Feeds:
Posts
Comments

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

==============================

Sleep is important! Hands down, it is one of my top priority for improving quality of life and should be yours too! Are you sleeping well? It would appear that sleeping (falling asleep and/or staying asleep)  is a problem for many.

Besides the popular commercials for sleep aid, Melatonin OTC (over-the-counter) is becoming quite popular too. Some are for it and recommend it highly … while others warn about its use and damaging side effects. Like anything else – moderation and proper use is the key! Speak with your doctor before using Melatonin, as it may interact with common prescription medications (see below!)

melatoninMelatonin is a hormone found naturally in the body of humans, animals, and also in plants and microbes. Melatonin has been identified in many plants including feverfew, St John’s wort, rice, corn, tomato, grape and other edible fruits.  Wine is commonly used as a sleeping aid. Is it because of the “depressant” nature of alcohol, or does the grape content of Melatonin contributes? One would venture both – more heavily towards the alcohol content though.

People use melatonin to adjust the body’s internal clock. It is used for jet lag, for adjusting sleep-wake cycles in people whose daily work schedule changes (shift-work disorder), and for helping blind people establish a day and night cycle.

As noted above, Melatonin production varies in the body over a 24hr period (which would affect when it should be taken) and decrease with age, as noted below. That would explain why older folks (our Grandparents) seem to sleep less.

melatonin.declineMelatonin is categorized by the US Food Drug Administration (FDA) as a dietary supplement and is not regulated as a pharmaceutical drug, so its full long-term effects in human have not yet ben ascertained. HOWEVER, a well-studied prescription-only, prolonged-release Melatonin product (Circadian) is available for people aged 55 and over. Prolonged-release melatonin was shown in clinical trials to decrease time to fall asleep, and improve quality of sleep and daytime functioning.

It is most commonly available in pill form, but melatonin is also available in forms that can be placed in the cheek or under the tongue. This allows the melatonin to be absorbed directly into the body. See side effect profile below.

Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement for this “specific” brand …

Dr. Oz’s Viewpoint – Hey…sleeping without clothing helps? :-)

More on Dr Oz’s view…

Side Effects and Safety of Melatonin

  • Melatonin is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth short-term or applied to the skin. It can cause some side effects including headache, short-term feelings of depression, daytime sleepiness, dizziness, stomach cramps, and irritability. Do not drive or use machinery for four to five hours after taking melatonin.
  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Melatonin is POSSIBLY UNSAFE in pregnancy. Don’t use it. Melatonin might also interfere with ovulation, making it more difficult to become pregnant. Not enough is known about the safety of using melatonin when breast-feeding. It’s best not to use it.
  • Children: Melatonin should not be used in most children. It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Because of its effects on other hormones, melatonin might interfere with development during adolescence.
  • High blood pressure: Melatonin can raise blood pressure in people who are taking certain medications to control blood pressure. Discuss with you doctor and ask if you should avoid it.
  • Diabetes: Melatonin might increase blood sugar in people with diabetes. Monitor your blood sugar carefully, if you have diabetes and take melatonin.
  • Depression: Melatonin can make symptoms of depression worse.
  • Seizure disorders: Using melatonin might increase the risk of having a seizure.

——————————

Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

Teen Suicide Prevention

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog! 

==============================

SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION WEEK!

Did you know that teen suicide is a growing health concern. It is the third-leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24, surpassed only by homicide and accidents, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Teen suicide preventOne in 5 teenagers in the U.S. seriously considers suicide annually, according to data collected by the CDC

Screening programs have proven to be helpful because research has shown that suicidal people show signs of depression or emotional distress. Referrals can be made for treatment, and effective treatment can be employed when signs are observed in time. Intervention efforts for at-risk youth can put them in contact with mental health services that can save their lives.

