Earthquake Safety Tips by Richard Lu, M.D.

 



Southern California was recently shaken again by earthquake a few weeks ago.  Based upon the U.S. Geological Survey, a magnitude 4.4 quake struck the city of Yorba Linda in Orange County late Tuesday night on August 7th.  The following morning, another quake occurred with a magnitude of 4.5 centered in the same area. 

When an earthquake occurs in a populated area, it may cause deaths and injuries and extensive property damage.  Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury.  Most earthquake-related injuries result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects as a result of the ground shaking, or people trying to move more than a few feet during the shaking.  Much of the damage in earthquakes is predictable and preventable.

What can I do to prepare before an earthquake occurs?

Pick "safe places”. A safe place could be under a sturdy table or desk or against an interior wall away from windows and bookcases, or tall furniture that could fall on you.

If you must leave a building after the shaking stops, use the stairs, not the elevator.

If you're outside in an earthquake, stay outside.

Reference: U.S. Department of Labor | Occupational Safety & Health Administration | 200 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20210    www.OSHA.gov

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.
 

 




 

Why it is Important to Prevent, Diagnose, and Treat Diabetes by Nathan Kiskila, M.D.





Nearly 26 million Americans are living with diabetes, and another 79 million are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.  However, most Americans don’t consider diabetes a serious matter.  Recent numbers by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention paint a desperate situation of where we are and where we are headed:

  • Every 17 seconds, someone is diagnosed with diabetes.

  • Diabetes  kills more people each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.

  • Recent estimates project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take steps to stop diabetes.


 
What is Diabetes?

Diabetes occurs when a person’s body doesn’t make enough of the hormone insulin or can’t use insulin properly. Type 1 diabetes occurs when your body’s pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas either doesn’t produce enough insulin or your body’s cells ignore the insulin. About 95% of people who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Most people have very few symptoms during the early stages of diabetes, so you may not know you have the disease. Damage may already be happening to your eyes, kidneys and cardiovascular system even before you notice symptoms. Common symptoms include:

  • Extreme thirst

  • Frequent urination

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Fatigue or drowsiness

  • Blurry vision

  • Slow-healing wounds, sores or bruises

  • Dry, itchy skin

  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet

  • Frequent or recurring skin, gum, bladder or vaginal yeast infections


Call your doctor if:

  • You start feeling very thirsty and are urinating more often than usual.

  • You lose a significant amount of weight.

  • You start breathing deeper and faster.

  • Your breath smells like nail polish remover.

  • You start to tremble, feel weak and drowsy, and then feel confused or dizzy, or your vision becomes blurred.

  • You feel uncoordinated.

  • You have a sore, blister or wound that won't heal.


Why is it important to prevent, diagnose, and treat diabetes?  Untreated diabetes causes blood sugar levels to rise. This can lead to a number of serious problems, including:

  • Eye damage that can cause blindness

  • Kidney failure

  • Heart attacks

  • Nerve and blood vessel damage that can lead to the loss of toes or feet

  • Problems with gums, including tooth loss

  • The longer the body is exposed to high blood sugar levels, the greater the risk that problems will occur. That’s why diagnosing diabetes as early as possible is important. Treating diabetes can minimize, delay and, in some cases, even prevent the problems that diabetes can cause.


How is diabetes diagnosed?

  • Your doctor may test for diabetes if he or she suspects you are at risk. To check for diabetes, your doctor may request the following tests:

  • Random blood sugar test. This test measures the level of glucose in your blood at any time of day, regardless of when you last ate.

  • Fasting blood sugar test. This test is usually done in the morning, after an 8-hour fast.

  • Oral glucose tolerance test. During this test, you will drink a beverage containing 75 grams of glucose dissolved in water.


If you think you have diabetes or would like to be tested for diabetes, call or visit your doctor.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.
 

Abdominal Pain by Dorcas M. Eaves, MD, MSS

Abdominal pain is the number one non-trauma reason for patient visits to an Emergency Room. Approximately 12 million people, seen in the emergency room for this condition, are discharged from the ER with non-surgical; non-emergent conditions i.e. no serious conditions, 83% of the time.

