Posted in Entertainment, Health, news

Incredibles 2 Seizure Warning: Which Movies Can Induce Seizures?

Disney/Pixar may now include a warning for viewers that some scenes in their latest hit, Incredibles 2, may induce seizures at the request of the National Epilepsy Foundation.  Some viewers found the strobe and flashing light scenes to be potential seizure triggers.

What is a seizure?

A seizure occurs when there is abnormal electrical activity in the brain.  If the electricity doesn’t conduct properly, brain function gets disrupted. This could lead to convulsions  (involuntary jerking movements), loss of muscle tone, changes in senses such as vision, hearing and smell, loss of bladder control, loss of consciousness and sometimes stroke, brain damage and death.

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What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder in which a person has recurrent, unprovoked seizures.

Photosensitive epilepsy, in which visual triggers can induce a seizure, occurs in 1 in 4000 of the population.

Can Movies Cause Seizures?

In December of 1997, a Pokemon cartoon aired in Japan resulting in over 700 children to the hospital with ailments ranging from dizziness to epilepsy.  It was determined that the rapidly strobing flashes of red and blue lights induced this “Pokemon Shock”.

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A study from Prasad et al in 2012 found no increase risk of seizures with 3D movies than conventional television. They explain why seizures are induced here:

The mechanism in which TV and cinema movies trigger seizures in patients with photosensitive epilepsy is related to several factors including the light intensity, the environment and the frequency of picture frames per second. Normal 2D movies have a frame rate of 24 per second, which may pose a risk for patients with photosensitive epilepsy, but the light intensity in the cinema is very low and there are relatively a few reports of seizures precipitated in cinemas. In contrast, 3D movies project images at 48 frames per second aimed, by the use of coloured or polarising filters, at different eyes and resulting in 24 frames per second per eye. The polarising effect of 3D films may reduce the light output by around fifty percent leading to a reduced risk to trigger a seizure to people with photosensitive epilepsy. Therefore, the risk of 3D movies to trigger a seizure is around fifty percent less than with conventional 2D movies. However if provocative material such as flashing light is presented the risk can be as high as that for normal 2D movies.

 

Although there is “insufficient evidence” to connect 3D movies to epilepsy, researchers agree with the need for more study.

Which makes us rely on anecdotal, or testimonial evidence such as the tweet from Veronica Lewis.

“Risky Movies”

The following have been suggested on moviehealthcommunity.tumblr.com to have strobe effects or flashing lights that may affect one’s photosensitivity risk of inducing a seizure:

  • Incredibles 2 villan weapon
  • Ocean’s 8 – fast-moving trains
  • Solo, A Star Wars Story – laser fire and sparking electrical equipment
  • Speed Racer – bright headlines, racing cars
  • Deadpool 2 – gunfire, high-speed chase scenes
  • Hostiles -flashes from the gunfire
  • 300 – lightning scenes
  • Avengers, Infinity War – fight scenes, shaking cameras, laser based weapons
  • IronMan series – strobe and flashing lights
  • Incredible Hulk, 2008 – strobe lights
  • Ready Player One – high-speed chase, shaky camera, flashing lights
  • Tomb Raider, 2018 – strobe lights, shaky cameras
  • A Wrinkle in Time – lightening storm
  • I, Tonya – fast speeds, quick camera shots
  • The Cloverfield Paradox – strobe lights

Although one of my favorite franchises, some of my listeners found the Transformer movies to have similar issues with high speed movemements and strobe lights.

Many more movies are listed but the common thread are those with high action, high-speed, strobe lighting, storms, horror, and fast-moving race or fall scenes.

More can be found at moviehealthcommunity.tumblr.com.

 

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

Doggie Dictionary: 19 Ways Your Dog Speaks

For centuries man has tried to translate the “Ruffs”, “Yowls” and “Gruffs” of man’s best friend to no avail. But researchers at the University of Salford have been able to define 19 of the 47 dog gestures studied in footage by their owners.

These include according to The Sun:

  • Roll over – “Tickle my tummy”
  • Head under – “Get me my toy”
  • Head forward – “Scratch me”
  • Hind leg stand – “Play with me”
  • Head turn – “Get me that”
  • Shuffle – “Scratch me”
  • Back leg up – “Scratch me”
  • Paw hover – “Get me my toy”
  • Crawl under – “Get me my toy”
  • Flick toy – “I’m hungry”
  • Jump – “I’m hungry”
  • Paw reach – “Give me that”
  • Nose – “Scratch me”
  • Lick – “Scratch me”
  • Front paws on – “Open it”
  • Paw rest – “Get me my toy”
  • Head rub – “Get me my toy”
  • Chomp – “Play with me”
  • Paw – “Get me my toy”

As you can see, Fido may be redundant, and possibly dangle his participle.  But many of us dog owners agree that these gestures hit the mark as we get positive reinforcement by our pets when we oblige, another sign they possess fine communication skills.

