Showing posts with label medicine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label medicine. Show all posts

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Weed and Heart Health

Recent media reports link marijuana use with cardiovascular disturbances. NORML exposed this media brouhaha for what it was, much ado over nothing. The media will go out of its way to print anything to make marijuana look bad. It reminds me of the day when the newspapers printed lies against gays. It is because of ignorance and the presence of an agenda among the media owners.

However, I have found that cannabis does increase heartbeat. The same holds true for coffee or any substance with caffeine. Too much can cause accelerated heartbeat and other problems. Too much marijuana, or rather too much of the active ingredient, THC, can have a similar effect. Moderation in all things is key. Some people, especially those with addictive personalities, have trouble moderating their intake of substances. They suppose that if a little bit is good, then a lot is going to be great, but that is not necessarily the case.

I secretly dreaded the mainstreaming of marijuana, because I felt that there would be reports of addictive people overindulging in marijuana, as so many other substances are overindulged in. There are countless cases of people drinking themselves to death, overdosing on pills, and the list goes on, and as marijuana increasingly becomes legal and prescribed medicine, there will be cases of people misusing that substance as well. It seems everything under the Sun, some humans find a way to misuse, and then there are people who want to pass a law to ensure they don't misuse, and then some people break that law, and a whole cycle of non-productive nonsense and craziness ensues.

No substance is without potential and theoretical danger. Too much of anything tends to be harmful. I am a bit suspicious of the media's motives in pointing out rather obvious "pitfalls" in marijuana. If one sits on a bale of marijuana and lights it up, then one will burn to death. If one were force-fed a kilogram of dry marijuana, one would suffocate. If one smoked reefers nonstop for twenty-four hours, probably ill effects would arise there as well. These things are rather obvious. There is an expectation in our society that an adult will exercise a certain amount of common sense and not engage in foolish, ill-advised actions.

If one is unfamiliar with a substance, then it is a good idea to expose oneself to it gradually in small amounts. One should be aware of potential side effects and learn methods of countering them. By the same token, doctors prescribe small amounts of opiates to new patients, only ramping up after the patient grows accustomed to the drug. Certainly no one maintains that marijuana is worse for heart function than opiates, which can stop a beating heart! Indeed, one popular method of suicide is to overdose on opiates. Marijuana is scorned by suicides, because it has no ability to kill.

Where marijuana is concerned, the occasional "bad trip" can be countered by eating. I think the increase in appetite is the body's way of countering the influence of marijuana, and the more one eats, the less "high" one feels. Drinking water also helps. Some bad trips can simply be slept off. I have had many bad trips in my day, usually of the paranoid variety, because I am the type of person who analyzes, which is to say I'm a worrier, which made me a rather good engineer, because I anticipate problems rather than waiting for them to pop up. Marijuana offers a journey into the shadow world of the spirit. Bad trips are not without merit. Sometimes a bad trip accompanies an insight, a moral lesson that otherwise may not be received. Sometimes I view an unpleasant experience as divine direction to cease use, to go on a vacation from marijuana for a period. I am a strong believer in periods of abstinence and clarity. I like to emerge and reattach to the material world and feel its intensity all anew.

Doctors Have It Rough

I read today that the Afghan security guard who killed three American doctors went into surgery at the same facility after the shoot-out. I imagine the dead doctors' colleagues were the ones who fixed him up. What a rough job that must be, psychologically. On the one hand, it is only human nature to want to strangle the guy that killed your friends (or even coworkers/acquaintances). On the other hand, doctors swear the Hippocratic Oath and must treat good and bad alike.

I really cannot relate with the Taliban. They seem determined to project an image of absolute evil. Targeting doctors is weak, barbaric, and the list of negative adjectives goes on without end. The last person that should ever be targeted in any conflict is medical staff. They are the caregivers to humankind.

If the Taliban had the sense God gave a goose, they'd buckle down and try to rebuild their country instead of fighting a pointless war trying to turn back the clock to the Middle Ages.

