Should you lie in the sun?

I periodically share information gleaned from a well know dermatologist.

This time there’s also a video where, to celebrate an auspicious birthday, my little brother shows the results of his experiments in cloning.

It is well worth a watch, or two.

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The Weekend Read – This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

Very few, if any, books have made me weep with laughter and cry with upset in the space of a couple of pages but Adam Kay’s memoir of his years as a junior hospital doctor managed it. The final chapter left me in bits for many reasons.

I ordered the book thinking it would be a 21st century continuation of Richard Gordon’s, “Doctor in the House” or Colin Douglas’s “The Houseman’s Tale”. In one sense it is; the language is not entirely medical, Adam refers to Obs & Gynae, his chosen speciality, as “brats and twats” and there is plenty of normal hospital human behaviour. Clearly the author was able to tolerate the life of a junior doctor even though, “The hours are terrible, the pay is terrible . . . But there’s no better job in the world”, until something happened.

The significant difference is that whilst the idealism, the diseases, the people and their mistakes have remained much the same, the political interference and attitude to professionals has fundamentally changed. Doctor in the House was written in the idealism of the immediate post-Bevan years (1952) and The Houseman’s Tale just pre-Thatcher (1978) when I was just starting my spell as a hospital resident. This is set in am era dominated by Jeremy Hunt’s predecessors and their ilk, (the author includes an open letter to The Secretary of State for Health) where there has been a slow strangulation of health care in spite of the best efforts of those working within it the system. These diaries were written during the years 2006-10, sadly things have not improved.

Essential reading for anyone who works in or is a recipient of healthcare in the UK – perhaps not if you and your partner are expecting your first child.

Available from The Book Depository HERE

 

 

The rising north–south divide in health in the UK

This doesn’t make great reading.

….in the past 20 years, age- and sex-adjusted excess mortality has increased by as much as 46 percentage points in people aged 35–44 years in the north of England compared with the south, and by 27 percentage points in people aged 25–34 years…

….One cause of this higher mortality is an increase in suicide in young people since the 2008 recession, mostly in the north of England. This has been linked to increases in unemployment, associated with poverty, inferior social welfare, educational attainment, and poorer health outcomes. Rates of drinking, smoking, and obesity are also comparatively higher in the north and are at least partly driven by more fast food shops on northern high streets….

The Lancet

Peter Ward exposes the NHS(E)’s “Cunning Plan”

Nice editorial in the BDJ from BDA Chief Exec Peter Ward. HERE

Edited highlights only

Death by commissioning

….That master plan looks like a determined effort to wrest away NHS dental care from small autonomous units. That model that has been supplied by a legion of conscientious practitioners ever since the beginning of the NHS. This applies both in salaried dental service and in general practice.…….

….’Savings’ is the name of the game. That coupled with ongoing ‘efficiency’ signals a race to the bottom, as each year becomes more and more squeezed than the last. It can’t be long before the social enterprises seek freedom from the obligations of NHS terms and conditions – think about the savings to be had there!…..

…..So, it is clear that the NHS in England stands to gain by ‘going large’ in all its areas of practice. But its gain is at the expense of the dentists who serve it. In essence, the wholesale dismantling of access to NHS terms and conditions provides the opportunity for savings. Proposing such a move overtly would be met with horror and outrage. Doing it stealthily and by downstream consequence may be less dramatic but the result is the same. It is not a good result for either dentists practising in England, or for patients expecting enduring, high quality care…

If only it was as easy to dismiss as Baldrick…

 

The Painful Truth About Teeth (USA)

From The Washington Post

SALISBURY, Md. — Two hours before sunrise, Dee Matello joined the line outside the Wicomico Civic Center, where hundreds of people in hoodies, heavy coats and wool blankets braced against a bitter wind. Inside, reclining dental chairs were arrayed in neat rows across the arena’s vast floor. Days later, the venue would host Disney on Ice. On this Friday morning, dentists arriving from five states were getting ready to fix the teeth of the first 1,000 people in line. Matello was No. 503. The small-business owner who supports President Trump had a cracked molar, no dental insurance and a nagging soreness that had forced her to chew on the right side of her mouth for years. “It’s always bothering me,” she said. And although her toothache wasn’t why she voted for Trump, it was a constant reminder of one reason she did: the feeling that she had been abandoned, left struggling to meet basic needs in a country full of fantastically rich people.

