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healthy valley





Cancer Prevention Should I Start Ordering

Egg Whites?

E M E V LOUntil I Die

Driscoll CHILDREN’S vALLEY Dialysis Center


The leading cause of daytime sleepiness

Golden Years or Cancer Years?

HEALTHY CHOICES Can Make a Difference







HEALTHY BODY, MIND & SOUL 12. 14. 16. 18. 27. 30. 32.


FITNES & BEAUTY 34. 36. 38.


Publisher Mauricio Por tillo Editor in Chief Claudia Por tillo Del Valle Marketing Director Arnaldo Del Valle Copy Editor Lora Incardona

Claudia Portillo

Editor in Chief

Website Director Healthy Media Graphic Design Healthy Media

Spring Forward Everything seems to be moving at lightning speed. I know that conventional wisdom tells us that as you grow older, time seems to speed up—you blink and six months have gone by. I think the rest of the year will continue to move at the same blinding pace. And while it’s a little daunting, it is very inspiring too. We have big projects for an amazing and healthy year. I don’t know where you’ll be when spring begins, but make sure that you take time to notice, experience and be buoyed by the early flowers, fragrant earth and singular scents of spring. This month we introduce you to McAllen’s own pediatric dialysis facility, the Driscoll Children’s Valley Dialysis Center. Read to learn why the Driscoll Kidney Center in Corpus Christi decided to expand its services to the Rio Grande Valley and who benefits from this local branch. Dr. Al-Akash takes time out of his schedule to explain to us the advantages of having the center so close to home. Because we want all publications of Healthy Valley to be the best health resources available for our community, we are making sure to maintain our standards and integrity in constant check. We believe that you deserve the very best we have to give you. Each month, keep an eye out for issues of Healthy Valley Magazine and visit our website between issues to see what’s new. As always Healthy Valley Magazine takes every opportunity to examine what we do well and envision ways to do it better. We can only hope to always provide you opportunities to discover something new, feel moved by something unique, and experience a little joy along the way. Until next time, stand strong: Make one conscious healthy choice today. Then repeat it tomorrow.

Photography HMG Contributing Writers Nurul Wahid, M.D. Christina Peña, M.D. Ritu Goel, M.D. S Mur thy Badiga, MD., FACG Consuelo Camarillo De G. Lic. AC, M.D. Angelica M. Gonzalez, LMHC Scott Bernstein, DPM Lora incardona Andreea Macoveiciuc Rubel Shelly Frankie Ruiz Steve Stanley Social Media Director Faride Del Valle

hv healthy magazine is a free monthly publication. All contents are protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without written consent from the publisher. The material in this magazine is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis, or recommended treatments. healthy magazine and its contributors accept no responsibility for inaccuracies, and the advertiser is solely responsible for ad content and holds publisher harmless from any error. Printed in Mexico 1430 South DIxie Hwy, suite 315 Coral Gables, Fl 33146 PH 305-395-4554











Dialysis Center A solution for pediatric patients and their families By Andreea Macoveiciuc

“Prevention is always the best cure. Take care of yourself and don’t wait until you get sick,” says Samhar I. Al-Akash, M.D., pediatric nephrologist and medical director of Driscoll Children’s Hospital’s Kidney Center and Renal Transplant Program. This wise piece of advice comes from a physician with more than 15 years of experience in this field, who has helped to bring a pediatric dialysis center to the Rio Grande Valley that is scheduled to begin seeing its first patients in April. Driscoll Children’s Valley Dialysis Center is a dedicated, 4,155-square-foot clinic that includes four dialysis stations. Board-certified pediatric nephrologists and a board-certified surgeon who performs pediatric kidney transplants will team with nurses, dietitians, social workers and office staff to provide the same hands-on, personal care to Driscoll patients who previously had to travel to Corpus Christi, Texas for their treatments.



Together with his colleagues, pediatric nephrologists Elizabeth Anyaegbu, M.D., Amy Becker, M.D., Salam I. Gharaybeh, M.D. and surgical director of Driscoll’s Renal Transplant Program P. Stephen Almond, M.D., Dr. Al-Akash is committed to offering the best care possible and creating a friendly interaction between patients and staff in order to educate and promote transplantation as early as feasible.

The highly skilled team finds that keeping families intact throughout dialysis and transplantation is not only important but is actually one of the most rewarding parts of their job. Driscoll’s expansion into the Rio Grande Valley is an effort to continue to make the experience a better one for families.

Aware of the financial, emotional and physical challenges that patients and families may experience when dialysis is required, Dr. AlAkash and the specialized team at Driscoll’s Kidney Center decided to bring another of Driscoll’s high-quality healthcare services closer to home for the large number of patients who live in the Rio Grande Valley.

“In spite of having better technological advances and more pediatric-friendly machines, dialysis for children remains very challenging, and most don’t fare well if they are dialyzed for extended periods of time. The best dialysis cannot replace a fraction of a well-working kidney; therefore, it is dialysis leading to a timely transplantation that is considered the most important determinant of survival, growth and good outcome in general,” Dr. Al-Akash explains.

Driscoll Children’s Valley Dialysis Center will provide nephrology services to patients aged 21 and younger using the latest technology to offer age-appropriate treatment and address the dietary needs of pediatric patients. “Children’s needs are vastly different from those of adults,” Dr. Al-Akash says, “and we put emphasis on growth promotion and providing a developmentally appropriate environment.”

Driscoll Children’s Hospital began offering nephrology and dialysis services in 2004, and on Feb. 14, 2007 —because transplantation is the ideal treatment for these patients— performed the first transplant (adult or pediatric) of any kind in South Texas. Today, Driscoll remains the only pediatric transplant program in South Texas and has performed 72 pediatric kidney transplants.



Located in Hidalgo County, the McAllen-based Dialysis Center serves the cities of Edinburg, Mission and Weslaco, as well as the lower Valley cities of Harlingen, San Benito, Brownsville and smaller cities in between. “We want Driscoll Children’s Valley Dialysis Center to be a resource for pediatric patients with endstage renal disease and their families, so we focus on providing medical care and dialysis, as well as education about pediatric renal disease and transplantation,” Dr. Almond says. “There is currently a service area of approximately 1.5 million people, with about 10-15 pediatric patients per million annually diagnosed with ESRD (end-stage renal disease). These patients need high-quality, special care; and thanks to our well-established and very successful renal transplant program, they no longer have to travel as far or live away from home in order to receive appropriate care,” adds Dr. Al-Akash.

But it’s not only dialysis that is being performed at the center. Most pediatric patients who need dialysis are patients with congenital and hereditary renal disease, as well as nephrotic syndrome (focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis), rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis and other conditions. Given the sensitive nature of treatment services offered at the pediatric dialysis facility, the relationship between doctor and patient is very important. “Patients often settle for what is immediately available to them, without actively researching their options and choices or investigating the reputation of their doctors and hospitals,” says Dr. Al-Akash. Dr. Al-Akash encourages patients and their parents to look for a doctor who will address their concerns to their satisfaction, communicate with them clearly and go the extra mile for them. The annual celebrations, camps and reunions held for patients support his statement. “Every year, we organize a variety of events for patients and their families,” Dr. Almond explains. These activities are not only a Driscoll tradition but also a great opportunity to celebrate the patients and their families, and thank them for trusting the specialized team at the center.

