Author Archives: Jeffrey Sterling, MD

About Jeffrey Sterling, MD

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Straight, No Chaser: Maintain Healthy Testosterone Levels Without Replacement Therapy

Testerone2

Male virility is a fascinating topic medically. It is truly an example of how confidence and mental fortitude (or the absence thereof) can directly translate into physical performance. Thus, it doesn’t come as a surprise when TV ads seek to sow seeds of doubt into you. (“Don’t perform like you used to? Maybe it’s Low-T! Here’s a miracle pill!”)

As mentioned in the previous post, many factors control testosterone, most notably a natural drop associated with aging.  In fact, your levels are considered normal until about age 30, then you lose approximately 1% per year until you reach a state by age 70 where you’re expected to be clinically below normal – and that’s just due to the age-related considerations. Factors you can control affect not only your sexual health but your physical and mental health, too. These include appropriately managing your diet, exercise, sleep and stress. Let’s look at the effect each has on maintenance of healthy testosterone levels.

Diet:

testostdietfruit

It will forever be true that what you place in your mouth either strengthens you or slowly poisons you. Here’s a quick list of foods that are specifically good for boosting your testosterone levels.

  • Bananas – Banana are rich in B vitamins, which are needed to manufacture testosterone.
  • Brazil nuts – It’s the magnesium contained within that increases testosterone.
  • Chicken liver – It’s the zinc! Zinc increases testosterone levels.
  • Cruciferous vegetables – Broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower help eliminate the hormone estrogen from the body, which increases testosterone. Choosing these healthy foods also helps weight loss, which in turn increases testosterone production.
  • Eggs – It’s really about the vitamin D contained within eggs; vitamin D deficiency has been shown to correlate with higher estrogen levels and lower testosterone levels.
  • Garlic (as part of a high protein diet) – This combination increases testosterone production.
  • Oysters – It’s the zinc! Zinc increases testosterone.
  • Pineapples – It’s the magnesium contained within that increases testosterone.
  • Pumpkin seeds – It’s the zinc! Zinc increases testosterone.

Here’s the other dietary consideration for you: In general, most anything you eat that adds to your level of obesity will result in lowered testosterone levels. Number one on that list is processed sugar—think fructose, meaning soda/pop, fruit juices. The relationship between diet and testosterone is way more intricate than this, but if you incorporate the steps just mentioned, you will see a difference in your overall health and sexual health.

Exercise: 

testosteroneexercise

I will limit this part of the discussion to two manageable considerations.

  • If you’re overweight, you are more likely to have low testosterone levels. Globally losing weight will work to your advantage.
  • Intense strength training also boosts testosterone levels. When strength training to boost testosterone, you’ll want to increase the weight, lower your number of reps and slow down the motion on each rep. Also try to work a large number of muscles, as occurs with dead lifts or squats.

Stress Management:

testostress

When you’re under a significant amount of  stress, your body releases high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol blocks the effects of testosterone. Over the long term, stress chronically blocks the effects of testosterone, producing all of the undesired symptoms that accompany that state.

You need to know how to reduce your stress. Here are techniques shown to be effective in this setting.

  • Deep breathing
  • Laughter
  • Meditation
  • Positive visualization
  • Prayer
  • Yoga

Sleep: 

testostsleep

Here’s something you likely didn’t know. Testosterone is only produced by your testes at night. Even more impressive production coincides at a specific point in the sleep cycle immediately before REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep. This production and replenishment is most complete in men getting at least eight hours of sleep/night. Conversely, testosterone levels are significantly lower in those receiving less than six hours of sleep/night. Note this is total sleep at night, not consecutive hours of sleep (assuming you are able to rapidly fall back asleep). Get your sleep!

