Habits

 

 

December 9th, 2019

How do we change when making a conscious significant decision is difficult?

The answer really lies in what works for you.

Developing a habit maybe the inflection point for meaningful change. Think about the New Year's Resolution that many people try yearly. They hit the gym or change up their eating plan aggressively only to fade away from the behavior because of the difficulty in maintaining such a draconian change.

Read more ...

What did we learn in 2019?


December 9, 2019

 This is the year end edition of the SPA newsletter. This is the end of 9 years of writing and somewhere around 934 articles. This is always a great time to reflect on this year's learning and the themes that are developing in human health. This was an interesting year as many cutting edge scientific advances are gaining prominence in medical journals and not just the basic science literature. We are getting significantly smarter about the causes of disease. The comical part is that the answers have been around for a thousand years!

Read more ...

BB Guns

 

 December 2nd, 2019

BB guns and non lethal projectile firearms

Ove a 26 year period Dr. Jones and colleagues looked at the injuries related to non powder and non lethal firearms in over 360,000 patient emergency visits.

"From 1990 to 2016, the number and rate of nonpowder firearm injuries decreased by 47.8% and 54.5%, respectively.

Read more ...

Influenza 2019


December 2, 2019

 Influenza season is starting in the United States. "During 2010-2016, the incidence of symptomatic influenza among vaccinated and unvaccinated US residents, including both medically attended and nonattended infections, was approximately 8% and varied from 3% to 11% among seasons." (Tokars et. al. 2018) Last year's flu season was not particularly rough in North Carolina, however, influenza claims 10's of thousands of lives a year in this country, especially among the elderly. According to the CDC there were 143 pediatric deaths last year primarily among young children and children with chronic health conditions of which the majority were not vaccinated. (CDC stats)

Every year, I blog about this virus primarily to keep it fresh on your mind in order to prepare and secondarily because it causes so much morbidity and mortality. There is never a good time to ignore this virus and its potential to cause havoc. Influenza comes back to annoy us every year and it is hard to completely avoid by quarantining yourself.

Read more ...

Choices

 

 

Novemeber 25th, 2019 

Perth Amboy Raritan Bay, NJ

People that know me will tell you that this is my favorite word. The word "choice" pervades everything around us. Did you go left or right? Did you sleep in or get up and seize the day? Did you act in a kind way or not? There is always a choice even when you think that there is not. On that note and with great pleasure, I will share a link to Jeff Bezos' 2010 commencement speech at Princeton University.

Read more ...

Back to sleep - what is the story in 2019?


November 25, 2019

 Sudden infant death syndrome, SIDS, is a sad and serious disease that we still know very little about. One risk factor that has been nailed down scientifically is sleeping prone as an infant. Dr. John Kattwinkel at the University of Virginia developed the Back To Sleep program that significantly reduced SIDS issues nationally.

In the Journal Pediatrics this month, Dr. Hirai and colleagues looked at socioeconomic demographics and guideline adherence in the US.

Read more ...

Diabetes Cookbook

Novemeber 18th, 2019

Our very own Mark Allison has just published a new book related to diabetes.

Dr. M

In Let's Be Smart About Diabetes, Chef Mark William Allison shares the family recipes and nutrition knowledge that have kept his type 1 diabetic son active and healthy throughout his life. For anyone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, Let's Be Smart About Diabetes will show you how to: *Regulate your blood sugar by taking the guesswork out of eating and preparing the foods you enjoy*Prepare over 150 delicious, nourishing, easy-to-make recipes *Shop for food and eat out *Gain control over diabetes permanently, giving you energy and a new lease on life. Let's Be Smart About Diabetes brings together recipes tested by people with diabetes, knowledge about the disease and nutrition information that make the book a comprehensive tool to help you and your family control diabetes and live a healthy, active life.

Link to Amazon

 

Autoimmune Triggers?

 

 

 

November 18th, 2019

This is a reprint from a year ago as this data is getting more frustrating and scary. Too many people are yet unaware of this problem.

BPA or bisphenol A is a chemical that was first brought to commercial levels in the 1950's. It is a base material used in the production of plastics and resins. It became a major concern for safety after it was found to act like estrogenic hormones in mammals.

Read more ...

To say yes is to say no to something or someone else and visa versa.


November 18, 2019

 This phrase has been said by many different people over the millennia and most people struggle with it's truth. However, if you really spend some quality time looking and understanding the meaning of the sentence, you will realize that the meaning is critical for us to not only understand but to live. We often say yes to too many things that disrupt our real mission and joy in order to not offend or please another. This is not a way to conduct a meaningful life.

This morning, I listened to a podcast with Ric Elias, CEO of Red Ventures and survivor of US Airways flight 1549 that crash landed in the Hudson River in 2009.

Read more ...

Is Parkinson's Disease autoimmune?

 

November 11th, 2019

In the July 2019 edition of Nature, Diana Matheoud writes a riveting letter about Parkinson's disease. The article discusses the research in mice that are prone to the mouse version of Parkinson's like disease.

Parkinson's disease is a neuro-degenerative disorder affecting older Americans roughly 60,000 times a year. By 2020, 1,000,000 Americans will have this devastating disease. The disease is based on a diminishing volume of the neurotransmitter dopamine in a critical motor region of the brain called the substantia nigra. Over time, patients with Parkinson's disease lose motor function beginning with extremity tremors and ending with severe rigidity. (Parkinson's Foundation website)

Read more ...

