Filthy facts of Flying – Dr. David Hepburn

Dr. David Frederick Hepburn answer your questions:

Q: Why do I seem to get a cold every time I take a flight over 3 hours?

Dr. David Hepburn: The air in airplane cabins is plain oxygen deficient, dry and stale, not unlike my Aunt Sophia or her brownies. Oxygen levels are usually twenty percent less than on the ground while the Humidex can be a whopping 80% lower. Loosening up by stiffening our drinks adds to the risk of becoming dehydrated and suddenly our nostrils become a perfect storm for catching those famous airplane viruses that flight attendants secretly spray about the cabin just before boarding. To mitigate your chances of getting ill; use saline sprays to keep your nostrils moist, keep well hydrated by drinking a glass of water for every hour you fly, and even moisturize your skin using something other than Kokanee.

Airplane take off - Dr. Dave Hepburn
Airplane take off – Dr. Dave Hepburn
  • Q: I am wondering if there is any risk of flying when I am pregnant and when is the best time for me to fly across country.

Dr. David Hepburn: First of all flying with your child will never be easier. While in the womb it is much more difficult to hear them and they seldom throw up on the nice doctor in the seat behind you who was just trying to help. The risk of flying for women who have normal and healthy pregnancies is minimal though pregnancy under the best of circumstances can predispose to getting a blood clot. Obviously high risk pregnancies should not be risked up high.

The best time to fly is the second trimester as the nausea and miscarriage potential drops off and the risk of preterm birth is minimal. Some airlines don’t let you fly after 36 weeks while others require you to buy 7 seats and bring hot towels and a doctor in your carry on just in case. I not only support this but suggest that third trimester moms visit Maui, Cancun and I’ve always wanted to see Brazil.

  • What can I do to prevent my eardrum from making me go painfully deaf?

Dr. David Hepburn: As always, it’s important to avoid flying at all when you are congested, as even a common head cold could put you at risk of rupturing an eardrum. A simple product called EARPLANES can soften the pressure gradient across your eardrum. Though you can still hear quite well with these, the excited auctioneer beside you will think you can’t.

  • How can I avoid jetlag?

Dr. David Hepburn: Stay home. Nowadays those HD Discovery Channel shows are so realistic that you feel like you’ve been to, say Mongolia, or wherever and you get to avoid

 and that persistent yak hair. But for those who absolutely have to see the yaks for themsleves:

  1. Go to bed earlier than usual for a few nights before departure.
  2. Eat lightly the night before. Perhaps just one pizza instead of three.
  3. Rehydrate when you fly and after you land
  4. Don’t over-schedule yourself the first day of arrival. Allow your body to ease into its new schedule.
Airplane passengers - Dr. Hepburn
Airplane passengers – Dr. Hepburn
  • How about Melatonin?

Dr. David Hepburn: The biological rhythm disorganization caused by the rapid change of environment (and associated light/dark cues) apparently can be corrected by melatonin. Melatonin when taken at the destination, between 10 pm and midnight, can offset jet lag. The benefit is greater as more time zones are crossed and less for westward flights. However, melatonin taken before travel can actually worsen symptoms as opposed to the benefit of melatonin initiated immediately upon arrival. I know of no side effects other than the occasional yak.


Pet Therapy (first part) – Dr. David Hepburn

Everyone knows that having a pet can bring a lot of happiness to a family but also can bring great benefits for your health. That’s why Dr. David Hepburn present to you 5 of the 10 benefits of having a pet.

  1. Get in shape

Several studies have shown that having a pet helps you get in shape. This, of course, is obvious if your pet is a dog as opposed to a June bug. You take the dog out to do its business because you get tired of him relieving himself on your pillow.  The dog has an innate reflex that makes him poop like a mastodon on the neighbour’s manicured lawn and then you both end up running like the new long-haired boy in prison. This interval sprinting and laughing can help you get in shape. One study showed that new dog owners lose an average of 14 pounds in the first year.

  1. Pets help people survive heart attacks.

Pet owners have healthier hearts and more pleasant heart attacks than patients who don’t have a dog or cat! Those who own a dog are eight times more likely to survive one year after suffering a heart attack. One study, conducted out of a coronary care unit, found that only 6 percent of patients who owned pets died within one year compared with 28 percent of those who did not own pets. Stroking a dog, watching a kitten tumble, or observing the hypnotic explorations of fish can lower blood pressure and heart rates. Heart attacks, however, did increase in pet owners who discovered their miniature dachshund pregnant and the huge Irish Wolfhound next door with a poop eating grin on his face to go along with the grin he normally has from eating poop.

