Health, Medicine & Nutrition
National Infertility Awareness Week PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Scott Stewart   
Monday, 22 April 2013 15:04

In observance of National Infertility Week we will be discussing endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOs), within the framework of Chinese Medicine and the high success rate that we see in these cases compared to conventional medicine.

On April 23rd the focus will be on endometriosis, and April 24th will emphasize PCOs.  Both seminars take place between 6pm and 7:30pm, and are hosted by Moline Chiropractic clinic and Healing Lotus Acupuncture at 4300 12th Avenue, Moline, IL.

Seats fill – up fast, so please sign - up today! You can reserve a seat by calling (309) 764.4753 or sending an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Georgia hospital queried on discount drug program PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 19 April 2013 14:07

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Grassley, Cassidy Seek Answers from Georgia Hospital on Discount Drug Program

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Rep. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana today asked a Georgia hospital for details of its use of a federal discount prescription drug program, known as 340B.  They wrote to the Columbus Regional Healthcare System after a hospital executive said during a public interview that the hospital does not receive a “windfall of profits” from participating in the program and puts the proceeds into the hospital.

“When I looked at three North Carolina hospitals’ use of this program, the numbers showed the hospitals were reaping sizeable 340B discounts on drugs and then upselling them to fully insured patients to maximize their spread,” Grassley said.  “If ‘non-profit’ hospitals are essentially profiting from the 340B program without passing those savings to their patients, then the 340B program is not functioning as intended.  Our inquiry into the Georgia hospital will help us continue to examine hospitals’ use of the 340B program.”

Cassidy said, “As a physician who has spent 20 years caring for the uninsured, I recognize the value and importance of the 340B drug discount program. Given this importance, we must be sure that its good work is not threatened by those who misuse. Our common goal must be better care for those who are less fortunate.”

The 340B program requires drug manufacturers to give deep discounts on certain outpatient drugs to hospitals that serve large numbers of uninsured and under-insured patients.  Grassley and Cassidy are among the members of Congress who are concerned that hospitals increasingly appear to be making sizeable profits from the program at the expense of Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance.  The federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) conducted poor oversight of the program for a long period but is beginning to exert more scrutiny under pressure from Congress.

The Grassley-Cassidy letter to Columbus Regional Healthcare System is available here.

A Grassley letter to HRSA earlier this month citing the three N.C. hospitals is available here.

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Hypothyroidism is a ‘Silent Epidemic’ of Misdiagnosis, Doctor Says PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 19 April 2013 14:06
He Lists 3 Major Consequences for Sufferers

There are at least two aspects of a misdiagnosis that can cause patients harm, says Dr. Steven Hotze.

“First, it means you are not being treated for what’s actually causing illness; second, a misdiagnosis can lead to inappropriate treatments and medicines with side effects that can cause you harm,” says Dr. Hotze, founder of the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, (www.hotzehwc.com), and author of “Hormones, Health, and Happiness.”

“But there’s a quality of life issue that’s important as well. Many of my patients are women at or near middle age, and they often suffer from a multitude of symptoms including fatigue, low body temperature, brain fog, weight gain, loss of libido, hair loss and depression. Too often, they’re told by their physician that ‘nothing is wrong.’ ”

Women are more apt than men to pay attention to their bodies – and they’re right for doing so, he says. A women’s body includes a much more complex hormonal balancing act, with dramatic swings involved in the menstrual cycle.

Often, the women who come to him with that litany of symptoms do have a medical issue: hypothyroidism. Hotze calls it a “hidden epidemic” because it is so frequently un- or misdiagnosed.

The condition means the thyroid is not producing enough thyroid hormone, which affects hormone regulation. Hypothyroidism affects women seven times more frequently than men, Dr. Hotze says.

He reviews three ways in which a missed hypothyroidism diagnosis can affect a patient’s life:

•  Living with unrelieved symptoms. When a person experiences the constellation of symptoms associated with hypothyroidism and is told by multiple doctors that it’s  “just a normal part of aging,” the future can seem bleak. Many physicians will order blood work and tell the patient she’s fine because the results are “normal.” However, 95 percent of people tested for hypothyroidism fall within a range considered normal. Also, keep in mind that two different labs testing identical blood samples can provide different results.

