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Don’t Panic – but so many of us do !

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5 Tips to decrease possibility of Panic Attacks!  Don’t Panic ! but so Many of us Do!

Most people don’t know that I suffer from debilitating panic attacks and I have done so for about 5 years.    Panic attacks can happen to anyone and for no apparent reason.  They come on completely unexpectedly and can also leave and subside the same way.   Some attacks can be mild and you can get them under control while some are so debilitating that sufferers can and do end up hospitalized.  Nearly 6 Million people (females more than males) suffer from Panic disorder so its not unusual when you admit to panic attacks that many people will tell you that they too suffer!

What does a Panic Attack feel like?

Symptoms such as palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness extreme fear and anxiety, numbness and tingling, feeling as if you are disconnected, trembling, sweating, shivering, inability to articulate words – but mostly there is a sense of overwhelming fear or impending doom, a complete disconnect from reality, a fogginess and “blackness !  The following are 5 Things that we all should be doing that help keep Panic Attacks at bay.  If the attacks are debilitating and severe, though, you should see your healthcare professional for additional strategies to understand, treat and control attacks.

  1. Water – What happens when you’re dehydrated. Your blood pressure drops and the body compensates by increasing your heart rate to pump fluids faster to essential organs.  That feeling of increased or racing heart actually mimics the feeling of panic and in addition with a faster heart rate most people feel “light-headed” which contributes to fear and anxiety.  If you are dehydrated cells are not being nourished and in addition hormones are not being effectively transported to cells – in short the body is not functioning optimally at any level.  The trick is to not get to the point of dehydration.
  2. Food– Alcohol, coffee, excess sugar, processed foods, energy drinks should all be avoided as all contribute to anxiety symptoms. You should consume foods that are rich in B Vitamins such as chicken, leafy greens and legumes, rice, nuts and eggs.  In addition, foods high in tryptophan’s are precursors to serotonin a calming neurotransmitter so turkey, oats, soy and nuts are good sources (though studies do not prove whether this crosses the blood/brain barrier).  Eat salmon and foods high in Omega 3’s which are proven to boost mood and proteins which also boost mood such as eggs, soy, beans and nuts.  Are you seeing a pattern here?  No processed foods, foods are low in sugar and are in their natural states – so avoid dyes, additions and chemicals!
  1. Sleep – One of the most debilitating things is lack of sleep. Being tired makes you feel edgy, irritable and anxious.  You see lack of sleep fires up the brains amygdala which is responsible for emotional processing.  Repeated sleep deficit actually causes a cumulative effect.  Studies at Berkeley have shown that Sleep Therapy can actually reduce or ameliorate anxiety and panic (http://news.berkeley.edu/2013/06/25/anticipate-the-worst/).  So what can we do?  In a previous article we discussed sleep http://bit.ly/2dE7N45 so please look at sleep strategies here.  But try to go to bed earlier and a pre-determined time, avoid alcohol and heavy food before bed, keep room cool and dark for better sleep.
  1. Exercise – So where do you start? Exercise is a no brainer in that it reduces stress, releases endorphins, improves mood, decreases stress and tension.  For those that suffer with panic attacks exercise can relieve the associated tension and pent up nervous energy and jitters.  Done regularly, exercise can keep panic attacks at bay decreasing both frequency and intensity.  In addition, exercise has been demonstrated to improve how people see and feel about themselves – the better you feel about yourself the less likely you are to let thoughts of panic and fear invade your mind. 
  1. Supplements – Supplements such as Omega 3, B Vitamins especially thiamine (B1), B12,) Maca, & Magnesium all help to ward off depression and anxiety. Valerian Root, St. Johns Wort and Kava have also been shown to decrease stress, nervousness and irritability.  As with any medication you should consult with your nurse practitioner or doctor prior to starting any of these supplements as a comprehensive review of all your medications should be done to ensure there are no adverse interactions.

I call the above 5 items my “Back to Basics” list for panic attacks.  If you consistently improve each of these areas, you should also decrease the intensity and frequency of your panic attacks.  If you feel that your signs and symptoms are not improving, then you absolutely need to see a healthcare professional.

