Welcome to eclaireMD

Posted by on Mar 18, 2013 in Launch, News | Comments Off

We are a group of engineers, doctors, nurses, nutritionists, and other professionals who are passionate about improving health care. Our mission is to put practical tools into your hands to better control and improve the quality of your life.

Your Life, Your Health — In Your Hands

 

All-New eclaireMD A1C

eclaireMD A1C is the newest smartphone app from eclaireMD.  It enables you to track your A1C value over time without going to the lab or to your doctor’s office.  Best of all, eclaireMD A1C is free!

eclaireMD A1C Chart

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Use your smartphone to download eclaireMD A1C from the Apple App Store or from the Android Market and begin using this valuable health resource.

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Fish consumption and heart disease

Posted by on Mar 28, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Fish imageHeart diseases or cardiovascular diseases affect millions of people each year. High cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. The bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol is increased by saturated fats in your diet. Saturated fats can clog up the arteries in the heart and can lead to heart attack. Saturated fats mostly come from animal products while unsaturated fats come from vegetables and some seafood. Fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, and they are the types of unsaturated fatty acid that cannot be made by your body.

Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids lower triglyceride cholesterol level while it raises HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). Therefore, it appears to reduce the risk of heart diseases. You can get lots of omega-3 fatty acid from fish such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, mullet, anchovy, trout, sardines, halibut and herring. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid fish with high mercury contents and it is generally higher in swordfish, king mackerel and shark. If you are a vegetarian, you can get it from flaxseed, walnut and soybean. Flaxseed and linseed oil are rich in omega-3 while canola and walnut oil contain moderate amount of omega-3. Also, omega-3 supplements or fish oil are available in drug stores. However, do omega-3 supplements provide the same benefit on heart diseases as eating fish? We will look into it next.

One of the studies published in the Journal of American Medical Associated showed that omega-3 supplements do not lower the risk of heart diseases including heart attack, stroke and sudden cardiac death. In another study, researchers compared the risk of heart diseases in people who eat two to four servings of fish a week to people who eat less than one serving of fish a week. They found a reduced risk of heart disease in people who eat two to four servings of fish a week. The same benefit on heart diseases was not found in people who take omega-3 supplements. Scientists proposed that the benefit of fish consumption on heart diseases may have to do with a wide range of nutrients found in fish but not in omega-3 supplements.

Contributed by Patricia Hsiao M.D.
Sources: bmj.com, jamanetwork.com, uptodate.com
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White Coat Syndrome or White Coat Hypertension

Posted by on Feb 28, 2014 in News | 0 comments

White Coat articleYou may have heard of the term white coat syndrome in the doctor’s office. If refers to the condition where patients have elevated blood pressure (greater or equal to 140/90 mmHg) in the clinic setting and their out of office blood pressure readings are less than 140/90 mmHg. It is called white coat hypertension because the anxiety and nervousness are thought to come from seeing healthcare professionals with white coats.

These patients may or may not have high blood pressure. However, it happens to a lot of people with known high blood pressure. The doctor will ask whether you are taking your medicines every day. If you are taking them regularly, the doctor will ask you to record your blood pressure at home both during the day and night time. It is important to monitor your blood pressure at home daily for at least 2-3 weeks.

Another way to find out is that the doctor will give you a small portable monitor to wear for about 24 hours. The device will measure your blood pressure every 15 to 20 minutes during the day and every 30 to 60 minutes during sleep. The device will then calculate your average day time blood pressure and average night time blood pressure using the recorded data. Both methods will help doctors determine whether you are truly hypertensive or your high blood pressure in the office is due to white coat syndrome. For hypertensive patients, it is helpful to see if your current treatments are working or not.

If your blood pressure is less than 120/80 mmHg, it is considered normal. If your blood pressure falls between 120/80 mmHg and 139/89 mmHg, you have pre-hypertension. If your blood pressure is 140/90 mmHg or greater, you have hypertension or high blood pressure. For 24 hour monitoring device, normal 24 hour average blood pressure is less than 130/80 mmHg. Your day time blood pressure has to be less than 135/85 mmHg to be normal. Night time blood pressure has to be less than 120/70 mmHg to be normal.

