Category Archives: Endocrine/Metabolic

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: 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)

Angioedema-5

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.

Angioedema_250x

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.

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

Straight, No Chaser: Heat Illnesses Awareness (Heat Exhaustion, Heat Cramps, Heat Stroke)

heatawarenessday-logo

Heat Awareness Day occurs the last Friday in May instead of the first weekend in July because prevention is better than cure. Once the rains calm down across America, it’s predictable what will happen next: heat, more heat and all heat, and you’d better be ready. The way things work, we just have to deal with it. Unlike when the weather is cold, and you can just add layers, when it’s extremely hot, it seems unescapable. So we sweat, get fatigued and even cramp up. Surprisingly there appears not to be much thought given to the notion that heat cramps are an early sign of a life threatening condition, even though many of us have had loved ones die from heat related illnesses.

When a loved one dies, families often ask “Is there something I could have done?” Usually I give you information. Today’s Straight, No Chaser will  give you information and power to act if needed. There are several varieties of heat-related illness, and you would do well to be aware of them, because you can make a difference if someone’s suffering in the heat.

heat-sickness-signs

For starters, I really want you to become mindful of Heat Stress, which is the earliest complex of problems arising from excessive heat exposure. Heat stress is that strain and discomfort you get (usually during outdoor exertional activity) that reminds you that you’d be better off inside (assuming it’s cooler inside). You may notice such symptoms as cramping, a prickly-type rash, swelling and a sensation that you want to lose consciousness. If you must remain outdoors due to work, or choose to (playing sports or enjoying the sun), hydration means everything. It really is true that in some instances if you’re not actively urinating, you’re not drinking enough fluid. (This is the level at which LeBron James was suffering(NBA finals 2014), and it really does beg the question as to why he was allowed to suffer on the sidelines instead of being taken to the locker room, iced down and given intravenous fluids.)

Ok, so you’ve ignored both me and your body, and you’re still outdoors, not rehydrating enough. Heat exhaustion may occur next, and it’s defined by ongoing body salt and fluid losses. Now you’re feeling faint, thirsty, anxious, weak, dizzy, you want to vomit and may have a headache, and your body temperature starts to climb. I see a lot of these patients, usually because once you get wobbly, your employers or co-workers are getting concerned, which is good, because at this point, you are actually in danger.

heatstroke2.1206

Or maybe you didn’t come to see me when you had the chance, and you’ve collapsed outdoors, to be found and brought in. This is Heat Stroke, and is defined by changes in your mental status, increases in your temperature and disruption of your bodily functions, including a loss of ability to sweat and a loss of your kidney and liver’s abilities to detoxify your body the way they normally do.

Well, in case you’re feeling good about yourself because you’re too smart to exert yourself outdoors, all I’ve been describing is ‘Exertional’ Heat Stroke. The more deadly form of heat related illness is ‘Classic’ Heat Stroke. This is the type that captures the headlines every year in places like Chicago, New Orleans, Miami and Houston. Classic Heat Stroke is seen in those with underlying disease, bad habits or the elderly. I’m talking about the obese, alcoholics, meth and/or cocaine users, folks with thyroid or heart disease or on certain medications like diuretics or beta-blockers. These folks can get the same symptoms simply by not being able to escape the heat. They may actually just be sitting around in a less than optimally air-conditioned home.

So that’s what you’re up against. And yes, many people die from this. By the way, you’re not protected from the heat related illness just because you’re in shape. Let’s end with 2 tips (one for prevention and the other for assessment and treatment) to help you Beat the Heat.

heat_stroke_prevention

1) Take special caution during the following conditions

  1. 95 degrees is high risk, regardless of the humidity
  2. 85 degrees and 60% or above humidity
  3. 75 degrees and 90% or above humidity

heat_maintips

Here, you want to remove yourself from that environment. You need to keep plenty of fluids around. You need to visit an environment where there’s adequate air conditioning. Dress very lightly.

