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Two Excellent Sources of Information for Seniors (Elderly) about Driving and Preventing Falls

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Two Excellent Sources of Information for Seniors (Elderly) about 

Driving and Preventing Falls

I also wanted to ask if you would consider including my two senior resources for those who might be interested?

 

·        https://drivingtestsample.com/senior-driving-courses-resources/

·        https://cnafreetraining.com/additional-resources/fall-prevention/

 

The first link to Senior Driving Courses & Resources provides a guide to help seniors find defensive driving courses to help them obtain insurance discounts and improve their driving skills. It also offers additional tips and resources for keeping seniors safe behind the wheel.  

 

The second link to Fall Prevention Facts & Tips offers a huge amount of information covering general statistics on the number of annual falls and the types of injuries incurred as well as risk factors, tips for preventing falls and advice for dealing with falls when they occur.

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‘Hey Girls – Leave those sodas alone!’ (to the tune of “Another brick in the wall”)

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‘Hey Girls – Leave those sodas alone!’ 

(to the tune of “Another brick in the wall”)

Soda or sugary beverages will kill you or shorten your life.  

Why?  Is it the sugar, or is it the carbonation in these drinks?  

Does it matter if it is either one of these factors or some other factor?  

These facts speak for themselves – girls, stop drinking those types of drinks!

Audrey Hepburn of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” fame died of colon cancer in 1993 at age 64

Elizabeth Montgomery — Samantha on “Bewitched” — also succumbed to the disease, in 1995 at age 63. 

They were young, but these days, the disease is appearing in even younger women. Overall, the risk of developing colon cancer is about one in 25 for women. But for folks ages 20 to 39, rates have been increasing since the mid-1980s, and since the mid-1990s, adults ages 40 to 54 have experienced the steepest increase.

We may now know one important factor that’s fueling the increased risk for younger women: sugary beverages. A new study in the journal Gut has found that women who say they drank two or more servings a day of sugary beverages as an adolescent or young adult are at a 200% increased risk for early onset colon cancer compared with women who report drinking less than one 8-ounce serving a week when they were young. And if the women drank a sweet beverage every day from ages 13 to 18 (and millions of kids do), each daily serving was associated with a 32% increased risk of developing colon cancer before the age of 50.

So listen up: Even if you’ve given up sodas (and bravo for that), energy or sports drinks, fruity juices or hyped-up flavored coffees or ice teas can put you and your young daughters at risk. Water and plain coffee and tea — that’s how to wash away your increased risk for colon cancer.

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Daily Cup of Coffee Cuts Type 2 Diabetes Risk by About 5%

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Daily Cup of Coffee Cuts Type 2 Diabetes Risk by About 5%

Drinking one cup of coffee each day lowered individual risk for developing type 2 diabetes 4%–6%, according to data from a pair of large, population-based cohorts.

Coffee had previously been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, said Carolina Ochoa-Rosales, PhD, of Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. However, the potential impact of coffee consumption on the subclinical inflammation associated with type 2 diabetes has not been well studied, she said.

In a study presented at the American Heart Association’s virtual Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle & Cardiometabolic Health meeting, Ochoa-Rosales and colleagues reviewed information for men and women who were enrolled in the UK Biobank Study (145,368) and in the Rotterdam Study (7,172).

Coffee consumption assessment was based on interviews, while diabetes incidence was based on fasting glucose measures, general medical records, and pharmacy records of type 2 diabetes drugs.

The take-home message for clinicians is that drinking moderate amounts of filtered coffee offers a potentially reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, said Van Horn, of Northwestern University, Chicago. However, additional research is needed to account for the total amount of coffee per day, and whether additions such as cream or sugar or other additives make a difference in outcomes, she added.

“Also, the risk vs. benefit of drinking coffee over the life course, including childhood, pregnancy, and older age, with possible adverse drug-nutrient interactions, remain unexplored,” she noted.

Ochoa-Rosales disclosed study funding from the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee but had no other financial conflicts to disclose. Van Horn had no financial conflicts to disclose.

This article originally appeared on MDEdge.com.

