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In this blog, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Wellness with a Lifestyle Checklist, preventive medicine expert J. Joseph Speidel, MD, MPH, describes why most of us have a lifestyle that is harming our health and provides a science-based strategy to reverse the lifestyle-related damage that leads to illness and early death. Readers will learn how to prevent up to 90% of diabetes, 80% of heart disease, nearly 50% of cancers, and add 10 to 15 years to life. Each blog focuses on an important health-related topic including nutrition, weight control, heart disease, and cancer.
2023-05-31 01:33
The Lifestyle Checklist includes both behaviors like healthy nutrition and factors, sometimes called biomarkers, that are indicators of good health, such as blood pressure values. For each h… Read More
2023-05-10 01:52
Many diseases that may or may not ultimately be fatal, can become chronic and have a severe impact on the quality of life. About 100 million Americans—almost 1 out of every 2 adults ha… Read More
2023-05-08 01:44
At the beginning of the 20th-century, the communicable infectious diseases, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and diarrheal disease were the three leading causes of death in the U.S. Heart disease wa… Read More
2023-05-05 01:41
This blog and my book,  The Building Blocks of Health  presents the science that underlies a health-restoring, health-preserving lifestyle.  Readers interested in health shoul… Read More
2023-05-03 01:39
Most of medicine is focused on curing, rather than preventing disease. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how little we invested in the public health infrastructure that could have been mobi… Read More
2023-04-26 01:54
Welcome to a new blog with the goal of helping you to take charge of and improve your health by adopting a healthy lifestyle. I’m J. Joseph Speidel MD, MPH a physician and researcher w… Read More
2023-04-21 01:50
Visual impairment may make normal daily activities such as driving and reading difficult or impossible. Fortunately, 80% of all visual impairment can be prevented or corrected. About two-thi… Read More
2023-04-04 01:39
Although pharmaceuticals are designed to enhance health, some have the potential to cause problems. When outdated and unused drugs are put into trash or flushed, they may end up in our wate… Read More
2023-04-03 01:49
Hearing loss is common; 23% of Americans aged 12 or older have hearing loss that significantly impairs the quality of their lives. An estimated 25.4 million Americans have mild, 10.7 million… Read More
2023-04-03 01:46
Don’t use pesticides for pests Pesticides are toxic chemicals for killing insects, rodents, weeds, bacteria, and mold. • Keep insects and rodents out of your home. Clean up crumbs… Read More
2023-04-03 01:41
In an effort to reduce exposures to environmental toxins, the U.S. has established a National Priorities List (NPL) of hazardous waste sites eligible for long-term remedial cleanup financed… Read More
2023-04-03 01:38
Among the chemicals suspected of being endocrine disruptors, bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates (key ingredients in plastics) are probably the best studied and the research is indicative that… Read More
2023-03-31 01:20
An endocrine disruptor is a substance or mixture of chemicals that alter functions of the endocrine system and causes adverse health effects in an intact organism, or its progeny. Endocrine… Read More
2023-03-29 01:17
Some toxins, such as pesticides, affect the nervous system, and there is thought to be a link between exposure to them and increases in learning and developmental disabilities such as autis… Read More
2023-03-27 01:15
Exposure to tobacco smoke and other forms of air pollution in pregnancy is associated with a wide range of behavioral, neurological, and physical difficulties in babies including stillbirth… Read More
2023-03-20 01:10
It is not unusual for outdoor air pollution to come indoors by way of open windows, doors, and ventilation. Indoor air pollution involves exposures to particulates, carbon oxides, and other… Read More
2023-03-17 01:09
A wide array of chronic illnesses and acute health impacts is associated with air pollution exposure. Research has shown that long-term exposure to air pollutants can reduce lung growth and… Read More
2023-03-08 01:02
There are many conditions and diseases involving the urologic and reproductive systems, such as bladder infections that require treatment with antibiotics. They are more common in women and… Read More
2023-03-06 01:00
The risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth are often underestimated. In a recent study in the U.S., only about half of women were aware that pregnancy entails significant health risk… Read More
