On 9:49 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care

 Health Canada gave the green light for the anticoagulant apixaban (Eliquis) to be used for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with atrial fibrillation (Afib).
Apixaban, an oral factor Xa inhibitor, was just approved for the same indication in the European Union.

However, in the U.S., the FDA has postponed its decision on whether to approve the drug for stroke prevention in Afib, requesting additional data.
The Canadian approval of apixaban is based on data from the ARISTOTLE and AVERROES studies, which evaluated almost 24,000 patients. The studies compared apixaban with warfarin and aspirin, respectively, and looked at efficacy relating to stroke and systemic embolism, as well as safety relating to major bleeding as the primary endpoints. All-cause death was the secondary endpoint.

As a class, new oral anticoagulants have been officially recognized by the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) clinical practice guidelines for stroke prevention in Afib as a preferable option to warfarin, previously considered the standard of care.
Health Canada had previously approved apixaban for the prevention of venous thromboembolic events in adult patients who have already undergone elective knee or hip replacement surgery.
On 5:26 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar: Myth or Reality?

What are the health benefits of apple cider vinegar?

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but what about a shot of apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar has been hailed as a cure-all dietary supplement, with health benefits ranging from relief from allergy symptoms to helping the body burn fat and lose weight. Supporters of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar cite testimonials from people who believe that drinking apple cider vinegar has helped them, but is there any evidence to back up these claims?
Alexa Schmitt, a clinical dietitian at Massachusetts General Hospital, says, "No." While a few studies have been conducted on the possible health benefits of apple cider vinegar, the number of people in these studies is typically small, and the evidence is not yet convincing. "We have to look at the science," says Schmitt. "One or two small studies is not enough to prove a benefit."
Sorting Out Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Weight loss. According to Schmitt, the idea that apple cider vinegar somehow "speeds up fat loss is altogether a myth." There is no evidence to suggest that apple cider vinegar can affect metabolism, which is the way an individual breaks down food and burns calories.
  • Feeling full. A 2006 study found that people who took doses of vinegar while eating bread reported feeling more full than people who ate bread alone. While this study has been cited by those who believe in the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, it is important to note that it only tested 12 individuals, and the authors concluded that much more research was needed before firm conclusions could be drawn. This study did not suggest that the way these people burned calories was affected.
  • Cholesterol. Schmitt mentions a successful study that was done on rats but has yet to be replicated in humans. The study found that rats on a diet with an acetic acid supplement had lower cholesterol levels than rats without the acetic acid supplement. Acetic acid is one of the ingredients in apple cider vinegar and many other kinds of vinegar. For those who believe in the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, this study is promising. But there are other things to consider before assuming that the findings will be true in humans — primarily that there are key differences between the metabolism of rats and humans. The study authors recommend that the next trial be on hamsters, which break down fat in a way that is more similar to humans.
  • Diabetes. A few studies have found that apple cider vinegar helped in the management of diabetes; however, these studies are also limited by their small size. One study, which found that taking vinegar at bedtime reduces blood sugar levels the next morning in people with type 2 diabetes, examined only 11 people. Another study found that taking cider vinegar might have some effect on insulin sensitivity in some diabetes patients, but that research, too, was limited by the small number of people being studied.
Although there is not currently good scientific evidence for a health benefit of apple cider vinegar, this may change in the future. Researchers are still involved in some exciting research about apple cider vinegar, and the future is likely to bring better information.
On 7:59 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
CDC Says “Take 3” Actions To Fight The Flu

Sadly Flu season is here and greater then ever. The Flu is a serious contagious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death.

CDC urges you to take the following actions to protect yourself and others from influenza (the flu):
Take time to get a flu vaccine.
  • CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
  • While there are many different flu viruses, a flu vaccine protects against the three viruses that research suggests will be most common.
  • Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine as soon as the current season's vaccines are available.
  • Vaccination of high risk persons is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness.
  • People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children,pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.
  • Vaccination also is important for health care workers, and other people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to high risk people.
  • Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for them should be vaccinated instead.

  • Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.
    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
    • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
    • If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
    • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
    • See Everyday Preventive Actions and Nonpharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) for more information about actions, apart from getting vaccinated and taking medicine, that people and communities can take to help slow the spread of illnesses like influenza
    • (flu).
     Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.
    • If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can treat your illness.
    • Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics. They are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) and are not available over-the-counter.
    • Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For people with high risk factors, treatment with an antiviral drug can mean the difference between having a milder illness versus a very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay.
    • Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 2 days of getting sick, but starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high-risk health or is very sick from the flu. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking this drug.
    • Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.
    Visit CDC’s website to find out what to do if you get sick with the flu and how to care for someone at home who is sick with the flu.

