Posted in Health, news, Politics, Uncategorized

Trump on Tape:  Is this the End of “Locker Room Banter”.

The circus that is this presidential campaign has just added a new act:  Trump’s 2005 hot mic recording of a conversation between he and Today Show host, Billy Bush.  Donald Trump was having a conversation with the then Access Hollywood’s host, who is the nephew of President George H.W. Bush, as well as others as he was driving to a TV set for a soap opera cameo.

The discussion centered around Trump’s attempt to have sex with a married woman and the ability to do “anything” with women because of his stardom. It concluded with provocative descriptions of the soap actress coming up the bus to meet the two and then Trump and Billy Bush exiting the bus aware of greeting cameras and crew.


The video was released the same day Wikileaks released thousands more of Hillary Clinton’s private emails and speech transcripts.

Donald Trump responded to the 2005 video with the following. “This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course – not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”

Hence we have the discussion of “locker room banter”.  This term is a colloquial phrase used to describe guys in the locker room discussing, bragging, describing, judging, and critiquing girls and their body parts.  Its been glorified in movies and appears to be a rite of passage for any male who takes a PE class or plays a sport.   Guys have a “code”, and no one tells us girls if we were spoken about.  But we know.  We’ve always known.  Many of us are disgusted by this behavior and some of us, intrigued.  But no one publicly knows the content or substance of the conversations that occur because of “the code”.

The video with Donald Trump’s hot mic, however, allowed women to peer over the shower stall and listen in. And as expected, it was lewd, crass, and filled with exaggerations.   Unfortunately men talk about women. and women about men, like this all too often. So why the shock?

Firstly, we’re reminded of it when we don’t want to be. No one wants to think about Donald Trump drooling over a woman or trying to get her to sleep with him. We especially don’t want to hear him discuss our private parts.  As with Bill Clinton,  even if Donald Trump is 100% correct about the former President’s alleged locker room banter on the golf course, we don’t want to hear or think about that either.   Presidents and presidential candidates are not suppose to appear human.  They eat, poop, have sex, drool, pass gas, size up women etc. true, but we don’t want those images coming into our minds. We like to think of our leaders as superhuman. They aren’t, in any shape, way or form, but nevertheless, we want to think of them with a cape. And we’d like our enemies to imagine them formidably as well.

Secondly, we’re reminded that the “mic” can always be on.  Over the last decade we’ve come to realize that NOTHING is private.  Our emails, phone conversations, dorm room, etc. can be on camera at any moment.  People can hack into baby monitors and spy on our infants for pete’s sake.  We’re getting more and more paranoid that someone is always listening and watching.

Thirdly, what you say 11 years ago or even 20 years ago can come back to haunt you.  Locker room banter, marketing meetings, marital fights, coworker play can all come back to haunt you in the future, so you mentally retrace every conversation you’ve ever had and pray nothing embarrassing was recorded or remembered.

So is locker room banter going away anytime soon?  Nope.  As much as we’d like it to its in our blood.  As long as sexual attraction exists, someone is going to be in the center of a small crowd describing their muse to slobbering bystanders.

What will change, however, is the image of our leaders.  Listening to their lewdness, reading their emails, and discovering all we’re discovering about our candidates makes us sick and causes us to lose trust and respect.  Any leader who isn’t trusted nor respected, cannot succeed.  So what happens when we remove the sheep’s clothing?  Will anyone be electable?

The politician is human.  The human is an animal.  Therefore politicians are animals.  Its a breed we may never understand.  Maybe we should discuss this instead the next time we’re in a locker room…..

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

Posted in Health, news, Uncategorized

When should you check your PSA for prostate cancer?

Ben Stiller encourages early screening as he reveals he had “aggressive prostate cancer”.

By Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP

Physicians, such as myself, took a lot of heat over the last decade when we would offer middle-aged men a PSA, prostate specific antigen test, to screen for prostate cancer. We were accused of ordering “unnecessary tests” and urged to not to offer the test as “prostate cancer grows too slowly anyhow.”  This was frustrating to say the least and we turned to the US Preventative Services Task Force for clarification.

After extensive review, in 2012 the USPSTF recommended AGAINST screening for prostate cancer. Their assessment was as follows:

USPSTF Assessment
Although the precise, long-term effect of PSA screening on prostate cancer–specific mortality remains uncertain, existing studies adequately demonstrate that the reduction in prostate cancer mortality after 10 to 14 years is, at most, very small, even for men in what seems to be the optimal age range of 55 to 69 years. There is no apparent reduction in all-cause mortality. In contrast, the harms associated with the diagnosis and treatment of screen-detected cancer are common, occur early, often persist, and include a small but real risk for premature death. Many more men in a screened population will experience the harms of screening and treatment of screen-detected disease than will experience the benefit. The inevitability of overdiagnosis and overtreatment of prostate cancer as a result of screening means that many men will experience the adverse effects of diagnosis and treatment of a disease that would have remained asymptomatic throughout their lives. Assessing the balance of benefits and harms requires weighing a moderate to high probability of early and persistent harm from treatment against the very low probability of preventing a death from prostate cancer in the long term.
The USPSTF concludes that there is moderate certainty that the benefits of PSA-based screening for prostate cancer do not outweigh the harms.

Many medical providers did agree that false positives and some types of prostate cancer treatment could inflict risks that outweighed the benefits of universal screening, but finding and treating the early aggressive prostate cancer cases was a goal that could not be ignored.  But the USPSTF guidelines were generally accepted.  Subsequently, insurance companies and employer-subsidized physicals stopped paying for the screening PSA and many men stopped requesting the test.

Fortunately, one 46 year old man DID REQUEST the PSA test, and his physician found it necessary to repeat the tests later in the year to see if it continued to rise. When the levels rose, his physician recommended a prostate biopsy.  To the actor’s shock, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.  Ben Stiller reported he had his prostate removed a few months later by robotic assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, and is now cancer free.

He states, regarding his physician,

“If he had waited, as the American Cancer Society recommends, until I was 50, I would not have known I had a growing tumor until two years after I got treated,” 
“If he had followed the US Preventive Services Task Force guidelines, I would have never gotten tested at all, and not have known I had cancer until it was way too late to treat successfully.”

Now the American Cancer Society does recommend prostate cancer screening, but does so with these recommendations:

  • Age 50 for men who are at average risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years.
  • Age 45 for men at high risk of developing prostate cancer. This includes African Americans and men who have a first-degree relative (father, brother, or son) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than age 65).
  • Age 40 for men at even higher risk (those with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age).

After this discussion, men who want to be screened should be tested with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. The digital rectal exam (DRE) may also be done as a part of screening.