Our transplant program has consistently performed above the national average for patient and graft survival since its inception, which reflects the very high quality of the program. Our current average length of stay at the time of transplantation is about 3 days, which is better than most transplant centers. Dr. Al-Akash THE IMPORTANCE OF KIDNEY CARE Eating healthy, exercising and undergoing regular check-ups are all important for maintaining a healthy body and protecting the kidneys, as these vital organs play an essential role in one’s overall well-being. Kidneys are responsible for regulating many bodily functions, from blood pressure to heart, liver and brain functions. An altered functioning of these organs, coupled with the lack of proper therapy, increases the risk of severe electrolyte problems, seizures and even heart failure. “Kidneys don’t always give you a warning sign that something is wrong,” Dr. Al-Akash says, so it’s very important to be proactive and consciously make good decisions about your lifestyle. “Eating unhealthy foods and drinking unhealthy drinks are often overlooked as important risk factors for kidney disease because it takes years for the damage to occur

and you could have no complaints during that time,” explains the doctor. Unhealthy lifestyle decisions can cause irreversible damage to the kidneys on an ongoing and cumulative basis, so in order to optimize the chance for growth in young children with renal problems, proper renal care – dialysis and transplant – should be received in time. Dialysis can correct the electrolyte imbalances by removing the toxic waste and excessive water from the body to ensure healthy functioning of all organs and systems of the body. “We try to take every opportunity to shed light on our vital programs,” Dr. Al-Akash says. He encourages all readers to seek advice from Driscoll Children’s Valley Dialysis Center if they are diagnosed with renal failure, chronic kidney disease or ESRD or if they have a need for transplantation. ---------------------------------------------------------------Driscoll Children’s Medical Plaza – McAllen 1120 E. Ridge Rd. McAllen, TX 78503 Ph. (956) 688-1200




healthy kids

Lowering The Impact Of

Divorce On Children by Steve Stanley

Don’t underestimate the traumatic impact that divorce can have on children of all ages. Parents tend to their own wounds but should spend more time understanding what their children are going through. After all, divorce means the splitting-up of their family. With half of all marriages ending in divorce, this is a significant problem that should be dealt with in a compassionate way. Keep in mind that while you may feel anxiety and depression, or happiness and relief, your children may see divorce in a different light. Everything is relative and a divorce can be quite devastating to them. You should become aware of what signals to watch for in your children so you can intervene and help assuage their feelings before they become a chronic problem. WHAT TO LOOK FOR The periods of time during and shortly after the divorce are critical. Keep an eye out for signs of insomnia and anxiety. Your children may show signs of panic, depression or hostility; they may become uncooperative; or they may shy away from being with you. Older children may become promiscuous or begin to abuse alcohol and drugs. They may show signs of behavioral issues or low self-esteem, as their school grades start to fall. YOU CAN LIMIT THESE PROBLEMS BY HOW YOU BREAK THE NEWS It is most important to repeatedly tell your children that the divorce is not their fault. Tell them you love them and always will,



that you will always be their mom or dad. Explain to your children that it was a decision that the two of you agreed to, that it is better for the family that Mom and Dad are no longer together. Discuss the new living arrangements that come with a divorce. Tell your children that you understand that this is a difficult period of time for them and you will do everything you can to make it easier for them. WHAT NOT TO DO Don’t let yet children walk around with feelings of guilt, believing that they were the cause of the breakup and don’t become an obstruction to your children communicating with their other parent. Also, avoid the rut of insulting the other parent in front of your children. This is especially damaging to their psyche. Remember that a child is not a messenger service so don’t use your children to send messages and documents, etc. to your ex-spouse. Perhaps most important, your children are children so don’t make them shoulder your burden; let them be children. You may be surprised to learn that children know that their parents are not exhibiting to each other love or the actions of people who love each other. They will not be shocked by the concept of divorce, rather of the reality. Nowadays, most children know other children whose parents are divorced and that helps ease the situation. Be understanding and dedicate some quality time with your children, even if you didn’t when you were married.

1/2 PAGE (NO BLEED) 7.5” x 4.75”

1/2 PAGE (NO BLEED) 7.5” x 4.75”



“Love Me Until I Die” by Rubel Shelly

His name is Davion Navar Henry Only. He is 15 and has had weight problems. More seriously, he has exhibited serious anger issues. Although he is bright, he has had issues with poor academic performance. Before you judge him too harshly or count him a lost cause, let me tell you more of his story. Davion was born in prison and removed from his birth mother, a drug addict and convicted thief. His life has been spent in Florida’s foster care system and he has been hoping for a “real family” for as long as he can remember. Davion’s life took a different turn this summer when he decided to try to find the birth mother he had never known. He used a library computer and data off his birth certificate to search for her. He found a mug shot from her conviction for petty theft and drug use—and her obituary. She had died only a few days before at age 55. “This is ridiculous,” he remembers thinking. “How did I not know?” With the help of his caseworker, Connie Going, he went to her funeral and connected with some of her family. While they were not in a position to offer him a home or guardianship, different ones of them affirmed how happy they were to meet him and to connect with his mother’s child. They said they cared about his welfare and wanted him to have a different and better life than she had known. “He got in the car and said, ‘I didn’t know I was loved, Miss Connie,’ ” said Going. “That began the turning point.” Davion spent his summer doing tenth-grade schoolwork. He made all As, except in geometry. He lost 40 pounds and worked on his anger issue. Then, in September, he stood before St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church in St. Petersburg to make this plea: I want a forever family to love me until I die. According to the Tampa Bay Times, this is what happened: “Without looking up, Davion wiped his palms on his pants, cleared his throat, and said: ‘My name is Davion, and I’ve been in foster care since I was born. . . . I know God hasn’t given up on me. So I’m not giving up either.’ ” Later, in a TV interview, he pleaded, “If you can, reach out and get me, and love me until I die.” Not too long afterward, ABC News reported there had been some 5,000 phone requests and another 5,000 email inquiries about adopting Davion! A spokesman for Florida’s Department of Children and Families said, “We’re hopeful that we can connect Davion with his forever family.” I hope so too! And I hope his story draws positive attention to some of the additional 399,548 children who are in foster care across the United States who want the same for themselves—a real-and-forever home. “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows – this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families . . .” (Psalm 68:5-6 NLT).




Body Mind & Soul

hv 12.















Board Certified Dermatology & Otolaryngology


Board Certified Otolaryngologist


Board Certified Otolaryngology

TURNER WRIGHT, M.D., F.A.C.S. Board Certified Otolaryngology

Valley Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists, P.A.



2101 S. Cynthia, Plex A

RIO GRANDE CITY 956.488.8787 5326 E. Hwy 83 Bldg A, Suite 1


956.973.9228 910 E. 8th, Suite 2


956.428.4221 510 Victoria Lane, Suite 5


956.350.8787 4770 N. Expressway 77, Suite 304





Proven Effective

Available in the Office

Most patients report clinically meaningful improvement in sinus symptoms and quality of life through 2 years following surgery.

Balloon Sinuplasty is now performed in the office under local anesthesia.


Board Certified Otolaryngologist


Board Certified Otolaryngologist

ALASTAIR G. L NN-MACRAE, M.D. Board Certified Otolaryngology


Board Certified Otolaryngology

BALLOON SINUPLASTY A Breakthrough in Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Balloon Sinuplasty (BSP) is a safe and effective procedure for chronic sinusitis patients who are not responding well to medications and are seeking relief from uncomfortable and painful sinusitis symptoms. If you have been diagnosed with chronic sinusitis and are not responding well to medication, you may be a candidate for sinus surgery. There is now a less invasive option used by ENT doctors to treat chronic sinusitis patients that is clinically proven to be safe, effective and improve the quality of your life. With Balloon Sinuplasty, ENT doctors open inflamed sinuses in the same way that heart surgeons open up blocked arteries during balloon angioplasty. The procedure is less invasive than traditional sinus surgery and effective at relieving symptoms of chronic sinusitis. Balloon Sinuplasty allows patients to return to normal activities quickly. Unlike conventional sinus surgery, it does not include removal of bone or tissue from the nose. And, Balloon Sinuplasty is now offered by the surgeons of Valley Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists in their McAllen and Harlingen offices. There is no need to go to an operating room or undergo general anesthesia.


