Robert Ebisch has a background of decades as a Health/Medical/Science writer and columnist for magazines and newspapers, popular journalism in all topics, experience in business and technology, and writing not only for publications but also for companies, agencies and institutions. Publications include freelance features in most of the nation’s major newspapers, from the Washington Post and Philadelphia Inquirer to the Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times, and newspapers in Canada, Latin America, Europe and Asia; and publication in both specialized and trade magazines as well as popular magazines ranging from Worth Magazine and Men’s Journal to Science Digest, Science News and Sky Magazine [in-flight mag of Delta Airlines, readership est. three million], where he was the health/medical columnist from 1993 to 2008.
Last weekend, I was up in the mountains hiking in Colorado’s StauntonState Park. The temperature was bracing cold, a dusting of snow was in the woods and there were patches of ice on the path, but the sun was out and the golden aspens were aglow and it was a beautiful day.
A year ago, I was sitting at home in the gloom of not being able to enjoy experiences like this. With plantar fasciitis crippling my right foot, it was a gloomy to see myself as myself as starting a downward spiral into a disabled and premature old age. Dealing with it, let alone getting it cured, is complicated. So I set out to talk with the experts and get the answers I needed. I started a Web site, as an excuse to talk with those experts and as a means of helping others who suspect that plantar fasciitis may have ended their days of walking without crippling pain.
It’s helped me, that’s for sure. This year I’ve walked long days on hard pavement through cities as a tourist; climbed the Brocken in the Harz Mountains, the highest point in northern Germany; and taken long hikes in the mountains of my Colorado home – and I don’t have to limp anymore.
The Web site, now at two alternative URLS, has a primary focus on “self-cure” and a secondary focus on Aggressive Treatments: medical interventions for those who can’t self-cure. But if you have plantar fasciitis, you’re probably among the 90 % of us who, the docs say, can cure themselves. Like I did. But what does it mean, “cured”?
“Complete response in more than 80% of patients maintaining” blood serum level of uric acid, “below 6 mg/dL for 1 year.” Pegloticase, trade name Krystexxa, is still a new drug in medicine’s arsenal, approved by the FDA for use in the U.S. only in 2010. Now study results published this month, October 2013, gives a boost to its credentials for reduction, even elimination, of uric-acid crystal deposits. Known as “tophi,” these are the deposits that cause swelling, deformity and chronic pain in gout sufferers. More info at: http://www.bobbingforanswers.com/gout-news-tips/
New feature on plantar fasciitis: testimonials and opinions from the “street” in Plantar Fasciitis Surgery: To Do Or Not To Do. More personal stories to be added as they come in. Meanwhile, our Plantar Fasciitis Surgery section has added videos of arthroscopic and “open-foot” plantar fasciitis surgery. They’re not for the squeamish, but always good to know what’s going to happen.
Bobbing for Answers has popped its Plantar Fasciitis section out as a new Web site with a new URL specifically for Plantar Fasciitis: www.plantarfasciitis-help.com … for those Web seekers interested ONLY in that topic. Meanwhile, Plantar Fasciitis will continue to be a part of Bobbing for Answers, as it continues to be a part of some 4 million American feet.
Aristolochic acid, a natural product of Aristolochia plants found in birthwort and other products sold as herbal medicines for gout, arthritis and inflammation, “causes kidney failure and urothelial carcinoma of the upper urinary tract,” according to August 2013 publications. More details in Gout News & Tips.
According to a great resource for international travelers, only 5 of the 35 countries flagged for “Current Travel Warnings” by the U.S. Department of State are in the Western Hemisphere, but those warnings are certainly worthwhile reading: “Armed robberies of climbers and hikers” in one country’s “national parks are common”…“Terrorist groups and other criminal organizations continue to kidnap and hold civilians”…travelers were “attacked and robbed shortly after departing the airport”…”presence of cholera”…”U.S. citizens have fallen victim to criminal activity, including homicide, gun battles, kidnapping, carjacking and highway robbery”…etc. And the other 30 countries are, if anything, worse. Details at: http://www.bobbingforanswers.com/current-travel-warnings/
A lot of surgeries that are done for orthopedic conditions – from rotator cuff tears to knees and plantar fasciitis — are not actually necessary, suggests Dr. Howard Luks, Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at New York Medical College and Chief of Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy at Westchester Medical Center
“Many patients are under the unfortunate impression that if something is torn it must be fixed,” according to Dr. Luks. “Nearly all patients who are informed that they have a torn meniscus or a torn rotator cuff will immediately conclude that they need surgery to repair the problem.”
Too many doctors don’t really listen to their patients or talk to them about alternatives, says Dr. Luks. “Patients who are informed fully about the various risks and benefits of surgical and nonsurgical measures generally tend to opt for less-invasive procedures.”
Oh just great. A common drug to relieve heartburn may cause heart disease, according to research results announced this month, increasing the risk of hypertension, a weakened heart and even another heart attack in “people who’ve already experienced severe cornonary events.” The suspect drug category is that of Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs). Commonly used PPIs are Lansoprazole (trade name Prevacid) and (trade name Prilosec). What are we supposed to do, we people with heartburn, a.k.a. acid reflux, a.k.a. gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Grisly details at: http://www.bobbingforanswers.com/heartburn-news-tips/
You rarely see a generic drug turning into a brand-name drug, so a lot of folks with gout wondered…“WTH?” (What the heck?) when one of their most valued medicines suddenly took that rout and the price skyrocketed from pennies per pill to dollars per pill. A lot of people went beyond wondering, to outrage. For some two million gout sufferers in the U.S., after all, colchicine is a major weapon against pain. What the heck happened?
The Stephen Colbert show featured a report that a bit of sunbathing can lower one’s blood pressure, based on Edinburgh University research. San Antonio dermatologist Mark Naylor explains how dangerous and wacko this idea is, adding, “This is what happens when reporters who are desperate for anything resembling news, find a counter-intuitive and unverified claim from an irresponsible splinter group of PhD’s which feeds the unhealthy desires of the public to do things like smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, tan intentionally, etc.” For the full blast of dermatological disdain see: http://www.bobbingforanswers.com/news-tips-vacation-health/