Posted in Health, news

Millennials at Twice the Risk of Getting Cancer than Their Parents and Grandparents Were

A recent study published in the Lancet finds Millennials to be at much higher risk for cancer than their parents and grandparents ever were.

Those born between 1981 and 1997 appear to be at increased risk of cancer of the:

  • colon
  • pancreas
  • uterus
  • bone marrow
  • gall bladder
  • kidney
  • and more.

Study authors cite obesity as the main culprit.

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The CDC reports the prevalence of obesity was 35.7% among young adults aged 20 to 39 years.

In 2016 the International Agency for Research and Cancer listed multiple cancers in which obesity plays a role.  They include the above as well as breast, ovarian, and esophageal cancer.

Why is obesity linked to cancer?

Studies have found obesity to alter hormone levels which could incite cells to rapidly divide. Fat acts as if its another organ, inducing signals that can affect insulin, sugar and fat metabolism and can induce inflammation when it accumulates around other organs.

Moreover it could be an associative relationship in which those who are obese may have poor diets and exercise habits which are linked to cancer as well.

In the above study, non-obesity related cancer, such as lung, appears to be at less risk for millennials as many are saying no to tobacco products.

However, other causes could be at play such as radiation exposure.  The verdict is not yet out on vaping either.

Study authors state:

Importantly, the findings suggest the need for further close epidemiological monitoring of cancer incidence trends in younger adults and highlight the need for rigorous aetiological studies of exposures that could be responsible for the trends.

 

spanish book

Learning Medical Spanish is Easy!!!

 

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

 

 

Posted in flu, Health, news

Obese Flu Patients are More Contagious

A study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases found if an individual with the flu is also obese, they may be more contagious.

Researchers from the University of Michigan School of Public Health looked at 1,800 people from 320 Nicaraguan households during the flu seasons of 2015-2017.

Drugs.com reported that obese adults with the flu shed the influenza A virus 42 percent longer than non-obese adults with the flu.  And those who had no symptoms, or were mildly ill, shed the influenza A virus 104% longer than non-obese adults with the flu.

There did not appear to be a correlation with obese children and flu transmission length.

Influenza A is more commonly involved in pandemics than Influenza B.

influenza.jpg

Now previous studies have demonstrated how obese individuals are more likely to incur complications from the flu, but this study is unique in that it looked at transmission of the virus.

Researchers believe that an obese individual may have a weakened immune system, thereby not only becoming more vulnerable to the flu but also unable to “clear” the virus, thus shedding it more.

What are the symptoms of the flu?

The most common symptoms of the flu include:

  • Fever
  • Body Aches
  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Sore Throat
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

As opposed to a cold, in which symptoms are less severe and come on more slowly, the flu seems to hit you within hours.   The fatigue may be the first symptom, followed by body aches, scratchy throat, cough, runny nose and then fever. The fever could range anywhere from 100 – 106 F.  The fever usually lasts 2 days and the majority of those affected by the flu will average symptoms from 3-5 days.

Vaccination is recommended for all persons aged ≥6 months who do not have contraindications, according to the CDC.

 

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

5 Ways to Add Years to Your Life

A study out of Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health finds 5 simple lifestyle changes that can add 1-2 decades onto one’s life.

Researchers looked at lifestyle and diet of over 100,000 men and women apart of the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.  They found sticking to these lifestyle changes at the age of 50 could give the average woman 14 extra years of life and the average man, 12.

Since cancer and heart disease contribute to hundreds of thousands of deaths a year, study authors suggest the following:

 

Avoiding Smoking

Since smoking has been long linked to early death, due to increase risk of arteriosclerosis and multiple types of cancer, avoiding tobacco products have been found to increase life expectancy.

smoking-one-cigarette.jpg

Keeping Weight Down

Researchers encourage a healthy body weight, more specifically a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2.

bmi-chart.png

Obesity has been linked to diabetes, heart disease and multiple cancers, so a healthy diet is paramount.

Eating a Healthy Diet

Diets rich in vegetables, low sugar fruits, whole grains, fish and healthy fish oils have been found to decrease risk of diabetes, obesity, heart issues and various cancers.

Tips-to-Effectively-Follow-the-Mediterranean-Diet

Avoiding excess salt, sugar, and saturated fats are key.

Regular Exercise

30 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous activity daily has been recommended by multiple medical associations.  I would encourage making sure one’s medical provider evaluates heart health before engaging in vigorous activity.  But walking, swimming, household chores, dancing, and many other activities fall under “moderate activity” that can be safe and provide multiple health benefits.

yoga.jpeg

“Moderate” Drinking

Moderate drinking is defined as no more than one drink a day for women, two drinks a day for men.

