Category Archives: Uncategorized

Las Vegas Shooting: Does This Make Me a Conspiracy Theorist?

I heard about the shooting on TV around two hours after it started at 2210 hrs Oct 1. By three hours after start there were already eye-witness videos posted on Twitter. I listened to several of them and posted this at 1 AM Oct 2:

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12 Years Later: Does Gastric Bypass Still Work?

Type 2 diabetes remission persisted in half the surgical patients. Rates of high blood pressure and bad lipid numbers were also better in the surgical patients.

“The follow-up rate exceeded 90% at 12 years. The adjusted mean change from baseline in body weight in the surgery group was −45.0 kg (95% confidence interval [CI], −47.2 to −42.9; mean percent change, −35.0) at 2 years, −36.3 kg (95% CI, −39.0 to −33.5; mean percent change, −28.0) at 6 years, and −35.0 kg (95% CI, −38.4 to −31.7; mean percent change, −26.9) at 12 years; the mean change at 12 years in nonsurgery group 1 was −2.9 kg (95% CI, −6.9 to 1.0; mean percent change, −2.0), and the mean change at 12 years in nonsurgery group 2 was 0 kg (95% CI, −3.5 to 3.5; mean percent change, −0.9). Among the patients in the surgery group who had type 2 diabetes at baseline, type 2 diabetes remitted in 66 of 88 patients (75%) at 2 years, in 54 of 87 patients (62%) at 6 years, and in 43 of 84 patients (51%) at 12 years. The odds ratio for the incidence of type 2 diabetes at 12 years was 0.08 (95% CI, 0.03 to 0.24) for the surgery group versus nonsurgery group 1 and 0.09 (95% CI, 0.03 to 0.29) for the surgery group versus nonsurgery group 2 (P<0.001 for both comparisons). The surgery group had higher remission rates and lower incidence rates of hypertension and dyslipidemia than did nonsurgery group 1 (P<0.05 for all comparisons).

CONCLUSIONSThis study showed long-term durability of weight loss and effective remission and prevention of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. (Funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and others.)”

Source: Weight and Metabolic Outcomes 12 Years after Gastric Bypass — NEJM

Before resorting to surgery, try the Advanced Mediterranean Diet (2nd Ed.).

Mediterranean diet linked to lower risk for gallbladder removal surgery

“A high score of the Mediterranean diet was associated with 11% reduced risk of cholecystectomy,” the researchers wrote.“Women at risk of gallbladder disease should follow simple preventive measures to reduce the high costs and morbidity associated with complications of gallbladder disease,” Barré said.

Source: Mediterranean diet linked to lower risk for gallbladder removal surgery

Higher Blood Magnesium Levels Linked to Lower Incidence of Hypertension, Cardiovascular Disease, and Type 2 Diabetes

From the abstract of a recent meta-analysis:

“Magnesium (Mg) is the second most predominant intracellular electrolyte, following after potassium. Mg serves as an important cofactor in many essential enzymatic reactions involved in glucose metabolism and several essential physiological processes, including modulating vascular smooth muscle tone and endothelial cell function. The role of Mg in the development and progress of T2DM and cardiovascular diseases (CVD) has drawn researchers’ attention in the recent decades. Several large prospective cohort studies have shown that low Mg intake is associated with incidence of T2DM and CVD. Notably, because Mg intake was usually assessed based on self-administered food frequency questionnaires, misclassification is inevitable. In addition, dietary Mg could not represent the accurate amount of Mg intake without considering the substantial loss during food processing and cooking. Moreover, the health impact of Mg is difficult to be distinguished from intake of other nutrients such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and fiber.”

Source: Circulating magnesium levels and incidence of coronary heart diseases, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes mellitus: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies | Nutrition Journal | Full Text

How To Stop Chronic Daily Narcotic Use

Not your typical street-level drug pusher, but a great source of oxycodone

The mainstream news outlets in the U.S. tell us we are in the midst of a narcotic use epidemic. People are dropping like flies from overdose.

Narcotics are also called opioids. I’m talking about oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), morphine, fentanyl, heroin, etc. Not Xanax, Ativan, or Valium.

On average, it takes three weeks of daily narcotic use to get physically dependent on it. This means that when you stop the drug completely and suddenly, your body may crave it and you could have withdrawal symptoms. The severity of withdrawal symptoms varies from person to person. Possible symptoms include anxiety, sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, restless legs, weakness, easy fatigue, shaking, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, and muscle pain or cramps.

Good and bad news, bad news first: Narcotic withdrawal can be very uncomfortable but rarely causes medically serious complications. The serious complications are usually in folks with pre-existing heart disease, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, or heart rhythm disturbances.

Here’s how you stop your chronic daily narcotic habit without suffering a withdrawal syndrome (if needed, see the postscript for an example):

  1. Total up your current total daily dose in milligrams
  2. Determine 10% of the amount by dividing the milligrams by 10
  3. Reduce your daily milligram intake by that 10% every week
  4. Nine weeks later you’ll be off narcotics

Congratulations! You’ve done your part to solve America’s opioid use epidemic. You’ve reduced your drug bill, avoided Opiate Use Disorder, and reduced your risk of narcotic overdose death by 100%. And you did it without political meddling or an expensive stay at a detox center.

