The Trumpet Medical Advisor

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patPatricia Naeder, RN, BS.


December, 2010 Edition ew3

~ ~ Holiday Health Tips ~ ~


1- Traveling:

If you‘re going to fly this season, you know that there are two security methods in use at airports:

The body scanners.

And the pat-down.

I suggest that you opt for the “pat down” over the body scanner if possible.

The scanners are generally safe and the radiation level is minimal. However radiation is cumulative throughout your lifetime, so the less you subject your body to it, the better for your health.

Repetition matters in radiation, especially for Frequent Flyers. Better to hurt your pride than your DNA.

Radio screening would be a better method because it emits no radiation, but it is not in use.

The El Al Israeli method is the most effective scanning procedure, but we are not yet using it in the U.S.

~Radiation facts:

A C.T. scan  = 100,000 Microseivert.

A chest X-ray = 100 Microseivert.

A body scanner = 0.1 Microseivert if the machine’s radiation level is maintained properly.

Remember that radiation is cumulative in your body throughout your entire life.

~That includes sun bathing, dental X-rays, medical X-rays, chest X-rays, and diagnostic Computerized Tomography (C.T) scans. All except MRIs which do not use ionized radiation.

Say no whenever radiation is an option and it seems needless to you. Selling X-rays can be a business. Make sure that they’re justified. Weigh the risk/benefit ratio.

Repetition matters with ionizing radiation.

The two main concerns with radiation are your skin and your thyroid gland. They are radio-sensitive and can be affected by accumulated radiation.

Standardization of the scanning instrument is also important. Who is checking the level of radiation being emitted?

Hopefully the airlines and travel industries will adopt the proven El Al Airline Israeli triple method of airport screening:

Behavior pattern profiling.

Travel document checking.

Personal questioning re. the intent of the trip. If the answers don’t add up, they are not allowed to fly.

In summary: Caution is best. Opt out of radiation when prudent. Don’t get sunburned. You carry that radiation with you throughout your life. You don’t want to turn 60 years old and see a pink mark on your cheek, and it is skin cancer, which can be malignant. Better to be safe than sorry, is what most of our parents told us, and, as usual, they were right.

2- Holiday parties:

Avoid fatty, starchy, and sugary foods and drinks. They add calories and clog your blood vessels.

Focus on delicious veggies, fruit and protein, like lean meat, fish, and yogurt.

Sushi is great but as with any fish mercury can accumulate. Keep track.

Alcohol converts to sugar immediately.

Avoid Alcohol binging. It can cause sudden heart rhythm irregularities. Alcohol batters your liver and nerve branches. Every drink is filtered through your liver, and the the liver cells can become overwhelmed, and fail, and jaundice sets in. Nerve branches are killed by alcohol. If you value feeling your feet, drink moderately.

Try to cut back your smoking. It damages your blood vessel walls. Substitute with the lozenges below.

Skoal causes mouth and tongue cancer. It’s not worth it. You can get the same calm feeling by buying Commit or Nicorette lozenges, over the counter at any pharmacy.

Instead of any of the above, ask your Physician to prescribe diazepam. It relaxes you just as well as cigarettes or Skoal do, without the serious side effects.

Enjoy socializing. It raises your “feel good” brain chemicals.

If you are the worker, let others do things for you for a change.

3- Stress:

Stress goes up during the Holidays. As you know, It raises your blood pressure, and  cholesterol levels and can give you anxiety attacks.

Here are some tips to prevent stress during the holidays:


If you are alone during the Holidays, you have options. Get away from it all. Go to a Hotel or a ski resort. Forget that it’s the Holidays. Laugh with strangers. Make new memories! Lighten up and leave the old scene behind!

Another option is to just watch TV and treat it like any other day and week. It will pass by.

The volume of shopping and house preparation is a great source of stress:

Start now, get help, and go out each day for an hour.

Keep all obstructionist family and friends away from you! They will never support your efforts. They will blunt them. They will probably criticize you, and try to demoralize you. You don’t deserve that.

Stay with people who encourage you and care about you and your goals. Or be a free agent and go it alone. Put on your music and do your thing!

Trying to please everyone:

Make a list and do your best. They will be happy.

Unfair burden on you alone:

Get help from a high school student or a worker who needs some holiday cash. Don’t work with family who stress you. If they make you feel bad. Stay away from them. Work only with those who want to help you achieve your goals.

Your own expectations of yourself are high:

Your best is probably 5 times more than most people expect. Starting early will help you achieve your perfect result.

Difficult family members:

They are the handicap that you have to work around.

Stay away from those who are obstructionists, criticizers, who are cheap, and who make your goals a nightmare, while doing nothing themselves.

Do all of your preparation around them. Go out on your own. Giving them notice or an accounting of what you intend to do is giving them ammunition to sabotage your goals. Don’t make that mistake. Some people just like to hinder progress. Avoid them.

4- Travel and packing:

Pack early and only one bag with wheels.

Prepare your passport and I.D. wallet.

Put your favorite reading and music in your bag and leave early to avoid last minute mishaps, traffic and stress.

It’s not that expensive to hire a car to the airport. Make that investment in yourself. Door to door service is a great stress reliever. You’re worth it! You spend less than that on dinner out sometimes.

5- Debt Stress:

You can prevent the season from ruining your finances.

Focus on thoughtful gifts rather than expensive ones.

Debt stress can cause anxiety, migraines, depression, heart attacks, and family tension.

The earlier you shop the less you spend because you avoid panic shopping.

Thoughtful gifts are books, convenience items like a neck pillow for travel, something from their alma mater, or a new tool from the home improvement center, instead of jewelry or other high-end items.

Try to use the credit card with the lowest interest rate. Cash is even better.

If you are the generous type, keep in mind that yours is not the only gift that the person is receiving.

6- Core Health:

Take your daily multivitamin with extra Vitamin C.

Take a once a week B-Complex capsule.

Block half an hour a day to relax completely.

Don’t over-exercise. It is bad for every organ in your body, including your joints and muscles.

Take a daily walk around your block.

Sleep and nap.

Accomplish one thing per day. It will motivate you, and you can sit back and enjoy the holidays.

Take CoQ10 to repair daily cellular damage.

Put music on. It relaxes your brain.

Avoid vexatious people.

Be good to yourself!

Happy Holidays!


Good Health to You!


Patricia Naeder, RN, BS

Medical Advisor


This column is for informational purposes only, and represents the opinion, and reporting of the author only. Any discussions with the Author should be presented to your own personal Physician for his/her Professional opinion. It is not meant to substitute for seeing one's own Medical Doctor, Psychiatrist, or Psychologist for Professional care.

This article is copywrited by the Author.