Ask The Doctor – Health News
VITAMINS, SUPPLEMENTS, HERBS CAUSE 23,000 EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT VISITS A YEAR IN THE US
So you want to be stronger and buffer and have more energy. You turn to these chemicals. These are not friendly compounds sometimes. See the little white box on the product that says they are untested and not recommended for treatment. There may be interactions with the proven medicines you do take. At the very least you are helping someone make some money and that is nice of you, but maybe at the risk of your own health. Remember the study that said many of the bottles in a nutrition store did not have what the label said, e.g. creatine?
In Mexico some of the beef has an anablolic steroid (like testosterone) that may show up in an athlete’s drug screen, making them ineligible to compete!
Watch out for caffeine, omega 3 oils, vitamins, antioxidants, ma huang: in general these are harmful or useless to increase your performance. Put the good fuel in the engine (5 portions of fruits and vegetables daily).
CHIEFS RECOMMEND MENINGITIS VACCINE FOR 16-23 YEAR OLDS
Even though meningitis is not very frequent in the US, it is more frequent on college campuses. But the incidence of meningitis has risen to a level in this age group to justify protecting them. There was an outbreak a couple of years ago in New York among gays.
MORE IMPACT IF PEOPLE LIKE YOU
Recent studies have shown that people forget what you say and what you do but do remember if they like you. If they like you they may take your advice. Being nice has a magical power.
TREAT ALL WITH HIV
On the heels of the recent Insight trial we discussed previously, the US, European, and World Health Organization guidelines now all state to treat all who are HIV positive.
I am not sure about the elite controllers who are HIV+ but have no viral load. These types of patients are quite uncommon. Antiretrovirals won’t lower their viral load any lower! So what would be the benefit?
SUPER PRICE HIKE
An orphan drug is a drug that treats a rare condition so a major pharmaceutical company cannot make enough profit from it. Enter the investors. An investor/company bought the rights to an important gout medication, colchicine, which relieves pain from gout better than most other medications by attacking the mechanism. They jacked (and I mean jacked) the price to very high levels. Insurance companies were caught off guard and must raise our insurance bills. Gilead and the other companies with Hepatitis C drugs, which are not orphan drugs, came out with great medications that cost $180,000 and then later about $140,000 for a few months of treatment. Lately Turing, a pharmaceutical company headed by an investor, bought the rights to the orphan ddrug, Daraprin® and jacked the price up super high for about a month. But in late October a company in San Diego came out with the same generic drug for $1 a pill, undercutting Turing. No laws were broken but we are at the mercy of these scalpers unless another company helps out or the laws change. Good luck in getting a law passed by this Congress. So much greed.
A nurse with Ebola a few months ago got a meningitis from the same virus that was hiding out in her body after “successful” treatment. Another lady caught Ebola through sex; the virus was hiding for months in the man’s semen. With so many infected in this last outbreak, it is not surprising to see uncommon traits of the virus in a low number. Its like a drug being tested in hundreds, then thousands, then the general population. Rare side effects happen rarely so you need the large numbers for them to become evident.
HEPATITIS C DRUG CAUSED PROBLEMS
One of the Hepatitis C drugs, Viekera Pak®, from Abbot caused more problems in those with advanced liver disease. It seems the label already mentioned this, but some treaters ignored the warning. Its main competitor is Harvoni.® Both are very effective when used properly.
HEART ATTACK QUICKER TO DIAGNOSE
A new test of a heart muscle enzyme in the blood means that in 2/3s of cases the test will confirm the patient is having heart muscle destruction. This rapid test will result in quicker discharges of those who can be discharged and quicker evaluation and treatments for those actually having tissue destruction to save more of the heart muscle.
SYRINGE EXCHANGE PROGRAM WORKED GREAT IN INDIANA
Remember the HIV outbreak in Indiana. The government allowed and did not fund a syringe exchange program and it worked great in stopping the epidemic.
MISCARRIAGES FROM PLASTIC
Phthalates have been accused with bothering the sex hormone system. They are present in makeup and plastic dishes and many soft plastics we use.. A recent study found that women trying to become pregnant after failing the natural way who have turned to reproduction specialists to get pregnant, had more problems when they had more phthalates in their urine.
GRANDPARENTS MAY NEED BONE STRENGTHENERS.
It is a good idea to prevent fractures in the elderly. Exercise is the best preventer. Thin white people are at more risk for osteoporosis. Many Latinos fit this picture well enough. A new study shows that those with little muscle are probably at increased risk. Maybe they are not exercising enough.
Be Safe! Wear protection. Keep those questions coming.
Daniel Pearce, D.O., FACOI, AAHIVS
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Loma Linda University School of Medicine
Adjunct Professor of Internal Medicine and HIV, Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine and Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
HIV Specialist, Assistant TB Physician, Riverside County Public Health Department
Hepatitis C Specialist and Researcher, Southern California Liver Centers, Riverside