Diabetes can strike at any age.

DR. D-Childhood Diabetes

As shown in the graph from the Center for Disease Control below it is evident that childhood diabetes is on the rise in the United States.
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The most typical type to look for in children is type one. This is not to say that type two is not of concern, it just typically appears more in the late twenties to thirties. Let’s consider the risk factors and preventative measures of both types to make sure your child is covered:

Risk Factors of Type One Diabetes:

Family History: Anyone with a parent or siblings with type one diabetes has a slightly increased risk of developing the condition.

Genetic Susceptibility: The presence of certain genes indicates an increased risk of developing type one diabetes.

Race: In the United States, type one diabetes is more common among non-Hispanic white children than among other races.

Risk Factors of Type two Diabetes:

  • Not active
  • Overweight
  • Other family members with type two diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • African American
  • Hispanic American
  • American Indian
  • Asian American

Environmental Risk Factors of both types:

Certain Viruses: Exposure to various viruses may trigger the autoimmune destruction of the islet cells.

Diet: No specific dietary factor or nutrient in infancy has been shown to play a role in the development of diabetes. However, early intake of cow’s milk has been linked to an increased risk of type one diabetes, while breast-feeding might lower the risk. The timing of the introduction of cereal into a baby’s diet also may affect a child’s risk of type one diabetes.

Signs it is Time to take your Child to see a Healthcare Provider:

  • If your child feels sick, tired, sleepy and thirsty
  • Goes to the bathroom to urinate frequently; gets up at night to urinate
  • Has no energy to play, work or have fun
  • Has blurry vision

The diagnosis of diabetes can be overwhelming considering it requires consistent care, medication and monitoring, but with adapting a healthy lifestyle of exercise, diet and taking the proper medication the disease becomes far easier to manage. If your child has the risk factors but has not been diagnosed take preventative measures to ensure they stay in good health and diabetes free!

To schedule a consultation please call us at 614.299.9909 today!

 

#mdcare4you, #osudoc
Source: Mayoclinic.com, Center for Disease Control (photo)

 

 

Six signs of happy feet

DR. D art cholesterol copy
Is foot pain preventing you from enjoying sports and the great outdoors? If you answered yes to that question then your feet are more than likely trying to tell you something. Often times we forget about our feet and we end up missing crucial warning signs that our bodies are trying to communicate with us.

We have complied a list for you to use to check if your feet are happy and healthy:

  • Not experiencing numbness: Do you ever feel like you can’t feel your feet or that your feet have heavy pin and needles sensation? Often times that is your body’s way of giving you information from your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body. This may be a sign of peripheral neuropathy, which can have many causes, but two main causes are diabetes and alcohol abuse. It’s always best to see a physician to pinpoint the cause.
  • Healthy toenails: What’s the shape of your toenails? If they look sunken in with spoon-shaped indentations, it could be a warning sign for anemia, also known as iron deficiency. A physical exam will be necessary to properly diagnose and treat the symptoms.
  • No extreme foot cramping: If you are experiencing foot cramping quite often, it could mean that your diet isn’t getting enough calcium, magnesium or potassium. Be sure to always pay attention to your diet to ensure that you are getting the proper amount of nutrients.
  • Healthy skin on the feet: Do you have dry, flaky skin on your feet? You don’t have to be an athlete to get Athlete’s Foot, which is a fungal infection that starts with dry and itchy skin. It can be treated with frequent bathing of the feet, drying them thoroughly and using foot powder in shoes and socks. But, best to seek a professional if the symptoms worsen or lasts longer than two weeks.
  • Moderate pain: Of course everyone has those days that are hard on the feet. But if you are constantly experiencing foot pain, it could be a sign of a decrease in optimum bone density or a malnutrition, anorexia or a an issue with absorbing calcium. It’s best to see a doctor if the pain exists longer than two or three days.
  • No heel pain: If you are experiencing heel pain, it may be a sign of plantar fasciiitis, which is an inflammation that is an abnormal strain in the tissue beyond its normal extension. The pain could start in the morning and progress as the day wears on. Seek treatment if the pain persists more than a few weeks.

Taking care of your feet is just as important as taking care of your skin, heart and lungs. You can give your feet a treat by pampering yourself with regular pedicures or by purchasing a new pair of comfortable shoes.

If you are noticing any changes in your feet, know that it is more than likely signaling that there is a greater health issue in your body. If you or someone you know is experiencing these problems, contact Dr. Schumacher, M.D., at (614) 299-9909 to set up an appointment.

Low testosterone risks and benefits

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Source:freedigitalphotos.net

It’s natural for testosterone levels to decrease as men get older.

Testosterone is a hormone that is mainly produced in the testicles, although low levels of testosterone can also be found in women. Normal levels of testosterone range from about 300 to 900 nanograms per deciliter.

