Health Care Reform

Expensive Health Care – Today’s NYT’s

There’s no question that we are over testing and over treating patients in this country – $210 billion worth of over-everything according to today’s New York Times.

We spend a total of $2.3 trillion a year on healthcare. Well, is worth isn’t it? – As long as we get good care? Right?

In the year 2000 the World Health Organization (WHO) ranked the health system of the world. Oman, Andorra and San Marino were ranked much higher than the United States who ranked 37th.

Excuse my ignorance but I have never heard of these countries – not even in the Olympic opening ceremony. Cuba, a country with much less resources is ranked 39th – two slots below the US (which has the highest expenditure in healthcare cost per capita).

In fairness, the WHO ranking system does not reflect the quality of our health care as much as simple life expectancy. There are multiple other factors related to life expectancy including diet and exercise – other countries simply get more.

Actual health care, the kind that you would want if you got into a car accident, is darn good in the United States. Very expensive (another problem) but good.

I guess the point here is that we should all take responsibility for our own health by exercising, eating nutritionally and supplementing intelligently. This is real health –care.

Maybe our disease care system is only good for acute health problems and emergencies and not for chronic disease – again, personal responsibility is key.

Sources:

New York Times

Real Clear Politics

 

Please support licensure of Naturopathic Medicine in NY!

While I was at the AUA in Washington DC on Tuesday my Naturopathic colleagues were in Albany meeting with legislators working towards licensure of Naturopathic physicians in New York State.

 

The problem:

ND’s are trained to practice medicine and ONLY 16 states offers a naturopathic medical  license.

The closest state to NY to offer Naturopathic licensure is Connecticut.

 

How do ND’s practice in New York?

 

Many ND’s in NY practice with another license, like an acupuncture license for example. Others just practice as nutritional consultants but they cannot diagnose a disease or treat any disease with naturopathic treatments or medications like in other states. Yet others live in New York and travel to practice in Connecticut.

 

How are ND’s different than MD’s ?

 

ND’s are another branch of medicine that are experts in the medical use of natural therapies like medicinal herbs, clinical nutrition, homeopathy, environmental medicine and lifestyle medicine. Prescriptive rights are offered in many licensed states. ND’s complete their rigorous clinical training during the last 2 out 4 years of naturopathic medical school. Some may decide to complete a residency in general medicine or, as it is in my case, urology after naturopathic medical school.

MD’s go through 4 years of medical school followed by 4 to 6  years of residency where they focus in on area of medicine; eg. cardiology, urology, neurology, etc.

 

Why is this important?

Many of those that have been treated by ND’s will tell you that they have experienced relief from their chronic ailments from naturopathic medicine. For acute illness’, eg severe infection, car accident, cancerous tumor, one would NOT use a naturopath ( as they are often referred to) but a medical doctor for the initial care then be treated by a naturopath for over all care of chronic disease.

ND’s in NY are limited with ordering labs and diagnosing and treating disease.

The best way of treating disease is by preventing it in the first place and ND’s are properly trained in this area.

Preventive medicine is cheaper and will lower health care cost dramatically.

Naturopathic medicine does not replace mainstream medicine but it complements it – we become partners of good medical outcomes.

 

What can you do?

Go to this link and contact your legislator.

 

Sources

American Association of Naturopathic Physicians – www.naturopathic.org

New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians – http://nyanp.org/

New York Council for Naturopathic Licensure – http://ndsfornys.com/blogs/

 

Please help this important cause.

Thank you.

 

In Optimal Health,

Dr. Geo

Cost of being healthy

At a holiday party this past weekend I was asked, “ how can we sustain the best health possible during tough economic times? It seem like being healthy is more expensive than unhealthy.”

Ok folks, as always, I will give you the take home message. After years of studying the link between health and economics, I have come to the conclusion that being healthy is not nearly as expensive as being unhealthy.

In fact, it is MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE to be unhealthy than healthy.

The difference:

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New Study Reveals: Day Dreaming is Unhealthy

A Man Daydreaming while at workRecent studies have shown that daydreaming makes one look miserable.The findings claim that people spend closely half of their waking hours day dreaming, despite the fact whether they are at job or doing something else.


However strange thing to be noticed goes opposite to the perception, that idle thoughts do not make one happy, even if they are pleasant and likely suitable. Cons tarry to it, day dreaming lands us on yearning what possibly might have been instead of what is there.