Be aware that as you taper off your narcotic, you may have a flare of an underlying psychiatric condition such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, or psychosis. If so, see a mental health professional posthaste.

Good luck, America!

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Take Percocet 10/325 for example. It’s 10 mg of oxycodone and 325 mg of acetaminophen. Say you’re taking Percocet 10/325, four pills at at time, four times a day. That’s a total daily oxydocodone dose of 160 mg (16 pills x 10 mg). 160 mg divided by 10 = 16 mg. We have to round off 16 mg to 15 mg due to the availability of various strengths of Percocet. So starting today, you reduce your daily oxycontin dose by 15 g, which is one-and-a-half pills. After one week, you reduce your daily pill count by another one-and-a-half pills. Etc.

PPS: Let you’re doctor know what you’re doing beforehand. He’ll be overjoyed and ensure it’s safe for you to do this taper.

Guess What Kind of Diet Can Treat Depression?

 

Olive oil is a prominent source of fat in the Mediterranean diet

From Dr. Emily Deans at Psychology Today:

“This year, finally, we have the SMILES trial, the very first dietary trial to look specifically at a dietary treatment in a depressed population in a mental health setting. Participants met criteria for depression and many were already being treated with standard therapy, meds, or both. The designers of this trial took the preponderance of observational and controlled data we already have for general and mental health and decided to train people using dietary advice, nutritional counseling, and motivational interviewing directed at eating a “modified Mediterranean diet” that combined the Australian Dietary Guidelines and the Dietary Guidelines for Adults in Greece. They recommended eating whole grains, vegetables, fruit, legumes, unsweetened dairy, raw nuts, fish, chicken, eggs, red meat (up to three servings per week), and olive oil. Everyone in the study met criteria for a depressive disorder.

The experimental arm of subjects were instructed to reduce the intake of sweets, refined cereals, fried food, fast food, processed meat, sugary drinks, and any alcohol beyond 1-2 glasses of wine with meals. There were seven hour long nutritional counseling sessions and a sample “food hamper” with some food and recipes. The control group had the same number of sessions in “social support,” which is a type of supportive therapy that is meant to mimic the time and interpersonal engagement of the experimental group without utilizing psychotherapeutic techniques.

*  *  *

Despite the small size, the results were still statistically significant and better than anticipated. The dietary group had bigger reductions in depression scores at the end of 12 weeks. Remission of depression symptoms occurred in 32.3 percent of the diet group as opposed to 8 percent of the control group.”

Source: A Dietary Treatment for Depression | Psychology Today

The Mediterranean diet: Is there anything it can’t do?

Men, Are You Androgen Deficient?

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet, Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet

Testosterone is one reason men are better than women at push-ups

I’m running across more middle-aged and older men who are taking testosterone supplements. I don’t know if it’s a national trend or simply a Scottsdale, AZ, phenomenon.

The Endocrine Society in 2010 published guidelines regarding testosterone therapy for men who are androgen-deficient. Here are their recommendations on who should be tested for deficiency, and how:

1.1 Diagnosis and evaluation of patients with suspected androgen deficiency

We recommend making a diagnosis of androgen deficiency only in men with consistent symptoms and signs and unequivocally low serum testosterone levels.

We suggest that clinicians measure serum testosterone level in patients with clinical manifestations shown in Table 1A. We suggest that clinicians also consider measuring serum testosterone level when patients report the less specific symptoms and signs listed in Table 1B.

TABLE 1.
Symptoms and signs suggestive of androgen deficiency in men
A. More specific symptoms and signs
Incomplete or delayed sexual development, eunuchoidism
Reduced sexual desire (libido) and activity
Decreased spontaneous erections
Breast discomfort, gynecomastia
Loss of body (axillary and pubic) hair, reduced shaving
Very small (especially <5 ml) or shrinking testes
Inability to father children, low or zero sperm count
Height loss, low trauma fracture, low bone mineral density
Hot flushes, sweats
B. Other less specific symptoms and signs
Decreased energy, motivation, initiative, and self-confidence
Feeling sad or blue, depressed mood, dysthymia
Poor concentration and memory
Sleep disturbance, increased sleepiness
Mild anemia (normochromic, normocytic, in the female range)
Reduced muscle bulk and strength
Increased body fat, body mass index
Diminished physical or work performance
We suggest the measurement of morning total testosterone level by a reliable assay as the initial diagnostic test.

We recommend confirmation of the diagnosis by repeating measurement of total testosterone.

We suggest measurement of free or bioavailable testosterone level, using an accurate and reliable assay, in some men in whom total testosterone concentrations are near the lower limit of the normal range and in whom alterations of SHBG are suspected.

We suggest that an evaluation of androgen deficiency should not be made during an acute or subacute illness.

Harriet Hall thinks testosterone is being over-prescribed.