Posted in Health, news

Should You Ask Your Doctor About Their Bathroom Behavior?

In 2014, a shocking Danish study found 1 in 5 surgeons to NOT wash their hands after using the restroom.

The medical field did not particularly like this study as it was observational in which 10 of the 50 surgeons observed at a bathroom during a US medical conference failed to wash their hands.

Nonetheless, this caused an immediate stir, raising the question why would surgeons wash their hands less than other specialists?  Was it because they scrub prior to operating hence not find the need to wash after using the bathroom necessary?  Incidentally, medical scribes appeared to have a higher rate of handwashing, with 98% washing after bathroom use.

Fast forward to 2018, when the CDC reported that 1 in 31 patients acquires an infection from their hospital stay.

And multiple studies have found lab coats to be contaminated with pathogens.

Which begs the question…. what exactly occurs when a physician uses the bathroom?

 

Is the White Coat off or on when doctors potty?

Lab coats are worn by the majority of healthcare professionals. And usually they are removed and placed on the desk chair prior to a jaunt to the restroom.

However if a medical provider walks down a hall, and realizes he/she needs to relieve themselves, do they wear their white coat into the restroom?

Some male physicians may stand at the urinal in full garb, as there usually is not a coat rack by the sinks.  As long as they flush and run, they might be in the clear, but is there a risk of splatter?

 

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Female physicians likewise can sully their coat if they “lift and squat” while sitting on the toilet.  Most female bathroom doors do have a coat hanger within the stall, so they can place the coat on the hook.

If the rare instance occurs where I am urgently running into a bathroom with knees pressed together, I prefer to throw my coat over the side of the door so anyone in the bathroom can see I wasn’t wearing my coat on the potty.

But then what about scrubs?

Do doctors wear scrubs when they potty?  Yes… but any other person on this earth will wear his clothes to and from the bathroom so let’s not get carried away…..

The white coat is a big issue as we hold our prescription pens, stethoscopes and other medical gadgets in the pockets.

 

Do doctors wash their hands after using the bathroom?

In my years of hospital and clinic work, I’ve observed at least a 99% use of bathroom sinks after using the restroom.  And, even though I don’t frequent the men’s bathroom, while waiting for some to exit, I see the men wave their hands dry and finish using their paper towel.   So the answer is a resounding YES!

 

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So why the discrepancy with the 2014 study? Because it was done at a conference and not in a medical setting. There is a possibility that healthcare providers, when not around patients, may be a little more lax in their hygiene.

So if in doubt, you’re free to find out.  Asking your provider if he/she washed their hands after zipping up might be a little awkward.  However, asking them if they washed their hands prior to coming into the exam room is perfectly fine and acceptable.

The average provider will NOT be insulted as we understand the importance of good hand washing.

But don’t just limit your interrogation to the physician.  The next time someone serves you a burger without gloves, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Entertainment, Health, news

Michael Jackson’s Daughter, Paris, Again Attempts Suicide

The 20 year old model allegedly split her wrists earlier Saturday.

She was treated and released by a local hospital, despite earlier reports that she would be held for observation.

TMZ reports the pedophile allegations made against her father Michael Jackson might have incited this latest attempt on her life.

In 2013 she attempted to commit suicide by splitting her wrists as well.

She is currently being supervised by her team of doctors.

This is a developing story.

 

Why do Some Consider or Commit Suicide?

 

Each year 47,000 Americans take their lives. That averages to 123 people a day.  And each suicide affects everyone with whom the  person has regular encounters. So why is it so common?  Here are six reasons people choose to end their life.

 

They Can’t See Around the Problem

When tragedy strikes, whether it be an accident, break up, job loss, missed opportunity, some can’t see “the light at the end of the tunnel.”  Many think and navigate through life one step at a time, which may be productive when it comes to tackling tasks, but if they feel the obstacle in front of them is insurmountable they may believe their options are far and few between, with death being the only out.

