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… read more "Signos Sells a Continuous Glucose Monitor, But Not to Diabetics"
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… read more "The Science and Pseudoscience of Aging"
[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… read more "Two New Promising COVID-19 Drugs – Analysis and Questions"
[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… read more "Dos nuevos fármacos prometedores contra el COVID-19: análisis y preguntas"
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… read more "Get Your Flu Shot!"
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… read more "Are Muscle Relaxants an Effective Adjunct for Treating Acute Low Back Pain? Yes and No"
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… read more "Living with Uncertainty"
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… read more "Eye Drops for Dry Eyes"
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… read more "Who Is Amy B. Scher?"
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… read more "Why We Need Science"