Though society generally equates testosterone with machismo and sex drive, this hormone is responsible for much more. In addition to helping men maintain their sex drive and sperm production, testosterone also regulates red blood cell production, bone density and muscle mass. Testosterone production is at its prime during the teen years and in early adulthood then gradually decreases as men begin to age.

Though this decrease is normal, the effects that Low T can have both mentally and physically can be confusing, and at times, quite frustrating.

Common symptoms of low testosterone include:

  • Low sex drive
  • Difficulty achieving erection
  • Low semen volume
  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Increase in body fat
  • Decrease in bone mass
  • Mood changes
  • Outlook and resources
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression

Many of these symptoms, though, can be linked to other medical conditions, such as clinical depression, alcohol use and thyroid disorders.

If you think that you may be suffering from low testosterone, you are not alone. It is estimated that as many as 13 million Americans have Low T. The good news is that if your doctor has informed you that your testosterone is low, there are several hormone therapy treatments available to help you restore your testosterone levels. It should be noted that some of these hormone therapy treatments may have negative side effects, such as sleep apnea, acne breast tenderness, increased urination and weight gain. Side effects do go away if treatment is stopped.

In addition to hormone therapy treatments, there are also natural ways that you can help increase your testosterone, such as making changes in your diet, decreasing stress level and exercising.
If you think that you or someone you know is suffering from low testosterone, please call Dr. Schumacher, M.D., at (614) 299-9909 to set up an appointment.

When is it more than just pain…

cervical cancer

More than 12,000 women each year are diagnosed with cervical cancer and about one-third of those die as a result of cervical cancer.

That’s why January is a special month, and has been named Cervical Health Awareness Month by the American Social Health Association and the National Cervical Cancer Coalition. It was designed as a way for people to get involved to educate women about the importance of getting screenings and vaccinations. Have you been doing your part to raise awareness?

  • Spread the message through social media.
  • Display and distribute a cervical cancer awareness month poster.
  • Discuss it with friends and family

Even though cervical cancer symptoms can also indicate that an individual has just an infection, it is still recommended to seek treatment from your healthcare professional. It would also be wise to get a second opinion, especially from a doctor who is experienced with treating cervical cancer.

Symptoms of cervical cancer can include:

  • Bleeding after menopause
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Bleeding after intercourse
  • Bleeding after douching
  • Bleeding following a pelvic exam
  • Having heavier menstrual periods than usual or ones that last longer than usual
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Pelvic pain

Once an individual is diagnosed with cancer by a cervical biopsy, the next step is to determine the stage. A stage is assigned based on the size of the cancer, how deeply the cancer has invaded into the tissue around the cervix, if there are signs of cancer in the vagina, pelvis or local lymph nodes and if there are signs of cancer spread to other organs.

Stages range from stage1, which means cancer is in the cervix or uterus only, to stage IVB, which means the cancer has spread to distant organs, such as the liver.

It is crucial to seek treatment as soon as symptoms are noticed, because when detected at an early stage, the five-year survival rate is 91 percent. If you wait too long and the cancer has had a chance to spread to surrounding tissues or organs and/or the regional lymph nodes, the five-year survival rate is 57 percent. And, if the cancer has already spread to a distant part of the body, the five-year survival rate is just 16 percent.

So, with awareness, we will be able to help people get tested, understand their diagnosis and help them get the treatments that are needed. This will also help to find changes in the cervix before cancer develops, and before it goes beyond its most curable stage.

If you do suspect that you or someone you know may be suffering from cervical cancer, please call Dr. Schumacher, M.D., at (614) 299-9909 to set up an appointment.

3 Reasons Why Triglycerides Matter

DR. D artB1If you’ve been keeping an eye on your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, there’s something else you might need to monitor: your triglycerides.

Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) found in your blood. When you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn’t need to use right away into triglycerides. These triglycerides are stored in your fat cells. Throughout the day, hormones release your triglycerides for energy between meals.

So what does this mean for you and your health? Here are 3 reasons why monitoring your triglycerides are important:

1. It’s an important measure of heart health

Having a high level of triglycerides can increase your risk of heart disease. High triglyceride levels may contribute to hardening of the arteries or thickening of the artery walls (atherosclerosis) — which increases the risk of a heart attack and heart disease.

A simple blood test can reveal whether your triglycerides fall into a healthy range. Your doctor will usually check for high triglycerides as part of a cholesterol test (sometimes called a lipid panel or lipid profile). In order to receive an accurate triglyceride measurement, fasting for nine to 12 hours is recommended.

