Category Archives: Health

The suicide of Robin Williams: Why we need a grand jury inquest to investigate it

On July 2, 1961, an American icon, Earnest Hemingway, committed suicide at his beloved vacation home in Ketchum, Idaho. He had just flown to Ketchum after being discharged from Mayo Clinic’s psychiatric ward where he had received a series of electroshock “treatments” for a depression that had started after he had experienced the horrors of World War I as an ambulance driver. Continue reading

Author of new book discusses shame and codependency

Codependents often have trouble being open, honest and assertive with intimate partners, says Darlene Lancer, an author and marriage and family therapist. In trying to manage, control and manipulate others, often by “people pleasing” or giving advice, codependents can “turn themselves into pretzels,” says Lancer. Now, in her latest book, “Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You,” Lancer addresses the role of shame and especially childhood shame experiences in codependency. Continue reading

Racism is killing blacks in America

But there is something they can do about it

Black citizens die much younger, on average, than whites. In 2005, the death rate for all cancers combined was an astounding 33% higher in African American men and 16% higher in African American women than in white men and women, respectively. Continue reading

I say diazepam and you say zolpidem; let’s call the whole thing off

First of all, zolpidem is the active ingredient in Ambien, the sleep remedy. But mostly, it’s not what I’ve been taking for years, to go to sleep, which is a five milligram tablet of diazepam. Because a five milligram of diazepam is relatively benign, I’ve been taking it for years with no side effects. Continue reading

AIDS advances may be compromised by legislative inaction

Researchers at Temple University in Philadelphia may have found an entry-way to the cure for AIDS. Continue reading

Hair loss drug linked to disturbing side effects that be permanent

No one should have to choose between their hairline and their health. But increasingly, men who use finasteride, commonly known as Propecia, to treat their male pattern baldness are making that choice, often unwittingly. In the 17 years since Propecia was approved to treat hair loss from male pattern baldness, so many disturbing urogenital and other side effects have emerged, the term Post Finasteride Syndrome (PFS) has been coined and hundreds of lawsuits have been brought. Continue reading

Questions raised about government institute director

It has been four years since Thomas Insel, M.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health, was suspected of pharmaceutical conflicts of interest. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, he assured the dean of the University of Miami medical school that if the dean hired Charles Nemeroff, government money would not be denied to U. of Miami. Continue reading

The healing powers of lavender for burns and other minor injuries

The Kindle e-book “The Essential Burn Book for Baristas and Cooks,” co-authored by Sara S. DeHart and Kathleen M. Whalen, is a book essential to have in every home, restaurant, business or place where it is possible to suffer a first- or second-degree burn. Continue reading

New Vioxx harm revealed: non-healing of bone after fractures and surgery

It has been a decade since Merck’s “super-aspirin” Vioxx was withdrawn from the market after a study showed it doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Heavily advertised by celebrity athletes like Dorothy Hamill and Bruce Jenner and used by approximately 20 million patients, estimates of the heart attacks caused by Vioxx range from 27,000 to up to 140,000. Continue reading

Is the U.S. beef supply really free of mad cow disease?

When the first U.S. mad cow was found in late 2003, 98 percent of U.S. beef exports evaporated overnight. There was such national revulsion to cow “cannibalism” when described in the late 1990s as the presumed cause of the fatal disease, Oprah Winfrey said she would never eat a hamburger again and was promptly sued by Texas cattle producers. They lost. Continue reading

Who is behind the opioid epidemic?

There is good news and bad news when it comes to the nation’s decade-long opioid/heroin addiction epidemic. Continue reading

Fukushima’s children are dying

Some 39 months after the multiple explosions at Fukushima, thyroid cancer rates among nearby children have skyrocketed to more than forty times (40x) normal. Continue reading

Five foods that are designed so you can’t resist them

There are three reasons Americans’ love affair with snacks is growing—along with their waistlines: the ubiquity of junk food, the ubiquity of junk food advertising and stealth food technology. People who polish off a whole bag of chips or cookies at one sitting (usually in front of TV) are often doing exactly what the product was designed to do—be addictive. Continue reading

Look, Ma, no teeth . . . no future!!

A close friend of the family recently got some bad news. She was told that gum disease and bone loss had caused her five molars to be infected. The only recourse was to have them all pulled out. Even gum surgery would not help at this point. Continue reading

Fukushima is still a disaster

The corporate media silence on Fukushima has been deafening even though the melted down nuclear power plant’s seaborne radiation is now washing up on American beaches. Continue reading

Big Pharma profits from addiction

Imagine a treatment for drug addiction and alcoholism that uses no drugs, requires no trained personnel, resources or insurance and makes no money for anyone. This “people’s program” is the anonymous twelve-step programs which have quietly saved millions for 79 years. Continue reading

The wonders of the ‘free’ market

In 2010, Michelle Holmes and Wendy Chen, physicians and faculty members at Harvard Medical School, published an observational study in The Journal of Clinical Oncology that showed that women with breast cancer who took aspirin at least once every week were 50% less likely to die of breast cancer. Continue reading