2) If symptoms of heat related illness short of mental status changes occur, think “Check, Call, Care, Cool”

  1. Check – look for those signs and symptoms I mentioned earlier
  2. Call – call 911 immediately. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
  3. Care – Lie in a cool place, elevate the legs, place cool, wet towels on the body (especially in the armpits and groin), and drink cool fluids. If mental status changes occur, or if the heart or lungs appear to give out, cool by any means necessary while waiting for the ambulance. This could include ice bath, ice packs, fans or cold water, but don’t drown someone trying to put them in a tub of water if you can’t handle them. Don’t forget to remove those layers of clothing.

Please be mindful that it is hotter in July, and unfortunately lives are lost every year to the heat. That said, it doesn’t have to be July for you to get a heat-related illness. If you can’t avoid the exposure, at least have a plan for managing the heat and acting on any mishaps. The life you save may be your own.

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, Health Prevention, Neurology

Straight, No Chaser: Prevention and Treatment of Food Allergies

FoodAllergies_enHD

Whether or not you personally have a food allergy, it is likely you will find yourself in a situation with someone who does. Food allergies affect approximately 15 million Americans. Given that this could be a life-threatening event, it’s important for you to know some basics about addressing allergic reactions to food as they occur.

Tips to Prevent

Let’s start with some tips for you to better prevent allergic reactions, because once you become aware that you have a food allergy, avoidance means everything. Remember from this post that allergic reactions can occur without you eating the food; simple exposures such as touching or breathing the food can prompt a reaction.

 Peanut-warning-sign

  1. Develop a habit of carefully checking the ingredient labels of food products. You don’t get to live life casually. You must be diligent and make sure you’re not exposing yourself.
  2. Learn other names for the food or foods that you and your doctor think it best to avoid. Especially when you’re eating out, you should present these names on a list to your kitchen staff to ensure your safety. Have the waiters check with the cook or chef. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may wish to do this before entering restaurants, as vapors may be enough to trigger reactions in some.
  3. Have your physician provide you a list of symptoms and instructions in case of an allergic reaction. Keep it within easy reach, and share it when out and about eating. Yes, you need to be this diligent.

 med bracelet

Tips to deal with emergencies

  • The first consideration is you need a plan. Your life probably isn’t as simple as the movies, where you get to stab yourself with some epinephrine and go about your business five minutes later. Rummaging through a pharmacy looking for Benadryl while your throat is closing isn’t your best course of action.
  • Wearing a medical alert bracelet can be life saving in the event you pass out. It can be the only tip available to a medical professional trying to save you.

epipen

  • If you’ve been instructed by your physician on how to self-administer epinephrine (adrenaline), go for it under the correct circumstances.
  • In the absence of that, or while you’re following your physician’s instructions, calling 9-1-1 (i.e., emergency services, an ambulance) is your best bet. They will have the medicine needed to rescue you and the equipment needed to help you if things go wrong. Because you might not have much time, getting help can be more important that attempting to treat yourself.
  • You should be aware that once in the emergency room, treatment focuses on blunting the immune response with steroids and various medicines called antihistamines (histamines are substances that are released by the body in response to perceived threats; inappropriate histamine release causes many of the symptoms of an allergic reaction).

Advances in Food Allergy Treatment

There is no cure for food allergy. Researchers in food allergy treatments are focusing on new methods of treatment, some of which your primary care physician or allergist may consider.

  • Oral and sublingual immunotherapy: This involves providing small amounts of the allergic substance either by mouth or under the tongue, and treating reactions as they occur. The idea here is to allow you to better tolerate increasing exposures to the allergen.
  • Chinese herbal medicine: An herbal remedy known as FAHF-2 is being studied to assess effectiveness against those serious, life threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).
  • Anti-IgE therapy: IgE is the molecule our bodies use to fight off allergic threats. Anti-IgE molecules bind to IgE in an effort to curb that response and provide possible short-term relief treatment from food allergies.

