About Dr. Joe Galati

Dr. Joe Galati is a Liver Specialist practicing in Houston, Texas. His practice, Liver Specialists of Texas is dedicated to the care of patients with all facets of liver disease.
Archive by Author
31 Day of Wellness: No Excuse Not to Exercise

31 Day of Wellness: No Excuse Not to Exercise

Buy sheer chance, I stumbled across this book while looking for last minute Christmas presents. Seven Minutes to Fitness is a great book everybody should have, especially those interested in health, wellness, and exercise.  The easy to perform exercises, not requiring any additional gym equipment, makes this a very useful tool for all of us.

A common lament I hear from patients is that they just don’t have the time to exercise.  This is a load of bunk, considering the wasted time people  spend playing mindless games on their computers and handheld devices, sitting in front of worthless television programming, or simply doing nothing.  If you don’t have seven minutes in a day to dedicate to your well-being, things are pretty sad and we are doomed.

Pick up a copy, or two, of this book and make full use of it. The seven minutes you invest in exercise will have a pay off in the years to come.

Exercise Daily

Exercise Daily

Comments { 2 }
31 Days of Wellness: Don’t Eat Food Packaged in a Box

31 Days of Wellness: Don’t Eat Food Packaged in a Box

My last rant about food-for now.

It’s criminal to feed your kids this food. Period. If you are serious about the health and the well-being of them, don’t even go down the isle that has this man-made food on the shelf. Take the time to buy real food, and take 10 minutes a day to make a real lunch for them. Here is the nutritional profile on Lunchables.

image

Comments { 0 }
31 Days of Wellness: Don’t Be Fooled By Food Labels

31 Days of Wellness: Don’t Be Fooled By Food Labels

Food makers try to trick all of us daily. Take a look at the picture below.

Patato chips are patato chips regardless how you disguise them.  If you see “sea salt” or “olive oil” you may be duped into thinking it’s healthy. Listen up-it’s not. All sorts of food products try this same tactic. If it seems to good to be true, it likely is.

image

Comments { 0 }
31 Days of Wellness: Reduce the Number of Pills You Take

31 Days of Wellness: Reduce the Number of Pills You Take

Wellness come in a lot of different flavors. Please give thought to the number of medicines you are on (or someone else you know). Wellness should not be measured by how many pills you take. It’s a national epidemic I see everyday where adults take so many medicines that they have no idea what they are, or how they work. This leads to medication errors, overdoses, drug-drug interactions, and an overall sense that modern medicine is simply prescribing a bunch of medicines without taking a closer look at what is actually wrong with the person.

It is the patient’s responsibility to understand what each medicine is for, how long they need to be on it, potential side effects, and how to measure success. Your silence here will lead to many, many problems.

Below is a recent picture I took of a typical “patient drug stash”. You can make up your own mind if this is good or not.

Here are a few tips to consider:

  1. Always have a list of all your medicines, and which doctor prescribed it for you.
  2. Understand what each drug is used for.
  3. Talk with your doctor about the expected result of the drug, and how you will be monitored if it is working or not.
  4. Have a general idea of the potential side effects each medicine has.
  5. Make sure you know both the generic and brand name of the drugs. This prevents taking duplicate doses of the same drug.
  6. Use the same pharmacy for all of your prescriptions.
  7. Get to know the pharmacists at your pharmacy as an ongoing resource of information and education about your medicines and conditions.
  8. If you are seen by multiple physicians, update and share your medication list with each office. Your specialists need to know what your primary care doctor is prescribing you. This will again prevent duplications, and lower the risk of drug interactions and complications.
  9. Discard expired medicines or medicines you no longer need.

For 2016, make it a goal to reduce the number of medicines you take.

Let me know what you think. Share this with those closest to you!

Dr. Joe Galati

We take too many medicines

We take too many medicines

 

 

Comments { 3 }

31 Days of Wellness: Cancer Death Rate is Down 23%

Today, we discuss the latest reduction in cancer death rates – down more than 23%. Reduction in smoking is the largest contributor to this improvement, followed by breast cancer screening, colon cancer screening with colonoscopy, and weight loss through MORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES! How novel? Enjoy the video and make sure everyone is aware of the cancer screening guidelines.

Comments { 0 }
31 Days of Wellness: Sipping Ourselves to Death

31 Days of Wellness: Sipping Ourselves to Death

We are surrounded by an ocean of sugary drinks, coming in every possible flavor, color, bottle, can, container, and size known to man. They are all missing one component-nutritional value.

We are sipping ourselves to death. We are told by advertisers that these fluids will make us better athletes, more hip as a person, or simply enjoy life better. What they don’t say is the needless calories they make you pack on with each gulp.

While none of these beverages on their own are lethal, it is the sum of all we consume that causes damage. An occasional soda will not kill you. Having several every day, as you wash down your favorite junk food, will. An occasional “anything” is not what hurts us. Daily dosing of man-made junk does.

For this year, among all of the other rules I’d like you to think about, is to work on eliminating all of these sugary, no-nutrition drinks. Drink water, coffee, and tea. Give it a try.

