Archive for the ‘“Modern” Medicine’Category

The Power of the Mind: Depression and Heart Disease

MD 2012

One word: Psychosomatic.  Think about it…what comes to mind?  The majority of people, at least transiently, see the words “crazy” or “it’s all in your head” flash across their internal teleprompter.  To clarify, psychosomatic is not medical speak for “crazy”; in fact, there is an entire subspecialty of psychiatry that deals with psychosomatic medicine.  The field of psychosomatics is interested in the interface between the mind and the body and the dynamic interplay that goes on between the two.  Recently, the Los Angeles Times published an article that discussed a particular psychosomatic link between depression and heart disease.  We’d like to discuss this association and illuminate the topic with the latest research publications (not that we have anything against the way the LA Times covered it. We just thought you might be interested in the hard science).

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04 2011

Diet Soda & Stroke: Not as Sweet as we Thought?

PharmD 2011

Once upon a time, you were told that soft drinks like Coca-Cola or Pepsi were bad for you because they are packed with sugar and empty calories.  Being the intellectual, health-conscious individual that you are, you made the switch to the diet version of your favorite soft drink. The after taste took some getting used to but you stuck with it and gave yourself a pat on the back for the change. Now your favorite news outlet is telling you that a recent poll found that people who drink diet drinks are twice as likely to suffer strokes. Your world has been rocked and you don’t know what to do.  Let’s take a look at what the poll really found and where to go from here.

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03 2011

Blackout Beers: Caffeine + Alcohol = Dangerous?

by Tania Houspian, PharmD 2011 |

We know that the energy drink, Red Bull, has been around since 1987.  We don’t know, however, when the first individual had an epiphany and said to his friend, “Hey, this would be great mixed with alcohol!” Whoever he is, he probably regrets failing to patent his idea. At one point in time, it was the drink to order because it had everything most young (but, of course, over 21) drinkers would ask for. Alcohol to develop a buzz? Yes. Caffeine from an energy drink to make sure the buzz doesn’t make you sleepy? Yes. Flavored? Yes.  Flash-forward a decade or so at which point companies have caught on and have started manufacturing drinks called caffeinated alcoholic beverages (CAB’s) or alcoholic energy drinks (AED’s) that contain both caffeine and alcohol already combined for you (no bartender needed). We’ll be referring to them as CAB’s for the rest of the article for consistency’s sake. There were more than 25 different brands of CAB’s on the market a couple of years ago including popular brands like Sparks, Four Loko, Joose, and Max. Combining alcohol and energy drinks has always been controversial due to concerns over the cardiovascular effects of such a combo. Recently, the controversy has heated up due to multiple hospitalizations linked to consuming CAB’s.  As potential consumers of these drinks, you may be wondering why they are so bad for you and what the future holds for CAB’s.  Grab a drink and keep reading.

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02 2011

Botox: Just for Cosmetic Use…Right?

by Brenton Bauer, MD 2012 |

For generations, mankind has searched for the mythical “fountain of youth” that will both make them look and feel younger while prolonging their life.  While immortality remains a myth, modern cosmetic medicine has found a number of ways to make us appear younger, with the wonder drug that is Botox toping the list.  Since the FDA approved Botox for cosmetic purposes, its use has spread like wildfire across the country to the point where Botox is now a household name.  But what is Botox?  Furthermore, do we use Botox for anything besides wrinkles?

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01 2011

Salvia divinorum: From Ancient Shaman to Miley Cyrus

by Joshua Goldman, MD, MBA |

Miley Cyrus’ documented celebration of her entry into adulthood has transformed a shaman’s sacred herb into one of the hottest new drugs (and legal one at that) on the market.  Since the YouTube leak of Miley Cyrus smoking Salvia divinorum from a bong on her 18th birthday hit the internet, Google searches for “salvia” in the United States spiked 600% (even Saturday Night Live took a jab at Cyrus for her Salvia indulgence).  What is this wacky Mexican herb that has suddenly found its way to the main stream thanks to Cyrus’ accidental celebrity endorsement?  Is it really as safe is people make it out to be?  We dive into the ancient roots of the herb, its affects on the body and, most importantly, its potential health risks.

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12 2010

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