Pet Therapy Dr. David Hepburn
Pet Therapy Dr. David Hepburn
  1. Pets are great for mental health

Between those times when they’re driving you mental. In fact, pet ownership even moderates the effects of mental illness. Patients who have pets are less depressed or anxious and show lower scores on the depression severity scale than those who do not own pets. So, if you’re feeling blue take two shitzus and call me in the morning.

  1. Beneficial hormones

A study out of the University of Missouri showed that within minutes of petting a dog, there is a massive release of beneficial hormones (in the petter) known to be associated with health and feelings of well being; beta endorphin, prolactin, dopamine, oxytocin, and of course good ol’ beta phenylethylamine. The release of these petting hormones not only induce a sense of pleasure and happiness but they also decrease the stress hormone, cortisol. The fish, however, were not thrilled with this study.

  1. Dogs are beneficial in speech and language development.

Dogs are instantly loyal and eager to please, perfect companions during the sometimes difficult speech therapy sessions. Therapeutic progress occurs more rapidly when dogs are involved.  A patient’s physical anxiety goes down as measured by lower blood pressure and heart rate, and less stress almost always equals a more productive session.

In the following post we are going to present to you the remaining five benefits of having a pet according to Dr. David Hepburn

Disorderly Disney Diseases by Dr. Hepburn

My oldest son, Bert, relished his role as older brother/idol/torturer of Ernie. (For sake of confidentiality I will call them Bert and Ernie since using their actual names, Palmer and Stewart, would likely cause significant embarrassment and years of expensive therapy.)

My thrill seeking sons loved to seek thrills and so it was we found ourselves in Universal Studios Florida seeking our thrill seeking thrills on the Hulk roller coaster. Within seconds of launch, Bert was in a gray out, as the G forces pooled his blood somewhere in his Airwalks causing his vision to fade to black, much to the great glee of young Ste…Ernie. A couple of twists and screams later Bertmer was revived but as the ride finished Ernie, noting the odd effect this ride had on big Bert announced that we should do it again. Not wanting to show any signs of weakness for fear of diminishing his authority as Atilla the older Hun, he agreed. Again, gray out, much to the delight of Ernie who of course wanted to do it seven more times. By the time we finally finished our fling on Hulkmania, Bert was ready for something easier like bunging jumping into Crocodile Lake without a cord.

A few years later I took my grandkids (I will call them Snuffleupagus and Grover since Eliza and Enoch may not be overjoyed to see their names in print either) to a similar park of pleasant pestilence and we rode the spinning strawberries or twirling teacups or hellacious helicopter or whatever. “This will be fun kids” I announced as I took the wheel and spun us around like Katarina Witt on expresso. Whispering with evil intent “can’t wait to see them stumble around like drunken cops after this.” But as we got off the teacups and as they skipped towards the next ride…”Wait a sec kids….um…..grandpa is..” “Grandpa are you sweating?” “Heck no…just tears of joy springing from my forehead, but lets…. sit down… before Grandpa vomits.”

Hulk Coaster - Dave Hepburn
Hulk Coaster – Dave Hepburn

I used to be able to do these things no problem but as the Big Macs accumulate over the years and my belt and the sun has turned my hair grey I find I don’t spin so good. Can a day at Disney be dangerous and detrimental to your dentures, digits and dignity?  As roller coasters continue to push the envelope of speed, I note the following medical warnings from the park, somewhat bastardized by, well… Goofy

  1. The sharp turns, ups and downs, and high speeds of today’s roller coasters could cause damage to your ears. Passengers should remain facing forward for the duration of the ride to avoid letting the full impact of acceleration wind hit the ear. Barotrauma occurs when there is a quick change in pressure between the external environment, the ear drum and the pressure in the middle ear space. Stanley Cup rioters should be fine as the wind should pass right through.
  2. Roller coasters can jolt your neck about, leaving you at risk for headaches as well as whiplash. Sit in the middle of the chair and don’t lean to one side. Relax, but do not go limp (sounds familiar). When the seat pitches you to the left, relax your torso and bend to the right to keep your head upright and centered. You want to ride the seat–not have it throw you around or toss you out over the It Doesn’t Much Matterhorn.
  3. Do not ride the coasters if you are pregnant, or resemble third trimester were you a woman. There are special rides designed for the extra-fluffy folks but they are currently permanently broken.
  4. If you have high blood pressure, a heart condition or even a rupturing aneurysm try the angio ride over in ICU land.
  5. If you get nauseous simply watching Al Gore kiss something or if you have just gorged on the Pluto Splatter Platter then please stay off the Whirling Duodenum.
  6. Most fun theme parks are not found in Winnipeg or the Straits of Magellan but rather near a Solar Flare. Drink lots of water and keep cool, dude.
  7. If you are visiting with a child or a grandparent or a childish grandparent, take a moment to explain how they should behave. Set a good example for them by following the rules. Tell them to stay seated, to hold the grab bar, put their hands rather than their breakfast in their laps, and not to stick their knees and feet outside a ride vehicle. And never put a crying child or a screaming grandfather on a ride. If he starts to cry, let others pass you in line until he is calmed….. Same with the child.
Roller Coaster- Dr. David Hepburn
Roller Coaster- Dr. David Hepburn

