RateMDs Health Blog https://www.ratemds.com/blog Doctors You Can Trust Sat, 01 Aug 2015 13:18:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 How Much Should You Stand Each Day? https://www.ratemds.com/blog/how-much-you-should-stand-each-day/ https://www.ratemds.com/blog/how-much-you-should-stand-each-day/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 13:59:40 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=16217

We all know it’s very unhealthy to be sitting on your butt for very long hours every day. While exercise is always good, researchers show that spending just two hours a day standing or moving around can have a real positive impact on your health.

In a new study published in the European Heart Journal, researchers had 782 participants wear activity trackers for seven days around the clock. The trackers monitored how much time the men and women spent stepping, sitting, standing, sleeping or lying down.

With the data, researchers used a mathematical model to calculate how time in each condition could affect men and women’s health.

They found spending two extra hours a day standing instead of sitting was linked to better blood sugar levels and lower levels of fat in the blood. If we want to get specific, that’s 2% lower average blood sugar levels and 11% lower levels of triglycerides.

Spending an extra two hours standing was also linked to a noticeably lower body mass index (BMI) and waist size.

More research is still needed, but the study is in line with the longstanding belief that moving around is better for our health than lounging around. Maybe that standing desk isn’t such a stupid idea…

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1000 Musicians Play Foo Fighters’ ‘Learn To Fly’ at the Same Time Calling on the Power of Music https://www.ratemds.com/blog/1000-musicians-play-foo-fighters-learn-to-fly-at-the-same-time-calling-on-the-power-of-music/ https://www.ratemds.com/blog/1000-musicians-play-foo-fighters-learn-to-fly-at-the-same-time-calling-on-the-power-of-music/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 06:55:19 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=15993

by Victoria Simpson

I need playtime. I think all adults need playtime. As psychiatrist Dr Stuart Brown put it in a Ted Talk on it’s importance, “The opposite of play is not work, it’s depression.”

Dr Brown spent decades taking “play histories” from patients, and found it to be one of the common elements absent in a group of homicidal young men. He concluded it was essential for brain development.

“Nothing,” he says, “lights up the brain like play.”

Play, in children and adults alike brings joy and stress-release. According to Brown it “builds complex, skilled, responsive, socially adept and flexible brains,” and, above all, it brings us together.

So, when 1000 people gathered together to play ‘Learn to Fly’ by the Foo Fighters in a field in Cesena,



we don’t think it’s weird- we recognize it for what it is. Total playtime. The gathering sounds fun-it sounds cool. It sounds amazing, and we wish we had the chance to be there. We want to take it all in and do our part.

But why such a strong turn out, for one band?

Music as an emotional tool is muscular and holds just as much power as play in engaging our minds and souls. Listening to a favorite song or album fuels the brain’s pleasure centers and builds arousal.

Valorie Salimpoor, a researcher at McGill University in Montreal says, “”It’s like a temporary roller coaster of emotions, with no severe consequences. The intensity of the feelings the music evokes is highly reinforcing.”

2081568036_69df21bae2_o_dAnd live shows with lights and choreography can intensify these feelings much more. Some concert goers attain an almost religious experience, at a loss for words to explain their emotions, as detailed in one Swedish study.

When developing a taste for a favorite group or genre in our formative years, identifying with a certain type of music can help to answer the question, “Who am I?”

And so when Fabio Zaffagnini created Rockin’ 1000 to entice Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters to come to Italy and put on a show in his town, it’s my guess that the opportunity for multiple healthy highs, the chance to meet a thousand other like-minded souls and to re-affirm one’s identity through public, directed playtime created just as strong a pull in people as about a 1 in 20 chance at winning the lottery. Or better.

Zaffagnini’s project has been in the works for almost a year with a crowd-funding video calling musicians to action on Vimeo.

The Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl is currently mending a broken leg that he suffered on-stage while rockin’ out in Sweden but this hasn’t stopped him from performing.

Foo Fighters


Not only did he keep playing while having his leg splinted in the Nordic region mid-concert, he cranked out a solo with his cast at a show in New Jersey earlier this month.

