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Kara Diersing Clapp, PhD, APRN
Family Nurse Practitioner
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
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Doctor Kara's Blog

Author: Kara Clapp Created: 7/9/2007
This blog is a place where Dr. Kara can share her personal viewpoints about the health care industry and the practice of health and illness care. Postings about Dr. Kara's various hobbies, readings, and other life experiences may find their way here also. Disclaimer: any subject matter discussed in this blog should not be used for medical advise and self-treatment. Please consult a medical provider who can assist you with making informed medical decisions based upon your unique medical history and needs.

water Safety Tips for a Fun Summer
By Kara Clapp on 7/28/2011

Good Morning Readers!

 

I will warn you that today’s topic has a large ICK factor to it, so be advised. The tips I am listing today are common sense, and you are probably wondering why I’m listing such basic things. Well, apparently some of the folks we swim with were not born with common sense, so we are left to our own defense. The number of cases of diarrheal illness in swimming pools has increased over 200%. Yes, there are some dingbats out there who chose to swim while sick with diarrhea. There’s your ick factor…or eeewwwwwww! The simple rule for diarrheal illnesses is "no swimming while ill and for the following two weeks afterward", as you are still shedding the bacteria. A particular bacteria called Cryptosporidium is resistant to chlorinated water because of its tough outer shell. That shell allows it to continue to infect unsuspecting swimmers who may accidently swallow water-----your young children.

 &l ...

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Something for Men
By Kara Clapp on 7/22/2011

Good Morning Readers!

Many of you have already discovered just how wide and varied my blog topics can be. That’s the beauty of family practice. We are a jack of many trades, but specialist in none. I have blogged for women and children and specific illness topics, but I haven’t blogged anything for the men. Today I am offering up a blog post for men and their health.  Just a few factoids to get rolling:
·         Did you know that these things can lower testosterone levels: licorice, spearmint tea, zinc deficiency?
·
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Ever Been Sick of Being Healthy?
By Kara Clapp on 7/20/2011

Good Morning Readers!

This morning I am thinking about healthy bodies. I’m so used to thinking about sick ones that I’m in danger of warping my mind if I think about health too long. Just kidding! I’m only exaggerating (to make a point) that it is unnatural to be sick. Our HEALTH care system is mostly a SICK care system. Luckily for me, my training wasn’t just SICK care training. I received nutrition education in my nursing program and I have been told that this is more than what physicians receive in medical school about nutrition.
Sometimes I am very sad when I bring up the topic of diet and nutrition with patients. Sad because they listen for a minute but then ask for a drug. Every once in a while a patient surprises me and actually makes a change in their diet to improve their overall well-being and some of them will even buy the carefully selected nutriceuticals I recommend ...
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HDL and Menopause
By Kara Clapp on 7/20/2011

Good Morning Readers!

Today’s blog entry is for the older female who is concerned about heart health. You have probably heard a lot about cholesterol, HDLs (high density lipoproteins) and LDLs (low density lipoproteins). You have probably also heard that having high HDL is good because it is the type of cholesterol that helps lower your risk for heart disease. And all of that is true…..until you hit menopause.
Recent studies have revealed that menopausal and post-menopausal women with high HDLs still have advanced atherosclerotic disease. Hindsight and further investigation has taught us that isolating just one factor is a terrible thing to do. The body needs to be seen as a whole. In the case of the women in the studies, what was overlooked was their body shape: were the women apple or pear shaped?
Women with apple ...
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New Findings about Trichomonas
By Kara Clapp on 7/19/2011

Good Morning Readers!

