Posted in cell phones, Health, news, smart devices

Skulls May Change Due to Cell Phone Use

Image above from Science Alert

 

Reports of “horns” growing on the heads of cell phone users is an over-dramatization. However, skull bone growths have been documented on those with “text” or “surf” neck.

A study published in the journal, Scientific Reports, found benign bone growths, known as exostosis, on the skulls of cell phone users.

Study authors looked at 1200 skull xrays (lateral view) and found more prominent bone spurs in younger cell phone users.  Researchers postulate that the growths are adaptive as a result of frequent neck bending when viewing cell phones.

Thus, enthesophyte development may be an adaptive mechanism to further increase the surface area at the tendon/bone interface at sites enduring frequent tensile stress, with bone growth progression taking place in the direction of tensile stress acting on the bone at the point of insertion.

Neck discomfort frequently follows avid cell phone use and many people complain of muscle strain. This study demonstrates how the body tried to adjust for the increase strain on our neck.

These bone spurs should not be confused with “cutaneous horns” which are growths on the face and scalp.

cutaneous-horn-forehead

 

Doctors recommend avoiding excessive time on a cell phone or position it to avoid excessive flexion of one’s neck.

 

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Learning Medical Spanish is Easy!!!

 

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

Posted in Health, news

Stop Using Your Cell Phone While On The Toilet

Experts are warning that using your smartphone while sitting on the crapper could put one at risk for a variety of ailments.

Pathogens and Superbugs

Firstly, the obvious, pathogens.  When you take a phone into the bathroom, and swap hands to use toilet paper, something is going to get contaminated.  Then, the average phone can’t withstand a sink washing, so the phone carries toilet germs out of the bathroom and to your work desk, kitchen table, or car dash.  Bacteria such as E. coli, C. difficile, and Staph. aureus are just a few of the deadly bugs one can pick up and harbor on their cell phone.

Smartphone Blindness

Using a bright cell phone while in a dimly lit bathroom can induce what experts call “smartphone blindness.”   And experts claim the vision loss could, in minute levels, be permanent as the blue light from the phone reacts with retinal, an active form of Vitamin A, that can damage the nearby photoreceptor cells that need to be stimulated when creating sight.  Once damaged they may not ever recover.

Cellphone Use Could Cause Permanent Vision Loss

 

Rectal prolapse

Last February it was reported a man was sitting on his toilet for 30 minutes when he prolapsed his rectum.  The patient had issues with constipation and previously suffered a partial prolapse that was not treated.  But sitting for extended periods of time and pushing while constipated caused the perfect storm.

Man’s Rectum Falls Out While Playing Video Games on the Toilet

 

Hemorrhoids

Sitting for extended periods while pushing stool can cause valves in perianal veins to collapse, causing vein collapse. This produces painful, itchy, hemorrhoids.

ds00096_im01772_r7_hemorrhoidsthu_jpg

 

Sciatica

Low back pain and leg numbness may ensue from sitting for an extended period of time because lumbar spine nerves get irritated.

The moral, don’t spend anymore time on the potty than you need to. Video games are distracting and tempt you to complete “the next level.”  You can do so, but after you pull up your pants and get off the porcelain throne.

 

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 Health, news, smart devices

Study Finds Link Between Cell Phones and Cancer

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

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

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

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

For more on the study see here.

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

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

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

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

What do cell phones emit?

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

Can cell phone use cause cancer?

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

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

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

Can cell phone radiation injure our body’s cells?

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

So now what?

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

The following has been recommended for both children and adults:

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

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

 

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 Health, news, smart devices

Study Finds NO Clear Link to Brain Tumors with Cell Phone Use

A large study from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) in Spain found no clear evidence of brain tumor risk with cell phone use.

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

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

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

What do cell phones emit?

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

Can cell phone use cause cancer?

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

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

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

Can cell phone radiation injure our body’s cells?

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

So now what?

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

The following has been recommended for both children and adults:

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

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

 

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 Health, news

Epilepsy Cases Surge: Could Cell Phones be to Blame?

The CDC reports 3.4 million Americans suffer from epilepsy based on their 2015 data.  This number rose from 2.3 million in 2010.  470,000 of these cases are children.

According to their website, the CDC reports 1.2% of the population suffers from “active epilepsy”.  Active epilepsy is defined in adults as those having one or more seizures in the past year and requiring medication daily to control them. In children it means they currently have a seizure disorder.

The exact explanation for the rise in cases is unclear, however population growth and improved testing as been cited.

 

What is a seizure?

A seizure occurs when there is abnormal electrical activity in the brain.  If the electricity doesn’t conduct properly, brain function gets disrupted. This could lead to convulsions  (involuntary jerking movements), loss of muscle tone, changes in senses such as vision, hearing and smell, loss of bladder control, loss of consciousness and sometimes stroke, brain damage and death.

HGT0066_neurons-seizure-brain_FS.jpg

 

Epilepsy and seizures can be caused by a multitude of factors including genetics, brain trauma, tumors, infection, damage during birth, and stroke.

Can cell phones cause seizures?

Data has been limited linking seizure activity to cell phone use. However, some studies have found a modest link.

In 2016, Kouchaki et al tested mobile phone radiation in mice and concluded “continued and prolonged contact with the mobile phone radiation might increase the risk of seizure attacks and should be limited.”

Also in 2016, a study published in Epilepsy and Behavior by Tatum et al found texting to induce a “new type of brain rhythm”.

In 2013, Cinar et al examined the effects of electromagnetic waves (EMWs) on humans and suggested the following, “acute exposure to EMW may facilitate epileptic seizures, which may be independent of EMW exposure time. This information might be important for patients with epilepsy. Further studies are needed.”

In 2006, Ferreri et al found mobile phone “emissions” to increase human brain excitability, implying this could affect those with epilepsy.

More research therefore needs to be done investigating why epilepsy cases are on the rise and if cell phone radiation plays any role.

 

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