VOL 18/ Issue: #2 / Spring 2022 View as Webpage
Dr. Osterholm is a world-renowned epidemiologist who was credited with first elucidating TOXIC SHOCK SYNDROME in the 1980’s, and he provides comprehensive and understandable/actionable ideas related to COVID.

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Fall Asleep Faster With Mental Tricks That Calm Your Racing Mind
You're exhausted, your body yawning for sleep. Yet once your head hits the pillow, your mind is flooded with worry, making sleep elusive, at times impossible.

Don't fret, experts say: There are relaxation techniques you can use to calm that racing mind.
"Think of these relaxation exercises as tools in your tool kit for better sleep," said sleep specialist Rebecca Robbins, an instructor in the division of sleep medicine for Harvard Medical School.

What You Should Know About The Most Underrated
Form Of Exercise. . . .
For many of us, walking doesn’t seem like anything special. It’s just something we do every day. But walking is actually one of the best forms of exercise out there.

Scores of studies show that this simple form of movement has a wealth of wide-ranging benefits, including better physical and mental health, increased mindfulness and enhanced communication skills.

“Walking is the most underrated, corrective, mind-body, fat-burning exercise available to humans,” said Dana Santas, a CNN fitness contributor, certified strength and conditioning specialist, and mind-body coach in professional sports. “I walk every single day.”

Here are several things everyone should know about this simple, yet beneficial, form of exercise. (Important note: Before beginning any new exercise program, consult your doctor. Stop immediately if you feel pain.)

Walking improves your health
A walking regimen can help you lose weight; lower your blood pressure and cholesterol; and reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes and cancer; among other benefits.
“Walking for Health,” a special report issued by Harvard Medical School, says that walking can do more to combat disease and other health conditions than pretty much anything else. One example: Walking just two-and-a-half hours a week, or just under 22 minutes a day, might reduce your risk of heart disease by an impressive 30%.

It improves memory and cognitive capability
Numerous studies show that walking is a brain booster.
study published in a 2010 issue of the journal Neurology found a link between walking and a greater amount of gray matter in the brain. For example, research from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville indicated walking lessened the risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in elderly men.

It boosts your mood and lowers stress
Walking even a few minutes a day calms anxiety and enhances your mood. This is especially true if you’re walking outside in nature, a setting that numerous studies show is beneficial in myriad ways.
You can strengthen your muscles, bones and joints. Your leg and abdominal muscles get a workout when you walk, as do your arms if you’re pumping them or using trekking poles.
Your bones benefit, too, as walking is a weight-bearing exercise, which is great for building bone strength. And as you walk, your motion helps bring oxygen and nutrients into your joint cartilage, which has no direct blood supply.

Walking is energizing, yet also helps you sleep
A walking regimen helps boost your energy levels, but don’t worry if you suffer from insomnia. Women ages 50 to 75 who walked for an hour every morning were less likely to have insomnia than those who did not, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

It’s a safe, easy exercise for newbies
Some 17% to 50% of Americans are inactive, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with percentages varying by state and territory. For these people, walking is arguably the cardiorespiratory exercise best suited to them, said Evan Matthews, associate professor of exercise science and physical education at New Jersey’s Montclair State University.
“This is because it is likely a familiar movement, removing the learning curve that occurs with a new form of physical activity and the intimidation factor many feel when starting out,” he said. Walking is also safe with one of the lowest exercise injury rates, according to a report by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Matthews noted those without the stamina to finish a 30-minute walk can break it up into small chunks, something not easily doable if you need to exercise at a gym. “This could be a 10-minute walk to work, a 10-minute walk on your lunch break and a 10-minute walk home from work.

How 15 Minutes of Mental Health Hygiene Can
Change Your Whole Day
You brush your teeth twice a day to keep plaque from building up and see a dentist regularly for extra maintenance. It’s just good hygiene.

But how often are you practicing mental hygiene?

Whether you have a specific concern or are just trying to get through your day a little better, taking about 15 minutes each morning to maintain your mental health is something everyone could benefit from, said Broderick Sawyer, a clinical psychologist in Louisville, Kentucky.

“This is the mental health equivalent of brushing your teeth before you need a root canal,” he said.

The hygiene comes in the form of lowering levels of cortisol, the main stress hormone. An intentional daily practice for stress relief not only makes you feel better today – studies suggest it could improve your well-being later in life.

