Dueling Doctors: The Pain Show II


Today we're covering treatments for painful problems- hemorrhoids, arthritis and heartburn. Join me and my guests @DrRoshiniRaj and @DrDanielHsu on November 4th at 5PM EST on @ZLivingUS


Dueling Doctors: The Not Again! Show


There are three common health issues that seem to pop up at least once a year: pimples, the common cold and yeast infections. join me and my guests @DrKarunaSabnani and @NileshPatelMD on November 3rd at 5PM EST on @ZLivingUS

Dueling Doctors: The Kid Show II


The ultimate medical showdown in which Dr. Frank Spinelli, MD pits two physicians - one practicing Eastern Medicine and one practicing Western Medicine - head-to-head to debate the best treatments for common ailments. 

Premiers Monday, November 2nd at 5PM EST on Z Living. 


Episode #1 The Kid Show II

Your host Dr. Frank Spinelli leads a debate on the best way to treat your tots- from ADHD to ear infections to sleep problems Plus, a serious discussion about vaccinations and autism.  Join me and my guests Dr. Pina LoGuidice and Dr. Suzanne Kaseta as we discuss everything from ADHD to ear infections. 




Black Irish Productions, Inc. acquires the exclusive rights to Pee-Shy by Frank Spinelli

Advance Praise for PEE-SHY

Spinelli deftly portrays his years as a chubby, awkward adolescent and the complexity of his reaction to the molestation. Spinelli’s refreshing honesty as a protagonist makes this memoir an important testament to a reality that is too often concealed by shame or fear.” - Publishers Weekly

"Intensely bracing engrossing memoir about overcoming childhood sexual trauma." - Kirkus Reviews

"The strengths in Spinelli’s memoir lie in the pervasive ghastly web to which he was consigned as a child/victim; his courage in facing it; challenging it; and being willing to share his recovery. He does all this with fidelity to the tough demand of telling complex and unvarnished truths while fighting his way to wellness." - Lambda Literary

“With raw honesty [Dr. Spinelli] makes us understand that monsters do exist and a child's innocence is precious.” - Whoopi Goldberg

“This is a memoir about a grown-up boy’s generous - and healing- heart.” - Kevin Sessums



Part family memoir, part love story, PEE-SHY  by Frank Spinelli gives readers an inspiring message of empowerment with the page-turning suspense of true crime.

In 1978, eleven-year-Soon after, he was taken under the wing of Scoutmaster Bill Fox, a cop who sexually and mentally abused him for two years. When Frank told his family, they were convinced to do nothing. Frank blamed himself for everything. That year he also became pee-shy.

Thirty years later, Frank has gay community, but still struggles to overcome the physical reminder of his past trauma. Then he learns his former Scoutmaster and abuser has adopted fifteen boys in the decades since they last crossed paths. One adoption had even earned Bill a national Father of the Year Award and a book deal.

This shocking discovery gives Frank the opportunity to overturn thirty years of confusion and self- blame for himself, and for other boys like him. During the course of the next three years, he confronts the man who stole his childhood and brings him to justice.

Cocaine vs. Sugar- Fight the real enemy

Did you know that sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine?

It makes sense when you think about it. Eating sugar causes glucose levels to increase. The body releases insulin to lower blood glucose. Once glucose levels drop, cravings for more sugar develop.

Researchers performed brain scans to compare neural activity of obese individuals, cocaine addicts and people who were neither obese nor addicted to cocaine. They found that the scans were similiar among the obese and cocaine addicts. Pleasure centers in the brain release domapine. Dopamine is the brain chemical that is released from its receptors when we feel pleasure.These pleasure centers were decreased in obese individuals and cocaine addicts. Dopamine gets released but over time it diminishes so that the individual requires more cocaine or in the case of an obese individual, more sugar.

That's why it is important to choose food with a low glycemic index. These include foods that are high fiber grains like quinoa and brown rice. Avoid white rice and food made from white flour. Instead opt for whole grains or sprouted grains. Eat fruit. Not fruit juice.