 

They’re Impulsive

Many of us have been trained to act on a whim. We quickly reply to a text, pop some food in the microwave, flick the controller while playing a video game…and these quick, instinctive acts are becoming apart of our daily behavior.  So when one has a fleeting thought of suicide, they may be less likely to slow down and think it through.

 

They Fear Death

This is one of the least discussed reasons people commit suicide, but unfortunately more common than we think.  Although most of us fear death and dying, some pathologically can’t handle the thought of it happening out of the blue.  Those who need control and need to plan ahead, may find solace in the fact that they are planning their own death.   They can’t control their birth but they can control their death, they believe, and for those who feel they have lost control of their life may find this tragic option welcoming.

 

They’re Depressed, Really Depressed

Hollywood stereotypes depression as a woman sitting on a couch eating ice cream to combat the tears and loneliness of a breakup.  But many have symptoms of severe depression and don’t know it.

  • insomnia
  • fatigue
  • wanting to avoid others
  • poor appetite
  • lack of sex drive
  • apathy
  • anxiety
  • sadness
  • tearful
  • mood swings
  • poor memory
  • poor concentration
  • overeating

So many self medicate either by over-eating, drinking alcohol, smoking weed, or taking pills, which when wears off, can sink one into a lower funk. Without psychological or medical intervention, one struggles to recover.

 

They Feel No One Cares About Them

Since so many people are undiagnosed when it comes to depression, family members and friends are unaware their loved one is struggling.  Going about one’s business may be inferred as indifference by someone suffering from a mood disorder.  “They won’t even notice I’m gone,” pervades their thoughts and worsens their loneliness.

 

They’re Angry

If one feels they’ve been ignored, unheard or wronged, this could incite an “I’ll show ’em” attitude in which their suicide is plotted to be a form of psychological revenge.

 

Sadly many out there secretly hope they get help but don’t know how to ask for it. It’s up to us to seek them out and guide them to a medical professional who can listen, understand, and work with them.

 

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

Posted in Health, news

“Praying” Emoji May Actually Mean “High Five”

Anytime someone is sick, fighting for their life, or deep in sorry, I send a “Prayer” emoji demonstrating my commitment to pray and seek the Lord’s help.

But I may be inadvertently celebrating with a “High Five!”

The prayer emoji is apparently this one:

Praying_Emoji_large.png

 

Now social media is abuzz debating whether we’ve been wronged by the emoji powers that be.

But emojipedia, calls the controversial emoji “Folded Hands” allowing much room for interpretation.

Personally I would think a “High Five” emoji would look like this (courtesy of EmojiRequestcom):

HighFiveEmoji.jpg

This isn’t the first time an emoji has caused such controversy.

Many thought the “Hug” emoji was one who wanted to grab boobies.

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The moral?  Go Old School and express wishes and sentiments the old fashion way…with real words.

 

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The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Online Dating

 

 

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

 

Posted in Health, news, smart devices

Experts Warn of Cancer Risks From Wireless Headphones such as AirPods

WSB radio reports hundreds of experts have signed a UN and WHO petition to warn against the cancer risks and medical dangers of AppleAirPods.

The EMF (electromagnetic frequency) radio waves emitted from the Bluetooth technology has been proven to cause health effects in “living organisms.”

And with its close proximity to the human skull, scientists are nervous.

WSB reports:

Not only did the petition mention cancer, it also said neurological disorders and DNA damage have been linked to EMF exposure as well.Although high levels of EMF can generate heat, cause burns and affect cell growth in humans, scientists have not determined the impact of large amounts of relatively low-level EMF exposure, produced by devices like the AirPods.
Although high levels of EMF can generate heat, cause burns and affect cell growth in humans, scientists have not determined the impact of large amounts of relatively low-level EMF exposure, produced by devices like the AirPods.
And despite the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines for the levels of EMF that devices are allowed to expose, the supporters of the petition do not think the recommendations are good enough.

Study Finds Link Between Cell Phones and Cancer

A study from the National Institutes of Health last year reported “clear evidence” that cell phone radiation may be connected to cancer of the adrenal glands and brain.