On the other hand, it may be that just enough Afghans are so foolish they actually support the Taliban and that the Taliban will one day return to power. That may be the case. Afghanistan may be the designated septic tank of the world where all the bad things happen. But should we be pouring a lot of money into that place? No. Money down the drain.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Planned Departure

An elderly man's meticulously planned suicide almost went OK, but the one area where he erred was in using a substance that alarmed the first responders and his neighbors. I am not really familiar with substances like potassium cyanide, but it may be that there was concern over the fumes. Of course, using poison is better than using a firearm, the typical choice for men, because after a bullet exits a gun, there's no telling where it might ricochet, and the mess is unpleasant, not something anyone should be forced to clean up. Personally, I think the man made a creative political statement as his last act. It was creative in the sense he took precautions not to harm anyone and did not harm anyone besides himself. He must have had a flair for the dramatic. It is a very unusual case.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Antibiotics to be Replaced by T-cells

Antibiotics are a primitive remedy for infection, because they kill indiscriminately and foster the evolution of resistance in germs. I have not accepted an antibiotic prescription in over twenty years. If a doctor prescribes an antibiotic for a mild or moderate condition, one that is not persistent or life-threatening, he is in error. The remedy does more harm than good. Most often, antibiotics do not have the intended effect. They destroy bacteria within the body, but the specific variety of bacteria or the viruses that caused the illness remain unscathed. Humans require certain microbes in order to live well.

In the future, if there is a future, that is, if humans don't destroy their civilization through neglect or anger, antibiotics will be replaced by T-cell therapy. T-cells with the body's own signature will be induced to grow in the laboratory or within the body to target the specific illness and no other. This will eliminate the ravages of sickness and disease without the disadvantages of antibiotics.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

U.S. Health Care--Doctors Don't Care

I think U.S. health care is abominable. I know a friend with asthma. To get a rescue inhaler, in order to avoid death by suffocation, requires a doctor's prescription, for no rational or ethical reason. The doctors just got together and decided they needed money every so often from asthma patients in order to pay for their golf fees. The lower-cost clinics in the area refuse to make any appointments earlier than one month in advance, so asthma patients must either die by suffocation, or cough up $100 for a fancy doctor's visit, enriching the doctors at the cost of two days' salary for a worker. Typically, the doctor tries to push some fancy new drug that the pharmaceutical company has bribed him to push. Time is wasted, health is wasted, and in the end the result is the same, the rescue inhaler must be obtained in order to live. Life-saving Albuterol thus costs $5 per dose in America, when it is free in the U.K. That is because in America, there is a strong belief among some in Social Darwinism, that death and dying and suffering are useful tools to get rid of undesirables. Republicans use laws and legal procedures in order to kill the poor by depriving them of health care by any means possible. Doctors conspire along with Republicans to make a bad situation worse by maintaining an absolute monopoly on the distribution of life-saving medicines.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Suffocating Under Prescription Laws

Today, the restrictions on life-saving medicine are an obvious manifestation of Social Darwinism. Medicines such as Albuterol, the rescue inhaler for asthmatics, require a prescription by an expensive medical doctor. Readers unfamiliar with Albuterol should know that is a non-narcotic medicine that asthmatics require on occasion when their asthma acts up. It is not typically something that one takes on a daily basis, but rather as needed, such as during allergy season. Inability to obtain Albuterol can lead to death by suffocation at the utmost, or costly visits to indifferent nurse practitioners at expensive, far-away medical clinics in order to obtain a script for twenty-five doses of the common generic drug, Albuterol. A visit may cost as much as a hundred dollars, not counting the Albuterol itself, which is additional. Always the words on the label read "NO REFILL," guaranteeing another visit a few months down the line and another hundred dollars flushed down the toilet. Making Albuterol difficult to obtain is unethical, because it increases the risk that an asthmatic will die of suffocation.

Why is Albuterol a prescription drug in the first place? That's a good question that would be difficult to answer without cynicism. Almost every drug that does anything requires a prescription. The reason is the government thinks people are idiots. Some people are idiots, sure. But most people would rather be given the benefit of the doubt. I believe one should assume that people will make wise choices, given adequate information, and yet even if they do not, it is better that they should be given a choice. My belief is a natural extension of my bias toward democracy. Those who are authoritarian take the opposite view, that only an authority should decide what is best for an individual. I suppose one's stance on this issue reflects one's political affiliation. There are some that would be happier in Iran or China, being told what to do and what not to do all the time.

