Monday, September 20, 2010


The inevitable is happening. A new gene coming from India makes common germs into superbugs, or germs that are immune to antibiotics. Called NDM-1, the new gene has already shown up in three states and in Canada involving three different types of bacteria. In every case the patient has either received surgery or visited India.

After decades of overuse of antibiotics it's not a surprise that Mother Nature would find a way to adapt. The surprise is that this new gene seems capable of using different mechanisms to enable a bacteria to use it to deflect all types of antibiotics.

It would make sense to boost your natural immune system instead of relying strictly on antibiotics.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Uninsured Population Grew in 2009

Health insurance reform may have passed but its effects won't take effect for many until 2014. In the meantime the need for reform continues to grow. Last year (2009) there were 50.7 million Americans uninsured or 16 .7% of population which is up from 46.3 million and 15.4% in 2008. Most of this change is caused by the current economic recession, either from employers dropping coverage of from people being unable to afford private insurance.

These aren't just numbers on a page, they're living, breathing individuals who now spend hours in hospital emergency rooms waiting for treatment. This lack of coverage is one of the factors in America's low ranking for longevity compared to other industrialized countries.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Money and Happiness

According to this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences money can buy you happiness ... sort of. Surveys of 450,000 Americans done in 2008-09 showed that you need at least $75,000 to keep the wolves at bay on a daily basis. Less than that and your sense of security and the daily grind wear you down so having extra money does, in fact, bring you some breathing room and ... happiness.

That's not to say more money doesn't bring you an increase in your feelings of success, it does. But the emotional well-being measured in the surveys seems to level off. Apparently the added responsibilities and financial concerns that come with more money balance out the increased income.

Haven't you known folks earning less than $75,000 who were happy? Or ones that earned much more who were happy? Focusing on an external variable over-simplifies the reasons for happiness. It's like taking a pill to treat a symptom instead of looking at the cause of the problem.

The bottom line is happiness begins inside, not outside. The sooner we realize that the happier we will be. It's not what happens to us in life, it's how we react to it that matters.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Prescription Drug Use Grows

A new government survey shows prescription drug use continues to increase in America. The report which covers through 2008 says that 48% of all Americans take prescription drugs now. The number of people taking 2 or more drugs grew to 31% but the biggest jump was in people taking 5 or more prescription drugs, nearly doubling from 6% to 11% in 2008.

Who says TV advertising doesn't work? It's sure worth the money when it comes to pushing prescription drugs!

Personally, I'm really getting tired of seeing at least one drug ad in every TV break at night, sometimes more than one. When is America going to realize there's a reason we're one of the very few countries in the world that allows this type of direct-to-consumer advertising?

Given the cost of these drugs is it any wonder why so many folks are turning to complementary and alternative medicine now?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

KFOR Interview

Had a wonderful time on KFOR this morning on the Problems and Solutions show with Cathy Blythe. As she mentioned at the beginning of the program I used to work in radio in Lincoln so we've known each other for many years. It sure helps to be a friend of the host! We laughed and had a good old time talking about the new book.