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Healthy Living Newsletter - Volume 2, No. 12

Issue Date: September 29, 2005
Publisher: Mellanie True Hills, The Health & Productivity Revitalizer

The Healthy Living News searches the latest medical research to provide you with information that makes it easy to take good care of yourself.

Here at the Healthy Living News, we are just returning from a hiatus due to being on the road and due to my heart surgery and recovery. In this issue, we'll cover:

  1. Painkillers: It's Getting Harder to Choose
  2. Olive Oil: One More Reason That It Is Good for You
  3. In the Wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita : Avoiding Your Personal Hurricane

1.  Painkillers: It's Getting Harder to Choose

We continue to see painkillers being implicated in heart attacks. We have heard much in recent months about Vioxx potentially causing heart attacks, and thus it has been withdrawn from the market. A new observational study, which appeared in the British Medical Journal, has concluded that other painkillers may also increase your risk of heart attack.

Researchers studied people in England, Scotlan d, and Wales who had experienced heart attacks and found that those taking ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin), rofecoxib (Vioxx), or diclofenac (Voltaren) were at a 24-55% increased risk of heart attack. Those taking naproxen (Aleve) experienced a slight increase in risk as well, which was a surprise considering that other studies had labeled naproxen as being protective of the heart.

These findings are strictly observational and still preliminary, but if you use painkillers, it might be prudent to discuss these findings with your doctor to determine your best course of action.

Many doctors today prescribe a daily low-dose, baby aspirin (81 mg) to ward off heart disease, which may be sufficient to provide a low level of pain relief as well. While all aspirin increases the risk of gastrointestinal upset and bleeding, a low-dose aspirin results in much less than a regular adult (325 mg) aspirin and appears to provide protection against heart disease as well.

While I don't recommend any specific medication, your doctor can evaluate your medical history to recommend the best course of action for you.

2.  Olive Oil: One More Reason That It Is Good for You

We know that olive oil is a good, heart-healthy fat since it contains beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids. A new study, which appeared in the September issue of Nature, found one more reason to have olive oil in your diet—olive oil contains oleocanthal, which fights inflammation, a major cause of heart disease.

Consider substituting olive oil for butter, margarine, salad dressings, or for other cooking oils. As always, even good fats, like olive oil, should be used in moderation.

For those of you in Portland, Oregon, please come join us on October 21, 2005 at the American Heart Association's first annual Go Red for Women Luncheon.

3.  In the Wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita : Avoiding Your Personal Hurricane

The human devastation from Hurricane Katrina, and to a slightly lesser extent from Hurricane Rita, has touched our hearts in the US and around the globe. You may not have been directly impacted, but you may have been touched, perhaps through sharing your time or your money to help evacuees.

I was in the hospital for surgery during the aftermath of Katr ina and contemplated the plight of the many in hospitals during this tragedy. Surgery and recovery are difficult enough under the best circumstances, but with no power, no water, windows blown from buildings, and waters rising rapidly, even basic medical needs are difficult to meet. You think of how much more difficult recovery would be being hauled out on a gurney through floodwaters.

We all have hurricanes in our lives. Yours may be named "heart disease", "stroke", or "cancer", which are devastating to individuals and families. Not only do they rob you of health, but may take it all, including your livelihood and all your assets.

Like hurricane survivors, you may feel that insurance and savings will see you through. But what if, in an instant, everything changed? In 2003, in spite of not having heart disease risk factors, I almost died in emergency heart surgery, and a few months later, had blood clots that were a close call for a stroke. Both incidents happened as I got off flights, so as a consultant who traveled about 95% of the time, within a heartbeat, I was grounded.

If one day you could no longer do your current job, what would you do? Do you have a backup plan?

Also consider that if you have a known health problem—such as heart disease or cancer—you can't get individual health insurance, or if you do, you may not be able to afford it. Almost certainly, it will exclude coverage for your condition. Just like a hurricane, the financial impact of a health problem can wipe you out.

But there is hope. While we can't avoid hurricanes, you can avoid many of these deadly diseases by what you eat, how you exercise, how you deal with stress, and how you take care of yourself. It's time to make a plan NOW for your health.

As Albert Einstein said, "The clever person solves a problem. The wise person avoids it."

My surgery thankfully was to proactively eliminate my risk of blood clots and stroke, and will allow me to fly again.

Please ask yourself "What can I do today to proactively protect myself from my own personal hurricane?" And when you figure it out, do it!

Just as we here in Texas utilized lessons learned from Katrina to prepare for Hurricane Rita last week, you can apply lessons learned by others to fine-tune your own health plan. I invite you to download a complimentary e-book, What Every Woman Needs to Know About Weight and Stress to Save Her Life. This information is valuable for men, too. It shares what I learned as well as lessons learned by others.

Take care of yourself. Wishing you health, happiness, and longevity,


Mellanie True Hills
The Health & Productivity Revitalizer
®...improving lives & productivity
Speaker and Author of A Woman's Guide to Saving Her Own Life
Read the first two chapters

PS. Mellanie is the author of A Woman's Guide to Saving Her Own Life. She revitalizes the health and productivity of people and organizations. Executives say "Mellanie delivers solid business results", and audiences say, "You changed my life."

PPS. Invite Mellanie to speak to your company, organization, or association. Her most popular topic is Staying Healthy and Productive in a Speed-Obsessed, Deadline-Driven World. See some organizations for whom she has spoken or with whom she has worked at and view comments from attendees at her speeches.

PPPS. You may reprint this, or any of my articles, in your publication, company newsletter, or on your intranet. Please include attribution, copyright, and contact information ( and and please send us a copy. Thanks.

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