    On 1:01 PM by NY Drs. Urgent Care

     Have you ever been told that coffee is bad and that you should switch to green tea or health smoothies or wheat grass juice….
    Over the past few years, researchers have discovered that:
  • Drinking 3-4 cups of coffee per day is associated with a 25% lower risk of type 2 diabetes (compared to people who drink less than 2 cups per day)

    • With each additional cup of coffee you drink, your relative risk of developing T2D drops by 7-8 per cent
    • Chlorogenic acid and trigonelline found in coffee causes a reduction in your your body’s glucose and insulin responses – helpful for avoiding T2D.
    • Moderate coffee consumption is not associated with an increased risk of hypertension, stroke or coronary heart disease.
    • Moderate coffee consumption is inversely related to your risk of heart failure
    • All in all, coffee looks to have some significant health benefits.
    On 12:48 PM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
    The fungal meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated injectable steroids continues to spread. Here are the latest facts, as of October 11, 2012:
    • October 11th- Tere has been 137 cases identified and 12 deaths; more since then.
    • It’s estimated that as many as 13,000 people have received the potentially contaminated steroid injections. Thus, we expect to see more cases of meningitis.
    • Cases of fungal meningitis have now presented in 10 states; New Jersey is the most recent.
    • The earliest (and most) cases occurred in Tennessee. That state has expanded its initial warning to patients, now urging anyone with possible exposure (i.e. patients who received epidural injections from one of the contaminated lots) to seek immediate care for meningitis-like symptoms that occur for up to 3 months after the injection.
    • A 2nd fungus (Aspergillus was the first) has been identified in the contaminated vials. This new organism is Exserohilum. Unfamiliar to most of us, Exserohilum is a common environmental inhabitant but rarely a human pathogen.
    • Emergency rooms have reported a dramatic surge in the number of patients concerned about possible exposure, despite widespread reassurance that fungal meningitis does not spread from person-to-person. We would like to take this opportunity to reinforce that only people who have received an epidural injection of methylprednisolone for back pain are at risk. If you are in that category and are experiencing symptoms, see your primary care provider or go to an emergency room immediately.
    • The compounding pharmacy responsible for the outbreak, New England Compounding Center, has closed, surrendered its state license, and recalled all of its products.
    • Legislation will be introduced at the federal level to empower the FDA to inspect, maintain, and assess the safety and efficacy of compounding pharmacies. At present, about 10% of pharmaceuticals come from compounding pharmacies, which are not required to submit to FDA oversight, but are overseen by state health pharmacy boards.
    What Are the Symptoms of Meningitis?
    Symptoms of meningitis may appear within days to several weeks of the injections. They may include headache, rash, stiff neck, and/or fever. Some of those affected have also presented with stroke-like symptoms, such as slurred speech or weakness in one extremity.
    On 12:10 PM by NY Drs. Urgent Care

