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

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.

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.

When Barb turned 65, she decided it was time to get healthy. With the Health Risk Management program offered here at ADC, she has been able to find success and lose 69 pounds in the process. She credits the health educators and her fellow classmates for being supportive of her during her journey.

Learn more about this program for yourself by visiting our HRM page or calling (512) 901-4540

Body Composition Scan

Body Composition and Fat Analysis is available in the Imaging Department at ADC

Recently KXANs Studio 512 came by ADC’s North Clinic to speak with Imaging Director Amy Sears about an old technology that is being used to measure your health from the inside.  The old tech is the DEXA scanner which is used by physicians to monitor Bone Density.  The scanner did such a good job of measuring bone, scientists began to think of where else this technology could be used.  It turns out, it does a really good job of accurately measuring the distribution of lean muscle, body fat and bone.   The Body Composition and Body Fat Analysis scan gives patients a much more comprehensive look at their body and health.

Is it better than a BMI reading?

Ms. Sears says many individuals want to give up on weight loss or fitness because they may be working hard at the gym or controlling calories, with little to no results showing on the scale.  Patients like the body composition scan, because it gives them the motivation they need to continue a healthy lifestyle or fitness regime.  With the body composition scan, it is easy to see progress being made and where you need to work harder, you cannot do that with a BMI reading alone.  Amy herself has already performed a baseline scan and looks forward to her progress over the next few months and years for maintaining good health.  She says, “It’s a great way to map out your health and your life.”

So what’s the cost?

The cost is $85.00 to get a complete and accurate assessment and distribution of your muscle, fat and bone.  The most surprising thing is not the nominal cost, but the amount of information and detail patients receive from this simple, painless scan.

What can I expect at my appointment?

  • Wear comfortable loose clothing (no jewelry or metal)
  • The scan takes 6-8 minutes depending on your height
  • You will receive a print out of your results upon completion of the scan.

Call +1 (512) 901-4030 for more information or to make an appointment.

To begin National Women’s Health Week, ADC menopause specialist Patricia Gunter, M.D. explains when to start and stop hormones during menopause.   She visited the KXAN studios and spoke with reporter Erin Cargile on Saturday, May 7.

When should a woman begin hormones?

All women are different and will have different experiences with hormone therapy. In general, as soon as you begin having symptoms.  Dr. Gunter urges women not to wait until symptoms are unbearable.  After all, perimenopause (or the time around menopause) can last for 4-6 years.

What is the average age for perimenopause or the onset of menopause?

The average age is 51 – but anytime between the ages of 45 to 55 is normal.  Some women may experience an earlier onset if they have had a hysterectomy or certain cancer therapies.

Can all women take hormones?

Not all women can take hormones, but most can begin under the age of 50.  Your doctor will look at your health history to see if it’s right for you.

Do herbal therapies or over the counter medications work?

Although, patient may experience some mild or temporary relief from herbal remedies or over the counter medications, Dr. Gunter emphasizes that the hormones are stronger and better at helping to offset symptoms of menopause.

 Do hormones pose any kind of risk?

Depending on the age when a woman begins hormones, there may be an advantage or decreased risk in taking hormones.  Women under age 50 may actually derive a benefit of preventing early heart disease.

When should you stop taking hormones?

Again, Dr. Gunter says the timing can be tricky since all women are different, but in general, recommends after the age of 50.  The physician would like their patients to take the lowest dose for the shortest time possible.   When a patient begins coming off the hormones, there may be an adjustment period of removing the hormones, seeing if symptoms return, and if so then reducing the dose and reintroducing hormones at a lower dose.

For more information, read Dr. Gunter’s full article here.

ADC Travel Clinic nurse and director Crystal Cherico visited the KXAN studio to discuss the Zika virus, the recent WHO health emergency declaration and travel for women and spring breakers.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared the Zika outbreak as a health emergency.  They advised pregnant women to take precautions and to try to avoid outbreak areas when traveling.

