Tag Archives: Sterling Medical Advice

A Dream of Equal Access to Health Care

Introduction

On the day of observation of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., we discuss applying his dream to equal access of health care.

mlk on health

On this national day of celebration, I always reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most famous comments on health care in America.

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”

Using the sustained assault on the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) in the US, it becomes as important as ever to revisit this premise.

Injustice in Health Care

Why would Dr. King say such a thing? Injustice in health care has taken many forms. Unfortunately, these result in predictably poor outcomes for those affected. We call these disparities in healthcare. Let’s begin by addressing the inequity in insurance coverage that formed the premise for the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2009-2010, when the Affordable Care Act (ACA; aka Obamacare) was signed into law, 41% of low-income adults were uninsured, and 45% of poor adults were uninsured. Contrast this with the fact that only 6% of those who make four or more times the poverty rate were uninsured. This pretty clearly makes the case that health care is a desirable asset for Americans who can afford it. Unfortunately, it is too often a choice that can’t be afforded for many. Furthermore, consider that 14% percent of white Americans were uninsured, while 22% of African-Americans were uninsured, and 32% of Hispanic Americans were uninsured. Whether you believe this is just a correlation, coincidence or reflection of something more damning, it is a situation that screamed to be addressed and improved.

Back in 2012 (immediately prior to implementation of the ACA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a survey showing that more than 45 million U.S. residents didn’t have health insurance. Still even more people, 57.5 million, were uninsured for at least part of the 12 months before being polled. Be reminded that the total U.S. population is over 311 million.

The How and Why of Health Care Inequity

Please take a moment and ponder the enormity of the numbers just presented. It begs the question “How can such be allowed to exist?” Dr. King’s comment begged the same question. Unfortunately, the answer is the American health care system isn’t built on producing equality of access or outcomes. You’ve heard me say before that the American health care system remains the only system among all the major industrialized nations on earth that doesn’t ensure access for all its citizens. The American health care system is fundamentally a business enterprise. This sector has captured approximately $3.5 trillion of the American economy annually. Stunningly, this represents over 1/6 (17%) of the gross domestic product.

The US is number one in money spent on health care by a large margin. In fact, the U.S. spends more on people aged over 65 than any other country spends on its entire population. The business of medicine in America is business first. It is largely expected that good health care outcomes will result from good business. Health care is viewed as a commodity in the same way that good cars, computers and smartphones are. Does this work? The outcomes say otherwise. According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. health care system was ranked #38 in the last WHO ranking based on standard health outcomes produced.

The Affect of the Affordable Care Act on Equal Access to Health Care

Despite any perceived and actual flaws in the ACA, one unassailable fact exists. Approximately 20 million previously uninsured Americans obtained it through the passage of the Affordable Care Act. The ACA targets its assistance to the poor and near-poor who are least likely to have health care coverage. The ACA will provide Medicaid coverage to those with incomes up to 133 percent of the poverty level (approximately $16,000). Unfortunately, this isn’t true in states opting out of the Medicaid expansion. People earning between the poverty level and four times that amount are eligible for tax credits for private health insurance.

Access to health care is the beginning of the process by which health care disparities can be erased. As long as failure to have equal access exists to the extent that it does, the types of disparities in life expectancy, disease rates and disease survival will remain predictably dismal for certain populations. As long as total our population is unhealthy in general, and pockets of our population are more disproportionately unhealthy, we will remain less productive and cohesive than we could be. Predictably, these facts will perpetrate a host of additional problems within our society.

MLKMOW

Finally and furthermore, one question still begs to be asked. Why does the US choose to remain the only major industrialized nation in the world that fails to provide universal health care for its citizenry? What part of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness involves doing so without health? How is that Justice?

Happy MLK Day. Remember the Dream, but also remember how that plays out in our lives.

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Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

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Simple Weight Loss Strategies

Introduction

Simple Weight Loss Strategies

Weight Loss Strategies - Diet and Exercise

REMOVE TEMPTATION

If you’re trying to set yourself up for success, keeping donuts and chips around isn’t doing you any favors. Give your pantry and fridge a little makeover to stay on track with your goals.

When I want ice cream, I must leave the house and pay $4.00 for a scoop of ice. If I really want it, I will do it. Otherwise, I will not spend $4.00 on one scoop!

STOP EATING AFTER DINNER

Late-night noshes are usually high-calorie, large portions or snacky foods (Read: cookies, ice cream, chips and candy) eaten mindlessly out of enjoyment to unwind from the stress of the day. It’s a recipe for weight gain and disaster.

So, the real issue is not eating after dinner. The real issue is mindless eating and over doing it in the evening.

LEARN HOW TO ORDER AT RESTAURANTS

Weight Loss Strategies - Healthy Eating at Restaurants

Eating out can rack up the calories, so knowing how to make healthy menu swaps is key. Whether you’re dining at your favorite Mexican, steak, or Italian restaurants, or even if you’re ordering Chinese takeout, this very short list will help you on the right track toward making the healthiest selection. Be smarter at restaurants — but still enjoy yourself.

Note: The high sodium effect is real and still in effect until restaurants are mandated to lower sodium content. Its coming!

Mexican Healthier picks

  1. Chicken fajitas
  2. Taco salad (hold the hard shell, queso and sour cream)
  3. Shrimp or chicken taco on soft corn tortillas

Breakfast/Brunch healthier picks

  1. Vegetable omelet
  2. Oatmeal with fruit (get sugar and syrups on the side)
  3. Eggs, whole-wheat toast and fruit

American steakhouse

  1. Filet mignon and baked sweet potato
  2. Grilled salmon with steamed broccoli
  3. Tenderloin with baked potato and side salad
  4. Grilled chicken with steamed mixed veggies and brown rice

Italian

  1. Minestrone soup and house salad
  2. Chicken Marsala
  3. Grilled fish and vegetables with marinara over whole wheat pasta

Southern

  1. Pulled chicken with baked beans and collard greens
  2. Smoked turkey with green beans and corn on the cob
  3. Beef brisket with stewed okra and coleslaw

It’s easy enough to say eat less, move more, but often more difficult to do. Here are a few ideas on how to make it easier:

CONSIDER NON-SCALE VICTORIES

Your weight is determined by a variety of factors, including hydration, climate, when you last ate, bathroom habits and exercise. In other words, weight fluctuation is common, and there’s much more to good health than a number on a scale.

It’s not necessary to weigh yourself daily. In most cases, this causes unnecessary stress and unrealistic expectation. Weigh in weekly as you will have more of basis to make adjustments with eating choices.