Fast Recovery

With Balloon Sinuplasty, there is no cutting of nasal bone or tissue. More than 250,000 patients suffering from chronic sinusitis have been treated by physicians using Balloon Sinuplasty technology.

While recovery time varies with each patient, recovery is typically fast. In a study of in-office balloon dilation, most patients returned to work and normal activity within 2 days.


healthy body

COLORECTAL Cancer Prevention by S Murthy Badiga, MD, FACG

COLORECTAL CANCER Most of the colorectal cancers start as benign growths called polyps, which generally do not cause any symptoms. Over a period of time, usually several years, these polyps can become cancers. Colorectal cancer can cause blood in the stool, altered bowel habits (worsening constipation or diarrhea), change in stool caliber (thin stools), iron deficiency anemia, abdominal distention, abdominal pain and weight loss. The cancer can grow and obstruct the large intestine and/or invade local tissues and spread to distant organs, chiefly the liver, if detected late.

WHAT ARE THE COLON AND RECTUM? The colon and rectum are parts of the digestive system. They form a long muscular tube called the large intestine, also called large bowel. The colon is the first four to five feet of the large intestine and the rectum is the last several inches. Cancers involving the colon and rectum are collectively known as colorectal cancer. AMERICA’S #2 CANCER KILLER Colorectal cancer is a common cancer in both men and women in the United States. In 2013, about 143,000 people in the US were estimated to have been diagnosed with a colorectal cancer and 50,830 would have died from it. Colorectal cancer is the number two cancer killer in the United States, yet it is one of the most preventable types of cancer. It is more curable when detected early and, most importantly, colorectal cancer is eminently preventable by removing the precancerous polyps. RISK FACTORS

• Lifetime risk of colorectal cancer is roughly equal in men and women. • It is most common after age 50 but it can strike at younger ages. The risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with age. African Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer at a younger age than other ethnic groups and African Americans with colorectal cancer have decreased survival compared with other ethnic groups.

• Family history of colorectal cancer or polyps and personal history of colorectal polyps increases the risk of colorectal cancer in close relatives. The vast majority of new colorectal cancers, however, are diagnosed in persons with no family history.

• Certain genetic alterations can increase the risk of colorectal cancer. • Hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer (HNPCC) is the most common form of inherited colorectal cancer and accounts for 2% of all colorectal cancers. Most people with the HNPCC gene develop colon cancer, with the average age at diagnosis being 44.

• Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is a rare, inherited disorder in which hundreds of polyps form in the colon and rectum. It is caused by a change in a specific gene called APC. Unless FAP is treated, it usually leads to colorectal cancer by age 39. Luckily, FAP accounts for less than 1% of all colorectal cancers.

• A person with history of colorectal cancer is at risk for development of colorectal cancer a second time. Also, women with a history of cancer of the ovary, uterus or breast are at a somewhat higher risk for colorectal cancer.

• A person who has a history of inflammatory bowel disease, which causes inflammation of the colon (such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease), is at increased risk for colorectal cancer.

• Studies suggest that diets high in fat (especially animal fat) and low in calcium, folate and fiber may increase the risk of colorectal cancer.

• A person who smokes cigarettes may be at increased risk of developing polyps and colorectal cancer.

• Obesity and lack of exercise have been linked to higher rates of colorectal cancer.



HV COLORECTAL CANCER SCREENING Early detection and prevention are the cornerstones of colorectal cancer screening. A screening test, such as a mammogram, Pap smear or colonoscopy, is typically performed on persons at risk but without any signs or symptoms of the disease. The purpose of a cancer screening test is to detect disease before it can cause symptoms and to detect precancerous growths before they become cancers. COLORECTAL CANCER PREVENTION Screening tests can find polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. The development of more than 75-90 percent of colorectal cancers can be avoided through early detection and removal of pre-cancerous polyps. WHAT ARE THE SCREENING OPTIONS? Talk to your doctor about which screening tests are right for you. The 2009 American College of Gastroenterology guideline for colorectal cancer screening divides screening options into cancer prevention tests and cancer detection tests. Cancer prevention tests are preferred over detection tests. Colonoscopy is the preferred method of screening for colorectal cancer and should be performed every 10 years. For normal risk individuals, the ACG recommends colonoscopy beginning at age 50 and age 45 for African Americans. The ACG considers colonoscopy the “gold standard” for colorectal screening because it allows the physicians to look directly at the entire colon and to identify suspicious growths. Colonoscopy is the only test that allows a biopsy or removal of a polyp at the very same time it is first identified. Annual Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) is the preferred colorectal cancer detection test. It is a relatively new test that detects hidden blood in the stool. If results are positive, a colonoscopy is performed. ALTERNATIVE TESTS CT Colonography or “virtual colonoscopy” is an X-ray designed to look for colon polyps and cancers. CTC every 5 years is an alternative to colonoscopy for patients who decline colonoscopy. If polyps are detected, a regular colonoscopy is required to remove these pre-cancerous growths. While CTC is good at detecting polyps larger than 1 centimeter in size, it is not equivalent to colonoscopy because it is unreliable at detecting smaller polyps, which constitute 80 percent of growths in the colon. False positives are extremely common with CTC, meaning that when the patient has a standard colonoscopy exam after CTC, a real polyp may not be present. Also, there

are concerns about the radiation risk associated with one or repeated CT colonography studies. Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a shorter optical-, or scope-, based examination limited to the left side of the colon (distal colon). Even though studies have shown a decrease in incidence of colorectal cancer with this method, the mortality from right sided (high up) lesions is not decreased. Some gastroenterologists have characterized flexible sigmoidoscopy to be akin to “single breast mammography,” as it is not a complete examination. It still requires colon cleansing and insertion of a scope and is recommended every 5 to 10 years. Annual Hemoccult®, Sensa® and Fecal DNA testing every 3 years are the relatively new indirect detection tests and these have not been sufficiently proven to be of value. PROVEN TO SAVE LIVES Long-term results from a large multi-center study of colonoscopy funded by the National Cancer Institute for patients at higher-than-average risk of colorectal cancer confirm that removing precancerous adenomas (polyps) can not only reduce the risk of colorectal cancer but also the number of deaths from the disease by more than half. I would urge those at risk for colorectal cancer to see a gastroenterologist. Don’t let embarrassment stop you from scheduling a colonoscopy. This test could indeed be life saving and once it’s over, you’ll be glad you did it. Find a center near you to schedule an appointment.