Cesena is a lovely city of about 97, 000, people give or take, set at the foot of the Apennines, close to the beautiful Adriatic Sea. Sounds like Dave’s up for the party. People will come in droves. Everyone will love some time to play.

Let’s hope the Foo Fighters can band together and make it happen. May the power of music play out.











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Abortion Pill RU-486 Approved in Canada https://www.ratemds.com/blog/abortion-pill-ru-486-now-available-in-canada/ https://www.ratemds.com/blog/abortion-pill-ru-486-now-available-in-canada/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 18:08:41 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=15930

Health Canada approved the abortion drug known as RU-486 yesterday for use in Canada, a drug that is already available in 60 countries worldwide as a safe means to terminate pregnancy.

Women seeking the drug will need a prescription from a doctor to purchase the abortion solution made by Linepharma International Limited.

RU-486 will be sold under the brand name Mifegymiso. It has been available for use in the United States since 2000, and in France since 1988.

The drug, which will help to improve access to abortion care for women in rural communities that currently lack abortion providers, can be used safely as late as 70 days into a pregnancy, although officials think Health Canada may have set an earlier limit on its use.

Mifegymiso is a two-part drug. It consists of mifepristone, which blocks the production of progesterone, a hormone needed to sustain pregnancy and misoprostol, a hormone that tells the uterus to contract and expel the placenta and fetus.

Officials say that, initially, access to the drug will likely be restricted to availability through health-care professionals who already provide abortion services. In time, it is believed that more doctors will come on board as prescribers, making the drug more widely available.

The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada reports that while two-thirds of all abortions are done in a hospital and covered by Medicare, the availability of hospital abortions is disappearing from smaller communities across the country with less than one in five hospitals in Canada providing the controversial service.




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What Happens to Your Body When You Drink a Can of Coke? https://www.ratemds.com/blog/what-happens-to-your-body-when-you-drink-a-can-of-coke/ https://www.ratemds.com/blog/what-happens-to-your-body-when-you-drink-a-can-of-coke/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:00:33 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=15834

When you drink a can of Coke, you’re taking in 39 grams of sugar, 45 milligrams of sodium, some phosphoric acid, caffeine, and other ingredients, all from a 12-ounce serving.

While it’s refreshing at the time, your body is hard at work processing the beverage. Here’s what happens in the hour after you chug down a Coke, via a post by Wade Meredith at Blisstree:

10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You’d be vomiting from the overwhelming sweetness if it weren’t for the phosphoric acid.

20 minutes: You get an ‘insulin boost’ from the spike in your blood sugar. In response, your body’s liver turns any sugar it can into fat (which at this time, is a lot).

40 minutes: At this point, you’ve fully consumed the Coke’s caffeine. Your pupils dilate, blood pressure rises, causing your liver to start dumping sugar into your bloodstream.

45 minutes: Your body increases dopamine production, stimulating the pleasure receptors in your brain (this is how heroin works, too).

>60 minutes: The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. Your body starts evacuating bonded calcium, magnesium, and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolytes, and water. Aka, bathroom time.

>60 minutes: As the madness in your body dies down, you’ll have the infamous sugar crash. You’ll become irritable or sluggish, which can last for hours afterwards for some people.

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Healing Injuries Could Be Faster Thanks To This 3-D Printed Cast https://www.ratemds.com/blog/healing-injuries-could-be-better-thanks-to-this-3-d-printed-cast/ https://www.ratemds.com/blog/healing-injuries-could-be-better-thanks-to-this-3-d-printed-cast/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 13:44:20 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=15721

Fiberglass casts may soon be relics of the past.

When Scott Summit tore a ligament in his arm, he dreaded the six month fiberglass imprisonment. These traditional casts have tons of downsides; cleaning/scratching your arm, showering, and not allowing your skin to breath are all annoyances that come with cast country.

cast1Summit is the senior director of functional design at 3D Systems—a 3-D printing behemoth – and founder of Bespoke, a prosthetic and brace company. Naturally, he turned to each company’s tech for a solution.

“The exciting thing about 3-D printing is that there’s no one area with single growth,” he says. “Like the Internet in ’97, 3-D printing is exploding in all directions: aerospace, fine arts, dentistry, fashion—you name it. Companies are discerning that it’s the secret sauce of competitive advantage. With a specific nod to healthcare, it’s a certain sweet spot since human needs tend to be individual. Due to our morphology, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution.”

