Drs. Tristi Muir and
Meet Susan, a 56-year-old professional who’s finally come to terms with her hot flashes, night sweats and insomnia and made peace with her mood swings. At a visit to our clinic, she declares, “My libido has completely disappeared.”
Susan’s not joking and she’s not alone. Every day, women at all stages of life get up enough nerve to book an appointment. Some drag along a faltering, speculative, yet willing partner, while others arrive cautiously unaccompanied. For each, there is a different answer to the hide-and-seek game of where is my libido, but there are some underlying principles to consider. Sexual desire, once thought to be spontaneous, unplanned and at-the-ready, is now understood to be far more complex and multifaceted, especially for women and even more so for menopausal women. (more…)
Dr. Victor Sierpina
Checking out of Bucee’s on the way back from San Antonio last week, we grabbed a 99-cent pack of hot cashews that festooned the exit counter. The aroma and appearance were hard to resist. We both shrugged, smiled, and said, “Why not?”
Let’s face it, nuts have always had a bit of a seedy reputation. Calling someone a nut isn’t exactly a compliment. How would you like being called a health nut? The old song about, “Nuts, hot nuts, you get them anyway you can!” was truly edgy for the 60’s. Why are nuts so consistently hidden away in our favorite desserts and cookies, like they are somehow illegal, furtive, and suspect? It somehow reminds me of stashing marijuana in brownies. On airplanes or in fine restaurants, we get little packs of nuts more suitable for a four-year old’s appetite and hands than for an adult. (more…)
- Dr. Catherine Hansen
After talking to a group of women at a wellness clinic last night, I realized how a little information about our bodies can go a long way! Enjoy this information about menopause and watch for more in the series:
Not all women realize they are “menopausal” and many women go through these changes without needing to seek medical advice or note any problems at all. If you are in this category, don’t worry about the lack of symptoms and don’t go looking for answers to questions you don’t have. There is no need to test your “hormones” or start any medications but some of the following advice may help to maximize your preventative health strategies as you negotiate menopause gracefully. (more…)
Americans don’t lack methods of dieting – South Beach, Atkins, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Slim Fast, detoxing, juice cleanses – but not all are healthy. With public health organizations and the media constantly remarking on the obesity epidemic in the U.S., new studies on approaches to start and maintain weight loss couldn’t come at a better time.
A new study conducted at Boston Children’s Hospital and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association compared the weight loss and subsequent weight maintenance of three popular dieting approaches: low-carb diets, low-fat diets and low-glycemic diets. (more…)
Dr. A. Scott Lea
Is it too late to get the flu vaccine?
No, it’s not too late and can be obtained from your health care provider, hospital or local pharmacy, in most cases.
How long does it take before the influenza shots are effective?
Influenza vaccine is effective 7 to 14 days after the administration. Those who regularly take the vaccine may react more quickly than individuals who are taking the vaccine for the first time.
Is there anything else I can do to avoid catching the flu during an outbreak?
Be meticulous about your personal hygiene and wash your hands. Set an example and cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough. During an outbreak, avoid large gatherings of people, if possible.
Will the flu shot really fight this year’s strain of the flu? Doesn’t it change every year?
The flu vaccine is formulated each year to cover the most likely strains of the virus that will occur in the United States. One can presume the vaccine administered is this year’s vaccine. The year and viral strains should be clearly visible on the vaccine label. We know that the flu strains in Texas are covered by the 2012-2013 vaccine. (more…)
Dr. Victor Sierpina
So you have a cold or flu and feel miserable. It is that time of year. Your nose is runny, your throat is sore, you are coughing, sneezing, and are achy all over. Your appetite is poor and you are tired and irritable. What to do?
First off, don’t pick up the phone or go into your doctor to ask for an antibiotic. Not only do antibiotics not work for colds and flu, they have side effects and may increase the presence of drug resistant bacteria. Antiviral therapy for influenza (not the stomach “flu”) can shorten the course of the illness by a day or two if started in the first 48 hours of the illness. Get a flu shot to prevent getting it in the first place.
There is a surprising lack of evidence on over-the-counter cold remedies containing decongestants and antihistamines. These may provide some relief in older children and adults but side effects can limit their usefulness. Avoid if pregnant or in children under 5 as they are one of the 10 leading causes of death in this age group. (more…)
By Lynn Maarouf
Statistics tell us the “average” American gains a lot of weight over the holidays. Many people who usually eat well are pressured by loving hosts to eat high-calorie foods they would never choose on an ordinary day.
Let’s look at a few simple steps to stay healthy and make it a lucky 2013:
1. Move it! The best time to exercise is before a holiday meal. It gets your metabolism revved-up to burn those calories off faster. Take a trip to the gym or spend an hour walking before you eat. A nice piece of cake will be at least 300 calories. It would take a minimum of 50 minutes of walking for most of us to burn that off.
2. Fill up with fiber and water. Eat a high-fiber cereal with at least 8 grams of fiber in the morning. This helps you feel less hungry and decreases the temptation to overeat. Aim for 20 grams of fiber a day and a big appetite won’t be a big problem. Break out those sandwich thins for five extra grams of fiber. And drink enough water to help that fiber swell and take up lots of room. (more…)
Dr. Victor Sierpina
In the upcoming New Year, give yourself or someone close to you a gift of healing: regular massage treatments. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, stated that the essential elements of medicine were, “Massage, music, and gymnastic.” So in addition to the healing power of the arts and the benefits of exercise, the importance of massage in medicine has been appreciated for millennia.
When did you last get a real massage, beyond a friendly backrub? A professional massage is a proven way to relieve stress and is highly effective for many medical conditions, chronic pain, sports injuries, even the side effects of cancer treatment such as lymphedema. Dr. Tiffany Field of the Touch Research Institute in Florida has been one of the leaders in the scientific study of massage. Her research, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, has demonstrated the benefits of massage in multiple conditions: increasing weight gain in preterm infants, enhancing attentiveness, alleviating depressive symptoms, reducing pain, reducing stress hormones, and improving immune function. (more…)
Dr. Victor Sierpina
In early 2013, UTMB’s Cancer Center at Victory Lakes will be joining the ranks of most major national cancer centers in offering Integrative Oncology consultation services. These will include medical consultations regarding evidence-based, proven complementary therapies for those anywhere along the spectrum of cancer: for prevention, for relief from side effects of treatment, in survivorship and prevention of remission, or for palliative care. Patients will also be offered counseling and recommendations regarding nutrition, stress management, and exercise.
Exercise plays many important roles related to cancer. For cancer prevention, as little as 30 minutes of exercise five times a week can reduce the risk of cancer, most convincingly for cancers of the breast and colon. Exercise helps reduce cancer risk by improving energy balance and fat distribution, reducing the obesity, stress management, improving antitumor immune defense, improving antioxidant defense and DNA repair. Exercise also improves transit time in the colon, increases ventilation of the lungs, and modifies the balance of multiple hormones thus reducing the risks of colon, lung, ovary, breast, endometrial, and prostate cancers. (more…)