Abdominal pain can originate in the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) but can also come from the abdominal wall or other organ systems (referred pain).  Typically abdominal pain is a crampy/colicky sensation or burning sensation and is usually short-lived. The most common condition associated with crampy/colicky pain is intestinal gas build-up. This pain is usually sharp in nature, persistent, and feels worse with coughing, laughing and walking.  The most common cause is increased solid stool in the right and transverse colon areas (right side of abdomen and upper abdomen at the level of the lower ribs). The pain is the result of stretch on the bowel wall as it attempts to move the solid contents towards the rectum. Most patients feel like they are “bloated” and can feel movement inside the abdomen cavity.  An easy and relatively fast remedy is a gentle laxative like Milk of Magnesia. Follow the instructions on the bottle. 

Gnawing stomach pain is usually caused by peptic ulcers (increased acid production in the stomach) and is relieved by eating. On the other hand, abdominal bloating/distension after meals with vague symptoms have been associated with gallbladder problems secondary to gallstones.

If you suspect you might have an ulcer try the following before seeking medical care:  Avoid spicy foods, take an over the counter (OTC) medication like Zantac and Maalox in combination 30 minutes prior to eating. This should relieve the discomfort. Most ulcers will heal in 6-8 weeks on the above regiment of an acid blocker (Zantac) and an acid neutralizer (Maalox or similar antacid).

Pain associated with Gallbladder disease usually occurs after meals. This pain is also colicky in nature but is usually located in the right upper quadrant area of the abdomen. Gallbladder stones are the culprit. These stones are passed from the gallbladder into the intestinal tract when the bile is release to digest protein products which is a necessary part of digestion. The pain is caused by these tiny stones getting caught in a narrow channel between the gallbladder and the intestines. The stone(s) will usually pass “on its own” and when this happens the pain resolves.

You can decrease gallbladder pain by decreasing or eliminating “fatty food” products. This includes fried foods, meat, chicken/turkey, lamb, pork. Don’t forget that many cheese products contain some degree of “fat”. If you suspect you might have gallstones see your physician for a full evaluation.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.
 

International Travel Preparation by Alison Sims M.D.

Board Certification: Internal Medicine
THE PRE-TRAVEL CONSULTATION
 
People of all ages will travel far and wide for many reasons without any hesitation.  Some of the reasons for international travel include: traveling for work, vacations, revisiting family in one’s country of origin, and even for medical procedures abroad.  Travel planning always requires a laundry list of things to do, and yet only a small percentage of people review their health and medical preparation with the same care as they do when packing their suitcases.  I hope that these recommendations will both help everyone to protect themselves and their families from preventable travel illnesses, and also to prevent major medical mishaps from interrupting long-anticipated trips.

THE PROPER TIME TO SEE YOUR DOCTOR

A pre-travel consultation should be at least 4 weeks before the date of departure.  If you are not a seasoned traveler and you know you need vaccines, be sure to allow at least 4 weeks of time for the vaccinations to stimulate your body’s blood cells to boost your protective antibodies to effective levels.  If you need a series of booster injections, you may require 6 to 8 weeks of preparation time.

3 THINGS TO BRING TO YOUR OFFICE VISIT

To be sure that you will receive the vaccinations and medications needed, carefully prepare and bring these 3 documents to your doctor: your vaccination and health records, your itinerary in detail, and a list of other medications you will need.

VACCINATION AND HEALTH RECORDS

You must bring a complete record of vaccinations with dates and doses for each person who is traveling.  Prepare a medical history for each person including their allergies and medication lists.  Be careful to note any health states that may be more of a risk such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, weakened immune systems, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, very young children or infants, and travelers over 60 years old.

ITINERARY FOR YOUR TRIP

Be very specific about your itinerary (the what, where, and when) of your trip.  Outline the dates for each region and planned activities.  View the Traveler’s Health page on the Center for Disease Control website, www.cdc.gov.  Find your destination(s) and print out the travel health recommendations specific to your locale(s).  Additionally, print out a Malaria map for your travel destination if applicable.  This site will provide explanations of the vaccines recommended for your destination and a list of the current outbreaks in the area.  You may address any questions or concerns about these items with your doctor.

