Posted in Health

Half of Americans at Risk for a Heart Attack

A report published in the American Heart Association’s Heart and Stroke Statistics annual report cite 48% of US adults have some type of cardiovascular disease.

The uptick could be due to rising obesity, and lowering thresholds for diagnosing guidelines such as high blood pressure (now considered high if over 130/80).

Although smoking rates have declined over the years, many still use tobacco and recent research has found E-cigs to increase risk of heart attack and stroke by 70%.

 

What is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when an area of the brain does not get the proper oxygen and blood flow it needs. There are two major types of stroke:  ischemic and hemorrhagic.

Ischemic strokes are more common than the latter and occur when a clot prevents blood flow to part of the brain.  80% of all strokes fall under ischemic.  It is a likened to a heart attack, except the brain tissue is being deprived of blood and nutrients.  Plaques commonly arise from arteriosclerosis that break off travel to the smaller vessels of the brain.

Hemorrhagic strokes are less common and occur when there is a bleed of one of the brain vessels.  The bleed prevents blood flow into the brain since it is seeping outside the brain tissue, causing damage to nearby cells.  The bleeds could occur from high blood pressure or aneurysms that rupture.

 

What are the signs of a stroke?

Since a clot or bleed usually affect one area of the brain, we see symptoms on one side of the body, many times its contralateral (opposite) side.  We can also see central effects.  The symptoms of stroke include the following:

  • Weakness of one side of the body
  • Loss of balance
  • Numbness on one side of the body
  • Slurred speech
  • Vision issues
  • Headache
  • Facial droop

and more…..

 

How are strokes treated?

If the stroke was caused by a clot (ischemic) immediate treatment includes dissolving/removing the clot.   Aspirin is used initially and if within the proper time frame, tissue plasminogen activator (TPA).  These clots can also be surgically removed and arteries widened to bring blood flow to the brain.

With a hemorrhagic  stroke, we need to stop the bleed and improve flow to the brain.  Controlling the bleed, bypassing the vessel, “clogging” the aneurysm with techniques such as “coiling” (endovascular embolization) are sometimes utilized.

Time is of the essence, so its crucial to identify the warning signs and call 911 immediately.  The American Stroke Association uses the acronym “FAST” (Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, and Time to call 911).  The sooner a stroke victim receives medical attention the better the prognosis.

 

fast

COURTESY OF THE AMERICAN STROKE ASSOCIATION

 

What are the risk factors for stroke?

The following put us at risk of having a stroke.

  • High blood pressure
  • Family history of stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease (artery clogging, such as the heart and carotid arteries)
  • Abnormal heart rhythms, such as atrial fibrillation
  • Smoking
  • Drugs
  • Obesity
  • Inactivity
  • Clotting disorder
  • Sleep apnea
  • Being older (greater than 55)
  • African-Americans appear to be more at risk than Caucasians and Hispanics
  • Men seem to be more affected than women

 

How do we prevent strokes?

Avoid the following:

  • Excessive drinking
  • Drug use
  • Tobacco products
  • Control blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol
  • Get evaluated by a medical provider if at risk for heart disease or stroke.

 

Preventing 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.

Thirdly, reduce 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.

 

 

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

Posted in Health, news

Roaches Laugh as Bug Bombs Hurt Humans Instead

A study out of North Carolina University has found bug bombs to not only be ineffective at killing roaches, but actually put humans at risk of unnecessary pesticide exposure.

The critters appeared to be resilient to total release foggers (TRF’s) while residue from these bug bombs were found coating kitchen surfaces.

 

bomb.jpg

 

Of the 20 homes tested, none of the cockroaches,  Blattella germanica, known as the German cockroach, were affected by the foggers.

Swabs taken of the floor and countertops, however, found 600 fold increases of the insecticide within hours of the foggers’ detonations.   And one month later, levels of the pesticide were still 34% higher than baseline levels prior to detonation.

