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Interesting Information: AARP BULLETIN: 10 Medical Tests to Avoid–Choosing Wisely Campaign

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Interesting Information:  March 17, 2014

AARP BULLETIN:  10 Medical Tests to Avoid

Choosing Wisely

I remember a time when one went to the doctor only when one was sick.

Imagine that…

Then came the days when doctors went on the hunt for disease–under the paradigm of finding illness before it got cranking.  In the process, a whole host of yearly tests became part of the annual physical.

Imagine my surprise when the AARP BULLETIN came floating in this weekend with a front-page feature on “10 Tests to Avoid” by Elizabeth Agnvall.

Here’s how the first paragraph reads:

Doctors are warning that some of the common medical tests routinely taken by Americans do more harm than good, waste billions of health care dollars annually [$225 billion] and could endanger your health or even your life.  Among the tests targeted as overused by prestigious panels of doctors were annual Pap smears, regular PSA tests, regular EKGs and even routine yearly physicals.  Overuse of such tests leads to dangerous side effects, pain, radiation exposure, unnecessary surgery–even death, the doctors said.

This campaign is called Choosing Wisely and is joined by a diverse number of partners exploring the overuse of these yearly tests.  Among them are The American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, many individual doctors from diverse medical specialties, AARP, and the medical director at Consumer Reports (John Santa, MD).

Here’s the list:

1.    Nuclear stress tests, and other imaging tests, after heart procedures.

2.    Yearly electrocardiogram or exercise stress test

3.    PSA to screen for prostate cancer

4.    PET scan to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.

5.    X-ray, CT scan or MRI for lower back pain

6.    Yearly Pap tests

7.    Bone density scan for women before age 65 and men before age 70

8.    Follow-up ultrasounds for small ovarian cysts

9.    Colonoscopy after age 75

10.  Yearly physical

To read more information about each test, here’s the url to the article:


WARNING:  the article also recommends eating “plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains for fiber,” cutting down on fatty foods, red meat, and processed meats.  My reading warns against eating too many fruits as our modern fruits carry heavy sugar loads and fructose is increasingly being seen as a problem.  Sugar causes inflammation in your body and is likely the root cause of chronic disease.  The vegetables and meat in your diet supply plenty of fiber–grains add too much and can cause constipation and are a source of too much sugar.  Fatty animal fats from animals raised properly are GOOD FOR YOU.  Red meat (grass-fed, organic) is the only place you get vitamin b12 in a form your body can easily use–there’s no science behind the anti-red meat campaign.  Commercial processed meats are often carriers of pathogens.  Fermented, traditionally made “processed” meats (like salami, proscuitto, for instance) are good for you.

One Response

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  1. Thanks. They tend to go over board with the test. I found that out when I had a simple bladder infection. It was like they needed the work.


    March 22, 2014 at 11:39 am

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