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blog : Page archive : Page 2013-08

Fat is Expensive

By Dr. Jerry Mixon August 20, 2013

When your doctor tells you to lose weight, it’s not because they care what you look like in a bathing suit. We used to think that fat was just energy stored against the future, and that someday there will be a famine so the skinny would starve and the chubby would inherit the earth.

But that famine never came. We now know that fat produces a variety of hormones, peptides, and enzymes that can have wide-ranging impact on your health. Overweight people have increased risk of diabetes, dementia, cancer, sexual dysfunction, heart disease and strokes. It costs Medicare 50% more every year to treat an obese American compared to one of normal weight. The problem is only 20% of Medicare patients are normal weight.

If we Americans lost our extra weight, most of the healthcare crisis would disappear right along with the pounds.

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Is it Prevention or is it Early Diagnosis?

By Dr. Jerry Mixon August 19, 2013

Everyone seems to agree that prevention of disease is critically important, but most of what doctors do under the heading of preventive care is not prevention, it’s really just early diagnosis.

Pap smears and mammograms don’t prevent breast and cervical cancer; they help us diagnose them early. Prostate exams, chest x-rays, and your annual physical don’t prevent disease, they help us find it early. It is possible not to have a disease, but still be weak, tired, and overweight, while robust good health means being fast, strong, lean, smart, and sexy.

But fast, strong, lean, smart, and sexy pretty much define optimal health, and optimal health requires you and your doctor working together to change your lifestyle, enhance your diet and supplements, move your hormones back to a robust youthful level, and boost your immune system. This is the direction I think medicine should be moving.

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Secondhand Smoke May Damage a Child's Brain

By Dr. Jerry Mixon August 18, 2013

Secondhand smoke damages the brains of children. A recent study that followed 91,000 children under the age of 12 demonstrated that secondhand smoke exposure increased learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, and psychiatric problems by 50% or more.

It turns out that secondhand smoke has a dramatic impact on the developing brain. Young people who are still developing their mental and emotional capacity seem to be at high risk of damage. Since smokers tend to be people with less education, and less earning power, the children of the poor are impacted by this more than any other group.

Unfortunately, these are also the parents that are least likely to recognize that their smoking is damaging their children’s brain and limiting what they can achieve for the rest of their lives. I have one good suggestion to solve this problem: if you smoke, stop.

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Secondhand Smoke May Be Related to Hearing Damage

By Dr. Jerry Mixon August 17, 2013

Secondhand smoke damages hearing in children. A recent study of 1500 kids between 12 and 19 years of age demonstrated that the more exposure they had to secondhand smoke, the worse their hearing tended to be. By measuring the amount of cotinine in the blood of these adolescents, researchers were able to calculate the extent of their exposure to secondhand smoke.

Overall it was found that 60% of the kids with secondhand smoke exposure had some degree of hearing loss. The best current theory is that the secondhand smoke is actually damaging the auditory nerves in the still growing young people.

We often think of secondhand smoke as triggering asthma or causing breathing problems in younger people. But it now appears that secondhand smoke is actually causing neurologic damage. Here’s one more good reason why every smoking parent should quit.

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Your BPM Can Predict Your Risk of Cardiac Disease

By Dr. Jerry Mixon August 16, 2013

How fast your heart beats may predict how long you live. There are a lot of fancy and expensive medical tests that can be done to determine your risk for heart disease, stroke, and premature death. But there’s one test that you can actually do at home sitting on your couch that costs nothing, takes about one minute, and will give you a pretty good idea of your risk.

Here’s how you do the test. Sit quietly and rest for 15 minutes. Then find your pulse in your wrist or your neck and count the beats for one minute. If your resting heart rate is more than 84 bpm, your overall risk of cardiovascular disease goes up by about 40%. And the odds are you will live about a year and a half less than others your age.

But if you will lose your excess fat and start exercising, your heart rate should slow, and your risk should return to normal.

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