News non-flash: A comparison of various diets (low-carb/Atkins, low-carb + low fat/South Beach, low calorie/Weight Watchers, and whatever-the-hell-the-Zone-diet is/protein-carb ratio) shows no difference in long-term outcomes, defined as sustained weight loss, with the attendant presumed decrease in cardiovascular risk factors and events. Sorry, no great surprise here. But I think it’s because nutrition research has a huge blind spot: not adequately controlling for type 2 diabetes/metabolic syndrome. Let me explain. I have a hypothesis that ...

Read more...

shutterstock_153808931 You might think of bacon, that thing of gustatory beauty that is salted, cured pork, as just pleasure for your taste buds, however, one of the first medical facts I learned in 2015 was that bacon has medicinal purposes (apart from making you feel better after eating it). With this new knowledge at hand, the time just seemed right for a ...

Read more...

Colonoscopy is the most effective test for the detection and prevention of colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. An estimated 14 million colonoscopies are performed in the United States every year. About 20 to 40 percent of these colonoscopies have inadequate bowel preparation according to multiple studies. Inadequate bowel preparation is costly to the patient, the health care system, and society. In one study, poor ...

Read more...

My brother wears a scar around his neck. It represents his second surgery for papillary thyroid cancer. The first started off the same way. Ugly, red and angry. Curving like an ominous smile around his neck, like a noose. That’s how it felt too -- the lump in his throat growing as he sat quietly, alone in a doctor’s office. It’s interesting how physical scars are a visual manifestation of ...

Read more...

Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 66-year-old man is evaluated for vague abdominal pain of several months' duration and a 10-kg (22-lb) weight loss. He drinks alcohol socially but does not smoke. The patient is otherwise well, has good performance status, and takes no medications. On physical examination, vital signs are normal. No lymphadenopathy is noted. Cardiopulmonary examination ...

Read more...

Water births, delivering a baby so it is born underwater, are controversial medically because while they are promoted as safe and natural by some midwives and lay midwives they are not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Congress of OB/GYN. (Laboring in a tub in an entirely different thing.) The January 2015 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases is reporting the death of a newborn from to Legionella acquired during a water ...

Read more...

shutterstock_145891655 Have you ever eaten a healthy meal, maybe some brown rice and stir-fried veggies, and found yourself ready for another meal just a short while later? Or, more often couldn’t overcome a hankering for a satisfying dessert to top off (and undermine the healthiness of) that meal? As it turns out, this lack of satiety is not merely a function of the ...

Read more...

shutterstock_70926484 It was last summer in July when I became sick. It was a range of not unusual upper respiratory symptoms, but as time progressed and my symptoms didn’t respond to the usual combination of steroids and antibiotics, I became concerned. I’d developed a more distinct pain in my chest and became increasingly mindful about those bad things we see from time ...

Read more...

shutterstock_108354956 This year, we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. So, last week, one evening, I told my wife about a news story I heard on National Public Radio (NPR) about the microbiology of a kiss. My wife smiled. A group of researchers, I said, looked at the oral bacterial flora of 21 couples to determine how many bacteria were transferred by a kiss. ...

Read more...

shutterstock_115992457 Look here: I am a breastfeeding supporter. I regularly help new moms breastfeed successfully, and I even took a special class to learn how to do a brief procedure to help babies overcome breastfeeding problems caused by tongue-tie. I’ve got a happy breast support sticker, right on my AAP card. But I think honesty is (or should be) the breast policy. Some ...

Read more...