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VBPM Connection, Issue #025 -- News from your doctor's office.
September 01, 2012

The Virginia Beach Premier Medical Newsletter

September, 2012

VBPM Connection is a newsletter published by Virginia Beach Premier Medical, an internal medicine practice dedicated to personalized, highly attentive, high quality care for our patients. The newsletter provides information of a general nature about our office, current health news and various common illnesses and ailments. None of the information provided is meant to be specific for any particular individual. Always seek the advice of your personal physician for any specific information about your health.

If you would like to receive a copy of this free monthly newsletter electronically by email, go to the Newsletter Signup Page on the office website ( and enter your email address in the signup box.

If you have a topic that you would like to see appear in the newsletter, please let us know at

Ask questions. Change your appointment. Get your lab or x-ray results. Request prescription refills. Keep us informed. Join Twistle, a secure communication link directly to your doctor.

The Secret of Weight Loss

Many people want to know the secret of how to lose weight. There must be some answer to this terrible scourge that causes so many health problems.

The secret, finally revealed, is reported here exclusively…

1. Eat fewer calories than you burn up. 2. Continue the above every day till you reach your goal weight. 3. Then maintain by eating about the same number of calories that you burn up. 4. Continue that routine for the rest of your life.

That’s it! It’s all you need to know about it. Thousands of complicated books, diets, lectures, magazine articles, exercises, etc. have been developed dedicated to weight loss, but it always comes down to this simple formula.

That may sound somewhat silly and tongue-in-cheek, but it’s true.

Many people say, “How can I be gaining so much weight? I don’t eat that much.”

If you are inexplicably gaining weight and not intentionally building muscle as body builders do, it can only be one of two things – fluid or fat. Look at your ankles. If they are not swollen with fluid, then you know which one it is.

The fat doesn’t get there by itself. The laws of physics tell us that it is impossible to create mass out of nothing. You have to have consumed it from the food you eat. There are no miracles of physics here. We don’t magically just gain weight.

We like to blame it on other things beside ourselves, like thyroid problems or medication effects. Even if those things have been factors in some individuals, it still requires consumption of more calories than we are burning, which is something that we can still control.

What it often comes down to is motivating yourself to follow the formula. Be dedicated to it. Don’t be distracted from it. It’s the only thing that works.

Poison Plants

Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac all contain the oil called urushiol. This is the substance that causes an allergic reaction in over 85% of people who come into contact with it. The oil stays active on any surface for up to 5 years. You can pick it up from direct contact with the plants, or indirectly from pets' fur. gardening tools, etc. You can even get it by standing close to a fire where the plants are being burned.

Treatment includes washing the affected area with soap and water, washing all clothes or tools that may have touched the plant.

Calamine lotion and steroid creams will help soothe the itching. Sometimes anti-itch medicines like Benadryl, Zyrtec or Atarax are required. In more severe cases, a short course of Prednisone or a steroid injection may be given. Even with good treatment the allergic reaction may last 10-14 days or more. If the rash involves the eyes or other mucous membranes you should contact your medical professional immediately.

Further information can be found at

Canker Sores

These are annoying mouth sores that can appear on the inside of your lips or cheek or on your tongue. They are little craters with a red border and a white or yellow center. They can be very painful and make it difficult to eat.

The cause for these sores is not really well-known. They seem to develop when people are tired or stressed, during menses in women, after drinking or eating a lot of citrus foods or in some who have food allergies. Rarely, they can be due to a vitamin or iron deficiency.

Canker sores can take up to 6 weeks to heal in some cases, but they eventually get better on their own. You may want to try an over the counter medicine called Orabase, Anbesol or you can even dab milk of magnesia on them with a cue tip. If you can tolerate NSAIDs, you can try taking Advil or Aleve for the pain, or your doctor can prescribe a steroid cream that often will help.


A common problem that many people have is the accumulation of earwax in the ear canals that often cause complete occlusion or blockage of the canal to the point where it can cause decreased hearing and even pain. The blockage is frequently caused or made worse by using cotton swabs which only serve to push the wax plug further into the ear canal.

