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Archive for the ‘General Health’ Category

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

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

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We have become a very busy society.  Everything moves fast and the demand for “faster” is on the rise. Attention spans are limited to a few minutes and “waiting” and “patience” will soon be removed from our vocabulary, garnering looks of disbelief, and ultimately tagged as “bad” words.

While I am in great favor of advancement, prompt customer service, and completing the task at hand quickly, there is something to be said for a doctor’s visit that is slower and specific to one’s needs or ailments. Physicians have great demands on their time as well, and their services are in danger of becoming similar to assembly lines: patients must be seen quickly and passed along to the next section to meet Relative Value Units (RVU’s) for reimbursement.

PAUSE.

touch1Things must be slow enough in a clinic, such that a patient is touched – a Physical Exam (PE) focused or otherwise should be performed. I am bewildered by reports of folks being seen by healthcare providers and not even being touched/examined. Gathering vital signs (blood pressure, respiratory rate, temperature, etc.,) and the history are only portion of a doctor’s visit.

Digital health is the new wave, as patient call in with their questions and symptoms and a likely diagnosis is given over different media platform. However, take note of the disclaimers…

So, what type of physical exam should be expected at a Physician’s office? Well, it truly depends on the complaint or reason why you visited in the first place. Some are more direct than others.

Complaints of:

  • touch2Abdominal pain or discomfort – look, palpate, press the abdominal region
  • Cough – listen to lungs, heart, look in the mouth, feel neck nodes, etc.,
  • Back pain – look at skin, palpate area (bone, muscles, etc.,)
  • Earache – look in the ear, look in the mouth, palpate the neck nodes, etc.,
  • Breast pain – breast exam including visual, palpating, eval under arms, above clavicle and neck nodes…

The bottom line is: When someone sees their healthcare provider any reason, at the very least, a focused physical examination should be performed. No excuses. AND, if they do not, speak up and ask why!

Annual Physical Examination

Focused History & Exam for Headache

Complete Physical Exam

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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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From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

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

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Recently, I was awaiting news regarding a change in my job position. Each time the subject would cross my mind, I noticed that my heart would beat faster, my heart rate increase, and my breathing pattern changed. When I mentally thought – “relax” – I felt my body release tension, my face relax, my breathing pattern steadied….I honestly did not realize how much the thought process about this situation was affecting my physical body. Hhhmm…ever had that experience?

DyerI have been accused of being “too calm”…(if there is such a thing) and too relax sometimes (blame my island roots vibe).  Now I’m wondering if I’ve been at this “place” too long and allowing the outside into my psyche. If so, that is not a good thing. I need to change my thought process, change my mind…regardless of the situations around me.  As TD Jakes noted,

“a ship does not sink because it is in the water, but because the water gets into it.” (Reference: learning how to be around chaos and crazy situations, but not allowing the chaotic situation to get into you).

I cannot imagine someone affected this way physically on a daily basis, because they are in a bad relationship, job, or situation (or even daily long commute/traffic). It reeks havoc on the physical body!  Mental weariness affects the physical body, much more than a lot of folks realize.

The Psyche is an area of great interest to me and Dr. Wayne Dyer is one of my “silent” mentors. Take a moment to listen to one of his very insightful presentations.

DR. WAYNE DYER – “CHANGE YOU THOUGHTS CHANGE YOUR LIFE!”

dyer1

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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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From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

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

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More than any other substance – SUGAR – is linked to:

  • Obesity
  • Type-2 Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart diseases
  • ??Cancer??

In 1822 the average American consumed about;

  • 9 grams of sugar per day
  • ~45 grams every 5days (the amount in ONE 12oz can of soda, in 2015).

We went from 45 grams every 5days to now, we consume 45 grams every 7 hours or approx 150 grams per day!  Consuming 150 grams per day or 756 grams of sugar every 5 days is a lot of sugar (see video below for understanding measurements).  So what is the recommended normal daily intake?

Men = 36 grams per day (not 150+ grams)

Women = 20 grams per day (not 150+ grams)

Children = 12 grams per day (well…the actual grams today is rather large for kids too!)

sugar1How many cans of soda do you drink per day? How many cups of juice? They both have about the same amount of sugar! YES Indeed!

Given the way sugar acts on the brain, research is finding that sugar may be as addictive as cocaine and alcohol, so quitting (or decreasing the amount consumed) may not be as easy as one may imagine (take a moment to watch the videos below).

Sooo….Now you know!

What are you going to do?

Take back control…check the labels of the things you consume (cereal, sodas, milk, bread, etc.,). You would be surprise of the items that contains sugar.  With the recommendation of roughly 30 grams per day…one soda is over the daily limit.  I try to stay below 40 grams per day…it is a challenge, but I’m doing it most days. If you must have some sugar, reach for an apple instead…at least you will have the benefit of the fiber. So, what are you going to do?

And remember – everything in moderation! (Even during your 4th of July Celebration – bummer! ;-)) Enjoy!

sugar-is-addictive

HOW MUCH SUGAR IS IN A CAN OF SODA?