In the University’s news release, it states:

“All the fogger products contained pyrethroids, a class of fast-acting insecticides, and some contained piperonyl butoxide, a chemical that prevents roaches from metabolizing, or breaking down, the insecticide,” said Coby Schal, Blanton J. Whitmire Distinguished Professor of Entomology at NC State and senior author of the paper.

Pyrethroids have been found to, in animal studies, affect reproduction and cause cancer.  In small amounts they pose little human risk, but at moderate amounts could cause dizziness, headache, nausea and at high amounts could cause muscle twitching, convulsions and loss of consciousness, per the CDC.

They further report:

“Bug bombs are not killing cockroaches; they’re putting pesticides in places where the cockroaches aren’t; they’re not putting pesticides in places where cockroaches are and they’re increasing pesticide levels in the home,” DeVries said. “In a cost-benefit analysis, you’re getting all costs and no benefits.”

Some safer alternatives to killing roaches may include using lemon juice, soapy water spray, or a mixture of baking soda and sugar.

Keeping them at bay could be done by diligent cleaning, sealing up cracks and holes, fixing leaks and using bay leaves at entry points.

 

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Learning Medical Spanish is Easy!!!

 

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

 

Posted in food, Health, news

Death Reported After Eating Five Day Leftover Pasta

The death of a 20 year-old Belgium student who ate leftover pasta has gotten attention this week from a report published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

“A.J” had eaten spaghetti and tomato sauce that was prepared 5 days earlier and left at room temperature. Within 30 minutes he began feeling ill with abdominal pain, headache and nausea and vomiting.  Later that evening he had diarrhea and when his parents went to check on him the following morning he was found dead.

A post-mortem exam suspected he passed away within hours at approximately 4 am as a result of Bacillus cereus poisoning.

Dr. Bernard on a YouTube video highlighting the case report states he went into acute liver failure.

B. cereus bacteria reproduce quickly at room temperature and can produce an emetic toxin that causes illness within 30 minutes.

food-safety-illness-bacillus-cereus

Leftover food safety

To help avoid food poisoning, the USDA recommends the following:

  • Be aware of the “Danger Zone” in which bacteria can grow on food between the temperatures of 40 – 140 degrees F.
  • Refrigerate food within 2 hours, one hour if outside temperature is above 90 degrees.
  • Perishables should be kept refrigerated at 40 degrees F or colder
  • Wrap leftovers thoroughly to retain moisture and keep other bacteria out.
  • Throw out leftovers after 3-4 days. Food can be safely frozen for 3-4 months.
  • Cook food thoroughly. Red meat to 145 degree F, Ground meat to 160 degree F and poultry to 165 degree F.
  • Reheat food to 165 degrees.
  • Cool food quickly so food doesn’t stay hot in the refrigerator cultivating more bacteria. Divide food up into smaller containers to allow a speedier cool.
  • When in doubt throw it out.

 

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Learning Medical Spanish is Easy!!!

 

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

 

 

 

Posted in Health, news, pets

Avoid Kissing Your Pet Hedgehog

Having high-maintenance cats and dogs my whole life, I find how a pet hedgehog can be appealing. However, the CDC has issued a warning to those with the cuddly critters to not kiss them as 11 people from 8 states have come down with Salmonella.

On their website the CDC reports the following:

  • Eleven people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella have been reported from eight states (CO, ME, MN, MS, MO, NE, TX, WY).

  • One person has been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

  • Fifty-five percent of the ill people are children under 12.

  • Ten of the 11 ill people reported contact with a pet hedgehog.

  • The outbreak strain making people sick was found in samples collected from three hedgehogs in two ill patients’ homes.

  • A common supplier of hedgehogs in this outbreak has not been identified. Ill people reported buying hedgehogs from various sources, including pet stores, breeders, or online.

  • Illnesses started from October 22, 2018 to December 25, 2018.

  • CDC continues to monitor PulseNet to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak.

  • This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide updates when more information becomes available.

 

hedgehog.jpg

Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include fever, chills, rash, diarrhea and stomach cramps within 12-72 hours after exposure. The illness can last 4-7 days, although most people will recover without treatment.

