C Force from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/c-force Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Tue, 21 Jan 2020 14:26:57 -0800 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss C Force from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/c-force-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/c-force 0f99f184ebb3a4ed13e4fb86d8df2e4b Calling Off Alcohol for a Change for 01/17/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/01/20/calling-off-alcohol-for-a-change Fri, 17 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>For more than a decade, "Dry January" has served as a resolution calling for a month-long break from alcohol. If you want to jump on this wagon, it is never too late to start by stopping. Whether you make it to the finish line or not, studies show that giving up alcohol &#8212; even briefly &#8212; has health benefits.</p> <p>Dry January has been gaining traction in recent years and is international in scope. It is particularly popular in the United Kingdom. The term "Dry January" was registered as a trademark of the charity Alcohol Concern in mid-2014. In January 2014, according to Wikipedia, more than 17,000 Britons stopped drinking for that month. One study conducted in Britain with an estimated 850 men and woman who tried Dry January reported that at the end of the month, 62% said they slept better. About half said they lost weight, and many reported feeling more energetic.</p> <p>If you are interested in giving it a try, it is suggested that you have a strategy to get started. You might want to start by assessing your relationship with alcohol. How much do you drink? When do you drink? Why do you drink? It is also suggested that you do not try going it alone. Try to find a friend who is willing to abstain with you so you can hold each other accountable. Also, make your commitment clear in social situations to garner support and minimize social pressure.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 17, 2020</p> eab94f3f336d4b3288460f51c764709a Slamming Doors on Rural Hospital Care for 01/10/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/01/20/slamming-doors-on-rural-hospital-care Fri, 10 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>While final statistics have yet to be revealed for New Year's Eve, it is a good bet that they will show a sharp uptick in emergency room visits beginning around midnight. Long before that hour, one regional facility in Madison, Wisconsin reported more people coming in with influenza or from accidents slipping on ice. On the night itself, Dr. Kyle Martin, the medical director at SSM Health's emergency room, estimated they would likely be about 20% busier than average before the night shift was over.</p> <p>At Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, New York, emergency medical center physician Dr. Dean Olsen said the number of trauma patients can double or triple compared to a typical night in the emergency room. The bulk of those are likely to be patients involved in motor vehicle accidents or assaults.</p> <p>That said, New Year's Eve is hardly the ER's most dangerous day of the year. That distinction goes to the Fourth of July.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 10, 2020</p> 9f83bf95c162b5a8309c9292ec9c0444 Health Issues We Should Aim To Resolve for 12/27/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/12/19/health-issues-we-should-aim-to-resolve Fri, 27 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>If you are preparing a list of New Year's resolutions and are looking for a starting point, the folks at the American Medical Association annually assemble a list of 10 wellness-focused resolutions that they feel could make the most impactful, long-lasting improvements to your health. You can find the list on their website. After thumbing through my C Force offerings over the past year, I submit the following additional thoughts for your consideration.</p> <p>DON'T SMOKE &#8212; ANYTHING<p>Updated: Fri Dec 27, 2019</p> 0b6e5a6aa876cf0b5fe0fed43e161989 Crisis of Vaping Among Kids Clouds Holidays for 12/20/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/12/19/crisis-of-vaping-among-kids-clouds-holidays Fri, 20 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>During the holidays, I think we all tend to respond to the positive and inspirational stories around us. The problem is that in writing about health and wellness at this particular moment, I am staring at 6 million reasons why I must shine a light on some disturbing facts that just will not go away &#8212; if only to keep them top of mind.</p> <p>I am referring to the estimated 6 million middle and high school students who used tobacco products this year; that's almost 1 in 4 American teenagers. According to a new federal report, most of the tobacco use was through vaping. Vaping teenagers make up a growing new generation of people who are becoming addicted to nicotine.<p>Updated: Fri Dec 20, 2019</p> f4a50b98a99d209b7c0f7a7028595357 1 Low Opinion of High Tech for 12/13/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/12/19/1-low-opinion-of-high-tech Fri, 13 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>As I noted last week, I often have a low opinion of high technology and its overall impact on our lives and health. I know that some experts will say this fear is overblown and today's technologies have made us more connected than ever before. It is a point made by Terri R. Kurtzberg, an associate professor of management and global business at Rutgers University in a recent post on The Conversation.</p> <p>Kurtzberg points out how technology allows colleague to work together from afar, friends to keep in touch without restraint and grandparents to touch base with grandkids; it's just a matter of finding that ever-elusive balance as to how and when we use our technological devices.