THE SUGARY TRUTH

IS SUGAR TOXIC? 60 minutes

 

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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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From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

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

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It use to be that a cancer diagnosis lead to high mortality (death) rates and survivorship came at an extreme cost of post-surgical disfiguring features, neuropathy and other late effects from chemotherapy and radiation therapy as well.  With improved technology and clinical applications of (bench) research, many patients are surviving and doing much better than generation past. As survival continues to improve, quality of life, including fertility preservation has become increasing important to patients and their families.

fertility-preservation

Sperm Banking

I recently received my seasonal St. Jude magazine with the featured topic of preserving fertility. It was great to know that fertility preservation options are now being offered to children undergoing cancer treatments or those who are survivors.  Per their report, “…[it is] estimated that half of adolescent and young adult male cancer patients are at increased risk for infertility, with about 10% of female childhood cancer survivors having acute ovarian failure and an additional 15% entering menopause prematurely.”

fertility

Egg Harvesting

It was noted in their report, that St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is currently the only hospital in the U.S. to cover the expense associated with harvesting and storing sperm and eggs until patients reach age 35. That policy eliminates one of the greatest barriers to fertility preservation for many childhood cancer patients:cost. This is GREAT news!

I remain and avid supporter of St. Judes Research Hospital!  Hope to be a visiting professor/clinician there one day. If you are looking for a charity to support, please consider St.Judes!

stjude1

 

 

Fertility Preservation for Young Women with Cancer

Fertility Preservation Options

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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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From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

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

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Seeking a second opinion is often exercised in many areas of life. It is often quoted that:

  • 70% of people consider a 2nd opinion for home improvement
  • 55% of people would consider a 2nd opinion on vehicle repairs.
  • What about Cancer diagnosis? How many get another opinion?

second-opinion-cartoonWhen it comes to cancer diagnosis and other serious chronic diseases, a second opinion is not only ok, it is recommended!

Your treating physicians should not mind, and in most cases, a good physician may even recommend that a second opinion be obtained. This recommendation is NOT a bad thing! As physicians, we are often very comfortable with our recommendations, but understand that there may be other ways of accomplishing what is best for you, the patient.

***Cancer is often a scary and frightening diagnosis! It is my recommendation to NEVER go to an appointment alone, if at all possible.***

PREPARING FOR A 2nd OPINION

Don’t wait too long after diagnosis – time is of the essence! Once you have completed your 1st set of appointments (or even during the process):

  • Tell your physicians that you would like to have a 2nd a opinion. They may recommend another hospital or physician and may assist with arranging an expedient 2nd opinion appointment. Alternatively, you may do this on your own, by seeking recommendations elsewhere/trusted sources
  • Sign release forms and/or gather all of your relevant medical records—including biopsy/pathogloy/test results, blood work, or any imaging test (CT scans, MRI, US, Mammograms, etc.,). This will prevent the need to repeat these exams – save time and money!
  • Create a list/time line of all the symptoms that lead to your diagnosis, if any was experienced
  • Write down and bring a list of all the medications you are currently taking (prescription and over the counter)
  • Write down and bring a list of all your questions. If you do not know what to ask, consider the things discussed at your first oncology appointment…AND please bring someone with you!

WHAT TO EXPECT

  •  The hospital/clinic may repeat their review of the pathology report to confirm the diagnosis
  • They will provide additional details about the type of cancer and its overall stage (a description of where the cancer is located, if or where it has spread, and whether it is affecting other parts of the body)
  • Perspective from experts in different oncology disciplines, such as medical oncology, radiation oncology, and surgical oncology
  • Discussion treatment options (sometimes doctors may disagree with the original diagnosis or the previous proposed treatment plan – different chemotherapy, different radiation therapy approach, no chemotherapy or radiation, different type of surgery, etc.,)
  • The availability of clinical trials that you may want to consider
  • The favorite question most of my patient like to ask me – “What would you recommend if I was your…___(fill in the blank/relative)” … It never hurt to ask the same!

This is by no means an exhaustive list of recommendations in preparing for a 2nd opinion, but it is a start – for a blog *smile*.  Apply these recommendations to any other serious diagnosis. If possible, ask  questions before any surgeries or serious treatment. Oh, by the way, your research on the internet does not count as a second opinion!

Again, take someone with you on your appointments!

God’s speed!

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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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From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

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

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Why is there such an obsession over good health? Even more so over aging or getting old? I do not have the answer or formula, as there is a billion dollar anti-aging industry searching for that as well. What I do know, is that aging gracefully is quite possible for everyone – Love Yourself, Love Others, Be Kind, Be Grateful, Stay Active, Laugh a lot and LIVE for the moment…that is a GREAT start and canvas quite a bit!

Example:  To quit smoking is a part of loving and being kind to oneself…and by so doing improve one’s health!

It is not just to live longer either, but to enjoy a better, healthy life NOW, that will also be beneficial much later… to have something to look back at…when you are 80, 90, or 102 yo! Aging gracefully is … priceless! As Dr. Charles Stanley would say, “We reap what sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow.” …. sow wisely!

Stay Active!

Stay Active!

Staying Active: If dancing is not your thing, maybe daily walking after dinner, playing tennis, gardening, or anything else that is enjoyable and settles your mind – may do the trick. Don’t forget to exercise the brain too!

Laughing/smiling does the heart good! This video brought a smile to my face and lightens my heart…here’s hoping it does the same for you also!

Start practicing the “aging gracefully” process today…

102 yo DANCER… sees herself dancing for the FIRST time!

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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…

Read Full Post »

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…

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