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Just the Good Bugs (can help your mood and digestion)

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Just the Good Bugs (can help your mood and digestion)

There are very good things that some bugs can do for your mood and digestion, say researchers from the University of Surrey. Their study, published in Scientific Reports, gave a group of 18- to 25-year-olds a daily dose of a prebiotic supplement called galacto-oligosaccharides, found in lentils, chickpeas, beans and white onions. These friendly sugars pass through your gut undigested and in the colon, they promote growth of intestinal bugs (aka bacteria) that fuel good physical and mental health.

Over the four weeks of the double-blind, placebo-controlled study, researchers surveyed the participant’s mood, anxiety and sleep quality and analyzed stool samples. The conclusion: The supplement promotes a healthier balance of bacteria in the gut biome and markedly reduces anxiety.

The researchers explain that stress and diet can alter your gut biome and let “bad bugs” take over, altering gene expression and affecting your brain function. That lays the groundwork for emotional problems such as anxiety or depression. So if you’re feeling stressed out (and who isn’t?), dish up hummus dip, lentil soup with onions, and beans and rice as often as possible. Recipes are in the “What to Eat When Cookbook.” And ask your doctor about taking this prebiotic supplement.

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Insoles or Braces Show Best Pain Relief for Knee Osteoarthritis

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Insoles or Braces Show Best Pain Relief for Knee Osteoarthritis

The use of braces or insoles in combination with nonbiomechanical treatments appear to deliver the greatest pain relief for patients with medial tibiofemoral osteoarthritis, although the evidence supporting these interventions has a high degree of uncertainty, according findings from a large meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials presented at the OARSI 2021 World Congress.

“It’s been highlighted for several years now that due to the high rate of joint replacement, we need to promote more effective nonsurgical treatments,” Ans van Ginckel, PhD, of Ghent (Belgium) University, told the conference.

However, guidelines on the use of biomechanical treatments for knee OA pain vary widely, and there are few studies that compare the effectiveness of different interventions.

To address this, van Ginckel and colleagues conducted a network meta-analysis of 27 randomized, controlled trials – involving a total of 2,413 participants – of biomechanical treatments for knee OA pain. The treatments included were valgus braces, combined brace treatment (with added nonbiomechanical treatment), lateral or medial wedged insoles, combined insole treatment (with added nonbiomechanical treatment), contralateral cane use, gait retraining, and modified shoes.

“These treatments are mainly based on the premise that people with knee osteoarthritis likely experience a higher external knee adduction moment during walking, compared to healthy people,” van Ginckel told the conference, which is sponsored by the Osteoarthritis Research Society International. “This has been associated to some extent with disease onset, severity, and progression.”

When compared to nonbiomechanical controls, walking sticks and canes were the only intervention that showed a benefit in reducing pain, although the authors described the data supporting this as “high risk.”

When all the treatments were ranked according to the degree of pain relief seen in studies, combined insole and/or combined brace treatments showed the greatest degree of benefit.

This article originally appeared on MDedge.com, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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Cholesterol 101 — What Your Levels Mean (part 2)

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What Boosts Your Risk?

Several factors can make you more likely to develop high cholesterol:

  • A diet high in saturated fats and cholesterol
  • A family history of high cholesterol
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Getting older


Cholesterol and Gender

Until menopause, women typically have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. They also have higher levels of HDL cholesterol, the good kind. One reason is estrogen: The female sex hormone raises the level of HDL cholesterol. Estrogen production peaks during the childbearing years and drops off during menopause. After age 55, a woman’s risk of developing high cholesterol begins to climb.

Cholesterol and Children


There’s evidence that cholesterol can begin clogging the arteries during childhood, leading to atherosclerosis and heart disease later in life. The American Heart Association recommends kids and teenagers with high cholesterol take steps to bring it down. Ideally, total cholesterol should be below 170 in people ages 2 to 19.

Why High Cholesterol Matters

High cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and strokes. It also appears to boost the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. As we saw earlier, high cholesterol leads to a buildup of plaque that narrows the arteries. This is dangerous because it can restrict blood flow. If the blood supply to a part of the heart or brain is completely cut off, the result is a heart attack or stroke.

Cholesterol Buster: Eat More Fiber

Diet changes offer a powerful way to fight high cholesterol. If you’ve ever wondered why some cereals claim to be heart-healthy, it’s the fiber. The soluble fiber found in many foods helps reduce LDL, the bad cholesterol. Good sources of soluble fiber include whole-grain breads and cereals, oatmeal, fruits, dried fruits, vegetables, and legumes such as kidney beans.