In my view, doctors should not have an exclusive monopoly on prescribing life-saving medicine. In order to justify such a monopoly from the ethical perspective, doctors would have to always be available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to instantly write a script to anyone who needs it at no cost. This, of course, is impossible for anyone, let alone a doctor. Doctors are hardly available at all, and when they are seen it is at great cost and at their convenience, not the convenience of the suffering. I conclude that prescription and indeed drug laws in general will have to be revisited in a future society founded upon ethics. I doubt that any change will happen in my lifetime, but perhaps future generations will come around to a similar viewpoint as expressed here.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Crest Whitening Toothpaste--Yucko

I've been remarkably healthy for a long stretch, up until I started using Crest Tartar Protection Whitening Toothpaste, at which point all of a sudden I came down with an upper respiratory infection--a cold, a sore throat, and bronchitis, which lingers to this day. Now I am of the belief that that nasty toothpaste had something to do with my bronchitis. I haven't caught bronchitis in a decade or more. I use Crest, and all of a sudden I have bronchitis? The only reason I bought this infernal toothpaste was it was on clearance at the grocery store for something like $1.50 for a 232 g tube, which is a good deal, toothpaste normally being about $2.50 - $3. I should have asked myself why this toothpaste was on clearance. Why do the other customers not like it? Why is it unpopular? These are the questions a consumer should always look into whenever a brand is marked down.

I found out why the Crest toothpaste was so cheap after using it. It has the approximate consistency of baking soda, being powdery and not at all like normal toothpaste. The brushing experience is extremely unpleasant. The toothpaste tastes bad, and I don't feel that it cleans teeth well at all. To make matters worse, one of the ingredients of this Crest toothpaste--and the reason it is supposed to be whitening (I don't care about the whitening effect)--is titanium dioxide, a known carcinogen that causes lung irritation. Now I brush my teeth right before bed, and I am sure that I leave some amount of toothpaste residue in my mouth and subsequently inhale it while sleeping. So I think a connection might well be drawn from using Crest Whitening toothpaste to bronchitis, especially due to the timing of my infection (a few days after beginning use) and the highly unusual color of my phlegm--bright white, the color of titanium dioxide, rather than the yellow one might expect from bronchitis. I stopped using the toothpaste two days ago, and I'm already starting to feel better. I'm not going to buy any more Crest, regardless of variety, ever again, because in my opinion that brand does not know how to manufacture toothpaste.

I'm afraid all the brands have a variety with titanium dioxide, because CEO's tend to be evil and not care about the health of their victims customers. Anyone suffering from an infection in the respiratory tract should not rule out their brand of toothpaste as a possible cause, or for that matter the gum one chews--Trident sells a cheap gum that also claims to be whitening and also has the cancer-causing irritant, titanium dioxide.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Lemons are Medicine for Sore Throat

I think that lemons have immense medicinal value, in part for their vitamin C potency, but also due to their acidity and perhaps some as yet unexplained qualities. For a sore throat, I like nothing better than fresh-squeezed lemon juice, drunk straight without sugar or water, and swallowed directing the flow over the sorest part of the throat. I think lemon juice is hostile to germs and at any rate the acid should work to dissolve bacterial film. Limes may work in a similar way, but lemons I think are to be preferred, as they contain more vitamin C and greater acidity. For variety, I also like black tea with lemon juice added, because together they seem to have a certain medicinal synergy and should be quite antiseptic, tea having antiseptic properties of its own as well as acidic tanins. With any medicinal preparation, it is important not to add any sugar, because sugar reduces acidity, feeds bacteria, and causes inflammation, but I seldom add sugar to tea anyway.

Scott mentioned in the comments section below that lime juice can be used as a deodorant. At first I was skeptical, but Google finds support for this belief. According to Simply Lovely, lime juice proved an effective deodorant for a runner. It is worth noting, however, that the sweat generated by nervous stress has an altogether different quality about it and produces a more offensive odor than the sweat produced by athletic activity.

For my part, I'm not motivated to switch from the traditional roll-ons, because my skin tolerates Speed Stick Antiperspirant by Mennen, which is cheap and also extremely effective. Typically, I buy 20 coupons on Ebay and then buy 20 units at the local grocery store when they are on sale, thus reducing the price to peanuts. I can get a 76g container for $1.50 apiece or less.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Europeans are Stupid

The rate of smoking in Europe is higher than anywhere else at 33%.

