Parents are appropriately expressing concern about the safety of Miralax®, a commonly used stool softener in kids, after a recent New York Times article exposed a potential association with long-term use of the drug and undesired behavioral side effects. As the article explains, the FDA has awarded a research grant to a team at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to directly address these concerns. Miralax® has been used ...

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The measles outbreak from Disneyland is a potent reminder of a) how infectious measles actually is; and, b) what happens when people don’t vaccinate. However, despite a mountain of evidence that vaccination is safe and does not cause autism or immune dysfunction or really anything terrible at all people still refuse. I live in a county that is on the leading edge of this scientific ignorance, but we are not alone ...

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Spend less.  Live better.  Except, she didn’t have that long to live.  Maybe ten days ... probably not. Thirty-three years old, an illegal Mexican migrant worker, she was diagnosed in an emergency room with an aggressive stomach cancer two years ago, and she had been fighting for her life ever since.  Multiple rounds of chemo administered through our community medical clinic had not worked. And now, here she was in my ICU, ...

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Headlines still appear about the vaccine “controversy.” However, there really isn’t one is there? Vaccines hold no controversy in the arenas of science, public health records, and medical schools across the country. In fact, the use of vaccines is considered standard of care. All mainstream religions uphold their immense value and even make them a part of their humanitarian relief programs. So, what is happening? I am a physician and a ...

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Doctors prescribe way too many medicines for patients who don't really need them. A lot of the pressure comes from intense drug company marketing. Some comes from patients who aren't happy leaving the office without a pill. And doctors have too little time with each patient to explain non-pill solutions to problems. Wild prescribing is not new. For thousands of years, doctors have given patients useless (and often quite harmful) ...

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CHEST_sig_horiz_PMS-TMThere’s been a lot in the press lately about the flu shot not being effective this year. This provides an excellent opportunity to educate about what the flu vaccine is and why it is important. First, a review of basic biology and immunology. Antigens are proteins on the surface of organisms that trigger an immune response. Recognition of these antigens is how your body ...

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medpagetoday A woman told me she saw her physician recently and, when she told him all the things she was doing to help herself, naturally he told her he practices Western medicine and that he does not believe in that stuff. Not a good conversation. A number of research studies have found that one in three patients routinely use alternative treatments, but ...

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A new revelation has added to the ongoing controversy over the health risks of e-cigarettes. Some commentators have viewed the use of this electronic delivery system for nicotine as a way for smokers to cut down on tobacco cigarettes or quit the habit altogether. Others have contended that e-cigarettes can be a “gateway” to smoking and may actually increase ...

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shutterstock_103945322 Most women report some painful or discomfort with their period. However, some women have killer cramps (the medical term is severe dysmenorrhea) and for many of them life goes on a 3 to 5-day hold once a month. Period pain is due to release of a substance called prostaglandins from the lining of the uterus during menstruation. Prostaglandins help the uterus contract ...

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shutterstock_74650402 Dangerous ingredients, like toxins, antifreeze, and mercury, are touted by many as reasons to decline vaccination against influenza. However, toxin is an inaccurate term regarding vaccines (a toxin is a poisonous substance made by cells or organisms and is definitely not in any vaccine), mercury is a non-issue (see below), and there is no antifreeze in vaccines (although some contain propylene glycol, ...

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