GET ADEQUATE SLEEP

Sleep is undervalued. Getting enough quality sleep is holistically tied to your health and weight-loss goals. Sleep offers our bodies a chance at restoration and rejuvenation. When we’re sleep-deprived, we tend to eat more, exercise less and make poor food choices.

Ideally 7-9 hours PER night is recommended.  Quality sleep is key. Yes, 9 hours is possible!

Sandra  is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, specializing in nutrition & weight loss. She helps people who are struggling with losing weight and the impact that weight has on health, self-esteem, well-being and overall life. You can reach her at https://actionchoices.com/.

There’s More!

Review these additional Straight, No Chaser posts for weight loss tips and strategies.

Straight, No Chaser: Healthy, Sustainable Weight Loss – Let’s Get Started

Fiber and Weight Loss

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Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

Introduction

It’s National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week. Accordingly, this Straight, No Chaser post provides information you need to know!

drug and alcohol facts week

Let’s start with this simple fact.

Alcohol kills more people each year than all illegal drugs combined.

We have already extensively reviewed the various components of alcohol use, abuse, benefits and disease. Therefore, use this post as a guide to obtain whatever additional information you need. Click the links provided for additional blog posts with up-to-date information on various topics related to alcohol. Also, ask us questions!

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Cervical Health Awareness Month

Introduction

cervical health awareness month

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. To that end, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) boldly proclaims “No woman should die of cervical cancer.” Yes, that is actually possible!

This post has a rather simple message. Cervical cancer is entirely preventable. Furthermore, it can be cured when discovered and treated early.

Quick Tips

Here are some quick tips to help you check this off of your list of concerns.

  • Every child should get vaccinated at age 11 or 12. Even if you’ve reached age 26 and haven’t been vaccinated, you should discuss options with your physician.
  • Get screened, starting at age 21. This is the most important thing you can do to help prevent cervical cancer.

pap smear

  • The Pap test (or smear) should be performed regularly at age 21. It looks for precancerous changes to the cervix that identify the need for early treatment. In many cases a normal test will eliminate the need for another test for the next three years, but your physician will discuss your individual circumstances in this regard.
  • The HPV test looks for the virus that is now known to be the cause of cervical cancer. Furthermore, human papillomavirus (HPV) is sexually transmitted. The HPV test can be done at the same time as the Pap test from the same examination.

Hopefully knowing these simple tools will convince you to focus on preventing and managing your cervical health. This is a public health success story in that cervical cancer could be eliminated if everyone followed the above steps. The rest is up to you.

Read these!

  • This additional Straight, No Chaser post discusses the prevention strategy that could eliminate in total cervical cancer. Read it for details.
  • This Straight, No Chaser post shares news regarding the success of the vaccine in reducing the rates of HPV infection and cervical cancer. Read it for details.

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2013-2019 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight No Chaser’s Guide to Completing New Year’s Resolutions

Introduction

This Straight, No Chaser post is a guide to help you completing your New Year’s resolutions!

Resolutions

You call them New Year’s resolutions. We call it getting your health (and life) on a higher plane! Most resolutions involve healthy eating, exercise routines, smoking cessation and stress reduction. None of these endeavors are easy. All too often, they involve starts and stops with failure before success. It seems that the take-home messages are pretty clear.

  • People choose these endeavors because they are the basics to preventing many illnesses and diseases and to enjoying a healthy life.
  • Pursuing these efforts involves a lifestyle change. Quick fixes just won’t get it done, no matter how sexy or well-marketed the fad or gimmick is.
  • Many of you had some success in the efforts you’re pursuing. Understand that difficulty, frustration and occasional setbacks are often part of the process. Fortunately, these setbacks don’t necessary define failure. Furthermore, they shouldn’t cause you to give up the pursuit of better health.

Specific Strategies

If you’re serious about turning your resolutions into completed actions, consider employing some tried and true strategies.

  • Engage others such as friends and family in your quest. Let them know your goal. Empower them to support you and hold you accountable. Encourage them to join you.
  • Plan your strategy. Write it down. Have benchmarks, check-ins and intermittent goals. These lofty goals can’t just be a passing fancy. These are difficult tasks and require a certain amount of serious planning on the front end and diligence along the way.
  • Reward yourself. This effort can’t just be a chore and something that makes you miserable. This is a big deal and should be treated as such. Plan to celebrate your success, and make it a nice enough reward that its pursuit is worth the efforts you’re going through!

Your final take-home message is one we hope you realize by now. You don’t have to pursue these efforts alone. Your medical team should be engaged to help you in these endeavors as needed. However, if and when they aren’t, you have an additional team available to you 24/7 at www.jeffreysterlingmd.com and 844-SMA-TALK.  We wish you the best in your pursuit of better health. Happy 2019!

Specific Blogs for Completing Your New Year’s Resolutions

From previous posts, here’s your guide to successfully completing your New Year’s Resolutions. Click the links!

1 – The Benefits of Exercise and Other Physical Activity
2 – Here are Steps for You to Take – Get Active!
3 – Do You Even Know How to Eat Healthy?
4 – Diet and Nutrition Tips
5 – Smoking Cessation
6 – Here’s How You Stop Smoking 
7 – Why Stress Kills and Stress Management Saves Lives
8 – Your Personal Stress Management Plan

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2013-2019 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

The 72 Hours Life Approach to Implementing New Year’s Resolutions

Introduction

It’s the beginning of the year and time for implementing your New Year’s Resolutions! You’ve probably been reflective and have done inventory on major parts of your life, including work, finances, family, relationships and health. That makes it the perfect time to adopt The 72 Hours Life to what you’re doing!

Here are four principles to apply to whatever you’ve chosen to do.

implementing new years resolutions

Make firm decisions about what you actually want to accomplish

As the saying goes, if you don’t plan on going anywhere, then you’ll end up nowhere. Another way of saying this is we slot ourselves into levels and areas of success. Choices have consequences. Think through your goals and your choices. Understand what that means for the rest of your life. Learn to choose wisely. Then proceed happily, enjoying the journey and looking forward to the destination.

Learn what’s necessary to accomplish your goal

You wouldn’t travel without a flight itinerary. Why would you expect to arrive at your destination without a plan? These days, the mystery of accomplishment has largely disappeared. You have access to resources and to help. Take advantage of everything at your disposal. Why would you try to do anything alone? Now, be careful. You want paths that represent best practices and proven success. All advice isn’t constructive. Similarly, every plan isn’t the most efficient choice. When figuring out how to accomplish your goal, be focused on your success and mindful of how to avoid obstacles. Trial and error or learning from your mistakes isn’t what you’re after here. You want success!

