Dr. B Talks About No Scalpel Vasectomy

This is my second video blog.

No scalpel vasectomy is a procedure which I do in my office. For more information please view these links: What you should know about vasectomy? and Information/Instructions for No-Scalpel Vasectomy.

I hope you enjoyed this video! Comments may be left by clicking on the video above and leaving them on the Youtube website!

Thanks for watching!

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Mosquitoes Around Your Home

Dear Dr. B: The mosquito season is going to be here soon. How can I control mosquitoes around my home and how can I protect myself?

Answer: At this time of the year, it is quite appropriate to worry about mosquitoes. Mosquitoes carry many diseases worldwide. In North America, the real concern is the role of mosquitoes in spreading the West Nile disease. West Nile virus is carried by birds. Mosquitoes get infected by feeding on the blood of these birds. Infected mosquitoes then transmit the virus to humans when they bite us.

All mosquitoes need water to develop from their immature stages to adulthood. The life cycle takes less than 10 days to complete if the surrounding temperature is favorable. Once the adult mosquito is ready to fly then it looks for something to eat.

Nectar from flowers provides energy to both male and female mosquitoes. While male mosquitoes feed exclusively on nectar, the female mosquito needs blood to produce her eggs. The source of blood can be animals (including people) and birds.

According to Health Canada website, the female mosquito may live for as long as three weeks during the summer, and any female that lives long enough to feed on blood more than once has the potential to transmit blood-borne diseases from one animal or person to another. Although most mosquito species breed in clean water in the wild, many of the species that breed near your home tolerate polluted water. Most of the 75 mosquito species found in Canada survive the winter as dormant fertilized eggs.

The Health Canada website has many helpful suggestions on how to protect your home and yourself from mosquitoes. I will summarize that information here.

Certain species of mosquitoes breed around the home in containers like bird baths and eavestroughs. It is important to control the breeding sites around your home by preventing stagnation of water (flower pots, gardening cans, wheelbarrows, puddles, tire swings) even in small quantities. Boats and gardening containers can be stored upside down.

Cover any garbage, recycling or composting containers, to prevent water from accumulating in them. Empty your rain barrel if the water is more than a week old. Keep your swimming pool aerated, cleaned and chlorinated, even if it is not being used. Dump any water that collects on your swimming pool cover. For more ideas visit http://www.pmra-arla.gc.ca/english/consum/mosquitos-e.html

How to protect yourself?

During mosquito season (May to September for most of Canada), you should limit your outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are the most active. Minimize exposure of your skin by wearing long pants, long sleeves, socks and shoes when outdoors. Loose clothings will keep mosquitoes away from the skin. Use personal insect repellents. Very useful information on this subject is available in Health Canada’s fact sheet, Safety Tips on Using Personal Insect Repellents found at www.westnilevirus.gc.ca.

DEET-based repellents (considered to be most effective) at various concentrations offer different protection times. For example: 30 per cent concentration will provide six hours of protection compared to five per cent concentration which provides only two hours of protection from mosquito bite. Read the directions carefully before using DEET-based repellents especially in children and infants.

Enjoy your summer but don’t forget the sun screen and insect repellent.

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Eggs and Heart Disease

Dear Dr. B: I am a young body builder and eat ten to twelve eggs each week as a source of protein and vitamins. My cholesterol level is normal but I have a bad family history of heart problems. Should I be eating eggs? Do eggs cause heart disease?

Answer: Let us get one thing straight – there are many reasons why a person gets heart disease. Heart disease cannot be blamed on eating eggs only. I surfed various websites to see if there was a clear cut answer to your question.

First step in the prevention of heart disease is to identify your risk factors. Second step is to take measures to control these factors.

Here is the bad news. Heart disease is a number one killer and is going to affect 70 per cent of our population. It is unfortunate that you have a family history of heart disease. This doubles your risk of getting heart problems as you get older. Since you cannot change your genes you have to change other risk factors starting early in your life. Remember the risk of heart disease and stroke increases after the age of 45.

Your ethnicity counts. It has been found that black people, Aboriginal Peoples, and South Asians from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have a greater chance of developing high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Do you belong to any one of these groups?

Do you drink alcohol? Studies have shown drinking too much alcohol – particularly binge drinking – can increase your blood pressure and contribute to the development of high blood pressure , heart disease and stroke. No drinking or drinking in moderation is important for good health.

The best news you have is that your cholesterol level is normal while you are young. You should take steps to keep this under control with proper diet and exercise. Why? Because high blood cholesterol is responsible for heart attacks, stroke, clogging of the arteries and high blood pressure.

Where does cholesterol come from? There are two sources: our body makes cholesterol and there is cholesterol in the animal food we eat such as eggs, regular milk products, meat and poultry. High fat foods containing saturated and trans fat are lethal because they are high in cholesterol

What about eggs?

Egg is considered to be a complete food. It is low in calories (79 calories) and is loaded with protein (six grams of protein per egg), important vitamins and minerals. Egg is low in fat but the yolk is high in cholesterol. Yolk is also high in calories (egg white 16 vs. yolk 63 calories per egg).

The average large egg yolk contains 212 mg. of cholesterol. This is considered to be high and it is rivaled only by single servings of liver, shrimp, and duck meat. Compare this to other foods: one cup of whole milk has 35 mg. of cholesterol, one cup of skim milk has four gm. of cholesterol, one ounce of cheese has 20-30 mg. of cholesterol and 3.5 ounce of beef or chicken has 70-100 mg. of cholesterol. Shrimp (3.5 oz.) and cod have 25 and 65 mg. of cholesterol respectively.

For healthy individuals, the American Heart Association recommends 300 mg or less of dietary cholesterol a day. If you have one of the risk factors for heart disease then 200 mg or less of dietary cholesterol is recommended. There are many other risk factors which you can control such as obesity, diabetes, smoking and high blood pressure.

An individual’s capacity to handle dietary cholesterol also varies. A cardiologist in New York City treated over 8,000 patients with a diet high in meat, milk, and eggs and he lowered the serum cholesterol markedly in 63 percent of his patients. The cardiologist, Dr. Itchiness, believes that 95 percent of all heart trouble is associated with high serum triglycerides and attributes this to the staggering increase in sugar consumption – up from 7 pounds per person in 1840 to over 100 pounds today.

Important thing is to use common sense, exercise regularly and eat a sensible diet in moderation. Relax, be happy and laugh a lot.

Start reading the preview of my book A Doctor's Journey for free on Amazon. Available on Kindle for $2.99!