S Murthy Badiga, MD, FACG Renaissance Gastroenterology

5423 S. McColl, Edinburg TX 78539 (956)-362-3636 902 S. Airport Dr., Weslaco TX 78596 (956)-973-2446




healthy body

Your investment strategy, likely, is focused on reducing risk in advance of retirement. Unfortunately, health risks follow a different track. In fact, American Cancer Society statistics show that cancer risk peaks between the ages of 60 and 70 for both men and women. That is why it’s important to plan ahead, to “invest” in mitigating disease risk through a concerted effort to live a healthy lifestyle. Other ACS data suggests that many people have adopted this approach, as an estimated more than 1.3 million cancer deaths have been prevented in the U.S. since 1991, thanks to healthy habits that start long before cancer is top of mind. Whatever your age, it’s never too late for healthy habits to make a difference. Regular exercise, a healthy diet and the avoidance of tobacco use are pillars of a healthy lifestyle that help prevent cancer and many other health issues. For 50 years, doctors have known that tobacco use causes lung cancer but it’s less well-known that tobacco also is tied to at least 15 other cancers. For those still using tobacco, it’s not too late to benefit from quitting. Smokers who quit face a lower risk of five cancers and stroke after only five years. Avoiding tobacco use is a sure way to lower the risk of many cancers but it’s only one piece in the puzzle. Diet and exercise habits develop over a lifetime and the longer you practice good habits, the easier they are to maintain. A healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats can help reduce the risk of many cancers. A healthy diet also means cutting down on unhealthy foods: avoid heavy consumption of high-fat foods, red or processed meat, and salty, pickled or smoked foods. Drink alcohol only in moderation—no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. Getting regular exercise, at least 150 minutes per week, can decrease cancer risk. For cancer patients and survivors, remaining active helps manage the side effects of treatment and reduces the risk of recurrence.

By Nurul Wahid, MD, Texas Oncology–McAllen

With smart personal financial planning and a dose of luck, your so called “golden years” can be, well, mostly golden. But are you also engaging in smart personal health planning? You may be carefully tracking the numbers associated with your 401K but do you pay close attention to more vital data points like your cholesterol level, weight or blood pressure?

Healthy living also means following recommended guidelines for cancer screening. Early detection—finding cancer before its symptoms are apparent, and when it is most treatable—remains a key to fighting the disease. Symptoms for many cancers are not obvious until the disease has reached an advanced and more difficultto-fight stage. Screening guidelines vary according to age, family history and gender, but everyone can fight cancer by staying current on their screenings and starting a habit of monthly self-checks for skin and breast or testicular cancer. Investing in the stock market or your personal health does not come with guarantees but being proactive and thoughtful can deliver gratifying results. It is never too late to form habits that fight cancer. Through healthy living and screening, everyone can lower their risk and help beat the odds of their golden years becoming cancer years. For more on healthy living and cancer screenings, visit www.

> McALLEN By Nurul Wahid, MD, Texas Oncology–McAllen



For more information about cancer prevention, please visit or call 1-888-864-I CAN (4226).

Dr. Nurul Wahid is a medical oncologist at Texas Oncology–McAllen, 1901 South Second Street in McAllen, Texas.




When I was diagnosed with colon cancer, I partnered with Texas Oncology. They’re right down the street, and they’re also part of the largest network of cancer specialists, researchers and treatment centers in the country. That gives me access to the combined wisdom of more than 1,600 oncologists. With their help — and the support of my family — I’m ready for this fight because Texas Oncology is on my side. TEXAS ONCOLOGY–MCALLEN 1901 South 2nd Street McAllen, Texas 78503 956-687-5150 1-888-864-I CAN (4226) •


McALLEN Texas Oncology delivers high-quality cancer care with leading-edge technology and advanced treatment options to help patients achieve “More breakthroughs. More victories.” in their fights against cancer. Texas Oncology, a pioneer in community-based cancer care, is an independent oncology practice with sites of service throughout Texas and southeastern New Mexico. Texas Oncology patients have the opportunity to take part in some of the most promising clinical trials in the nation for a broad range of cancers. In fact, Texas Oncology has played an integral role in gaining Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for 29 of the latest cancer therapies.

Billie J. Marek, M .D., FACP Medical Oncolog y/Hematolog y Dr. Marek is board-certified and specializes in medical oncology and hematology. He currently serves as a director of Texas Oncology and is the medical director for Texas Oncology-McAllen. He has served the Rio Grande Valley for the past 22 years as a medical oncologist and hematologist, has been recognized as a “Super Doctor” in oncology for five years in a row, and was recognized as Doctor of The Year for Rio Grande Regional. Dr. Marek received his medical degree from The University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio. He completed his fellowship at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Alvaro Restrepo, M .D. Medical Oncolog y/Hematolog y “I can be part of your team… and together we can fight the battle.” Dr. Restrepo specializes in, medical oncology and hematology. He completed his fellowship at the University of Miami. He also serves on the Breast Cancer Committee of US Oncology and has completed a fellowship in breast cancer treatment. Through the Life Beyond Cancer Fundation he established the Texas Oncology–McAllen Breast Cancer Ride/Walk fundraiser to raise funds for Rio Grande Valley cancer patients. To date approximately $30,000 has been donated to cancer patients in the Rio Grande Valley.

Suresh Ratnam, M .D., FACP Medical Oncolog y/Hematolog y Dr. Ratnam has been with Texas Oncology-McAllen for 13 years, which he joined after completing his fellowship at the renowned National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. He has co-authored several research publications and is passionate about cuttingedge oncology care. He currently serves on the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee of US Oncology and chairman of the Credentials Committee for South Texas Health System.

McAllen 1901 South 2nd Street McAllen, Texas 78503 PH: 956.687.5150 FAX: 956.687.9546

Nurul Wahid, M .D. Medical Oncolog y/Hematolog y Dr. Wahid was fellowship-trained in medical oncology and hematology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. He has been recognized as Physician of the Year at Rio Grande State Center in Harlingen where he has served as senior attending physician for the past 13 years.

Guillermo L azo, M .D. Medical Oncolog y/Hematolog y Dr. Lazo specializes in medical oncology and hematology. He completed his fellowship at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. He is a recipient of several awards including the American Society of Clinical Oncology Merit Award and is the author of several peerreviewed medical publications as well as book chapters. He received the highest honors on the professional examination for his medical doctorate degree.

Joseph Litam, M .D. Medical Oncolog y/Hematolog y Dr. Litam was fellowship-trained at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He is well known in the community and was in private practice for 27 years before joining Texas Oncology. He has special interest in treating solid tumors.

Nirupama Shekar, M .D. Medical Oncolog y/Hematolog y Dr. Shekar specializes in medical oncology and hematology. She completed her fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland and trained at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Benjamin West, M .D. Radiation Oncolog y Dr. West is a board-certified radiation oncologist. He was a physicist prior to becoming a physician.

Rogelio Salinas, M .D. Radiation Oncolog y Dr. Salinas is a board-certified radiation oncologist. He completed his residency training at Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center in New York followed by his fellowship at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Debbie Gillett, R .N., N.P. Nurse Practitioner “Cancer prevention is a high priority. My aim is to identify individuals who may be at high risk for cancer and work with them to develop a plan to reduce that risk.” Debbie Gillett is a nurse practitioner.

HARLINGEN Marco A . Araneda, M .D. Medical Oncolog y/Hematolog y Dr. Araneda specializes in medical oncology and is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. He received his medical degree from San Carlos University in Guatemala and completed a medical oncology fellowship at East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee, as well as a fellowship in bone marrow transplantation at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. He has special interests in breast cancer, gastrointestinal malignancies, hematologic malignancies, and molecular targeted therapy.

