surgery, hospitalization for chest pain, and death from cardiovascular events. It did.

Read on to see why this study may change national treatment guidelines and what your health provider recommends to reduce your health risks.

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Alcohol and Medications – Are You Making Smart Choices?

The holidays are here and many of us will be attending celebrations where alcohol is served. If you take medications and drink occasionally (or even regularly), you face a dilemma. Should you take your medications when you drink?

What’s the smart choice? You may be surprised at the answer.

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How a Heart CT Scan Led to My Bypass Surgery

At his regular checkup, this man’s doctor recommended he get an expensive screening test called a heart CT scan (aka EBCT). This test is not covered by insurance and is not recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Even though he was having no symptoms, he chose to go ahead pay for the test himself and he’s glad he did. He has graciously allowed me to publish his story hoping it might help others. Read it here.

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Bloating or Ovarian Cancer? Six Common Symptoms of an Uncommon Disease

The risk of having any form of cancer is scary but ovarian cancer is scarier than most. In June of 2007, the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation, the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC), and the American Cancer Society agreed on six symptoms that can help detect ovarian cancer early if women and their health providers both keep them in mind. Read about what they are and get some tips on how to avoid unnecessary worry.

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