These are very important considerations. As is the case with many conditions, your health is not going to be found in a medicine bottle. The fundamentals of taking care of yourself are your best course of action for longevity and health. This is especially important in the management of low testosterone, given that testosterone therapy has serious side effects and increases risks for certain conditions, including signaling the body to stop producing its own testosterone and the following:

  • Acne
  • Prostate enlargement
  • Prostate cancer
  • Reduction in sperm production
  • Sleep apnea

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under Endocrine/Metabolic, Genital/Urinary

Straight, No Chaser: Male Menopause (aka Andropause)

Andropause

Manopause?  Male Menopause? Yes, andropause is a thing (at least according to many medical authorities). Most of us are roughly familiar with menopause. You may or may not be surprised to discover that men suffer through similar age-related changes called andropause.

With both sexes, changes are related to diminishing sex hormones. In the example of women, it’s estrogen and progesterone. With men, it’s testosterone. One big difference between the male and female experiences is lower testosterone levels don’t prevent men from still being able to have kids. Men can have kids into their 90s.

andropauselowt

So the logical question to ask would be is this just the same as low testosterone? Well, not exactly. It’s the confluence of several problems men face with aging, including low testosterone, obesity, diabetes and depression (in those with these conditions). In particular, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes seem to be particular risk factors. The fortunate news is this complex doesn’t occur universally and can be delayed with certain actions.

So what are you to do? For starters, know the symptoms and know when to ask for help. Here are symptoms commonly associated with andropause.

  1. Depression
  2. Difficulty sleeping
  3. Increased body fat, particularly in the midsection
  4. Irritability
  5. Less desire for physical activity
  6. Less energy
  7. Less erections or less strong erections
  8. Less mental sharpness and quickness
  9. Loss of armpit or genital hair
  10. Loss of confidence
  11. Loss of interest in regular activities
  12. Loss of libido
  13. Night sweats
  14. Reduced muscle mass
  15. Social withdrawal
  16. Swollen breasts

homer-2011-10-22-at-12.10.22-PM3

It’s important to get evaluated for these issues because even if these aren’t attributable to andropause, other causes can be even more serious. Examples of conditions that can cause these same symptoms include depression, drug and alcohol abuse, infections, heart disease, poor nutrition, stress and thyroid disease.

When you begin to develop these symptoms, you may discover that diet, exercise and weight control are important in relieving symptoms and slowing the progression of symptoms. Your physician likely will advise the same. In many cases, treating low testosterone is another important component of management.  The next  Straight, No Chaser post will discuss this additional consideration.

andropause-affects-men-382x382

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under Endocrine/Metabolic, General Health and Wellness, Genital/Urinary

Straight, No Chaser: Low Testosterone

low-testosterone-treatment

Are you someone who had never heard of Low-T until recent commercials starting telling you that you weren’t normal? Let’s review what all the fuss is about.

As most people know, testosterone is the most important male sex hormone that in many ways and for many defines “manhood,” contributing to the following:

  • Changes of puberty, including deepening of your voice
  • Production of pubic, facial and body hair
  • Production of sperm
  • Facilitation of sex drive
  • Maintenance of bone health, which assists growth

Low-T-In-Men-Tucson

In case you were wondering, this is what “male menopause” looks like.

Certain parts of the brain (hypothalamus and pituitary gland) signal how much testosterone needs to be produced. Most production occurs in the testes.

The symptoms of low testosterone are predictable. Symptoms include a reduction in sex drive, erections and sperm count. Men may also see an enlargement of their breasts. Additional symptoms (over the long-term) may include smaller testes, less energy, mood changes, loss of muscle size and strength, and weakened bones.

low-testosterone

The aging process normally reduces sex drive, sperm count and frequency of erections. Aging also reduces testosterone such that clinically low testosterone levels invariably occur by age 70. The presence of these two independent facts can make it confusing to know if these symptoms are simply part of the aging process or might be attributable to a disease in the areas that either produce or regulate testosterone. In other words, although a natural age-related reduction in testosterone level is normal, it may or may not be the cause of lower sex drive.

testostgraph_men

Low testosterone in the absence of aging really is thought to be more of a sign of disease than a disease unto itself. The primary goal is to ensure than none of the more serious causes of low testosterone are present. Some of the more serious causes and considerations leading to low testosterone include injury, infection or cancer to the testes, radiation therapy or chemotherapy, hormonal disorders such as pituitary gland tumors or diseases, liver and kidney disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, obesity, certain genetic disorders and use of opiates (pain-killers).

