MH900001143Irritable bowel syndrome versus Inflammatory bowel disease is not an easy diagnosis for doctors. Often time it becomes an ‘educated guess’. A submit this blog excited that a blood test may help all involved reach the correct diagnosis.

IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning that patients must undergo tests for other conditions that match the symptomatology. In the case of IBD, that typically means repeated colonoscopies.

A blood test that would quickly rule out IBD would be a significant benefit to cost, inconvenience, and discomfort associated with colonoscopies. A Proposed test has a  predicitve value over 95% however can not detect IBS from celiac disease.

Just a bit of news from the biotech front! Prompt your healthcare practicer.



No Comments

Can Too Much Sleep Make One Fat?

A study of healthy adults is one of the first to show a correlation of sleep amount and time with the body’s metabolism. Researchers pointed out that going to bed too early may prove as problematic as going too late. Postulated is that a misalignment in everyday life may impact risk for obesity with sleep as a driver of the body’s metabolic activity. All agree that more study is needed. At this posting there is no bedtime practice to suggest.

Subjects kept food diaries, blood draws were taken to determine melatonin levels. FYI-people produce melatonin starting 2 hours before bedtime. Furthermore each subject was weighed each morning, their height was measured to determine BMI and body fat was measured using dual emission x-ray absorptiometry.

Other study results also suggest sleep timing is linked to obesity, diabetes, and the risk for metabolic syndrome.

No Comments

Weight Loss & Atrial Fibrillation

It is likely that you or someone you know has Atrial fibrillation. Fibrillation (‘fib’) is the heart quivering or beating abnormally; when atrial ‘fib’ is present your heart beats in an irregularly irregular pattern. Heart has skipped into an abnormal rhythm.

ECG strips - 2 views

ECG strips – 2 views

You could recognize this by checking the pulse at the wrist and noting if the pattern is regular (normal) or that there is no regular pattern – it is constantly changing. Some folks do not feel the quivering others do. Fibrillation results from the heart’s electrical system failing to a degree.  2.7 million Americans suffer from this problem. The complications are many including stroke, clots and heart attacks. It is easy to diagnose however there are so many possible causes. Medication and even a pacemaker may be required to control this heart rhythm. Side effects and complications from Atrial fib and its treatment are many.

There is good news another benefit of losing weight, this one for heart disease patients. A recent study showed people who lose as little as 10% of their body weight were six times more likely to become free from Atrial fibrillation. It resolved! This simple strategy could decrease or stop medication(s).

More info check this out



No Comments

Sexual Transmitted Infections in Young Adults

The yearly numbers of injected young adults with STDs are staggering!


27% of the sexually active population is 15-24 yet they have over 50% of 20 million annually diagnosed STDs.

24,000 undiagnosed women become infertile yearly

70% of the 820,000 Gonorrhea cases

63% of Chlamydia

45% Genital Herpes

49% HPV – (next generation will have been vaccinated)

26 % HIV

20% Syphilis


Why at are young adults at risk:

– often STDs do not have symptoms recognized by youth

– young adults especially women are anatomically more susceptible to infection.

– failure of medical providers to screen young adults

– confidentiality issues

– lack of insurance and transportation to get medical attention

– multiple partners


Talk about, ask your healthcare practitioner if you could have a STD. Testing is painless.

No Comments

Your Brain: Use It or Loose It

This often-uttered expression truly applies to the adult brain. MH900438746
The human brain is capable of neuroplasticity. That is brain is able to grow lay down new neurons and connections.  Stimulating your brain has been proven to decrease likelihood of dementia even in people with the Alzheimer’s gene.

A few relevant stats:

– Japan has the lowest incidence of dementia/Alzheimer in women, next is Italy

– Average adult brain has 100 billion neurons in the brain with 500 trillion connections

– Learning creates new synaptic connections (relationships) in the brain

– Mental activity is synaptic connections


So get out of your comfort zone/routine, learn new activities challenge yourself no mater your age.

No excuses accepted!

No Comments

Depression Clinical Pearls


not always easy to recognize in one’s self or others

Ever wonder if someone you know suffers from depression? Some red flags could include: presence of sleep disturbance (too much or to little), decrease interest, inactivity, guilt real or imagines, low energy or atypical energy, unable to concentrate, change in appetite.

Want to check if someone with depression or on antidepressants is suicidal? Try to tease out of them what is their plan, what would is the intent  and search/be suspicious of past attempts.


Risk factors for suicide in depressed people include;

older age

white male

Native American

living alone

chronic pain


In US a suicide occurs every 15 minutes, world-wide every 40 seconds

Once diagnosed treatment should be for 9-12 months


Family history of suicide is not a risk factor

Failed attempts make it unlikely person really wants to kill him or herself


No Comments

Children in Stressful Home & Diabetes

A Swedish study just published shows stress in children ages 3-14 have a higher risk for Diabetes type I. Data revealed a 3 x greater risk for developing childhood Diabetes.