2023-02-27 00:49
Because a person can have an STI without having obvious symptoms of a disease, the term sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is the preferred usage, but the term sexually transmitted disea… Read More
2023-02-24 00:47
To get around the stringent rules that apply to prescription drug advertising, the ads on TV offering help for Low-T do not advertise a specific product. Because they can be considered to be… Read More
2023-02-22 00:46
Hormone therapy for women after their menopause was once advocated as a way to prevent both menopausal symptoms and cardiovascular disease—this proved to be only partially correct. The… Read More
2023-02-20 00:44
Abortion International research shows that women with unintended pregnancies in all countries use abortion to attain their childbearing goals, regardless of its legal status. In the U.S., ha… Read More
2023-02-17 00:42
Combined oral contraceptives (COCs) Combined oral contraceptives contain synthetic versions of naturally occurring estrogen and progesterone. COC users may experience a variety of minor side… Read More
2023-02-15 00:41
Injectable progestin contraceptives (e.g., Depo-Provera or DMPA), do not contain an estrogen, so they do not increase the risk of the adverse cardiovascular problems experienced by some comb… Read More
2023-02-13 00:40
Contraceptive implants The contraceptive implant Nexplanon® is a highly effective long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) method. Nexplanon® has FDA approval for three years of u… Read More
2023-02-10 00:38
The risk of serious harm from contraceptives is low for most women, particularly when compared to the risks to health associated with pregnancy. Some contraceptives have health benefits beyo… Read More
2023-02-06 00:32
Unintended pregnancies, that is to say, pregnancies that are unplanned or unwanted, are a frequent occurrence and a global problem. In the United States, nearly half (45%) of the 6 million a… Read More
2023-01-30 00:50
The decision to start a medication to halt or reverse bone loss should be made only after a thorough medical evaluation and with expert medical advice. Some experts consider that there are t… Read More
2023-01-27 00:48
Osteoporosis is often called a silent disease because bone loss occurs without symptoms. People may not know that they have osteoporosis until their bones become so weak that a sudden stress… Read More
2023-01-25 00:43
A 2013 review by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) suggests that routine use of vitamin D and calcium supplementation by postmenopausal women is not of proven value for the pr… Read More
2023-01-23 00:42
Calcium needs change over one’s lifetime, with the greatest needs during childhood, adolescence, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. Postmenopausal women and older men may also need to consu… Read More
2023-01-16 00:36
Osteoporosis or “porous bone” is a common condition of the skeletal system characterized by low bone mass and the deterioration and weakening of bone tissue. Osteopenia is the mi… Read More
2023-01-11 00:31
The CDC has specific vaccination recommendations for children, college ages, and young adults ages 19 through 24, adults, and seniors. There are also recommendations for catching up on immun… Read More
2023-01-09 00:29
Because of low levels of vaccine-preventable diseases in the U.S., lack of knowledge about the importance of vaccination, and unrealistic fears about the risks of vaccination, some people ar… Read More
2023-01-06 00:27
Vaccines are not free from side effects, or “adverse effects,” but most are very rare or very mild—for example, a sore arm or low-grade fever—and they go away within… Read More
2023-01-04 00:25
The development of vaccination to prevent infectious disease is among the most important medical and public health advances that prevents illness, suffering, long-term disability, and death… Read More
2023-01-02 00:23
Preventing all infections is not possible, but the risk of infection can be minimized by sanitary day-to-day behavioral practices. Cover up and wear a face mask To minimize spreading germs… Read More
2022-12-30 00:45
Just about any part of the human body can become infected. We are all familiar with colds and other respiratory infections, gastrointestinal and urinary tract infections, but less common in… Read More
2022-12-28 00:39
In the short term, the spread of COVID-19 infections can be prevented to some extent by containment—the testing, identification, and isolation of cases and their contacts. Given the h… Read More
2022-12-26 00:34
By December 2020, the known global infections with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 had topped 66 million, caused more than 1.5 million deaths, and cases are occurring in all or nearly all countr… Read More
