Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The truth about statins


A couple of years ago I read a book in which the author, a doctor, believed that everyone should be on a Statin. If I remember right, he had some kind of financial ties to statins. I also remember reading negative reports about statins at the same time as picking up that book to read. The bad news on statins has only continued. Barbara H. Roberts, M.D., continues the bad new stories in her book, The Truth About Statins.

Dr. Roberts is a cardiologist, which makes this book even more compelling. She takes the time to review the studies on Statins and why the research is flawed. Included is an overview of the serious side effects of taking statins, especially for women. She recommends lifestyle and diet changes first, which many doctors don't think the average patient can successfully achieve. But she thinks we can. She does not say that no one should take statins, but only a very, very select patient.

If you or someone you know is taking a statin, this book is a must read. I've talked with a few library patrons who picked this book up and realized that the way they were feeling after starting statins was not normal. They immediately talked with their doctors and stopped taking them. As patients, we need to question every pharmaceutical that is prescribed because no pharmaceutical is without side effects, some of them quite serious.

The book is well written. The chapters that review the statin studies are a bit boring. There are some recipes included that are supposed to help heart health, but they almost seem like an afterthought. The version of the book I read was a small paperback, so not really convenient in the kitchen anyway.

Book Rating: 4 stars

The books I select for review are books which I personally select from my local library. I do not receive any reimbursement from authors or publishers or free books. I do provide links to Amazon as a convenience to the readers of this blog. I do earn a small referral pittance which is not even enough to buy a soda.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Adrenal Fatigue : The 21st Century Stress Syndrome


Adrenal fatigue is one of those things modern medicine either ignores and claims doesn't exist. The normal definition is that the adrenal glands become tired or worn out and therefore stop working properly. I've done some reading on this and I'm not sure that adrenal "fatigue" is really the right description for what is happening. Perhaps in some cases the adrenal gland really is worn out. I think in others the adrenal gland is responding properly based on the stresses on the body. This implies that we are simply under too much stress. In any event, adrenal fatigue, however you look at it, is a very real problem.

Dr. James L. Wilson, a chiropractic and naturopathic doctor wrote this in depth book about adrenal fatigue. The book reviews the symptoms, has a quiz you can take, and then discusses various natural treatments including diet changes and supplements. The book is heavily referenced.

Despite modern medicine's disregard for the topic, fatigue and chronic fatigue are very real problems. Stress can have a huge impact on your overall health. The book is worth a read if this is something that you are dealing with. Caution and care should still be used when reading any medical self-help book. And it is always best to try and find a doctor willing to work with you to make sure there isn't something else going on as well.

I have read two versions of this book. The Kindle version is absolutely terrible. The drawings, as silly as they are, are very small. The quizzes and all other graphics are too small to read. You can find the quiz on Dr. Wilson's website, but why should you have to do that if you have the book? Also, the footnotes are in regular size print and disrupt the flow of reading because all of a sudden you run into a series of numbers. I did find a print copy of the book and it lacks all of these problems and I was able to reread some of the sections without any problems.

Kindle version: 2 stars
Print version: 4 stars


The books I select for review are books which I personally select from my local library. I do not receive any reimbursement from authors or publishers or free books. I do provide links to Amazon as a convenience to the readers of this blog. I do earn a small referral pittance which is not even enough to buy a soda.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Trapped under the sea


The city of Boston had been dumping sewage and waste into Boston Harbor for hundreds of years. It was toxic and needed to be cleaned up. But before that could happen Boston needed a way to deal with sewage. Most people don't think about what happens when you flush a toilet. That waste has to go somewhere. In many communities it goes to a sewer treatment plant where the waste is broken down and treated eventually being released back into the environment as clean water. The city of Boston created a master plan that was bold in its vision. The plan was to build a new treatment plan and a 10 mile tunnel under Boston Harbor. The goal was to release treated waste deep into the ocean far from Boston Harbor. Eventually, Boston Harbor would recover and be safe once again.

Such a thing had never been attempted. The initial tunneling went well. The unknown factor was the end of the job. Someone would have to pull the plugs in sequence. These plugs would be where the cleaned waste water is released. The plugs were deep at the end of the tunnel. Deep sea divers were needed to do the job. These men had experience in deep water dives and industrial construction. But even they had never done something like this. There were a lot of safety concerns for this job. Bids were put out for subcontractors. One was selected made up of a team of 5 deep sea divers. Their plan was untested. Their equipment was specially made and also untested. Safety concerns were raised and ignored. What followed was a tragedy.

The story is written in the style of a true-crime novel. There were sections where the story dragged as the author details the conditions in the tunnel and the equipment that was used. Those sections of the story were essential in explaining why the tragedy occurred. The reviews on Amazon are almost universally positive. The writing style did not appeal to me as it switched between characters and description. Still, the story is important because it explains the human toll of our modern infrastructure and lives.

Book Review: 3.5 stars

The books I select for review are books which I personally select from my local library. I do not receive any reimbursement from authors or publishers or free books. I do provide links to Amazon as a convenience to the readers of this blog. I do earn a small referral pittance which is not even enough to buy a soda.