The national guidelines for fasting triglyceride levels in healthy adults are:

  • Normal: Under 150 mg/dl
  • Borderline High: 151–200 mg/dl
  • High: 201–499 mg/dl
  • Very High: 500 mg/dl or higher

Levels higher than 200 mg/dl are associated with an increase in the risk of heart attack, stroke and death. Levels higher than 300mg/dl are associated with pancreatitis.

But what causes high triglyceride levels? First, it can be genetic. Having a genetic predisposition to diabetes mellitus (DM)–a chronic metabolic disorder in which the use of carbohydrate is impaired and that of lipid and protein is enhanced–can be related to higher triglycerides.

Additionally, your diet can affect your levels. Eating a diet high in carbohydrates can raise your level of triglycerides. The body turns carbohydrates into glucose to use for fuel, but will store excess glucose as fat. Even if you maintain a low-carb diet, some people are still very sensitive to carbohydrates. This heightened sensitivity may cause their triglyceride levels to higher than normal.

2. It’s different than cholesterol

Triglycerides and cholesterol are both fatty substances known as lipids. However, triglycerides are fats; cholesterol is not. Cholesterol is a waxy, odorless substance made by the liver that is an essential part of cell walls and nerves.

Cholesterol also plays an important role in body functions such as digestion and hormone production. In addition to being produced by the body, cholesterol comes

Pure cholesterol cannot mix with or dissolve in the blood. Therefore, the liver packages cholesterol with triglycerides and proteins in carriers called lipoproteins. The lipoproteins then move this fatty mixture to areas throughout the body, leading to an increased risk of heart disease.

3. High levels may increase your risk for other medical problems

High triglycerides are often a sign of other conditions that increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, including obesity and metabolic syndrome. All of these conditions include too much fat around the waist, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high blood sugar and abnormal cholesterol levels.

Sometimes high triglycerides are a sign of poorly controlled Type 2 diabetes, low levels of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism), liver or kidney disease, or rare genetic conditions that affect how your body converts fat to energy.

What’s the best way to lower triglycerides?

The American Heart Association recommends for those trying to lower their triglyceride level, to implement lifestyle changes such as diet, weight loss and physical activity. Although medication can help, triglycerides usually respond well to dietary and lifestyle changes.

Here are 8 easy tips to lower your triglyceride levels:

  • Lose weight. If you’re overweight, losing 5 to 10 pounds can help lower your triglycerides. Motivate yourself by focusing on the benefits of losing weight, such as more energy and improved health.
  • Cut back on calories. Remember that extra calories are converted to triglycerides and stored as fat. Reducing your calories will reduce triglycerides.
  • Avoid sugary and refined foods. Simple carbohydrates, such as sugar and foods made with white flour, can increase triglycerides.
  • Limit carbohydrates in your diet. Eating a diet high in carbohydrates can raise your level of triglycerides. The body turns carbohydrates into glucose to use for fuel, but will store excess glucose as fat.
  • Choose healthier fats. Trade saturated fat found in meats for healthier monounsaturated fat found in plants, such as olive, peanut and canola oils. Substitute fish high in omega-3 fatty acids — such as mackerel and salmon — for red meat.
  • Eliminate trans fat. Trans fat can be found in some fried foods and commercial baked products, such as cookies, crackers and snack cakes. But don’t rely on packages that label their foods as free of trans fat. In the United States, if a food contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat a serving, it can be labeled trans fat-free. Even though those amounts seem small, they can add up quickly if you eat a lot of foods containing small amounts of trans fat. Instead, read the ingredients list. You can tell that a food has trans fat in it if it contains partially hydrogenated oil.
  • Limit how much alcohol you drink. Alcohol is high in calories and sugar and has a particularly potent effect on triglycerides. Even small amounts of alcohol can raise triglyceride levels.
  • Exercise regularly. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most or all days of the week. Regular exercise can boost “good” cholesterol while lowering “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides. Take a brisk daily walk, swim laps or join an exercise group. If you don’t have time to exercise for 30 minutes, try squeezing it in 10 minutes at a time. Take a short walk, climb the stairs at work, or try some situps or pushups as you watch television.

Now you know why triglycerides matter and some easy tips on how to lower your levels. If you have any further questions about triglycerides or would like to have your levels tested, please contact your doctor.

 

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Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/triglycerides/art-20048186?pg=2

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/prevention/risk-factors/cholesterol/triglycerides.aspx

Winning the War on Weight Loss

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Dr. Schumacher looking slim and trim.

When it comes to weight loss, it seems like every month we are bombarded by ads for some unpronounceable miracle fruit from the depths of the Amazon or ads for a celebrity-endorsed quick-fix pill. At the end of the day, the best strategy for winning the Battle of the Bulge remains the same: eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and no matter what, maintain a positive attitude about losing weight. No one knows this better than Columbus-based physician, Dr. Douglas Schumacher.