Outlook:

From a personal stand point, there is hope and effective treatments available but it can take time to see a difference.  My approach is to try and implement all five of the above strategies into your life.  If you follow them consistently you should see improvement.  If, however you don’t then you will need to follow up with your health care professional.  While doing the above it is also a good idea to have your labs checked especially thyroid and B vitamin levels amongst other things.

For Loved ones or significant others:

Unfortunately, when a person is in the midst of severe panic attacks it is often hard to reason or rationalize with the sufferer that everything will be ok.

Try to be empathetic and understanding

Try to get the individual to focus on something such as breathing or distract them

At all costs ensure that the person suffering from the panic attack understands that you are “there” for them and that they are safeimages-2

Don’t judge

Don’t patronize (you’re being ridiculous)

Don’t minimize

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net

 

 

 


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5 Drugs we’re seeing in ED & Psych right now and what you need to know.

5 Drugs we’re seeing a lot of right now!  What you need to know!

Images of parents and grandparents passed out from Heroin overdoses and their child (grand child) in the back seat flooded Facebook and social media platforms in the past few weeks.  This drug epidemic is not isolated to the northeast, California or far removed areas – this drug epidemic is seen in all locales, countries and cities and is absolutely non-discriminatory affecting all races, religions, socio-economic backgrounds, ages and sexes.  The following is a list (in no order) of the 5 most common drugs we are currently seeing in Emergency Departments and Psychiatric facilities, especially here in Palm Beach County.

