Posted in Health, news

Today’s Health Headlines

 

Eating ice cream for breakfast makes us “smarter”
I’ll take anything I can get. This study found ice cream first thing in the morning improved mental alertness, and it wasn’t just because it was cold.  Maybe its the brain freeze…..

Blood thinners, diabetic medications and antibiotics top list of meds sending Americans to the ER

1 in 250 appear to have an adverse related drug event and opioids are on the rise as well.

Promising Alzheimer’s drug fails to work
 
Solanezumab was exciting because it “soaked up” amyloid before it could deposit in the brain.  Didn’t appear to prevent cognitive decline.

http://time.com/4581267/eli-lilly-company-alzheimers-disease-drug/

Posted in Health, news, Sports

Today’s Health Headlines

 

Running shoes with more “cushion” may cause  more injuries

Researchers would rather have us put our weight on the ball of the foot rather than heel to lower our “impact loading rate”.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/nov/21/trainers-less-cushioning-padding-loading-rate-running-reduce-injury-study

Dementia rates have dropped 24%

On behalf of all of us medical providers, your welcome.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2016/11/21/dementia-rates-are-dropping-even-population-ages/Fe0oJI5kInEvwOmz0iSweO/story.html

Macho men may suffer from more health woes

According to this study “men who strongly conformed to masculine norms were not only more likely to have poor mental health but also also less likely to seek mental health treatment.”

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161121130641.htm

Asthma exacerbated in school children by mice

Mice allergens appeared to be the most inflammatory for school children over dog/cat/dust mite allergens found in classrooms. So measures parents take at home are not enough if kids are being exposed to allergens at school.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/11/21/the-disturbing-airborne-allergen-in-schools-that-may-be-exacerbating-your-kids-asthma/

 

What is safe for our pets to eat this Thanksgiving?

We need to be careful as our dogs and cats go around the table begging for table treats.  Here’s a quick list of do’s and don’ts for your pets.

https://doctordaliah.wordpress.com/2016/11/19/thanksgiving-foods-your-pets-can-and-cannot-eat/

Driver fatigue and sleep apnea blamed for NJ Hoboken fatal crash

Many train, car and truck accidents have been attributed to the above.  Commercial DOT physicals have become stricter if a driver wants to get certified.
http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/11/us_to_ask_railroads_to_address_worker_fatigue.html

Zika downgraded from “World Health Emergency”

The WHO no longer deems the Zika epidemic a world health emergency. However cases are rising in Florida and in other countries, such as Brazil, they are not ready to downgrade just yet.

E-cigs may poorly affect gums and teeth as much as cigarettes.
If this holds true than the inflammation may also affect the heart as tobacco products do

http://fortune.com/2016/11/17/e-cigarettes-yellow-teeth-study/

HDL (good cholesterol) may not be so “good” afterall
This one study found HDL to actually increase inflammation.  I don’t buy it….
 
CDC reveals top five causes of death (many preventable)
2/3 of deaths in America are caused by heart disease, cancer, stroke, respiratory illness (COPD, pneumonia, asthma) or accidents

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

Posted in Health, news

Thanksgiving: Foods your pets can and cannot eat

Thanksgiving is coming and so are the in-laws.  So to avoid being outnumbered at the dinner table, we invite our pets.  But can pets eat table scrapings and leftovers from Thanksgiving?

 

Let’s look at what they can and cannot eat.

Dogs

dog

According to the American Kennel Club, dogs can eat the following (in moderate amounts):

Turkey, Chicken, Beef (remove all bones so they don’t get swallowed and perforate the gut)

Ham

Shrimp

Salmon

Eggs

Cheese

Peanut Butter

Bread (with no raisins)

Popcorn

Corn

Honey

Coconut

Avoid the following in dogs:

May be toxic; cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea; kidney damage; pancreatitis due to high fat content, or intestinal obstruction

Onions

Garlic

Avocado

Raisins

Grapes

Chocolate

Cinnamon

Ice cream

Almonds

Macadamia nuts

Alcohol

Nutmeg

Mushrooms

Energy drinks

Fatty/fried foods

 

In addition to my dog Apollo, I have 4 cats.  So they’re coming to Thanksgiving as well.

Cats

cat-1

Fluffy can eat – but again only in moderation:

Meat

Fish

Grains

Vegetables (though many stick their nose up at it)

Eggs

Cheese

Butter

Avoid similar foods as with dogs due to toxicity and also (according to Vetsnow)

Alcohol

Artificial Sweeteners

Raw fish and eggs

Coffee, tea and energy drinks

Fish

fish

Yes, some will bring Nemo to Thanksgiving Dinner.

It appears fish can eat many types of meat and vegetables and even cooked rice but be careful of toxins and cooking oils.

Parakeet

parakeet

I don’t have any of these and if I did, I doubt I’d share my turkey with it.  But according to pethelpful.com, many fruits, vegetables, breads and nuts (chopped up without shell) can be eaten by birdie.

 

Wishing everyone a healthy and wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

 

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

 

Posted in Health, news, Politics

Using the NFL Injury Report to predict this week’s winners

Here we go! Picks in bold.

Bengals

Browns (will be CLOSE but too many groin injuries for the Steelers)

Cowboys (they’re my team so to heck with the groin injury)

Lions

Titans

Buccaneers (close but Chiefs have a groin injury)

Cardinals

Giants

Dolphins

Patriots

Seahawks

Redskins

We pray that no one gets hurt and those who do recover quickly.  Here’s to a safe season of one of the best sports ever!!  FOOTBALL!!