And remember: protein, protein, protein.

Soda - Fight the real enemy

Ever wonder where the name soft drink came from?

Apparently, soft refers to a drink that doesn't contain hard liquor. Unfortunately, soft drinks are not soft by any means. They contain an exorbitant amount of sugar. 

Growing up, I was not allowed to drink soda. But there is a misconception that soda is the only enemy when it comes to sugary drinks. That simply isn't true. Soft drinks refer to any beverage with added sugar or sweetener including soda, fruit punch, lemonade and sports and energy drinks. 

Bottom line is sugary drinks are a major contributor to obesity. 

On any given day, half the people in the U.S. consume sugary drinks; 1 in 4 drink at least 200 calories from such drinks; and 5% drink at least 567 calories—equivalent to four cans of soda. 

According to figures from the beverage industry, soft drink makers produce 10.4 billion gallons of sugary soda pop each year. That’s enough to serve every American a 12-ounce can every day, 365 days a year.

In the US, beverage makers spend billions on marketing with a substantial portion aimed directly at youth 2–17. So when Beyonce, Britney, Mariah, Sofia Vergara, Taylor SwiftKeither Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Simon Cowell are seen in a commercial  or on television, holding a Coke or a Pepsi, studies show that young adults follow along and drink what their favorite celebrities drink. Young adults see hundreds of television ads for sugary drinks, and the link to childhood obesity is clear if you pay attention to the independent studies, not the ones sponsored by the soda companies.


An average can of a sugar-sweetened soft drink contains 150 calories, almost of them from sugar. That's essentially 10 teaspoons of sugar, and if you drink a can a day, you will gain 5 pounds within a year. And that's just from drinking a can of soda. 

Starbucks - Fight the real enemy

There is nothing I enjoy more than waking up to a nice hot cup of coffee. I'll be the first to admit I have a caffeine addiction. Caffeine is associated with an increase in blood glucose and a reduced sensitivity to the insulin released from your pancreas. Caffeine does not directly affect beta cell secretion of insulin, but it enhances insulin secretion indirectly by increasing your body's resistance to insulin over time. That's not good.

This is only made worse if you put SUGAR in your coffee. 

One of the world's largest coffee chains is Starbucks, serving millions of cups of coffee daily. Starbucks does offer sugar free drinks but some of the most commonly ordered beverages have enough sugar to satisfy the daily requirements of a small village. 

For example, a 16-ounce Cinnamon Dolce Latte contains 40 grams of sugar. That's over 2 TABLESPOONS, which is the equivalent of eating 2 TWINKIES

A Starbucks 16 fl oz Hot Chocolate contains 43 grams of sugar, Peppermint Hot Chocolate contains 61 grams of sugar and a White Hot Chocolate contains 62 grams of diabetic inducing sugar.

Most people order coffee which has no sugar, but a 16 fl oz Caffe Latte has 17 grams of sugar, Caffe Mocha has 35 grams of sugar, Cappuccino has 10 grams of sugar and finally the Caramel Macchiato has 32 grams of sugar. 

It's no wonder there is a line out the door in most Starbucks. We're addicted to caffeine and sugar. 

And not so fast you skinny people. Iced Skinny Flavored Lattes have 10 grams of sugar.

But if you want to overload your body with sugar then nothing beats the Caramel Apple Spice with 68 grams of SUGAR. 

In 1998, Earvin "Magic" Johnson partnered with Starbucks in a joint venture, called Urban Coffee Opportunities, to open stores in underserved neighborhoods in Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C. He has sold his 50% stake in more than 100 urban Starbucks (SBUX) stores back to the company in 2010.




Pizza-ish - Fight the real enemy

I'm continueing my tirade on pizza-like products Americans know and love. Since I wrote about Papa John's yesterday and singled out Peyton Manning as a promoter of childhood obesity, I thought it was fair to mention another big pizza chain - Pizza Hut.