Proceed with the end in mind

When it comes to obtaining goals and productivity, implementation is everything. No matter how good the plan, if it’s not executed well, the goal likely won’t be accomplished. Once you’ve defined the outcome and obtained the resources, focus on the plan. If you’ve done the work in constructing the plan, you’ll have minimized the need for mid-course corrections. Every step along the way, continue asking yourself how your actions are contributing to your desired outcomes.

Stay the course

Unfortunately, life’s journey tends not to involve straight lines. You must have and retain confidence in your chosen outcomes, your plan and your ability to implement. If and when you get temporarily knocked off your target, don’t lose faith in yourself or lose the desire to obtain your goal. More often than not, ultimate success is lost as a result of us closing doors in our own faces without knowing how close to winning we may actually be!

Think through how these four principles apply to your personal, professional, health and financial pursuits. If you do this, I have no doubt that you’ll be a lot more efficient and effective in not only accomplishing any New Year’s resolutions but in creating a better approach to life in general.

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Welcome to The 72 Hours Life! Join our productivity community at www.72HoursLife.com. You can obtain Dr. Sterling’s best seller There Are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life at www.72HoursLife.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble or wherever books are sold. Also look for The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: 72 Days to the 72 Hours Life at these same outlets.

Introducing the New 2019 Straight No Chaser: Happy New Year!

Introduction

Straight No Chaser 2019 Logo

Welcome to the new 2019 Straight, No Chaser: our seventh year! We hope you’ve enjoyed our over two thousand blogs and vlogs, and thank you to the millions of you that have read our posts. In fact, many of you have shared the ways we have directly impacted (and saved) your lives.

2019

For 2019, we are switching formats. You will notice the following differences:

  • As a rule we will always post once a week on Monday.
  • The weekly blog will generally serve as a guide that include links to multiple blogs around a central topic. We will align these topics with national health observances.
  • We will occasionally offer additional blogs during the week based on occurrences in the news.
  • You will see occasional special guest blogs featuring content experts across medicine, mental health and public health.
  • All of our blogs will focus on action items you can time to directly improve your life.

We welcome your blog suggestions, questions, feedback and input (if you’d like to become a contributor)! You still have access to any topic of your choosing by just typing a word in the search engine, located in the upper right part of your screen.

We greatly appreciate your support. We think you’ll find the 2019 Straight, No Chaser to be the most impactful version yet. Happy New Year!

Follow us!

Ask your Sterling Medical Advice expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2013-2019 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) & New Year’s Eve

Introduction

This post is about driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and other illicit substances.

Happy-New-Year-Greetings-Images

Celebrating New Year’s Eve? As I am known to say, risks represent incidences of occurrences. Of all days during the year, today you must act to lower your risk of a fatal motor vehicle crash due to alcohol or drugs. Remember, it’s not just your behavior that places you at risk. In addition, the others with whom you’ll be sharing the road will require your full attention and alertness.

Please recall that alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. For instance, it slows down brain function, including reaction time, information-processing skills and hand-eye coordination. This affects judgment, concentration, comprehension, sight and coordination. As a result, you’re much more likely to crash a car if you’ve been using any type of drug.

Drinking and Driving DUI

DUI Facts

You’d do well to know a few FACTS about driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs (Courtesy of National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence).

  • Approximately 30 people a day die from motor vehicle crashes in which a driver was under the influence of alcohol. This is about one death every 51 minutes.
  • An estimated 32% of fatal car crashes involve an intoxicated driver or pedestrian.
  • Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. Unfortunately, about a quarter of those crashes involve an underage drinking driver.
  • 3,952 fatally injured drivers tested positive for drug involvement.
  • Over 1.2 million drivers are arrested annually for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
  • On average, two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime.

DrinkDrive_Die_Small_2

Tonight is not the night for debate. All of the above facts will become magnified tonight. Driving under the influence is a crime. Therefore, you know the police will be monitoring the roads. Avoid driving if you can. If you are driving, don’t drink, use marijuana, alcohol or any other drugs. The life you save may be your own. I hope to see you safe and healthy in the New Year.

new-year-wallpaper-hd

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2019 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Eliminating Alcohol from the Body

Introduction

This Straight, No Chaser post is about eliminating alcohol from the body.

vomiting and eliminating alcohol

We get questions from you all the time. In preparation for New Year’s Eve, here’s an example: “How can I eliminate alcohol from the body quicker if I get drunk?”

It’s a frequent misconception that there are a ton of remedies you can take to help you eliminate alcohol quicker or get less drunk. Alcohol is eliminated by a process called zero-order kinetics. In other words, alcohol is eliminated from the body at fixed amount per hour. Nothing you do is going to make you less intoxicated (referral to the legal definition of how much you have in your system). This includes coating your stomach, eating (including a cheese tray) or drinking coffee.

This being said, being less dehydrated does help the blood alcohol concentration. Also, drinking coffee or another stimulant can counter the depressant effects of alcohol and may make you feel more alert. However, my best advice for you is to sleep it off. Of course, if you’re intoxicated to the point that you need medical attention, doing so should be your immediate action.

Bonus question: “Does vomiting help?”

Vomiting is only of value in eliminating alcohol that hasn’t yet been absorbed into the bloodstream. Once alcohol is in your system, it is eliminated as discussed.

For further details on the initiatives listed above, please visit Straight, No Chaser at www.jeffreysterlingmd.com and type any desired topic into the search engine.

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2019 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Your Hygiene and Risk for Illness

Introduction

The Straight, No Chaser post looks at the relationship between your hygiene and illness.

sneeze_in_arm

There are things you know, there are things you know but don’t really know, and there are still other things that you think you know that you don’t know at all. When it comes to colds and influenza (both or which are simple to understand, prevent and treat), all of the above apply.

Are you sickly or do you get colds more frequently than others? Respectfully, a big part of that is because you have habits that put you at risk. Common things happen commonly.

germs-on-hands poor hygiene

Of course this is not an actual photo, but it’s a good depiction of what’s happening. Simply put, most of the day, your hands are pretty disgusting. You handle money that’s been handed hundreds if not thousands of times and never cleaned. You grab handles and door knobs all day long. You’re coughing and sneezing throughout the day, spewing germs into the air to be inhaled by others. And you spend time in the restroom. Your unclean hands contribute to many ailments, including colds, influenza, conjunctivitis (pink eye) and gastroenteritis (vomiting and diarrhea) and skin infections.