Tests were performed on mice and rats, using much higher levels of radiation than humans are exposed to.  However, only the male rats demonstrated increase risk or brain tumors.

The study performed by Dr. John Bucher and colleagues at the National Toxicology Program (NTP) in North Carolina tested radio frequency radiation (RFR) used in 2G and 3G cell phones.  The minimum amount of radiation given to the mice would be considered the maximum amount of radiation federal regulators allow on humans.  The maximum amount of radiation given to the mice was 4X higher than the maximum allowed in humans.

Hence this was a study that looked at extreme conditions that the average human is not exposed to. However, they cite “clear evidence” that the radiation incited tumors in the rats.

For more on the study see here.

Now in August of 2018, a large study from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) in Spain, however, found no clear evidence of brain tumor risk with cell phone use.

Researchers in this study looked at 9000 people from seven different countries, having a range of occupations, and interviewed them on their occupational electromagnetic frequency (EMF) use.  Sciencealert.com reports 4000 of these patients had brain tumors (glioma and meningioma) and were compared to the other 5000 who didn’t.

The good news is they did not find a correlation between those who sustained a brain tumor and those with high EMF exposure.  However the bad news is they found only a small percentage of those studied actually would be deemed to have “High EMF” exposure hence leaving us still questioning if too much cell phone exposure is still risky.

Study author Javier Villa states, “Although we did not find a positive association, the fact that we observed indication of an increased risk in the group with most recent radiofrequency exposure deserves further investigation,” and suggests, “we shouldn’t worry for now, but we do need to focus future efforts on making sharper tools to analyse any hypothetical risk.”

What do cell phones emit?

Cell phones emit radio waves. These are a form of non-ionizing radiation that provides an energy source through radio frequency.  Ionizing radiation is emitted by xrays, cosmic rays, and radon, and have been linked to cancer as it is a high frequency, high energy form of electromagnetic radiation.  Non-ionizing radiation include radio waves, microwaves, visible light, UV light, infrared, and lasers.  Although UV radiation may cause skin cancer, the other sources are deemed less dangerous than their ionizing radiation counterparts.

Can cell phone use cause cancer?

One of the more recent studies unveiled in May of 2016 reported cell phone radiation caused brain tumors in mice.  Rats exposed to the radiofrequency radiation for 7-9 hours a day, seven days a week, were more prone to develop the malignant gliomas as well has tumors in the heart.  This study was not intended to be translated to human risk, but of course it made headlines and scared us silly.

Prior to this, in 2011, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified cell phone use and other radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”.

However, multiple studies have been done, as descriptively outlined by the National Cancer Institute, and are assuring us that there is no imminent danger by our daily use of cell phones.  The NCI also provides recommendations from the CDC, FDA, and FCC stating not enough evidence exists to establish a link between cell phones and cancer.

Can cell phone radiation injure our body’s cells?

Although arguments continue over cell phone radiation causing cancer, it has been proven that heat is given off.  Many people complain their ear gets hot after lengthy cell phone use and studies have yet to determine if cell  phone heat can cause oncogenic changes in cells.  They’ve studied if the radiation affects metabolic activity, and a team led by Dr. Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, found visible brain activity changes on the side the cell phone was being used.  They recommended after this study keeping the cell phone away from the body and using a lower radiation emitting phone.

So now what?

We wait and see.  My suggestion is to not overdo it with our phones.  Use the speaker setting when practical so as to not consistently hug the phone to your skull.  Take breaks in between lengthy calls.  Text when appropriate to minimize exposure as well.

The following has been recommended for both children and adults:

  • Keeping the phone away from the body
  • Reducing cell phone use when the signal is weak
  • Reducing the use of cell phones to stream audio or video, or to download or upload large files
  • Keeping the phone away from the bed at night
  • Removing headsets when not on a call
  • Avoiding products that claim to block radio frequency energy. These products may actually increase your exposure.

