Posted in Entertainment, Health, news

Nelsan Ellis, True Blood’s Lafayette, dies at age 39

True Blood’s, Nelsan Ellis, has died from complications of heart failure.  The 39 year old actor had played Lafayette Reynolds in the HBO hit series and was a favorite since the show debuted in 2008.

His manager, Emily Gerson Saines, stated “Nelsan has passed away after complications with heart failure.”

On Monday the family released a statement through Saines, citing “alcohol withdrawal” as the inciting event that led to sepsis (blood infection) and ultimately kidney and heart failure.

Alcohol abuse has been linked to an increase risk of sepsis which can manifest in severe drops in blood pressure, lack of perfusion to vital organs, organ failure, and ultimately death.

As reported by the Hollywood Reporter, the statement from Saines reads:

Nelsan’s father has bravely agreed for me to share the circumstances of Nelsan’s heart failure. Nelsan has suffered with drug and alcohol abuse for years. After many stints in rehab, Nelsan attempted to withdraw from alcohol on his own. According to his father, during his withdrawal from alcohol he had a blood infection, his kidneys shut down, his liver was swollen, his blood pressure plummeted, and his dear sweet heart raced out of control.

On the morning of Saturday July 8th, after four days in Woodhull Hospital, Nelsan was pronounced dead. Nelsan was a gentle, generous and kind soul. He was a father, a son, a grandson, a brother, a nephew, and a great friend to those that were lucky enough to know him. Nelsan was ashamed of his addiction and thus was reluctant to talk about it during his life. His family, however, believes that in death he would want his life to serve as a cautionary tale in an attempt to help others.

Ellis was born in Harvey, Illinois in 1978 and had also starred in the Soloist, The Help and a recently completed work, True to the Game.

He won multiple awards including Satellite Awards for Best Supporting Actor and Best Television Ensemble.

Heart failure can be caused by a multitude of factors.  For more information on heart failure, read here: Heart Failure

This is a developing story.

Posted in Entertainment, Health, news

Carrie Fisher’s Autopsy Report Reveals Sleep Apnea and Drug Use

Carrie Fisher died December 27th, four days after suffering cardiac arrest onboard a flight from London to LAX and this week the autopsy report reveals cocaine, heroin, methadone and ecstasy could have contributed.

At the time of death, the 60 year old, was having multiple apneic episodes, in which she stoped breathing in her sleep.  A variety of factors can contribute to this but the coroner in his report stated, “Based on the available toxicological information, we cannot establish the significance of the multiple substances that were detected in Ms. Fisher’s blood and tissue, with regard to the cause of death.

The report also stated she took Lamictal and Abilify used for Bipolar disorder and mood stabilization, as well as Prozac, used for depression and anxiety.   She appeared to also take oxycodone, not prescribed to her.

It has not been confirmed that narcotics led to her respiratory depression that could have induced sleep apnea and later cardiac arrest.

Unfortunately its common for those who suffer from Bipolar Disorder to also suffer from drug addiction. Bipolar disorder, or commonly known as manic depression, is where one has unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity and can go from highs to lows in their mood within a short period of time.

Drugs may induce this type of psychiatric illness and conversely bipolar disorder may induce drug use.

The beloved actress battled drug addiction and in a 2013 statement to the Herald-Tribune said, “Then, by the time I was 21 it was LSD. I didn’t love cocaine, but I wanted to feel any way other than the way I did, so I’d do anything.”

In 1985 she was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and had been an advocate for earlier diagnosis of mental health issues.

Her cardiac status was unknown until recently when she had her “episode” on the London to LA flight.  Carrie Fisher became a global sensation in the 1970’s in Star Wars‘ Princess Leia.


Here autopsy report can be found here:  351717158-Carrie-Fisher-Autopsy-Report



                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

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



Posted in Entertainment, Health, news

Demi Moore – Maybe Energy Drinks Caused her Tooth Loss

Image above from The Mercury News

Demi Moore confessed on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon that she lost two of her teeth. The 54 year-old actress cited stress as the reason.


Stress could be a factor, however, that would mean all of us would lose our teeth before senior year high school.

What came to mind was a previous report on Moore’s diet.

In 2012, the actress was hospitalized and multiple rumors surfaced as to what caused her collapse.  Some reported an energy drink addiction, some cited anorexia, some said it occurred after inhaling the gas from a whip cream canister.  Witnesses reported seizure like activity.  According to Daily Mail,

A source told Radar: “She collapsed after having an epileptic seizure… she has not taken care of her health at all lately and has lost a ton of weight.”  “Demi is in getting treated for anorexia, as well as other issues that caused her seizure.”

