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11 November 2008

Do You Suffer From Medication Overuse Headaches?

According to a series of international papers, there is a critical need to review current treatment strategies for the increasingly common problem of medication overuse headaches (MOH).

MOH, previously known as rebound headache, drug-induced headache or drug-misuse headache, is a headache that occurs at least 15 days a month when patients overuse medication.
In the U.S., 60 percent of people with chronic daily headaches attending headache clinics have MOH. Data from a physician study suggests that it may be the third most frequent type of headache, after migraines and tension headaches.

Research has found that people are seven times more likely to suffer from chronic headaches if they use analgesics daily or almost daily for more than a month. But there are no standardized treatment guidelines for MOH.


* Science Daily November 5, 2008

Depression and Anxiety Make Chronic Pain Worse

People with chronic pain report more intense pain and related disability if they are also experiencing depression, anxiety, or both. Left untreated, these conditions can have a devastating and profoundly negative impact on people with chronic pain.
In a new study, researchers looked for associations between depression and anxiety, and measures of pain intensity, pain-related disability, and quality of life. They assessed 500 chronic pain patients; 20 percent had pain plus depression, 3 percent had pain and anxiety, and 23 percent had all three conditions.

When the participants reported how many days in the last 3 months they had been unable to perform usual activities, those with only pain answered 18 disability days on average. In contrast, those with pain plus anxiety and those with pain plus depression averaged 32 and 38 disability days, respectively. Those with pain plus both anxiety and depression averaged nearly 43 disability days. This group also reported the greatest pain severity.


* Reuters November 5, 2008

Does the Flu Shot Even Work?

Only about 1,000 people die directly from the flu virus in the U.S each year. But the government claims 36,000 -- the remaining 35,000 deaths are caused by diseases like pneumonia that may follow the flu.

But there's no clear scientific connection between the flu and these more serious afflictions. That means most of the time a flu shot has little impact in actually preventing death.

Barbara Loe Fisher, head of the National Vaccine Information Center, says that the repeated references to 36,000 seems to be an attempt to scare people into getting the shot. Fisher has a new book on the safety issues with vaccines, "Vaccines, Autism & Chronic Inflammation: The New Epidemic."
Her concerns have led her to look at alternatives. One alternative favored by a number of physicians is vitamin D. Dr. John Cannell, Executive Director of the Vitamin D Council, suggests the reason we even have a flu season is because our vitamin D levels drop, which takes place naturally as we get less and less sun with the approach of winter.

Cannell suggests babies get a 1,000 units of vitamin D a day, and those two and older get 2,000 units. Many adults and some children need more than that.


* CBN November 4, 2008

Energy-dense foods may raise diabetes risk

By Joene Hendry

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A diet packed with energy-dense foods, those containing more calories per volume, may increase a person's risk of developing diabetes, new research suggests.

Adults consuming the most, versus the least, energy-dense diets had a 60 percent higher risk for type 2 diabetes in a study conducted by Dr. Nita Forouhi, senior clinical research scientist at the Institute of Metabolic Science in Cambridge, United Kingdom, and colleagues.

Moreover, the association between highly energy-dense diets and the development of diabetes appears independent of body weight, total caloric intake, fat intake, and lifestyle factors, the researchers report in the journal Diabetes Care.

High energy-dense foods include highly processed foods, fatty foods, meats, and calorie-laden fruit or soft drinks, whereas low energy-dense foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, water and calorie-free drinks.

Ounce for ounce, high energy-dense foods tend to contain more energy (calories) and have been associated with weight gain and elevated blood sugar.

In their 12-year study, Forouhi's team assessed "new-onset" type 2 diabetes among 21,919 adults aged 40 to 79 years who were free of diabetes, cancer, or cardiovascular disease at the start of the study.

"Food frequency" data obtained at enrollment showed that those with highest energy-dense diets averaged 2,592 daily calories (36.6 percent from fat). This group consumed greater amounts of meat, processed meat, and soft drinks, and lower amounts of fresh vegetables and fruit, and water or other calorie-free beverages.

By contrast, those with the lowest energy-dense diets averaged 1,539 calories per day (29 percent from fat) and consumed more fresh vegetables, fruit, and calorie-free drinks, and less meats, processed meats, and soft drinks.

During follow up, 725 people developed 2 diabetes and those with the most energy-dense diets, compared with the least, had 60 percent higher risk for developing diabetes.

Although more study is needed, these findings suggest that adoption of healthier, less energy-dense diets in combination with other lifestyle factors and physical activity "could potentially be important in the prevention of diabetes," Forouhi said.

SOURCE: Diabetes Care, November 2008