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Mediterranean Diet Cuts Women’s Odds for Diabetes

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Mediterranean Diet Cuts Women’s Odds for Diabetes

Overweight women who eat a Mediterranean-like diet may reduce their odds of developing type 2 diabetes by 30%, compared with women who don’t, a new study suggests.

The Mediterranean diet is rich in olive oil, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Previously, it has been linked with a reduced risk of heart diseasetype 2 diabetes and other conditions.

“The findings of this study make perfect sense,” said Dr. Minisha Sood, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Researchers collected data on more than 25,000 participants in the U.S. Women’s Health Study, which followed health care workers for more than 20 years. During that time, more than 2,300 of these women developed type 2 diabetes.

Those who consumed more of a Mediterranean-style diet at the study’s start developed diabetes at rates 30% lower than women who ate a less Mediterranean diet, the researchers found. But only women who were overweight or obese showed this reduction in risk.

“Our findings support the idea that by improving their diet, people can improve their future risk of type 2 diabetes, particularly if they are overweight or have obesity,” said study author Dr. Samia Mora, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Division of Preventive Medicine in Boston.

“A lot of the benefit we see can be explained through just a few pathways. And it’s important to note that many of these changes don’t happen right away. While metabolism can change over a short period of time, our study indicates that there are longer-term changes happening that may provide protection over decades,” Mora said in a hospital news release.

The research team measured a range of markers, including cholesterol, lipoproteins (molecules that pack and transport fats and proteins) and insulin resistance.

Markers tied to insulin resistance were the biggest contributor to lower risk, followed by markers of body mass index, high-density lipoprotein and inflammation.

The fiber content of the Mediterranean diet is higher than the standard Western diet, Sood said, adding it’s no surprise that markers of insulin resistance — an indicator of diabetes — are lower in those who follow the plant-rich approach.

“The subjects belonged to a certain cohort of well-educated white American women that self-reported diabetes, making it less applicable to other ethnicities,” noted Jaggi, who had no role in the study.

Still, Jaggi said, “Although this study is not a randomized clinical trial, it provides clinicians with the information that a higher consumption of the Mediterranean diet has improved long-term cardio-metabolic outcomes.”

The report was published online Nov.19 in the journal JAMA Network Open.

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Choose anti-inflammatory foods to lower heart disease and stroke risk

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Choose anti-inflammatory foods to lower heart disease and stroke risk

A variety of food containing large amounts of antioxidants and vitamins — such as leafy greens, carrots, tomatoes, whole grains, fruits, nuts, fatty fish and olive oil — can support a healthy inflammatory response and reduce cardiovascular risk.

Eating red meat and highly processed foods, however, contributes to chronic inflammation in the body, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The study, which followed nearly 166,000 women and 44,000 men for 24 to 30 years, found those who ate higher levels of red and processed meats like bacon and sausage and sugary, processed foods had a 28% higher risk of stroke and a 46% higher risk of heart disease.
The study was unique, said lead author Dr. Jun Li, because it did not examine the impact of specific food groups, but instead focused on the impact of a combination of 18 food groups “that have been shown to best predict inflammation levels associated with diets.”
“Foods that are associated with lower inflammation include leafy green vegetables, dark yellow vegetables, fruit, whole grain, tea, coffee and wine,” Li added.

How does food cause inflammation?

While the exact biological ways foods impact inflammatory pathways is not yet fully understood, researchers believe sugary, processed foods in the Western diet, along with pollution, cigarette smoke, radiation and medications, may lead to the increased activation of free radicals in the body.
Free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons — driven to search for a match, they rob other cells of their electrons, causing cellular damage which can contribute to disease.
Unfortunately, today’s Western diet is full of overly processed, fat-laden foods, sugary drinks and red and processed meats that can cause persistently high levels inflammation in the body.
In fact, research has linked chronic inflammation to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, Alzheimer’s and many other diseases.
So focus on leafy greens, tomatoes, fruits, nuts, fatty fish and olive oil — foods that can support a healthy inflammatory response — and fight back by limiting inflammatory foods such as:
  • Ice cream, cookies, pastries, cereal bars and cakes
  • Premade pies, pasta and pizza dishes
  • Poultry and fish nuggets and sticks
  • Red and processed meats such as bacon, sausages and hot dogs
  • Sugary sodas and fruit-flavored drinks
  • “Health” and “slimming” products such as powdered or “fortified” meal and dish substitutes, powdered and packaged instant soups, noodles and desserts

