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Old Health and Medicine Articles from 2007 and Before

How “The Neat Theory” and “Magic Underwear” Keep You Thin

Why is it that some people are thin and others prone to obesity? Hundreds of books have been written to explain this dilemma. Some blame the under-active thyroid. Others cite genetics. But Dr. James Levine, an endocrinologists and Professor of Nutrition at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, has a “neat theory” supported by “Magic Underwear” to explain the difference.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Sunday, June 8, 2008 - Full Story

Saving Thousands of Dollars On Expensive Dental care

My initial reaction was, “It can’t be true!”. I’ve enough gray hair to know that if something sounds too good to be true, it’s normally an easy way to lose money. But this was one of my editors talking. And I’ve also got enough gray hair to know you don’t tell your editor he’s full of baloney. That’s a speedy way to get fired. So I politely listened. Particularly, since preserving healthy teeth has always been a good way to preserve your health.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Wednesday, June 4, 2008 - Full Story

The Benefits and Risk of Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

In 1991 Dr. Joacques Perissat at the University of Bordeau, in France, announced to the World Congress of Surgeons that he had removed a gallbladder (cholecystectomy), using optical instruments inserted through a few small incisions. Now, 90 percent of gallbladder operations are done by fiber-optics. What are the advantages and what is its most devastating complication? And why is the crematorium the cure for some gallstones?

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, May 26, 2008 - Full Story

How To Prevent Summer Hazards

“Thank God, it will soon be summer”, a patient recently exclaimed to me. I agreed, but I know as sure as night follows day that many people this summer will do dumb things.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, May 19, 2008 - Full Story

Read This, Then Go Out and Have a Beer

Years ago a speaker abruptly broke off his speech. He said, “I know you’re bored with this topic and I’m bored, so let’s quit and have a beer”. I felt this way and nearly tossed this column out. Why bother to waste paper on something you already know? But on the other hand a report from The Harvard Medical School shows its absolute madness that so many people are taking pills when two simple changes in lifestyle could prevent and treat some health problems. We can also learn from it what happens to a person who loses an arm.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, May 12, 2008 - Full Story

Kenya: Is It Safe to Travel There?

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Dr. Gifford-Jones in Kenya (W. Gifford-Jones, M.D.)“Why are you and a group of journalists going to Kenya when there’s so much violence?” a friend said to me.

I stole my reply from Sir Edmund Hilary when asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest. Hilary replied, “Because it’s there.” But I also questioned whether T.V. pictures were telling the complete story of what was happening in Kenya, and was it a safe destination.

It’s a long flight to Nairobi and my brain was fuzzy on arrival. But not so dull that I couldn’t see these newspaper headlines at the airport, “Fires raging in Kenya” or “What a sad day for Kenya.” I started to worry my friend might be right.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - Full Story

Beijing Trots And Other Travel Hazards In 2008?

How many people will travel to China for the Olympics this summer or elsewhere on this planet? I don’t know. But I do know many will raise this silent prayer to the Almighty, “Please, above all other worldly goods, grant me a bathroom”. Desperately needing a toilet is as close to panic as it gets when one isn’t available. But toilets can be the least of your worries if you fail to take other precautions when travelling.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Sunday, May 4, 2008 - Full Story

Religious People: Shame, Shame, Shame

Why would I rather deal with the Mafia than some religious people? Because I hate hypocrisy above all other things. I know the mob has a code it follows strictly, such as it is, and it’s crystal clear to everyone what it’s all about. But religious people talk constantly about brotherly love and yet condemn fellow humans to death. It’s hypocrisy at its worst.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Sunday, April 20, 2008 - Full Story

The Holiday Heart Syndrome: A Seaboard Romance?

What does the figure 2,575,440,000 indicate?  It’s not the national debt, or the increase in the world’s population in the next 10 years. Rather, if you live to 70 years of age, your heart will beat this many times. But sometimes it gets weary and develops an irregular rate called atrial fibrillation (AF). So can chocolate help to prevent this problem?