Pizza Hut recently reformulated their hand-tossed crust by replacing the high fructose corn syrup with sucralose (Splenda). This is an artificial sweetener. I mentioned previously that many artifically sweetened products stimulate the brain centers that respond to sugar, resulting in weight gain and increases in body fat because individuals that ate artificially sweetened products tend to eat more.

But Pizza Hut has the distinction of having a great spokesman- Blake Shelton, star of NBC's The Voice. Not only is Blake Shelton a huge music star but he endorses not one but two products loaded with sugar that target your children: Pizza Hut pizza and Pepsi Cola.

In all fairness, I am providing a list I found on that shows you what other large chain pizza makers use as ingredients. 

Pizza-ish - Fight the real enemy

I'm Italian and one of my favorite memories growing up on Staten Island was coming home from school on Fridays because that was the day my mother made homemade bread and fresh pizza. As child, I don't think I loved anything more than my mother's pizza.

What made it so good was that my mother used only the simplest and freshest ingredients, which consisted of flour and water to make her dough, tomato sauce made from tomatoes she grew in her garden, olive oil and fresh mozzarella.

Sugar was never added.

Most Americans consider pizza something you get from Pizza Hut, Domino's or Papa John's. 

For years, Papa John's boasted "Better pizza. Better ingredients." Printed on every Papa John's pizza box is a little story: "When I founded Papa John's in 1984, my mission was to build a better pizza," says "Papa" John Schnatter. "I went the extra mile to ensure we used the highest quality ingredients available - like fresh, never frozen original dough, all-natural sauce, veggies sliced fresh daily and 100 percent real beef and pork. We think you'll taste the difference."

Reading that you would think that Papa John was following a model similar to that of my mother's, but you would be wrong. Unlike packaged products you buy at a grocery store, restaurant food isn't required to list ingredients. Many fast food chains do voluntarily provide them. Not Papa John's. 

Even though Papa John's doesn't list its ingredients online I was able to find a list via FOODBABE.COM. For example, their “100% Beef” topping is a lot more than just beef. It contains corn syrup, maltodextrin, natural flavor, natural smoke grill flavor, beef flavor and seasonings. 

Corn syrup in their beef?

What I find so upsetting is that Papa John's pizza is sold in school cafeterias to children, and for them, the temptation to eat pizza every day is great, particularly when they are bombarded by Papa John's commercials every night on television, which include a celebrity endorsement by Bronco's quarterback, Peyton Manning.

Take a look at some of their "better" ingredients.

Why would Denver Bronco's quarterback Peyton Manning endorse a pizza with ingredients like corn syrup?

Answer: Manning became a Papa John's pizza franchisee owner in 2012 when he signed a deal to own 25 stores in the Denver area. 

                       Peyton Manning is promotes childhood obesity.

                       Peyton Manning is promotes childhood obesity.

Fruit Juice - Fight the real enemy

Fruit juice is perceived as healthy by most people and a good way to give your children the vitamins they need. But a glass of fruit juice has just as much sugar as a soft drink, and the amount of vitamins pales in comparison when you consider that calorie for calorie, it is nutritionally poor compared to eating a whole orange.


The main problem is there is no fiber in fruit juice. Fiber delays the absorption of calories into the bloodstream, delivering those calories to the bacteria in your intestine. Since there is no fiber in fruit juice, your body is overwhelmed with calories and sugar. This causes insulin spikes and the sugar is converted into fat. Some of this fat can get lodged in the liver and result in insulin resistance or Type II Diabetes. 

Take a look at the breakdown for a 12 ounce (350 ml) portion of Coca Cola and apple juice:

  • Coca Cola: 140 calories and 40 grams of sugar (10 teaspoons).
  • Apple juice: 165 calories and 39 grams of sugar (9.8 teaspoons).

One study in children showed that the risk of obesity was increased by 60% for each daily serving of sugar-sweetened beverages.

