Posted in food, Health, news

Reusable Water Bottles Harbor Poop Bacteria

A study out of Brazil finds reusable water bottles to be as filthy as a toilet seat.

In this small study, researchers sampled 30 water bottles used by people at the gym and compared them to unused, new water bottles. They found the following:

  • 83% had bacterial contamination
  • 27% contained Staph. aureus
  • 17% contained E. coli

among other contaminants.

STAPHYLOCOCCUS-AUREUS.jpg

Staphlococcus aureus

 

Although Staph. aureus and E. coli occur naturally in human orifices such as the nose and colon respectively, both have been implicated in multiple diseases.

 

E-coli.jpg

E. coli

 

This echos a 2016 study published by Treadmill Reviews which compared straw top to slide top to squeeze top to screw top reusable bottles and found the slide top design to be the worst in contamination.

 

water bottles.jpg

Study author, Dr. Gilmar Weber Senna of the Federal University of State of Rio de Janeiro told Runner’s World, 

“We tested in a real-world scenario, by surprise, asking for [bottles of] those who were arriving at the gym at those particular days……. We did this to avoid an intentional over-cleaning.”

Medical experts believe steel, metal or glass bottles may provide better protection against harboring pathogens.  Studies need to determine which water canister is the safest.

For now, clean the bottle out regularly, wash your hands before grabbing it, and watch where you set it……

 

dw sketch.jpg

 

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

 

 

 

 

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Posted in food, Health, news

You’re mom’s chicken soup – healthier than you think

Updated from Dec. 2011

 

We all endured it…our mothers forcing us to drink “Zoup” to help our sore throats, coughs, even menstrual cramps.  “But Mom…you’re not a doctor”…well moms have more medical wisdom than we give them credit for.

Chicken soup was the cure for everything in my household…and I mean it..it cured.  Was it because of its warmth, its taste, the fact that Mommy was doting over me?  Nope… it was because we were ingesting a bowl full of antioxidants, antiinflammatories, amino acids, and anti-histamines.  Tasty, huh!!!

So what has to be in chicken soup to make it healthy?

First, it will go down easier if it’s in the form of a liquid…just a suggestion.  The warmness soothes the throat and stimulates circulation.

 

steam.jpg

 

The salt helps fight bacteria.

 

soup salt.jpg

 

And even though as kids we picked out the vegetables, the carrots, celery, and onions provide much needed vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants that seep into the juice.

 

soup and veg.jpg

Moreover whole chicken pieces, including the cartilage, have been proven to be antiinflammatory.

 

chicken soup.jpg

 

No wonder we feel better.  It’s an antibiotic, pain pill, antiinflammatory, steroid, and fluid bolus all in one!!  Just wait….some pharmaceutical company will realize they can capitalize on this and cram it into a pill, or better yet, suppository.   Hope they master grinding down the celery stick.

Either way, Mom has her hands full.  So next time you see your Mom, take a deep breath, suck it in, and tell her that she was right.

mommy.jpg

My Mommy xoxo

 

And if the thought of Mom saying “I told you so” sickens you….just have her whip up a batch of chicken soup.  Looks like it works like a charm.

 

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

Posted in food, Health, news, sex

Did the Legalization of Marijuana Lead to a Rise in STD’s and Foodborne Illness?

Reports of increasing cases of STD’s appear to correlate with the legalization of marijuana.

Could marijuana be leading to a complacency when it comes to handwashing and condom use?

STD-Trends

 

This Fall the CDC reported a continued rise in cases of sexually transmitted diseases by the following:

Nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis were diagnosed in the United States in 2017, according to preliminary data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the National STD Prevention Conference in Washington, D.C. This surpassed the previous record set in 2016 by more than 200,000 cases and marked the fourth consecutive year of sharp increases in these sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

And this week, the World Health Organization sounded the alarm of rising HIV cases in Eastern Europe.

At the same time more countries are easing up on legal restrictions when it comes to marijuana.  Which leads to the question, has the legalization of marijuana led to the rise in STD’s?

BackgroundChecks.org released this graphic displaying STD rates by state.