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Best Exercises for Abs (General)

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Best Exercises for Abs (General)

Your abdominal muscles (abs for short) are part of your core muscles that help to hold you up and keep you doing everyday activities. They stabilize your pelvis and your spine. They help to stabilize your body when you twist and bend forward or from side to side. You use core muscles, including abs, in almost everything you do. 

Strengthening your abs helps you build strength in other areas of your body, and helps you to maintain proper form when doing full-body movements like push-ups. Doing so will also help you to have better balance, good posture, and do all the hobbies you love while avoiding injury.

Exercises to Help Abs

There are many different ab exercises that can help you get into shape. Here are the six best ab exercises to sculpt and tone while you workout at home.

1. Plank

Step 1: Place your hands on the floor, directly underneath your shoulders.

Step 2: Extend your legs behind you, about hip-width distance.

Step 3: Engage your core, including your butt, and tuck your tailbone.

Step 4: Hold for a set amount of time or as long as you can.

2. Crunch

Step 1: Lie on your back on the floor or on an exercise mat.

Step 2: Place your hands behind your head. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. 

Step 3: As you exhale, activate your abdominal muscles and tilt your chin slightly toward your chest. 

Step 4: Continue activating until your torso curls toward your thighs. Your shoulders should lift up but your tailbone and lower back should remain on the mat.

Step 5: As you inhale, lower back down slowly to the floor or mat. 

3. Leg Lift

Step 1: Lie on your back on the floor or an exercise mat with your legs extended out.

Step 2: Lift your legs up toward your face, hinging at the hips. 

Step 3: Stop when they are at a 90-degree angle.

Step 4: Keeping your legs together, lower them slowly to the floor. Keep your back flat on the surface.

4. Modified Side Plank

Step 1: Lie on your right side on the floor or an exercise mat. 

Step 2: Stack your legs directly on top of each other. 

Step 3: Support yourself with your right arm at a 90-degree angle, raising your torso. Your
shoulder should be directly in line with your elbow. 

Step 4: Keep your hips, and lower knee on the mat. 

Step 5: Activate your abdominal muscles to lift your hips off the mat. 

Step 6: Keep your knees on the mat and your head in line with your spine.
Step 7: As you inhale, lower back down to the mat. 

5. Bicycle Crunches 

Step 1: Lie on your back with your legs bent 90 degrees and knees in line with your hips. 

Step 2: Place your hands behind your head, bending your elbows, which should be pointed
out to the sides. 

Step 3: Activate your abs to bring your shoulders up and off the floor. 

Step 4: Bring your right elbow to your left knee and straighten your right leg. Try to keep your
left leg in place. 

Step 5: Return to the basic crunch position. 

Step 6: Bring your left elbow to your right knee and straighten your left leg. Try to keep your
right leg in place. 

Step 7: That is one repetition (rep). Continue alternating sides for as many reps as indicated
by a doctor or personal trainer. 

6. Supine Dead Bug 

Step 1: Lie on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor 12 to 18 inches
away from your butt. 

Step 2: Contract your core muscles, including your Kegels and abs. 

Step 3: Lift both arms and both legs off the floor with elbows in line with the shoulder. Your
knees should be bent to 90 degrees with hips in line with knees. 

Step 4: Maintain your core muscle activation while slowly lowering your right leg and left
arm to the floor. 

Step 5: Let them touch the floor but do not rest them down. 

Step 6: Lift them back up with control. 