Precautions for Spring break travel and pregnant women:

  • Use an insect repellent with 30-35% DEET or 20% Picaridin – most insect repellents sold in US are only 7-10% DEET.
  • Wear long sleeved clothing and pants.  Ms. Cherico says some insect repellent sprays with permethrin are especially designed for spraying clothing and can last up to 10 hours if properly treated.
  • Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend pregnant women should avoid travel to these areas due to possible the microcephaly connection in infected individuals.  Microcephaly is a birth defect which produces babies with smaller than expected heads and brains which may cause sensory, cognitive and neurological disorders in newborns.

Takeaway Message?

  • Although worrisome, Crystal says people should remember that the Zika Virus is mild in most individuals
  • No major concerns, unless you are pregnant
  • The amount of Deet and Pricardin in the repellents above are safe for pregnant women to use.

For more information about safe travels visit ADC’s Travel Clinic or call 512-901-4486.


Shredded Brussels Sprouts Recipe Video

This shredded Brussels sprouts healthy side dish is a delicious option for people who wish to have a low calorie, vegetarian option.  It the perfect recipe for patients on our HRM weight management program or anyone who wants a cold or hot healthy side  that is great for dinner, lunch or on its own.  With all recipes, variety is key, mix it up by using kale, broccoli or cauliflower or different nuts like walnuts or almonds instead.  For a lower fat/vegan option, eliminate the cheese.  Try it cold or hot and have fun with this recipe.


  • 1¼ lb. Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • ⅓ cup shelled pistachios, chopped
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • Salt to taste


1. Cut each Brussels sprout in half through the root, then slice thinly.

2. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, 4 to 5 minutes.

3. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the skillet, then add the Brussels sprouts. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the Brussels sprouts are tender, but still bright green.

4. Stir in the pistachios, dried cranberries, Parmesan cheese and pepper. Taste and season with additional salt, if desired.

5. Transfer to a serving dish and keep warm until ready to serve.

Nutrition Information Serving size: ½ cup Calories: 84 cal Fat: Total Fat 3.8g / Saturated Fat 1.0g

For more information about ADC’s Health Risk Management Department call us at 512-901-4540 or register for one of our free weekly orientations.

For information about HMR Products click here.

HRM Chocolate Shake Recipe Video

This chocolate shake recipe is delicious, easy to make and nutritious.  The award winning ADC Health Risk Management department is bringing you a series of quick and easy recipes for you to try at home.  The addition of spinach in this recipe gives it an extra nutrient punch and using frozen fruits and veggies makes it a convenient snack or meal replacement.  Next time, try using kale instead of spinach.   Remember to be creative and use different fruits or vegetables for variety that will shake things up for your diet.   Enjoy!


  • 1 HMR 70 vanilla  shake
  • 1 handful of frozen blueberries
  • 1 handful of frozen strawberries
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 large handful of spinach
  • 8 oz of water


1. Blend spinach first with water and ice

2. Blend the frozen fruits. Add more water if necessary.

3. Add the HMR shake. Blend til thick and frothy.

4. Serve and enjoy!

For more information about ADC’s Health Risk Management Department call us at 512-901-4540 or register for one of our free weekly orientations.

For information about HMR Products click here.

Dr. José Mejía habla de una alimentación saludable con el anfitrión de la Univsion DispiertaAustin, Leslie Montoya.

Sugerencias incluyen:

  • Come lentamente
  • beber agua
  • sentarse a comer
  • llenar el plato con verduras y frutas

After the time change, it feels as if you never see the sun during the winter.  For many people this can lead to a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. ADC rheumatologist, Dr. Chris Parker discusses what you can do to help offset SAD.


Seasonal Affective Disorder – National Library of Medicine

Light Therapy Basics – Mayo Clinic


You are invited to attend the Austin Gout Education and Support Group.  This education and support group was founded by an interested, enthusiastic and compassionate patient Brooke Stacey and ADC rheumatologist Dr. Chris Parker.  Our primary mission is to improve the lives of patients living with gout through wellness education, empowerment and support from peers.

Patients will meet quarterly for one hour in the ADC North Rheumatology department located on the 3rd floor, south entrance inside the St. David’s North Austin Medical Center at 12221 MoPac Expressway North.