Cholesterol Buster: Know Your Fats


No more than 35% of your daily calories should come from fat. But not all fats are equal. Saturated fats — from animal products and tropical oils — raise LDL cholesterol. Trans fats carry a double-whammy, boosting bad cholesterol, while lowering the good kind. These two bad fats are found in many baked goods, fried foods (doughnuts, fries, chips), stick margarine, and cookies. Unsaturated fats may lower LDL when combined with other healthy diet changes. They’re found in avocados, olive oil, and peanut oil.  

Cholesterol Buster: Smart Protein


Meat and full-fat milk offer plenty of protein, but they are also major sources of cholesterol. You may be able to reduce LDL cholesterol by switching to soy protein, such as tofu, at some meals. Fish is another great choice. Some varieties, like salmon, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week.

Cholesterol Buster: Lose Weight


If you’re overweight, talk to your doctor about beginning a weight loss program. Losing weight can help you reduce levels of triglycerides, LDL, and total cholesterol. Shedding even a few pounds can also boost levels of good cholesterol — it tends to go up one point for every 6 pounds you lose.

Cholesterol Buster: Quit Smoking

Giving up tobacco is tough, but here’s one more reason to try. When you stop smoking, your good cholesterol is likely to improve by as much as 10%. You may be more successful if you combine several smoking cessation strategies. Talk to your doctor about which options are best for you.

Cholesterol Buster: Exercise

If you’re healthy but not very active, starting an aerobic exercise program could increase your good cholesterol by 5% in the first two months. Regular exercise also lowers bad cholesterol. Choose an activity that boosts your heart rate, such as running, swimming, or walking briskly, and aim for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. It doesn’t have to be 30 continuous minutes; two 15-minute walks works just as well.

Treatment: Medications


If high cholesterol runs in your family, diet and exercise may not be enough to get your numbers where you want them. In that case, medication can give cholesterol levels an extra nudge. Statins are usually the first choice. They block the production of cholesterol in the liver. Other options include cholesterol absorption inhibitors, and  bile acid resins. Your doctor may recommend a combination of these medications.

Treatment: Supplements


Certain dietary supplements may help improve cholesterol levels. These include plant sterols, barley and oats, fiber, and green tea. 

Herbal Remedies

Some studies suggest garlic can knock a few percentage points off total cholesterol. But garlic pills can have side effects and may interact with medications. Other herbs that may reduce cholesterol include:

  • Fenugreek seeds
  • Artichoke leaf extract
  • Yarrow
  • Holy basil

How Low Should You Go?


Many people are able to lower cholesterol levels through a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. But how low is low enough? Recent guidelines do not have a target number. If you have diabetes, are at high risk of developing heart disease, or you already have coronary artery disease, you will probably be put on a drug called a statin to lower your cholesterol.

Can the Damage Be Undone?

It takes years for high cholesterol to clog the arteries with plaque. But there is evidence that atherosclerosis can be reversed, at least to some degree. Dean Ornish, MD, has published several studies showing that a low-fat vegetarian diet, stress management, and moderate exercise can chip away at the build-up inside the coronary arteries. Other research supports the idea that big drops in cholesterol can somewhat help open clogged arteries.

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Cholesterol 101 — What Your Levels Mean (part 1)

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Cholesterol 101 — What You

We may associate cholesterol with fatty foods, but most of the waxy substance is made by our own bodies. The liver produces 75% of the cholesterol that circulates in our blood. The other 25% comes from food. At normal levels, cholesterol actually plays an important role in helping cells do their jobs. But cholesterol levels are precariously high in more than 100 million Americans.

Symptoms of High Cholesterol

High cholesterol does not cause any symptoms. But it does cause damage deep within the body. Over time, too much cholesterol may lead to a buildup of plaque inside the arteries. Known as atherosclerosis, this condition narrows the space available for blood flow and can trigger heart disease. The good news is high cholesterol is simple to detect, and there are many ways to bring it down.

Cholesterol Testing

People older than 20 should have their cholesterol levels checked at least once every four to six years. This is done with a simple blood test known as a fasting lipid profile. It measures the different forms of cholesterol that are circulating in the blood after you avoid eating for nine to 12 hours. The results show your levels of “bad” cholesterol, “good” cholesterol, and triglycerides.

