Sunday, September 27, 2009

5 Things You can Do to Stay Healthy

by Dr Elaina George, MD

Instead of waiting for the outcome of the healthcare debate to decide your fate, use some simple common sense strategies to take back the power to control your own health.

  1. Start exercising

An increase in activity of as little as 20 minutes 3 times a week can make a difference in your risk of heart disease,

diabetes and obesity. You don’t have to get fancy with a gym membership. Try taking the stairs at work instead of the

elevator, or park further from the entrance when you go to the market or mall.

  1. Eat Smaller portions

You may not want to give up your junk food or fried food, but try to limit your portions. Instead of buying a six pack

of soda, buy a two liter bottle. You can better control the portions along with your intake of calories.

3. Drink more water

The average person should be drinking 1 ounce per kilogram of his/her weight in water per day. (1 lb = 2.2kg).

Studies have shown that people eat more when they are dehydrated because the signals in the body can confuse

hunger with thirst. If you are hungry, try drinking an 8-12 oz glass of water before you decide to eat that snack.

4. Avoid salt

The average American diet consists too much salt. Salt is found in everything from canned foods to frozen foods. Not

only does salt make your body retain water, it also dulls your sense of taste when it comes to sugar. As a challenge,

decrease the amount of salt you eat for about 1 week, then drink a non-diet soft drink. Not only will you lose about 3-

5 lbs of water weight, but you will see that the soda is incredibly sweet. In addition, try to use sea salt.

5. Avoid high fructose corn syrup

Studies have shown that most products in this country are made with high fructose corn syrup that is contaminated

with mercury (a known neurotoxin). Instead try to choose foods made with cane sugar. When you drink soft drinks

that are made with sugar you will be less likely to crave salt and be able to stop with one soda because there is no

‘sugar high’ that leads to the craving that makes you want to have more.

Dr Elaina George is Board certified Otolaryngologist who started Peachtree ENT Center with a mission to practice state of the art medicine that is available to everyone. She graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Biology. She received her Masters degree in Medical Microbiology at Long Island University, and received her medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Dr George completed her residency at Manhattan, Eye Ear & Throat Hospital. Her training included general surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, pediatric ENT at The NY-Presbyterian Hospital, and head and neck oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She has published in several scientific journals and presented her research at national meetings.

To contact Dr. George for speaking engagements or media appearances, please call (901) 413-0203

Friday, September 25, 2009

First Swine Flu Vaccines Set to Arrive Oct 5

U.S. health officials say the first swine flu vaccine should be in some doctors' offices as early as Oct. 5. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday the U.S. vaccine shipments will go directly to doctors, clinics and other providers designated by each state.

States are expected to begin ordering their share of the nation's H1N1 flu vaccine on Wednesday, said Paul Jarris, executive director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. That day, the CDC brings its secure ordering site online.

Distribution will start with 6 million to 7 million doses of the nasal spray vaccine, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday. Forty million doses of injectable vaccine are due to arrive soon after, with another 10 million to 20 million doses due weekly.


Click to read.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dr. Elaina George: Are we Running out of doctors?

Dr. Elaina George, Your Black World Medical Correspondent

Reports estimate that 50-60% of doctors will be sued during the course of their career. However, only 10-20% of those cases actually go to trial. Of those that go to trial, doctors are found innocent of malpractice 80% of the time. This demonstrates the fact that although the perception exists that there may be a lot of bad doctors practicing bad medicine this is actually not the case.

Unfortunately, this perception has led to an explosion in the costs of practicing medicine. Over the last 5-10 years medical malpractice premiums have gone through the roof from primary care to neurosurgery. In Florida, for example, malpractice premiums for OB-GYNs have risen to as high as 250,000 per year. This staggering statistic highlights the unintended consequence of limiting access to medical care for women who live in those states. Florida is not alone, it is happening all over the country. Physicians have either moved out of state, retired early, or they have restricted the type of medicine they practice because they cannot afford the cost of doing business.

