Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Pancreatic Cancer, Diabetes Education, Vitamins, Obesity decreasing..Medical News of Interest this week

Summary of some Health News of Interest

Diabetes Education and Cognitive Change Counseling can bring about a reduction in Blood Glucose in patients struggling to control their Diabetes. Some of the reductions are equal to or better than some of the newer medications for Type 2 Diabetes.
More is not Better, a study among older women in Iowa concludes about Vitamin usage and increased mortality.
Multivitamins, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Zinc seems to be the culprits with worse results with Iron when used without a medical reason to do so. Calcium is protective and Vitamin D is recommended for people with deficiency in Vitamin D.
Three personalities who died in the past few days all died of Pancreatic Cancer: Steve Jobs, The Nobel Prize winner in Medicine from Rockefeller U and Roger Williams the Pianist. Is there an increase in Pancreatic Cancer? Yes there is, especially in people with lifestyle pattern consistent with Ill health. Steve Jobs’ pancreatic cancer was a rare one.
One in eight, approximately, medical advances touted as bringing benefit to humanity are later withdrawn because of the wrong premises on which the studies were based. Do not be the first one to adopt a study nor be the last one to do so, is a good advice given to me at University of Miami School of Medicine.

Now the Good News is: Americans are tad less Overweight than just one year ago, now 36.6 per cent are of normal weight, one per cent higher than one year ago.
Have we succeeded in getting the message across about nutrition and exercise? Don't be so eager to accept the accolades before you realize that a sagging economy have made more people eat at home.
The take home lesson is EATING OUT IN AMERICA is dangerous to an ordinary American!
The results are in for the Science and Maths scores from around the world, the first two cities whose students came out ahead are…
Both in China
Shanghai and Hong Kong. They both recruit their teachers from the top 30 per cent of the graduate cohorts whereas in the countries in the failing grade recruits teachers from the bottom 30 per cent.
Needless to say this will have some implications on the quality of education of future health care providers. But USA is ahead of Asian 2 dollar Wal-Mart manufacturers and 1 800 Foreign Accents from India in that it is still possible to get a good all round education in the USA and not just a career oriented limited education. Hurrah for that!
Some other good news, which we in the Indian Health Services would recognize, is the value of expressive writing. Indians being much more visual people use Talking Circles in which emotions are expressed freely and openly find good results from this ritual which has also symbolic significance in their historic annals.
Dr Pennebaker from UT in Austin, a psychologist has conducted some experiments and he has concluded”
Stress, trauma, and unexpected life developments — such as a cancer diagnosis, a car accident, or a layoff — can throw people off stride emotionally and mentally. Writing about thoughts and feelings that arise from a traumatic or stressful life experience — called expressive writing — may help some people cope with the emotional fallout of such events. But it’s not a cure-all, and it won’t work for everyone. Expressive writing appears to be more effective for people who are not also struggling with ongoing or severe mental health challenges, such as major depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.

I have to admit that Talking Circle is good for people who are suffering from emotional disturbances in addition to their physical problems, such as the PTSD or depression.
Today I was sitting down to a lunch of Alaskan Haddock in Olive oil sprinkled with Zatar from Israel (mentioned in the old testament) and some cilantro and a touch of sweet pepper, and happened to be reading Archives of Internal Medicine published only yesterday and in it there were three studies in three different social contexts about the worth of diabetes education and cognitive changes that help those struggling over the years to control their diabetes. Lo and behold, the education was much better than many of the newer medications for Diabetes! Hats off to our cadre of Diabetes Educators. I rushed with the news to my colleagues who were doing just that over their lunchtime, educating a group of Indian patients with Diabetes… I shared the news with them.

The Indians had a big smile on their faces!