Low T – Be Careful What You Wish For

One cannot escape an AndroGel commercial while listening to the radio or watching television these days it seems. AndroGel and other low testosterone product marketers practically shout out questions to the listener as to whether they suffer from the horrible, bad, very awful condition of low testosterone. Even the most viral consumer might begin doubting their own testosterone levels and long for the better life touted in the commercials for those who use Androgel. It may seem funny to imagine some poor guy trying to watch sports but being sucked in instead to believing he has low testosterone that must explain his partner’s dissatisfaction or his lack of a partner. Low testosterone (aka low T) products, however, are no joke as it is dangerous to its users and the subject of lawsuits for users who have suffered heart attacks, strokes, and other heart problems while using low testosterone products. Lawsuits were initiated after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated in January of 2014 that they were looking into such heart related risks with the use of low T products. The FDA had previously decided, in September, 2013, that low T product manufacturers would be required to state clearly on the product labels that they have not been proven or shown to actually lessen low libido, fatigue, muscle loss and other age-related symptoms and also manufacturers be forced to do research as to the relation of their products and cardiovascular issues.

One of the lawsuits related to AndroGel, made by Abbott Laboratories, is the defendant in one particular lawsuit that alleges that Dr. John Morley of Saint Louis University’s School of Medicine has actually admitted he accepted grant money to the tune of $40,000 to write a quiz for Androgel to use in its marketing that would supposedly tell the taker they have low T and need AndroGel. The result has been AndroGel’s sales increasing to $1.4 billion in a single year and low T being over diagnosed to men it has endangered. Another highly marketed product also marketed for low T is Axiron, and has also been shown to have the same heart related side effects as AndroGel. The danger does not stop with the male patient using the low T product, however, as the products have also caused side effects in women and children unfortunate enough to be accidentally exposed to the drugs through touching. Women have experienced acne and body hair growth, while children have experienced early puberty symptoms. The low T gels are also highly flammable, as anyone can see from the product labels! Warnings advise washing the area the low T gels are applied, with soap and water, if it is expected anyone will touch the patient’s skin with their skin. They also warn users to cover areas with clothing after application, to wait five hours before taking a swim, and to never apply the gel to the penis or scrotum!

It would seem the risk would highly outweigh the benefits and not be the ticket to a wonderful, newfound love life for users. Ask your medical providers whether the benefits would indeed be appropriate, given the dangerous complications, and do not hesitate to let your provider know if you or someone close to you has already experienced side effects. Do not hesitate to contact a well-respected injury firm to see whether you may be entitled to compensation if you have been harmed by low T products.

Post Traumatic Stress

These days it is so common to hear about PTSD, in relation to veterans, that one might think that it is really only a big concern for veterans. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is actually what its name implies, a disorder occurring after trauma and that can include a variety of traumas, such as combat, bullying, disasters, terrorism, abuse, and often car accidents. Dr. Daniel G. Amen of the Amen Clinics states that the traumatic event can be experienced, witnessed in person, something that happens to someone close to you, or simply come from being exposed to graphic details over and over. Dr. Amen states that 1 in 30 people have PTSD, so does the experiencing of a traumatic manner in one of the above ways guarantee one will suffer PTSD? The answer to that is not always, but stressing that PTSD can occur right after trauma or not show up until several months later, even after a different trauma is experienced. In the best case scenario for those with PTSD symptoms, the brain eventually settles down and the symptoms diminish with time.

So what are the symptoms to look for in PTSD? Sufferers may experience flashbacks, nightmares, inability to recollect aspects of the traumatic event, inability to stop thinking about the traumatic event, significant anxiety, anger/irritability issues, depression symptoms, sleep problems, desires to isolate, and/or the desire to disassociate with anything or anyone that would remind one of a traumatic event. With modern medical technology doctors are now able to see PTSD on brain SPECT scans, which is very helpful in alleviating the stigma many individuals feel in regards to letting others know their PTSD symptoms. The SPECT scans literally spot areas of over activity in the brain (i.e. diamond plus pattern), alerting medical professionals to the possibility of the brain being in a constant state of over stimulation that ups anxiety, anger, irritability, sleep problems, and other PTSD symptoms. Not only does the patient feel fewer stigmas, but his or her family can better understand and treatments can be geared to individual brains.

