Health & Wellness

It can be scary to find out that a loved one is diagnosed with breast cancer. This can become even more complicated when your family members live far away and have questions about a love one’s care. Breast cancer is talked about a lot when it comes to women’s health – the male variation gets little attention and deserves more. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer in men is typically detected between 60 and 70 years age and can occur at any age. Dr. Donald Sharps, medical director for Behavioral Heath Integration with CalOptima, the health insurance provider…
Bumps to the head can impact your brain for years to come How many times have you bumped your head throughout your lifetime? My granddaughter slipped and fell on a marble floor running through the kitchen in her socks when she was three years old - the blow to the back of her head sent blood flying in all directions. Rushing her to the hospital, we realized she was going to have a concussion. She will never remember that incident, yet in that moment the Neuro Net of her brain went into shock and her brain activity ramped up to…
Stem cells treat heart disease and stroke – and change the way we age The vast majority of treatments for chronic and life-threatening diseases concentrate on treating the symptoms, not finding a cure. For this reason, regenerative medicine – including stem cell therapy aided by the use of modalities like hyperbaric oxygen therapy - represents one of the fastest growing biomedical industries in the world today for the treatment of heart disease, stroke and neurodegenerative disorders by helping repair, and even regenerate, body parts and tissues damaged by disease, trauma or age. In terms of stem cell therapy, researchers are…
Many people take calcium supplements in the hope that the vitamin pills will make the aging process a little easier and less painful. However, a new study found that calcium supplements can’t offer the health benefits people hope for when it comes to bone health. In fact, says the research, calcium supplements may even be harmful. The findings from the study, which were reported in the British Medical Journal online publication BMJ.com, showed that calcium supplements don’t strengthen bones. Instead, extra calcium builds up in arteries, which can cause heart disease and excruciating kidney stones. According to The Telegraph, up…
To truly end the stigma surrounding mental health, it’s important to understand the truths behind the causes, symptoms, and treatments of these disorders. It’s imperative to dispel the myths surrounding these illnesses in order to eradicate the fear and misconceptions so prevalent in older adults. Debbie Hutchinson, Psy.D., Manager of Outpatient Behavioral Health Programs and the Psychiatric Emergency Team at the Laguna Beach campus of Mission Hospital, identifies the following as common misperceptions about mental health: 1. Older adults with a mental illness are more prone to violence. When a tragic and violent crime occurs, people are too often quick to blame mental…
Most people don’t think about bone health until they’re at risk for developing osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become porous, brittle, and weak. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 54 million Americans age 50 and older are affected by osteoporosis and low bone mass. The statistic came from a 2014 study published by the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research that also said 10.2 million adults have osteoporosis and another 43.4 million have low bone mass. Decreased bone mass affects people over age 50 more dramatically because the body naturally loses bone and rebuilds it more slowly as…
Learn why men are selecting this new treatment In October, 2015 the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) for the treatment of localized prostate cancer. For many men diagnosed with prostate cancer, HIFU is a new treatment that they haven’t heard about nor are they aware of its benefits, including avoiding permanent urine leakage and erectile dysfunction (ED) that surgery or radiation can cause. “Being able to offer my patients a treatment to cure their prostate cancer and maintain their quality of life was very important to me,” says Dr. Robert Pugach, Medical Director of…
The primary purpose of diabetic socks is to keep your feet dry, decrease your risk for foot injury and avoid preventing or slowing blood circulation. The difference between diabetic socks and regular cotton socks is that they are usually are made of materials that wick away moisture, are fitted, padded and are non-binding. Because people with diabetes are at higher risk of foot injuries and infection due to damage to their circulatory and nervous systems caused by high blood sugar levels, they would benefit from wearing diabetic socks. Nerve damage, or neuropathy, decreases sensation and increases risk of injury, particularly…