If you are of the silent majority of pet owners who worship their hedgehog, keep them away from the kitchen, avoid in households with immunocompromised family members and wash your hands thoroughly after handling them.

 

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Learning Medical Spanish is Easy!!!

 

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

Posted in flu, Health, news

Buying “Used” Tissues is a Bad Idea

A company out of Los Angeles is selling used tissues to for people who want to get themselves sick, “choosing” when they get their illness.

Vaevtissue.com reports the following on their website:

We believe that when flu season comes around, you should be able to get sick on your terms. We’re not about chemicals or prescription drugs here at Væv. We believe using a tissue that carries a human sneeze is safer than needles or pills. This isn’t like any tissue you’ve used before, but we love using them, and you will too.

vaev+tissue+wide+

How much for this treasure??? $79.99

The logic behind the trend is people want to build up a natural immunity to diseases and not wait for the cold or flu but plan ahead of time when they can allow for sick leave and rest.

The problem?  You don’t know what you’re getting.  Used tissue could have a variety of contaminants that transmit in bodily fluids including Staph. bacteria, TB and Ebola.

Vaccines are the safest way to introduce a killed or attenuated version of an infectious agent.

 

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

 

 

Posted in Health, news

Pigeon Poop Can Kill

Two people have died in Scotland after contracting a fungal infection linked to pigeon droppings.

One was an elderly patient at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and another was a child. The actual cause of death or mode of exposure has not been revealed but the hospital has taken precautions, running “smoke tests” to find where pigeons are “getting in.”

Cryptoccous infections may be linked to a fatal meningitis in which the brain and spinal cord succumb to the fungus.

The CDC reports:

An estimated 220,000 cases of cryptococcal meningitis occur among people with HIV/AIDS worldwide each year, resulting in nearly 181,000 deaths.1 Most cryptococcal meningitis cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa (Figure 1). Throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa, Cryptococcus is now the most common cause of meningitis in adults. Cryptococcal meningitis is therefore one of the leading causes of death in HIV/AIDS patients in sub-Saharan Africa, where it may kill more people each year than tuberculosis.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Photophobia
  • Severe Headache
  • Neck Pain
  • Photophobia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Delirium
  • Coma
  • and even death.

 

Strong immune systems can usually deter a Cryptococcus infection, but those who are immunocompromised or suppressed can be at risk.

________________________________________________

Cryptococcus may be in marijuana

Last Year 48-year-old California woman reportedly acquired life-threatening meningitis from marijuana contaminated with fungus.

Dr. Bryan Shapiro explained in a case study published in the British Medical Journal that she contracted Cryptococcus neoformans from her 3-6 joint-a-day smoking habit.

Crytococcus infections can commonly affect those who are immunosuppressed, but this patient was believed to be relatively healthy.

Her symptoms included feeling fatigued and dizzy but began getting combative, reportedly assaulting a coworker.  She eventually was seen at Cedars of Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where they tested the cerebral spinal fluid surrounding the brain, revealing the life threatening fungus.

 

cryptococcus-2.jpg

 

After she was successfully treated, Dr. Shapiro investigated the dispensary in Bakersfield from where she purchased her marijuana.  Nine samples tested positive for the fungus.

It’s been established that marijuana leaves are contaminated with pesticides, chemicals and mold.

 

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Learning Medical Spanish is Easy!!!

 

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

 

Posted in Health, news

Antonio Mendez, Portrayed in “Argo”, Passes at Age 78

The ex-CIA officer credited for rescuing six US diplomats from Iran in 1980 has passed from complications of Parkinson’s.

Antonio “Tony” Mendez had joined the CIA in 1965 and became master at disguises and rescues.

During the Iranian Revolution in the late 70’s, protestors stormed the US Embassy holding 66 embassy staffers hostage.  6 had escaped to the homes of two Canadian diplomats but were unable to leave the country.  Mendez was able to disguise them as a film crew and smuggle them out in 1980, portrayed in the Academy Award winning film starring Ben Affleck, Argo.