Details of the Study:


The study perfumed at Harvard University, concluded that our minds wandered for 46.9 per cent of the time, starting from early morning commuting to doing the regular housework. It has been observed that only in case of making love the mind concentrates 100percent at the job in hand. The study employed mobile phone technology to follow 2,000 volunteers going about their daily lives.


They responded by sending updates on what they are upto and at the same time, how ecstatic they felt and whether their mind was wandering. Researcher Matthew Killingsworth said: `This study shows our mental lives are pervaded, to a remarkable degree, by the non-present.’ The respondents seem to be less excited after allowing their mind wander than they it was before. The experts claimed that one of the probable reasons is that it acts like a wanderer to a neutral or unpleasant topic than to a pleasant one.


Researcher Professor Daniel Gilbert stated: `Many philosophical and religious traditions teach happiness is to be found by living in the moment. They suggest that a wandering mind is an unhappy mind.’


Source:


Bone Disease May Develop Among HIV Patient

Bone DiseasesPeople with HIV are much more likely to develop bone disease, or be on their way to developing it, a new study shows.

In a group of people with HIV, researchers found eight in 10 had either osteoporosis, the brittle-bone disease that raises the risk of fractures, or osteopenia, abnormally low bone mass that could progress to osteoporosis.

It’s unclear exactly why people with HIV are more likely to experience bone loss, study author Dr. Anna Bonjoch of the Lluita contra la SIDA Foundation in Barcelona, Spain, told Reuters Health.

HIV-positive people have the same risk factors as anyone else, but the virus itself may affect bones, as may some drugs used to treat it. However, the fact that some drugs may increase the risk does not mean people should opt out of taking them, she cautioned.


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Regular Intake Of Coffee Is Far More Healthful Than It Is Harmful

Benefits of CoffeeLeading up to the American Revolution in December 1773, the Boston Tea Party was the historical event that began to transform America into a coffee drinking nation. Today the U.S. is responsible for more than a third of worldwide coffee consumption at 400 million cups every day. Over the years, thousands of studies have been done examining coffee’s impact on health and, for the most part, their results are as pleasing as the aroma of that freshly brewed cup of java.

“Overall, the research shows that coffee is far more healthful than it is harmful,” says Dr. Tomas DePaulis, research scientist at Vanderbilt University’s Institute for Coffee Studies. “For most people, very little bad comes from drinking it, but a lot of good.”


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New Tumor Marker Rise for an Earlier Cancer Detection

A hormone receptor normally confined to the reproductive organs has been detected in malignant tumors in many parts of the body, researchers report. Researchers from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, working with French government scientists, say this common link may offer a new target for the early diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

They evaluated tumor tissue samples from 1,336 men and women with 11 common cancers, including prostate, breast, colon, pancreatic, lung, liver and ovarian. The analyses revealed the presence of the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) receptor in the blood vessel cells of the tumors.


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Medical Physical Exams – A lost art

I heard somewhere during my naturopathic medical training that a good physical exam, good detailed history taking and the use of the stethoscope can give a physician up to 80% of what they need to determine a diagnosis.


Being a doctor is an art and a science.  The art part seems to be lost.

Physicians are so dependent on costly medical testing that you wonder why doctors are needed at all.

I have probably saved about a dozen lives in my career from doing a complete physical exam on patients. In some cases I have detected heart sound abnormalities where I referred to a cardiologist, tumor growths on abdominal palpation where the patient was correctly referred to a gastroenterologist, and aortic aneurysm’ which earned them an immediate trip to the emergency room from my office.


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New Heart Device Replacement For Longer Survival

Thousands of older Americans who need new heart valves but are too frail to survive the surgery might soon get a chance at an easier option – a way to thread in an artificial aortic valve without cracking their chests.

The aortic valve is the heart’s main doorway, and a major new study found that snaking a new one in through an artery significantly improved the chances that patients with no other treatment options would survive at least a year.


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Understanding More of Our Heart and Keeping It Happy

We see a lot of hearts everywhere. We give little heart shaped balloons, candies and other goodies on special days. We even cross our hearts when making promise and previously thought that our emotions came from our hearts.

Our heart is a myogenic muscular which is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated rhythmic contractions. You heard it right; your heart is really a muscle. It’s located a little to the left of the middle of your chest. It is of small size, about the size of your fist. There are lots of muscles in our body — in your arms, in your legs, in your back, even in your behind.

Your heart is sort of like a pump, or two pumps in one. The right side of your heart receives blood from the body and pumps it to the lungs. The left side of the heart does the exact opposite: It receives blood from the lungs and pumps it out to the body.


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