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disease that primarily affects the elderly. In 2015 it was estimated that 5.3 million Americans were suffering from the disease. As the baby boomers age this number is predicted to more than double, with over 13 million Americans affected by 2050. Without significant new treatments, the rise in the number of Alzheimer’s patients will place a tremendous economic and social burden on the United States. Unfortunately, the development of new drugs for Alzheimer’s disease has not gone well. In the last 10 years no new drug substance has been approved. Between 2005 and 2015,…
Keep your Medicare card safe You’ll usually need to show your Medicare card (or your Medicare Advantage plan card, if you choose Medicare Advantage) when you receive services. Bring it along when you go to the doctor. Help prevent fraud Your Medicare card and your Social Security number are valuable personal information. Keep track of your card. Handle it the way you would handle other valuable information, like a credit card. If you suspect someone else is using your Medicare card or your Social Security number, call the Medicare Helpline immediately. (1-800-MEDICARE). Choose you providers carefully The quality of care…
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes changes in learning, memory, thinking, planning and behavior. The disease currently affects an estimated 5.3 million Americans, and that number is expected to increase to over 13 million by the year 2050. The human brain The human brain is the control center of the body, as well as the most complex part of the body. This intricate organ is responsible for our ability to think, learn, interpret senses, create body movement and control behavior. The brain is made up of 86 billion nerve…
The holiday season filled with friends, family and lots of food has come to an end. The start of the New Year is a perfect time to get back on track with healthy habits and take charge of your family’s health. CalOptima, the health insurance provider for thousands of adults and children throughout Orange County, offers these easy tips to start off 2016 on the right foot: Get vaccinated: Vaccinations are one of the best ways to protect you and your family from potentially harmful diseases. Immunizations such as the flu shot are important to people six months or older…
In California, patients who wish to acquire medical marijuana need a doctor’s approval and require enrollment in a patient registry and a medical marijuana identification card to be shown at a dispensary (this ID card is issued to patients who have a signed statement from a doctor diagnosing their specific condition and that medical marijuana is the recommended treatment protocol). California's medical marijuana laws state that marijuana can be used for a wide range of health conditions - from arthritis, anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia and migraine headaches to diabetes, glaucoma and "any other illness for which marijuana provides relief." In…
Stress is all around us. Dealing with the daily stresses of life can be hard for older adults. Coping with stress in healthy ways can help you develop the skills to adapt and move forward from stressful situations. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stress is a condition characterized by symptoms of emotional tension. It is also typically a reaction to a situation that causes anxiety. Levels of stress can vary depending on the situation or perceived situation and our ability to cope. The fact is that stress is inevitable. However, instead of always trying to…
Imagine not being able to chew a steak for years and years and then going to your favorite restaurant and ordering a thick, juicy filet? Or biting into a caramel apple for the first time since you were a kid? These are real examples of the life-changing (not to mention the confidence-boosting, smile-enhancing) results experienced by patients of Scott G. Lamming, DDS of San Juan Capistrano. Dental implants are now considered to be the single most successful procedure in dentistry today. “Dental implants are very predictable, they do not decay, and they can last you a lifetime with proper care,”…
Hearing Loss just does not affect your ability to understand speech, it affects all aspects of your life. Seniors with Untreated Hearing Loss are significantly more likely to develop Dementia over time than those who retain their hearing or treat their hearing loss early. The link between Untreated Hearing Loss and development of Dementia and Alzheimers Disease. Multiple studies indicate that hearing loss can be linked to the onset of Dementia and Alzheimers Disease. Dr. Lin, over a six-year study (JAMA Internal Medicine. Frank R. Lin, MD, PHD. Hearing loss and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults) observed 1,984 adults with…
