Posted in Health, news, weather

Wildfire Smoke Health Risks

As the California Wildfires roar into a second week, those residents lucky enough to escape the flames worry what consequences could result in inhaling the smoke.

What is in wildfire smoke?

According to the EPA, smoke emanating from forest and community fires may include any of the following:

  • Carbon monoxide, which competes with oxygen in the blood
  • Carbon dioxide, a respiratory byproduct
  • Wood particles
  • Formaldehyde
  • Acrolein – used as a pesticide
  • Benzene
  • Plastics, and those byproducts after incineration
  • and thousands of different respiratory irritants.

According to the EPA,

Smoke is composed primarily of carbon dioxide, water vapor,
carbon monoxide, particulate matter, hydrocarbons and other
organic chemicals, nitrogen oxides, trace minerals and several
thousand other compounds. The actual composition of smoke
depends on the fuel type, the temperature of the fire, and the
wind conditions. Different types of wood and vegetation are
composed of varying amounts of cellulose, lignin, tannins and
other polyphenolics, oils, fats, resins, waxes and starches, which
produce different compounds when burned.

What symptoms may individuals experience?

Some may have no idea they are breathing in harmful compounds that could affect their lungs and heart.  However, many may experience:

  • Cough
  • Wheeze
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Chest Pain
  • Mucous Production
  • Dizziness/lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Racing Heart (palpitations)
  • Exacerbation of their lung disease including COPD, asthma, chronic bronchitis
  • Exacerbation of heart conditions such as angina, heart attack, and cardiac arrhythmias.
  • Increased susceptibility to new lung infections as well as flu 

     

 

What are PM2.5s?

PM2.5 are particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter that are present in pollution and wildfire smoke that can penetrate deeply into the lung linings.  Larger, coarse particles 10 micrometers in diameter are called PM10.  Both impair lung function as they inflame the lungs and interfere with the work of alveoli that need to oxygenate the blood.  Moreover the small particles can use this pathway to enter the blood stream. Although the direct health impacts of the fine particulate matter is not clearly defined it is believed that increased PM2.5 levels increase the risk of lung and heart disease as discussed above.

lungs_alveoli-57ffa7fe3df78cbc284e162b

Lungs and alveoli (Image from ThoughtCo.)

Symptoms may begin at levels greater than 55 µg/m.

Which individuals are the most at risk?

  • Infants and Children
  • Elderly individuals
  • Those with chronic lung disease, including asthma and emphysema
  • Those at risk for heart disease and stroke
  • Those with diabetes
  • Smokers
  • Pregnant women
  • Those with chronic allergies
  • Pets

 

How can residents protect themselves?

Avoiding the area of wildfires is paramount.  Additionally, the following may be considered:

  • Avoid outdoors until air quality reports improve.  Do not rely on how “clear” the air looks.
  • Take heed of wind and air quality advisories.
  • Recirculate the air in your home and car.
  • Keep windows closed.
  • Consult with your medical provider to monitor blood pressure, heart rhythm, lung function and refill any medications you may need BEFORE you feel symptoms.
  • Be wary of facemasks sold as PM2.5 safe as many do not protect against the very small particles. Respirator masks labelled N95 or N100 may provide SOME protection against particulates but not against the toxic fumes such as formaldehyde and acrolein.

 

 

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

 

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Posted in food, Health, news

Gummy Vitamins and Multivitamins Found to Have Wrong Amounts of Essential Nutrients

An analysis by a consumer watchdog group found 80% of gummy vitamins to either give too much or lack essential nutrients needed to be consumed daily.

ConsumerLab.com compared multiple multivitamin brands, including tablet form, and found 46% of them to have inconsistencies in their vitamin and mineral content.  According to their website:

  • 12 multivitamins contained much less (as low as 24%) or much more (as high as 157%) vitamin A, vitamin D, folate from folic acid, and/or calcium than listed on labels.
  • Many supplements exceeded upper tolerable intake levels — possibly doing more harm than good.
  • Gummy vitamins were especially problematic: 80% failed testing
  • Four multivitamins in tablet form failed to break apart within the required time. One needed 3 hours to fully disintegrate, 5 times the time allowed — jeopardizing the absorption of its ingredients.