Lower Your Risk

The important points are simple things you can do to lower your risk for infections. First, you have to stop assuming you know more than you do about basic hygiene and allow yourself to start practicing better habits. For example …

  • When you sneeze, do you sneeze into your hands or into the air around you? Please learn the habit covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough by sneezing/coughing into your elbow and not your hands.
  • How often do you wash your hands? You must wash every time you begin to cook, before you eat, after you use the rest room, before you change a diaper and before you apply any topical medicine.
  • Have you ever noticed how much you keep your hands on parts of you that can become infected by doing so? Keep your hands out of your eyes, mouth and nose, and stop picking at your skin!

handwashing hygiene

Yes, you wash your hands, but do you do so effectively and when you need to? Hand washing must be the easiest and most effective ways to prevent disease. Let’s start with this: from now on, whatever you do to clean your hands, do it for twenty seconds. Of course, antimicrobial soap and water are what we all learned to do way back when. It works! If that’s not available, use hand sanitizers or disposable hand wipes. It that’s not available, just rinse your hands! Be sure to rub your hands vigorously during the process as if you’re trying to get someone off of your hands, because you are!

sneeze

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Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Basic Questions and Answers about Anemia

Introduction

This Straight, No Chaser address your basic questions and answers anemia!

What is anemia?

Anemia is a condition defined by blood containing a lower than normal number of red blood cells or if the blood cells present don’t contain sufficient hemoglobin (the protein that carries oxygen throughout the body). Anemia from iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency.

What causes anemia?

There are many causes of anemia and many different types of anemia, but the most common causes are blood loss (the moss common cause), a lack of red blood cell production and higher than normal rates of destruction of red blood cells.

What are the symptoms of anemia?

One of the major points of blood is it is the vehicle for carrying blood and removing carbon dioxide (waste) from your body. The presence of anemia means the absence of sufficient oxygen through the body. This produces symptoms such as fatigue (the most common symptom), weakness, shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, cold feeling in the hands and feet, pale skin and chest pain. Severe or long-lasting anemia can cause actual damage to your heart, brain, and other organs in your body and can lead to death.

Are there risk factors?

Practically, the biggest risk factor is being a woman of child-bearing age because of the ongoing blood loss that occurs from menstruation. Additional major risk factors include a poor diet (meaning one low in iron, vitamins or minerals), blood loss from surgery or an acute injury, long-term or serious illnesses and infections, and a family history of inherited anemias (e.g. sickle cell anemia or thalassemia).

How do you diagnose anemia?

It’s important to note that all anemia is not created equal. Furthermore, symptoms don’t have to be present. Anemia is rather easily identified with a simple blood test (the complete blood count, aka CBC). In many instances, that’s the beginning of the assessment. Additional tests may be needed to identify the specific test of anemia.

How do you treat anemia?

Believe it or not, in many instances, the treatment of anemia isn’t as simple as taken an iron supplement, and thus medical assessments should be considered essential. Treatment for anemia depends on the type, cause, and severity of the underlying condition. Anemia treatment may involve dietary changes and/or supplements, but it may require other medicines, procedures, or surgery to treat blood loss.

What can I do?

Focus your efforts on these specific actions:

  • Prioritize getting routine evaluations and evaluations as needed in the midst of suggestive symptoms.
  • If you fall into a risk category, your diet and iron supplementation matters. Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin. You can enhance iron absorption by eating red meats, chicken, turkey, pork, and fish/shellfish. If you don’t eat meat, foods that are good sources of iron include dark green leafy vegetables. This include such spinach, tofu, peas, dried fruits (prunes, raisins and apricots), prune juice and iron-fortified cereals and breads. Maintaining Vitamins B12, Vitamin C and folic acid, are also important in maintaining healthy cells and absorbing iron.

The good news is anemia can often be easily identified, treated and controlled. As with many other conditions, early diagnosis and treatment are key for improving one’s quality of life and life expectancy.

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Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

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Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Introduction

urinary_tractkids

Ladies, have you ever been told that you get urinary tract infections (aka UTIs or “bladder infections”) because you didn’t wipe front to back instead of back to front? Men, have you ever been told that this could be a sign that your prostate needs to be examined This Straight, No Chaser answers simple questions on urinary tract infections. With over 8 millions cases and 100,000 hospitalizations a year due to these, it’s information you should know. We offer the information in question and answer format.

 Urinary-tract-anatomy

What are urinary tract infections? Are they the same as a bladder infection?

What these questions really ask is “What is the urinary tract?” The body’s drainage system serves to remove excess fluid and bodily waste. It includes the following organs:

  • The kidneys serve to filter blood and produce approximately 1-2 quarts of urine per day as a result of this process.
  • The ureters are tubes extending from the kidneys to the bladder, carrying filtered urine within them.
  • The bladder is the pouch within which you store urine until you’re ready to release it.
  • The urethra is a tube at the bottom of the bladder through which urine gets expelled.

A UTI is an infection anywhere along this path. Infections at different parts of the urinary tract can display different symptoms and have different complications.

What causes a UTI?

Bacteria are the most common cause of UTIs, particularly those that live in the bowel (such as E. coli) and are within or in close proximity to the vagina. Under most circumstances the body is very effective at removing bacteria and other microorganisms from the urinary tract (urinating just washes them out!), but some of us are at increased risk due to diminished defenses or other circumstances in which these microorganisms can grow.

 utianatomy

Why do women get UTIs, and it seems like men don’t?

It is true that women get UTIs about four times more frequently than men, but anyone of any age or sex can be infected. Here are some reasons why.

  • Women have a shorter urethra, which makes it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder.
  • Also, the opening of a woman’s urethra is near the vagina and anus, where bacteria live.
  • Women who use a diaphragm are also more likely to get UTIs than women who use other forms of birth control.
  • The male prostate produces secretions that slow bacterial growth.

Are there other risk factors for UTIs? 

Yes. Others at higher risk for UTIs include the following.

  • those having diabetes or have lowered immune systems
  • those habitually needing a tube to drain their bladder
  • those with urinary tract abnormalities that block the flow of urine
  • those with spinal cord injuries or other nerve damage

Additionally, once a man has a UTI, it’s more likely he’ll have the problem again because the bacteria are extremely difficult to reach once they set up shop in the male prostate.

Are UTIs serious?

Unless you describe the annoying symptoms as serious, most UTIs are not serious. However, UTIs can lead to severe complications if left untreated, including the following:

  • Long lasting or recurrent kidney infections can cause permanent damage and scarring to the kidneys, which can create insufficient kidney function and produce high blood pressure and other problems.
  • Kidney infections can enter the blood stream and become life threatening.

 Urinary-Tract-Infection

What are the signs and symptoms of a UTI?

You should see your physician if you develop any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • A burning sensation with urination
  • Bloody, cloudy, dark or otherwise discolored urine
  • Fever or chills
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Frequent or urgent need to urinate, regardless of the amount actually expressed
  • Pain in your back or side below the ribs

How are UTIs diagnosed?