Increased cortisol levels can lead to a number of physical health complications, according to research from 2020. And a study from 2016 found that emotional regulation has been shown to improve health resilience in older age.

Sawyer has culled together a method for mental health hygiene. He explained why it should be part of your routine and how you can build it into your life.

Dental Updates From Marie
'Taking Care of Yourself Post Pandemic'

To say that the Covid 19 pandemic brought overwhelming changes to the lives and lifestyles of everyone would be an understatement. While many of the changes experienced persist and will, perhaps, continue. There is one question that we all face: How did we and are we taking care of ourselves?
With the introduction of appropriate protocols, the development of the Covid 19 vaccine and vaccine boosters, we have reached the stage where there is safety in seeking health care which often was neglected during this pandemic period.   Mental health during this particularly stressful time was in jeopardy, in addition to general health and well-being. Many patients suffered because of treatment delays and continue to do so.  For a significant period, many necessary treatments and procedures were postponed because they were designated as elective when treating Covid cases became a priority.  
At the present time, although Covid cases persist and increase in many areas, elective procedures are being done and needed health care is being addressed. Be sure to check the date of your last physical exam; It would not be surprising to find that you are well overdue to have that done. Many people have been busy addressing job commitments, or managing other issues, or it has been simply a forgotten matter. Whatever the reason, it is important to return to scheduling your health care appointments and get back on track to maintain your total health.

Maintaining good oral health
In prior newsletter articles, the impact of oral health status on your general health and well-being has been addressed, as well as many of the consequences resulting from poor oral health. Therefore, addressing your oral health care needs is of utmost importance. During the pandemic, unless an emergency occurred, delaying care and treatment was an easy option. However, currently, it is essential that appropriate care and necessary treatment is done.
The following is a very brief review of oral health as a window to your overall health and its connection on how to protect your oral health along with recommendations on how to manage this.

Connection between oral health and general health
Your oral health offers clues about the status of your overall health and problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body.
Your mouth teems with bacteria – mostly harmless if maintained in a balanced state. However, your mouth is the entry point to your digestive and respiratory tracts, and some of these bacteria can cause disease, as well as other health problems.
Typically, the body’s natural defenses and good oral health care such as daily brushing and flossing, keep bacteria under proper control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that could lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease.
Also, certain medications such as decongestants, antihistamines, analgesics, diuretics, and antidepressants can reduce salivary flow. Saliva washes away food and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, helping to protect you from microbes that multiply and lead to disease.
Studies suggest that oral bacteria and the inflammation associated with a severe form of gum disease/periodontitis might play a role in some diseases. Also, certain diseases, such as diabetes can lower the body’s resistance to infection, making oral health problems more severe.

Conditions linked to oral health
Your poor oral health might contribute to various diseases and conditions
Endocarditis – This infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers or valves (endocardium) typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to certain areas in your heart.
 Cardiovascular disease – Although the connection is not fully understood, some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.

Pregnancy and birth complications – Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
Pneumonia – Certain bacteria in your mouth can be pulled into your lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
Cancers – The same bacteria that causes periodontitis has been identified in pancreatic tumors, other cancer lesions, and inflammatory diseases. (For additional information on this topic review the article “Your Oral Health and its Link to Systemic Diseases” which appeared in the Summer 2020 edition of Dr. Lakin’s newsletter.)

Conditions that might also affect your oral health
Diabetes – By reducing the body’s resistance to infection, diabetes puts your gums at risk. Gum disease appears to be more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes.
Research has demonstrated that people who have gum disease have a more difficult time controlling their blood sugar levels. Regular periodontal care can improve diabetes control.
Epilepsy – Unfortunately, the medications used to treat this brain disorder can also produce side effects in the mouth. One side effect often associated is gingival hyperplasia, an overgrowth of gum tissue. To combat this problem, practicing excellent oral hygiene, including regular visits to the dentist and hygienist is crucial to monitor and manage this issue.
Osteoporosis – This bone-weaking disease is linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Certain drugs used to treat osteoporosis carry a small risk of damage to the bones of the jaw.
Alzheimer’s disease – worsening oral health is seen as Alzheimer’s disease progresses.
Other conditions that might be linked to oral health include eating disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, certain cancers, and an immune system disorder that causes dry mouth (Sjogren’s syndrome).
Your oral health care provider should be informed about the medication you take and about changes in your overall health, especially if you have been ill recently or have a chronic condition such as diabetes, or if you notice any change in taste or smell.