MEDICATION REQUEST LIST

Make a list of the medications you wish to have for prevention of illnesses and conditions specific to your travel activities.  Examples include: altitude sickness hiking in extreme conditions, insomnia in unfamiliar places, flight anxiety, motion sickness on boats, traveler’s diarrhea, skin infections from insect bites and accidental wounds, respiratory infections, bladder infections from sitting on long flights, and “as needed” medications such as Epi Pens for bee sting allergies, and albuterol inhalers for acute asthmatic attacks from unusual weather or pollution.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES

Be sure to print out and review carefully the Travel Health Kit page as outlined on the CDC website.  It includes education on how to effectively prevent insect-borne diseases, foodborne and waterborne illnesses.  It is much better to avoid contracting a disease or illness such as malaria or cholera than it is to treat it.  It also includes recommendations for over-the-counter medications such as sunscreen and antihistamines to prevent or self-treat simple problems such as sunburn and mild allergic reactions.

VACCINATIONS FOR CONSIDERATION IN PRE-TRAVEL CONSULTATION

Vaccinations are divided on the CDC site into 3 categories: Routine, Recommended, and Required.  Please see the last page for a copy of the list as it appears on the CDC website.

DOCUMENTATION AND WRITTEN RECORDS

It is always recommended that you keep a copy of all of your important health records, vaccinations, medication lists, allergies, and both physician contact numbers and family contact numbers with you at all times during your travels in case of an emergency.

Be safe, and enjoy your trip!

Dr. Alison Sims

 

VACCINATIONS FOR CONSIDERATION IN PRE-TRAVEL CONSULTATION

Vaccinations are divided on the CDC site into 3 categories: Routine, Recommended, and Required.

Routine vaccinations are given according to the age and risk factors of the patient regardless of travel plans, and should be updated as necessary before travel.  These include:

Diptheria

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis B

Hemophilus influenza type b (Hib)

Herpes zoster (shingles)

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

Influenza

Measles (rubeola)

Meningococcal

Mumps

Pertussis

Pneumococcal

Polio

Rotavirus

Rubella

Tetanus

Varicella (chickenpox)

Recommended travel-related vaccines are specific to your destination. The most commonly requested vaccines for travel are:

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis B

Japanese Encephalitis

Meningococcal

Polio

Typhoid Fever

Yellow Fever

Required vaccines are country-specific and can change at any time. You must check on the CDC website for your destination’s requirements.  Some common ones:

Yellow Fever

Meningococcal

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.
 

 

 


 

Are You Healthy Enough for Exercise? by Nathan Kiskila, M.D.

Dr. kiskila webA recent study showed that for some individuals, exercise may increase heart risk.*

Starting a new exercise program or sport may be a good idea but if you have had a past injury or problem, are over the age of 40, overweight, previously inactive or have a history of any medical condition such as diabetes or heart problems, you may want to have an exam before starting something new.

Based on your risk factors a doctor may want to ask about your personal and family medical history, assess heart disease risk factors such as cholesterol levels and smoking. Simple blood and urine tests may be obtained and if indicated an exercise stress test. Based on your results, your doctor may make limitations on an exercise regimen. If you have any chest pain or excessive shortness of breath while exercising, stop immediately and call your doctor right away.

*Bouchard C, Blair SN, Church TS, Earnest CP, Hagberg JM, et al. (2012) Adverse Metabolic Response to Regular Exercise: Is It a Rare or Common Occurrence? PLoS ONE 7(5): e37887. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037887

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.
 

 

 


 

 

Sinus Infections by Nathan Kiskila, MD

Board Certification: Family Practice
A sinus infection is the swelling of the interlining of your sinuses most likely caused by a virus like a common cold. When you get a cold, mucus in your sinuses becomes thick and sticky and is more difficult to drain. Bacteria can grow in the mucus and lead to an infection. Sinus infections are most commonly caused from allergies, deviated septum or change in pressure (flying). Symptoms include pressure or pain in your face or forehead, congestion, cough (often worse at night), sore throat, headache, and fever. Usually sinus infections resolve on their own and we treat the symptoms. Netty pots or nasal saline rinses help loosen the mucus so it drains better. Drinking lots of water and taking mucinex helps thin the mucus. Over the counter decongestions and pain medicines may alleviate the congestion. Avoid allergy medicines which may cause mucus to become thicker. If your sinus symptoms last more than 7 days or are getting worse you may need an antibiotic or a prescription for a nasal steroid. Go see your doctor if you have a fever above 101, if you have a bad headache, vision changes or swelling around your eyes.
 
 
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.