Health Matters


A special 1980s-themed event will take place at the Fireside Lounge Saturday, Aug. 19, to benefit Planned Parenthood. The ’80s party will start at 8 p.m. and feature DJ Damon and DJ Shon of San Francisco.

The cover charge is $7 for ages 21 and older only. Prizes will be given out for the best ’80s-themed costume. 

Fireside Lounge is located at 1453 Webster St. To find out more, visit or @thefiresidelounge on Twitter.


Changing someone’s behavior can be looked at in two different ways. One is how we can diminish undesirable behavior, and the other is how we can encourage desirable behavior. 


Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for the human digestive system, but experts in the field have been learning they do a lot more than that. In 2016, probiotic sales in the U.S. reached close to $4 billion. Walk into a favorite pharmacy or health food store and it’s a dizzying array of choices are available. I will briefly discuss what they can do and how to purchase high-quality probiotics.


One of the most common reasons people see their general practitioner, or primary care provider, is for digestive concerns. The digestive system is made up of organs that work to convert food into energy for the body as well as eliminate toxic byproducts. These organs include the mouth, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, small intestines, large intestine and rectum. It is extremely important to support these organs so that they may function as optimally as possible to digest food and absorb nutrients.


Driving near Monterey recently, I stopped at a roadside stand to buy some freshly picked strawberries. May is high season for California strawberries, and the fields were exploding with beautiful, ripe fruit. The gentleman working the stand, Jack, asked what I do for a living. When I told him I work for Medicare, he said he was having difficulty paying for his prescription drugs. So we talked for a while about ways he might be able to reduce his drug costs.