Archive for December, 2006

A Family Vacation: A Great Way To Bond with Your Kids

December 31, 2006

This Christmas vacation, my wife and I decided to bring our kids to South Korea.  To explore what a cold place can offer.  playing-the-snow.JPGWe were there at the time when it was the coldest of the season which reminded me of my time while training in Minnesota.  For me… going out on a family trip is the best way to spend quality time with the kids since you are with them from the time they wake up, take a bath, eat breakfast up the time they sleep. No household help at all and the kids spend the whole day with us.

South Korea was a delight and a surprising find in terms of excitement and fun.  The kids loved the theme park Everland and the Lotte World Complex. lotte-world.JPG the-snow-buster.JPGBoth offered quality, entertaining and fun games, rides and shows. If you see the smiling faces of the kids and the contentment they express after the visit… then all the hard part of taking care of them is all worth it!  But I was really longing for my weekly massage now that am back home! Whew!

One does not need to go out of the country to spend quality time with the kids. Explore areas around you where interaction with your kids is the priority from day to night.  Bet you… you will feel the satisfaction even if tired and the fun even if  you feel wasted! 

Indeed… A Family Vacation is worth it… even if you need another vacation afterwards!

This New Year….

Let’s Spend More Time With Our Family!

How To Prevent Wrinkles….

December 21, 2006

2957708148.jpgBeauty is pretty expensive nowadays…it’s a booming business.  Medical tourism in our country is also being promoted as a future come on for consumers with special focus on cosmetic surgery.  While sorting out news reviews, I came accross this Consumer Report article which focused on beauty and anti wrinkle creams and I found it very interesting.  Let me highlight the important facts:

  1. There is no correlation between price and effectiveness in the wrinkle creams they tested.  In fact one of the cheapest — Olay Regenerist — performed slightly better than the more expensive ones.
  2. None of the tested brands produced dramatic results in terms of reducing wrinkles.
  3. Investigators found little relationship between the active ingredients in the products and their overall performance.

The report further noted that of all the creams tested, “at $57 for the cream, lotion, or serum, Olay Regenerist was the top performing product, followed by Lancome Paris Renergie, at $176, and RoC Retin-Ox+, at $135.”  To think, one of the most expensive creams in the market, La Praire Cellular sold at $335 for a ounce of day cream was one of the worst performing products.  It therefore shows that the price has little to do with effectiveness when it comes to antiaging skin products.

The study further substantiates the benefit of daily sunscreen which actually did more to prevent new wrinkles than any the more expensive and well marketed face creams on the market.  A very good news to the husbands indeed…..

Beauty does not need to be expensive after all…

Apply Your Sunscreens Daily and Avoid Wrinkles!

When To Get A Second Opinion

December 18, 2006

6803703241.jpgWhether we’re talking about venturing into a new business, or looking for the best school for our kids… we tend to get somebody else opinion.  It is often said: Two heads are better then One!  The same is true for anybody’s health.  Seeking another doctor’s opinion should not be hard at all.  The problems lies when your doctor gets disappointed because you did not trust his diagnosis nor his management.  But the truth is… as true to our professional ethics… we value a second opinion and I encourage it!  If your physician gets angry because you sought somebody else idea then obviously he has something to hide and is unsure of what your problem is and what to do with it.  Then you definitely need another professional help!

I see a lot of patients coming to see me because they want a second opinion.  So I thought of sharing with you this nice compilation of reasons why you need to seek another opinion …tips fron the Washington University School of Medicine:

  • If your doctor has recommended surgery.
  • If your doctor’s diagnosis or recommendation doesn’t sound credible to you.
  • If your doctor diagnoses you with a condition that’s life-threatening.
  • If your doctor recommends an invasive procedure, when a less complicated procedure maybe available.
  • If you’ve been prescribed long-term medication.
  • If you’re not comfortable with the meds given.
  • If the medication is not making you feel better and
  • If your doctor can’t make a diagnosis.

Simple tips to help you decide whether or not to seek another doctor’s help or recommendation.  You can always go back to your primary doctor to make the final recommendation.  In fact if a patient seeks a second opinion, and he sees me back…it does not mean he trusts me less but rather now his trust for me gets better!

For Any Decisions in Life…. 

It’s Worth To Seek A Second Opinion!