  1. Heroin – We have seen an explosion in the number of heroin addicts in recent months and years some of which can be attributed to the closure of pill mills but truly many of my patients were introduced to heroin through “friends” in school and college. Sadly, much heroin today is being “cut” with dangerous fillers such as Fentanyl, Dibutylone, Carfentanil and even Flakka which is why we are seeing so many overdoses.   These added substances directly affect the patients breathing so much that patients cannot support their own breath.
    1. Class Opioid
    2. How is it used: Snorted, Smoked, Injected, Inhaled?
    3. Signs/Symptoms: Overdose, “nodding” excessive sleepiness,
    4. Additional Problems: Hep C, HIV, Abscesses, Septicemia, Endocarditis, physical dependence – many of these life threatening.
    5. Treatment: Buprenorphine (now also implantable), Detox and Rehab, Methadone
  1. Cannabis – While medical marijuana can be extremely beneficial for certain conditions we are seeing a rise in patients being seen in psychiatric facilities more for the side effects of excessive use than sheer numbers of those addicted. For example, of all substances addicted to cannabis patients have the lowest level of encounters in Emergency Departments or Psychiatric facilities.
    1. Class: Cannabinoids
    2. How is it Used: Smoked, Dabbed, Inhaled (Vape), Ingest (edibles)?
    3. Signs/Symptoms: Extreme Paranoia, hallucinations, depression, Dry mouth, dizziness, coughing
    4. Additional Problems: Has been linked to increased schizophrenic breaks, Tachycardia (sustained heart rate at 120 beats per minute).
    5. Treatment: Abstinence! and treat the symptoms hydration, possible arrhythmic if elevated heart rate persists, watchful monitoring.  Patients can return to normal in most cases by refraining from use.
  1. Synthetics – Remember the face eating patient in Miami a couple of years ago and most recently the cannibal patient in Jupiter, both patients had apparently used “synthetic” drugs, drugs mostly manufactured in China, in large commercial factories. This is a really hard class of drugs to detect initially as drug developers stay one step ahead of drug tests. But the behavior we see is unforgettable. Patients often arrive combative, with superhuman strength, paranoid with dangerously elevated temperatures and its not unusual for them to remain in this state for 2-4 days and more. Unfortunately, some patients do not recover!
    1. Class: Synthetics
    2. Common Names: K2, Spice, Flakka, Gravel
    3. How is it Used: Smoked, Injected, Inhaled, Ingested, Snorted?
    4. Signs/Symptoms: Extreme Paranoia, hallucinations (visual and auditory), delusions, superhuman strength, elevated body temperature (remember the pictures of patients running in traffic and stripping off their clothing) aggression, violence, seizures, chest pain.
    5. Additional Problems: Rhabdomyolysis, a dangerous condition affecting the kidneys and often requiring the patient to have to undergo dialysis.  Chest pain leading to heart attack, self harm and suicide, Hyperthermia
    6. Treatment:  Initially our main concern is medical stabilization of the patient.  Treat the rhabdo, hyperthermia and other medical issues such as trauma and then treat the addiction with inpatient detox and rehabilitation
  1. Prescribed Medications This is a huge category and everyday we see patients addicted to prescription medications that include Opiates such as Percocet, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Dilaudid.  Benzos such as Valium, Klonopin, Ativan, Xanax.  Anti-Epileptics such as Gabapentin and Neurontin and while these medications are supposedly not “addictive” we do see misuse and signs of withdrawal with psychoactive effects.  Patients will increase dosages to get better effects, can seize if they miss a dose and will purchase medications on the street (Yes, Gabapentin does have a street value). Miscellaneous Analgesics – Tramadol (non narcotic with narcotic like properties) but now a scheduled drug.
    1. Class: Multiple Opiates, Benzodiazepine, Anti-Seizure, Analgesics
    2. Common Names: OxyContin, Klonopin, Gabapentin, Tramadol
    3. How is it Used: Oh yes we have seen Smoked, Injected, Inhaled, Ingested, Snorted, insertion (rectal and vaginal)
    4. Signs/Symptoms: Depending on drug type Opiates will mimic the signs and symptoms of heroin such as drowsiness, sleep, decreased respirations.  Benzos are much like opiates we also see slurred speech and lack of coordination.  Anti-Epileptics – weakness, loss of balance, headaches, slurred speech and seizures/   Analgesics – headache, nervousness, anxiety
    5. Additional Problems: Liver toxicity, Seizures, end organ damage.
    6. Treatment:  Our main concern is medical stabilization of the patient as there are so many side affects associated with withdrawal not least of which is seizures and falls.  We will treat all medical problems and in addition try and make the patient more comfortable throughout the detox process.  Nausea and vomiting will be treated with antiemetic’s such as Zofran.  Persistent Diarrhea with antidiarrheal such as Imodium and withdrawal symptoms with Librium and Clonidine, a blood pressure medication with anxiolytic properties.  In some cases, we will actually use a taper benzo schedule so that patients do not seize.  Following medical stabilization inpatient detox and rehabilitation programs guide the patient through out the rehab process but that is only if this is an option for the patient due to expense.  Outpatient programs are great options too, but again they can be costly and NA and AA are available free of charge and in my personal opinion offer great hope to all addicts.
  2. Alcohol Last, but by no means least, along with Heroin abuse this drug is one of the most abused on the planet. Many of the alcoholics we see in psych facilities are there because they have been Baker Acted in the ED.  Many of the patients we see in the ED are there due to traumatic injury, because they have been found passed out or because they are suicidal (therefore they are Baker Acted).
    1. Class: Alcohol
    2. Common Names: Beer, Liquor, Wine, Hand Sanitizer, Mouth Wash
    3. How is it Used: Ingested?
    4. Signs/Symptoms: Slurred Speech, lack of coordination, poor judgment, loss of memory, loss of consciousness
    5. Additional Problems: Liver toxicity, Seizures, end organ damage.
    6. Treatment:  Our main concern is medical stabilization of the patient.  As stated in the ED we see a lot of alcoholics as trauma patients who have been hit by a car while walking in traffic, head injuries, assaults on the street.  Also alcohol withdrawal related seizures are probably the most violent seizures I have ever had to treat, usually occurring 6-72 hours after drinking has stopped.  We will treat all medical problems and in addition try and make the patient more comfortable throughout the detox process.  Nausea and vomiting will be treated with anti-emetics such as Zofran.  Persistent Diarrhea with antidiarrheal such as Imodium and withdrawal symptoms with Librium and Clonidine, a blood pressure medication with anxiolytic properties.  In some cases, we will actually use a taper Librium schedule so that patients do not seize.  Following medical stabilization inpatient detox and rehabilitation programs guide the patient through out the rehab process but that is only if this is an option for the patient due to expense.  Outpatient programs are great options too, but again they can be costly and NA and AA are available free of charge and in my personal opinion offer great hope to all addicts.