    Last month (November) was Epilepsy Awareness Month. Epilepsy is a neurological condition, which affects the nervous system. Epilepsy is also known as a seizure disorder. It is usually diagnosed after a person has had at least two seizures that were not caused by some known medical condition like alcohol withdrawal or extremely low blood sugar. Sometimes, according to the International League Against Epilepsy, epilepsy can be diagnosed after one seizure, if a person has a condition that places them at high risk for having another.
    The seizures in epilepsy may be related to a brain injury or a family tendency, but most of the time the cause is unknown. The word "epilepsy" does not indicate anything about the cause of the person's seizures, what type they are, or how severe they are.
    Types of seizures
     There are three types of diagnoses a doctor might make when treating a patient with epilepsy:
    Idiopathic - this means there is no apparent cause.
    Cryptogenic - this means the doctor thinks there is most probably a cause, but cannot pinpoint it.
    Symptomatic - this means that the doctor knows what the cause is.
    There are three descriptions of seizures, depending on what part of the brain the epileptic activity started:
    Partial seizure - this means the epileptic activity took place in just part of the patient's brain. There are two types of Partial Seizures:
    Simple Partial Seizure - the patient is conscious during the seizure. In most cases the patient is also aware of his/her surroundings, even though the seizure is in progress.
    Complex Partial Seizure - the patient's consciousness is impaired. The patient will generally not remember the seizure, and if he/she does, the recollection of it will be vague.
    Generalized Seizure - both halves of the brain have epileptic activity. The patient's consciousness is lost while the seizure is in progress.
    Secondary Generalized Seizure - the epileptic activity started as a partial seizure, but then it spread to both halves of the brain. As this development happens, the patient loses consciousness.
    What are the symptoms of epilepsy?
     The main symptoms of epilepsy are repeated seizures. There are some symptoms which may indicate a person has epilepsy. If one or more of these symptoms are present a medical exam is advised, especially if they recur:
    • A convulsion with no temperature (no fever).
    • Short spells of blackout, or confused memory.
    • Intermittent fainting spells, during which bowel or bladder control is lost. This is frequently followed by extreme tiredness.
    • For a short period the person is unresponsive to instructions or questions.
    • The person becomes stiff, suddenly, for no obvious reason
    • The person suddenly falls for no clear reason
    • Sudden bouts of blinking without apparent stimuli
    • Sudden bouts of chewing, without any apparent reason
    • For a short time the person seems dazed, and unable to communicate
    • Peculiar changes in senses, such as smell, touch and sound; to name a few.
    For more information on Epilepsy, you can go HERE to the National Epilepsy Website.
    On 9:43 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care

    Kids may be inclined to opt for junk food over fresh fruit and that's where parents and guardians come in.

    Here are suggestions for steering your children toward healthier snack options:
    • Place fresh fruit out in the open where your kids can see and reach it.

    • Store these foods in see-through containers.

    • Ask your child to create a list of his or her favorite healthy foods. Then fill the list at the grocery store.
    • Stock the pantry and refrigerator with snack-size, portable containers of peanut butter, milk, nuts or raisins.
    On 10:56 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care

    Wine has been tied to a range of health benefits, including reduced cancer and heart disease risks. These are linked to the compound resveratrol (a phytoalexin produced naturally by several plants when under attack by pathogens such as bacteria or fungi) in grape skins. Now grape skin and seeds generated from winemaking, that are discarded as waste, have also been found to be a good source of antioxidant dietary fiber that could be used to fortify other foods.

    In a new study published in the Journal of Food Science, Oregon State University scientists report they have found that the wine waste, known as pomace; can boost the nutritional value of various food products such as yogurts and salad dressings, and can be used to extend shelf-life.

    The researchers analyzed pomace from Pinot Noir and Merlot wines to determine the best ways to convert the rich source of antioxidants into compounds that can be used to fortify foods.
    They found air- and oven-drying pomace proved to be inexpensive methods that can easily be used in large-scale industrial applications for food processing purposes.

    So that's the gist of "maximizing" Wine's benefits. For more information on its actual and ever growing benefits go HERE!
    On 11:03 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
    If you don't already know, October is the month for Breast Cancer Awareness. It's an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer.

    Breast Cancer is a type of cancer originating from breast tissue, most commonly from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk.Cancers originating from ducts are known as ductal carcinomas, while those originating from lobules are known as lobular carcinomas. Breast cancer occurs in humans and other mammals. While the overwhelming majority of human cases occur in women, male breast cancer can also occur.

    The size, stage, rate of growth, and other characteristics of a breast cancer determine the kinds of treatment. Treatment may include surgery, drugs (hormonal therapy and chemotherapy), radiation and/or immunotherapy. Surgical removal of the tumor provides the single largest benefit, with surgery alone curing many cases. To increase the likelihood of cure, several chemotherapy regimens are commonly given in addition to surgery. Radiation is used after breast-conserving surgery and substantially improves local relapse rates and in many circumstances also overall survival. Some breast cancers are sensitive to hormones such as estrogen and/or progesterone, which makes it possible to treat them by blocking the effects of these hormones.

    Worldwide, breast cancer comprises 22.9% of all cancers (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers) in women. In 2008, breast cancer caused 458,503 deaths worldwide (13.7% of cancer deaths in women). Breast cancer is more than 100 times more common in women than in men, although men tend to have poorer outcomes due to delays in diagnosis.

    Prognosis and survival rates for breast cancer vary greatly depending on the cancer type, stage, treatment, and geographical location of the patient. Survival rates in the Western world are high; for example, more than 8 out of 10 women (84%) in England diagnosed with breast cancer survive for at least 5 years. In developing countries, however, survival rates are much poorer.

