Top10MD Blog

DIABETES | THE SUGAR STRUGGLE

 10 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



Although diabetes is an extremely common disease, nearly 28% of the population does not know they have it. This is a very high percentage and a sad statistic. Sometimes people are not diagnosed until they fall into a diabetic coma. When it comes to diabetes, it is important to know the symptoms and risks. There is not one type of diabetes but many. Even understanding the different types can help you understand the treatment as well as the possible cures.

We hear the term sugar diabetes, but that is redundant. Diabetes is a disease that leads to too much sugar in the blood. Whenever you eat, your body processes the food by breaking it down into its different components. Most foods have sugar in them. The more sugar you eat, the more that will end up in your bloodstream. Sugar levels that are too high can be very dangerous and lead not only to negative symptoms but also other serious diseases. Two main mechanisms can cause diabetes. The first mechanism is the body’s inability to produce insulin. Insulin is the hormone that takes the sugar out of the blood and restores it to normal levels. When the body is not making enough insulin, your sugar levels are too high. The second mechanism is the body’s inability to process the sugar properly. There is no insulin problem, but the body just does not handle sugar.

Whenever there is a malfunction in insulin, you are considered to have Type 1 Diabetes. If there is a malfunction in sugar processing, you are regarded as having Type 2 Diabetes. Gestational diabetes is also common but among pregnant women. With gestational diabetes, you may only have diabetes while pregnant. This occurs when the body cannot make enough insulin support the increase sugar levels due to the baby. Normally after giving birth, the sugar levels return to normal.

If you know the symptoms of diabetes, you can prevent it before it starts. When you are experiencing symptoms, you may already be in the prediabetes stage. It is important to get control now before you are diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes.

Early Symptoms Include

  • Blurred Vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Increased Hunger
  • Increased Thirst
  • Increased Urination
  • Numbness

A lot of times we do not pay attention to these symptoms. We just think it is temporary. If you notice these symptoms are ongoing, you should see a physician and have a blood test as soon as possible. If you ignore these symptoms, diabetes can get out of control leading to neuropathy, slower healing processes and a greater risk of yeast infections.

Diabetes is nothing to joke about. It is very serious, and when left uncontrolled, it can be deadly. So many people ignore the signs and end up in the hospital. Getting an early diabetes diagnosis can help you manage the disease better. Just changing your diet can cure Type 2 diabetes. Eating a healthy diet and exercising can help prevent diabetes. If you notice you are having symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Get control of your diabetes and you can get control of your life.

Dallas Vascular Surgeon Dr. Gregory Pearl is board certified by the American Board of Surgery in General Vascular Surgery and a Fellow of Peripheral Vascular Surgery. Dr. Pearl is named Top10MD – 1-in- 3 doctors succeeds with this recognition in the United States. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Pearl link to his profile or call his office today 214-821- 9600.


PARKINSON’S DISEASE & MUHAMMAD ALI

 11 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



With great sadness, a legend of his own Muhammad Ali passed away at the age of 74 fighting a battle he could not win Parkinson’s disease. Ali had suffered from the disease since the early 80’s. As a three-time World Heavyweight Champion boxer, he retired and committed his life to philanthropy and social activism. Did boxing contribute to Ali acquiring Parkinson’s disease? Medical professionals and researchers still do not know, as the cause is unknown and there is no cure.

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive movement disorder with over one million people in the United States suffering from it, and approximately 60,000 people are newly diagnosed each year. The onset of this disease usually begins around the age of 60.

The disease affects neurons in an area of the brain called substantia nigra; this area of the brain controls a person’s movement and coordination. For an unknown reason, the malfunction and death of neurons lower a person’s dopamine levels; thereby, reducing their ability for correct movement and coordination.

Symptoms of Parkinson’sParkinson's Disease and Neurons

  • A slowness of movement
  • Tremor of the hands, arms, legs, jaw and face
  • Stiffness of the limbs and trunk
  • Impaired balance and coordination

Treatment Options for Parkinson’s

  • Medication
  • Surgery to manage symptoms

New Treatment Options for Parkinson’s

A breakthrough procedure where cutting edge stem cells is being utilized and  administered either intravenously or subcutaneously- under the skin in patients with Parkinson’s Disease.