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So when a dog puts both paws on the door, he wants it open. When he wiggles his body and tushee underneath the chair or your foot, he wants to be played with.  When he lies back and lifts his leg, or presses his nose against you, he wants to be scratched.  And when he stands on his hind legs, he wants food.

Now this is all fine and dandy but I’ll be impressed with researchers when they teach us how to translate to dogs the following:

  • Let me sleep
  • Keep Grandma from coming inside the house
  • Quit pooping on my carpet……..

 

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

 

 

Posted in Entertainment, Health, news, smart devices

Gaming Disorder Now Considered “Mental Illness”

Those who find themselves playing video games for hours on end may end up with a mental health diagnosis.  The World Health Organization suggested adding “gaming disorder” to its list of disease classifications.

But do those World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, Fortnite, and Candy Crush fans need to seek professional help immediately?  Well to qualify as having a “gaming disorder”, the WHO suggests the following guidelines:

  • The compulsive pattern of behavior has to exist for at least 12 months.
  • The behavior affects one’s personal life, occupation or health negatively.
  • Once the behavior negatively affects one’s life, the behavior continues or escalates.

They write: impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

They continue:  The inclusion of gaming disorder in ICD-11 follows the development of treatment programs for people with health conditions identical to those characteristic of gaming disorder in many parts of the world, and will result in the increased attention of health professionals to the risks of development of this disorder and, accordingly, to relevant prevention and treatment measures.

Why are we getting addicted?

Video games act on the pleasure centers of the brain, just as alcohol, opiates and chocolate do.  We get “rewarded” by certain behaviors, giving us confidence and ego boots that we don’t get in the real world.  We begin to prefer to be alone with our controller than outside being written up by a supervisor, or turned down by a potential date.  Colors, sounds, awards, level advancement is psychologically addicting.

How to treat a gaming disorder

Many times gaming disorders are accompanied by other internet addictions such as porn and online shopping.  The following are treatment options used to curb one’s compulsive gaming behavior:

  • Limit screen time to one hour a day
  • Screen time holidays, or only use screen time for academic, work purposes
  • Visits to the library to use encyclopedias rather than going to Google (avoiding online ads that could tempt one to continue playing/shopping)
  • Cognitive/behavioral therapy
  • Medications, such as Zoloft, that treat OCD.
  • Treatment of the underlying disorder…depression, anxiety, loneliness, etc.

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Some play but some blay….

Blaying is when one continues to play a level of a game despite being bored and disliking it.

Researchers estimate over 420 million people are addicted to the internet.  Smartphone addiction is rising exponentially as well.  These addictions many times involve gaming.  Hours are spent playing online games and levels within these games many times require multiple attempts.  If the level is not mastered, one is “stuck” on the level, but continues to play it in hopes the next level will be “better”.  This is all too time consuming.

Those of you who play Candy Crush know exactly what “blaying is”.  For example, you get stuck on level 2124 and can’t advance until you master that level.  But you hate it.  You keep losing and are really bored with the level.  But everyday you return to blayin the hopes that your luck will change and you can advance to a new level.  Eventually that level gets tiresome and you must blay your way through that one.

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Another example:  Advancing to a new World of Warcraft level can be so tempting that one blays for weeks until they finally complete all the quests necessary to advance.

Remember “Around the World” in basketball.  One shoots from  different markers on the court and can’t advance until they make a basket.  But some of us get stuck forever on level 3, and cringe everytime we miss.  But we continue to blay until someone wins or has the chutzpah to say “This is boring!”.

But the psychology behind it is fascinating in that rather than having a quitting mentality, the gamer drudges on.  But why go through such boredom and anguish?  If we can get to the psychological root of blaying, maybe we could be a step closer to fighting internet addiction.

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Another condition recognized:  Selfitis

The average person performs more selfies in one day than going to the bathroom.  We witness people take pictures of themselves on trains, in lines at the DMV and while shopping at Wal-Mart, only to re-expose us to their obsession on social media.  We can’t escape people’s faces with peering eyes and face contortions no matter what we do as we are forced to feign care and interest in what their expression is telling us while they are ordering a Big Mac.

