Category Archives: Health Prevention

Straight, No Chaser: Your Guide to Fighting Childhood Obesity (Works for Adults, Too!)

Would you start your child on a fad diet? Of course not. Combating obesity means consistently applying principles that bear fruit (and include fruits over time). So you have an overweight child and want to do better to protect his or her health. Today on Straight, No Chaser, we  discuss tips to promote better habits and health. You may want to keep this list. Of course it starts with you. Be careful! You may discover these tips work for you as well.

Things for the parents to do

parents-kids-obesity

  • Understand that this process involves many individuals (e.g., you, your physicians, dieticians, psychologists – even your personal healthcare consultants). None of you should be expected to do this alone. Ask for help.
  • Appreciate that you are the message. Your words are not enough. You are your children’s role model. They will aspire to look and be like you. Protect your own health.
  • Don’t isolate your child. Get the entire family involved in developing healthy eating and physical activity habits.
  • Don’t mentally punish your child. If they are led to believe they did something wrong or disappointed you, they could adopt dangerous behavior to compensate or punish themselves. Be supportive and positive.

Healthier eating habits

kids-healthy-eating

General conditions

  • Make healthy choices easy and unhealthy ones more difficult. Put nutritious foods where they are easy to see, and keep high-calorie foods out of sight. It takes multiple servings for anyone’s tastes to get used to new foods. Stick with it!
  • Figure out how to avoid fast food. When you do go, choose the healthier options, such as salads with low-fat dressing.
  • Plan special healthy meals and eat together as a family. Make it an adventure, and make it fun and rewarding.
  • Don’t use unhealthy foods as a reward when encouraging kids to eat. Promising dessert to a child for eating vegetables, for example, sends the message that vegetables are less valuable than dessert.
  • Don’t make your child clean his or her plate. This promotes overeating.
  • Learn to limit eating to specific meal and snack times. At other times, the kitchen is “closed.”
  • Avoid large portions. Start with small servings, and let your child ask for more if he or she is still hungry.

Limit the bad

  • Avoid any fats that are solid at room temperature (e.g., butter and lard)
  • Avoid foods that are high in calories, sugar and salt (e.g., sugary drinks, candy, chips, cookies and French fries)
  • Avoid refined grains (white flour, rice and pasta)

Add the good

  • Introduce fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and whole grains (e.g., brown rice). Don’t worry. They’ll eat them if that’s the option you’re providing.
  • Use fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products or substitutes (e.g., soy beverages)
  • Offer your child water or low-fat milk instead of fruit juice
  • Serve lean meats, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, soy products and eggs

Control the snacking

  • Go with air-popped popcorn without butter
  • Gradually train your kids to like fresh, frozen, dried, or canned fruit served plain or with low-fat yogurt
  • Gradually train your kids to like fresh vegetables like baby carrots, cucumber, zucchini or tomatoes
  • Snack on low-sugar, whole-grain cereal with low-fat or fat-free milk or a milk substitute fortified with calcium and vitamin D

Stay physically active

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Kids need about 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Several short 5-10 minute periods of activity throughout the day are as effective as one 60-minute session. If you are starting from scratch, start from where you are and build up to the 60 minutes target. It only works if you stay diligent.

General considerations:

  • Be the message! Show your child that physical activity is fun, and demonstrate how you enjoy it. Have family activities that include being physically active, such as a walk.
  • Encourage participation in organized sports or classes, such as basketball, dance or soccer.
  • If sports don’t work, other fun activities include dancing to music, playing tag, jumping rope or riding a bike.
  • Assign active chores such as making the beds, sweeping/raking or vacuuming.

Activities that kids choose to do on their own are often best. Try these – and play with your kids. You need to be active, too!

  • Catching and throwing
  • Climbing on a jungle gym or climbing wall
  • Dancing
  • Jumping rope
  • Playing hopscotch
  • Riding a bike
  • Shooting baskets

Cut back on inactive time spent watching TV or on the computer or hand-held device.

  • Limit screen time to no more than two hours per day.
  • Substitute these relatively inactive activities with stimulating ones such as acting out books or stories or doing a family art project.
  • When watching TV, get up and move during TV commercials. By all means, discourage “couch-potato” activity of snacking when sitting in front of the TV.