    On 11:05 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
    Do you hop into bed still wearing your makeup? Have you tried out every new skin product to hit the shelves? These common mistakes may not seem like a big deal, but over time they can take a toll on your skin and leave you looking prematurely aged.

    Don’t worry, You can break your bad skin habits and avoid them a lot easier. While looking 10 years younger!

    Skipping sunscreen
    The No. 1 way you’re aging your skin? Not wearing sunscreen daily.The sun is the primary cause of skin aging, the sun can reach you on cloudy, rainy, or snowy days as well. Plus, skin-damaging UV rays can penetrate through glass, so you need to apply sun protection even indoors.

    Doctors suggests choosing a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which blocks both types of UV rays, UVA and UVB, with an SPF of at least 30. Antioxidant-fortified formulas containing ingredients such as resveratrol, vitamin C, idebenone, or coffee berry can offer additional protection.

    Neglecting your hands and neck
    Your face isn't the only area that needs a little TLC. Overexposure to sun affects your hands and neck just as much as your complexion. These areas show signs of aging, like dark spots, dryness, and loss of firmness. 

    Treat your neck and the backs of your hands as you would your face by generously applying moisturizer and sunscreen. While you can buy body-specific products, they aren't necessary. Those formulated for your face will work just fine. 

    Spot treating pimples
    Because of fluctuating hormones, women over 40 routinely experience acne problems. But using a spot treatment to relieve red spots will only dry out the skin, leaving a raw and irritated area—and it won’t help heal the pimple either. 

    Instead, treat your entire face with an acne-fighting cleanser or moisturizer once a day. It’s your best bet for preventing future breakouts.

    Going to bed without removing your makeup
    You may find it tempting to fall into bed after a busy day—or a late night on the town—without cleaning your face. But skipping a cleanser at night can lead to breakouts later.

    During the day, environmental toxins (like dirt and pollution) build up on skin and invade pores, which can cause complexion problems. So don’t hit the sack before you wash. Use a good cleanser and save your skin. Keep a box of cleansing towelettes bedside for added convenience—simply swipe and sleep.

    Using too many products at once
    If a new moisturizer is good, then the combination of a new serum, toner, and night cream must be better, right?
    Wrong!. If your skin gets irritated after you use a handful of new products, you won’t know what’s causing the problem and assume they’re all irritating. Instead, start with one at a time, and integrate a new product every two weeks. That way, you’ll be better able to identify what’s aggravating you, or know what combination of them makes your skin go haywire. Plus, you’ll also save some cash by buying only what you need.

    Skimping on sleep
    Getting insufficient shut-eye can age skin prematurely—and, in the short run, result in dark circles and a lackluster complexion. During the day, our skin cells are battling against an onslaught of stressors, like UV rays and pollution. Sleep is vital because stress hormones drop to normal levels at night, giving cells time to repair and rejuvenate.

    Plus, stress raises the levels of the hormone cortisol, which increases oil production and can lead to bouts of acne. So make sure you’re not depriving yourself of the sleep you need.

    For more information regarding Healthy Skin and Beauty related questions go HERE!
    On 11:41 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care

    Looking for a health "elixir" that will keep your body as young as your spirit? You may already be drinking it.

    A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that elderly adults who regularly sip green tea may stay more agile and independent than their peers as they age.

    Researchers at the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan followed nearly 14,000 people aged 65 or older for three years and found that those who drank at least five cups of green tea daily were one-third less likely to develop “functional disability,” or problems with routine tasks and activities, than those who drank less than one cup daily. Only seven percent of adults who drank the most tea became disabled, compared with 13 percent of those who drank the least.

    This difference was evident even after accounting for other factors such as the finding that green-tea drinkers generally had healthier diets, more education, lower smoking rates, better heart health, greater mental sharpness, more active social lives, and stronger support networks. It also applied to a lesser extent to tea-lovers who averaged three to four cups a day. (They were 25 percent less likely to develop age-related difficulties.)

    Researchers aren't sure exactly how green tea protects against frailty and disability, but they note that previous studies have shown a boost in leg-muscle strength from green tea extracts. They also point out that green tea is rich in antioxidants that may help ward off disease.

    Among the many other possible benefits associated with tea consumption are: lower cholesterol, greater bone density, improved memory, higher energy levels, and reduced cancer risk.