 

If you are showing symptoms of early Parkinson’s disease contact a Top10MD Internist today and schedule an initial evaluation.

 

For more information visit the American Parkinson’s Disease Association.


GOUT AND THE BIG TOE

 11 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



Gout is a common and treatable form of Arthritis affecting more than 2 million Americans caused by deposits of uric acid — a white, odorless crystal that accumulates in the body and causes redness and swelling of the joints. Attacks come on suddenly and are painful, lasting 3 to 10 days. Most people believe Gout only affects the big toe. Though Gout is common in the big toe, it often affects other areas. 

Gout Can Affect

  • Ankles
  • Big Toe
  • Elbows
  • Fingers
  • Heels
  • Insteps
  • Knees
  • Wrists

Symptoms Include

  • Heat
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Stiffness in joints.
  • Swelling

While occurring in men and women of all ages, it rarely occurs in women before menopause. One way to obtain a diagnosis of is to remove fluid from an affected joint and examine it for the presence of uric acid. The diagnosis can also be confirmed by clinical criteria and imaging studies. Finding an elevated uric acid does not mean you have gout. First, the uric acid level in the blood may be normal even when gout is present. Second, a high level of uric acid in the blood by itself does not necessarily signify the presence of gout.

Medications and diet may trigger gout attacks. Certain substances in drugs and food can increase levels of uric acid in the blood. Diuretics such as Lasix® and hydrochlorothiazide, which are used to treat high blood pressure and edema (fluid retention), can increase the risk of gout attacks. Aspirin also increases uric acid levels and can worsen attacks.

Foods with high purine levels also increase uric acid levels in the blood. So changing your diet may help to prevent attacks. Avoiding sweetbreads, herring, mussels and sardines can be helpful. So, too, can avoiding alcoholic beverages, especially beer, dark wines and champagne. Results of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicate that a diet that includes dairy products and vegetables may help to prevent gout. Obesity and overeating or “bingeing” have been associated with gout, so maintaining a reasonable weight may also be a preventative measure.

If frequent gout attacks persist despite icing the area and elevating the joint, changes in medications or diet it may be time to visit a Rheumatologist to diagnose you accurately and prescribe medication to prevent flare-ups. These medications may include colchicine, Benemid® (probenecid) or Zyloprim® (allopurinol) or Uloric.

Dr. Scott Zashin is a respected and published Dallas Rheumatologist. He is dual board-certified by the American Board of Rheumatology and the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Zashin is the Medical Director of Dallas Rheumatology. For more information on getting back to feeling great visit his website or call today to schedule your initial consultation 214-363- 2812.


ZIKA VIRUS AND SAFE SEX GUIDELINES

 11 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



The World Health Organization has released safe sex guidelines for those who are returning from Zika-affected areas. The report recommends doubling the abstinence time from having sex; the initially suggested four weeks to eight weeks. Scientists have come to this conclusion from finding that the Zika Virus lingers longer in blood and other bodily fluids than previously thought. To ensure your partner’s safety and the safety of a potential pregnancy, seriously consider the following recommendations.

What You Should Know About Zika

  • If you and your partner are trying to get pregnant, it’s crucial that you consider delaying pregnancy until the recommended abstinence time has passed.
  • If the male partner in a couple is planning pregnancy has symptoms of the Zika Virus, the period of abstinence is increased to six months.
  • Evidence points to male semen as the source of transmission between partners. It is important to practice safe sex by using a condom if your partner is currently pregnant or abstain from sex altogether for the remainder of the pregnancy.
  • Tests are still inconclusive as to how long the Zika Virus stays in the saliva.
  • For those living in Zika zones, it is important to continue your use of insect repellents such as DEET, covering up, and stay inside as much as possible.

