Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Poll question

Since it's four weeks before Election Day in the United States, I'm going to ask you, the faithful Doctor Anonymous reader, a poll question. Actually, two poll questions, because I'm seeking feedback on a couple of things.

A week from today, I'm going to be giving a talk at our local community hospital. The target audience are people who have heart and lung problems - ie, patients who have had heart bypass surgery and/or patients with lung problems like emphysema. Here's the topic: Dr. A talks about Managing Your Cholesterol. Now, mind you, I did not pick this topic. This was suggested by the group.

Serious Question: Here's what I'd like to know: if you were me, what information would you like these people to know about managing cholesterol?

Yesterday, my pal Penrick from I've got a few things to say, made this suggestion, in response to my post called Happy World Post Day, "You should start a Blog Anonymous Day yourself. You start discussing it a month before and let the word of blog spread." What? A worldwide Blogaholics Anonymous Day? Is this for real? Can this work?

Non-Serious Questions: If a worldwide Blogaholics Anonymous Day would actually happen, how would you promote it? I would imagine that I would ask people to post something about BA on their blog all on the same day - what would the topic be? What other things need to happen to make BAD (Blogaholics Anonymous Day) successful?

Thanks for any feedback that you have. I'm definitely doing the cholesterol talk next week. As for the BAD thing (isn't that a Chris Isaak song?), I'm not sure if I want to try to pull that off, yet. You'll have to convince me of that.

17 comments:

DrWes said...

Dr A-
I guess you have to define what LDL and HDL, VLDL's are and why their important. I believe in the low LDL theory, but I'm a big fan of niacin - strange as that may seem - since its one of the best (and cheepest) drugs to raise HDL out there - just hate the hot flashes. Anyway, statins and their mechanism are worth a chat as well. A brief description of the enterohepatic lipid cycle and gut binding drugs (psyllium/Zetia, etc) could be added for entertainment value (perhaps you could dress up like that guy on TV and have a bunch of pretty-boy and pretty-girl residents follow you around on stage?? - but I digress). Consider also touching on torcetrapib (a new drug to raise HDL perhaps coming in the future).

Geez, I'm happy I don't have to do that talk...

But I already ranted about chocolate chip cookies to treat hypercholesterolemia... probably best not to mention that...

DrWes said...

Under the title, "I are a good speller:"

...why their important.

Should be:

...why they're important.

Sorry.... it's late....

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

Cholesterol: I take niacin (advacor), just get up in the morning and pop it in with a slosh of water and go about my business. If I think about it I may have a reaction, if I just go about my day, nothing (unless I drink orange juice! then wow! bad reaction, creepy red hot rash all over that lasts about 20 minutes) They told me I should take it at night but that always makes me creep out.

Bloggers Day: Yes YOU could pull that off, you have a great following, lots link you, and it could spread like mold. Oh, sorry, I am in Florida and that is our state flower. It could spread like wildfire, how's that? Go for it.

Will there be mail delivered (by non bloggers)?

Will all bloggers get off work?

Will the banks be open?

Will the stores have sales?

Let's get this sorted out. Me likey......

bee

Biomed Tim said...

First, I'm not a clinician...

But for what it's worth, I'd tell them:

1. There's no link between dietary cholesterol intake and cardiovascular disease.

2. But that doesn't mean it's safe to consume as much cholesterol as you want; high cholesterol foods usually come with lots of fat too.

3. How often they should get a test.

ChiefMommy Owl said...

The medicines given for cholesterol have seemed to cause chronic cough in many of the people I know. This was a symptom which caught them unawares. I think realistic talk about the side effects that can come with some of these meds would be refreshing.

My 2 Cents - that and a nickel will get you five cents...
Sara :)

Moof said...

1) Cholesterol ...

I know so many people who were prescribed a statin, and then refuse to take it because of the hype.

I think that people's concerns about the "dangers" and "downside" of statins need to be addressed. People won't be as compliant with something they think is hurting them as much as it's helping them - and they may never tell their docs what they're doing.

You'd be amazed how many people worry about the stuff they've read about statins ...

2) The posting subject for a Blogaholic's Anonymous Day ( A BAD Day! *LOL*) could be a bit about their own addiction, and of course - would have to end with the official Blogahholic's signature: "I'm ----, and I'm a Blogaholic!"

I think if you choose a day far enough ahead, and build up the hype in enough places in between, it would take on a life of its own.

You have enough of a following now to get people to work with you. Given a bit more time, you'll have even more. Many of those have followers of their own ...

Set a time, and ask people to hype it up ... as often as possible ... on their own blogs, get them to get their own readers to do the same thing.

Another thing ... start a new blog - a side blog to your own personal blog - called "Blogaholic's Anonymous" so that these poor souls will have a "home" to come to! You'd probably have as much help from your readers as you'd want - or need - to pull it off.

If I can help in any way - let me know.

Anonymous said...

You could have a BA meeting, but no one would show up. They'd (we'd) hate to take the time away from ..... the blog; posting on other blogs; checking the counter; going to technorat. Sorry, I'd say more, but I must get back to work.