What-is-a-drink

Image above from CDC

However, alcohol consumption has been controversial as many studies have linked to small amounts of alcohol to cancer.  Moreover the sugar levels in alcohol can contribute to diabetes and obesity.

 

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

 

Posted in Entertainment, Health, news

Selfies Make Your Nose Look Bigger

Taking a selfie at a distance of 12 inches from your face increases the size of your nose by 30%.

According to a study published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, selfies distort the nose by 30% in width in men and 29% in women.

 

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However pictures taken 5 feet away do not distort the nose.

Study author Dr. Boris Paskover, facial plastic surgeon at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, stated, “At 5 feet, the distance between your nose and the camera and the distance between your facial plane and the camera is almost the same.”

He and his colleagues are finding a huge increase in people requesting plastic surgery to improve their look in selfies.

But if the image taken provides a distorted view, thousands of people may be having unnecessary operations.

According to the American College of Plastic Surgeons, reported by USA Today, minimally invasive cosmetic procedures have increased 200% since 2000 and are rising each year. They find the top 5 cosmetic surgeries in 2017 were:

  •  Breast Augmentation (300,378 procedures)
  •  Liposuction (246,354 procedures)
  • Nose Reshaping (218,924 procedures)
  • Eyelid Surgery (209,571 procedures)
  • Tummy Tuck (129,753 procedures)

And the most common minimally invasive cosmetic procedures were:

  • Botulinum Toxin Type A  (7.23 million procedures)
  • Soft Tissue Fillers  (2.69 million procedures)
  • Chemical Peel  (1.37 million procedures)
  • Laser Hair Removal  (1.1 million procedures)
  • Microdermabrasion  (740,287 procedures)

 

Selfies may share part of the blame in our obesity crisis

This week BBC news reported millennials to be on track to be the most overweight generation since records began.  Millennials have popularized the selfie on social media and are the most tech savvy when it comes to marketing themselves online.  The rest of us are catching up.  And our exceptional skills at taking great selfies may unwittingly de-expose us to the truths of our appearance.  If we look at our computers more than we look at a mirror, we won’t see the enlarging waist line, large butt, full face or love handles.  We think “we’re good” rather than being reminded of our figure’s shortcomings.  Complacency leads to laziness and letting one healthy meal or workout slide could lead to down-spiral of our weight maintenance.

Selfies have overtaken how see ourselves, attract dates, entertain others, and communicate with our friends. They’re not going away anytime soon and in fact leading to an epidemic of selfitis.  And if we’re not careful we’ll see an epidemic of unneeded plastic surgery as well.

 

dw sketch.jpg

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

 

 

Posted in food, Health, news

Eat Slower to Lose Weight

Another study has found eating too fast may lead to weight gain and metabolic syndrome.

In a recent study published in BMJ Open, researchers looked at 60,000 patients, analyzing their BMI and waist circumference and found 22,000, or 1/3 gobbled down their food at a fast rate. Those who ate at a normal speed were 29 percent less likely to be obese than the gobblers and those who ate slowly were 42 percent less likely to be overweight.  BMI and waist circumference were noted to be higher in the fast eating groups.

One reason for this is fast eaters may be more likely to consume more calories before they feel full. Their food choices may also be those that you can eat quickly (like a cheeseburger) rather than a salad that takes forever to get through.

Last year, researchers from Hiroshima University in Japan also found that those who ate their meals quicker were more likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome.

What is metabolic syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is comprised of a group of risk factors that puts one at risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke.  Any three of the following classify as one having metabolic syndrome:

  • Large waistline or apple shaped habitus
  • High blood pressure (over 130/80)
  • High fasting blood sugar (over 100)
  • High triglyceride level
  • Low HDL (good cholesterol)

Researchers looked at 1000 people in 2008 who didn’t have metabolic syndrome and rated them as slow eaters, normal eaters and fast eaters. Those who scarfed down their food were more likely to develop metabolic syndrome within 5 years.

Previously I discussed how our eating speed has helped fuel our obesity crisis.

***************************

Fast food has become the staple of many American and European diets and we’ve seen obesity rise.  True more people take public or private transportation to work over walking, and many have given up smoking every time they had a hunger itch, but the most popular reason for our waistline increase is fast food.  But is it the caloric content of the fast food that’s fueling the obesity epidemic, or the speed at which its ingested?

What is Fast Food?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Fast Food is “food that can be prepared and served quickly”.  A burger, shake and fries is considered fast food but so is a take away salad or sandwich.  It’s implied that fast food is a meal that is not made fresh but made previously and preserved such that it can taste fresh when needed to be served.

How Caloric is Fast Food?

According to CalorieKing, a McDonald’s Big Mac is 540 calories.  A large order of fries is 510 calories.  So a meal over 1000 calories is obviously not the healthiest choice.