Gummy vitamins are especially popular due to their taste, ability to chew rather than swallow, and their optics as they look like gum drops.

According to Consumerlab.com, gummy vitamins are more difficult to manufacture with precision, hence discrepancies could potentially occur with vitamin content.  Moreover, in order to make a vitamin taste like candy, artificial fillers need to be utilized.  These could potentially alter nutrient content or give the consumer too much sugar.

This isn’t the first time vitamins, in their various forms, have been found to lack the accurate description of their nutritional content.

As cited above, consuming more vitamins and minerals than needed could cause potential health complications. And if vitamin tablets don’t dissolve properly once ingested, distribution of the vitamins and minerals can’t be accomplished correctly.

According to healthsupplementsnutritionalguide.com, the following is the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for adults age 19 and up.

vitamin woman.jpg

NUTRIENT Male
19-50 Yrs
Male
>50 Yrs
Female
19-50 Yrs
Female
>50 Yrs
RDA Vitamins (Per Day)
vitamin A – retinol 900 µg 900 µg 700 µg 700 µg
vitamin C – ascorbic acid 90 mg 90 mg 75 mg 75 mg
vitamin D  #1 #5 5* µg 10* µg 5* µg 10* µg
vitamin E 15 mg 15 mg 15 mg 15 mg
vitamin K 120* µg 120* µg 90* µg 90* µg
vitamin B1 – thiamin 1.2 mg 1.2 mg 1.1mg 1.1 mg
vitamin B2 – riboflavin 1.3 mg 1.3 mg 1.1 mg 1.1 mg
vitamin B3 – niacin 16 mg 16 mg 14 mg 14 mg
vitamin B5 – pantothenic acid 5* mg 5* mg 5* mg 5* mg
vitamin B6 – pyridoxine 1.3 mg 1.7 mg 1.3 mg 1.5 mg
vitamin B12  #2 2.4 µg 2.4 µg 2.4 µg 2.4 µg
biotin 30* µg 30* µg 30* µg 30* µg
choline 550* mg 550* mg 425* mg 425* mg
folate – folic acid  #3 400 µg 400 µg 400 µg 400 µg
Recommended Daily Allowances for Minerals
calcium 1000* mg 1200* mg 1000* mg 1200* mg
chromium 35* µg 30* µg 25* µg 20* µg
copper 900 µg 900 µg 900 µg 900 µg
fluoride 4* mg 4* mg 3* mg 3* mg
iodine 150 µg 150 µg 150 µg 150 µg
iron 8 mg 8 mg 18 mg 8 mg
magnesium  #4 400/420 mg 420 mg 310/320 mg 320 mg
manganese 2.3* mg 2.3* mg 1.8* mg 1.8* mg
molybdenum 45 µg 45 µg 45 µg 45 µg
phosphorus 700 mg 700 mg 700 mg 700 mg
selenium 55 µg 55 µg 55 µg 55 µg
zinc 11 mg 11 mg 8 mg 8 mg
potassium 4.7* g 4.7* g 4.7* g 4.7* g
sodium  #5 1.5* g 1.3* g 1.5* g 1.3* g
chloride  #5 2.3* g 2.0* g 2.3* g 2.0* g

 

Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) Recommendations (#)
Food and Nutrition Board Recommended RDA Chart
#2 : As 10 to 30 percent of older people may malabsorb food-bound B12, FNB advises those older than 50 years to meet their Recommended Daily Allowances for it by consuming foods fortified with B12 or a supplement containing B12.

#3 : In view of evidence linking folate deficiency with neural tube defects in the fetus, FNB recommends that women capable of becoming pregnant consume 400 µg of folate from supplements or fortified foods, in addition to intake of food folate from a varied diet.

#4 : Men from 31 to 50 need slightly more magnesium (420 mg) than those from 19 to 30 years old (400 mg). Women from 31 to 50 also need slightly more magnesium (320 mg) than those from 19 to 30 years old (310 mg).

#5 : Adults over 70 years need slightly different levels of vitamin D (15µg), sodium (1.2g), and chloride (1.8g).