If, after this discussion, a man is unable to decide if testing is right for him, the screening decision can be made by the health care provider, who should take into account the man’s general health preferences and values.

If no prostate cancer is found as a result of screening, the time between future screenings depends on the results of the PSA blood test:

  • Men who choose to be tested who have a PSA of less than 2.5 ng/mL may only need to be retested every 2 years.
  • Screening should be done yearly for men whose PSA level is 2.5 ng/mL or higher.

So a case such as Ben Stiller’s could have been missed without his and his physician’s persistence.

So when should one follow the “guidelines” and when should one follow his instinct?  Here’s how I break it down…..

Firstly, the USPSTF and American Cancer Society’s guidelines, are just that…guidelines. These are recommendations based on multiple studies and years of data and although are accepted by the medical community, are not meant to be the “law”.   Even though the guidelines deter insurance companies from covering and many medical providers from ordering the test, patients can still ask their physician to order a PSA and make a case to their insurance company if needed.

Secondly, every one is an individual.  We all may not follow the norm.  Depending on our age (over age 50), ethnicity (higher risk for African Americans), geography, family history and gene mutations (such as BRAC1 and 2) we may individually be at a higher risk for cancer.  Moreover studies are investigating if our diet, tobacco use, chemical exposures (such as Agent Orange), employment (such as firefighters), or surgical procedures (such as vasectomies) could put us at increased risk as well.  These all need to be taken into account and discussed with our medical providers.

Thirdly, if an insurance company does not cover a test, this does not imply the exam is not necessary.  Although most insurance companies will cover a basic physical, we as consumers may have to come out of pocket if we want additional tests.  The insurance company does not dictate what a human body needs.  Its job is to provide coverage, so one must not assume “if an insurance company doesn’t pay for it, its not necessary”.

Fourthly, tests come with risks.  False positives can start an expensive cascade of testing and at times painful procedures.  Treatments for cancer are not easy and without risks either, and we must use caution with many tests that “screen for cancer” and understand that screening and treatment are not “risk free”.

Finally, a single blood test should not diagnose cancer. A baseline PSA is just that, a baseline.  Even though a normal PSA can run from 0 -4.0 (nanograms per milliliter),   a subsequent PSA demonstrating a rise of 0.5 per year could be concerning.  So if a patient has a level of  1.4 ng/ml one year and the next year 3.2 ng/ml, that would be a little more concerning than one who is 3.4 ng/ml one year and 3.4 ng/ml the next.


What happened to Ben Stiller was a rare case, being that he was in his 40’s and diagnosed with an aggressive prostate cancer. This however was not a “fluke”.  Men in their 40’s, can face a very small risk of prostate cancer.  This case should not cause anyone to panic and storm their doctor’s clinic to get screened but instead should serve as a reminder that cancer may have a mind of its own and not want to follow the “guidelines”.   So we strategize…..

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





Posted in Health, news, Uncategorized

Today’s Health Headlines


Study finds doctors may approach health topics differently based on their political views


In this small study from Yale, physicians, based on their political beliefs, approached topics of marijuana, abortion, gun safety and other topics differently with their patients


Breasts “eat themselves” after breastfeeding

Well not exactly, but in this one study they found after women finish breast feeding, the cells become debris and our breasts, having the Rac1 gene, remove this debris


FDA warns against homeopathic teething products

The FDA announced they are investigating reports of seizures in infants who used homeopathic or “natural” teething products

Posted in Uncategorized

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

Don’t gripe.  We’ve done pretty well in season’s past.  Here we go! Picks in bold.


Thursday night BENGALS vs Dolphins – Groin and Concussions sink the Dolphins


COLTS vs Jaguars: Hamstring

PANTHERS vs Falcons: groin injury

RAIDERS vs Ravens

LIONS vs. Bears

TITANS vs Texans

PATRIOTS vs Bills: Bills report a groin injury

Seahawks vs JETS

Browns vs REDSKINS: this was tight. both had groin and hamstring injuries

BRONCOS vs Buccaneers

RAMS vs Cardinals

SAINTS vs Chargers

COWBOYS vs 49ers: appeared to tie with hamstring, but 49ers had a hip injury

CHIEFS vs Steelers

Giants vs VIKINGS: Groin and concussion injury sink the Giants

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

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


Reviewing the NFL Injury report ( and using the Dr. Daliah methods (described below), one arrives at the following picks (winner predicted in bold and in caps):

CARDINALS vs Bills:  The Bills had a groin injury

VIKINGS – Panthers: The Panthers have hamstring injuries

BRONCOS vs. Bengals: close one but the hamstring injury among the Bengels gives it to the Broncos

LIONS vs Packers:  groin and concussion injuries hurt the Packers

RAVENS vs Jaguars :  A concussion sinks the Jaguars

BROWNS vs Dolphins: Miami’s groin injury sinks them

GIANTS vs Redskins:  Again, someone’s groin injury hurts the whole entire team

TITANS vs Raiders:  Two concussions and a groin injury can’t be ignored

SEAHAWKS vs 49’s:  San Francisco reports a concussion

RAMS vs Buccaneers:  This one’s close but the hip injury sinks Tampa Bay

STEELERS vs Eagles:  This one’s close but we have to follow the hamstring injury

CHARGERS vs Colts:  Again, tight but the Colts report a concussion

JETS vs Chiefs:  Ehinger’s concussion can’t be ignored

COWBOYS vs Bears:  Two concussions make this a Dallas win

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

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


For years I’ve been dissecting the NFL Injury Report and predicting who would win during the playoffs and Superbowl. When you’re a doctor who loves football, its not that difficult.

So my success has prompted me to make the risky move of posting my strategy and results.  There are varying levels of theory, just like layers of the epidermis.  And each deeper layer of prediction should confirm the simpler ones.  But if I can’t scientifically deduce the winner, I wing it.

Method 1 – Number game

Let’s take for example Thursday night’s game between the Jets and the Bills.  According the NFL injury report, there were 6 injuries reported for the Jets and 8 for the Bills.  A novice may just say 6 is less than 8 so the Jets will win.  But as a physician, this is not good enough.   We need to also look at the types of injuries.

Method 2 – Anatomy counts

According to the NFL Injury report, the Jets sustained injuries to the calf, foot, shoulders and ankle.  The Bills sustained injuries to the foot, ankle, knee, shoulder, but also hamstring.  Yes, Kevon Seymor’s hamstring injury is very telling. Why?

Think about when you were playing football.  If you hurt a finger you still played.  If you sprained your knee, you toughed it out. But what happened when you sustained a groin injury.  You were leveled.  Probably couldn’t even get up.  So any injury involving the groin is physically devastating for a player, and from a psychological standpoint, the whole team.

