Know how to prevent heat-illness

Austin is no stranger when it comes to extreme heat. With summer heat taking its hold over Central Texas, making work and play during the day much more uncomfortable.. and possibly more dangerous.  Heat illness is a condition doctors and providers at The Austin Diagnostic Clinic see a lot more of during the hottest months of the year.

What is heat illness?

Heat cramps

Heat cramps are painful muscle spasms, and they usually happen while exercising in the heat. They are usually caused by not drinking enough fluids.


  • Rest and cool down
  • Drink fluids, especially those with electrolytes
  • Gently stretch and massage the muscles affected

Heat exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is more serious than heat cramps. It is often associated with

  • Weakness
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Heavy sweating
  • Nausea
  • Weak pulse
Drying off with towel

It’s important to find ways to stay cool in the heat.

Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke if it is not treated. If you or someone with you shows signs of heat exhaustion:

  • Go to a cool place and rest
    The best place to go is a building with air conditioning. But you can also get out of the direct sun and find shade.
  • Drink fluids
    Water with electrolytes is best, but be aware that sports drinks may have a lot of sugar. Avoid soda and alcohol, which can actually cause dehydration.
  • Take a cool shower
    Applying cool water to your skin can help cool you down.
  • Loosen your clothing
    Remove any unnecessary layers so that air can reach your skin to cool you down.

Heat stroke

Is the most severe form of heat illness. It happens when you body is no longer able to regulate its own temperature.


  • Body temperature over 103 degrees
  • Hot, red skin
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Loss of consciousness

In the case of a heat stroke, call 911. The person should be moved to a cool place immediately.

How to prevent heat illness

Fortunately, there are steps you and your family can take to manage the heat and avoid harming your health. Howard Baade, a nurse practitioner with The Austin Diagnostic Clinic, says it starts with planning your time outside. “Exercise common sense,” Baade said. “Don’t go out and try to be a hero when it’s 105 degrees at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Give yourself 15 minutes on and 5 minutes off.” Baade recommends checking the weather forecast before heading out for the day. “Sometimes, if the humidity is too high or the heat and humidity combined are high, it could affect what you are going to do the rest of the day,” he said. Sometimes just knowing what to expect can help you avoid heat illness.

What are some other things you can dobefore you go out in the heat?

  • Drink water
    Hydrating before and during strenuous activity outdoors is crucial. Avoid waiting until you are thirsty to drink water.
  • Eat smaller meals, including a little salt
    Foods can also replenish some of the necessary electrolytes. Just a small amount of salty foods, like crackers, can replenish as well as fluids.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing
    A wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen are also a good idea.
  • Avoid alcohol
    It may be tempting to enjoy some cold adult beverages while enjoying the lake, but it’s important to avoid alcohol in the heat. Alcohol can affect the way the body cools itself and cause dehydration.

Are there lasting effects to suffering heat illness?

Heat illness does not have long-term effects on the body unless the heat it is severe.

Severe heat illness can cause seizures, unconsciousness, organ failure and death.

But in general, as long as mild heat illness is treated quickly, there are no lasting effects.

One might feel a little fuzzy and weak for a day or two, but usually those symptoms will resolve.


Adjusting your hearing aids for daily use and volume

In this video, ADC Audiologist Janet Davila, AuD, CCC-A explains how to put on your hearing aids and adjust volume.

How to put on your hearing aid

  1. Set the hearing aid or instrument on top of the ear
  2. Insert the dome in your ear
  3. Using your index finger, push (gently) the dome into your ear canal
  4. Flip the anchor or spring upwards to stay flush with your outer ear

When you  look in the mirror the wire should be flush with your skin.

Adjusting Volume Control

Dr. Davila offers this helpful tip to adjust the volume on your hearing aids.  She says to remember that your right instrument raises the volume and your left instrument lowers the volume:

  • Right=Raises volume
  • Left=Lowers volume
  1. Find your volume control button on the back of your hearing aid.  With your index finger give the button a quick tap or push.

Switching to a Saved Program

To switch your hearing instruments to a set program, for example a crowded room setting, follow these directions.

  1. To change from one program to another, hold your volume button down for 1.5 to 2 seconds.
  2. You will hear a beep in each ear when the program has changed.
  3. To return to your previous program, hold the volume button down again for 1.5 to 2 seconds.  You will once again hear the two beeps to indicate the program has been changed.

Does it matter which hearing aid you use to switch to adjust volume or switch to another program?

According to Dr. Davila, it depends on how the buttons on the back are programmed and how big the hearing aids are.  The smaller, mini receiver in the ear aids are ear specific. That is, the button on the right aid turns the volume up for both aids. The left aid button turns the volume down for both aids.

If you have a larger standard sized receiver in the ear, there is a “rocker” switch on the back. Tap the top of the switch and both aids go up, no matter which aid you use. Tap the bottom of the switch and both get softer no matter which aid you use.  Press and hold the top (or bottom) of the switch for two seconds and release it, and the program will change.  It is best to change the program with the right aid though, because it cycles through the programs  as follows; 1 -2 -3 -4, while the left will cycle 4 – 3 – 2 – 1.  Using the right to change programs is more intuitive.

For more information about hearing aids and instruments contact the ADC Audiology department at 512-901-4808.

Did you know ADC’s Audiology department offers free hearing aid cleaning?

