Remember when you ate too much ice cream as a kid and afterwards your tummy ached? Fast forward to your adult experience. What if the drug you are taking is too high a dosage or has side effects? A tummy ache may be the least of your worries given the other possible adverse effects.
According to experts in drug policy, many Canadians are over-medicated and at risk from the effects of pharmaceutical drugs.
Dr. James McCormack, a professor of pharmaceutical sciences at UBC, suggests that physicians inform a patient about a drug treatment’s benefits versus its risks and engage in shared, informed decision-making. Patients’ responses to medication vary widely, says McCormack, who doesn’t mince words about the marketing used for drug dosages: “If anybody thinks we know what specific dose to use on a particular person, they’re crazy.”
Dr. David Newman is an emergency room physician in New York City and author of the book, “Hippocrates Shadow: Secrets from the House of Medicine.“ He writes of a patient that came to him with a respiratory illness – bronchitis. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed for this condition, but he states they are no better than placebos. In discussing this with his patient – most patients expect this prescription – he was surprised when she cut him off, wiped her nose with a tissue and said: “I’d like to avoid antibiotics with all those side effects”.
After years of presuming more health care leads to better health, is the public consciousness moving to a leaner view? Continue reading
Gazing at a sea of red tulips, or driving under a canopy of glorious blossoms can be one of the most uplifting moments of a spring day, something to enjoy, and also to remember on cold winter days. Yet, for many of us, life is so burdened with tension and stress that we often do not notice these little things, or remember them.
A study out of Carleton University in Ottawa found that fully one-third of Canadians feel they are under stress. The reasons are many, such as sudden trauma, financial challenges, or unhappy family relationships.
Recently Carleton published an article on one of its websites. Titled Healthy Workplace, the site is dedicated to encouraging better health habits in employees at the university, based on solid research.
However, a less talked about sign of stress mentioned on the site, was cynicism. It fell under the title, ”Spiritual Signs of Stress.” That nagging negative feeling of mistrust and doubt due to a build up of hurts and betrayals is bad for our health. Viewing life through mistrustful lenses, we are constantly on alert, and on the defensive – with our fight or flight reactor permanently switched on. This negative viewpoint drains us silently for years, without our noticing. But if we see cynicism as a health concern that harms us, maybe we will be more willing to address it, just as we might address our diet or lack of exercise for health reasons. There is no medical prescription to cure cynicism. What’s needed is a rethink about how we view the world and what memories we hold onto…. Continue reading
by Glenn Laycock
About a year ago, I applied for work at a local company. The contact in a company informed me that the reason my application had been declined, was that I was flagged as being “too old” and my application was not even being forwarded past the HR department. It caught me totally off guard, and I was grateful to have noticed that this viewpoint was not in line with my view on aging. To me, it was an alert – a wake up call – to how my perception and thinking about age could have a positive or negative impact. So I needed to decide if this view point was accurate and helpful, and if it would lead to better health. Continue reading
By Joy Hinman and Shannon Horst
Two trends on the rise amid the public discussion on health and health care create increased challenges for patients, health care providers and payment systems. On one hand there is the well documented trend of patients increasingly wanting more control over their entire health care process. On the other hand, the increased options – and sometimes pressure – to use the most advanced medical technologies for diagnosing illness can lead to exactly the opposite…. Continue reading
People may tell you in detail about the pain in their elbow or leg, where and how it hurts, but they may not tell you about the emotional pain they feel in their heart,” says Dr. Jim Melling, a family physician who sees patients at his Langford office, at local hospitals and sometimes in their homes.
This is where Todd, a registered therapy dog, comes in. In Melling’s view, the dog’s deep loving looks, quiet demeanour and attention to those in need create an atmosphere that is calming for patients, paving the way for them to open up more than perhaps they would otherwise. Todd’s presence perhaps sends a message that this doctor is ready to listen – a message that isn’t sent if he just reaches for the ever-present prescription pad……… Continue reading
This article was written by our colleague Bob Cummings, Committee on Publication for Michigan.
Perhaps her prominence in the field of health is sometimes overlooked because of her historical association with a religion and the fact that medicine and medical research, in her day especially, were almost exclusively the purview of men.
In celebration of Women’s History Month the Huffington Post ran an article last month with pictures of “50 Women Who Shaped America’s Health“. Numerous comments were shared online noting that this list is incomplete.
The Huffington Post listened and added 5 more women taken from their readers’ input. That makes this list 50+5.
Certainly there are many more. But here’s one woman that surely should be included in the field of health – Mary Baker Eddy……You can continue reading this post on Bob’s website HERE
By Glenn Laycock
Last week I came across an article entitled, “What the Brain Isn’t – Mind or Love”, by John Clague. The title tweaked my interest as I recalled reading a book or magazine many years ago that talked about how scientists were hard at work on making a thinking machine and how the computer motherboard is not unlike the electrical relays in a brain. Continue reading
A Manhattan court judge recently struck down the move by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to legislate the limit of the size of soft drinks and other high-calorie sweetened beverages sold at various outlets.
Mr. Bloomberg, perhaps influenced by his interest in the greater good, was attempting to make it impossible for his constituents to make poor personal choices that, in the long run, have a significant impact on public health.
Obesity is unquestionably a problem in our society where freedom of choice is too easily defined in supersized – more is better – terms. The ‘more is better ’philosophy in food purchases may be one of many underlying factors that encourage greater consumption of food when ‘less’ would do more to help people maintain a healthy weight.
Medical researchers around the world – concerned about the high cost, physically and financially, of obesity – are increasingly investigating what leads a person to eat more than he/she needs; more than is healthy.
Some studies indicate we make such choices based on a poor – or inaccurate – perception of ourselves.
When a group of children was shown a series of body silhouettes ranging from scrawny to obese they were unable to identify the image that resembled themselves. Most kids, according to Dr. Jennifer McGrath, Director of Pediatric Public Health Psychology Lab, didn’t recognize if they were overweight or obese. They thought they were average. She also recalls talking to a pediatrician who didn’t want to tell a family that their child had a weight problem.
What if everyone, even your doctor, treats it like the elephant in the room? Continue reading
My friend recently told me about a friend of hers – a medical doctor—who is currently in hospital as a patient. She is longing for her friend to recover, but says she is getting worse. She asked me to include her physician friend in my prayers. She feels there might be some hope for recovery through prayer. I can understand this. In my town I know people who are taking charge of their physical and mental health using a variety of complementary and alternative mind-body-spirit practices, including individual and group prayer…… Continue reading