Topical Education

We wanted to provide a breif description of a few of the topics we cover on our show.

Acupunture:
A type of alternative medicine that treats patients by insertion and manipulation of solid, generally thin needles in the body.

Through its origins, acupuncture has been embedded in the concepts of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Its general theory is based on the premise that bodily functions are regulated by the flow of an energy-like entity called qi. Acupuncture aims to correct imbalances in the flow of qi by stimulation of anatomical locations on or under the skin called acupuncture points, most of which are connected by channels known as meridians. Scientific research has not found any physical or biological correlate of qi, meridians and acupuncture points, and some contemporary practitioners needle the body without using a theoretical framework, instead selecting points based on their tenderness to pressure.

The earliest written record of acupuncture is found in the Huangdi Neijing (????; translated as The Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon), dated approximately 200 BCE. The practice of acupuncture expanded out of China into the areas now part of Japan, Korea and Taiwan, diverging from the narrower theory and practice of mainland TCM in the process. A large number of contemporary practitioners outside of China follow these non-TCM practices, particularly in Europe.

Proponents of acupuncture believe that it promotes general health, relieves pain, treats infertility, treats and prevents disease. Scientific research has not found it effective for anything but the relief of some types of pain and nausea. Systemic reviews have found conflicting results regarding the prevention of postoperative nausea and vomiting though a 2009 Cochrane review concluded stimulation of the P6 acupuncture point was as effective as antiemetic medications. Acupuncture also appears to have a small effect in the short-term management of some types of pain though a 2011 review of review articles concluded that acupuncture was of doubtful efficacy in treating pain other than neck pain. It has been suggested that the positive results reported for acupuncture can be explained by placebo effects and publication bias and researchers have pointed out the difficulty in designing an adequate scientific control for any placebo effect acupuncture might have due to its invasiveness. The development and inclusion of retracting needles as a form of placebo control has resulted in a much larger number of studies concluding acupuncture's effects are due to placebo.

There is general agreement that acupuncture is safe when administered by well-trained practitioners using sterile needles but does carry small but serious risks and adverse effects including death. Accompanied by calls for more research, the use of acupuncture for certain conditions has been tentatively endorsed by the United States National Institutes of Health and National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the National Health Service of the United Kingdom, and the World Health Organization, though most of these endorsements have been criticized and it has been questioned whether research on acupuncture is a good use of limited research funding.
Attention deficit disorder:
ADHD-PI is similar to the other subtypes of ADHD in that it is characterized primarily by inattention, easy distractibility, disorganization, procrastination, and forgetfulness; where it differs is in lethargy - fatigue, and having fewer or no symptoms of hyperactivity or impulsiveness typical of the other ADHD subtypes. In some cases, children who enjoy learning may develop a sense of fear when faced with structured or planned work, especially long or group-based that requires extended focus, even if they thoroughly understand the topic. Children with ADHD-PI may be at greater risk of academic failures and early withdrawal from school. Teachers and parents may make incorrect assumptions about the behaviors and attitudes of a child with ADHD-PI, and may provide them with frequent and erroneous negative feedback (e.g. "you're irresponsible", "you're immature", "you're lazy", "you don't care/show any effort", "you just aren't trying", etc.).

The inattentive children may realize on some level that they are somehow different internally from their peers. However, they are also likely to accept and internalize the continuous negative feedback, creating a negative self-image that becomes self-reinforcing. If these children progress into adulthood undiagnosed or untreated, their inattentiveness, ongoing frustrations, and poor self-image frequently create numerous and severe problems maintaining healthy relationships, succeeding in postsecondary schooling, or succeeding in the workplace. These problems can compound frustrations and low self-esteem, and will often lead to the development of secondary pathologies including anxiety disorders, sexual promiscuity, mood disorders, and substance abuse.

It has been suggested that some of the symptoms of ADHD present in childhood appear to be less overt in adulthood. This is likely due to an adult's ability to make cognitive adjustments and develop coping skills minimizing the frequency of inattentive or hyperactive behaviors. However, the core problems of ADHD do not disappear with age. Some researchers have suggested that individuals with reduced or less overt hyperactivity symptoms should receive the ADHD-combined diagnosis. Hallowell and Ratey (2005) suggest that the manifestation of hyperactivity simply changes with adolescence and adulthood, becoming a more generalized restlessness or tendency to fidget.

In the DSM-III, sluggishness, drowsiness, and daydreaming were listed as characteristics of ADHD. The symptoms were removed from the ADHD criteria in DSM-IV because, although those with ADHD-PI were found to have these symptoms, this only occurred with the absence of hyperactive symptoms. These distinct symptoms were described as sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT).

