Upcoming presentations

Friday, August 3, 2:30 LIFE program at Mira Costa College, Oceanside. Baby Boomer blindness. Details at  http://www.miracosta.edu/life.

Tuesday, August 28, 1:00 Mission Valley library, A day in the life of a Renaissance physician. Learn how it impacts what your physician is doing today.

In the news

Exercise more, feel better

Physical activity – another term for exercise – has lots of benefits that go beyond helping you to keep from gaining weight. Besides making your heart and lungs perform better, moderately intense physical activity can completely prevent type 2 diabetes (which now affects 12 percent of the adult population!) and lowers the risk of osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

Research from Finland shows that it also improves psychological well-being.  A group of couch potatoes was instructed in the use of weights and resistance bands and they were observed for nine months. Compared to non-exercisers the gym rats reported improved quality of life and fewer depressive symptoms.

Those of you who exercise regularly probably could have predicted that. Better circulation, especially to the brain, improved appetite, more flexibility, more restful sleep and greater physical endurance are all benefits of regular exercise.

Although even those who (by study design) exercised only once a week showed significant improvement those who exercised three days a week showed the most improvement.

Try it. You’ll like it!



Shingles vaccine update

About side effects – I received the second (and final) dose of the new shingles vaccine, called Shingrix a couple of weeks ago. There was some soreness at the injection site, which is typical for most vaccines and it wasn’t very bothersome. However, I felt crummy for two days. That was it! It didn’t keep me from my usual activities except that I took a holiday from the gym for about five days because of the sore arm.

About a quarter of Americans will have had at least one episode of shingles – known as herpes zoster – and if you’re lucky enough to live past 85 the risk is about 50 percent.

Even an “ordinary” case of shingles will include a painful rash that lasts about three weeks. In some cases the pain lasts forever! The worst side effects of the Shingrix vaccine aren’t nearly as bad as that.

Older age carries an even greater risk, that of depressed immune function resulting from leukemia or chemotherapy, in which case the disease can be really severe.

The bottom line: everyone over the age of 50 should have the vaccine, even those who have had shingles in the past or have had the older vaccine (Zostavax). Are the side effects a problem? Nah!







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