Tag Archives: fitness



Prescription for Your Health on New Radio Media - Cross Training
March 8, 2018

Prescription for Your Health – Cross Training

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If you’re like one of the many Baby Boomers that I see in my practice who is plagued by constant aches and pains, then the prescription for what ails you might be a regimen of cross training.

The aches and pains of aging have been recorded since the days of the ancient Greeks and Romans. These days, Baby Boomers who grew up with a solid program of aerobic exercise are finding that all that work may have paid off in their cardiovascular and immune system health, but it took a toll on joints that should have been given a breath years ago. The result we see in clinical practice is a combination of arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis which one researcher chose to call “Boomeritis.”

When this happens it’s time to give up your beloved morning runs and concentrate instead on an exercise program that gives all of your body a chance to work and relax. So, instead of running, jogging, or playing basketball, you should consider swimming, biking, or walking. The mixing and matching of exercise routines is known as cross training, and it appears to be the wave of the future for Baby Boomers who want to combine living an active life that includes exercise to stay in shape.

Remember, joint pain is no excuse to go to the couch and settle on a diet of ice cream and potato chips. Rather, it should be a signal that it’s time to add variety as a spice of life to your daily exercise routine. There are numerous newer exercise modalities such as spinning, Peloton, rowing machines, ellipticals, and ski machines that will take the edge off your aching joints. Remember, when outside or on a treadmill each foot strike is three to four times your body weight!


Dr. Bragman - Host of Prescription for Your Health on New Radio Media

About the Author:

Dr. Jim Bragman
Host of Prescription For Your Health on New Radio Media

Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store

A highly successful Doctor with a practice in West Bloomfield, Michigan, Jim is also an award-winning broadcast journalist who has served as the “on-air” medical expert for various Detroit radio stations, including: WWJ Radio in Detroit (CBS owned and operated), WJBK-TV (Detroit’s FOX network affiliate) and WKBD in Detroit. He has over 20 years of experience in the medical media industry, including nine years as a national radio medical expert for CNN.

Dr. Jim Bragman has 30 years of experience in private practice, and is also a clinical teacher of medicine at the Wayne State and Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medical Schools.

 

Prescription for Your Health on New Radio Media - Leg Cramp
March 12, 2018

Prescription for Your Health – Leg Cramps

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Almost everyone has experienced the agony of leg cramps at night, but is there a way to prevent them? Unfortunately, the answer appears to be no, but it is possible to limit your risk of nocturnal leg cramps.

First, it is of paramount importance to make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids, since dehydration can trigger cramps. During the day women should avoid high heels or completely flat shoes as this will put great strain on your calf muscles. You should instead wear comfortable shoes with low heels. If you are prone to nocturnal leg cramps then I strongly advise my patients to take a few minutes to massage and stretch your calf muscles before going to bed. In addition, you want to avoid tucking your sheets and blankets too tightly as this can actually put pressure on your feet especially if you sleep on your back causing you to point your feet thereby thereby triggering a cramp. Another trick to try is sleeping on your back or your stomach with your feet hanging off the end of the mattress.

One old time remedy that still works is an item you’ll find in the supermarket and that is tonic water. What is it about tonic water that has therapeutic value, you may ask? Well, the active ingredient in tonic water is Quinine which is a wonderful elixir for this problem. There are several medications that have been tried for leg cramps as these include the anti-hypertensive and anti-arrythmia drug Verapamil as well as Benzodiazapines (tranquilizers) such as Clonopin or Ativan. Finally, if you experience a night time leg cramp then immediately pull your toes toward your knee and rub the muscle. Pointing your toe will only make the cramp tighten and will greatly increase your pain.


Dr. Bragman - Host of Prescription for Your Health on New Radio Media

About the Author:

Dr. Jim Bragman
Host of Prescription For Your Health on New Radio Media

Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store

A highly successful Doctor with a practice in West Bloomfield, Michigan, Jim is also an award-winning broadcast journalist who has served as the “on-air” medical expert for various Detroit radio stations, including: WWJ Radio in Detroit (CBS owned and operated), WJBK-TV (Detroit’s FOX network affiliate) and WKBD in Detroit. He has over 20 years of experience in the medical media industry, including nine years as a national radio medical expert for CNN.

