By: Amy Movius MD
It’s been a very active summer, weather-wise in Maine, with frequent thunderstorms. Nationwide, there are around 25 million lighting to ground strikes a year, about 60,000 which occur in Maine. These storms can be fascinating and even beautiful to witness – but make no mistake; every one of them is dangerous.
Time flies and as another school year approaches Deb Neuman doesn’t want any more time to go by if you are thinking about starting or growing a business.
Here are a few classes and events you should know about.
Marion Syversen was in for this week’s Finance is Fun talking about estate planning.
Please plan - Making a plan for your family for how to pass on your earthly possessions after death is a pretty intense topic. People avoid it. If you won’t face things and make a plan you leave your grieving family to sort things out, to argue over sentimental items as it reminds them of you and time spent with you, to cause such discord that relationships may be permanently altered. All because you couldn’t face this task. You have spent your life loving you family. So I know I can count on you make thorough preparations for this most difficult time and not leave them without your loving guidance.
Kim Uherec from the Broadway Veterinary Clinic & Pet Care Center in Bangor was in the studio on Tuesday talking to Joy about their upcoming open house and what kind of activities and information they can expect to find at it.
Kristin Harmon was in the studio again for this week’s Pet of the Week. She introduced Joy to Isis, a playful kitten with only one eye. She wanted to remind viewers that during these busy summer days, there are still many deals at the humane society, as well as the multiple locations around Bangor with which the humane society works with.
Beyond the loss of income, losing a job also comes with other losses, and stress.
Uncertainty, Fear, Confusion, Loss of your daily routine.
The Northern part of Penobscot County has been hit hard with the layoffs of the mill in Lincoln and Millinocket impacting approximately 500 families.
On this Monday’s I Love My Pet, we met George and Pepper.
George and Pepper belong to Sherry and Jim of Guilford.
They were rescued from Foxcroft Vet Services.
Erin Coltvet from Eastern Area Agency on Aging was in for this week’s Senior Watch, to tell us about a new expansion to EAAA, and that seniors need to continue to be physically active through life.
Russ Van Arsdale was in the studio on Monday for this week’s Consumer Contact. This time, he spoke to Joy about the precautionary measures you can take when looking at used cars, especially due to all of the recent flash flooding.
In Friday’s Noon Lunchbreak, Diana De Los Santos from the SPCA of Hancock County was here with Noodle.
Noodle is a one and a half year old spayed female. She was abandoned in an apartment while she was pregnant. She has since given birth and all three of her babies have been adopted. Noodle is the sweetest and happiest cat; you can hear her purr from a mile away! Do you have room in your home to give this sweet girl a forever home?
Josiah Hartley from LA Training was in the studio for Fitness Friday this week. He was speaking to Joy not only of the importance of eating before and after exercising, but how much and what kinds of foods you should be eating to better help your workout regimen.
We had a fresh face in the studio for this week’s Fitness Friday. Josiah Hartley from LA Training was teaching Joy and Wayne some quick variations on tricep extensions. He showed how to do the very quick an easy exercise in different stances to add varying levels of difficulty.
The wet weather left Joy inside this week for Thursday’s segment of Gardening with Bob Bangs. To learn more about any of the topics discussed on this gardening segment, visit windsweptgardens.com. If you have a topic you’d like to see discussed with Bob Bangs, send us an email at email@example.com.
Jim Fernald of Brookings Smith was in the studio Wednesday for this week’s Senior Spotlight. This time, he spoke to Wayne about “who’s in charge” during funeral pre-planning, both before and after.
Gallstones: who is at risk of getting them and what can be done about it?
Gallstones and gallbladder issues are one of the most common and costly gastrointestinal diseases in this country. Over the past several decades we have seen an increase in the incidence of the disease. We have seen a sharp increase in the number of cholecystectomies (gallbladder removal surgery) since 1990 when the laparoscopic method was introduced (tiny incisions instead of a large one).
It is estimated that millions of Americans have gallstones or will get them. Depending on your ethnicity and gender you may have up to a 20% risk of developing gallstones (although it is about 10% for the general population). Other risk factors are age over 40 years, use of hormone treatment, obesity, history of multiple pregnancies, rapid weight loss (such as with crash diets or severely restrictive diets), family history, and inactivity. There are also certain medications which can make gallstone disease more common: hormone therapy, octreotide (a GI hormone not commonly used), clofibrate (a drug used for cholesterol treatment), ceftriaxone (an antibiotic commonly used in hospitals). Diseases which are associated with gallbladder disease include diabetes (mechanism not understood), cirrhosis, lipid disorders, spinal cord injury (because it causes a “lazy” gallbladder), and other gastrointestinal illnesses which may induce prolonged fasting or diet changes.
Gallbladder disease in females usually happens during the younger years (30′s-50′s) because this is when the estrogen and progesterone levels are the highest. This is one of the reasons why estrogen replacement therapy may cause a postmenopausal woman to develop gallbladder disease. In men, they are usually older because of the relative increase in those hormones as the testosterone level decreases.
Some of these risks you cannot do anything about. However, many of the risks are modifiable. A patient at risk of gallbladder disease can eat a healthy diet, exercise, keep their weight in the recommended range, and avoid certain hormone treatments. Other things that have been found to be protective are being on statins (a class of drugs used to control cholesterol levels), vitamin C, coffee, and eating vegetable and nuts proteins.
Many people with gallstones have no symptoms and so no treatment is recommended. They may know they have stones because they had a medical imaging study for some other reason and stones were seen as an incidental finding. Gallstones that are symptomatic will usually cause pain in the upper abdomen just under the chest and on the right after eating a fatty meal. This pain may even radiate around to the upper right back. It usually starts an hour or so after eating and may last for a few hours. A severe attack may last for many more hours and may even cause a gallbladder infection. In this case, the patient has usually sought medical attention because of the pain. Sometimes a stone may pass out of the gallbladder and travel into the common bile duct and cause a liver or pancreas problem. In that case, admission the hospital is usually indicated and often surgery is recommended.
Sometimes gallbladder disease can be confused with a heart attack, an ulcer, a back problem, muscle spasm, and kidney stones. A physician will take a careful history to try determining if these other diagnoses are likely or if further workup is needed.
Patients with gallstones often ask if there is a medication they can take to dissolve the stones. In fact there is one medication (ursodeoxycholic acid) available but it only works for certain stones and even then it doesn’t work well. Some studies suggest that certain patients may want to take this medication before undergoing planned rapid weight loss. Patients also ask if the stones can just be removed and the gallbladder left in place. This is not done because the gallbladder just makes more and this is an ineffective remedy that does not get rid of the pain. The gallstone is more just the sign of gallbladder disease but not the cause of it.
In summary, if you have gallstones you do not automatically need surgery. The most effective prevention is eating a healthy diet and maintaining an active lifestyle. If you do need surgery, you can rest assured that it is a very common surgery and quite safe with a low rate of complications and usually a fast recovery time.