If a groin injury specifically is not incurred and reported by the NFL injury report, then you look at the injuries closest to the groin.  A head injury is also very concerning so that will come after groin.  Hence the scale from most devastating to least in terms of injured body parts listed is:

Groin < head < hip< < glute < quad < hamstring  < abdomen < chest < knee < shoulder < calf < arm < ankle < foot < wrist < hand < finger < toe.  

The Bill’s hamstring injury is closer to the groin than any other injury hence the team wasn’t looking very good for Thursday night’s game.

If specific injuries are not listed, we can sometimes count how many did not participate in practice.

Method 3 – Colors 

In case of a tie….meaning both teams sustained equal numbers of groin injuries or subsequent proximal body parts, we look to the main colors of the Jersey.  Black, Blue, Green and Yellow will fare worse than White and Red, Brown. In medicine, Black may happen with necrosis, Blue is associated with hypoxia, Green- mucous, Yellow – gonorrhea.  White and Red are fairly routine and healthy colors in medicine (bones and blood).  Silver and Purple are colors that are fairly neutral as we usually don’t see those colors on a routine basis in medicine unless with hair.

Therefore, the color scale from most problematic to least is:

Black < Blue < Yellow < Green < Orange < Purple < Silver < White < Red.

Again this is only used if predictions cannot be made due to an anatomical tie.  Again I must stress we do not use the color method unless we are unable to predict using the NFL injury report.

With Thursday night’s game, the Jets wore white and the Bills wore blue.   But despite this method, the Bills were at a disadvantage with the hamstring injury all along.

So what will happen this Sunday?  Let’s use what we learned to predict the winners!!

(9 out of 14 not too bad……..)

49’s vs. Panthers  

3 Ankle injuries and 1 Hamstring vs. 1 Ankle Injury and 1 Hamstring

Prediction:  Panthers


Raven’s vs. Browns

I see a thigh injury for the Ravens and all the Brown’s participated in practice

Prediction:  Browns


Titans vs. Lions

2 Hamstring injuries vs. none listed.  We will have to assume that the Lions did not have such heavy weighted injures.

Prediction:  Lions


Chiefs vs. Texans

No injuries vs 1 knee and 1 calf injury

Prediction:  Chiefs


Dolphins vs. Patriots

1 Hamstring, 2 Knees and 1 ankle vs. none listed

Prediction:  Patriots


Saints vs. Giants

Two quad inujries vs. 1 illness and 1 shoulder

Prediction:  Giants


Bengals vs. Steelers

2 Ankles vs foot, ankle, knees

Prediction:  Bengals


Cowboys vs. Redskins

1 Achilles, 2 Back, 1 Groin vs. 1 Groin, 1 Achilles, 1 Rib and 1 Glute (Glute is in the tushee, devastating)

Prediction:  Cowboys


Buccaneers vs Cardinals

The hamstring injury sinks the Buccaneers

Prediction:  Cardinals


Seahawks vs Rams

1 ankle vs 2 thigh injuries

Prediction: Seahawks


Colts vs Broncos

Concussion and Hamstring vs. ankle and hip, and others

Prediction:  Broncos


Falcons vs. Raiders

The Raiders had both a groin and concussion injury. not good

Prediction: Falcons


Jaguars vs. Chargers

Hamstring and “not injury related” vs. Hamstring.  Hmm. Something’s up so….

Prediction: Chargers


Packers vs. Vikings

A concussion was incurred by a panther’s player vs a Viking’s hip injury.

Prediction: Vikings


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

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

Posted in Uncategorized

Health Headlines

Tuesday September 13


Youth soccer injuries double

Although soccer is becoming more popular, emergency rooms and finding surges of young players (below age 17) presenting with concussions.


Teen hunger increases risky behavior

7 million teens suffer from “food insecurity” and may be driven to dangerous behaviors including selling drugs and sex.

Gentle light waves may replace defibrillators

A new technique using gentle pulses of light could eventually replace the electrical-shocking defibrillator.  Researchers found by implanting genetically engineered cells that respond to light they could “shock” them with light waves.


Lunes, Monday September 12

globulo or celula de sangre – blood cell

Junk food damages blood cells

Scientists found those with a high burger and bun diet had more than double the red blood cells with cancer-linked mutations.  Diets rich in antioxidants appear to help our red blood cells.

A vaccine for thrush is in the works

The NDV-3 vaccine has shown good results in human trials and appears safe.  This would be indicated for those with chronic thrush.

4th person carrying a worrysome superbug is a child

In this case she was infected with another pathogen that caused her to have travelers diarrhea but upon culture she was found to also carry the E. Coli with the mcr-1 gene (allowing the bacteria to be drug resistant to the strongest of antibiotics).  How these patients are picking up and becoming colonized by the drug resistant bacteria is being investigated.

Viernes, Friday September 9th

El calmante, sedativo, sedante – sedative
Close to 1/2 of all Americans take a sedative, pain killer or stimulant
And the majority of these are prescription medications.   Some take stimulants during the day and then need a sedative at night.  We need to be wary of their medication soup.
1 in 22 college students smoke marijuana close to daily
Many students felt pot was safer than alcohol and admitted to becoming stoned more often.  I guess it makes English 101 more tolerable.
Exercises decreases risk of alcohol related death
150 minutes of weekly exercised appeared to “wipe out” the risk of cancer associated with alcohol and lower all-cause mortality.  I’m not buying this completely but it doesn’t hurt to still maintain a healthy lifestyle


Jueves, Thursday September 8th

latido del corazon irregular – irregular heartbeat

Atrial Fibrillation can affect other body parts, including the kidneys

This makes sense.  A Fib can affect multiple parts of the body and in this study they found a 5 fold increase in heart failure and patients were 1.6 times more likely to have kidney disease (though that could be due to underlying blood pressure issues )

Health care providers may be spending more time on EHR than actually talking to patients.
It’s a definitely a trick to balance good documentation and spending proper time with the patient.  “After a total of 430 observed hours for the group, researchers from the American Medical Association found that 29 percent of total work time was spent talking with patients or other staff members and another 49 percent was spent on electronic record keeping and desk work.

