Dr. Trish Murray to talk on stress, hormones and heart health

 

Dr. Trish Murray will give a presentation on stress, hormones and heart health on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 5 p.m. at Jackson Ski Touring.

Her talk is aimed at answering questions as: How can you lose belly fat? What can you do to improve your quality of life if you find yourself taking medications like antacids or statins that become a permanent part of your life but do nothing to correct the underlying cause of your medical problem? What is the biggest mistake that people make with their exercise programs that prevent weight loss?

She notes that statistics that indicate that people in the United States are not successfully addressing some health issues, including: 50 percent of people who have heart attacks or strokes have a normal cholesterol panel; the World Health Organization has reported that 90 percent of all diseases prevalent today are not treatable with orthodox medical procedures and the United States is ranked 47th of all developed countries in the treatment of chronic disease even though we spend more than the majority of other countries on the treatment of chronic disease.

During her presentation, Murray will discuss how hormone imbalances in men and women can distort a person's midsection into a large belly and prevent weight loss even with diet and exercise. Murray hopes to empower people to optimize their own health. She will talk about how stress increases cortisol, which is a fat-storing, sleep-depriving and inflammation-producing hormone.

Then, Murray will tell her audience how to put a "DENT" in chronic disease and reverse your hormone imbalances through diet, exercise, nutrition and treatment.

  • Category: Health

Heroin use, texting while driving remain high priority concerns in latest youth risk behavoir survey

 

CONCORD — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released results of the 2015 New Hampshire Youth Risk Behavior Survey to the State of New Hampshire on Feb. 4.

The survey was administered by the state Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education to 14,837 students in 67 public high schools in New Hampshire during the spring of 2015. New Hampshire residents will be able to access regional results, in addition to state-level results, for the first time since testing began in 1991.

"The data collected in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey has always been an invaluable resource used by public schools to set and monitor program goals, develop health education programs, and seek funding for programs that focus on reducing health risk behavior among youth," said Marcella Bobinsky, acting director of the Division Public Health Services.

All students at participating high schools voluntarily completed a self-administered questionnaire about their health behavior during one class period. Survey procedures were designed to strictly protect the privacy of students and adhered to local parental permission procedures. This survey is conducted annually with partial funding from the CDC.

"We find the YRBS results to be a great tool for identifying problem areas," said Dr. Middleton K. McGoodwin, the Superintendent of Schools for Claremont, Cornish, and Unity. "Survey results from the 2013 YRBS prompted us to organize a Youth Risk Behavior Study Committee. Comprised of interested Claremont School District staff, parents/guardians, local agencies, and citizens, the Committee has been active since November and plans to bring its work to the Claremont School Board for discussion later in the spring."

Key findings from the 2015 survey reveal a number of encouraging trends. Seat belt and bicycle helmet usage have increased over the past decade. Rates in the use of tobacco, illegal prescription drugs, and alcohol have significantly decreased. However, a new question included in the survey revealed that 25 percent of students reported using electronic vapor products.

The report notes that alarming trends continue in areas of texting and driving and heroin use. The number of student's texting and driving continues to hover at 44 percent since the question was first asked in 2013.

There has been no statistically significant change in the lifetime rate of heroin use reported by students during the past 5 years, which indicates a need for more focused work and attention to address the opioid crisis in New Hampshire. In response to the crisis, the State created the Anyone. Anytime. Campaign to educate, inform, and empower New Hampshire citizens about what they can do to address this serious issue.

"We know there is a correlation between youth misuse of alcohol and drugs and poor academic performance, behavioral problems, the progression to addiction and other risky behaviors," said Joe Harding, Director of the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services at DHHS. "Effective prevention programming considers these issues in the context of home, school and community. Substance misuse coordinators at the 13 Regional Public Health Networks can assist community leaders and groups in the use of this data to inform local policies, programs and services and their effectiveness over time."

The survey is one component of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) developed by the CDC. This system was developed in 1990 to monitor priority health risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems among youth and adults. These are often established during childhood and early adolescence and include: 1. behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence; 2. sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV infection; 3. alcohol and other drug use; 4. tobacco use; 5. unhealthy dietary behaviors; and 6. inadequate physical activity.

To view the state-level findings of the report, go to education.nh.gov/instruction/school_health/hiv_data.htm. To review YRBS results reported by Public Health Region, visit www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/hsdm/yrbs.htm.

