Why Don’t We All Take Hydrochloroquine?

On our most recent Heart Health Radio, John asked a great question about hydrochloroquine, the malaria drug now being given to COVID-19 pateints.

John: We’ve been taking hydrochloroquine, For years as a prophylactic for malaria.

Dr. Frank Wefald: Yeah. It’s also good for rheumatoid arthritis and I’ve got 50, maybe 60 patients on it.

Caller John: So why…I don’t understand why we didn’t go ahead and let people start taking it…and then worry about is it really effective if there is a possibility of it being good and we know what the side effects are.

Dr. Frank Wefald: Let me tell ya, it’s good for preventing deaths. It will not prevent you from getting Covid. And that’s a good question. What it does…see people who die have an overactive immune system and they produce what’s called an inflammatory storm. And so, they have overreacted to the virus. The virus has activated their immune system in the wrong way. Then it’s good because it drops that amount of inflammation. So, when do we use it? Somebody who is having respiratory difficulties you give it to them to prevent the progression to death. And it’s a good drug. It’s not 100% effective but it’s better than anything we’ve got.

Dave Alexander: Is it possible we’re going to all take this?

Dr. Frank Wefald: No.

Dave Alexander: As a preventative?

Dr. Frank Wefald: No, don’t do it because it’s not going to help you.

Dave Alexander: OK.

Dr. Frank Wefald: It’s only good for when you’ve got it and you’re having trouble breathing. It will help, not in 100% of cases, but it will help prevent you hopefully from getting on a ventilator and if you’re on a ventilator, help you get off of it.

Find heart Health Radio at WPTF.COM or on Apple podcasts.

Make America Healthy Again

Why would someone make a red mask with MAHA on it? It’s not an expression of devotion to President Trump.

In fact, on this week’s show Dr. Franklin Wefald ends up criticizing the President for refusing to wear a mask.

On the latest episode of Heart Health Radio, we have the latest on COVID-19, and lots of great calls in the last segment.

From Episode 162:

I’m going to surprise you.  President Trump got on the air and said the CDC is recommending masks and then what did he say?  I’m not going to wear one!  Now, I think the President of the United States should set an example.

Dave Alexander: Yes.

Dr. Frank Wefald: He’s being a jerk.  Now, when we do the Hall of Shame it doesn’t mean they’re completely bad.  I’m going to vote for President Trump.

Dave Alexander: OK.

Dr. Frank Wefald: But he’s being a jerk!

Dave Alexander: OK.

Dr. Frank Wefald: Do you know what would be really cool?  A blue mask with the presidential seal.

Dave Alexander: Yes, yes, absolutely.

Dr. Frank Wefald: And then MAHA.  Make America Healthy Again.  If somebody makes me a mask that says MAHA, Make America Healthy Again. 

Bernie Sanders and CNN White House Correspondent Jim Acosta also comes in for criticism.

We had a fan in Colleen, who called in near the end of the show:

Colleen: I’m just soaking in everything that’s being said and I just felt this great legitimacy to what he is saying. He has no bones to pick with anyone. Is this going to be…I heard while on the break. I want my children to hear this but they’re in other states. So, I was wondering if there is a way for this to be made available to people?

Dave Alexander: Colleen, from your lips to God’s ears.

Dr. Frank Wefald: Yes.

Dave Alexander: We want to be and in fact, Colleen since you brought it up, I’m just going to say this not to Colleen but to everyone listening, if you own a talk radio station please contact us through the website, hearthealthradio.com.

Dr. Frank Wefald: And you can listen on Apple podcast. You can listen on our website. You know, I would love to go national. I would take Dave Alexander with me and we would bust open medical talk radio.

Dave Alexander: Colleen, do you have a personal medical question?

Caller Colleen: I don’t. I just wanted to say. My question is, how can this be made available to…I mean I would love for everybody I know to hear this.

Dr. Frank Wefald: Just tell me them Apple podcast, Heart Health. We’re the first ones. And then hearthealthradio.com.