You can try over-the-counter remedies like Debrox or Murine earwax removal kits or you can apply drops of mineral oil, although none of these should be used in anyone with a known perforation or tube in their eardrum. After using the dropps and allowing them to settle for 5 minutes or so, you can then use a bulb-type syringe filled with warm water to flush out the wax. A warm water irrigation device like Ear-Clear can be used, but don't use a Water Pik or anything that may force the water in with too much pressure.

If you can't get the wax out with these measures it's time to see the doctor who can irrigate the ears or pull out the wax with a small spoon-like instrument. Ear doctors can sometimes remove the wax using a special type of vacuum made for this purpose.


Excessive gas can often accumulate in the intestinal tract and cause a considerable amount of discomfort. This is usually caused by particular foods that you eat, but sometimes is caused by swallowing too much air or by taking certain medications. Constipation and even bowel obstruction can cause gas accumulation that can be very painful.

You can often prevent gas problems by avoiding foods known to cause it. These include the following:

~ Vegetables like artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, green peppers, onions, peas, radishes, raw potatoes

~ Beans and other legumes

~ Fruits like apricots, bananas, melons, pears, peaches, prunes, raw apples

~ Carbonated beverages

~ Fried and fatty foods

~ Excessive amounts of carbohydrates

Some people have a condition called lactose intolerance that results in a lot of gas and cramping after taking in milk or milk products.

If you know you are going to have problems with gas after eating certain foods, sometimes you can prevent it by taking Beano or Simethecone (Mylicon, Mylanta, Gas-Ex)

Excessive Sweating

Hyperhydrosis, or excessive sweating, affects about 2-3% of the population and causes considerable consternation, anxiety and embarrassment. Most of the time it occurs in otherwise healthy people but can be due to an overactive thyroid, medications or other systemic conditions. Of course heat, emotions, anxiety all increase sweating as well, more in some people than in others.

Treatment for hyperhydrosis usually involves the use of over-the-counter antiperspirants, but sometimes requires prescription-strength antiperspirants like Drysol. Oral medications (anticholinergics), Botox, Iontophoresis (electrical stimulation) and even surgery (cervical sympathectomy) can be used as a last resort.

What's New in the Journals

Does garlic prevent heart disease in patients with hypertension? Possibly, but evidence is insufficient to prove it.

A lifestyle-integrated exercise approach reduces falls in community-dwelling at-risk older adults.

More than 2 continuous hours per day of sitting reduces life-span by up to 2 years.

Daily aspirin reduces risk of cancer and cancer mortality, but increases risk of bleeding.

PSA-screening in men aged 55-69 years of age reduces prostate cancer mortality but not all-cause mortality.

Taking statins before and after cardiac surgery reduces the risk of heart attack and atrial fibrillation post-operatively.

Sleeping pills (hypnotic drugs) are associated with increased risk of mortality and cancer. Reasons not clear.

Vitamin D improves balance in older adults, but not muscle strength.

Screening older patients with regular chest x-rays does not reduce risk of lung-cancer mortality.

About Our Office

Virginia Beach Premier Medical is a membership internal medicine practice specializing in comprehensive and compassionate, individualized and personalized patient-centered care. We pride ourselves on full continuity of care – in the office, in the hospital, or even at home.


When you need a quick answer to a health question, or if you have an upper respiratory infection, for which you know you're going to need an antibiotic, you don't have wait for days to get an answer to your question or the get seen in the office before you can be treated.

In a concierge office like ours, we don't insist on patients coming to the office for a doctor visit just to get a prescription filled or to answer questions. Of course if it's a more serious problem we would want to see you in person for it, but we do try to be accommodating as much as possible. We know your time is valuable too and we don't want you to be waiting on us for treatment or for office visits any more than absolutely necessary.

If you would like more information about our practice please call us at 757-416-6750 or visit our website at Ask to speak with Brittany, our office manager, or Dr. Parks or Dr. Warth. We’d be happy to talk with you anytime.

Enjoy Your September!
Happy Labor Day!

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