After 444 days the other hostages were released on President Ronald Reagan’s inauguration.

He retired from the CIA in 1990 and wrote memoirs of his experiences.  He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s ten years ago.  A statement from his agent and family reported he passed this week in an assisted-living facility in Maryland.

The Hollywood Reporter reports:

“Early this morning, Antonio (Tony) J. Mendez finally succumbed to the Parkinson’s Disease that he had been diagnosed with ten+ years ago. He was surrounded with love from his family and will be sorely missed,” the statement read. “The last thing he and his wife Jonna Mendez did was get their new book to the publisher and he died feeling he had completed writing the stories that he wanted to be told.”

Ben Affleck, in response to the news, tweeted the following:

 

8751402-6611817-Affleck_paid_tribute_to_Mendez_in_a_tweet_calling_him_a_true_Ame-m-100_1547964229152.jpg

 

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, next to Alzheimer’s, and the most common movement disorder that affects 1% of the world’s population over 60 years old. In the US, 60,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.  It affects several areas of the brain, primarily the substantia nigra, altering balance and movement by affecting dopamine producing cells.

 

substantia nigra

IMAGE FROM THE SCIENCE OF PARKINSON’S DISEASE

 

It was first described in 1817 by James Parkinson as a “shaking palsy.”

 

What are the Symptoms of Parkinson’s?

Common symptoms of Parkinson’s include:

  • Stiffness and rigidity
  • Poor balance
  • Tremor at rest, especially a pill-rolling tremor
  • Slow movement
  • Inability to move
  • Shuffling steps, gait

and patients may later develop…

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Memory loss
  • Constipation
  • Decrease ability to smell
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Pneumonia
  • Fractures from falling
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Dementia

 

Who is at Risk for Parkinson’s?

Most cases are idiopathic, meaning the disease arises with no specific cause.  However some cases are genetic and multiple genes have been identified that are associated with the disease.

The average age of onset is 60, but some cases may occur as “early onset”, before the age of 50, and if before the age of 20, it is known as juvenile-onset Parkinson’s.

Men appear to be more affected than women at twice the rate.

Risk may be enhanced with a history of head trauma.

Exposure to herbicides and pesticides has been linked to an increase risk of Parkinson’s as well.

 

How Quickly do Parkinson’s Symptoms Progress?

Average progression rates can last years to decades, however, earlier onset disease may manifest much quicker.

The stages of Parkinson’s are illustrated below:

 

What-Are-the-Stages-of-Parkinson_s-Disease

 

How is Parkinson’s treated?

Although there is no cure for Parkinson’s, symptoms can be treated by a variety of measures.

  • Levadopa – converts to dopamine in the brain, helping replace the deficient hormone.
  • Carbidopa (Sinemet) – if given with levadopa prevents the latter from being broken down before it reaches the brain.
  • Dopamine agonists – mimic dopamine
  • MAO-B inhibitors – helps block the enzyme MAO-B, which breaks down natural dopamine
  • Other medications including COMT inhibitors, amantadine and anticholinergics
  • Medications to treat anxiety and depression
  • Deep brain stimulation – a surgeon implants electrodes into the brain, allowing stimulation of parts that help regulate movement.
  • Stem cell therapy – being investigated as a means to create dopamine-producing cells
  • Physical and occupational therapy

 

Famous People Diagnosed with Parkinson’s

  • Alan Alda
  • Michael J. Fox
  • Janet Reno
  • Robin Williams
  • Muhammad Ali
  • Casey Kasem
  • Johnny Cash
  • Linda Ronstadt
  • Pope John Paul II
  • Peanut’s creator Charles Schulz
  • Rev. Jesse Jackson
  • Neil Diamond

It’s been postulated Adolf Hitler suffered from Parkinson’s as well.

 

 

 

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Learning Medical Spanish is Easy!!!

 

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

Posted in Health, news, plague

Three Cats Test Positive for the Plague in Wyoming

In the last 6 months, three cats in Wyoming have tested positive for the plague.

