Saturday, October 31, 2009

Your Black News: Obama Confirms a Black Surgeon General

Regina Benjamin was confirmed by the Senate Friday.

The Senate has formally confirmed Dr. Regina Benjamin to be the U.S. surgeon general, making her only the third African American to hold the position as the nation's top doctor.

The Senate nod came by a voice vote Thursday night, an expression of unanimous consent of both parties.

The 53-year-old family practice doctor had spent most of her career tending to the needs of poor patients in a Gulf Coast clinic she founded two decades ago in Alabama.

She was the first African-American woman board member of the American Medical Association, and she just served a term as chairwoman of the group's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs.

Benjamin received a bachelor's degree in 1979 from Xavier University of Louisiana, attended Morehouse School of Medicine from 1980 to 1982, and received a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1984.

She completed her residency in family practice at the Medical Center of Central Georgia in 1987.


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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Michael Baisden and Your Favorite Doctor Go at it Again on the Swine Flu

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Dr. Elaina and Michael Baisden break down the hype and misinformation about the Swine flu.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Your Black News: Obama Declares Swine Flu a National Emergency

Hundreds of residents line up for free H1N1 vaccinations Friday at an Encino, California, clinic.

President Obama has declared a national emergency to deal with the "rapid increase in illness" from the H1N1 influenza virus.

"The 2009 H1N1 pandemic continues to evolve. The rates of illness continue to rise rapidly within many communities across the nation, and the potential exists for the pandemic to overburden health care resources in some localities," Obama said in a statement.

"Thus, in recognition of the continuing progression of the pandemic, and in further preparation as a nation, we are taking additional steps to facilitate our response."

The president signed the declaration late Friday and announced it Saturday.

Calling the emergency declaration "an important tool in our kit going forward," one administration official called Obama's action

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Your Black Health: Avoid the Whites – Salt, Sugar, and Flour!

Deborah Stroman

by Dr. Deborah Stroman

Do you need a simple rule to begin a smart nutrition routine? Try to make a change in your diet by “avoiding the whites” – those additives that supposedly will make your food taste just right or have the right consistency. To live well and be healthy, we need to make changes that may feel uncomfortable at first and possibly illogical to friends and family.

Salt, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, accounts for nearly 150,000 premature deaths every year primarily due to complications from high blood pressure. We do need ~ 6g of salt per day to live. Sadly, the average intake of salt is between 9g and 10g a day! Salt is a commonly occurring mineral, the technical name of which is sodium chloride. It is the sodium part of salt that is important. Sodium helps to maintain the concentration of body fluids at correct levels. It also plays a central role in the transmission of electrical impulses in the nerves, and helps cells process nutrients.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Dr. Elaina George – Medicine on Call: Natural Remedies for the Swine Flu

In this episode of Medicine on Call, Dr. Elaina George speaks with Dr Maiysha Clairborne of Mind, Body, Spirit, Wellness.  we spoke about natural approaches to prevent and treat swine flu. Overall natural remedies to reduce stress and promote overall wellness.


Click here to listen!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Health Insurance News – 10/14/09

Health Insurance Companies causing pain for patients: Are insurance companies limiting the options available to your doctor? That may be the case. While our nation is quick to blame physicians for the state of healthcare, the insurance companies may be a more sensible target for our collective frustration.

What is umbrella insurance?
- This type of policy protects you from all the things that your standard insurance plan doesn't cover. Everyone should consider getting umbrella insurance.
How do you keep your insurance if you lose your job? - If you don't know the answer to this question, you need to learn about the COBRA laws. COBRA allows you to keep your old health insurance if you lose your job, and as part of the stimulus package, the federal government pays 65% of the cost.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Black Health News: The High Cost of Insurance: Americans Struggle

"The high cost of each premium and the high deductible a person or family must pay per year is my biggest complaint against health insurers."

"For example, I pay around $300 a month for my wife and me for basic coverage, and pay a deductible of $750 each every year, not to mention a co-pay of $15 to $20 at the window."