 

Recommended Daily Allowances for Pregnancy / Lactating Mothers
NUTRIENT Pregnancy
14-18 Yrs
Pregnancy
19-50 Yrs
Lactation
14-18 Yrs
Lactation
19-50 Yrs
Recommended Daily Allowances for Vitamins
vitamin A – retinol 750 µg 770 µg 1200 µg 1300 µg
vitamin C – ascorbic acid 80 mg 85 mg 115 mg 120 mg
vitamin D  #1 5* µg 5* µg 5* µg 5* µg
vitamin E 15 mg 15 mg 19 mg 19 mg
vitamin K 75* µg 90* µg 75* µg 90* µg
vitamin B1 – thiamin 1.4 mg 1.4 mg 1.4 mg 1.4 mg
vitamin B2 – riboflavin 1.4 mg 1.4 mg 1.6 mg 1.6 mg
vitamin B3 – niacin 18 mg 18 mg 17 mg 17 mg
vitamin B5 – pantothenic acid 6* mg 6* mg 7* mg 7* mg
vitamin B6 – pyridoxine 1.9 mg 1.9 mg 2.0 mg 2.0 mg
vitamin B12 2.6 µg 2.6 µg 2.8 µg 2.8 µg
biotin 30* µg 30* µg 35* µg 35* µg
choline 450* mg 450* mg 550* mg 550* mg
folate – folic acid  #3 600 µg 600 µg 500 µg 500 µg
Recommended Daily Allowances for Minerals
calcium 1300* mg 1000* mg 1300* mg 1000* mg
chromium 29* µg 30* µg 44* µg 45* µg
copper 1000 µg 1000 µg 1300 µg 1300 µg
fluoride 3* mg 3* mg 3* mg 3* mg
iodine 220 µg 220 µg 290 µg 290 µg
iron 27 mg 27 mg 10 mg 9 mg
magnesium  #6 400 mg 350/360 mg 360 mg 310/320 mg
manganese 2.0* mg 2.0* mg 2.6* mg 2.6* mg
molybdenum 50 µg 50 µg 50 µg 50 µg
phosphorus 1250 mg 700 mg 1250 mg 700 mg
selenium 60 µg 60 µg 70 µg 70 µg
zinc 12 mg 11 mg 13 mg 12 mg
potassium 4.7* g 4.7* g 5.1* g 5.1* g
sodium 1.5* g 1.5* g 1.5* g 1.5* g
chloride 2.3* g 2.3* g 2.3* g 2.3* g

 

According to healthsupplementsnutritionalguide.com, the following is the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for infants and children.

NUTRIENT 0-6 mths 7-12mths 1-3 yrs 4-8 yrs
RDA Vitamins (Per Day)
vitamin A – retinol 400* µg 500* µg 300 µg 400 µg
vitamin C – ascorbic acid 40* mg 50* mg 15 mg 25 mg
vitamin D  #1 5* µg 5* µg 5* µg 5* µg
vitamin E 4* mg 5* mg 6 mg 7 mg
vitamin K 2.0* µg 2.5* µg 30* µg 55* µg
vitamin B1 – thiamin 0.2* mg 0.3* mg 0.5 mg 0.6 mg
vitamin B2 – riboflavin 0.3* mg 0.4* mg 0.5 mg 0.6 mg
vitamin B3 – niacin 2* mg 4* mg 6 mg 8 mg
vitamin B5 – pantothenic acid 1.7* mg 1.8* mg 2* mg 3* mg
vitamin B6 – pyridoxine 0.1* mg 0.3* mg 0.5 mg 0.6 mg
vitamin B12 – cyanocobalamin 0.4* µg 0.5* µg 0.9 µg 1.2 µg
biotin 5* µg 6* µg 8* µg 12* µg
choline 125* mg 150* mg 200* mg 250* mg
folate – folic acid 65* µg 80* µg 150 µg 200 µg
Recommended Daily Allowances for Minerals
calcium 210* mg 270* mg 500* mg 800* mg
chromium 0.2* µg 5.5* µg 11* µg 15* µg
copper 200* µg 220* µg 340 µg 440 µg
fluoride >0.01* mg 0.5* mg 0.7* mg 1* mg
iodine 110* µg 130* µg 90 µg 90 µg
iron 0.27* mg 11 mg 7 mg 10 mg
magnesium 30* mg 75* mg 80 mg 130 mg
manganese 0.003* mg 0.6* mg 1.2* mg 1.5* mg
molybdenum 2* µg 3* µg 17 µg 22 µg
phosphorus 100* mg 275* mg 460 mg 500 mg
selenium 15* µg 20* µg 20 µg 30 µg
zinc 2* mg 3 mg 3 mg 5 mg
potassium 0.4* g 0.7* g 3.0* g 3.8* g
sodium 0.12* g 0.37* g 1.0* g 1.2* g
chloride 0.18* g 0.57* g 1.5* g 1.9* g

