Category Archives: Prevention

AGING: THE IMPORTANCE OF CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE

MEDICINE: HOW TO TREAT CORONARY HEART DISEASE

More than 360,000 people died from coronary artery disease in 2019. While there is no cure to the disease, you can take steps to lower your risk and manage the harmful plaque build-up impacting your health. The information in this video was accurate as of 11.25.2021 and is for information purposes only. Consult your local medical authority or your healthcare practitioner for advice.

Chapters: 0:00 Intro 0:12 What is coronary artery disease? 0:26 What are the signs of coronary artery disease? 0:41 Can you reverse coronary artery disease? 1:04 What are statins? 1:34 What are the treatments for coronary artery disease? 1:46 Make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk. 2:07 Taking medication can help treat coronary artery disease. 2:25 What is a coronary stent procedure? 3:03 What is coronary artery bypass graft surgery? 3:36 What’s the best treatment for coronary artery disease? 3:45 When should you talk to your doctor about coronary artery disease symptoms?

Prevention: Side Effects Of Excessive Earwax

Covid-19: The Unwanted Thanksgiving Day Guest

The risk of Covid starts with the level of infection in your community. If high or rising,of course, you have to be more careful. If low or dropping, you can be less worried. The whole adventure revolves around your personal tolerance for risk.

If you are healthy, young and fully immunized, especially with a booster, you can take more risk. If you have actually had test-positive  Covid, that counts as one injection.

Remember that your immunity begins to wane after 3 to 6 months.
If you have an immune deficiency, such as age more than 60, obesity, or a variety of immune associated illnesses, you should be more careful.

If you have decided to go to one or more holiday venues, you might consider reducing your exposure for a week before, or possibly take a rapid test the day before you go, as a courtesy to the other guests. At the party, you can choose to be as close to a window, or fan, as possible, or prefer those groups who are outside. Wearing a mask might also be helpful, and at least will tell the other guess that you are worried.

The catch 22 is that if you are really worried you might consider not attending the gathering. Distancing to more than six or 9 feet is still a good idea, but makes you seem like a Grinch, and is difficult at a party. Do remember that the greater the density of people the greater your risk. If you are a host, especially in an area where Covid is rampant, your guests should be vaccinated. You might consider asking your guests to get a rapid test the day before they come. 

If you have children who are unvaccinated, you might ask them to wear a mask, and keep their distance from the guests. You could open the window a crack to improve the ventilation in the room, and hold as much as possible of the gathering outside your house. You could ask the guests to wear masks when they are not eating. The N-95, KN-95, and KF-94 masks are all excellent, and will protect the people who wear them to some degree, and be very protective against their spreading the Covid virus.

After the gathering, especially if good protocol has not been followed, you might be alert to the possibility of an infection within a week to 10 days following the party. If you develop symptoms, a prompt rapid test is advisable. If positive, you can check with your doctor about the possibility of IVIG, or other medications. If negative, and the symptoms persist, the test should be repeated, since they are not 100% reliable.

There are a couple of oral  tablets that are on the verge of being approved. You might ask your doctor about fluvoxamine, an already approved medication.

Immunization is not a ironclad guarantee against getting the infection, or spreading it. Unfortunately, Covid is still lurking in the background, and gatherings for the holidays should be evaluated on a risk-reward basis.

For an interesting discussion of this topic, I would recommend the Sunday, November 21, 2021 edition of the New York Times, where three knowledgeable people discuss individual situations.

—Dr. C

Prevention: Risk Factors For Stomach Cancer

Procedures: Preparing For A Colonoscopy (Mayo)

A colonoscopy is an exam used to detect changes or abnormalities in the large intestine, or colon, and rectum. It’s an important exam that’s performed to check for colon cancer. But some would agree that preparing for the colonoscopy is worse than the exam itself.

In this Mayo Clinic Minute, Dr. James East, a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic Healthcare in London, explains what patients will need to do to prepare for this exam and how to make it a little easier.

Technology: Wearable Heart Monitors (Mayo)

It’s like an auto mechanic running a diagnostic test on your car’s engine while it’s out of the garage and traveling down the road. Wearable heart monitors are valuable tools that cardiologists use to determine if you are experiencing atrial fibrillation, which is your heart beating at an irregular or rapid rhythm.

COVID-19: HOW BIONTECH USED ITS CANCER RESEARCH TO CREATE A VACCINE (CNBC)

Over a month and a half before the World Health Organization officially declared a pandemic, BioNTech CEO Uğur Şahin met with his wife, BioNTech’s co-founder and chief medical officer Özlem Türeci, and together they agreed to redirect most of the company’s resources to developing a vaccine. Up until that point, BioNTech was little-known internationally and primarily focused on developing novel cancer treatments. The founders were confident in the potential of their mRNA technology, which they knew could trigger a powerful immune response. That confidence wasn’t necessarily shared by the broader medical community. No mRNA vaccine or treatment had ever been approved before. But the couple’s timely breakthrough was actually decades in the making. CNBC spoke with Şahin and Türeci about how they, along with Pfizer, created a Covid-19 vaccine using mRNA.

COMMENTARY:

This commentary concerns a video showing aspects of the development of MRNA vaccines. It is all about Pfizer’s German partner, BioNtech, which manufactures the vaccine. They have produced the bulk of the worlds mRNA vaccines, due to Pfizer‘s great financial strength and  experience in marketing.

Moderna, a wholly American company and by comparison a small fry, has also been doing decades of work with mRNA platform technology, mainly on cancer treatment.

With $800 million from the U.S. government, Moderna was able to scale up their manufacturing process and deliver a vaccine, approved by the FDA, shortly after Pfizer did so.

These vaccines were made possible by two technical advances.
The first advance was in substituting pseudouridine for uridine in the mRNA, so that the target cells natural defenses would not destroy it. The second involves coating the mRNA with a nano size particle to get it into the target cell.

Each of these advances will probably receive a Nobel prize, and is an elegant example of the sophistication of modern  biotechnology.

—Dr. C.