Critical Health News

Testosterone Replacement


By now almost everyone has seen the commercials for Androgel and other pharmaceutical hormone replacements claiming to compensate for the age related drop in the testosterone known as low-T. The prescriptions, which over the past 10 years have been filled nearly 5 million times and have generated over 1.6 billion dollars in sales, are promoted as nearly magical medical hormone replacements that can improve mood, muscle development, bone strength, fat burning, endurance, libido and sexual performance.

However, despite these supposed benefits, testosterone replacement may cause problems. Recently, a trial of testosterone treatment in elderly men had to be discontinued because of increased cardiovascular events. In a commentary published in the journal “Science Translation Therapy”, Dr. Amir Tirosh of the Harvard Medical School writes that researchers concluded that hormone therapy demonstrated “substantial evidence of cardiovascular adverse effects associated with testosterone replacement”.

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Obesity is a Disease?


Well, its official, obesity is a disease. So declared the doctor delegates at the American Medical Association’s annual meeting this past June. Americans are the second fattest people in the world (second only to Mexico, and only by 1 percent, according to Scripps Media Inc.). According to Dr. Patrice Harris, a member of the association’s board, considering corpulence as a doctor issue is good thing. “Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans, in the words of Dr. Harris.

How exactly these changes will show up remains to be seen. AMA doctors say reclassifying it as a disease will reduce the stigma that can result from the silly idea that obesity is simply the result the result of too much food and too little exercise. Apparently, our medical saviors feel that their patients do not have control over their weight and physiology.

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One of the most under-appreciated aspects of skincare involves its relationship to the mind, emotions and the skin. Technically called “psychodermatology” this aspect of cutaneous health is being recognized more and more as a fundamental, if under-appreciated cause of dermatological diseases. Psychodermatology recognizes that the skin, the brain and the body’s defense (immune) system that deals with survival threats, real or imagined, are in reality three parts of one system. That means that if you are dealing with acne, psoriasis, eczema, vitiligo or any other skin heath issue, you should consider looking at it as the result of a real or imagined survival threat. By far the most important sources of these threats are not actual. They are mental and emotional. In other words, in the majority of threatening situations, our survival is not actually at risk, we simply “believe” it is! However, while these threats may only exist as thoughts and feelings they can and do manifest themselves as real physical effects such as itching and rashes (eczema), inflammation (psoriasis), oiliness (acne) and changes in pigmentation (melasma).

If you go to a doctor, his management options according to the medical journal “American Family Physician” include “…psychotropic medication, stress management courses and referral to a psychiatrist.” No surprise there. As always, the medical model focuses on symptoms and not the causes.

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