On 11:28 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care

 Yes you/people can be healthy! As in, their arteries aren't clogged. Their blood sugar levels are stable and they aren't on their way to an early grave. They may not look like your idea of health, but they are, in fact, functioning just fine.

This news is courtesy of two studies (culling data from over 37,000 people.) Researchers at York University found that Body Mass Index (BMI) did not predict how likely a person was to die in the next 16-20 years as well as the Edmonton Obesity Staging System, a ranking system that considers a variety of other health factors in addition to height and weight, and was designed by Arya M. Sharma, one of the studies' co-authors.

The researchers told CNN that one in five patients with a BMI over 30 counted as "healthy obese" according to the Edmonton Obesity Staging System and were "at no greater risk of dying than normal weight individuals. It challenges the notion all obese individuals need to lose weight." 

Society has a hard time looking at an overweight person and not seeing "unhealthy" stamped on their forehead. Especially if that person is looking back at us from a mirror. We boil our definition of health down to the number on the scale when other markers (like blood pressure and cholesterol) matter more in terms of our long-term survival. And day to day, factors like your energy level and ability to sleep through the night impact your well-being more than the size of your jeans.  

Of course, 20 percent is not a majority. Eighty percent of the obese people in these new studies did have health problems. And yes, more research is needed before scientists truly understand whether obesity causes such health problems, or merely tends to correlate with them. We could also use a study that analyzes the mortality of subjects with BMIs in the normal and underweight ranges. If you eat a lot of junk food, don't exercise and somehow defy the odds and stay thin, how are you any better off? What about if you regularly restrict calories or skip meals?

But this research does say one thing loud and clear: "I can't tell you how healthy someone is if you tell me height or weight on a scale," Dr. Sharma (who is also chair for obesity research and management at the University of Alberta) told CNN. "I have to do additional tests." Added co-author Dr. Jennifer Kuk, assistant professor in York University's School of Kinesiology & Health Science in Toronto: The Edmonton ranking system could help doctors "to identify who should actually lose weight and who are we torturing for no reason."
On 11:10 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB (short for tubercle bacillus) is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis typically attacks the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. It is spread through the air when people who have an active TB infection cough, sneeze, or otherwise transmit their saliva through the air. Most infections are asymptomatic and latent, but about one in ten latent infections eventually progresses to active disease which, if left untreated, kills more than 50% of those so infected.

The classic symptoms of active TB infection are a chronic cough with fever, night sweats, and weight loss (the latter giving rise to the formerly prevalent term "consumption"). Infection of other organs causes a wide range of symptoms. Diagnosis of active TB relies on radiology (commonly chest X-rays), as well as microscopic examination and microbiological culture of body fluids.

High doses of vitamin D speed the recovery of tuberculosis patients, according to a new study.
The inspiration for testing the idea, scientist from Queen Mary University of London and other British hospitals said, was that 19th-century tuberculosis patients were sent to the mountains to lie in the sun. Ultraviolet B rays in sunshine convert cholesterol in the skin into vitamin D.

In the decades before antibiotics, doctors knew that TB patients sometimes recovered, or at least lived longer, at high altitudes. Spas for wealthy patients were built in the Alps, the Rockies and other mountain ranges.

Some doctors thought alpine air was the reason TB patients fared better, but others believed in “heliotherapy” (Medical therapy involving exposure to sunlight.) Even bed ridden patients were wheeled out onto sun decks.

Vitamin D seems to prevent lung damage by slowing down inflammatory responses to the TB bacterium. Since it does not interfere with the action of antibiotics, it may be useful in other illnesses, like pneumonia, according to the authors of the study, published online by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last week.

In a clinical trial of 95 patients on antibiotics, those who also got vitamin D had less inflammation, and the mycobacteria in their lung phlegm cleared up 13 days earlier on average.

Tuberculosis kills 1.5 million people a year and is a common co-infection in people with AIDS. Drug-resistant strains are becoming more common.

More information HERE at medicalnewstoday.com 
On 11:13 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care

If you haven't already known, September has been named Ovarian Cancer Month; only being a year in. Below is summary of the President (last year) proclaiming this month as the official month.

"Ovarian cancer continues to have one of the highest mortality rates of any cancer, and it is a leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States. This month, we remember the mothers, sisters, and daughters we have lost to ovarian cancer, and we extend our support to those living with this disease. We also reaffirm our commitment to raising awareness about ovarian cancer, and to advancing our screening and treatment capabilities for the thousands of American women who will be diagnosed this year…

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 2011 as National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. I call upon citizens, government agencies, organizations, health-care providers, and research institutions to raise ovarian cancer awareness and continue helping Americans live longer, healthier lives. And I urge women across the country to talk to their health-care providers and learn more about this disease." 
On 10:38 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
Having a healthy immune system is essential as it will prevent you from a wide range of illnesses and health problems. As difficult as it may seem it is relatively easy to boost your immune system to make it even more effective at warding off illnesses. If you include the follow top 5 foods and/or drinks in your diet you can be sure that you will have a fantastic functioning immune system; which also means you will spend less time feeling ill.