High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU), a non-invasive, radiation-free therapy to treat localized prostate cancer, was approved for use in the United States by the FDA in October, 2015. This technology is not new to the United States as it originated in 1970’s at the Indiana University School of Medicine and has been in use throughout the world – from Europe to Asia, the Middle East, South and Central America, Mexico and Canada. “Historically, the conventional treatment for prostate cancer is the surgical removal of the prostate,” explains Dr. Robert Pugach, Medical Director of Pacific Coast Urology Medical Center. “While this…
About Alzheimer’s disease Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that primarily affects the elderly. Although researchers do not fully understand what causes Alzheimer’s, recent research provides new insight into when the disease begins and how it progresses. It has become clear that Alzheimer’s begins years, even decades, before symptoms begin to emerge, and is now considered a spectrum of disorders. The disease begins silently with no outward sign that anything is wrong. In this stage memory and thinking are normal, but there are subtle signs of the diseases presence. These signs can only be detected using sophisticated imaging techniques…
It’s a sad reality that, as we age, we become less independent than we once were – but for most blessed with longevity, it’s inevitable. With an estimated 13 million baby boomers throughout the U.S. caring for elderly parents, throngs of adult caregivers struggle with determining if their parent is fit to remain living alone. It’s a difficult, multi-faceted decision not to be made lightly as there is much at stake – both the physical and emotional well-being of the parent in question and for the extended family at large. To help ease the process of determining if an elderly…
Over the years of helping people hear well again, I get this question “Can I just wear one hearing aid” and I always say you can but you lose a lot in the ear you choose not to help. There are those ‘situations” which allows for one hearing aid. One reason is the ear is completely deaf and the other ear is correctible, in which case you could wear just an aid in the correctible ear. However, we sometimes use a Bi-Cross to bring the sound from the bad ear to the correctible ear. This allows the person to feel as…
You might think that staying up-to-date with vaccinations ends when you are a child. The truth is older adults also need to follow a regular vaccination schedule to reduce the risk of spreading diseases, developing serious illnesses, and even death. Immunizations play a role in lowering your risk of contracting diseases, and are an integral part of staying healthy. Vaccines have played a huge part in reducing and even eliminating severe illnesses, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, thousands of adults in the United States are hospitalized, treated, and even die from diseases that have…
Technological advancements are moving at a rapid pace. A new device seems to appear nearly every day. For many seniors, this pace can be overwhelming to stay up-to-date, especially when most devices aren’t created with the senior user in mind. Although advancements in technology can be frustrating at times, studies show that older adults are beginning to slowly adapt to the digital age. Pew Research reports that 77 percent of adults over 65 owned a cell phone in 2014, but only 18 percent of those are smart phone users. This slow incline to adjust to technology can be partially attributed…
Dr. Ivar Roth’s practice an exclusive, revolutionary laser treatment for toenail fungus A staggering 40 million people in the United States struggle with toenail fungus (onychomycosis). This condition often starts as a small white or yellow spot under the toenail, but if left untreated can spread and cause the nail to discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge. As the nail becomes more brittle, it may lead to pain and inflammation. If there’s currently no pain involved, many people will put off addressing the condition or ignore the problem altogether, opting instead to cover their feet and turn a blind…
Medical compression stockings and socks are a travel essential Many people travel long distances and have to remain seated for two or three hours or even longer. They might not think much of it, but when movement is constrained, the blood circulation in the legs is restricted. This can contribute to heavy legs, leg pain and swollen feet and ankles. Prolonged sitting is also a major risk factor for the development of phlebitis and Deep-vein Thrombosis (DVT). Deep-vein Thrombosis involves the formation of blood clots (thrombi) in the deep leg veins during prolonged inactivity. In some cases, blood clots can…
Offer many ways to conquer stress and balance your life If you feel like your stress is robbing you of your life, your connection to your loved ones, and a deep feeling of joy, it’s probably because it is. Recent research has pointed to stress as a trigger for inflammation, which plays a significant role in the development and progression of a multitude of chronic conditions, from digestive problems to heart disease, from weight gain to diabetes to sleep issues. Regardless of the physiological mechanisms, it’s clear that if we want to be physically and mentally well, we must conquer…