For the latest Heart Health Radio, click here. For a list of all programs, ready to download or listen from your web browser, go here.

Magnesium, Parkinson’s and Covid-19

We had a great show Saturday. Callers wondered about conditions they might have including low magnesium. It turns out Dr. Franklin Wefald has some experience with treating low magnesium. Betty called about Parkinson’s after heart surgery. It turns out there is a connection.

We covered the latest about COVID-19, with information current to 3/29/2020. It’s always best to listen to the most up to date program as the situation is still rapidly changing.

This link will take you to all the shows.

Dr. Wefald insisted that we cover “what he got wrong” since we’ve learned a lot about how virus is transmitted. We know now that you can transmit the virus without ever feeling sick. COVID-19 spreads quickly if we don’t isolate from each other.

From Episode 161:

.  I predicted at first 10,000 U.S. cases because I thought that’s what it was going to be.  Then I said 30,000 cases.  Well obviously off by an order of magnitude.  Now, I think the number one reason is that at the time we were looking at this in the United States, the concept was that there weren’t that many asymptomatic people and that the transmission between human to human therefore wasn’t going to be so great in that if you got the virus you would be sick, you would be isolating and then the rest of us would be washing our hands and we would be fine. 

Source: US News and World Reports

Well, what they’re learning from the testing is that there are a tremendous number of people who have the virus and who don’t have any symptoms…or at least they don’t have symptoms that they can distinguish between, you know, allergies.  And so, the other thing that we didn’t realize is that these asymptomatic people would be in the group we call millennials and gen-Zs. 

And unfortunately what we didn’t take into account was the resistance to isolate and hand wash and social distance among the young people.  Now, everybody has been beating up on the millennials and the gen-Zs.  I’m not going to beat up on them.  If I could blame anybody it’s the parents.  You know, why would they pay for a spring trip break? 

Hear the podcast here at WPTF.COM

Why An Old Technique Might Solve the Covid-19 Crisis

Dr. Franklin Wefald explains that with thousands of doctors working on the Covid-19 pandemic, treatments and solutions will be found. Full audio version of Episode 160 is here. The latest episode is always here.

Information on this episode is current up to 3-7-2020.

Dr. Frank Wefald: In 1918 we really had a pandemic. Fifty million people dead from the flu. Now, one of the things that’s been lost in time is serum treatments. OK, suppose you get bit by a snake.

Dave Alexander: Yeah.

Dr. Frank Wefald: Do you know how they treat you?

Dave Alexander: No.

Dr. Frank Wefald: They give you anti-venom. And what is anti-venom? It’s made from people who survived the snake bite. It’s the antibodies in the serum. So, what is the serum? The serum is the yellow stuff when you spin down a blood tube. If you’ve ever had blood drawn and you see it spun down. They spin down the cells.

Dr. Frank Wefald: Inside that clear but yellow fluid are a bunch of billions and billions, as Carl Sagan would say, of proteins. And some of them are specifically targeted against either snake venom or in the case of the flu, the flu virus. So, what did these doctors do? They didn’t even know what this was a venom. But they decided to do an experiment. They took people who had recovered and transfused their blood into people who were deathly ill and guess what? 50% reduction in mortality. So, they’re doing studies where in China.

Dr. Frank Wefald: And they are isolating the serum. They’re isolating the antibodies from people who recover and they are giving it to people who are deathly ill. And so that may be something very simple we can do and I know that the CDC is looking into this because that’s where I read it. I think it’s an example of why not to panic. There are smart, smart people who are behind this.

Heart Health Radio is on 680-WPTF every Saturday at noon, and is archived here. If you live outside the WPTF listening area you can listen live at WPTF.com.

Stop Politicizing Covid-19!

Episode 159 starts with Dr. Franklin Wefald taking a stand against politicians using the coronavirus outbreak for political advantage. Find it here. All information true as of 2-29-2020.

Health outbreaks or viral outbreaks and possible pandemics should never be politicized because you know, the Democrats, the whole election cycle including climate change, especially climate change.

Dr. Franklin Wefald, being photo-bombed.