 

Sometimes what you know gets turned on its head. Vaginal infections with trichomonas is an example of this. For the past 31 years, the rule of thumb has been that younger women should be tested for trich infections along with chlamydia and gonorrhea. (Vaginal itching and discharge can have several suspects.)
A study was recently presented at the International Society for STD Research which reveals that we should change our mindset about trichomonas infections. The study researchers found that trichomonas is often asymptomatic and is most prevalent in older women, African American women, and women living in the Southeast US. The good news is that the FDA has approved a new test for trichomonas that we have already used for chlamydia and gonorrhea. The test for the three is called Aptima and will cost a little more, but ...
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Me, CDC and Infection Control; not to be confused with Me & Marley
By Kara Clapp on 7/15/2011

Good Morning Readers!

When I think about how my government can help me help patients, I think about things that I cannot do for myself (too expensive, too time consuming). Here are just a few examples that come to mind: funds studies that answer important clinical questions and publish the results so I can read them, periodic reviews of the body of literature and summaries of what the trends are so I can make informed clinical decisions, report disease outbreak trends and email me the results.

What I do not think of is wasting time discussing and writing up a 17 page booklet about infection control in the outpatient setting. So the recent newsflash about this booklet and the booklet itself is entirely useless and wasteful. The booklet just rehashed what I paid to learn in my basic nursing program: wash your ...
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Inherited high Cholesterol and Your Kids
By Kara Clapp on 7/14/2011

Good Morning Readers!

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, here comes a new and bigger shark that will bite your kids but quick and without remorse----familial hyperlipidemia (genetically inherited high cholesterol). Why should you be concerned about this killer? It is under-diagnosed because of adult blindspots. Kids are supposed to be healthy and never have cholesterol problems of old farts like you and me. The truth is it affects 1 out of 300-500 children in the US. It is more common than other childhood diseases of Cystic Fibrosis, Down’s Syndrome and Type 1 Diabetes combined! And it leads to early cardiovascular disease.
I’ll never forget my moment of truth when I was attending a national conference in 2009 and one of the invited guests was a physician (MD) who was this smiling and pleasant little tiny wisp of an ...
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New Guidelines from the CDC: Birth Control after Delivery
By Kara Clapp on 7/13/2011

Godd Morning Readers!

The CDC published new guidelines this week regarding the use of oral birth control pills in women who have just delivered a baby. These guidelines are based on a systematic review which included 13 studies. You know how I love systematic reviews—the summation of various similar studies---to discover what emerging trends should be considered when making clinical decisions with patients. These studies show that the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE, commonly know as blood clots) increased 22-84 times in the first 6 weeks after delivery. The risk was highest in women who: had a history or VTE, delivered by C-section (Cesarean section), or had risk factors for VTE (smokers, over the age 35 years, family history of stroke). These risk factors for VTE are similar for all women who take birth control pills. However, the recently pregnant women is at greater risk for VTE because of the protective biological preparations for childbirth a body does, which in ...

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Childhood Obesity and Screen Time
By Kara Clapp on 7/12/2011

Good Morning Readers!

I'm going to jump right in today and be in your face, so here it goes---

It shouldn’t be a surprise to any adult or parent that children are negatively affected by modern technology just as adults are. The journal, Pediatrics, has published a new study this week that addresses how our modern conveniences are affecting our children. Since children need guidance from adults, here is a list of highlights for any adult caring for children and their parents to consider when deciding how to help their children avoid obesity:
  • Increasing TV watching is associated with higher risk for obesity.
  • < ...
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Your Best Friend, the Jicama
By Kara Clapp on 7/7/2011

 

Good Morning Readers!
I have to admit up front that I am not a fan of jicama and I have badly maligned the tuber in the past. Maybe I ate some that wasn’t prepared very well?  (I just didn’t care for the taste of it.) I am revisiting this tuber because of one very simple reason: I am looking for a good source of fiber without a lot of calories like whole grain breads. (I can’t yet get my mind to fall in love with rye bran toast for breakfast.)
Not only does a medium sized jicama contain ALL the daily fiber you need (30 grams), but it is also loaded with calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamins A & C so its great for controlling blood pressure and building bone health! Now that’s a reason to at least try the jicama again.
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