Along With the Pleasures of the High Season's Warmth and WonderfulTemperance Come Certain Risks

Enjoying summertime - without a slice of Lyme

Ah, it's finally really summer. And in parts of the rain-drenched eastern U.S., it was a long time coming

However, along with all the pleasures of the high season's warmth and wonderful temperance come certain risks. If you listen to the shrill mainstream, those risks are skin cancer, sunstroke, heat exhaustion and the like - all maladies that today's conventional medical minds associate with exposure to sunlight. I wonder: How did the human race survive before SPF 45? Were we nocturnal?

But as so often happens here in the Daily Dose, I digress

What I actually want to talk about is a REAL summer health threat: The rampant, deer-tick-borne Lyme disease, to be precise about it. Now you've heard me talk plenty on this subject before - but some new developments on the scene are worth mentioning

First, a recap: As you may have read in my Real Health newsletter, in early 2002, drug giant Glaxo/SmithKline yanked from the market its heavily marketed Limerix Lyme disease vaccine, citing lackluster sales. But the real reason may have more to do with the CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT that alleges the vaccine can cause arthritis in 20 to 30 percent of the folks taking it

In the void left by Limerix (it was the only such vaccine on the market), conventional medicine has gone back to treating Lyme disease the old-fashioned way - with tons of antibiotics! And as we know, these have their downsides, too - as they can give rise to strains of super-resistant bacteria which could conceivably put everyone on the planet at greater risk of infection.

There's good news, though: It turns out that Lyme disease is treatable with a far smaller course of antibiotics than was originally thought. In fact, the most recent research suggests that LESS THAN HALF of the amount of doxycycline (or other antibiotics) typically prescribed for the elimination of Lyme disease is just as effective as the standard course.

Why is this good news? Because the less drugs you have to take to get well, the better. Period. Exclamation point.

An even better course of action is to prevent yourself from getting Lyme disease in the first place. Here's how: Stay out of the weeds and tall grass (I'm talking to you, golfers!), cover up with gloves, long sleeves, and long pants if you're gardening, and use a commercially-made anti-tick spray containing DEET. And don't skimp, either - it's way cheaper than the drugs!

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Giving the phrase "worried sick" a whole new meaning

You know how I feel about depression: If you ask me, it's the most over-diagnosed condition on the American medical landscape today - in most cases little more than a scam to peddle prescription drugs to the impressionable and mentally weak

But regardless of the modern scope (and profit) of so-called "depression," the power of the mind to affect the body in profound and dramatic ways cannot be denied. It's a connection I've long believed in - one that, ironically, mainstream doctors (yep, the same ones diagnosing depression at the drop of a pill) often ignore completely.

Repeated studies have plainly illustrated the mind/body (psychosomatic) link, but none I've ever heard of do it more starkly than a massive European study I just learned about. You'd better sit down - because this one will floor you if you aren't. Conducted in the mid 1990s in Norway, the survey-based research involving 60,000+ people over two years revealed this startling truth:

Worrying about cancer can actually GIVE YOU CANCER.

The research showed that those among the vast test group who scored highest on an anxiety test were 25 percent MORE LIKELY to have developed pre-cancerous conditions than those who scored in the normal to low range. That's right: The study's more anxiety-ridden people literally worried themselves sick! And not just with headaches, insomnia, or the digestive issues commonly associated with stress and depression - but with scary precursors to the Big C! Now, I'm not much for pop psychology, but if this doesn't prove the mind-body connection, I don't know what would.

This research just goes to show that the stressful effects of bona-fide (not drug-induced) depression can be deadly. It's a well-known medical fact that these stressors can severely compromise a normally healthy immune system. Too bad most mainstream doctors don't seem to consider this cruel irony when they give patients "information" that's likely to cause anxiety or dismay

Because one in four of them could worry themselves to death.

DEETermined to fight off Lyme disease,
William Campbell Douglass II, MD