We’ve all predicted a “mental disorder” would eventually be named for this obsessive and narcissistic behavior that haunts us every screen shot and follows us with every scroll……and now it has.  Two psychiatrists, Janarthanan Balakrishnan from Thiagarajar School of Management in Madurai and Mark D Griffiths of UK’s Nottingham Trent University surveyed 400 students who attended management courses at two colleges in India and classified them as the following

Borderline

One who takes selfies 3 times a day but DOES NOT post on social media.  34% fell into this category.

Acute

One who takes selfies 3 times a day but DOES post on social media.  40.5% fell into this category.

Chronic

One who takes selfies more than 6 times a day while posting on social media, suffered by 25.5% of respondents.

In fact, after the respondents were asked about their selfie habits, many took selfies.

India is a hotbed of selfitis and tragically boasts the highest selfie death rate in the world (76 cases out of 127 world-wide).

Selfies offer numerous incentives in our current social culture.  These include:

  • Cementing the memory in time
  • Being included in social media feeds
  • Preventing the “out of sight, out of mind” concept when it comes to relationships
  • Competition
  • Attention seeking, by hundreds of people at once
  • Manipulation of facial features and weight depending on lighting, filters and poses.

Think about it, if we want to look attractive, and show the world, we have unlimited picture and editing power.

Indian Medical Association President, Dr. KK  Aggarwal, issued the following warning:

A lot of us have become slaves to devised that were really meant to free us and give us more time to experience life and be with people. Unless precautionary measures are taken at the earliest, this addiction can prove detrimental to one’s health in the longer term.

What precautionary measures can be taken?

When any obsession starts setting in, will power must be utilized and boundaries set. However, when this fails, friends and family members need to be recruited. Assign one person to be your “selfie police” who only allows you one selfie a day.  You and he/she can pick the selfie, dress it up, crop it, spending as much time as you need on this one selfie.  Posting will only be allowed once a day.  After exhaustively creating your one selfie, hopefully you realize the futility of your efforts, and maybe you’ll skip a day, and then two.

Remember, “less is more” and your friends will be more excited to see you or your pic if they weren’t supersaturated with you all day long on their social media feed.

Let me know how it works for you, since I’m not ready to detox yet…..

 

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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

Father’s Day- Do’s and Don’ts

This Sunday is Father’s Day and millions of Americans celebrate it the wrong way.  Why? Because no one asks Dad what he wants, and Dad is too nice to say.

Father’s Day falls on the third Sunday of every June.  Although first celebrated in 1910 when Sonora Smart Dodd wanted to honor her veteran father like mothers are on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day became an official holiday in 1972 by  President Richard Nixon.

Although Father’s Day is supposed to honor Dads, retailers and even families seem to miss the mark.  Here’s some Do’s and Don’ts for this Father’s Day.

Rethink the BBQ celebration

Whenever a BBQ gets planned, someone needs to prepare the backyard, clean the grill, bring out the furniture, work the grill, serve the food, clean up the grill, clean up the backyard……and guess who that is…Dad.  And its hot, super hot outside. Not the most fun way to celebrate one’s day.  Go out to eat instead. Retailers like it and no one has to do the lifting.

The in-laws are coming

Many households this Sunday will see Dad and the in-laws in the same room at the same time. For some this could be a pleasant occasion.  For others, uncomfortable and stressful.  Wives feel conflicted as they want to celebrate with their Father, but make the day spectacular for hubby.  If an issue, I recommend splitting up the day where Grandpa has a Father’s Day brunch and Dad celebrates a Father’s Day dinner.  Or designate a different day to celebrate each.

Buying Dad the wrong gift

Avoid the following gifts for Dad:

Grill tools or BBQ Apron– remember the BBQ is a lot of work, don’t remind him of it

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Cologne –  most men don’t like “parfuming” up….. they wear it for others but it’s not for them

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Lawn Mowers – unless its a ride-on, lawn mowers remind Dad of lawn work.

 

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Dress/ Suit Shirts – button-up neck-constricting linens are not one’s most cherished gift. Unless they save him a trip to the department store, buy him something more comfortable.

 

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Funny Underwear – underwear should never be a gift, its underwear….

 

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Personal Hygiene/Shaving Products – this equates to getting a disposable razor for Mother’s Day.

 

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Instead, opt for the following…

Let Dad Have a Real Day Off – Take the kids out and give Dad a day to himself.  Sure the kids could give Dad his gifts during brunch or dinner but allow Dad to spend the day how he wants to:  in his underwear, taking a much needed nap, going for a drive, fishing, etc.  Too bad there’s no skiing in June.