"My yearly income is around $32,000 a year. Very little is left for goodies. Meanwhile, a doctor takes in $80 to $120 a visit that lasts 15 to 20 minutes. Imagine how much he makes a day, a week, a month, a year. Plenty of goodies here."


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Health News: Swine Flu Kills 76 US Children

Vanessa Chan, 6, of Boston, receives an intranasal H1N1 vaccine ...

Health officials said Friday that 76 U.S. children have died of swine flu, including 19 new reports in the past week — more evidence the new virus is unusually dangerous for the young.

The regular flu kills between 46 and 88 children a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That suggests deaths from the new H1N1 virus could dramatically outpace children's deaths from seasonal flu, if swine flu continues to spread as it has.

CDC officials say 10 more states, a total of 37, now have widespread swine flu. A week ago, reports suggested that cases might be leveling off and even falling in some areas of the country, but that did not turn out to be an enduring national trend.

"We are seeing more illness, more hospitalizations, and more deaths," the CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat said at a press conference Friday.

The new virus, first identified in April, is a global epidemic. The CDCdoesn't have an exact count of all swine flu deaths and hospitalizations, but existing reports suggest more than 600 have died and more than 9,000 have been hospitalized. Health officials believe millions of Americans have caught the virus.

The virus is hitting young people harder. Experts believe older people are suffering from it less, perhaps because they have a bit of immunity from exposure over the years to somewhat similar viruses.


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Friday, October 9, 2009

Dr. Elaina George is Adamant about the Swine Flu Vaccine

by Dr. Elaina George, Your Black World 

I have had several patients ask me whether or not they should get the swine flu (H1N1) vaccine. My response has been the same. I will not be getting the vaccine because I don’t think it is safe.

I am an MD who was trained to practice medicine the old fashioned way. My education was based on understanding and treating disease. As a surgeon, I was taught that in some cases surgical correction is the most efficient and expedient way to fix a problem or cure a disease. In short, I have a healthy respect for the standard medical care that is practiced in this country.

However, over the past 10 years since I have been in practice, I have seen a disturbing trend that has become increasingly more common. Although we have the most advanced medical system in the world, the best trained physicians, and access to new and ever evolving medications, we as a nation and particularly the minority population are getting sicker at a younger age, and our quality of life is suffering. There are more people suffering from depression, anxiety, and learning disabilities than at any time in our history. Unfortunately, we have learned to manage diseases by taking a pill everyday instead of doing what it takes to prevent the illness in the first place. It is past time to look to good nutrition and prevention as a means of preventing and curing chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and some cancers which have risen to epidemic levels.

When I made the personal decision to ask questions about the Swine flu vaccine, the answers that I discovered contradicted the mantra that has been championed by the media, government officials, and the vaccine manufacturers. What we are being told simply does not make any sense. The most important question that I have learned to ask (from the politics of healthcare to every other facet of our society that affects us as individuals) is - who stands to gain?

I will not be getting the swine flu vaccine because:

  1. The vaccine makers have been given immunity from being sued for any bad outcome

After the deaths and injuries associated with the Swine flu vaccination campaign in 1976, the vaccine manufacturers lost billions of dollars in civil suits. That cannot happen this time around. Congress has since passed two bills that shield vaccine makers from civil suits. The first in 1986 protects vaccine makers from civil suits filed by people who have been injured by a vaccine due to ‘unavoidable side effects’. In 2006 another iteration of the shield law (The Epidemic Preparedness Act) was passed as part of the Patriot Act and extends the shield to include protection if the drug maker has ‘no willful knowledge’ that a vaccine may cause injury. In short, a maker of the Swine flu vaccine simply has to say they didn’t know the vaccine was going to cause harm then they cannot be sued. This won’t be hard to do since they have not fully tested the vaccine.

