As most of you know Apple is releasing a new iPhone, generation 7. As usual this new phone will have many new features including water resistance and an improved camera. However, the biggest new feature is the wireless headphones. These headphones, otherwise known as AirPods, use radio frequency (RF) energy. Apple has previously advised users to reduce exposure to this type of energy by opting for hands-free options, such as headphones or the speakerphone.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also previously classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly linked to increased rates of some cancers like brain cancer.
While there is no definitive evidence in humans that there is a link there have been animal studies which have shown increases in brain tumors in rats and mice after long term exposure to this radiation.
Since the amount of radiation is pretty low the cumulative effects are difficult to measure and it may be decades before me know more about the potential impact on humans.
The main issue will be that the AirPods from the new iPhone will essentially be putting this type of radiation directly into your ears and closer to your brain which would theoretically raise the risk especially if they are being used for all types of media in addition to phone calls.
At this juncture, it is probably prudent to exercise caution by limiting exposure to all types of radiation including from cell phones and possibly the AirPods. This can be done by using the speaker phone option as much as possible.
If you have questions feel free to call or email me. For more information visit the contact page.
I often get complaints from patients who have purchased "Obamacare" plans off the healthcare exchanges. They frequently report that they cannot find a doctor and that the costs of these plans are a lot higher than they expected. They come to see me because I am usually a far more economical option even if they can find someone that takes their insurance. I also get asked my opinion on these plans.
My thoughts on healthcare reform to a large degree are summarized in an article from the magazine Medical Economics. The headline on the front cover reads reads "U.S. Physicians tell us why they hate healthcare reform."
The actual article entitled "Obamacare report card" uses the feedback generated from 200 physicians nationwide to rate eight 'provisions and consequences (both intentional and unintentional) stemming from the law.'" Each physician ranked each element from a score of 0 to 10. (0 being not at all helpful to 10 being extremely helpful).
The categories surveyed included:
Medicare bonus for primary care services
Increased coverage through healthcare insurance exchanges
Accountable care organizations
Physician ratings via the physician compare website
Expansion of health IT
In all eight categories the physicians gave "Obamacare" an "F" grade. The highest grade given was 35 out of 100. The lowest was 26. These are pretty abysmal scores.
Many of these categories may not mean much to you but they do impact physicians significantly and hence patients both directly and indirectly.
One of the primary reasons for healthcare reform was supposedly to increase health care coverage. When this group of physicians were asked how they would rate how well "Obamacare" has accomplished this goal through the healthcare exchanges they gave it a paltry 35 out of a 100 score. Some of the physician comments included "coverage is shockingly bad, and at a high price" and "more coverage is good, but more coverage does not equal more access."
In addition, healthcare insurance companies such as United and Aetna have reported that they are losing hundreds of millions of dollars on these policies and plan to either significantly increase the premiums or exit the marketplaces altogether.
This will also be a pivotal issue in the upcoming election. Depending on the outcome, it remains to be seen what healthcare reform will look like in the next few years.
If you have questions about healthcare reform or how my practice fits into the equation feel free to call or email me. For more information visit the contact page.
We all know that it is healthier for our heart to be at a normal weight. But what about cancer? Is obesity tied to cancer?
According to recent research, obesity is not only associated with cancer but the amount of time we are obese also increases the risk. For example, women were at an increased risk of breast, endometrial, colon, and kidney cancer the longer they were overweight.
According to the American Association of Cancer Research being overweight is second only to smoking in terms of contributing to cancer risk.
So how does weight contribute to cancer?
Being overweight contributes to cancer risk in a lot of different ways and it depends on the cancer. Some types of cancer are very sensitive to hormones. For example, breast and endometrial cancers are often sensitive to estrogen levels. Being overweight contributes to an excess of estrogen which can increase the risk of these cancers.
What we eat can also contribute to cancer risk. High sugar diets tend to help people gain weight and can also serve as fuel for some types of cancer and in particular aggressive cancers.
So what is the solution?
While it is obvious that getting to a normal weight is the key to cutting your cancer risk it also important to eat the right foods. This includes eating real foods that are high in healthy fats, moderate in protein, and low in net carbohydrates. Regular exercise is also important in addition to strength training.
To get to your ideal body weight I also find it is necessary to have someone that can hold you accountable. This can be a spouse, friend, or your doctor.
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