If you’re not comfortable cleaning your hearing aids, come by the ADC Audiology department at 12221 MoPac Expwy, 2nd Floor, North Entrance, and we can help you out.  It’s easy, just follow the steps below:

  1. Drop off your hearing aids at the front desk.
  2. Our staff will ask you to complete a form.  Remember to check the box marked, “Please clean my hearing aids.”
  3. Receive a call from our team when your hearing aids are clean or, you may call our office to check.

Please allow 1-2 business days for the cleaning to be completed. For more information about ADC Audiology or any of the services we provide call us at  512-901-4808.

How can you protect your hearing at concerts and events?

We go to outdoor and indoor concerts, attend motor events and sometimes take our kids. And with MP3 players and phones as the most popular option for listening to music, how do you protect hearing for adults and children? ADC Audiologists Janet Davila, AuD, CCC-A and Natalie Rooker, AuD, CCC-A have some great options for you and your child.


Ear plugs: these simple, yet very effective, foam ear plugs are readily available at grocery stores and pharmacies.
The second type of ear plug has a small stick on the outside for easy insertion and removal. They are typically available at stores, pharmacies and online.

Custom ear plugs: for serious music fans or musicians, ADC audiology can customize filtered ear plugs. You would have molds made for a customized fit, which are then sent to the manufacturer and returned to ADC. These are available in custom colors as well.


Headphones: There are a variety of headphones available online for children.

  • Volume limiting headphones allow parents to set the limit so no matter how high your child turns the volume setting, it won’t go past the set parameter. For older children, volume limiting earbuds are available in a variety of colors as well.
  • Noise-cancelling headphones are a great choice for the parent who wants to bring their child to a concert or event where they may be exposed to loud noises over an extended period of time. The noise-cancelling headphones block out sound and are available in many sizes from infant to child to adult.

How do you know when loud is too loud?

Dr. Davila recommends that parents educate themselves and their children about how loud is too loud. The website, DangerousDecibles.org,  is a virutal exhibit that teaches children of all ages (and adults) the levels of loudness that are most dangerous and how to avoid them.

The ADC Audiology department sees patients of all ages and provides services from infant and child hearing screenings to adult ear cleanings, testing and fitting for hearing devices. If your concerned about your or your child’s hearing, please contact the ADC Audiology department at 512-901-1111 or complete the appointment request below.

Request Appointment

Use this form to request an appointment with one of our doctors or providers.
  • Please note effective Dec 31, 2017, ADC will terminate plan participation with Ambetter. At this time we are no longer scheduling new patients with these plans.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

There is an osteoporosis crisis in the US with up to 50 million people at risk for fractures. ADC osteoporosis specialist Michele McDermott, MD visited the KXAN studios to speak to Gigi Barnett about this disease.  As Gigi states, “we talk about heart disease and cancer, but no one talks about what happens when your bones cannot keep you upright”.   Dr. McDermott agrees by saying many people are unaware of fractures or fracture risk until they begin to lose height.

Know your risk factors

Dr. McDermott lists the following as risk factors for osteoporois:

  • Being a woman
  • Age
  • Smoker
  • Not getting enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet
  • Family history of hip or vertebral fracture

Bone density is key to bone strength.   When the bone density is weakened, bone strength and structure is lost. For women, since estrogen regulates the remodeling of bones, it makes sense that after menopause, the body loses that ability to remodel bone.


There are two types of treatments for osteoporosis:

  • Antiresorptive drugs
  • Bone building drugs

Dr. McDermott says she comes across many patients who are fearful of taking these drugs due to side effects.  She states the side effects are rare, but fractures are not.   She encourages patients to speak to their doctors and get the facts about these medications and treatments.

Recommendations for good bone health

  • Exercise – weight bearing exercises are great for building & maintaining bone strength
  • Get your daily dose of Calcium (1200mg) and Vitamin D (800-1000 IUs)
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • No smoking
  • If you have a family history visit your doctor to get a bone density screening


Summer Travel advice before you take to the skies or seas

KXAN’s Kylie McGivern spoke to ADC Travel Clinic director, Crystal Cherico, RN about how to protect yourself and your family while traveling this summer.  First and foremost, if you are traveling to a foreign country make sure you visit a Travel Clinic as part of your planning process.  Crystal says ideally, you want to schedule visits 4-6 weeks prior to departure, however, she said it’s not unusual for the office to get calls from patients on the way to the airport to provide medications or immunizations.

Do children need more protection than adults for travel?

Because of school admission requirements, Ms. Cherico says that most children are well vaccinated and often need fewer vaccines than most adults.  She does caution that children will often touch items, put their hands in their mouths or have open mouths in showers so they may have some issues with diarrhea.  However, there are medications that she and her team can provide families, especially those traveling to locations where malaria and travelers diarrhea are a concern.

Is Zika still something to worry about?

For most normal, healthy adults and children an exposure to the Zika virus may result in an experience of mild, flu-like symptoms.  However, for women who are pregnant, there are a whole set of guidelines for travel to help avoid birth defects from Zika.  Avoiding Zika prones areas for expectant mothers is recommended, as insect repellents are not 100% effective.

Questions about where you will be traveling?

Crystal recommends the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for travelers.  https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/   Travelers can find advice on outbreaks, medications, tropical diseases and a broad overview of travel advice.  It will not be as personalized as the advice you will get at the ADC Travel Clinic, but it is a good starting place when planning.

