Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Gene didn’t want us to know, but we do, now

From The Producers to Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles to the Frisco Kid, Gene Wilder made us laugh, made us cry, and showed us characters that amazed us.  In his life off the screen, he shared his emotions through the illness and death of his wife, Gilda Radner, and taught us another powerful lesson.  And now we learn, at his passing, of his own battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, one that he kept to himself.  Here is an article from Newsmax in which I participated in a discussion of the tendency not to discuss this loss of self.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Save a life, cost a fortune?

Certainly, one of the big news stories these days is about a product that many have never heard of, and fewer than that likely need: the EpiPen. This device injects epinephrine, a potentially life saving drug to those suffering a massive allergic reaction, using a convenient, automatic injection system that just about anyone can use with minimal training. But the rise in its cost to the consumer over the last several years has been dramatic, and many who need the drug can no longer afford it. Here is an article from Self, penned by Korin Miller, in which she discusses this situation with several physicians, including myself.

Within the article, there is reference made to the Adrenaclick, an alternative to the EpiPen. More than that, there are generic epinephrine auto-injectors on the market as well, which are even less expensive. While these devices deliver the exact same dose of epinephrine in the same way as the EpiPen, the mechanisms themselves are different. Whereas the EpiPen only requires popping off a cap and using the injector, others may involve caps on either end, be a bit harder to hold, or have an exposed needle. So if you are going to use such a device, which would still be appropriate and effective for the condition, familiarize yourself and those likely to use it thoroughly with its details, features, and use before deploying it with the at-risk individual. There is no time to learn how to use an injector while someone is having an anaphylactic reaction. This is clearly a topic which should be reviewed with your personal physician, to be sure that a potentially life saving treatment is available when needed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

When the cramp in the night meets the calf of the leg

Waking up in the middle of the night with a painful cramp in the calf is not uncommon, but it is uncomfortable.  Often called a “charley horse,” these muscle cramps can be dealt with through a variety of techniques.  Here is a little piece from our local NBC television station news where I discuss some options, along with a patient of mine who gives her story.  And, remember, if you are having new, unusual, or worsening symptoms, or just have a question about what is going on, see your physician promptly for an evaluation

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Mommy, I don’t feel good

How many times has a parent heard his or her child complain of illness, preventing that day’s attendance at school.  Often, there is a question if the illness is real or feigned, created to escape some event at school.  While parents often have a good feeling about what is going on with their children, there are some guidelines.  Here is an article from WebMD where I join several other physicians in looking at this problem.

Monday, August 8, 2016

A cup for Olympic success?

It’s been all over the network news and social media, the circular purple dots on Olympic athletes like Michael Phelps to Hollywood celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow.  The source of those peculiar markings is a practice called “cupping,” a modern application of a traditional Chinese medicine practice.  Does it work, and, if so, how?  Along with several other physicians, and citing some references along the way, this article from the Self.com website gives a rather complete overview of this now novel form of therapy.

Something fishy in Rio?

Among the stories coming out of Rio de Janeiro this Olympic season, one area of focus has been the waterways, many of which are reportedly polluted.  That fishermen continue to catch fish from these waters, and eat those fish, goes against our common practice of avoiding potential sources of toxins.  Can they do this, and, if so, how?  Here is a little article with my thoughts on the subject, from Yahoo News.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Some very good ways to lose weight

With all of the crazy ideas that are out there for diets, schemes and other plans to strip the pounds from your body, often while stripping the dollars from your wallet, you may ask just what you should be looking for in a weight loss program.  Here are some tips from the WebMD website as to just what to look for when you want to lose weight.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A Very Bad Way To Lose Weight

The statistic is chilling, perhaps one in ten young women have tried to use laxatives to lose weight.  Let’s get something straight here.  Laxatives make you poop.  Weight is from fat on your body.  Fat is not poop, and poop is not fat.  There is no logic here, but people do it anyway.  This is not a harmless action, and here is an article that looks at a very bad practice.