1. The four great diabetes myths

    The four great diabetes myths

    The headline in Time magazine certainly caught my eye: "5 Ways to Avoid Diabetes -- Without Medications."

    Some 80 million Americans are teetering on the brink of diabetes, ready to join the 20 million who already have the disease -- so if someone has a drug-free plan to help avoid this train wreck, I'm all ears.

    Turns out I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up -- because the headline refers to a new study filled with the same tired advice that helped CAUSE the diabetes epidemic in the first place.

    Of those “Five Ways," only one is on target: avoid obesity. But if you follow the other Four Ways, you're practically guaranteed to find yourself fat and facing disease -- not to mention a lifetime supply of medication.

    So instead of the rest of the “Five Ways," I bring you the Four Great Myths perpetuated by the new study in The Annals of Internal Medicine:

    Myth # 1: Eat a low-fat, high fiber diet. Millions of Americans already try to follow a low-fat, high-fiber diet. You know what we call them? Diabetics.

    Myth # 2: Exercise. I'm all for healthy movements throughout the day -- but the research here is crystal clear. A furious exercise session at the end of the day won't lower your risk of chronic illness or an early death -- and it won't even help you to lose weight. Period.

    Myth # 3: Quit smoking. A study last year, also in The Annals of Internal Medicine, found that smokers who quit have a 73 percent HIGHER risk of coming down with diabetes. Enough said.

    Myth #4: Drink little to no booze. Teetotalers have a higher risk of diabetes than moderate boozers, and studies have reached that same conclusion over and over again. So drink up -- to your health!

    Let me cut to the chase now, because you don't need five steps to avoid diabetes without medications -- these two will do just fine:

    1) Skip sugar and most of the other carbs.

    2) Eat plenty of fresh animal protein and fats.

    That's it. And yes, it really is that easy. Doubt me? Try it! I dare you to prove me wrong.

  2. Drug combo puts seniors in grave danger

    Drug combo puts seniors in grave danger

    America is one of the most over-medicated societies on the planet. So is it any wonder that adverse drug interactions in people over 65 result in more than 175,000 emergency room visits every year?

    Study author Dima M. Qato from the University of Chicago says that nearly 30 percent of seniors are taking at least five prescription medications. Add to this the pervasiveness of over-the-counter drugs, and you'll see that drug interactions are ticking time bombs.

    According to Qato, pharmacists are often the last line of defense for many of these elderly, and he encourages them to ask older patients about ALL the medications they use. "This is especially important in patients who see multiple providers and patients that fill at multiple pharmacies," Qato said.

    According to Qato's research, one of the most common and potentially deadly drug combos discovered in this new study was blood thinners with aspirin. And I bet I know why: many people these days hardly even consider aspirin a "drug." It's no stretch to think that many would take their prescription blood thinner like warfarin in the morning, and then pop a couple of aspirin in the afternoon without giving it a second thought. But by doubling up on two blood thinning-drugs, the risk of bleeding goes through the roof.

    And it's not just the combination of prescription drugs with over-the-counter drugs - it's dietary supplements, too. Even Gingko with aspirin can jack up the potential for bleeding.

    There's much talk of putting a better system in place to alleviate this problem. But at the end of the day, it's on you - the patient - to act as your own advocate and ask the right questions.

  3. Big Pharma tries to cash in on smoking disease

    A recent article in the Annals of Internal Medicine advocates that tobacco dependency should be declared a medical disease. Incredibly, the authors of this article are doctors who profit directly from the pharmaceutical firms that would be reaping the huge financial benefits from this declaration.
  4. Drug Peddling Senior Citizens Syndicate

    I never thought prescription pushing would sink this low: A recent Associated Press article reveals that authorities in Kentucky have busted a drug peddling syndicate that rivals a New York narcotics ring - among senior citizens

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