L aura E . Cisneros, M .D. Medical Oncolog y/Hematolog y Dr. Cisneros specializes in hematology and oncology. She completed her residency in internal medicine as well as her fellowship in hematology and oncology at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, KS. She is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Nabeel Sarhill Medical Oncolog y/Hematolog y Dr. Nabeel Sarhill is board-certified in hematology, medical oncology, and internal medicine. He earned his medical doctorate from the University of Tishreen Medical School in Lattakia, Syria, and completed his residency in internal medicine at Case Wester Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. His fellowship in hematology was completed at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas, and his clinical research fellowship in medicine and symptoms management at The Harry R. Horvitz Center for Palliative Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Nabeel Sarhill is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology, Syrian Medical Association, Syrian Ministry of Health, American Board of Hematology, American Board of Medical Oncology, and the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Benjamin West, M .D. Radiation Oncolog y Dr. West is a board-certified radiation oncologist. He was a physicist prior to becoming a physician.

Harlingen 2121 Pease Street, Suite 101 Harlingen, Texas 78550 PH: 956.425.8845 FAX: 956.364.6793

BROWNSVILLE Balesh Sharma, M .D. Medical Oncolog y/Hematolog y Balesh Sharma, M.D. specializes in internal medicine, medical oncology and hematology. He is board certified by in medical oncology. Dr. Sharma received an M.D. Delhi University in New Delhi, India, in 1990, where he also completed his residency in Anesthesia and Critical Care in 1991. He completed his medical internship at Lincoln Medical Center in New York in 1992-93. Dr. Sharma completed his residency in internal medicine at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in affiliation with Yale University School of Medicine, Connecticut. In 1998, he completed a fellowship in hematology and oncology from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and has been in private practice since then.

Marcelo Boek, M .D. Medical Oncolog y/Hematolog y Dr. Boek is board-certified in internal medicine, medical oncology and hematology. Prior to him joining Texas Oncology, he conducted clinical research as part of the North Central Cancer Treatment group.

Carlos Gonzalez-Angulo, M .D. Radiation Oncolog y Dr. Gonzalez specializes in radiation oncology and internal medicine. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine as well as the American Board of Radiology, and is a member of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO). He completed his fellowship in radiation oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, in Buffalo, New York, and also completed a second residency in radiation oncology at Jackson Memorial Hospital/ Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, in Miami, Florida. Aside from his medical practice, Dr. Gonzalez is a Christian lay minister and a student of ancient Greek.

Rebecca Garza, R .N., B. S .N., M . S ., F.N.P. Nur se Pr actitioner Rebecca is board certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner as well as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. She has a varied and extensive background in nursing to include radiation oncology, medical insurance and medical research. Her work as a nurse practitioner has included pediatrics, general family practice and most recently medical oncology.

2150 N. Expressway 83 Brownsville, TX 78521 PH: 956-548-0810 FAX: 956-548-2239


Shamoon Doctor, M .D. Urolog y

Dr. Doctor specializes in general adult and pediatric urology; urologic oncology; male dysfunction; urinary incontinence and no scalpel vasectomy. Dr. Shamoon Doctor earned his medical degree from Osmania Medical College in Hyderabad, India in 1960. Following graduation, he specialized in general surgery and worked as a general surgeon in Zambia, Africa for five years. He then returned to Canada and specialized in urology. He has practiced urology in Canada and the United States sincce 1974, having practiced in Del Rio, Texas for over 30 years.

4770 N. Expressway 83, Suite 305A Brownsville, TX 78526 PH: 956-350-3975 FAX: 956-350-3425

WESLACO Habib Ghaddar, M .D., FACP Medical Oncolog y/Hematolog y Dr. Ghaddar specializes in medical oncology and hematology. He is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in hematology and medical oncology. He received his medical degree from the American University of Beirut in Beirut, Lebanon. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the Good Samaritan Hospital/John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He completed his fellowship in hematology/oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. He has been in practice with Texas Oncology since 1995.

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Daniel Farray, M .D. Medical Oncolog y/Hematolog y Dr. Farray is board-certified in medical oncology, hematology, and internal medicine. He received his medical degree in 1998 from the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Urena in the Dominican Republic and completed his residency in internal medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. He completed his fellowship in medical oncology and hematology in 2006 at Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center/Loyola University Chicago. Dr. Farray ranked first in his medical school class. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and American College of Physicians.

Weslaco 1330 East 6th Street, Suite 204 Weslaco, Texas 78596 PH: 956.969.0021 FAX: 956.968.9744

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“It is very important that you develop a close, trusting relationship with your gynecologist and on the same token, that your gynecologist takes the time to listen and explain all these complicated issues to you during your office visits.”

Amenorrhea is the fancy medical term for “absence of menstrual periods.” This can be either “primary” or “secondary.” Primary amenorrhea means that a woman has not had her first period by the age of 15. Secondary amenorrhea is when a woman who has had previous menstrual periods all of a sudden does not get one for more than three to six months. There are several causes for this and we’ll touch up on this a bit later. WHAT CAUSES THESE IRREGULAR PERIODS? The endocrine system in the body, the system that controls all the hormone secretion, is very tightly regulated and in the case of menstruation, this system is made up of some very important players: the brain, the ovaries and the uterus. Within the brain there are two important glands that are intricately involved in this process: the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. The hypothalamus makes a hormone called Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH). The pituitary gland makes two key hormones; one is called Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), the other Luteinizing Hormone (LH). The ovaries, on the other hand, produce estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Anything that affects any of the components of this system can lead to problems with menstruation.




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WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CAUSES OF THESE TWO TYPES OF AMENORRHEA? Although not as common, a genetic or spontaneous abnormality may occur in the development of any of the involved reproductive organs, such as the ovaries or uterus, and lead to primary amenorrhea. For example, a woman can be born without a uterus yet still have all external features of being a woman. But for most women who don’t see a period by the age of 15, the delay is usually in the hormone production and they eventually do get a period without any intervention. Secondary amenorrhea is a more common condition and there are several aspects that can lead to this condition. When the glands in the brain (hypothalamus and pituitary) stop or decreases the secretion of hormones like GnRH, it causes what’s called “hypothalamic amenorrhea,” a form of secondary amenorrhea. Pregnancy is the most common cause of the condition but this can happen in patients with emotional stress or eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia, or who have low body weight or body fat content. Certain tumors in the pituitary gland, such as prolactinomas (tumors that secrete the hormone prolactin), can also lead to secondary amenorrhea. There are certain common diseases such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) that cause irregular ovulation in a woman and this can lead to abnormalities in their menstrual periods as well. This particular disease is associated with excess production of male hormones, leading to facial hair, obesity and male-pattern baldness in women. This is a common topic these days in my office so look out for an upcoming article on PCOS. HOW WILL YOUR GYNECOLOGIST EVALUATE IRREGULAR MENSTRUAL PERIODS? One of the most important aspects of this evaluation is the history and physical exam. A carefully obtained detailed history may shed important clues about the cause of amenorrhea. These include family history of abnormal menstrual periods, presence of any developmental problems during childhood, age at first period (called menarche) and frequency of menstrual periods since the onset of menstruation. Other important questions that your gynecologist should ask is if there is any history of facial or chest hair, problems with your vision, headaches, adult acne and nipple discharge. Other relevant questions have to do with any medications you may be taking, recent gynecologic procedures such as dilation and curettage (D & C), recent illnesses or stressors, and significant changes in weight. Any change in the intensity or frequency of exercise is also very important. The physical examination is of great importance as well and your gynecologist will not only perform a pelvic examination but will also examine your face, neck and breasts looking for clues that may explain your changes in menstruation.