Step 7: Repeat with your left leg and right arm.
Step 8: Continue alternating each side. 

Safety Considerations 

Before you begin a new workout routine, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor. Working out
your core muscles shouldn’t be painful. It is likely you will feel a little sore afterward, but if
you experience any sharp or long-lasting pain, talk to your doctor.
Always do a short warm-up. One idea is to march in place while swinging your arms to
activate the core.
Make sure you understand the proper form for any exercise you do. Look at example
photos, read written instructions, and watch videos if available.
Remember, your core is more than just your abs. Include your butt and back muscles in your
workout plan for full core strength. 

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Health Benefits of Houseplants

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Health Benefits of Houseplants

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Allergy Relief

Researchers found that rooms with plants have less dust and mold than rooms without any foliage. Leaves and other parts of the plants act as natural filters to catch allergens and other airborne particles. Common low-light houseplants like Chinese evergreen or the peace lily can do the job. Violets and other plants with textured leaves might be even better trappers. Avoid plants with pollen or spores.

photo of bouquet of flowers

Happy Blooms

Plants not only can brighten up your surroundings, but they can lift your mood.  Employees who work in offices with plants tend to feel better about their jobs, worry less, and take fewer sick days. Flowers in particular are a good pick-me-up. So liven up your room with blooms, like a lipstick plant, or a fresh bouquet and see if your outlook improves.

photo of spider plant

Spider Plants for Moisture

Furnaces and air conditioners can sap humidity indoors, especially in the winter. That can raise your chances for catching a cold or the flu, or make your skin itch. Houseplants add moisture to the air. One study found a collection of spider plants boosted the relative humidity in a bedroom from 20% to a more comfortable 30%. 

photo of asparagus fern

Air Purifiers

Carpets, paint, cleaners, printer toners and inks, and many other indoor objects give off pollutants called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They can build up in the air and irritate your eyes and skin, worsen your asthma, or make it hard for you to breathe. Houseplants can soak up VOCs. Some good air-scrubbers are English ivy, asparagus fern, and dragon tree. 

photo of mint plant

Herbs for Better Digestion

Mint may help tamp down bloating, gas, and other problems after you eat. Common varieties you can grow in containers include peppermint and spearmint (essential in mint juleps). Basil, another herb for cooking, also can help calm your stomach. Try steeping the leaves in hot water.

photo of lavender plant

Relaxing Lavender

This fragrant purple plant has been an important herbal medicine for centuries. You can inhale lavender oil or massage it on your scalp for aromatherapy. You can also boil the leaves for tea. Some studies suggest it may help calm you and help lower any anxiety. But more proof is needed.

photo of aloe vera plants

Aloe for First Aid

Gel from this plant is a popular home remedy. It can treat sunburns and other minor burns. It can soothe your psoriasis and other skin conditions. Juice from the aloe plant can even help you poop if you’re constipated.

photo of gerbera daisy

Restful Sleep

Plants take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. It’s how they turn sunlight into food, a process called photosynthesis. Some, like gerbera daisies, keep giving off oxygen even after the sun goes down. Put a few cheerful pots in your bedroom and the extra oxygen may help you sleep more soundly.

photo of snake plant

Stress Relief

Feeling the weight of daily pressures? Try and add a heart-leaf philodendron or a snake plant to your décor. It may help you relax. Several studies have measured people’s levels of blood pressure, heart rate, and the stress hormone cortisol while they handled a tough task or were under mental stress. Being around plants has a calming effect on people.

photo of golden pathos plant

Sharper Focus

Plants may help raise your test scores, make it easier to concentrate on your tasks, and strengthen your memory. Students in classrooms with three potted plants performed better on math, spelling, reading, and science tests than kids in classrooms without any greens. Bring home a golden pothos or a bamboo palm and you just might clear that to-do list.

photo of orchid in hospital room

Faster Healing

Taking a bouquet of flowers or potted foliage to a loved one in the hospital can be more than just a thoughtful gesture. It may actually help them recover more quickly. Researchers found that people who had surgery got better faster if they had plants in their room or even a view of the nature from their window. They also tolerated pain better and needed fewer medications when surrounded by greenery. Try an orchid or a peace lily.

photo of couple watering plant

Better Mental and Emotional Health

Some therapists use gardening to help treat depression, schizophrenia, and other psychiatric conditions. Learning to nurture a living plant may help lower anxiety, improve attention, and lessen the severity of depression. Plants also might help people recovering from trauma, as well as those with dementia or who live in long-term care facilities.

