Heart and Cardiovascular

  1. No Sweat

    No Sweat

    For the past few decades, we've been continually bombarded by exercise propaganda that tells us bouncing around and working up a sweat is the key to good health.

    But I still maintain that if you have a good diet, low in carbohydrates and vegetable fats and high in animal fats and animal protein, and if you take adequate amounts of testosterone, creatine, and human growth hormone, exercise isn't really needed at all to maintain muscle mass and good health. Exercise will, of course, increase exercise tolerance, but that does not guarantee that you are going to live longer. I recommend a book titled The Exercise Myth, by Henry A. Solomon, M.D., for a good perspective on this subject.

    However, for people in a sedentary job, which means most of us, a moderate amount of weightlifting is a good thing. For people entering middle age, it's more than a good thing; it is essential to preventing muscular atrophy. Creatine is a useful adjunct to this; so is testosterone if blood levels are low and in most men, testosterone levels begin dropping by the age of 40.

    (Of course, it's always a good idea to have hormone levels tested before your start supplementing.)

    Cut heartburn without a knife

    You go to your doctor with heartburn. He agrees with your diagnosis. You've tried the drugstore remedies, and they have been ineffective. You ask him what can be done, "Well," he replies cheerfully, "why don't we try surgery?"

    You are dumbfounded by this preposterous idea. Countering with a smile of your own, you ask: "What will they do, cut out my esophagus?"

    Your doctor chuckles, "No, no, nothing quite that drastic." We're just talking gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), here, not cancer. The surgeon just wraps a little of your stomach around the end of your esophagus and you're as good as new."

    Tell your doctor you'll get back to him on this one. Surgeons have been doing this procedure for 10 years at the rate of 35,000 a year and the latest study shows dismal results. It's strange that surgeons can get away with doing just about anything they want in experimenting on patients - there is no controlling body among surgeons to prevent them for doing irresponsible things. However, if a medical doctor attempts something not approved by the medical board, say hydrogen peroxide therapy or phototherapy of the blood, he will lose his license. Or he at least will be reprimanded and put on probation.

    GERD is not a simple medical problem, and surgery is not the answer. Everything imaginable has been tried, and the success rate is still low. One recent study found that chewing gum has a positive effect for many patients. There is a scientific basis for this. Chewing gum causes a significant increase in salivary volume. Saliva is rich in esophago-protective factors, including epidermal growth factor, mucin, proteins and prostaglandin E2.

    I have found that freshly squeezed cabbage juice, one 8-ounce glass as often as needed, can often be remarkably effective.

  2. No heart failure epidemic

    No heart failure epidemic

    You see a lot written about heart failure these days. It's been called "an emerging epidemic in the Medicare population."

    This is due to a burgeoning elderly population that will, naturally, increase the number of deaths each year.

    There are only a few ways the Grim Reaper collects his customers: trauma, renal failure, respiratory failure, and heart failure. Doesn't cancer cause death, you might ask? No, it doesn't: It causes one of the above, and that's what kills you - the same is true for infection, Alzheimer's disease, AIDS and even stroke.

    In the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers report on "the dismal prognosis for heart failure in older persons." Of course, it's dismal. Death is always dismal except in the movies. It's like the old adage says, "Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die." That's the way I make my living - helping you to delay the slamming of the door.

    "As the U.S. population ages, the number of heart-failure patients over 65 is expected to double. While death rates have declined for coronary heart disease, stroke, and most complications of hypertension, the mortality of heart failure seems to be unchanged in recent decades," reports the author of this study. What is happening is that science has reduced the mortality rate from hardening of the arteries, which cause the three diseases mentioned above.

    The researchers added that, based on data from the Framingham Heart Study in 1993, survival following a diagnosis of heart failure might be worse than the prognosis for most types of cancer.

    If you're happy and you know it

    Do you have grief deprivation? Has your life been ruined by a newfound happiness? Are you depressed because you are no longer depressed?

    Is this a joke? Apparently not, if you can believe The New York Times. The Times reports that, according to psychiatrists, "uplift anxiety" is "an emerging mental health condition" that describes problems incurred by Prozac users unsettled by their new happiness.

    I have always wondered if unhappy people didn't actually enjoy being miserable. It certainly can't be true of all depressed people; nevertheless, I suspect it is true of a lot of those in the Prozac/Paxil crowd. They grieve for their old miserable selves. It's akin to losing your pet dog. As one writer expressed it, "The most fundamental aspect of yourself (unhappiness) has been ripped away."

  3. Giving strokes the brush

    Well, it has been known for some time that infected teeth and gums (a condition known as periodontal disease) can lead to heart disease.
  4. Grab your gun-- before your doctor does

    There is a small coalition of doctors who are using medicine to hide their REAL political agenda - gun control.

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