Learn what to look for in diabetic socks. Diabetes is a chronic illness that can require lifelong treatment and care. If you have diabetes, you’re at risk of developing serious complications like foot infections and neuropathy (nerve damage) – the most common of which affect the nerves in the feet. Good, consistent diabetic foot care – including choosing appropriate diabetic socks - is essential to avoid amputation of the toes, feet, or even the entire leg below the knee. Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy include: sharp pains in the feet that are worse at night tingling or burning sensations in the…
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), most flu activity occurs from October to May. But, you can still catch the flu or a cold anytime during the year. The office, the grocery store or any other public place can act as an incubator for cold and flu viruses. Some of us get out of flu season without contracting the dreaded illness, while others are not so lucky. This season CalOptima, the health insurance provider for thousands of adults throughout Orange County, offers these helpful tips to protect yourself and your loved ones. Keep your hands away from eyes,…
Every day I speak to people on the many benefits of exercise and good nutrition. When I tell them about how they could live with vitality into their eighties and beyond their only question is, “When can I start?” One of my favorite authors Dr. Henry Lodge, M.D. wrote a book called “Younger Next Year.” In it, he writes “Some 70 percent of premature death and aging is lifestyle related. Heart attacks, strokes, the common cancers, diabetes, most falls, fractures and serious injuries and many more illnesses are primarily caused by the way we live. If we had the will…
It seems as if not a month goes by where we read headlines proclaiming new medical breakthroughs. A recent headline and article in the AARP Bulletin caught my attention. In the article, Brave New Worlds in Diagnosing Diseases, several new promising diagnostic tests, including one about a new prostate cancer assay, were outlined. The test they discussed was captioned as a “less-guess” prostate test, the Oncotype Dx Prostate Cancer Assay test. While the AARP article implied that this was a brand new test, we’ve actually been using it at Pacific Coast Urology Medical Center for the past 6 months. We’ve…
Exercise and Bodywork Keep Joint Pain at Bay The word arthritis strikes fear in the hearts of older adults. It often signifies aging, pain, inactivity, and disability. However, new research shows moderate physical exercise can actually ease arthritis symptoms by decreasing pain and increasing a person’s likelihood of living a normal life. Understanding Arthritis: The most common form of arthritis-- osteoarthritis, or also known as degenerative arthritis--affects more than twenty million Americans. Osteoarthritis (literally meaning “bone-joint inflammation”) is caused by wear and tear on joint surfaces and most frequently involves the hips, knees, lower back, neck, and fingers. More than…
Benefits of Quality Medical Compression Garments The lymphatic system delivers nutrients to body tissues and removes waste products. It operates similarly to the circulatory system but is a separate system. While the circulatory system relies on the heart to pump blood around the body, the lymphatic system relies on routine movement of the muscles and joints to push lymph fluid through the body. If a section of the lymphatic system is blocked or damaged, normal drainage may be slowed or stopped, resulting in swelling or lymphedema. The word “lymphedema” means swelling (edema) that results from the pooling of too much…
Hearing Loss just does not affect your ability to understand speech, it affects all aspects of your life. Seniors with Untreated Hearing Loss are significantly more likely to develop Dementia over time than those who retain their hearing or treat their hearing loss early. Multiple studies indicate that hearing loss can be linked to the onset of Dementia and Alzheimers Disease. Dr. Lin, over a six-year study (JAMA Internal Medicine. Frank R. Lin, MD, PHD. Hearing loss and Cognitive Decline in Older Adults) observed 1,984 adults with an average age of 77.4 years. Over the course of the study, tracking…
Depression can affect us all no matter whether we’re living a life of luxury or have lost everything in the economic upheaval. Depression does not skip you because of your social standing, bank account, accomplishments, even if there’s nothing but happy moments around you, why then would you still feel depressed? Research has found that the brain out of balance and the lack of harmony between the lobes can cause imbalances that could possibly lead to disorders such as depression, anxiety, insomnia and more. Most of us turn to medications, but these same medications can possibly cause the afflictions we are…
