Monthly Archives February 2014

Weekend Wellness by Dr. James Yang / Vitamin D & Heart Health

The Effect of Vitamin D on Aldosterone The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) is one of the key systems involved in essential hypertension and heart failure and is often treated by drugs.  A recent randomized controlled trial recently found that six months of Vitamin D resulted in a 37% decrease in serum aldosterone levels in the heart failure patients studied and the authors note that similar decreases in aldosterone by drug treatment are associated with significant mortality benefits.  Further studies are needed to understand if Vitamin D may benefit patients with heart failure and hypertension. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1071916414000621
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What To Do? Emergency Tips / Seasonal Allergies

Sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion? You may be suffering from seasonal allergies. Allergies are caused by an abnormal activation of your immune system by a particular allergen. Common environmental allergens include pet dander, smoke, dust mites, mold, and pollen. Allergies are very common in DC and the pollen count tends to be high at various times in the year. Prevention is key and can save you money, discomfort, and trips to the doctor’s office. To reduce exposure to dust mites, wash bedding regularly, avoid household clutter and use allergen-proof mattress and pillow coverings. To limit animal dander, make sure to keep pets out of your
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Weekend Wellness by Dr. James Yang / Low Vitamin C & Stroke

Low Vitamin C levels may be a risk factor for stroke A recent study linked blood levels in vitamin C to hemorrhagic (bleeding) strokes.  Researchers compared Vitamin C levels in subjects who had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke with matched controls who had not. Participants who experienced strokes tended to have depleted levels of vitamin C, while people who had not experienced a stroke tended to have normal levels.  While this case control study cannot prove cause and effect, its results are consistent with two previous studies that showed a link between low Vitamin C and stroke risk, including a 42% lower
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Weekend Wellness by Dr. James Yang / Vitamin D for Fibromyalgia & Pain

Vitamin D has been associated with fibromyalgia and chronic widespread pain in multiple studies and case reports, but few doctors treat patients with Vitamin D due to the lack of quality studies showing that Vitamin D is effective.  The first randomized controlled trial of Vitamin D for fibromyalgia was just recently published.  Researchers took patients with fibromyalgia who had levels of Vitamin D less than 32ng/ml and randomized them to either Vitamin D or a placebo.  After 24 weeks, the Vitamin D group had a marked reduction in pain, improved physical function, and a decrease in fatigue. If you have
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What To Do? Emergency Tips / Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that is toxic to humans and animals.  It can be found in fumes produced by various sources including portable generators, wood burning fireplaces, charcoal grills, cars, gas ranges and other fuel-burning appliances. Toxic levels of this gas can be reached if these sources are malfunctioning or not vented appropriately. Carbon Monoxide poisoning is more common during winter months when many people use alternative methods to heat their homes. Since you can’t see, smell or taste CO, it is impossible to know if your home is at risk. Here are some tips to help keep you and your family safe
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“What is a Physician Assistant?”

By Katie Wolf, MSHS, PA-C, MIPC Physician Assistant A Physician Assistant, or PA, is a health care provider who can diagnose and treat illnesses, write prescriptions, interpret lab results and perform procedures, all under the direct or indirect supervision of a physician. Every PA undergoes training though a nationally accredited PA program prior to passing a national certifying exam, and is able to practice in all fifty states. PAs are trained in the medical model (the same model used in medical schools) and generally have prior healthcare experience. They have the ability to work in a variety of fields from
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The Effects of Short-Term Alcohol Abstinence on Fatty Livers

Do you have a fatty liver? A one month break from alcohol may be just what the doctor ordered. A small informal study published by New Scientist suggests that liver experts may have overlooked a major contributor to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: alcohol. Excessive alcohol is defined by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases guidelines as >21 drinks a week for men and >14 drinks a week; this has been associated with fatty liver disease. However, more modest intakes have not been well defined as a health risk to the liver. The accumulation of liver fat, when
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Weekend Wellness by Dr. James Yang / Fatty Liver

Cinnamon may be helpful for fatty liver disease When people gain weight some people accumulate fat in their livers leading to a number of negative metabolic effects including insulin resistance and diabetes. A new study on cinnamon randomized 50 patients into two groups taking either two 750 mg capsules of Ceylon cinnamon or placebo daily for 12 weeks.  The researchers found significant improvements in liver enzymes, insulin resistance, blood lipids (decreasing total and LDL cholesterol) and measures of systemic inflammation (HS-CRP) with cinnamon supplementation.  Please see our upcoming newsletter for more information about fatty liver disease. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0271531713002728 http://www.newsdaily.com/article/556c929a2fea02b9c77cfc6c66184957/cinnamon-might-help-in-nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease
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What To Do? Emergency Tips / Coughing

Cough keeping you up at night? Coughing is the body’s normal reflexive response to various irritants or secretions. In healthy individuals, the cough helps to clear and protect the airways. However, when it becomes persistent, productive, or is associated with other bothersome symptoms, it may indicate a more significant condition. Many people experience a cough as part of the “flu” or upper respiratory tract infection, such as a cold or sinusitis. However, if your cough is worsening, productive of phlegm and accompanied by fevers, you may actually have a lower respiratory tract infection, such as pneumonia. This requires prompt antibiotic treatment and close follow up. Infections are by
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