Why Our Kids Are at Risk for Cirrhosis

Fatty liver disease is often ignored or minimized, but this is a big, big mistake. Everyone has a little bit of fat in their liver. However, once someone has enough fat in their liver to account for 5-10% of the organ’s total weight, they have fatty liver disease. There is fatty liver disease caused by…

We Need to Talk About Rural Health

 I don’t believe that anyone can have a well-informed discussion about healthcare policy without first turning an eye towards rural health in the U.S. There are many different ways to define an area as “rural,” but it’s fair to say that 15-20% of the total population in America lives in a rural area. I am…

FAQs About Supplements

What types of supplements are people using the most? In 2014, dietary supplement sales by category were: 32% vitamins 18% specialty supplements 18% herbs and botanicals 13% sports nutrition 12% meal replacements 7% minerals Why is there so much disagreement about the effectiveness and recommended uses of different supplements? There is shockingly little scientific evidence…

When Healthy Becomes Unhealthy – Orthorexia

Sometimes people say things about food or nutrition that unless you’re listening really, really carefully would seem almost admirable. Upon further discussion, though, it becomes pretty clear that the person’s super-healthy habits maybe aren’t so very super-healthy after all. Most everyone has heard of Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder. Orthorexia Nervosa, however,…

No Pressure, But Your Score Could Predict Future Heart Disease

The first time that I took the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), my score was incredibly (almost awe-inspiringly) bad. Really, really bad. Like there is no way to make that OK level. The MAAS is a psychological test developed by Ruth Baer at the University of Kentucky, and it is in the public domain so…

3 Reasons Social Media Might Be Hurting You or Your Children

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh’s Schools of the Health Sciences are not finding out good things about social media use among young adults. It’s making them depressed.  The researchers sampled 1,787 U.S. adults between the ages of 19 and 32 and found significant and linear associations between social media use and depression. Those who…

Common Myths About Heart Disease

Heart disease is only a concern for older adults. In fact, plaque can begin to build up in the arteries in childhood or adolescence. The number of women dying from coronary heart disease between the ages of 35 and 44 has grown in recent years. As the problems of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension…

Not So Angelic – the Problem with Health Halos

Pop quiz time – don’t worry, it’s only three questions: There is obviously no fat in Fat-Free fig newtons. How many grams are in regular fig newtons (2 cookie serving)? There are 15 grams of carbohydrate in ½ cup of Breyers Original Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry ice cream. How much carbohydrate is in a ½ cup…

Psychoneuroimmun…what?

My definition of psychoneuroimmunology is “how stress and sadness make you sick.” Technically, the formal definition is, “a branch of medicine that deals with the influence of emotional states (as stress) and nervous system activities on immune function in relation to the onset and progression of disease.” We now know that the immune system communicates…