    There is a downside, though. While green tea is considered safe in small amounts, it does contain caffeine and some vitamin K, which could interfere with clot-busting drugs such as warfarin. If you’re taking this or another medication, talk with your doctor before you tea up.

    More information HERE!
    On 11:55 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
    To keep with the "theme" of Diabetes, here is another post regarding Type 2 Diabetes specifically. Infection with a common virus may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in older adults, a new study from the Netherlands suggests.

    In the study, adults ages 85 and over who were infected with cytomegalovirus (common virus) were about twice as likely to have type 2 diabetes compared with those not infected.

    Cytomegalovirus is a type of herpes virus found in 50 to 80 percent of adults over age 40; most people experience no symptoms of the infection.

    The findings suggest that cytomegalovirus infection plays a role in the development of type 2 diabetes in the elderly, the researchers said. However, the study found an association, not a cause-effect link.

    While the findings are interesting, researchers need studies that follow people forward in time to find out whether the virus could cause Type 2 diabetes. In addition, because the study was conducted in elderly people, the findings may not apply to other populations.

    For now, well-established risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure and lack of exercise should be considered the primary causes of type 2 diabetes.

    Linking diabetes and infection

    Previous studies have linked cytomegalovirus and type 1 diabetes, but studies looking at the virus and type 2 diabetes have had inconsistent results. One previous study looked at a generally younger group of adults than the new study — between ages 45 and 84 — and found no link between cytomegalovirus infection and type 2 diabetes.

    In the new study, the researcher analyzed information from 549 elderly adults in the Netherlands.

    About 80 percent were infected with cytomegalovirus, and 15 percent had type 2 diabetes.

    About 17 percent of those infected with cytomegalovirus had type 2 diabetes, whereas 7.9 percent of those without the virus had diabetes.

    The findings held even after the researchers took into account factors that could affect the results, including participants' gender, income, education, smoking status and number of medications.

    Behind the link
    The researchers speculated that cytomegalovirus may predispose people to diabetes by harming cells of the pancreas. The pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that is critical for getting sugar (glucose) into cells. Type 2 diabetes develops when the body becomes desensitized to insulin, and the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to compensate.

    It's also possible that type 2 diabetes impairs the immune system, and as a result, makes individuals vulnerable to cytomegalovirus infection. However, this explanation is not as likely, because people are often infected with cytomegalovirus in childhood, the researchers said.

    It may be that cytomegalovirus infection increases diabetes risk only after years of infection, which could explain why earlier studies in younger adults did not find a link, the researchers said.

    The study was published Aug. 27 in the journal Immunity and Aging. HERE
    On 11:46 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
    Diabetes is a serious and lifelong condition, typically associated with abnormally high levels of glucose, or sugar, in the blood. Although there are numerous similarities between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, it's important to note that they are two very distinct conditions, each with its own symptoms and treatments. By understanding these differences and learning the correct treatment strategies for your specific condition, you should be able to manage it more effectively. Here are the main differences between the two most common forms of diabetes.

    Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, is a chronic illness in which the pancreas is unable to produce insulin, a hormone that enables cells to absorb sugar and convert it into energy. Although it can occur at any age, type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in younger people. The disease can be caused by a range of factors, including genetics and contact with certain viruses.

    Similar to type 1, type 2 diabetes is related to the body's inability to use insulin effectively. Individuals with type 2 diabetes can produce insulin, but it is either resisted by the body or produced at insufficient levels. This is, by far, the most common form of the disease, accounting for roughly 95 percent of all diabetes cases, according to the American Diabetes Association. Although the exact cause is unknown, excess weight and poor diet are thought to contribute to its development.

    While both types of diabetes exhibit similar symptoms, there are a few small, noticeable differences. Like those with type 1 diabetes, type 2 sufferers may experience increased thirst, hunger and frequent urination, as well as weight loss, fatigue and blurred vision. However, while these symptoms often develop very quickly with type 1 diabetes, many individuals can live with type 2 diabetes for years before it is diagnosed. Sufferers of type 2 diabetes may also notice telltale dark patches on the skin around the folds of the body, such as the armpits. If you suspect that you may have diabetes, ask your doctor about getting a blood test.

    Unfortunately, both types of diabetes are chronic, lifelong conditions. However, by closely monitoring and managing your blood sugar levels, you can keep the effects of diabetes to a minimum. Since type 1 sufferers are unable to produce insulin properly, they require regular insulin therapy. Insulin levels are generally managed using a combination of rapid-acting and long-acting insulin, in conjunction with intermediate treatments.