Healthcare professionals are more concerned than ever about Zika Virus link to an epidemic of brain defects known as microcephaly. The Zika virus has now hit 52 countries to date according to the World Health Organization.

To learn more about Zika and how it can affect your unborn child, visit ZIKA or our blog.


FROM TOP10MD TO YOU…

 1 year ago    Leave a comments (0)

doctor


DIGESTIVE HEALTH: FACT VS. FICTION

 1 year ago    Leave a comments (0)



Myth 1: The More Fiber, the Better.

Tired of having bran cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Maybe it’s time to ease up. Most experts agree that you need to get 25-30 grams of fiber per day for good digestive health. It is difficult for many to reach 25. However, some aim to go above and beyond the recommended amount. Should we? No! Not only is reaching 25 grams an accomplishment in itself but going above and beyond can be troublesome for your gut. For people with conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the increase in fiber isn’t as important as the type of fiber. Research shows that insoluble fiber, like bran, may aggravate IBS symptoms. What is more important is an intake of soluble fiber such as psyllium that can offer a reduction in IBS severity. Either way, it is very important to increase fiber intake gradually (2-5 grams per day) to avoid discomforts such as gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea.

Myth 2: Nuts Lead to Diverticulitis

This is a common myth among people with diverticulitis. Diverticulitis is a condition in which pockets in the intestine become inflamed and irritated. If you have diverticulitis, you may have been told to avoid nuts, corn, popcorn, and food with small seeds. You may also have been told that these foods might worsen or even cause diverticulitis by lodging in pouches along your intestine. However, researchers have looked at the health records of more than 47,000 men and found no connection between these foods and diverticulitis. New studies suggest that people who eat a high-fiber diet have a lower risk of the disease, and the main culprit of diverticulitis is a low fiber diet.

Myth 3: You Will Know if You Have Cancer

There are usually no symptoms of colon cancer until its later stages. This makes early detection important with routine colorectal checks. Those at risk of colon cancer should start getting tested at age 50 through a CT scan of the colon, a colonoscopy, or a colonoscopy. Talk to your board-certified practitioner about which one is right for you.

Myth 4: Bowel regularity means a bowel movement every day.

The frequency of bowel movements varies from person to person. For some, three a day is regular and for some it is three a week. Perfectly healthy people can fall outside both ends of this range. Nevertheless, even three bowel movements a day can be abnormal in someone who usually has one bowel movement a day. If you have had a change in your frequency, it is best to speak to your practitioner to make sure there are no underlying issues.

Myth 5: Spicy Foods Cause Ulcers

Bring on the tabasco sauce and Texas chili! Hot sauce lovers you may now rejoice! People used to believe that too much spicy food would give you an ulcer. But now we know the majority of stomach ulcers are caused either by infection with a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) or by use of pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. Spicy food (and stress) may exacerbate ulcer symptoms in some people, but they do not cause ulcers.


FIVE MYTHS ABOUT YOUR GUT

 1 year ago    Leave a comments (0)



Myth 1: The More Fiber, the Better.

Tired of having bran cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Maybe it’s time to ease up. Most experts agree that you need to get 25-30 grams of fiber per day. It is difficult for many to reach 25. However, some aim to go above and beyond the recommended amount. Should we? No! Not only is reaching 25 grams an accomplishment in itself but going above and beyond can be troublesome for your gut. For people with conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the increase in fiber isn’t as important as the type of fiber. Research shows that insoluble fiber, like bran, may aggravate IBS symptoms. What is more important is an intake of soluble fiber such as psyllium which can offer a reduction in IBS severity. Either way, it is critical to increase fiber intake gradually (2-5 grams per day) to avoid discomforts such as gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea.

Myth 2: Nuts Lead to Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is a condition in which pockets in the intestine become inflamed and irritated. If you have diverticulitis, you may have been told to avoid nuts, corn, popcorn, and food with small seeds, which is a common myth. You may also have been told that these foods might worsen or even cause diverticulitis by lodging in pouches along your intestine. However, researchers have looked at the health records of more than 47,000 men and found no connection between these foods and diverticulitis. New studies suggest that people who eat a high-fiber diet have a lower risk of the disease, and the main culprit of diverticulitis is a low fiber diet.

