Doctor Housecalls Blog

Healthcare related news and updates



Delirium May Be as Deadly as a Heart Attack

Delirium is a symptom that almost everyone has experienced whether first hand or through a relative or friend. Seeing the person experiencing delirium become confused can be heartbreaking. Medical Xpress interviewed people who have experienced delirium of a family member. “To say our dad became unrecognisable is a gross understatement. Emergency hip surgery gave way to a delirium that enveloped our father in agony, the likes of which we never knew could exist in the world of medicine,” says the daughter of Mr B (Medical Express, 2017). “We stood at his bedside and watched helplessly as he moved from surgical anesthesia onto pain medication and then into a hyper-agitated delirium that nearly killed him. For more than a week, he was unable to rest, sleep, be soothed, reasoned with or communicated with – all while we were given no explanation or diagnosis of what was happening to him.”
Medical Xpress also reported that a quarter of hospitalized elderly people experience delirium, and it has as high of a death rate as heart attacks. According to the article, it is best to prevent delirium from ever occurring. The best way to prevent an episode is by taking care of the person’s needs. Family members and caretakers should help the unwell people get out of bed, get a good night’s sleep, eat and drink, and use their glasses and hearing aids. It is also important to detect delirium early so that any medications causing it can be addressed early on. However, there is still a lot to be done in the journey to improving care for this serious condition.

 



Fewer Overweight and Obese Americans Trying to Lose Weight

 

The AP reported that fewer overweight and obese Americans are trying to lose weight in recent years. It has been speculated that “fat acceptance” may be one of the many reasons.

 

Some researchers have concluded that the socially accepted body weight in the US has gotten heavier and heavier. Many people do not view being overweight as a problem anymore.

 

Other reasons may be that people are giving up after a few failed attempts at losing weight. A government health survey showed that over the last 30 years less and less of the participants had tried to lose weight, while more participants in the study were classified as overweight or obese.

 

There has specifically been a decline in black women trying to lose weight. It is hard to tell whether that is due to social acceptance of being overweight or diet frustrations. However, many researchers do believe in a recent incline of “fat acceptance”, and while it is good that less people are being ridiculed for their weight, there is a major concern for the health risks associated with obesity. Obesity can increase risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other ailments.

 



Benefits and Risks of Testosterone Therapy

 

The latest of many studies aimed at challenging the anti-aging claims of popular supplements found that while testosterone gel does not improve memory or mental function for men, there are mixed results for other potential benefits.

According to the AP (2/21, Tanner), four National Institute of Health-funded testosterone trials published in JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) reported the effects of testosterone gel on nearly 800 US men 65 or older. The group of 800 men were randomly selected to either rub testosterone gel on their skin daily for one year or to to do the same with a non-testosterone gel.

After a year, the testosterone treated men did not show any improvement in memory or mental function, but they did show an increase in bone density and strength, especially in the spine, compared to those who were treated with the non-testosterone gel. The testosterone treated men reported having more energy and those with anemia showed vast improvement after one year. However, the men treated with testosterone gel also reported to having more plaque build up and narrower arteries. CNN (2/21, Scutti) reported that in a separate study published by JAMA, testosterone therapy was found to be associated with a lower cardiovascular risk in men over 40 for a period of about 3 years.

 


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