Health tips from Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen for 4-26-22 – The Dispatch – The Commercial Dispatch

Health tips from Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen for 4-26-22 – The Dispatch – The Commercial Dispatch

Open eyes, open minds.
COVID-19 update: How to stay out of the hospital
Baghdad, Iraq, was home to the first-known general hospital in 805 A.D. By the 900s, the city had five more. Some were open to all, whether male or female, civilian or military, child or adult, rich or poor, Muslim or non-Muslim. Today in the U.S., there are 6,093 hospitals with 920,531 beds. And while the care can be exceptional, it’s still better to make choices that keep you out of them.
When it comes to avoiding hospitalization for COVID-19 — always a good thing — there’s interesting news about what works and what doesn’t.
■ Ivermectin — the sometimes-touted but much-discounted medication originally intended to treat parasitic infections — DOES NOT reduce your risk of hospitalization from COVID-19, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine. When researchers looked at 1,300 folks with COVID-19 who were given Ivermectin and others given a placebo, they found that 14.7 percent of patients in the Ivermectin group and 16.3 percent of patients in the placebo group either required hospitalization or visited an ER within 28 days due to worsening COVID-19 symptoms. Not a significant distinction. Overall, 81 percent of both groups checked into a hospital.
■ Better news: Another study in the same journal shows that in a largely unvaccinated population, high-titer convalescent plasma given early after infection with COVID-19 reduces hospitalizations. According to researchers, “hospitalization occurred in 2.9 percent of patients who received convalescent plasma and in 6.3 percent of those who received control infusions.”
■ FYI: There’s now a one-stop shopping site for info on vaccines, tests, treatments and masks at www.covid.gov.
Stop the cascade of diabetes-associated health challenges
In 1736, Ben Franklin cautioned his fellow Philadelphians that when it came to fire prevention, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That advice is still good today when it comes to stopping the health problems that uncontrolled (or unreversed) Type 2 diabetes can ignite.
A new study presented at the 2022 Diabetes U.K. Professional Conference found that folks with Type 2 diabetes develop chronic conditions more often and earlier than people without the metabolic disease. Overall, for the 1.4 million folks who researchers looked at, eye and genitourinary problems were diagnosed around eight years earlier, and circulatory and neurologic conditions around six years earlier. There was also a 9 percent increased risk for cancers. However, for folks diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes before the age of 50, the risks are amplified: They develop the highest-risk conditions 10 to 15 years earlier than people without diabetes. People diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in their 60s develop them five years earlier than nondiabetic peers.
If you’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, you can control or even reverse it with smart lifestyle choices: no red meats or highly processed foods, no added fructose, sugars or syrups, no simple carbs, a plant-based diet, good sleep and stress-management habits, daily exercise and medication as needed. So don’t delay taking charge of your diabetes. Work with a diabetes educator and a nutritionist, and dive into “The Great Age Reboot” (my new book, out soon). You can live younger, longer and stronger. Questions? Write to me at [email protected]
To tell the tele-truth
On “To Tell the Truth,” Kitty Carlisle asked a contestant “What is Lawrence of Arabia’s real name?” He replied (without missing a beat), “Peter O’Toole.” Close — but not close enough to be right.
Whether skirting the truth is inadvertent or intentional, it’s a losing proposition. Nothing demonstrates that more clearly than the challenges that 28 million Medicare recipients who tuned in with their docs on the computer or phone (66 percent were audio-only) faced during the first year of the pandemic.
Adjusting to a new way of communicating health concerns and of understanding medical advice simply compounds the trouble many folks have communicating with their doctors. One survey in JAMA Network Open found that 60 percent to 80 percent of patients admit shaving the truth when talking with their doc face-to-face. And it’s estimated that, even in person, 90 percent of you don’t fully understand or remember what to do after your doctor appointment. Just imagine what it’s like when it’s virtual!
Televisits can be convenient, help fill in missed appointments and get you fast answers to urgent questions. You just need to speak up, loud and clear! Have a list of written questions to go over (consider emailing it to the doc before the appointment); record the appointment (Zoom and smart phones make that easy), ask a family member to sit in with you, and take advantage of your doc’s online medical chart app (My Chart) that posts your appointment information. Also, check out the video “Speak Up: About Your Care” at www.jointcommission.org.
Going with the grain
Amaranth, barley, buckwheat, bulgur, corn, einkorn (an ancient wheat), farro, freekeh (freaky?), Kamut (it’s trademarked), kaniwa, millet (includes pearl millet, foxtail millet, proso millet, finger millet/ragi, and fonio), oats, quinoa, rice, rye, sorghum, spelt (huh?), teff (double huh?), wheat and wild rice. That’s the Whole Grains Council’s list of cereal grains — and while you may not have heard of them all, they make up a great menu of high-fiber, heart-loving choices.
Enjoying grains — steel-cut oats for breakfast, barley in your soup at lunch, and quinoa in a dinner stir-fry — is an effective way to reduce bodywide inflammation and cut your risk for cardiovascular disease. That’s the conclusion of research published in JAMA Open Network. Investigators looked at the healthy-heart benefits of the fiber in cereal grains, vegetables and fruit, and found that only cereal was consistently associated with reduced levels of inflammation — reducing CRP (C-reactive protein) by 14 percent, for example. They also found that cereals are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. Increasing your intake of fiber by just 5 grams a day has great benefits.
But the anti-inflammatory powers of cereals aren’t the only way grains protect your heart — eating more grains knocks less healthy foods off your plate and improves your gut biome, too. The Cleveland Clinic recommends three to six servings a day and suggests you make sure to eat only 100 percent whole-wheat pasta and 100 percent whole-grain cereals (no sugar, syrup or honey added). So go with the 100 percent whole grain!
Another possible benefit from taking statins
The great Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius once said, “You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” Flexing your mental muscle can be a pretty big task, but if you’re taking a statin, you may be getting some significant help.
Researchers from the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago took a look at whether there was an association between taking a statin and avoiding Parkinson’s-like symptoms. Tracking folks, mean age 76, for six years, they found that half of the 2,800 seniors they followed developed what the researchers call “parkinsonisms” — that is, slowed movement, stiff muscles and difficulty walking and maintaining balance — but the risk was 16 percent lower in the folks taking statins.
The researchers theorize that the benefit comes in part from less atherosclerosis in the brain’s blood vessels. The team studied autopsied tissue from participants who died during the study and found that those using statins were 37 percent less likely to have vessel-clogging plaque in their brain.
Sixty-thousand people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s in this country every year. While it appears to be caused by a combination of genes and environmental and lifestyle influences, taking steps to keep your cardiovascular system as healthy as possible is a smart way to reduce your risk for a whole roster of health problems, including Parkinson’s, stroke, heart attack, kidney disease and more. My books “What to Eat When” and the “What to Eat When Cookbook” can help you do just that.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.


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