About stoneagedoc

Pediatric infectious diseases specialist, author and public speaker. After 35 years in clinical practice including 40 years in academic pediatrics I now share that experience in helping others to enjoy a long, healthy life without the burden of chronic disease.

In the news

Home Genetic tests

The explosion in the field of genetics has brought the inevitable commercialization of genetic tests that can be done in the privacy of one’s home and the results are sent back directly to the individual. That means that neither your family physician nor a trained geneticist are available to help you interpret the findings. For some tests that doesn’t matter but for an ever-growing number it does.

If you’re simply curious about your ancestry there isn’t much that needs interpretation. Tests that promise to reveal your risks of diseases such as breast cancer or Alzheimer’s disease are much more complicated. Some tests determine if you are a carrier of a disease such as cystic fibrosis but even that condition is associated with several genes, not just one.

One of the pitfalls of genetic testing, even that which is done in a highly sophisticated laboratory, is that it won’t help you to change your lifestyle so that you can avoid it. Before you take an in-home test, discuss it with your doctor. You might save some anxiety as well as money.

Lifestyle

Exercise: it doesn’t have to be all at once.

For persons who have a job and a family, time is precious and devoting an hour or so to walking, jogging or a trip to the gym is just not likely except on the weekend, if then. Two points to keep in mind are that all physical activity is beneficial and it doesn’t have to be done all at once. After all, that’s how your great-grandparents avoided becoming obese. In the early 20th century the rate of obesity in the United States was five percent! Many lived on farms with few labor-saving devices and city folks walked almost everywhere. Their tools and home appliances were powered by hand.

If you’re a walker you can split it into one 15-30-minute session during lunch break and another right after work. You don’t need to sweat, just raise your heart rate. For resistance exercise you can keep light dumbbells or elastic bands handy at your place of business, maybe even share them with a couple of coworkers. Even if you don’t grunt, groan and sweat, that activity will increase blood flow to your muscles and heart. If you want to you can have a heavier workout on the weekend.

Retired? Not only do you not have the excuse of too little time, you’re at the age when physical activity really matters. The vast majority of 60-year-olds are overweight and about one third (!) are diabetic or prediabetic. Losing just a few pounds and keeping them off will help you to avoid the nasty complications (blindness, kidney failure, amputation) that make type 2 diabetes the ruination of a happy retirement.

 

Health Wisdom from the Stone Age, Volume One, an e-book, became available at www.amazon.com on July 4th, 2017. Enter Health Wisdom from the Stone Age in the search box.

This five-volume series is an anthology based on my weekly column, The Stone Age Doc that has been published in the Reading (PA) Eagle since 2005.

In the news…

Good news for coffee drinkers. A couple of cups a day, regular or decaf, may slightly lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease as well as several different types of cancer. Isn’t it nice to know that something that tastes good can actually be good for us?

A few years ago some studies associated coffee drinking with cancer. More comprehensive and better research has shown just the opposite.

The antioxidants in coffee probably contribute to this list of benefits. For those who don’t get much in the way of fruits and vegetables, coffee is the major source of antioxidants. And then there’s chocolate…

Lifestyle

The Internet is a great source of information – and misinformation. In order to avoid the latter, stick to trusted sites like http://www.mayoclinic.org/disease-conditions or http://www.webmd.com. Tufts Medical School, Harvard Medical School and the University of California at Berkeley also have quality sites where non-professionals can find useful information. Most sites whose URL ends in edu are associated with universities and medical schools. Their newsletters are informative and reliable.  I no longer recommend PubMed, the site of the National Library of Medicine, having found published articles there from “medical” journals of dubious worth. In one recent search I found that one of the authors of numerous papers in one particular field has had his medical license revoked in several states because he falsified research. His son and co-author has no medical degree and was fined $10,000 for practicing medicine without a license. Some scientific-sounding journals are set up by charlatans pushing products.

Objective and reliable information on supplements is available at http://www.consumerlab.com, which does not accept advertising.

Area Presentations

Upcoming presentations in the San Diego area this fall are scheduled for the Osher Lifelong Learning Center at Cal State San Marcos (www.csusm.edu/olli) and at the OASIS Adult Learning Center (www.oasisnet.org). Dates, times and locations are posted on their websites.