Relation between consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and childhood obesity: a prospective, observational analysis

The Fed Up Challenge: Fight the Real Enemy

Last night, on Halloween, I watched the documentary Fed Up. Not a smart thing to do with a bowl of candy nearby for trick-or-treaters or my own wandering hand, but an enlightening film nonetheless. For someone who considers himself a nutritional enthusiast, I am intrigued by the way the government and food companies ignore science and the reason, which was clearly relayed throughout the film, particularly by Dr. Robert Lustig, is because they are in the business of selling us food.

So for the month of November, I am going to post factoids about the real enemy – Sugar. Mind you I have had a long contentious history with this seemingly innocuous powdery white substance. Luckily, I was born without the gene that makes people crave sweets, but we all fall prey to sugar because it comes in many different forms like juice, white bread, and chocolate. It causes the body to secrete insulin from the pancreas, which has no other choice other than to convert it into fat.

And for all of you who consume artificial sweeteners you’re not fooling anyone, particularly your brain. Studies show that rats that ate artificially sweetened yogurt gained more weight and body fat.

In 2008, I wrote the Advocate Guide to Gay Men’s Health and Wellness and in it I gave a list of Foods You Should Stay Away From:

1.     White Rice

2.     White Flour

3.     Salt

4.    Sugar

I stand by that list, and I want to now add that in addition to those food groups, I recommend you avoid fruit juice and carbonated beverages, even the diet variety because in the end it all turns to fat.

I encourage everyone to see Fed Up and take the Fed Up Challenge, which is a “national campaign to break loose from the sugar industry’s powerful grip – with a particular focus on kids and schools! We’re asking individuals, kids, schools, parents and communities to join us in going sugar free for 10 days. Giving up sugar will be tough because sugar is everywhere and we all crave it, but setting that kind of healthy example for your kids is all the inspiration you’ll need to get through.”

Let’s fight the real enemy. That includes all the celebrities that promote soda, Taylor Swift, potato chips, Eva Longoria and pizza, Blake Shelton. 

NYS HIV PrEP Guidelines

Clinicians should discuss PrEP with the following non-HIV-infected individuals who have substantial and ongoing risk:


  • Men who have sex with men (MSM) who engage in unprotected anal intercourse7,8
  • Individuals who are in a serodiscordant sexual relationship with a known HIV-infected partner
  • Male-to-female and female-to male transgender individuals engaging in high-risk sexual behaviors
  • Individuals engaging in transactional sex, such as sex for money, drugs, or housing
  • Injection drug users who report any of the following behaviors: sharing injection equipment (including to inject hormones among transgender individuals), injecting one or more times per day, injecting cocaine or methamphetamine, engaging in high-risk sexual behaviors6
  • Individuals who use stimulant drugs associated with high-risk behaviors, such as methamphetamine7-11
  • Individuals diagnosed with more than one anogenital sexually transmitted infection in the last year9
  • Individuals who have been prescribed non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis (nPEP) who demonstrate continued high-risk behavior or have used multiple courses of nPEP12

How does an enlarged prostate interfere with urination?



The prostate is a walnut shaped gland that sits below the bladder in men. The urethra carries urine from the bladder, passing through the prostate, to the penis. As men age, their prostates enlarge. This is referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. Other causes of an enlarged prostate include inflammation, or prostatitis, caused by an infection or trauma. Cancer of the prostate is the second leading cause of death in American men and can present with symptoms consistent with an enlarged prostate. When the prostate becomes enlarged, it may compress the urethra causing problems with urination. Symptoms include: a frequent need to urinate, difficulty initiating or stopping urination, incontinence or dribbling. Enlarged prostates can also impede the flow of urine so that urine is retained for longer peroids of time in the bladder, which could lead to an infection. If you think you have an enlarged prostate ask yourself: Do I stand at the urinal for a while before I'm able to urinate? Do I feel like I haven't completely evacuated my bladder even after I've urinated? Do I wake up several times a night to urinate? And, finally do I experience burning during urination or ejaculation?

Why should I make sex safer?