Tips for international travel

  • Visit a Travel Clinic
  • Make sure to take your sunscreen and insect repellent – Don’t count on your destination having a reliable supply.
  • Check embassy websites for any precautions or outbreaks
  • Take more of your prescription medication(s) than just for your days of travel.  Keep them in the prescription bottles with your name on it.  Just in case your travel lasts longer than expected, you’ll have a supply of the medications you need.


It begins in the early stages of our lives – developing a healthy relationship with food.

Dr. Kimberly Albert, pediatrician at ADC Cedar Park, discusses some simple ways to create healthy food routines for your family.

Eating together as a family serves a lot of different purposes.

  • It allows parents to be a role model by establishing and showing their children that they are eating the same foods.
  • It’s good to be social by eating together and talking about your day.
  • With older children, it allows them to be part of the food preparation process and building a healthy relationship with food.

How do parents avoid being short-order cooks:

  • Focus on foods as being part of what nourishes the body, helping children to grow and regenerate.
  • Don’t focus on good food vs bad food
  • Approach food as a matter of fact: this is what we have and what we are eating at this meal.

How to eat well daily:

  • In your household, buy and have mostly fruits and veggies and good protein sources.
  • Limit the processed foods – especially when children are younger they have no idea that there is anything else but healthy choices at home.
  • Don’t try to control or battle over what your kids eat – If you offer healthy choices and they choose to eat it great.  If not, let it sit there and they will come back to it.

Resources from the American Academy of Pediatrics – HealthyChildren.org

Vanessa Chiapetta

Dr. Vanessa Chiapetta

National Poison Prevention Week is March 19-25.

Dr. Vanessa Chiapetta, a pediatrician with The Austin Diagnostic Clinic, recorded this message for Poison Prevention Month on where and how you can guard against accidental poisonings.

Valentines Day is often associated with the heart, this year ADC doctors remind you to love your kidneys as well.

Dr. Vincent Tjia, ADC nephrologist, stopped by the KXAN studios to discuss the prevalence of kidney disease, how you can use the “kidney two-step” to diagnosis kidney disease early, and what Love Kidney Day at the Capitol is all about.

How do you know if you have kidney disease?

Unfortunately, an individual with kidney disease may be asymptomatic for years. Dr. Tjia says in most cases patients may not know they have kidney disease until symptoms become severe. In severe cases someone may experience fluid retention, elevated blood pressure and changes in urine. He recommends that if you have a diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure to get screened for kidney disease.  Likewise, if you have a family history, or are Hispanic or African American you should also be screened.  According to LoveKidneys.com, 4 out of 10 dialysis patients are Hispanic and African Americans are 3.8 times more likely to develop kidney disease than whites.

lovekidney.org Kidney two step inforgraphicLove your kidneys with the Kidney Two-Step

The Kidney Two-Step are two screenings that help doctors diagnose kidney disease. A patient who may be concerned about kidney disease may ask their primary care doctor to perform the blood and urine test that comprise this screening. The blood test looks at your blood creatnine levels and the urine test looks at specific proteins. The lovekidneys.com site has detailed information about how doctors diagnose kidney disease.

Love Kidney Day at the Capitol

30 million Americans are diagnosed with Kidney disease.  Texas leads the nation in the number of patients on dialysis and the number is growing each year. That’s why advocates are hosting the Love Kidney Day at the Capitol on Valentine’s Day, Tuesday, February 14, 2017.   Patients, advocates, healthcare providers and doctors are traveling from all over the state to promote early screening and to educate legislators about kidney disease. Organizers hope to increase funding and programs to aid individuals with kidney disease and promote awareness and prevention.  They expect over 400 people to attend Love Kidney Day. For more information visit: http://www.texasrenalcoalition.org/kidneyday2017.html 

Parting Advice

  1. Ask your primary care doctor about the Kidney Two-Step screening (blood and urine test) especially if you are a diabetic, have high blood pressure or family history
  2. Control your risk factors when possible – making healthy lifestyle choices, keep on top of your medications and doctor visits.


  1. http://www.lovekidneys.com/what-is-kidney-disease.php*
  2. http://www.texasrenalcoalition.org/index.html
  3. https://www.kidney.org/

Palak Paneer ( Spinach with Indian Cottage Cheese)

Palak paneer is a popular North Indian curry made of creamy spinach and soft Indian cottage cheese.  A great choice for vegetarians, it is rich in iron and offers a good dose of protein as well.

Ingredients for 4 Servings

  • Spinach leaves- 2 bunches
  • Indian Cottage Cheese-1 block (available at Indian grocery stores)
  • Garlic -3 cloves (chopped finely)
  • Tomato-2 medium sized (chopped)
  • Onion- 1 medium sized (chopped)
  • Cumin seeds-1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder -1 tsp
  • Coriander powder-1 tsp
  • Cardamom-1 pod
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar- A pinch
  • Oil- 1 tbsp
  • Cream (optional)


  • Trim the spinach leaves. Cut off the stems at the back
  • Take the spinach leaves and wash them thoroughly under running water. Be sure to remove the soil and impurities.
  • Boil water. Add a pinch of salt and sugar. Blanch spinach for 1 minute until wilted.
  • Grind the spinach leaves in a blender to a fine consistency.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds until they sizzle. Now add 1 pod of cardamom. Add chopped onion. Sauté until they turn to a nice golden color. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Add chopped tomatoes, red chilli powder, coriander powder, salt and keep stirring till the tomatoes are reduced to a pulp consistency. If the mixture is too dry, add some cold water. Sauté for couple of minutes. To lower the fat content of the dish, one can make homemade cottage cheese made from 1% milk. Add spinach puree, stir lightly and cover for 2 minutes. Now add cubed paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and let it cook for 5-10 minutes.
  • If you desire a restaurant style taste; add cream on top.
  • Palak paneer can be served with chappati, rice or nan.