 

  • Category: Health

Memorial Hospital Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine shares tips on how to live a heart healthy



heart-health-photoMemorial Hospital employees wore red on Friday, Feb. 5, to show its support of American Heart Month which takes place all during February. (COURTESY PHOTO)CONWAY — Heart health is one of the most important factors that can affect wound healing. Chronic wounds affect approximately 6.7 million people in the United States, and these wounds cost more than $50 billion annually. If left untreated, chronic wounds can lead to a diminished quality of life and possible amputation of the affected limb.

"Coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease and other issues with the heart and vessels can hinder blood flow, oxygen and nutrition to a wound," said D. Scott Covington, MD, FACS, chief medical officer for Healogics. "February is American Heart Month and an opportunity for patients to understand how their heart can affect their wound healing."

  • Category: Health

Jon Burroughs wins 2016 James A. Hamilton Book of the Year



jon-burroughsJon BurroughsGLEN — The American College of Healthcare Executives announced the winners of its 2016 Publishing Awards: the James A. Hamilton Book of the Year Award and the Dean Conley and Edgar C. Hayhow awards for outstanding articles. The awards, each given annually, will be presented during ACHE's 59th Congress on Healthcare Leadership in Chicago March 14–17.

Jon Burroughs, MD, MBA, FACHE, FAAPL, president and CEO of The Burroughs Healthcare Consulting Network in Glen, is the winner of the 2016 James A. Hamilton Book of the Year Award for "Redesign the Medical Staff Model: A Guide to Collaborative Change."

  • Category: Health

Brian Irwin: Fungal nails

By Brian Irwin

Chances are that you or someone you know has sustained an unsightly infection of their finger or toenails known as onchomycosis. This common condition is fairly pervasive, with a prevalence approaching 2 to 13 percent of the U.S. population. While harmless to your overall health, it can be a serious hassle, especially when one weighs the fact that the infection is contagious and can spread from toe to toe and from person to person.

Onchomycosis is a infection caused by fungal organisms. There are many types of fungus that are responsible for this condition, and these carry varying degrees of sensitivity to medications. Some forms of the fungus are more likely to respond to curative treatment than others. And treatment, while quite elective, is often desired by patients.

Onchomycosis is, by definition, infection of the nail, the nail matrix or the nail bed. These are all components of the toenail anatomy; some reside in plain view (like the nail), others, like the nail plate, reside under the cuticle. For this reason, because the infection may be tucked away under the skin, the condition can be quite stubborn to treat.

Because the nails can be uncomfortable or unsightly, many patients opt to treat this condition rather than live with it. In untreated onchomycosis, the nail may become so thick (and discolored) that it may make tight-fitting footwear uncomfortable or even impossible. Given the popularity of skiing in our region, the tight application of a ski boot is one common genre of footwear that I've heard patients cite is unrealistic to don with a severe case of the disease.

Treatment is a challenge. Most options are only marginally helpful and require long application periods. But they can work, albeit each option has its own downside. Topical lacquers are among the most preferred option by patients, due to a multitude of reasons. There are over-the-counter options for this, perhaps the most effective being a product known as Tineacide, which is readily available online. Bear in mind that this option must be applied for a period of around one year to be considered maximally effective.

Prescription options do exist. A newer product known as Jublia has been shown to be effective and can cure the condition in as few as 48 weeks. Bear in mind that most insurance companies decline paying for this product and it can be cost prohibitive. Even then, the typical response to therapy is akin to some of the OTC versions, with only modest efficacy of around 50 percent.

Because the topical medications are inefficient at penetrating deep to the cuticle, many providers opt for oral therapy in cases where a patient seeks a cure. Oral antifungal medication is more effective at stomping out onchomycosis than topical therapy. Also, in addition to higher cure rates (which still may only be around 60 percent depending on the agent chosen), these medications can work more swiftly, sometimes in as few as four months.

One must understand that oral antifungals carry risk. These medications universally metabolize through the liver, and the risk of liver inflammation or even failure does exist. For this reason, many patients and providers shy away from these options. If they are employed, they should be done so under strict lab test surveillance to maintain safety.

Perhaps the most safe and effective option is laser treatment. The data on cure rates is variable, but this modality seems as least as effective as oral therapy. But it's expensive (around $900), and this is its primary downside.

Onchomycosis is a hassle, and, although it's stubborn, it is curable in most cases. Talk with your primary care physician today if you suffer from this common condition and see what your options are.

Dr. Brian Irwin is a family physician at Tamworth Family Medicine, a division of Huggins Hospital.

 
  • Category: Health