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Old Health and Medicine Articles from 2007 and Before

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 - Full Story

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 - Full Story

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 - Full Story

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 - Full Story

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 - Full Story

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 - Full Story

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 - Full Story

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 - Full Story

Gas And Cesarean Operations At Record Highs

Not only is the price of gas rocketing to high levels. A recent report by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) says that 26.3 percent of women now have babies delivered by Cesarean section. There are many different opinions of why this has happened in both Canada and the U.S. But William Shakespeare had the ultimate explanation.

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

I Was Married By a Judge. I Should Have Asked for a Jury

What’s the chance of living to 85 years and beyond? Dr. Bradley J. Wilcox is the lead author of a longevity study carried out by the Pacific Health Research Institute in Hawaii. It’s one of the longest studies on aging and it followed the health of 5,820 Japanese-American men for 40 years. At the start of the study their average age was 45 and they were all healthy. What happened to them depended on nine key factors. You can calculate your longevity with this simple arithmetic.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Sunday, July 6, 2008 - Full Story

Healthy Aging? Not Just the Stuff of Dreams

Dr. Anne Martin-Matthews, Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Aging

While Canadians struggle to go green, one thing’s certain: as a society we’re going grey. In fact, we’re on the cusp of a historical first in Canada – in two decades almost a quarter of us will be “old”.

By Guest Column Dr. Anne Martin-Matthews- Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - Full Story

Viagra and Other Medical Tidbits

There are more uses for Viagra than meet the eye. You can get more than the Mother of All Hangovers after a night of binge drinking. Few parents give much thought to the fact that children face a hazard when urged to brush their teeth. And roller coaster rides this summer could provide more than thrills. All are topics worthy of concern.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, June 30, 2008 - Full Story

Use Radiation Like Porcupines Make Love, Very Carefully

It’s said that elephants never forget. Neither does radiation. The human body has a natural computer that tabulates every bit of radiation to which it is exposed during a lifetime. Radiation has great benefits in diagnosing disease when used wisely, but potentially harmful when used carelessly. So how much risk is there of developing   radiation-induced cancer?

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - Full Story

Rights of Addicts, And Rights Of Cancer Patients

Should the injection site for addicts in Vancouver be closed? Proponents argue that one million injections in Vancouver have saved lives and decreased the risk of HIV infection. Others contend injection sites send the wrong message and should be closed. But in this heated debate, why don’t both sides and our government attack the root cause of this cancerous problem.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Sunday, June 15, 2008 - Full Story

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