Need more info? Check out these vaccination resources
In 1998, the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine was FALSELY reported to be associated with autism.
The doctor who published that report has since been disgraced and the report itself debunked. In fact, research has shown again and again that there is no link between the MMR vaccine and autism.
However, the fear persists. Worse, the fear extends to ALL vaccines, not just the MMR.
What happens when a significant number of children aren’t vaccinated? We get disease outbreaks, such as the recent outbreaks of whooping cough, measles, and … Continue reading
Choosing Wisely to prevent overtreatment
I’ve been a fan of the healthcare consumer group, Choosing Wisely, for several years.
Collaborating with Consumer Reports, Choosing Wisely brings evidence-based healthcare information to patients. Their goal is to educate patients and physicians, and support informed decision making.
Shared decision making not only prevents patient harm from overtreating, but brings down escalating healthcare costs by eliminating unnecessary diagnostic tests and procedures. (Healthcare waste accounts for billions of dollars every year!)
Now it’s even easier to get access to their information.
The healthcare app, iTriage, has added 160 of Choosing Wisely’s recommendations to … Continue reading
Rethinking LDLs (low-density lipoproteins)
I’ve posted a couple of times about my husband’s high LDL level and his attempts to lower it through diet and exercise.
I’ve also said that because he doesn’t have any other risk factors for heart disease, we aren’t too worried about it. But the engineer in him likes the challenge of seeing how low he can get his LDL.
When I saw this recent YouTube video, however, I had to ask him to watch it. What if everything we think we know about LDL levels is wrong? What if so-called bad cholesterol isn’t really … Continue reading
Because happiness and health are linked
I read an article over the weekend that resonated with me: 10 secrets of happiness that I’ve learnt from my patients
Most of these tips seem pretty obvious, but it’s always surprising to me how easy it is for people to live for years in various states of misery before trying to fix what’s wrong in their lives.
I remember a primary care doctor telling me that so many of his patients came to his office with nothing physically wrong. They were just lonely, unhappy, bored, or stressed.
All these negative emotions can have … Continue reading
I’m a day late, but since I don’t post on Wednesdays, I have to celebrate Book Lovers Day today instead 🙂
Not surprisingly, most of the books I read these days are related to healthcare. But that doesn’t mean they are all written like textbooks. I’m always on the lookout for authors who can transform complex and often boring subjects into entertaining reading material.
Here’s a short list of some of my favorites. Happy Book Lovers Day!
(FYI–These are Amazon links, but I include them for your information only. Although I use Amazon on occasion, I prefer to get my … Continue reading
The fermented foods bible
Our niece recently gave my husband a fascinating book: The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz.
He’s already an enthusiastic yogurt maker, bread baker, beer brewer and kombucha fermenter (is that a verb?). But this book has increased his knowledge and his projects several-fold, and by extension I’ve learned a lot about the health benefits of fermented foods, too.
Fermented foods include, but are by no means limited to, pickles, sourdough, yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, soy sauce, kimchi, sour cream, cheese, beer, wine, cider, tempeh, kombucha, kefir, and saki.
Most cultures have some kind of fermented … Continue reading
Learn more about your local water supply
I think the water crisis in Flint, MI, a couple of years ago made everyone question the safety of drinking unfiltered tap water.
A recent report shows that almost 70% Americans believe their community’s water is at risk, especially in more urban areas. No wonder we’re buying more bottled water than ever!
But, despite some significant fails, our tap water is some of the cleanest and safest in the world. And do we really want to spend all that money on bottled water?
Rather than worry needlessly about what’s in your tap … Continue reading
Healthy living abroad
My husband dreams of retiring abroad to a tropical country, like Belize, Panama or Costa Rica.
While I’m not quite as attracted to year-long sun and beaches (we Northwest natives have an aversion to too much sunshine), the idea of a less stressful lifestyle coupled with low-cost healthcare definitely makes me think about it.
He showed me a recent email he received from an expat living in Ecuador, and it made me realize just how much our American lifestyles and our healthcare system work together to keep us unhealthy.
In the email, this man described how much … Continue reading
Unnecessary tests = unnecessary expense
This is a follow up to my last post about the dangers of too much medical care.
One of the biggest doors leading to an overabundance of healthcare and healthcare costs is the annual exam and all the “routine” lab work that is ordered almost without thought.
Doctors’ offices strive to be efficient. They have a lot of patients to see every day, after all.
One way they streamline their practices is to set up routine or “standing” orders for common lab tests, such as an electrocardiogram (EKG), complete blood count (CBC), urinalysis (UA), … Continue reading
Too much testing = too much medicine
I just ran across an old doctor joke: What is a well person? Someone who hasn’t yet been thoroughly examined.
It’s not funny, of course, if you’re the patient and have suffered the harms—and the expense—of too much medical care.
In 2010, my husband was the victim of too much medical care. Because of complications and a string of medical errors he almost died. His care cost our insurance company over $100,000 and we were out of pocket for our $10,000 deductible.
Now he has no thyroid and has to take medication every … Continue reading