Why Medicare pays so much for psychiatric drugs

“Never mind” said the Obama administration in March after its proposal to limit automatic Medicare coverage of pricey depression and psychiatric drugs was met with a Pharma funded backlash. It apparently wasn’t worth it as “patients” on the Hill yelled “You’re going to limit WHAT?” and won. Continue reading

Five gross ways your meat is kept safe to eat

It is no secret that in the war against meat pathogens in commercial U.S. meat production, the pathogens are winning. The logical result of the tons of antibiotics that Big Meat gives livestock (not because they are sick but to fatten them) is clear: antibiotics that no longer work against antibiotic-resistant diseases like staph (MRSA), enterococci (VRE) and C. difficile. Continue reading

Medical care and expensive bureaucracy

Some 63 years ago, my wife and I had started our family. Shortly after that I was in graduate school in engineering at the University of Michigan and working part-time at their Willow Run Research Center, so my income was only adequate. Two of our children were born in the hospital in Ypsilanti, MI, where I lived because it was cheaper than living in Ann Arbor. Continue reading

Are you eating these foods full of estrogen?

It is no secret that our bodies and environment are swimming in estrogen. Puberty is occurring as early as eight-years-old in children and recently babies in China developed breasts. Frogs and fish are becoming “intersex” and losing their male characteristics from excreted estrogens in the environment and waterways. In England, the Daily Mail ran a feature on the phenomenon of women’s bra cup sizes increasing independent of their weights, likely because of environmental and livestock chemicals. The website Green Prophet, speculated that women in the Middle East are not yet experiencing cup inflation because their environments have not become similarly estrogenized. Continue reading

A dean of a medical school on a drug company board?

Walid Gellad, MD, MPH, is both assistant professor of medicine and assistant professor of health policy at the University of Pittsburgh and a physician in the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Pittsburgh Healthcare System. He is coauthor of a recent research letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) [Academic Medical Center Leadership on Pharmaceutical Company Boards of Directors, also by Timothy Anderson, MD, Chester Good, MD, MPH, and Shravan Dave, BS] that reveals almost all US large drug companies and 40 percent of all drug companies studied have leaders in academic medical centers on their boards. These drug company board members include deans, chief executive officers, department chairs, trustees at academic medical centers, school of pharmacy officials and university presidents. Continue reading

Fighting our fossil-nuke extinction

The 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez disaster has brought critical new evidence that petro-pollution is destroying our global ecosystem. Continue reading

Mefloquine, a nightmare drug given to military personnel and civilians

The malaria drug Lariam (mefloquine) is linked to grisly crimes like Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales’ 2012 murder of 16 Afghan civilians, the murders of four wives of Fort Bragg soldiers in 2002 and other extreme violence. Continue reading

The nuclear omnicide

In the 35 years since the March 28, 1979, explosion and meltdown at Three Mile Island, fierce debate has raged over whether humans were killed there. In 1986 and 2011, Chernobyl and Fukushima joined the argument. Whenever these disasters happen, there are those who claim that the workers, residents and military personnel exposed to radiation will be just fine. Continue reading

A cross-cultural look at depression and how to recover

Interview with Gayathri Ramprasad, author of ‘Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within’

The just published memoir, Shadows in the Sun, is a first-of-its-kind, cross-cultural lens to mental illness through the inspiring story of the author’s thirty-year battle with depression. Continue reading

Japan stops treating radioactive water

Can it ever be treated? Is it even possible?

SAN FRANCISCO—It is time to call it what it is: It’s a Scam. It’s a Con Job. There is no solution, never was and never will be. That’s the whole Con and you, like most people, probably fell for the notion hook, line and sinker that radioactivity can be removed from water. Continue reading

Medicare madness: How Americans can lose benefits in a hospital

Tuck away the many horror stories of the wrong limbs being amputated, things being left in surgery patients, terrible infections picked up in hospitals and totally wrong diagnoses. More relevant is a bureaucratic hospitalization horror that far too few Americans covered by Medicare are aware of. Continue reading

Disposable assets in the fracking industry

The oil and gas industry, the nation’s Chambers of Commerce, and politicians, who are dependent upon campaign contributions from the industry and the chambers, claim fracking is safe. Continue reading

Was mom given dangerous drugs in the nursing home? It’s part of Big Pharma’s marketing plan

The Obama administration is finally addressing the expensive, dangerous and usually unnecessary psychiatric drugs that are footed by taxpayers in federal health insurance programs. It has proposed that insurers may limit Medicare coverage of certain classes of drugs that include Wellbutrin, Paxil and Prozac for depression and Abilify and Seroquel for schizophrenia. Continue reading

Direct to consumer drug advertising works so well, they are now selling radiation treatment directly to consumers

Seventeen years after direct-to-consumer (DTC) drug advertising was instituted in the US, 70 percent of adults and 25 percent of children are on at least one prescription drug. Continue reading

Five unsavory ingredients hidden in your food

Two years ago, the nation’s collective stomach churned when people learned they were eating a meat product called “pink slime.” Lean finely textured beef as the industry wanted called, it was meat scraps that were once earmarked for pet food repurposed for the human dinner table, especially the National School Lunch Program. While the product looked like human intestines, what caused the national revulsion was that it was treated with puffs of ammonia to kill the bacterium E. coli. Yum. Continue reading