Currently there are no known humans affected, however, under 10 human cases on average occur each year in the United States.

The type of plague the cats tested positive for was bubonic.  So here’s the breakdown.

What causes the plague?

The plague as we know it is most commonly caused by a bacteria called, Yersenia pestis.

yersinia-pestis-bacteria-science-artwork.jpg

Image from Fine Art America

 

How does one come down with the plague?

The victim usually acquires the plague from being bit by a flea who fed on infected animals such as rodents, or by contact with one who has the plague.  Cat scratches from domesticated cats who are infected have been documented as a form of transmission.

Direct contact with infected bodily fluids could spread the plague as well. Pneumonic plague can be spread through a cough or sneeze.

What are the types of plague?

There are three types of plague:

Bubonic – the most common, at first affects the lymph nodes, but may spread to throughout the body

Pneumonic – infects the lungs and may be spread from person to person by respiratory droplet.

Septicemic – infects the blood stream and can be the result of untreated bubonic and pneumonic plague

What are the symptoms of the plague?

For all three types of the plague one can have:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Weakness
  • Headache

But with bubonic plague, one may have large “bubos” or swollen glands in the neck, underarm, or pelvic/groin region.

With pneumonic plague, one may additionally have cough, shortness of breath and blood in their sputum.

How is the plague treated?

Due to the disease spreading quickly, in some cases causing death within 24 hours, antibiotics need to be instituted immediately.

These include:

  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Doxycycline
  • Streptomycin
  • Gentamicin

Moreover supportive measures such as IV fluids and oxygen may be needed as well depending on the severity of symptoms.

How can one avoid the plague?

Flea control is paramount.  So insect repellent for humans, and flea control products will help limit bites from the infected insects.

Moreover avoid rodents and clean out areas in and around your house to avoid them from scurrying around.

 

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Learning Medical Spanish is Easy!!!

 

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

Posted in Health, news, suicide

1 in 7 Doctors Consider Suicide

An alarming report published in Medscape’s National Physician Burnout, Depression & Suicide Report 2019, cite burnout to be a common issue in many physicians.

15,000 physicians across 29 specialties were interviewed.  While 44% cite burnout, 15% cite depression.

But most striking is 14% of physicians contemplated suicide.

The most common specialties feeling burned out include:

  • Urology 54%
  • Neurology 53%
  • Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 52%
  • Internal Medicine 49%
  • Emergency Medicine 48%

…with the least burnout seen in Pathology (33%), Nephrology (32%) and Public Health & Preventative Medicine (28%).  Still alarming numbers…..

Female physician burnout rose to 50%, outpacing males, 39%.

Factors leading to burnout were reported to be paperwork and charting, long hours, and increasing computerization of practice (Electronic Health Records).

57% of physicians working over 71 hours a week reported burnout.

Additionally, a study last year from the American Medical Association (AMA), the Mayo Clinic and Stanford University finds 1 in 5 physicians plan to cut back their hours next year and 1 in 50 will leave the profession completely within the next 2 years.

Burnout is cited to be the main cause and is one of the biggest threats to healthcare today.

How Doctors Can Prevent Burnout

 

According to AMA President Dr. David Barbe, “An energized, engaged, and resilient  workforce is essential to achieving national health goals.”

And burnout affects all fields of medicine, surpassing 50%, in those including primary care and specialties such as gynecology, neurology, urology, emergency medicine, anesthesiology, cardiology and critical care to name a few.

Patients are at risk because if doctors aren’t at the top of their game, things get missed.  Moreover the keen instinct of a clinician is imperative to diagnosing correctly, and this gets blunted when one is emotionally fatigued, or burned out.

Why are Doctors Burning Out?