What they’re trying to tell you subliminally is vote for me or you’re going to die. I find that to be morally repulsive because there is no greater medical community than in the United States. Listen, if anyone knows how to protect the country from Coronavirus it’s the medical community. And the concept that President Trump by himself will kill you because he’s incompetent to handle the Coronavirus. If you hear that, get angry because it is only going to stir up anxiety and it’s going to make things worse.

The latest episode of Heart Health Radio is always found here. Since the coronavirus pandemic is a rapidly changing issue, some facts change quickly. For the best advice, listen to the most recent episode in the list.

Episode 158: Mitral Regurgitation

James from Raleigh called because he was concerned about a heart valve issue:

James: But recently they discovered that I have a bad, real bad leaky valve and the pressure in my heart doesn’t want to work right with my lungs and pushing the blood over to the lungs so they can be re-oxygenated.  They have even come close to even telling me that I might need a heart and lung transplant, but I think they’ve kind of ruled that out.  You know, I’m 64.  It’s liable to kill me.

Dr. Wefald: Let’s do a little bit of background.  So, the mitral valve controls the flow of blood between the lungs and the left heart.  So, when the left heart, which pumps for the body, when it pumps this valve has to close.  Now it’s like a parachute.  It’s not an active closure.  There is a little bit but it captures the blood flowing backwards toward the lungs and then seals the opening so the blood can’t flow back. 

Image result for mitral valve

Sounds like you’ve got mitral regurgitation.  So, when you talk about a leaky valve.  It doesn’t leak outside the heart.  It leaks through that opening so the blood doesn’t flow only in one direction.  It’s supposed to flow out to the body.  When that happens, pressure builds up in the lungs.  You can get what’s called pulmonary hypertension and I think that’s what he’s describing.  And the reason why they are talking about a heart/lung transplant, if it’s possible, is that you have to replace those pulmonary arteries and the only way you can do it is to replace the whole kit and kaboodle. 

Now, let’s talk about this MitraClip.  Before they had to crack your chest, open up your heart, put it on a heart/lung bypass machine and then actually cut out the old valve and put in a new one.  These are made of mechanical components that open and close according to the blood flow and appropriately so.  They also make them out of cow tissue and pig tissue.  Well, somebody said, wait a minute.  The valve is redundant.  It’s floppy.  It doesn’t close because extra tissue allows the blood to flow out.  What if we went up your leg, went into the heart and then clipped those extra bits of tissue together so the valve would be more likely to be closed.  And so, they put two clips in. 

It’s the most amazing thing.  They go up your leg.  They go across the aortic valve, which is the valve that controls the flow of blood out of the heart.  Then under guidance by an ultrasound they find those two clips, I mean those two tissues and clip them together so that no longer does the blood flow backwards much.  It’s captured by a shortened valve so it no longer leaks backwards and it goes forwards.  It’s a great procedure. 

The people who do it at Wake Med are awesome.  Franny Wood is one of them and Bolton, Dr. Bolton is the other one.  They work together and it’s been a great procedure.  Now, at Duke the guy who is involved in the valve stuff is actually someone I was an intern with and he’s a great guy.  Kevin Harrison.  So, it looks like you’ve got some really good doctors ahead of you.  It sounds like you also have something called idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis.  Is that what they have called it for you?

Caller James: Yeah.

Dr. Frank Wefald: Yeah, so what happens…

Dr. Frank Wefald: Yeah, IHSS.  And when that happens the septum, which is the muscle between the right and the left heart, grows too much and it blocks the flow of blood outside into the aorta and often you can have a leaky mitral valve with this because the mitral valve gets sucked over and actually kisses that enlarged septum.  It sounds like you’ve got some great doctors. 

Listen to the rest of the conversation here.

Heart Health Radio is on 680-WPTF Saturdays at noon. Listen live at WPTF.com, or find the latest episode here.

Episode 157: Don’t Take Medical Advice from Jim Bakker

Jim Bakker was famous a a televangelist who went to prison for fraud. He’s back, and he is selling a silver based product to combat coronavirus.