Or do what I do when I talk to my mother, hold the phone 3 feet away from my head.  I can still hear her…..just fine……

 

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The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Online Dating

 

 

 

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

Posted in allergies, Health, news, sex

Woman Suffers Severe Allergy After Exposed to Penicillin During Oral Sex

Doctors report in  BMJ Case Reports a rare episode of severe allergy (anaphylaxis) after a women performed oral sex.

The patient presented to a hospital in Spain in “moderate anaphylaxis.” Her boyfriend had been taking Ibuprofen and Augmentin (amoxicillin/clavulanic acid) for an ear infection with a dose 4 hours prior to engaging in oral sex. She within hours began vomiting, having difficulty breathing and full body hives.  Doctors deduced she had a penicillin allergy and was reacting to the amoxicillin that could have concentrated in her boyfriend’s semen.

Amoxicillin is in the same antibiotic class as penicillin.

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Getty Images

 

Although there have been cases of people reporting allergic reactions to the proteins in semen this was one of the first documented cases in which a drug taken orally by a person was transferred to a hypersensitive patient through oral sex.

Study authors write:

To our knowledge, this is the first case reported of a suspicion of amoxicillin-induced anaphylaxis in a woman after a sexual contact with a man who was taking the drug, we hypothesised an oral drug transfer through semen.
Studies about amoxicillin concentrations achieved in semen after a drug intake are scarce. There are few cases reported of hypersensitivity reactions induced by drugs transported in semen but we have found some concern in sensitive patients about the possibility of transference of allergens via sexual intercourse. As clinicians, we consider that it is important to be aware of the existence of this possibility both in the diagnosis and in the prevention of anaphylactic reactions.

10% of the population reports an allergy to penicillin, but the CDC estimates less than 1% are truly allergic.

What is anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergy that may be life threatening.

Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Low blood pressure
  • Feeling of throat tightening
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Weakness
  • Chest Pain
  • and more…

It can lead to cardiac arrest, hence it’s a medical emergency and any suspicion of it should prompt a call to 911.

What are allergies?

Allergies are the result of the immune response to a foreign particulate that our body senses.  One could be allergic to pollen, dust, dander, food, insects, mold, metals, transfused blood, grafts, medicine and anything the body senses as a foreign intruder.  Even though these may be individually harmless, a hypersensitivity reaction occurs as a result of their intrusion into the body.  IgE antibodies find the allergen (intruder) and activate mast cells in the tissue and basophils in the blood.  When these cells get activated, they release substances to help protect the body, including histamines, leukotrienes, and cytokines. These help the body attempt to sneeze and cough the allergen out, wall off the antigen, signal more antibodies, or produce tears and nasal secretions to flush it out.

 

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The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Online Dating

 

 

 

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

 

Posted in Entertainment, Health, news

Did Diet Soda Lead To Alex Trebek’s Pancreatic Cancer?

The 78 year-old iconic game show host has revealed last week that he has Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, vowing  to “fight this” deadly malignancy.

However, in an interview with Business Insider, he admitted to having a Milky Way and diet soda for breakfast every day, “A Diet Coke or a Diet Pepsi or a Diet Dr. Pepper,” especially on taping days.

 

 

A Stage 4 is given to cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

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Each year over 55,000 Americans are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, whose 5-year survival rate is 5%.  Older individuals who are healthy can do as well as those who are younger when diagnosed with advanced stage of the disease.  However some sources cite the median survival time is between 2 and 6 months if the cancer is diagnosed at a late stage.

What are the risk factors for pancreatic cancer?

Known risk factors for pancreatic cancer include:

  • Older individuals
  • Male (though women are affected as well)
  • Diabetes
  • Alcohol use
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Genetics
  • African-American descent
  • Ashkenazi Jewish descent
  • Obesity
  • High fat diet
  • Hepatitis B
  • H. pylori infection
  • BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations

    Can Diet Soda CAUSE Diabetes?