A meta-analysis of 37 studies on cognitive differences between those with ADHD-Inattentive type and ADHD-Combined type found that "the ADHD/C subtype performed better than the ADHD/I subtype in the areas of processing speed, attention, performance IQ, memory, and fluency. The ADHD/I subtype performed better than the ADHD/C group on measures of flexibility, working memory, visual/spatial ability, motor ability, and language. Both the ADHD/C and ADHD/I groups were found to perform more poorly than the control group on measures of inhibition, however, there was no difference found between the two groups. Furthermore the ADHD/C and ADHD/I subtypes did not differ on measures of sustained attention.”

Some experts, such as Dr. Russell Barkley, argue that ADHD-PI is so different from the other ADHD subtypes that it should be regarded as a distinct disorder. ADHD-PI is noted for the almost complete lack of conduct disorders and high-risk, thrill-seeking behavior, and additionally have higher rates of anxiety. Further research needs to be done to discover differences among those with attention disorders.
Addiction / Recovery:
Historically, addiction has been defined as physical and psychological dependence on psychoactive substances (for example alcohol, tobacco, heroin, caffeine and other drugs) which cross the blood-brain barrier once ingested, temporarily altering the chemical milieu of the brain.

Addiction can also be viewed as a continued involvement with a substance or activity despite the negative consequences associated with it. Pleasure, enjoyment or relief from actual or perceived ailments would have originally been sought; however, over a period of time involvement with the substance or activity is needed to feel normal.[1] Some psychology professionals and many laypeople now mean 'addiction' to include abnormal psychological dependency on such things as gambling, video games, food, sex, pornography, computers, internet, work, exercise, idolizing, watching TV or certain types of non-pornographic videos, spiritual obsession, self-injury and shopping.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine begins their definition of addiction by describing it as "a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry."
Asthma:
Asthma (from the Greek άσθμα, ásthma, "panting") is the common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. Asthma is clinically classified according to the frequency of symptoms, forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), and peak expiratory flow rate. Asthma may also be classified as atopic (extrinsic) or non-atopic (intrinsic).

It is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Treatment of acute symptoms is usually with an inhaled short-acting beta-2 agonist (such as salbutamol). Symptoms can be prevented by avoiding triggers, such as allergens and irritants, and by inhaling corticosteroids. Leukotriene antagonists are less effective than corticosteroids and thus less preferred.

Its diagnosis is usually made based on the pattern of symptoms and/or response to therapy over time. The prevalence of asthma has increased significantly since the 1970s. As of 2010, 300 million people were affected worldwide. In 2009 asthma caused 250,000 deaths globally. Despite this, with proper control of asthma with step down therapy, prognosis is generally good.
Cardiology:
Cardiology is a medical specialty dealing with disorders of the heart (specifically the human heart). The field includes diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart defects, coronary artery disease, heart failure, valvular heart disease and electrophysiology. Physicians who specialize in this field of medicine are called cardiologists.

Cardiologists should not be confused with cardiac surgeons, cardiothoracic and cardiovascular, who are surgeons who perform cardiac surgery via sternotomy — open operative procedures on the heart and great vessels.
Chiropractor:
A Chiropractor, according to the Association of Chiropractic Colleges, "focuses on the relationship between the body's main structures – the skeleton, the muscles and the nerves – and the patient's health. Chiropractors believe that health can be improved and preserved by making adjustments to these structures, particularly to the spinal column. They do not prescribe drugs or perform surgical procedures, although they do refer patients for these services if they are medically indicated."
Compounding Pharmacy:
Compounding (also pharmaceutical compounding and compounding pharmacy) is the mixing of drugs by a compounding pharmacist to fit the unique needs of a patient. This may be done for medically necessary reasons, such as to change the form of the medication from a solid pill to a liquid, to avoid a non-essential ingredient that the patient is allergic to, or to obtain the exact dose needed. It may also be done for voluntary reasons, such as adding favorite flavors to a medication.
Cosmetic Surgery:
Plastic surgery is a medical specialty concerned with the correction or restoration of form and function. Though cosmetic or aesthetic surgery is the best-known kind of plastic surgery, most plastic surgery is not cosmetic: plastic surgery includes many types of reconstructive surgery, hand surgery, microsurgery, and the treatment of burns.

Aesthetic plastic surgery involves techniques intended for the "enhancement" of appearance through surgical and medical techniques, and is specifically concerned with maintaining normal appearance, restoring it, or enhancing it beyond the average level toward some aesthetic ideal.

