Summer/Fall ’18

Wheat harvest is finished and all crops are now planted. Melons, peaches, and many other crops are being harvested and processed for our consumption. This is the peak time for produce in our area and a great time for you to enjoy nature’s summer bounty. Please take the time to utilize these fruits and vegetables. They are truly life-saving in their benefits. Go to the farmers market. They have so much to offer and it’s fun!

It will not be long before fall harvest, always an exciting time for our agricultural area. Be extra vigilant with the large farm equipment as we share the highways during this time of year. When you see the big combines out in the fields, it’s time to get your FLU vaccine. This year things are changing in the flu vaccine arena. Companies are making significant improvements in flu vaccine development. Research has given them further science to help prevent resistance to the flu vaccine that we have seen in the past. In addition, there is no longer an egg allergy issue with the new vaccines. Both will be improvements for this years vaccine. Please get yours at the office this year. You do not need an appointment, just stop by and get the protection you need. Influenza kills people, period. Don’t be stupid.

Let’s change gears for awhile. Two things that I’ve read more and more about is the use of turmeric powder/capsules and CBD oil. First, several studies are showing that turmeric powder and specifically curcumin may have significant improvements to our memory. This supplement combined with 1 oz of dark chocolate and 2.5 oz of walnuts daily have shown to out-perform many of the medicines we now use for early dementia. Secondly, the use of CBD oil supplements has exploded. Some of the claims are suspect in my opinion, but there have been promising results in the area of pain, headaches,anxiety and tremors. Be cautious on what you buy. These CBD oils MUST be absorbable to give us any positive results. I’m concerned that not all CBD products that are on the market have enough absorption to be helpful. Be selective when you try these products.

Back to vaccines for a minute, there is a new improved vaccine for shingles. It is called Shringrix and it replaces Zostavax. This new vaccine should be used even if you have already had Zostavax in the past or if you have never had chickenpox as a child. It can be given to people ages 50 and up. If you have had a recent case of shingles ask us about the correct timing for administration.

Moving on let’s talk about the lowdown on blood pressure. In 2015 a large government-sponsored study called SPRINT (Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial) was released, which found that lowering your systolic blood pressure to below 120 was beneficial for cardiovascular outcomes. In other words, it lowered your risk of heart attacks or stroke. That being said, it is very difficult to get and maintain a patients blood pressure at or below 120. Particularly in those patients who are not motivated to make significant lifestyle changes ( weight loss, exercise, not smoking, diet improvements, and moderating alcohol intake). Overshooting the blood pressure goal can have disastrous consequences with the side-effects of low blood pressure. Therefore, a more realistic approach is to keep your systolic blood pressure below 130. This will still add millions of Americans into the range of hypertension, but may have few side effects compared to its benefits.

Let’s have a safe end to the summer and a great start to fall. School is back in session and it won’t be long before the pumpkins will be arriving from field to stores. A word of caution, DON’T drink and drive. That was brought home again to me recently when a dear friend of mine nearly lost his life to such stupidity. It’s simple………..either don’t drink or call someone to get you home. It’s a sobering reminder of how precious life is and how quickly it can be lost.

Keep care and stay healthy til next time,

Doc Tom