Based on the cause and your health status, you may be prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. Testosterone replacement may occur via periodic injections, skin patches/gels, skin pellets or tablets that stick to the gums.

Testosterone replacement is not like taking a pill for an erection. These are hormones and come with long-term risks, the most notable being prostate cancer. Therefore, those males with prostate or breast cancer aren’t candidates for testosterone replacement therapy. Other side effects of testosterone replacement therapy include acne, breast enlargement, fluid buildup in the legs, ankles and feet, increased red blood cell count, prostate enlargement and sleep apnea.

Here are groups with significant enough risks from testosterone replacement therapy that they require monitoring if treated this way:

  • African-American men
  • Men over 40 years of age who have close relatives with prostate cancer
  • All men over 50 years of age

So what should you do with this information?

  • Understand that certain age-related changes occur naturally and don’t represent disease.
  • Understand that the premature presence of these symptoms could represent disease and need to be evaluated.
  • Understand that a desire to avoid the symptoms associated with low testosterone is best done with routine health measures (diet and exercise) that help the body function and maintain healthy levels of testosterone naturally.
  • Understand that a decision to seek treatment for these symptoms isn’t as simple as getting a pill or a patch. Hormonal treatment has real and serious associated side effects and risks and should only be done with the consultation and consent of your physician and endocrinologist (hormone specialist).

hrt

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under Endocrine/Metabolic, General Health and Wellness, Genital/Urinary

Straight, No Chaser: Men’s Health Week, Fathers Day and Health

Fathers’ Day falls right at the tail end of Men’s Health Week, but we don’t like that – and we’ll begin our own Men’s Health Week by starting with Fathers’ Day!

Mens-Health1-e1434342300575-604x270happy-fathers-day-ties

Take a moment to think through the variety of concerns of our fathers.

  • Many of our fathers are of advancing ages and have to address all the ramifications of that, including arthritis, coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease and cancer. With the likelihood of suffering from multiple diseases, it is probable that they are taking multiple medications, leaving them susceptible to medication side effects and drug interactions. Either of these concerns can result in falls, leading to trauma, fractures and head injuries. Additionally, many fathers have to deal with Alzheimer’s and/or dementia type issues.
  • Some of our fathers have been taken from us by gunshots or other forms of violence. Remember, public health concerns have caused more deaths than medical illness.
  • On a lighter note, a lot of fathers will only have to suffer the embarrassment of a minor burn over the grill this weekend.

fathers-day-health-gifts

All of this is meant to point out the need for health prevention in a group that utilizes health care much less than women and children. If you’re in the gift giving mood this Sunday, do better than that not-so-attractive tie. Think health. Get one of those health monitors that track steps, eating and sleeping habits. How about a treadmill? Try a safety helmet if he’s a motorcycle rider. Grab some manly mittens for the grill. Get him a back brace or a dolly to help with the duties he performs around the house. Make him an appointment to see his physician.