SexuallyDiseasedStates (1).png

Strikingly, there are some similarities to a map outlining state cannabis programs.

state cannabis.gif

 

Cannabis use is known to decrease anxiety and motivation and so an unintended consequence of increasing access to its use may be the decrease in precautionary thinking when it comes to unprotected sex.

Rare STD Evading Doctors and May Become Next Superbug

 

On that same note, multiple outbreaks have been reported in the food industry when it comes to pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli, Hepatitis A and Listeria.  Could complacency with proper food handling and hand washing be related to marijuana use?

Multistat-eOutbreaks-byYear

This could easily be analyzed by screening those with an STD for marijuana use, as well as those involved in a foodborne illness outbreak.

Now the legalization of marijuana allows more studies to be done to to determine its health benefits. I suggest, however, we also study, any links to complacency issues when it comes to home and workplace safety and exposures.

 

Why is food borne illness on the rise?

Multiple issues could be playing a role.

  1. Fresh produce is not cooked like meat and can therefore harbor more germs
  2. Preservatives, used in fast food, help to deter pathogen growth, and more people are shying away from fast food than in the past, opting for “fresh”, healthier options.
  3. On-the-go produce may not be washed after packaging due to a false sense of security that the vegetables are “clean.”
  4. As our population ages, and as more people suffer from immunocompromising disease such as diabetes and cancer, they may be more susceptible to food borne illness.
  5. Our gut microbiome has changed as our diets have shifted to food with more preservatives, hence possibly being less resilient to new pathogens that enter.
  6.  In regards to the ground turkey, it is not the same as ground beef and leaving the patties pink in the center mean you are consuming raw poultry. Turkey meat may need to cook longer until no pink is seen and core temperature is at least 165 degrees for at least 15 seconds
  7. We’re less strict about cleaning than we used to be.  Counter tops used to be bleached and scrubbed for longer periods of time than we do now-a-days with antimicrobial wipes.

Therefore be diligent about cleaning counter tops, cook your food thoroughly, wash produce before eating and be aware of any reported recalls.

 

A Review of Syphilis

Syphilis is also called “the great imitator”.  Many don’t realize they have syphilis as the symptoms mimic so many other diseases.  Syphilis has been on the rise and hasn’t been routinely tested in STD/STI panels.  It’s caused by a spirochete (spiral bacteria) called Treponema pallidum, and can cause infection in stages.

Primary Syphilis can manifest as a painless ulcer on the genitals, mouth or skin.

Secondary Syphilis can manifest as a rash, along with fever, joint pain, malaise…mimicking other illnesses. In this stage it can also manifest as warts on the genitals called condylomata lata.

 

Syphilis

 

As the course progresses, syphilis may become latent. For years one may have no symptoms at all.  The patient may mistakenly feel they suffered the flu and think nothing more of it. But if left untreated, syphilis can enter the final stage, Tertiary Syphilis, which can cause severe neurological disability (neurosyphilis) and can also severely affect the heart.

Penicillin is the treatment of choice for any stage of syphilis, including the latent stage of the illness.

 

dw sketch.jpg

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

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

 

Posted in food, Health, news

CDC: Romaine Lettuce May Be Tainted With E. Coli

The CDC issued a general warning this week that Romaine lettuce is not safe to eat.

32 people from 11 states have become ill due to this recent outbreak of E. coli.

The Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 sickened 32 people between the dates October 8-31, 2018 and caused 13 hospitalizations, one of whom went into kidney failure.

No deaths have been reported.

On Tuesday they issued the following tweet:

Outbreak Alert: Do not eat any romaine lettuce, including whole heads and hearts, chopped, organic and salad mixes with romaine until we learn more. If you don’t know if it’s romaine or can’t confirm the source, don’t eat it.

On their website, the CDC reports the following:

CDC is advising that U.S. consumers not eat any romaine lettuce, and retailers and restaurants not serve or sell any, until we learn more about the outbreak. This investigation is ongoing and the advice will be updated as more information is available.

  • Consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick.
    • This advice includes all types or uses of romaine lettuce, such as whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine, including baby romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad.
    • If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix contains romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.
    • Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where romaine was stored. Follow these five steps to clean your refrigerator.
  • Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing romaine.
  • Take action if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection:
    • Talk to your healthcare provider.
    • Write down what you ate in the week before you started to get sick.
    • Report your illness to the health department.
    • Assist public health investigators by answering questions about your illness.
Advice to Clinicians
  • Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with E. coli O157 infections. Antibiotics are also not recommended for patients in whom E.coli O157 infection is suspected, until diagnostic testing rules out this infection.
  • Some studies have shown that administering antibiotics to patients with E. coli O157 infections might increase their risk of developing hemolytic uremic syndrome (a type of kidney failure), and the benefit of antibiotic treatment has not been clearly demonstrated.

Symptoms of E. coli poisoning can occur anywhere from 1-10 days after ingestion.

They include:

  • Nausea
    Vomiting
    Diarrhea, may be bloody
    Fever
    Chills
    Body Aches
    Abdominal Cramps

And if progresses, can cause

  • Shortness of Breath
    Nose bleeds
    Anemia
    Dehydration
    Seizures
    Renal Failure
    Death

Exposure to E. coli may occur from exposure to contaminated foods (from human or animal waste) or undercooked meats.

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 Christmas, food, Health, news, pets, thanksgiving

What Your Pets CANNOT Eat This Holiday Season

ABOVE: SHAKEY-BOO TAKING ADVANTAGE OF DISTRACTED HOSTS

The holidays are 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 and Christmas?

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

 

Dogs

UZ.jpg

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

Avoid the following in dogs:

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

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Chives
  • Raw Dough
  • Avocado
  • Raisins
  • Grapes
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Ice cream
  • Almonds
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Alcohol
  • Nutmeg
  • Mushrooms
  • Caffeine
  • Coconut
  • Energy drinks
  • Fatty/fried foods and even the fat trimmings
  • Artificial Sweeteners such as Xylitol

And watch their portions. They will eat and eat and eat and won’t keep a tally on what grandma, nephew and the neighbors threw at him.

 

Cats

snappy.jpg

Fluffy or Snappy (above) can eat – but again only in moderation:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Grains
  • Vegetables (though many stick their nose up at it)
  • Eggs
  • Butter

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

  • Alcohol
  • Raw fish and eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Coffee, tea and energy drinks

 

Fish

fish

Yes, some will bring Nemo to Holiday dinner.

It appears fish can eat many types of meat and vegetables, scrambled eggs and even cooked rice but be careful of toxins, fats 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.

 

dw sketch.jpg

 

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

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

 

Posted in food, Health, news

Turkey Related Salmonella Poisoning Sickens 164, Kills 1

The CDC has reported over 164 people have been sickened with Salmonella being linked to raw turkey.

Over 35 states are currently affected but no specific product has been identified.  Suspected sources include ground turkey, turkey patties, whole turkeys, live turkeys and turkey pet food.

The CDC reports the following:
  • Since the last update on July 19, 2018, 74 more ill people were reported, bringing the total to 164 ill people from 35 states.
  • Sixty-three people have been hospitalized.
  • One death was reported from California. Questions about the death should be directed to the California Department of Public Health.
  • Illnesses in this outbreak started from November 20, 2017 to October 20, 2018.
  • Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that raw turkey products from a variety of sources are contaminated with Salmonella Reading and are making people sick.
  • The outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading has been identified in various raw turkey products, including ground turkey and turkey patties. The outbreak strain has also been found in raw turkey pet food and live turkeys, indicating it might be widespread in the turkey industry.
  • A single, common supplier of raw turkey products or of live turkeys has not been identified.
  • CDC and USDA-FSIS have shared this information with representatives from the turkey industry and asked about steps that they may be taking to reduce Salmonella contamination.

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.

Why is food borne illness on the rise?

Multiple issues could be playing a role.