Laboratory, or blood, work is also an important part of the investigative process and this will most likely include blood tests looking for hormone levels. As mentioned early, changes in the levels of estrogen, FSH, LH and prolactin are associated with abnormal menstrual periods. One of the most important lab tests is a pregnancy test, as this is the most common cause of secondary amenorrhea. A pelvic ultrasound may be needed in order to rule out any abnormalities with your cervix, uterus or ovaries. HOW DO WE TREAT IRREGULAR MENSTRUAL PERIODS? The goal of any treatment is to correct what’s causing the condition in the first place. It is very important that you develop a close, trusting relationship with your gynecologist and, on the same token, that your gynecologist takes the time to listen and explain all these complicated issues to you during your office visits. Irregular menstrual periods in women with hypothalamic amenorrhea are sometimes normalized by simply making certain lifestyle modifications such as lowering the intensity and frequency of exercise, increasing caloric and reducing stress. It is known that women who burn more calories than they consume can develop secondary amenorrhea. In addition, all women with amenorrhea should pay close attention to their calcium and vitamin D intakes. They should consume 1200 to 1500 mg of calcium each day along with 400 units of Vitamin D. Unfortunately there is one problem that cannot be cured and that is menopause. Menopause is when the ovaries stop ovulating as part of the aging process and, subsequently, periods stop. By then, women are glad not to have to deal with a menstrual cycle anymore but it does bring on a list of other potential ailments. Stay tuned for my article on Menopause and Hormone Replacement Therapy. For those of you with normal monthly periods, be thankful for them as they are a sign of good health!

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the leading cause of daytime sleepiness by Andreea Macoveiciuc

Sleep apnea is more common in overweight people and affects men more than women. It can occur at any age but frequently in the elderly. People with enlarged tonsils or a deviated nasal septum, those with abnormalities of the upper airways, smokers, people taking certain medications and those who drink large amounts of alcohol are more prone to developing sleep apnea.

You wake up drained of energy even after sleeping for 8 hours. You’re moody the entire morning and find it hard to focus on your work tasks. You pour yourself another cup of coffee, hoping it will solve the problem and manage to cross off everything on your to-do list. Finally, you reach home feeling exhausted with a terrible headache and unable to think of anything that requires attention. “A quick nap should do it,” you tell yourself but just when you’re about to fall asleep, your breathing stops for a few seconds. You change your position and finally manage to fall asleep but wake up with chest pain and feeling dizzy. Sleep apnea disrupts sleep and manifests through breathing pauses, snoring, a choking sensation while sleeping, restless sleep, insomnia and shallow breathing while resting. It’s one of the most common chronic conditions affecting US adults and the most undiagnosed sleep disorder in our country. The condition is also typically evidenced by excessive daytime sleepiness, headaches during the day, irritability, mood changes, depression and poor memory, focus and attention. Unfortunately, the symptoms of sleep apnea aren’t specific and there’s no visible manifestation that tells people that they’re suffering from this condition, so the ailment often passes unrecognized. People can suffer from OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) for years without knowing it, as there’s no blood test to diagnose this health problem and the condition can’t be detected during routine check-ups either. THEN HOW DO I GET DIAGNOSED, YOU MIGHT ASK? Usually a family member or partner notices that the sufferer is snoring and stops breathing during sleep, with breathing pauses lasting up to a few minutes. After such pauses, there is a loud snort or chocking sound and normal breathing starts again. This tends to reoccur frequently throughout sleep. Sufferers may or may not wake up but the condition usually disrupts their normal sleep pattern and makes it difficult to have a restful sleep. People



with sleep apnea wake up tired, the poor quality of sleep causing the already mentioned symptoms of this condition. Other manifestations of sleep apnea include confusion, anxiety and sexual dysfunction, while the potential complications include:

• High blood pressure • Irregular heartbeats and a higher risk of heart disease, heart failure and stroke

• A higher risk of accidents while driving • Daytime sleepiness that affects thinking

patterns, makes it difficult to remember things and to concentrate • A higher risk of pulmonary hypertension The condition, which affects more than 20 million adults in the U.S., is diagnosed based on personal or family history, physical examination and through polysomnography. This sleep study monitors activity while sleeping (or trying to sleep) and analyzes the sleeping pattern by recording a series of parameters, among which are blood oxygen levels, body position, brain waves, electrical activity of muscles, eye movements and heart rate. CAN SLEEP APNEA BE TREATED? Several treatments—both invasive and noninvasive—are available for this condition, so if your energy levels are lower than usual, you feel moody and tired during the day, find it difficult to focus and perform any task that requires thinking and analyzing, and your partner complains about snoring, it may be a good idea to ask for help. Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles and soft tissues inside the throat relax too much and collapse, causing the obstruction of the airways and preventing air from passing through the passages. To treat the condition one can use dental appliances or mouthpieces that blow air into the airways during the night (called CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure devices). Losing weight for those who are overweight, quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption can also help. In severe cases, more complex treatments, including surgery, may be recommended.


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JOINT REPLACEMENT Can Improve Your Quality of Life by Scott Bernstein, DPM

Many people are in constant pain from debilitating joint disorders, some of which are caused by injuries or arthritis. Joint disorders limit the range of motion and pain is experienced in every movement of the affected joint. The foot contains 25% of all of the bones in the body so it is no wonder that the foot is also affected by joint degradation. The good news, though, is that there is hope and no need to live a life of constant pain and lack of mobility caused by joint problems of the foot.

When more conservative treatments of a diseased joint do not result in a successful outcome, a surgical repair or replacement, called arthroplasty, may be indicated. The most often replaced joint of the foot is the big toe joint but other toe joints and ankle joints can also be replaced. Arthritis is often the cause of the problem and by replacing the diseased joint the patient enjoys more motion and less of a transfer of stress to the other joints. For many the result of joint replacement has meant a higher quality of life, a vast improvement in joint pain and the ability to perform activities. Arthroplasty may be appropriate for you if you suffer from chronic joint pain disease or a severe disability. There are many considerations that will be taken into account before such a procedure is recommended. Joint repair or replacement surgery may be indicated if you suffer from one of the following disorders of the ankle or foot:

• • • • • • •

Arthritis of the ankle in an advanced stage Rheumatoid arthritis Fracture of a bone Infections Arthritis of the big toe joint Bunion surgery that did not have a good outcome Hammer toes, mallet toes or claw toes

AN ALTERNATIVE TO ANKLE FUSION SURGERY Thanks to modern technology, if you suffer from a major ankle disorder it is no longer necessary to accept the traditional ankle fusion option in which the ankle joint is removed and the shinbone (tibia) is allowed to be fused to the talus bone, resulting in the loss of the up and down movement of the foot. Modern ankle joint prostheses are made of metal and medical grade plastic combined to support the tibia and the fibula. Patients report excellent results and normal movement. The take away: You don’t have to suffer from joint pain the way people have in the past. You can take advantage of modern medical technology and highly trained physicians to alter your daily life of pain and suffering. A new pain-free world awaits you with a complete range of motion that you thought you would never enjoy again.





According to Oriental medicine, the lungs are one of the Yin organs and govern respiration and the Qi (air), with pure Qi being inhaled and unclean Qi being exhaled. One of the lungs’ function is to descend and diffuse the Qi (air), as well as the body fluids along with the defensive Qi. Lungs open to the nose and control the skin.