 

Recommended Daily Allowances for Older Children (9 to 18 Years)
NUTRIENT Male
9-13 Yrs
Male
14-18 Yrs
Female
9-13 Yrs
Female
14-18 Yrs
RDA Vitamins (Per Day)
vitamin A – retinol 600 µg 900 µg 600 µg 700 µg
vitamin C – ascorbic acid 45 mg 75 mg 45 mg 65 mg
vitamin D #1 5* µg 5* µg 5* µg 5* µg
vitamin E 11 mg 15 mg 11 mg 15 mg
vitamin K 60* µg 75* µg 60* µg 75* µg
vitamin B1 – thiamin 0.9 mg 1.2 mg 0.9 mg 1.0 mg
vitamin B2 – riboflavin 0.9 mg 1.3 mg 0.9 mg 1.0 mg
vitamin B3 – niacin 12 mg 16 mg 12 mg 14 mg
vitamin B5 – pantothenic acid 4* mg 5* mg 4* mg 5* mg
vitamin B6 – pyridoxine 1.0 mg 1.3 mg 1.0 mg 1.2 mg
vitamin B12 – cyanocobalamin 1.8 µg 2.4 µg 1.8 µg 2.4 µg
biotin 20* µg 25* µg 20* µg 25* µg
choline 375* mg 550* mg 375* mg 400* mg
folate – folic acid  #3 300 µg 400 µg 300 µg 400 µg
Recommended Daily Allowances for Minerals
calcium 1300* mg 1300* mg 1300* mg 1300* mg
chromium 25* µg 35* µg 21* µg 24* µg
copper 700 µg 890 µg 700 µg 890 µg
fluoride 2* mg 3* mg 2* mg 3* mg
iodine 120 µg 150 µg 120 µg 150 µg
iron 8 mg 11 mg 8 mg 15 mg
magnesium 240 mg 410 mg 240 mg 360 mg
manganese 1.9* mg 2.2* mg 1.6* mg 1.6* mg
molybdenum 34 µg 43 µg 34 µg 43 µg
phosphorus 1250 mg 1250 mg 1250 mg 1250 mg
selenium 40 µg 55 µg 40 µg 55 µg
zinc 8 mg 11 mg 8 mg 9 mg
potassium 4.5* g 4.7* g 4.5* g 4.7* g
sodium 1.5* g 1.5* g 1.5* g 1.5* g
chloride 2.3* g 2.3* g 2.3* g 2.3* g

For more on this story see here.

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

Posted in Health, news

Common Male Genital Condition Linked to Heart Disease and Diabetes

Enlarged scrotal veins, varicoceles, have been linked to diabetes, hyperlipidemia and heart disease.

Stanford University School of Medicine Researchers found this common condition to increase a man’s risk of vascular and metabolic disease.

Dr. Michael Eisenberg, Dr. Nancy Wang and other urological colleagues reviewed the medical insurance records of 4,400 men with varicoceles compared to thousands who didn’t and found those with symptomatic varicoceles were at higher risk of having higher lipids (fats) in the blood in addition to diabetes. Both of these conditions cause atherosclerosis, raising the risk of heart disease.

Asymptomatic varicoceles, or men with no symptoms, were not found to be at increased risk.

What is a varicocele?

A varicocele occurs when a vein within the scrotum dilates, very similar to a varicose vein in the leg.  It’s a common condition affecting 15% of men and more frequently is seen on the left.  Usually they are asymptomatic and found when a man is being evaluated for infertility.  Symptoms may include scrotal pain that increases with standing or exerted effort.