Alcohol dependence could be reversed by treating brain cells

I’ve never seen a drunk mouse, but in this study they let rats self administer alcohol and then inactiviated brain cells in their amygdyla.  The rats forgot if they wanted alcohol or not.  Could have some cool applicatons in humans.

un monton de noticias de hoy – a lot of news today 

Miercoles, Wednesday siete de Septiembre 
Frequent sex in older men found to increase risk of heart attack and stroke
Interestingly, in this study the sex had to be reported as “enjoyable”.  So my hubby doesn’t have anything to worry about.  For women, however, there was a health benefit!  Yee-hah!!
Electric fans may actually hurt, and not help elderly during extreme heat
Elderly people respond to heat differently and the decreased amount of sweating may be vital for their cooling process.  In this study they found higher heart rates and higher core temperatures in older individuals tested with an electric fan.

Zika found to hang out in tears
In animal studies they found that Zika spread to the eyes.  Could be another source of infection, so don’t share contact lenses.
WHO recommends extending safe sex practices in Zika affected areas to 6 months
Obviously this is response to Zika hanging around longer in bodily fluids than we thought

Cesarean birth linked to higher obesity than siblings born vaginally
Children born by C-section  were 64% more likely to become obese than their vaginally delivered siblings.  It could be a link to mothers requiring C-section if they have gestational diabetes.  My guess, the obstacle course needed to get out burns more calories than we think……..
Vitamin D Supplements reduce severity of asthma attacks

Although it didn’t improve the strength of the lungs, supplements of Vitamin D (not only sunlight) appeared to help to decrease the number of hospitalizations and ER visits in asthmatics.

Martes, Tuesday September 6th

 sistema inmunológico – immune system

Doing Crossfit two days in a row could be hazardous to your health

A day of recovery in between workouts may be recommended to prevent suppression of immune function

Montelukast, Singular asthma medications for children may induce psychotic episodes

Of the many side effects reported, depression and suicidal thoughts were among them.

One in three heart attacks are misdiagnosed initially

This study found 1/3 of people with STEMI (ST elevation Myocardial Infarction) or NSTEMI (Non-ST elevation Myocardial Infarction) to be misdiagnosed initially, moreso if they were female, older in age, or suffering from heart failure.

Viernes, Friday September 2

reducir el dolor – to reduce the pain (can also use desminuir el dolor)

Yoga and acupuncture proven to reduce pain

And spinal manipulation, tai chi, and massage.  They studied what we already knew 🙂

As Zika cases rise so appears cases of Guillain-Barre 

This study reinforces the link between the two, and also stresses the urgent need for a vaccine.
Although sex after heart attacks usually can be safe, patients are not warned or prepared for the sexual dysfunction that may occur

Jueves, Thursday September 1

un vaso de vino – a glass of wine (not vase!)

A large glass of wine a night could decrease fertility

Don’t throw out the birth control yet.  This study looked at wine and beer and its affects on fertility, decreasing it by 18% if 2 beers or a large glass wine was drunk per day. They believe its interfering with hormones and some are hinting at damage to the baby egg.

Tranquilizers and opioids – a deadly mix

Sedatives/anti-anxiety medications such as the benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium) could be deadly when mixed with a narcotic/opioid, a common occurrence in overdoses.

New “game-changing” drug may stop Alzheimer’s progression

Aducanumab antibody injections were found to break up and induce removal of amyloid-beta proteins that deposit in the brain.

1 in 6 younger Americans want to die before age 80

Study authors think its because many have negative views about old age.  Ya think?  I’ve got plans……Sitting on the couch reading my Robbins.


Miercoles, Wednesday August 31, 2016

recomendaciones – recommendations
WHO updates recommendations on how to treat “nearly untreatable” gonorrhea
The WHO advises against fluroquinolones and recommends the combination of azithromycin and ceftriaxone.  If either used alone, they warn it could increase gonorrhea’s resistance.

Taking statins for high cholesterol found to reduce erectile dysfunction by 43%
We know that erectile dysfunction can be a sign of coronary artery dysfunction.  But this study surprised researchers by finding a huge improvement in ED symptoms in those subjects who took statins for three months.

Ebola virus found to hide out in semen for over 16 months

In one man, the virus was found to persist in his semen for 565 days.  This is not the first evidence of persistence of the Ebola virus, but this new finding will change the recommendations on safe sex practices  after an Ebola infection.

Martes, Tuesday August 30, 2016

seguro para el corazon – safe for the heart

E-cigs NOT safer for the heart than regular cigarettes

In this small study, researchers measured aortic stiffness after vaping vs tobacco and found vaping for 30 minutes resulted in the same cardiovascular changes as 5 minutes of cigarette smoking.

Researchers identify the first US bacteria strain with “superbug genes”

These are mobile genes that allow it to become  resistant to multiple antibiotics including “last resort” antibiotics such as colistin and carbapenem .

Zika update:  Mosquitoes can infect their offspring with Zika

Mommy Aedes Agyptii mosquitoes can infect the baby eggs with Zika, hence exterminating just the mosquitos flying around may not do the trick.

Drugs used to fight cancer and hepatitis C may kill Zika
In petri dish “mini-brains” these drugs showed some promise fighting off the virus and/or slowing Zika damage.

Lunes, Monday August 29, 2016

apnea del sueno, or apnea del dormir – sleep apnea

CPAP machines may not help those with sleep apnea prevent heart attack or stroke

This was shocking in that the stress hypoxia invokes on the heart has been proven in the past to increase heart and stroke risk.  However they think that maybe in this study the test subjects didn’t wear the CPAP long enough or maybe heart disease is usually so far advanced that CPAP, once sleep apnea is diagnosed, may be too little too late.  CPAP is still vital in sleep apnea treatment and more studies may need to consider earlier intervention.

Increase in boys being born with genital disorders in the UK
Reports are surfacing that hypospadias, cryptochidism, and drops in sperm counts may be due to exposure to chemicals in foods and plastics.

FDA Recommends all blood donations get screened for Zika

A good move to prevent Zika transmission, as 4/5 people with Zika decline having symptoms, but blood banks now need to brace for more of a drop in donations and pints that satisfy criteria to be sent to hospitals


Viernes, Friday August 26

pastilla – pill

Insulin in pill form may be coming soon

Researchers think they found a way to help the insulin withstand the harsh stomach acid by using a trademarked lipid vesicle to encapsulate the pill.

Cancer set to surpass heart disease as leading cause of death

Many people are still affected with heart disease, but because we health care providers are so damn good at intervention and prevention (with cholesterol and diabetes treatments) less percentage are dying from it than once did.

Zika was found to hid out in the vagina and also live in baby’s bloodstream for longer than originally thought. Originally researchers thought Zika would die within a week of infection. Now they are finding it to persist longer (in semen possibly 6 months) and wonder if babies could become infected during birth.

Jueves, Thursday August 25

Corazon – heart

Those diagnosed with asthma later in life have increased risk of heart disease

In this study early onset asthma was not linked to heart disease. They believe it could be linked to air pollution and declining lung function.