So Europe might be wiser in some ways, like socialized health care, but they are behind the curve when it comes to tobacco.

Smoking is unnecessary, even for someone addicted to nicotine. There are two alternative methods of nicotine consumption that are far less harmful--nicotine gum (expensive) and vaporization, which has been widely adopted by health-conscious marijuana consumers. Why would anyone smoke the old-fashioned way, when a vaporizer can be purchased for $40? To use a computer analogy, it is like remaining with MS-DOS instead of upgrading to Windows or Linux Mint. Smoking is more expensive, more harmful, and obnoxious to everyone around. Vaporizing is cheaper, tastes better, is much easier on the lungs, and causes minimal discomfort to others.

I've known intellectuals that smoked, highlighting the difference between book-smarts and common sense. I am glad I have enough common sense not to play Big Tobacco's game. I don't use any tobacco products, but you know what, if I did, it would either be through the medium of gum or vaporization. Common sense, if you please. Smoke ain't good for your lungs. Ask a conscientious pothead where to buy a quality vaporizer.

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by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Friday, October 5, 2012

Mitral Valve Prolapse

MVP in this instance stands for Most Vulnerable Player, or Mitral Valve Prolapse, a leaky heart valve, which is what my doctor said a while back after auscultating my chest and hearing a funny little sound. I intend to auscultate my own chest and double-check the Doc. I've been too busy or negligent or egoless or fearless to give much thought to MVP, which tends to be symptomless in most people, but lately I've been working very long hours on occasion and have noticed that after about nine hours or so, especially if I'm on my feet and interacting with people, my stamina drops like a stone and I get the feeling like I'm walking dead. Sometimes I get so tired, the world turns gray and quiet, things seem sketchy and unreal, like a dream and not a pleasant one. I don't like the feeling, and it doesn't seem like normal tiredness. I wonder whether there is a counter-measure I could take after eight hours, like popping an aspirin or drinking something with caffeine.

Suggestions from the online medical community are pretty pedestrian it seems to me. I haven't seen many recommendations on the web other than "aerobic exercise," which is recommended for everybody anyway, and the unusual "antibiotics prior to dental procedures," which I have no intention of doing because I hate antibiotics and think they are over-prescribed as it is. I consumed far too many antibiotics as a boy and it didn't do me any good and probably a fair amount of harm. I'd rather get the bacterial infection in most cases unless there is a serious threat. I never took antibiotics prior to dental procedures before, and I had plenty of dental procedures creating a mouth full of metal, but I'm still alive and sharing my opinions with the world, aren't I? Unless the MVP has done me in and I'm in blogger-Hell typing forever. Just kidding, MVP isn't supposed to be serious.

I read some of the characteristics of MVP sufferers, and they nailed me in several areas, so even without a electrocardiogram or whatever is supposed to be the definitive test, which I can't afford, I'm persuaded of the Doc's diagnosis. MVP isn't supposed to be a big deal for most people, only correlated with fatigue or headaches and only in some cases. The prognosis on most medical sites seems vague and optimistic, probably to get patients off the Doc's back, because there is so much that is unknown. "You'll be okay, just shut-up and don't bug me about it, because I don't know much more than you do," seems to be the line. I get it.

My Doc didn't seem concerned about it, telling me plenty of folks live a long time with MVP, but then again it isn't anything good or beneficial. A leaky heart valve, it seems pretty clear, means reduced efficiency at circulation, and that means less oxygen for Mr. Brain, hence "greater risk for stroke," and less oxygen to all bodily tissues. I mean, the ideal is a super-efficient heart with valves that do not leak. So doctors can say MVP is symptomless, but that just means human beings are not detecting unusual sensations, or if detecting them, are dismissing them or not connecting them to MVP or not reporting them to their primary care provider. I guess I can check my O2 saturation next chance I get alone with the machine. Sure, it may not be a big deal, but may just translate to a tiny reduction in efficiency, which would also suggest that one can compensate for it by exercising or diet--perhaps. I suppose time will tell, won't it, but that's true for everyone.
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by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32

Monday, August 27, 2012

Circumcision

An interesting article on male circumcision popped up recently in the daily news.

