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From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

Don’t forget to visit … www.LegacyEducators.org and click on “Cancer Information”

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The U.S. population is always on the go! Things to do, people to see, meeting to attend, business to conduct,  kids recital to attend, kids sporting events, church events….sitting in traffic…falling asleep behind the wheel. Siesta anyone? Fatigue is simply a chronic state of tiredness…being tired…all the TIME!

tired_eyes_800pxAmericans are tired.  It seems to be an “expected” badge of honor  in the National Capital Region (DC, MD, VA). If you are not multi-tasking and dashing to and-fro, complaining about traffic, the weather, politics, or a myriad of other things – something must be wrong with you! OR maybe you are just normal?

Fatigue literally came over me as I wrote the above – because I too, have been caught up in the world wind. I handle stress well and do take at home vacations (stay-cation) and vacations to recuperate, but is that enough? What if we just do not allow ourselves to get so TIRED in the first place? Is that possible? YES!

Fatigue/Tiredness can be manifested as:

  • Difficulty or inability initiating activity (generalized weakness)
  • Reduced capacity maintaining activity (easy fatiguability)
  • Difficulty with concentration, memory, and emotional stability (mental fatigue)

tiredA cross-sectional survey of US workers found that the 2 week period of prevalence of fatigue to be 38%! Additionally, 21-33% of patients seeking attention in the primary care settings report significant fatigue. The statistics for work place injury and motor-vehicle accidents due to fatigue is devastating!

HOW TIRED ARE YOU?? Some disease processes cause/or lead to chronic fatigue. Duration of fatigue can be recent (less than one month), prolonged (more than one month), or chronic (over six months) – talk to your doctor about your state of fatigue.

Fatigue should be distinguished from somnolence, dyspnea, and muscle weakness, although these symptoms may also be associated with fatigue. Patients may use the terms fatigue, tiredness, lack of energy, and excessive sleepiness interchangeably.

TIRED IM SO

PLEASE, GET SOME REST – it is good for YOUR health (and sometimes others too)! See videos below.

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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…

SALT and Heart Disease

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

Don’t forget to visit … www.LegacyEducators.org and click on “Cancer Information”

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FEBRUARY IS AMERICAN HEART MONTH!

SaltThe average salt (sodium = NaCl/Na) consumption in the United States and around the world is ~3,400mg per day, according the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report.  It is recommended by the American Heart Association that daily salt intake be limited to 1,500 mg of sodium per day. The United States Dietary guidelines, based on the 2005 IOM report, recommend that the general population aim for sodium levels of 1,500 to 2,300 mg/dy, because those levels do not raise blood pressure, per study.

However, this study was considered flawed, because majority of the study participants were white males, average age of ~41, and did not have previous diagnosis of high blood pressure – not the typical “at risk” population in the United States.

A lower level of sodium intake (along with other recommended overall health adjustments) should decrease the risk of heart attacks and stroke. Unfortunately, the “at risk” group make up close to half of the U.S. population.  Groups  “at risk” include, but is not limited to:

  • Those with a current diagnosis of High Blood Pressure
  • Those with Heart disease
  • Those with a diagnosis of Diabetes
  • Blacks/African Americans
  • Anyone older than 50 years old
  • Anyone with chronic kidney disease (CKD)

Think that maintaining a low salt intake of 1,500mg is difficult?  Well, here are a few examples of salt content in common food…and then you do the math…for you!

  • 1 med slice of bacon = 155mg Sodium
  • salt 35 oz of roasted ham = 1,300 to 1,500mg Sodium (who eats only 3.5 oz of anything?)
  • 5 oz of Chicken (dark/white) = 87 / 77mg Sodium
  • 1 beef hot dog = 585mg Sodium
  • Tuna canned in spring water = 300mg Sodium
  • 1 oz American Cheese = 443mg Sodium
  • Cottage Cheese (low fat) = 918mg Sodium
  • Milk (whole/skim/1%) = 120/125/125mg NaCl/Na
  • Avocado (half medium) = 10mg NaCl/Na
  • Broccoli raw/cooked (half-cup) = 12mg / 20mg NaCl/Na
  • Cucumber (half cup) = 1mg NaCl/Na
salt1

Hands up! Please step away from the SALT!

See more on salt content of common foods HERE which will help you decide on how best to adjust your diet. A small change with a few substitutions can make a HUGE difference. Read your labels and look for sodium/Na when able, and for the love your heart, please choose less salt!

American Heart Month

American Heart Association
7272 Greenville Avenue
Dallas, TX 75231
(800) 242-8721
www.heart.org External Links Disclaimer Logo
Materials available

When to go to the Emergency Room?

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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!

