I’m 34 weeks pregnant and working hard to keep this baby inside me for as long as possible. As with my last pregnancy, there’s a real risk that the baby could come too early. But we’re both holding on so far, thanks to a combination of luck, modified bed rest and medical science. The science is my biggest concern right now. I will spare you much of it because, man or ...

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There is a new emerging health threat to our children: nicotine poisoning. The number of nicotine exposures in children reported to the National Poison Data System has more than tripled in the last year. Here’s the fact every parent should know: 1 tablespoon of nicotine oil can be lethal to a 60-pound child! When doctors were campaigning against tobacco companies through public health legislation, we did not foresee a resultant new market for ...

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There are plenty of examples of direct-to-consumer advertising that the pharmaceutical industry use to lure new customers. These ads almost universally make emotional appeals to the consumer, as well as focusing on the benefits rather than presenting any real discussion of risks. What if someone used a similar concept, but instead of trying to get people to take a drug, they try to convince patients to stop one. That’s just what ...

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A prostate cancer breakthrough: The good and not so good newsThe annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology is a place where many commercial interests jostle for attention to make their latest promising therapy the star of the show. But a standard widely available generic drug stole the show by producing incredible results in improving survival for men with advanced prostate cancer. And that has some of us ...

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Dr. Bob Sears deserves blame for declining vaccination rates Measles is on its way to an all time high. In 2000, measles was eliminated (meaning some travelers from areas with low vaccine penetration might arrive in the U.S. with the disease, but no case came from U.S.), but has been slowly creeping back. Since 2008, this has been more than a trickle. Let’s put the important goal of measles elimination in perspective. Before ...

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Applying the anti vaccine mentality to car seats What if a big TV station came out with a blockbuster story claiming that infant car seats were implicated in cerebral palsy (CP)? After all, something like 99.7% of babies diagnosed with cerebral palsy had been brought home from the hospital in a car seat. In fact, every single time they went anywhere in a car, they were strapped into them. That’s ...

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“I don’t like taking medicines.” All physicians hear some form of this opinion very frequently. Even more frequently, patients don’t state this view outright but rely on it to completely subvert their doctor’s plans. When I was new to practice such an utterance would shock and confuse me. “I don’t want to take any medicines,” a patient would declare. “That’s fine,” I would reassure my interlocutor. “It’s a free country. No one is going ...

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Find yourself a physician who is stingy with prescriptions Antibiotic use is the direct cause of the rise of untreatable superbugs that are killing people. Antibiotic use is also the cause of most cases of C. diff colitis in kids, a potentially life-threatening, difficult-to-treat gut disorder. Antibiotics have also been linked with recurrent wheezing  in infants and inflammatory bowel disease. They can also trigger allergic reactions that can be severe ...

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Medical cannabis: Be informed and challenge the myths Medical cannabis is a treatment option with a low risk of dependence, minimal side effects, and few detrimental health effects, that has the potential to help hundreds of thousands of people suffering from various debilitating symptoms. Medical cannabis has gotten a bad rap over the past several decades in the United States due to laws put into place in the early-mid ...

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Colorado and Washington are the first states to legalize recreational marijuana.  In my state of Colorado, Amendment 64 was passed by 55 percent of voters by ballot referendum last year and took effect on January 1 of this year.  State government officials are giddy with the prospects of increased revenue from marijuana sales.  Marijuana tourism is booming in Colorado, giving new meaning to “Rocky Mountain High.”  Now, four months into this new experiment, it may be worth looking ...

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