FathersDay

As a father, when I think of my health and what my loved ones can best do to contribute to it year-round, I think of happiness. Fathers are providers and protectors. If you’re lucky enough to still have your father around, take a moment, and let him know the ways he’s contributed to your happiness. That’s pretty simple and shouldn’t be that much to ask. Don’t discount the impact of happiness on health.

healthhappiness

On Straight, No Chaser, we often discuss the intersection of health and happiness, and during Men’s Health Week and on a day like Father’s Day, that discussion becomes both important and meaningful. It is quite likely that on this day, fathers everywhere are reflecting on the meaning of life and realizing that fatherhood is our ultimate legacy. So while you’re rewarding your favorite guy (with healthy food, no doubt), lay the love sauce on a little thick. It’s needed and will be appreciated. Here’s an early Happy Fathers’ Day to all those deserving men out there.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under General Health and Wellness, Genital/Urinary, Geriatrics/Elderly Care

Straight, No Chaser: The Cancer Prevention Workbook

cancer-prevention-266x300

We continue with simple principles to avoid various forms of cancer, but in today’s Straight, No Chaser, we add some detail about the what’s and whys of the conversation. The areas bolded represent summary actions for your benefit.

Take Charge of Your Intake

Healthy eating Diet

1. Eat a healthy diet

A healthy diet is a nutritious approach to reducing your cancer risks. Adopt these principles.

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Base your diet on fruits, vegetables and other foods from plant sources — such as whole grains and beans. No, there is not evidence that cancer supplements reduce cancer risks.
  • Avoid obesity. Avoid high calorie foods such as refined sugars and fat from animal sources.
  • Limit red meats (beef, pork, lamb) and avoid processed meats. Embrace chicken, seafood and legumes instead.
  • If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. Alcohol intake is associated with multiple forms of cancer, including breast, colon, kidney, liver and lung. Your risk increases with regular intake, the duration of intake and the amount you drink. Practice moderation in general and limit yourself to two drinks a day (if your male; women should limit themselves to one a day) in most settings to obtain a variety of health benefits, including cancer risk reduction.

2. Don’t use tobacco

It is one of the oddest human behaviors to purposely infuse smoke into the area of your body meant to deliver air to the rest of your body, and this is true for cigarettes and cigars. Smoking nearly screams cancer risk; it is linked to cancers of the bladder, cervix, kidney, larynx, lung, mouth, pancreas and throat. Even secondhand smoke exposure is linked to an increased link with lung cancer. Chewing tobacco is associated with cancers of the oral cavity and pancreas. Tobacco is your true “just say no” drug. This is simple. If you don’t smoke, avoid it. If you do smoke, stop.

Take Charge of Your Actions

diet-goals

3. Maintain a healthy weight and stay physically active

A healthy weight is defined by your heart, not your appearance. Being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight might lower the risk of cancers of the breast, colon, kidney, lung and prostate. If you want an amount of activity to use as a target, as a general goal, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your day. At least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity is ideal.

4. Protect yourself from the sun

Skin cancer is one of the most common and preventable forms of cancer. Just be smart about your exposure. Avoid tanning beds, sunlamps, and midday sun. Seek out shade, cover yourself, wear bright or dark colors to reflect the suns rays away and use sunscreen.

5. Avoid risky behaviors

We’ll let rock and roll off the hook, but sex and drugs have direct links to cancer.

  • Practice safe sex. If you’re not practicing safe sex (by using condoms, abstinence or at least limiting your number of sexual partners), you are more likely to contract HPV and/or HIV. The links of HPV and cancer are noted above; the links of HIV include a higher risk of cancer of the anus, lung and liver.
  • Don’t share needles. Anyone injecting themselves with needles for illicit drug use should be considered a high risk for HIV and/or hepatitis. Sharing needles with an infected drug user can lead to those diseases. Hepatitis from IV drug use carries an increased risk of liver cancer.

Take Charge of Your Health Maintenance 

vaccination Ev1

6. Get immunized

There are two specific immunizations that have definite benefit in cancer prevention.

  • Immunize against Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B can increase the risk of developing liver cancer. If you are sexually polygamous, have a sexually transmitted infection, are an IV drug user, a healthcare, public safety or other worker who might be exposed to blood or body fluids or are a male who has sex with other men, you are a strong candidate for immunization.
  • Immunize against HPV (Human papillomavirus). HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical and other genital cancers as well as cancers of the head and neck. The HPV vaccine is recommended for girls and boys ages 11 and 12. It is also available to both men and women age 26 or younger who didn’t have the vaccine as adolescents. Universal application of the HPV virus would virtually eliminate cervical cancer.