Guidelines for cholesterol have changed over time. The most important factor is not necessarily measured by a number but your overall risk for heart disease and/or stroke. 

‘Bad’ Cholesterol

Most of the cholesterol in the blood is carried by proteins called low density lipoproteins or LDL. This is known as bad cholesterol because it combines with other substances to clog the arteries. A diet high in saturated fats and trans fats tends to raise the level of LDL cholesterol. For most people, an LDL score below 100 is healthy, but people with heart disease may need to take medications to lower their LDL.

‘Good’ Cholesterol


Up to a third of blood cholesterol is carried by high-density lipoproteins or HDL. This is called good cholesterol because it helps remove bad cholesterol, preventing it from building up inside the arteries. The higher the level of HDL cholesterol, the better. People with too little are more likely to develop heart disease. Eating healthy fats, such as olive oil, may help boost HDL cholesterol.

Triglycerides

The body converts excess calories, sugar, and alcohol into triglycerides, a type of fat that is carried in the blood and stored in fat cells throughout the body. People who are overweight, inactive, smokers, or heavy drinkers tend to have high triglycerides, as do those who eat a very high-carb diet. A triglycerides score of 150 or higher puts you at risk for metabolic syndrome, which is linked to heart disease and diabetes.

Total Cholesterol


Total cholesterol measures the combination of LDL, HDL, and VLDL (very low density lipoprotein) in your bloodstream. VLDL is a precursor of LDL, the bad cholesterol. Your total cholesterol number should be looked at together with other risk factors for heart attack.

Cholesterol in Food


Cholesterol-rich foods, like eggs, shrimp, and lobster are no longer completely forbidden. Research shows that the cholesterol we eat has only a small effect on blood cholesterol levels for most people. A few people are “responders,” whose blood levels spike up after eating eggs. But for most, saturated fat and trans fats are bigger concerns. Daily cholesterol limits are 300 mg for healthy people and 200 mg for those at higher risk. One egg has 186 mg of cholesterol.

Cholesterol and Family History

Cholesterol comes from two sources — the body and food — and either one can contribute to high cholesterol. Some people inherit genes that trigger too much cholesterol production. For others, diet is the main culprit. Saturated fat and cholesterol occur in animal-based foods, including meat, eggs, and dairy products made with milk.  In many cases, high cholesterol stems from a combination of diet and genetics.

  • A diet high in saturated fats and cholesterol
  • A family history of high cholesterol
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Getting older


Cholesterol and Gender

11/26

Until menopause, women typically have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. They also have higher levels of HDL cholesterol, the good kind. One reason is estrogen: The female sex hormone raises the level of HDL cholesterol. Estrogen production peaks during the childbearing years and drops off during menopause. After age 55, a woman’s risk of developing high cholesterol begins to climb.

Cholesterol and Children

12/26

There’s evidence that cholesterol can begin clogging the arteries during childhood, leading to atherosclerosis and heart disease later in life. The American Heart Association recommends kids and teenagers with high cholesterol take steps to bring it down. Ideally, total cholesterol should be below 170 in people ages 2 to 19.

Why High Cholesterol Matters

13/26

High cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and strokes. It also appears to boost the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. As we saw earlier, high cholesterol leads to a buildup of plaque that narrows the arteries. This is dangerous because it can restrict blood flow. If the blood supply to a part of the heart or brain is completely cut off, the result is a heart attack or stroke.

Cholesterol Buster: Eat More Fiber

14/26

Diet changes offer a powerful way to fight high cholesterol. If you’ve ever wondered why some cereals claim to be heart-healthy, it’s the fiber. The soluble fiber found in many foods helps reduce LDL, the bad cholesterol. Good sources of soluble fiber include whole-grain breads and cereals, oatmeal, fruits, dried fruits, vegetables, and legumes such as kidney beans.

What Boosts Your Risk?

10/26

Several factors can make you more likely to develop high cholesterol:

  • A diet high in saturated fats and cholesterol
  • A family history of high cholesterol
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Getting older


  • A family history of high cholesterol
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Getting older


Cholesterol and Gender

11/26

Until menopause, women typically have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. They also have higher levels of HDL cholesterol, the good kind. One reason is estrogen: The female sex hormone raises the level of HDL cholesterol. Estrogen production peaks during the childbearing years and drops off during menopause. After age 55, a woman’s risk of developing high cholesterol begins to climb.