Myth 3: You Will Know if You Have Cancer

There are usually no symptoms of colon cancer until its later stages, so early detection is important with routine colorectal checks. Those at risk of colon cancer should start getting tested at age 50 through a CT scan of the colon, a colonoscopy, or a colonoscopy. Talk to your board-certified practitioner about which one is right for you.

Myth 4: Bowel regularity means a bowel movement every day

The frequency of bowel movements varies from person to person. For some, three a day is regular and for some, it is three a week. Perfectly healthy people can fall outside both ends of this range. Nevertheless, even three bowel movements a day can be abnormal in someone who usually has one bowel movement a day. If you have had a change in your frequency, it is best to speak to a practitioner to make sure there are no underlying issues.

Myth 5: Spicy Foods Cause Ulcers

Bring on the tabasco sauce and Texas chili! Hot sauce lovers you may now rejoice! People used to believe that too much spicy food would give you an ulcer. But now we know the majority of stomach ulcers are caused either by infection with a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) or by use of pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. Spicy food (and stress) may exacerbate ulcer symptoms in some people, but they do not cause ulcers.

 

FIND A TOP10MD GASTROENTEROLOGIST NEAR YOU

There are hundreds of Gastroenterologists to choose from; however, not all doctors are created equal. Gastroenterology takes the skill and finesse of an experienced Gastroenterologist. That’s why we’ve selected your city’s finest Gastroenterologists – to make your decision process easier.

For your peace of mind Top10MD Gastroenterologists’ credentials are validated yearly to verify medical licenses have no serious patient care sanctions, current Board Certifications in their given Medical Specialty, current DEA & DPS licenses and malpractice insurance. Top10MD’s have at least 5+ years experience and/or performed 300+ procedures in their given specialty and current Patient Satisfaction Score of 8.5 or higher.


AVOIDING SORE THROAT IN DRY WEATHER

 2 years ago    Leave a comments (0)



Though we may not experience very cold weather here in North Texas, if you travel for the holidays, here are some tips for maintaining throat health during colder, drier weather.

  1. Add Moisture to the Air – Running a humidifier at night helps keep congestion in the sinuses from drying out. This helps with your breathing and keeps the sore throat from showing up in the morning.
  2. Blow Your Nose – Blowing your nose can keep the congestion out of your sinuses, which also stops any drainage from dripping down to your throat.
  3. Drink A Lot Of Water – It’s just as important to keep your body hydrated in the winter as it is in the summer. Drinking water can break up the drainage, stopping a sore throat from occurring.
  4. Drink Tea With Honey & Lemon – Tea, honey and lemon numb and soothe throats.
  5. Take Vitamin C – While Vitamin C may not help soothe a sore throat, it will help fight off a potential cold if you notice symptoms coming.
  6. Rest Your Voice – If you woke up with a sore throat, avoid cheering, yelling or singing for a couple days or until you feel your throat isn’t sore.

Fort Worth Otolaryngologist Dr. Marc Dean is a Board Certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology and practicing full time in private practice. Dr. Dean specializes Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery and conditions and diseases of the ear, sinus and disorders of the eustachian tube. Dr. Dean completed an Internship in General Surgery and his Residency at Louisiana State University Health Science Center, where he now serves as Assistant Professor in Otolaryngology/HNS. Dr. Dean is current President and CEO of the Otorhinologic Research Institute. Contact Dr. Dean today on his profile or call 817-332-4060. Dr. Marc Dean was named Top10MD 2015 / 2016. Only 1 in 3 doctors succeed with this recognition in the United States. 


I HURT ALL OVER – FIBROMYALGIA

 2 years ago    Leave a comments (0)



Low Dose Naltrexone or LDN is a new treatment for fibromyalgia and pain from other autoimmune/inflammatory conditions and its inexpensive! Dallas Rheumatologist Dr. Scott Zashin shares his thoughts.