Picture of a Drug Addict  This could be your brother, sister, mother, father, friend.  It’s the banker, the nurse, the student, the teacher, the rich socialite, the impoverished homeless person.

Treatment  

  1. Recognition
  2. Intervention
  3. Stabilization

Treatment facilities with Inpatient, PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program) or IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program), Half Way House.  The draw back with these programs, especially in the US is expense and in other areas of the world sheer lack of availability.

AA:  Alcoholics Anonymous – Free Program with like minded members addicted to Alcohol.  http://www.aa.org  find meetings here.

NA:  Narcotics Anonymous – Free Program with like minded members addicted to Narcotics.  https://www.na.org find meetings here.

Outlook:

From a personal stand point, we are losing the “war on drugs”.  Is our current strategy working? Are we seeing less patients?   With a continued lack of connection to each other this problem is only going to persist. For a different perspective on the war on drugs http://chasingthescream.com.

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net

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5 Benefits of Turmeric: Anti-Inflammatory, anti-bacterial and fights depression !

 

5 Benefits of Turmeric!

Turmeric a beautiful vibrant orange Indian and middle eastern spice has long been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines for its healing properties and health benefits.  Treating everything from infections to inflammation to calming and stabilizing mood its no wonder that western medicine is now paying attention. Here are 5 benefits to using turmeric and why we should be incorporating this spice into our daily nutrition routine.

Turmeric

  1. Blocks Cancer Cells– Some research has shown that curcumin (Turmeric) can help decrease cancer cells with best results seen in breast, colon, stomach and skin cancer. In studies chemo and curcumin combined worked more effectively in killing cancer cells than chemo alone and curcumin stopped the spread of cancer from cancer cells to other parts of the body.  More research is needed but if we also look at lower rates of cancer occurrence in those countries where between 100-200 mg of Turmeric is consumed there is validity to the argument.
  2. Anti-Oxidant – Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants seek out and eat up molecules in the body known as free radicals, that cause to damage cell membranes, alter DNA, and even cause cell death. Antioxidants can fight free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.  In addition, curcumin lowers the levels of two enzymes in the body that cause inflammation. It also stops platelets from clumping together to form blood clots.
  1. Anti- Inflammatory & Pain Relief Turmeric and its most potent active ingredient Curcumin contain more than two dozen anti-inflammatory compounds, including six different COX-2-inhibitors (the COX-2 enzyme promotes pain, swelling and inflammation; inhibitors selectively block that enzyme) Dr. Weil. Turmeric research has shown positive results in the treatment of arthritis showing better pain relief when compared to NSAIDS such as Diclofenac (Voltaren) without the dangerous side effects we often see with conventional medicine.  Other studies have also show good results in conditions influenced by inflammation such as fibromyalgia, Crohns and IBS
  2. Diabetes – Great news for pre-diabetics (those with HGBA1C between 5.7 and 6.4 and blood glucose levels between 100 -125). In one 9-month study use of curcumin significantly lowered the number of individuals who would go on to become diabetics.  Additional curcumin seemed to improve overall β-cells performance.  Curcumin is a good adjunct to prediabetes treatment.
  3. Antibacterial: In a March, 2015 Study against 4 common bacteria Gram-positive (S. aureus and E. faecalis) and Gram-negative (E. coli and P. aeruginosa). It was found that Curcumin worked effective as a  broad-spectrum antibacterial by damaging cell membranes so that bacteria could not proliferate.  In these days of increasing antibiotic resistance it we need to find additional antimicrobials with low cytotoxicity (poison threat) and turmeric’s membrane damaging property may work either by itself or synergistically with other antibiotics to treat more resistant bacterial strains and super infections.
  4. Bonus Tip : Fights depression – Some studies have shown that Turmeric worked more effectively than Prozac in tests. Chronic inflammation can decrease serotonin and dopamine levels.  Turmeric is a powerful anti inflammatory and antioxidant agent which can help restore these neurotransmitters and protect the brain, eventually leading to improvements in mood.