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Study finds dietary flavanols boost cognition in healthy adults

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Study finds dietary flavanols boost brain oxygenation and cognition in healthy adults

(Dietary flavanols can help you be smarter and avoid dementia – I understand that these titles can be confusing)

The consumption of flavanols, naturally occurring compounds found in plants, is associated with cognitive and cerebrovascular benefits in health adults, according to new research published in Scientific Reports. The study provides evidence that flavanol intake results in faster and greater brain oxygenation in response to the buildup of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream.

“For the last 10 to 12 years, I have been interested in the health benefits of plant-derived flavonoids, particularly their effects on brain and cognitive function,” said study author Catarina Rendeiro, a lecturer in nutritional sciences at the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham.

“We have known for many years that flavanols from cocoa (in particular) can improve vascular function in humans by improving vessel/arterial function. These benefits are apparent even after one single dose. However, the extent to which some of these benefits could translate into the brain vasculature were less clear.”

Given that we have more and more people suffering from cognitive impairments and neurodegenerative diseases later in life (and we are for the most part living longer), it is critical that we make the lifestyle choices (exercise, diet) that can maximize protection of the brain and help delay the onset of cognitive dysfunction when we age,” Rendeiro explained.

For their study, which used a double-blind methodology, the researchers tested 18 healthy male participants in two separate trials, one in which the subjects received flavanol-rich cocoa and another during which they consumed processed cocoa with very low levels of flavanols. The flavanol-rich cocoa contained 150 mg of epicatechin and 35.5 mg of catechin, while the low-flavanol cocoa contained less than 4 mg of both flavanols.

The findings indicate that “consuming foods rich in flavanols, such as grapes, green tea, apples, berries and unprocessed cocoa powders can provide levels of flavanols that are beneficial for brain oxygenation and cognitive function,” Rendeiro told PsyPost.

“The fact that flavanols can be effective even in a healthy brain (where the physiology is working exactly as it should) is a remarkable finding and it means that we can potentially all benefit from diets rich in flavanols.”

Although the study examined flavanols from natural cocoa powders, ingesting chocolate would probably not produce the same effect.

“Many people tend to associate the benefits of cocoa with chocolate, but those are two very different things. The cocoas that contain flavanols are normally unprocessed. However, when you process cocoa beans to make chocolate (roasting, alkalization, etc.) the flavanol content declines,” Rendeiro explained.

“The good news is consuming a variety of foods rich in flavanols, such as grapes, green tea, apples, berries, pulses can provide levels of flavanols that are beneficial for brain and vascular function.”

The study, “Dietary flavanols improve cerebral cortical oxygenation and cognition in healthy adults“, was authored by Gabriele Gratton, Samuel R. Weaver, Claire V. Burley, Kathy A. Low, Edward L. Maclin, Paul W. Johns, Quang S. Pham, Samuel J. E. Lucas, Monica Fabiani, and Catarina Rendeiro.

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What Goes Wrong With An Inflammatory Diet

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What Goes Wrong With An Inflammatory Diet

New research from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health looked at data on over 200,000 people spanning 32 years. It shows that compared to eating an inflammation-boosting diet of refined sugars and grains, fried foods, sodas and other highly processed foods, a diet packed with phytonutrients cools inflammation and makes your risk of heart disease 46% lower — and stroke 29% lower — than it is for folks who fire up with those unhealthy foods.

