HEALTH

OZEMPIC/WEGOVY FOR WEIGHT LOSS

By: Daniel Pearce, D.O., FCOI, AAHIVMS

OZEMPIC/WEGOVY FOR WEIGHT LOSS
These are helpful but once stopped, the weight can come back. Many guidelines are allowing this medication when in a supervised program of diet and exercise improvements. Many health plans are developing their approval process that will include lifestyle management. This is not a magic pill that can take the place of a healthy lifestyle.
Another study found that these medications for weight did not reduce fatty liver once it had advanced to fibrosis (which can later become cirrhosis, like the final stage of alcohol or hepatitis damage).

EARWORMS
These are parts of songs that repeat in your head when you aren’t paying attention or distracted. If you listen to music a lot, then you have more earworms. They are different than auditory hallucinations where you hear music that isn’t there, e.g. in psychosis.
People with OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) have more earworms which can be very annoying or stressful. There is a loop in your brain messages that is hard to stop, sort of a “brain itch.” Depression is associated with earworms.
The more you try to relieve it (like scratching) the more it comes back. Earworms are not a sign of bad brain health.
Some ways to control it: mix up your playlist, listen to less music, walk slower or faster than the beat, listen to the song all the way through, distract yourself, chew gum.

SPANKING KIDS HAS LASTING HARM
Most kids who are spanked, as they mature have less self-control, lower social skills which can reduce their ability to reach their potential and achieve happiness. Half of parents admit to spanking their children in the last year and a third in the last week.
Go online and search to find Alternatives to Spanking for a list of how to discipline and train kids you supervise. Make sure it is from an authoritative source, like a university, and not from just somebody who has no training or background but likes to share their uninformed opinions.

NALOXONE SAVES LIVES
If you have a friend who relapses on any drug, they may die suddenly because fentanyl is mixed into their illegal drug (even marijuana) without the friend knowing it. Having a naloxone nasal inhaler can save their life and is easy to use. You should ask your friends to get one from their provider and give it to you so when they are unconscious, they can be revived easily. Perhaps having a few at a party where drugs are used will be like having a fire extinguisher, wonderful when needed. A new law allows the purchase without a prescription and the price ranges from $36 to >$50. But many can get a free prescription if they are honest with their provider. Somebody has to be alert to help the unconscious person, so the user should pass on the naloxone to their sober friend. Most of us providers are liberal with these prescriptions, they don’t harm people and can save lives.

THE OTHER FAT: TRIGLYCERIDES
Another fat is measured by providers beside cholesterol, Triglycerides. Many think it may be associated with higher cardiovascular risk. The guidelines have recommended treating if above 500, even though above 200 is abnormal. The main question is, what level causes harm? Not what is normal?
Normal is determined by measuring a test on hundreds of people and if your test result is outside the range of most people, it is abnormal. The red spots (hemangiomas) on my chest and dark blotches on my neck and chest from many sunburns are abnormal but treating them won’t make me live longer or give me better general health.
The earlier studies showed an improvement in cardiovascular health on the medications but with newer meds like Lipitor/atorvastatin, they did a better job than the medications for high triglycerides. The lowering of bad cholesterol by atorvastatin not the triglyceride drugs in the early studies explained the improvement. So do the triglyceride drugs help people? This recent research says not so much. Maybe the guidelines will change soon.

After you eat a fatty meal or some ice cream, there is fat floating on top of your blood in the tube. This causes alarm in those who see it, but it is the normal process and doesn’t cause harm. Your body will process the fat which has a lot of triglycerides. In the same way your sugar goes up in the blood (but you can’t see it in the tube) and those without diabetes process the sugar and replenish energy stores, sometimes making it into body fat.

MASKS ARE VERY REDUCED
At my cilnics (Neighborhood Health Care in Riverside and Hemet, and Loma Linda at SAC in San Bernardino) mask requirements have been reduced. I am only wearing them when near patients to lower the risk of giving or receiving Covid. The thought is that sick people bring in viruses and we don’t want to pass them to others. The amount of Covid in the community is very low. As of 3/21/23 there were only 5 deaths per week from Covid in Los Angeles County from a peak of 24 in December..

Keep those questions coming and be safe!
dpearce@western.edu

Daniel Pearce, D.O.,
FACOI, AAHIVMS
Associate Professor of Medicine, Loma Linda University School of Medicine HIV, Hepatitis B,C, Transgender, Suboxone Specialist, Neighborhood Health (Riverside, Hemet), Loma Linda SACH (San Bernardino) Member, Coachella Valley Clinical Research Initiative

REFERENCES: Medscape®