If you’ve visited the good doctor lately you may have noticed that these days, he’s looking quite slim and trim. With just a few tweaks to his daily routine, Dr. Schumacher has lost a whopping 60 pounds over the past few months. We wanted to find out the secret to his success so we stopped by to get the scoop on getting (and staying) in shape. Dr. Schumacher, like many of those who ride the weight loss rollercoaster, could trace a major source of his weight gain to stress. He says that he “didn’t want work stress to kill him” and he decided to do something about it.

Despite weight fluctuations through the years, Schumacher has been a faithful user of Tony Horton’s P90X fitness program. At first he would have to modify some of the exercises due to his weight and fitness level. Despite this, he continued to use P90X as his primary workout and as he began losing weight, he found that the exercises were less taxing and required fewer modifications. Dr. Schumacher also used Fit Bit, an activity-monitoring device, to help him keep track of his daily activity.

Dr. Schumacher also began tracking the foods that he ate so that he could easily monitor his caloric intake. He tried to eat healthier but didn’t want to deprive himself; he confesses to eating an ounce of chocolate everyday.  The doctor grew up eating healthy foods. His mother, a school teacher, studied to become a dietician and began cooking healthier meals shortly after his father suffered a heart attack when Schumacher was only 5 years old.

The doctor’s current diet involves “eating clean” by consuming quality meats, fruits, and veggies.  He said that his diet is loosely based on the popular Paleo diet that involves “eating like our ancestors” and avoiding junk foods and other diet-sabotaging foods.  Processed foods often contain large amounts of salt, nitrates, and other chemicals used for preservation purposes.

Frequent consumption of processed foods can increase our risk of developing health problems like diabetes and heart disease. In fact, according to a 2010 Harvard study, eating processed meats like bacon and processed deli meats led to a 42% increased risk of heart disease and a 19% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  Other processed foods to avoid include canned foods and convenience foods like frozen pizza or frozen dinners. Replacing these items with whole foods like nuts, beans, eggs, and fresh fruits and vegetables provides a healthy alternative to eating processed foods.

To find quality produce, Schumacher suggests buying quality fruits and vegetables at local farmers markets but says that despite the hype, buying “organic” fruit is not necessary. He also recommends avoiding eating products with more than three ingredients, processed foods, and foods with ingredients that you can’t pronounce.

To monitor weight loss as well as weight gain, the doctor referred to this helpful equation:

Weight Change = Calories Consumed – Calories Burned    

                                                        3500

First calculate the number of calories that you consumed for the week. Next, subtract the number of calories that you burned that week.

Take the result and divide it by 3,500, the number of calories in a pound of fat, to determine your total change in weight for the week.

Ready to shed some pounds but feeling apprehensive about whether you can achieve your weight-loss goal? Try using Dr. Schumacher’s top three tips:

  1. Document the foods that you eat either by writing them down or tracking them electronically*.
  2. Exercise regularly and track your activity*.
  3. Take the first step!

*Check out these helpful phone apps and websites to help you keep track of your diet and exercise. Myfitnesspal.com (app available), Runkeeper (app), Google Now (app), and Nike Fitness Club(app).

Still feeling doubtful? Remember Dr. Schumacher’s words of wisdom “ It’s doable, just DO it! “

For more tips and health news, follow us on:

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Twitter: @mdcare4you

The Flu or Not the Flu? That is the Question

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If you are currently buried under your covers, have a runny nose, and you feel like you’ve been hit by a Mack truck, you probably have a few questions running through your stuffy little head. Do I have the cold or that nasty flu virus that has wiped out half of the office?  Can I get in to see my doctor today? How long will I be out?  Why didn’t I make time to get a flu shot? How many more Seinfeld re-runs can I stand to watch?

It’s challenging to determine whether you have a cold or the flu because the symptoms are so similar. One sign that you may have the flu is if your symptoms occur suddenly as opposed to building slowly over time as they tend to do with a cold. Typically the flu lasts much longer than a cold and unlike a cold that can be caught year-round, the flu is more likely to strike during “flu season”, which typically stretches from November to March.

Ignoring cold and flu symptoms for too long can have serious complications. Left untreated, the flu can lead to more serious illnesses like bronchitis or pneumonia, and in rare cases, it can even be life-threatening. This is especially true for children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems as they are more vulnerable to severe complications. Here is a chart of common symptoms to help you determine whether you have a cold versus the flu.

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These are merely guidelines to help you but your best defense is to see your doctor as soon as possible.

Still have questions? When it doubt, get checked out!

Call MD Care 4 You at (614) 299-9909 to schedule an appointment or go to  our website: http://www.mdcare4you.com and register to use to our convenient, new patient portal system.

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Twitter: @mdcare4you

Photo: freedigitalphotos