Brain specialists can help those with PTSD, as can others in the fields of medicine and psychology. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been found to be a promising treatment for PTSD, as well as a treatment done by Anesthesiologists, called a stellate ganglion block (SGB). SGB is a nerve block used for years to alleviate pain symptoms and sleep problems. It involves injecting a small amount of local anesthesia into the base of the neck and has been found to be a viable long-term treatment for PTSD. It has been tested in veterans with PTSD and the alleviation of PTSD symptoms has lasted from three to six months in 75 percent of participant patients. The study on this treatment is proving the measure is effective, but researchers at the University of California-Irvine continue to look into who would best be served by the treatment.

Personal injury law firms are no strangers to clients exhibiting PTSD symptoms after traumatic events, such as motor vehicle accidents and other injury accidents. It is unfortunate that often times PTSD is not taken seriously enough by injured parties, medical providers, insurance companies, and even representing attorneys. It is very important that the victim of an injury accident not be afraid to give detailed symptom descriptions to their medical providers. PTSD is a serious condition that can have lifelong implications, and while there is no known cure for the disorder, it can be diagnosed and treated to bring some relief to the sufferer. Left untreated the condition could lead to significant to life threatening consequences to the individual with PTSD, as well as those that individual may come in contact with.

E.Coli — What to Look For

Just about the time one thinks there are no threats of E. coli sicknesses, the news explodes with new cases and sources. In September, 2014 news has come out regarding E. coli cases on the Pacific Northwest in Oregon and Washington (Pacific Northwest Children) and the south in Kentucky (Five Kentucky Children) Two of the children in the Pacific Northwest, and five children in Kentucky all are suffering from kidney disease that is usually caused by E. coli, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This disease can cause kidney failure and the need for dialysis and can occur after two days to two weeks of E. coli infection.

E. coli is bacteria found in water or food, with the ability to transfer via drinking unpasteurized milk or eating undercooked meat. Raw sprouts and produce have also been culprits. It can be passed along through person to person (i.e. hand) contact when hands are not washed after using the bathroom or changing a diaper. It caused an infection that can be fatal, especially in children or the older population. It often takes much time to track down the source of a new outbreak of E. coli concentrated to specific areas of the country. For instance, in Oregon it was first thought that three of the stricken children had all eaten at the same restaurant, something that strikes fear in any restaurant owner, but that restaurant was ruled out and it was released that the children all attended the same birthday party at a park, played in the same pond, were around a goat and other animals, and all ate watermelon and cupcakes purchased at the same store. Even when the goat droppings in common tested positively for E. coli, investigators were still unable to pinpoint whether it was the same strain the children suffered.

With the variety of possible sources of E. coli the average person might be wondering what to look for in regards to the infection’s symptoms in order to err on the side of safety. First, know that children, especially those younger than 5, are the most likely to be infected and display symptoms. Elderly people, when stricken by such an infection, can also suffer severe repercussions from E. coli. The biggest symptom is diarrhea, which can go from watery to bloody. Fever is another symptom, although less prevalent. The signs that an individual has developed the kidney disease of HUS include fatigue, less urination, slow or dulled responsiveness, limb swelling, or unusual bruising. When in full effect, HUS can cause symptoms of seizures, altered mental status, confusion, severe fatigue, dehydration, and neurological issues (Signs and Symptoms). It is imperative that when an individual suspects E. coli infection, an E. coli test is specifically requested when presenting to a medical provider, as many providers will not order one even when a patient is experiencing extremely serious diarrhea symptoms. Such tests require a stool sample from the patient that is sent to a laboratory to test for a poison produced by harmful E. coli strains, shiga toxin, and it is also recommended that labs do the additional culture test to check for E. coli bacteria.

There could be some help on the horizon for those suffering from E. coli infections. Harvard University is working on a device that would work just like the human spleen to fight deadly pathogens, including E. coli, but also including Ebola and others. This device is called the biospleen and can filter infected blood by utilizing magnetic nanobeads coated with human protein that has been specifically genetically engineered to fight pathogens. The patient gets cleansed blood from the device and could be an important turn of events in the fight against pathogens, such as E. coli, that fight the person’s natural immune system. A timeline has not been given for its possible use, but experimental studies with rats have seen success, with 89% of rats treated with the device surviving.
If you suspect an E. coli infection, do not hesitate to present to your medical provider and be very assertive in requesting E. coli tests. You may also need to consult with a well-respected law firm to find out what compensation may be due as a result of an E. coli infection and its effects.