Friday, March 28, 2008

Losing weight

I missed posting yesterday - sorry! I completely forgot about posting.

I got busy yesterday doing some grocery shopping and soup making. I decided to go back on the Weight Watchers points plan this week and I had to make sure we have the necessary foods so I'm not tempted to cheat on the program. Weight loss is such a major social and health issue that you get the oddest reactions if people find out you're trying to lose weight.

I don't have to lose a lot of weight, maybe less than 10 pounds - I'm a bit shorter than 5'6" and weight 150 lbs, so it's really just what I would call fine tuning. To me, it's a health issue because A) I know that some extra weight can increase my risk of some illnesses I'm already predisposed to because of heredity and B) I tend to be more active and exercise more if I'm actively trying to do something, like lose or maintain a weight goal.

Because I have a daughter, we've always been very careful in the house with talking about weight, weight loss, dieting, and so on. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia are realities in our world today and I didn't want to do anything that could even slightly encourage it. I know that the illness is way more complicated than this, but if there was anything that I could do that would make any difference, no matter how small, it was important to me. (for a great blog on this issue, visit Breaking the Mirror, written by a fellow b5 blogger)

I started WW this past October when I hit 160 pounds. For me, this was my emotional threshold. That meant - to me - that I was going to hit a point when it would become too difficult to start watching what I ate and what I did, so I decided on WW. I was shocked - absolutely shocked - at how wonderfully tasty their recipes were. I have three WW cookbooks now and oh my goodness - the food is great. Even my non-dieting family members have liked just about every recipe I've made from those cookbooks.

Being good, watching my points and getting some exercise (although not enough, I know), I lost 10 pound by Christmas. I was in no rush. Then, I got lazy but - the good news was that I didn't gain over the three months since. I stayed at 150. But I also see myself falling back into my old (read: bad) habits so I figured that the WW program would get me back on track, eating more healthy foods again.

Here's to healthy eating!

News for Today:
Preemies more likely to die in childhood or be childless later: study
Joint replacements rising, 1 in 7 return to hospital: report
Superbug MRSA spreading fast, report warns
Singulair May Be Linked To Increased Risk Of Suicide
Big Bellies Linked to Alzheimer's
Sanofi's Lantus insulin favored over rival: studyBlogger: Marijke: nurse turned writer - Create Post
Becaplermin May Increase Risk of Death From Cancer in Patients With Diabetes
Drugs Approved Under Deadline More Likely to Run Into Trouble Later
Valsartan Approved in Canada for the Treatment of Patients With Chronic Heart Failure
Being born bottom first is inherited
Popular Colonoscopy Prep Solution May Pose Kidney Risks
Diabetes Drugs May Prevent Psoriasis
ARCALYST(TM), First And Only FDA-approved Treatment For Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndromes (CAPS), Now Available In The United States

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Clinical trials - would you participate?

Some people love the idea of participating in studies or clinical trials, while others shudder at the very thought. Where to you fit in? Have you ever participated in something like that?

There are many types of trials a person can find. Some are for the final testing of a new drug before it hits the market, others are for different dose effectiveness, comparisons of drugs, effectiveness of treatments, and even trials for tests - which ones diagnose better than others.

I have a poll going on over at Help My Hurt and I'd love for you to add your opinion:

Clinical Trials - have you participated or would you?

News for Today:
Hospitals that do clinical trials give better care
Teen smokers fall short
A landmark study to compare HPV tests
New Alzheimer's disease survey reveals children of sandwich caregivers assist with loved ones' care
MRI's high false positive rate has little impact on women's choice of preventive mastectomy
Preterm birth linked to lifelong health issues
Cod Liver Oil Reduces Painkiller Use

Monday, March 24, 2008

Managing pain when it affects your life

I've been whining over at about my sore neck (Posts may slow down and Officially whining now) because it's been really affecting my life for the past week. Then, I realized that this week's Company's calling feature is about a surgeon who had to retire because of unrelenting nerve pain.

One reason I write the Help My Hurt blog is because pain can have such a devastating effect on people and it has such a high economic cost for both society and the people effected. Pain, like lower back pain - which is one of the most common chronic pain complaints in the so-called developed world - costs millions of dollars to society, employers and the healthcare system.

Besides not be able to work or being able to work as efficiently as before, people who used to be very productive in their personal life can no longer keep up the pace they used to keep. Volunteers may not be able to help coach the local baseball team, the Meals on Wheels volunteer may no longer be able to drive, the lay minister may no longer be able to visit the sick, and so on. So, it really is more than just economics - it affects society.

What is the solution? More research is being done on chronic pain. At a recent conference, physicians called for chronic pain to be designated a chronic illness - but will that help at all?

Many people with chronic pain can function well at certain times. I remember the first time I was off work as a nurse with a very sore back, I could still go out and shop (I had to, I needed food) and when a coworker saw me on the bus, she was very nasty about me being supposedly off sick because I was injured. I *was* injured. I couldn't work as a nurse. I couldn't sit for long periods and I couldn't stand for long periods. But I could get out of the house and run errands if my back felt up to it and I needed to.

Maybe before the issue of chronic pain and its economic impact can be addressed, we still need to work on the social and emotional view of others who live with it?

News for Today:
Some PediaCol drops could hurt children
Health Canada warns of serious skin reactions in patients taking carbamazepine
Health Canada recalls a brand of blood thinner
Study finds pitching mound height affects throwing motion, injury risk