The researchers, writing in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, advocate a diet loaded with green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, cabbage and arugula; yellow and orange vegetables like pumpkin, yellow peppers, some beans and carrots; whole grains; and coffee, tea and wine. Another great anti-inflammatory, heart-loving trick: eating about 1 to 2 ounces of walnuts daily. A new two-year Spanish study in the same journal found that it significantly reduced levels of six out of 10 inflammatory biomarkers tested.

Bonus: Launch your firefighting efforts with a real heart-warming — but anti-inflammatory — winter treat: When Way Golden Milk, made with almond and hemp milks, plus ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, turmeric, almond butter and more. Get the recipe in the “What to Eat When Cookbook.”

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Chili Pepper Consumption Linked to Better Midlife Survival

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Chili Pepper Consumption Linked to Better Midlife Survival

In a meta-analysis of four geographically diverse observational studies, a higher intake of any type of chili pepper was associated with a lower rate of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, or all causes, during a 7- to 19-year follow-up in mainly middle-aged adults.

Results showed a 26%, 23%, and 25% relative reduction of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all causes, respectively, for the highest vs lowest or no consumption of chili peppers.

Bo Xu, MD, presented these findings at the virtual American Heart Association (AHA) 2020 Scientific Sessions.

The word “associated” is important, stressed Xu, from Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute, Cleveland, Ohio, in an interview with theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology.

The meta-analysis “definitely does not by any means prove a causal relationship” because none of the four studies in the meta-analysis were randomized controlled trials, he emphasized.

Hot Pepper Use in the US, China, Iran, and Italy

Animal studies and small studies in humans have shown that capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili peppers, has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer, and blood regulation effects, said Xu.

The researchers identified four observational studies of consumption of chili peppers that had data for death from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, in more than 570,000 participants:

  • A study by Bonaccio et al of participants in the Moli-sani study in Italy

  • A study by Chopan et al of adult participants in NHANES III, surveyed from 1988 to 1994, in the US

  • A study by Hashemian et al of participants in the Golestan Cohort study in Iran

  • A study by Lv and colleagues of participants in the China Kadoorie Biobank

American Heart Association (AHA) 2020 Scientific Sessions: Abstract P1036 Presented November 13, 2020.

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The Health Benefits of Apples

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The Health Benefits of Apples

Core Benefits

The old cliché exists for a reason: An apple a day benefits your whole body in multiple ways. One of the most widely grown and eaten fruits in the world, they come in more than 7,500 varieties. They are healthiest when you eat them fresh and whole (as opposed to pre-sliced, juiced, or as applesauce). A medium one has about 80 calories, 1 gram of protein, 19 grams of natural sugar, and zero fat, sodium, or cholesterol. 

Don’t Peel the Peel

That’s where apples store two-thirds of the fiber that keeps your digestive system on track. The shiny skin also holds lots of antioxidants, or natural substances that help protect your cells from some of the damage that may lead to cancer, heart disease, and stroke. If you’re concerned about pesticides, give it a good wash before you sink your teeth into its sweet flesh. 

Memory and Alzheimer’s

Apples have more of the plant pigment quercetin than most other fruits and vegetables. This plant-derived chemical called a flavonoid protects cells throughout your body, including the ones in your brain. These fruits are also high in antioxidants that may help offset the memory loss caused by various types of damage to your cells. One small study suggested that apple juice improved the mood and behavior of people with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease

Pancreatic Cancer Prevention

Flavonoids give apples their color, protect them from harmful elements in the environment, and repair damage to their skin and cells. These natural chemicals may be good for you, too. Quercetin, which can help brain cells, protected pancreas cells from cancer in lab studies and holds promise to help people, too. Research is ongoing. 

Type 2 Diabetes

Your pancreas plays a key role in processing the sugar in your bloodstream. The flavonoids in apples may help keep the cells in your pancreas healthy and able to perform this important job. That may help lower your risk for type 2 diabetes. In one 9-year study, people who ate one or more apples a day were 28% less likely to get type 2 diabetes than those who didn’t eat them. 