How to protect your oral health
Establishing a good oral hygiene foundation by practicing good oral hygiene daily is only one part of maintaining your oral health. Protecting your teeth and gums from injury and damage is just as important.
*Drink fluoridated water and brush with fluoride toothpaste.
*Brush your teeth at least twice daily for two minutes each time. Use a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste.
*Floss or use an interdental cleaner daily.
*Eat a healthy diet and limit sugary food and drinks.
*Avoid letting debris remain on your teeth. If you eat or drink during the day and   cannot brush your teeth afterward, rinse your mouth out with water instead.
*Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if bristles are  splayed or worn.  
*Avoid tobacco use.
*Use a mouth guard. If you play a contact sport, don’t take a chance; use a correctly fitting mouth guard every time.
*Schedule regular dental checkups and professional cleanings which are a vital part of maintaining good oral health. Also, be sure to contact your dentist as soon as an oral health problem arises.

Once your oral health declines, it is hard to get back on the right track. No matter how healthy your teeth and gums are now, it is worth trying to ensure that they stay in the best condition possible. Investing just a few minutes a day in maintaining your oral health can make a major difference in how your teeth and gums will look and feel years ahead. Statistically, those who have healthy teeth and gums live 7-10 years longer!

Make an investment in your general health, take care of your oral health.

Marie C. Jacobs, D.D.S.
Professor Emerita Loyola University Chicago
Scientists Say They Have Nailed Down The Ideal Amount Of Sleep In Middle And Old Age
The optimum amount of sleep is not too little but not too much -- at least in middle and old age.
New research has found that around seven hours of sleep is the ideal night's rest, with insufficient and excessive sleep associated with a reduced ability to pay attention, remember and learn new things, solve problems and make decisions.

Seven hours of slumber was also found to be linked with better mental health, with people experiencing more symptoms of anxiety and depression and worse overall well-being if they reported sleeping for longer or shorter stints.
"While we can't say conclusively that too little or too much sleep causes cognitive problems, our analysis looking at individuals over a longer period of time appears to support this idea,"Jianfeng Feng, a professor at China's Fudan University and an author of the study published in the scientific journal Nature Aging, said in a statement.

Are You Drinking Enough Water?
Click on the picture below for the answer!
Tom's Travels

Last fall was a good moment for a reunion with my three surviving brothers in Western Pennsylvania so we flew back for that reason. Rather than spending tourist time in Pittsburgh we concentrated on several small towns close to my birthplace. My high school and college town , called California, is on the Monongahela River and got its name from East Coast pioneers determined to make their fortune in1849’s gold rush. They were tired after crossing the many mountains ranges so they settled by the river and called their settlement California.
Every time I return my good friends from California High school class of 1956 arrange a luncheon and about twenty people show up for a mini reunion. The nearby river has the stone remnants of a bridge that my daring Lithuanian American uncles used to dive from into the river. Several members of my family got their teaching degrees in California from a Normal School there, later called a Teacher’s College and which now is a university.
Another favorite eating place in the country along historic National Route 40 is Century Inn founded in 1794. The inn has hosted notables like James K Polk, the Marquis de Lafayette, Abraham Lincoln, General Santa Ana, and Andrew Jackson. The rooms you can stay in are elegant with period furnishings and the food is delicious. 
The 1834 farmhouse where I was born and grew up was deteriorating so my brother had the house burned as a drill for local firemen. He used the cornerstone with the date engraved into it along with foundation stones to build a living room fireplace. Flowers and fall decor like you see here are the specialty of my sister in law and my brother has a new modern barn after a wind shear leveled the old barn where we ran a dairy farm.
In the nearby Monongahela River town of Brownsville is found historic Bowman’s Castle (built in 1789) that was a stop on the Underground Railway of Civil War Days. Also on National Route 40 if you follow it into the Allegheny Mountains you come to the Laurel Highlands vacation area and the falls at Ohiopyle. A feature of recent years is a company that helps you run the rapids on the Youghiogheny River. However at our age we are happy to listen to the roar of the falls and stroll along the water.

Happy Travels!

