Testosterone and the Heart

If you watch evening network programming you realize testosterone use is not totally safe!MH900399741Lawyers are now soliciting cases that have suffered cardiac events and death from use of testosterone. Start testosterone and within 3 months you increase your risk for a heart event. To the point studies have shown if you are young (<65) and have a history of heart related problems (clotting causing stroke, high blood pressure) taking testosterone increases substantially your risk for having a heart attack (MI). However findings show that older men (>65) without heart problems will have a 2x increased risk of suffering a heart attack when taking testosterone. Yes the older man studied had testosterone’s benefits of increased muscular strength and mobility but at a cost – heart problems and increase in strokes.

POI: Exogenous (not made by the body) testosterone causes changes in our body: increase risk of clotting, increased blood pressure, polycythemia (increase red blood cells) and decrease in the ‘good’ (HDL) cholesterol. When we take testosterone our estrogens level naturally increases, which can contribute to having cardiovascular-related events (it is known that estrogen therapy is associated with negative heart events in both men and women).

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Warning: Acetaminophen Dangers

When you go to purchase over the counter (OTC) medication along with looking at the expiration date, check to see if and how much acetaminophen is present. Yes acetaminophen (Tylenol®) is great for fever and pain but like almost everything else that you can put into your body – too much is bad. Liver disease,  serious skin diseases that have symptoms of rash, blisters can occur.

This is why the FDA issued a warning recently.

Tylenol® is the brand name but other OTC medication contain generic acetaminophen, including allergy, cold, sinus, cough along with narcotics and sleeping meds.

Overview from the FDA warning:

- take only one product w acetaminophen at a time – that goes for prescription medication also. Some especially narcotics and headache medication contains acetaminophen

- only put into your body medication that was RX’ed for you

MH900432538do not take more than 4000mg in 24 hours

- do not drink alcohol while taking any medication containing acetaminophen. Reason is alcohol requires liver enzymes to metabolize (break down) as does acetaminophen. Thus a competition occurs and your body ends up higher levels of both.


Remember you can always talk to the pharmacist.

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Marijuana Use and Driving – Dark Side

Recently published studies reveal a dark side to the use of marijuana (MJ). Marijuana is globally the most widely used illegal substance with rates of its use by driver increasing. The USA is the first in allowing legal use at state levels despite a federal ban. Confirmation exists that increased use by both sexes and in all age groups is occurring.wb051460

-Researchers looking at 9 studies (Dalhousie University, Canada) involving more than 49,000 people who were in vehicle accidents (cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles) revealed accident & use correlation. Marijuana use was confirmed by blood tests or self-reporting. Drivers who had used MJ within 3 hours of driving had almost a double likelihood of causing a collision!

-Back in 2007 (Scotland) review found 15 percent of 537 drivers aged 17 to 39 had used marijuana within 12 hours and these Cannabis smokers had a 10-fold increase in car crash injury.

In the last decade the death from vehicular accidents involving marijuana use has tripled. Researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health report: “Currently, one of nine drivers involved in fatal crashes would test positive for marijuana” They postulate that if growth in use continues, in five or six years “non–alcohol drugs will overtake alcohol to become the most common substance involved in deaths related to impaired driving.”

Realize this data (collected 1999-2010) is from six states where when there is a death from car accidents drug testing is mandatory. Sadly 23,500 deaths occurred during that time period.

FYI – California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and West Virginia.

Note: roadside drug testing occurs in parts of Australia

Impairment by Cannabis is real!

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Certain Antibiotics Are Dangerous for Your Heart

Image 2Doctors need to think twice before writing for antibiotics (Abx) I have blogged about the hazards of over prescribing these drugs for viral infections. But a second consideration is the exposure to life threatening heart arrhythmias (abnormal rhythm/beating pattern). A study (10 years) of US veterans who were prescribed amoxicillin, azithromycin (Z-pak™) and levofloxacin reveals more dangers. Investigators found increase of death risk and dangerous arrhythmias when taking azithromycin for 5 days. Same increased risk in those taking levofloxacin as directed for 10 days. No increase in cardiac arrythimias or deaths from taking amoxicillin. Important I believe is the study subjects were of an average age of 56.

Contrary last year in Denmark a study showed that azithromycin was not associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular death in younger and middle-age adults compared with penicillin.

The New England Journal of Medicine (2012) published data that showed the increased risk of cardiovascular death was higher with the macrolide Abxs (levofloxacin, azithromycin) compared with amoxicillin or no Abx treatment. Result FDA issued a warning last year for this class of Abx drugs.

Please realize that these Abx are still on the market because the absolute risks were relatively low. Listen to your body antibiotics can have all sorts of side effects and even cause death!

Note: These are all too common Abxs given for ear nose throat and respiratory (lung) infections. Overwhelming information shows most of these infections are caused by viruses- remember antibiotics do not kill viruses!