Cholesterol and Children

12/26

There’s evidence that cholesterol can begin clogging the arteries during childhood, leading to atherosclerosis and heart disease later in life. The American Heart Association recommends kids and teenagers with high cholesterol take steps to bring it down. Ideally, total cholesterol should be below 170 in people ages 2 to 19.

Why High Cholesterol Matters

13/26

High cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and strokes. It also appears to boost the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. As we saw earlier, high cholesterol leads to a buildup of plaque that narrows the arteries. This is dangerous because it can restrict blood flow. If the blood supply to a part of the heart or brain is completely cut off, the result is a heart attack or stroke.

Cholesterol Buster: Eat More Fiber

14/26

Diet changes offer a powerful way to fight high cholesterol. If you’ve ever wondered why some cereals claim to be heart-healthy, it’s the fiber. The soluble fiber found in many foods helps reduce LDL, the bad cholesterol. Good sources of soluble fiber include whole-grain breads and cereals, oatmeal, fruits, dried fruits, vegetables, and legumes such as kidney beans.

Cholesterol Buster: Know Your Fats

15/26

No more than 35% of your daily calories should come from fat. But not all fats are equal. Saturated fats — from animal products and tropical oils — raise LDL cholesterol. Trans fats carry a double-whammy, boosting bad cholesterol, while lowering the good kind. These two bad fats are found in many baked goods, fried foods (doughnuts, fries, chips), stick margarine, and cookies. Unsaturated fats may lower LDL when combined with other healthy diet changes. They’re found in avocados, olive oil, and peanut oil.  

Cholesterol Buster: Smart Protein

16/26

Meat and full-fat milk offer plenty of protein, but they are also major sources of cholesterol. You may be able to reduce LDL cholesterol by switching to soy protein, such as tofu, at some meals. Fish is another great choice. Some varieties, like salmon, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week.

Cholesterol Buster: Low-Carb Diet

17/26

There’s growing evidence that low-carb diets may be better than low-fat diets for improving cholesterol levels. In a two-year study funded by the National Institutes of Health, people who followed a low-carb plan had significantly better HDL (good cholesterol) levels than those who followed a low-fat plan.

Cholesterol Buster: Lose Weight

18/26

If you’re overweight, talk to your doctor about beginning a weight loss program. Losing weight can help you reduce levels of triglycerides, LDL, and total cholesterol. Shedding even a few pounds can also boost levels of good cholesterol — it tends to go up one point for every 6 pounds you lose.

Cholesterol Buster: Quit Smoking

19/26

Giving up tobacco is tough, but here’s one more reason to try. When you stop smoking, your good cholesterol is likely to improve by as much as 10%. You may be more successful if you combine several smoking cessation strategies. Talk to your doctor about which options are best for you.

Cholesterol Buster: Exercise

20/26

If you’re healthy but not very active, starting an aerobic exercise program could increase your good cholesterol by 5% in the first two months. Regular exercise also lowers bad cholesterol. Choose an activity that boosts your heart rate, such as running, swimming, or walking briskly, and aim for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. It doesn’t have to be 30 continuous minutes; two 15-minute walks works just as well.

Treatment: Medications

21/26

If high cholesterol runs in your family, diet and exercise may not be enough to get your numbers where you want them. In that case, medication can give cholesterol levels an extra nudge. Statins are usually the first choice. They block the production of cholesterol in the liver. Other options include cholesterol absorption inhibitors,and  bile acid resins. Your doctor may recommend a combination of these medications.

Treatment: Supplements

22/26

Certain dietary supplements may help improve cholesterol levels. These include plant sterols, barley and oats, fiber, and green tea. 

Herbal Remedies

23/26

Some studies suggest garlic can knock a few percentage points off total cholesterol. But garlic pills can have side effects and may interact with medications. Other herbs that may reduce cholesterol include:

  • Fenugreek seeds
  • Artichoke leaf extract
  • Yarrow
  • Holy basil

How Low Should You Go?