UTIs are diagnosed based both on symptoms and a lab test. Many of you have experienced your urine being sent to a lab from the emergency room or your doctor’s office. Based on a combination of symptoms, the presence of bacteria and white blood cells that have accumulated to fight the infection, the diagnosis will be made. If you have frequent infections, infections that don’t respond well to treatment, atypical presentations or are sick enough to be hospitalized, your urine may be cultured in an effort to grow the bacteria causing your symptoms. This allows more precise treatment regimens to be given. In other circumstances, tests may be done to check the normalcy of your urinary tract, including an ultrasound or CT scan. Further details on when and why this would be done is available on www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com.

An additional Straight, No Chaser will discuss prevention and treatment options for UTIs.

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Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Prevention and Treatment of Lead Poisoning

Introduction

This point is about prevention and treatment of lead poisoning.

leadaware

What you need to know about protecting yourself from lead poisoning and its effects is reducible to awareness, baseline testing, prevention and treatment.
We covered what you needed for awareness in the previous Straight, No Chaser.
However your goal really should be prevention via avoidance, as much as is possible. However, to prevent, you must have a level of awareness. Think about these things:

  • Do you have a child in your house between ages 6 months and 3 years old? If so, be reminded that children wander around putting things in their mouths.
  • Are you in an old house, or do you have old plumbing?
  • Do you live near a busy road or near bridges?

lead poisoning gettheleadout21

If you are in a high-risk situation, your ideal level of awareness should include preventive considerations such as getting your home tested and your blood lead level checked. If anyone in the home has been found to have high lead levels, the entire household should be checked.

Prevention

Whatever your level of exposure, you want to engage in preventive strategies to prevent further exposure that could lead to disease. Here are a few quick tips to do so:

  • Avoid dust in your home, because you just never know!
  • Wash everyone’s hands prior to eating.
  • Throw away old painted toys, unless you’re sure lead based paint was not used.
  • Use filters for your water, switch to bottled water for drinking and cooking, and/or let any tap water run for approximately one minute prior to drinking or cooking with it.
  • Avoid storing wines in lead crystal decanters for long periods of time.

lead003

Treatment

If you have been found to have any significant levels of lead in your blood, you have a role in your treatment. If your levels and symptoms are significant enough to be hospitalized, that will occur and you’ll receive medicine that facilitates the removal of lead from the body, called chelating agents. However, in the absence of that, your job likely will be to maintain a healthy diet that includes calcium, iron and Vitamin C, all of which help decrease lead absorption within the body.

lead-poisoning1

Prognosis

As mentioned, you want to avoid lead poisoning. Each year in the United States, approximately 310,000 kids aged 1-5 years old have unsafe levels of lead in their blood. In these children, even mild lead poisoning can have a permanent impact on attention and IQ. Remember, the developing brain is more susceptible to the toxic effects of lead. Those with higher lead levels have a greater risk of long-lasting health problems and must be closely followed because of the potential damage to the brain, nervous system, muscles and other systems. Adults who have had mildly high lead levels often recover without problems, but in general, a complete recovery from chronic lead poisoning may take months to years.

If you suspect you may have lead paint in your house, get advice on safe removal from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) at 800-RID-LEAD, or the National Information Center at 800-LEAD-FYI. Another excellent source of information is the National Lead Information Center at (800) 424-5323.

If you suspect you or someone in your family is suffering from the effects of lead, call 911 immediately and/or call 1-800-222-1222 to speak with a local poison control center for further instructions while you await the paramedics to arrive.

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Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Lead Poisoning

Introduction

lead_poisoning1

Medically speaking, it really wasn’t long ago when dozens of cases of lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan occurred. Of course, this was a result of elevated levels of lead in the city’s drinking water supply. This followed inadequate preventive treatment of the water supply, which is a necessary step in the provision of public health. The water had become contaminated from aging pipes in the Flint river, which became relevant after the city switched its water supply from Detroit sources in 2014. It’s hard to fathom that the number of poisonings was so high the city declared a state of emergency. It’s even harder to accept the suboptimal response that occurred to the emergency.

In case you’re wondering, yes, this could happen to you. If you read on, we’ll tell you how to minimize your exposure. Let’s review some frequently asked questions.

What is lead poisoning? Why is it dangerous?

Lead is a chemical element (“mineral”) that is quite poisonous in humans. Swallowing or breathing lead dust can cause major health problems, both immediately (with a very high exposure), or more commonly, over time with ongoing exposures to low levels. The particular concern is in exposure to children. As is the case with head injuries or most any other type of insult to a developing child’s brain and nervous system, a significant risk to one’s mental development occurs. The younger the child, the more dangerous the exposure is; the highest risks are in the unborn.

lead

How does one get poisoned? What are the risk factors?

Lead used to be very common in gasoline and house paint in the U.S., but lead based paint was banned in 1978. It is estimated that approximately 4 million Americans are still significantly exposed to potentially toxic levels of lead, because lead basically is everywhere, including old house paint, new toys, dust, dirt and gasoline. Children living in cities with older houses are more likely to have high levels of lead.

Most common exposures

Here’s a quick list of lead exposures (there are many other potential exposures):

  • Homes, toys and furniture painted in the US before 1978 and any toys made outside the US (no, the paint doesn’t have to be peeling);
  • Plumbing, pipes, faucets and the water flowing through them;
  • Soil contaminated by car exhaust (think near expressways or busy streets) or house paint scrapings (think old abandoned buildings); and
  • Storage batteries

Take these exposures seriously, because lead exposure comes from swallowing, touching and/or breathing objects containing lead particles. Once in the body and bloodstream, it spread, causing damage throughout. Two notable areas of concern are the effects of lead on blood cells (causing anemia) and on bones (preventing healthy, strong teeth and bone function due to reducing the absorption of calcium.

Lead-Poisoning

How does lead poisoning get identified? What are the signs and symptoms?

Lead poisoning can affect many different parts of the body, and symptoms can range from nothing obvious to dramatic mental impairment. Symptoms are more prominent as blood lead levels get higher.

Lead is much more harmful to children than adults because it can affect children’s developing nerves and brains. The younger the child, the more harmful lead can be. Unborn children are the most vulnerable.

It’s important to reiterate that many with lead poisoning won’t have signs of illness early on. If you believe your environment poses a risk, you should ask to be checked. Symptoms are often nonspecific, but if you can remember groupings of symptoms, you’d be on the right track.