Weight Control

One medium apple has 3 grams of fiber. This nutrient slows down your digestion and helps you feel fuller longer. These fruits also have a low glycemic load, which means they won’t spike your blood sugar too high and trick you into thinking you’re still hungry. These satisfying effects can keep you from snacking and help you maintain your weight. 

Colorectal Cancer

One group of researchers found that people who ate at least one apple a day were a third less likely to get colon cancer than those who did not. The healthy helping of both fiber and flavonoids may help protect the lining of the intestines and keep the cells healthy.

Gut Health

Apples are a natural source of pectin, a soluble fiber that moves food through your digestive system and keeps you regular. Bonus benefit: Your good gut bacteria love to feed on pectin. Some experts think that pectin helps the good bacteria multiply, which may help ward off some chronic diseases and cancer in the gut.

Heart Health

In lab studies, the combination of plant chemicals, pectin, and fiber in apples helped protect heart and blood vessel cells from damage. The pectin and fiber can also help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol that can build up in your arteries and lead to heart disease.

Asthma and Lung Function

Apples, like other fruits and vegetables, have natural anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties, which means they may help take a bite out of asthma and other breathing problems. One study of women who ate apples while pregnant showed that their children were less likely to have symptoms of asthma and wheezing by age 5. Some studies show that people who eat more fruits and vegetables are less likely to have asthma. 

Immunity

They can’t compete with oranges, but apples have 10% of the vitamin C you need every day. That plus the soluble fiber you get from pectin makes this fruit a delicious defense against any germ that attacks your immune system. And if you do get sick, apples may even help you bounce back quicker. 

Steer clear of Seeds

For all its health benefits, one part of this fruit is forbidden — in large quantities, that is. The seeds contain amygdalin, a compound that becomes cyanide in your body. If you accidentally eat a seed, it won’t poison you — your body can detoxify small amounts of cyanide on its own. You’d have to chew seeds from many apples at once very carefully to release enough amygdalin in your system to be harmful. 

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Coffee, Tea and Me Fight Diabetes!

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Coffee, Tea and Me Fight Diabetes!

A cup of java or green tea may help fight off diabetes complications.

A new study, published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, followed nearly 5,000 adults with Type 2 diabetes for a median duration of 5.3 years. Folks who drank one cup of coffee a day lowered their risk of death over the course of the study 12%; drinking two or more cups lowered it 41%. Green tea was also powerful: Two to three cups daily lowered it by 27% and four or more cups, by 40%.

People who drank both beverages wow! They lowered their risk of death during the study by 51% with two to three cups of green tea plus two or more of coffee a day.

The researchers think it’s the beverages’ anti-inflammatory powers from several potent polyphenols that are key. Type 2 diabetes causes widespread inflammation, putting a person at risk for potentially fatal cardiovascular and kidney disease, dementia and more. Tea and coffee may tamp down inflammation and help prevent resulting disorders. So, if you have Type 2 diabetes, enjoy some daily coffee and/or green tea. But steer clear of syrupy flavorings, sugar and high-fat dairy. Drink ’em straight or with sugar-free, nut, oat or soy milk.

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Dr. Lane’s Thoughts XXVI

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Dr. Lane’s Thoughts XXVI

1) We have been through the most contentious election in my memory, Donald J. Trump versus the entire United States.  Oh sure, there was a Democratic candidate (Joseph Biden) but, in truth, it was Trump against all sane dialogue or truth.  73 million people voted for the bombastic buffoon so that says a great deal about the people who vote in the USA.  

How hard is it to win the Republican vote?  They start every presidential election with a solid 40% of the popular vote just from the racists, white supremacists, single-issue abortion opponents, evangelicals, scoundrels parading as ‘patriots’, single-issue Second Amendment gun nuts, and the easily duped who think that promises of a liar like Trump must be true because he was “a successful businessman” without actually looking into his trail of cons and bankruptcies and outright IRS deceptions.  You don’t have to get many votes to win when you start with 40%.