Suicide is a relatively rare event and it is difficult to accurately predict which persons with these risk factors will ultimately commit suicide. However, there are some possible warning signs such as:

  • Talking About Dying — any mention of dying, disappearing, jumping, shooting oneself, or other types of self harm
  • Recent Loss — through death, divorce, separation, broken relationship, self-confidence, self-esteem, loss of interest in friends, hobbies, activities previously enjoyed
  • Change in Personality — sad, withdrawn, irritable, anxious, tired, indecisive, apathetic
  • Change in Behavior — can’t concentrate on school, work, routine tasks
  • Change in Sleep Patterns — insomnia, often with early waking or oversleeping, nightmares
  • Change in Eating Habits — loss of appetite and weight, or overeating
  • Fear of losing control – acting erratically, harming self or others
  • Low self esteem — feeling worthless, shame, overwhelming guilt, self-hatred, “everyone would be better off without me”
  • No hope for the future — believing things will never get better; that nothing will ever change

What to do if you or someone you know is considering suicide?  There is help!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or 1-800-273-TALK

Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) or call: (800) SUICIDE

 

Suicide-Prevention_tips

 

Teen Suicide Prevention video – click below to watch.

——————————

Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog! 

==============================

Ebola is a serious viral disease, that can, and in many cases do lead to death. The death total from this viral disease continues to rise, as we watch very closely hoping and praying for a vaccine.  We are all are very, very concerned.

  • What is Ebola?
  • How is it transmitted?
  • Can it be prevented?

Hear it directly from President Barack Obama

 

                        Key facts about EBOLA from WHO

Fruit bats, a delicacy in West Africa, are thought to act as hosts for Ebola

Fruit bats, a delicacy in West Africa, are thought to act as hosts for Ebola (cute but deadly)

  • Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
  • EVD outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90%.
  • EVD outbreaks occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
  • The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
  • Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus.
  • Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care. No licensed specific treatment or vaccine is available for use in people or animals.

Read more about the 9 things to know about Ebola and watch more by clicking HERE

——————————

Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog! 

==============================

I love Robin Williams! Well, as much as anyone can care for and love someone they have never met. His death was a great loss … and to suicide, was a hard pill to swallow for most.  So, I was taken a back when someone said to me,

robin williams“I am tired of hearing about Robin Williams dying! What’s the big deal?”

“Well, he was a talented actor and enriched many people’s lives, on and off the screen.”

“So what? Many people are dying everyday. Why should his death be different?”

“Hhhmmm. Different as in worth, no. But he did make an impact during his life … and well, it is a great loss.”

“To whom?”

“Hmmm”  I see this was going no where. I did not need to defend Robin Williams. His life spoke for itself. Anyone who would take the time to speak with someone in hospice, to honor a “bucket-list” dying wish, is ok in my book. No personal introduction needed.

However, I wonder, how many people are depressed and go by unnoticed because they always seem to have a smile and/or keep occupied with busywork? Do you suspect that you or a love one may be depressed? Suicidal? Please know, there is help! Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-TALK (8255)) or visit http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Read more about Depression HERE and take the test in the middle of the page OR

Take this DEPRESSIONS SCREENING TEST by clicking HERE . Regardless of what the test may reveal, you should discuss it with your doctor! The urgency is NOW if you or a love one is suicidal! Life is BEAUTIFUL!

Robin Williams was gracious in his life and in his death, he brings attention to a very serious matter that can affect anyone. Give a hug to someone today. You may make a difference … you just never know!

 

——————————

Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog! 

==============================

Over 30,000 men die of prostate cancer in the United States last year. That is a large number and should grab your attention if there is an older men in your life.  A recent review concluded that, “there is under-treatment of elderly, but healthy men with high-risk prostate cancer, the most aggressive form of this disease(1).”  The study showed under-treatment of HEALTHY men over 75yrs old.

Stay Active!

Healthy Lifestyle!

High Risk Prostate Cancer is aggressive and should be treated with a combination of Radiation and hormone therapy – for men at ANY AGE! This is level 1 recommendation, therefore a conversation should be had with the patient and his doctor. Level 1 studies have shown evidence that there is an overall survival benefits when High Risk prostate cancer is treated aggressively with Radiation plus Hormone vs hormone alone. This goes for healthy men over 75 years old as well. Hormone therapy alone for healthy male with high risk prostate cancer is not appropriate. The review (1) showed that many healthy older men were either not being treated (active surveillance) or treated with hormone therapy alone. That is BAD!