Nutritional Information

  • Serving Size: ½ cup will provide 160 kcals, 12 grams of fat and 9 grams of carb and 6 grams of protein.
  • Spinach is high in Vitamin A, Vitamin K, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, fiber and is a good source of iron for people on a vegetarian diet.

It’s important to establish with a primary care doctor for preventive care

ADC Family Practitioner Dr. Grace Honles from Circle C visited the KXAN studios to discuss the importance of establishing with a primary care doctor for good preventive care by utilizing annual exams and screenings.

When most people think of annual exams they think of the typical sports or school physical for children and teens.   But did you know adults need annual exams too?

Depending on your family history, risk factors and lifestyle, there may be immunizations and screenings need to prevent and diagnose disease.   Dr. Honles states that young adults, adults and seniors should establish with a primary care doctor to work together to decide which screenings and immunizations are right for you.  She emphasized the importance of the relationship you have with your doctor throughout your lifetime is crucial for good health at all stages of your life.

ADC has pulled together some recommended screenings for different ages.  Again, every person is different and only you and your doctor can decide which is best for you.  You may also download a copy of Adult Screenings by Age.


KXAN’s Amanda Brandeis spoke with a patient with MS about how she has managed with MS (multiple sclerosis) and how this drug may be a benefit to others.   Dr. Greg Thaera, ADC neurologist with a special interest in MS, discusses how patients with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS) may benefit from this new drug.

The following is a transcript from KXAN:

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Mary Thompson says when she first learned she had Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 1987, there were no treatments available. It all began when she woke up one morning and everything was blurry in her left eye.

“It is pretty terrifying when you don’t know whether it’s going to affect your walking, your eye sight, your brain,” said Thompson. “I have had it affect just about all my body parts. Now it is also affecting my brain, which is extremely difficult for me.”

Thompson and her husband have been in the beer business for years, starting the first microbrewery in southwest Texas. Her husband is now the Brewmaster at North by North West Restaurant and Brewery.

Because of MS, Thompson is no longer able to work in the brewery. She started a support group in Austin, connecting with others who live with the unpredictable disease of the central nervous system (CNS).

“Nobody understands MS like somebody that has MS. So it is very important to me to have people to talk to about it, moan about it, get angry about it, whatever,” said Thompson.

Many in the group have been looking forward to FDA-approval of a new treatment option, Ocrevus. The drug works by suppressing the immune system and would be the first treatment approved for patients with primary progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS), which is usually more severe.

Dr. Greg Thaera is a neurologist at the Austin Diagnostic Clinic, who has patients eager to try the new treatment.

“The trials did prove positive, meaning that there was some benefit in prevention of long-term disability, which is actually a first for a Multiple Sclerosis drug, so it’s actually quite promising,” said Dr. Thaera.

But patients will now have to wait a bit longer for the drug. Ocrevus was expected to get FDA-approval by the end of the year, but it’s been pushed back another three months.

According to pharmaceutical company that created the drug, the extension is due to the manufacturing process, not the efficacy or safety of the drug.

“It’s the progressive forms of Multiple Sclerosis that at least at this time in 2016, we lack effective treatments for to halt the progression,” said Dr. Thaera.

“Some of them are desperate. We’ve had members of our group that have gone overseas to try and get some of the stem cell treatments,” said Thompson.

She herself has secondary progressive MS, and has tried several treatments over the years. She says many caused terrible side effects.

“The longer you’ve had MS and the more drugs you tried and the more drugs you hear about, you have a tendency to sit back and say, ‘Yeah, we’ll wait and see’,” said Thompson. “I’m hopeful, but hesitant.”

Dr. Thaera says the drug hasn’t yet proven to treat the type of Multiple Sclerosis Thompson has. But Thompson wants people to know that if you have MS it doesn’t mean your life is over.

“I think a lot of people fear MS is a death sentence, and it’s not. I’ve led an extremely happy life and I’ve been married 40 plus years, I have three wonderful children, two grandchildren.”

For Thompson’s friends and Dr. Thaera’s patients, they hope the wait is worth it.

ADC Allergist Scott Oberhoff, MD, discusses winter allergies and how you can tell the difference between allergies and a cold.

Between January and March, many Central Texans will experience winter allergies brought on by cedar pollen and weather changes.  These changes may, cause nasal symptoms, coughing, sneezing and other respiratory illnesses to be at their worst.  ADC allergists, Dr. Scott Oberhoff, Dr. John Villacis and Nurse Practitioner Kris Flury help people prepare in the fall or the beginning of winter season to prepare for those allergens that may cause it to be a bad winter.

What are the top winter allergens?

In the Austin and Central Texas area, cedar pollen is the dominant allergen typically starting in late December, through January into early February.  Mold particles can also be in the high counts, especially when the winter season is rainy and wet.  Molds are usually a “year-round” allergen with different molds being more prevalent at different times of the year.  Additionally, grass pollens may also have higher counts towards the end of winter and early spring in mid-February through March and April.

How can you tell if you have allergies or a cold?

The differences between diagnosing winter allergies or a cold can be difficult to tease out.  Dr. Oberhoff says both will give you a runny nose, congestion and sneezing so he uses a few key symptoms to make the conclusive diagnosis.