The group is open to ADC patients and the general public.  The next meeting is November 21, 2015 from 10 to 11 AM.

Austin Gout Education and Support Group

Primary Mission: To improve the lives of patients living with gout through wellness education, empowerment, and support from peers.

Secondary Mission: Some members strive to not only be models of how to successfully manage gout but to help others identify and manage gout in our community.

  • Learn about the latest diet/nutrition advice for patients with gout
  • Learn about the latest and/or new medications

For more information, download the flyer or share with a friend.  ADC Gout Support Group flyer

ADC Dietitian, Neelu Kohli, shares her traditional rice pudding that she makes during Diwali.  Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights that is celebrated this year on November 11th.

This easy to make rice pudding is made healthier by substituting the milk and adding less sugar.



Rice- 1/2 cup
Milk- 5 cups (2% milk)
Cardamom pods- 2-3
Sugar-3-4 Tablespoon
Almonds- 2 Tablespoon
Coconut flakes-1 Tablespoon


Wash rice couple of times with water until the water looks clear. Soak it overnight Crush rice with your hands so it breaks the grain of rice in to smaller pieces. Now in a pan add 4 cups of milk and rice and cook it on a low-flame. Keep stirring the mixture constantly with a wooden spoon or the milk may get burnt.  Crush cardamoms in a mortar and pestle and add it to the milk/rice mixture. Cook it on a low flame until the milk is of porridge consistency and rice is completely cooked. This may take about 40-45minutes. Once the mixture is thickened, add 3-4 tbsp of sugar as per taste and keep stirring until it is completely dissolved. Add crushed almonds and coconut flakes before serving.

The beauty about this recipe is that it can be served hot or cold depending on the season. During this time of the year, when the weather is changing I really like it warm.

Note: If you have Diabetes, artificial sweetener can be used instead of sugar.  Add raisins instead of nuts if you have a nut allergy  To further lower the fat content, substitute 1% milk

Nutrition Information

1/2 cup of rice pudding will provide 160 kcals, 3 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein, and has 23 grams of carbs. ( 1 1/2 carbohydrate exchange)

The holidays are around the corner and food is a big part of how we celebrate.  Purvi Desai, Registered Dietitian with the Austin Diagnostic Clinic Nutrition Services shares some helpful tips to help prevent overeating this holiday.   She joined KXANs Erin Cargile to show portion sizes and share some good advice.

Don’t go in to your holiday dinner hungry

Purvi recommends you have a good breakfast or sensible lunch before your holiday dinner.  This goes against common thinking that you should starve yourself and then eat what you want.  She says by doing this you may wind you eating twice the amount of calories you would normally consume.  Having a snack a few hours before, will help you feel full faster and curb your cravings too.

Some good snacks are fruit, vegetables, water crackers or hummus.

Cocktail party dos and donts

Four ounces is the serving size for a glass of wine.  As you see in the video above it doesn’t appear to be much.  Ms. Desai recommends using a spritzer like sparkling water to make the wine last a little longer.  When mixing drinks, remember one shot glass of hard liquor contains 100 calories and that’s before you mix it with soda or fruit juice which will add additional calories doubling or tripling your drink’s calorie content.  Just say no to double shots and consider using diet drinks or sparkling fruit water as a mixer this holiday season.

With appetizers stick to fruits and vegetables for most of your snacks.  Limit starters with lots of cheese or heavy sauces.  Two cubes of cheese equals 2 ounces or 100 calories.

Thanksgiving Dinner

An average Thanksgiving dinner may have up to 4500 calories.  In addition, to eating or snacking a few hours ahead of your Thanksgiving meal, you may also utilize the plate method for portion control.  Fill half the plate with vegetables, use one-fourth for protein and one-fourth for starches.  Skip the seconds and thirds, but have dessert, because after all it is the holidays.  Cut thin slivers of pie or share a dessert with someone.


80 degrees in November?  Warm, temperate weather is good news for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.  In this segment, Dr. Christopher Parker explains what patients can do to increase movement and why warm weather is so nice.

Visit arthritis.org for more information about rheumatoid arthritis.