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
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
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
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
What is deprescribing?
As an advocate for less medicine and better health, I love the latest healthcare trend of “deprescribing,” or cutting down the number of prescription drugs a patient is taking.
Dr. Aaron Carroll of Healthcare Triage explains the importance of deprescribing in this video:
Polypharmacy—taking multiple prescription drugs—has become much more common over the last couple of decades. There are more drugs than ever on the market, and the drug companies are spending billions of dollars to make sure we know all about them.
Related post: Bohemian Polypharmacy
The elderly are especially … Continue reading
Any nurse who has worked in an emergency department, especially in a children’s hospital, dreads the Fourth of July.
We’ve seen what fireworks can do to a hand. Or a face. It’s not pretty. (Look on YouTube if you don’t believe me.)
Every state has its own laws on what fireworks are legal. Many cities and communities ban fireworks because of fire danger.
But even legal fireworks are risky and bans don’t necessarily stop people from doing stupid things.
The American Academy of Pediatrics makes this statement on their website:
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) continues to urge families
… Continue reading
Arthritis is a pain
I have osteoarthritis. I also have carpal tunnel and some other overuse injuries that are a result of using my hands a lot over the years.
Arthritis runs in my family, but some level of arthritis is just a natural part of aging.
(I don’t mean rheumatoid arthritis, which is a different animal. It’s an autoimmune disease that affects the whole body and can strike at an early age.)
I can live with my hand and foot pain during the day when I’m active and not thinking about it much. But at night when I’m trying … Continue reading
And frugal, too!
I’m so lucky because my husband LOVES making homemade yogurt.
Several years ago, I bought him a yogurt maker for Christmas. He told me once that he used to make his own yogurt when he was in college, so I thought he would enjoy trying it again.
He sure did! 😀
Homemade yogurt has become a staple in our diet, and it is so superior to store-bought brands, I can’t even describe it. You need to eat some to understand.
Anyone who loves yogurt should try making it at home. It’s easy to do with either an … Continue reading
And brain health awareness, too!
At this time, there is no drug or treatment to prevent Alzheimer’s or dementia. The best advice is that what is good for your heart is good for your brain, too.
Related post: Don’t buy supplements to prevent Alzheimer’s
Embracing a healthy lifestyle is our best chance to reduce the risk of developing dementia as we age.
That means moderate physical exercise every day, a calorie-appropriate diet full of a wide variety of nutrients, and lots of mental stimulation.
Related post: Do “brain games” prevent dementia?
Socializing and mental exercises help improve brain … Continue reading
I’m writing this on Memorial Day while gazing out my window at an (unusually) sunny and warm Seattle day.
We’re on the cusp of summer! 😎
Here is a collection of some of my most popular posts about staying safe during the summer, including information about sunscreens and insect repellents, and first aid tips for burns, bites and too much sun. Stay safe! FN
An SPF rating is an estimate of how effectively a sunscreen product reduces the time it takes your skin to burn. Some sunscreens use chemical barriers, like oxybenzone, and others use physical … Continue reading