In 2006, nearly 11 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the United States alone. The number of cosmetic procedures performed in the United States has increased over 50 percent since the start of the century. Nearly 12 million cosmetic procedures were performed in 2007, with the five most common surgeries being breast augmentation, liposuction, nasal surgery, eyelid surgery and abdominoplasty. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery looks at the statistics for thirty-four different cosmetic procedures. Nineteen of the procedures are surgical, such as rhinoplasty or facelift. The nonsurgical procedures include Botox and laser hair removal. In 2010, their survey revealed that there were 9,336,814 total procedures in the United States. Of those, 1,622,290 procedures were surgical (p. 5). They also found that a large majority, 81%, of the procedures were done on Caucasian people (p. 12). The increased use of cosmetic procedures crosses racial and ethnic lines in the U.S., with increases seen among African-Americans and Hispanic Americans as well as Caucasian Americans. In Europe, the second largest market for cosmetic procedures, cosmetic surgery is a $2.2 billion business. Cosmetic surgery is now very common in countries such as the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. In Asia, cosmetic surgery has become an accepted practice, and China, followed by India has become Asia's biggest comestic surgery markets. Children undergoing cosmetic eye surgery can be seen in Japan and South Korea.
Dermatology:
Dermatology is the branch of medicine dealing with the skin and its diseases, a unique specialty with both medical and surgical aspects. A dermatologist takes care of diseases, in the widest sense, and some cosmetic problems of the skin, scalp, hair, and nails.
Exercise:
Physical exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. It is performed for various reasons including strengthening muscles and the cardiovascular system, honing athletic skills, weight loss or maintenance, as well as for the purpose of enjoyment. Frequent and regular physical exercise boosts the immune system, and helps prevent the "diseases of affluence" such as heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity. It also improves mental health, helps prevent depression, helps to promote or maintain positive self esteem, and can even augment an individual's sex appeal or body image, which is also found to be linked with higher levels of self esteem. Childhood obesity is a growing global concern and physical exercise may help decrease some of the effects of childhood and adult obesity. Health care providers often call exercise the "miracle" or "wonder" drug - alluding to the wide variety of proven benefits that it provides.
Facial Rejuvenation:
Facial rejuvenation is any cosmetic or medical procedure used to increase or restore the appearance of a younger age to human face. The specific term, however, refers to a set of surgical procedures which try to restore facial geometry and skin appearance which are typical of youth, by using a combination of brow lift, elimination of eye bags, eyelids lift, elimination of senile spots, skin aging, facial sagging and wrinkles by face lift and rhytidectomy and physical or chemical peeling, chin lift (reduction of double chin), restoration of facial hairline, etc. These procedures are usually successful and in some cases achieve striking results. Examples of facial rejuvenation treatments are Fractional Radiofrequency and Ultherapy, both non-invasive procedures stimulating the body's own regenerative process of building new skin and tighten the skin.
Mammograms:
Mammography is the process of using low-energy-X-rays (usually around 30 kVp) to examine the human breast and is used as a diagnostic and a screening tool. The goal of mammography is the early detection of breast cancer, typically through detection of characteristic masses and/or microcalcifications. Most doctors believe that mammography reduces deaths from breast cancer, although a minority do not.

In many countries routine mammography of older women is encouraged as a screening method to diagnose early breast cancer. In 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended that women with no risk factors have screening mammographies every 2 years between age 50 and 74. They found that the information was insufficient to recommend for or against screening between age 40 and 49 or above age 74. Altogether clinical trials have found a relative reduction in breast cancer mortality of 20%. Some doctors believe that mammographies do not reduce deaths from breast cancer, or at least that the evidence does not demonstrate it.

Like all x-rays, mammograms use doses of ionizing radiation to create images. Radiologists then analyze the image for any abnormal findings. It is normal to use lower energy X-rays (typically Mo-K) than those used for radiography of bones.

At this time, mammography along with physical breast examination is the modality of choice for screening for early breast cancer. Ultrasound, ductography, positron emission mammography (PEM), and magnetic resonance imaging are adjuncts to mammography. Ultrasound is typically used for further evaluation of masses found on mammography or palpable masses not seen on mammograms. Ductograms are still used in some institutions for evaluation of bloody nipple discharge when the mammogram is non-diagnostic. MRI can be useful for further evaluation of questionable findings as well as for screening pre-surgical evaluation in patients with known breast cancer to detect any additional lesions that might change the surgical approach, for instance from breast-conserving lumpectomy to mastectomy. New procedures, not yet approved for use in the general public, including breast tomosynthesis may offer benefits in years to come.

Breast self-examination (BSE) was once promoted as a means of finding cancer at a more curable stage, however, it has been shown to be ineffective, and is no longer routinely recommended by health authorities for general use. Awareness of breast health and familiarity with one's own body is typically promoted instead of self-exams.

Mammography has a false-negative (missed cancer) rate of at least 10 percent. This is partly due to dense tissues obscuring the cancer and the fact that the appearance of cancer on mammograms has a large overlap with the appearance of normal tissues.