Dr. David Hepburn advice: Kissing

Health Benefits of Kissing – Dr. Hepburn

Ten benefits of kissing by Dr. David Hepburn:

Remember your first kiss? I do like it was yesterday. “David, give Amaretto Auntie Hilda a kiss goodnight before you go to bed.” As awful as kissing seemed at age three I actually quite enjoy a good smooch now that I’m more mature, or at least older. Little did I know how much the pucker factor was/is simply improving my health.

  1. Helps keep the facial muscles toned.

A kiss involves 34 facial muscles (30 if you don’t speak French) and often 112 postural muscles in the rest of the body including those muscles that prepare you to run like really fast. According to my Uncle Vern, the three words he used to hate to hear while in the throes of passion were “Honey, I’m home.”

  1. More years living

Those who kiss their partner goodbye each morning live five years longer than those who don’t. Those who forget completely may not live past supper.

  1. Prevents three-eyed children.

Women tend to be attracted to male partners with a different immune system makeup from their own. Subconsciously they detect information about a partner’s immune system through smell during kissing and can reject a potential mate based on one kiss. And here I just thought it was the garlic and pickled eggs when, in fact, it’s just a different immune system. I feel better.

  1. Less cavity searches (by the dentist)

As extra saliva produced during kissing cleans the bacteria off your teeth. Hence you may select either a hearty floss or possibly a Heidi Fleiss. Thus kissing can be helpful to your teeth however should you be salaciously saliva-sharing with Moose’s girlfriend, possibly harmful to your teeth, as my Uncle Vern used to say.

  1. Can help you lose calories.

During a really, really passionate kiss you might lose two calories a minute – double your metabolic rate. Of course you might even burn more calories if kissing leads to other activities like, umm, basketball.

  1. Relive Stress

Due to the release of the calming hormone oxytocin kissing helps alleviate stress, unless it is with someone other than your spouse or dog, in which case the oxytocin is replaced by oxymoron.

Dr. David Hepburn advice: Kissing
Dr. David Hepburn advice: Kiss
  1. Natural antiseptic.

When we swap kisses we swap antibodies. There are powerful proteins in saliva that make it a natural antiseptic. New evidence suggests that these proteins may even destroy viruses. Animals lick their wounds because saliva has healing qualities and acts like an antibiotic. Personally, knowing what my dog has been licking I tend to take antibiotics after he zips his tongue into my mouth trying to get at those jelly beans remnants lodged in my molars.

  1. Gets rid of the owwie.

I know this is true because my mother told me so and she is bigger than your mother. The trust that is generated with a maternal kiss makes one feel loved with all the confidence that comes with it.

  1. Relieve sneezing and sniffling

A study in Japan revealed that thirty minutes of intense kissing can relieve sneezing and sniffling, caused by allergies, by slowing down histamine production. Of course this can get a little messy if it doesn’t work as kissing and sneezing at the same time suddenly makes fugu look good.

  1. Kissing can boost the immune system.

If you’re sharing your germs with somebody, you’re adding to your internal defense system. This has lead to an interesting line at the bars “Hey baby, care to snuggle up to a little Strep, a little bacterial buss. Name’s Vern.”

Follow the advice of Dr. David Hepburn and kiss more, apart from brightening the day and fell well, bring benefits to your health.

Sense of smell and Alzheimer´s – Dr. David Hepburn

According to Alzheimer´s society of Canada the number of people with dementia has increased considerably in recent years. Currently there are a little over half a million Canadians with dementia and around 46 million in the world suffer from Alzheimer. As we can see, it is one of the most important challenges for public health in near future specially if we considering that there is no cure for this disease at the moment and the average age of the world population is getting higher.