The Relationship Between the Lungs and

THE LARGE INTESTINE by Consuelo Camarillo de Gonzalez Lic. A.C. Lungs are the first organ affected by exterior pathogens like wind, cold, dampness and heat. When the lungs are attacked, the symptoms can include a weak voice, shortness of breath, pallor, sadness, eczema, allergic asthma, phlegm, runny nose and sneezing. Diet plays a very important role in lung function. The excess consumption of cold and raw food can form internal dampness and phlegm. According to Chinese medicine, phlegm is a product of spleen function and is stored in the lungs; therefore, when a person has asthma, it is contraindicated to consume cold or raw foods. On the same token, neither is it recommended to eat too much spicy, greasy or dairy foods, especially cow milk, as this causes phlegm storage in the lungs. The large intestine, as part of the Yang organs, is related to the lungs. Its function is to control the passage of food and waste from the small intestine as well as the absorption of fluids and discharge of waste. Just like the lungs, the large intestine can also be damaged by the cold, dampness and heat. For example, when exposed to excessive cold for long periods of time, the large intestine may experience diarrhea and abdominal pain. The organ can also be affected by anger and worry, which stagnate the Qi

of the large intestine, causing abdominal distention, cramps, pain and constipation with minimal stool alternating with diarrhea. Proper diet is crucial for the correct functioning of the large intestine. Constant excessive consumption of raw or cold foods, as well as those that are spicy, greasy or made from cow’s milk, can give rise to dampness and phlegm in the large intestine, causing diarrhea with mucus and blood accompanied by a burning sensation and offensive odor. The lungs and large intestine have an important relationship, meaning that any injury to the large intestine can cause the lungs to overload with phlegm causing reactions such as allergies, asthma or rhinitis. At Behavioral Wellness Center we can guide you and give you treatment to help balance your body and keep you healthy and happy. With techniques like acupuncture, nutrition, cupping, herbal prescription, Tai Chi and Qi Gong guidance, we can help you with your needs. Call our office to make an appointment.









Fitness & beauty

Down the Rabbit Hole

Shedding Light on the Mystery of Eating Disorders By Angelica M. Gonzalez, LMHC In a society obsessed with diets, body image and popularity, eating disorders seem to provide an answer to some people’s feelings of depression and low self-esteem. Unfortunately, though, eating disorders are a mystery that may not have a happy ending. Much like Alice as she begins her journey, once you begin the path down the rabbit hole of an eating disorder, it is difficult to come out on the other side, no matter how young or old you are. Eating disorders affect approximately 11 million American men, women, boys and girls. They are the third most common disorder among adolescents and have the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric disorders. An eating disorder can be defined as emotional, psychological, biological and socially influenced attitudes surrounding food and weight that affect a person’s ability to maintain a healthy body weight and lead a productive life. Eating disorders also have severe medical and emotional consequences that may include death in extreme cases. UNEARTHING A FEW COMMON DIAGNOSES Causes of eating disorders are not known but research has shown that they are highly individualized. Genetics, social environment and psychological factors all combine to create a power struggle between the mind, body and heart, causing them to tumble down a path that is not healthy. Qualified mental health professionals help patients see the dark place where they feel they are in, which helps them to access and dissect the emotional issues that may have led to their eating disorder. Over the years, the diagnoses for eating disorders have evolved and have begun to be commonly diagnosed and recognized: ANOREXIA: This is the most socially recognizable eating disorder. Patients starve themselves and have an intense fear of gaining weight. Medical complications, such as dry skin, hair loss, reduced bone density, kidney failure and low heart rates, are common complications associated with anorexia. BULIMIA NERVOSA: Bulimia is mostly known as a disorder that causes a person to eat uncontrollably and then purge, which can take many different forms including vomiting, laxative abuse, diet pill abuse and over-exercising. Medical consequences include electrolyte imbalances that can lead to a heart attack, tooth decay, swelling and rupturing in the esophagus and ulcers.



BINGE EATING DISORDER (BED): BED is characterized by unrestricted eating of unusual amounts of food without any compensatory behavior. This does not mean regular overeating, which we all take part in occasionally. This is a chronic, repetitive activity that often leads to diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. There are several variations of these primary eating disorders, among them are night eating disorder that causes a person to eat at night without conscious awareness; diabulemia, which affects diabetics in that the person interferes with insulin intake in order to promote weight loss; and orthorexia, which causes a person to refuse to eat anything that is arbitrarily deemed “unhealthy.” In each of these cases, regardless of the diagnosis, these diseases are insidious and life threatening, DIGGING A WAY OUT The best outcomes for eating disorder patients are obtained when they are connected to a team that can work together to help heal the person. A typical team may include a medical doctor, nutritionist, mental health professional and, when indicated, a psychiatrist, all of which are professionals who specialize in the treatment of eating disorders. This team works closely with the patient, and often their family members, to support the individual in treatment. If you suspect that someone has an eating disorder, find a quiet place where you can speak together and ask if the person needs help. Like Alice when she went down the rabbit hole, patients who have eating disorders need some guidance in finding the way out of the darkness in order to move toward a life that is healthy and happy.


Has a family member, friend, co-worker or loved one begun to isolate themselves?

Do they seem out of control around food?

Do they go to the bathroom right after eating?

Do they have any weird behaviors around food?

Are they loosing or gaining weight rapidly?

Are their cheeks swollen or teeth discolored?

Are they obsessively speaking of thinness?

Liposuction Fat Transfers Breast Augmentation Laser Hair Removal Skin Rejuvenation (Sra Laser) Sublative Laser (Acne Scars) Velashape Laser (Reduce Circumference And Ultimate Cellulite)



Look the Way

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FAT TRANSFER with the purchase of liposuction area

Ph. 956-618-9915 • 5240 North 10th St. Petite Plaza Ste. 2. • McAllen, TX 78504

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Fitness & beauty

Should I Start Ordering

Egg Whites? By Dr. Ritu Goel

Egg whites are an excellent alternative to whole eggs, as they are a low-calorie source of protein with negligible fat and zero cholesterol. Their major function is to protect the egg yolks and to provide nutrients for embryo growth. Whole eggs can be easily substituted with egg whites in dishes prepared from eggs, even scrambled and fried eggs. Today, various egg white substitutes fortified with minerals and vitamins that are healthy and quite convenient to use are available in most grocery stores.



SHOULD YOU START ORDERING EGG WHITES? If you are restricting your fat and cholesterol consumption, then eating egg whites is an excellent alternative to eating whole eggs. The source of cholesterol and fat is eliminated by discarding the yolk and, due to few calories and high protein, egg whites are often considered healthier than the whole egg. NUTRITIONAL STATISTICS OF EGG WHITES About 33 g of egg white is present in a large egg. It contains only 16 calories, 0 g of saturated fat, 0.1% of total fat, no cholesterol, 0.2 g of carbohydrates, 55 mg of sodium and 3.5 g of protein. Moreover, egg whites contain many vitamins and minerals, such as riboflavin and selenium, respectively. Egg whites are an excellent source of proteins that contains fewer calories. EGG WHITES ARE LOW IN FAT Egg whites contain lesser amount of fat with zero saturated fat. Hence, they are an excellent choice as a breakfast food. Due to this quality, egg whites are the favorite food of dieters, athletes and bodybuilders who are watching their diets. The egg yolk is a rich source of fat and though you get more protein by eating a whole egg, the amount is not significantly greater than eating egg whites alone. EGG WHITES ARE A GOOD SOURCE OF PROTEIN Egg whites are one of the best sources of food protein and because proteins are the building blocks of muscles, athletes and bodybuilders who want to build up their muscles eat a lot of proteins. The egg white is one protein that can be eaten frequently without increasing fat and cholesterol intake. Eating a diet high in protein also helps increase metabolism and keeps you full for a longer period of time. USING EGG WHITES AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR WHOLE EGGS An egg white can be easily swapped for one whole egg when making an egg dish such as scrambled or fried eggs. A whole egg can also be substituted with egg white in baked dishes; however, the egg white may change the consistency of the dish. This happens because the egg yolk contains fat, which provides moisture and helps in the emulsification of the batter. Nonetheless, in some baked recipes, swapping whole eggs with egg whites works very well. COMMERCIAL EGG WHITE SUBSTITUTES Nowadays a variety of egg white substitutes are available in the market. These are nothing but egg whites fortified with a few minerals and vitamins. The substitutes are quite convenient and healthy, too, as they contain extra vitamins and minerals that you miss out on by discarding the egg yolk. The vitamins that are present in commercial egg white substitutes are vitamins A, D, E, B6 and B12, folate, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid and minerals such as iron and zinc.