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

Posted in Health, news

HDL (good cholesterol) may not be so “good” afterall

 

HDL (high-density lipoprotein) has long held the reputation of being “good cholesterol”.  HDL’s role is to pick up LDL (low-density lipoprotein, known as “bad cholesterol”) from cells, blood stream and blood vessels and bring it to the liver.  The liver then breaks down the LDL into bile acids and salts so it could become excreted in the gut.

 

Now LDL is necessary because the body needs cholesterol, just not high amounts. The purpose of LDL is to transport cholesterol made in the liver to the cells.  High LDL levels, however, are associated with atherosclerosis (plaque deposits along the blood vessels) which in turn increases risk of heart disease, stroke and dementia.  High HDL levels appear protective, as the more HDL present, the less LDL remains in its dangerous form.

 

And HDL has an additional benefit…..it lowers inflammation. In a complex system, researchers believe the HDL down-regulates a factor that causes inflammation, hence HDL becomes an anti-inflammatory agent…. a hero in a delicate cardiovascular system.

 

However, this week, a study published in Cell Metabolism finds the HDL may worsen inflammation. Researchers found high levels of inflammation through macrophages (immune cells that help fight infection) in mice with high levels of HDL.  Although the exact mechanism is unclear, the analogy we may be looking at is:  the broom is sweeping away the dirt may be leaving a dust cloud.

 

Now personally, I have never in my 16 years of practice seen a patient with high HDL (greater than 60 mg/dl) suffer heart disease, so I still think its a “hero”. But more needs to be investigated to clarify if it poses risks.

 

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

 

Posted in Health, news

Today’s Health Headlines

 

Yo-Yo dieting increases risk of heart attack
 
We’ve come to learn that the body does not like rapid change, but smooth transitions, and this study found healthy women were 3.5 X more likely to die of a heart attack going up and down in weight. This has nothing to do with eating Yo-Yo’s.

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/yo-yo-dieting-hurt-heart-study-article-1.2875815

New star-shaped capsule/pill may allow medicine to be dispensed over weeks

This is interesting.  It has 6 arms containing the medication, a polymer matrix ensuring the med is released slowly and evenly and there are prongs holding the capsule in place so it doesn’t pass through the gut.  Hmmm, it sounded cool at first but now I’m scared

Stroke risk increased with high dose Proton Pump Inhibitors

Ischemic stroke risk was found to rise, especially for Protonix, if higher doses were used.  One theory are their affect on gut bacteria.

https://doctordaliah.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/stroke-risk-increased-with-common-heartburn-drugs/
Some Ebola infections may cause no symptoms at all

Last year they found some West African villagers “immune” to Ebola.  This report suggests that Ebola may be asymptomatic in some.

 
Zika could survive for “several hours” on counter tops and hard surfaces

Unlike HIV which can only last a few minutes away from blood, Zika appears to live close to 8 hours on hard, nonporous  surfaces.

https://www.drugs.com/news/zika-can-survive-hard-surfaces-hours-63433.html

Statins cut death risk in patients with serious arthritis conditions
They believe its not only the cholesterol lowering properties but also statin’s anti-inflammatory properties.  The conditions include AS (ankylosing spondylitis) and psoriatic arthritis.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/314070.php

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

Posted in Health, news

Stroke risk increased with common heartburn drugs

Millions of Americans suffer from heartburn or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and self treat with medications now easy to access over the counter.  One group of heartburn medications, the PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors) has been found to increase risk of ischemic stroke. These medications include Prevacid, Protonix, Prilosec, and Nexium.

 

nexium-prevacid-prilosec2

 

As opposed to being forms of calcium carbonate, such as Tums, or H2 (Histamine H2 Antagonist) blockers such as Pepcid and Zantac, the PPI’s reduce stomach acid production.  They’re popularity has been skyrocketing over the last two decades and have become a mainstay treatment for multiple gastrointestinal issues including ulcers.

In this Danish study, researchers reviewed the records of 245,000 patients who were suffering from abdominal pain and reflux, and found 9,500 to later suffer from stroke. After adjusting out for other causes of heart disease and stroke they concluded that the Proton Pump Inhibitors increased these patients’ risk of ischemic stroke by 21%.   It varied depending on the brand with Prevacid and Prilosec increasing stroke risk by 33%, Nexium by 50% and Protonix, 79%. They note that these were high doses of PPIs as low doses appeared NOT to increase risk of stroke.

This isn’t the first time, however, that PPIs have been implicated in serious disease.  A few years back, the use of PPIs was found to increase risk of renal failure.  Other risks associated with Proton Pump Inhibitors include increase risk of :

heart attacks

fractures

C. difficile (severe intestinal infections)

pneumonia

low magnesium levels leading to muscle spasms and arrhythmias

dementia

poor absorption of other medications

…to name a few

Researchers do not know why this class of drugs increases stroke risk. They theorize it may have something to do with altering gut bacteria, or prevention of vital nutrients being broken down to become absorbed since stomach acid levels are decreased.

However, those suffering from GERD can be prone to esophageal cancer if the stomach acid bombarding the lower esophagus fails to be subdued.  For this reason, PPIs will still be recommended for severe reflux cases, but maybe lower doses and combinations with other drugs and lifestyle changes should be started first.

 

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