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Posts Tagged ‘pediatrics’
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Blood pressure, the silent killer!! For most people we don’t even think about our blood pressure on a daily basis. We just get out of bed and go, not thinking that if we didn’t have blood pressure we would end up on the floor. Like all enclosed fluid systems, pressure is needed to move the fluid. This also occurs in our body with the pump being our heart and the pipes being our veins and arteries. We cannot feel our blood pressure, unless it is dangerously high or low. If it is too high people get headaches, chest pain, blurry vision, shortness of breath; too low and you may feel dizzy, nauseated, weak, or you may pass out. The only way to know your blood pressure is measure it. The ideal blood pressure for adults is 120/80. Physicians get concerned with blood pressures higher than this, but typically do not treat with medications until it is >140/90. Blood pressure is affected a lot by our diet and salt is the biggest culprit. Eliminate salt from your diet and your blood pressure will go down. Exercise and weight loss also result in a blood pressure reduction as well. For children normal blood pressure is based on age and size, so talk to your pediatrician about normal blood pressure ranges for children. Elevated blood pressure in children is always abnormal and needs to be thoroughly evaluated by your doctor. Keep off the salt, get your 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a day and you will likely have control of your blood pressure. See your physician for a screen or questions.
Tobacco has been around as long as our country, and much like it did in the past it continues to create a great deal of controversy. Tobacco is a natural growing plant that has been cultivated to be distributed in mass quantities. However, most tobacco today is smoked, which contaminates a smoker’s body and contaminates the air around the smoker. Tobacco is extremely addictive and this is the result of tobacco companies modifying tobacco with extra nicotine. Smoking is very dangerous to your body. Most people only think of the lungs with smoking, but it also significantly increases your risk of heart disease, kidney cancer, peripheral vascular disease and of course lung disease. Smoking and chewing tobacco are extremely difficult to quit, and unless you are ready to quit you will not be successful. In the last decade tobacco users have had multiple assistive devices to help them quit. The assistive devices include nicotine supplementation, classes, and even medication therapy. Unfortunately if you are not ready to quit, none of these assistive devices will help you. We encourage all tobacco users to quit, this protects your on health, your families health, and your wallets health as well. Ask your doctor for help when you are ready to quit.
Cholesterol has gotten a bad reputation over the years, but it does have an important role in our body. Cholesterol is a complex molecule of fat that is made in our body and ingested in the food we eat. It is essential for brain development and essential to keeping the cells in our body healthy. Unfortunately cholesterol, when too high, has been linked to causing heart disease. We are now very aggressive in controlling cholesterol because heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Most doctors break down cholesterol into two types, good cholesterol HDL and bad cholesterol LDL. LDL is linked to heart disease, HDL helps prevent heart disease. We can improve our HDL by eating lean meats, fish such as salmon, using olive and peanut oil instead of saturated animal fats. Bad cholesterol, LDL, can be decreased by weight loss, exercise, eating less fatty and fried foods. If lifestyle modifications don’t get your cholesterol to goal we have medications called statins that have been very effective in lowering bad cholesterol and decreasing your risk of having a heart attack. Work to improve your health with good diet and exercise plans, and talk with your doctor if you need a medicine to lower your cholesterol.
Many of you have heard your doctor talk about Vitamin D or even the doctors on TV talk about vitamin D. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that our body can make or we can get it from the food we eat. Our skin makes vitamin D from getting exposure to the sun. We also consume Vitamin D from the food we eat, with milk products representing the most prevalent source. Vitamin D is responsible for healthy bones, but has also been found to have effects on mood, energy level, and overall general health. Unfortunately, most people who live in Idaho have low Vitamin D levels, because of long winter nights and cold winter days limiting our exposure to the sun. Talk with your doctor about testing for vitamin D deficiency and what your treatment options are. Proper action may save your bones and make you feel much better.
Seemingly, every parent wants their child to be on the receiving end of as few needle sticks as possible, while still keeping them fully protected against preventable childhood diseases. Combination vaccines include immunizations against two or more diseases. Most people are familiar with combination shots like the MMR (which combines the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines) and the DTaP (which combines vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) which have been around for years.
Currently, many kids receive around 25 immunization shots between birth and 6 years old. To reduce this number, research is being conducted in clinics around the country to develop new and improved combination vaccines to prevent childhood diseases. ProQuad is an example of one of these newer combination vaccines that combines MMR and Varivax, for Chickenpox, into one shot.
Dr. Richard Aguilar at Saltzer Medical Group is one of the few pediatricians in Idaho participating in clinical trials for new combination vaccines.
For the past nine years Dr. Aguilar has participated in 19 vaccine studies, some of which are now on the market, and being used to treat younger siblings of children that participated in the trials before they were available for general usage.
Before the FDA grants permission to conduct a clinical trial, they verify that the pharmaceutical company has done extensive laboratory research regarding the combination. Only then, will the FDA allow a newly proposed combination vaccine to be tested with humans.
The physicians in the trials submit data which is used to measure the effectiveness of the vaccine for which it is intended, while closely monitoring its safety and side effects.
Pharmaceutical companies that sponsor clinical research studies provide funds to compensate participants for their time, travel and participation. Known side effects, potential risks and all study procedures are thoroughly explained to potential participants. A document called an Informed Consent is required to be signed prior to any study related procedures.
Over 400 pediatric participants in our community have volunteered to participate in vaccine trials with Dr. Aguilar. Participation in programs like these allows researchers to develop better, more effective vaccines so fewer shots are administered to our children. If you are interested in a participating in vaccine or other trials at Saltzer Medical Group visit the research tab at saltzermed.com.