Click to read.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The 6 Things You Need To Know Before You Take The Swine Flu Vaccine

by Dr. Elaina George, Your Black World 

Although the Swine flu virus has been identified in over 70 countries, it has not been as deadly as expected

  • The world wide number of swine flu cases currently is 209,500 with 2,185 deaths

The common flu is more deadly

  • In the US there have been 40,000 cases identified with 1,876 deaths. This is quite low when you compare the death rate to the typical flu virus which kills over 30,000 people per year.

Most cases of Swine flu have been mild

  • Most people have had mild self-limited symptoms that resolve without any medical intervention.

Vaccines often contain additives that can be dangerous

  • Vaccines contain ingredients that boost the immune response. They can be made from toxins like anti-freeze (ethylene glycol), formaldehyde, or chemicals like mercury (thimerasol) and squalene, a type of fat found in olive oil that is also present throughout the nervous system and the brain. These ingredients can be harmful to the body.
  • Studies have shown that Mercury (thimerasol) may lead to autism. Specifically, a study in autistic children found elevated levels of mercury in their urine compared to children without autism.

  • Soldiers who served in the gulf war were given anthrax vaccine which contained squalene. When squalene is injected it stimulates an aggressive immune response that causes an auto-immune reaction that can attack all cells that contain squalene. e.g., the nervous system. Studies found that soldiers who were diagnosed with gulf war syndrome received anthrax vaccinations that contained Squalene

There has been less time to test the H1N1 Vaccine

  • Because of the fear of a pandemic, the vaccine manufacturers have fast tracked the current vaccines coming to market next month. That means very little testing has been done. This leads to huge unknowns about the side effects

The vaccine manufactures have the potential to make windfall profits with little risk

  • Vaccine manufacturers stand to gain by the fear ginned up by the "pandemic". The US government has already awarded 2 billion dollars to the 5 companies that make the H1N1 vaccine.
  • The Congress has passed a law that protects vaccine manufacturers from being sued. If they had 'no willful knowledge' then they cannot be sued for damages.


All in all people should be very cautious about taking these vaccines. It is important to discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. If the risk of getting the disease and having a severe complication is not very high, then it may not be in the interest of the individual to take the vaccine. At the very least, these vaccines should not be mandated.

Dr Elaina George is a prominent Board certified Otolaryngologist who practices in Atlanta. She started her practice Peachtree ENT Center with a mission to practice state of the art medicine that is available to everyone, and has come to be known as, the patients’ advocate. Dr. George graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Biology. She received her Masters degree in Medical Microbiology at Long Island University, and received her medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. She completed her residency at Manhattan, Eye Ear & Throat Hospital. Her training included general surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, pediatric ENT at The NY-Presbyterian Hospital, and head and neck oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She has published in several scientific journals and presented her research at national meetings. She has appeared as a guest on The Michael Baisden Show. You can listen to her radio show Medicine on Call, and read her blogs as a medical correspondent for Your Black World .

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Medical News: Dr. Elaina George Speaks on a Couple’s Plight


from Your Black World

In response to a recent story about a couple that is divorcing so they can afford to pay their medical bills, Dr. Elaina George had this to say:


"Stories like this highlight the fact that the insurance companies have made money on the misery of Americans. For an insurance company to only pay 10% of the bill is outrageous. Unfortunately, this story is not unique. The insurance industry has been very successful at gaming the system. The various companies along with their subsidiaries have cornered healthcare delivery. They are involved with everything from the codes your physician uses to document your visit, to the electronic transfer of information for billing from the doctor's office to the insurance company, to what medications your doctor will be allowed to prescribe for you, to what medical care you will be allowed to receive. 

One of the most important insurance reforms that needs to take place is to remove their exemption from Anti-trust laws. That is one of the most important things that could be done to level the playing field."

