Sunday, May 6, 2012

Odds and Ends

First I must say - if you are viewing the blog on the website-I made some changes to my template and I don't know if they are positive - but I can't go back!  SORRY.

Sleep: If you heard about or read any of the stories that came out in the past week regarding obesity genes and sleep and are confused... you are not alone.  The study and the stories about it are not easy to follow.  With twins, researchers attempted to see if a propensity for obesity was attenuated or exacerbated by sleep duration.  The problem with this line of reasoning is that very few obesity cases are related to genes and even in those that are heredity has a much lesser impact then actions do.  So the scientists ended up saying, people have control over what they eat and how active they are and taking care of those two pieces will reduce the adverse effect that too little or too much sleep has on gene expression.  YES - this means that the sleep study doesn't change anything.  Eat wisely and move more.

Ambien:  Oh well - speaking of sleep. I am anti-medication for sleep disturbance.  There is a strategy called sleep hygiene that is safer and as effective if not more so, than sleep pills. I have several posts on this. However, there are many prescription drugs for sleep.  One of them is ambien.  I have discussed problems associated with the drug in the past.  This week, in the testimony for the John Edwards trial, of all places, those same concerns were noted.  One of the witnesses referred to her husband as having been on ambien at the time which made him "loopy and forgetful."

Enbrel: I have a more tolerant view of medications that treat autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis because as far as I can tell, there is nothing a person can do to stop their body from attacking itself.  Medications are therefore necessary.  I am not endorsing this particular one, Enbrel.  I just wanted to make a note about the current ad the company that makes it is using.  The ad has Phil Mickelson, the golfer, as spokesperson, but not everyone who might take the drug is a golfer. So the ad shows him bending down to set his tee, or grabbing his golf club, placing his ball and shaking the hands of fans.  In each of these situations the ad switches to him doing something the rest of us might do.  He stoops to pick up a paper, he grabs a baseball bat for "his" son, he opens a jar for his mother, he bends down to tie his shoe etc.  Pretty clever.

Sine qua non: This is a Latin phrase.  It means that something is essential to another thing.. that without this first thing, the other will not exist. I say to you that exercise is the sine qua non to health.  Health - not weight control. A person can lose or maintain weight whether they exercise or not, but health - a state of being free from disease and in a state of wellness- is dependent on physical activity.  Without daily exercise, thin, normal and overweight persons (and pets) will be less healthy.

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