Have a great day.

Dr. Joe Galati

Comments { 0 }
31 Days of Wellness: Eat More Avocado this Year

31 Days of Wellness: Eat More Avocado this Year

Eat More Avocado for Health

Eat More Avocado for Health

I have never been a fan of the cliche term “super food”, but there is no doubt that the avocado is a fine food to eat more of. Loaded with vitamins and essential fats, experts feel we should be eating more of them.

A great review of the nutritional components are available here. Once your taste buds get acquired to the texture and taste, you will realize how versatile the avocado is. Most recently, I have been adding them to my morning smoothie.

Millions of recipes are available on-line. Here are just a few to start off with.

 

 

Avocado Recipe-I

Avocado Recipe-II

Enjoy.

Dr. Joe Galati

 

Comments { 0 }
31 Days of Wellness: Starting 2016 on the Right Step

31 Days of Wellness: Starting 2016 on the Right Step

Each January, I do my best to post 30 daily entries, allowing all of our readers to get a daily dose of inspiration to start off the new

year. While the vast majority of New Years resolutions are “health related”, the majority fail by months end. The reason for this high failure rate is simple-people don’t change habits easily. These resolutions require some sort of change in a person’s daily routine. Weight loss, eating better, spending more time exercising, cutting back on alcohol use are common themes each year, yet the difficulty in changing entrenched behaviors is what makes all of this so hard. So why should we even talk about this? My feeling is that while the failure rate is high, there are those that are able to make the changes needed to improve their health. I remain optimistic that there are those of you that have finally seen the light, and make the bold steps to change for the right reasons.

For today, let me leave you with this message (and challenge):

IMG_4379Make plans to try one new vegetable each week. Pretty simple. With the vegetable you select, try various recipes until you find one you like. Get feedback from your family and those you eat with. You may have to experiment until you get it right.

One of my favorite websites for learning about vegetables and fruits is Worlds Healthiest Foods. Use this site as a starting point to fine new foods to try.

 

Happy 2016.

Let me know what you think. Share these daily entries with those you care about.

Cheers,

Joe Galati, M.D.

 

Comments { 0 }

Top Five Facts about Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC)

Background

Primary biliary cirrhosis, a disease of the bile ducts, has been around for a long time. More recently, there has been a movement to change the name to primary biliary cholangitis. The presence of the word cirrhosis in the name is both misleading, and a cause of concern for patient’s that have it. Not all patients with PBC have cirrhosis. Cholangitis, which is inflammation of the bile ducts, seems to be a more representative term to use. At Liver Specialists of Texas, we have extensive experience in treating those patients with PBC.

PBC is considered an autoimmune disease, that affects the bile ducts of the liver. It is progressive in nature, and can lead to further destruction of liver tissue and the eventual development of cirrhosis. Generally, it is a slowly progressive disease, and is in most cases, progression is judged in decades rather than years. In your liver, bile ducts are the extensive system of tubes draining bile from your liver to your gallbladder and intestines. With PBC you develop damage to the bile ducts, the bile has a tendency to get trapped in the liver, causing damage. What causes PBC is really not fully understood at this time. It is not contagious, nor is it caused by alcohol. Most of us feel that primary biliary cholangitis is inherited, as we see it occasionally cluster and family’s.

Top Five Facts

  1. Primary biliary cholangitis typically affects young white female.
  2. To make the diagnosis of PBC, the lab test for the antimitochondrial antibody is positive and the majority of cases, about 95%.
  3. Fatigue is the most common symptom of PBC, no nonspecific, occurs in approximately 78% of the cases.
  4. UDCA is the only FDA approved medication for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis.
  5. Patients with primary biliary cholangitis can present with a number of systemic complaints and complications throughout the body including:
    1. Pruritus ( itching) occurring in 20-70% of patients
    2. Elevated cholesterol
    3. Vitamin D deficiency
    4. Osteoporosis in approximately 30% of individuals
    5. Sicca syndrome (dry eyes and/or mouth)
    6. Raynaud’s phenomenon

For more information on PBC, or if you would like a consultation, feel free to contact us, and we would be more than happy to evaluate you.

Comments { 0 }
Top Five Symptoms of Hepatic Encephalopathy

Top Five Symptoms of Hepatic Encephalopathy

Hepatic Encephalopathy

Hepatic Encephalopathy

Hepatic encephalopathy, seen in advanced liver disease and cirrhosis, results in a number of neuro-psychiatric symptoms, that cover a wide spectrum of manifestations. Being aware of the clinical presentations are important for both the patient and their caretaker, as well as healthcare professionals involved in their care. These include:

 

 

  1. Personality changes.
  2. Changes in sleep-wake cycles, associated with excessive daytime somnolence and nighttime insomnia.
  3. Disorientation to person, place and time.
  4. Development of inappropriate behavior, associated with confusion.
  5. Coma.

Individuals with hepatic encephalopathy have serious live problems, and should be considered for liver transplant evaluation.  All of us at Liver Specialists of Texas are experienced to care for these complex patient needs.

 

Comments { 0 }