    Managing type 2 diabetes can be less demanding, though it still requires plenty of discipline and determination. Monitoring your glucose levels regularly is essential to preventing dangerous fluctuations. You should be vigilant about eating a healthy diet and trying to exercise regularly. Over time, you should begin to learn how your body responds to specific foods and activities, which will enable you to treat your glucose levels accordingly.
    On 11:28 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care

     Yes you/people can be healthy! As in, their arteries aren't clogged. Their blood sugar levels are stable and they aren't on their way to an early grave. They may not look like your idea of health, but they are, in fact, functioning just fine.

    This news is courtesy of two studies (culling data from over 37,000 people.) Researchers at York University found that Body Mass Index (BMI) did not predict how likely a person was to die in the next 16-20 years as well as the Edmonton Obesity Staging System, a ranking system that considers a variety of other health factors in addition to height and weight, and was designed by Arya M. Sharma, one of the studies' co-authors.

    The researchers told CNN that one in five patients with a BMI over 30 counted as "healthy obese" according to the Edmonton Obesity Staging System and were "at no greater risk of dying than normal weight individuals. It challenges the notion all obese individuals need to lose weight." 

    Society has a hard time looking at an overweight person and not seeing "unhealthy" stamped on their forehead. Especially if that person is looking back at us from a mirror. We boil our definition of health down to the number on the scale when other markers (like blood pressure and cholesterol) matter more in terms of our long-term survival. And day to day, factors like your energy level and ability to sleep through the night impact your well-being more than the size of your jeans.  

    Of course, 20 percent is not a majority. Eighty percent of the obese people in these new studies did have health problems. And yes, more research is needed before scientists truly understand whether obesity causes such health problems, or merely tends to correlate with them. We could also use a study that analyzes the mortality of subjects with BMIs in the normal and underweight ranges. If you eat a lot of junk food, don't exercise and somehow defy the odds and stay thin, how are you any better off? What about if you regularly restrict calories or skip meals?

    But this research does say one thing loud and clear: "I can't tell you how healthy someone is if you tell me height or weight on a scale," Dr. Sharma (who is also chair for obesity research and management at the University of Alberta) told CNN. "I have to do additional tests." Added co-author Dr. Jennifer Kuk, assistant professor in York University's School of Kinesiology & Health Science in Toronto: The Edmonton ranking system could help doctors "to identify who should actually lose weight and who are we torturing for no reason."
    On 11:10 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
    Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB (short for tubercle bacillus) is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis typically attacks the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. It is spread through the air when people who have an active TB infection cough, sneeze, or otherwise transmit their saliva through the air. Most infections are asymptomatic and latent, but about one in ten latent infections eventually progresses to active disease which, if left untreated, kills more than 50% of those so infected.

    The classic symptoms of active TB infection are a chronic cough with fever, night sweats, and weight loss (the latter giving rise to the formerly prevalent term "consumption"). Infection of other organs causes a wide range of symptoms. Diagnosis of active TB relies on radiology (commonly chest X-rays), as well as microscopic examination and microbiological culture of body fluids.

    High doses of vitamin D speed the recovery of tuberculosis patients, according to a new study.
    The inspiration for testing the idea, scientist from Queen Mary University of London and other British hospitals said, was that 19th-century tuberculosis patients were sent to the mountains to lie in the sun. Ultraviolet B rays in sunshine convert cholesterol in the skin into vitamin D.

    In the decades before antibiotics, doctors knew that TB patients sometimes recovered, or at least lived longer, at high altitudes. Spas for wealthy patients were built in the Alps, the Rockies and other mountain ranges.

    Some doctors thought alpine air was the reason TB patients fared better, but others believed in “heliotherapy” (Medical therapy involving exposure to sunlight.) Even bed ridden patients were wheeled out onto sun decks.

    Vitamin D seems to prevent lung damage by slowing down inflammatory responses to the TB bacterium. Since it does not interfere with the action of antibiotics, it may be useful in other illnesses, like pneumonia, according to the authors of the study, published online by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last week.

    In a clinical trial of 95 patients on antibiotics, those who also got vitamin D had less inflammation, and the mycobacteria in their lung phlegm cleared up 13 days earlier on average.

    Tuberculosis kills 1.5 million people a year and is a common co-infection in people with AIDS. Drug-resistant strains are becoming more common.