Ask Dad what He Wants – this doesn’t seem to get done all year round.  Why not start on Father’s Day?  Maybe he wants a Google Home or the next video game installment. Which brings us to….

Gift Cards Make the Best Gift – he can buy what he wants, and not feel awkward asking for it.

A Big Hug and Kiss Hits the Mark – despite any level of macho-ness, Daddies love this.  Make him feel special.

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MY DADDY, 1996

Happy Father’s Day!!!  Enjoy!

                                                                                                       

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

Posted in Health, news

9 Vaping Flavors Found to Increase Heart Risk

A study published by the American Heart Association found nine different E-cig flavors  to impair blood vessel function, which can impair heart health.

Endothelial cells, which delicately line blood and lymph vessels, were found to become inflamed at low concentrations of some vapor flavors.  And at high concentrations of others, exibited cell death.  Nitric oxide production, necessary for vessel dilation to improve blood flow, was impaired as well. These are often the same changes seen in early heart disease.

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The 9 flavors (and the chemicals within) cited in the report to cause the endothelial inflammation and/or damage were:

  • Mint (menthol)
  • Vanilla (vanillin)
  • Clove (eugenol)
  • Cinnamon (cinnamaldehyde)
  • Strawberry (dimethylpyrazine)
  • Banana (isoamyl acetate)
  • Butter (diacetyl)
  • Eucalyptus/spicy cooling (eucalyptol)
  • Burnt flavor (acetylpyridine)

Strawberry flavoring appeared to have the most adverse effect on the cells.

Now many other flavors were not included in this study, so its unknown how safe they may be.

For more on the study, read here.

An alternate study published last November looked at vaping flavors and their effects on heart muscle cells.

For more on this study, read here.

The moral?  Just because we love the taste of something, doesn’t mean its safe to inhale.

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Vaping Linked to Heart Disease and Cancer

 

A study from New York University found the nicotine in electronic cigarettes to cause DNA damage similar to cigarette smoking.

Dr. Moon-shong Tang and his colleagues exposed mice to e-cig smoke during a three-month period, 5 days a week for three hours a day.  They found these mice, compared to those breathing filtered air, to have DNA damage to cells in their bladders, lungs and hearts. The amount of nicotine inhaled was approximately 10mg/ml.   That dose would be commonly consumed by many humans who vape.

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They then looked at human bladder and lung cells and found tumor cells were able to grow more easily once exposed to nicotine and vaping chemicals.

Last May, researchers from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville found e-cig smoke to increase one’s risk of bladder cancer.

In 2015, the University of Minnesota identified chemicals commonly found in e-cig vapor to include:

  • Formaldehyde (human carcinogen)
  • Acetaldehyde (carcinogen related to alcohol drinking)
  • Acrolein (highly irritating and toxic)
  • Toluene (toxic) NNN, NNK (tobacco carcinogens related to nicotine)
  • Metals (possible carcinogens and toxins)

Although electronic cigarette “juice” may appear safe, it could produce harmful chemicals once heated to become a vapor.

A lethal dose of nicotine for an adult ranges from 30-60 mg and varied for children (0.5-1.0 mg/kg can be a lethal dosage for adults, and 0.1 mg/kg for children).  E-cigs, depending on their strengths (0 – 5.4%) could contain up to 54 mg of nicotine per cartridge (a 1.8% e -cig would contain 18mg/ml).

The topic of nicotine increasing one’s vulnerability to cancer is nothing new as decades ago researchers found nicotine to affect the cilia (brush border) along the respiratory tree, preventing mucous production and a sweeping out of carcinogens trying to make their way down to the lungs.

More research needs to be performed but this recent report reminds us that exposing our delicate lung tissue and immune system to vaping chemicals may not be as safe as we think.

For more on the study read here.

Toxic metals found in vaping liquid

In February, one study reported that toxic levels of lead and other metals may leak from the heating coil element into the vapor inhaled during e-cig use.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found these metals to include:

  • lead
  • nickel
  • manganese
  • chromium
  • arsenic

We’ve known for some time that vaping fluid could contain chemicals that turn toxic once heated, but this study shed light on e-cig metal components causing metal leakage to the vapor making contact with delicate respiratory epithelium (lining).

Reported by Forbes, Rich Able, a medical device marketing consultant, stated the following, “the FDA does not currently test any of the most popular vaping and e-cigarette instruments being manufactured at unregulated factories in Asia that source  low-grade parts, batteries, and materials for the production of these devices,” suggesting that “the metal and parts composition of these devices must be stringently tested for toxic analytes and corrosive compounds.”

