The Answer to Childhood Obesity? Ayurveda – Not Statin Drugs!

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read in the New York Times that the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued new guidelines to “aggressively screen and medicate for high cholesterol in children” and that they plan on administering cholesterol-lowering drugs – called statins – to kids as young as age 8! Age 8!
But before we go into that, let me remind you of the simple facts about cholesterol…
Back in April, I posted an article that dispelled the myths surrounding cholesterol, so allow me to reiterate a few things: in Ayurveda, there is no “bad” and “good” cholesterol – it’s all good. High cholesterol is the informant, a warning sign, that something else is not right in your body – it’s not the criminal. Don’t blame the cholesterol!

Use of cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins, also known as Lipitor – Pfizer; Pravachol – Bristol Myers Squibb; and Lescol – Novartis) rose by 156% (from 15.8 million people to 29.7 million people) between 2000 and 2005. Spending on these drugs catapulted from $7.7 billion to $19.7 billion, and prescriptions rose from about 90 million to nearly 174 million during that same time period.

In 2004, the U.S. government’s National Cholesterol Education Program advised those at risk for heart disease to reduce their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol to the ridiculously low levels of less than 100 (or even 70). If you want to meet these dangerously low targets, you would generally have to take multiple statins in combination.

Big business shouldn’t dictate how we treat ourselves or especially our children, and statins are not the solution to the “problem” with cholesterol. Don’t just take my word for it. Dr. Joseph Mercola, D.O., has spoken out against the use of statins for children. “I do not find it particularly heartening that these drugs are as safe for children as they are for adults, considering that they are highly dangerous for adults to begin with,” Dr. Mercola notes in his article “Now They Want to Treat Kids with Statins.”

Dr. Mercola also lists some of the known dangers of statins (“Crestor and Other Statins: Are They Really Worth the Risk?”) including: “potential increase in liver enzymes…muscle aches, weakness, immune system suppression, an increase in cancer risk, and a serious degenerative muscle tissue condition called rhabdomyolysis.”

Hugs (and Ayurveda) Not Drugs: Treat childhood weight and obesity disorders the SAFE and NON-TOXIC way…

Choose the RIGHT Labels: Vata, Pitta, or Kapha – NOT “Fat” or “Lazy”…

Taking Care of Your Baby’s Teeth

As a parent, I wouldn’t think of putting my child’s health in the hands of any doctor other than a qualified pediatrician. The same goes for my kids and their dental health. Choosing the right dentist is very important. It aids in fighting the number one condition that affects children’s teeth – tooth decay. This is why having a great “pediatric” dentist – yes I said “PEDIATRIC DENTIST” is important. There’s a big difference and it’s critical to your child’s dental health.

I didn’t realize why choosing a pediatric dentist was so important until I had my own children. I had to learn a few lessons the hard way, but thankfully I was able to locate a dentist who has been wonderful in maintaining my children’s teeth and gums. By the way, the reason I stress pediatric dentist is for the obvious reason, just like a pediatric doctor specializes in children’s bodily health, pediatric dentists specialize in children’s teeth. This makes a world of difference – trust me.

Through trial and error, I’ve learned a few things along the way. I’m going to share a few tips I’ve gathered, some of which you may already know, some of which maybe a surprise (they were to me). Hopefully these tips can help you on your quest to locate the ideal dentist for your little one(s).

The First Visit

(1) It’s best to take your child for his/her first dental visit around 18 months. Bringing them in at 3 or 4 years, is not the best because many times there’s already an underlying problem which my result in a shot in the mouth (ouch), caps over teeth or even extraction.

(2) Make sure the first visit is a good one. What do I mean by this? For starters, make sure you’re comfortable with the dentist and make sure your child (or children) is also. I’ve learned that if the child feels comfortable, you’ll get a lot more productivity out of the visit and a lot less drama when it’s time to return. There are some dentists who are “paycheck” encouraged and really aren’t concerned about the overall health of your child’s teeth (been there done that). Just be very observant – you’ll know.

(3) The visit should consist of an evaluation, a discussion with you the parent, a quick cleaning with fluoride, stickers, prizes, etc. and a follow up appointment made. You don’t want to horrify the kids on the first visit.

Another good reason to take your child to the dentist early is to prevent any onset of unusual spots or discoloration which can be an early sign of tooth decay. It doesn’t take long to surface due to children’s primary teeth having thinner enamel than those of their permanent teeth.

Take for instance drinking juice. When a child drinks juice, the first place the juice hits is the front of their mouth and that’s where the problems usually surface first. I also have a few suggestions on this (the dentist backed me up on these too).

(a) Try to only give 100% juice to your child due to the high sugar levels in juices made with high fructose corn syrup. Because so many are made this way, remember this – regardless of the juices given, water them down a bit and then have your child rinse with regular water afterwards. It helps swish out some of the sugar that deposit on the teeth after eating and drinking.

(b) Get your kids in the habit of brushing even at a small age. Twice a day is a good start and you can gradually add more after certain meals. If you make it fun (I brush with my kids and we sing and shake a bit), they won’t think it so much of a chore to do.

(c) Look for toothpaste that has the ADA (American Dental Association) recommendation logo shown. You’ll be amazed that little things like this do make a difference.

