Coming Up On Radio Health Journal Show 18-29

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Increasing Rates of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is increasing as America ages. However, fewer people are being tested for bone density and are agreeing to treatment because of side effects of osteoporosis medications. Experts discuss the devastating effects of increased broken bones and what can now be done to prevent them.

PTSD in Kids

Mental health experts once believed that children were too young to remember traumas well enough to suffer much from post-traumatic stress disorder. Now they know that children as young as 2 or 3 can be affected, often for the rest of their lives. An expert discusses PTSD in children and its treatment.  

18-28 Segment 1: Is Sex Addiction Real?

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Sexual addiction is not a real disorder, according to the DSM-5, the authoritative psychiatric manual. But, many experts disagree. Dr. Kenneth Paul Rosenberg, addiction psychiatrist from Weill Cornell Medical College and author of Infidelity: Why Men and Women Cheat, as well as Neil Strauss, author of The Truth: An Eye-Opening Odyssey Through Love Addiction, Sex Addiction, and Extraordinary Relationships, discuss why they think sex addiction is real and what can be done about it.

The controversy surrounding the classification of sex addiction as a legitimate condition is centered around several concerns, namely that the DSM manual has made mistakes before, that psychiatrists may be over-pathologizing normal human behavior, and that sex addicts are just seeking this classification as an excuse for their behavior. But, Dr. Rosenberg believes sex addiction is an entirely legitimate condition. It deals with dysfunctional sexual behavior in direct contrast with the addicted individuals’ ideals and moral standards, jeopardizing their families and, at times, their lives.

Dr. Rosenberg and Strauss say that sex addiction is often misunderstood. It’s often not about the sex itself, but about the validation and compulsion those who suffer from the condition experience, whether manifested in infidelity, pornography use, or visiting prostitutes. At the same time, they both believe that the 1-4% of the American population who have this condition should not be excused from the consequences of their behavior, especially any criminal acts, and should still be held responsible to manage their condition. Also, the two experts stress the importance of the harm this condition causes the victims, namely the spouses of sex addicts. Several treatments are offered for individuals with sexual addiction, including individual treatment, group therapy, and medication.

For more information about our guests, their books, or treatment for sexual addiction, see the links below.

Guests:

  • Dr. Kenneth Paul Rosenberg, addiction psychiatrist at Weill Cornell Medical College and author of Infidelity: Why Men and Women Cheat
  • Neil Strauss, author of The Truth: An Eye-Opening Odyssey Through Love Addiction, Sex Addiction, and Extraordinary Relationships

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18-28 Segment 2: Vitamin D and Preterm Births

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Over 1,000 babies are born prematurely every day in the United States, costing us 12 billion dollars a year. Karen Howard, Executive Director of the Organic and Natural Health Association, says that an adequate level of vitamin D in the mother’s bloodstream could help solve this problem. She points to a study done by the Medical University of South Carolina that, according to Howard, validates her claim, and she explains what we should be doing to get enough vitamin D.

According to the study, the risk of preterm birth in women with a vitamin D deficiency was reduced by 50%, simply by gaining an appropriate level of the vitamin. Howard says that this finding needs to be widely advertised, because many people and doctors are misinformed. Many studies have focused on dosage amounts of vitamin D, but Howard says what really matters is the amount that gets into our bloodstreams. Furthermore, the amount of vitamin D that we need is often much higher than generally believed.

The best way to get vitamin D is to spend time in the sun without sunscreen. While many dermatologists encourage the use of sunscreen to prevent skin cancer, Howard says it is the enemy of vitamin D. Also, people with darker skin colors have the added challenge of needing to spend more time in the sun in order to get an appropriate level of vitamin D. For a person with white skin, being in the sun three times a week for 20 minutes without sunscreen is sufficient. But, for those who can’t do this or need to spend much longer in the sun, dietary supplements can help. Howard encourages everyone to spread the word about the connection between vitamin D and reduced risks of preterm birth and, of course, to ensure they get their vitamin D.

For more information about vitamin D and preterm birth or about our guest, visit the links below.

Guest:

  • Karen Howard, Executive Director of the Organic and Natural Health Association

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Medical Notes 18-28

 

Medical Notes this week…

When it comes to cancer are you better off safe than sorry? Despite cancer screening’s potential risks, many Americans still want it. A study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology finds that more than a third of participants want to receive a hypothetical cancer screening, even when the possibility of serious harm is described in detail. Clinicians say screenings can produce false positives that could lead to unnecessary worry and follow up tests. They can also over-diagnose, resulting in costly and unnecessary treatment of cancers that will never spread.

Men who take low dose aspirin to ward off heart attacks have more reason to stay out of the sun. A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology finds those who take aspirin have nearly double the risk of developing melanoma compared to men who don’t take it. However, scientists say that’s no reason to stop taking aspirin, which not only reduces heart attacks but also helps prevent a variety of cancers. Women taking aspirin showed no increased melanoma risk.