It is well-known that stress has negative effects on the body especially by increasing cortisol levels. A legion of illnesses in adults surface with emotional strain. Stress exposures were measured in over 16,000 children and defined by a death, divorce separation, conflict in home, severe accident. finding revealed stress brings out diabetes type I. Type I also called juvenile Diabetes occurs when the immune system destroys the pancreas cells (beta cells) that make insulin. Insulin breaks down sugars the body takes in or makes or other substances.

Hereditary factors can play a role in some people with Type I Diabetes but both parents have to pass gene to child. Many people at risk do not get the disease, hence environmental factors like stress, cold weather, diet, viruses  seem to precipitate it happening. Children who were breast feed and those that ate solid food at a later age seem not to get juvenile Diabetes. The importance of environment is brought out by the fact that in twins with inherited genes, one got Diabetes other did not. This illness is more common in whites. Want to learn more?

No Comments

Breast Cancer Screening

FACT: Millions of women receive false-positive results annually, and 20,000 are over treated to an estimated cost of $4 billion.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has floated recommendations for when and at what age to get a mammogram. Benefits versus dangers are at the base of the recommendations.

Out for comments (30 days) are:

– women at average risk and ages 50-74 should have screening every 2 years

– most benefit is in screening women 60-69 implying they may have it annually.

– women at average risk and ages 40-49 not have mammograms

(Senate had to pass legislation requiring insurers to cover women in this age group when this was in the last – 2009 USPSTF recommendation)

Interestingly breast self-exam is again not mentioned. The Task Force recommendations balance cost and # of cases found with over diagnosis of breast lesions (false-positive rate of 11%) that have no consequences over a lifetime.

No Comments

Allergy Essentials

Is your quality of life affected by allergies? They can get so severe that one survey of suffers (A. Vogel, U. of AZ) showed surprising numbers: 44.6% had to skip a social invitation and 81.2% had to alter their exercise schedule.

There are many possible culprits:

– pollen/mold spores are lowest December thru February

– seasonal illnesses especially respiratory illness caused by viruses in fall and winter trigger asthma and sinusitis

– outdoor pollution including winter temperature inversions, make air quality poor especially with particulates and nitrogen dioxide.

– indoor pollutants are worst in winter with closed windows and doors.

Personal experience knowledge and practicing as a physician I know everyone’s allergen and reaction is different not just in degree but also in response to aging. What helps one person doesn’t another even from same allergen.

Please do not buy into one fix for everyone. You can do much without OTC pills or ‘shots’ from a doctor. Boost your immunity, use natural means: get some exercise, eat healthy, and sleep well. Butterbur an herb was found to help after being extensively studied. Natural strategies include rinsing/opening your nasal passages: xylitol based spray (I like ‘saline mist’ can not overdue its use); some use may use neti pot. Many friends find a solution in consuming local honey as it contains tiny amounts of pollen that acts as a vaccine.

An anti-inflammatory diet has a role: garlic, salmon oranges apples drink green tea to name a few. Don’t forget the teas with licorice rosehip or nettle can be helpful.

If you are into supplements to boost immunity or to act as anti-inflammation you must start a few weeks before ‘season’ begins. My ‘cure’ is Vitamin C at a megadose (3,000 mg/day). There is no chance of overdosing (although may get loose stools) it is a water-soluble vitamin and if your body does not need it will be eliminated in your urine.

There are more natural approaches including probiotics,  bromelain and quercetin to name a few, explore what may help your allergies. Have a listen to my podcast on this topic (iTunes  or RSS feed).Take control of your allergies, I use Web MD Allergy App it is a helpful tool. Check out your smartphone’s App store for an App that you find useful. You get the idea investigate and in this condition less is more in the case of allergies and natural is best!

No Comments

Body Cameras in Medical Emergencies

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 11.47.41 AMDrama – who does not become engaged watching events unravel in real time?

Everyone is now expecting police to wear ‘body cam’ many say it can help defend them against grievances. If you call 991 and EMS personnel arrive wearing a body camera -how would you feel? Fire fighters use helmet cameras. A personal camera can be built into one’s sunglasses similar to  Goggle glass.

I jotted down a few points to  think about.

Would a paramedic wearing a body cam violate or erode your trust? Who or what entity would have control of your videoed encounter? Does your hospital medical record include the video and when you request a medical record copy would  a copy of the video be included? Might copy fees go up for medical records that include a video. POI many states have a law allowing medical record coping fees.

Then there is HIPAA that gives patients a right to privacy and ability to amend medical information, could you ever delete a frame or two from your video?

Stay informed about your communities EMS delivery system.



No Comments