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DOES YOUR CHOICE OF FOOD CAUSE DEPRESSION?

There is more and more research showing a connection to the microbiome (bacteria and viruses) in your intestines and your psychological health. What makes certain microbes grow more than others is what you eat. There haven’t been any high quality studies but that would be hard to do. There have been some studies comparing populations on a healthy Mediterranean diet vs. a diet high in fats and sugars that showed that those on the healthier diet had less risk of dementia, and depression.  Some are looking into the question: If a child is exposed to many courses of antibiotics for infections, does that increase the risk for mental illness later on in life?

High fat diets cause the intestinal lining to leak bacterial products into the blood which causes an inflammatory response. The elevated inflammatory response causes accelerated hardening of the arteries which leads to earlier stroke, heart attack, and aging. High animal protein diets contribute to having less disease-fighting types of bacteria and anti-inflammatory bacteria in the intestines.  Inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and rheumatoid arthritis are inflammatory diseases.

A change to a healthier diet has prevented depression well. Fermented foods (which have probiotics) may be used to treat depression because they promote good bacteria. Fermented foods examples are: yogurt, kefir, kombucha. I bought some kefir granules from Ebay for ~$4 and am making my own vege/fruit smoothies with the kefir I brew from milk.

It is difficult and expensive to do more than a population study or a small study since it would be difficult to get a large group of volunteers to follow the same diet for many years.  It takes years to grow enough blockage in the arteries to cause a stroke.

 

FLU VACCINE

You are seeing this in March, the last month of the flu season. The influenza A vaccine was protective in about 23% of those receiving it but very protective in the 2 influenza strains that were expected to come to the USA.  It is like a seatbelt, some protection is better than none. If you are protected, then others around you won’t get the 3-4 flus that the vaccine covers.  Of course we are all at risk to get colds and flus that are not in the vaccine.

 

HEADACHES

Most headaches are muscle tension headaches. Some are sinus headaches (especially common with Santa Ana winds and seasonal changes, and others are Migraines (this is a specific headache and not just a “severe headache”). Narcotics cause and are not recommended for headaches. The regular pain pills and prevention medications are to be recommended. If the headaches are chronic, consider a prevention medication such as propanolol, amitriptyline, or nifediipine. If it is a migraine then a tryptan is useful many times, such as sumatryptan. Headaches don’t need a head CT or MRI scan unless there is a weakness of the arm or leg or one side of the face, etc.  Of course a fever and a severe headache could be the flu or meningitis and a spinal tap may be needed.

 

HIGH CHOLESTEROL WHEN YOUNG IS RISKY

Those who are young and have high cholesterol had higher risk of hardening of the arteries when older. Autopsies on soldiers killed at age 18 on up showed much hardening of the arteries on some. Eat right, exercise, don’t smoke or use drugs.

 

ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH CARE IS BETTER

Lately, more people have been accessing mental health care than previously, especially kids 12-17. For unknown reasons, mental health was not considered worth funding over physical health. Also routine eye exams and dental work were considered less important than physical health but are not funded on Medi-Cal. Many of us wonder how the authorities can separate these diseases from good healthcare. We are one person in one body and all of this works together as a team. If one system is not healthy, it affects the entire person.  For example, gum inflammation promotes hardening of the arteries and suicide kills the body. Poor vision causes loss of work and accidents. It is important to keep people in school and in their jobs so they can improve their lives and the lives of others around them (and pay taxes).

They also saw in this recent survey that for the youth: drug abuse, alcohol abuse, abuse of prescription meds, and cigarette use was lower.

 

INCREASE IN EMERGENCY VISITS AND ADMISSION DUE TO MARIJUANA IN COLORADO

A hospitalist writes about seeing much more nausea, vomiting, paranoia, and memory loss cases since marijuana became legal in Colorado. He is concerned about Marijuana Hyperemesis (much vomiting) Syndrome. Many patients are resistant to hear this news and ignore it sincemarijuana helps nausea (and evidently causes it). He also sees more patients with trouble walking, fast heart rate, nervousness, and rarely hallucinations and violence. He acknowledges that if the same number of patients came into the Emergency Department with acute alcohol intoxication there would be much more violence. Edible marijuana has its peak effect 8-12 hours after eating it so one must be patient and not take too much, and then be surprised by an overdose.

 

WEB TRAFFIC VOLUME PREDICTS EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT VOLUME

In Sweden, it was found that the number of health care website hits predicted how many patients would come to the emergency department.

 

SITTING TIME ASSOCIATED WITH DIABETES, ARTERY DISEASE AND CANCER

We’ve heard of “screen time,” where we want our kids to look us in the eye rather than at the screen of some electronic device. A new study showed that more you sit, the more the there is increased risk of: 1) diabetes, 2) cardiovascular disease and death, and 3) cancer and death. To counteract this, moderate exercise of 2½ hours a week did not work, but 7 hours of walking or 5 hours of jogging a week may be good enough to lower this risk.

 

DASH DIET WINS AGAIN

“The DASH diet, rich in vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy, has been named the best overall diet for the fifth consecutive year, outpacing Weight Watchers and the Mediterranean diet, U.S. News & World Report said.”

But for weight loss, Weight Watchers won. It emphasizes choosing healthy foods with a scoring system and portion control.

The Paleo diet always scores as the least healthy diet.  It focuses on meat, fish and vegetables.

 

Keep those questions coming. Be Safe!

 

Daniel Pearce, D.O., FACOI, AAHIVS
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Loma Linda University School of Medicine
Adjunct Professor of Internal Medicine and HIV, Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine and Midwestern University Arizona College of OsteopathicMedicine
Researcher, Veterans Administration Hospital, Loma Linda
HIV Specialist, Riverside County Public Health Department
Hepatitis C Specialist and Researcher, Southern California Liver Centers, Riverside

REFERENCES: Medscape®

 

 

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