24/26

Many people are able to lower cholesterol levels through a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. But how low is low enough? Recent guidelines do not have a target number. If you have diabetes, are at high risk of developing heart disease, or you already have coronary artery disease, you will probably be put on a drug called a statin to lower your cholesterol.

Can the Damage Be Undone?

25/26

It takes years for high cholesterol to clog the arteries with plaque. But there is evidence that atherosclerosis can be reversed, at least to some degree. Dean Ornish, MD, has published several studies showing that a low-fat vegetarian diet, stress management, and moderate exercise can chip away at the build-up inside the coronary arteries. Other research supports the idea that big drops in cholesterol can somewhat help open clogged arteries.


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Dr. Lane’s Thought XXXIII

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Dr. Lane’s Thought XXXIII

1) I think that we all feel glum or sad some days.  It is very modern to casually refer to this time as ‘depression’ and the medical world is happy to embrace this term since it means medicine, therapy, and psychological intervention for you; all of this equals money for other people.  The patient has a quick diagnosis and many people can make a dollar so this ‘system’ feeds itself.

I have been sad and frustrated in my early days and saw no end to my miserable existence.  I use the word ‘miserable’ only because I was deeply sad at what life had handed me in a family and home life and the lack of opportunities to make my path easier.  

Did I have it bad?  Not compared to the life of a man equal to me who was black (white privilege was real and don’t ever forget that.  it is still true) or a woman (sexism was alive and thriving 25 years ago but less so today).  Still, I could not get ahead in life.

I saw therapists occasionally and I talked away all of my friends (I drove them away by talking so much) and I drank a little and I smoked a little but each morning nothing had changed to make my life better.

Even then it slowly began to dawn on me that I needed to ask myself a fundamental question: what would it take for me to be happy?  What was the bare minimum that would lift me out of my sad world and thrust me into the world of my perception that meant I was happy?  Another person who loved me would only love the sad me (and he was someone I despised.  It was not my goal to have the sad me ‘understood’ by a woman – it was for me to be happy and have that version of me be loved), a perfect job would give me challenge and accomplishment but most jobs do not intend to offer you those daily affirmations; they serve as a means to offer a product that can be given a monetary value and for which you are paid for your labor.

What I needed was something from within to bolster me and make the rest of my day a pleasure to me every day; a sense that I was ‘gaining’ in life and moving toward a goal of some kind of success in spirt, mind, and finances.

I am not writing this to continue to illustrate the story of my inner life but to demonstrate what I see as lacking in the world of treating ‘depression’ – the utter failure to make the patient set goals and then assist them in their efforts and means to get on this path to this goal or goals and help them complete a journey to recovery.  

I always say “it is easy to be the passenger, it is hard to be the driver”.  We should move the patient from being a passenger on the medical -money model of treating ‘depression’ and put them in the role of being the driver and move them to a new understanding of what it takes to be a functional member of their own health and mental well-being.

Sure, it is important in the beginning to let them flounder and make them understand their present circumstances by talk therapy but at some point there needs to be a consensus stated that it is time to discover a goal that the patient needs to work toward.  Medications should be offered when that kind of medicinal bridge is needed but it should be temporary.

Talk therapy should not accompany medications; medications should be used sparingly to assist the patient during talk therapy.  Both should be used to move the patient along a path of their own choosing to finish their depressive episode.

2) It doesn’t matter if your teenage son looks like a Hemsworth brother or your daughter looks like Salma Hayak or Sofia Vergara their favorite topic to talk about is having a massive bowel movement.

Trust me on this or just nod your head and agree.  I have raised boys and girls from adolescents to young adults.

3) It doesn’t matter where you go in New Jersey and receive retail service – they all speak Spanish!  No matter what they look like –  white black or brown skin – they speak very good or fluent Spanish.  it is something you discover when you are married to a Latinx.

There was even an odd encounter I had where a Latina I was talking to at the perfume counter of Macy’s in the Newport Mall (Jersey City) not only spoke Spanish (her mother was from my wife’s hometown in Colombia) but informed me she was from Japan (so she spoke the three or the four most important languages of retail.  The only language missing was Chinese).  Her flawless English was a learned language!

4)  My brother lost his job because a woman on the job did not like him.  She was not his supervisor (just another employee) and he thought he could just avoid her and it would be alright for the time they worked.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

That doesn’t work.  He was applying MALE rules to a FEMALE problem.

