Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Kick start your health by going dry?

People are always looking for motivators, ways to get started to accomplish a goal.  With one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions being to improve one’s health, stopping, or at least cutting back, on those habits viewed as having a negative impact would seem a valid avenue for success.  One such movement is to have a “Dry January,” forsaking alcohol for the month.  Here is a little piece with some of my thoughts from the Self website:

More than just a regional thought, this piece was picked up by Fox News for its website as well, helping to promulgate the idea of starting to change your behavior with the first month of the year.

So stay with me for a couple of paragraphs as I expand on my views of this issue.  I will begin with a word of caution.  If one is a heavy drinker, suddenly stopping could result in symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.  As with any diet or exercise program, you should check with your physician before, and during, such efforts.  

Normally, reduction of a “bad” habit is always good, so there should be some benefit to be derived by a “dry January.”  There are some studies that point to benefits of modest alcohol consumption, perhaps one drink daily, so one may not want to stop that if there is such a potential.  A medical review of one’s base health and level of consumption should be a part of the decision.

But what if you are not a drinker, can this method be used to help other behaviors?  Of course, you can use a month of changed behavior as a motivating starting point to push that behavior into a healthier range, and then maintain that benefits going forward.  So while the “dry January” should result in no alcohol to excess for the rest of the year, a “Fat Free February” would see a reduction in dietary fat intake to a healthy level, or a “Marching March” would result in more exercise being started and continued through the year, and so on, so that by next December we really could be enjoying a Happy and Healthy New Year.

This idea has such traction that there was an article in the January 1, 2017, New York Times proposing a “Month Without Sugar,” another lofty goal that many of us could consider.  So take a moment, look at your health and your habits, and see if you can commit to changing just one habit during the coming month in a positive direction.  You never know where it might lead!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Had a New Year's Eve Hangover? Advice for the next one.

One has to assume that all of those New Year's Eve revelers in Times Square turned to the New York Times for a solution to their morning after hangover.  If so, they would have found this article, in which I am quoted, looking at all of the various cures offered for this morning after condition.  

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Sepsis remains a sneaky killer

Not that long ago, we learned that Patty Duke, star of stage, screen and film, had died from an overwhelming infection called sepsis.  While not often spoken of as a common disease, sepsis remains an opportunistic killer of the very young, the very old, and those with some compromise of their immune systems; as well as sporadic cases without obvious cause.  Here is a little clip from our local NBC affiliate, where I discuss sepsis, what it is, and what to do if you suspect it.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Might we not live as long as our parents?

A new study suggests that life expectancy in the US took a drop recently, quite at odds from long time gains in longevity.  Why this is apparently happening may be due to a variety of factors, and here is an article from the Self site that looks at the question, and includes some of my thoughts as well.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

More than just overweight, fat, and fatter?

Looking around, there is a tendency to lump all of those who are having weight problems into the same basket.  But there are a variety of reasons why some gain weight, and there is no “one size fits all” solution to the problem.  Here’s an article with my comments from the Self.com website by my friend Korin Miller that looks at the issue, with an overall understanding of the types of obesity, and how one must approach the individuals.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

A potential problem not to worry

There are certainly many things that one worries about when having surgery.  Here is one woman’s problem, clearly not a minor issue in this case, which is not something that needs to be on your list.  My comments are at the end of the article, and the title of the article says it all!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Can a pillow really be that important?

People have been using pillows for as long as there have been people.  Even the Bible tells the story of Jacob using a stone to support his head as he slept.  But would that be the best choice?  It turns out that choosing your pillow wisely mey just the the ticket to a good night’s sleep.  Here is an article, originally published in the Chicago Tribune and subsequently picked up all over the country, which looks at the types of pillows, who needs what, and a bit about getting a good night’s rest.