Scorpion Stings for Arthritis



I say ouch to the next item

Arthritis cure: Would you use THIS extreme treatment to ease the pain?

Lauren Clark writing in the Express reported Pepe Casañas, a 71-year-old Cuban peasant, gets rid of the discomfort of his arthritis by allowing himself to be stung by a scorpion.

The venom has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties which reduce his pain.

He keeps up to four scorpions near his house so he can guarantee being able to sting himself when he feels the arthritis returning, which is usually once a month.

Casañas told EFE: “The sting doesn’t hurt me a bit. And if they’re using it as a treatment for cancer in Cuba, it has to be good.

“About eight years ago, I started with this scorpion stuff. My bones were beginning to hurt me, arthritis, and it helped me to feel comfortable.”

Casañas’ arthritis had got so bad it was impacting on his daily life, and so he decided to find his own solution.

He explained: “I couldn’t brush my teeth, or comb my hair. I got a scorpion, squeezed it, and it stung me twice, and look: my arm’s doing fine.”

Before that, he had used bee stings as a remedy, having come from a family of beekeepers – but he soon graduated onto the larger animal.

While it might seem an unconventional way to treat the condition, scorpion venom is used as an ingredient in Cuban medication.

Comment: Not something I recommend.


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Human Umbilical Cord Blood Improves Memory in Mice



A surprising finding… next

Protein Found In Human Umbilical Cord Blood May Improve Learning And Memory In Older Mice, Study Suggests

In “To Your Health,” Lenny Bernstein writing for the Washington Post reported an infusion of human umbilical cord blood improved the functioning of the hippocampus in mice, according to a study published in Nature. The researchers found that the protein TIMP2 was responsible for the improvements in memory and cognition.

Comment: Human blood improved cognition in mice.  I wonder what mouse umbilical cord blood would do for humans?


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Nonadherence to Medications an Epidemic



Here’s a deadly epidemic you don’t hear about…

The Cost of Not Taking Medicine

Dr. Jack Cush writing in RheumNow reported The NY Times points out “there is is an out-of-control epidemic in the United States that costs more and affects more people than any disease Americans currently worry about. It’s called nonadherence to prescribed medications, and it is — potentially, at least — 100 percent preventable by the very individuals it afflicts.

Studies show at least 20% up to 50% percent of prescriptions are never filled.  Nearly 50% of medications for chronic disease are not taken as prescribed.

A recent Annals of Internal Medicine article estimated that nonadherence resulted in approximately 125,000 deaths and at least 10 percent of hospitalizations; costing US health care system $100 – 289 billion a year.

Comment: Totally controllable by the individual.  At some point people need to take responsibility for their health.


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Heart Attacks and Strokes Lower Where Trans Fats Banned



Good news on the public health front

Rates Of Hospitalizations For Heart Attacks, Strokes Lower Where Trans Fats Are Banned

Nicholas Bakalar writing for the New York Times reported that research published in JAMA Cardiology suggests “laws that restrict adding trans fats to foods have had immediate beneficial effects on heart health.”

Comment: The more we get rid of the poisons around us, the better.


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Diabetes Causing More Deaths



The number 3 killer and rising

Diabetes May Be Responsible For More US Deaths Than Previously Believed

Arlene Karidis writing for the Washington Post reported, “Nearly four times as many Americans may die of diabetes as indicated on death certificates, a rate that would bump the disease up from the seventh-leading cause of death to No. 3, according to estimates in a study” published in PLOS One. The study’s lead author said, “We argue diabetes is responsible for 12 percent of deaths in the US, rather than 3.3 percent that death certificates indicate.” The Post added that last year, “diabetes accounted for about $1.04 billion in National Institutes of Health funding, compared with about $5.65 billion spent on cancer research.”

Comment: And I expect it will become even more of a problem in the future.


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Using UBER To Go To The Emergency Room



Simple as tapping on your phone… a ride to the hospital… huh?

Some People Using Uber For Transportation To The Emergency Room

Leah Samuel writing for STAT reports there is a growing trend of people using Uber, rather than calling an ambulance, for transportation to the emergency room. The article reports that some people prefer Uber to transport themselves to the hospital, because it can be cheaper and more predictable than taking an ambulance.

Comment: Not sure I would recommend this. If you have to go to the hospital, you need an ambulance.


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Physicians Spend More Time on the Computer than Seeing Patients



A frustrating problem confirmed

Physicians Spend Roughly As Many Hours On Computer Work As They Do Meeting With Patients, Researchers Find

Randy Dotinga writing for Healthday reported, “Physicians spend roughly as many hours on computer work as they do meeting with patients,” investigators found after researching “the daily habits of nearly 500 US” physicians. According to HealthDay, “the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians and other organizations have complained about the administrative burden physicians face.” The findings were published in Health Affairs.

Comment:  Man… I get so frustrated with these electronic medical records.


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Pedometers Aid In Rheumatoid Arthritis



Another Treatment Modality For Rheumatoid Arthritis… Next

Pedometers increase activity and decrease fatigue in rheumatoid arthritis patients

Wiley writing for Eureka Alert reported providing pedometers, with and without providing step targets, to individuals with rheumatoid arthritis increased activity levels and decreased fatigue in a recent study.

In control patients who did not receive pedometers, average daily steps declined and there was no significant change in fatigue.The findings are important because fatigue can have a significant impact on quality of life for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, but effective and feasible treatments are limited.

“Because rheumatoid arthritis medications have only small effects on fatigue, it’s important for patients to have other ways to manage their fatigue,” said Dr. Patricia Katz, lead author of the Arthritis Care & Research study. “These results suggest that something as simple as increasing physical activity by walking can help.”

Comment: Exercise.  The magic sauce


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Diet for Alzheimer’s



Diet for Alzheimer’s?  Next

Some Scientists Promoting Diets As A Way To Improve Brain Health, Reduce Chance Of Alzheimer’s Disease

JUDITH Samuel writing for Kaiser Health News reported some scientists are promoting certain diets as a way to improve brain health and reduce people’s chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The article reports that “a growing body of research suggesting that certain nutrients…help protect cells in the brain while fighting harmful inflammation and oxidation,” and some diets are now being tested as ways to reduce the chance of Alzheimer’s disease.

Comment: Hope this is effective.


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42 Percent Have HPV



An alarming epidemic… next

CDC Study Says 42 Percent Of US Adults Have HPV

Jia Naqvi reporting for the Washington Post described a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that, between 2013 and 2014, more than 42 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 59 carrying any type of genital human papillomavirus that significantly increases the carrier’s risk of certain cancers. The study found a higher rate of HPV among men than women, and it was more common among blacks than other racial groups. According to CDC estimates, nearly 80 million people currently have the disease, and approximately 14 million people contract the disease for the first time each year.

Comment: A very serious problem.


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