Varicoceles have been linked to infertility and testicular shrinkage as the dilated vein causes an increase in warm blood, heating up the testicles. This may cause a decrease in testosterone production, thereby reducing sperm production.

varicocele1.jpg

 

Although more research needs to be done on varicoceles and heart disease, early detection of major risk factors are key to preventing cardiovascular deaths.  Dr. Wang states, “It’s interesting to think about ways to catch disease early, or see risk factors you can identify, to prevent their development or progression.”

For more on this study visit here.

 

 

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

 

Posted in Entertainment, food, Health, news

The Office Holiday Party: Do’s and Don’ts

Above John Shaffer and Daliah Wachs at a KDWN Holiday Party.

 

The work holiday party is one of the most anticipated events of the year.  Free food, free drink and for 4-6 hours you can be in the same room as your boss without any risk of being told “you’re fired”.  But…..many of us make mistakes, HUGE mistakes, while tipsy and letting our guard down could be the biggest career buster ever.  Plus, there are some missed opportunities the office Holiday party offers to make your overall work life better. So let’s get right down to it.

Don’t

1. Flirt with the boss

Your superior in any office setting should be the last one you try to cuddle up to.  Good management knows there is ALWAYS someone watching and, these days, recording on their phone, so they do not want to be seen in an uncomfortable situation, appearing to be flirting with you.  You can complement them, sure, but hands off!

2. Drink too much

This gets us all into trouble.  Yes the alcohol is usually free and a flow’n but this will lead to your downfall.  Your guard is down, you become flirty, you blurt out secrets, those that the whole team knows but would be never caught dead saying……and sometimes the clothes come off on the dance floor.  Please drink in moderation.

3. Drive drunk

Never, never, never plan on driving that night if you plan to drink.  Car Service, Uber, Taxi, designated drivers are a must.

4.  Let anyone tag you on Facebook

The next morning will be full of regret as it is, no need to cement it in infamy.

5. Skip on the whole soiree

Holiday season is swarming with good parties. And chances are there are two other parties calling your name that same night.  Make sure you hit the office party FIRST.  You can get too distracted or drunk at the other parties such that you never make it across town, safely.  Again, don’t drive if you plan to drink.

 

singing.jpg

 

6.  Take the mic

This is where I take a fall (as you can see above).  A microphone is sitting up on the stage, waiting, just waiting for someone to grab it and spout out some one liners.  I fear getting close to it until the head boss makes opening remarks. Then I feel the need to interrupt him and “take over from here”.  Let your boss have the mic.  He/She’s the head honcho, let them have their glory.  They’re paying for the party……

7.  Gossip

Never, never use this opportunity to gossip. That’s what the staff lounge is for.  It’s a positive night. Don’t bring negativity.

8.  Tell off the office bully

 

You may feel protected with all your work peeps surrounding you but one day he/she will get you alone and ….payback.  Instead wish them some holiday cheer…..may bring out the good in the jerk.

9.  Sleep with your coworker

 
Everyone is watching you so your hopes of secretly hooking up is already circulating social media.  If you want to begin a relationship that’s fine, but hoping its on the down low will never happen.  People at parties pretend to be distracted, but someone is always watching.

10.  Discuss work

 
Never, never, never discuss work at the office Holiday party.  And please don’t ask for a raise!!! Will never happen. Even if your boss is drunk, he will forget about it by the New Year.
 

11.  Don’t be quiet

Being anti-social is not the way to go either. Mix, mingle and look like you’re having a good time. Even if you’re not.  If you have to leave early due to boredom, blame it on diarrhea.  This may be the only party you EVER get invited to.

Do’s

1. Thank the boss and the planning committee

Even though they may roll their eyes at you as you complement them (since anyone volunteering for a planning committee in the first place probably isn’t your best bud at work), they secretly enjoy the complement.

2.  Get up and sing (if you can sing)

This is the only time your boss and team will see your other talents.  Sans beer bonging, show off your talents….dance moves, pipes, even fashion sense…. if you’re good.

3.  Let the boss know you’re happy at work

Don’t kiss up, but as you thank him, let him know you love your job.  This will be a take home message that can go a long way.