I don't have a strong opinion on it one way or the other. However, when I read that circumcision helps lowers the rate of HPV, HIV, herpes, and urinary tract infections, that is something I can't ignore. Personally I don't think circumcision really matters on an aesthetic or sexual level. If you love someone, then you will get used to whatever they have in the genital department; of if they love you, then vice versa.

However, if I were to be a father (unimaginable now) then I would probably decline the procedure for my newborn for the simple reason that I don't feel like I should intrude my own opinion or belief onto another human being in a way that will unalterably change their body for life. They might resent it later, and besides, new scientific research is always coming out and one never knows what next year's study might indicate. Just for the sake of human rights and all that jazz, I would rather each boy decide for himself once he becomes emancipated from his parents.

At any rate, if circumcision is indeed a human rights violation then surely it is a trivial one in comparison to all the others.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Depression

CNN posted a decent article on Depression along with many online resources. I think that young people should get help fast from professionals when they need it, rather than parents going into denial mode and thinking everything is okay or that Junior just needs to buckle down and study more. The reality is that no amount of extra studying and no amount of extra discipline is going to alleviate depression (such strategies might actually make it worse). If the depression is not treated by someone competent it will get worse. Unfortunately there are some incompetent or misinformed psychologists and psychiatrists out there in the wild. I would say that a good shrink works wonders and that is the one to select. Only word of mouth recommendations by forthright and candid current or former patients or their parents can help find a competent mental health professional, which by the way is also the best way to find a good mechanic, carpenter or air conditioning repairman. Also, not every shrink is suitable for every patient, because personalities, personal limitations and preferences do come into play, coloring the professional's judgment and reasoning at times.

In addition to being a mental problem, depression is a medical and physical problem affecting the brain and the body. It is not "all in the head" or imagined, it is real and causes real changes in the brain and the body.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Pain is Good

One thing some people don't realize is that Pain is Good. It warns and reminds us of internal injury. I saw in the grocery store that most brands of topical antibiotic, such as Neosporin, Bacitrin and generic brands, now contain pain reliever along with the antibiotics.Without pain, one is oblivious to potential problems lurking within a wound. Infections can spread as a result of avoiding an insignificant, manageable amount of pain. If a scratch or abrasion continues hurting without subsiding, then that is information I want to know, because it is abnormal, and indicates there is a continuing problem. Either the wound needs to be cleaned again or it may be that professional medical attention is required.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Category: Medicine

Asthma

Back Pain: 1, 2, & 3

Dandruff

Dentistry 1 & 2

General Philosophy Regarding Medicine


Graves Disease/Hyperthyroidism

Psychology: Asperger's Syndrome

Vitamins and Nutritional Supplements: Vitamins

Nota Bene: writer is not a licensed caregiver--just an opinionated patient.

This Table of Contents was created because the Blogger engine does not support subcategories.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Asthma Bothering You? Move.

A major cause of asthma problems is close proximity to traffic. If you carry the genes for asthma and live next to a highway or busy street, you're at risk.

View a recent article on this subject in the Chicago Tribune.

I know this from personal experience, although I have been following the research on asthma in Discover and several other publications.

Our old home was less than twenty feet away from a major artery in town, where there was constant traffic. Asthma became such a problem that my boyfriend had difficulty sleeping at night and required prescription inhalers such as albuterol, which is not without side effects.

Our new home was located just a mile away, but on a site that is over a hundred feet removed from traffic. It made a huge difference. When we moved, my boyfriend's asthma problem disappeared. Problem solved.

This points to yet another reason that U.S. auto manufacturers should focus upon producing clean/green cars that are the most fuel-efficient in the world. This will reduce the health problems caused by car exhaust.

Of course, the car manufacturers should have been doing the right thing years ago instead of designing new monster trucks and SUVs with low fuel economy standards. If they had done the right thing, they would not now be in the situation that they are in, begging Congress for money to stay afloat. But you can't ask a CEO to take five minutes out of his busy day to think about such a thing as ethics. He's too busy following the latest gyrations of the stock market and devising new ways to downsize his workers.
techlorebyigor is my personal journal for ideas & opinions