While these treatments are still in ongoing studies to determine safety and long-term effectiveness, these potential advances represent the best source of optimism in food allergy research in recent memory. If you have any additional questions, certainly contact your Sterling Medical Advice expert consultant or your physician.

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 Diet and Nutrition, Endocrine/Metabolic, Hematology & Oncology/Blood Disorders/Cancer

Straight, No Chaser: Food Allergies

I often say whatever you put in your mouth either helps or harms you. Today, we discuss food allergies, which sounds like a cruel trick or something out of a horror movie, but unfortunately, they’re all too real. Let’s address questions on the topic.

 food.allergies.101.cnn.640x480

Why do I get allergies anyway?

Food and other types of allergies result from your body mistaking harmless substances for potential threats. The resulting immune response is an attempt to defeat that threat. You are caught in the crossfire, and you exhibit symptoms as a result.

Why do I get allergies to foods I’ve eaten before without a problem?

In many instances, the first time you’re exposed to a certain new food, your body is only primed, and you won’t experience symptoms. A subsequent exposure will prompt the full allergic response.

Is there a way to know if I’m at risk?

Food allergies are more likely in those who have a family history of allergies, asthma or eczema. Take a minute today and ask your parents if they have any allergies to foods or medicines. It’s good to be aware.

How do I know my symptoms are an allergic reaction?

We’ll discuss symptoms shortly, but one big clue is the timing of symptoms. Allergic reactions due to food take place within minutes to a few hours after exposure. It’s not as important for you to know the symptoms as to realize that you’re not well and that evaluation is needed.

 food allergy sx

So what are the symptoms?

Let’s start with the life-threatening considerations. If you have any shortness of breath, mental status changes (e.g. confusion, severe dizziness) or sensation that your throat is closing, get to an emergency room as soon as possible. Other symptoms may include the following.

  • Itching or swelling of your mouth or the tissues between your mouth and throat
  • Hives, wheals, or an eruption of your eczema
  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Drop in your blood pressure

food allergy touch

Can you get food allergies from touching foods?

Yes. As an example, those with peanut allergies can have an allergic reaction from breathing in peanut residue, touching peanuts or using skin products that contain peanuts.

 food-allergies

Which foods are most likely to cause allergies?

Here is a partial list of foods commonly causing food allergies.

  • Cow’s mik
  • Eggs
  • Fish/shellfish
  • Peanuts/tree nuts
  • Soy
  • Wheat

Cow’s milk? Is that the same as lactose intolerance? 

No. That’s a different consideration and an upcoming post.

What about treatment?

That’s tomorrow’s post. Obviously knowledge and avoidance are key.

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 Diet and Nutrition, Endocrine/Metabolic, Hematology & Oncology/Blood Disorders/Cancer

Straight, No Chaser: So… You Skipped Your Period? Let’s Discuss Secondary Amenorrhea

missed-periods-300x205

It happens all the time, but one thing that makes both men and women anxious is a missed menstrual period. Everyone’s always worried about being pregnant (and you should be).

amenorrhea

While a missed menstrual period is the defining feature of early pregnancy, it can be due to a number of other factors and conditions.

Skipped periods are a fact of life. Doctors use the term amenorrhea—primary and secondary amenorrhea—to describe the absence of menstruation.

Primary amenorrhea, which is very rare, is when a female has not yet started her monthly periods, though she is older than age 15 and has otherwise completed puberty. We discuss primary amenorrhea over at www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com.

Secondary amenorrhea, which is much more common, is the absence of periods in a previously menstruating woman. Periods may be irregular, with the woman skipping periods for the first few years after she begins menstruating and during perimenopause (the time preceding menopause). However, when the lapse in regular periods last for over six months, it is called secondary amenorrhea. (This designation does not pertain to post-menopausal, pregnant or breast-feeding women.)