7. Get regular medical care

Learn to screen. Learn to self-exam yourself. Commit to regular evaluations. Even if you don’t prevent cancer, early detection gives you the very best chance of recovery after treatment.

Your health is your choice. Balance your life decisions in a way that allows you to enjoy yourself to the fullest while lowering your risks for cancer. Implementation of these tips will get you there. All things considered, this isn’t very much for you to commit to doing, particularly when you consider the benefits of doing so.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under Detoxification, General Health and Wellness, Health Prevention, Hematology & Oncology/Blood Disorders/Cancer

Straight, No Chaser: The Cancer Prevention Checklist

Logo_ReduceYourRisk

I’m going to present this information two separate ways: today a checklist, as simple as possible; and tomorrow with the same information explained briefly but with detail. You likely will find it of interest that many of these considerations are the same healthcare basics that promote good health generally. Always appreciate these considerations aren’t guarantees but reductions of risks.

So… here are three principles and a total of eight tips (in case you remember nothing else, go with the principles).

Cancer-Prevention-1

What you allow to enter your body matters.

  1. Eat healthy foods.
  2. Protect yourself from the sun.
  3. Avoid tobacco of any type.

Strengthen your body.

  1. Maintain a healthy weight.
  2. Be physically active.
  3. Get immunized.

Prevention and early detection are key.

  1. Avoid risky sexual and illicit drug-related behaviors.
  2. Engage in routine medical care, screenings and self-exams.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Leave a comment

Filed under Detoxification, General Health and Wellness, Health Prevention, Hematology & Oncology/Blood Disorders/Cancer

Straight, No Chaser: TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Syndrome

TMJ pain

TMJ. Those of you who have TMJ syndrome are likely already shaking your head in understanding. Those of you who don’t, be thankful. Take the advice of those who do and read this post to appreciate steps you can take to avoid developing it.

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) syndrome/disorders refer to symptoms developed in the chewing muscles and joints connecting your lower jaw to your skull. In other words, you’re having problems with your jaw joint. Given that the TMJ closes your mouth, and you’re using it all day to talk and chew, having this poses a lot of problems.

To understand various causes of TMJ, start by appreciating that most anything affecting all the various structures connecting the joint can contribute to the disorder. This includes problems with the joint itself or to its surrounding muscles, tendons and bones. Therefore, there isn’t just one cause. Many things you do or have done can contribute to difficulties with the joint. Here are some examples:

  • Arthritis (degenerative joint disease)
  • Having a bad (poorly aligned) bite
  • Having to wear braces
  • Lack of sleep (insufficient rest and recuperation for overworked muscles)
  • Poor diet
  • Poor posture (e.g., holding the head forward while looking at a computer all day, straining the muscles of the face and neck)
  • Stress and grinding your teeth
  • Trauma to the jaw resulting in fractures or dislocations

tmj_2

Knowing this makes prevention easy.

  • Limit or avoid hard foods and excessively chewing gum. Although you don’t think about it much, you can wear out the joints in your mouth just as you can a hip or a knee.
  • Learn to reduce your overall levels of stress and muscle tension.
  • Practice and maintain good posture of your head and neck.
  • Use protective measures when engaged in activities that can produce jaw fractures and dislocations.

It’s pretty easy to figure out the symptoms you may have if there is a problem with your jaw or TMJ.

TMJ sx

  • Aching facial pain
  • Clicking, popping or grating of the mouth when opening or closing it
  • Difficulty opening and/or closing the mouth
  • Difficulty/pain biting or chewing
  • Earache
  • Headache
  • Jaw pain or tenderness
  • Locking of the jaw

Treatment strategies vary widely based on severity and cause of the joint issues. Many patients get by with over the counter medications, relaxation techniques, heat or ice to the face and prevention of additional damage. More complicated measures may include use of prescription pain medicines, muscle relaxants, corticosteroids or antidepressants. Bite guards (aka splints, mouth guards/appliances) may be recommended if you have problems with teeth grinding. Your physician will make appropriate recommendations based on your individual circumstances.