Pain Free

Naltrexone HCL is an FDA approved medication that has been used for a long time to treat patients addicted to pain medications. In 2009, a small study was published by doctors at Stanford University (Younger and Mackey) showing that using very low doses of naltrexone helped relieve pain in patients with Fibromyalgia.

In this study, patients took 4.5 mg of naltrexone daily (50 mg is the standard dose used to treat narcotic addiction) and after 8 weeks they had reduced pain and fatigue. Other symptoms that often accompany fibromyalgia such as sleep problems, gastrointestinal complaints and headaches also improved. The authors followed up this study with a slightly larger randomized double blind placebo controlled trial published in Arthritis and Rheumatism 2013 and found that LDN had a beneficial effect on fibromyalgia pain and concluded that the medication is “inexpensive, safe and well tolerated. Additional studies were recommended to fully determine the efficacy of the medication.”

In a review published in the Clinical Rheumatology 2014 doctors Younger, Parkitny and McClain concluded that LDN is a promising treatment for not only fibromyalgia but chronic pain conditions that have inflammation. These include Chrohns disease, multiple sclerosis and CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome).They postulate that its benefit is due to its anti-inflammatory effect on the central nervous system via action on microglial cells.

Currently no pharmaceutical company manufactures naltrexone in the low doses used to help pain. As a result, your doctor will need to write you a prescription that you must take to a pharmacy that has expertise in compounding medications. Many of the larger pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens will not offer this service. While the recommended dose is 4.5 mg, the starting dose may range anywhere from 0.5 mg to 1.5 mg and is slowly increased over a period of 3 to 8 weeks. The medicine is often taken in the evening one hour before bedtime. Initially, symptoms may get worse before they get better. Sometimes sleep disturbances such as vivid dreams can occur when taken at night possibly due to an increase in endorphin release. If this is the case, taking the medication in the morning may help. Standard dose naltrexone has been reported to elevate liver function tests. While LDN may be less likely to elevate liver tests, it makes sense to monitor liver function tests periodically especially if one is taking other medications that may elevate liver function tests. In this regard, patients with preexisting liver or kidney issues may require additional evaluation before treatment with LDN. In addition, because it is a narcotic inhibitor, it can negate the effect of opiate based pain relievers.

In summary, the use of LDN for chronic disorders is considered experimental and the long term safety of LDN is unknown. That being said, the doctors who published the review of LDN in the Clinical Rheumatology Journal concluded that LDN is a “promising treatment approach for chronic pain conditions thought to involve inflammatory processes. The clinical data supporting its use are very preliminary and more research is needed before the treatment approach can be widely recommended.”

If you or a family member is suffering from pain and/or has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, perhaps its time to schedule an appointment with a board certified Dallas Texas Rheumatologist today.

Dr. Scott Zashin is a respected Texas fibromyalgia Doctor/Specialist in Dallas. He is duel board certified by the American Board of Rheumatology and the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Zashin is the Medical Director of Dallas Rheumatology conveniently located in Dallas, TX. The above information about fibromyalgia is from his arthritis book: Arthritis Without Pain, a comprehensive guide for patients considering or undergoing treatment with the TNF blockers Enbrel®, Remicade®, or Humira®. All rights reserved. For more information on fibromyalgia, pain relief and getting back to feeling great visit his website: http://www.scottzashinmd.com/ or call today to schedule a time to meet with Dr. Zashin 214-363-2812.


PROBIOTICS – IT’S A GUT FEELING

 2 years ago    Leave a comments (0)



PROBIOTICS – It’s a Gut Feeling

Your body is full of bacteria. Yes, bacteria but please don’t panic. Did you know that most bacteria are quite harmless? “The right bacteria has been linked to numerous health benefits such as improved digestion, weight loss, better skin, enhanced immune function, and a reduced risk of many diseases,” says Dr. Susan Linder with HealthSpringMD. Where is this bacteria in your body? Most of them reside in your gut. The bacteria in your body outnumber your body’s cells 10 to 1, so I’d say they might be quite important. In fact, taking care of your gut, and the friendly bacteria that live there, might be one of the single most important things you can do for your health.