Let’s jump right into the risk factors and causes. There are many, and these conditions tend to interfere with the balance and levels of the body’s sex hormones.

Risk factors

You are more likely to have amenorrhea when the following factors are present:

  • Excessive exercise
  • Significant, sudden weight loss (e.g., gastric bypass, extreme diets)
  • Obesity
  • Severe anxiety or emotional distress
  • Very low body fat (less than 15% – 17%)

Other possible causes include the following:

  • Brain tumors (e.g., pituitary tumors)
  • Cancer/chemotherapy treatment
  • Dilatation and curettage (D&C)
  • Drugs used to treat schizophrenia or psychosis
  • Overactive thyroid gland
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Reduced function of the ovaries
  • Severe pelvic infections
  • Use of hormone shots (e.g., Depo-provera) and the six-month period after cessation of these shots

Of course, you’re going to get evaluated, and the first question will be whether or not you are pregnant. The good news is for secondary amenorrhea (and even more so for skipped periods), simply addressing the underlying cause resolves the situation in most cases. However, don’t take it lightly. Get evaluated if you have concerns. Of course, you can feel free to contact your SMA expert consultant with any questions you have.

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, Medical Treatment, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Straight, No Chaser: Thyroid Awareness and Neck Self-Examination

thyroid awareness

Is your thyroid something you know exists but know very little about? Let’s change that. The thyroid gland lives in your neck and produces hormones that help you regular your body’s metabolism. This makes it quite important. Thyroid disease affects approximately 200 million people around the world. You care about this because abnormalities of the thyroid gland can cause real problems and deadly disease. Let’s take a brief look at four types of abnormalities.

Thyroid-dysfunctions-symptoms

Goiters are something you may know of if you’re of a certain age. It’s a condition notable for the presence of a visibly enlarged thyroid gland

  • Goiters frequently cause difficulty swallowing or breathing.

Hyperthyroidism is a disease resulting from an overactive thyroid

  • Symptoms of hyperthyroidism are: rapid weight loss, high blood pressure, anxiety and insomnia.

Hypothyroidism is an under active thyroid.

  • Symptoms of hypothyroidism are: weak or slow heartbeat; muscular weakness; constant fatigue; weight gain; depression; slow reflexes; sensitivity to cold; thick, puffy, or dry skin; slowed mental processes and poor memory; and constipation.

thyroid-cancer

Thyroid cancer has seen a dramatic increase in the number of cases diagnosed due to increased detection. Of course, early detection and treatment is a good thing for prognosis.

thryoid self

All of these conditions can be discovered if you learn to examine your neck. 15-30 seconds can often help you discover lumps, nodules, goiters and cancers that will signal an immediate need for assessment, confirmation and treatment by a physician. Given the relatively non-specific nature of symptoms related to the thyroid, your role in discovering thyroid disease is an important one. As is the case with other self-exams (e.g. breast, testicles), you will become more familiar with your anatomy and will be most likely to pick up on any changes with repeated exams.

thyroid self exam

Performing a Neck (Thyroid) Self-Exam:

  • Grab a mirror, and tip your head back. Your area of interest is the middle area of your neck. Your thyroid gland is located above your collarbones and below the Adam’s apple (larynx).
  • Take a drink of water and slowly swallow.
  • As you swallow, check your neck for any bulges, lumps or protrusions. You may want to repeat this process several times.
  • If you discover any abnormalities, see your physician. You may need to checked for thyroid disease.

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, Health Prevention

Straight, No Chaser Vlog: Diabetes

The Straight, No Chaser vlog (video blog) series presents “health care basics” to keep you safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. Today’s Straight, No Chaser addresses diabetes. Learn about the early indicators of diabetes, over 18 Million people are undiagnosed. Please don’t let that be you! Have a healthy and Happy Holidays!

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 © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser Vlog: Diabetes

Filed under Diet and Nutrition, Endocrine/Metabolic, Health Prevention