2022-12-23 00:32
A disease outbreak is called an epidemic when the number of people who become infected in a country or setting rises well beyond what is usual. A pandemic infects many more people and entail… Read More
2022-12-21 00:25
Recently, decreased acceptance of vaccination has resulted in the re-emergence of previously well-controlled and, at times, fatal diseases such as whooping cough (pertussis) and measles. Abo… Read More
2022-12-19 00:24
Worldwide, infections are a very common cause of human disease and death. Clean water, sanitary handling of food, control of insect and animal sources of infection, use of vaccinations, and… Read More
2022-12-16 00:21
Clearly, mental health has a major influence on the quality of life, physical health, and health care costs. Mood disorders, anxiety, psychosis, and many other mental health conditions are m… Read More
2022-12-14 00:19
In addition to cannabis, ecstasy, LSD, PCP, mescaline, peyote, psilocybin, psilocin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and a variety of opioids, opium, morphine, heroin, oxycodone (OxyContin), hydr… Read More
2022-12-12 00:16
CBD—a nonintoxicating component of marijuana Consumption of cannabidiol, or CBD, is a new wildly popular fad being touted as a miracle cure for a wide variety of ailments. CBD is one o… Read More
2022-12-09 00:14
Marijuana has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be used as a medicine. The uncertain purity and dosages of smoked and edible marijuana are not likely to be… Read More
2022-12-07 00:12
Effects of long-term or heavy use include: • Addiction (in about 9% of users overall or 2.7 million Americans, 17% of those who begin use in adolescence, and 25% to 50% of those who are… Read More
2022-12-05 00:10
Although the public favors legalization and 60% of high school seniors do not think that regular marijuana use is harmful, marijuana does have a plethora of adverse short-term and long-term… Read More
2022-12-02 00:06
Marijuana and other psycho-active drugs can cause symptoms and behavior changes similar to those caused by mental health issues. As of August 2019, thirty-three states and the District of Co… Read More
2022-11-30 01:30
In contrast to a short-term psychosis or “break,” schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that has the prominent symptom of psychosis. Schizophrenia affe… Read More
2022-11-28 01:28
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) describes psychosis as: “An episode of psychosis is when a person has a break from reality and often involves seeing, hearing and believi… Read More
2022-11-25 01:27
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have a broad range of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment or disability. ASD is characterized by: • Persistent deficits in social com… Read More
2022-11-21 01:22
Anxiety disorders Anxiety is a normal response to life stresses. It is normal to have worries and get upset from time to time, but for some people, the level of anxiety gets out of control r… Read More
2022-11-18 01:21
Depression should not be neglected. Although about one-third of patients with depression recover spontaneously, early intervention with professional mental health care can help avoid the con… Read More
2022-11-16 01:19
Suicide is associated with mental illness. Those who have chronic mood disorders such as depression or psychosis are 10 to 20 times more likely to commit suicide. About 7% of men and 1% of w… Read More
2022-11-09 01:14
Adopting a healthy lifestyle can preserve and improve mental health as well as physical health. In the course of everyone’s life, events bring anxieties, fears, and stresses. Managing… Read More
2022-11-07 01:12
Trauma and stressor-related disorders Reactive attachment disorder (RAD) is a serious condition in which an infant or young child doesn’t establish healthy attachments with parents or… Read More
2022-11-02 01:06
The U.S. health system gives much attention to screening, diagnosis, and treatment of overt mental illness, and much less to preventing mental health problems and the enhancement of mental h… Read More
2022-10-26 00:04
The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans140 use the term “physical activity” to refer to bodily movement that enhances health. This is a different lens than considerin… Read More
2022-10-21 00:15
The beneficial effects of increasing physical activity: it’s about overload, progression, and specificity Overload is the physical stress placed on the body when physical activity is g… Read More
2022-10-19 00:14
A warm-up or cool-down involves doing an activity at a slower speed or lower intensity. A warm-up before activity allows a gradual increase in heart rate and breathing at the start of the ep… Read More

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