But let’s return back to the sandwich alone.  While a Big Mac is 540 calories, CalorieKing finds Chick-Fil-A’s Cobb Salad (without dressing) 500 calories.  Bob Evans Restaurant’s Cobb Salad is 516 calories.

fast food.jpg

Now on the same site a Tuna Salad Sandwich (5 oz) w. mayo, 3 oz Bread is 679calories.

So are we becoming obese eating cobb salads and tuna salad for lunch just as one would eat a Big Mac?  We don’t know since people don’t study cobb and tuna salad eating consumers.  My guess is No.

Are we eating too fast?

Yes, and so fast that I believe it could be messing with our metabolism.

Think back to caveman days.  We had to chew.  And not on a soft sesame seed bun, but chew our meat.  Nuts and vegetables took a chewing as well.  Food was more scarce so it was savored and meals weren’t on the run while on a subway or at a stop light in one’s car.

Previous studies have shown that eating slowly and chewing it multiple times allow the body’s signals to trigger the satiety sensation sooner, hence one would eat less.

So gulping down a burger in 5 bites could be accomplished prior to the brain receiving the signal that it should be satisfied.

Now the metabolism issue.  Fast food could contain sugars, fats and preservatives that alter metabolism.  But eating on the run could cause metabolism issues in and of itself.

When a body senses that the food source is short-lived, unpredictable, and coming at a speed preventing proper absorption of nutrients, it may slow down metabolism to allow the body to make the most of what it has.  Eating a meal slow and methodical may be the most successful way to not only feel full but to eat less and lose weight.

I suggest a study be done looking at two groups of people eating the same food with the same caloric content but differing on the speed at which they eat it.

I suggest to you all to take an extra 15 minutes to complete your meal than what you’re accustomed to and determine if you see results after a few weeks.

Of course avoiding fast food would be the most beneficial for our weight but if you must eat fast food, eat it slowly.

 

                                                                                                         LearnHealthSpanish.com

                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

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

Posted in food, Health, news

Eating too FAST makes you FAT

Fast food has become the staple of many American and European diets and we’ve seen obesity rise.  True more people take public or private transportation to work over walking, and many have given up smoking every time they had a hunger itch, but the most popular reason for our waistline increase is fast food.  But is it the caloric content of the fast food that’s fueling the obesity epidemic, or the speed at which its ingested?

What is Fast Food?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Fast Food is “food that can be prepared and served quickly”.  A burger, shake and fries is considered fast food but so is a take away salad or sandwich.  It’s implied that fast food is a meal that is not made fresh but made previously and preserved such that it can taste fresh when needed to be served.

How Caloric is Fast Food?

According to CalorieKing, a McDonald’s Big Mac is 540 calories.  A large order of fries is 510 calories.  So a meal over 1000 calories is obviously not the healthiest choice.

But let’s return back to the sandwich alone.  While a Big Mac is 540 calories, CalorieKing finds Chick-Fil-A’s Cobb Salad (without dressing) 500 calories.  Bob Evans Restaurant’s Cobb Salad is 516 calories.

fast food.jpg

Now on the same site a Tuna Salad Sandwich (5 oz) w. mayo, 3 oz Bread is 679 calories.

So are we becoming obese eating cobb salads and tuna salad for lunch just as one would eat a Big Mac?  We don’t know since people don’t study cobb and tuna salad eating consumers.  My guess is No.

Are we eating too fast?

Yes, and so fast that I believe it could be messing with our metabolism.

Think back to caveman days.  We had to chew.  And not on a soft sesame seed bun, but chew our meat.  Nuts and vegetables took a chewing as well.  Food was more scarce so it was savored and meals weren’t on the run while on a subway or at a stop light in one’s car.

Previous studies have shown that eating slowly and chewing it multiple times allow the body’s signals to trigger the satiety sensation sooner, hence one would eat less.

So gulping down a burger in 5 bites could be accomplished prior to the brain receiving the signal that it should be satisfied.

Now the metabolism issue.  Fast food could contain sugars, fats and preservatives that alter metabolism.  But eating on the run could cause metabolism issues in and of itself.

When a body senses that the food source is short-lived, unpredictable, and coming at a speed preventing proper absorption of nutrients, it may slow down metabolism to allow the body to make the most of what it has.  Eating a meal slow and methodical may be the most successful way to not only feel full but to eat less and lose weight.

I suggest a study be done looking at two groups of people eating the same food with the same caloric content but differing on the speed at which they eat it.

I suggest to you all to take an extra 15 minutes to complete your meal than what you’re accustomed to and determine if you see results after a few weeks.

Of course avoiding fast food would be the most beneficial for our weight but if you must eat fast food, eat it slowly.