Working with his business partner, an orthopedic surgeon, they developed a 3-D printed cast that would stabilize the wrist and keep the healing process efficient. They found that there needed to be three points of fixation to his arm, and three on his hand, to keep the wrist stable and allow the ligament to heal correctly. Summit 3-D scanned his arm, created a 3-D model of it, and tailored a cast to fit precise specifications.

At just five millimeters thick, the final product looks pretty barbaric.

“It doesn’t seem like it’s enough structure [for stability], but that’s only from the context of having too much structure with a fiberglass cast,” Summit says. “That’s done more for the convenience for the doctor versus the quality of life for patient. It’s not the best way, it’s just the way it’s been done.”

The cast let Summit shower like normal, and use creams on his wrist – impossible with the old fiberglass casts. He actually used creams that would lower the swelling, which in turn helped him recover faster (his doctor agreed).

While this is a one-off solution that was resource intensive, it could be the future of healing. There’s a wealth of benefits for everyone involved – the patient and the doctors – where these casts can improve everyone’s quality of life.

“When we threw this idea for stabilization out there seven years ago, it was pretty outrageous,” Summit says. “Now we’ve proven it’s not a novelty—it’s significantly better medicine.”

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Hon, Did You Order My Facekini? https://www.ratemds.com/blog/hon-did-you-order-my-facekini/ https://www.ratemds.com/blog/hon-did-you-order-my-facekini/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 06:55:27 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=15530

by Victoria Simpson

The Facekini. Yes, just like scanty swimwear with sexy bottoms but for your face. Don’t have one?

The Facekini is a recent development from China that comes in the form of a nylon face covering that reveals only the eyes, nose and mouth and is meant to protect facial skin from the sun’s damaging rays when swimming outside and according to some, from stinging jelly fish.

The phenomenon’s inventor is 59 year-old Zhang Shifan, a former accountant from Qingdao, a coastal city in eastern China’s Shangdong province. Zhang can sit back and enjoy the ride as she is now proudly basking in the sale of more than 30, 000 of her masks since bringing them to market in 2004.

The effective facewear is available inside and outside of China and comes in a variety of solid colors as well as designs from the Peking opera.

The traditional opera designs  come as a new addition, as the original mask was scaring children on the beach. Zhang commented on this in an interview documented on china.org.cn.



“In the past I really wanted to do everything I could to avoid scaring people. If I were to make a face-kini, I wouldn’t make a black one, a white one, not dark colors. But scaring people still couldn’t be avoided. So I thought ‘Why don’t I draw some Peking opera designs that Chinese people like instead?’ So little children might not be so scared when they see these designs.”

Tanned skin is a sign of enduring hard work in the fields of China, and avoiding it by protecting skin in order to remain pale is highly sought after.



Facekinis join the growing trend of UV protective clothing and swimwear available worldwide from shirts, to full body suits, to hats. Watch out, Coppertone.

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How To Face Grief And Take Action for Healing https://www.ratemds.com/blog/how-to-face-grief-and-take-action-for-healing/ https://www.ratemds.com/blog/how-to-face-grief-and-take-action-for-healing/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:24:19 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=15321

by Victoria Simpson

Everyone will experience loss at some point in their lives. Knowing of ways to help cope with grief can be a key to moving through the emotions of a difficult time.

Everyone deals with loss, be it the loss of a job, a career opportunity, a family member or friend in their own way, and each way is as unique as our individual personalities.

Professionals say sometimes moving through the stages of grief happens naturally. Emotions change on their own from denial to anger and acceptance as time goes on.

But sometimes changing our actions is easier than altering our emotions, and action can be a catalyst for confronting reality and change.

Candy Chang, a New Orleans artist, is someone familiar with this process. After losing someone she loved and experiencing severe depression, Chang decided to share her loss with others by encouraging society to focus on celebrating life.

To do this, Chang created something called the ‘Before I Die Project.”


The ‘Before I Die’ project is described on their website as a “global public art project that invites people to reflect on their lives and share their personal aspirations in a public space.”

