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Health pearls

We live in an era of maybe “too much" medical information. As most of us know, medical information and opinions can drastically change over time. For example, when I was a resident in OBGYN more than 20 years ago, it was common for a menopausal woman to be placed on “Estrogen Replacement Therapy" for multiple reasons such as osteoporosis prevention, hot flashes, and heart protection. We were told how estrogen treatment in the menopause years can even raise HDL or the “good" cholesterol. After the WHO study was released in 2002, however, we learned how estrogen therapy can raise the risk of breast cancer! Gone also is the heart protection theory from years ago.

For decades, we also had told our female patients how important it was to take calcium supplements to protect their bones. Now, however, we tell them to wait until after menopause to consider this supplement, as the scientific community now warns us of the elevated incidence of kidney stones. One clinical study even reported how too much calcium supplementation can be hazardous to cardiac health, only to be struck down about two weeks ago by another scientist whose observations of the literature led him to conclude that this “cardiac hazard" was not true!

In Health Pearls, we will try to summarize some recent scientific studies for you in the hope that the information will help you lead a more healthy life. However, we hope we won’t have to oscillate back and forth, telling you one week to stop doing what we were advising the prior week! We do not claim to be experts in all medical fields but rest assured that we do practice what we preach.

Recently, I was amused when I watched a video clip from a famous physician, now in the league of Hollywood celebrities, making recommendation on a “weight loss pill" made out of Mangosteen, one of my favorite childhood tropical fruits.

“One pill a day and you will lose FOUR pounds a month!"

Four pounds a month? That sounds pretty easy, no more harassment from Michelle Obama for those “Not moving” people? No more injuries at the gym trying to run faster to burn more calories? Just imagine, many Americans would love to sit in front of their TV taking Mangosteen pills watching the Food Network! Who would have thought we could solve the obesity problem in America by taking Mangosteen pills?

I can reassure you that I know many obese Asians who eat Mangosteen. Maybe they did not eat enough mangosteen? How many mangosteens does it take to make a pill, I wonder?

We hope all the pearls we will be gathering will help you on your journey to good health and happiness!

Thu



Exercise Can Prevent Deaths
written by Marsha Seidelman, M.D.
on Sunday, 10th December, 2017

You may be tired of hearing that exercise is good for you. And you may wonder if it’s too late to start a routine once you’ve already been diagnosed with heart disease. It has been shown many times over that exercise is helpful in both primary prevention (i.e. no known heart disease) and secondary prevention (i.e. had a diagnosis of heart disease or a cardiac event ...

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Ten Percent Is Nothing To Sneeze At
written by Marsha Seidelman, M.D.
on Wednesday, 6th December, 2017

As you might have read recently, review of the influenza season in the Southern Hemisphere demonstrated that this year’s flu vaccine was only 10% effective there. It is too early in the Northern Hemisphere to predict whether the vaccine that we have been giving will be any more effective. We do know that the vaccine composition is similar, and presumably, the flu viruses ...

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New Vaccine for Prevention of Shingles Approved
written by Linda Yau, M.D., F.A.C.P.
on Sunday, 5th November, 2017

The FDA approved the use of Shingrix, a recombinant inactivated vaccine, for protection against shingles in patients aged 50 and older on October 20, 2017. The American Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), recommended that Shingrix be given instead of Zostavax, the currently available live, attenuated vaccine which has been on the market since 2006. Shingles is a disease ...

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Just One Word ... Plastics
written by Marsha Seidelman, M.D.
on Wednesday, 1st November, 2017

Sometimes you hear a news clip that impacts you due to where and when you hear them. A few weeks ago, I listened to a report on plastics on NPR while driving out to the Chesapeake Bay. The researchers who were being interviewed examined drinking water in developed vs. developing countries. They expected to find that advanced water treatment in countries like ours would result ...

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Washingtonian Top Docs issue is out - and several of our docs are featured
written by Marsha Seidelman, M.D.
on Wednesday, 25th October, 2017

We're proud to announce that many of our docs were named "Top Doctors" in the November issue of Washingtonian Magazine. We covered a broad range of fields, including Allergy and Immunology, Endocrine, Family Medicine, Gastroenterology, General Surgery, Geriatrics, Infertility, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oncology and Hematology, Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology ...

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Tips on Protecting Children from Sexual Assault and Harassment
written by Karen Lewis, M.D.
on Saturday, 21st October, 2017

As published in Human Rights Bulletin, by co-authors Karen Lewis, MD, FAUSA and Brooke Galloway, FAUSA As Board President and the Assistant Director of SASHAA , Sexual Assault Support and Help for Americans Abroad, we are frequently asked about sexual assault prevention, often from parents who desperately want to protect their children as they grow into mature adults. Parents ...

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Jody Miller's Wellness Wisdom for the Month
written by Jody Miller, M.A., RCEP
on Sunday, 8th October, 2017

** Intrinsic Motivation Ask yourself… Are you making changes because you think you “should” or because someone else tells you to do so? Long term change stems from making changes because you WANT to and choose it for yourself – self-directed and self-initiated. Nutrition & Fitness: ** Nutrition - Added Sugar – Recommended intake: ...

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What's New with Flu (2017-18)
written by Pamela Prindle, R.N., BSN, CNOR
on Thursday, 21st September, 2017

The autumn months bring temperature changes and remind us of the influenza (flu) season that will occur soon. Influenza is a highly infectious virus that causes 20,000 preventable deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations annually. The seemingly low protection (45%) of last year’s flu vaccine spells uncertainty for most of us when deciding to vaccinate for flu this year; however, ...

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Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause
written by Cara C. Simmonds, MD, FACOG
on Sunday, 3rd September, 2017

Many women experience discomfort in the peri- and post-menopausal period. The complaints vary but may include vaginal dryness and irritation, painful intercourse, lack of sensation with intercourse, leaking of urine, urinary urgency, recurrent urinary and vaginal infections, and even vaginal bleeding. The changes that occur are due to declining estrogen levels and estrogen receptor ...

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Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause
written by Cara C. Simmonds, MD, FACOG
on Sunday, 3rd September, 2017

Many women experience discomfort in the peri- and post-menopausal period. The complaints vary but may include vaginal dryness and irritation, painful intercourse, lack of sensation with intercourse, leaking of urine, urinary urgency, recurrent urinary and vaginal infections, and even vaginal bleeding. The changes that occur are due to declining estrogen levels and estrogen receptor ...

read more
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Latest entries
Exercise Can Prevent Deaths
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New Vaccine for Prevention of Shingles Approved
Just One Word ... Plastics

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