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Insider Arthritis Tips February 2012
February 10, 2012

"No one can defeat us unless we first defeat ourselves."
-- Dwight Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States

Grief can cause heart attacks
Cari Nierenberg writing in WebMD Reported “Losing a loved one may break your heart. A person who is mourning the death of someone close is at greater risk of suffering a heart attack in the days immediately following the loss and for up to a month afterward, a new study in the journal Circulation showed.

Comment: Yes… you can die from a broken heart!

Personality and hormones influence weight gain
Melinda Beck writing for the Wall Street Journal reported on several studies suggesting that personalities and habits may influence weight gain and loss. A National Institute on Aging-led study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in July 2010 showed that traits linked to obesity were neuroticism, impulsivity, and a lack of conscientiousness. Similarly, a study in Pediatrics, funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, suggests that toddlers who have poor emotional relationships with their mothers may have double the risk of being obese at age 15. Other factors include the body's levels of hormones, such as leptin and cortisol, which can be influenced by sleep deprivation and stress.

Comment: Mind over fat.

Graphite sabotages hip implants
Steven Ross Johnson writing in the Chicago Tribune reported "A surprise discovery in the field of prosthetic implants is being hailed by researchers as a significant first step that could one day lead to the development of more reliable, longer-lasting artificial hip implants." Investigators "began closely examining the effects of friction along the surfaces of metal joints to try to understand what causes" the "debris" leading to reduced function. One of the researchers "said" that physicians "had always assumed it was protein...but 'to our surprise we found that it was graphitic carbon.'"

Comment: Implants still have a way to go…

Exercise better than meds for neck pain
Serena Gordon writing for Healthday reported that researchers studied 272 adults with unexplained neck pain who received either "spinal manipulations," "medications," or "two one-hour sessions of home exercise" for 12 weeks, and found that after "one year, 27 percent of those receiving spinal manipulation said they felt a 100 percent reduction in pain versus 17 percent of those on medications and 37 percent of those doing home exercises."

Comment: Don’t be too quick to reach for a pill or a procedure

NSAIDS increase miscarriage risk
Rosemary Frei writing in Pain Medicine News reported on a Canadian study. Investigators in Quebec built the Quebec Pregnancy Registry and investigated data on 4,705 women between the ages of 15 and 45. They determined that the risk for miscarriage was 2.43 times higher in women exposed to NSAIDS than in women not. Acetaminophen might be a safer alternative.

Comment: Be careful with all medicines!

Obese older adults at increased risk for falls
Amy Norton writing in Reuters Reported that older obese adults may be at greater risk of falling compared to normal weight people according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study surveyed 10,755 Americans who were 65 and older between 1998 and 2006 and found that 9,621 people reported falling and of those who fell, 23% were obese. Although health factor like arthritis, leg pain, diabetes and stroke were taken into account, obesity on its own was still associated with a greater risk of falling.

Comment: Another danger of obesity!

FDA says steroid injections cause injuries, death
David Armstrong writing in Bloomberg News reported, "A surge in steroid injections to alleviate back and neck pain in the US is bringing with it an increase in severe and unexpected complications, including paralysis and death. Reports of the side effects have prompted the US Food and Drug Administration to review the safety of steroid injections into the epidural space near the spinal cord, in consultation with an advisory group, the agency confirmed." The story cites a 2007 study in the journal Spine which "uncovered 78 cases where patients who got shots in the neck suffered serious injuries; there were 13 deaths."

Comment: Scary!

Study says vaccine may stop RA
Sadie Whitelocks in the UK's Daily Mail reported "A simple vaccine could stop the onset of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis," according to a study published in the journal Nature Medicine. Researchers "treated mice with a rodent version of Crohn's" and found "that untreated mice suffered severe damage to their colons while those injected with the vaccine experienced only 'limited' symptoms." A "new vaccine, based on nanotechnology, stops this process without causing severe side effects." Researchers speculate RA could be the next disease to be stopped.

Comment: Still too early to be optimistic.

