Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Like to Hike? Dr. Wasden MD Explains Harmful Bacteria in Hawaii's Freshwater

In Hawaii we are exposed to so many beautiful sights. From sparkling beaches to breathtaking waterfalls, Hawaii is a piece of paradise. However harmful things can linger in our jungles and on our hiking trails. 

Dr. Wasden explains one of the dangers that lurks in our fresh water streams and waterfalls. See what to look for and when to seek out help at Island Urgent Care. 
Dr. Wasden MD

While hiking to Hawaii’s waterfalls and streams you may see warning signs advising on the dangers of Leptospirosis. Leptopsira is a bacteria native to warm tropical climates, and Hawaii accounts for 50% of all cases reported in the United States annually. Leptospira ends up in Hawaii’s freshwater streams and waterfalls through the urine of animals living in their drainage basins where it can live for months in the warm mud and streams. 

To prevent infection avoid freshwater streams, waterfalls, and mud altogether. If you are an adventurer and just can’t stay away, avoid diving or submersing your head as the bacteria can enter your body through mucus membranes such as the eyes, nose, or mouth. Open wounds are also a preferred gateway for bacterial entry.

If you must work in mud or fresh water, protect yourself with proper boots, long sleeved clothing, and goggles. Leptospira can cause a wide range of nonspecific symptoms which can mimic other illnesses, like the flu. Most patients will develop a fever. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle aches, chills, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or a rash. Most patients recover with antibiotic treatment but organ failure such as liver failure(jaundice), kidney failure, or meningitis is a risk. Be sure to let your physician at Island Urgent Care know if you have been exposed to any of Hawaii’s freshwater streams and waterfalls, or if you have been working in mud.


  • Avoid freshwater steams, waterfalls, and mud
  • Wear protective long sleeved clothing and goggles
  • Do not expose open wounds

  • fever
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • chills
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting 
  • abdominal pain
  • rash

Treatment: Seek help from a physician at Island Urgent Care. Most cases are resolved with antibiotics. 

CLICK HERE to learn more about Dr. Wasden MD and other great physicians that work at Island Urgent Care

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Healthy Bites: How to Make a Super Smoothie - Dr. Howard MD

When Dr. Howard is not treating patients at Island Urgent Care you can find her savoring all the islands have to offer; hiking, swimming and sunset gazing - if she is outside she's happy! You will also find her practicing yoga every chance she has.

The Vancouver Canada native has been practicing emergency medicine in Hawaii for over four years after a two year fellowship in emergency ultrasound and teaching at Stanford. She obtained a bachelors degree from Stanford University and graduated medical school at the University of Chicago and finished her residency in Boston.

Dr. Howard believes in the importance of holistic medicine combined with clinical medicine to keep your mind, body, and soul happy and healthy.

Check out what makes her smoothie a Super Smoothie:

"There are many ways to put together a smoothie, it's all your preference for taste. But a solid smoothie should be made up of protein, fiber, fats, greens, carbohydrates, and a liquid."

Protein: The most important component to help with cell growth, provide essential amino acids and satiety.
Examples: Protein powder, nut butters, tofu, yogurt.

Fiber: Essential for a healthy gut which we are learning more and more is key to overall health and wellness. 
Examples: Greens, Flax, hemp, wheat germ. 

Fats: Critical for a healthy, happy body (especially the brain) as well as keeping you full much longer and helps with taste.
Examples: Avocado, nut butters, coconut butter/oil.

Greens: The Jackpot for all health and wellness, a strong immune system and happy gut, also full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
Examples: Spinach, microgreens, kale, sprouts.  

Carbohydrates: For energy, vitamins, minerals, and because frozen banana adds the most delicious creamy texture.
Examples: Frozen or fresh banana, strawberry, mango, apple, pineapple. 

Liquid: Helps blend smoothie and adds flavor.
Examples: nut milk, coconut water, water.

Now that you know why each component is important. Here is a recipe to get you started! 


  • 1 cup unsweetened nut milk
  • 1 serving protein powder
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • Handful of spinach
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1-2 TBS of nut butter
  • 1 TBS of maple syrup or honey
  • Ice
Place all ingredients into a high power blender and blend to desired consistency. 

We are so lucky to live on an island with so many delicious fruit and veggies. Play around with your super smoothie until you find your perfect fix. 

- Dr. Howard MD