Questions About Blood Work Drawn At Our Office

BloodworkDespite that eye catching photo there really is no drama involved in getting your blood work done at Olney Medical.  For your convenience our skilled and pleasant phlebotomist Brittany is present every day that we are open from 8:00 to Noon.  No appointment is necessary.

We are now sending lab specimens collected in our office to Everest Medical Lab, Boston Heart Lab and Singulex Lab. We may use one or all of these labs for your blood work.  We have chosen these labs for their high level of service and their cutting edge technologies, which help us to catch diabetes and heart disease at its earliest stages, and importantly their affordability for our patients.

These advanced tests do require more time to come back and you may also note that an extra tube or two of blood will be drawn than you may be used to. If you are having your bloodwork for an upcoming physical please try and have your blood drawn at least two weeks in advance so that we will have the results ready for your visit.   If your blood sugar or cholesterol is being tested try and not eat for 8 hours – but stay well hydrated by drinking water or black coffee.

Since Everest, Boston Heart, and Singulex labs are not in network for some insurance plans, you may receive an Explanation of Benefits (or EOB) from your insurance company showing a large sum that was not covered by your insurance company for your lab work. You can ignore this sum because Everest, Boston Heart and Singulex normally do not send out bills to our patients.  If you see the word “pathology” in your insurance company EOB do not be concerned; some insurance company computers such as Carefirst routinely code blood tests as “pathology”.  AGAIN, YOU SHOULD NOT RECEIVE  BILLS FROM THESE LABS FOR YOUR LAB WORK.   Your only obligation to prevent being billed is to forward any checks you might receive from your insurance company to the appropriate lab. In such cases kindly endorse the check and mail it with a copy of Explanation of Benefits to the appropriate lab:

Everest Medical Lab 99-107 Glendale Ave, Edison, NJ 08817 Phone 732-777-9222
Boston Heart Boston Heart Diagnostics P.O.Box 842856 Boston, MA 02284-2856 Phone 508-877-8711 x337

Singulex, 1701 Harbor Bay Parkway #200, Alameda, Ca 94501 Phone 510-995-4763

This is a win – win for everyone involved. You get the latest technology tests from cutting edge labs with no financial responsibility to you (while helping to satisfy any deductibles you may have).  Plus, these arrangements allow us to provide on-site phlebotomy so you don’t need to go downstairs and wait in a crowded drawing station.

We Hope this answers any questions you may have. Please contact us via e-mail or phone 301-774-5400 if you have further questions.

Our Aging Brains

healthy-aging-brainWhy do some people seem to retain their mental faculties far into their advanced years while others become more forgetful sooner?  And is there anything that has been proven to prevent the loss of memory and cognitive function later in life?  These issues were recently highlighted in an edition of Science magazine.

Understanding the normal process of aging is a first step in trying to explain what happens later in life.  Researchers are finding intriguing clues to the normal process of brain aging by analyzing data from the so-called Scottish Mental Studies.  In 1947 70,000 Scottish children, all eleven years old, were administered an IQ test that lasted 45 minutes.  Starting in 2004 about 1000 survivors from the original group were contacted and asked to retake the same IQ test to see how they had fared.  They were also asked to provide DNA samples, share diaries of their lifestyles including food and alcohol, and have MRI scans of their brains.  The results have generated more than 250 scientific papers.

So far the results have shown that the best predictor of one’s IQ later in life is ….drum-roll……one’s IQ earlier in life; which also correlates with the thickness of the outer surface of the brain as measured by MRI later in life.  These studies suggest that about half the differences among people’s mental abilities seen later in life can be attributed to how intelligent they were as children.  Perhaps as much as a quarter of the differences may be attributed to still be defined genetic causes.

Clearly the causes of memory decline and even improvements seen in some people but not others over time remain to be determined; learning how the brain functions both in health and disease will take many, many years.  However, the Scottish study gives researchers a starting point to test new theories and perhaps one day come up with interventions.  Having and maintaining a healthy and inquisitive mind in childhood may ultimately prove to be the best protector of brain function in adulthood.

Thanks for reading – Please share with others – Links Below!  Click Here to start receiving my weekly health blog post via email.  Until next week….  Dr Ed Taubman, Primary Care Doctor, Olney MD 301-774-5400
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A Critique Of The Paleo Diet

There has been a lot of hype about the Paleo Diet and its health benefits. The basis of the diet is to eat only things you can hunt and gather—like a caveman. The virtues of “eating like a caveman” are praised on sites such as Living Super Human. I asked our nutritionist, Rick Weissinger, author of “What the Experts Say About Food and Cancer,” to comment on the virtues of a diet that promotes meat and egg yolks while shunning legumes (beans, lentils, peas, and peanuts, etc.).  His comments follow:


Nutritionists View on the Paleo Diet

Recently, Dr. Taubman alerted me to posts regarding the Paleo diet that he thought I should comment on. Below are some of the statements made by Paleo enthusiasts about beans and other legumes along with my views on the matter. If I don’t sound convincing enough, please read Dr. McDougall’s post on The Paleo Diet Is Uncivilized.

“Most legumes are extremely toxic in their raw state.”

Why is this a problem? No one eats these foods raw. Why don’t you try eating hamburger and chicken raw, and compare the toxicity of these with legumes? You can write about it while you’re recuperating in the hospital!

“Phytates found in legumes, specifically phytic acid, have been shown to block the mineral absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc.”

Phytic acid, also known as phytate or as inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) is also an incredibly potent anti-cancer phytochemical, as I discussed in my book. The science is actually crystal clear that the reduced absorption of IP6 that occurs from eating legumes and whole grains does not pose a risk for making people deficient in these minerals.

Want to know about your heredity risk of cancer? Dr. Taubman offers Cancer Genetic Counseling.

“Phytates have also been shown to inhibit important enzymes involved in digestion, including pepsin and amylase.”

These properties actually have the potential to help with weight loss; they shouldn’t be avoided, they should be increased in our diets.

“Soy leads to an increased risk of bladder cancer.”

This was found in ONE study. All the other evidence has shown a LOWER risk of bladder cancer with higher soy intake, consistent with the effect of soy on several other common cancers.

“Soy fed infants have more repro­duc­tive and asthma issues as adults.”

On the contrary, a 2001 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that “Exposure to soy formula does not appear to lead to different general health or reproductive outcomes than exposure to cow milk formula.”

“Increased con­sump­tion of soy-based tofu led to lower cog­ni­tive func­tion later in life and a greater inci­dence of Alzheimers.”

On the contrary, several studies have demonstrated that soy isoflavone (SIF) supplementation can improve aspects of cognitive function, and the phytoestrogens in soy have been shown to reduce Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) related pathology.

“The Paleo diet shuns processed foods and Paleo followers are cooking more at home.”

Any diet should get people to eat at home more. This is not justification for eating meat, eggs, and cheese three times or more each day; animal meats and products have been associated with higher inflammation in the body. Inflammation is linked to many chronic ailments including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis.

“Egg yolks are good for you and don’t really raise your cholesterol.” 

Sounds like a great topic for next week’s blog!!

If you are interested in learning more about nutrition, weight loss solutions, and the steps you need to take to get healthy, schedule an appointment with Dr. Taubman and our certified nutritionist!

Nutrition and Weight Loss in Olney, Maryland

If you are interested in starting a new diet, consult your physician first. Fad diets can often be dangerous. It is important to eat a well-balanced diet with whole foods that offer the right nutrients for your body. To learn more about dieting and starting a healthy diet regimen, contact Dr. Taubman at Olney Medical to schedule an appointment at our office in Olney, Maryland!