Staying slim prevents 8 types of cancer

These include liver, gall bladder, meningioma, multiple myeloma, pancreas, stomach, ovary and thyroid.

The older we get, the happier we get

Now you know why I’m smiling all the time.  We also seem to stress less about the little things.


Miercoles, Wednesday August 24

Gemelos – twins

Twins found to have a longer lifespan

Many of us don’t like our siblings. but we may want to get along with them.  In  this study, one’s close relationship with their twin helps them live longer. And identical twins were found to live longer than fraternal twins who lived longer than the rest of us.

MRI’s show Zika damages fetal brains far beyond microcephaly.

The damage appeared to leave a calcification in an unusual location of the brain and this could be “stamp” to help identify early Zika infection.


Martes, Tuesday August 23

Azucar – sugar

AHA recommends children consume no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day

The American Heart Assoication also recommends children under 2 receive NO added sugar, and teens drink no more than ONE 8 oz sugary drink per WEEK

Hating one’s job in their 20’s may mean poor health in their 40’s

In this study as job satisfaction increased, so did the effects on health.

Having dense breasts may warrant annual mammograms

This study suggest tailor screening for women a better opton as those with higher breast density and higher risk of breast cancer may benefit from screening more often than what’s recommended by the US Task Force.

Lunes, Monday August 22
Piojos – Lice
“Super Lice” present in 48 states
These lice are “super” because they have become resistant to standard treatments.  They are no more infectious than other lice.

Yellow Fever epidemic has killed 400 in Africa

Due to a vaccination shortage, a new epidemic has emerged through Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  It also has spread to Kenya and China.   Yellow fever is also mosquito transmitted, potentially fatal, causing injury to the liver (hence jaundice – “yellow”) and the kidneys.
Many of us did this on call despite the risks, but the CDC reminds us how lack of proper washing, sleeping in our contact lenses and multiple other bad habits can cause keratitis, corneal scarring and/or corneal ulceration.

Viernes, Friday August 19

Calculos biliares  or  piedras de visicula – gallstones

Having gallstones linked to higher risk of heart disease

In this study, researchers looked at 250,000 US adults and found that those with gallstones had a 17% increase risk of heart disease.  Risk factors for both are shared, such as obesity, type II diabetes and high cholesterol, so not too big a surprise.

Zika may affect adult brains as well

Again not shocking, but in this study the researchers looked at mice and found Zika to affect both adult and fetal neural stem cells.  They theorize that infection of these cells may be related to some of the Guillain-Barre cases.

Fatty fish may lower the risk of diabetic retinopathy

Two servings of fatty fish a week was found to lower the risk of diabetic retinopathy, which can cause blindness.

Jueves, Thursday August 18

Tranfusion de sangre – blood transfusion

First cases of Zika transmission by blood transfusion reported in Brazil

The donor had alerted the blood bank when he developed symtpoms two days later of rash and fever, but the blood was already processed and delivered to two hospital patients, both of which subsequently tested and found positive for the same strain.

Calcium supplements linked to higher risk of dementia in some women

Over the years, calcium supplements have received a bad rap in that they’ve been found to increase heart attacks, kidney stones, “early death” and now dementia (increased risk by 2X).  Though nutritional intake of calcium is not associated with the same risks, many women don’t get enough calcium to protect their bones.  More research needs to be done.

Being anemic at time of stroke increases risk of death

Not too big a surprise. This was found to be the case in both thrombotic and hemorrhagic stroke.  But it reminds us to try to correct an anemia if possible and even better, prevent a stroke.

MIercoles, Wednesday August 17

edad – age

Latinos age “slower” than other ethnicities

This UCLA study found that despite the increase risk of diabetes, Latinos have a “30% lower risk of death” and a longer life expectancy than other racial groups.  Felicidades!

“Game of Thrones” Heroin hits the streets

Officials believe this potentially lethal drug, that has caused overdoses in the Northeast, is heroin laced with fentanyl.  Tyrion Lannister would be intrigued…….

Having Malaria may help Ebola victims survive

Researchers found in this study those with malaria when infected with Ebola has a 20% less chance of dying.  One theory is the parasite that causes malaria may help boost the immune system.


Martes, Tuesday August 16

Fuerza – strength

Today’s men are not as strong as their dads

This study found millennial’s grip and pinch strength to be 20 pounds  of force less than men of the 1980s.  MacGyver was so rad…..

Taking acetaminophen during pregnancy could increase child’s risk of ADHD.

The main ingredient in Tylenol has been the go-to medication for pregnant women for pain due to its safety profile. Now a study links acetaminophen to increase risk of emotional and behavioral issues in the children if taken during pregnancy.

Viruses are more infectious in the morning

This study found viruses to be 10X more successful if they infected their host in the am implying our body clock can affect our susceptibility to pathogens.

Sitting too long increases risk of heart disease and diabetes
Compared to the 1960’s, only 20% of jobs now require activity.  And many of us sit 6-8 hours a day.  The AHA recommends we get off our tushees.

Lunes, Monday August 15

Botella de agua – bottle of water

Refillable water bottles could be dirtier than our “toilet seat” or dog’s mouth “toy”

In this study they found the average CFU/sq cm (colony forming units per square cm) of bacteria to be over 300K lurking in a reusable water bottle with slide tops topping 900 K. They harbored gram positive cocci, and stainless steel is recommended over plastic.

9/11 Ground Zero linked cancer cases triple in less than 3 years

The WTC program has been monitoring and treating more than 48,000 people who survived or responded to the 9/11 attacks and an additional 16,000 are apart of a program with the NY fire department.  As of the end of June 2016, 5440 people have been diagnosed with over 6300 cases of cancer, some more than one type.

Babies born addicted to opioids has risen 300% in 15 years

The babies are born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) and experience seizures, respiratory difficulties, vomiting, diarrhea, irritability and feeding difficulties.

Viernes, Friday August 12

parapléjico – paraplegic

paralisis – paralysis

Robotic “exoskeleton” helps paraplegics gain mobility

Through virtual reality training – researchers were able to help 8 paralyzed individuals regain some sensation and movement, although they couldn’t support their own legs.

Zika found to live in semen for at least 6 months

Two men infected with Zika were found to still have it present in their semen 181-188 days after initial infection.  So if the CDC recommendations are to abstain or use condoms for 6 months (under the assumption it could last for  90  days) someone needs to update the memo.

WHO recommends 12 1/2 hours of moderate exercise a week

The 150 minutes a week previously recommended may be way to little.  They recommend to combat heart disease, stroke amd cancer (breast, colon) and diabetes, we should be exercising moderately 12-18 hours a week or 6-8 hours of vigours exercise a week.

