Sunday, February 21, 2016

Try weighing in on this one

Fitness trainers do all kinds of things to help their clients lose weight.  But how about gaining weight, I mean a lot of weight, to demonstrate the weight loss?  Is this really a good idea?  Here is an article looking at Adonis Hill doing just that, and what it could do to his health.

Along with the little excerpt of my thoughts in the article, let me expound a little bit more.

To conceptualize the effects of a rapid weight gain, look at a natural situation where an individual might gain a significant amount of weight, say 50 pounds or more in some cases, in a fairly short time: pregnancy. Typical short term changes include elevations of blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol, along with back pain and leg pain, and don't forget stretch marks. While some of the more extreme issues during a pregnancy are due in part to the metabolic impact of pregnancy, the weight, itself, can wreak havoc on your system.

Elevated blood pressure can lead to a stroke, with long lasting effects, or a heart attack, also nothing to trivialize. Elevated blood sugar could uncover latent diabetes, which can lead to kidney problems, blindness, and circulation disorders. The extra load on the heart could also trigger congestive heart failure or a cardiomyopathy.

You may be aware that actors and actresses commonly gain weight for roles, but they usually do this gradually over the course of time during the production process for the performance. There is still risk in doing this, but taking it slowly allows the body time to adjust to the changes. Consulting a dietitian helps, with regulation of the quantity and types of foods to insure a healthy balanced weight gain that does not stress the system. Food choices should be towards calorie dense, healthy foods, without trying to binge at meals.

So what is the take home message?  I have always counseled, “Slow but steady wins the race.” Gaining weight is likely only appropriate if you are underweight, and even then it should be taken with deliberate, measured steps. The more common path of losing weight should also be paced at no more than a pound a week. That may not sound like much, but after a year it would be some 50 pounds, and that would be 50 pounds that you are much more likely to keep off than the 20 that you crashed off in a month of extreme dieting. As always, consult your physician before beginning any diet plan, and if you can also use the services of a dietitian, you will be that much more ahead.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Why would a man looking so healthy die so suddenly?

By all accounts, although he was a large man, the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia enjoyed apparent good health.  With his sudden death, many wonder just how such an event is possible.  In this article from Newsmax, penned by Charlotte Libov, a cardiologist and I look at that question, and proffer some possible answers.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The important skill you hope you never need

You’ve seen it on TV, often parodied, with an individual unable to talk, flailing arms or grasping the neck, only to have another come from behind, push in on the abdomen, and have a hunk of food fly across the room.  When it’s happening for real, it’s not so comic.  I know, I’ve been there and needed to perform such a maneuver on more than one occasion, likely saving lives.  Here is a little article from the Safe Bee website that addresses the problem with an outline of just what to do.  You would do well to read this, and maybe ask your physician about it, so that that you could be in a position to help should the need arise.  And, just to be sure to get widespread coverage, below the link for the English site, there is one in Indonesian - in case anyone needs to read it in that language!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Scoping out the best ears

You see them all the time hanging around doctors’ or nurses’ necks, being used by an aide or an EMT, stethoscopes.  While they may all look the same, there are many styles, specialized functions, and, yes, prices for these valuable medical instruments.  When it comes to choosing one, here are some considerations to help with the selection.  Along with a few others, here are some of my thoughts from an article in Minority Nurse Magazine.