 

Turmeric is a Spice:  Add it to chicken, meat or fish along with curry powder, make tea with it, and add to vegetables

Bonus Recipe:

Turmeric Tea – Blend Turmeric Root, Ginger, Lemon Juice into a Paste (I make enough for 1 week and store in Fridge).  Add Cayenne pepper to the paste and add boiling water and natural white honey.  Steep and then strain.

Recommended Dose:  1.5 – 3 Gm of Root Daily

Contraindications:  As with all medications please consult with your doctor before using and especially if you take anticoagulants such as Warfarin as Turmeric may increase the effects, with diabetic medications as Turmeric may increase events of hypoglycemia and if taking acid reflux medications.

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net or go to my website http://www.synergyhealthandwellness.net


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Omega 3 – 5 Benefits decrease depression, anxiety and even PMS !

 

5 Benefits of Omega 3! 

The body can make most fats from other fats but it can’t make Omega 3 – which must be obtained from foods high in Omega 3.  Foods such as fish, nuts vegetable oils flax seeds and flax oil as well as leafy vegetables all aid in the bodies production of this essential fat.  The benefits of Omega 3 are abundant helping to decrease depression and anxiety, improving sleep decreasing inflammation aiding in joint repair and not to mention the improvement in all levels of cardiovascular health.  Listed below are some benefits of Omega 3 and if can’t obtain enough from your foods you should be supplementing with this essential fat.

  1. Decrease Anxiety and Depression and acts as a mood stabilizer– Studies suggest that those patients that took Omega 3 Fish oils showed a marked improvement in their depression symptoms. In one study alone 64% of patients who took 10 Gms of Omega 3 over 4 months showed significant improvement in symptoms
  2. Shown to help fight heart disease – It is well established that omega-3 fatty acids decrease serum levels of triglycerides and those larger scale studies of the Mediterranean diet (high in fatty fishes) strongly associated higher levels of Omega 3 with reduced heart rate and systemic vascular resistance and lower incidence of ischemic heart disease and heart failure.
  3. Decrease symptoms of metabolic syndrome Metabolic syndrome is defined as a concentration of 3 or more components including, hypertension, elevated blood glucose, high triglycerides and low HDl, with central obesity abdominal size in males greater than 40 inches in females greater than 35 inches. Some studies have shown that Omega 3s reduce insulin resistance, decrease triglycerides while also decreasing inflammation and lowering blood pressure.
  4. Help decrease inflammation – Fish oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids (including EPA and DHA), which block inflammatory cytokines and prostaglandins (toxins); they are converted by the body into powerful anti-inflammatory chemicals called resolvins. Inflammatory conditions such as Lupus, Arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBS) all responded to Omega 3’s and in some studies Omega 3s also improved the effectiveness of other antiflammatory medications.
  5. Can help reduce some cancers: Omega 3’s have been shown to reduce the risk of come cancers such as breast and colon BUT recent studies (Harvard) show that increase consumption of Omega 3 is linked to increases in Prostate cancers. Omega 3’s work as they may reduce the production of enzymes that promote cancer cell growth, increase the rate of cancer cell death and suppress the formation of new blood vessels required for cancer cells to grow.   Again check with your physician to determine the benefits.
  6. Can help improve sleep – The University of Oxford determined that a supplement of 600 mg of Omega 3 actually resulted in fewer sleep disturbances and this study was done in children! (I’m and Adult Nurse Practitioner so I can’t advocate the use of Omega 3 in children but the fact that Omega 3 supplementation is linked to improvement in both depression and anxiety (where insomnia is often an associated symptom) it doesn’t surprise me that improvement in Omega 3 levels leads to decreases in insomnia and improved sleep!
  7. Can decrease menstrual cramping – Research has shown a link between low omega 3 levels and increased menstrual pain and symptoms. That’s because menstrual cramping happens when cells release Omega 6 fatty acids which produce produce pro-inflammatory eicosanoids increasing cramping, bloating, headaches and nausea.  By increasing omega 3 As a result, cramps, headache, nausea, or other symptoms may be present.  Also Omega 3 can reduce hot flashes as it acts as a neurotransmitter modulator