I know this is a lot, but your kids are worth it, as are you. These actions are habits, not just actions. Work over time to incorporate as many as possible into your family’s routine, and I promise you’ll see the difference.

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.jeffreysterlingbooks.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, Health Prevention, Medical Treatment, Pediatrics/Kids Health

Straight, No Chaser: Electrical Injuries and Lightning Strikes

Electricalinjurydanger

As I watch lightning lighting up the sky, it makes me wonder if anyone out there is unlucky enough to be getting struck. The annual probability of being struck by lightning is approximately 1 in 280,000, which is a lot more frequent than makes me comfortable. Today’s Straight, No Chaser addresses concerns and frequently asked questions on electrical injuries.

Why is getting shocked a big deal?

The human body conducts electricity very well, meaning when an external current is attached to us, it runs through the body with ease. This provides a lot of opportunity to cause damage. That damage in the wrong place can kill.

How does getting shocked cause damage?

There are three different paths by which electrical current (“getting shocked”) can cause damage.

electrical_burn_to_foot

  • On the way in and out, electrical current is likely to cause burns to the skin (thermal burns, aka entry and exit wounds).
  • An electrical current can cause destruction to several tissues, including muscles and nerves.
  • As electrical currents reach the heart, they can be disruptive to the heart’s electrical current, even causing it to stop.

What are some common causes of electrical injuries?

The dangers are all around you and in many instances occur because you don’t respect the power and danger of the electricity you use.

electrical injury lineman

  • If you have a job involving machinery or working with electricity, you can’t afford to get comfortable, because that’s when mistakes and injuries occur.

electricalpediatricburns_3

  • If you have electrical outlets that aren’t childproofed, then it stands to reason that eventually someone might place a metal object into that outlet, receiving a shock – or worse.

electrical-equipmentfrayed

  • If you have electrical appliances with worn, frayed and exposed wiring and you come in contact with the wire while it’s plugged in, you will be shocked.

electrical-injury-power lines

  • You live near a high-voltage power line? Beware of flashing electric arcs, which are looking for somewhere to land.

electricalgolferinjury

  • Thunder and lightning outside? Don’t be the golfer or other nature-lover wielding metal or otherwise unnecessarily exposing yourself to a rather large bolt. When you hear the thunder, the lightning is closer than you may think, relatively speaking.

What are the types of injuries I may receive?

Symptoms related to electrical injuries are numerous and varied. Here are a few examples.

electricalgolfinjury

  • Burns are common. The skin is likely to be pierced and burned on the way in and on the way out, producing “exit wounds” from the burn. Additionally, your sweat can be converted to steam and produce burns that way. Children who bite something with an active electrical current can receive a burn to the lip and experience delayed yet significant bleeding from the lip.

electrical lip-burn

  • The parts of the body that rely heavily on electric current are likely to be involved and damaged. This means you may experience the symptoms of a heart attack, an irregular heartbeat, numbness and tingling in your arms or legs from nerve damage or abnormal contractions of your muscles, which you’ll perceive as spasms and pain.
  • Similar effects on the brain may produce seizures and/or altered mental status.
  • The blast caused by an electrical injury can rupture a lung or your eardrums. Lung failure, shortness of breath and difficulty hearing may result.
  • The jolt caused by an electrical injury can sufficiently throw you such that secondary injuries can occur, including broken bones.
  • Combinations of the above mechanisms can produce additional symptoms such as headache, visual disturbances and problems swallowing.
  • Death may occur. Fortunately, even with the “ultimate” electrical injury (a lightning strike), 90% of victims still survive.

A separate Straight, No Chaser will address treatment and prevention considerations related to electrical injuries. In the meantime, look before you get shocked.

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.jeffreysterlingbooks.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

The Straight, No Chaser Guide to Health Screenings for Men

health_screening

At some particular point  you will start to inventory all the things for which you’re thankful. In the event health or your family comes to mind, you might be interested in preserving your health. This Straight, No Chaser looks at current health screening recommendations. Whether it’s an ounce of prevention or early detection, you’re much better off knowing what your health status is. Today, let’s focus on men’s health, as men are much less likely to have encountered a physician. Please remember: these recommendations are in effect regardless of “how you feel!”