Tips on Buying Safe Christmas Gifts

December 15, 2006

445278888.jpgMy wife and I are now busy distributing our Christmas gifts.  But mind you, it has been since early November that we have started scouting for the right gifts making sure they are right for the age of our godchildren.  It was not easy but it was fun!  But for those who are late shoppers and haven’t started wrapping gifts yet… I found this nice article on what are some of the safe gifts we can give this Christmas.

When picking up toys though … here are some simple reminders from the University Of Cinicinnati

  •  read product warnings and labels on toys;
  • avoid items with sharp edges and points;
  • look for sturdy construction;
  • quickly discard plastic wrappings after the toy is opened; and
  • keep older children’s toys away from younger siblings.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) offers the following age-appropriate guidelines for toys:

  • Newborns to age one: crib gyms, floor activity centers, activity quilts, squeaky toys, soft dolls or stuffed animals.
  • Ages one to three: soft blocks, large blocks, push and pull toys, books, pounding and shaping toys.
  • Ages three to five: nontoxic art supplies, pretend toys (i.e. play money, telephone), teddy bears or dolls, outdoor toys (i.e. tricycle and helmet).
  • Ages five to nine: arts and crafts kits, puppets, jump ropes, action figures, miniature dolls.
  • Ages nine to 14: handheld electronic games, board games, sports equipment with protective gear, model kits, musical instruments.

Those vulnerable to injuries from toys are children between the ages three to five years particularly to airway obstruction.  The kids of this age group have a tendency to explore things by putting them inside their mouths.  As a result choking was the cause of more than 90 percent of toy-related deaths in the United States in 2003.  Of these, toy balls and latex balloons were responsible for most of those deaths.  Buying toys for this age group therefore requires much thought to ensure the safety of the kids. 

Remember, Christmas is a time to Celebrate and Enjoy…

Have a Safe Merry Christmas To All!

The Benefit of a Low Carb Diet

December 13, 2006

3015962829.jpgThe fight against obesity has been pretty discouraging as no magic pill has been discovered yet that will allow people to eat whatever we like and not gain weight.  It is now known that by losing weight, one reduces the risk of obesity related illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.  The fad of low carb diet has its followers since it can really make one lose weight albeit temporarily….but arguments against low carb diets include its recommendation to increase consumption of high protein sources to include animal products which unfortunately are high in fat.  So Where does Low Carb Diet stand in terms of Health issues?

One study and so far the first study to answer this question was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine (November 9 issue), that looked at the relationship between low carb diet and the risk of heart disease.  

The good news is …There is an association between low-carb diets and low heart disease risk!

  • The low risk is based on a high protein diet from vegetable sources and not animal products. 
  • The types and not the total amount of fat or carbohydrate have an appreciable relationship with risk of CHD.
  • Vegetable fat was associated a lower risk of risk of CHD, whereas higher dietary glycemic load typical of a high-carb diet–was strongly associated with increased heart disease risk.

The study further noted that… “when vegetable sources of fat and protein were chosen instead of animal sources, the low-carbohydrate-diet was associated with a 30% lower risk of CHD.”

So… remember… if you embrace the Low Carb Diet….

The quality of fat and carbohydrate is more important than quantity!

Can Diabetes Be Prevented?

December 11, 2006

1442957732.jpgOne of the highlights in the recent World Diabetes Congress held in South Africa was the release of a study that highlighted the answer to a question: Can Diabetes Be Prevented?

The initial findings of the study was released in EASD in Denmark also this year called the DREAM study which provided exciting results that can help us endocrinologists “prevent” the onset of diabetes. The study showed that for patients diagnosed withPrediabetes, starting them on Rosiglitazone ( Avandia) can help significantly delay the onset of the disease compared to placebo by more than 60 %.

In the IDF sponsored World Congress, the ADOPT study looked at whether there is a difference among diabetic patients started on different oral medications in terms of disease progression. As expected, Rosiglitazone (Avandia) was able to show that compared with a sulfonylurea, it was able to delay the progression of the disease by > 60% and by > 30% compared with a metformin.

The studies proved …that now, we have a tool, that can significantly help our patients… not only in controlling blood sugar and therefore prevent complications but more so…delay and slow down the progression of their disease. Remember… if we are able to slow down the disease process then we can delay the onset of complications like heart disease and stroke.  And if we delay the disease progression before a patient dies… then we are indeed preventing it!

