Monday, December 30, 2013

Power Loss, Inconvenient, But Not Life Changing

You don't know what you have until you lose it, right? Well, where we live the power went out for well over 60,000 households for about a week due to an ice storm. We lost our power for 5 days. Some people are still out after 8 days or more. We were fortunate enough to borrow a generator and wire a 220 volt line into our fuse box in the house, but many other people moved out of their homes for a week. The timing was bad, being the week of Christmas. Our Holiday party was relocated from our home to my parents down the road, who were, fortunately, not affected. Small inconveniences came up.  Alarm clocks didn't work. Cell phones were hard to keep charged. No home telephone or internet made it difficult to communicate with friends and family. Some friends and neighbors burst pipes due to the cold weather.
We've lost power for a day or two in the past, but rarely during the winter and rarely more than a day or two. It was a bit of a wake up call for us to have more candles, coolers, flashlights (with batteries) and firewood in the future. A back up generator of our own would have made the early going easier.
It's times like these that pull people together. Our neighbors around us were very generous as well as family offering a warm place to stay and extension cords and gasoline. It will be a Christmas we won't forget for quite a while.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Vitamins or Medicine?

Why so many people are willing to take supplements instead of their medication is hard for me to understand. Sometimes I have patients taking as many (or more) vitamins and supplements as they are medications. You get everything you need from a good and balanced diet. Vitamins can help plug a few holes, but do not replace good dietary habits. And vitamins don't fix Diabetes or Hypertension.  Diseases like Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and Diabetes and Hypertension require medication, not vitamins and supplements. Medication plays a primary role in their management, while vitamins have a very limited/tertiary and unproven role in their management. I don't understand the general distrust of the pharmaceutical industry that the average consumer seems to have. Statins in particular have been villified by the media and lay people as causing more problems than solutions in the management of CAD, but several well designed and well controlled studies consistently show that lower Total Cholesterol, and LDL Cholesterol in particular, leads to less morbidity and mortality in adults. Controlling Hypertension with Betablockers, ACE Inhibitors and Diuretics leads to longevity, but people are still more willing to pop a vitamin C tablet in their mouths than take their Blood Pressure Medication. People are living longer than ever due to Vaccination programs, antibiotics and better medication for Diabetes and Heart Disease.  Vitamins are an unproven commodity, but we spend billions of dollars on then more fruits and vegetables, Olive Oil, lean protein and drink more water.

Live well.
- Dr.Ronan

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Your Are What You Eat

Who do you want to be this holiday season? The guy on top or the women below? Spend your calories wisely over the Holidays. Try adding some shredded vegitables to those recipes. Things like red onions, mushrooms and shredded zucchini add flavor without calories. Apple sauce and honey are good natural sweeteners for cakes and cookies. Wild Rice and Brown Rice go nicely with most meat dishes and don't forget about Qunioa and sweet potatoes!
Bon Appetite!