In consequence early detection can be very helpful. For this reason Dr. David Hepburn and Dr. Robert Sealey give you a very important advice to detect Alzheimer’s with anticipation and can be treated properly.

Dr. David Frederick Hepburn, David Frederick Hepburn, Dr. Hepburn, Dr. David Hepburn

According to Dr. Sealey an important research has suggested that loss sense of smell probably would be the first indication that a person could have Alzheimer’s. Conforming to scientists of this research the amyloid plaques which are responsible for the cognitive decline in dementia initially begin to accumulate in the part of the brain responsible for the sense of smell. As consequence, to note a loss of sense of smell should be the warning to see a doctor

Consequently Dr. David Hepburn comment that thanks to this discovery now we have an inexpensive alternative that can be done through the sense of smell, replacing brain scans in order to determine if early Alzheimer’s is setting in.

Alzheimer, Dave Hepburn, Medical AdvicesDr. David Frederick Hepburn

Therefore it is very important to be aware of our sense of smell as Dr. David Hepburn said because the early detection of Alzheimer’s can make a difference not only in the treatment to be followed but in the quality of life, once the disease is diagnosed.

Tips to live longer Dr. David Hepburn

“Die young at an old age…” Dr. David Frederick Hepburn.

The majority of people want to live more years and the most important thing is to live them well. That’s why Dr. Robert Sealey and Dr. David Hepburn give you the following recommendations so that you can live longer and better.

  1. Exercise

The first recommendation is basic, exercise!. Although you do not need to lose weight, exercising is very important. As mentioned by Dr. David Hepburn: Exercising allows your body to release good chemicals for you, which help to you to feel better

  1. Sleep

The second recommendation is about restoring your body. Sleep, you must sleep enough for your body to recover. Sleeping well helps you to lose weight, to your memory and even to overcome of depression

David Frederick Hepburn

      3. Stop Smoking

One of the best things you can do to your health is stop smoking. In fact Dr. Hepburn recommends not only leave the cigarette but any substance harmful to your health such as excessive alcohol or heroin.

     4. Smile

As simple as it sounds smile can contribute to your health. Smiling helps to lower your cholesterol levels and your blood pressure levels.

     5. Drink Red Wine

There are several studies that show that drinking red wine in moderation, (which means  one or two drinks a day) provide antioxidants that reduce cholesterol and prevent heart attacks, even help prevent colds

     6. Eat Chocolate

Dr. Hepburn and Dr. Sealey point out that another recommendation is to eat chocolate. It is important to mention that the darker the better. This reduces the risk of cancer

     7. Lose Weight

Finally the last recommendation made by Dr. David Frederick Hepburn. Lose Weight (only if you need it).

Dr. Hepburn

Myths Dispelled (Second Part) Dr. David Hepburn

Continuing with the topic of the last postDr. Hepburn and Dr. Sealey keep demystifying some beliefs of the medical world. In this post they will try to educate us about some things that we have believed for a long time that affect our health despite the fact that various studies indicate that it is not true.

The first myth is about chocolate and junk food. It has always been thought that these two foods cause acne which is false according to Dr. Sealey. In his own words “acne is due to hormones which is a whole different problem bacteria as well. So go ahead and eat as much chocolate and junk food. You’re not going to end up with a pizza face it’s not going to happen”

Dr. David Hepburn

On the other hand, Dr. David Hepburn clarifies that despite popular belief that shingles is contagious. This absolutely not true, Dr. David Hepburn explains that “shingles is not contagious shingling is obviously not contagious shingles is a painful lesion that comes initially from the chicken pox virus and you tend to get as and you tend to get as you get older it breaks out in blisters but those blisters are not contagious. You can´t catch shingles from somebody who has shingles so that means you can just sidle right up to a men and not worry about catching it”

Another myth mentioned by Drs. Hepburn and Sealey was about aluminum and its relationship with Alzheimer’s. According to the myth cooking with aluminum pots and pans increases the risk of having Alzheimer’s but this is false. While it is true that in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s was found 30 times more aluminum than in a person without this disease the truth is that several studies have proven that the aluminum does not come from the pots used for cooking therefore this it is a myth.

The third myth is about vaccines. Dr. David Frederick Hepburn pointed out that it is completely false that vaccines cause autism. “It has been proven that there is no relationship. Vaccines do not cause autism.”

Dr. David Frederick Hepburn

Finally Doctors spoke about spicy food. It is false that spicy food causes ulcers. So you know, you can eat a lot of spicy without worrying about an ulcer

Visit the website of Dr. David Frederick Hepburn for more articles, videos and upcoming lectures:
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