Signos Sells a Continuous Glucose Monitor, But Not to Diabetics

Signos is asking customers to pay for the privilege of testing their glucose monitoring system. You may have seen the commercials for FreeStyle Libre devices. Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) are intended to help improve management of diabetes in patients whose diabetes is not under good control, and also for patients who hate having to keep

The Science and Pseudoscience of Aging

Some animals (such as hydras and some jellyfish) can apparently live forever, but we humans are all going to die. Longevity is desirable, but aging—a slow process of deterioration—is not. Hearing declines (half of those older than seventy-five have disabling hearing loss), as does visual acuity (by age eighty, 70 percent of white Americans have

Two New Promising COVID-19 Drugs – Analysis and Questions

[Este artículo está disponible en español. La traducción al español apareció por primera vez en la revista Pensar.] The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over yet. Despite the success of vaccines, people continue to get the disease. Most cases are in the unvaccinated, but even those who have been fully vaccinated can have “breakthrough” infections. Relief appears to

Dos nuevos fármacos prometedores contra el COVID-19: análisis y preguntas

[This article is also available in English. Thanks to Pensar for the Spanish translation.] La pandemia del COVID-19 aún no ha terminado. A pesar del éxito de las vacunas, las personas continúan contrayendo la enfermedad. La mayoría de los casos corresponden a personas no vacunadas, pero incluso aquellas que han sido vacunadas por completo pueden

Get Your Flu Shot!

COVID-19 vaccines are important, but so are flu shots. They are safe, effective, and protect others (the elderly, the immunocompromised, and those too young to get the vaccine). While we are rightfully preoccupied with COVID-19 and the new vaccines, we mustn’t forget about flu shots. While the number of influenza cases has dropped dramatically (probably

Are Muscle Relaxants an Effective Adjunct for Treating Acute Low Back Pain? Yes and No

The journal American Family Physician left me confused about adding muscle relaxants to analgesics for acute low back pain. One article says it isn’t effective, but another article in the same issue says it is. For 22 years, American Family Physician (the journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians) has been publishing an annual review of

Living with Uncertainty

Uncertainty is uncomfortable. It is only natural to want certainty. It is more comfortable to be certain and wrong than to be uncertain. Like anyone else, I would like to be comfortable, but I think truth matters. I’d rather be uncertain than wrong; wouldn’t you?  As Voltaire said, “Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty

Eye Drops for Dry Eyes

I could have chosen a prescription eye drop for my dry eyes. I decided not to. Here’s why. Dry eyes can have many causes: disease, medications, environmental irritants, or just age. Tear production tends to decrease as we get older. My husband (age 80) and I (age 75) were both diagnosed with dry eyes by

Who Is Amy B. Scher?

Amy B. Scher is a proponent of energy medicine and things like astrology and homeopathy. She claims to be a “science geek,” but how could anyone who understands science think that tapping on the breastbone will fix the thymus? Is the thymus the master gland for the immune system and connected to the entire energy

Why We Need Science

Most patients, and even many medical doctors and scientists, have not grasped how important it is to use rigorous science to evaluate claims for medical treatments. All too often, people decide to try a treatment that is irrational, that hasn’t been tested, or that has been tested and shown not to work. Why do they

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