The good news is for many patients symptoms come and go, and they are reasonably well treated with minor interventions. The bad news is if you go unidentified or untreated, you may suffer chronic facial pain and/or headache, and this is not a pleasant experience. Therefore, if you discover yourself having difficulty opening and closing your mouth or eating, please address it early and see your doctor or dentist right away. You really don’t want to deal with the consequences of inaction.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under Head/Eyes/Ears/Nose/Throat, Trauma

Straight, No Chaser: Travelers’ Diarrhea

diarrheaemergency

This is the time of year in the U.S. when you wished you were somewhere else. (Hawaii, Africa, Australia or Mexico for a nice cruise, anyone?) Unfortunately, sometimes when you travel, you get more than you hoped.

“Montezuma’s Revenge” is often the punchline of a joke in the U.S., but travelers’ diarrhea (TD) is a serious concern. It is the most common illness contracted by travelers, affecting approximately 10 million people per year. Individuals visiting the U.S. can suffer from it as well. That’s a clue as to what’s actually occurring with TD.

TD is typically a response to an infection by a strain of bacteria known as E. coli, specifically, a strain that produces a toxin that affects the intestines. This is the case approximately 80% of the time. Parasites sometimes figure prominently in the illness. The risk and primary source of this infection is food or water that is contaminated with feces. Note that most any disturbance in the bacterial balance of the intestines can cause disruptions in the digestive system, leading to diarrhea.

travelers-diarrhea-risk-map

Although anyone can contract TD, destinations and personal characteristics can markedly increase that risk.

  • Higher risk destinations include developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
  • Those individuals at higher risk include the immunocompromised, diabetics, young adults, those with inflammatory bowel disease and those taking antacids or medicines known as H-2 blockers.

TD is straightforward. Symptoms include watery diarrhea and cramps. A mild fever may or may not be present.

So, what are you supposed to do to prevent TD? This stuff is miserable! Here are a few tips and pointers for you:

  • Avoid street vendors.
  • Avoid raw or undercooked foods (especially meats and seafood).
  • Avoid raw fruits and vegetables (unless you peel them).
  • Wash your hands!
  • Taking antibiotics in advance (prophylactically) is not recommended, because they can increase your susceptibility to resistant organisms and side effects.
  • Bismuth subsalicylate (two ounces or two tablespoons four times daily) reduces the incidence of TD. Speak to your physician or SMA expert consultant about the risks and indications of taking bismuth subsalicylate. By the way, you know bismuth subsalicylate as pepto-bismol or kaopectate.

And now, a few words about treatment. Here are a few considerations about which you should be aware.

  • TD is usually mild and will run its course without medication. In other words, you’re likely to be just fine.
  • The most important consideration is to ensure adequate hydration. Clear fluids are key.
  • You may need antibiotics if symptoms progress to include fever, bloody stools, nausea, vomiting and severe cramps. Drugs typically include ciprofloxacin and norfloxacin. Previously used drugs such as trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and doxycycline aren’t recommended anymore because of the high resistance rate.
  • Bismuth subsalicylate may also be used as treatment (in addition to its role in prevention).
  • A  special word about anti-motility (anti-diarrhea) medications: There are some benefits to using these agents, but there are also significant risks. You should not take these medications without understanding the risks and how they may affect you based on your existing health profile. This topic is discussed in greater detail at www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com, and you certainly can discuss this further with your SMA personal healthcare consultant.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

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Filed under Gastrointestinal, General Health and Wellness, Health Prevention, Infectious Disease, Public Health

Straight, No Chaser: Spotlight on Health Concerns When Traveling – Vaccines and Illnesses

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Traveling is exciting, but it presents multiple challenges to your health. To best meet these challenges, preparation is everything.