Dr. Jim Bragman has 30 years of experience in private practice, and is also a clinical teacher of medicine at the Wayne State and Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medical Schools.

Prescription for your Health on New Radio Media - Eat Your Crust
April 3, 2018

Prescription for Your Health – Eat Your Crust

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When it comes to your good health –  don’t forget to eat the crust!

How many of us at one time or another decided to cut off the bread crust when making a sandwich? Well it turns out that when you toss out the crust you are actually throwing away the best part of the bread in terms of antioxidants. Antioxidants are helpful in fighting cancer and bolstering your immune system in general. The healthiest breads are either multigrain or nine grain whole wheat varieties. These breads contain fiber which helps your heart as well as protecting you from colonic polyps and colon cancer.

There is an antioxidant released in the baking process that develops as a result of a chemical reaction during cooking. Researchers have found that the crust of the bread contains as much of the antioxidant as the rest of the loaf. Now it’s still too early to know how much crust should be eaten, but tests with rats strongly indicate that the regular intake can stop the formation of precancerous polyps in the colon. It also helps in treating the Rheumatological and autoimmune diseases where the body engages in friendly fire against itself. Antioxidants keep the white blood cells known as lymphocytes from attacking your immune system. This includes diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Autoimmune Hepatitis, and Multiple Sclerosis.

In addition to crust, regular exercise and cutting down on alcohol consumption can also reduce your risk of heart disease and autoimmune disease, as well as your risk of colon cancer.


Dr. Bragman - Host of Prescription for Your Health on New Radio Media

About the Author:

Dr. Jim Bragman
Host of Prescription For Your Health on New Radio Media

Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store

A highly successful Doctor with a practice in West Bloomfield, Michigan, Jim is also an award-winning broadcast journalist who has served as the “on-air” medical expert for various Detroit radio stations, including: WWJ Radio in Detroit (CBS owned and operated), WJBK-TV (Detroit’s FOX network affiliate) and WKBD in Detroit. He has over 20 years of experience in the medical media industry, including nine years as a national radio medical expert for CNN.

Dr. Jim Bragman has 30 years of experience in private practice, and is also a clinical teacher of medicine at the Wayne State and Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medical Schools.

Prescription for Your Health - Caring for Alzheimer's Patients
April 17, 2018

Prescription for Your Health – Caring for Alzheimer’s Patients

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One of the most difficult and vexing problems that I see in my practice are the trials and tribulations of a family taking care of a loved one with Alzheimers.
  • Statistics state that, of the millions of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, 75% of their care is provided at home.
  • According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, during the past year 67 million Americans provide care to a family member, or friend.

If you’re a caregiver, you know about having to help with the activities of daily living including bathing, shopping, cooking, feeding and making arrangements for medical care. Behavioral issues are another major problem for the caretaker, as well as for the stricken person. In addition, caretakers need to cope with their own anxieties and fears.  Fortunately, there are books and organizations that can help you in this quest. One guide I recommend is from Dr. Peter Roger and Dr. Ann Morrison of John Hopkins Medical School who have written a guide called “Caring For A Loved One With Alzheimer’s Disease.” The other is “The 36 Hour Day,” which explains the tenets and underpinnings for the family caretaker.

These books explore such issues as:

  • When is it time to take away the car?
  • How do you modify the home for people with dementia (this includes avoiding obstacles and removing throw rugs)?
  • How to deal with troubling behaviors such as wandering and inappropriate outbursts, rage, and obstreperous behavior.
  • How do you handle a loved one with delusions and hallucinations?
  • What can you do when your loved one acts in an embarrassing way in public?
  • Should friends and neighbors be notified?

Finally, the ultimate decision is when is it time to place a loved one in a nursing home facility – and what options exist to cover the cost.

So, if you are a caretaker , remember you are not alone in your fears and frustrations. There are excellent resources available to help assuage your concerns.


Dr. Bragman - Host of Prescription for Your Health on New Radio Media

About the Author:

Dr. Jim Bragman
Host of Prescription For Your Health on New Radio Media

Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store

A highly successful Doctor with a practice in West Bloomfield, Michigan, Jim is also an award-winning broadcast journalist who has served as the “on-air” medical expert for various Detroit radio stations, including: WWJ Radio in Detroit (CBS owned and operated), WJBK-TV (Detroit’s FOX network affiliate) and WKBD in Detroit. He has over 20 years of experience in the medical media industry, including nine years as a national radio medical expert for CNN.

