Category: Ask the Doctor

Pick Your Parents Well

By J. Ron Eaker, M.D. Choosing your parents is the single best thing you can do for your health.  While the absurdity of this is apparent, it only serves to illustrate how vital genetics plays in your wellbeing. We are very much what those little double strands of DNA say we are, from the color of our eyes to the size of our feet.  There is a certain inevitability baked into our genetic code, but researchers are now claiming that we are not completely at the mercy of our chromosonal captors. When I was in medical school (approximately a...

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Pick Your Friends… Carefully

Another in the series, Ten Habits for Healthy Moms By J. Ron Eaker, M.D. On my first day of medical school, a stodgy, statuesque professor surveyed the class and prognosticated, ”Look around ladies and gentlemen.  In four years a third of you will not graduate, 1 will commit suicide, and of those who are married now, 30% will be divorced.”  At that moment I about became one of those 1/3, but instead I persisted and learned the lesson that our peer group has an enormous impact on our lives. A famous motivational speaker is fond of saying that you...

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Hava a Heart

Seventh in a series of Ten Habits for a Healthy Mom By J. Ron Eaker, M.D. Victoria didn’t want to go to the hospital.  She was convinced that the chest discomfort she was feeling was due to the slaw dog she had for lunch but her medical student daughter insisted that she get checked.  At her small community hospital ER, Victoria was placed in an observation room while doctors attended the patient in the adjoining room.  Victoria actually knew the patient, Fred from the hardware store, who had come in the ER at about the same time.  He was...

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Nature Verus Nurture

Sixth in a series of Ten Habits for a Healthy Mom By J. Ron Eaker, M.D. The debate over nature versus nurture, especially as it relates to health, rages on like a California wildfire.  Almost daily, new discoveries are published detailing the impact of genetic makeup and one’s health.  Cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s  and a host of other maladies are clearly dependent on a variety of “nature” indices like genes and mutations. In particular, breast and ovarian cancer have been intimately linked to a myriad of genes that can be passed along to family members.  Many of you are...

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Start a Healthy Legacy

Fifth in a series of Ten Habits for a Healthy Mom By J. Ron Eaker, M.D. My dad was the king of, “Do as I say, not as I do”.  This maxim led to 50 extra pounds, hypertension, type 2 diabetes…and an early death. In his defense, he always encouraged us to practice healthy dietary habits but there wasn’t a barbecue pork chop that didn’t have his name on it.  There is nothing better (except maybe stopping smoking) that most of us can do for our long term health than eating well.  Raised in the South, I grew up,...

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