August 26, 2013

Medical Tourism

Articles by Dr. Erdman are for informational purposes, and are not to be taken as specific medical advice.

The costs of medical care in the United States are spiraling upward at unsustainable rates. The monstrosity of regulations forced upon us in the legislation labeled Obamacare is making things much worse. There is no chance it will do an ounce of good.

Why are prices of medical services here in the US so high? Well, some say, we have the best care on earth, right? Our doctors are better trained, we have better facilities and therefore we have better outcomes, right? Actually, not right! We do not have better care for the money we spend. The US spends more on health care than the next 10 biggest spenders combined! AND, we rank last in terms of quality of care among those leading industrialized countries.

August 12, 2013

Slow Down & CHEW!

Articles by Dr. Erdman are for informational purposes, and are not to be taken as specific medical advice.

You’ve probably heard many a parent telling their children to stop eating so fast, slow down and chew your food. I used to hear it all the time growing up. I think I could have been done with my plate of food before Mom and Dad even started! I was in a hurry to get back outside and play.

Have you ever noted how people around you eat when you are at a restaurant?  Some eat slow and talk their way through a meal, while others are all business, get it in and get it down! I’ve often heard it said you should chew each bite 25 times. Whoever came up with that, I have no idea, but it sounds a bit like over kill to me. At that point why not just puree it?

Believe it or not, there really are physiological and psychological reasons to chew your food properly. What is properly chewing a bite of food? Well, I haven’t found anything to be too dogmatic about, and the amount each food needs masticated (chewed) obviously depends on what it is. It is not necessarily how many times you chew each bite, but how each morsel taken in ends up before you swallow it. Eating on the run or in front of the TV is not conducive to good food processing. Unfortunately, short school lunch periods and half hour lunches at work tend to force us into fast eating and a bad habit. You should eat purposefully, taking smaller bites, chewing slow and steady, and fully breaking down each bite until it has lost its basic texture. You need to finish chewing and swallow completely, prior to taking another bite. Do not wash your food down with liquid. That is not to say don’t drink with your meal, just don’t chew half way and wash it down with drink.