TREATMENT FOR “BRAIN ATTACKS” New research shows that Hispanics along the border are less likely to receive medications to treat strokes and 30 percent more likely to die from “brain attacks” than non-Hispanic patients. The research, by six neurologists -- including Dr. Ameer Hassan and Dr. Wondwossen Tekle of Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen -- suggests that Hispanics may be waiting too long to get treated for stroke.

RIO GRANDE REGIONAL HOSPITAL Rio Grande Regional Hospital Celebrates The American Heart Association’s National Wear Red Day McAllen, TX, February 13, 2014—Cris Rivera, CEO of Rio Grande Regional Hospital (RGRH), is making sure her hospital helps raise awareness about preventing and treating heart disease ―the number one killer of women. For the second year, Rio Grande Regional Hospital celebrated Go Red For Women.


Fitness & beauty

Walk-N-Rolla is bringing together many community businesses and health professionals in an effort to promote the ability to do more than we think we can.

“WALK-N-ROLLA” Rolls Into Edinburg, Texas By Steve Stanley

The community is invited to participate in the 4th Annual Walk-N-Rolla in support of the South Texas Juvenile Diabetes Association (STJDA) on April 12, 2014, at the University of Texas Pan-American’s Wellness and Recreational Sports Complex. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in three people in the Valley are diabetic and this is strongly linked to the high rates of obesity in the area. The Hidalgo County Metropolitan Planning Organization (HCMPO) encourages Rio Grande Valley citizens to move towards healthier lifestyles while supporting diabetes awareness during this fun filled event. The event will consist of a 5K walk/ run and a 20/40-mile bike ride. These actives support healthy alternative modes of transportation, such as walking and cycling, which with continued use can reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. The event was created in 2011 as a Walking and Biking Festival. Since its infancy, HCMPO continually partners with other public agencies to celebrate and inform the community about present efforts to move towards healthier lifestyles for the future.

Walk-N-Rolla is bringing together many community businesses and health professionals in an effort to promote healthy lifestyles for the Rio Grande Valley. Complimentary health screenings, door prizes, entertainment, ‘80s costume contest, dog walk and giveaways will follow the morning 5K and bike ride activities. Funds raised for STJDA will be used to provide diabetic information, medication and treatment to underprivileged families in the Valley, provide Shot Spots Teddy Bears to newly diagnosed children and host events and camps for children suffering with diabetes, along with their families. All proceeds stay in the Rio Grande Valley. Visit to learn more.

HCMPO still has health fair booths and sponsorship opportunities available. For more information on WalkN-Rolla, contact HCMPO at 956-969-5778, visit the registration site at www.RGVEVENTS.NET or find them on Facebook at For more information, contact Public Involvement Coordinator Chanel Borrego at (956) 969-5778.






COMMUNITY EVENTS FEBRUARY 8 MARCH 8 Childbirth Classes 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM Rio Grande Regional Hospital: Classrooms 1AB 101 E. Ridge Rd. For more information, call 956-661-3110 MARCH 18 Cooking Class at the RGV Diabetes 6:00 PM How to increase fiber in your diet Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Assoc. Office 4121 N 10th St., McAllen For more information please call your RGVDA office at 956-782-1900. MARCH 22 Walkerz Against Diabetes Edinburg Municipal Park, 714 S Raul Longoria Rd., Edinburg and San Benito Heavin Park, 800 N Bowie St., San Benito For more information please call your RGVDA office at (956) 782-1900 Every Monday “Doing Healthy Right” Weight Loss Class 12:00 PM and 5:30 PM The Wellness Center at Renaissance 5525 Doctors Dr., Edinburg For more information, call 956-362-5610. Every 2nd Monday Bariatric Patients Support Group 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Rio Grande Regional Hospital Classroom 1A&B 101 E. Ridge Rd., McAllen For more information, please call, Jennifer Trevino, RN at 956-661-3560. Every 3rd Monday Bariatric Patients Support Group 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Valley Regional Hospital 100 E. Alton Gloor Blvd., Brownsville For more information, please call, Jennifer Trevino, RN at 956-661-3560. Every Tuesday Diabetes Education Class (call for Spanish class) 1:00 PM Sponsored by South Texas Health System McAllen Medical Center, 3 East Classroom 301 W. Expressway 83, McAllen For more information, call 956-971-5850. Every 2nd Tuesday Weight-Loss Surgery Support Group Meetings 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Weight-Loss Surgery Center 416 Lindberg Ave., Ste. B, McAllen For more information, call 956-664-9611.

Every 3rd Tuesday Spanish: Alzheimer’s Support Group 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM South Texas Behavior Health Center 2101 W. Trenton Rd., Edinburg For more information, call 956-388-1300. Every 1st Wednesday Car Seat Inspection Station 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Edinburg Children’s Hospital 1102 W. Trenton Rd., Edinburg For more information, call 956-388-6519. day La Leche League 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM Supports and encourages mothers who want to breastfeed Edinburg Children’s Hospital, 2nd Floor Family Room 1102 W. Trenton Rd., Edinburg For more information, call Ann at 956-682-9770. 1st and 3rd Wednesdays Breast Cancer 101 (Support Group) English @ 5:30 PM & Spanish @ 10:00 AM For women only Texas Oncology-McAllen 1901 South Second Street, McAllen, TX For more information, call (956) 687-6169 or send email to Every Wednesday Cancer Support Group 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Hosted by H.O.P.E. – Helping Other Patients Emotionally Free to cancer patients and caregivers New McAllen Public Library, Conf. Rm. B 4001 N. 23rd St., McAllen For more information, call 956-624-3840 or email Every 1st Thursday US TOO Prostate Cancer Support Group 7:00 PM Texas Oncology-McAllen, Community Conference Room 1901 South Second Street, McAllen For more information, contact Anthony Sala at 956-687-5150 or Every 1st and 3rd Thursday Juvenile Diabetes Support Group 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM South Texas Juvenile Diabetes Association Edinburg Regional Medical Center, The Texas Room 1102 W. Trenton Rd., Edinburg For more information, call 956-631-8903 or email Every 2nd Saturday $10 Heart Risk Assessment 6:00 AM – 10:00 AM By appointment only Heart Hospital Conference Room, 1st Floor 500 E. Ridge Rd., McAllen For more information, call 1-800-879-1033.


1 PAGE AD (BLEED SIZE) 8.5” x 11” + 0.25” Bleed

Are you expecting? Prepare for your baby with RGV Baby, the new app from Valley Baptist Health System. Get healthy information, track key pregnancy milestones and even capture weekly photos with the Baby Bump Album feature. Learn more about the RGV Baby app at

Healthy Valley Magazine March 2014 rgv  

healthy valley magazine

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