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- Exercise-Induced Asthma (EIA)
- Glaucoma-Worth A Look
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- INSIDER’S TAKE ON BLOOD TESTS
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- Taking Medication Using Medical Sense
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- Babysitter Review Sheet
- Consent for Medical/Surgical Care/Emergency Treatment and Child’s Medical Information
- Emergency Response and Reaction Skills for Children – Trauma Run
- Poisoning in Children
- Prevent Poisonings in the Home
- Seizures in Children-What to Do
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.
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.
Next time you are in your doctor’s office do not be surprised if a small attaché is whipped out and an ultrasound (US) performed! 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’.
A 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.
Do you believe there is truth in advertising? At the risk of sounding _____, I have always questioned health/medical related claims. Tooting that some soaps are antibacterial has been around a while but to a medical doc many questions flash into my brain as soon as I view the ‘proclamation’.
FYI — Slang uses the term ‘germ’ for any microorganism that can cause disease. Therefore think it could be a bacteria or a virus.
Back to ‘antibacterial’ soap! Does it kill the bacteria (bactericidal or just paralysis the bacterium (bacterial static)? Which bacteria does it ‘pound’ on? How long does the effect last? Good questions but more importantly do any of these products fulfill the promise?
I was overjoyed when I read the FDA-proposed rule re: manufacturers be required to show that their products are more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of infection.
‘If companies do not provide additional data on the products’ safety and effectiveness, including data from clinical studies to demonstrate that these products are superior to non-antibacterial soaps in preventing human illness or reducing infection, the products would need to be reformulated or relabeled to stay on the market’.
Although consumers expect products labeled as ‘antibacterial’ to be effective and help to prevent spread, I know of no evidence that these products are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water! I believe in air dry!
I do know of some data emerging that suggests that long-term exposure to certain active ingredients used in antibacterial products—for example, triclosan (liquid soaps) and triclocarban (bar soaps)—could pose health risks, such as bacterial resistance or hormonal effects.
Did you know that more women die from heart disease than from all forms of cancer? The American Heart Association (AHA) and Macy’s are sponsoring the 10th Birthday for “Go Red For Women“.
National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 7. Join in on the action and support the Go Red For Women by bring awareness to the issue of heart disease and stroke in women.
Simply read up at the website so you are informed, then wear red, speak red, heck even eat red. Inform everyone you meet on Feb. 7th, the reminder will be when they say you are wearing a lovely red.
Have a ‘pot luck’ at work with all dishes having ‘red’ in them Ex. watermelon balls, pasta w red peppers, tomato gazpacho, red cabbage salad, stuffed red peppers.
Genetically engineered (GE) food stuff or more commonly termed genetically modified organisims (GMOs) are pervasive in our diet. Although they have been around since the 1950s still many countries ban these products. Some countries even specify which seed can not be planted as well many – Egypt for example do not allow importation of any GE products. Have a look at the Organic Consumers Association website . Get an APP for your smartphone of available non-GMO produs.
The USA and Canada are the largest producers of GE foods! Decline of small farms and growth of ‘agri corporations’ contributed to rise of GE foods. In 1983 the first genetically modified plant, an anti-biotic resistant tobacco was introduced. After trials began in 1985, the EPA approved the very first release of a GMO crop in 1986. In 1992 – Calgene’s GE Flavr SavrTM tomatoes become first GE food on the market after approval by FDA. Our FDA’s position is one that neither states they are safe nor that they can be harmful -why am I not surprised! Their ‘logic’, I am using this term very loosely is that it has not been proven to be ‘unsafe’. The data and sentiment is increasingly against GMO with more purveyors and restaurants boasting their non-GMO organic origins. Everyone agrees that GE crops can lead to greater pesticide use, not good for us humans and the environment. The Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a toxin used in GMO corn (engineered within seed to act as its’ own pesticide), was recently detected in the blood of pregnant women and their babies, with possibly harmful consequences. Monarch butterfly larvae are killed by this Bacillus (Bt).
How significant is this in our overall health? Yes it must play a role what we ingest is the bodies fuel our organs.
Do your own research:
Have a look at the Organic Consumers Association website .
Get an APP for your smartphone of available non-GMO products. There are a few OS and Android ones.
At this writing the FDA is taking a no more position on antibiotic use in healthy livestock that is in our food supply.