Dr, Franklin Wefald: I hope that the Lord will reach down and touch Jim Bakker and tell him he’s full of it. Jim is saying that a silver solution, colloidal silver. Now silver is good.

Yeah, because what it does is…when it’s a topical you know Silvadene. I use that on wounds.

Dr. Frank Wefald: But drinking it is wrong.

Dave Alexander: Now listen to Jim Bakker talk with his guest, Dr. Sherrill Sellman on his cable TV show.

Jim Bakker: “This influenza, that is now circling the globe, you’re saying that Silver Solution would be effective?”

Sherrill Sellman: “Well, let’s say it hasn’t been tested on this strain of the coronavirus,” Sellman replied, “but it’s been testing on other strains of the coronavirus and has been able to eliminate it within 12 hours. Totally eliminates it. Kills it. Deactivates it. And then it boosts your immune system, so then you can support the recovery because when you kill the virus then the immune system comes into action to clear it out, so you want a vibrant immune system as well as an ability to deactivate these viruses.”

Dr. Frank Wefald: It’s total bunk. Um, colloidal silver can actually be very bad for you. You know there’s people who are blue. They’re blue because the more colloidal silver you eat/drink, it’s a liquid, it’s deposited in your skin and you turn into a Smurf. Right now, Google “blue people from colloidal silver” or just drinking silver. You will see these people. Now, just remember one thing, if this were true don’t you think there would be products out? Don’t you think that the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the Infectious Disease people would be telling you this and not Jim Bakker?

So just forget about colloidal silver.

We had some great callers on this version of the show, including Jim from Clayton who asked about pre-diabetes. Listen to it here.

A Tribute to a Brave Chinese Doctor

Sometimes tragedy can show true bravery.

From Episode 156 of Heart Health Radio:

The Chinese society wants to keep things quiet. That’s the problem. There is something…I’m half Chinese so I can say this, It’s called saving face and that means not getting embarrassed that there is something wrong. So, they arrested him. The police came and said, don’t you dare let us lose face and think that Wuhan is an infected site.

Dr. Frank Wefald: Well, the Chinese government after the outcry. They got him and let him out. He went back to work and the sad thing is he died of Coronavirus.

Dave Alexander: Dr. Li Wenliang.

Dr. Frank Wefald: And I think we all should say, tip our hats and say a prayer of thanks because this man had the guts to blow the whistle. Not only that, go back and risk his life to try to save some of these other people.

There is a terrific tribute on this page. The video features his mother speaking (we assume) Mandarin. You can hear the pain in her voice. She and Li Wenliang’s mother should also be proud of their son. — Dave

Dr. Frank Wefald: But it’s not going down. They do not have a handle on it. It’s a lot worse than I thought it was going to be. I did. Because you know Ebola, it got contained. A lot of people suffered but you know they don’t have any treatments that are for sure, but you know what they’re testing? They’re testing Tamiflu along with HIV drugs.

The Johns Hopkins website mapping the coronavirus is here. As of this writing (2/9/2020) there were officially 814 deaths and more than 37,000 cases worldwide.

From Business Insider:

People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s Communist Party, reported that he said on social media before his death: “After I recover from the disease, I will work on the front line of the battle. The virus is still spreading, and I don’t want to be a deserter.”

Li is now being hailed as a hero in China, with posts seeking justice for him and calling for freedom of speech trending on Weibo. Many were removed from the site, which often complies with government demands to censor politically sensitive content.

The top two trending hashtags on Weibo on Friday were “Wuhan government owes Dr. Li Wenliang an apology” and “We want freedom of speech,” the BBC reported. It said that hours later those hashtags had been removed and “hundreds of thousands of comments had been wiped.”

According to the BBC, one comment on Weibo said: “This is not the death of a whistleblower. This is the death of a hero.”