<p>Updated: Fri Dec 13, 2019</p> 1c1b145a8566b3f0d470be332d1fcdca Opting for a Low-Tech Holiday Season for 12/06/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/12/19/opting-for-a-low-tech-holiday-season Fri, 06 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>I could be wrong, but it seems that with each passing year, it becomes harder and harder for us to properly reflect on the true meaning of what that good old holiday spirit signifies. Such reflection can be essential in realigning us with our spiritual selves and is an integral component to maintaining overall wellbeing.</p> <p>A sign of this disconnect can be seen in our dwindling loss of a sense of empathy. According to one study from the University of Michigan, today we care for others about 40% less than people in the 1980s did. In today's digital era, from Twitter to Facebook and everything in between, rudeness has become the new normal.</p> <p>The problem is that those on the receiving end can take it so personally, despite the fact that, in reality, rude attacks say far more about the sender than the receiver. "People appreciate diplomacy. People appreciate being respected and heard. That's why rudeness has such an effect on us psychologically," says bestselling author on the subject Danny Wallace. "We feel immediately dismissed, put-upon, disrespected ... Rudeness spreads like a cold," he adds. "Even witnessing rudeness is enough for us to become infected."<p>Updated: Fri Dec 06, 2019</p> 29269716223ac43f3921533adce28fce Do We Grow From Tragedy? for 11/22/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/11/19/do-we-grow-from-tragedy Fri, 22 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>It seems that every year around the holidays, numerous stories appear in the media of people skirting death or overcoming tragedy. These are certainly stories that need to be told. According to a recent post by psychology professors Eranda Jayawickreme of Wake Forest University and Frank Infurna of Arizona State University, they also fit a narrative to which people tend to subscribe. Writing for The Conversation, the psychologists point out that we tend to narrate our lives in terms of the challenges we have confronted and the setbacks we have overcome. We are attracted by the idea that there might be a silver lining to tragedy &#8212; that from tragic experience, we can learn to find a newfound appreciation for life. This also fits in with the biblical theme of redemption. Psychologists have come to describe this phenomenon as "post-traumatic growth."</p> <p>The two authors point out that research to date on the topic reveals some points of concern. For example, most research on post-traumatic growth asks people to estimate how much they have changed because of their trauma. Yet it has been shown that people are not particularly good at accurately remembering what they were like before a traumatic event. "Telling others that you've grown might actually be a way to cope with the pain you're still experiencing," they write. Also, the questions typically used by trauma researchers tend to ask only about positive changes.<p>Updated: Fri Nov 22, 2019</p> e318ca248e8ef0fed61b67a7f1365f43 Remembering Veterans Is Not Enough for 11/15/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/11/19/remembering-veterans-is-not-enough Fri, 15 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>As we close the books on Veterans Day 2019, I cannot help but search for a message that will resonate from this national holiday &#8212; a day where we honor and show appreciation for all who have served in the United States military in safeguarding America. For me, Veterans Day is a reminder of how proud I am to have served in the U.S. Air Force. Of my father, who fought in World War II at the Battle of the Bulge. Of my brother Aaron who served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam. I think of our brother Wieland, who served in the U.S. Army and was killed in action in Vietnam, and I think of his heroism as he walked point alone and drew enemy fire so that others in his platoon might be spared. </p> <p>These memories are with me, to be revisited during every public recognition of our men and women in uniform. Such reminders fortify my love of freedom and the need to protect it. My wife, Gena, and I also love that Veterans Day falls during the same month we celebrate Thanksgiving, for members of our military deserve our enduring and unending thanks.</p> <p>As the years pass, I am also reminded of how not everyone shares such a direct connection to military service. A smaller share of Americans currently serve in the armed forces than at any other time since the era between World War I and World War II. Younger Americans are far less likely than older ones to have a family member who served in the military. The result is a military that is less directly connected to the rest of society than in previous generations. I can't help but feel that this stands in the way of a depth of understanding of what the military service experience is for active personnel, veterans and their families.<p>Updated: Fri Nov 15, 2019</p> eaff45c64e12166a513fb9061a500666 Surviving in an Increasingly Divided World for 11/08/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/11/19/surviving-in-an-increasingly-divided-world Fri, 08 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Last week, I touched upon how the current political environment &#8212; where anger seems to be the animating force &#8212; is resulting in turmoil and distress at such a level that health experts fear it could be generating serious negative consequences for the mental health of millions of Americans. We are talking about symptoms like sleepless nights, damaged friendships, constant fatigue and mounting depression.</p> <p>We are best prepared to deal with these mental health challenges when we are in good physical health and find time to downshift, exercise regularly and have good social connectedness with friends, family and co-workers.