A variety of factors can lead to physician burnout but the following appear to be the most cited:

  1. Electronic medical records – these are time-consuming to learn and implement, take time away from patients and may be financially burdensome due to their cost and lack of revenue for those who struggle to type and work with computers.
  2. High patient insurance deductibles – with insurance companies not paying until patients reach their deductible, it forces doctor’s offices to work harder to collect the income needed to run a practice.  Physicians do not want to get into the financial aspect of patient collections and it adds undue stress on an already stressful field.
  3. Red tape – ICD 10 code changes, insurance authorizations, referral forms turn the average day of a physician to less patient care and more bureaucracy.
  4. Less respect – in the old days, doctors were considered heroes and revered greatly.  Today they are frequently blamed for issues such as rising healthcare costs and the opioid epidemic.
  5. Malpractice suit fears – doctors are human and can only combat nature so much.  When one is diagnosed with cancer a physician has to fear that one will accuse him of not diagnosing it “quickly enough”.  When a lab gets ordered, the clinician has to hope that his staff is ensuring that every lab value comes across his desk.  When a prescription gets written, he has to hope that the correct medicine gets dispensed, works effectively and does not cause an adverse reaction.  And when a referral is made to a specialist, he has to hope all the above issues go well with the second physician or he can be sued for the referral.  And since a doctor sees thousands of patients a year, the odds that he will be sued for something is higher than any other profession.  Moreover, one lawsuit is a enough to bankrupt him.  Pretty darn stressful.

 

What are the signs of burnout?

In any profession, the following may be signs of burnout:

  • Apathy
  • Exhaustion
  • Poor sleep
  • Negative attitude at work
  • Absence from work
  • Being irritated
  • Feeling empty
  • Dreading going to work
  • Feeling underappreciated
  • Feeling you don’t matter
  • Blame others for mistakes
  • Low energy
  • Thinking about quitting

 

burnout

 

 

How to prevent burnout?

  1. Find the humor – As Milton Berle once said, “Laughter is an instant vacation”.  Watching a comedy or taking a 10 minute break to watch some funny You Tube clips offers immediate relief and energizes you.  A day without laughter is a day wastedCharlie Chaplin
  2. Take care of yourself – how can one heal others when he himself needs healing?  So what can you do?  Try Massage, Meditation, Yoga, Exercise, Stress diary, Sleep, Mini vacations, Staycations but most of all…..Take breaks!!
  3. Learn to say “No” – It’s OK to take a day off. Why not take off early on Friday’s?  Or better yet, work a half day on Wednesday to break up the week?  Learn the 4 D’s…..Deflect, Defer, Deter, Delegate…..
  4. Make small goals – too many times we burnout because we failed to meet a goal that was unattainable in the first place.  So we toil for years to become “promoted”, or “wealthy”, or “slim”, or “married”, or “see the world”.  Instead, make smaller attainable goals (find a partner, open auxiliary office, lose 10 lbs, take a trip).
  5.  Quit comparing yourself to others – we watch Shark Tank and then wonder what we are doing wrong, not being millionaires.  It’s unrealistic to think you should be “rich by now”.  We will always be inferior to someone else.  So get over it and love who you are and what you’ve accomplished.
  6. Have fun at work – contests, pot luck lunches, lunch room decorating, accent days, dress up days, and end of the week happy hour can spice things up at work.  Plus it increases morale among coworkers and staff.
  7. Be charitable – Doing community service is so rewarding and energizing that having a pet project helping out a local charity may be just what this doctor orders.  You can choose a cause, fundraise, attend charity events or walks, or even create a campaign.
  8. Get a hobby – tap into your artistic side by writing a book, song, article; paint; cook; build; teach; sing; dance; or even ride.
  9. Work on your bucket list – whether its going to a foreign country, learning to speak a new language, buying a vacation property, or even starting a second business, don’t let job burnout deter you.  This may give you the energy and perspective you need.

Finally, be around others and have a Bitch and Moan session – it feels so good to complain and gripe. Find others in similar situations as you and you’ll realize that you may have it better than you think.

Remember you have to come first and doing so will make you more of a help to others.  Feel great and you’ll make others feel great!

 

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Learning Medical Spanish is Easy!!!

 

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

Posted in Health, news, pornography, sex

Are You Addicted to Porn?

