Dr. Terry Kim, MD Heads the New Duke Sports Vision Center of Excellence

By Brooke Strickland

John Scheyer was a regular guy aspiring to be an athlete, enjoying a day on the basketball court when he was suddenly poked in the eye by another player.  The team doctor examined him, concluding that his injuries showed signs of optic nerve damage.  Scheyer called his ophthalmologist, Dr. Terry Kim for a closer examination and sure enough, optic nerve head avulsion was the diagnosis.  This would be life-altering injury for Scheyer – one that would cause a permanent decrease in vision and visual field. [1]  Dr. Kim, now the Head of Duke Sports Vision Center for Excellence, spent time with Scheyer and his family, encouraging them and offering support.  Scheyer’s injury urged Dr. Kim to start the Center and now, individuals (mainly athletes and military personnel) suffering from eye injuries can find help in diagnoses, treatment, rehabilitation, and formal support.  Kim sees the Center as becoming a one-stop location for people to receive all of their eye care and treatment.

Scheyer, even though he lost most of his vision in his right eye, hasn’t slowed down.  He’s worked hard on his game and started in 19 of 24 final games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.  He’s also beginning as a shooting guard for Israel’s Super League, the Maccabi Tel Aviv.  He has not given up hope. 

This hope is what gives confidence to the directors of the Center, especially Kim who envisions it as becoming a place where people of all kinds can find victory in what may seem a bleak diagnosis.

 



[1] Vision Magazine. “Eye on the Ball.” Volume 27, Number 1.  http://www.dukehealth.org/repository/dukehealth/2012/01/09/12/26/47/4078/Duke_VISION_2011.pdf. Accessed January 25, 2012.

 

Are you depressed?

by Brooke Strickland

“Feeling depressed” is a term that people often use flippantly when things aren’t going their way, or if they’re feeling bummed out about a particular event in their life.  But depression is no light matter.  It is a life-altering condition and can be challenging not only for the person coping with it, but for family members and friends around them.  Feeling discouraged or down is a normal part of living and being sad is a natural reaction to some parts of life.  But if you’re feeling in a constant state of gloom or despair, and feel like there’s no way out, you may be facing depression.   We’ve compiled a list of depression symptoms below.  If you’re experiencing these signs on a regular basis, it’s time to consult your doctor.

  •  You can’t sleep or you sleep too much
  •  You are unable to concentrate
  • You find that easy tasks are now difficult to complete
  • You feel hopeless and helpless
  • You can’t control your negative thoughts
  •  You’ve lost your appetite or are eating too much
  • You are irritable, short-tempered, or aggressive on a regular basis
  •  You’re engaging in reckless behavior such as drinking too much alcohol, drugs, or other addictive behaviors
  • You have thoughts that life isn’t worth living[1]

Men and women deal with depression in different ways, but it’s been shown that depression in women is twice as high as men, mainly due to hormonal factors.  It’s also important that everyone’s personality is different, so coping with depression can look different for everyone.   

Do not panic if you or someone you know may be struggling with depression.  It’s important to ask for help and get the needed support to help combat negative thoughts.  When you feel like you’re alone, reach out to someone who can support you.  Make positive changes to your lifestyle and most importantly, seek medical help if necessary.   Life is too short to be depressed.  Being positive and happy will help you live life to the fullest.  



[1] Understanding Depression.  http://helpguide.org/mental/depression_signs_types_diagnosis_treatment.htm

Accessed January 16, 2012

 

Are you iron-deficient?

By Brooke Strickland

What does it mean when you’re anemic, or deficient in iron?  This is a common condition that means your blood has a lower number of red blood cells.  Red blood cells carry oxygen to cells and remove carbon dioxide from your body.  Anemia usually develops over time if your body doesn’t have enough iron to build healthy red blood cells.[1]  Pregnant women and young children are more prone to iron-deficiency because of higher iron needs and rapid growth. 

What are some of the symptoms of anemia?