Epidemic of lawsuits because of failing artificial hips
Barry Meier writing for the New York Times reported "The most widespread medical implant failure in decades – involving thousands of all-metal artificial hips that need to be replaced prematurely – has entered the money phase. Medical and legal experts estimate the hip failures may cost taxpayers, insurers, employers and others billions of dollars." The Times explains, "Metal-on-metal hips...are failing at high rates within a few years instead of lasting 15 years or more, as artificial joints normally do." As a result, "lawsuits and complaints against makers of all-metal replacement hips passed the 5,000 mark. Insurers are alerting patients that they plan to recover their expenses from any settlement money that patients receive. Medicare is also expected to try to recover its costs."

Comment: Another reason to avoid joint replacement if there wasn’t enough already.

New type of glove helps arthritis
A new arthritis glove that measures hand movement could lead to more effective treatment, reported the Press Association on a study from the University of Ulster. “The Tyndall data glove will have rotation sensors on the thumb, finger tips and joints, and monitor motion of the hands to allow detailed observations. Dr Kevin Curran said. PhD researcher James Connolly said: "Data gloves have been used before to measure joint movements but they were not fitted with sufficient sensors on each finger and deformities and swollen joints caused the sensors to record inaccurate readings. "The glove will give more precise and detailed readings."

Comment: Interesting…

“New blood treatment” for Arthritis
George Stephanopoulos reporting For ABC News said "There is a revolutionary new treatment for the wear and tear on joints that can come with exercise after 50." The treatment is "a cutting edge procedure known as platelet rich plasma injection therapy, or PRP, being used to treat conditions like tennis elbow, tendinitis, even arthritis." In this procedure, doctors draw a patient's blood, then centrifuge it to "separate out the healing agents from the blood. Doctors then take that part of the blood and inject it into the patient's achy joint or muscle, hoping to grow healthy tissue." While PRP "doesn't work for" every patient, "most patients are back to their activity within one to two weeks of the treatment."

Comment: PRP works for some but not all patients.

Women Boomers getting knee replacements at early age
Lara Salahi and Brinda Adhikari Reporting for ABC News said "In 2009, nearly 63 percent of women underwent total knee replacement surgery, most of whom were between ages of 40 and 80, according to Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality." However, even though "more than 90 percent of people who undergo total knee replacement experience a dramatic reduction in pain," returning to "strenuous physical activities" is difficult, and "most surgeons advise against high-impact activities, such as running, jogging, jumping, and high-impact sports for the rest of one's life after surgery."

Comment: Boomers want to stay in the game no matter what!

Weight loss prevents cartilage loss in knee OA
Nancy Walsh writing in Medpage Today reported on a study in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, which said "weight loss among obese individuals can help prevent the loss in thickness and quality of cartilage associated with knee osteoarthritis (knee OA). ... In a multiple regression analysis adjusting for age, sex, baseline body mass index (BMI), and the presence of clinically apparent osteoarthritis, greater weight loss was associated with less cartilage thinning in the medial femoral compartment as seen on MRI." In addition, researchers "found that weight loss as low as 7% of body weight was associated with preservation of cartilage quality, and that better quality of the cartilage also improved the knee range of motion.

Comment: Another reason to lose weight.

"Shingles vaccine safe for adults on biologics
Heidi Splete writing in Rheumatology News reported on a study from the University of Alabama which showed the incidence rate for shingles was no higher in people treated with biologic drugs than those that weren’t. Medicare data from 7,781 adults aged 60 and older who received shingles vaccine were examined. The incidence rate was 8 cases per 1000 person years in patients receiving biologic therapy versus 12 cases per 1000 patient years in unvaccinated adults on biologics.

Comment: Another fear laid to rest.

Mindfulness intervention for RA?
Nancy Walsh writing in Medpage Today Reported on a Norwegian study in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases indicating that "mindfulness intervention, aimed at helping patients accept the pain and disability associated with rheumatoid arthritis, while at the same time blocking negative thoughts and anxiety about their condition, reduced patients' depression and improved coping skills." However, "significant effects for the mindfulness program were not seen for pain or patient global assessment of disease activity."

Comment: Anything that helps is worthwhile in my opinion.