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Before you travel and every time you travel, your surest means of protecting yourself is to confirm you are current on routine vaccines.

  • Your basic vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine and influenza.
  • Most international travelers will need immunizations to protect you from hepatitis A, polio, and typhoid.
  • Depending on where you’re international travels take you and the duration of your trip, you may need immunizations to protect you from hepatitis B, malaria, rabies and/or yellow fever.

The plane trip itself can be hazardous to your health. I encourage you to review the risks of flying.

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Diseases have different patterns in how they spread and their resistance to medications in different countries. It is important to be aware of prominent diseases affecting the countries you plan to visit, because some may be uncommon in your home country. For Americans traveling abroad, such diseases include the following:

  • HIV/AIDS 
  • Malaria: an infectious disease caused by a parasite, which invades the blood cells. It is notable for the presence of high fever, shaking chills, low blood count and a flu-like set of symptoms.
  • Pandemic/avian flu (aka the bird flu): an infectious disease in birds caused by a virus that can spread to humans
  • Travelers’ diarrhea –  the most common disease acquired by travelers.
  • Tuberculosis: an infectious disease involving the lungs, able to spread throughout the body

I strongly recommend that you develop a habit of checking the CDC travel site every time you prepare to travel internationally, including those of you coming from abroad into the United States. Detailed information on these diseases is available by clicking the links, checking the search engine and at www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

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Filed under General Health and Wellness, Health Prevention

Straight, No Chaser: What Would You Do If Your Tongue Suddenly Swelled? Learn About Angioedema

angioedema

Here at Straight, No Chaser, we want you to know how to prevent disease and injury because that’s a lot easier than the alternative. However, if and when the time comes, you should also have a few tools in your arsenal to stave off a life-threatening situation. One of the more scary examples of needing help is acute swelling of your tongue, sometimes so much so that your airway appears as if it will be blocked.

The most common cause of acute tongue, lip or throat swelling is called angioedema. This is an allergic reaction and occurs in two varieties.

  • A life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) sometimes occurs shortly after an exposure to substance such as medicine, bee or other insect stings or food. It can throw your entire body into a state of shock, including involvement of multiple parts of the body. This can include massive tongue swelling, wheezing, low blood pressure resulting in blackouts and, of course, the rash typified by hives (urticaria).
  • Sometimes lip, tongue and/or throat swelling may be the only symptoms.  This is more typical of a delayed reaction to certain medications, such as types of blood pressure medications (ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers), estrogen and the class of pain medication called NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen)

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With any luck, you would already know you’re at risk for this condition, and your physician may have prompted you to wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace. In these cases, your physician may have also given you medicines and instruction on how to take them in the event you feel as if your tongue is swelling and/or your throat is closing. These medicines would include epinephrine for injection, steroids and antihistamines such as Benadryl. As you dial 911 (my recommendation) or make your way to the nearest hospital, taking any or all of these medications could be life-saving. By the way, those are among the same medicines you’ll be treated with upon arrival to the emergency room. In severe cases, you may need to be intubated (i.e. have a breathing tube placed) to maintain some opening of the airway.

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If the swelling is (or assumed to be) due to any form of medication, symptoms will improve a few days after stopping it. If the swelling in this instance becomes severe enough, treatment may resemble that of the life-threatening variety.

There are few things better than cheating death. If you’re at risk, carry that injectable epinephrine (e.g. an Epi-pen). If you’re affected, take some Benadryl and/or steroids if you’ve been taught what dose to take, and most importantly, don’t wait to see if things improve. Get evaluated, get treated and get better!

I welcome your questions and comments.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

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Filed under Endocrine/Metabolic, Head/Eyes/Ears/Nose/Throat, Skin/Dermatology