Millions of people view porn every day and health groups warn many may have an addiction to it, or specifically, “disorder.”

However, there is no clear definition of what constitutes “porn addiction.”

According to PornHub’s 2018 Year in Review, 962 searches for porn are being done every second.

 

pornhub-insights-year-review-2018-big-numbers-infographic.jpg

So…..

What is “Porn Addiction?”

Since there is no documented definition for porn addiction, it would most likely be similar to any other definition of addiction:

A dependency on a substance or action whose use or withdrawal impedes one’s ability to maintain healthy work and personal relationships.

Hence you may be addicted to porn if:

  • You skip work to view porn
  • You skip family outings to view porn
  • You avoid other activities to watch porn
  • You think about porn even when you can’t view it
  • You feel poorly when you can’t watch porn
  • You arrange your day to include porn in hopes of avoiding withdrawal

 

4-pornhub-insights-2018-year-review-device-proportions.png

 

Last year the Florida House had approved a resolution to protect their constituents from its “inherent health risks.”

According to the resolution’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Ross Spano, “Research has found a correlation between pornography use and mental and physical illnesses, difficulty forming and maintaining intimate relationships, unhealthy brain development and cognitive function, and deviant, problematic or dangerous sexual behavior.”

So is pornography a public health risk?

What constitutes a “Public Health Risk?”

A public health risk is something that could pose a health threat, injury to humans or could contribute to health risks of other humans.  This could include drunk driving, mosquitos or rats transmitting disease, or even smoking.

So watching pornography would pose a public health risk if not only the “pornee” gets hurt but affects others surrounding him. Now the effect of others could be in the form of missing work, viewing porn at work (considered sexual harassment and/or assault by others not wanting to view it), and unwanted sexual acts with one’s partner.

How does watching pornography affect health?

Although we do not have any definitive studies telling us porn is good or bad for our health, there are many opinions on the matter.

One concern is inactivity and time spent in front of a screen.  Sitting in front of a computer, tablet, or hand-held device watching hours of porn could increase risk of a blood clot, heart disease and (prolonged sitting) has been linked to colon cancer.  However, according to PornHub, the average time spent viewing porn only ranges from 9-13 minutes.

 

40D363A200000578-4545854-image-a-17_1495818936857.jpg

What about lack of sleep? Are people secretly watching porn at night, and not getting their 7-9 hours of uninterrupted rest?

According to PornHub the most common time during the day to watch porn was between 10 pm and 1 am.  If one is only online for 10 minutes and falls asleep afterwards, they may still receive a good amount of sleep.

 

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What about the risks of frequent masturbation?

In 2009 a study found frequent masturbation in young males could increase their risk of prostate cancer, but in older men (>50 years), reduced their risk.  Other studies have suggested reduced risk of prostate cancer that occurs in older men but not aggressive cancer in younger men.

Excessive masturbation could affect one’s refractory period, or time it takes to form an erection again after sex.  For some this could last 15 minutes, for others a week.  So if a date night is planned for later that evening, one with a long refractory period could have issues.

Chafing and inflammation can also occur but are usually rectified with a change in modality.

What about the impact on children?

The American College of Pediatricians released this statement:

The consumption of pornography is associated with many negative outcomes: increased rates of depression, anxiety, violent behavior, early sexual debut and sexual promiscuity, higher rates of teen pregnancy and a distorted view of relationships. For married adults, pornography also results in an increased likelihood of divorce which, in turn, is harmful to children.

Author, L. David Perry, MD, states, “Pornography glorifies decontextualized sex. Its use by adolescents and young adults often leads to a distorted view of sexuality and its proper role in fostering healthy personal relationships.”

If health organizations and institutions  choose to debate porn being a health risk, I agree with strict restrictions on child and adolescent access.  I also agree with education of condom use to protect against unsafe sex practices.  Moreover, counseling resources for those addicted to porn should be increased as internet and porn addiction is a growing public health threat.  However, does the occasional video view pose serious health risks….no.

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