Foods High in Omega 3:  Flaxseed oil, Flaxseed, Fatty Fish such as Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel, Herring, Sardines, Chia Seed, Nuts, walnuts, avocados, spinach

Bonus Recipe:

Poached Salmon with wilted Spinach and Pine Nuts.

Place salmon on grate in pan with water in the bottom and poach – add fresh lemon juice to the water and on top of salmon

Sautee Spinach with Pine nuts in olive oil in pan

Recommended Dose:  200 – 500 MG Daily but also dosed based on use (higher dosage in elevated triglycerides)

As with all medications and supplements please consult your doctor before starting any new medication.

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores and for more great information go to http://www.synergyhealthandwellness.net

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net

 

 

 

 


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Let’s talk about Sex-Baby !

 

5 Tips to Improve your Libido  

One of the biggest complaints I hear in practice is a decrease in a patients Libido – both from males and females.  Don’t despair there are tricks and strategies to incorporate daily that will improve your Libido and make your sex life sizzle!i-c36fwG5-X3

What is Libido?  Libido (/lᵻˈbiːdoʊ/), is commonly described as a persons “sex drive” or desire for sexual activity. Sex drive is influenced by biological, psychological and social factors.  Many people often ignore a decrease in their sex drive but did you know that according to Maslow sex is as important, physiologically, as breathing and water. Therefore, if these requirements are not met, the human body cannot function properly and will ultimately fail.   People ignore this decrease often out of embarrassment or fear.  In my practice I will ask my patients about any issues with libido as part of my assessment because YES it is tremendously important to the individual’s overall health and wellbeing.   Did you also know that as we age sex drive usually decreases often spurred on by decreases in Testosterone?  Here are 5 things that will help improve your libido!

 

  1. Exercise – Exercise causes a myriad of cascading effects. It helps de-stress, associated weight loss and looking great improves our own perceptions of ourselves.  If you look and feel more attractive it boosts your confidence.  Yet one of the most beneficial aspects of exercising is that it can help in increasing testosterone levels.  Short bursts of exercise such as HIIT workouts and Weight lifting routines (heavy/low reps) for both men and women have been proven beneficial.
  2. Eat Clean – Drop the high fructose, processed, fatty foods all of which expose us to estrogen mimicking compounds and substitute with healthy vegetables, fats and proteins – unprocessed and unrefined. Tuna, Salmon, Sardines and Eggs all increase Testosterone as do oysters and black beans – So clean up your diet!  By eating clean, you will also shed those unwanted pounds
  3. Medications – often the number one offender to a decreased sex drive. Working with a psychiatric population I see many patients on SSRIS (Prozac & Zoloft) and Tricyclic anti-depressants.  But many of my patients are also on medications for seizure disorders (Tegretol) Hypertension (beta-blockers such as Atenolol and Metoprolol) even over the counter anti-histamines such as Benadryl will all interfere with libido.  A very thorough review of your medications and possible alternatives should be discussed with your practitioner.
  4. Supplements – Great news! There are supplements out there that can improve your libido.  My absolute favorite (especially for women) is Maca.  Totally unpalatable (IMHO) in powder form except for Gaia Vanilla Chai Maca but you can find it in pill form from companies such as Advocare Formula W.  Maca is know to improve sexual function, decrease erectile dysfunction, and balance mood.  Add some Zinc and Vitamin D to your diet and as always try and get these micronutrients from your food.  If you’re not getting enough from food, ask your practitioner for the appropriate dosage.
  5. De-Stress – Lastly DESTRESS !!!!!  Nothing interferes more with libido than stress and mood.  When you’re stressed the body releases cortisol which actually blocks the effects of testosterone.  So relax, unwind, get in the mood, forget about your day.  I know sometimes easier said than done but you can get a massage, meditate, do yoga or do whatever you know works for you to de-stress! Don’t forget to “Spice” it up in more ways than one, lingerie, movies all add dimension !