4. Tip the bartender

This is a no brainer.
bartender-mixologist-1.jpg

5. Have fun!!

It’s the holidays!  Let’s celebrate!! Truly the most wonderful time of the year!!!
xmas party 2017.jpg
John Shaffer, Daliah Wachs, and Tom Humm

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

Posted in Health, news

Early Balding and Graying Linked to Heart Disease

 

A new study out of India suggests both premature balding and graying are linked to heart disease.

Researchers from the UN Mehta Institute of Cardiology in Gujarat, India evaluated 2000 men (1200 healthy and 790 with heart disease) and found those who began to lose their hair and hair color before the age of 40 had the following risk elevation when it came to heart disease:

  • Premature balding 5.6 X risk
  • Premature graying 5.3 X risk

To put this into perspective, obesity was associated with a 4.1 greater risk.  So alopecia (hair loss) and canities (graying/whitening of the hair) appeared to be more of a culprit than one of the most infamous risk factors there is.

This study therefore suggests those before age 40, showing early receding hair lines and gray hair, may want to be evaluated for cardiac risk factors.

In April, a study was presented at the EuroPrevent 2017 conference of the European Society of Cardiology suggested a link between how much a man grays or whitens when he ages and plaque buildup within the coronary arteries, the main arteries that supply the heart muscle.

Those researchers looked at 545 men and evaluated them by the degree of hair whitening where a 1 was given to those with all black hair, up to a 3 with equal amounts of black and gray/white hair, to a 5 where they had all gray/white hair.  Computed tomography coronary angiography was used to evaluate the amount of atherosclerosis (plaque build up) in the coronary arteries.

Those men who scored 3 or more appeared to have higher risk of plaque build up. These findings were independent of cardiac risk factors such as age, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and family history of heart disease.

According to lead author in this earlier study, Dr. Irini Samuel, a cardiologist at Cairo University in Egypt stated,

“Atherosclerosis and hair graying occur through similar biological pathways and the incidence of both increases with age. Our findings suggest that, irrespective of chronological age, hair graying indicates biological age and could be a warning sign of increased cardiovascular risk.

More research is needed on cutaneous signs of risk that would enable us to intervene earlier in the cardiovascular disease process.”

She continued, “If our findings are confirmed, standardization of the scoring system for evaluation of hair graying could be used as a predictor for coronary artery disease.”

17c6f174268e3a6897d4447185851c37.jpg

Why does our hair turn gray with age?

Our hair color is determined by our melanin production, a combination of pigments (eumelanin and pheomelanin) that can vary, with less eumelanin giving rise to blond hair, more giving rise to brunette hair and pheomelanin responsible for the red, auburn hues.

Melanocytes inject their pigment into the keratin cells that produce hair.  As we age these may slow down.  Another cause of “going gray” is hydrogen peroxide builds up in the hair follicle, causing oxidative stress, which in turn prevents rich colors from being displayed. The lack of pigment will cause hair to appear white.

1073579182.Me.4.jpg

IMAGE FROM MADSCI NETWORK

 

What can cause premature graying?

Many of us begin to see gray hair in our 30’s.  Some in our 20’s.  Different ethnicities gray at different ages.  If one is gray by age 20 that would be considered very premature.

We’ve heard about stress, hormones, and nutritional deficiencies being linked to loss of hair color, but studies have not been able to prove this definitively.

Researchers are still trying to determine why one would gray faster and what significance it has on our health.

 

Now one might say “If everyone grays than everyone is at risk for heart disease”.  Heart disease is common and the number one killer and graying is almost ubiquitous in the older population. But this study starts to make one wonder if the amount, accelerating of….even the pattern of graying are significant, then this could clue us in on who is at risk for early, preventable, heart disease.

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.

 

How can we prevent heart disease?

Firstly, we must know our risk factors. These include:

Family history of heart disease

Personal history of heart disease

High Blood Pressure

High Cholesterol

Diabetes

Smoking

Obesity

Inactivity

Males over 40

Females who are post menopausal

High stress

and even short stature has been cited as a potential risk factor.

As you can see, many of us can be at risk for heart disease.

Therefore secondly, we should be evaluated with an EKG, echocardiogram and any other exams our medical provider and/or cardiologist deem necessary.