Jueves, Thursday August 11

Los dientes – the teeth

Brushing our teeth may help reduce risk of colon cancer

This study finds the fusobacterium that colonize the mouth and worsen gum disease, may travel to the colon and worsen tumors or polyps and accelerate the growth.

Increased risk of suicide in those who suffered a “serious” infection

Those hospitalized for hepatitis or HIV infection appeared to be at highest risk.  Reminds us to ensure not only medical servcies available upon discharge but also mental health servcies.

Apathy seems to a huge obstacle to fighting Zika

Recently a report out of Puerto Rico revealed that residents felt Zika was “just another tropical disease.”.  Now with Florida reporting 22 local cases, officials are on “high alert” while a poll shows 65% of Americans are “not at all worried”.

MIercoles, Wednesday August 10

Pierna – leg

Brazo – arm

Zika infection during pregnancy linked to limb deformities of the baby
Seven babies with suspected Zika infection presented with arthrogyposis, a deformity of “crooked joints” where the muscles develop incorrectly causing contractures and lack of mobility of fingers, wrist, elbow, ankles, knees, hips, etc.  Most of these babies also presented with microcephaly.

Drunkorexia: skipping meals to save calories for binge drinking

40% of young adults admitted to doing this, putting them at risk for alcohol intoxication and malnutrition.

Researchers identified the protein cryptochrome, which represses the inflammatory pathway when we sleep, possibly leading to new ways to treat arthritis.


Martes, Tuesday August 9th

Fuma Ud? – Do you smoke?

Ciagarillos – cigarettes

Marijuana – marijuana and other slang terms


More than 33 million Americans admit to smoking marijuana
This number is double over the last three years, but then again, as states legalize marijuana use, more may feel comfortable to admit it.  But what’s interesting is 40 million people smoke cigarettes, so future trends see marijuana surpassing cigarette use.

Botox may travel to other parts of the body
Although I’m a fan of 2-for-1 deals, this is concerning because, well its a toxin.  Researchers are now considering finding an agent that “stays put”.
Students who played online video games daily appeared to perform better in math, reading and science, though a direct cause could not be established.


Lunes, Monday August 8th

Pulmones – lungs

Heavy drinking increases LUNG problems

In this study they found heavy drinkers had less nitric oxide in their exhalations.  Nitric oxide protects the lungs against harmful bacteria.

1 in 4 people share sexts

One would think its common sense that anything texted/posted/sexted could be made public, but this article highlights that 25% of sexts can be shared and males are more likely to share than females.

New asthma pill shows promise

This one targets eosinophilic airway inflammation to prevent airway restriction.

Viernes, Friday August 5

Obesidad – obesity

Peso – weight

Obesity ages the brain by 10 years

Yesterday we were told being underweight could be linked to Alzheimers. Today we’re told the brains of overweight people demonstrate white matter similar to individuals 10 years older. Since the font is smaller in this second study, I’ll go with this one.

Vitamin D found to drop when birth control stopped

Following Detroit women who took birth control, researchers it elevated their Vitamin D by 20% and dropped back to their baseline (which was in the low range) once the pill was stopped.  This suggests a link between Vitamin D and estrogen.
Although little information has been released regarding the mothers, we are told they contracted their Zika during travel.  13 babies thus far in the U.S. have been born with Zika-related birth defects.


Jueves, Thursday August 4

Vacuna – vaccine
Human trials for Zika vaccine begin this month
80 volunteers will receive the DNA-based vaccine at the end of this month and if all goes well with funding, phase 2 trials and FDA approval, we could have a vaccine available by early 2017, best case scenario.
Being “skinny”may increase risk of Alzheimer’s
As I eat my Ho-Ho, let me explain this one.  This study looked at individuals between 62 and 90 and those who were underweight appeared to be more at risk of having amyloid plaque buildup.  Much more research needs to be done on this as obesity has in the past been found to increase risk of Alzheimer’s.  Guess we have to be “just right”.
Sickle cell trait not linked to increase death
Most of us already knew this but one unique finding was having sickle cell trait increased risk of overexertion injury in soldiers.



MIercoles, Wednesday August 3

Impotencia – impotence,  or one can use Problemas con ereccion (Problems with erection)

Study finds no link between erectile dysfunction drugs and prostate cancer

Although a study last year found the phosphodiesterase inhibitors type 5 (PDE-5) to increase recurrence risk of prostate cancer, this study found no link to inducing it.

Douching nearly doubles the risk of ovarian cancer

And the risk seemed stronger in women without breast cancer in the family.  Researchers are unsure if it has to do with the chemicals disrupting the natural balance or an overgrowth of harmful bacteria

Women who have had both an appendectomy and their tonsils removed appear to be more fertile

I’m going to take stab at this one…..maybe its because chronically inflamed tonsils decrease the ability to become pregnant?  Ovaries like anesthesia?  I’m stumped….



Martes, Tuesday August 2

Carne – meat

We’re getting close to creating a blood test for “cancer”

In our professional career we wish to one day run a blood test and tell the patient if they have cancer, any cancer, or not.  Well researchers have come one step closer when they discovered 788 cancer biomarkers over a period of 5 years, which can help expedite diagnosis and treatment as they can specify which cancer they come from.

Animal protein deadly, plant protein healthy
This study shows an increase risk of death in those who consume red meat, but a decrease mortality in those who eat plant proteins such as legumes, nuts and whole-grain breads.  Yum.
Flu shot may not work as well in obese individuals
In a study in rats, lean rats who were vaccinated and exposed to severe flu did better than obese rats, and adjuvants may be needed to boost immune response.


Lunes, Monday August 1

Esta amamantando?  Are you Breast Feeding?
Zika spread by mosquito finally here in the US
Four Florida cases of Zika were not caused by sexual transmission nor travel from a Zika endemic area.  Florida officials are now testing local mosquitos and assuming the Zika-carrying mosquitos such as Aedes Agyptii are spreading the virus on our mainland.
Breastfeeding within an hour provides baby’s “first vaccine”
According to UNICEF, not only is the skin to skin contact and antibodies immediately health-rewarding but “delaying breastfeeding by two to 23 hours after birth increases the risk of dying in the first 28 days of life by 40 per cent. Delaying it by 24 hours or more increases that risk to 80 per cent.”

Cockroach milk – the next superfood
Who knew cockroaches lactate?  But researchers claim the milk of cockroaches are the most nutrient and calorically dense substance on the planet.

Viernes Friday July 29

Bienvenidos a los nuevos estudiantes!!!!   Welcome new students!