Don’t forget to visit … www.LegacyEducators.org and click on “Cancer Information”

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It is Black History Month!  Thanks to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. we are living in different and better times….

Giving credit where it is due…is very important! Recall for a moment, the way you felt when you worked very hard on a project and you were not acknowledged for it. Instead, Mr. Lazy or Ms. Thorny was credited for something you did! Frustrating, wasn’t it?

As an immigrant, I am very grateful for all that I have attained and hope to continually give back to the community. As such, I am really big on giving credit where credit is due! How about you?

There are many who made GREAT contribution to our medical community – Hispanic, Blacks, Whites, Indians, etc.,.  Blacks/African Americans have contributed quite a bit to the Medical History. Here are only a few of interest:

  • Dr. Ben Carson

    Dr. Ben Carson

    Alcon, George Edward Jr. – Physicist Inventor: Invented a method of fabricating an imaging X-ray spectrometer.

  • Bath, Patricia – Opthalmologist: First African American woman to receive a patent for a medical invention. Inventions relate to cataract surgery and include the Laserphaco Probe, an ultrasound technique that revolutionized the industry in the 1980’s.
  • Black, Keith – Neurosurgeon: Brain tumor surgery and research
  • Brooks, Phil – Inventor: First US patent for a disposable syringe
  • Cardozo, William – Pediatrician: Sickle Cell Anemia studies. Published in OCT 1937 “Immunologic Studies in Sickle Cell Anemia” in Archives of Internal Medicine; many of the findings are still valid today!
  • Carson, Ben – Pediatric Neurosurgeon: First surgeon to successfully separated craniopagus twins.
  • Clarke, Maime – Psychologist: Conducted 1940’s experiments using dolls to study children’s attitudes about race
  • Drew, Charles – Medical Researcher: Developed improved techniques for blood storage
  • Griffin, Bessie Blunt – Physical Therapist/Inventor: Amputee self-feeding device
  • Kittles, Rick – Geneticist: Work in tracing the ancestry of African Americans via DNA testing
  • Kountz, Samuel – Transplant surgeon: Organ transplantation pioneer, particularly renal transplant research and surgery. Author or co-author over 172 articles in scientific publication (wow…I only have 165 to go, to catch up!)

    Dr. Charles Drew

    Dr. Charles Drew

  • Lee, Raphael carl – Surgeon, Biomedical Engineer: Discovered use of surfactant copolymers as molecular chaperones to augment injury repair mechanism of living cells. Holder of many patents covering scar treatment therapies, tissue engineered ligaments, brain trauma therapies…
  • Morgan, Garrett – Inventor: Invented the first gas mask (great for threats soldiers have to contend with on deployments)
  • Thomas, Vivien – Surgical Technician: Blue baby syndrome treatment in the 1940’s.
  • Wright, Louis T. – Surgeon: Led team that first used Aureomycin as a treatment on humans

Dreams attained?

 

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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!

Don’t forget to visit … www.LegacyEducators.org and click on “Cancer Information”

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Recently, while driving home, I was tuned into WTOP (Weather & Traffic station) and they were featuring a section on Cindy Finch with topic as noted above. She described how a patient may feel lost and alone after a period of regimented medical treatment. They survived cancer and all the medical treatments, now what?

Cancer SurvivorAs physicians, we are usually all about the art of “doing” to help our patients. Most patients appeared to be excited, elated, happy about completing treatment and look forward to moving on with their lives.

It is difficult for most Physicians to attend to required care beyond the immediacy of the medical treatment. So, to meet these needs of the patients, we do have a Behavioral Health team (Psychologist, Psychiatrist and/or Social workers) who attend to the  psychosocial aspect of post-treatment.

SurvivorHowever, in follow-up visit, I often times discussed the “new normal” and what that means after cancer treatment, or in the new survivorship role. Yet, I believe Ms. Finch revelation is a very worthwhile approach and a great sharing point (this may also be applicable to a love one after any drastic medical change/treatment, other than cancer).

What are your thoughts?

See Ms. Finch videos below

Her story…

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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!

Don’t forget to visit … www.LegacyEducators.org  and click on “Cancer Information”

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JANUARY is Thyroid Awareness Month!

What is it? 

thyroidThe Thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of the neck and just below the laryngeal prominence (Adams Apple) – (see image).  The main function of the Thyroid is to produce hormones that maintain your body’s metabolism. It essentially breaks down nutrients to release energy. Your body is in need of energy constantly – even when at rest!

What if the Thyroid makes too much hormones? You may experience:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Excess sweating
  • Unexpected weight loss

What if the Thyroid does not make enough Hormones? You may experience:

  • Gloomy
  • Colder
  • Tired
  • Unexpected weight gain

What are some of the common Thyroid disorders?

