Happy New Year!

Love+Medicine - Anne

As this year comes to an end I want to thank my Love and Medicine readers. With so much out there to read, I’m happy you choose me.

You never know what you’re going to get when you read my blog. That will continue in 2018.

Here’s a look at what we’ve been talking about. Kick back and browse. I’m different from a year ago. You’re different too. Take a second look. Enjoy!


FASHION

The Men’s Outerwear Conundrum
Lovely Brazilian Workout Leggings
I love my Turkish Towel…and here’s why


POETRY

Object of Desire
Steady Hand

There was a Space. Part 1
1217 Miles
Most of All
Shadow Cookies


ENTERTAINMENT

The Psychiatrist in Film
What I’m Watching


LOVE

Love and Medicine - Candy

Let’s Talk About VD
Unconditional Love:A Murder- Suicide Mystery


ASK Dr. Annie K.

Are Your Ears Ringing?
Being There for a Friend

Transition in Parenting
Transitions From Nervous to Excited
Cannabis Oil


SEX

Sex and Familiarity
Why We Need To Talk About Sex
Got Passion?
Don’t Give Up on Sex


HEALTH

Hello darkness, my old friend
Lung Cancer: A Lonely Place

5 Tricks An Old Dog Can Teach You
It’s Just Like Riding A Bicycle
The Paradox of Water
Walking (guest blogger)


FOOD

410 Calories of Magic
Gogi Berries

Spending Time in Napa Valley got me thinking about Wine
Sociology and The Lemon Bar


TRAVEL

Yes, Look Back
10 Reasons to Visit Japan (that you won’t find in the guide book…)

Studenthue – The Student Cap
Love and Medicine Goes Global!


LIFE

Love+Medicine Meteor Shower

Life As a Gypsy
Hula Hoops

My Son bought Bitcoin…
What Happens in Vegas Does NOT Stay in Vegas
16 Things You Don’t Know About Me
The Winter Solstice and Other Musings
The Weekend is Almost Here
Things I’ve Learned this Week
12 Things I Want to Do This Summer
My Summer List Update


RELATIONSHIPS

Platonic Love
The Winter-Spring Romance


SPORTS

Somebody Turn On The Game

Ask Dr. Annie K: Cannabis Oil

Love+Medicine Cannabis
I looked up cannabis oils on Amazon and I’m not sure which one to get.
I’m hoping you could give me some recommendations.
– Anonymous

Love+Medicine

Dear Reader,

CBD, medicinal cannabidiol, may be the biggest revolution in medicine in years.  This topic definitely will be discussed in more detail in a future post.

CBD is the part of hemp that has healing properties but does not get you high. Of all the many reasons that people use CBD today, pain is the most common.

This is no substitute for checking with your personal doctor about starting CBD. Your medical history and current medications may influence dosing. CBD dosing is not one size fits all, it requires some fine tuning. Less is more when it comes to CBD.

Regarding brands, I am most familiar with Charlotte’s Web (CW). I did not see it on Amazon. I have no monetary connections to this company. These are my most recent CBD purchases:

CW is sold at Community Pharmacy and at CrossFit100 in Glendale, Wisconsin. I spoke with the kickass owner of CrossFit, Marcela, who has had great success with CBD for inflammation and pain.

For localized issues such as knee or wrist pain, I would recommend a topical cream or balm rather than an oil, tincture or edible. Marcela will offer a $5 discount for my Love+Medicine readers . Hemp will now be legally grown in Wisconsin starting next year, which hopefully will lower prices.

I am not familiar with the CBD sold on Amazon. I recommend reading the reviews and looking for something 100% pure and organic.

I hope this helps, CBD is a really hot right now. We doctors we are scrambling to keep up to date and knowledgeable about this potentially life changing treatment.

If you need more personal detailed information, email me at annekoplinmd@gmail.com

 

Hello darkness, my old friend.

I can appreciate the change of season by the end of summer. I am drawn to the orange, brown, maroon tones of fall fashion. I love to climb up on a chair to retrieve the crockpot that has been stored over the summer. Pumpkin, sweet potato and squash replace the tomatoes, zucchini and corn in the basket in the kitchen. Logs are collected and stacked up by the fireplace. The paddle board and outdoor furniture are tucked safely away from the elements. The outdoor shower pipe is shut off, hopefully in time for the first freeze.

This is the time of year when darkness sets in early, before we arrive home from work. The temperature is cold. The predominant color is gray. The decrease in of hours of natural sunlight is dramatic.

All of these external changes effect us internally. Humans and other animals are extremely sensitive to changes in the environment. This is a good thing, we want to be in tune with nature. We need to recognize the changes and adjust.

What happens to our bodies? There is an increase in melatonin and a decrease in serotonin. The melatonin increase causes us to be more sluggish and less energetic. The decrease in serotonin can result in a depressed mood. Even people who love the winter months may experience a wistful sense of the passage of time, a loss of the ease of walking out the door without preparation. Mild sadness or malaise may set in as the body adjusts.

The shift may also cause a more intense change in mood, referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

The primary symptoms are:
Depression
Problems concentrating
Lack of energy
Increase in sleep
Carbohydrate cravings

It is basically major depression, with a seasonal pattern. If this sounds familiar and has happened more than two years in a row, you may have SAD. For some people it is mild and you know you can “ride it out” until spring. For others, get some help.