Signs of allergies in an individual include itchy eyes,  itchy nose and sneezing attacks.  These are usually the hallmarks of allergy symptoms.  Also, patients who take an antihistamine and have a positive response find this is also key to diagnosing allergies versus a cold.  According to Dr. Oberhoff, colds also tend to start quickly, progress after about three to four days, hit their peak and then typically  resolve over the next week or so.  Allergies however will continue to be problematic as long as there is exposure, or as long as the cedar pollen, mold or grass counts are high.  Although medications may help initially, ultimately, allergy testing may be necessary to pinpoint the allergen and focus your treatment options.

What precautions should you take?

Individuals start their medications at the earliest signs and symptoms of  itchy eyes, sneezing that may occur with increased cedar or pollens in the air.   If the allergy symptoms do occur start taking your antihistamines and using your nasal sprays and other allergy medications before the season begins is generally much more effective at offsetting symptoms.  However, if a patient’s symptoms have already begun, it is important to get on those medications as soon as possible and to continue taking them throughout the rest of the season.  This will help reduce inflammation and help manage symptoms better.

How do you treat allergies?

ADC’s allergy department offers three basic options for allergy treatment:

  • One – patients are advised to avoid the allergen
  • Two – use medications to treat allergy symptoms
  • Three – use immunotherapy such as allergy shots or allergy drops

For more information about how The Austin Diagnostic Clinic Allergy and Immunology department can help you get relief this allergy season call 512-901-4052 or request an appointment below.

Request Appointment

Use this form to request an appointment with one of our doctors or providers.
  • Please note effective Dec 31, 2017, ADC will terminate plan participation with Ambetter. At this time we are no longer scheduling new patients with these plans.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Concerned about your kids and flu?

Dr. Christopher Saenz, pediatrician at ADC Steiner Ranch, hosts a Q &A about your child and the flu.

When should you take your child to the pediatrician?

If you’re concerned about your child being ill, bring them in. Even if it’s not the flu, we can make them feel better and shorten the duration of the illness.

What is the best way to prevent flu?

The best way to prevent your child from getting the flu is the annual flu vaccine.

How long does the flu last?

The flu typically lasts a week, although Dr. Saenz explains that using Tamiflu can sometimes shorten the illness by a day and sometimes offset the chance of getting pneumonia that may prolong illness.

How can parents help their child recover?

Dr. Saenz encourages parents to take their child to the doctor if you feel your child may have the flu. In addition to Tamiflu, some over the counter medication like Tylenol or Motrin, that are age appropriate, lots of fluids, and rest can help your child overcome the flu.

Dr. Christopher Saenz is a pediatrician at ADC’s Steiner Ranch office (5145 FM 620 N, 78732) for more information, or to make an appointment call 512-901-4066.


‘Tis the weeks before Christmas and all through Central Texas parents are desperately seeking the right toy for their girl or boy!   Dr. Christopher Saenz, ADC Steiner Ranch pediatrician shared helpful advice about selecting safe toys for your child with KXANs Gigi Barnet.

Toy Safety

Parents should consider the following when purchasing toys for their child

  • Age
  • Ability
  • Interest

Dr. Saenz recommends reading the labels on each toy and purchasing the age appropriate toy for your child.   Often younger children explore new things by putting them in their mouths, he says legos or game pieces for a 10 year old may wind up in the throat, nose or gut of an 18 month old.

When should electronic devices and toys be introduced?

 Dr. Saenz, and the American Academy of Pediatrics  recommend that parents introduce electronic devices for children no earlier than 18 months of age.  And, from 18 months to 5 years old, they should limit the time to one hour of screen time.  Dr. Saenz further recommends that the parent spend that hour with child on a quality, educational website or game.

What are common toy/play injuries you see as a pediatrician over the holidays?

As a former pediatric ER physician Dr. Saenz saw many injuries.  Last year, he said the most common injuries were attributed to hoverboards, but most he sees are from children putting small toys in their mouths, ears and nose.  He said parents should remind older children to pick up their small toys to avoid accidents with their younger siblings.

Where can a parent go for more information or to view recall information?

Start your mornings of right with a warm, hearty and quick breakfast brought to you by the Health Risk Management education staff.  Apple cider mix adds a little extra flavor to this weight management favorite.


  • 2 HMR Cereal packets
  • 1 small packet of sugar-free apple cider mix
  • 8 ounces of water
  • A pinch of cinnamon


1. Pour cereal packets in a large, microwave-proof bowl
2. Add water and cider mix into the bowl. Mix until combined.
3. Microwave for 3-4 minutes. Stir every minute until cooked.
4. Sprinkle cinnamon for flavoring and enjoy!

For more information about the Health Risk Management weight loss program call us at 512-901-4540.   We offer free weekly orientations so you can learn more about the program and how we’ve helped thousands of Central Texans meet and retain their weight loss goals.

Pumpkin Spice Latte done right!

There’s no doubt Fall has arrived and so have the pumpkin flavored lattes and coffee drinks that we all love.  As much as we love the drinks, we hate the calories and fat that go with them.    The Health Risk Management educators have adapted a recipe from PopSugar that is just as good, and a healthier version of this Fall favorite.

Yield: 1 serving

Cook Time: 5 minutes


  • 8 oz water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbs instant coffee
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Stevia – sweetened to taste


  1. In a cup, mix together almond milk and pumpkin.
  2. Microwave for 1 minute.
  3. In a separate cup, mix water and coffee.
  4. Microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds.
  5. Combine hot coffee and pumpkin milk together and stir until blended well, top with cinnamon and enjoy!