  1. There are many ingredients in vaccines called adjuvants that are put in to stimulate the immune response

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Health News: High Vaccine Costs Lead Physicians to Stop Offering Immunizations


Parents who bring their kids to Dr. G. Andrew McIntosh for the chicken pox vaccine are out of luck.

The family physician, who has a solo practice in Uniontown, Ohio, doesn't offer that shot because he can't afford it. Most insurers won't sufficiently cover the cost.

"It doesn't do me any good. I am losing money on [them]," he said. The chicken pox vaccine runs about $115, but insurers only cover between $68 to $83 of that.

McIntosh has also cut back on a handful of other critical childhood vaccines for the same reason -- including the measles, mumps and rubella, known as the MMR vaccine.

It costs him about $58 to buy an MMR shot, he said, while insurers pay about about $40.


click to read.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Dr. Elaina George on the Swine Flu Vaccine: What you need to know

Dr. Elaina George, MD, Your Black World Medical Contributor

With the H1N1 swine flu virus vaccine becoming available this month, there is a big push to vaccinate as many people as possible. However, whether

or not you decide to take the vaccine, there are important questions you should ask your doctor or other health practitioner to make sure it is the right choice for you and your family.

1. Does the Vaccine contain additives such as mercury or squaline?

Additives called adjuvants like mercury (thiamerisol) are added to inhibit bacterial contamination. However, some studies have

implicated mercury as a cause of autism and squaline as a cause of neurological damage respectively.

2. How can I avoid getting a vaccine that contains mercury?

Ask to receive your vaccine from a single dose vial. Unlike the multiple dose vials which contain thiamerisol, the single dose

vials do not contain that additive.

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Dr. Elaina George, MD: Prescription drugs: The New Legal Drug Addiction

by Dr. Elaina George, Your Black World Medical Correspondent

According to a recent CNN report 7% of college students admit to using Adderall without a prescription. It is an amphetamine-like stimulant used to treat attention deficit disorders (ADD) and attention deficit with hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This drug, come to known as ‘vitamin A’, is taken by students to improve their grades. It is believed to help them study more efficiently by increasing the ability to stay awake and concentrate longer. It is more potent than caffeine or the old standbys No-Doze and Mountain Dew.

When prescribed by a physician for an individual with ADD or ADHD, Adderall is an effective and safe drug. Unfortunately, like many other prescription drugs such as Xanax, Valium, and Oxycontin, which have become easy to get on the Internet and on the black market, its ubiquitous use has taken away the fear factor. There is little regard for the potential side effects such as heart problems, stroke, tremors, and addiction.

In fact both prescription drugs and over the counter drugs have been reduced to quick fixes that are used to ‘make a problem go away’. There is a pervasive feeling that if it is a prescription drug or if it is sold over the counter, then it must be safe. This has been encouraged by the aggressive direct to patient marketing by the pharmaceutical industry.

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Black Health: Why Do Women Have Sex?

What makes a woman want to have sex? Is it physical attraction? Love? Loneliness? Jealousy? Boredom? Painful menstrual cramps?

Many women interviewed were having sex purely because they wanted the experience.

It turns out that woman have sex for all of these reasons and more, and that their choices are not arbitrary; there may be evolutionary explanations at work.

Psychologists Cindy Meston and David Buss, both professors at the University of Texas at Austin, decided that the topic of "why women have sex" deserved a book of its own. They've woven scientific research together with a slew of women's voices in their new collaborative work, "Why Women Have Sex," published September 29 by Times Books.

"We do bring in men occasionally by way of contrast, but we wanted to focus exclusively on women so that the complexity of women's sexualpsychology was not given the short shrift, so to speak," said Buss, a leading evolutionary psychologist.

The authors conducted a study from June 2006 to April 2009 that asked women whether they had ever had sex for one of 237 reasons, all of which had emerged in a previous study. About 1,000 women contributed their perspectives. Video Watch women answer The Question »

It turns out that women's reasons for having sex range from love to pure pleasure to a sense of duty to curiosity to curing a headache. Some women just want to please their partners, and others want an ego boost.

Click to read.