Patients with white coat syndrome are at risk for developing high blood pressure in the future. Studies showed that people with white coat syndrome have slightly higher risk for heart diseases and stroke compared to people with normal blood pressure.

If you have white coat syndrome or hypertension, you should make a few changes in your lifestyle. These include:
• Cut down salt (sodium) in your meals
• Maintain a healthy body weight
• Keep yourself physically active
• Quit smoking if you smoke
• Avoid alcoholic drinks
• Get a home blood pressure monitor and check your blood pressure at times
• Reduce stress at home and work by learning relaxation techniques and meditation
• Avoid smoking, caffeinated drinks and exercise before going to your doctor’s appointment for blood pressure check-up since they can alter your blood pressure reading

Contributed by Patricia Hsiao M.D.
Sources: uptodate.com, nejm.org, mayoclinic.com, nhlbi.nih.gov.org
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Thyroid Disorders and Diabetes

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 in News | 0 comments

stethoscope and medical book thyroidThyroid disorders and diabetes mellitus are very common in our society. Studies showed that thyroid disorders are much more common among diabetics and up to one third of type I diabetics eventually develop some form of thyroid disorder. Both thyroid disorders and diabetes are part of endocrine disorders where problem is originated in endocrine glands. Thyroid disorders are due to overproduction or underproduction of thyroid hormones by thyroid gland. Thyroid gland is located in front of the neck below Adam’s apple. Thyroid hormones production is controlled by another endocrine gland in the brain called pituitary gland. Thyroid hormones regulate body’s metabolism which affects many organs including heart, digestive tract, muscles and etc. Diabetes is due to lack of insulin production in the pancreas or body cells are resistant to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood glucose. Pancreas is one of the endocrine glands (hormone producing gland) located behind the stomach.

Type I diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Similarly, thyroid disorders can be due to immune system attacking thyroid gland. That is one of the reasons for thyroid disorders being more common in type I diabetes. For thyroid disorders, you can either have hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormones) or hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormones). The symptoms differ in these conditions. A person with hyperthyroidism may complain of rapid or irregular heartbeats, anxiety, irritability, weight loss despite normal or increased appetite, diarrhea, tremors in the hands, muscle weakness and heat intolerance (sweating more than usual). Women may experience irregular menstrual period.

On the other hand, a person with hypothyroidism may experience fatigue, shortness of breath with exercise, weight gain despite normal appetite, cold intolerance, thin or coarse hair and constipation. Women may have menstrual irregularity. Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can interfere with your diabetes management. If you are diabetic and develop hyperthyroidism, your blood glucose will be high even when you are taking insulin or oral medications regularly. Medications or insulin could not stay in the bloodstream long enough since your metabolism is faster. Also, hyperthyroidism may be confused with signs of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) such as sweating, racing heartbeats and tremors because both conditions present with similar symptoms. Having hypothyroidism can affect your blood glucose as well. Individuals with diabetes may experience repeated episodes of low blood glucose because medications or insulin will stay longer in the bloodstream. In addition, hypothyroidism will raise your LDL (the bad cholesterol) and triglycerides levels.

In diabetics, thyroid symptoms can be a bit difficult to diagnose because of the similarity. Therefore, serum TSH is recommended as a screening tool. When you are first diagnosed with type II diabetes, TSH should be done at that time and it should be repeated every few years. If you are diagnosed with type I diabetes, your doctor will check for antibodies (specific proteins) against thyroid hormones as well as serum TSH. If antibodies are found, TSH screening will be done every year. In conclusion, thyroid disorder should be treated promptly especially in diabetics because it will improve blood glucose management greatly.

Contributed by Patricia Hsiao M.D.
Sources: journal.diabetes.org/clinicaldiabetes, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed, uptodate.com, thyroidscience.com, spectrum.diabetesjournal.org
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Fighting Childhood Obesity with Healthy Snacks

Posted by on Jan 14, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Grocery healthyThe term “obesity” refers to having too much fat while overweight means having excess body weight. Childhood obesity has increased significantly in the last three decades in the United States and it is becoming more of a medical condition rather than just a social aspect. Majority of the time, childhood obesity is due to overconsumption of foods and lack of physical activity. Genetic factors and hormonal imbalance may contribute to childhood obesity but those are not common causes.