You do not need to read surveys to find out that their is a huge disparity between how effective a doctor(medical care provider) feels he/she is AND what how the patient feels. Physicians’ bedside manner is not taught in medical school although some medical schools are trying to screen for a more compassionate outward caring candidate to admit.
For profit Mayo Clinic* id’ed seven ‘ideal physician behaviors: confidence, empathy, humane, personal, forthright, respectful and thorough. Although this is from a 2006 publication I believe it is still valid today.
There is a definite need for ‘active’ communication that is: not one-way, non-eye contact while performing another task. Exchange is the operative work I feel, after all a patient entrusts their body even life for that matter to a doctor!
Empathy is another valuable tool; a good doctor does not take the judgmental tone in asking about alcohol or drug use. Remember the doctor uses an electronic record and records often using quotes that are the patient’s words. There is a flip side – an accurate medical background is important if one drink a 6 pack a day – truth be told! Bottom line: going in for surgery to repair a fractured arm w/o the anesthesiologist knowing regular alcohol intake could put a life in jeopardy.
Medical encounters have become a bit more testy lately:
—- enter the www – information & data so much BUT can at times be inaccurate,
—- time constraints -shortage with electronic recording (electronic health record – EHR) mandated. Let us not discount totally the financially incentives set by insurers. Make a mental note of contact time and watch out for the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) report your insurance sends - look at the fees carefully and think back how long you were with your provider. Think payment amount (include co-pay) for time with provider! If you do not have health insurance time spent versus what you are asked for at check out.
Health is priceless but how do we get there? You are your own best advocate!
*Mayo Clinic Proceedings 2006:81(3)
A pet peeve of mine aggravated this time of year by the increase of upper respiratory illnesses (URIs) is inappropriate use of Antibiotics (Abx -medical shorthand). Yes we can get a sore throat or a bout of productive cough (acute bronchitis) but unless ’immune suppressed’ (either from medication or immune disease) the body will win over the virus that cause over 90% of these infections. Many studies show bacteria cause only 10%. Have a read of the blog on ER testing for flu. Abxs do not kill viruses ONLY bacteria!
Why put a chemical – drug into your body unnecessarily? And please do not play the ‘out of a abundance of caution’ card. Over prescription of antibiotics remains a huge problem and I am ignoring the cost side but the real harm is the resulting emergence of ‘superbugs’. There are other complications, these Abx wipe out your ‘good’ gut bacteria (intestinal flora), hence whenever prescribed an Abx take a probiotic (diet or pill). Side effects abound commonly nausea or diarrhea. Some individuals especially but not exclusively in Diabetics, yeast infections commonly occur when taking an Abx. So do not ask for an Abx actually ask if one is really necessary.
No, DocHandal is not a poet, but a dear friend and colleague I met on my first day in med school is. I. M. Real, MD (pen name) writes about what it feels like having been a heart rehab patient. Check out her poem below. I hope it has some worth in your life. Thank you Dr. Real for allowing us to blog your words.
RIDING TO NOWHERE
Rehab isn’t easy when your heart is broken
It needs encouragement to pump with vigor
Daily exercises to remind it of its job description.
Internal organs each have responsibilities
No excuses—-just pedal ‘til you’re pooped
Going nowhere on a stationary machine.
Treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical
Onward toward a target pulse!
Nowhere is actually somewhere:
Oreos worth of calories burned,
Walks without pain and puffing,
Hills easily conquered
Energy restored with each successive ride.
Reassuring to know that a heart restored
Enjoys a second chance
It has been well studies and published that OCs have many side effects and complications. A new study adds another risk for women using OCs for 3 years or more – that is glaucoma.
Study – Researcher (University of California San Francisco – UCSF), reviewed 2005-2008 data taken from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,( carried out by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP).
They focused on females (>3,400 women 40 years and over) were surveyed regarding vision and reproductive history that then had eye examinations.
Findings: “..females who had used oral contraceptives, no matter which kind, for longer than three years are 2.05 times more likely to also report that they have the diagnosis of glaucoma,” according to their press statement.
Yes these data points to long-term use of OCs may be a risk factor for glaucoma.
Remember – when asked what medications (pills) you take mention everything you take not only prescribed include over the counter especially vitamins, supplements even liquids supplements.
Be sure if you are on OCs that you are screened for the eye disease no matter your age.