Thirdlyreduce your risk by the following:

Maintain a normal blood pressure

Maintain normal blood sugar

Maintain normal cholesterol and lipid levels

Reduce stress

Maintain a balanced diet, rich in potassium-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables

Quit smoking

Stay active

Maintain a healthy weight.

 

                                                                                                       LearnHealthSpanish.com                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

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

Posted in Health, news, sex

“Smart Condom” pre-sales reach close to 100,000

Are condoms getting smarter?  The i.Con is a creation by British Condoms, a company from the UK, and using nano-chip technology it measures activity of the organ and allegedly can detect sexually transmitted illnesses.

Rather than it being an actual “condom”, it’s a ring that can be worn with a condom that gives users data on their girth, frequency of sex, velocity of thrusts, speed of thrusts, duration of sex, calories burned during sex and skin temperature.

1511958815_i-con-smart-condom

Apparently close to 100,000 have been preordered and will be sold in the coming months.

According to their website britishcondoms.uk/i-con-smart-condom.html :

i.Con will record:

–  Calories burnt during sexual intercourse

–  Speed of thrusts

–  Total number of thrusts

–  Frequency of sessions

–  Total duration of sessions

–  Average velocity of thrusts

–  Girth measurement

–  Different positions used (currently BETA testing – will have more info in a release coming soon)

–  Average skin temperature

This pedometer, or rather “penometer”, has sensors that pick up a variety of variables that can be uploaded to one’s computer.  Per the website, “utilizing a Nano-chip and sensors, i.Con will measure and remember a number  of different variables during your sessions. Once your session is completed, you will then be able to use the i.Con app to download your recent data which is paired to the device using Bluetooth technology. Once you have downloaded your data, the i.Con will automatically clear its memory making way for your next session. It’s extremely simple to use”.

It can be charged using a USB port and each charge lasts 6-8 hours.

According to Medical Daily these sensors will have the ability to pick up protein antigens that would be released by an infectious process including a sexually transmitted disease, including Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and Syphilis.

If this is true, i.Con could revolutionize our fight against various STI epidemics.  Syphilis is on the rise, and “SuperGonorrhea” may soon be untreatable due to its drug resistance. For those who don’t mind sharing, studies could be done looking at their sexual patterns and issues with erections.

It runs £59.99, or $80 US and the company is currently taking early bird registrations before the release date.  

Academically this could be hugely advantageous.  However, from a practical standpoint, I don’t see anyone older than 25 caring, let alone purchasing it.  Privacy concerns are raised as data can be shared using Bluetooth technology.

Plus smartphones get pretty warm…..sometimes catch fire and explode.  I’m not saying that would happen with this unit but how many men, or even women for that matter, would take their chances…..it seems easier to use, maybe, a radar gun?

 

 

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

Posted in Health, news, food

Mouthwash Use May Increase Risk of Diabetes

A new study finds twice daily mouthwash use increased risk of pre-diabetes and diabetes by 55%.

Researchers reviewed the data of 948 individuals who were either obese or overweight, apart of the San Juan Overweight Adults Longitudinal Study in Puerto Rico, and found over the three-year follow-up:

  • Participants who used mouthwash at least twice daily had 55 percent significantly increased risk of developing pre-diabetes or diabetes over a 3-year follow-up compared to less frequent users, and 49 percent higher risk compared to non-users of mouthwash
  • 30% of those studied developed either pre-diabetes or diabetes by the end of the period.

Now according to the study, 65% of those enrolled had poor dental health, so they might have been more inclined to using the mouthwash.  And since diabetes is a risk factor for periodontal disease, it’s no surprise that those with poor gums and teeth, due to diet and/or poor circulation, would be more at risk for diabetes.

Many use mouthwash to fight germs and plaque, freshen breath, and with fluoride to prevent cavities.  However, it does not replace bushing and flossing and its use should only complement good dental hygiene.

So why would mouthwash use increase diabetes risk?

Even though this study only found an association with those who mouthwash frequently and diabetes risk, the following could contribute to this finding:

  • Many sugary foods cause gum and tooth disease, hence those needing mouthwash more frequently may have poor diet choices.
  • High fat foods and eating large quantities, habits that contribute to diabetes, may leave one with frequent GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease, which causes bad breath.
  • Mouthwash may kill some of the good bacteria that help protect against obesity and diabetes.

