Thursday, September 30, 2010

Help Your Doctor Make the Diagnosis

When patients and doctors communicate effectively, the patient has the best result. Not every doctor asks the critical question that can cinch a diagnosis.  Yet good communication, coupled with good diagnostic skill can be worth more than $10,000 in tests and referrals to consultants.  You can help your doctor figure out what is going on by thinking and communicating like a physician.  Whether

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sign Up for EverythingHealth

Make it easy on yourself.  Look to the right and you will see an email sign-up to receive a message when there is a new post on EverythingHealth.  No simply get a link and never miss a fascinating topic.
(Don't forget to click and verify when feedburner emails you...a number of subscribers forgot that step) 

Coffee Gives the Buzz in Health Care

I could have told you without the study, but the results are in:  Coffee is the fuel that keeps hospitals and doctors and nurses going, both day and night.  OK, I admit the study was commissioned by Dunkin' Donuts, but I believe the results because I have witnessed it.  Health professionals are more dependent on coffee than any other profession.

The national survey included more than 3,600

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Omega 3 and Green Tea

We have know for some time that there are health benefits from drinking green tea.  Research also shows that Omega 3 fatty acids have  beneficial effects on a number of organs in the body, including the cardiovascular system, brain and even depression.Dr. Fereidoon Shahidi, research professor in the Department of Biochemistry at Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada is hoping to show that

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Things Growing in Lungs

 (Image shows a nail clipper inhaled accidentally by a 20 year old man)

Last month an elderly man in Massachusetts developed a collapsed lung and pneumonia. Usually this means an undiagnosed cancer is lurking.  Imagine his relief and surprise to find out it was a pea growing in his lung.  That little accidentally inhaled pea started sprouting.  It seems that odd things found in lungs is not all

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Musings on ESP

Extra Sensory Perception (ESP) is defined as reception of information not gained through the recognized senses but sensed with the mind.  Other terms are psychic abilities or precognition or even a "hunch" or gut instinct that can't be readily explained.  Haven't we all had experiences like that?  The scientific evidence is weak and inconsistent,  but this morning's events are causing me to

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How Health Reform Helps Right Now

Obama and the Dems have done a terrible job at marketing Health Care Reform, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  The statute that is now law has new provisions that go into effect as early as September 23, 2010 and millions of people will benefit.  Here are a few benefits that you probably haven't heard much about:

College graduates and dependents will be able to

Monday, September 20, 2010

Preventing Kidney Stones

Over the years I have had a number of patients with painful kidney stones and once they have passed (or been removed) I have felt at a loss to helping them prevent them.  "Stay hydrated" somehow didn't seem adequate, although we know fluid intake can help stave off recurrent kidney stone attacks.  Some textbooks said "avoid calcium"  since most stones are made of calcium oxylate.  High oxylate

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Welcome International Blog Visitors

Every so often I like to give a formal blog welcome to visitors from around the Globe.  What a thrill it is to see how interconnected we are and to share knowledge so freely.  My hearty welcome to visitors within the last 24 hours from:
Oranjestad, Aruba; Tiaret, Algeria; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Buenos Aries, Argentina;  Melbourne, Australia; Perth Australia; Aukland New Zealand; Abu Dhabi, UAE;

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hugs and Hand Holding in Medicine

The New York Times asks, "Should the Doctor Hold a Patient's Hand" during emotional times or if the patient is crying.  The comments that follow the short article are the most interesting.  Most readers say this question shouldn't even be asked and that human compassion should always win out.  Touch is a human gesture of comfort and understanding.

But some readers disagree.  One said she

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Adult Chickenpox

We think of chickenpox as a childhood disease but there are adult cases and they tend to lead to more serious complications.  Chickenpox is caused by the varicella virus and it is extremely contagious.  Most people are exposed in childhood (or they receive the chicken pox vaccine) and so adults rarely contract it.  It is especially dangerous for pregnant women because the fetus can become

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Kids Lack Opportunities for Physical Activity

One out of 3 children in the United States is overweight. Increased consumption of  nutrient-poor foods with high levels of sugar and saturated fats, combined with reduced physical `ctivity, have led to obesity rates that have risen three-fold or more since 1980.  Our kids are not to blame. We are.

The Center for Disease Control has found that only 20% of blocks nationwide have parks within a

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Overpriced Medicine

I took Tracy's (the faithful follower) advice and went to the link she provided in her comment from my blog on patients going to the Emergency Department for expensive health care.  The blog post  was a really good one that I wanted to share so click here and read a cost analysis from  young doctor Sara in Israel. 

And for those of you who think the U.S. has the BEST HEALTH CARE IN THE WORLD...

Emergency Rooms Used for Routine Care

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Our government's name for Health Care Reform) may make our already crowded emergency rooms swarm with more patients. A new study from Health Affairs
shows that more than a quarter of patients who currently visit emergency departments in the U.S. are there for routine care and not an emergency.  New complaints like stomach pain, skin rashes, fever,

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I hate canker sores

Why do I hate canker sores?  First they are painful and mouth pain cannot be ignored.  Second, they are difficult to prevent and you just have to cope with them until they go away. And 3rd, we have no idea what causes them.  For a doctor, the 3rd reason is the most difficult to accept.  What the hell are canker sores?

The medical term is apthous ulcers and they are  round or oval painful ulcers

Friday, September 3, 2010

Michael Douglas Has Oropharyngeal Cancer

Michael Douglas announced he has"stage IV throat cancer" on late night TV this week.  Any announcement of cancer causes people to stop and take a deep breath but the idea of throat cancer is particularly scary.  So what exactly is throat cancer?  How is it diagnosed and treated? 

The clinical term is oropharyngeal cancer that involves the base of the tongue, the mouth, the tonsils, or the front