Second-hand marijuana could be worse for your heart and blood vessels than second- hand tobacco smoke

Researchers found blood vessels in rats  recuperated 3X slower when second hand marijuana was inhaled than tobacco smoke.  Our blood vessel function is similar to rats.

Many over-the- counter supplements have serious side effects
Consumer Reports found multiple potentially dangerous ingredients in OTC supplements such as green tea extract, herbal viagra, kava etc and highlight the serious side effects they can cause.
Bartenders may sustain phototoxic reactions when lime juice hits their skin while working out in the sun.  Many medications patients take can also produce photoallergic reactions and providers need to warn patients of these risks.

Jueves Thursday July 26th

Miscarriage – aborto espontanao, or aborto natural
Zika linked to miscarriage
Although we assumed the Zika virus could cause miscarriage, Dutch researchers investigated a case where the virus replicated in the fetal stem cells, and the CDC has reported two women in the US have miscarried after a Zika infection.

FDA warns us not to feed our dogs peanut butter, raw meat, raisins, and many other common foods.
Some peanut butter could contain the sugar substitute xylitol which can be deadly in dogs, fatty foods can cause Fluffy to get pancreatitis, and this article discusses many culprits.  We should also remind patients to pick up any dropped pills, i.e. Tylenol could be toxic to our dogs.

E-cigs release chemicals that are “possibly carcinogenic”

Last year we learned that the heating coil chemically changes the vapor to release formaldehyde.  In this article the researchers site propylene glycol and glycerin known to be “possibly carcinogenic” among 29 other chemicals that are inhaled with the electronic cigarette vapor.


Miercoles Wednesday July 25th
Epidemic – epidemia
Columbia announces Zika epidemic is “over”
Despite the fact Columbia had close to 100,000 cases and they are monitoring 17,000 current pregnant cases, the country is reporting its epidemic is “over” but is now entering an “endemic” period. This declaration eases up on the recommendation of women postponing pregnancy and they will continue to prepare for microcephaly births and watch for a resurgence.

FDA changes fluoroquinolone warnings due to side effects

Due to reports of nerve damage and tendon rupture, the FDA urges we don’t use medicines such as Cipro or Levaquin for sinusitis, bronchitis and UTI’s unless the infection is “serious”.
Man with first US double hand transplant 7 years ago wishes he never had it done
Although three subsequent patients appear to be doing better, this gentlemen, who lost his limbs in 1999 to sepsis, said he still can’t feel and use his hands and wishes he never had the procedure done.

Martes Tuesday July 24th

Binge-watching television could increase risk of death 

This study suggests an increase risk of pulmonary embolism after hours of watching internet streaming sites. So for those of us who need to catch up on Game of Thrones, take it one show at a time and move around.

Pediatric accidental ingestion of marijuana on the rise

The average child studied was 2 1/2 years old and symptoms reported included dizziness, agitation, lethargy, vomiting and seizures.  This has prompted legislation to child proof edible packaging.

Viagra may help slow down dementia
Whether its the increase blood flow to the brain, or increase in exercise, Sildenafil and Taldalafil may succeed where other dementia drugs did not.

Lunes Monday July 23

Whistle/buzz – Silbido/zumbido 

1 in 10 of us suffer from tinnitus

Ringing, buzzing, and chirping in the ears doesn’t just affect the elderly. It affects all age groups and for many lasts all day long.  Interestingly, our smart phones can help, providing “sound therapy”.
Smart drug “Provigil” may decrease effectiveness of birth control
Modafinil has been used by many to stay alert and help with concentration. But previous studies have found it to decrease creativity and others branded as “smart pills” such as Ritalin, may decrease short term memory.  They are also studying if it causes birth defects in pregnant women.  Hopefully this “smart pill” enhances one’s decision to use protection.
Personality change may be first sign of dementia
“Mild behavioral impairment” may be the first sign of dementia, including lack of interest, change in temperament, and short term memory loss.

Viernes Friday July 22

How much do you drink? –  Cuanto bebe? or you can ask Bebe Alcohol? Cuanto?

Even one glass of alcohol a day will increase risk of cancer
This study found alcohol increased risk of 7 types of cancer including (stomach, esophagus, colon, breast, liver, larynx, and oropharynx), with growing evidence surrounding prostate, skin and pancreatic cancer.
Sorry for the buzzkill this weekend 🙂
Light smokers are 3X more at risk for hemorrhagic stroke.
And heavy smokers were found to be 8X more at risk of subarachnoid hemorrhage.


Jueves Thursday July 21

Stitches (sutures)puntos (or you can use suturas)

Smart sutures could give providers medical information from healing wound

If our wounds could talkl!!!  Tufts University researchers develop biocompatible threads that can measure pH, temperature, strain, stress of a healing wound as well as other markers such as glucose. The applications of this could be infinite.

First Zika case in Florida that might have come from infected mosquito

Most of the cases reported in the US are people infected from Zika after travel or by sexual contact.  Neither might have occurred in this Florida patient, hence suggesting Zika carrying mosquitos may be in Florida.

Asthma could be prevented and /or “cured” with new gene discovery
 Researchers explain ADAM33 is a gene that makes an enzyme that can “go rogue” and trigger airway inflammation.  Switching this gene off could potentially prevent asthma attacks.

Miercoles Wednesday, July 20

Xrays – radiografias

Radiologists now have no increased risk of radiation-related death

Whew! As opposed to pre-1940 when many radiologists were at increased risk of melanoma, leukemia and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, safety guidelines protect our providers to the point that compared to psychiatrists, there was no increased risk.

Nasal vaccine for Chlamydia  may be in the works.

Yes, nasal.  But BD584 with its success in rodents, may offer an easy way to vaccinate against one of the most common STI’s.

1 out 5 teens are diabetic or pre=diabetic

This alarming report highlights the urgency to screen kids for diabetes and instill good eating and exercise habits.


Martes Tuesday July 19

Period/Menses – “Regla” or can use “ciclo menstrual”

Components of the female athlete “triad” could be health risks in and of themselves
This triad includes eating disorders (or low energy availablity), amenorrhea (or menstrual problems) and bone loss. The American Academy of Pediatrics is warning us to look for it sooner as any one of these can cause long term health issues.
High-fat diet found to REDUCE risk of breast and colon cancer, heart attack, diabetes but…..
This study is alluding to the fats in a Mediterranean diet (nuts, fish, avocados) and not saturated trans fats found in butter.
Fracking may trigger asthma flare-ups
This 8 year study from Pennsylvania found that people who lived near fracking sites were requiring asthma treatments 4 times more than those not living near drilling sites.