 

                                                                                                         LearnHealthSpanish.com

                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

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

 

Posted in Health, news

Close to Half of all Americans are Diabetic or PreDiabetic

As the obesity epidemic rises, so have diabetes cases with the CDC now reporting half of all Americans are either diabetic or pre-diabetic. The new report looked at cases in 2015 and found 30.3 million individuals had diabetes and close to three times that number were pre-diabetic.

A variety of factors have contributed to this.  Less people smoking and substituting food, junk food becoming a main staple in our diet, high-fructose corn syrup in many of our food products, genetics, and of course, less exercise and activity.

What is diabetes/prediabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which the body doesn’t utilize and metabolize sugar properly.  When we consume food, its broken down into proteins, nutrients, fats, water, and sugar. These components are necessary for cell growth and function.  They get absorbed in the small intestine and make it to the blood stream.   In order for a cell to utilize sugar, it needs the hormone insulin to help guide it in.  Its similar to a key that fits in the keyhole of the “door” of the cell, opening it up so sugar can enter.  Insulin is produced in the pancreas, an organ that receives signals when one eats to release insulin in preparation of the sugar load coming down the pike.

As discussed below, one has diabetes if his fasting blood sugar is greater than 126 mg/dl.  A non fasting blood sugar greater than 200 mg/dl will also define one as being diabetic.

Prediabetes is assessed if one’s blood sugar is between 100-126 mg/dl. (See Chart Below)

Diabetes explained

So I imagine our mouth like a waiting room, the blood stream like a hallway, and the cells of the body the rooms along the hallway.  Insulin is the key to open the cells’ “doors” allowing sugar to enter.  If the sugar does not get in, it stays in the bloodstream “hallway” and doesn’t feed the cell.  Weight loss occurs, and individuals may become more thirsty as the sugar in the blood makes it fairly osmotic, something the body wants to neutralize, by bringing in more water. The kidneys are going to want to dump the excess sugar, so to do so, one would urinate more, again causing thirst.  So when a diabetic loses weight, urinates more frequently and becomes thirsty, the body is fighting the hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).

Complications of Diabetes

Cardiovascular disease – Sugar is sticky, so it can easily add to atherosclerotic plaques.

Blindness – high sugar content draws in water to neutralize and small blood vessels in the eye can only take so much fluid before they burst.  Moreover, high blood sugar weakens blood vessels.

Kidney disease – the kidneys work overtime to eliminate the excess sugar. Moreover, sugar-laden blood isn’t the healthiest when kidneys, themselves, need nourishment.

Infections – pathogens love sugar. Its food for them.  Moreover blood laden with sugar doesn’t allow immune cells to work in the most opportune environment.

Neuropathy – nerves don’t receive adequate blood supply due to the diabetes-damaged blood flow and vessels, hence they become dull or hypersensitive causing diabetics to have numbness or pain.

Dementia – as with the heart and other organs, the brain needs healthy blood and flow.  Diabetes has been found to increase risk of Alzheimer’s as well.

Type I vs. Type II Diabetes

Type I Diabetes, previously called Insulin Dependent or Juvenile Diabetes, occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce insulin, possibly from the immune system destroying the cells that produce the hormone. When this occurs there is rapid weight loss and death could occur if the cells don’t get the sugar they need.  Insulin has to be administered regularly.

Type II Diabetes, previously called Non-Insulin Dependent or Adult-Onset Diabetes,  occurs in those who began with a fully functioning pancreas but as they age the pancreas produces less insulin, called insulin deficiency, or the insulin produced meets resistance.  This is the fastest growing type of diabetes in both children and adults.

What is insulin resistance?

Insulin resistance, if using our hallway and door analogy, is as if someone is pushing against the door the insulin is trying to unlock. As we know, those with obesity are at higher risk for diabetes, hence fat can increase insulin resistance.  Its also been associated with an increase in heart disease.

Blood sugar numbers

If your fasting blood sugar (glucose) is greater than 126 mg/dl, or your non fasting blood sugar is greater than 200 mg/dl, you may be considered diabetic.  Pre-diabetes occurs when the fasting blood sugar is between 100 and 125 mg/dl.  If ignored, and the sugar rises, pre-diabetics may go on to develop diabetes.

 

dmp-blood-sugar-levels-chart

Source Diabetesmealplans.com

Preventing/Controlling Diabetes

Experts predict 1/3 of US Adults will be full on diabetic by the year 2050.  Although genetics plays a big role, decreasing one’s sugar intake and maintaining an active lifestyle can help ward off diabetes.

Foods high in sugar and carbohydrates increase one’s risk, so a diet rich in vegetables and lean meats is preferred.

For more information, visit http://www.diabetes.org/.

 

                                                                                                         LearnHealthSpanish.com

                                                                                                         Medical Spanish made easy

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