Posted in Health, news

Baby Boomers’ Dedication to Blood Donation needs to be Embraced by Younger Individuals

As Baby Boomers age out of blood donation, younger generations need to help fill the void.

Although the process of blood donation and transfusion was discovered in the 1600’s, widespread civilian blood donation became popular during World War II.  According to the American Red Cross, 13 million pints were collected for the war effort.  And children of this era learned of how significant blood product was for our troops and war effort.  Baby Boomers incorporated routine blood donation as part of their culture.

 

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Yet as Baby Boomers age are the younger generations picking up the slack?

According to James AuBuchon, president and chief executive of Bloodworks Northwest, “The older generations seemed to have internalized the message that we always have to have an adequate supply of blood on the shelves.”  He continues, “The younger generations just seem less wired toward that message.”

Blood banks have, however, made some progress recruiting younger individuals as many are beginning to donate blood on high school and college campuses.

According to USA Today:

20% of blood donations come from the youngest of age groups 16-18 and 19-22.

Less than 10% of blood donations come from 23-29 year olds.

Less than 12% of blood donations come from those in their 30’s.

This year, the active hurricane season has hampered blood collection efforts.

The White House Can Help

A petition has been started asking the White House to proclaim a National Blood Donation Week to help raise blood supply and awareness.  People can easily add their name to the petition here:

Petition for National Blood Donation Week

How can I Donate Blood?

As long as you are over 17 years old (16 with the consent of parent) and weigh above 110 lbs, you may qualify for blood donation. The blood bank will screen you prior to donation.

Local drives can be found going to  American Red Cross Blood Drive Locator.  or United Blood Services/BloodHero.com.

One pint of blood can help save up to three lives.  Thank you so much for your support!!

blood-drive

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

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Posted in Health, news, Sports

Aaron Hernandez had “Most Severe Case” of CTE: Family to Sue NFL

Ex-Patriot’s tight end, and convicted murder, Aaron Hernandez, was found postmortem to have had severe CTE.

Athletes who sustain multiple concussions are at high risk of developing CTE, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.  This progressive, degenerative disease of the brain is also found in veterans and those who sustained repeated head trauma.  Symptoms include mood disorders, paranoia, impulse control issues, aggression, and memory loss to name a few.

A lawsuit (reportedly $20 million) has been filed by the family against the NFL and New England Patriots.  Hernandez was only 27 years old when he hung himself in his prison cell April 19th of this year.

Researchers from Boston University concluded the 27 year-old football star had stage 3 of 4 CTE.  This severity is rarely seen in someone this young.

The lawsuit claims that by the time Hernandez joined the NFL, the league knew of the dangers of concussions and led players to believe they were safe.  Attorney Jose Baez stated the Patriots and NFL were “fully aware of the damage that could be inflicted from repetitive impact injuries and failed to disclose, treat or protect him from the dangers of such damage.”

Neuropatholoigsts found loss of brain volume (atrophy), and tau protein deposits throughout his frontal lobes.  The frontal lobe of the brain regulates impulse control, memory, judgement, social behavior and problem solving.

What are the stages of CTE?

The CTE Stages are as follows:

Stage 1: Loss of concentration, attention, dizziness and headaches

Stage 2: Additionally short term memory loss,  mood disorder such as depression, and at times explosive outbursts

Stage 3: Worsening loss of memory, judgement, ability to do daily tasks, movement disorders, tremors and suicidality

Stage 4: Amnesia, severe cognitive impairment, evidence of dementia.

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Image from Sites at PennState

This is a developing story.

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Health, news, Politics

Hepatitis A Outbreak Now Delcared in LA County

The Hepatitis A Outbreak which has killed at least 16 people in San Diego and sickened hundreds more has now surfaced in LA County.

Doug McIntyre of Los Angeles’ KABC McIntyre in the Morning reported 10 people confirmed thus far infected in LA county, primarily affecting the homeless population.  This number is expected to rise.

The Hepatitis A virus is spread by contaminated feces, and many homeless persons lack access to public restrooms and showers.