Childhood obesity places children at greater risks for developing diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep disorder, bone and joint problems. It also affects psychological factors such as having low self-esteem, poor self-image and being bullied at school. These problems can be lead to depression and suicide later in life.

Many of the weight loss diets recommend smaller, more frequent meals than having one large meal a day while watching out the calories you eat. Researchers found that children today eat on average of three snacks per day compared to one snack per day three decades ago. Meanwhile, children consume more sugar-sweetened beverages, high calorie, non-nutritious snacks nowadays. One study showed that kid’s meals today have very high content of salt. In addition, children spend more time in front of TV and play video games in today society than in the past decades.

To fully understand the underlying problems in childhood obesity, researchers conducted a study where they analyzed different types of snack and measured the satiety in children after the snacks. The study group consists of 183 children and average age is around eight. BMI on each child were recorded and 38 of those children are considered overweight while 43 were considered obese. BMI measurement for children (2-20 years old) is different from adults. Please refer to CDC (The Centers for Disease Control) for standard BMI calculator for children.

In this study, children were randomly placed into four different groups where different snacks were given while watching TV for 45 minutes. One group was given potato chips and the second group was given only vegetables. The third group was given cheese and the fourth was given combination of cheese and vegetables. Researchers used three questions on nine points scale to measure the satiety. Furthermore, the parents of the study group children filled out 20 questionnaires regarding mealtime habits and family involvement in mealtime activities. The children were questioned before the snack, immediately after the snack and 20 minutes after the snacks.

The cheese group and vegetable group were considered control groups and researchers compared the satiety measurements from the other groups to these. The average of 620 calories was consumed in the potato chips group and 200 calories in the cheese group. The vegetables group consumed about 60 calories on average and 170 calories in the combination group. The study showed that combination of cheese and vegetables fulfilled satiety faster than the potato chips with fewer calories. Often times, obesity results from calorie imbalance (more intake than you use for energy). In conclusion, healthier snacks can meet satiety with lesser amount while getting fewer calories. Furthermore, replacing junk foods with healthier snacks may be more reasonable approach than eliminating junk foods all together in children’s diet.

Contributed by Patricia Hsiao M.D.
Sources: mayoclinic.com, cdc.gov, pediatrics.aappublications.org
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Home Remedies for Canker Sore

Posted by on Jan 6, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Mouth painCanker sore or aphthous ulcer is a small, painful lesion in the mouth. It is the most common open sore in the mouth and it is non-contagious. Keep in mind that it is not the same as cold sore, which tends to be on the lips. Canker sore usually occurs on the soft tissues inside the mouth and it is either white or yellow with red border. Majority of the time, no treatment is required and it resolves on its own in 7-10 days. More than 20 percent of people in the U.S have canker sore in their lifetime and some people may have more than one episode. It can occur at any age but more commonly seen among teenagers and young adults.

Canker sore does not need any treatments but there are a few home remedies you can try to relieve pain and to heal faster. You can put half a teaspoon of salt into a glass of water and rinse your mouth with it. You can also mix up half water and half hydrogen peroxide, and dab the mixture directly on the sore with a cotton swab. Then, dab small amount of Milk of Magnesia on the canker sore. You can repeat this process 3-4 times a day.

Another easy remedy you can try is to make the mixture, which contains one teaspoon of Milk of Magnesia and one teaspoon of Benadryl (diphenhydramine). This time you swish the mixture in your mouth for about 60 seconds and spit it out. You can do this process for 2-3 times a day.

There are a few pastes you can apply directly to the canker sore. They contain a numbing ingredient such as benzocaine (Anbesol, Orabase, Orajel and Zilactin), fluocinonide (Vanos) and amelxanox (Aphthasol). Some are over-the-counter while others require prescription. Always check the direction on the box to see how many times you can apply in one day.

If you have severe sores, you might want to make an appointment with your doctor. He or she can prescribe you steroid mouth rinse to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. But you will be at a greater risk for fungal infection or oral thrush with steroid mouth rinse. Another mouth rinse which contains tetracycline (antibiotic) can be given for severe canker sores.

Contributed by Patricia Hsiao M.D.
Sources: emedicinehealth.com, nlm.nih.gov, mayoclinic.com, uptodate.com

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