<p>Updated: Fri Nov 08, 2019</p> 290eb0134eead8bfefb69ba285ec884d A Healer in the House Above the Political Stress for 11/01/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/10/19/a-healer-in-the-house-above-the-political-stress Fri, 01 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>As a recent study has confirmed &#8212; as if we didn't know &#8212; the current political environment has gone far beyond merely heated and toxic. The result of this turmoil is that we now live in a world that could be generating serious negative consequences for the mental health of millions of Americans. </p> <p>For the study, Kevin Smith, a political scientist at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and his team conducted an online survey of 800 people from a nationally representative sample. Respondents were asked a range of questions about how engaged they are in politics and how it is affecting their lives, health and well-being.<p>Updated: Fri Nov 01, 2019</p> fc639d742e81fbfd0a6323c274418493 The Health Toll of Being Lonely for 10/25/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/10/19/the-health-toll-of-being-lonely-d7c83 Fri, 25 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>A recent study published in the journal Health Psychology, based on interview responses from more than 19,000 married people up to age 90 between 1978 and 2010, suggests that married people who rated their unions as "very happy" or "pretty happy" were about 20% less likely of dying early. The report seems consistent with other findings suggesting that <span class="column--highlighted-text">a supportive marriage helps reinforce a couple's mutual psychological and physical health.</span></p> <p>Speaking with Time magazine, study co-author Mark Whisman, professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder, notes that marriage provides people with meaningful roles and identities, as well as a purpose in life and a sense of security. Such findings underscore our essential need for social support, be it a spouse or close family and friends. What this recent study shows is that the quality and quantity of close social relationships are strong indicators of a person's physical and mental health as they age. What it also highlights is the link that exists between social isolation and poorer physical and mental health. <p>Updated: Fri Oct 25, 2019</p> 5b53dacc8486c3e7190b745c76820694 The Long-Term Toll of Electronic Cigarettes and Regulatory Inaction for 10/18/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/10/19/the-long-term-toll-of-electronic-cigarettes-and-regulatory-inaction Fri, 18 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>News earlier in the year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that the number of middle and high school students who use electronic cigarettes has risen by more than 50% from 2017 to 2018 seemed to catch us all a little flat-footed. It translated to a problem of 2.1 million young people to a problem of 3.6 million young people &#8212; and counting. Recent data from the CDC shows that today, 1 in 4 high school students vape.</p> <p>One approach to confronting this health crisis is a nationwide ban on the sale of flavored products so appealing to young people. Such a ban has yet to materialize. According to the campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, filling that void, a number of cities, counties and states have enacted emergency rules to restrict the sale of e-cigarettes, including the sale of flavored tobacco products.<p>Updated: Fri Oct 18, 2019</p> 84309dd45e3af5aa4143b7fe80180f21 No Federal Law Regulates Tattooing; Welcome to the Wild West for 10/11/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/10/19/no-federal-law-regulates-tattooing-welcome-to-the-wild-west Fri, 11 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>A number of years ago, my wife, Gena, was given multiple routine MRIs to check on an arthritic condition. To generate a better image, a contrast dye is often routinely injected into the area of the imaging. The chemical agent most commonly used is a heavy metal called gadolinium. These tests yielded little about arthritis, but they did result in gadolinium poisoning. In theory, gadolinium should be expelled from the body through the kidneys. When gadolinium breaks into its free form before being expelled from the body, as was Gena's case, a patient can suffer adverse and severe reactions. Gadolinium poisoning nearly took her life and is still the subject of a pending legal action. More than five years post-gadolinium poisoning, she continues to require regular stem cell therapies and other treatments to heal her central nervous system.</p> <p>Given that experience, you can imagine my reaction to tattoos and the steadily growing practice of artificially injuring the body by injecting inks, often of unknown origins, into the skin, the body's largest organ containing blood vessels, nerves and immune cells.<p>Updated: Fri Oct 11, 2019</p> 35df0b8966679446343fcbdf38502ba6 How Exercise and Movement Reduce Pain for 10/04/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/10/19/how-exercise-and-movement-reduce-pain Fri, 04 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>It remains the single most common medical complaint by patients. It is sensory, emotional and perceptual &#8212; seemingly all at the same time. The way we experience it varies greatly. No two patients experience it the same, yet it is one of the body's most important communication tools. Because the experience is so individualized, it can be challenging for the physician treating it. <span class="column--highlighted-text">At the least, it is unpleasant. At its worst, it is intolerable. It is called pain, and what is known as acute pain is nature's warning signal that something is wrong and should be attended to.</span></p> <p>Last week, I mentioned the long-standing concept of the "magic pill," a pill that is part of this imaginary vision of how medical treatment should be expected to function &#8212; quick, simple and effective. The "pain pill" is certainly a version of that.