The current craze for veganism, much publicized lately, is a bit perplexing. How do you explain the twelvefold increase in the number of vegan restaurants in London alone in the last 10 years? It certainly requires a considerable degree of abnegation to voluntarily deprive oneself of the almost infinite joys resulting from the great cuisines of France, Spain, Italy, India, China and Japan in favor of limited variations on the rather monotonous whole grain. cereals, legumes, vegetables, nuts, seeds and seasonal fruits.
Nor can veganism be described as particularly “healthy”, especially for children – the exclusion (unlike vegetarians) of milk and dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt can lead to a range of nutritional deficiencies. Specifically, a recent study of 50 vegan children found that, compared to their omnivorous peers, they were more likely to be anemic with lower levels of iron and vitamin B12 and to be deficient in vitamin D and vitamin B12. calcium, resulting in reduced bone mineralization.
The various nutritional problems associated with plant-based diets (PBD) are of course well known and can be corrected by taking appropriate food supplements. The other substantial disadvantage of PBDs is that because they taste worse, children eat less and with lower caloric intake they grow more slowly and end up being shorter than their peers. This too can be corrected, but requires adding fish and dairy products to their diet when they are still young if they are to achieve adequate catch-up growth rates in height and weight.
Tackling Menopause Symptoms Early Is Key
The brain fog and mood swings of “change” (as menopause was called) may be real enough, but recent, widely reported alarmist claims that it could lead to cognitive decline later in life are , as expected, unconvincing. The primary effect of falling hormone levels, besides hot flashes, is on the genital tract, causing irritation, dryness, and long-term urinary problems, now covered by the broad diagnostic category of genitourinary syndrome. of menopause. This is easily reversible with hormone replacement therapy, but for the reluctant there is another local treatment option with low dose estrogen creams or pills.
This approach, it has recently been suggested, should be initiated as early as possible before structural tissue changes – thinning, reduction in blood flow and glandular secretions – occur. The bottom line is that while many might be willing to put up with these bothersome symptoms on the grounds that they are part of a natural process, they would be better advised to opt for this type of topical therapy as a preventative measure against more ailments. serious (and less treatable) problems later.
Finally, the recent account in this column of erroneous medical records has prompted several other cases. These include a woman in her 60s surprised to discover while reading her medical notes that apparently her recent prenatal blood test result was ‘expected’ – which was unlikely as her youngest child has now 50 years. A retired pharmacist was also perplexed to discover he had recently attended “a post-hysterectomy follow-up appointment”. Glancing through her hospital notes as she carried them between wards, another woman was alarmed to find a letter stating “unfortunately this woman passed away this weekend”.
There is no foolproof system that can prevent these clerical errors or misfiled letters from occasionally creeping into medical records, which are easily corrected. More importantly, those who have been mislabeled as having diabetes or hypertension due to high sugar or blood pressure reading in the past can reasonably request that these diagnoses be removed from their records. if their measurements are now normal without the need for medication.
This has the added benefit of not being penalized by paying a higher premium for life insurance or vacation policies that these diagnoses so often entail.