I wrote this post two years ago, but the movie is now available on Netflix. It’s worth watching, although the book goes into much more detail so I definitely recommend you read it, too, if you like medical mysteries. FN
As a twenty-something cub reporter in New York, Ms. Cahalan began experiencing strange, seemingly unconnected symptoms, such as forgetfulness, paranoia and the sensation …
read on How hot will your city be in the year 2100?
I’m still undecided if earth’s warming trend is the result of man-made emissions or just another cycle that will come and go like others throughout the millennia.
Whatever the cause, I love this interactive map from
Climate Central. Find your city on the map and it will tell you what the average summer temperatures will be in 2100.
read on How to choose a sunscreen—what works?
Do you know what to look for when choosing a sunscreen product?
Do you understand what SPF means and which ingredients offer effective protection?
If you aren’t reading labels, and are judging by brand, price or marketing claims alone, you might not be getting the best deal.
So what should you look for on a label?
Because protection from UVA rays is more difficult …
read on A symptom of a broken system
A recent trip to my primary care physician highlighted one of my biggest complaints as a “healthcare consumer”: a complete lack of transparency about what things cost.
How are patients (I hate the word consumer) supposed to make thoughtful, cost-conscious decisions about healthcare when it’s impossible to know what any service costs before we buy?
Out-of-control costs is just a symptom of underlying illness. …
read on Allergy vs severe reaction
Bees, wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, and fire ants all belong to the same order of insects,
, so their venoms cause similar reactions if you are stung or bitten. Hymenoptera
People’s bodies react in one of three ways:
85-90% experience a small local reaction—pain, redness and some swelling just around the sting site. 10% experience what is called a “large local reaction”—pain, itching, redness and swelling
read on When will these double-digit increases stop?
OK, it’s June and that means it’s time for my annual rant about ever-increasing health insurance premiums.
In my state, Washington, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner just
. posted the proposed rate increases
Not in Washington? Use
to find the insurance commissioner in your state and search for rate increases. this interactive map
By law these requests have to be made public and …
read on When did medicine become “healthcare”?
I recently read
by Victoria Sweet, MD. Slow Medicine: The Way to Healing
The book’s introduction captured my attention immediately. In it, Dr. Sweet describes the downward spiral her elderly father suffered when he was admitted to a hospital.
At 90-something he was in pretty good health; in an ironic turn, the hospital almost killed him with unnecessary diagnostic tests and prescription drugs.
Even though …
read on Surprise medical bills can catch you by, well, surprise Bottom line on top: If you’re the victim of a surprise medical bill, there are resources to help you.
After several years of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many of us are resigned to high premiums, high deductibles and small provider networks.
We try to be good healthcare “consumers” (as if we really want to buy healthcare!) by reading the fine …
read on Extreme viewpoints entertain, not educate
I finally got around to watching the Netflix documentary
. What the Health Bottom line on top: This film is too extreme and manipulative to be a good source of information.
In short, the filmmakers cherry pick statistics and use fear mongering to promote their hypothesis that veganism is the only healthy lifestyle choice. That is a gross oversimplification of a complex and hard-to-study topic—nutrition.…
read on Younger is better, but… Bottom line on top: There is a benefit to getting the HPV vaccine after 26. that not only cause cervical cancer, but mouth, throat and anal cancers, as well. The HPV vaccine protects against the most common types of viruses
It’s most effective when given before a child becomes sexually active.
But what about all the 20-somethings out there who didn’t have access to this vaccine? …