    More information HERE at medicalnewstoday.com 
    On 11:13 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care

    If you haven't already known, September has been named Ovarian Cancer Month; only being a year in. Below is summary of the President (last year) proclaiming this month as the official month.

    "Ovarian cancer continues to have one of the highest mortality rates of any cancer, and it is a leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States. This month, we remember the mothers, sisters, and daughters we have lost to ovarian cancer, and we extend our support to those living with this disease. We also reaffirm our commitment to raising awareness about ovarian cancer, and to advancing our screening and treatment capabilities for the thousands of American women who will be diagnosed this year…

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 2011 as National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. I call upon citizens, government agencies, organizations, health-care providers, and research institutions to raise ovarian cancer awareness and continue helping Americans live longer, healthier lives. And I urge women across the country to talk to their health-care providers and learn more about this disease." 
    On 10:38 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
    Having a healthy immune system is essential as it will prevent you from a wide range of illnesses and health problems. As difficult as it may seem it is relatively easy to boost your immune system to make it even more effective at warding off illnesses. If you include the follow top 5 foods and/or drinks in your diet you can be sure that you will have a fantastic functioning immune system; which also means you will spend less time feeling ill.

    Yogurt is an excellent food for boosting immune system functioning, however not just any type of yogurts boost your immune system. Yogurts that will help your immune system are the ones that contain probiotics or in simple terms ‘healthy bacteria’; always make sure that you look at the label to make sure it does contain probacteria. Probiotics help keep your gut and intestines free from germs that may cause illness or disease. 

    Broccoli is one of the best vegetables that you can include in your diet. This is because it is packed with a collection of all types of vitamins and antioxidants that will help you build up a strong immune system. The best way to cook broccoli to maintain the most of its immune boosting power is to cook it as little as you can.

    Strawberries immune boosting capabilities come from being jam packed with vitamin C, which is known for increasing the production of white blood cells. Having ½ a cup of strawberries a day is enough to satisfy the body of Vitamin C suggested by the majority of health organizations.

    Green Tea
    The ingredients that green tea contains which is thought to give it an immune boosting effect are, polyphenols which are plant antioxidants. Having a cup a day can really help your immune system in functioning. The best way to maximize its immune boosting effects is only to add water that is just below boiling and to only keep the tea bag in for a maximum of two minutes. A rule of thumb is never to add milk as the proteins from the milk bind to the polyphenols destroying the teas immune boosting capabilities.

    It is the beta-glucan within oats that will help boost your immune system. Beta-glucan activates immune cells in your body that will fight off harmful micro-organisms. The best types of oats to use are steel cut or rolled oats, it it best to stay away from the instant sugary kinds of oats.

    Protein Shakes
    But not just any kind of protein shakes. There are protein powders available on the market that have been specially designed to boost your immune system. These protein powders contain ingredients that have been proven to increase the effectiveness of your immune system. The other benefit to these drinks is that they contain a high amount of protein which is essential for growth and repair. This means that your immune system will be able to build immune cells quickly.

    So there you go, the five most important supplements that you can take to boost your immune system. Keep in mind that any supplementary food or drink that you consume is just what it is – supplementary. So make sure that you eat healthy and mix up your vegetables and fruits, so you make sure that your diet doesn't lack any valuable vitamins and other minerals. 

    On 10:02 PM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
    Overall, organic foods are not nutritionally superior to conventional foods, neither are they safer regarding bacterial contamination, researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine reported in Annals of Internal Medicine. The scientists emphasized that they did not find any significant evidence pointing to nutritional benefits linked to the consumption of organic foods. They did, however, find "weak evidence" of higher phenol levels in organic produce.

    While eating organic vegetables and fruits does mean that the consumer has approximately 30% less exposure to pesticide residues, conventional foods are well below threshold limits.

    Crystal Smith-Spangler, MD, MS, Dena Bravata, MD, MS, and team carried out a review of 17 human studies and 223 other studies of nutrient and contaminant levels in fresh foods, including pork, beef, chicken, eggs, milk, grains, vegetables and fruit. Their aim was to compare the safety, nutritional and health characteristics of conventional and organic foods, which clearly showed the benefits versus the harms of conventional and organic foods.

    Studies on organic foods have produced varying results. One in February 2012 found that organic rice may have high levels of arsenic. A 2010 study published in PLoS ONE reported that organic strawberries have more antioxidants and vitamin C but less potassium and phosphorus than conventionally grown strawberries.

