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.
 

Malaria and Travel by Minnie Alcantara

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease caused by a Plasmodium microorganism.  Malaria is widespread in the tropical and subtropical regions including destinations in the Sub-Saharian Africa, Asia and the Americas.  When a person is bitten by an infected mosquito, the Plasmodium parasite multiplies within the red blood cells causing symptoms such as fever and headache.    Additional malaria symptoms include chills/shivering, joint pains, body aches, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, jaundice and convulsions.  These symptoms may start to occur 7-9 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. 

Before Traveling:

It is very important to set up an appointment with your health care provider, ideally 6-8 weeks prior to your trip.  Travelers visiting high risk areas with malaria will not have immunity.  They most likely will need to start on anti-malarial medications. These treatments may need to begin as early as 2 weeks before departure.  The type of anti-malarial medication prescribed will vary according to the strain of malaria in the region.  It is significant to purchase your medications before traveling abroad; drugs purchased overseas may not meet U.S. standards and could be ineffective.

During Travel:

Make sure to take your anti-malarial medications regularly as prescribed by your health provider.  Unfortunately, people who are taking anti-malarial medication may still become infected.  The most important thing to do is reduce your chances of being bitten.  Pack insect repellent containing up to 20-50% DEET.  Apply repellent to any exposed skin, always on top of sun block.  Avoid mosquito bites when they are most active which is between dusk and dawn by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long trousers.  Mosquitos can bite through clothing, therefore, repellent should be sprayed on your clothing for added protection.  Sleep under mosquito nets (which should be impregnated with insecticide) if sleeping in an unscreened room.  Spraying insecticides in the room will also help control mosquitos.  Remain aware of malaria at your destination, people often contract malaria when they start to become complacent during their trip.

After Your Trip:

When you return from your destination, it is very important to follow through with the health advice given by your physician.  Make sure to continue and finish the course of anti-malarial medication as directed.  It may be difficult to recognize signs of malaria; the initial symptoms may be mild and could be mistaken for the flu.  If you develop any flu-like symptoms after returning from your trip (within the first 3 months and up to a year), seek medical attention and make sure to let your provider know that you had recently traveled to a malaria-risk destination. 

Malaria, like most serious travel health risks are preventable.  So plan wisely and prepare for happy and healthy travels!

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.