Dr. Jim Bragman has 30 years of experience in private practice, and is also a clinical teacher of medicine at the Wayne State and Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medical Schools.

Prescription for Your Health - Depression
March 25, 2018

Prescription for Your Health – Depression

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One of the most common problems that I see in private practice is depression, and it turns out that it can be worse than some chronic diseases, and it can make other conditions worse. Researchers writing in the British Medical Journal “Lancet” say depression can be more damaging to your everyday health than chronic diseases such as Arthritis, Diabetes, and Asthma. In addition, people suffering from a wide range of chronic diseases who also experience depression almost inevitably have a poorer prognosis for the chronic condition. The researchers conclude as a result impairs the overall health state more than other diseases. It also shows the importance of treating depression, which we are very capable of doing today with a combination of psychotherapy and medication.

The problem for many who suffer from depression is embarrassment. Patients are are afraid to tell their doctors about their bouts of depression. One of the mnemonics that I use in practice to diagnose depression is SIGECAPS.

  • S stands for sleep. People who are depressed either are exhausted after a full 8 or 9 hours of sleep, or awake up in the middle of the night and have trouble falling back asleep.
  • I stands for a lack of interest in pursuing enjoyable activities such as sex or going out to eat or other social functions.
  • G stands for feeling guilty about one’s lot in life.
  • E stands for low energy. Depressed people will feel tired all the time.
  • C stands for concentration. People will have trouble focusing and it will take them double or triple the time to absorb new information.
  • A stands for appetite and most of the time a person will go on a comfort eating binge and gain weight. However, about 10% of the time they will lose 5-10% of their body weight.
  • P stands for psychomotor retardation, which is a fancy way of saying that people who know you well will ask if you if you’re moving in slow motion.
  • stands for feeling hopeless, worthless, and ultimately suicidal.

So, in conclusion, there is no reason to shy away from a condition that is completely understandable and, in most cases, completely treatable. If you don’t manage the depression then you will not be able to manage your chronic condition, because the depression is actually making it worse.


Dr. Bragman - Host of Prescription for Your Health on New Radio Media

About the Author:

Dr. Jim Bragman
Host of Prescription For Your Health on New Radio Media

Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store

A highly successful Doctor with a practice in West Bloomfield, Michigan, Jim is also an award-winning broadcast journalist who has served as the “on-air” medical expert for various Detroit radio stations, including: WWJ Radio in Detroit (CBS owned and operated), WJBK-TV (Detroit’s FOX network affiliate) and WKBD in Detroit. He has over 20 years of experience in the medical media industry, including nine years as a national radio medical expert for CNN.

Dr. Jim Bragman has 30 years of experience in private practice, and is also a clinical teacher of medicine at the Wayne State and Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medical Schools.

Prescription for Your Health - Prostate Cancer
May 6, 2018

Prescription for Your Health – Prostate Cancer Screening

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One of the major controversies in medicine today is: what is the role of screening in prostate cancer?

This includes the role of the blood test known as OSA or Prostate Specific Antigen in the diagnosis of this prevalent condition. Terms you need to understand include lead time and length time bias. This means that if we diagnose a prostate cancer today versus picking up the diagnosis 1 or 2 years later, then would that make an overall difference in a loved one’s prognosis and life expectancy.

There are conflicting reports in the medical literature regarding this subject. My personal take on this issue is that researchers who write these papers are in ivory towers and most concerned with cost effectiveness, which is a euphemistic way of saying “what is a life really worth?” At this time, we use a cancer screening scale known as the Gleason Score to determine the degree of aggressiveness of a prostate cancer. The score varies from 2 to 10,  with 10 being the grade that is most likely to spread. When cancers are in the intermediate, range namely 5-7, the question arises whether we should treat immediately or employ “watchful waiting”. The risk with “watchful waiting” is once a cancer leaves the prostate capsule itself and spreads on to either the local lymph nodes or bone then it becomes exceedingly difficult to treat over the long term.