Let me explain:

Two guys hate each other.  They can work in the same place for 40 years and there is no problem.  They just avoid each other.

A woman hates you and you can only do one thing: work at a way to get her fired because she is planning on doing that same thing to you.  There is no 40 years of working with her at the same workplace; you have to get her ass fired inside of six months or she will get you fired.

My brother lost his job because a woman on the job didn’t like him and he used MALE thinking about a problem with a FEMALE.

Lose yourself with flaming me over my sexist thinking but before you do that, think about what I wrote and stop typing because, once you think about it, you realize that the same thing happened to you or someone you know.

5)  Things I hear in my office and what they mean

“I don’t have diabetes! I have sugar in my urine only because I just ate” = you have diabetes.  Diabetes is when excess sugar is in your urine because your body cannot take it into the cells.

“You see, I have white coat syndrome!”

or

“If you just let me sit in a dark corner for 20 minutes and play soft music while I think soothing thoughts [and so on with a hundred variations about what you ‘need’ to bring your blood pressure down]” = you have high blood pressure

“I don’t need glasses.  I have never needed glasses before!” as said by any person over the age of 35 = you need glasses now.

Simply, if your deluded thinking when you look in the mirror is that a 25 year old is looking back then you need a brisk smack in the head to wake you up.  You get older and so does your body.  You do not have ‘a’ body you have as many ‘bodies’ as you have years on this planet as your body changes and evolves and both improves and deteriorates. 

You can’t see a Snellen chart? Get glasses

You have a blood pressure over 140/90? Get it under control and under 140/90

You have sugar in your urine? Change your food habits, lose 50 pounds, take medicine to control your symptoms.

Exercise and weight loss are the two things that bring the best and most consistently positive results for all medical conditions.

6)  We are all controlled (and sometimes manipulated) by the diagnosis/concept of ‘depression’.  Pretty much any behavior is used as the basis for the diagnosis – too happy, too sad, too focused, not focused, interest in being around other people, not being interested in being around other people and so on.  It is the all-encompassing ‘diagnosis’ that puts the patient in charge of everyone else and everyone elses’ happiness.

Depression is a ‘first world’ problem in that it seems to manifest when people have a great deal of free time to ‘contemplate how they feel’ as well as the necessary therapists and medical establishment to offer ‘treatment’ for this ‘malady’.  The reason that I offer this economic capacity is because you hear about ‘depression’ a great deal less in places where basic survival takes up the majority of your daily activities (as well as the intense socialization that accompanies shared hardship).

There are many reasons that support the ‘need’ to have a diagnosis like ‘depression’ around.  Frustration in a world that makes increasing demands on us by technology and financial/economics constraints that leave us feeling powerless and underprepared, the status of ‘adulthood’ that becomes further out of reach as we leave our teen years in a world of low wages and high rents, a burgeoning market of sexualization in our public and visual life that seems to overpower any other skill set, and the idea that we have no role in each other’s lives (greater isolation and the decreasing need for socialization to accomplish life’s needs).

In years past what we now call ‘depression’ (which is supported largely by the medical-psychological industry that needs the patient load) might have been called ‘normal adolescence’, ‘the blues’, ‘burnout’ or ‘exhaustion’ but now it has an all-encompassing diagnosis which allows for truly terrible behavior by the ‘patients’ who must be tolerated because of a their ‘problems’.

Depression is the ‘super-power’ which covers the omnipotence of being allowed endless excuses for poor behavior, incompetence, poor hygiene, angry outbursts, endless hours on all forms of communication and visual devices, problems with punctuality, and all of the issues previously described as immaturity.  The best part of ‘depression’ is that there is no age limit – you never have to outgrow it!  

Even better – ‘depression’ is everyone else’s problem!  You have a ready excuse that everyone else has to deal with!  You never have to take responsibility for your own issues because…you are everybody’s problem and everyone’s issue!  You go to your therapist and described your thoughts (which look tantalizingly like the mundane issues that we all share as members of a family, members of society, and people involved in relationships with others) but you get that all important extra of ‘sympathy’ which comes with your failing health and shortened lifespan.

