May Newsletter
May, 2022
Welcome to the May newsletter. This newsletter aims to provide information and analysis of timely topics from recent articles published in the medical literature. I hope you find this information useful and helpful in your health journey. If you have comments or questions, please let us know!
Hopefully, most of you were able to enjoy our recent nice weather and get outside. Entering summer should involve more time outside in the backyard, on the water, in the woods, or on the playing field. This leads us to think about sunscreen (or at least it should). I usually buy whatever sunscreen is available and don't give anything except SPF rating a thought. However, the first article highlights a report from the Environmental Working Group which made me rethink this. They found that up to 75% of the sunscreens on the market may be inadequate! Head below for links to the full report.

For many of us, pets are an important part of our lives and a part of our families. Are our pets helping protect us from dementia? Should we work harder to help people keep pets as they age? Check out the second article for more information.

The kidney is the smartest organ in our body (ask any nephrologist) but is often neglected in our health efforts. We think about our heart and lungs all the time, but our renal health isn't a priority. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) affects 1 in 7 people so we should likely give this more thought. The third article has information on a good way to protect our kidneys and prevent CKD.

I hope you enjoy these articles!

When I discussed the mRNA vaccines with many of you, I often mentioned that I was most excited about what the future could hold for this technology, especially in the field of oncology. I found this article which outlines some of the future developments for mRNA technology moving forward in oncology. Hopefully, this technology will lead to breakthrough treatments for cancer as well as infectious diseases.
Sunscreen Guidance
As we enter the unofficial start of summer, our thoughts turn to getting outside. The beach, water, and woods are calling, and Wisconsin has lots of great places for any outdoor activity you seek. Sunscreens are an important tool in the fight against skin cancer. Most of us are aware we should use sunscreen but are the sunscreens we choose for protection doing what they are supposed to? Is higher SPF better? Since 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime and the fact that having 5 or more sunburns doubles our risk for melanoma, using a good sunscreen is key for prevention. The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit research and advocacy group just issued its annual Guide to Sunscreens and found that only about one in four products met their standards for adequate sun protection and avoids ingredients linked to known health harms.  

Your Brain With Pets
Two out of three American homes include a pet. Those of us who own pets certainly love and care for them and 95% of American pet owners consider pets to be family members. But are there other benefits to pet ownership, especially as we age? Can owning a pet help to slow cognitive decline? If so, what are the mechanisms? 

How to Protect Your Kidneys
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) means your kidneys are damaged and losing their ability to keep you healthy by filtering your blood. CKD affects more than 1 in 7 U.S. adults, an estimated 37 million Americans. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two most common causes of kidney disease. Nearly 1 in 3 people with diabetes and 1 in 5 people with high blood pressure have kidney disease. Since early-stage kidney disease usually has no symptoms as many as 9 in 10 people who have CKD are not aware they have the disease, and many don’t know they have CKD until it is very advanced. 
What can we do to protect our kidneys? How can we prevent the problems that lead to kidney disease? 

To Your Health...
Thank you for taking the time to read through this newsletter. We hope you have found this information useful. Feel free to pass this on to anyone you think would benefit from this newsletter.

Mark Niedfeldt, M.D.

Old-fashioned medicine with 21st Century convenience and technology