As the distance between rich and poor grows in the United States, few consequences are so overlooked as the humiliating divide in dental care. High-end cosmetic dentistry is soaring, and better-off Americans spend well over $1 billion each year just to make their teeth a few shades whiter. Millions of others rely on charity clinics and hospital emergency rooms to treat painful and neglected teeth. Unable to afford expensive root canals and crowns, many simply have them pulled. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans older than 65 do not have a single real tooth left. Over two days at the civic center, volunteer dentists would pull 795 teeth. A remarkable number of patients held steady jobs — a forklift operator, a librarian, a postal worker — but said they had no dental insurance and not enough cash to pay for a dentist….

….Trump’s assurance that he would build a “beautiful” health-care system to serve every American, a system that would cost less and do more. But nearly four months into Trump’s presidency, Matello sees Trump backing a Republican health care plan that appears to leave low-income people and the elderly worse off…..

….“I am hearing about a number of people who will lose their coverage under the new plan,” Matello said. “Is Trump the wolf in grandma’s clothes? My husband and I are are now saying to each other: ‘Did we really vote for him?’ ”…..“Was he just out to get our votes?”

Full article here

The second life begins…when the drill is hung up.

 

I encountered this quote from Confucius in the FT, coincidentally in the week where I was reading The Path an interesting book on Chinese Philosophy and whilst still coming to terms with the fact that since March 18th I can no longer sing the Beatles’ song which starts, “When I get older losing my hair” in the future tense.

“A man has two lives. The second life begins when he realises he only has one.”

The article in the FT was about Charles Eugster who forsook his ” middle aged, self satisfied lump of lard” and took up competitive rowing at 63. Dissatisfied with falling muscle tone and wanting a beach body he started body building aged 87.  The next challenge was competition needing coordination and performance, this led to an interest in sprinting and long jumping and his setting world records for his age group at 97.

Read the whole piece HERE it’s fascinating and inspiring if one retired dentist can do it why not others? I wonder when he’ll consider golf?

 

To Prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis, Look Past the Joints to the Gums. In Case You Missed It- TGBSL#27

An explanation of TGBSL

To Prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis, Look Past the Joints to the Gums

The mouth may seem like a strange place to search for a culprit in a disease that primarily affects the joints. But a recent collaboration by a group of multidisciplinary researchers suggests that one type of oral bacteria may be an important trigger in about half of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) cases. Continues

Some Neanderthals were vegetarians who used natural forms of penicillin and aspirin as medicine

‘Apparently, Neandertals possessed a good knowledge of medicinal plants … the use of antibiotics would be very surprising, as this is more than 40,000 years before we developed penicillin’ Continues & here

Root canal treatments overhauled through new device to detect untreated bacteria

A new method of detecting bacteria during root canal treatments could eradicate the need for follow up appointments and prevent treatments from failing, according to a study published in the Journal of Dental Research. The SafeRoot device, created by a team of researchers at King’s College London, enables rapid bacterial detection inside the root canal, ensuring the procedure has been successful and reducing the need for tooth extraction or surgical intervention. Continues.

Tooth loss linked to an increased risk of dementia

In a study of 1566 community-dwelling Japanese elderly who were followed for 5 years, the risk of developing dementia was elevated in individuals with fewer remaining teeth. Continues

Can oestrogen therapy lead to healthier teeth and gums?

A new study finds links between estrogen therapy and reducing tooth and gum diseases in postmenopausal women. Estrogen therapy is known to help women manage a variety of menopause-related issues: improving bone density and heart health and reducing hot flashes, to name a few. As such, many women choose to take hormones to treat the numerous symptoms associated with menopause. Continues

Review confirms link between drug use and poor dental health

A new review published online in the scientific journal Addiction has found that dental patients with substance use disorders have more tooth decay and periodontal disease than the general population, but are less likely to receive dental care. With drug use increasing by approximately three million new users each year, this is a problem that won’t disappear anytime soon. Continues

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