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 Fri, 22 Nov 2019 09:25:34 -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 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> 203b4d3abbf843dc38035fad421c1d95 Tiny Drop of Blood Could Lead to Huge Alzheimer's Breakthrough for 08/16/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/08/19/tiny-drop-of-blood-could-lead-to-huge-alzheimers-breakthrough Fri, 16 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In just the past few years, billions of dollars have been put toward ending cancer. We know the importance and urgency of achieving this goal. We accept it and support it. What we are less aware of and engaged in is the equally vital need to find an effective treatment for another devastating disease: Alzheimer's. Each year, it kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Multiple trials have failed to find drugs that prevent, reverse or slow this disease. According to the Alzheimer's Association, a leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care and research, in 2019, health care costs for Alzheimer's and other dementias are estimated to reach $290 billion. If a cure or effective treatment is not found by 2050, these costs could rise to as high as $1.1 trillion. Currently, an estimated 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's. Every 65 seconds, someone in the United States develops the disease. By 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million.</p> <p>Some good news in confronting this disease arrived last month at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference, where scientists revealed they are closing in on a long-sought goal: a blood test to screen people for possible signs of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. <span class="column--highlighted-text">A tiny drop of blood could be enough to predict the onset of Alzheimer's and facilitate better care and preventative measures. It would be nothing short of revolutionary.</span><p>Updated: Fri Aug 16, 2019</p> b115a7464548bae49b7996a1d8e78dc1 Health Measured From Head to Toe for 08/09/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/08/19/health-measured-from-head-to-toe Fri, 09 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Last week, I explored how the way we perform everyday movements and positioning of our head &#8212; without knowing it &#8212; can bring on chronic neck pain. Most neck pain is something we do not have to endure; it is within our power to address and correct it.</p> <p>This week, I believe it is time we give our hands a "hand." They are the body's unsung leading actors. Not only do they perform countless tasks every day, but they are also our most frequently used body parts. Beyond the tasks they perform, they are silent yet powerful tools for communication, expression and emotion.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 09, 2019</p> 063a2a6fe8d034cbfebe8862c39353f1 Addressing Chronic Neck Pain for 08/02/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/08/19/addressing-chronic-neck-pain Fri, 02 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Throughout our lives, we are saddled with carrying around this weighty orb &#8212; about 10 to 12 pounds' worth &#8212; in a constant balancing act while we swing it this way and that. We can't carry it low, clutching it to our chest. No, it has to be constantly at the tiptop of our body, with only our neck to support it. Is it any wonder our head can be such a pain?</p> <p>Our neck must be strong enough to support the heavy weight of our head and still allow it to tilt, turn and nod up and down easily. Without our knowing it, the way we perform these everyday activities can bring on neck pain and lead to a form of chronic pain that does not get nearly the attention it deserves.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 02, 2019</p> 702c2cb4d90f4bcbeb00a993c4239046 Heat Waves and the Risks They Present for 07/26/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/07/19/heat-waves-and-the-risks-they-present Fri, 26 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>At this point in the summer, sunburn might be among the least of our concerns. A dangerous heat wave has blanketed roughly two-thirds of the nation, and as I write this, final reports of the toll of these oppressively high temperatures have yet to come in. </p> <p>What is known is that many cities across the Midwest and Northeast will likely surpass local heat records and that the "heat dome" has spread from the middle part of the country to the Great Lakes and the East Coast.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 26, 2019</p> 3c23d7cf4f8a89bf097e9af0ac23684e The Work Ahead in Preventing Premature Death for 07/19/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/07/19/the-work-ahead-in-preventing-premature-death-22cc5 Fri, 19 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Last week, I hammered away on the concept that we are what we eat and the idea that by making better food choices we can inoculate ourselves against those things that might damage our health. Dr. Eva Selhub, an internationally recognized expert, physician, author, speaker and consultant in the fields of stress, resilience and mind-body medicine, recently provided another perspective. Writing in Harvard Health, she reminds us that our brain is always in the "on" setting. It works hard for us 24/7 and requires a constant supply of fuel. That "fuel" comes from the foods we eat, and what that fuel is makes all the difference. What we eat directly affects the structure and function of our brain and, ultimately, our mood.</p> <p>Let's say you have been given a body that is the equivalent of a Lamborghini. What are you going to put in the tank to make sure it runs at peak performance? Regular? That would be crazy, right? You're going to use premium. Premium-fuel diets have long been established. They consist of a high amount of vegetables, fruits, unprocessed grains, fish and seafood and only a modest amount of lean meats and dairy.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 19, 2019</p> c087febc4442adf7759b2a3aa1b69ab8 Food Is Medicine for 07/12/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/07/19/food-is-medicine Fri, 12 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Have you ever wondered where the phrase "you are what you eat" came from? As pointed out on the Culinary Lore website, this statement, regardless of its origin, is not just a simple observation about bad food bringing on bad health. It can mean something profound, something more philosophical, referencing food as a culture. Humans eat a great diversity of food. The food we eat, and how we eat it, says a lot about us as a people. </p> <p>The person most responsible for the use of this phrase today is English nutritionist Victor Lindlahr. According to Culinary Lore, in the 1920s, <span class="column--highlighted-text">Lindlahr proclaimed: "90% of the diseases known to man are caused by cheap foodstuffs."</span> In 1942, he parlayed this conviction into a successful book: "You Are What You Eat." According to Lindlahr, "Food is medicine." <p>Updated: Fri Jul 12, 2019</p>