Sex serves many purposes. It can provide intimacy, pleasure and procreation. Yet, sexual activity can lead to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), some of which are treatable and some are incurable. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that there are 20 million new sexually transmitted infections each year. These include chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, the human papillomavirus (HPV), HIV and viral hepatitis.

The only way to completely avoid contracting an STD is to not have sex. If that is not an option, then consider taking these steps before you and your partner have sex:

  1. Have your healthcare provider screen you for all STDs and ask about vaccines, particularly hepatitis A, B and HPV.
  2. Always use condoms correctly during sex, especially intercourse, and to be extra safe, do not have your partner ejaculate inside you, even with a condom.
  3. Get routinely screened for STDs, approximately every 3-6 months.
  4. If you are in a monogamous relationship, this substantially decreases your risk of acquiring an STD, but remember, just because you’re monogamous doesn’t mean your partner is. Be sure to have frank discussions about sex and get tested for STDs and pregnancy routinely.
  5. Remember, oral birth control does not protect you from STDs. You still need to use a barrier method.
  6. If you contract an STD, seek treatment immediately and inform your partner.
  7. Avoid alcohol and drugs. The risk of unprotected sex increase with their use.
  8. If an “accident” occurs during intercourse (condom breaks) seek out medical attention immediately, especially if you suspect you’ve been exposed to HIV.
  9. Talk to your doctor about HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis and HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis especially if you are in a sero-different relationship (one partner is HIV positive and the other is HIV negative).

Author Talk at Ocean County Library

May 2014


Ocean County Library
2 Jackson Drive
Jackson, NJ 08527

What: Author Talk
When: June 18, 2014, 7:00 pm
Where: Jackson Branch, Ocean County Library
Contacts: Meagan Toohey/Michael Smith, 732-928-4400            

Author Talk with Dr. Frank Spinelli:
How he overcame childhood trauma to become a leading voice on preventing abuse

JACKSON, NJ – The Ocean County Library is pleased to welcome, Dr. Frank Spinelli, author of Pee-Shy, for an author talk and book signing on June 18, 2014 at 7:00 pm at the Jackson Branch of the Ocean County Library. Joining the author, health professionals from the St. Francis Counseling Center in Long Beach Island, will be on-hand for any customers who have questions about sexual abuse.

Dr. Spinelli’s memoir is based on his real-life struggles to overcome childhood trauma, the book has been praised by Whoopi Goldberg, among others, for its courage, honesty and piercing insight on the heartbreaking subject of childhood sexual abuse.

A native of Staten Island and the son of Italian-born parents, from the age of 11, Spinelli endured two years of molestation at the hands of his Scout Leader. Although he eventually went to college, earned his medical degree and set up a successful practice in Manhattan, the effects of his past trauma continued. Being abused also caused him to develop paruresis, a condition which renders the individual ‘pee-shy’.

As an adult, Spinelli found the courage to open up about what had happened to him, seek help, and even face his abuser in court. His new book chronicles this difficult but inspiring journey to a happy, successful life – and relationship – in New York.

Dr. Spinelli now uses his platform as a leading doctor, author and commentator to raise awareness among parents about the risks of childhood sexual abuse, and help them find ways to approach this important topic with their children to keep them safe.

This is a “Year of the Reader” program. For more information, please contact the Jackson branch of the Ocean County Library at 732-928-4400, or visit our website at To register online please visit,


Antibiotic-resistant infections on the rise

Beta-lactamase-producing bacteria (ESBL) are increasing, according to new data published in Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control.

Beta-lactamases are enzymes produced by some bacteria that provide resistance to β-Lactam antibiotics like penicillins, cephamycins, and carbapenems.

Researchers identified infections due to ESBL-producing bacteria with urinary tract infections being the most common. During the study the most predominant pathogen was E. coli, which was susceptible to an older antibiotic called nitrofurantoin. The number of ESBL infections rose from 23 in 2006 to 81 in 2011.