San Diego County Public Health Officer Wilma Wooten suggested the recent plastic bag ban might have contributed to the outbreak as homeless individuals would use the plastic bag to excrete their waste into and then toss.  Wooten states, “We know people don’t have bathrooms and they can put bags in cans and buckets and maintain good hygiene. That’s why we put plastic bags in the hygiene kits we’re handing out. That’s what we expect people will use them for.”

Hygiene kits have been dispensed containing plastic bags, sanitizer, bottled water, wet wipes and feminine sanitary products.

Without the plastics bags, they are forced to poop without an easy means of clean up, leaving contaminated feces on the sidewalks, streets and encampments.

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City officials in both San Diego and Los Angeles have been spraying the streets with bleach-spiked water.

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a disease that affects the liver.  Its caused by a virus (Hepatitis A virus) that is most commonly ingested. Poor hand washing and/or contaminated food are likely culprits.  Its transmitted by the fecal-oral route, where food or drink contaminated by fecal matter enters another person’s GI tract.  Sexual transmission of Hepatitis A has been reported during activities involving oral-anal sex.

Hepatitis A can live outside the body for months, so unclean dining areas can be contaminated and transfer to food.

Those who are immunosuppressed run the risk of dying from the infection.

 

What are the symptoms of Hepatitis A?

Symptoms of Hepatitis A include:

Jaundice – yellowing of the skin and eyes

Fever

Abdominal Pain

Fatigue

Dark Urine

Joint Pain

Clay – looking stools

Diarrhea

Nausea

Vomiting

Loss of appetite

Hepatitis-A.jpg

 

What is the treatment for Hepatitis A?

There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A.  Most hepatitis A infections resolve on their own.

We usually recommend rest, fluids, and offer medications to help with nausea and vomiting.

For liver injury we avoid medications and alcohol that can worsen liver damage. The liver will usually recover within months after hepatitis A infection.

There are vaccines for Hepatitis A included in the childhood vaccination schedule.  Those older who weren’t vaccinated as a child can get the vaccine from their local provider or health department.  Many states require all health care and food workers to be vaccinated.

The best form of prevention however is good hand washing, dining area hygiene, and cooking food thoroughly.

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Health, news

1/3 of Americans Have “Bad Teeth”

A study out of the University of Michigan finds 1 in 3 middle-aged Americans suffer poor dental health.

The Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation at the University of Michigan, with support from AARP and Michigan Medicine, conducted the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging poll and found the following:

  • 33% of Americans aged 50-64 are embarrassed by the condition of their teeth
  • Close to 40% suffer pain, difficulty eating and missing work due to their teeth
  • 40% do not get regular cleanings or preventative care for their dental health
  • 28% lack dental insurance
  • 51% are concerned they won’t have dental coverage once they turn 65
  • Many of the study participants only went to the dentist once the dental issue was serious
  • 13% are hoping that Medicare or Medicaid will provide their dental coverage, but traditional Medicare doesn’t cover routine dental care and Medicaid dental benefits are rare.

The majority of the respondents understand the importance of routine preventative dental care and would seek evaluation earlier if they could.

Study author Dr. Preeti Malani, stated, “Even those who were diligent about seeing the dentist and had dental insurance throughout adulthood may find it harder to afford dental care as they get older and coverage options may be more limited.”

Other issues that affect one seeking dental care include fear of having a dental procedure and lack of local dental specialists in their city or town.

Emphasis needs to be put on ensuring dental care is apart of Medicare or any new healthcare system, and should include children and adults of all ages.

Tooth decay and gum disease can be linked to a variety of health issues including cardiovascular risk.

The American Dental Association recommends the following :

  • Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day.
  • Flossing once a day
  • Drinking plenty of water and keeping a healthy diet
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 months or sooner if frayed or damaged
  • Dental check ups once or twice a year, or more often if needed.

 

young-woman-brushing-teeth

 

 

The moral, don’t wait till the last minute.  Regular checkups prevent worsening issues, and a dental issue caught early is easier, and less expensive, to treat.

For more on this study, see here.