I understand that there are loyal Republicans who held their nose and voted for Trump in 2016 and, again, in 2020 but this time they really had to drug themselves since he proved he was useless as president.  Were you aware that he had no agenda for a second term?  I understand that the mistake of his 2016 win might cause him to not know what to do but he had 4 years to learn something about the job so why did he have nothing concrete that he wanted to accomplish in his second term?  It may possibly be because his actual, unspoken, agenda was to continue to plunder the country on behalf of his rich friends in the fields that strip natural resources like oil, gas, and mining.

2) Trump’s history of the COVID-19 response has killed thousands of Americans and sickened millions.  The only thing he did was fight with every reasonable request of our nation’s top scientists and doctors such as Drs. Fauci and Dix.  Taking credit for pharmaceutical companies development of vaccines is a new low in arrogance, much like taking credit for the musical works of Bach or Mozart because you lived in the same country – the only thing you actually did was not kill the developers.  If you need an “attaboy” for your ‘assistance’ then consider it given.

3) I may be presumptuous when I make the assertion that the same people who voted for Trump are probably the same ones fighting about being required to wear a mask or limit their group sizes but I suspect an enormous overlap.  WEAR YOUR MASK!  it helps to limit the spray that comes from the mouth when you speak or eat.  The failure to wear a mask is considered the #1 method of spreading this disease.  No one is immune, including people who have already caught it.

4) The only thing good about FOX as a television station is that it has a fun morning show.  After that show you have the “Fox and Friends” which despite sounding like a show with an animated fox host geared to teaching children the basics of education like counting and colors is actually a racist series of monologues by white men and women in journalism who stoke every topic under the sun for signs of a non-white person doing anything more provocative than saying “Yes massa, mays I refreshes yo’ drink?”  Their willingness to take any scrap of ‘news’ and run it around the block while shouting about a populist rebellion before any investigation or understanding is done is what a conservative pundit gets paid to do on FOX news.  The more racial rancor you create, the bigger your paycheck at that studio.

The careful and reflective journalists at FOX news is just a rumor.  Did I say ‘rumor’?  In actuality it is a fired employee and a ‘has-been’ at that station, the subject of a deep questioning in the boardroom about poor hiring choices and possibly a person fired in HR for letting a stable and intelligent person with hard-won credentials onto the studio floor in their (alleged) ‘fair and balanced’ newscast.

Though such behavior was to be expected from FOX News, “a network whose power and profits had been built around stoking the same racial features and resentments that Trump [ ] sought to exploit,” Barack Obama wrote in his memoir.

FOX news has an agenda to give the biased conservative side to any news item and the unspoken desire to be the subordinate to the hormonal raging of their ‘dominant-in-chief’ Trump.  When the actual reality of the news cycle came around to the facts that supported that Trump had lost the 2020 election the talking heads of FOX did their best to support his vapid position that corruption had taken place but eventually had to accept what he could not – he had lost.  Trump soon cast FOX news aside as being biased against him and he found a new ‘back-door’ buddy in Newsmax which would do just about anything to actually have Trump on the air spouting his thoughts as ‘news’ instead of what it is – the ramblings of a sad and lonely man who has come very far in 73 years with a poor grasp of language and reading skills due only to having money and a loud voice along with an impressive height.

5) To be fair, the money is a great deal less than it would have been if Trump hadn’t lost it hand-over-fist in bad ventures led by himself.  Trump is such a bad bet that he would lose money gambling against gravity or the theory of relativity.  Why not – his friends in banking have a history of bailing him out every time!

Now he has his friends in QAnon  – an organization so odd that you have to read the description to fully comprehend its weird underpinnings: QAnon purports that America is run by a cabal of pedophile cannibals and Satan-worshippers who run a global child sex-trafficking operation and that President Trump is the only person who can stop them.  I can only suppose that the children are kidnapped by this cabal and their parents are eaten and the children are sold into sex operations.

