Category Archives: General Health and Wellness

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.

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

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

globalization_intro

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

Travel-health-insurance-for-international-travelers

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.

international-health-insurance-300x166

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.

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Filed under General Health and Wellness, Health Prevention

Straight, No Chaser: When Your Jaw Pain Could Be a Heart Attack

Several Straight, No Chaser posts have addressed jaw pain. We’ve separately discussed jaw trauma and TMJ syndrome. Unfortunately, that’s not the most important story of jaw pain. As an emergency physician, those causes aren’t close to my first consideration when you tell me you have jaw pain.

 jaw referred pain

Previously, we have discussed heart attack recognition. It is important to appreciate that because of the distribution of certain nerves, heart pain can be transmitted (i.e., referred) up to the left jaw (particularly the lower aspects). In the context of someone at high risk for a heart attack or otherwise presenting with symptoms of a heart attack, jaw pain becomes a very important clue.

Before you overreact to that toothache that’s causing jaw pain, here are some important considerations about when jaw pain might or might not be part of a heart attack or other illness related to the heart.

  • If your jaw pain is worsened or reproduced by pressing a specific place on the face (known as a trigger point), it is not likely due to the heart.
  • If your jaw pain is worsened by chewing, grinding your teeth or other motions of the jaw, it is not likely due to the heart.

jaw-pain

Here’s a group of considerations that in the presence of jaw pain could indicate heart pain.

  • If exertion exacerbates the pain, this makes the heart more likely as a cause.
  • If rest does not relieve the discomfort, this makes the heart more likely as a cause.
  • Any presence of shortness of breath during the episode of chest discomfort makes the heart more likely as a cause. (Pain during breathing is not the heart as shortness of breath, which describes the subjective inability to get enough air or difficulty breathing.)
  • Any presence of nausea, vomiting, sweating, blackouts or racing/fluttering of the heart makes the heart more likely as a cause, without or without the presence of jaw pain. 

If simple motions of the arm, shoulder, or jaw make things worse, it is probably not due to the heart. If rotating the muscles of your trunk (twisting from side to side) make things worse, it is not likely to be due to a heart problem. If pressing on a trigger point causes exquisite discomfort, it is also not likely a heart problem. If taking a deep breath makes things worse, it is not likely that a heart attack is the problem.

On the other hand, if walking fast aggravates the issue or causes shortness of breath, I would be concerned. If the discomfort persists even when lying quietly, I would be concerned. If you are getting short of breath for any reason, I would be concerned.

 heart-symptoms

You really should know the risk factors and typical signs of a heart attack. If you have a moderate to high-risk profile, don’t take these things lightly. Get in and get evaluated. If the worse thing you discover from your jaw pain is you have TMJ syndrome, that would be a good day, because even that needs to be addressed.

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

Straight, No Chaser: Step on a Nail? What Happens Next?

StepOnNail

What would you do if you stepped on a nail? What if the nail was rusty? Does it make a difference if you were wearing shoes? Is stepping on a nail dangerous? Why does everyone pronounce tetanus “teknus?” For the answers to these questions (well maybe not the last one) and more, read the rest of this Straight, No Chaser!

It’s an interesting thing that so many nails are allowed to stay on the ground until they become rusty. One would think either they’d be picked up or that you wouldn’t be walking around barefooted in unknown areas. We’ve discussed puncture wounds previously, and stepping on a nail is an example of a puncture wound. However, there are some important considerations that make it worthwhile to discuss.

 footnail

What should you do if you step on a nail?

Assuming the nail isn’t stuck in your feet, clean your foot vigorously. If the nail is superficially struck in your foot, it’s likely you will have reflexively yanked it out. That’s ok as long as the wound isn’t significantly bleeding at the time.

It’s prudent that you call your physician for next instructions, but in most cases you’ll be directed to come to the emergency room.

 foot_nail-350

What’s the issue?

There is no one issue. There are several potentially significant consequences of stepping on a nail.

  • If the skin was sliced instead of punctured, that’s a laceration, which will need to be addressed.
  • It makes a huge difference if you were wearing shoes or not, and not in the way you might think. Stepping on a rusty nail is a much more dangerous proposition if you did so while wearing rubber soles. One of the more dangerous bacteria we have to deal with (named Pseudomonas) thrives in rubber. The puncture from grass or ground through the sole of a rubber shoe into your foot may plant this bacteria superficially or deeply into your foot, causing one (or several) of many different types of infections.
  • Rusty nails can produce tetanus, which is almost always fatal. This is why you get immunized at least every decade for this disease. You wouldn’t want your worse enemy to suffer a death from tetanus (at least I’d hope not).

 foot infection from nail

What kind of infections can you get from this?