Ultimately, prevention is the most important aspect of our children’s dental health. But we know that as long as they are kids, candy, juice, fruit, etc. will play a part in their dental lives in some form or fashion. We need to just make sure we take note of the little things and manage our children’s eating intakes wisely. If problems are addressed early enough, some problems can be blocked with early intervention.

Medical Transcription – Tips to Improve Accuracy While Transcribing

Fast and error-free medical transcription service is the need of the hour. Physicians want transcripts in quick turnaround time (TAT). Many specify TAT which could be as be as short as 10 hours for electronic radiology reports. Typing fast to ensure the specified turnaround could result in errors and transcriptionists end up wasting time correcting these errors. Of course, some professionals would argue that correcting errors is easily accomplished with a spellchecker or backspacing on the computer. But think of the time you can save on these non-transcription activities if you can produce error-free transcripts the first time. In fact, accuracy is the key to success and higher productivity in transcription. Here are some important tips to help:

Listen to Whole Sentence before Transcribing it

Even if you have efficient transcribing software or machines, it is not a good practice to listen to a few words, pause the recording and transcribe just these words. Practices like this can result in more errors as you wouldn’t know in which context the word or words are used until the sentence is complete. For example, the abbreviation ‘AF’ is used for Atrial fibrillation, Atrial flutter and Amniotic fluid. It is not possible to understand for which condition this abbreviation is used unless you hear the complete sentence. If you assume a word, you are likely to make a mistake and would have to delete and retype it – a sheer waste of time. Basically while transcribing a Cardiology transcription note you do not want to transcribe a medical term used more commonly for Pediatric transcription.

So proceed (key) slowly and make sure there are no errors so that you don’t have to make any changes. What is the best way to do this? Listen to what the doctor is saying, understand the exact context, pause the playback and type the sentence. This will allow you to catch the right meaning and type correctly. Listening does not mean merely hearing what is said, but understanding each word in the dictation. If you have the ability to understand different accents, this would definitely be a plus point.

Slow Down Typing Speed to Avoid Errors

Keying speed definitely increases the turnaround time of medical transcription. But typos or errors that occur due to fast typing will slow you down as you would have to spend time correcting them later. So you need slow down the typing speed and focus on what you are typing while listening to the dictation. This will help you to avoid errors and omissions. The time saved on correction can be used for more compensable work. However, this does not mean typing words too slowly. Type fast, but make sure that the speed is comfortable for you to recognize mistakes.

Set Auto-Backspace Short

It is true that auto-backspace in the dictation recorders available today is a great help. However, there is a problem with automatic-backspace on playback: it rewinds the tape or dictation whenever you stop and this can be a real waste of time as you would have to listen to a portion of dictation that you already transcribed once again. The solution is to set automatic backspace so that you only hear a single word after you stop.

A professional medical transcription company has trained and experienced medical transcriptionists with excellent language and listening skills who have the knowledge and skill to ensure accurate and timely transcripts. Physicians can certainly expect their productivity to go up when they partner with the right service provider.

Pediatric Dentist – How To Find Yours

Around the time your child hits age two, you will want to look into finding an oral physician to inspect and maintain their teeth. Taking the time to find a qualified and experienced pediatric dentist provides your child with the tools and resources necessary to enjoy a lifetime of quality oral health. In this article, we will offer a few tips to help you weed through the candidates and find the physician best suited for your child.

Step 1 – Get in touch with your insurance provider and ask for recommendations pertaining to physicians covered under your health care plan. Obtaining this information will help greatly in narrowing the field and finding a pediatric dentist who will fit into your budget.

Step 2 – Using the list provided in step 1, speak with friends, family members and even local schools to find out whether you can gain any specific information on the candidates. Word of mouth is often sure-fire way to find quality services, and this instance is far from exception. Ask questions specific to your concerns and needs and be sure to take notes on your findings.

Step 3 – Hop online and check out the candidates you are considering. There are quite a few sites dedicated to helping consumers acquire local quality care, which offer user-submitted reviews and ratings to help in the decision process. Keep an open mind, researching your current candidates while keeping an eye out for others that have garnered positive attention, and whom you may not have heard of.

Step 4 – Call up your pediatrician’s office in hopes of adding to your list and checking out any potential candidates that have interested you thus far. Most medical practitioners will have a fairly good idea of other health care professionals outside of their specific are of expertise and be able to point you in the right direction. Ask them who they would use for their own children.

Step 5 – At this point, you should have a pretty solid list in front of you. Sit down and evaluate the pros and cons of each, deciding on your top three choices. Call each dentist up and ask to come in for a visit. Some offices will require you to schedule a specific time, while others will simply ask to you drop by at your convenience.

Step 6 – During your visit, take in the environment. Make certain the office is child-friendly and all the equipment child-sized. Try to evaluate whether the physician works well with children. A prize box, cartoon d├ęcor and children’s books are all good signs.

Step 7 – Speak with the dentist and ask what your child should expect during a general checkup. A good pediatric specialist should know how to interact with children and be able to make them feel comfortable.

Step 8 – Once you’ve met with each of your candidates, you should have a good idea of what your final decision will be. Schedule an appointment to see how things go and pay attention throughout the visit to ensure your child is receiving the best care available. Remember, you can always change your mind if you find something better.