And finally, want to get more done at work? Scoot on over to a window. A study from Cornell University finds that natural light produces health benefits and increased productivity. Lack of daylight and access to views decrease the ability of the eye to relax and recover from fatigue, but natural light cuts eyestrain is by 51 percent and reduces computer vision syndrome which impacts 70 million workers worldwide.

And that’s Medical Notes this week.

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Coming Up On Radio Health Journal Show 18-28

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Is Sex Addiction Real?

The authoritative DSM-5 manual used by psychiatrists does not accept sex addiction as a real addiction, yet many doctors insist it’s as real as any other compulsion. Experts and an admitted former sex addict discuss the disorder, its treatment, and the wreckage it leaves behind.

Vitamin D and Preterm Births

Premature births are increasing in the US, but a new study shows they could be cut drastically if pregnant women increased blood levels of vitamin D. An expert discusses misconceptions about the vitamin, how it works and how it could be used to reduce infant mortality.  

18-27 Segment 1: The Shrinking Human Jaw

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3.5 million children get braces every year, and many adults live with obstructive sleep apnea. These two complications, along with several others, are all part of an epidemic that began when hunter-gatherers moved to an agricultural environment and lifestyle. Co-authors of the book Jaws: The Story of a Hidden Epidemic, Dr. Paul Ehrlich, Professor Emeritus of Population Studies at Stanford University, and Dr. Sandra Kahn, orthodontist, identify the cause of these problems to be a shrinking jaw.

About 75% of kids have alignment problems with their teeth by the age of 13, and many adults sleep in a CPAP machine to keep their airways free, because their tongue is too big for their jaws. The root of both of these issues is the fact that the jaw is too small and doesn’t get enough exercise. Over time, our diets have become progressively made up of softer foods, mothers don’t breastfeed for three to four years like they used to, and we wean children to soft foods. All of this adds up to a jaw that hasn’t developed well, leading to wisdom teeth, crooked teeth, and sleep apnea later on. Basically, “we’ve brought hunter-gatherer jaws and teeth into a McDonald’s environment,” Dr. Ehrlich says.

Although not many experts have explored and written on the topic of the shrinking jaw, there are some potential solutions to these problems. Dr. Kahn says we must mold our children’s teeth before the age of 10, or it will be too late. By breastfeeding longer, weaning to tougher foods, and encouraging chewing gum, we may prevent the costly and serious complications of a shrinking jaw later on.

To learn more about the shrinking jaw epidemic or to purchase a copy of our guests’ book, see the links below.

Guests:

  • Dr. Paul Ehrlich, Professor Emeritus of Population Studies at Stanford University and co-author of  Jaws: The Story of a Hidden Epidemic
  • Dr. Sandra Kahn, orthodontist and co-author of  Jaws: The Story of a Hidden Epidemic

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18-27 Segment 2: Medical Uncertainty

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Many people think that the worst thing to hear from a doctor after a test is “I don’t know.” But, hearing this could potentially save you from a false diagnosis. While all patients want a confident diagnosis, the expectation of clarity in the medical field is not consistent with the inherent uncertainty in practicing medicine and can lead to a surplus of false diagnoses. Dr. Steven Hatch, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and author of Snowball In A Blizzard: A Physician’s Notes on Uncertainty in Medicine, discusses this issue and what can result from a fear of medical uncertainty.

While we expect our doctors to be confident in their diagnoses, Dr. Hatch says medical confidence does not necessarily mean competence.  Medical schools may not always prepare physicians for the nuances and uncertainty of real life cases. And, because patients long to hear a clear answer and doctors want to give one, the result is often a false diagnosis. Far too many patients  go through unnecessary treatment that could have been prevented if their doctor was transparent with his findings and patients didn’t always expect a clear explanation of their symptoms. Dr. Hatch pointed to mammograms and prostate cancer tests as examples of instances where many  people expect one definitive result. Doctors and patients must weigh the risks and the benefits; the risk of a false diagnosis versus the benefits of the potentially life-saving properties of medical tests.

Dr. Hatch encourages physicians to express transparency with their patients, clearly sharing their level of confidence in a test result. By doing so, doctors maintain and often gain credibility, and patients can learn more about their condition. Hatch himself practices a method of expressing uncertainty to prevent a wrong diagnosis. By doing so, doctor and patient can come to a mutual understanding, rather than have “drive-through” medical care and diagnosis. Each patient and case is nuanced, and with the freedom to express uncertainty in test results, doctors and patients can both become more confident in making the best medical choices for each specific situation.

To learn more about medical uncertainty or to purchase a copy of our guest’s book, visit the links below.

Guest:

  • Dr. Steven Hatch, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and author of Snowball In A Blizzard: A Physician’s Notes on Uncertainty in Medicine

Links for more information:

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