Of  course, there is no evidence of missing people or children to support this position.  Moreso, Trump wouldn’t get out of a chair unless a fast-food hamburger is attached to a string and he is promised a golf game.  That is not an idle joke at his size or short attention span, it is pretty much what people in the White House have written about him.  He openly admits that he governs from ‘his gut” without any knowledge of the facts or any briefing beforehand.

This Trump presidency was made up of unfilled promises and a contempt for Barack Obama that led to a desire to demolish anything that Obama created or built, a crusade to destroy the US government and the people of the United States as revenge against his sworn enemy, the preceding president.  His rage was blind and always ill-conceived, not to mention selfish and self-righteous.  At the time of this writing Trump is holed up in the White House denying the outcome of the election (he lost) and fighting every inch of the way to stay.  He has his maniac weirdo lawyer, the formerly great and gracious Rudy Giuliani as his attorney bellowing in courts across the land that the election results were criminal and evidence of a conspiracy.

You know your cause is lost when the only people you can find to defend you drool at the mouth and are willing to risk their dignity to mouth your words.  From what I understand, Giuliani is being paid $20,000 a day to do this (at least, that is what I have read that he asked for) link.  I can only guess that Rudy is old and needs as much money as he can get before he dies from a heart attack.

6) I have two specific kinds of patients in my CDL medical testing office that are less than normal (1) weird elderly people who ask for a ‘senior discount” and the people who are older than 40 who demand that their blood pressure is not elevated and it must be a mistake.

First, there is no way that I am interested in offering a discount to the very kind of old driver who is increasingly a danger on the road!  We don’t offer discounts based on age.  If we did, younger rather than older people would be more likely to get a discount.  Old people driving an 80,000 pound vehicle at 60 MPH are a danger!

The other group, the ones that deny that they have high blood pressure or need glasses are just disasters waiting to happen.  Excuses I have heard:

a) “Two years ago I passed without glasses”.  Yep, two years ago you were younger and so were your eyes – go get glasses.

b) “I don’t have high blood pressure, I have a machine and it tells me that my blood pressure is 120/80″.  To start, it is impossible for a person (even me) to take your own blood pressure using a cuff and stethoscope.  Unless you are using a machine like the one I have in my medical office, the one you have is a toy and is not accurate.

c) “I don’t believe in using drugs to control my blood pressure”.  That is fine but telling me your philosophy on healthcare in my office is not going to help you get a medical card.  If you have a method you want to use you should have started it at least 3 months before sitting in front of me today.  On the day you are in front of me I need that blood pressure under control and your views don’t do anything to assist you – get some medicine and use it to pass the test.  After that, you can wean yourself off of it and live your life by your own standards.

d)”I have ‘white coat syndrome'” [fear of a doctor that causes your BP to go up when you are being tested].  That is fine to explain a 10 point rise in your BP but how to you explain the next 20?  A BP of 170/100 is not ‘white coat syndrome’ it is just bad lifestyle choices.

e) “The last examiner passed me with that blood pressure / vision chart results (and so on)”.  That is nice, go back to him – if he is still in business that is.  A CME (certified medical examiner) is not allowed to pass people who do not meet the federal criteria and those that do will soon be caught and put out of business.

The process is simple: (a) the CME passes everyone despite bad results (b) the truckers talk about since they are bigger gossips than a bunch of 12-year-olds (c) an investigation is started on the federal level (probably FBI) (d) a few agents go to the office pretending to be truckers (e) if the doctor is in violation his certification to do federal exams is pulled and 30 minutes later his state pulls his medical license.  This information is based on a real CME in Georgia who did not do urine or eye exams on CDL candidates that I read about.

I will never fake results or lie on a medical form just to please a CDL candidate in my office.  I do not like anyone enough to do that!  I love my profession and my office more than I like any person except my wife, daughters and dog and they know never to ask me to fake CDL medical exam results!



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