Early Symptoms

  • Behavioral problems may exist such as irritability, difficulty concentrating, sluggishness or fatigue.
  • Digestive tract problems may exist, such as loss of appetite, a metallic taste in one’s mouth, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, constipation and/or abdominal pain.
  • Neurologic problems may exist, such as headaches, muscle and joint weakness or pain, seizures.
  • Pale skin from anemia is also often a prominent finding.

Longer Term Health Problems

  • damage to the nervous system (such as poor muscle coordination, speech and language problems), kidneys, and/or hearing
  • decreased bone and muscle growth
  • developmental delay

The next Straight, No Chaser will address prevention and treatment strategies.

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Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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The Intersection of Health and Happiness

Introduction – Merry Christmas!

health and happiness

Shouldn’t we be pursuing life, liberty health and happiness? That’s why we’re hear. Straight, No Chaser isn’t a medical encyclopedia. It’s a tool to empower you to make choices that best suit your lifestyle – the intersection between health and happiness. Even though today is Christmas, remember we offer you the gift of knowledge every day.

After more than 20 years as a physician, I still am fascinated at the health trade-offs people make for their pleasure – or “quality of life.” We have previously discussed your habits and how some of them negatively impact your physical and mental health. Click here for that discussion. The literature on negative energy and health is well documented and robust. In short, avoid negativity and those that bring it to you! That said, we’re following our own advice and going positive today.

To that end, here’s the other half of the “health and happiness” equation:

STATE OF MIND = STATE OF BODY. 

Healthy-Mind-plus-Healthy-Body-equals-Happy-Life-from-Starling-Fitness

This is science!

Research from the Harvard School of Public Health (Go, Crimson!) led by Laura Kubzansky, Associate Profession of Society, Human Development and Health, identified personal attributes that actually do translate into better health. Specifically these personality traits have been shown to help avoid or healthfully manage depression, diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and other diseases.

Her landmark 2007 study followed over 6,000 men and women for over 20 years, discovering that a sense of enthusiasm, hopefulness, engagement in life and the ability to face life’s stresses with emotional balance appears to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Her studies have also demonstrated that children with a positive outlook and ability to focus on a task at age seven are in better health with fewer illnesses 30 years later. An additional finding of hers is that optimism cuts the risk of coronary heart disease in half.

The keys to mental health and happiness

This isn’t that hard. It just requires a rewiring of some of our outlook on life. Make a change today. Become a more positive person, and you’ll become a healthier person! Incorporate these mental lifestyle changes and reap the benefits.

  • Emotional vitality: a sense of enthusiasm, hopefulness, engagement
  • Optimism: the perspective that good things will happen and that one’s actions account for the good things that occur in life
  • Supportive networks of family and friends
  • Good “self-regulation,” i.e., bouncing back from stressful challenges and knowing that things will eventually look up again
  • Healthy behaviors such as physical activity and eating well
  • Avoidance of risky behaviors such as unsafe sex, drinking alcohol to excess, and regular overeating

New Logo

Thank you

Speaking of Christmas, the Straight, No Chaser team greatly appreciates your readership, support and feedback. Over 40,000 of you both follow us and like us on social media and WordPress. We’ve had readers in over 200 countries around the world with well over 1,000,000 page clicks. Most of all you’ve helped us successfully launch multiple vehicles to continue our health mission around the world (see www.jeffreysterlingmd.com for a look-see). Also, thank you for supporting our books, all of which are about empowering you.

We’ll continue to give you information to make a difference in your lives. Please continue to share your stories. It is very fulfilling and fascinating to hear how these efforts have made a difference in your lives. Feel free to continue to send us topic requests. We generally find a way to work them into the schedule.

Thank you so much. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, peace and blessings throughout the holiday season.

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Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Lactose Intolerance – It’s Explosive!

Introduction

So I’m at dinner with a group of friends, and somehow the topic gets to lactose intolerance. For 15 minutes. They were really into it. At dinner! You know what it is. Everyone seemingly knows someone who has it, even if (hopefully) you aren’t reminded of it too often. Lactose intolerance is a state where you simply have difficulty digesting lactose (one of the sugars we consume, most notably in milk and other dairy products) because of a deficiency in the enzyme that breaks it down, called lactase. Lactose intolerance occurs more often in Black, Asian, Hispanic and Native Americans, but that doesn’t mean your body read that book.

So by now you may be thinking “What is there to discuss besides the odoriferous emanations produced?” (In case you didn’t get the reference that’s from an old Right Guard commercial featuring Charles Barkley.) Well, the biggest concern from a health standpoint is to ensure you’re still getting enough calcium to keep your bones strong and enough Vitamin D.

Here are 3 sets of practical facts to help you get through it all.

lactose-intolerance-400w-green

If you have lactose intolerance, that doesn’t mean you’re allergic to dairy products.

  • This is an important distinction. There’s nothing immediately life-threatening about the ingestion of dairy products if you’re lactose intolerant, as there might be if you were allergic. Just be aware of the cramping, bloating, flatulence, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and gas that may ensue.

If you’re lactose intolerant, that doesn’t mean you can’t necessarily have any dairy or won’t ever be able to have dairy.

  • Lactose intolerance occurs in many shades of grey. Some people get worse with age; others get better as they learn to work around it. Some develop lactose intolerance at birth, others later in life, and others develop it after injury or surgery to the small intestine (which is where lactase is normally produced). Some can ingest small amounts of certain products without symptoms. In the privacy of your own surroundings, you should discover for yourself if you’re affected every time you have dairy or whether or not only large amounts of certain products cause symptoms (e.g. Try not to eat the entire gallon of ice cream.). You should also gauge your response to dairy after taking various lactase-containing supplements.

If you’re lactose intolerant, you still can get adequate calcium. Here’s a few suggestions.

  • Soy and rice products have exploded (in a different way) on the market. Consider soy milk, soybeans and tofu.
  • Many juice, bread and cereal makers have taken to providing calcium.
  • Some fruits and veggies are great sources. Consider broccoli, collard and turnip greens, kale, okra, pinto beans, rhubarb, and spinach. Oranges are a good source of calcium.
  • Other great foods include almonds, salmon, sardines and tuna.

lactose-intolerance

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Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Differing Effects of Medications in the Elderly

Introduction

This Straight, No Chaser addresses the differing effects of medications in the elderly.

geriatrics_clip_image

The elderly are living longer and more productively. Part of being able to do so is by maintaining an understanding of how your actions  affect you. As you’d believe, one common action of many of the elderly is taking medications. You should be aware that medications have changing effects with aging. Also, you should be aware that there are many different reasons for that fact.

It’s the physiology

First of all, changes in our physiology due to aging make the effects of drugs less predictable and consistent than in younger people. A slower metabolism, increases in body fat and alterations in the function of the kidney and liver (major mechanisms for drug elimination) have important ramifications for what ingested substances will do. Thus, the elderly require more stringent monitoring of drug levels and effects, and you may find that your physician needs to adjust medication doses. This same consideration explains why side effects are more common among the elderly.

