Health and Medicine


Napoleon Didn’t Have a Choice When Treating His Hemorrhoids

Would Woodrow Wilson have negotiated a more lasting peace treaty following World War I if he had not suffered from tight-fitting shoes? Would Napoleon have won the Battle of Waterloo if he had not been suffering from hemorrhoids (piles) while sitting on his horse?  Such small but painful annoyances might have determined history. But unlike Napoleon, patients today no longer have to endure the pain of hemorrhoids.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sorry, Doctor, I’d Prefer An Opinion From The Dog

What do dogs have that humans lack? Harry Truman, the straight-talking former president of the United States, once remarked that, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” But friendship is not the dog’s only virtue. A dog’s nose has 220 million cells that detect odours, compared to a mere five million in humans. And although none have yet graduated from The Harvard Medical School, they can often outsmart doctors in recognizing serious disease.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Sunday, November 9, 2008

How Fruit Juices Affect Medication

What would you think of somebody who poured himself a vodka martini for breakfast every day? No doubt you would believe he was on a rocky road to medical hell. But how many readers are aware that a large glass of grapefruit juice in the morning is also a health hazard? Studies show that downing a glass of fruit juice can have a powerful effect on medication.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Shock Absorber to Help Knee Pain

Is there any similarity between a car and the human body? We do have one thing in common—the need for efficient shock absorbers.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Sunday, October 12, 2008

LASIK Eye Surgery

“Would you take the risk of jumping out of a plane with a parachute?” I asked the patient.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Sunday, October 5, 2008

What You Should Ask Before You Say, ‘I Do’

We’ve often heard a minister ask, “Mary MacTavish, do you take John MacDuff to be your lawful husband, to love and cherish, till death do you part?”

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Sunday, September 28, 2008

Don’t Laugh at These Old Wives’ Tales

Who hasn’t heard an old wife’s tale? “If you touch a toad, you get warts” has no scientific foundation. But in recent years, researchers have shown that some tales are medically sound and safer than traditional drugs.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Sunday, September 21, 2008

It’s a wormy world

Suppose you passed a worm one foot long!

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Ultrasound Question

“Will repeated ultrasound examinations harm my baby?” This is a question readers often ask. It’s a timely question, since millions of obstetrical diagnostic exams are done every year in North America. As well, many expectant families want to record the historic moment of delivery by obtaining a high-resolution, 3-D video of it. How safe are these procedures?

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cancer and the way of prevention

I don’t have a degree in medicine but through necessity I have learned a lot about the likely causes of cancer.  The fact that 1 in 4 people will get cancer in one form or another is a fact of life. It may even be 1 in 3 as I’ve heard recently. I’m not sure of the actual stats but it does not matter really – the incidences of cancer are increasing. How many people have you heard about among your relatives, friends and acquaintances that now have cancer or have died of it? Have you also noticed how often you hear or read that word today?

By Guest Column Michael Vallins- Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Can You Be Hefty and Healthy?

For years this columnist and others have been screaming from the rooftops that excess pounds are unhealthy. Now several reports show that a healthy weight is not that simple, and it’s possible to be both hefty and healthy. So how should you measure it?

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Possible Hazards of Pill Substitution

A 22 year old student stated, “I’ve been on the birth control pill (BCP) for several years. Now my pharmacist wants to give me a generic BCP rather than my regular one. What should I know about these other pills?” It’s a good question, and parents should also be concerned about substitution.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Sunday, August 17, 2008

When Is It Critical To Say “Stick Out Your Tongue”?

Why did a 28 year friend of mine survive a stroke when a stroke destined another to spend the rest of his life disabled? The reason is that some people are “stroke smart”. They know that speed often determines the difference between walking again, or being confined to a wheelchair. And it’s easy to be “stroke smart”. You only need to remember the first three letters of stroke, STR.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Sunday, August 10, 2008

Cancer. The Problem and Solution.

On April 9th at 8 p.m. sitting in my comfortable armchair after returning two hours earlier from a lightning trip to England, the telephone rang. Unlike many people I love the telephone – at 66 and living alone it is usually a friend calling and I’m blessed to have many. Of course it could be a windows and doors purveyor, or a Toronto Star subscription agent, or the MBNA Bank. At one time I used to say, Sorry, not interested.” Now I just put the phone down without a word. This time it was the gastroentologist I visited before I went away.

By Guest Column Michael Vallins- Friday, August 1, 2008

Suppose An ACL Tear Had Happened To A Young Tiger Woods

Three letters, ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), could end the golfing career of Tiger Woods. As much as he tried, it was impossible for Woods to keep his pain to himself as he held his left knee, and limped and grimaced through 91 holes of the U.S Open. But was it prudent for Woods to play with an injured knee and risk further damage to this vulnerable joint?

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Sunday, July 27, 2008