 

Health Screenings For Men – Ages 40 to 64

Blood Pressure Screening:

  • At age 40, you should have your blood pressure checked at least once a year. If you’re seeing a physician at any point during the year, this will be done. Be sure to ask for and document your numbers. If you aren’t seeing a physician, these days local pharmacies and various other opportunities through communities will allow you to stay aware of your blood pressure.
  • If you’re getting it checked on your own, remember the following numbers: if the top number (systolic) is above 120 or the lower number is more than 80, you should schedule an appointment with a health care provider.

Cholesterol Screening

  • Cholesterol levels should be checked no less than every 5 years.

Colon Cancer Screening

  • All men between 50-75 should be screened along one of these guidelines:
    • A stool test for blood every year
    • A flexible sigmoidoscopy test every 5 years with a stool test for blood every 3 years
    • A colonoscopy at least every 10 years, and perhaps more often with risk factors such as ulcerative colitis, a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal adenomas
  • Men under 50 years may need screening if a strong family history of colon cancer, polyps, inflammatory bowel disease exists.

Diabetes Screening

  • After age 45, all men should be screened every 3 years.
  • If your blood pressure is more than 120/80 mm Hg, or you have other risk factors for diabetes, you may be checked at any age.
  • If you are overweight, you likely will be screened at younger ages; ask if you should be checked whenever you engage the healthcare system.

Dental Exam

  • At these ages, you should be visiting the dentist once or twice a year for an exam, cleaning and screening for oral cancer.

Eye Exam

  • At ages 40-54: an exam every 2-4 years
  • At ages 55-64: an exam every 1-3 years
  • Exams may be needed more frequently if you have visual difficulties or a significant risk for glaucoma. If you have diabetes, you need an annual eye exam.

health-screening1

Heart Disease Prevention

  • At these ages, an examination is needed to quantify your risks for heart disease.
  • When you have a physical examination, specifically ask if you should be taking a daily aspirin.

Immunizations

  • Influenza: you should get a flu shot every year.
  • Shingles (herpes zoster): you may get a shingles vaccine once after age 60.
  • Tetanus-diphtheria: you should get a booster ever 10 years, assuming you’ve received the primary vaccine series – if not, you’ll need that first.

Lung Cancer Screening

  • You will receive annual screening for lung cancer if between ages 55-80 and you have a 30 “pack-year” smoking history and if you either are a current smoker or have quit within the last 15 years.

Osteoporosis Screening

  • Discuss with your healthcare provider if you’re between ages 50-70.

Physical Exam:

  • Yes, this is a very important and basic screening tool. Every year if not more often with every exam, your height, weight, body mass index (BMI) and vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and respiratory (breathing) rate) should be checked.
  • Your annual exam will also assess your risks due to alcohol, tobacco and other illicit drug use, depression, inadequate diet and exercise, and improper use of seat belts and smoke detectors.

Prostate Cancer Screening:

  • Discuss with your physician at age 45 if you’re African-American or have a family history of prostate cancer in a first-degree relative younger than age 65.
  • Discuss with your physician otherwise if your older than 50.
  • In case you’re wondering, prostate exams are no longer routinely done on men without symptoms. Furthermore, the PSA test is falling out of favor; the potential benefits of PSA screening haven’t been shown to outweigh potential harm done by treatment.

Testicular Exam

  • Testicular self-exams are no longer recommended (source: US Preventive Services Task Force). Your physician may choose to examine you based on risks and/or symptoms.

If this seems like a lot, well, you’re worth it. You can always print this out and compare notes with your physician; odds are they’ll have all of this covered. The most important thing is to get checked!

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.jeffreysterlingbooks.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: 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: Do You Have Moles?

Molesinyard 

Odds are you do, but we’re not talking about the animal variety. It’s Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, and so if you do have moles, you should know when to be concerned. Let’s review some basic and critical information you should know.

common-moles

1. What are moles? The term common mole is applied to hyperpigmented skin growths. Typically, colors are pink, tan or brown. They tend not to grow beyond the size of a pencil eraser and are usually oval or round. Moles are most commonly seen above the waist in sun-exposed areas.