Ha, ha! Your body isn’t failing and your lifespan is not shortened – of course not!  Your medical condition is the terminal diagnosis of sadness and social frustration which demands tender loving care from us all for as long as you want it.  You leave the all-embracing world of ‘depression’ only if you want to and you can always return because there are doctors and pharmaceutical companies that need you!

So what happens when all these ‘depressed’ people start growing in numbers and start to bump into each other’s demands for special treatment and accommodations? Is there a protocol for who goes first in their demands?  Do we need to lower expectations on the ‘depressed’ because of this ‘terminal diagnosis’?  Do we let them apply for disability or workers compensation?  After all, to a ‘depressed’ person, we all owe them something!

Person 1: “you should be nice to me. After all, I have depression”

Person 2: “well, I have depression too!”

Person 1: “but I mentioned it first”

Person: “I am pretty sure that I have had it longer”

Person 1: “I thought that you would be nicer to me since you know what it is like”

Person 2″ “I thought that you would be kinder to me since you should understand what I am going through.

And on until forever.  When there is no person without this ‘diagnosis’ then we are all ‘victims’ of each other’s failure to sympathize with our ‘medical problem’.

Further, do we force parents, siblings, and partners to shoulder the burden of these delayed adolescents with their endless problems due to this (very handy) ‘diagnosis? Are we required to pay for all of their devices, food, and shelter and congratulate on when they make it out of bed before 11 AM and go to bed before 1:30 AM?  Are we expected to find ways to ‘cheer them up’ endlessly as they fail to take responsibility for themselves and their own moods?  Do we commiserate as the world around them always fails to meet their expectations (as it does to all of us because success is not guaranteed)?

Or, do we ask them this question, “so, what do you intend to do about this problem you have?  After all, you need to take responsibility for your on life”.

I know, I know, “Dr. Lane you just don’t understand!”  No, I do not.  You see, I have a job, responsibilities, and a long history of ‘getting over stuff’ which you do not.  Good luck with your future of looking for sympathy from anyone and everyone and demanding that we all ‘understand” you.


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Air pollution from animal-based food production is linked to 12,700 deaths each year, study says

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Air pollution from animal-based food production is linked to 12,700 deaths each year, study says

Air pollution from food production in the United States is linked to an estimated 15,900 premature deaths each year, according to a new study published Monday in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Of those, an estimated 12,700 deaths — around 80% — are connected to production of animal-based foods.
Scientists have known for years that farming contributes to harmful air pollution, but experts say this study offers the first full accounting of deaths connected to the production of certain types of food.
      “When we think of the big sources of air pollution in the U.S., our imagination usually turns to smokestacks and tailpipes,” said Joshua Apte, an assistant professor at the University of California-Berkeley, who was not involved in this study. “But it turns out that agriculture is also a major contributor to our air pollution and therefore we should care about it for our health.”
        The study focused on a specific type of tiny pollution particles known as PM2.5.
        They linger in the air we breathe and measure barely a fraction of the diameter of a human hair. But despite their small size, the particles have been linked to millions of premature deaths globally, as well as serious cardiovascular and respiratory problems, especially in children and the elderly.

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        Let the Sun Shine In – but be very careful and use sunscreen!

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        Let the Sun Shine In  – but be very careful and use sunscreen!

        These days, we know a lot more about the dangers and benefits of solar rays, but increased knowledge doesn’t always translate to increased self-care.

        Around 3.6 million cases of basal cell carcinoma and 1.8 million cases of squamous cell carcinoma are diagnosed annually in the U.S., and about 106,110 new melanomas will be diagnosed in 2021. Melanoma, the most lethal form of skin cancer, is over 20 times more common in white people than in African Americans. But it is more often diagnosed at a late stage in people of color — one study found an average five-year melanoma survival rate of 67% in Black people versus 92% in white people.

        This is all a preamble to our advice on sunscreens: Use only zinc or titanium oxide (avoid chemicals like avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene and ecamsule); opt for SPF of 30 or more — whatever your skin color; and reapply sunscreen every two hours if you’re out in the sun, sweating or swimming.

        It’s also smart to let the sun crank up your body’s vitamin-D-making powers. The vitamin/hormone (it’s both) boosts immune strength, helps reduce the severity of COVID-19, strengthens bones and protects heart health. So enjoy the feel of sun on your unprotected skin for up to 20 minutes a day (except between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., when the rays are strongest); then put on sunscreen.

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