After she recovered, it was revealed that her diet included: “Red Bull for breakfast. Red Bull for lunch. Red Bull for dinner, with a lettuce leaf and a tablespoon yes a tablespoon of tuna fish thrown in… That’s it.” as reported by

According to Medical Daily, Moore had been drinking energy drinks for over 10 years.


Three energy drinks a day in the company of a poor diet could wreck havoc on one’s health. But what about teeth?

In 2012 a study from the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine found the acidity of energy drinks to damage tooth enamel, thereby increasing risk of cavities.

Earlier this year, a 28 year old man from New Zealand, who allegedly drank three cans of energy drinks a day, lost multiple teeth and suffered from severe gum disease.

1492118992631 (1).jpg                  1492118992631.jpg

Josh McKee and his xray demonstrating multiple teeth lost/Marion Van Dijk


Energy drinks provide little in the type of nutrition gums and teeth require.  Our jaws, gums and teeth were designed to chew, face a variety of forces, and then get washed down with water and our own saliva to avoid damage from non-neutral pH compounds.  A balanced diet, with food we need to chew, low on sugar and acidity is just what the human mouth needs.

Other causes of teeth loss (edentulism) include:



Poor dental hygiene

Periodontal (gum) disease

Heart Disease

So not only is it important to brush, floss, water pick and see one’s dentist regularly, but taking care of one’s non-dental health can be just as crucial to keeping our pearly whites.



                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

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





Posted in Entertainment, Health, news

The Real “Soup Nazi” Company Files for Bankruptcy

The famous Seinfeld episode, The Soup Nazi, was modeled after a real chef, Al Yaganeh, who opened his soup store back in 1984.   His restaurant, Soup Kitchen International closed in 2004.  Rumor had it Yaganeh resented the Seinfeld episode as it deterred business.  His restaurant reopened under the name “The Original SoupMan”.  And although the Soupman franchise appears to be thriving with multiple locations and online orders, it is filing for bankruptcy protection.


Soupman, Inc. CEO Jamison Karson, stated “the combination of legacy liabilities and recent company developments have made it necessary to seek bankruptcy protection,” and he expected no disruption in service.  This comes one month after CFO, Robert Bertrand, was charged with failing to pay federal income tax, Social Security and Medicare taxes for employees.

Favorites such as lobster bisque, chicken gumbo, jambalaya, and mulligatawny will still be available, choices the Seinfeld cast appeared to love.




Mulligatawny, by the way, is a curry soup of Indian origin that may include rice, chicken, vegetables, spices, and sometimes fruit such as lemon or apple.



Larry Thomas (right) played Yev Kassem, the “Soup Nazi”, a role inspired by Al Yaganeh (left), and was ultimately nominated for an Emmy.



                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

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

Posted in Entertainment, Health, news

Guardians of the Galaxy Ride at Disney California Adventure – Mixed Reviews

The Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout opened at Disneyland-California Adventure Theme Park in Anaheim, California May 27, 2017.  The attraction took over the site held by Twilight Zone’s Tower of Terror, which had reigned since 1994.

tower of terror.jpg


The ride takes you up and down a 190 foot tower in a high speed elevator.  Cool music, the characters, and animatronics greet and guide you through the attraction.


I loved it!  I was scared, entertained, and thrilled all at the same time.  But others failed to agree.  Let’s get to the Groot of it shall we?

  1.  The ride was too short for the line it took to get in.  

    The average wait for the first weekend of June was approximately 50 minutes, sometimes as long as 75.  However, I had used my “Magical Morning Hour” one gets when they stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel and hit the ride at 7 am before the park opens to the general public.  My wait time, zero minutes.

  2. I said, the ride was too short!

    I disagree.  Space Mountain is also a 2.5 minute ride.  The Guardian – Mission Breakout experience was scary and when one has to pee, 2 1/2 minutes is just long enough.

  3. It was too similar to the original ride, Tower of Terror.

    Well what did you expect?  Its the same building, same high speed elevator ride, just decorated differently.  But one distinct difference is during Mission Breakout, you bob up and down, feeling suspended in mid air when you reach a level.  In Tower of Terror, you were still until the room accelerated again.

  4. It’s not for kids!

    Riders need to be 40 inches or taller.  But I do agree that the average young child would find this attraction awfully scary.  The Guardian’s of the Galaxy movie franchise appeals to young children.  This ride caters to the teen and older fans of Rocket and Peter Quill.



Despite the above, let me just say…..It was awesome!  And similarly to Tower of Terror, when you reach the top and the elevator doors open to a view of the whole park, those who aren’t scared out of their wits enjoy a gorgeous view.