  1. Fresh produce is not cooked like meat and can therefore harbor more germs
  2. Preservatives, used in fast food, help to deter pathogen growth, and more people are shying away from fast food than in the past, opting for “fresh”, healthier options.
  3. On-the-go produce may not be washed after packaging due to a false sense of security that the vegetables are “clean.”
  4. As our population ages, and as more people suffer from immunocompromising disease such as diabetes and cancer, they may be more susceptible to food borne illness.
  5. Our gut microbiome has changed as our diets have shifted to food with more preservatives, hence possibly being less resilient to new pathogens that enter.
  6.  In regards to the ground turkey, it is not the same as ground beef and leaving the patties pink in the center mean you are consuming raw poultry. Turkey meat may need to cook longer until no pink is seen and core temperature is at least 165 degrees for at least 15 seconds
  7. We’re less strict about cleaning than we used to be.  Counter tops used to be bleached and scrubbed for longer periods of time than we do now-a-days with antimicrobial wipes.

Therefore be diligent about cleaning counter tops, cook your food thoroughly, wash produce before eating and be aware of any reported recalls.

 

 

dw sketch.jpg

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

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

Posted in energy drinks, food, Health, news

Energy Drinks Can Increase Risk of Heart Attack Within 90 Minutes

A study from the University of Texas finds the consumption of energy drinks to have negative effects on the cardiovascular system by narrowing blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood as soon as 90 minutes.

Vessels that supply the heart, which may already be narrowed due to atherosclerosis, could narrow even more.

hdlcholesteroltreatments

Moreover the restriction of blood flow to vital organs implies the brain may not receive the optimal circulation it needs.

How dangerous are energy drinks?

The study was conducted by scientists who looked at the endothelial lining of blood vessels in 44 healthy non-smoking students and found within 90 minutes of drinking a 24 oz energy drink the vessel dilation dropped from 5.1% in diameter to 2.8% in diameter.

Now energy drinks contain various levels of caffeine, as explained below.  But they also contain taurine, sugar, vitamins and other ingredients. This study did not look specifically at caffeine but energy drinks, so the authors can’t specify what’s the culprit.

Demi Moore – Maybe Energy Drinks Caused her Tooth Loss

Last year, however, a South Carolina high school student collapsed in class and later died from allegedly consuming an energy drink.  The coroner’s report, revealed cited caffeine as the cause.  The caffeine induced a cardiac arrhythmia, abnormal heart rhythm,  and 16-year old Davis Allen Cripe tragically died within an hour.

What’s shocking is the amount of caffeine he ingested was not very high.  According to Richland County Coroner Gary Watts, Cripe drank, within a two-hour period, a large Mountain Dew, an energy drink, and a cafe latte from McDonalds. The teen had no medical problems or family history of heart issues.

A large Mountain Dew contains 54 mg per 12 fluid oz.  So a 20 oz drink would be close to 100 mg caffeine.

Energy drinks, depending on the brand, contain approximately 80 mg of caffeine per can.

A cafe latte from McDonalds, medium size, contains 142 mg of caffeine.

This in total would equal approximately 320 mg of caffeine ingested within a two-hour period.

The lethal dose of caffeine in adults range from 150-200 mg/ kg body weight.  So a 70 kg adult could consume a toxic level of caffeine at 10 grams (10,000 mg).

So 320 mg of caffeine is well below the toxic level.  But what caffeine could do could be the more dangerous part.

Caffeine has been known to induce arrhythmias.  It’s a stimulant, hence it can affect the heart’s electrical conductivity that manages the organ’s pumping  action.  Once the electricity is disrupted, the heart muscle fails to have a predictable, rhythmic stimulation, hence cannot pump effectively.

Caffeine also causes vasoconstriction, so blood flow to the heart could be compromised, potentially inducing a heart attack.

In 2014, researchers from Barcelona found energy drinks to be linked to rare cases of heart attack and arrhythmia.

A cup of coffee averages 95mg of caffeine whereas an energy drink contains 80mg.  But the latter is consumed much quicker than a hot cup of Joe that needs to be sipped, hence the consumer takes in a larger load of caffeine in a shorter amount of time.  This could be too much too fast for the heart.

The following is a chart of average caffeine content in common drinks:

image.jpg

Image from Business Insider

 

I can’t convince everyone to reach for a piece of broccoli rather than an energy drink when in need of a boost, but at the very least we should deter use by children and teens, and educate those with vulnerable hearts, blood pressure, diabetes, kidney and liver issues that an energy drink may not be the wisest beverage choice.

 

 

dw sketch.jpg

 

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

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