2. Do moles develop more commonly as you age? Hopefully not in your case. Moles develop until approximately age 40, then they tend to fade away. However, ongoing sun exposure at any age can prompt the development of more moles. Still, the growth or changing of moles with age must be a prompt to you to get evaluated.

3. How many moles would be considered normal? Most people with moles have between 10-40. Those with more than 50 have an increased risk of developing melanoma, which is a form of skin cancer. It is important to note that most moles do not turn into melanoma.

4. What are abnormal moles? The medical term for an abnormal mole is a dysplastic nevus. This term refers to moles that tend to be larger with possibly different colors, borders and texture. The relevance of these moles is that they are more likely to develop into melanomas, although most do not.

moles

5. When should I be concerned about moles? You should discuss your moles if you notice any of the following:

  • The color of the mole changes.
  • The mole gets smaller or bigger.
  • The mole changes in shape, texture or height.
  • The skin on the surface becomes dry or scaly.
  • The mole becomes hard or feels lumpy.
  • The mole starts to itch.
  • The mole bleeds or oozes.

ABCDChart

I’m going to reconfigure what I just explained in a way that may be easier for you to remember. Characteristics of melanoma can be remembered by ABCDE:

  • A: The mole of melanoma tends to be asymmetric (as opposed to round or oval).
  • B: The mole of melanoma has irregular borders.
  • C: The color of melanotic moles is uneven, and may include multiple colored shades.
  • D: Most melanomas are larger than six millimeters wide (i.e., larger than the diameter of a pencil eraser).
  • E: The mole has been evolving over a matter of weeks or months.

6. What factors increase the risk of melanoma? People with the following risk factors have an increased chance of melanoma:

  • The presence a dysplastic nevus
  • Having more than 50 common moles
  • Excessive exposure to UV radiation: Our greatest exposure to UV radiation is sunlight. Also, tanning (e.g., use of tanning booths and sunlamps before age 30), an increased lifetime sun exposure and having had at least one blistering sunburn (especially during adulthood), a past history or a family history of melanoma all increase the chance of developing melanoma.

7. How can the risks of moles becoming melanoma be reduced? The best way to prevent the development of skin cancer is to limit your time in the sun. When in the sun, you should use sunscreen and wear clothing that covers your skin.

We recommend that you be mindful, not only of the existence of moles, but of other matters that affect your health.

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 Health Prevention, Skin/Dermatology

Straight, No Chaser: Healthy and Safe Swimming

Image result for healthy and safe swimming week 2018

Did you know this is National Healthy Safe and Swimming Week? Whether you’re an avid swimmer or only deal with it on a vacation, it’s important to be reminded how to be safe while you’re in the water. Based on recommendations of the American Red Cross, consider these important swimming safety tips, which include direct and indirect hazards posed by swimming and related activities.

 swimming-pool-safety-150x150

Preparing to swim

  • Make sure everyone in your family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate swim courses.
  • Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing aids, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
  • Enroll in home pool safety, water safety, first-aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.
  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around and in water.
  • If you have a home pool, secure it with appropriate barriers.
  • Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

swimming_b250px

While in the water

  • Choose to swim in levels of water consistent with your skill; being adventurous can be deadly.
  • Until and unless you’re an expert swimmer, always swim with someone else.
  • Choose to swim in areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water. Develop the habit of having children ask permission to go near water.
  • When you’re the one supervising your children, always be attentive; avoid distractions.
  • If a child is missing, check the water first.
  • Protect your skin while swimming. Limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Wear sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15.
  • Drink plenty of water regularly, even if you’re not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them.

swimming healthy1

Water safety is just something that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Every second matters in preventing death and/or long-term disability. Many children who drown will only be out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time. At the other end of risk, too often those believing themselves to be most skilled are most likely to place themselves in harm’s way with overly risky activities, leading to increased incidences of death (this is especially true for scuba divers). Take the time to protect yourselves and your loved ones.

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 Health Prevention, Pediatrics/Kids Health

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.

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

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

Filed under Endocrine/Metabolic, Health Prevention, Neurology