Get there early in the morning to beat the lines, and if you can’t try to Fast Pass early as once the afternoon comes around, Fast Passes are no longer offered.

Good luck and may the force be with you…..oops wrong movie.



                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

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


Posted in Entertainment, Health, news

Olivia Newton-John Says Her Breast Cancer Has Returned

The 68 year old singer and actress recently postponed her tour due to back pain.  Unfortunately, Oliva Newton-John discovered the cause: her breast cancer returned and metastasized to her sacrum, a part of the low back.


In 1992, Newton-John first battled breast cancer by undergoing chemotherapy and by having a modified radical mastectomy (removing the breast and lymph nodes).  She immediately had breast reconstruction and included yoga, acupuncture and massage in her treatment regimen.

In an interview with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, she shared her personal story.  “I meditated every day, did yoga, used homeopathy, ate well—I boosted my inner strength as much as I could. When bad thoughts came in, I pushed them right out. I had what’s called a modified radical mastectomy with reconstruction done to my breast immediately—a woman can be traumatized waking up with nothing there.

She remained cancer free for years.


Olivia Newton-John in 1978’s Grease

In a statement released on social media, Newton-John said the cancer returned, spread to her sacrum and she was going to undergo a short course of photon radiation therapy, which uses high energy particles to destroy cancer cells.  She stated she would also incorporate “natural wellness therapies”.


Breast cancer is one of the few cancers that spreads to the bone. Other cancers that may rear its ugly head in the bone include thyroid, kidney, pancreas and the liver.

According to the American Cancer Society Stage 4 Breast Cancer (spreading to other parts of the body) has a 5 year survival rate of 22%, as opposed to Stage 3, who’s 5 year survival rate is 72%.  Treatments today are improving survival rates.



                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

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


Posted in Entertainment, Health, news

Tiger Woods DUI – a Possible Reaction to 4 Medications

Image above from (Left) Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, (right) AP

Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods was arrested Monday am for suspected DUI.  Alcohol was not involved, but the 41 year old pro golfer was allegedly “asleep” at the wheel when he was found by law enforcement near his home in Jupiter, Florida.

He was allegedly taking four medications:  Soloxer, Vicodin, Torix and Vioxx. These medications appear to be a muscle relaxant (may be a medication similar to Skelaxin), opiate, and two types of non steroidal antiinflammatories.

Monday evening he released the following statement, “I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn’t realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly.

“I would like to apologize with all my heart to my family, friends and the fans. I expect more from myself too. I will do everything in my power to ensure this never happens again.

“I fully cooperated with law enforcement, and I would like to personally thank the representatives of the Jupiter Police Department and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office for their professionalism.”

He had recently recovered from spinal fusion surgery on April 20 after he underwent multiple microdiscetomies for various back injuries throughout his career.  Pain medications, such as opioids, can impair a driver, as well as a mixture of medications that may include muscle relaxants and anti-anxiety medications.  Any of the above could make one appear he is driving drunk.

In response to fans asking if he would play soon, on his website Woods wrote, “I can’t twist for another two and a half to three months. Right now, my sole focus is rehab and doing what the doctors tell me. I am concentrating on short-term goals.”

In addition to being plagued with injuries, including an right knee ACL tear in 2008, his personal life left him bruised as well.

Thanksgiving Day, 2009, Tiger Woods crashed his Escalade outside his Florida home when his then wife, model Elin Nordegren , hurled a golf club at the car after learning of her husband’s extra marital affairs.


At the time Tiger Woods admitted to having a “sex addiction” and admitted himself into rehab.  In an interview in 2010, Woods said, “For 45 days from the end of December to early February, I was in inpatient therapy receiving guidance for the issues I’m facing. I have a long way to go. But I’ve taken my first steps in the right direction.”  He stated he had “repeated irresponsible behavior” and said, “I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated.”

More details have yet to be revealed regarding Monday’s DUI arrest, but the New York Post  reported he was driving his 2015 Mercedes-Benz “erratically, all over the road” before stopped by law enforcement.

Unfortunately, “sex addiction” and alcohol use, or impulse behaviors go hand in hand.

What is Impulse Control Disorder?

Impulse Control Disorder occurs when one hurts themselves or others by not resisting their temptations.  These temptations could include sexual escapades, drinking binges, eating disorders, excessive gambling, stealing (kleptomania), setting fires (pyromania), and addictions to drugs.

A feeling of guilt comes after one acts on his/her impulse and will be seen especially after an intermittent explosive disorder which involves rage and anger.

Many who suffer from impulse control disorder suffer from mood disorders, substance abuse and/or addictions.

Treatment includes behavioral therapy, treating the underlying addiction, and at times, medications.


                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

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