  •  Fatigue
  •  Cold hands and/or feet
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Decreased immune function
  • Chest pain
  • Pale skin
  •  Brittle nails
  • Irritability
  •  Headache
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath

It can often be very mild and unnoticeable, but if you are experiencing symptoms, it’s important not to self-diagnose.   This is an easily treatable condition, but it’s important to seek advice from a medical professional on treatment options.   Your doctor may prescribe dietary changes, iron supplements on a regular basis, prescriptions, and in severe cases even blood transfusion, iron-injections, or surgery.  [2]

 



[1]  “What is Iron-Deficiency Anemia?”  http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ida/

Accessed January 16, 2012. 

 

[2] Iron and Iron Deficiency.  http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/vitamins/iron.html

Accessed January 16, 2012.

Study Shows 200 Million People Use Illegal Drugs

By Brooke Strickland

While most people know that drug use is extremely rampant all over the world, a recent published study showed that roughly 200 million people worldwide use illicit drugs such as marijuana, amphetamines, cocaine, and opiates each year.  This means approximately one in 20 people between the ages of 15 and 64 use drugs. Researchers estimated that 203 million use  marijuana, 56 million use amphetamines, 21 million people use cocaine, and 21 million use opioids such as heroin. [1] Developed countries showed the highest use in these four categories and 39 million people are estimated to show signs of dependency or drug abuse.

Many people experiment with drugs for a variety of reasons, whether it’s to enhance athletic performance, to have a good time, or to fit in with their peers.  There are serious health complications in using illicit drugs including overdose, intoxication, long-term organ and brain harm, and death.   It’s no secret that drug use is not something to dabble in – it can suck the life out of the individual taking drugs and can be detrimental to family, social, and work life.

If you suspect someone you know or love is abusing drugs, it’s important to speak up.  Talk to the person directly about your concern, offer support, and try to avoid being judgmental.  Remember not to blame yourself for their problem. Also, take care of yourself.  Don’t wrap yourself up in unnecessary drama or put yourself in dangerous situations.  Being a responsible, caring, and supportive person to an individual trying to battle drug addiction will help them on the road to recovery. 



[1] Moisse, Katie. “200 Million People Use Illicit Drugs, Study Finds.”  ABC News Blogs. January 6, 2012.  Accessed January 7, 2012. http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/200-million-people-illicit-drugs-study-finds-120123343--abc-news.html

How to Increase Your Metabolism

By Brooke Strickland

Your metabolism is unique.  You may have been lucky enough to inherit a pretty awesome metabolism – for others of you, you have a slower metabolism, making it harder to burn calories.  For most people, metabolism begins to slow down steadily around the age of 40.  Even though you can’t change this fact or your genetics, you can do other ways to boost your metabolism and keep you healthy. 

·         Build muscle.  Building muscle is a great way to increase your resting metabolic rate.  Every pound of muscle uses about 6 calories a day just to sustain itself, while each pound of fat burns only 2 calories daily.[1]

·         Work out hard.  Working out is great for your heart, lungs, and overall well-being, but a recent study published by Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that people pedaling a stationary bike for 47 minutes, as hard as they could, slashed 190 calories above their resting metabolic rate for 14 hours after their workout.[2]

·         Get some rest.  The more sleep you get, the faster your metabolism will be.  Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night.

·         Eat well.  Add more fresh foods your diet, step up your intake of protein, and it’s been shown that spicy foods contain chemicals that can kick your metabolism into overdrive. 

There are a lot of other ways to keep your metabolism functioning at its peak, but it’s important to remember that staying active is the first key to healthy living.  Avoid crash diets and be sure to recharge yourself with healthy snacks and drinks, like green teas, fresh veggies, and fruits. 



[1] “10 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism.”  http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-boost-your-metabolism

Accessed January 8, 2012.

[2] Greenfield, Paige.  “How to Get Your Metabolism Moving.”  CNN.com.  http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/08/health/get-your-metabolism-moving/index.html?hpt=he_c1

Accessed January 8, 2012.