Jenny said...

O.k., throwing my two cents in from the "patient" side... ;)
I think people need to come to understand that cholesterol is ONE PART in heart health. It isn't the end-all be-all although it is a big part of it. Just taking statins isn't the complete answer. Diet (especially keeping blood sugars in control), exercise and all that still come in to play so people shouldn't get "lazy" and completely rely on a drug to do it all for them.
A lot of people are afraid to take statins. The whole risk vs. benefit thing is pretty fuzzy to a lot of patients. I think if people feel their doctor really is weighing the benefits vs. the risks for them personally then people will feel more confident in taking the drug.
Also, many people do not understand the LDL/HDL thing. I have talked with my mom over and over and over that her HDL being at a high number is a GOOD thing. A little later on she again expresses concern over that number being high and I have to explain it to her all over again. ;)
Anyways, when I think "cholesterol", those are the first thoughts that usually come to mind (my mind, such as it is! LOL)

Susan Miller said...

1. As an avid Listerine user I would want to know more about the ways that I could control my cholesterol without prescription medication. As a paranoid person information regarding the myths or truths in natural products, rather than pharmaceuticals (they're watching, too) would be helpful.
2. Just do it. Just set a date. Spread the word. If only 10 people blog that day and leave their signature on that day then so what, but if a million, trillion, gazillion people do it...then hell yeah!

wolfbaby said...

OK this might be long but seeing as how others have long ones I won't feel so bad... I have high cholesteral... but mine is triglicerites.. (sorry i don't have time to look up propper spelling) Im 31 and as far as i know no one in my family has this problem. Doc gave me lopid cause my levels are three times normal, and the nurse told me to go on a low fat diet. Now I have done some reasearch and am a bit confused cause triglerites are related to sugar not fat.. so what gives... I would love to know the whys. why is this happening could something else be causeing it specially since all my life up till a year ago my levels have been amazing... I want to know what can i do life style wise to make things better other then just taking a pill and still watching the levels go up. But that is just me a pt not a doc..

as far as the BA thing...yep have everyone post it on a specific day and get feed back ;) Bet things would go awesome and do one of the really fancy BA meetings you'd get a great response!!! Moof's idea is great by the way;)

Julie said...

My question would be, "How can I manage my cholesterol without giving up everything I've always loved to eat?"

Yeah, you could totally pull off BAD. I'd post about you. Maybe everyone can go to your site and confess their blogging sins for the day. It's like Yom Kippur! :-)

difficultpt said...

Have you thought about creating a "blogaholics anonymous" blog with multiple members? I think you would have many members. (blogger does have the capability to do this)

Anonymous said...

Well I have to admit that being a nicu nurse I am not full of information and insight about lowering cholesterol. That being said... here is my opinion....
I know you are probably going to talk about exercise (and that is something that I know something about) and I think for me what is important about exercise is not the big picture (aka you need to exercise 7 days a week for 5 hours a day - an exaggeration, but you know what I mean). For me, trying to make exercise a habit, I appreciate more ( in Fitness Magazine) when it was addressed HOW to work up to that much exercise. I don't know if that makes any sense. Saying something like... eventually this may be your goal, but work up to it by trying to do a little bit 3 days a week - every little bit counts- and working you way up from there (ex: add a minute to your time on the treadmill each week).
I don't know what age group you are talking with... but I think I would like to know at what age should you begin getting my cholesterol tested (how frequently) and what foods are considered to help lower cholesterol.
Good luck!!

difficultpt said...

Oh, here is a question I actually meant to ask my doc about cholesterol . . .

Mine has always been good (120 total--that's good). If it has always been good, do I have to worry? If it is good, and I do all the right things, will I ever have to worry? Or do I only have to worry if it was on the margins to begin with. No one ever talks about these things . . .

Oh this is funny--the last word verification was iicup

Anonymous said...

I am defintely behind the BAD day.

Heart stuff hits close to home for me as I had my second open heart surgery in my then 31 years of life last year. It's completely unrelated to cholesterol and was congenital, but health has to be our utmost priority in life!

Hopefully they'll be hooked just for the desire to live healthy...

Jacob said...

Soluble Fiber. It's cheap, easy, can be tasty, and cleans out the ol' blood vessels. Everybody eats. Finding something that they like (to eat) that helps reduce cholesterol will beat out medication and exercise every time; finding several things is even better. Further, some people--like me--don't like medicating regardless of the benefits (I will do it, I'd just rather not).

happy-heart-patient said...

Dr A: Tell your audience to exercise and follow their physician's advice & stay compliant. It's amazing how well they can do, and it's not difficult. H= High for HDL, L=Low for Ldl, if they get confused. My cardiologist tells me that "we" need to keep my LDL no higher than my age, so now it's in the high 50s. Tell those patients to be a "team" with their physicians, and they can have great results. Do you have any patients that might be willing to share their success story (if it's a good one) with your audience? Sometimes seeing a "real" patient with success can have an impact.