Chang created an interactive wall on an abandoned house in her neighbourhood after obtaining city permission, by using chalkboard paint and stencilling a grid of the sentence “Before I die, I want to_______.”

Passersby were invited to finish the sentence with available chalk, sharing their own dreams and aspirations with the public. Within 24 hours, the wall was full of responses and it kept growing.

Today, 1000 ‘Before I Die’ walls can be found around the world in 35 languages in over 70 countries including Kazakhstan, Iraq, Haiti, China, the Ukraine, Portugal, Argentina, the USA, Canada and South Africa.

Chang has tips on how to get started creating your own wall on her website, where a list of step-by-step instructions, a checklist of materials and helpful examples are provided.

She promotes the original idea and suggests re-mixes    by also encouraging changes to the wording of the  original sentence to such things as “Before I  graduate”, and  “I run because.”


Seeing others share their thoughts publicly can be  cathartic.

Professionals suggest that other ways of  dealing with grief can include talking with those  emotionally close to you, writing in a personal journal,  preserving memories by organizing visuals such as  photos and artifacts and displaying them, creating a memorial website or a tribute such as planting a tree, or celebrating the positives of the past to bridge to the future.

Joining a support group of others going through the same process, or creating your own if none exists can also be very helpful.

Some actions should go on hold though, when dealing with grief. The Mayo Clinic suggests not taking major decisions while grieving, and to seek guidance from others as grief clouds decision-making abilities.

It is also suggested to focus on keeping the basics of sleep, good nutrition and exercise going, and to get a medical check-up to ensure that grief isn’t eroding daily routines and healthy practices.

Acknowledging pain is a first step in helping wounds heal.

Around 250, 000 people die each year in Canada and countless experience a variety of other losses to be overcome. Finding what works for you, is key.


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Eight-Year-Old Boy receives World’s First Double Hand Transplant https://www.ratemds.com/blog/eight-year-old-boy-receives-worlds-first-double-hand-transplant/ https://www.ratemds.com/blog/eight-year-old-boy-receives-worlds-first-double-hand-transplant/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:00:23 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=15306

In a medical first, Philadelphia doctors have transplanted donor hands and forearms to an eight-year-old boy who had his own amputated five years ago.

Zion Harvey told NBC News that the groundbreaking 10-hour operation performed at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was a dream come true. He’s looking forward to holding his little sister the most.

“My favorite thing [will be to] wait for her to run into my hands as I pick her up and spin her around,” he said.

When his mother, Pattie Ray, saw him being wheeled out of the operating room, it was like a new start for her son.

“When I saw Zion’s hands for the first time after the operation I just felt like he was being reborn,” she said. “I see my son in the light I haven’t seen him in five years. It was like having a newborn. It was a very joyous moment for me. I was happy for him.”

Dr. L. Scott Levin ran the 40-person transplant team, who had practiced on cadavers before attempting the worldwide-first operation.

“The success of Penn’s first bilateral hand transplant on an adult, performed in 2011, gave us a foundation to adapt the intricate techniques and coordinated plans required to perform this type of complex procedure on a child,” Levin said in a statement.

Life-threatening bacteria caused Harvey to lose his hands, feet, and a kidney when he was two. Because he was already taking immunosuppressant drugs to stop his body from rejecting his kidney transplant, he was an ideal candidate for another type of transplant.

Levin was impressed with the courageous boy’s spirit and resilience.

“When I first met him, I said to him, ‘Why do you want hands, Zion?’ And he said ‘cause I want to swing on the monkey bars.’ That’s a pretty logical answer for an 8-year-old. And a pretty profound statement to me.”

Harvey hasn’t been slowed down, who loves running on his prosthetics and playing video games. While he’s playing the cards life’s dealt him, he’s always secretly wished he’d have hands again one day.

“I hoped for somebody to ask me do I want a hand transplant and it came true,” he told NBC News.

During the surgery, the donor’s hands and forearms were attached by connecting bone, blood vessels, nerves, muscles, tendons and skin.

Levin won’t forget when he saw Harvey’s hand gain colour – and life.

“That hand was now alive,” he said. “That became, instantly, part of Zion’s circulation, no different than my hand or your hand.”

