By: Daniel Pearce, D.O., FCOI, AAHIVMS
WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY VS. THE MEDICATIONS
Surgeon/specialists point out that weight loss surgery is safe and effective and can last a lifetime and is covered by many payers. The weight loss medications are new and:
• Have rare, but serious side effects
• may have unknown long-term side effects
• Are not as available, even if the insurance covers them
• You are committing to a lifelong medication. Once you stop, the weight comes back.
• Surgery has improved or eliminated in some patients: diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, heart pains.
GETTING WEIGHT LOSS DRUGS THROUGH COMPOUNDING?
The companies that make Wegovy®/Ozempic® and the other company that makes Mounjaro® are suing pharmacies who offered this medication by mixing it up in the pharmacy and charging less. Compounding pharmacies perform this great service; e.g. an uncommon erection medication is provided by a pharmacy in my area at a good cost when they compound it.
The lawsuit alleges that the strength of the Wegovy® was down by a maximum of 33% in the compounded products. So the patients were getting a weaker medication.
The problem is that the regular medication supplies are much lower than the demand and it is taking months for the manufacturers to gear up to make more.
OZEMPIC AND OTHERS LIKE IT HAVE SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS RARELY
These side effects happen in less than 1% of patients. If a medication has a 1% chance of a side effect then for every 100,000 people on it, 1,000 will have side effects. Millions are expected to be on these medications. Be aware of any side effects other than mild nausea or diarrhea and contact your provider. If you have serious nausea and vomiting, then stop the medication and talk to your provider. This is either a rare and serious side effect or the common one that means you need to drop down to the next lower dosage level.
TELEVISION CAUSES DEMENTIA?
A new study shows associations between TV watching and dementia risk. Those with 4 or more hours of TV watching a day had higher risk for dementia compared to those with 1 hour or less. An hour or less of computer work (other than watching videos/programs) helped lower the risk. Exercising 30 minutes a day instead of watching TV 30 minutes, was also protective. Please minimize your couch potato time.
FOOD INSECURITY CAUSES DEMENTIA?
Another study showed that those with food insecurity were at higher risk of developing dementia and had worse memory and faster memory decline. Maybe it is a lack of fresh fruits and vegetables which provide a team of vitamins that work together in a specific concentration and relationship. Usually these people can’t do much to prevent food insecurity, but I suggest they contact their case manager or call InfoLine 211 to try to find some food resources. Asking a city council representative’s office or a large church where resources are may be helpful.
BEING A VETERAN IS ASSOCIATED WITH ALZHEIMER’S
A large autopsy study found that veterans had some of the markers in their brains for Alzheimer’s disease more than non-veterans.
IS VERY LOW BAD CHOLESTEROL BAD FOR YOU?
We try to get the LDL (bad cholesterol) down to <90 and lower if you have heart disease risk or diabetes. How low should we push it? Above 25 seems safe but doesn’t give you superman protection from diseases: eating only plants and exercising works best. SMOKER’S LUNG HELP A person with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) needs multiple inhalers and pills and oxygen; but many times these are not enough, even with a steroid boost. Now comes a new immune moderator drug called Dupixent and it has been very helpful to treat the shortness of breath in these difficult cases. PROSTATE CANCER BIOPSIES BETTER WITH MRI GUIDANCE A new study showed that an MRI guiding the biopsy needle compared to ultrasound showed that MRI was better. The MRI is more expensive but it was also more accurate and worth it according to cost-benefit analysis. FRUCTOSE SHOULD BE BANNED! Fructose is the cheap sugar in fruit and soda pop/soft drinks. It goes to fat quickly and is associated with many metabolic problems, e.g. diabetes, obesity, etc. Some are seeking to ban it as a food additive. Sugar free soft drinks also lead to obesity and have chemicals which may be risky in other ways. I changed to water and even minimize milk. After a month, I want water and have a taste and thirst for it. MYCOPOASMA HITTNG KIDS IN CHINA AND EUROPE This bacterium is causing many children to be hospitalized. So far adults do not seem to be as ill. It can cause a fever only and the worse cases can be a severe pneumonia. The isolation in China, for good reason, caused many not to be exposed to low levels of many viruses and bacteria, so now there is a rebound of infections. The US has a rebound of RSV, flu, and Covid this year. I’M RETIRING. IT WAS GREAT TO WORK WITH THE ADELANTE STAFF AND READERS. GOODBYE! firstname.lastname@example.org 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®