A day in the life of a Renaissance physician will be presented at the Escondido Senior Center on Monday, July 17th at 1:00 p.m.

If you are looking for a speaker for your organization there are more than sixty PowerPoint presentations listed at http://www.stoneagedoc.com.

***********************************

Send-a-Friend

If you find this healthletter of value feel free to pass it along to your family and friends. This mailing list will not be used for any other purpose.

If you have a question, or a suggestion for a future topic, let us know at drphil@stoneagedoc.com.

 

 

Carvings, a healthletter

  June 26, 2017

Welcome to Carvings, a post that will keep you informed about current health topics and ideas that will guide you toward a healthier life.

We’ll post a  brand-new Carvings on the 1st and 15th of every month. Be on the lookout for it. Better yet – set your smartphone reminder for the 1st and 15th.

The Stone Age Doc (Philip J. Goscienski, M.D.) will list upcoming local San Diego presentations as well as releases of his new e-book series, Health Wisdom from the Stone Age, Avoid diabetes, dementia and other deadly diseases.

 

                                          Just released!

Health Wisdom from the Stone Age, Volume One, an e-book, is available at www.amazon.com. Enter Health Wisdom from the Stone Age in the search box.

This five-volume series is an anthology based on my weekly column, The Stone Age Doc that has been published in the Reading (PA) Eagle since 2005.

More than a third of Americans are obese, nearly ten percent are diabetic and we are about to encounter epidemics of osteoporosis, dementia and kidney failure – all of which are related to lifestyle and not aging. Health Wisdom from the Stone Age shows how we got here and what we can do to reverse the trend. This is not rocket science and doesn’t require difficult lifestyle changes. It’s easier than you think to become leaner, livelier and longer-lived!

Download Volume One now at www.amazon.com. $3.99 USD

Release dates of subsequent volumes will appear in this healthletter.

In the news

 

            Like the poor, mosquitoes will always be with us. In the past they carried malaria and yellow fever as far north as Washington, D.C.. Recent threats include Chikungunya virus and Zika virus. Although these have occurred mostly in the Caribbean and other tropical areas travelers have brought them to the Gulf Coast and beyond. It’s a matter of time before local mosquitoes transmit them to residents who have never left the area.

anti mosquito sign

Don’t depend on government authorities to control the mosquito problem. Remove or dry out anything that holds standing water, including bird baths, watering cans or trash. Have a supply of mosquito repellent handy for the family in case any of these diseases are reported in your area; DEET is the most effective.

************************************

Lifestyle

Small changes, big benefits.

We humans aren’t really well adapted to a life with little physical activity and a diet that consists largely of cereal grains and dairy products. We seem to be doing well in spite of that – after all, life expectancy has been increasing for more than a century. On the other hand, the top 15 causes of death in the U.S. have very little to do with aging but a great deal to do with refined grains, refined sugars and 8 hours a day (the documented average) of screen time (TV, phone, computer, etc.).

Drastic changes often backfire. We need to develop diet and exercise habits that we can live with for the rest of our lives without resentment or discouragement. Here are some simple steps that will make a difference:

  1. If you’re not already a walker, start with 15 minutes 4 days a week; double the time after two weeks; double it again after one month.
  2. Replace baked goods made with refined (white) flour with those made from whole grains. Note – brown is a color, not a nutrient; the words “whole grain” or “whole wheat” should be first on the ingredients label.
  3. For dinnertime 4 days a week replace your customary pasta, rice or potato with a vegetable (tomato, cucumber, broccoli, green beans, etc.). In other words, have two non-starchy veggies on that plate.

Just these simple steps carried out for a few months will result in lower blood sugar, reduced blood pressure, a few pounds lost and a smaller waist size. You’ll be more energetic with less fatigue and you won’t feel like a martyr. You can do it!

************************************

Area Presentations

Upcoming presentations in the San Diego area are scheduled for the Osher Lifelong Learning Center at Cal State San Marcos (www.csusm.edu/olli) and at the OASIS Adult Learning Center (www.oasisnet.org). Dates, times and locations are posted on their websites. Titles include A day in the life of a Renaissance physician, Saving your wits: 10 ways  to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and Diseases that changed human history.

***********************************

 

If you have a question, or a suggestion for a future topic, let us know at drphil@stoneagedoc.com.