Colonoscopies, diabetes and plant-based meats on this week's Health Matters

Fred Bodimer
November 15, 2019 - 3:33 pm

(Burger King)


ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - When do we need that colonoscopy?  What can we do to prevent diabetes?  And is that Impossible Whopper really that good for us?  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 set of guidelines for when to get colorectal cancer screening.  Dr. Charlene Prather, a SLU Care gastroenterologist at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, tells us about the changes in age recommendations.

We also talk about the plant-based nutrition craze -- and are plant-based meats really better for us?  Clinical and registered dietician Lizzy Queensen at SSM Health DePaul Hospital shares her insight on that.

An endocrinologist with SSM Health Medical Group in St. Charles County -- Dr. Neha Karajgikar -- has some tips we need to know during this Diabetes Awareness Month.

And we talk with our co-host Dr. Fred Buckhold, a SLU Care general internist with SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, about bee and wasp stings, the importance of running as part of our exercise routine and are the days of the stethoscope about to come to an end?

Health Matters Presented by SSM Health -- November 9, 2019 -- 4pm KMOX.

1.  Dr. FRED BUCKHOLD, SLU Care general internist at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.  An Imperial man died this summer after being stung by a hive of yellow jackets while mowing his lawn.  How rare is this?  Pretty rare says Dr. Buckhold.  One bite can kill some people, for others it could be numerous bites all at one time.  Dr. Buckhold says in those cases epinephrine shots are a must, but they don't always work -- although they can usually buy some time till emergency help arrives.  Adverse Childhood Experiences can lead to really bad health outcomes later in life.  No surprise says Dr. Buckhold.  Stressful events release a lot of adrenaline and cortisone which can cause short and long term health effects.  This can be seen in elderly people who die from a broken heart when a close loved one dies. A new study shows running can help you live longer.   It can reduce early death by 27-percent and can help prevent cancer.  Dr. Buckhold says any type of movement is beneficial -- we have to move more.  This study says one 20 minute run a week helps.  And the stethoscope may be on the way out.  Invented 200 years ago, the stethoscope is slowly being replaced by ultra sound devices linked to a cell phone.  Dr. Buckhold calls it the future -- but says you have to know what you are looking at and be well trained in using it.


2.  Dr. CHARLENE PRATHER, SLU Care gastroenterologist at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.  New guidelines from the American College of Physicians says if you are between 50 and 75 you should get colon cancer screening.  Differs in a couple of ways from old guidelines.  Dr. Prather says these guidelines say no need to start screening at 45 -- and no need to continue after 75.  But not all organizations agree on the timing for screening.  What screening methods are available?  What are the warning signs of colon cancer? What about prevention tips?  Who is at high risk for colorectal cancer?  Dr. Prather says she recommends screening colonoscopy for most of her patients once every ten years.  But other tests include FIT testing, combining FIT with flexible sigmoidoscopy, and fecal immunochemical testing.  Age is the biggest risk factor for colon cancer. Men are at slightly greater risk than women.  Smoking is a big risk factor.  People who eat a healthy diet rich in fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains have lower risk for colon cancer.  Low dose aspirin has not been shown to make a difference in trying to prevent colon cancer.  Be careful, she says, if you choose FIT testing or DNA stool testing, and a traditional colonoscopy is then ordered as a follow up.  It may not be covered because it would be a diagnostic test not a screening test and insurance may not pay for it. 


3.  Dr. NEHA KARAJGIKAR, endocrinologist with SSM Health Medical Group in St. Charles County.  More than a million people will be diagnosed with diabetes this year.  More than 30 million Americans have it.  9.4 percent of the U.S. population.  1 in 11 people.  November is Diabetes Awareness Month.  What is diabetes?  How is it detected?   What are the signs and symptoms?  Who is most at risk? What is the best way to prevent diabetes?  What about treatment methods?  Are we winning the war on diabetes?  What is the biggest challenge?  What other health conditions can be affected by diabetes?  How important is it to take your medicine as directed?  Can you recover from diabetes?  How big of a lifestyle change do you need to make?  What about foot ulcers?  How big of a concern is that? 


4.  LIZZY QUEENSEN, clinical and registered dietician with Weight Management Services at SSM Health DePaul Hospital.  The plant-based meat craze continues -- with McDonald's in Canada now offering a plant-based burger and Dunkin brands in the US now offering plant-based sausage sandwiches. What is plant-based nutrition?  How does it differ from a vegan diet?  What are the health benefits of a plant-based diet?  Any drawbacks?  Can you get enough protein from a plant-based diet?  What are the ingredients in the Impossible Burger and the Beyond Burger? What is Heme? Why the craze today for meatless meats?  Will this craze last?  What are some tips if we want to start a plant-based diet?  What should we look for on the label?  ​