The doctors a part of the operation feel this may have profound changes on the lives of children who are living without hands. Pediatric surgery is very different; not only do toddlers have smaller bones and anatomical structures, they still have a lot of growing to do. Violating or injuring growth plates during a transplant will result in stunting the hand’s growth.

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How Your Dream For An Organic Drive-Thru Is Coming True With Amy’s Restaurant https://www.ratemds.com/blog/how-your-dream-for-an-organic-drive-thru-is-coming-true-with-amys-restaurant/ https://www.ratemds.com/blog/how-your-dream-for-an-organic-drive-thru-is-coming-true-with-amys-restaurant/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 19:55:17 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=15193

Amy’s Kitchen has opened the first-ever organic drive-thru, Amy’s Restaurant, in Rohnert California. The vegetarian restaurant is reporting line ups of 20 minutes or longer at the drive-thru, with customers waiting for everything from gluten-free pizza to vegan mac ‘n’ cheese.

10899340_1863480133878203_65414024_n                       www.amysdrivethru.com

Amy’s Kitchen is known for their vegetarian organic frozen food sold in supermarkets. The company marketed their first product, Amy’s Vegetable Pot Pie, in 1988 and has been growing in popularity ever since, with individually packaged frozen veggie burritos at the top of many food-conscious consumers’ grocery lists.

The restaurant, which features tables made from retired auto brake drums and recycled wood, is paying employees a living wage with benefits and claims that it aims to expand across the Bay Area.

11201643_847449752003477_1214385171_n                          www.amysdrivethru.com

Prices are matching drive-thru competitors with veggie burgers costing $2.99, burritos $4.69 and salad around $3.99 USD.

“The actual demand has been a bit overwhelming,” said Paul Schiefer, a representative from Amy’s, on a report on ABC 7. “So many people have shown up and it’s giving us a lot of hope that this is a concept that works.”

The drive-thru as a concept goes way back. The first restaurant for wheels was created in 1947 by Sheldon “Red” Chaney, operator of Red’s Giant Hamburg in Springfield, Missouri which served customers until closing in 1984, along the famous Route 66.

The most renowned drive-thru, McDonald’s, opened on April 15th, 1955 at 400 North Lee Avenue in Des Plaines, Illinois, near Chicago.

Amy’s Kitchen co-founders, Andy and Rachel Berliner, have a solid road of experience in the organic food business behind them with Rachel’s family growing and advocating organic vegetables and fruits since the 1950s and Andy’s experience as the former president and majority shareholder of the Magic Mountain Herb Tea company.[2]

As a company that makes over 130 gluten-free eating options and is serving burgers, shakes & fries made with organic and non GMO ingredients, “Fresh Veggies from the farm around the corner,” “French Fries with a story to tell,” and “Gluten-free and vegan options for everything,” Amy’s Restaurant is sure to have something eatable on the menu for everyone.


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‘Fat’ Cartoon Characters May Make Children Eat More https://www.ratemds.com/blog/fat-cartoon-characters-may-make-children-eat-more/ https://www.ratemds.com/blog/fat-cartoon-characters-may-make-children-eat-more/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:00:01 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=15153

New research suggests ‘fat’ cartoon characters leads children to eating more junk food.

The findings highlight how impactful cartoon characters can influence a child’s behaviour, particularly when it comes to eating.

In the study, researchers first randomly showed 60 eighth graders a slim jelly-bean-like cartoon character along with a similar, rounder jelly-bean character. After they inputted their comments on the images, they were thanked and gestured towards bowls of candy.

Children who had seen the rounder cartoon character took more than double the number of candies as children shown the lean character. They averaged 3.8 candies for the fat character and 1.7 for the slim one; children randomly shown an image of a coffee mug took 1.5.

With all sorts of cartoon characters ubiquitous in children’s books, movies, television, video games, fast-food menus and graphic novels, keeping food and fun separate is a potential solution. Children respond to these environmental cues that may prod them to overeat, said Margaret C. Campbell, a professor of marketing at Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

“This is one reason you don’t want the TV on when your kids are eating,” she said. “There are things on television that are influencing children’s choices.”

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