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Entertainment, Health, news

Study: Bald Men ARE Sexy

A recent study reports bald men are found to be more attractive, confident and dominant.

For years I’ve been urging listeners and patients to embrace their receding their hairline and shave their heads rather than struggling to maintain their precious locks.  So many men who’ve donned the clean-shaven look have overshadowed their hairy competitors. Just look at Bruce Willis (image above).

Now a study out of the University of Pennsylvania confirms that people find bald men more attractive.

Researchers asked male and female college students to rate attractiveness, confidence and dominance after viewing pictures of men with hair and then their hair digitally removed.  Although shaving one’s head made the subject appear 4 years older, they were found to be at an advantage in all categories.

Maybe it’s because we grew up seeing Mr. Clean with his bald head and ripping muscles make our mom’s giggle when she cleaned the house.  Maybe its because of the myth that balding could signify high testosterone.

What causes baldness?

Hair is made in follicles within the skin and grows for about three years until it sheds and new hair grows.  Hair loss (alopecia) occurs when hair follicles shrink and smaller, thinner hairs grow, lasting shorter and shorter times.

Genetics play a huge factor, with the most influential genes coming from mother’s X chromosome, which came from her father.  So maternal and paternal genes can both be responsible for baldness.

Sex hormones, androgens, can cause male pattern baldness.  Medications (such as anabolic steroids), illness such as low thyroid and diabetes, and cancer can cause hair loss as well.   A recent study found Prostaglandin D2 protein may block hair growth in those who suffer male pattern baldness. Its believed 80% of men under 70 will have some receding hairline.

Although hair offers many protective elements, especially from the sun, male pattern hair loss is not considered dangerous.  And study authors suggest rather than spending time, money and energy on hair loss treatment, embrace the scalp.  Its sexy….

Yul-Brynner

Yul Brynner, The King and I

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Health, news, weather

Hurricane Jose Poses Nor’easter Threat

Atlantic Hurricane Jose and its northward course may bring Nor’easter like conditions to cities such as Boston and New York City.

Over the next few days its expected to travel past Bermuda as it goes northwest abutting at a safe distance the East Coast, but possibly making landfall in the Northeast as a tropical storm.

Waves are expected to reach 10 feet along the Carolinas and then up the Eastern Seaboard over the next few days.

The National Hurricane Center reports the following:

While Jose is currently forecast to remain offshore of the U.S.
coast from Virginia northward to New England, the large cyclone
could cause some direct impacts to these areas and any deviation to
the left of the NHC forecast track would increase the likelihood and
magnitude of those impacts. Interests along the U.S. east coast
from Virginia to New England should monitor the progress of Jose
through the next several days.

The NHC also reports that swells from Jose are likely, over the next few days, to affect the Bahamas, Hispanola, and Puerto Rico and then the U.S. East Coast by early next week.

 

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Image from Weather.com

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Health, news

Musical Tampon Earns “Nobel” Peace Prize

We’ve known that babies respond to music while still in the womb but what if the music was in stereo sound coming from the vagina?  Researchers Marisa López-Teijón, Álex García-Faura, Alberto Prats-Galino, and Luis Pallarés Aniorte, from the Institut Marqués proved that a fetus could hear and benefit from music as early as 16 weeks old.   Previous research had demonstrated response to sound at 25 weeks gestation.

3D ultrasound technology demonstrated the fetus, as seen below, opened his mouth and extruded his tongue when music was played intravaginally.

 

 

A Babypod “musical tampon” transmitted the harmonious sounds, more acutely than would be transmitted transabdominally.

It retails for about $170 and has been recommended to be used for only 20 minutes a day to expose the fetus to musical sounds.  Whether the mouth gyrations were due to fetal stress or a positive fetal response has yet to be confirmed.

This research earned the scientists an Ig Nobel Peace Price, a humorous/parody Nobel Peace Prize awarded for research that “makes people laugh, then think.”

Would the average pregnant woman want to insert a subwoofer into her vagina…..I think not and wouldn’t want to be the one to ask her to do it….

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network and Board Certified Family Physician