May 13, 2015

Short and Sweet

Americans who frequently use drugs to relax have lower well-being, according to interviews with at least 450 residents of each state from January to December 2014: While the interview question specifically refers to drugs that "affect your mood or help you relax," the interpretation of that description is left up to respondents and could include prescription drugs, recreational drugs, alcohol or nicotine.

Ambien is becoming better known for triggering bizarre behavior than it is for treating insomnia: It was designed for short term use to combat insomnia. Ambien users sued the manufacturer because of bizarre sleep-eating behaviors while on the drugs. According to Chana Lask, attorney for the class action suit, people were eating things like buttered cigarettes and eggs, complete with the shells, while under the influence of Ambien. Lask called people in this state “Ambien zombies.” As a result of the lawsuit, and of increasing reports coming in about “sleep driving,” the FDA ordered all hypnotics to issue stronger warnings on their labels. The drug has also caused cases of murder, “sleep driving,” “sleep eating,” “sleep shopping,” and amnesia.

Massachusetts nurses sue over flu shot mandate: The Massachusetts Nurses Association, the union representing 3,200 nurses at the Brigham, said in its lawsuit that the hospital’s mandate, which could lead to the firing of employees who refuse vaccination, violates a state regulation that explicitly bars hospitals from requiring employees to the receive vaccine if they don’t want it, regardless of the reason. David Schildmeier, the spokesman for the nurses’ union, said that while nurses accept requirements to be vaccinated against polio, measles, and other infectious diseases, some regard the flu vaccine differently. Shots must be taken every year, reformulated each time to protect against the flu strains expected to circulate. Schildmeier asserted that the shot is ineffective 50 to 60 percent of the time and that nurses can protect patients through infection control measures.

Certain birth control may pose risk of Type 2 diabetes for obese women: A first-of-its-kind study by researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) indicates that healthy, obese, reproductive-age women who use long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) containing the hormone progestin have a slightly increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes when compared to those who use non-hormonal contraception.

Gardasil is in the news again: A mystery illness is plaguing girls in El Carmen de Bolivar, Colombia. First their hands and feet feel cold. Then they go pale and cannot move. Some convulse and fall to the floor. "This is not collective hysteria or manipulation. If you see your daughter have these symptoms after a vaccination, what else would you blame?" asked Maria Veronica Romera, the mother of a weakened 13-year-old. Dozens of teenagers have experienced similar symptoms. Some have even lost consciousness. The city's modest hospital has been overwhelmed by a surge of unconscious teenage girls being wheeled through its doors. Doctors search, in vain, for possible cases of hypoglycemia or drug abuse. According to hospital official Augusto Agamez, about 370 minors have checked into the facility.

Is sugar making you sick? The common belief until now was that sugar just makes us fat, but it's become clear through research that it's making us sick. For example, there's the rise in fatty-liver disease, the emergence of Type 2 diabetes as an epidemic in children and the dramatic increase in metabolic disorders.

Most people associate liver disease and cirrhosis with alcoholism. However, the vast majority of people with NASH are not heavy drinkers: The chief cause is obesity, says Dr. Maheshwari. Particularly suspect is the overconsumption of sugar, particularly in the form of high fructose corn syrup, a common ingredient in processed food. “If you think about an apple and banana, they have sugar, but the body has to do a lot of work to break down that sugar and metabolize it,” said Bipan Chand, M.D., director of the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery & Bariatric Care at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago. “High fructose corn syrup is very dense and easy for the body to convert into fat.” 

These articles pile up every month.  The BEST course is a healthy lifestyle.  Keep taking care of yourself and investing in your health and well being.  You are worth it!