These chemicals may act as neurotoxins, affecting our nervous system, cause tissue necrosis (cell death) and even multi-organ failure.  Moreover they can affect how our immune system reacts to other chemicals as well as foreign pathogens, affecting our ability to fight other diseases.

Although studies have suggested e-cig vapor to be safer than tobacco smoke, not enough research has been done, in the relatively few years vaping has been around, looking at how heat-transformed chemicals and leaked metals affect our breathing, lungs and other organs once absorbed into the body.

Twitter @DrDaliah

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

Posted in Health, news

Swallowed a Button Battery? Maybe Chase it with Honey

A new study from the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia finds drinking honey after accidentally ingesting a button battery may reduce risk of serious injury and death.

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When one swallows a battery, it reacts with saliva and esophageal tissue, creating a hydroxide-rich, alkaline solution that is very caustic to surrounding organs in the gastrointestinal, respiratory and even cardiovascular systems. Within two hours the tiny battery can erode into the esophagus, destroy vocal cords, invade into the lungs and destroy blood vessels.  Children who give into the temptation to swallow the shiny little object, may present with sore throat, cough, fever, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, or bleeding internally, possibly leading to death.

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Image from radiopedia

But researchers found if honey is consumed after ingestion of the button battery, the coating will protect surrounding tissues and neutralize the harsh alkaline (basic) solution.

Researchers tested a variety of liquids, including soda and juice, but found honey and the long time medication sulcrafate to work the best.

Reported by Science Daily, study author, Ian N. Jacobs, MD, Director of the Center for Pediatric Airway Disorders and a pediatric otolaryngologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) states, “Button batteries are ingested by children more 2,500 times a year in the United States, with more than a 12-fold increase in fatal outcomes in the last decade compared to the prior decade.”

He continued, “Our recommendation would be for parents and caregivers to give honey at regular intervals before a child is able to reach a hospital, while clinicians in a hospital setting can use sucralfate before removing the battery.”

However, those with an allergy to honey or sucralfate, those with suspected esophagus perforation, or those children under 1, due to botulism risk, are advised NOT to use the honey.

For more on the study see here.

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio.

She is also a Board Certified Family Physician and Assistant Professor at Touro University Nevada

 

 

Posted in Health, news, sex

Those Needing Viagra Should Have Their Hearts Checked

ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION (ED) HAS AGAIN BEEN LINKED TO HEART DISEASE

For years, men have voiced frustration when their medical providers insisted on a cardiac workup prior to initiating an ED prescription.  Some thought it was because they’d have a heart attack during sex.  But it’s not.  Erectile dysfunction is a vascular issue, and if the vessels of the penis are compromised, how does one know his heart vessels aren’t as well?

Now in a recent study from John Hopkins School of Medicine found an increase risk of stroke, heart attack and cardiac arrests in those men who suffered from erectile dysfunction.  Study author, Michael Blaha, professor of Medicine, states, “Our findings suggest that clinicians should perform further targeted screening in men with erectile dysfunction, regardless of other cardiac risk factors and should consider managing any other risk factors — such as high blood pressure or cholesterol — that much more aggressively.”

 

Last December, a study published in the Journal of Vascular Medicine, found the same risk factors leading to erectile dysfunction are also culprits in heart disease.

Risk factors shared by both erectile dysfunction and heart disease include:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Men over age 45
  • Physical inactivity
  • Stress
  • Obesity
  • Family history of heart disease

 

Last year, researchers from Mount Sinai Medical Center, Florida International University and Baptist Health South Florida reviewed multiple studies and found a link between erectile dysfunction and compromised blood vessels whose endothelium (lining) demonstrated impaired vessel relaxation. This is necessary for both erections as well as blood flow to the heart and rest of the body.

Moreover carotid media-intima thickness, a marker of atherosclerosis, appeared to be correlated to erectile dysfunction as well.

Both studies remind us that if one bodily function is impaired, other organs may be quietly suffering the same impairment.

I like to credit the pharmaceutical companies that created erectile dysfunction drugs with saving millions of men’s lives as:

  1. Men who would refuse to come into any doctor’s office now had an incentive to, resulting in a long-overdue check-up
  2. Those who saw providers who required an EKG or diabetic screening, and unknowingly suffered from a serious cardiac risk factor, could now be diagnosed.
  3. ED drugs allowed those men who couldn’t enjoy sex to now get some much-needed physical activity

Young men aren’t immune to cardiovascular disease and need to be screened as well if they have issues starting or maintaining erections.

 

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