  • Thyroid goiter

    Thyroid Goiter

    Hyperthyroidism (abnormally high activity)

  • Hypothyroidism (abnormally low activity)
  • Thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid)
  • Thyroid nodules (may be benign or Thyroid cancer)
  • Goiter (any of the above may lead to an enlarged thyroid gland)

Additionally, in females, thyroid hormone levels must be checked beginning at age 35 (or sooner if symptoms are present) as thyroid can affect the menstrual cycle, and must also be normalized during pregnancy.

Follow instructions in video below for self-examination. For more information, please see below!

thyroid exam

American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists

245 Riverside Avenue, Suite 200
Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904) 353-7878
(904) 404-4207 Fax
ajohnson@aace.com
www.thyroidawareness.com

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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!

Don’t forget to visit … www.LegacyEducators.org  and click on “Cancer Information”

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Every new year, brings new resolutions and 2015 is no different! Many listed “weight loss” and improving nutritional diet overall, as one of their top 3 priorities…including yours truly. There are many good reasons to try and attain these goals (of lower BMI/weight loss and healthier eating habits), but sometimes published data helps!

Read previous blog on the Obesity Epidemic in America and review definition for obesity/increase BMI by clicking HERE

“Body-mass index (BMI) and risk of 22 specific cancers: A population-based cohort study of 5.24 million UK adults”  – big title and a huge claim! (no pun intended). This was published in The Lancet medical journal AUG 2014. They noted that:

  • obesity antiPeople who were obese had a higher risk of Leukemia as well as cervical, colon, gall bladder, kidney, liver, ovarian, uterine and postmenopausal breast cancers than leaner people
  • People who were obese had a higher risk of esophageal cancer (after they took smoking into account)
  • People who were obese had a lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer and total prostate cancer (though there is controversy, because other studies have shown that advanced stage prostate cancers are linked to excess weight. This study did not review advance stage prostate cancer. Additionally, you may not be at risk for these 2, but increased risk for the other types of cancers remain elevated)
  • Underweight people had a higher risk of lung, mouth and throat cancer than leaner people, but the link was due to smoking, since it was absent in those who had never smoke.

obesity-epidemicTheir conclusion/Interpretation states: “BMI is associated with cancer risk, with substantial population-level effects. The heterogeneity (mixture of results) in the effects suggests that different mechanisms are associated with different cancer sites and different patient subgroups.”   The Lancet Vol 384, No.9945 Aug 2014

Bottom line: Everyone is different, but if you lose or avoid gaining excess weight (exercise, increase vegetable & fruit intake, etc.,), quit smoking, your weight control/improvement may be helpful overall, as it pertains to decreasing your cancer risk. Hhhmmm. Sounds familiar?

Watch video below for insight into the state of Obesity in America!

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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!

Don’t forget to visit … www.LegacyEducators.org  and click on “Cancer Information”

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Advance DirectiveA difficult conversation is anything you find hard to talk about. It is challenging, because it is surrounded by a cloud of possible conflict, fear, anxiety, anger, depression, or frustration (among other emotions).

But, when having a difficult conversation with yourself, there is no blaming, no misunderstanding, just you and your thoughts. Tough.

Advance directive end-of-lifeFor 2015, I resolve to have a better handle on my finances. Though finance can be a difficult conversation in and of itself, I was caught off guard, when asked if I had a “Living Will and Advance Health Directive”…what? I have asked patients that question on many occasions, but never thought to ask myself. If the patient answered “no” then our wonderful nurse would take care of it and it becomes part of the “cloud”…  doctors are usually not involved.

I am young, healthy, why do I need a Living Will? Hhhmmm. The world is indeed unpredictable and having this information known and written will only serve to help love ones.  Things can happen…suddenly!

Do YOU have an Advance Directive?  

Advance direct dyingA Will Preparation Questionnaire was sent to me. Some of the questions were simple and straight forward, but others were downright brazen and difficult. I am still chewing on:

  • Do you want to be buried or cremated? (depends if natural death or otherwise – hhhmmm)
  • Which of your organs would you like to donate? Hhmmm. (Most organs seem ok…but I flinch whenever I think about my eyes)
  • Do you consent to an autopsy? Or do you leave that decision to your appointed love one/agent? (if foul play suspected, ok with autopsy…otherwise, unsure if necessary), etc.,

Thinking about death may be depressing…but we all know, that death is inevitable. When do you need an Advance Directive? If you are over 18 years old, the experts say you should think about it.

See videos below…think about it?

Life is BEAUTIFUL!

Advance Health Directives

 

Last Will and Testament

 

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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…

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