Recipe adapted from this recipe: http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Healthy-Pumpkin-Spice-Latte-35725456

Bringing Awareness to a Diabetes Epidemic

November isn’t just the start of the holiday season it also kicks off National Diabetes Month. According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 30 million kids and adults have diabetes. And here’s an interesting fact: diabetes kills more people than AIDS and breast cancer combined. KXAN’s Gigi Barnett talked with The Austin Diagnostic Clinic Endocrinologist Sherwin Yen, MD and his patient Susie Jockisch, who is an American Diabetes Association Red Strider and spokesperson for the Austin chapter.

Why don’t people pay more attention to diabetes?

Dr. Yen says that initially most people do not feel like they have high blood sugars, until their blood sugars are very, very high. When people don’t feel any different they don’t necessarily know there is anything wrong.

What’s the difference between type one and type two diabetes.

For type one diabetes the problem is that the pancreas is not making insulin because of an autoimmune obstruction. When your body is not making insulin, that insulin can’t bring those sugars down and that’s why a Type One patient will have high blood sugars. This is in contrast to people with type two diabetes, whose pancreas is making insulin but they have a high resistance to insulin. So, their insulin is not working to prevent their blood sugars from going high as well.

In Susie’s case she’s type 1 1/2, she has a component of type one diabetes, where for most type one patient’s the pancreas stops working at a younger age of 10 or 12 years, but she presented in her late 30s. Dr. Yen says he is seeing more people presenting with Type One in their thirties as their pancreas function decreases over time and at a slower rate.

Susie was diagnosed at age 37 with type one diabetes. She went two her primary care doctor for an infection and based on the results of the urine test, her doctor performed a blood test on the spot. Her blood glucose was four times the levels of what a normal blood glucose level should be. Less than an hour and 1/2 later she was meeting with Dr. Yen and started on insulin immediately. She started on four injections a day, and after four months, she transitioned to an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring.

What were some of the symptoms?

Looking back, Susie recognizes the symptoms, but at the time she didn’t know. Susie experienced rapid weight loss, which she attributed to working out or eating healthier and she had excessive thirst, she was drinking water all the time and had constant urination, which she attributed to being an adult. It wasn’t until after her diagnosis, that the symptoms made sense all together.

How much of type one diabetes is hereditary?

Dr. Yen says it can be hereditary and their is a genetic component, but there’s also some data showing that it could be environmental, as well caused by certain infections or viral infections that can trigger onset of type one. Certainly in type two diabetes, he can see that genetics and a family history can mean increased risk. He says we are learning more and more about about the importance of diet, sugary beverages and even diet beverages that can increase the risk of diabetes and weight gain. He also talks about the critical importance of exercise, especially with those individuals already diagnosed with diabetes to prevent progression of the disease.


  • For information about Diabetes visit Diabetes.org
  • To register or donate for the Step Out for Diabetes event visit
  • To make an appointment with ADC Endocrinology call 512-901-1111 or request an appointment below

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  • Please note effective Dec 31, 2017, ADC will terminate plan participation with Ambetter. At this time we are no longer scheduling new patients with these plans.
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Being the Live-Music capital of the world has its perks ranging from the types of music fans get hear, to the unique venues that host these talented musicians.  But getting up close and listening too long may damage your hearing – permanently.

ADC Audiologist, Janet Davila, AuD, CCC-A spoke with KXAN’s Gigi Barnett about how loud is too loud and how to protect your hearing (and your child’s) during live music events like ACL and SXSW.  Check out the interview above or the information below from Dr. Davila.

What is Noise Induced Hearing Loss?

Noise induced hearing loss occurs when sound levels are loud enough to cause damage or even death of the nerve cells in the cochlea (organ of hearing).

These delicate nerve cells, called outer hair cells, will move and pulsate to the sound vibrations that travel through the ear and allow us to hear sounds.

Noise induced hearing loss affects both adults and children. It is estimated that at least 15 % of adults between the ages of 20 and 69 (26 million) have hearing loss caused by noise exposure at work or during recreational activities. ( Moreover, approximately 16% of teens, aged 12 to 19 years have reported  hearing loss that was likely caused by loud noise (Survey, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010).

How Loud is Too Loud?

Sounds 85 decibels and above are loud enough to cause damage to hearing, but the length of exposure to the sound is also a key factor. In addition, the decibel scale is a logarithmic scale, so every doubling of a decibel is a huge change in the power of the sound.  Every 3 decibel increase is a “doubling” of the power of the sound. The chart below shows the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health permissible exposure time to continuous exposure of sounds at various decibel levels before damage to hearing occurs.

*NIOSH and CDC 2002

Permissible Exposure Time            Decibel Level, continuous exposure

8 hrs                                                     85 dB

4 hrs                                                     88 dB

2 hrs                                                     91 dB

1 hrs                                                     94 dB

30 min                                                 97 dB

15 min                                                100 dB

7.5 min                                               103 dB

3.75 min                                             106 dB

>2 min                                                109 dB

1 min                                                   112 dB

30 seconds                                        115 dB

(adapted from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website sited at  www.noisehelp.com)

What Are Some Everyday Sounds and Noise Levels?

Rock Concert at peak              150 dB

Jet airplane                                140 dB

Shot gun                                      140 dB

Lawnmower                                90 dB

Vacuum cleaner                        70 dB

Library                                        30 – 40 dB

Whisper                                       30 dB

(Adapted from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website sited at www.noisehelp.com)

How Do We Protect Our Ears?

