Which doctor knows best?

Posted Friday, September 13th, 2013. Filed Under My Daily Dose

This article is from Oprah magazine, July 2013. I want to share this wisdom:

Research shows that many diagnoses can come from unexpected sources. Here are surprising questions you should ask your specialist.

The Eye Doc
ASK: “How’s my cholesterol?”
In 65 percent of cases, optometrists and ophthalmologists notice signs of high cholesterol before any other health provider according to a study of more than 200,000 Americans. Elevated cholesterol can cause yellowish plaques to lodge within retinal blood vessels. By dilating pupils and using ocular tools they are able to look at the blood vessels in the back of the eye in real time, allowing them to spot the signs of high cholesterol non-invasively.

The Dentist
Ask: “Do I have diabetes?”
Red, swollen gums may signal more than just lax flossing habits – they could indicate that you’re suffering from diabetes. For instance, high blood sugar can interfere with the body’s immune response, so gums become more susceptible to inflammation from bacteria, leading to gingivitis.

The Dermatologist
Ask: “Could I have PCOS?”
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal imbalance associated with infertility, is characterized by irregular periods, ovarian cysts, and higher levels of hormones called androgens. Many symptoms of excess androgen are manifested on the skin – like acne along the jaw-line and dark hair on the face and chest. Up to 92 percent of PCOS sufferers have excess hair growth, while 35 percent experience breakouts. Dermatologists are trained to pick up on certain skin patterns.

The Podiatrist
Ask: “Are my cold feet a sign of peripheral artery disease?”
High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage the inner layers of arteries, making them more vulnerable to the accumulation of fatty plaques. This, in turn, can lead to a condition called peripheral artery disease (PAD), in which the arteries in your limbs begin to narrow and harden. When the narrowing occurs, one of the first organs to lose blood flow is the skin. It is unclear why, PAD is more common in lower extremities. Beware if the skin on our feet turns thin and shinny and feels unusually cold. Early detection is critical, since PAD puts you at risk for stroke and heart attack.

The Orthopaedist
Ask: “Could my cancer be back?”
Among women whose breast cancer recurs within 10 years of an early diagnosis, 70 percent will have a metastatic form of the disease that has spread to their bones. The symptoms regularly include unexplained pain in the back, hips, and upper arms. For many of those with recurring breast cancer, the most common place for the cancer to spread is to the thoracic spine in the upper back. Please let your doctor know you are a breast cancer survivor if they are unaware for this may help her discover the disease’s recurrence sooner.

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