Vitamin D3, Deficiency, What We Know, and Recommendations

poole-joseph004Vitamin D is an important nutrient that should be evaluated and maintained in each adult patient. Because Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin, it is technically a hormone, and because hormone deficiencies disrupt homeostasis, overlooking this vitamin can have unintended consequences including prostate and colorectal cancer, metabolic syndrome and prediabetes (Bender, 2017). The protective benefits of a normal Vitamin D also include respiratory protection and all-cause mortality benefits (Wimalawansa, 2016).

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The Power of Reading to Your Child

smith-adri03Reading aloud to your child is an important part of family time that promotes parent-child bonding, brings balance to hectic family life and prepares your child for a lifetime of learning.  Most experts recommend reading to your children daily, even to infants.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends reading at least a few minutes per day starting at birth.

So why the focus on early reading?  Most studies show several benefits to regular reading in children including improved bonding with parents, better performance in all aspects of education (even math!), improvement in basic speech and communication skills, better logical thinking and better concentration.

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Anxiety

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Miguel Nunez, MD

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Joseph Poole, FNP


Anxiety is defined as “fear or nervousness about what might happen” (Merrium-Webster, 2016). The condition of anxiety can include fear, nervousness, jitters and even panic. Anxiety is so prevalent, it is said that 25% of all adults will experience it one time in their lives, making it more common than depression (Satterfield, Feldman, 2014). The types of anxiety seen in clinic are exhibited in the following table:
Anxiety Disorder Prevalence in Primary Care (%)

  • Acute stress disorder 3–5
  • Agoraphobia 1–3
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder 4–9
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder 1–2
  • Panic Disorder 1–6
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder 2–12
  • Social phobia 3–7
  • Specific phobia 8–13
  • Adjustment disorder with anxiety 4.5–9.2
  • Anxiety disorder due to a general medical condition 14–66
  • Substance-induced anxiety disorder Unknown prevalence
  • Anxiety disorder not otherwise specified (NOS) Unknown (Table 1 Satterfield, Feldman, 2014).

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Hypertension (High Blood Pressure), the Silent Killer

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Miguel Nunez, MD

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Joseph Poole, FNP


Many people in our community have an easily manageable health problem that can quickly be identified, treated and resolved to prevent future health issues and mortality.

Risks of Hypertension
The most widely known events from having high blood pressure are often known and include heart attack and stroke. While these 2 outcomes are the worst end result from high blood pressure, other less known issues can occur: These include heart enlargement (which can lead to heart failure) and kidney disease (which can result in a patient needing dialysis from kidney failure). Eye damage (retinopathy) and artery damage (peripheral artery disease) can also occur.

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5210

Haverty, Amy015210-Ever hear those numbers? No, it’s not your middle school student’s locker combination, or one of an endless list of passwords.

Do you wish you could help your family eat healthier but feel overwhelmed by all the advice and information out there? Each seemingly contradicts the other.  Do you worry about your children’s health, but are too busy with taking care of them, school, activities, work, etc., to be able to figure out and commit to the best way to make some changes? If so, there is a very easy way to help.  It’s called 5210.

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Multiples, the journey begins….

Avolonne Kimble, MDAs a, wife, parent of twin girls AND twin boys and a pediatrician, my perspective of pregnancy, life as a working mother and plans for the future may be a little skewed. I see everything in two’s. Being pregnant and having a baby is a joy and it can also be scary. Being told that you’re having more than one can be even scarier, especially if you have just a little bit of knowledge.

Multiples occur in 3% of all pregnancies with twins being the most common. When carrying two babies the risk of maternal complications rise and prematurity is more prevalent. Higher order multiples occur in much smaller numbers and with even more possibility of complicated pregnancies, risk of prematurity and less chance of survival. In my case, as a pediatrician working full time, co-owner in private practice, considering pregnancy is a very serious one and then to be told that you were having multiples brings in a very different element.

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Colonoscopy Facts

What is colonoscopy? Do I have to get one? How often? Why do I need one? What is the goal of that test?

These are questions that one asks as they visit their physician for their annual exam. A colonoscopy is a test that where the physician looks with a magnifying camera at the inner lining of a person’s large intestine. Sample biopsies may be done at the time of the test. The colonoscopy test is typically performed for colon and rectal cancer screening, but the physician may order it for other reasons as well, which include: blood in the stool, abnormal test results from another colon test, family history of colon cancer, anemia unexplained otherwise. The stated are some indications for colonoscopy, but it is not an inclusive list.

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August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Selwyn Rogers, Chief Medical OfficerIt was a typical Tuesday in my former job as chair of surgery at Temple University in Philadelphia, but that morning I felt sluggish. Although I wasn’t feeling well, I knew I had three surgical operations to perform that morning followed by an afternoon full of meetings.

I trudged out of my apartment and started the 15-minute drive to work.

A few miles into my commute, a feeling of illness suddenly enveloped me. I had to pull over and call my chief resident to cancel the morning’s surgeries.

I turned the car around and headed back home to bed. The next three days were a blur of sore throat and fever; it was the first time I’d had the flu, and I swore that I would never endure that experience again.
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How to decrease added sugar in your child’s diet

Dr. Lauren Raimer-GoodmanSugar is sneaky.  There are plenty of foods out there that we think of as healthy that have added sugar.  Unfortunately we don’t know exactly how much added sugar there is, as companies are not required to make a distinction between natural and processed or added sugars on nutrition labels. They also don’t have to tell you what percent of the recommended daily value of added sugar their product contains.  (fortunately the FDA has proprosed changing this – if the proposed changes can make it through the legislative process).

There is a lot in the news these days about the negative health effects of added sugar.  Notably, increased sugar intake adds to the risk of heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer and many other health issues we would rather our children not have to experience. Continue reading

Have to … choose to … get to …

Dr. Victor Sierpina

Dr. Victor Sierpina

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with life? So many things simply need doing and you have not enough time to do them.

You might feel like a victim of one more demands on your time and energy.

Try this simple gratitude exercise from the Naikan book mentioned last week. Medical students in UTMB’s Physician Healer track were assigned to create a list of routine daily activities and apply the following to them:

1. I have to …

2. I choose to …

3. I get to …

Such a process helped remove a sense of helplessness, victimhood, or the burdensomeness of daily activities. Once we realize we choose or even get to do the things we do, our whole attitude shifts.

Here are some examples of this process from a student journal: Continue reading