The Flu is More Dangerous to You Than Coronavirus

From the Japan Times:

A second wave of seasonal influenza is taking hold in the U.S. and elsewhere, just as health officials are on high alert for new cases of the novel coronavirus. Many of the symptoms are the same, but when it comes to immediate risk, people should fear the flu more.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 19 million Americans have fallen ill with the flu so far this season, including 180,000 who ended up in the hospital. About 10,000 Americans have died, including more than 60 children.

The Japan Times chose to list the lower numbers in the Centers for Disease Control estimates.

All this is a part of the discussion of coronavirus and the flu on Episode 155 of Heart Health Radio.

Dr. Franklin Wefald agrees. If you have not gotten your flu shot, do it. If you get the flu, call your doctor. If you are very sick, get to UNC or Duke hospitals, because they have ECMO.

See the latest flu numbers here.

The link above will take you to the latest.

Dr. Franklin Wefald also gives advice about things you should not put in your vagina. From the Insider:

Gynecologists are warning women against putting the herb parsley in their vaginas to induce their periods after Marie Claire UK offered the advice in a now-deleted article, The Independent reported.

Our show did not feature a comprehensive list, but the broad category of “vegetables” was mentioned.

Find the show at WPTF.com.

The Coronavirus: Dr. Wefald Has Actually Been to the Wuhan Market

From Episode 154 of Heart Health Radio: [Click here to listen now.]

Dr. Frank Wefald: Well, I’ve been to Wuhan. My mother was from Shanghai. Wuhan is…people don’t realize it’s actually a very important city. It’s on the biggest river called the Yangtze River. It’s were Chairman Mao liked to hang out in the summer time. One of the biggest things that ever happened in China, they never thought they would do it, is they built a bridge across the Yangtze River at Wuhan and that was the first bridge that ever…it’s a huge river, I’ve been there.

The reason why I’ve been there, Emilee if you’re listening, my daughter, we adopted her from China and she was born in Wuhan. I have been to the train station where her mother left her because she couldn’t take care of her any more. I have been to the markets. It’s the markets where they are selling for meat exotic animals.

Picture Credit: Business Insider. Article here.

They have traced it to the many-banded krait. OK, it’s a snake and it’s called Bungarus multicinctus…I don’t know it’s something like that. But people in China in particular think that eating exotic animals is either an aphrodisiac or helps with your long-term health. You know the rhinoceros are being killed off. Why? Because the Chinese love rhinoceros’ horn. They think it enhances, you know, your health. It’s a sad thing in many ways. I mean, Chinese medicine, there are some things coming out of China now that work. OK, these ancient herbs and whatever you call them.

But people want to eat these things. Civets. Do you know what a civet is? It’s like a wildcat. They love it, they love it. But this particular snake has never been in an inner city before.

And so, the Coronaviruses that are common in all sorts of animals, well this Coronavirus lived in a snake and these snakes weren’t meant to get to big cities and people would take these snakes home and they got the Coronavirus. And so, they’re trying to shut these markets down. You know, we went with my daughter to just see what these markets were like. I walked in and these beautiful dogs and cats and I thought, this is great, it’s a pet mart too. Uh-uh.

Dr. Frank Wefald: You pick the dog and they go in the back and it comes out in this wax paper. OK?

Dr. Frank Wefald: There were snakes. They also eat birds, these exotic birds. And so, you know, where’s St. Patrick now that we need him? You know, I mean we can’t do this. And so, Ebola also appears to come from interactions between wild animals and humans. And so, bird flu…OK think about it. Swine flu, we can get diseases from animals because they have the same genes that we do, the same types of respiratory functions. And so, their viruses may not have exposed themselves to us in the past. The next thing you know we get them and we can’t fight them because we don’t have the herd immunity, which we talked about the last time where certain people have had exposure to the virus and they become immune. And then it spread to the community in general. So, this is a bad thing.

Johns Hopkins University has set up a coronavirus outbreak map and it is here. Everyone outside the Chinese government suspects the official numbers are wrong, but this map at least tracks how far the virus has spread. The numbers below are outdated. Map is here.

Listen to Heart Health Radio on Apple Podcasts, WPTF Podacasts or Saturdays at noon on Newsradio 680-WPTF.