Be reminded the presence of other diseases brings additional effects and challenges. Just as with one’s own relatively diminished function, disease imposes the same type of changes onto the body. This can speed the presence of side effects and toxicity as well as adjust the effective dose of a medication.

Drug Interactions

medications in the elderly

Have you ever seen the individual with a small ‘army’ of medications? Think about it. The more medications one takes, the more likely drug interactions will ensue and changes in effectiveness in any single medication may occur. This effect incrementally increases with each additional drug one takes. Similarly, the more medications one is taking, the most likely one is to make a mistake in taking the correct medication at the right time. Now consider your independently living parents or grandparents. The elderly often are more prone to make these types of errors.

What can you do about this? Get organized, and get help! Those daily medication containers are good solutions to incorrectly dosing medications. If you’re especially organized, a log is great—not necessarily for you, but for the physician that will be trying to figure out why you’re dizzy or have an altered mental status if and when that occurs.
Talk with each doctor you see or a pharmacist about what to expect from the combination of medications you take; it can make your lives a lot less complicated.

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Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Taking Vitamins and Mineral Supplements

Introduction

This Straight, No Chaser discusses the use of vitamins and mineral supplements.

placebo effect in supplements
If any of you are familiar with the hit comedy The Big Bang Theory on CBS, you may recall this scene from one of the first episodes featuring the genius, physicist and would-be Noble Prize winner and the ditzy, would-be actress:

  • Sheldon (as Penny selects vitamin supplements): Oh boy.
  • Penny: What now?
  • Sheldon: Well, there’s some value to taking a multivitamin, but the human body can only absorb so much, what you’re buying here are the ingredients for very expensive urine.
  • Penny: Well, maybe that’s what I was going for.
  • Sheldon: Well then you’ll want some manganese.

The Prevailing Medical View on Widespread Use of Supplements

My views on these things have migrated over the years, and although I’ll share it with you, I still defer to the standard of care on medical matters. That standard is based on an editorial from the prominent medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine. In short, the findings of the editorial, based on a review of relevant recent literature and covering approximately half a million individuals are that taking supplements and multivitamins to prevent chronic diseases is a complete waste of money. Pointedly, the title of the editorial is “Enough is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements.” In other words, the vast majority of uses of vitamins and minerals are unwarranted and constitute a waste of your well earned dollars.

Here are a few points that reflect the prevailing opinion on supplements.

  • Physicians have every reason to embrace improvements in medicines and technology when they exist and no reason to shoot down them down when they’re effective. If there was evidence of widespread supplement use, you’d be hearing about it from your physicians.
  • Your individual opinions, anecdotes and personal experience do not constitute medical fact. Just because you felt better or believe your memory seemed to have improved after taking a certain pill doesn’t mean the cause of your improvement was the pill.
  • There is a phenomenon called the placebo effect that explains more than you’re willing to admit. It’s more or less “the power of positive thinking.” The placebo effect is a measurable, observable, or felt improvement in health or behavior not attributable to an administered medication or invasive treatment. Even though placebos are not active medicines, they seem to have an effect in about 1 out of 3 patients. This is thought to represent the body mobilizing to address the concern for which you decided to take the pill. In this example, vitamins aren’t placebos because they actually have an effect on the body. However, the improvements you’re experiencing aren’t directly attributable to those pills.

But you love them…

More than half of all adults in the United States take a multivitamin and/or additional supplements, including those touted to prevent cancer, heart disease and boost memory.
“The (vitamin and supplement) industry is based on anecdote, people saying ‘I take this, and it makes me feel better,’ said Dr. Edgar Miller, professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and co-author of the editorial. ”It’s perpetuated. But when you put it to the test, there’s no evidence of benefit in the long term. It can’t prevent mortality, stroke or heart attack.”

The vitamin and supplement industry rakes in nearly $12 billion annually, according to the researchers, with multivitamins its most popular product.

Try Diet Instead Unless Told Otherwise

With that, allow me to again extol the virtues of a good diet.

  • Most everything you’re looking for in a bottle can be obtained by a healthy diet. This is especially true with generous servings of fruits and vegetables.
  • It is a fair point to make that a large number of us do not engage in a healthy diet, so much so that a multivitamin would be beneficial. Of course, that begs the question “If someone is not compliant with the direction to eat health foods, why would you presume they’d be compliant taking a multivitamin daily?” These pills are not inexpensive. Your better course of action is in spending that money on healthier food choices.
  • It is appropriate to note that if you are suffering from a nutritional deficiency, you will benefit from a vitamin supplement. Of course, the deficiency would have diagnosed by your physician, and the supplement would have been recommended by your physician. Short of that, in most cases, you’re allowing your fears to be played upon.

Finally, and this is where I’ve migrated, if you simply have the money to spread (or burn as the case may be), and you choose to view supplement use as akin to an insurance policy, there’s usually no harm (medically speaking) to your doing so. I am an advocate of your taking any positive step forward for your health. I just wish you’d do so in an evidenced-based manner. This would be in your best medical – and financial – interests.

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Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

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Questions About Genetically Engineered Foods (GMOs)

Introduction

gmo

This post discusses and answers frequently asked questions about genetically engineered foods (GMOs).

Have you ever bred an animal, say a dog? Have you ever taken a vitamin or supplement? Of course you have, so let’s start the conversation there. Imagine you live in a world with shortages of food or fresh water, a diminished food supply, an inability to maintain the freshness of food, or have local conditions that require an abundant need for use of pesticides? What if your food supply could become a vehicle for delivery of vaccines or other medications? These are the arguments used to support the use of genetically engineered foods (aka bioengineered foods, aka GMOs), because all of these conditions exist in large parts of the world.

 GMO-Crops

Even if you didn’t previously understand the logic for the use of genetically engineered foods, you’ve been using them for a long period of time if you live in the U.S. Upwards of 70% of processed foods on US grocery store shelves contain a genetically modified ingredient. If you’re eating corn (or anything with high-fructose corn syrup, such as cereals, sodas or snacks), potatoes, soybeans, squash or tomatoes, you’re likely eating food that has been genetically altered.

Let’s review frequently asked questions.

What are GMOs?

The actual question should be “What are genetically engineered foods?” These foods have genes from other organisms (plants, animals or microorganisms) inserted into their genetic codes, introducing new traits to the affected foods once grown. GMO is short for genetically modified organisms.

Why would anyone want to do this?