Barack Obama Gets Asked Hard Questions by Michael Baisden and Dr. Elaina George


from AOL Black Voices

Although many Americans have seen and heard the insane debate over healthcare, almost no one understands what's going on. This is doubly true for the African American community, who is affected greatly by this debate and its outcomes. Most black bloggers aren't talking about it and black doctors are too busy to inform the community.
Michael Baisden got with Dr. Elaina George, a prominent black physician in the Atlanta area, to break down the public option, healthcare and all related issues in the interview below.During the interview, Dr. George and Baisden answer some important questions:

Click to read.

Medicine on Call: What’s Wrong with the System?



In this episode of Medicine on Call, Dr. Elaina George interviews Jason Rosenbaum from The Seminal, a healthcare publication.  What is wrong with healthcare?  What is the state of healthcare reform?  What are the goals for healthcare?


Click here to listen!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

And the Winner Is….The Medical Insurance Industry

by Dr. Elaina George,

The suspense is over. For weeks we have been holding our collective breath to see if there would be real insurance reform. Now we know. President Obama’s speech this evening incorporated a lot of different ideas, but what was most striking was his statement that the public option was just one of the avenues that could be travelled to achieve an expansion of insurance coverage. Besides the demotion of the public option as an important tool to reign in the all powerful insurance companies, I noticed that there was no mention of universal health care. Wasn’t that the point of this whole exercise?

To be fair there are some good things. Under the President’s proposal there will be:

§ Coverage for pre-existing conditions

§ A cap on out-of-pocket expenses

§ People can no longer be dropped from insurance companies when they get sick

§ No further cap on what insurance companies will pay out

It is a good start, but it doesn’t go far enough. The President spoke about slowing the growth of healthcare expense, but he did not discuss a reversal of the cost of health care. With the average medical insurance premium for an individual costing over 6,000 dollars and a family almost 12,000 per year, how does this help a middle or working class family both struggling to stay in their home and feed their family? Will it really help them to have mandates to purchase insurance at this price or face a penalty?

For those who cannot afford to pay for insurance and don’t qualify for government assistance this will amount to a new “tax” that can disproportionately affect minorities who are already affected by barriers that obstruct their access to care. Currently of the 47 million people who are uninsured, 17 million of them are people who meet the financial criteria to receive Medicaid or Medicare. They are waiting to get into these programs, but because of state budget constraints or the wait associated with a shortage of physicians who actually still take these insurances, they are effectively out in the cold. I don’t see how the President’s proposal will ease this crisis.

As it stands, his proposal will ensure that insurance companies get millions more customers who have nowhere to go. Even those people who enter the ‘exchanges’ will also have to buy private insurance since the weakened version of the public-lite alternative will not come online until 4 years from now. Essentially, he is asking us to trust the insurance companies to play nice. The theory appears to be that by gaining more money in volume; perhaps they will charge people less? In a for-profit industry I am skeptical that this will work since it has not worked to this point. The insurance companies have had free reign and they have rigged the system to maximize profits on the backs of patients and physicians. Like Wall Street, they have now been rewarded for their bad behavior.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dr. George Speaks: How Do Insurance Companies Try to Hurt You?

by Dr. Elaina George

There is a major misconception about the reasons for the rise in the cost of healthcare. Procedures and the practice of defensive medicine have been described as the main reasons for the exponential rise. However, the reality could not be farther from what is portrayed on TV series like Nip/Tuck. The medical insurance industry has fueled the campaign of misinformation to enhance their divide and conquer strategy. As long as people spend their energy on blaming doctors, they have less energy to pay attention to rising deductibles, premiums and co-insurance. In short, the insurance companies benefit by keeping doctors and patients at odds. In reality when a doctor charges for a procedure or performs a surgery what is paid is no where near the amount that was charged. In short, the increase in patient premiums, deductibles etc… have gone to pay administrative costs and CEO salaries.

These are 6 things you need to know so you can understand the barriers your doctor has to navigate to take good care of you:

  1. Insurance companies change what they will pay for

Through the pre-certification process, insurance companies will change what services they will reimburse. This list can change yearly. It is driven by insurance company costs and not by medical necessity as determined by the doctor and the patient.

Click to read more.