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Sunday, April 13, 2008 - Full Story

Dummy Pills, Guns and Doctors

Winston Churchill, Britain’s wartime Prime Minister, remarked, “To almost every question there is an answer that is clear, concise, coherent and wrong”! For years we’ve been told that anti-depressant drugs were the be-all-and-end-all for depressed patients. Now, a recent report claims that placebos are just as effective for many patients. So should doctors use placebos (dummy pills) to trick patients? The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) helps to answer this dilemma.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Wednesday, April 9, 2008 - Full Story

Rosacea :  An Overlooked Skin Condition

What did former President Bill Clinton have to blush about? We all know the answer to that delicate question! Like Princess Diana, Rosie O’Donnell and the comedian W.C. Fields, he also suffered from Rosacea.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, March 31, 2008 - Full Story

The Powder Room : Course 101 In Overactive Bladder

Whoever remarked “Timing is everything” was right. I recently wrote about simple ways to prevent urinary infections. This triggered numerous requests from readers asking, “But what can be done when you’re constantly rushing to ‘you know where’?” Their timing couldn’t have been better. A new web site, The Powder Room, now has a bilingual Course 101 on Overactive Bladder (OAB). It contains “Everything you’ve always wanted to know about OAB and didn’t know who to ask”.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Sunday, March 16, 2008 - Full Story

A Good Postal Code Leads To Longer Life

I’ve just returned from an educational course on Cardiology aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship. A sea voyage is a great way to recharge your batteries. And this one also provided an opportunity to listen to a diverse group of international cardiologists discuss the nation’s number one killer. Now I know the importance of one’s postal code and “Matthew’s Law”.  And if you’re looking for a solid investment you can’t miss by buying shares in “The Goliath Casket Company”.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Sunday, March 9, 2008 - Full Story

Postpone A Wormy End, and Gorillas Should Have the Right to Vote

William Shakespeare wrote “A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king”. He could have added,  “or fish with the worm that eventually gets us all.” This is not a pleasant thought to pass along to readers at the start of the day. But since the life of worms and other insects can be extended, it may be possible for humans to postpone that final wormy day as well.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Tuesday, March 4, 2008 - Full Story

How Long Are Your Legs?

How many people in this country haven’t had their blood cholesterol level tested? Or had their doctor suggest a stress test or electrocardiogram to evaluate the risk of heart disease? I doubt that many have escaped some of these tests. But has your doctor ever said, “I want to measure the length of your legs?” Or examined your ear lobe? These are examples of the KISS principle, “keep it simple, stupid”.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Tuesday, March 4, 2008 - Full Story

Chocolates And Sex, The Wrong Gift For Valentine’s Day

“What did your husband give you for Valentine’s Day?” I jokingly asked a 55 year old patient. She replied, “He brought home the usual gift, chocolates, but that won’t solve my pain with sex. Nor can my own doctor, as he never talks about sexual matters.” This is a scenario I often hear in my office and it’s time to break the hush that surrounds this problem.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Sunday, February 24, 2008 - Full Story

Dangers and Benefits of The Cup Of “o’Joe”

What’s so important about the year 1657? It was the year that coffee was first imported into London, England from the Middle East. This glowing ad stated “A very wholesome and physical drink that helpeth indigestion, quickeneth the spirits, maketh the heart lightsom, is good against eye sores, coughs, head-ach, gout and the King’s evil”.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - Full Story

Preventing Urinary Infections

Today, the Golden Rule of medicine should be, “Keep it simple.”  The reason is simple. The less complicated the treatment, the fewer the complications. Besides, in an increasingly complex medical environment doctors tend to overlook simple treatments that work. It’s a simple as that. So this week, simple ways to prevent annoying urinary infections (cystitis).

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, February 4, 2008 - Full Story

Do The Toronto Maple Leafs Need More Sex?

What’s wrong with the Toronto Maple leafs? They haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967. This year, again, they’re floundering and may once again miss the playoffs.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, January 28, 2008 - Full Story