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May 23, 2016

BehindTheMedspeak: Advice is worth what you pay for it

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Without further ado, five tried-and-true doctor's tips to make your life healthier and better.

1) The BEST remedy for sunburn: 2 aspirin every 4 hours, starting as soon as possible after the burn, continuing until bedtime. I read this in a brief letter from a Florida dermatologist to the New England Journal of Medicine long ago, when I was in med school (early 70s): it really works. Funny that it appears nowhere in the medical literature and when I mention it to fellow doctors it's the first they’ve heard of it.

2) The BEST remedy for a wasp or bee sting (for the majority of us who are NOT allergic to such insults): make a paste of Adolph's Meat Tenderizer and a little water and rub it into the site. The papain — papaya extract, the active ingredient in Adolph's — breaks up the venom molecules, much as it does meat fibers when used in the kitchen as intended. The reason I don't deal with those who are allergic to stings is that they'll be dead of anaphylaxis long before they have time to make a paste — unless they use an EpiPen. I keep a bottle of Adolph's in my car's glove compartment.

3) The BEST remedy for non-specific back pain: lose weight. Most such pain is due to weak abdominal musculature and subsequent cantilevering of the belly outward, putting all kinds of non-physiologic stress on the lower back.

4) The BEST remedy for hypertension: lose weight. Most mild hypertension goes away when weight gets down to where it should be.

5) The BEST remedy for oral-medication-controlled diabetes: lose weight. Most such patients don't need their meds anymore once their weight gets back to normal.

May 23, 2016 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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