Screens and Young Children


November 11, 2019

 What does the data show us about screen usage in young children? In the Journal JAMA Pediatrics this month, Dr. Hutton and colleagues looked at screen usage in 47 prekindergarten children over a 14 month period. This cross sectional analysis was used to look at the effects of screen usage on brain white matter tracts that are involved in speech and reading.

The authors state: "This study found an association between increased screen-based media use, compared with the AAP guidelines, and lower microstructural integrity of brain white matter tracts supporting language and emergent literacy skills in prekindergarten children." (Hutton et. al. 2019)

Read more ...

Let's Be Smart About Diabetes

November 4th, 2019

Our very own Mark Allison has just published a new book related to diabetes.

Dr. M

In Let's Be Smart About Diabetes, Chef Mark William Allison shares the family recipes and nutrition knowledge that have kept his type 1 diabetic son active and healthy throughout his life. For anyone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, Let's Be Smart About Diabetes will show you how to: *Regulate your blood sugar by taking the guesswork out of eating and preparing the foods you enjoy*Prepare over 150 delicious, nourishing, easy-to-make recipes *Shop for food and eat out *Gain control over diabetes permanently, giving you energy and a new lease on life. Let's Be Smart About Diabetes brings together recipes tested by people with diabetes, knowledge about the disease and nutrition information that make the book a comprehensive tool to help you and your family control diabetes and live a healthy, active life.

Link to Amazon

 

The Drive

 November 4th, 2019

Peter Attia has a vary important podcast for you to listen to: #71episode,

Katherine Eban, investigative journalist and author of Bottle of Lies, illuminates the prevalence of fraud in generic drug manufacturing which brings into question the idea that generics are identical to brand-name drug as we are lead to believe. Katherine walks us through how this widespread corruption came to be, including the shocking story of one particularly egregious (and unfortunately not uncommon) example of an Indian drug company, Ranbaxy, whose business model was completely dependent on falsifying data in their drug applications to the FDA.

Read more ...

Quick Hits 2


November 4, 2019

 

1) Developmental delay is on the rise! The prevalence and trends of childhood developmental disabilities in the US from 2009 to 2017 were analyzed by Dr. Zablotsky and colleagues in the journal Pediatrics last month. Autism Spectrum Disorder rose from 1.1% to 2.5%. Attention Deficit Disorder increased from 8.5 to 9.5%. General intellectual disability changed from 0.9 to 1.2%. The authors and a secondary commentary by Dr. Durkin believe that the increase is related to better screening criteria and improved survival of at risk populations.

Read more ...

Derek Sivers

 

 October 28th, 2019

Derek Sivers

I have three mentors.

When I'm stuck on a problem and need their help, I take the time to write a good description of my dilemma, before reaching out to them.

I summarize the context, the problem, my options, and thoughts on each. I make it as succinct as possible so as not to waste their time.

Before sending it, I try to predict what they'll say. Then I go back and update what I wrote to address these obvious points in advance.

Read more ...

Let us look at water this week


October 28, 2019

 

Water makes up over 70% of the Earth's surface. Most of it is salty. Humans are made up of between 45% and 78% water at any given time in our lives with higher volumes at younger years. Muscles are 70% water and fat stores are 10-40% water. (Reibi et. al. 2013)

Water is vital to our survival. We can survive for many weeks without food, however, without water, death will creep up in days. (Popkin et. al. 2010)

Read more ...

Biodiversity is the Key!

October 14th, 2019

Over the past few years, many thought leaders in Functional Medicine are looking away from probiotics as a major treatment tool.

If you want to have a healthy intestinal microbiome, then you need to look at the volume of fiber that you consume. Bacteria have differing fiber choices to eat with a diverse whole foods diet. When we consume oats, seeds, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, legumes and other fibrous foods in a random pattern, we allow the bacteria that exist in our intestine to have a quality food source.

Read more ...

Antibiotic Resistance - Part 2:


October 14, 2019

 

What can we do to stem the tide of this mess?

"The rapid emergence of resistant bacteria is occurring worldwide, endangering the efficacy of antibiotics. Implementation of recommended steps, such as the adoption of antibiotic stewardship programs; improving diagnosis, tracking and prescribing practices; optimizing therapeutic regimens; and preventing infection transmission, are expected to be effective in managing this crisis.

Read more ...

Cancer Avoidance and Treatment

October 7th, 2019

After finishing the talk on Autoimmunity and the environment last Thursday, I read about a lovely new theory on cancer. It is believed that we are exposed to cancer inducing environments not too infrequently meaning that we all develop cancer cells more often than we think. In a fascinating new article in the August edition of the Journal Scientific American, Drs. DeGregori and Gatenby take us on a new theory journey of cancer and it's treatment.

They liken the cancer biology to be akin to Darwin's natural selection theory with survival of the fittest reigning supreme. Thinking outside of the box has often been the route to new ideas, treatments and cures in medicine.

Read more ...

Antibiotic Resistance - Part 1:


October 7, 2019

Antibiotic Resistance is a continually evolving problem in medicine and society. Historically, significant antibiotic resistance was confined to the hospitals and intensive care units. Over the past decade, these bacterial resistance issues have entered the everyday world with the likes of MRSA, methicillin resistant Staphlococcus aureus.

In the primary care, urgent and emergent care clinics, we are seeing children every day with MRSA abscess/skin infections. Fortunately, we still have 2 good oral antibiotics to fight this trouble maker. Hypothetically,

Read more ...