Decreased Libido is more common than you think!  You are not the only one and unfortunately it does increase as we age.   But there are tips and tricks out there that will get your libido and sex life back on track.  Find a holistic and empathetic practitioner who you are comfortable with and who will uncover the reason while providing strategies to help treat the cause.

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net

 


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5 Tips if going to the ED

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5 Tips if Going to the ED

Having to go to the Emergency Department can be frightening – We know we are not seeing you at your best and often times we are there to help you through a major medical crisis.  While no visit is easy here are some tips that may make your visit a little easier.

  1. Is the ER really the right place for you ? Did you know that of all patient visits in busy ED’s only between 30% of the pateints are actually admitted.   In fact most patients are treated and discharged and usually after a significant wait.  Many ailments can actually be treated in an Urgent Care Center or in many of the “Free Standing ER’s” being set up by hospital networks.  Medication refills, pregnancy tests (yes we do see this) mild abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and many more complaints can be treated in Urgent Cares.  Chest pain, seizures, worst headache of your life, major lacerations, stroke symptoms, broken bones– Head to the ED !
  2. History & Physical – We are going to ask you tons of questions so please know your history and these questions may be asked by multiple providers !  When we ask past medical history and you answer “none” you need to know that history is anything that you have been diagnosed with even if that condition is under control with the use of medication – so that includes Hypertension, Diabetes and High Cholesterol even if those conditions are well controlled with medications.  Please also know the surgeries and approximate dates for those operations.  Family history is also important – we are interested in all family history but most importantly mother, father and siblings.  Know your allergies.  Please know height and weight (though we will weigh you for weight based meds).
  3. Medications – Please bring in a list of ALL mediations. That includes all over the counter meds, vitamins and supplements. Please see medication record tip at the bottom
  4. Please bring a friend/family member or another set of eyes and ears – While we may bring only you in initially (in order for us to get you triaged, labs drawn, immediate blood work etc) we do appreciate someone who can provide additional information and also for your sake someone who can act as your advocate. It is not unusual if you have pain or discomfort to not remember instructions or information that is often provided to you.  If you come from a large family please designate one spokesperson and point of contact.  It is so much easier for all concerned to only have to relay information once.  Ask questions – yes we love questions – and respectfully question why we are doing certain tests etc !  Most Doctors, Nurses and Paramedics will not take offence at being sked why they are doing certain things.
  5. Leave all valuables at home: Do you really need that $10,000 ring and watch in the ED? And while you may have been brought in by ambulance please, at your earliest conveience, give a family member your personal belongings.

 

One last piece of information – the definition of triage is (in medical use) “the assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties.”  ED personnel are REALLY good at determining degrees of urgency.  If a person who came into triage gets assigned a room before you, there is usually good reason. This may include any of the following A.  Their emergency is more acute than yours B.  A bed has become available in an area they are appropriate for ie an OB/GYN emergency may be seen in a different area as may a minor emergency than an abdominal pain.  C. Patient may be directly admitted through the ED for things like ohhhhhh Transplant and many more.  Believe me as a former ED/Trauma Nurse we like nothing more than treating patients and discharging them – we don’t like overflowing waiting rooms as much as you don’t and our goal is to get you seen and discharged as quickly as possible.

Here’
s a great medication card that you can put in your wallet.  A little trick – write your meds in pencil – therefore if your provider changes the frequency or dose you only have to erase and change those items and wont have to completely rewrite the card.

med.card.inside

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Dolores at Synergy Health and Wellness  at 561-866-1211.

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