You can protect your ears from noise induced hearing loss by using hearing protection such as foam ear plugs, custom made earplugs, custom made musician’s filtered ear plugs, or ear muffs.  There are also noise protection ear muffs for infants and young children available online at Westone.com or even at Amazon.com

At ADC Audiology, we offer custom made musician’s filtered ear plugs, custom made solid earplugs (for maximum protection) and specialized earplugs for  recreational shooting and hunting. We also offer custom sleep earplugs for those needing to cut out the noise of  a partner who snores!

Additionally, parents may want to consider purchasing headphones that  regulate the volume levels of their child’d I-pod or MP3 players. These headphones control the volume such that the child may turn their player up to maximum volume, but the headphones regulate  the volume so that it never reaches dangerous levels.  These can be obtained through Westone.com

Helpful Websites:

  • dangerousdecibels.org – An interactive website for children and teens.
  • www.noisehelp.com – A good website for adults to learn more about noise induced hearing loss and dangerous noise levels.
  • www.nidcd.nih.gov – A government supported website for adults to learn more facts about the normal and disordered processes of hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, and language.

Flu Season is fast-approaching – be ready and immunize against influenza

ADC Steiner Ranch Pediatrician Dr. Christopher Saenz discussed the upcoming flu season with KXAN’s Gigi Barnett.  How do recognize the difference between influenza and a cold, what do you do if a family members gets the flu and why is there no flu mist available this year?

What are the symptoms of flu?

The symptoms of flu are the body’s response to the virus.  Typically with a cold you will experience runny nose, congestion and cough.  However flu symptoms are more significant with the addition of body aches, fever, vomiting and what Dr. Saenz looks for red, watery eyes too.

What should you do if someone in your household has the flu?

Dr. Saenz recommends the following:

  1. Make sure everyone in the household gets their flu shot
  2. Wash your hands  – it’s the best prevention to keep from spreading the flu virus
  3. Keep children away from family members with flu
  4. If needed, purchase face masks at local drugstore while family member is ill.

Why is there no flu mist in 2016?

Earlier this year (2016) the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) issued a statement that the FluMist, over the past several years, was not effective against the flu.  Therefore ADC and many other doctors offices will not be offering FluMist this year.   Leaving parents with the only option of an injectable flu vaccine for children.  So, what should you tell your kids to prepare them for a shot?  Dr. Saenz recommends being upfront with your child.

  • Tell your child that the injection will only hurt for 5 to 10 seconds, which is better than being sick for 5 to 10 days.
  • The shot is the best option for your child and their health
  • You are doing what is best for them and protecting them against a virus that may hospitalize them.


Los efectos positivos del ejercicio moderado en las mujeres menores de 50 años

Cardiólogo Dr. José Mejía visitó Leslie Montoya de Univision para discutir un nuevo estudio realizado por el Asociación Americana del Corazón.  

Aspectos destacados del estudio

  • Actividad física recreativa disminuye el riesgo de enfermedades coronarias en mujeres jóvenes.
  • La actividad no tiene por qué ser extenuante estar vinculado con un menor riesgo de enfermedades del corazón .
  • Los beneficios de la actividad física aplicada a las mujeres con sobrepeso y obesidad , así como los de peso normal.

Leer más sobre el estudio aquí en Inglés

Cardiologist Dr. Jose Mejia visited Univision’ s Leslie Montoya to discuss a new study from the American Heart Association.

The positive effects of moderate exercise for women under 50

Study Highlights

  • Recreational physical activity decreases the risk of coronary heart disease in young women.
  • Activity did not have to be strenuous to be linked with reduced heart disease risk.
  • The benefits of physical activity applied to overweight and obese women as well as those of normal weight.

Read more about the study here


ADC Ob/Gyn specialist Kiran Mechineni, MD explains the importance of prenatal care in this video.   From genetic testing to understanding what to expect during your pregnancy, Dr. Mechineni gives a broad view of prenatal care with your Ob/Gyn.

Transcript below:

What is prenatal care?

Prenatal care consists of maternal and fetal health starting from preconception (before pregnancy) through postpartum care.

When should a patient make a preconception appointment?

At least, three to six months ahead because we want her to start taking prenatal vitamins, and see if there are any other problems in her family.
Then we can get all the medical conditions up to date and get her ready for having a baby.

What sort of tests do you do during preconception visits?

We test for any high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid, um and to give also there is genetic testing available. So we can test them for any recessive carriers in her, and if she is positive then we can test her spouse so we’ll know ahead if they have any genetic problems.

What to expect during your first prenatal visit.

The first visit, you know we’ll teach them everything like what to eat, what not to eat, what drugs they can take, what medications, what chemicals they should avoid and what to anticipate going further. All about the pregnancy, how frequent visits they come for. From the first to the last visit you will see your ADC physicians, that is very good continuation of care.

Can a woman exercise during pregnancy?

We normally advise them, that if they were exercising before they can continue to do so. Swimming, walking, running, yoga, prenatal yoga is very good, but if they are not , they are sedentary, I would advise them to start walking at least 10-20 minutes every day and slowly go up to like half an hour.

What should a woman avoid during pregnancy?

Main restriction is on fish, salt-water fish, which has mercury, so they should avoid that. And dairy, milk and milk products should all be pasteurized. Quit smoking and alcohol if they use it, that kind of thing.