I am a believer of this drug, not only because it improves both fasting and post meal blood sugars,  but more so because,  it is the only tool we have that acts directly on the two major causes of why ones blood sugar goes up: the Insulin Resistance state and Beta cell dysfunction. By improving insulin sensitivity using Rosiglitazone, we now have outcome studies that proved… we can indeed delay the disease process.

Indeed a Good News to all diabetic patients….

To Delay A Disease is a Tool to Prolong Life!

Read My Other Related Posts:

Enjoying Cape Town and The Safari…Malaria Free

December 10, 2006

with-nelson-mandela-and-pres-de-klerk.JPGOne of the top three places for me so far is Cape Town of South Africa.  The trip coincided with the 19th World Diabetes Congress held every 2 to3 years. A wonderful place to visit thanks to the former President Nelson Mandela whose biography is worth reading.  If not for his long battle against the apartheid… the freedom gained from his struggles now is bearing fruit for the country.  As a result… the country’s main income now comes from tourism.  And of course… a visit to the Safari is a must in South Africa.

In this part of the country… Cape Town has her own character and beauty.  It’s truly a paradise in the true sense of the word.  The Table Mountain is the landmark of Cape Town.  at-table-mountain-with-robben-island-at-the-back.JPGYour visit is not complete if you dont reach the top.  Unfortunately for some, the weather in South Africa changes every minute so that fog usually covers the most part of the mountain peak.  We were so fortunate that when we visited the place…the skies were crystal clear and the spectacular view was awesome.

The Cape Point is also a must see in this part of the world…cape-point.JPGtruly a magnificent view and breathtaking site!  ts the the tip of the African Continent.  On the way to the site the journey was likewise exciting with wonderful views of the harbour and bay along the stretch of the the Southern part of Africa.

The Safari of course was worth the visit… joust to get the feel of what a safari is all about. with-cheetah.JPG You get a close encounter with the Rhinoceros, the lion, the Spring Backs ( the country’s national animal) and of course our chance to sit beside the Cheetah.  The best part of the trip was the place being malaria free.

I idolize Nelson Mandela for what he did for South Africa…but after my visit to South Africa… I thank him for his struggles because now people from all over the world can now bear witness to his struggles where whites and blacks mingle and work together but most of all… the opportunity to enjoy the Paradise of South Africa.

South Africa…One of the Must- See Places To Visit! 

Are Your Kids Watching Wrestling on TV?

December 1, 2006

Here in Cebu, we will be hosting the ASEAN summit and as a result schools will be closed for the holidays earlier.  So from Dec 8 onwards…it’s the start of a long vacation.  And from Dec 2 to 9, 23785211401.jpgmy wife and I will travel to explore South Africa…so while we’re away…our kids fortunately will be in school during the day but will be with their yayas in the afternoon.  And when these kids stay home…either they’re hooked to the computer or to the TV.  Unsupervised…we may wonder what these kids are up to.  So my son’s activities have been limited to just playing Jump Start series for Grade 1 and 2 and no internet in the computer while his TV time is also limited.  He’s into sports like soccer 3 x a week, swimming and taekwando once a week. 

2410829857.jpgConcerns arise with the kinds of TV shows and the access to internet that our kids now have.  One such TV show that can have lasting impact on our kids is professional wrestling.  In a recent study published in August issue of Pediatrics , wrestling was shown to encourage aggressive behavior in teens to include violent tendencies and carrying of weapons when they date.  It was further noted that these violent tendencies are more pronounced in girls who watch more wrestling.

Other findings in the study that is really of concern to me as a parent that I want to share with other parents include:

The results suggest that violence begets violence:

  • the more these kids are exposed to violence on TV or other media like the internet, the more likelihood that these kids will also engage in violence.
  • 184753018.jpg“women are often degraded and appear as both the victims and instigators of violence. And this has a spillover effect for teens who watch wrestling.”

  • The wrestlers talk in derogatory terms… and kids have the tendency to follow! 

  • The concept the kids understand is that watching violence on TV is acceptable and entertaining.

 So while we’re away either at work or on vacation… we make sure our kids know what their limits are. Likewise we make sure our helpers know what they need to monitor but a disciplined child knows that too…

Make Sure You Know Well What You’re Kids Are Into Before It’s Too Late!