Yogurt is an excellent food for boosting immune system functioning, however not just any type of yogurts boost your immune system. Yogurts that will help your immune system are the ones that contain probiotics or in simple terms ‘healthy bacteria’; always make sure that you look at the label to make sure it does contain probacteria. Probiotics help keep your gut and intestines free from germs that may cause illness or disease. 

Broccoli is one of the best vegetables that you can include in your diet. This is because it is packed with a collection of all types of vitamins and antioxidants that will help you build up a strong immune system. The best way to cook broccoli to maintain the most of its immune boosting power is to cook it as little as you can.

Strawberries immune boosting capabilities come from being jam packed with vitamin C, which is known for increasing the production of white blood cells. Having ½ a cup of strawberries a day is enough to satisfy the body of Vitamin C suggested by the majority of health organizations.

Green Tea
The ingredients that green tea contains which is thought to give it an immune boosting effect are, polyphenols which are plant antioxidants. Having a cup a day can really help your immune system in functioning. The best way to maximize its immune boosting effects is only to add water that is just below boiling and to only keep the tea bag in for a maximum of two minutes. A rule of thumb is never to add milk as the proteins from the milk bind to the polyphenols destroying the teas immune boosting capabilities.

It is the beta-glucan within oats that will help boost your immune system. Beta-glucan activates immune cells in your body that will fight off harmful micro-organisms. The best types of oats to use are steel cut or rolled oats, it it best to stay away from the instant sugary kinds of oats.

Protein Shakes
But not just any kind of protein shakes. There are protein powders available on the market that have been specially designed to boost your immune system. These protein powders contain ingredients that have been proven to increase the effectiveness of your immune system. The other benefit to these drinks is that they contain a high amount of protein which is essential for growth and repair. This means that your immune system will be able to build immune cells quickly.

So there you go, the five most important supplements that you can take to boost your immune system. Keep in mind that any supplementary food or drink that you consume is just what it is – supplementary. So make sure that you eat healthy and mix up your vegetables and fruits, so you make sure that your diet doesn't lack any valuable vitamins and other minerals. 

On 10:02 PM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
Overall, organic foods are not nutritionally superior to conventional foods, neither are they safer regarding bacterial contamination, researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine reported in Annals of Internal Medicine. The scientists emphasized that they did not find any significant evidence pointing to nutritional benefits linked to the consumption of organic foods. They did, however, find "weak evidence" of higher phenol levels in organic produce.

While eating organic vegetables and fruits does mean that the consumer has approximately 30% less exposure to pesticide residues, conventional foods are well below threshold limits.

Crystal Smith-Spangler, MD, MS, Dena Bravata, MD, MS, and team carried out a review of 17 human studies and 223 other studies of nutrient and contaminant levels in fresh foods, including pork, beef, chicken, eggs, milk, grains, vegetables and fruit. Their aim was to compare the safety, nutritional and health characteristics of conventional and organic foods, which clearly showed the benefits versus the harms of conventional and organic foods.

Studies on organic foods have produced varying results. One in February 2012 found that organic rice may have high levels of arsenic. A 2010 study published in PLoS ONE reported that organic strawberries have more antioxidants and vitamin C but less potassium and phosphorus than conventionally grown strawberries.

Dr. Smith-Spangler said, "some believe that organic food is always healthier and more nutritious. My colleagues and I were a little surprised that we didn't find that."

There was some weak evidence showing that organic foods have much higher levels of phenols, which are said to be strong antioxidants, than conventional foods. There was also some evidence that omega-3 fatty acid levels in organic milk are higher. However, as deficiency in these compounds is fairly rare anyway; the authors believe these findings have "little clinical significance".

The scientists found that organic foods had higher levels of nitrogen than other foods. They believe this is likely to be because of different uses of fertilizers. Another factor might be that organic foods are harvested at different stages of ripeness. They added that a higher nitrogen content "is unlikely to provide any health benefits".

Organic foods are more expensive

US consumers typically have to pay much more for organic foods, sometimes twice as much, compared to conventional food prices. They are produced using farming methods which do not involve applying pesticides or chemical fertilizers, they are not processed using industrial solvents, chemical food additives, or irradiation.

Organic foods of animal origin, such as dairy goods and meats, come from animals that are usually free range (they roam outdoors), the authors explained. In some countries, however, free range and organic are completely different terms - free range might not necessarily mean organic, while non-free-range animals may be fed organic foods and produce organic milk and meats.

All the studies reviewed were short or medium term ones

The scientists stressed that there were no health studies which concentrated on the long-term health outcomes of people who consumed organic foods versus conventional foods. Of the over 200 reports they assessed, the time-spans ranged from two days to a maximum of 24 months. Put simply, we still have no idea whether organic foods are better than conventional foods over the long term.

A 2009 study funded by the Food Standards Agency, UK, and carried out by scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, found that organically produced foods are no better than conventionally produced foods, from a nutritional point of view.

Researchers from the University of California reported in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry that organically grown tomatoes have considerably higher levels of flavonoids than non-organic ones. Their study had lasted ten years and concluded that organic tomatoes are better for heart health and controlling blood pressure.

Information from medicalnewstoday.com