Skin infections are common after puncture wounds involving nails, and can include the following:

  • Cellulitis – a straightforward infection of the skin
  • Abscesses – those walled-off “pus pockets” that sometimes require incision and drainage to make it go away
  • Osteomyelitis – the bones deeper into the foot can actually become chipped and/or infected as well

These are significant wounds, especially if rubber soles are involved, and they may even require surgery to clean the area. In some instances (especially when you have certain risk factors) skin ulcerations (breakdown of the skin) can occur, making severe infection more likely. In some of these instances, foot amputation is necessary.

In addition to wearing rubber-soled shoes at the time of the injury, these other conditions place you at risk for a worse outcome.

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Malnutrition
  • Reduced immunity
  • Smoking history

The infections associated with nail-induced puncture wounds are potentially serious and hard to treat. Patients sometimes end up hospitalized with weeks and sometimes months of treatment with antibiotics.

In case you think the take home message is it’s better not to wear shoes or sandals when walking through the house, grass or sand, you’re partially correct. My best advice to you is look before you weep.

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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Straight, No Chaser: In Honor of Mothers and All Women

At Straight, No Chaser, our posts aim to inform and encourage you to manage your health. In doing so, we would do well to learn about early recognition, diagnosis and management of conditions that are beyond our control. In honor of Mothers Day, we welcome Dr. Sheri Prentiss to the blog. If you don’t know Dr. Prentiss, please take the time to do so. As a breast cancer survivor, Susan G. Komen 3-Day Spokesperson and upcoming Commencement Speaker at Northwestern University, she shares a message of hope and empowerment in the face of just one such health challenge. Thank you Dr. Prentiss for contributing to Straight, No Chaser!

power

When you think of the most powerful women you know, who comes to mind? Some of us think of political figures like Hilary Clinton. Perhaps you think of Oprah or Beyonce or other entertainers.

It’s easy to recognize “power” in celebrity or status in the newsworthy, but true power is something much more subtle and sublime. Webster’s Dictionary defines powerful as “having power, authority, influence.” According to this definition, being powerful has nothing to do with being a public figure, a multi-millionaire or a politician.

While the world certainly needs revolutionaries, entertainers and politicians, what it needs MORE are everyday women, not using their power to position themselves over others, to re-write history or to be rich and famous, but who are creating awesome lives for themselves and others, just like the women I meet on every 3-Day event!

power 3-day 2

The world is in desperate need of women who channel their power into touching hearts with their authenticity, stirring emotions with their self-expression, and impacting their worlds with their “regular” lives. In doing these things, we DO change the world, we WILL re-write history, we will be remembered as women who knew and exercised their power.

power woman

What are the secrets of power-full living? How can you invite more power into your life? It’s easier than you think:

1. A powerful woman exercises her authority. This doesn’t this mean you go around bossing people around, but it does mean you stand up for your values, refuse to be a door-mat, take full responsibility for your life, reject the victim role, refuse to settle for less than you deserve in life and love and use your power to speak your mind.

2. A powerful woman spots her leaks and patches them right away. We all have an incredible capacity for power. Think of this capacity as a gas tank, power being the fuel that moves you. When you have a leak—even the tiniest pin-hole—you lose your power. Where in your life do you lose power? What people, activities, obligations or thought processes drain you of your power? When you find them, “patch” them by making whatever changes are necessary.

power women

3. A powerful woman surrounds herself with other powerful women. Truth is, you won’t always feel strong and in control. Troubles, fears, and real-life problems have a way of draining our power. Women who are connected to other women can share their power. When one friend is low on power, another can siphon some of hers to share. When you’re driving on E and putter out on the side of life’s highway, a caring friend can pick you up and bring you to the nearest re-fueling station.

power exercise

4. A powerful woman re-fuels regularly. Like fuel, power gets spent the more you move. The more you exercise your power, the more necessary it is to re-fuel. A powerful woman does this by connecting with inspiration on a regular basis, by expressing her creativity, by reading good books, by praying, meditating or exercising. There are a million different ways you can re-power. Pick what appeals to your heart and do it.

5. A powerful woman shares her power. It seems to go against what we think of as powerful, doesn’t it? The good news is, sharing your power doesn’t diminish yours. You can share your power perhaps by mentoring a teenage girl or by raising your kids to be strong and independent or by putting your arm around someone who’s sad and empty. There are countless ways you can share your power, and, unlike those dreadful fuel-leak energy-drains, this one actually works in reverse. When you share your power, the world becomes a little brighter, a little more beautiful, and YOU become even more power-filled.power wings

So my questions to you today are these: “Where is your point of power? What energizes you? Where do you lose power? How do you re-fill your tank? How can you share your power?”

Today, consider your amazing capacity for a power-full life … and start living it. Today, share my motto with me: L.I.V.E Everyday!TMLove myself and others…Inspire those around me…Voice my dreams and ambitions…Enjoy life.

Please like and share our blog with your family and friends.

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, Obstetrics and Gynecology