Majority of women past 50 report knee pain
Robert Preidt writing in Healthday Reported on a study in Arthritis & Rheumatism in which "Researchers analyzed 12 years of data collected from nearly 500 women, ages 44 to 57, in Britain and found that 63 percent of those 50 and older reported persistent, incident or intermittent knee pain. Forty-four percent of the women said they had experienced 'any pain' and 23 percent said they had knee pain on most days of the previous month. ... Higher body mass index, previous knee injury and x-ray evidence of osteoarthritis were predictors for persistent pain, the researchers found.

Comment: Boomers report more knee pain than previous generations. Are we wimps?

Untitled 1

Dr. Wei has just put the finishing touches on four new DVDs to help you manage arthritis!

These DVDs are an educational resource for those interested in learning more about new options for treating your arthritis.

  • Which one of these 7 arthritis risk factors do you have?
  • The one critical reason why you should never take this powerful drug for arthritis!
  • Relieve back pain without medicines. Six natural remedies will spare you a trip to the doctor.
  • Who’s the best candidate for stem cells… and who’s the worst… find out now!

The answers and more valuable information can be found in these amazing DVDs!

  1. Stem Cells: The New Frontier In Treating Osteoarthritis
  2. PRP: Nature’s Healers
  3. My Knee Really Hurts!
  4. Doctor… I Have Arthritis. What can be done about it?

For the month of February, you can take advantage of our special introductory offer… purchase any one of these DVDs for just $29.99 each and receive an autographed copy of Dr. Wei’s book, “The Book On Arthritis Treatment!”


  • An intense type of knee pain that can disappear on its own... with no treatment!
  • All-natural treatment for tendon problems... works like a charm
  • Why poking holes in a tendon is absolutely important to getting results with PRP. Sounds crazy but it’s true!
  • How many platelets do you really need to get the result you want? The failsafe, flawless method for delivering PRP… If your doctor isn’t using this, run the other way!

Wei's World February 2012

My wife, Judy, and I have been married for almost 28 years. For that she deserves a medal because I am extremely hard to live with. Probably in this day and age I would be diagnosed with having ADHD. Not only that, I have the patience of a hummingbird.

So in this February newsletter, I’ll reveal the circumstances under which we met.

I was a fellow at the National Institutes of Health. One of my colleagues knew I was going up to Boston to give a talk at a meeting and he gave me a girl’s phone number. He said, “She’s nice…. You’ll like her. Make sure you call”

So I said, ” Thanks,“ and went up to Boston and instead of calling that girl decided to go out with a girl my sister set me up with instead. (At the time one of sisters was living in Boston).

Well…. that relationship lasted all of three weeks. So I went back up to Boston to salvage what I could… and reached into my pocket for a Kleenex and pulled out a scrap of paper with a phone number. And I remembered I was supposed to call her. Despite the fact I was three weeks late, I went ahead and dialed it.

When the girl at the other end answered, I introduced myself and we made plans to have brunch the next morning. (It so happens, she told me later, that she was out the door and down the stairs from her apartment and went running up to answer the phone. What would have happened if she had ignored the ringing and hadn’t gone back up? Hmmm…

So the next morning I took the T (the subway) to her apartment. I rang the buzzer on the intercom and she buzzed me up.

And I remember seeing her for the first time -a very cute girl with a pony tail and the bluest eyes I had ever seen- was my thought. So we started chatting and she introduced me to her cat. I’m allergic to cats, my eyes were watering, and so I thought, “Maybe this isn’t going to go anywhere.”

She then said, “Why don’t we go to brunch? I know this really nice place… and she drove the two of us to what she said was a great brunch place.

The problem was that that breakfast was over and all the place had was a single tired looking Danish. And again I thought, “Maybe this isn’t going anywhere.”

But we continued to talk and made plans to get together that evening for dinner.

And I guess you could say the rest was history. Twenty eight years, four children, and too many disagreements and agreements to count, we’re still here. Marriage isn’t a sprint…it’s a marathon and it’s not like “Leave It To Beaver.” It’s hard work. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. So in Wei’s World this month, I’ll say, “I love you Judy and thanks for putting up with me all these years.”

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