Health Matters: Local SSM Health experts discuss aspirin use, teen vaping, colon cancer

Here is the complete rundown of topics on this weekend's show.

Fred Bodimer
July 30, 2019 - 10:35 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — The most recent edition of Health Matters Presented by SSM Health provides KMOX listeners with an in-depth look at several hot button medical issues. 

One of the topics discussed in this week's show is a new study that finds not enough of us are heeding the warning NOT to take a baby aspirin a day for heart health — if we have no history of heart trouble.  SLU Care cardiologist Dr. Michael Lim with SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital says the chance for potential extreme bleeding is just too much to make it worth the risk.

We also talk about the dangers of vaping and get some tips on the signs and symptoms that our teenager might be using e-cigarettes from SSM Health family medicine physician Dr. Jennifer Wessels. Plus, we talk with a local colorectal surgeon — Dr. Hope Rasque at SSM Health DePaul Hospital — about why we are seeing an increase in colon cancer among people under 50 years old. And registered dietician Kendra Payne at SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital in Lake St. Louis tells us everything we need to know about collagen supplements. 

To listen to this weekend's show here:

Here is the complete rundown of topics on this weekend's show:

Health Matters Presented by SSM Health — aired on July 27, 2019 at 4 p.m. on KMOX

1. Dr. JENNIFER WESSELS, SSM Health VP of Medical Affairs and a family medicine physician. Lots of talk about teen vaping. The FDA is out with a new ad campaign trying to get teens to stop using electronic cigarettes. How dangerous is vaping for teens and young adults? How does it affect their bodies? What are the signs and symptoms that our teens might be vaping? Should you go thru their backpacks? Also — summertime finds lots of teens trying drugs for the first time. Why is that? And a couple new studies on weight loss. One suggests cutting out 300 calories a day from our diet can result in a lot of weight loss over time. What should we cut out? Another study suggests the time we eat our last meal is critical. Researchers say we should try to eat within a six hour window — from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. — with 2 p.m. being our final meal of the day. Why? Does Dr. Wessels agree? What is a good diet?

2. SLU Care's Dr. MICHAEL LIM, cardiologist at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.  A new study finds millions of Americans are still taking a baby aspirin every day to protect against potential heart disease — even when they have no heart disease risk. Cardiologists say that's not a good idea because the risk of severe bleeding is the same as the risk of lowering your risk of heart attack and stroke. Another study says we should be just as concerned with the bottom number on our blood pressure reading as our top number. Why is that? What do those numbers really mean? Can both types of hypertension be treated with the same type of medication? Do the numbers differ by age or sex? What about our blood pressure meds? Which ones have been recalled over the past year? What lifestyle factors do we need to address to lower our blood pressure?

3. Dr. HOPE RASQUE, colorectal surgeon at SSM Health DePaul Hospital. A new study finds colorectal cancer cases are on the rise in American adults under the age of 50. Why is that? Not enough screening for those under 50. Too much obesity and sedentary lifestyle? Changes in our gut microbiome? And why is it that in these younger people, the colon cancer is more advanced? The number of colon cancer fatalities in people over 50, meanwhile, is dropping. Why is that?  What are the current screening guidelines? Where do polyps fit into all of this? Is a colonoscopy the only type of screening we should use? How critical is to to get a colonoscopy?

4. KENDRA PAYNE. registered dietician at SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital in Lake St. Louis. Collagen supplements are all the rage these days. Why is that? What are they? Are they safe? How do we choose one? What should we look for on the label? How much do they cost? Why not just eat a balanced diet? What about probiotics? PLUS our health tip of the week from co-host Dr. JENNIFER WESSELS, SSM Health VP of Medical Affairs and a family medicine physician. In this episode, Dr. Wessels reminds us that as we near the end of summer, now is the perfect time to get our kids their school physicals. She prefers they go to their primary care physician for that physical, but health clinics are OK too.