Light therapy is medically proven to treat SAD. These light boxes act to mimic natural light. The recommended dosage is 10,000 Lux (the same as sunshine) for 30 minutes in the morning. It is important to get a light that blocks damaging UV light, which is known to cause skin cancer. Tanning beds are not helpful for SAD (or for anything else for that matter).

As with most depression, psychotherapy, particularly Cognitive Behavioral therapy is proven to be helpful.

Many clinicians recommend antidepressants in addition to light therapy. I do, only if light therapy alone is not helpful. Medication therapy can start in November and stop in April, if this depression is clearly seasonal. Bupropion is often prescribed for SAD because it counteracts the weight gain and hyper-somnia commonly seen in SAD and has fewer sexual side effects. Consult your personal physician to decide whether medication may be right for you.

There is a known association between Vitamin D deficiency and depression. The current recommendation for adults who do not have regular year round sun exposure should take from 600-800 IU of vitamin D3 daily. Older adults who are confined indoors and other high risk individuals may require larger dosages.

A healthy diet high in Omega 3 has shown to improve mood and a sense of well-being. I do notice I eat much less fish in winter and may need to supplement the Omega 3.

Get outside when the sun is shining! Go for a walk, cross country skiing or ice skating. “Being in it” has helped me – from the warmth of the house it looks nasty out, once I’m outside I never regret it. It might still be nasty but I’m not letting it stop me! Lake Michigan is amazing in winter. As in summer, it is different every day, every hour.

Remember there is no such thing as bad weather- only bad gear! Invest in the right stuff for layering and there is no excuse.

Becoming a snowbird is an option for some – heading south, even for a long weekend, can recharge the system.

For those of us here, embrace the change. Accept that this is a time for turning inwards, for introspection and for quieting the body. I’m actually exploring the option of becoming a morning person (?). Unheard of! Going to sleep at 8 when it feels like midnight might work for me. It’s good to change it up.

I straddle my time between two very cold Wisconsin cities, Milwaukee and Madison. Maintaining hygge in both homes and in my car is my goal.

My winter regimen is to walk, write, knit, ice skate, make soap, eat curry and soup, take lavender baths, and drink hot toddies and port.

How do you cope with the winter?

Gogi Berries Galore!

My best crop this year? Gogi berries!

They contain the third highest amount of antioxidants of all the foods in the world. Gogi berries have five-hundred times more vitamin C than oranges, more iron than spinach and more beta-carotene than carrots. Rare in fruits, they also contain vitamin E. They even have testosterone and have been used for treatment of erectile dysfunction. Also known as the Happy Berry.

Anyone have creative ideas on how to prepare them?

5 Tricks An Old Dog Can Teach You

Lovability as an evolutionary adaptation

Dogs manage to maintain their loveabilty, even as they age. Human beings respond to their cuteness by nurturing. We relate to pets much in the way we treat our own children.

We see the combination of cuteness and dependence, which triggers our impulse to protect and coddle. They don’t hide their vulnerability like we do.   This could be an evolutionary adaptation, to ensure someone will take care of them. Cranky old humans take heed.


3-D sense of smell

Have you watched how dogs smell? Every human has a unique scent, and that’s all a dog needs to differentiate us from one another. “To our dogs, we are our scent,” says canine cognition expert Alexandra Horowitz, author of the book, Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and KnowThey put their entire body and soul into it, like nothing else matters in the world but figuring out the source, their opinion of it and what to do as a result – pee on it, distance oneself, go for it or go on to the next.
My dog can barely see or hear, but she raises her nose when a new smell wafts into the room. Her favorite smell used to be in the crotch of women’s sexy underwear (she never went for the Hanes).  I don’t know how many pairs of Victoria’s Secret underwear she went through in her heyday.

It appears that it’s quite likely that dogs can smell fear, anxiety, even sadness. No wonder dogs seem to suffer greatly from divorce or empty nest. They also have been sad victims of the mobile phone obsession which has brought them very few conveniences but has shifted the attention of their owners tremendously.


Yoga 

Dogs naturally do yoga moves.  Their movements are not limited to puppy pose and downward dog. They know that stretching will help them navigate the world more easily, with a strong posture and gait. Their bodies, and ours, are designed to move. Increasingly as we age the ability to move depends on stretching.

Dogs do yoga instinctively (or attend Doga classes). If we followed their lead we’d be stretching first thing in the morning and several times throughout the day. We would also be complaining less about back pain.


Napping

Old dogs, much like infants, nap nearly all day. They can sleep 22 hours in a day. They tire more easily and nap to get strength they need to function for a few minutes here and there.  It comes down to listening to their bodies. Are you listening?


Being still 

Old dogs don’t have the distractions that interest younger dogs. The aren’t out looking for mates, chasing squirrels, catching frisbees. They don’t get excited about toys or treats. Honestly, being with an old dog can be tedious.
16-year-old Marley magically brings love into the world even without seeing, hearing, moving or making a sound.

Learning to be still with an aging dog is perhaps the greatest lesson of all. At their age, that’s all they really want. Marley just wants to hang with people that love her. She knows who they are. She’s right beside me now, nudging me to get off the computer. So I will end here and give her my full attention. She has taught me about stillness. A lot happens in stillness.  It’s the least we can do for a creature who is all about love and connection.