Why does coffee make you poop?
Experts explain . . . .
For some people, coffee jump-starts their bowel movements in addition to their energy.
Despite the drink's popularity, there isn't a lot of research on why coffee sends many people running to the bathroom within minutes of consuming it.

"In some cases, as with coffee and bowel movements, there likely just hasn't been the medical demand to merit serious investigation," Dr. Kyle Staller, director of the Gastrointestinal Motility Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital, said via email.

"It may also be a case of obviousness, meaning it doesn't take multiple studies to know that coffee induces bowel movements when it's such a part of many people's daily lives."

Coffee's effect on colon activity might have more to do with special compounds than just caffeine.
There just might be something special about coffee, and the research that exists proves "that patients are right," said Staller, also an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Some small studies have shown that drinking coffee was more effective than warm water at inducing bowel movements -- that's saying something since "water is an integral part of normal digestion with large amounts being released and reabsorbed by your digestive tract every day," he said.

5 Endocrinologist Tips for People With Diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes, it means your body isn’t using insulin the way it should. Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas that helps move sugar from your blood to your muscles and other cells so they have enough energy to function.

With type 2 diabetes, though, you need more insulin than usual to do this task. That means your pancreas has to do more work. It’s basically like it’s running on a treadmill trying to keep up. When doctors treat type 2 diabetes, we prescribe lifestyle changes and medications to patients with the goal of helping the pancreas do its job as well as possible for as long as possible. We tell patients to cut down on sugar intake, so the pancreas doesn’t have as much work to do, we give medications that help insulin work more effectively and we also often prescribe insulin to help do some of the pancreas’ job for it. 

There are different types of insulin; some is taken with meals, some is taken just once a day, and some is taken a few times a day. Your doctor will work with you to determine the best fit for you.

Controlling diabetes means committing to a healthier overall lifestyle, as well as taking medication regularly, so I always share the following with my patients to keep them on track:

How The Hamburger Became An American Staple. . .
And Where To Get Classic Burgers Today
Whether you're in the heartland of the United States or halfway across the world, when you crave an American meal, you're probably sinking your teeth into a hamburger.

While most Americans can't remember a time without them, hamburgers only started to become widely popular in the United States roughly a century ago.

Few burger restaurants from that era continue to serve burgers made with meat ground fresh daily. Fewer still also serve those burgers the way they were made back in the day.

George Motz, a burger scholar of sorts, has dedicated more than 20 years of his life to traveling across the United States researching hamburgers. After producing, shooting, editing and directing his 2004 documentary film "Hamburger America," Motz went on to publish a state-by-state burger guide, and later his first cookbook, "The Great American Burger Book," in 2016.
Most recently, he hosts Burger Scholar Sessions on Complex Media's "First We Feast," which is in its fourth season on YouTube.

"I like to say I've eaten more hamburgers in more places than you have," Motz said.
We'd have to agree: Motz estimates he's probably eaten some 20,000 burgers in his life, with no plans to stop anytime soon.
During his travels, Motz has found burger joints that continue to sling their burgers like they did over a century ago.

While such establishments remain few in contrast to their countless fast food chain counterparts, they hold a key to America's hamburger history.
Motz has shared five of the classics with CNN Travel. But first, a bit of hamburger history.

Penne with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes (Spring)

Quick penne is easy to whip up on a weeknight but impressive enough that some fans have even served it for a holiday dinner.

  • Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

  • 8 ounces penne pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (about 9 ounces) cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup shelled fresh peas
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  2. In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the asparagus, season with the salt and pepper, and cook for 3 minutes until slightly soft. Add the cherry tomatoes and peas. Cook for 2 minutes. Pour the chicken stock into the pan and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook until the tomatoes start to burst and the stock is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
  3. Transfer the asparagus mixture to a large serving bowl. Add the cooked pasta and 1/2 of the Parmesan. Toss well, adding reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Garnish with the remaining Parmesan and chopped basil.

Did You Know Dr Lakin Has an Online Gift Shop?
Welcome to our online store!
Thanks to CafePress.com, we can sell a number of products with unique graphics on them. Feel free to browse our store and buy anything you like!

**Please note:
100% of all profits from the shop are donated to the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center, for breast cancer research.
Paradise Valley Medical Clnic
Douglas M. Lakin , MD
9977 N 90th Street, Suite 180 Scottsdale, AZ 85258
480.614.5800 (Ph) 480.614.6322 (Fax)