•  Prescribed unnecessary medication with undesirable side effects. Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Paxil, Effexor, Zoloft and Fluoxetine – these are just some of the antidepressants that one in four women take, according to a recent report from MedCo. One in 10 Americans, or 30 million people, are taking pills to fight depression, and 30 percent of the women aged 35 to 60 who are taking them are doing so because of misdiagnosed hypothyroidism. Antidepressants can have numerous side effects, from nausea and irritability to sexual dysfunction and homicidal or suicidal thoughts.

•  Uncomfortable, unhealthy physical changes. Untreated hypothyroidism  causes weight gain, which can further affect a person’s emotional health. The weight gain comes with all the risks any excessive weight brings, from diabetes to heart disease.

“It has long been a cliché in our society that ‘pills are not often the answer for our mental and physical wellbeing,’ yet pharmaceutical companies continue to dominate treatment in our country,” Dr. Hotze says. “Hormone replacement therapy, as long as bioidentical hormones are used, has been proven to be a healthy and effective treatment for women suffering hypothyroidism.”

The distinction between synthetic and bioidentical hormones is important, he says; the latter have the same molecular structure as the hormones that are found naturally in the body, which means bioidentical hormone treatments cannot hurt patients. Counterfeit hormones – those that do not perfectly match the molecular structure of hormones in one’s body – can be dangerous, he says.

“Hypothyroidism and aging share an important common denominator – diminished or faulty hormone production -- so it’s easy to see how doctors can miss a diagnosis,” Hotze says. “But that makes it all the more important for physicians to listen to their patients, and that takes time. Hormone replacement therapy using bioidentical hormones help patients who are suffering extreme symptoms in both cases.”

About Steven F. Hotze, MD

Dr. Steven Hotze is the founder and CEO of the Hotze Health & Wellness Center in Houston, Texas. He’s a member of the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, and is the former president of the Pan American Allergy Society. He earned his medical degree from the University of Texas. Dr. Hotze and his wife of 44 years have eight children and 16 grandchildren.

 
Spring Sports Madness Reveals the Losing Side of Student Athletics PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 08:32
Psychiatrist Shares 4 Ways Sports-Obsessed
Families Can Affect Young Athletes

They’re called student-athletes, but many youth advocates – including psychiatrist Gary Malone, are concerned that the emphasis is on “athlete.”

“Anyone who follows sports knows that college-level and professional recruiters are looking at recruits – children – at increasingly younger ages, and it’s not because they want to ensure these athletic students get a well-rounded education,” says Malone,  a distinguished fellow in the American Psychiatric Association, and coauthor with his sister Susan Mary Malone of “What’s Wrong with My Family?” (www.whatswrongwithmyfamily.com).

“In my home state, Texas, a new high school football stadium is opening that cost $60 million dollars and seats 18,000. That’s all funded at public expense. We constantly read of districts across the country cutting academic and arts programs and teachers’ salaries due to budget shortfalls. How can this make sense?”

As a high-performing student-athlete throughout his own high school and college years, Malone says he appreciates the benefits of extracurricular programs.

“But the NCAA.’s own 2011 survey found that, by a wide margin, men’s basketball and football players are much more concerned about their performance on the field than in the classroom,” he says.

Malone reviews how the imbalance favoring athletic pursuits can damage student-athletes and the family unit:

• Life beyond sports: Only 3 percent of high school athletes will go on to compete in college; less than 1 percent of college athletes turn pro, where the average career is three years with risk of permanent injury, including brain damage, for football players. Even if they’re among the successful elite, wealth management is likely to be a major problem; some studies show that up to 78 percent of NFL players go broke after three years of retirement. Is this the best future for a child?