There are many great reasons to want to do this. In fact, we have a long history of breeding. Dogs came from wolves. Long-stemmed roses are a result of breeding. Unfortunately, natural processes of doing this can take thousands of years. Science has evolved to the point that genetically desirable traits can be extracted from one source and placed into another.

 Genetically-Modified-Organism

So what would the benefits of doing this be?

Since you’re selecting (i.e. genetically engineering) what you want your food to be, you can create many different benefits. Here’s a list of some of those.

  • Ability to use food as medicine or vaccines
  • Faster growing (plants and animals)
  • Increased desirability of traits (e.g. less fat absorbent even when fried)
  • Increased food supply
  • Less need for water, fertilizer and pesticides
  • Less susceptible to pests and diseases
  • Longer shelf life
  • More drought tolerant
  • More nutritious
  • Tastier

What are the potential risks?

Let’s start by pointing out that the risks are theoretical. Perhaps “concerns” would be a better descriptor. The nature of concerns generally revolves around the notion that scientists may prove unable to control the science, and some genetic changes can end up different than planned and harmful. In some conceived scenarios, modified organisms could produce extinction of naturally occurring organisms, with resultant adverse effects on the environment (that requires a certain existing balance). Other risks could include cross-communication of allergies and antibiotic resistance (e.g. you could exhibit a peanut allergy while eating a tomato).

Is this why many speak out against it?

It’s hard to say. There are several reasons cited against GMOs, some of which are political, others of that are scientific and still others that could be ethical or religious.

  • You may be aware that the 28 countries of the European Union (EU) have banned GMOs. Why, you might ask? The official line is organically produced food is healthier and closer to nature, so it has to be better!
  • You should also be aware that the US dominates the world bioengineered food market. As such, if GMOs become the natural order of things, there is a certain reality other countries would have to accept when it comes to trade.
  • A different theoretical concern is a public health concern that we can’t afford the risk of creating any potential adverse effects to the environment, our food supply or to our health.
  • Still other fears center around the thought that farmers could be rendered irrelevant with these mass produced foods.

 gmo-ice-cream-hero

Are they safe?

I’ve mentioned “theoretical” on a few occasions. To be fair, there currently have been no adverse effects (to a medical or scientific certainty) demonstrated from using genetically engineered foods. To this point, GMOs have avoided significant regulation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), largely because the ice cream looks and tastes the same, and despite the craze toward organic foods, doesn’t appear to cause any harm. That said, no one is suggesting that either sufficient research has been done or that the long-term effects have been determined.

GMO-Infographic

Disclosure Issues

Another question asks why consumers aren’t simply informed as to whether the products they purchase are GMO products. Labeling would address that issue, but to this point the FDA hasn’t felt the need to do so and views a requirement to do so as punitive without cause. This lack of transparency is causing quite of a bit of concern, but I’d remind you that you don’t know (and usually don’t want to know) how most of your food supply is created (something about not wanting to know how the sausage is made comes to mind).

The bottom line is, at this point genetically engineered foods are regarded as safe. There are no reports of illness or injury due to consumption of these foods. You can rest assured that more research on the matter will be forthcoming. You’ve already been using them and would find it extremely difficult to avoid them in the US, even if you tried. The decision to avoid them at this point is either based on fear, politics or dissatisfaction with the level of scientific evidence supporting what is being seen in real time. The issue of labeling genetically modified foods as such is still an ongoing battle.

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Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Low Back Pain

Introductionlow-back-pain-image

For many, low back pain begins with a slip and subsequently becomes a slippery slope that never seems to end. This Straight, No Chaser will help you understand why you’re having pain.
Lower back pain is a tricky subject for an emergency physician, and it’s seen everyday. In fact, over 40 million Americans suffer from various forms of chronic low back pain. The lower back is a source of many life threatening emergencies, which I’ll discuss in a separate post, but for now, as always let’s give you some information to help prevent and address your routine back problems. Let’s start by understanding what the back’s trying to accomplish and how you help or hinder that process by your actions.
Remember the back is the major weight-bearing apparatus of the body and it connects the upper and lower body. It twists, turns, pulls and bends. It contains many vital nerves and muscles.
lower-back-pain-causes-2

Let’s point at four situations that produce or exacerbate your back pain.

Bad form (born with or otherwise acquired)

  • Spinal problems you were born with can predispose you to and outright cause all manner of back difficulties. Any machine works better if well-built.
  • Obesity puts a significant strain on your back in various ways. Given that most people don’t build up their back muscles, sprains and chronic pain are quite easy when you’re front-loaded. Pregnancy produces a similar strain on your back.

Strains

Have you ever heard that it’s easier to lift with your legs than your back? Well, I’d never think so based on the habits of many patients, but it’s true. The lower extremities are much stronger than your back. One of the problems with back strains is once it gets weak, it gets worse. Muscle spasms, pain, more strains and protruding discs all become more likely.

Fractures

A broken back is no fun. A weakened back bone (vertebrae) may collapse on its own if diseased (e.g. cancer, age, arthritis, infection), it may become fractured or may be injured with significant trauma. Those with osteoporosis have this happen more commonly. These broken bones may compress spinal nerves. You may even get shorter.

Arthritis and Normal Deterioration (aging)

There are other forms of arthritis beside degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis, which we all get as we age), but the resulting pain, warmth, redness, swelling and limitation in motion all forms lead to reduced function and pain that can continue for the remainder of one’s life.

Here are a few clues to help you hone in on whether your back pain requires emergency attention:

  • Direct blow to your back
  • Fever and new onset back pain
  • Loss of control of your bowel movements or bladder function
  • New onset back pain after age 65
  • Numbness and tingling in both of your legs
  • Nighttime back pain
  • Sudden sexual dysfunction
  • Weakness and/or loss of motion or sensation in your legs
  • Weight loss and new onset back pain
  • Work related back injuries

What can you do to prevent or reduce the pain at home?

  • Learn and practice good posture. Sit when you can. Keep your back straight and shoulders back. When you stand, find something upon which to prop one of your feet, like a stool (think Captain Morgan).

CaptainMorgan

  • Learn the correct way to lift (bend at the knees, not at the back – every time). If you have pain, avoid bending, stretching and reaching if avoidable.
  • Wear low-heeled shoes whenever you can, ladies!
  • Learn how to stretch your back.

LBP exercises

  • Maintain a healthy weight, and exercise to strengthen your abdomen and back (your core)
  • Sleep on your side. Try a pillow between your knees.
  • Walk. Did you know walking is the best (and easiest) exercise for your back?

Follow us!

Ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Also, take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. Additionally, as a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Another free benefit to our readers is introductory pricing with multiple orders and bundles!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Likewise, please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Also like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

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