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Gluing a Broken Heart

Is there a Super Glue® for the human body? Believe it or not at this posting no clinically approved surgical glue exists that is nontoxic, bind strongly to tissue, and works well within our wet and highly dynamic body.MH900371240

Current surgical adhesives are toxic, have limited strength, and don’t work well in wet places, such as the heart. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston looking at insects, slugs, and worms, have developed and are testing a hydrophobic light-activated adhesive (HLAA). The main components of the HLAA are glycerol and sebacic acid, both exist in the human body and are easily metabolized. It is elastic like, works in wet surroundings. Important is that if blood touches it first it can still be applied and ‘sets’ in seconds by exposure with ultraviolet light. Naturally lower animal are the testing models just now – in rats a patch is being applied to their hearts with this glue. Use inside pig hearts is also being tested.

A French company believes it will take 2 or 3 years before use in humans.


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Organ System Matching

One imagines the matching process for a donor/recipient heart or any organ for that matter involves many complicated sequential steps. Yes blood type and compatibility histocompatible (literally “tissue matching”) is routinely done.3D_vol_ren_of_LAD

Recent light has been shed on need to consider more than size (body mass) of the donor versus the recipient which is only other parameter considered.

Information from studies has now revealed that sex mismatch between the donor and recipient can be associated with poorer outcomes, particularly if a male receives a donor heart from a female. About 70% of organs are matched to same sex. Interestingly if a female receives a male heart there is no decrease in survival odds.

Scientific Deduction: Use a formula that consider height, weight, age, and sex may better predict ‘matching’ donor hearts to transplant recipients than just considering their body mass’ alone.

FYI: Ethnicity, gender, religion, and financial status are not at this posting part of the computer matching system.

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Yes Exercise is Good!

There are some many excercise –  ’regimes’ as the French say – dependent on your health limitations and needs. MH900440129This blog sharing is meant to serve only as a starting information point. Keep these parameters in mind as you proceed to get healthier!

Exercises 2–3 times per week.

Rest one day between workout sessions.

Begin with 1 set of 8–15 repetitions of the specific exercise.

Increase to 2–3 sets over 2–4 weeks.

Rest 30–60 seconds between all sets.

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Cholesterol Dangers

If you regularly follow my blogs you realize that ‘high cholesterol’ is not good for you. Yes, it increases the odds that you end up with some form of heart disease, possible heart attack (MI) or stroke (CVA). American adults again excel in the area of negative health matters: about 47 percent of us have cholesterol levels that are too high.

Many thing contribute to this including our genes (family history), diet and how much cholesterol our own body is making. By the way my family all have high cholesterol yet I do not! It is best to find out exactly not guess how much ‘fat’ is circulating in your blood!

 This form of ‘fat’ (lipid) likely along other fats (inc. triglycerides) when in excess can build up, collects (deposits) under the inner thin (‘intima’) layer of our arteries. This fatty deposit is ‘spongy’ and simply put narrows the opening that blood can flows through. As you can imagine increase narrowing or a ruptured with resulting in fatty deposit flying (clot) can completely block or plug vessels further down the circulation system.

Even if you are not that unlucky you know what less blood going to where it is needed means – heart muscle dies, in the brain, brain cells die, a stroke.

 So do you know what your blood cholesterol is? A ‘lipid profile’ blood test gives information –  not just total cholesterol, (including  ’good’-high density lipid- HDL and ‘bad’LDL  types/subtypes of each) but also triglyceride levels. If your levels are not at ‘goal (see table) PLEASE ask your Doc if he/she has checked the ‘subtypes of HDL and LDL.chol











You should have your lipid levels checked regularly (at least once every five years starting at age 20). Check out above table  and have a look at your recent test values. Not had ‘lipid profile’  levels done – ask your healthcare provider to draw them on your next visit.

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ULTRASOUND – Coming to You

Next time you are in your doctor’s office do not be surprised if a small attaché is whipped out and an ultrasound (US) USportableperformed! Yes a pregnant person has an US test but this device makes possible high-resolution images of other internal body areas. Great for evaluating the musculoskeletal (MS) system – bones, joints, tendons and ligaments it is quick and painless.

FYI- this diagnostic tool delivers non ionizing radiation NOT the harmful radiation plain films and CT/CAT/PET scans deliver. You may have heard of their use for research on Mt. Everest, or the underwater environment during astronaut training.

Since it is easy to use via keystrokes and a hand help microphone and capable of wireless data transfer paramedical personnel can perform ad transmit for a Doc to interpret. This is now commonplace with radiologists ‘remotely reading/interpreting images taken across or out of a country by a ‘tech’.

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The FingerStick

Podcast EpisodeA drop of blood squeezed out of your body can offer so much health information. Quick and able to be done anywhere these tests can save lives. New medical testing exists and is on the horizon so listen up to a short update in DocHandal’s new podcast.

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