• Misplaced parental priorities: A parent’s obsession with a child’s success in sports can be extremely damaging to a child, to the extent of bordering on abuse. Parents who look to their children to provide them with the validation, status or other unfulfilled needs don’t have their child’s best interests at heart. Parents who tend to be domineering can be especially dangerous in the face of an athletic success obsession.

• Siblings left behind: When the family values one child’s athletic prowess over the talents and gifts displayed by his or her siblings, the latter children risk growing up without a sense of personal identity, which leads to co-dependency problems in adulthood.

• Pressured to play: Especially in the South, but throughout the entire United States, football is huge. Basketball dominates inner cities and regions like Indiana; wrestling is big in the Midwest and parts of the Northeast, and hockey might be the focus for children throughout Northeast and upper Midwest. Children, especially boys, may feel obliged or pressured to play a particular sport even if they have no talent or interest in it to the detriment of other talents that might have been developed.

“Athletics can be extremely beneficial to a young person’s life, but I think we have our priorities backwards,” Malone says. “Imagine how much better off our country might be if, instead of football, we were obsessed with our children’s performance in science and math.”

About Dr. Gary Malone, M.D. & Susan Mary Malone

Dr. Gary Malone is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern and a teaching analyst at the Dallas Psychoanalytic Institute. He is a distinguished fellow in the American Psychiatric Association with board certifications in general and addiction psychiatry. He has worked in hospitals and private practices for more than 30 years. Dr. Malone is director of Adult Chemical Dependency Services at Millwood Hospital in Arlington, Texas.

Award-winning writer and editor Susan Mary Malone is the author of the novel, “By the Book,” and three nonfiction books, including “Five Keys for Understanding Men: A Women’s Guide.” More than 40 of the book projects she has edited were purchased by traditional publishing houses. She is Dr. Malone’s sister

 
In Iowa's Interest: Carroll Native Outlines Importance of Health Insurance Coverage in Cancer Care PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Tuesday, 16 April 2013 14:50
By Senator Tom Harkin

In emotional testimony before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee last week, Carroll native Stacy Cook described her experience battling breast cancer and having to pay out-of-pocket for services when she was denied health care coverage.

The testimony came during a hearing I convened to examine progress at the state and federal levels in creating health insurance exchanges authorized by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and to review the new consumer protections that will begin in 2014. Having worked to help craft the law, I wanted to hear firsthand how these changes will impact consumers.

Cook was first diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2004, when she was 28 years old.  At the time, she was fortunate to have adequate health insurance through her job to receive the care that she needed.    But in March of 2012, after moving to Arizona, the cancer reappeared.   She underwent a mastectomy only to discover her insurance would not cover the procedure or the chemotherapy treatments she would need.  Further, the insurance would pay for only five doctor visits a year.

It was only after friends and family intervened that she was able to afford three of the six chemotherapy treatments that were recommended by her oncologist.

Cook’s growing medical bills left her unable to pay her rent in Arizona, forcing her to move back in with her family.  After she moved back to Iowa, she continued her search for health insurance coverage.  Sadly, she has been denied coverage and is continuing to pay out-of-pocket for care.

“Unfortunately, I am now $40,000 in debt because of my medical bills, and I feel that I will likely need to file bankruptcy in 2013,” she described to the HELP Committee.

As a result of the Affordable Care Act, as of January 1st of next year insurance companies cannot discriminate against Americans with preexisting conditions, or charge higher premiums based on health status or gender, and their ability to raise premiums based on age will be limited.

“I now have peace of mind knowing that, in 2014, I will no longer be denied coverage because of my pre-existing condition – cancer,” Cook continued.  “Having access to affordable insurance coverage and quality medical care will give me a better peace of mind for the future. My future is much brighter today than before the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, and for that I am very grateful.”

It is testimony like Stacy’s that make this fight so personal, so important to increasing access to quality, affordable health care in our country.  It was stories like hers that inspired the debate when we were crafting this law and will lead to the progress when the full benefits of this law are realized next year.

If you have a story about how the Affordable Care Act will help you or your family, please share it via my website at http://www.harkin.senate.gov/.

A PDF version of this article is available by clicking here.

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