What is the best advice for your patients?

Earlier they come in the better. The earlier they come for preconception and then so they know a little more, like what to expect what to start, what to stop. But it’s okay if they are pregnant, they can come in as early as possible.

About our doctor:  Dr. Kiran Mechineni is a board certified Ob/Gyn and DaVinci Robotic trained surgeon performing hysterectomy, bilateralsalpingooperectomy (total hysterectomy) and ovarian cyst removal.   She is also trained to perform single-site robotic assisted surgery and labiaplasty.  She sees patients at ADC’s North Clinic.  For more information or to make an appointment call 1-512-901-1111.


Overnight Breakfast

Who has time for breakfast?  Now you do!  With a little prep work and a few ingredients, you can have a delicious, nutritious breakfast straight out of the fridge.


  • 1/3 cup whole grain oats
  • 1/3 cup milk (your favorite)
  • 1 small container of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 package of frozen berries


  • 1- pint size mason jar or container
  • Measuring cups and spoons

Add the oats, milk and yogurt and top with a few berries into the mason jar or container.  Put the lid on the jar or container and shake vigorously until ingredients are mixed.   Open the lid and add more berries to the top.   Close the lid and place the jar in the fridge overnight (6-8 hours).  In the morning you have breakfast ready to grab and go.

Use different fruits and berries for variety.  If you prefer, you may add an artificial sweetener or honey to taste.  The HRM educators even recommend a dash of cinnamon on top.

Now, go have a great day!


Avocado Toast

This quick breakfast item is high in protein and a terrific way to start the day.


  • 1 small avocado
  • 1 bread thin
  • 2 pre-cooked frozen sausage links (your choice)
  • Optional: spinach leaves, cut red peppers or other veggies


  • plate and bowl
  • cutting board
  • sharp knife
  • spoon
  • microwave and toaster

Toast the bread thins.

While the bread thins are toasting, take the sausage links and add them to a bowl or plate with a splash of water.  Microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds.  Remove from microwave and cool.

Remove toasted bread thins and place on a plate.  Scoop out the avocado with a spoon and spread half the avocado on one bread thin.  Repeat with the other half of avocado.

Take the cooled sausage links and cut up in small slices.  Distribute evenly on the toasted rounds and top with spinach leaves, red peppers or any other veggie topping.

Voila! A tasty breakfast that will fuel your day and keep you full until lunch.  Happy eating from the ADC Health and Weight Management department!

The HRM kitchen is at it again.  This time with a refreshing and zesty Cilantro Lime Sauce.   It’s a great side or sauce for your vegetables or grilled meats this summer. Whip up a bunch and use it as a salad dressing or add an avocado or low fat greek yogurt to make it thicker and use as a dip.


  • 1-2 limes, cut in half
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 5 teaspoons olive oil or infused olive oil


  • Avocado or Greek yogurt


  • Blender or food processor
  • Fork
  • Bowl or container for finished sauce

Gather ingredients and add cilantro and 5 teaspoons of olive oil to blender or processor.  Squeeze lime juice (see video for a helpful tip using a fork) into the blender on top of the cilantro and oil.  Chop or process until smooth.

For a thicker sauce, dressing or dip add an avocado (peeled and the pit removed) or low fat Greek yogurt to the sauce. Process again until smooth.


Dr. Parker exams patient for gout

Gout Education and Support Group open to all patients

Gout can be a painful disease that is difficult to treat.  It is the physical build up of the body’s waste product underneath tissues and between joints.  This can cause intermittent painful, flare-ups for patients.  The disease is most often evident in the big toe joint, but can appear in the mid foot, knee or other joints in the body.

ADC rheumatologist Dr. Christopher Parker states there are two approaches for care:

  1. Reactive: Caring for patients when flare-ups occur and helping them feel better and manage pain
  2. Proactive: Caring for patients with advice and treatments to help offset the pain and avoid flareups.

There is no cure, therefore the question then becomes how can you manage your health and manage the disease before it manages you?

One of Dr. Parker’s patient’s who has attended the Gout Education and Support group now feels empowered to take a hold of his health.  He met people through the support group who share his experience with the disease and it has made a tremendous difference in his life.   Together, patients learn what works and what doesn’t and that each of them is not alone in this fight.  Watch the video in its entirety here:  http://kxan.com/2016/04/22/treatment-for-gout-support-group

New drug may bring relief to patients

The FDA is giving the green light to a new drug to aid patients with gout. Gout is a buildup of uric acid in the joints and which in some patients may feel like a “heart-attack” of the foot. The ADC rheumatology physician group participated in clinical studies for this new medication which is expected to be available for doctors to prescribe over the next 4 to 8 weeks.

It is currently not covered by insurance, but ADC rheumatologist Dr. Chris Parker says eventually the insurance companies will cover its use. The new drug Zurampic is used as an adjunct to medications a patient may already being using. Dr. Parker says it will be used in those patients who have the most painful flare ups. In the interview above, he discusses gout and the new medication with KXAN’s Erin Cargile.

Patients affected by gout also have a new support and education group available to them. As Dr. Parker notes, because of the painful nature of gout, many individuals feel isolated with this disease. He says the group is one way to get patients sharing information and supporting each other.   The next meeting is April 30 in the ADC Rheumatology north office at 12221 MoPac Expressway North, 3rd floor, south entrance, 78758. The Austin Gout Education and Support group is free and open to the public. For more information visit the ADC event calendar.