Monday, April 25, 2011

Wellness Authors Show Interview

Yea! My interview on the Wellness Authors Show starts today and will run through Tuesday.

Pediatricians Wake Up

Rarely do I compliment doctors but the recent action by the American Academy of Pediatricians merits a definite "thumbs up." The group has condemned a 1976 federal law that stupidly relies on chemical companies to raise concerns about their products. (When was the last time you saw a company voluntarily raise safety concerns about its own products?) Unlike prescription drugs which must pass safety review the Toxic Substance Control Act limits the government from ordering testing or banning industrial chemicals.

Pediatricians have finally opened their eyes to the health problems being caused by the ever-expanding world of toxic chemicals. Because children are smaller and still developing they're especially at risk to toxic chemicals. Even the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) admits it knows very little about the thousands of chemicals being produced each year.

As more and more chemicals are created no one knows how they're going to interact with the thousands of chemicals already in our environment today, or how we're going to react to this growing toxic mix. It's time to put at least some minimum oversight on this problem before it's too late.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

DRUGS - ABC News Lead Story April 20th

I was pleased to see ABC Nightly News lead off the program with the story about America's growing prescription drug habit last night. (Interesting so many other media have ignored the story ... to their advertiser's delight.) In the past decade prescription drug use for pain has soared more than 50%, to the point that we now consume 80% of those drugs in the world.

Prescription drug overdoses have become a huge problem ... more people are killed with these drugs today than crack cocaine did in the 1980's or black tar heroin in the 1970's. Pain clinics are now passing out pills like M&M's with Florida being ground zero for the problem.

What does the DEA proposed to correct this problem? More education for doctors! Do they seriously think doctors don't know what they're doing? They're making money. More education for the drug supplier isn't going to solve the problem but more education for drug consumers about the addictive power of these drugs might. Maybe people will begin to realize that all drugs carry risks and we'll begin to reverse our drug-obsessed health care system in this country.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lifestyle vs. Money for Health

There's an interesting story in 24/7 Wall Street comparing how much countries spend on health care and their resulting longevity. As expected, the United States fares poorly. We spend more than anyone else by a long shot but don't live as long as most other industrialized countries. What makes the article interesting is that it highlights the importance of lifestyle.

Japan was rated as the best and they spend only 8.1% of GDP on health care compared to the nearly 17% spent by the United States. However more important is the fact that just 3.4% of Japan's population is obese compared with 34% in America. In short, lifestyle matters.

As much as we need to change our health care system it's even more important that we change our lifestyle.

Friday, April 15, 2011

First Chapter Plus

The new issue of First Chapter Plus is out and my book is still listed in the Past Releases section. Yeah! One of the nice things about the Internet is you can hang around for a long, long time.

Guess it doesn't hurt that Susan and I will be guest hosting Authors Access on the 21st either. Never hurts to have friends in high places!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

GAO Criticizes FDA

The General Accounting Office (GAO) has criticized the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for being too lenient in clearing critical, life sustaining devices. Meanwhile device manufacturers complain the U.S. is too slow compared to other countries.

The GAO told Congress this week that the approvals remain a serious issue even though it was raised more than two years ago. It should be noted that the device manufacturers major trade association, AdvaMed, has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying against any new device regulations.

Senate Aging Committee Chairman Herb Kohl, D-WI, said, "The drive toward getting new technologies to market shouldn't be done at the risk of patient safety."

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Dangers of Mainstream Medicine

Is it ignorance or something more sinister when the medical profession doesn't realize how many mistakes are being made in hospitals today? When a small fraction of medical errors are being caught and reported is it to protect their standing on the pedestal of public opinion or fear of reprisal from the medical profession? These are just a few of the questions resulting from a recent report published in Health Affairs that up to 90% of mistakes are not caught and reported with current patient safety systems.

Using the Global Trigger Tool designed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to review records at major hospitals across the country 345 hospital errors were discovered from a pool of 795 records. Current reporting systems found between 4 and 35 mistakes. Are doctors, nurses and hospitals really so inept or is this an example of intentionally looking the other way?

In any case this new information should give every patient pause when they consider putting their life into the hands of "modern" medicine. Don't be afraid to speak up if you feel something is wrong! Doctors and nurses can't walk on water, they're human beings prone to fatigue, emotions and many other reasons that cause them to make serious errors that can result in death or permanent disability.

After all, it's your life or the life of a loved one.

Isn't it interesting that so few media outlets even reported this story?