Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Appearance of Health

One must make a huge distinction between the appearance of health and the actual state of health. Too often, we become blinded to the true nature of illness and dis-ease, by the outward illusion of health. I was most recently thinking of this dilemma in regards to weight loss. The epidemic of eating disorders and diet mania is a prime example. Individuals starve themselves, deprive the body of essential nutrients, and generally spiral out of control toward an ever widening state of illness, under the guise of creating heath by being skinny. It is a sham. Health is independent of weight, and it is more important to live a healthy life at any weight than it is to be at the bottom of the BMI.
I do not mean to imply that we should be skinny or fat, that one is good while the other is bad. It is just as likely the case that a 220 lb woman is as healthy as a 150 lb counterpart. I have worked with patients that are "rail thin" with chronic aches and pains, and triglycerides and cholesterol off the charts. We can not, nor should we judge a book by its cover.
It is true that when we begin to move towards a more ideal state of health, we will often loose excess weight. This is an expected result and if the lifestyle changes are permanent, the weight loss should be too. So begin your journey to find the balance of health, internal and external, and enjoy a more complete way of living.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

No Surprise, but second-hand smoke damages Endothelial function in Children

I am not surprised by this statement recently disclosed in Heartwire, a professional service of medscape. This conclusion was based on the results from a study in Finland looking at the correlation between a metabolite of nicotine found in the urine of children and the ability of the same children's endothelial cells to dilate. It is no surprise that those children with a higher concentration of the urinary metabolite, had poorer functioning endothelial cells. What is significant, is that they began to notice these effects in children as young as 8 years old (the age when they first started to test), with levels indicating that their overall exposure to smoke was minimal.

It doesn't take much to start our children off in the wrong direction. This study illustrates just how susceptible children are to influences both within and beyond our control. It is vital to do what we can to minimize the unnecessary exposure to toxins that will effect our children down the road. This requires a strong degree of awareness on the part of adults because as the study illustrated, we may not observe the subtle damage that is taking place until it is too late.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Ready or Not, Here Health Comes

Today is my first day seeing patients in my new office location in Central Square in Cambridge. I don't feel ready. My printer/fax/copy machine isn't here yet. I don't have my credit card machine. And while filling my first homeopathic remedy in my new office I realized that I didn't have any labels to put on the vial. For the past two days I have been wishing for an extra day to pull things together, to catch my breath and get all the little things... and then I would be ready to begin seeing patients.
But you know what? Now is as good a time as any. This is an important lesson to learn. Especially concerning our health. Too often we want to wait to begin making those changes that will benefit us or others until everything is just right. We want it to be perfect. We have to first get through the holiday, or the weekend, or the project, or until the extra money is there. The problem is that there will always be another project, another distraction, just one more thing that you need until the time will be just right. When you keep waiting and putting it off, the time won't necessarily become right, too often it becomes too late.
Don't wait until tomorrow. We can start working these things out together, today.