Another group of studies have linked an increase in drug resistant urinary tract infections to eating chicken. An investigation by the Food and Environment Reporting Network and ABC News uncovered that the E. coli found in women's bodies with urinary tract infections was genetically similar to E. coli found in meat, either by improper handling or undercooking.

The use of antibiotics among farmers is increasing. The FDA has acknowledged that this poses a threat to the public. The FDA is asking pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily stop labeling these antibiotics for animal growth.

Another option is for the public to eat less meat and more plant based protein.


HIV PrEP Rally

On May 7th, GMHC will host the first of four community forums to discuss HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). The Centers for Disease Control defines HIV PrEP as an “HIV prevention method in which people who do not have HIV take a daily pill to reduce their risk of becoming infected. When used consistently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection among adult men and women at very high risk for HIV infection through sex or injecting drug use.”

In July 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the combination antiretroviral medication Truvada or tenofovir disoproxil fumarate plus emtricitabine (TDF/FTC) for use as PrEP among sexually active adults at risk for HIV infection. The use of antiretrovirals (ARV’s) as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of HIV transmission among men who have sex with men and heterosexual couples. Adults should consult with their doctor to see if PrEP is right for them. PrEP is not intended to be used alone but in conjunction with condoms to help prevent the spread of HIV.

The first forum, entitled, Have Condoms Failed Us? Will focus on men who have sex with men (MSM) and will take place at GMHC, located at 446 West 33rd Street, NYC at 7PM on May 7th. The panelists include Demetre Daskalakis, MD, HIV/AIDS Services, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Lloyd Bailey, MD, The Spencer Cox Center for Health, Mt. Sinai, Perry Halkitis, PhD, MPH, Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies at NYU and Damon Jacobs, LMFT, private practice psychotherapist. I will be the moderator.

The second event will be held on June 4th and will focus on sero-discordant couples and fertility. The third will take place on September 10th and the topic is PrEP in people of color and the final event will be a large scale debate on October 8th.

According to the CDC there are about 50,000 new cases of HIV every year, but since 2013 there have only been 1400 people on HIV PrEP. Opponents to PrEP include Michael Weinstein, President of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, who called Truvada a “Party Drug,” stating that “Men don’t need more excuses not to use condoms,” and adding that PrEP would be “A catastrophe for HIV prevention.”

Research shows that Truvada is up to 99% effective in preventing new HIV infections if it is taken daily and used with condoms. One reason why more people don’t know about PrEP is that Gilead Sciences, the manufacturers of Truvada, have chosen not to promote the drug as a preventative measure. The controversy surrounding the use of Truvada for PrEP has many people arguing that this will lead to unsafe sex despite studies that suggest PrEP doesn’t lead to riskier sex. Researchers at the Gladstone Institutes, an affiliate of the University of California, San Francisco, built upon their three-year 2010 Global iPrEx clinical study of Truvada as PrEP. Publishing their findings in PLOS ONE, they re-examined data of the nearly 2,500 HIV-negative gay men and male-to-female transgender women in six countries who participated. “Our results suggest that HIV prevention strategies such as Truvada don’t result in risk compensation because they provide an opportunity for participants to actively engage in and reduce their risk of HIV infection,” said Gladstone Institutes’ Robert Grant, MD, MPH. “Engagement, which also includes counseling, provision of condoms and management of other sexually transmitted infections, leads to motivation, which comes at a time when motivation for preventing new HIV infections is vital to curbing the spread of this worldwide epidemic.”

There are many who feel the cost of Truvada is a deterrent. A month’s supply is approximately $1,000. Gilead does have an assistance program to help underinsured patients or patients with no insurance as well as a copay assistance program.

The intention of the four part forum is to raise awareness about HIV PrEP in the hopes of having an informative and interactive discussion. While Truvada alone isn’t the answer to halting the AIDS epidemic, we have to acknowledge that condom usage has dropped among gay men and that looking forward we must consider a variety of safe-sex practices to protect gay men from contracting HIV.