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ROCHESTER, Minn. ― Here are highlights from the August issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter. You may cite this publication as often as you wish. Reprinting is allowed for a fee. Mayo Clinic Health Letter attribution is required. Include the following subscription information as your editorial policies permit: Visit http://www.HealthLetter.MayoClinic.com or call toll-free for subscription information, 1-800-333-9037, extension 9771. Full newsletter text: Mayo Clinic Health Letter August 2014 (for journalists only). Full special report text: Mayo Clinic Health Letter Special Report August 2014 (for journalists only).
Hand pain not inevitable with aging
Chronic hand pain and dysfunction aren’t inevitable aspects of aging, but hands are vulnerable to injury and degenerative conditions after years of wear and tear. The August issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter includes an eight-page Special Report on Hand Pain, including common causes and strategies to alleviate, manage and even prevent hand pain.
Health concerns covered included arthritis, tendon and nerve conditions, trauma and infections. A primary care provider can treat and diagnose some hand conditions. Depending on the concern, a hand surgeon, rheumatologist, neurologist or rehabilitation specialist could be involved in treatment. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I have had bunions for years, but they have not bothered me much until recently. I now have pain every day and most shoes hurt my feet. Is surgery the only option at this point? What does that involve, and can it be done on both feet at the same time, or will I need to have each foot done separately?
ANSWER: In a situation like yours, surgery could be considered. But surgery is not the only treatment for bunions. More conservative measures may help decrease your symptoms and relieve pain. If you try them and they don’t work, though, then it would be a good idea to talk with a foot surgeon about surgical options.
The structure of your feet changes over time. Sometimes these are subtle changes that you do not notice. But in other instances, the changes are more substantial. Bunions happen due to changes that force the bones of your feet out of alignment and increase the width of your foot.
When a bunion develops, your big toe actually tilts or drifts away from the midline of your body, eventually crowding the second toe. The bone that is just behind the big toe, called the first metatarsal, drifts or tilts in toward the midline of your body. As the first metatarsal tilts in, it becomes more prominent. That is the bony bump referred to as a bunion. [...]
A Mayo Clinic task force challenges some recommendations in the updated guideline for cholesterol treatment unveiled by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) in 2013. The task force concludes, based on current evidence, that not all patients encouraged to take cholesterol-lowering medications, such as statins, may benefit from them and that the guideline missed some important conditions that might benefit from medication.
Furthermore, the task force believes an emphasis needs to be placed on an individualized treatment approach with each patient and exercising shared decision-making.
Recommendations of the task force, made up of Mayo Clinic experts in cardiology, endocrinology and preventive medicine, with no conflicts of interest or links to the drug industry, will be published Aug. 14 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. An editorial will accompany the paper. Mayo Clinic physicians are adopting the task force’s guideline.
“The ACC/AHA cholesterol guideline was last updated in 2001, so it needed to be updated. We agree with many points of the guideline, but there are some key areas where we do not completely agree or we wanted to expand and provide more guidance,” says Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D., task force chairman and director of preventive cardiology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Kullo and Dr. Lopez-Jimenez are available in the downloads, as well as animations of statins' effects in the bloodstream and carotid artery plaque formation.
Mayo Clinic News Network Headlines include:
Journalists: Video is available in the downloads. Click here for script.
Rochester, Minnesota: Los suplementos de enzimas que se adquieren sin receta médica cada vez son más populares, pero ¿deberíamos todos añadirlos a nuestra lista de compras? El Dr. Brent Bauer, director del Programa de Medicina Complementaria e Integradora de Mayo Clinic, es coautor del nuevo trabajo que aparece en la revista médica Mayo Clinic Proceedings sobre las ventajas y desventajas de las enzimas de venta libre. A continuación, el Dr. Bauer responde algunas preguntas comunes sobre estos suplementos alimentarios:
¿Cuál es el problema?
Dr. Bauer: “Los suplementos de enzimas se han vuelto muy populares ahora porque, igual que con muchos suplementos alimentarios, los pacientes siempre en busca de algo bueno para la salud leen que las enzimas de venta libre son similares a esos suplementos alimentarios y entonces, de un momento a otro, se disparan las ventas por los cielos. El gran problema de los suplementos alimentarios es que la mayoría de ellos no ha sido probada de la misma manera que los medicamentos. Existe mucha información, pero ningún dato definitivo. Los pacientes escuchan muchas cosas positivas respecto a estos suplementos, pero no siempre se enteran del aspecto negativo ni de los efectos secundarios. Nosotros intentamos basarnos en las evidencias, de manera que no deseamos negarnos al consumo ni decir que no existe ninguna razón para tomar estas enzimas de venta libre, pero tampoco queremos apresurarnos a ir a comprarlos nada más por escuchar a alguien en la televisión decir que son estupendos”. [...]
Rochester, Minn. — Enzyme supplements available without a prescription are becoming increasingly popular, but should everyone add them to their shopping list? Brent Bauer, M.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program, is co-author of a new paper in the medical journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings on the pros and cons of over-the-counter enzymes. Here, Dr. Bauer answers some common questions about these dietary supplements:
What’s the issue?
Dr. Bauer: “They’ve become so popular. Like so many dietary supplements, patients are looking for something to help their health, so they’re reading about over-the-counter enzymes as one of those many dietary supplements, and all of a sudden we’re seeing sales go through the roof. A huge challenge with dietary supplements is that most haven’t been tested as most drugs are. We have a lot of information, but we don’t have definitive information. So our patients hear a lot of positive things, but they do not always hear the negatives or the side effects. So we’re trying to be very evidence-based. We don’t want to say no, there’s no reason to ever take an over-the-counter enzyme. By the same token, we don’t want to just rush out and buy it because we heard somebody say something positive on TV.”
What are some of the reasons people take enzyme supplements?
Dr. Bauer: “We have a lot of natural enzymes in our bodies. They help us digest food. There are clearly medical reasons to use enzymes. If a patient’s pancreas isn’t working, for example, that patient may need to take a medically prescribed enzyme supplement. That’s a little different story from a healthy person who wants to use over-the-counter bromelain, or papain — the enzymes that come from the pineapple and the papaya — or trypsin, or chymotrypsin. [...]
Being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis can be frightening. It's a lifelong chronic condition that not only causes painful damage to your joints but can affect other areas of the body, including heart and kidneys. So, an early diagnosis and an aggressive approach to treatment can mean having much better control of the disease. [TRT 2:35]
Journalists: The video report, additional b-roll and animation are available in the downloads. News Network pkgs. can be edited into vo/sots and incorporated in your reporting. Click here for script.
If you have shoulder problems the next Mayo Clinic Radio is for you! On Saturday, July 26, at 9 a.m. CT, John Sperling, M.D., will join us to discuss the many causes of shoulder pain. What do you know about shoulder bursitis, tendinitis and something called Wiiitis? How are torn rotator cuffs diagnosed and repaired? We'll discuss a new option for patients with arthritis called reverse arthroplasty. Join us!
Myth or Matter of Fact: Rotator cuff tears can heal without surgery.
Follow #MayoClinicRadio and tweet your questions.
To listen to the program on Saturday, click here.
Mayo Clinic Radio is available on iHeart Radio.
Listen to this week’s Medical News Headlines: News Segment July 26, 2014 (right click MP3)