So where do we go from here? Probiotics. Probiotics are found in supplements and foods prepared by bacterial fermentation (such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and tempeh) and are live microorganisms that help colonize our guts with health-boosting microorganisms.

Probiotics are quite new in research but studies are rapidly expanding. The evidence has shown that different probiotics seem to work for different health conditions. Choosing the right type (or types) of probiotic is essential for each individual. Probiotic supplements are considered safe and the only side effect might be a few days of bloating when first starting.

TAKE AWAY: Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide health benefits when consumed correctly. There are many different types of probiotics, and you can get them from foods or supplements.

GUT FLORA

No, there are no beautiful flowers beginning to bloom in your gut. However, you do have hundreds of different types of microorganisms enjoying your gut such as bacteria, yeast, and viruses. Most of these microorganisms, known as your gut flora, are found in your colon, or the large intestine.

The gut flora perform a plethora of functions such as manufacturing vitamins, stimulating the immune system, regulate the integrity of the gut and turning fibers into short-chain fatty acids which helps perform many metabolic functions.

It is important to keep your gut flora balanced as an unbalanced gut flora is linked to diseases such as depression, Alzheimer’s, type-2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and colorectal cancer.

TAKE AWAY: Your gut flora consists of hundreds of different types of microorganisms. Probiotics help your gut flora perform at its best.

PROBIOTICS & YOUR DIGESTIVE HEALTH

Have you ever taken an antibiotic? Yes, you have. After you take antibiotics, especially for a long period of time, most people suffer from diarrhea. The antibiotics may end the infection but they also kill many of the natural bacteria in the gut, this allows “bad” bacteria to thrive.

Studies has shown that probiotic supplements can help cure the antibiotic-associated diarrhea as well being helpful with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) reducing bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. Studies have shown to be useful against H. Pylori infections that can contribute to ulcers and stomach cancers. Do you have a digestive problem that won’t go away? Try a probiotic supplement; it might be your answer.

TAKE AWAY: Probiotics have been shown to be effective against various digestive problems.

PROBIOTICS & WEIGHT LOSS

The bacteria in your gut as an obese individual will be different from those of lean people. Sounds unfair, right? Although it needs to be studied a lot more, some probiotic strains have been shown to help with fat loss.

In 2013 a study was published showing that over a 12-week period, people with lots of belly fat lost 8.5% of their belly fat mass by taking the probiotic Lactobacillus gasseri. Interestingly, when they stopped taking the probiotic, they gained the belly fat back within 4 weeks.

However, this needs to be studied more before any recommendations can be made as some animal studies show that some probiotic strains could lead to weight gain, not loss.

TAKE AWAY: There is some evidence that the probiotic Lactobacillus gasseri can help people lose belly fat.

PROBIOTICS & HEALTH BENEFITS

To list all of the benefits of probiotics a book would be much easier than a blog. However, there are some that are worthy of being highlighted, although this is just the tip of the iceberg.

  • Inflammation – reduce systemic inflammation, a leading cause of many diseases
  • Depression & Anxiety – reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in people with clinical depression
  • Blood Cholesterol – lower total and LDL cholesterol levels
  • Blood Pressure – modest reductions in blood pressure
  • Immune Function – enhance immune function and lead to reduced risk of infections
  • Skin Health – useful for acne, rosacea and eczema, as well as other skin disorders

TAKE AWAY: Probiotics have been shown to have numerous health benefits.

 

Dr. Susan K. Linder a Diplomat of the American Board of Anti-Aging, Functional & Regenerative Medicine. She is also board certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, with a subspecialty board certification in Pain Management. Dr. Linder is the Medical Director of HealthSpringMD conveniently located in Fort Worth, TX. For more information on nutritional health, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy and getting back to feeling great visit her website: www.healthspringmd.com or call today to schedule a time to meet with Dr. Linder 817-926-7671.


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