An interview with Robert Pugach, MD - one of the most experienced HIFU surgeons in the United States According to the American Cancer Society, almost 250,000 prostate cancer cases will be diagnosed annually in the United States and will result in 29,000 deaths every year. These are frightening numbers. But, with prevention strategies and education about new treatment options, you can help do a lot to prevent becoming one ofthese statistics. Dr. Robert Pugach, Medical Director of Pacific Coast Urology Medical Center, answers questions about concerns regarding the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer and how HIFU (High Intensity…
IN AN EMERGENCY, SECONDS CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN SAVING A LIFE. For almost two decades, our community has relied on Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center to provide emergency services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As the area’s population has grown and matured, the hospital has experienced a steep rise in the demand for acute care. Over the past nine years, visits to the emergency room at Orange Coast Memorial have increased by more than 44 percent. They now treat over 32,000 ill and injured people a year in the same square footage that served emergency…
Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 730,000 Americans experience a heart attack annually. If you have diabetes, a poor diet, are overweight or don’t regularly exercise, you could be at risk for a heart attack or heart disease. Additionally, high LDL (bad) cholesterol, a waxy, fat-like substance that clogs your arteries may slow down the flow of blood to your heart and brain, and can lead to chest pain, heart attack, stroke or other health problems. So, what can you…
It’s exceptionally rare to find hair artists who truly cares about their customers’ needs and are dedicated to finding the perfect solution – and have the skill and experience to actually make achieve your desired results. With years of experience in helping women who have fine and thinning hair challenges “feel beautiful again,” Debora Routhe and Carly Elliott are the go-to “dream team” behind the Mission Viejo-based Full Strands, Inc. – the go-to professionals for clients searching for non-surgical hair replacement options and hair extensions. Debora is an American Board Certified Haircolorist and cutting specialist while Carly is an extension expert…
Recently in the media there has been a lot of buzz about Sleep Apnea. I would like to clear up some of the mystery surrounding this important medical issue and hopefully leave you with a better understanding as to cause, steps to treatment, and better health. So, let's review the symptoms of Sleep Apnea. Waking up with a very dry or sore throat Loud snoring Waking with a choking or gasping sensation Sleepiness or lack of energy during the day Sleepiness while driving Morning headaches A restless sleep pattern Forgetfulness, mood changes, and decreased interest in sex Next, what are…
Medical compression stockings and socks are a travel essential Many people travel long distances and have to remain seated for two or three hours or even longer. They might not think much of it, but when movement is constrained, the blood circulation in the legs is restricted. This can contribute to heavy legs, leg pain and swollen feet and ankles. Prolonged sitting is also a major risk factor for the development of phlebitis and Deep-vein Thrombosis (DVT). Deep-vein Thrombosis involves the formation of blood clots (thrombi) in the deep leg veins during prolonged inactivity. In some cases, blood clots can…
Do you feel shaky, sweaty, dizzy or weak, have a headache, blurred vision or are confused? You might be suffering from hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, which might mean that you have Type 2 diabetes. Diabetesaffects the way your body metabolizes sugar (glucose), which can lead to high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, and is marked by increased thirst, urination, tiredness and blurred vision.If you don’t keep your blood sugar levels in the recommended target ranges, you can damage your heart, kidneys, eyes, feet, and nerves. Additional serious complications can include blindness, kidney failure and stroke. There's no cure for diabetes…
Bladder control problems affect 50 million Americans and it is one of the most common health problems that women face. While many think that the condition only affects older women, the truth is that women of all ages may have urine leakage (incontinence) or other bladder control issues. There are four main categories of bladder control problems: Stress incontinence - leaking urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh or exercise. This occurs when the pelvic and sphincter muscles become weak or the urethra loses its support and moves too much. Urge incontinence - leaking urine after a sudden and strong urge…
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