 

A review of diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which the body doesn’t utilize and metabolize sugar properly.  When we consume food, its broken down into proteins, nutrients, fats, water, and sugar. These components are necessary for cell growth and function.  They get absorbed in the small intestine and make it to the blood stream.   In order for a cell to utilize sugar, it needs the hormone insulin to help guide it in.  It’s similar to a key that fits in the keyhole of the “door” of the cell, opening it up so sugar can enter.  Insulin is produced in the pancreas, an organ that receives signals when one eats to release insulin in preparation of the sugar load coming down the pike.

Diabetes explained

So I imagine our mouth like a waiting room, the blood stream like a hallway, and the cells of the body the rooms along the hallway.  Insulin is the key to open the cells’ “doors” allowing sugar to enter.  If the sugar does not get in, it stays in the bloodstream “hallway” and doesn’t feed the cell.  Weight loss occurs, and individuals may become more thirsty as the sugar in the blood makes it fairly osmotic, something the body wants to neutralize, reduce.  The kidneys are going to want dump the excess sugar, so to do so, one would urinate more, again causing thirst.  So when a diabetic loses weight, urinates more frequently and becomes thirsty, you now understand why.

Type I vs. Type II vs. Type IIIc Diabetes

Type I Diabetes, previously called insulin dependent or Juvenile diabetes, occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce insulin, possibly from the immune system destroying the cells that produce the hormone. When this occurs there is rapid weight loss and death could occur if the cells don’t get the sugar they need.  Insulin has to be administered regularly.

Type II Diabetes, previously called non-insulin dependent or adult-onset diabetes,  occurs in those who began with a fully functioning pancreas but as they age the pancreas produces less insulin, called insulin deficiency, or the insulin produced meets resistance.  This is the fastest growing type of diabetes in both children and adults.

Type IIIc diabetes may occur in individuals who suffered damage to their pancreas.  Inflammation/infection of the pancreas (pancreatitis), a pancreatic tumor, or surgery affecting the pancreas may destroy the beta cells that produce insulin.

Complications of Diabetes

Cardiovascular disease – Sugar is sticky, so it can easily add to atherosclerotic plaques.

Blindness – high sugar content draws in water to neutralize and small blood vessels in the eye can only take so much fluid before they burst.  Moreover, high blood sugar weakens blood vessels.

Kidney disease – the kidneys work overtime to eliminate the excess sugar. Moreover, sugar laden blood isn’t the healthiest when they themselves need nourishment.

Infections – pathogens love sugar. Its food for them.  Moreover blood laden with sugar doesn’t allow immune cells to work in the most opportune environment.

Neuropathy – nerves don’t receive adequate blood supply due to the diabetes-damaged blood flow and vessels, hence they become dull or hypersensitive causing diabetics to have numbness or pain.

Dementia – as with the heart and other organs, the brain needs healthy blood and flow.  Diabetes has been found to increase risk of Alzheimer’s as well.

 

What is insulin resistance?

Insulin resistance, if using our hallway and door analogy, is as if someone is pushing against the door the insulin is trying to unlock. As we know, those with obesity are at higher risk for diabetes, hence fat can increase insulin resistance.  It’s also been associated with an increase in heart disease.

Blood sugar numbers

If your fasting blood sugar (glucose) is greater than 126 mg/dl, or your non fasting blood sugar is greater than 200 mg/dl, you may be considered diabetic.  Pre-diabetes occurs when the fasting blood sugar is between 100 and 125 mg/dl.  If ignored, and the sugar rises, pre-diabetics may go on to develop diabetes.

 

dmp-blood-sugar-levels-chart

SOURCE DIABETESMEALPLANS.COM

Preventing/Controlling Diabetes

1/3 of American adults are currently pre-diabetic.  Experts predict 1/3 of US Adults will be diabetic by the year 2050.  Although genetics plays a big role, decreasing ones sugar intake and maintaining an active lifestyle can help ward of diabetes.

Foods high in sugar and carbohydrates increase one’s risk, so a diet rich in vegetables and lean meats is preferred.

 

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