Ask the Doctor: Diabetes medication, Botox, doctors’ visit anxiety

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 12:42 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Dr. Bob Cassady from the South Bend Clinic joins us every Tuesday on 16 News Now at Noon to answer your medical questions.

Question #1: “There’s been a lot of popularity surrounding diabetes medications and weight loss, even causing shortages. Can you explain how that works, and is there still a shortage?”

DR. BOB: It is important to understand that medicines are tools. Even though we might call a medicine a “diabetes” medicine, it is really just a tool that we use primarily to treat diabetes.

Many of our tools have multiple uses. Some medicines that help patients with diabetes have also been found to help with weight loss.

Usually multiple uses for medicine is seen as a good thing. Recently for GLP-1 receptor agonists like Ozempic or Trulicity, there has been a shortage of medication.

This has caused some contention about whether the medicines should be used for diabetes or for weight loss. This is more of a question about which one of those problems is more important to treat.

Ideally, we would have enough medicine to treat every condition we need to.

Question #2 (from Brittney): “Are there health benefits to Botox besides helping with wrinkles?”

DR. BOB: Botox is a toxin produced by a bacteria called clostridium botulinum. The toxin paralyzes muscles.

As we discussed in the previous question, the medical community uses this toxin as a tool.

Usually, people associate Botox with cosmetic treatment. Muscle paralysis reduces wrinkles.

In terms of “health benefits” for Botox, the toxin in itself is not good for us, but it has been used to treat some very specific medical conditions.

People with migraines can see improvement in their headaches if they get Botox injections in the scalp. People with nerve problems who have stiffness in their muscles can see improvement in the stiffness from Botox injections.

Question #3 (from Jim): “I need to get a checkup, but I am scared to go to the doctor. Any advice on helping with medical anxiety?”

DR. BOB: Jim, this is a great question, and I am thankful you were brave enough to ask it.

My main piece of advice to you is to be open with the doctor. Just tell them you are nervous.

We are here to help you and we know that we need to tailor our approach to people. The vast majority of doctors will respond well and attend to your worry if they know it is there.

In addition to that, I would recommend maybe planning to see your doctor for a few shorter visits, maybe over a few months, rather than trying to do everything at one visit.

If you haven’t been to the doctor in a while, there is probably a lot to talk about and trying to do it all at once can be overwhelming.

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