Treat the cancer not the patient’s age…take into consideration that many older gentlemen are very healthy and doing well at 70 and should not have to succumb to prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer, even High Risk, is treatable.

REVIEW: Prostate Cancer is a slow growing cancer and most men will not die from the disease, especially if they are in the Low Risk Category. There are 3 common risk groups for prostate cancer (some may consider 5):

  • (Very Low Risk), Low Risk
  • Intermediate Risk
  • High Risk, (Very High Risk)

old golferLow risk prostate cancer has many treatment options, one of which is no treatment, called “active surveillance” where the patient repeats the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood work every 3-4 months and have a repeat prostate biopsy at one year. One of the risk of active surveillance, is of course, progression of disease (even though Low Risk). Selection for this “non-treatment” must be done in consultation with a physician considering all the possible risks.

Low Risk Prostate Cancer is NOT the same as High Risk Prostate Cancer. Please be sure that you and/or your love one know the difference! Read more and “Watch Videos” about prostate cancer and its treatment here – http://www.legacyeducators.org/prostate-cancer.html  peruse this page thoroughly and I hope it is helpful!

REMEMBER: Being a Black male is a risk factor, so all AA/Black Male should start their screening at age 40, as Prostate Cancer in Black males also tend to be more aggressive (High Risk)!

  1. Chen RC, Carpenter WR, et al., Receipt of guidelines-concordant treatment in elderly prostate cancer patients. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2014 Feb 28; 88(2).332-8

 

——————————

Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog! 

==============================

It is summer and it is hot! There is nothing I dislike more than standing still, doing nothing and sweating profusely…simply because it is hot.  If I am exercising, then it is justified. But doing nothing – that’s annoying (smile).  Notwithstanding my dislike, I still subject myself to “hot yoga” on a regular basis for its benefits… no, its not crazy…not really…(performing “Bikram” yoga in a “hot sauna” room for 90 minutes, we are usually drenched within the first 5-10 min, just lovely…)

Water

Well, we all have heard that in the summer time we should drink water…and lots of it! Oh…do not forget to replace the electrolytes too. However, no one really publicize, that drinking water, like anything else, should be done in moderation. If not, you could literally die from drinking too much water…yes, die from drinking too much water! The medical term is “hyponatremia” … also known as “water intoxication” … it can be very dangerous. Please be careful this summer and especially educate and keep an eye our children! MODERATION is the word for the year.

Please view 2 videos below for more information …

 

——————————

Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog! 

==============================

“The best exercise is stooping down and lifting up another!”

Mentorship_helping-othersI recently attended a medical conference where I had the privilege of giving an oral and poster presentation. While the location of the conference was great – I barely did anything out in the surrounding area (except for a quick, difficult hike)…no beaches, no partying, no hanging out… the academic wealth the conference had to offer was my main focus. Many physicians gave guidance and “instantaneous” mentorship through anecdotal “lessons learned”, insights, and shared experiences (both good and bad). The younger physicians absorbed the information like a sponge from these seasoned veterans …

One such physician is Dr. James Collins, a Radiologist whom I first met back in 2006 (seems like just yesterday).  Today, at the tender age of 82, Dr. Collins remains very active in the medical community and had much to share.   His depth of knowledge is comparable to the “treasure of gold at the end of the rainbow” – so much to learn from our elders!

I have had many mentors over the years, but consider my faith in Jesus as my #1 guide and foundation. My current mentor, Dr. Calloway, is always there to offer a listening ear, give advice, encouragement and a nudge in the right direction when needed. She is an awesome and supportive mentor and I am blessed to have her in my life!

mentor

I try to be an open book…always willing to share and guide others when asked…but I do not have any one person specifically that I am mentoring on a regular ongoing basis.  ‘Tis time for a change.  My experiences, and not my age, dictates that I can be a mentor! I do have much to share…and so do you!

Do you have a mentor?   Are you mentoring anyone?

CHALLENGE: Find 1-2 young adults to mentor on a regular basis for the next 8-12 months. A phone call (or text) once every week or so to check on them. Don’t have a mentor … find one! BUT before you embark on this mentorship journey, watch video clip below for a few tips…

——————————

Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 330 other followers