 

Artificial sweeteners have been linked to diabetes and diabetes is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer.  Their relationship to pancreatic cancer, however, still remains controversial.

 

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The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Online Dating

 

 

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

 

 

Posted in Daylight Saving Time, Health, news

Daylight Saving Time Start May Come With Health Risks

Sunday March 10 is the start of Daylight Saving Time.  Our clocks spring forward 1 hour at 2:00 am.  However, unlike the Fall festivity in which the extra hour of sleep may improve our health, we risk a multitude of issues by losing a measly 60 minutes of sleep.

History of Daylight Saving Time

This ritual began in ancient civilizations, when daily schedules would be adjusted to the change in daylight.  Later Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay for Parisians entitled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” in 1784 explaining how less candles could be used if people woke up earlier, making  more use of natures early light.

 

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Although other countries adopted Daylight Saving Time before the US, such as Germany in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson was the first to sign it into law in 1918 to conserve coal during the  Great War.  It was eventually repealed, though a handful of states maintained it.  In 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt, again to assist the conservation needed for the war efforts, made “Daylight Saving Time” year round, calling  it “War Time”.  After the war, however, no federal law maintained the time change and states chose to do what they wished.  The Uniform Time Law of 1966 attempted to unite the states in this effort and the law, signed by President Lydon B. Johnson, decreed Daylight Saving Time to begin on the last Sunday of April and to end on the last Sunday of October.  States had  the right to vote to exempt themselves.  By 2007, the Energy Policy Act, created in 2005 declared that Daylight Saving time begins at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday of March and ends at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday of November. Some states, including Arizona and Hawaii, do not convert to DST.

What are the risks to Daylight Saving Time start?

Now besides the groaning that occurs each week when we “lose” an hour at night of sleep, concerns have risen in the scientific community regarding health risks.  These include headaches, workplace injuries, car accidents and heart attacks.

A study from the University of Colorado a few years back found a spike in car accidents the first week after Daylight Savings Time change. Apparently drivers did worse with one hour less of sleep that those comfortable with their routine prior to the time change.

In 2014 a different study from the same university found heart attack risk to spike 25% the following Monday after the “spring forward” but fell to almost normal when the clocks fell back in the Fall.

An additional study in Chronobiology International found IVF success rates drop during this time in women, who had a previous miscarriage.

Personally the anxiety my listeners have with the one hour change makes one wonder the risk isn’t higher.  We’ve been losing hours of uninterrupted sleep for years once we allowed our smartphones into our bedrooms but a 60 minute time change…..the country falls apart.

Now with electricity, batteries, generators, and charged mobile devices the need to change the clocks to conserve energy isn’t as urgent as it once was. However, I’m not ready to suggest its demise because I really like the extra hour of sleep in the Fall.  So to decrease the risk of an ICU visit every Spring, I would suggest the following:

  1.  Prepare for the time change before it happens.  Wake up 10 -20 minutes early a few days before the change so that the one hour shift isn’t too drastic for our delicate circadian rhythms
  2. Continue your exercise each morning (and don’t skip it the Monday morning after DST) so your body gets accustomed to the adrenaline surge and you’ll be able to maintain your morning alertness despite the time change.
  3. Eat a balanced breakfast. You should be doing this as well year round but remember to include protein and complex carbs as energy sources.
  4. Make use of natural sunlight to help wake you up.  Just as we benefit from the moonlight to help us fall asleep, our body needs sunlight to wake up.  Take a short walk each morning to get some brisk exercise in and sunlight at the same time.
  5. Don’t stress about the time change. You’ll build it up bigger than it has to be and anxiety stresses the heart.
  6. Go to bed a little earlier Sunday night.

And finally, remember to change your clocks!!  Coming to work late Monday morning negates all the preparation we did the weekend before.  Personally I like to set my alarm for 1:50 am, splash some water on face to be bright and alert, and then meticulously change each clock in my house.  I know smartphones change themselves… but where’s the fun in that?

 

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The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Online Dating

 

 

 

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