Health Front

The more you use your brain the more it continues working better for you. Some of us use our brains a lot and some of us have surrendered to watching television. Your brain is bound to shrink as you age – it’s unavoidable. The rate of brain shrinkage increases with age and is a major factor in early cognitive decline and premature death. Loss of memory and depression occur slowly and subtly when the brain shrinks. People can mistake this low mood and frustration as anger, or when just about everything around them appears to need critiquing. Read More →

Health Front: Dangerous Mosquitoes This Spring

As cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus are spreading across central and South America and the Caribbean, experts say it is only a matter of time before the disease, which has been linked to an alarming increase in birth defects in Brazil, is transmitted to the United States. “It’s not if, it’s when,” said Mustapha Debboun, director of the mosquito control division at Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services in Houston. Read More →

Health Front: Insurance Calls are Recordable. Do it!

In a recent report by the Los Angeles Times, Anthem Blue Cross was caught red-handed distorting the truth after denying a surgical procedure. David Cienfuegos, age 40, had his wife contact Anthem Blue Cross to make sure that the procedure he needed was covered by his Blue Cross policy, and that his doctor was in the Blue Cross physician network. The phone call to Blue Cross seemed to have verified that he did indeed have coverage, but after the operation he was left with $5,800 in medical cost when Anthem Blue Cross insisted that it never approved or verified that it would cover the service charges. Read More →

Health Front: Flu Drug Stockpiles, Facebook Defriends Self Esteem

The Guardian Newspaper this week reports that scientists are saying that the United Kingdom has wasted half a billion pounds by stockpiling two anti-flu drugs that have not been proved to stop the spread of infection or to prevent people becoming seriously ill, according to a team of scientists who have analyzed the full clinical data, obtained after a four year fight. The U.K. spent 424 million pounds buying tons of Tamiflu and 136 million pounds on Relenza in a case of a flu pandemic, or hysteria. Read More →

Health Front: Big Audits May Stop Excessive Back Surgeries

Low back pain is a common disorder that will affect at least 80% of people at some time in their lives. Causes stem from a wide variety of conditions that include dysfunctional vertebral joint movement, unrepaired back sprains, and compression and degeneration of the vertebral discs. The over dependence on spinal surgery now appears to be a national scandal, notes some spine research journals. The seriousness of excessive surgeries and the loss of money have initiated the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to investigate the spinal care industry. Read More →

Health Front: Designer Nicotine, Mosquitos and Climate Change

The latest report from the U.S. Surgeon General’s office found that while the nicotine content of cigarettes has remained relatively stable for more than a decade, the amount of that nicotine delivered to smokers has been rising. Read More →

Health Front: Health Plans Indignant About Report Cards

Next year, Covered California will present quality ratings of health plans on the web site insurance exchange. Consumers that are shopping for a health plan in California will have access to quality data before signing a contract with an insurance carrier. The consumer will be better able to choose between apples, oranges and lemons. Read More →

Health Front: Sometimes Prevention is Easy

A big breakfast that is rich in protein and some fat may actually help people with diabetes type 2 control both their hunger and their blood sugar levels. Patients who ate a big breakfast for three months experienced lower blood sugar (glucose) levels, and nearly one-third were able to reduce the amount of diabetic medicine they took. The researchers in Israel based their study on previous investigations that found that people who eat a regular solid breakfast tend to have a lower blood sugar. Their research randomly assigned 59 people with type 2 diabetes to either a big or small breakfast group. The big breakfast of protein and fat contained about one-third of the total daily calories that the diabetic patients would have. The small breakfast contained only 12.5 percent of their total calorie needs for the day. Read More →