Lunes Monday July 18

Stroke – Derrame or embolico

9 out of 10 Strokes are preventable

Many risk factors for stroke appear to be in our control.  These include controlling high blood pressure, decreasing smoking, controlling diabetes, waist to hip ratio (well this one is a toughy) and decreasing alcohol among many others.

Gonorrhea may soon be “untreatable”
The combination of azithromycin and ceftriaxone is showing less efficacy over time as previous studies have shown and the CDC has reported that the bacteria that causes Gonorrhea (N. Gonorrhoeae) is showing increasing resistance and may eventually be untreatable.

Zinc lozenges may not “cure” the common cold but decreases its length by 3 days

Previous studies looked at “low dose” zinc (under 75mg) but dosages over 80 mg were found to decrease cold length by three days and appeared to work better in lozenge form as opposed to pill form.

Viernes Friday July 15

 ¿Me has echado de menos?  Did you miss me??  (also you can say …..Me extranaste)

I was going to wait till the next school year but so many of you have been in complete despair without the updates, so here we go.

Remember, these are quick 3 second listings to keep you up to date on the latest in case your patients ask you for more information.  It is encouraged that you on your own read up on the subjects, but never mandatory.  This is here to help and I’m glad many of you find it useful.

New York reports first Zika case of female – male transmission.

A female had traveled to a country in which she was exposed to Zika.  Prior to her being symptomatic, she returns to New York and has unprotected sex.  She eventually becomes symptomatic with fever, rash body aches, and days later the gentlemen, who had no other sexual activity, becomes symptomatic as well.

Red meat consumption linked to kidney failure

Steak, burger, pork, etc, it all counts.  The more red meat one eats, the higher the risk of kidney failure. Researchers encourage swapping your portion of red meat for poultry or fish. Fish?  If it doesn’t Moo, it’s not meat…but they have a point…..

Pokemon Go causing accidents

It’s true.  I’ve tripped over my cats twice.  The biggest craze this week is the game Pokemon Go where you interact with your phone and environment to find the yellow thing.  I’m only on level 2 but one player farther ahead than I am, crashed his car into a tree while playing.

Posted in Uncategorized

Memory loss

Dr. Daliah, I’m 55 years old and have high blood pressure. I’m nervous because I’ve noticed my memory start to go over the last 5 years. They’re minor memory lapses, such as forgetting what I went to the store for, or my nephew’s birthday, but I’m concerned since we have a family history of Alzheimers. What foods can I incorporate into my diet or what things can I do to help improve my memory? R.W.



I think we’ve all at some point in our life experienced a “lapse in memory”. Its interesting. If we think back to when our memory was “the best”, most of us will admit our peak was when we were adolescents through our 20’s and not prior. Look at children…mine for instance. They can’t seem to remember each and every school day where their sock drawer is located, even though it hasn’t changed in five years. And don’t get me started on Mother’s Day. Just once I’d like them to remember…..but I digress.

So if we have a peak, usually during our higher education years, we usually associate it with our rigorous school schedule and need to memorize. And I believe that’s a good part of it, but not all of it. Our health is usually at our peak during those years as well, with high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol coming with age. (Though one can argue we don’t see many people in their 20’s have these conditions because they aren’t being screened regularly.)

Since you mentioned you had high blood pressure, I would first suggest you make sure this is under control by seeing your medical provider regularly. I would also recommend being screened for diabetes, and have blood work monitoring your thyroid, cholesterol, salts, blood count, liver, and kidneys since abnormalities may affect your memory as well. It wouldn’t hurt to also bring up issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression. When we feel overworked, overextended or burned out, our memory will falter. Your medical provider may perform a mental status exam which will evaluate your short term and long term memory and various tasks such as spelling “world” backwards from memory or serially subtracting 7’s from 100. If an indepth exam is required you may even be referred to a neurologist.

In the meantime there are a few things you can do to help prevent memory lapses. Firstly, make lists, such as shopping lists, birthday lists and fasten these lists to things such as the front door, bathroom mirror, or purse to remind you to take the lists. Post-it notes work well to remind you to make calls, drop of dry-cleaning, or even to take your medications. Phones have alarm and reminder systems as well.

Phones…hmmm, remember the good ole days when we had to memorize people’s phone numbers and now all we have to do is look it up under our “contacts”. Which brings us to the next subject of keeping your mind active. Read books, take classes, learn an instrument…anything to work your brain and increase memory capacity.

You asked about which foods increase memory. Although some studies have pointed to blueberries, fish, whole grains, calcium rich foods and nuts, a balanced and healthy diet is paramount. Exercise will increase blood flow as well, and keeping your weight in control is crucial. If you remember anything from this article is to remember to take care of yourself..your whole self …which means mind and body. Good luck and keep me posted!!!

Posted in Uncategorized

How do I communicate with my doctor?

Hi Dr. Daliah. Could you give me any advice on how to communicate with my doctor. I have an HMO and my selection of physicians is very limited. Whenever I see a provider, they don’t spend more than a minute with me. How can I be diagnosed appropriately when they hardly spend anytime in the exam room. Are there any techniques to get a doctor to stop and listen?


I hear this all to often and it is a rising concern. With managed care, many physicians are forced to see multiple patients throughout the day resulting in less one-on-one patient time. The hour long doctor visit has slowly become a thing of the past and the 15 minute average appointment time is shrinking as well. With physician reimbursement continuing to drop, more patients visits are required to maintain costs, so it feels like the doctor visit is over in a blink of eye.

However it doesn’t have to be. I recommend that all patients have their thoughts collected and ready to present to the doctor. Moreover, if you are only going to have time for one issue, choose the issue that’s the most pressing. When the nurse brings you into the room and asks you the reason for your visit, avoid the general term “follow up” but explain to her a more specific reason such as “chest pain” or the “blood pressure medicine may not be working”.

Its also important to bring your medicine bottles to your visit. This also ensures the medication list in your chart is properly updated and you can request refills while you are there.

Sometimes the nurse or office staff can give you advice on when to schedule your appointment. Its been rumored that the first appointment or last appointment of the day allows for a little more wiggle room. Ideally, it would be beneficial to ask the doctor as well when is a better time to approach more involved subjects if he is pressed for time that day.

However, it ultimately comes down to you feeling comfortable with your provider. Your health comes first and you need to feel you can get your concerns addressed. If your friends or family recommend a physician, that could be a good start in choosing the right provider. Moreover, many coworkers share the same insurance, so inquiring who any of them prefer may help as well. Communication is the key to a good doctor-patient relationship and your health depends on it. Feel empowered that you have a choice and exercise your right to make one.

Posted in Uncategorized

Ask the Doctor? What’s your medical question?

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