Several studies confirm that exercise is a treatment and prevention for depression and anxiety. One to two hours a week is the minimum. It doesn’t have to be super-intense. My understanding is that you need to get your heart rate up to a level that you are breathing too fast for an easy conversation or that you are sweating when the weather is cool. Some say level should be maintained for at least 15 minutes a day; no need to push it farther unless you want to. A safe and easy and inexpensive way to do this is speed walking, which spares the banging of your joints when running.
CAREFUL WITH SEXTING
Many are unaware that passing sexual photos by hand or phone or computer is illegal if the photo is of a person under 18, even with their permission and the young person and the friend can be arrested, which is shocking. It is important to think through what may be the unintended consequences of a decision before doing it. Many feel pressured to sext and regret it later. Many have increased depression or suicidal thoughts as a result of a bad decision like sexting.
MAGIC MUSHROOMS AND SPECIAL K
Psilocybin in certain mushrooms and ketamine have been shown to help with depression in early studies. It will be some years to prove that it is safe for long-term use and at what dose. Is there permanent injury? Please wait for the evidence.
CHINESE HERB ALERT
There is an herb containing a sister compound of aristolochic acids which can cause liver cancer. Many herbs haven’t been studied and are taken on faith. The herbalist may not know that this is an ingredient.
BETTER TRACKING OF NARCOTICS WITH E-PRESCRIBING
There are laws that are being considered that may require all controlled substances to be prescribed electronically. Currently this is an option but most pharmacies require having the paper prescription in hand for their records. This will help cut down the doctor shopping and pharmacy shopping of those paying cash for controlled substances like Norco® and Ativan®.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA HELPS SEIZURES AND CHEMO-NAUSEA IN CHILDREN
Supervised dosing of medical marijuana has been shown to be effective in these conditions. This was shown by a meta-analysis, pooling many studies together. Each of the small studies may not have the numbers of subjects in them to prove the effect by themselves, but by combining them, the evidence reaches a respectable level.
NEWER ANTIDEPRESSANTS MAY HURT SLEEP PATTERNS IN ELDERLY
Many of our elderly parents are depressed and lonely so they are on antidepressants such as Celexa®, Prozac®, Paxil®, Zoloft®. This interruption in normal sleep pattern can worsen behavior and contribute to dementia according to a recent study.
OBESITY ASSOCIATED WITH PROSTATE CANCER RISK
Prostate cancer is very common in men and is harder to detect and is more aggressive in obese men. Careful with your diet! Also, having African ancestry is a risk too.
WHEN IS THE TIME TO TALK ABOUT GUN CONTROL?
For the victims it was years before they were shot. Congress has cut funding for any gun research so we can’t answer the important questions. 30,000 dead per year is impressive. We have many opinions guided with very little evidence. Research can provide the evidence needed.
NEWBORN CURED OF HIV
This patient had >750,000 viral load and was treated since birth for 40 weeks and then the medication was stopped. She has remained viral free for 9 years. They still detect tiny parts of virus in her but no more than the amount she had when she was 1 years old.
Another person treated very soon after becoming positive was treated with the usual 3 drugs, with a fourth one added for 34 months. His Viral load took 230 days to come up after stopping.
These are great cases to study to help us understand how to succeed with treating very early.
BONE SURGERY AND HIV
Those with HIV should be evaluated prior to orthopedic surgery for CD4, viral load, heart and lung function, smoking, drug abuse, and nutrition as are HIV negative patients. In general a healthy patient will have a smoother time than an unhealthy patient. If the HIV is not controlled well and the immunity is not recovered enough, then the complication rate goes up. Emergencies can happen anytime and that is why it is important to maintain your health at all times for short- and long-term benefits.
PASSING HIV TO PREGNANT WOMEN
Much research has shown that if the man has his virus under control, transmitting HIV is very rare. If the man has an unknown viral load or a high one, then the woman taking PrEP is a good idea. Another, very expensive way to do it is “sperm washing,” and then artificially placing the clean sperm near the egg in the uterus or other fertilization techniques.
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 Osteopathic Medicine
HIV Specialist, Assistant TB Physician, Riverside University Healthcare System, Public Health (Department)
Member, Coachella Valley Clinical Research Initiative