    Dr. Smith-Spangler said, "some believe that organic food is always healthier and more nutritious. My colleagues and I were a little surprised that we didn't find that."

    There was some weak evidence showing that organic foods have much higher levels of phenols, which are said to be strong antioxidants, than conventional foods. There was also some evidence that omega-3 fatty acid levels in organic milk are higher. However, as deficiency in these compounds is fairly rare anyway; the authors believe these findings have "little clinical significance".

    The scientists found that organic foods had higher levels of nitrogen than other foods. They believe this is likely to be because of different uses of fertilizers. Another factor might be that organic foods are harvested at different stages of ripeness. They added that a higher nitrogen content "is unlikely to provide any health benefits".

    Organic foods are more expensive

    US consumers typically have to pay much more for organic foods, sometimes twice as much, compared to conventional food prices. They are produced using farming methods which do not involve applying pesticides or chemical fertilizers, they are not processed using industrial solvents, chemical food additives, or irradiation.

    Organic foods of animal origin, such as dairy goods and meats, come from animals that are usually free range (they roam outdoors), the authors explained. In some countries, however, free range and organic are completely different terms - free range might not necessarily mean organic, while non-free-range animals may be fed organic foods and produce organic milk and meats.

    All the studies reviewed were short or medium term ones

    The scientists stressed that there were no health studies which concentrated on the long-term health outcomes of people who consumed organic foods versus conventional foods. Of the over 200 reports they assessed, the time-spans ranged from two days to a maximum of 24 months. Put simply, we still have no idea whether organic foods are better than conventional foods over the long term.

    A 2009 study funded by the Food Standards Agency, UK, and carried out by scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, found that organically produced foods are no better than conventionally produced foods, from a nutritional point of view.

    Researchers from the University of California reported in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry that organically grown tomatoes have considerably higher levels of flavonoids than non-organic ones. Their study had lasted ten years and concluded that organic tomatoes are better for heart health and controlling blood pressure.

    Information from medicalnewstoday.com

    On 12:28 PM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
    What exactly is the West Nile virus? And why is everyone talking about mosquitoes?

    Even though it was discovered all the way back in 1937 in Africa, the West Nile virus probably didn't make its way to the United States until 1999. But since then, it has been a cause of concern all over the country during the summer months.

    West Nile virus is caused by a bite from an infected mosquito that's already carrying the virus, but it's important to remember that not all mosquitoes are infected. In many parts of the United States, the risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito is greatest from July to early September. But in some parts of the country, mosquito bites can be a risk all year long.

    Not everyone who gets bitten by an infected mosquito will get the virus. And although kids can get West Nile virus, it's rare for them to become very sick from it.

    Symptoms of West Nile virus really depend on the person who becomes infected. Kids with normal immune systems, the system of the body that fights off disease and infection, usually get just a mild "flu-like" illness and may not feel bad at all with the infection.

    People over 50 years old and those with weakened immune systems due to HIV/AIDS, cancer, or organ transplants are most at risk for the infection.

    West Nile Symptoms

    Most of the time, symptoms of West Nile virus are similar to the flu and include:
    • fever
    • headache
    • neck and back stiffness
    • muscle ache
    • tiredness
    • joint pain
    • swollen glands
    • rash
    In the most rare and extreme cases, West Nile virus can cause a condition called encephalitis, which is irritation and swelling of the brain.

    West Nile virus is not spread from person to person. That means if someone you know just got it, you won't get the virus. And though pets can get the virus, they can't spread it to people. The only way to get it is from the bite of an infected mosquito.

    So, what's being done to stop the spread of West Nile virus? Health officials in each state do their best to find out where mosquitoes live and kill the eggs of mosquitoes that might carry the virus. While spraying the parks and forest areas with an insect repellent to prevent the spread of the disease.

    You can do your best to prevent coming in contact with West Nile virus. You'll want to avoid mosquitoes as much as you can. Watch out for mosquitoes in the early morning and in the early evening since that's when they're often very active. Mosquitoes also like standing water, like in wading pools and creeks.

    You also can:
    • Wear insect repellent. Repellents that include one of these ingredients are best: DEET, lemon eucalyptus, or picaridin. Ask a parent to help you apply it.
    • When possible, wear socks, long sleeves, and long pants when you're playing outside.
    • If you see a dead bird, don't touch it — it could be infected. Tell an adult so it can be removed safely.
    For more information on The West Nile Virus click HERE!