<p>Updated: Fri Oct 04, 2019</p> 081e8bb5d10ee15c83fcadc2f13865a4 From Polypharmacy to Polypills: Where Will It Lead? for 09/27/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/09/19/from-polypharmacy-to-polypills-where-will-it-lead Fri, 27 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In September 2018, I talked about health issues related to "polypharmacy," a word new to me at the time used to describe individuals taking multiple medications (five or more drugs concurrently), and a term applied most frequently to the elderly. It is not an inherently negative term, but it does have a dark side. <span class="column--highlighted-text">It is frequently used to describe situations in which individuals are taking an unhealthy mixture of various medications. </span>At the time, according to U.S. Pharmacist, polypharmacy was considered a leading cause of death in the United States.</p> <p>Older people today do not just take prescription drugs. According to a 2016 JAMA Internal Medicine report, among those surveyed, almost two-thirds use dietary supplements or over-the-counter medications along with prescription medications, and nearly 40% take over-the-counter drugs. Such habits increase the chances of dangerous side effects. This habit has also been shown to potentially cause errors in medical lab tests, which could lead to a misdiagnosis.<p>Updated: Fri Sep 27, 2019</p> 6319559cee3220e8bc129c866fbccb23 Suicide in the Age of Unprecedented Growth of Those 65 and Older for 09/20/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/09/19/suicide-in-the-age-of-unprecedented-growth-of-those-65-and-older Fri, 20 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p></p><p>As mentioned last week, to generate discussion and stimulate action toward resolving a major heath issue, Sept. 8-14 was designated as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Week. What I failed to mention is that September is Suicide Prevention Month. I was reminded of this by a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs press release that encourages veterans, community leaders, co-workers, families and friends to use this month to help prevent suicide by being present, supportive and strong for those veterans who may be going through a difficult time. This campaign is tagged with the message "#BeThere." As mentioned last week, <span class="column--highlighted-text">veterans are 21% more likely to take their own lives than civilians.</span> Of the more than 45,000 Americans that die by their own hand each year, an estimated 6,000 are veterans.<p>Updated: Fri Sep 20, 2019</p> 46ed2b2e825d86b1d249a6c713d46706 Suicide Rates Rising, Prevention Needed: There's a Lot to Live For for 09/13/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/09/19/suicide-rates-rising-prevention-needed-theres-a-lot-to-live-for Fri, 13 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>At times, there are issues we would rather not talk about but must. Certainly, suicide has historically been high among them. Yet it stands today as the 10th-leading cause of death for people of all ages in the United States. It remains a major public health problem and a tragedy that warrants society-wide recognition and discussion and a public health commitment.</p> <p>To stimulate such commitment and discussion, Sept. 8 to 14 is designated as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Week. To shine a light on this crisis of global proportion, the World Health Organization designates Sept. 10 as World Suicide Prevention Day.<p>Updated: Fri Sep 13, 2019</p> ad0df4ddc73cd73010ca7d23b39dfab3 The Health Care Conversation Few Are Having for 09/06/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/09/19/the-health-care-conversation-few-are-having Fri, 06 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I'm no doctor, but I can recognize a prescription for disaster when I see one. What would you predict as the prospects of a profession where one practitioner commits suicide every day, the highest percentage of any profession in the U.S.? More than half of those studying for careers in this profession can expect to experience symptoms of depression. An estimated 56% reported feeling "burned out" before their training was completed.</p> <p>I'm talking about medical doctors. According to findings presented in 2018 at the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting, doctors who die by suicide often have untreated or undertreated depression or other mental illnesses. <p>Updated: Fri Sep 06, 2019</p> 5244fb94b6bcff256315ba50374e26ae The Effects of Extreme Heat, Persistent Pain and an Exercise Tip for 08/30/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/08/19/the-effects-of-extreme-heat-persistent-pain-and-an-exercise-tip Fri, 30 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The long hot summer of 2019 is at last drawing to a close, and we already know it's one for the record books. July proved to be the Earth's hottest month on record. That said, 2019 is unlikely to set a new record for the warmest year, but it is a lock for making the top five. Researchers believe there is a 90% chance that 2019 will wind up as the second-warmest year since instrumental records began.</p> <p>That our globe has been the subject of crippling heat is more than a figure of speech. As covered earlier, heatstroke becomes a primary concern during extreme heat waves. Recently pointed out by NPR correspondent Clayton Dalton, extreme cases of heatstroke can ultimately cause multiple organ failure, shock and death.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 30, 2019</p> 79832d37409a97f29b05666d1f9944f5 Diet and Exercise One-Two Punch Against Alzheimer's for 08/23/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/08/19/diet-and-exercise-one-two-punch-against-alzheimers Fri, 23 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Alzheimer's disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Just the thought of contracting this disease &#8212; which can rob us of our ability to think, learn and remember and can eventually steal from us our very sense of self &#8212; is fear-inducing. The best way to overcome the fear and uncertainty associated with Alzheimer's is to take protective steps that might spare us from getting the disease.</p> <p>It's time we take control of what we can control. As I said last week, we should follow this prescription as if our lives depended upon it. In relation to Alzheimer's, let us focus on exercise and diet. There is good news for us to be found here.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 23, 2019</p>