Although we have made strides in the treatment of prostate cancer in the last few years and have several newer newer drug combinations available, the prognosis remains tenuous at best. We still are not at the point with genetic testing markers to determine who is a candidate for watchful waiting. In contradistinction, if we treat I explain to patients that the two worst symptoms that you might experience would include some urinary incontinence that would require a Depends cloth for a period of time, and erectile dysfunction that generally can be treated with drugs such as Cialis or Viagra or a vacuum pump device. Although sub-optimal, I explain to patients and their families that at least you are alive. I have seen patients who have a preliminary Gleason score of 6 after their prostate biopsy before their operation and at surgery are at an 8. In these cases “watchful waiting” would have resulted in the patient’s death within a few years. So as a result, at this time I am still a strong proponent of routine screening with PSA for prostate cancer. This view is substantiated by the American Urological Society.


Dr. Bragman - Host of Prescription for Your Health on New Radio Media

About the Author:

Dr. Jim Bragman
Host of Prescription For Your Health on New Radio Media

Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store

A highly successful Doctor with a practice in West Bloomfield, Michigan, Jim is also an award-winning broadcast journalist who has served as the “on-air” medical expert for various Detroit radio stations, including: WWJ Radio in Detroit (CBS owned and operated), WJBK-TV (Detroit’s FOX network affiliate) and WKBD in Detroit. He has over 20 years of experience in the medical media industry, including nine years as a national radio medical expert for CNN.

Dr. Jim Bragman has 30 years of experience in private practice, and is also a clinical teacher of medicine at the Wayne State and Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medical Schools.

Prescription for Your Health - Opioid Crisis
April 12, 2018

Prescription for Your Health – The Opioid Epidemic

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One of the hottest topics today is the national opioid epidemic.

This national crisis is a culmination of may factors, ultimately resulting in poor coping mechanisms on the part of patient, and ineffective and fearful prescribing patterns on the part of physicians.

A couple of years ago, there was a particularly poignant television interview between Dr. Mehmet Oz and Steven Tyler of Arrowsmith fame. Mr. Tyler is no stranger to the world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. He points out correctly that the number one drug pushers in the country are physicians. For example, almost anyone going into an emergency room or urgent care center with any degree of back spasms is going to walk out with a prescription for Norco, Vicodin, Tylenol 3 or 4, Lortab,OxyContin, or other Opioid equivalent products. This is not for treating back pain resulting from a kidney stone, or a rare central ruptured disc that clearly requires Morphine or Dilaudid. Rather the patient demands something “strong” for their back pain and physicians are concerned about patient satisfaction surveys and the social media implications that evolve from their medical decisions. As a result, rather than prescribing a course of non steroidal anti inflammatory agents such as Motrin or Aleve, or even a short course of Prednisone in conjunction with a muscle relaxant, physicians tend to take least confrontational and easy course of action. This is despite medical evidence to the contrary of the lack of effectiveness of opioids in musculoskeletal pain.

In the office setting, it does take more time to explain to patients that the right course of treatment is conservative in the use of musculoskeletal pain medications. I may even suffer some remonstrance on the part of the patient. Physicians need to convey that this is the medically correct and ethical thing to do. Patients also need to know that time is a great healer and with ice, moist heat, non steroidal anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, and physical therapy, their pain will be alleviated in a reasonable time period.

The opioids have the side effects of mental obtundation, dizziness, and constipation which create a whole new set of problems. Of course, in every practice there are exceptions to the rule where certain patients will require moderate doses of opioids for a reasonable quality of life. These situations must be evaluated on a case by case basis and require a strong relationship and an element of trust between the doctor and the patient.


Dr. Bragman - Host of Prescription for Your Health on New Radio Media

About the Author:

Dr. Jim Bragman
Host of Prescription For Your Health on New Radio Media

Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store

A highly successful Doctor with a practice in West Bloomfield, Michigan, Jim is also an award-winning broadcast journalist who has served as the “on-air” medical expert for various Detroit radio stations, including: WWJ Radio in Detroit (CBS owned and operated), WJBK-TV (Detroit’s FOX network affiliate) and WKBD in Detroit. He has over 20 years of experience in the medical media industry, including nine years as a national radio medical expert for CNN.

Dr. Jim Bragman has 30 years of experience in private practice, and is also a clinical teacher of medicine at the Wayne State and Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medical Schools.