I was privileged recently to take part in a documentary dealing with the changing face of medicine. Told through the aspects of practices across the country, our Lutherville practice, Mercy Personal Physicians at Lutherville, was one of those highlighted. Yes, I am part of the story with two of my patients. This hour long documentary is airing on PBS stations around the country, but you can also watch it on their website.
Sunday, September 17, 2017
Many people have felt that carrying a few extra pounds is good for your health. Sometimes a few can become a lot, and where one draws the line has been the question. Recent studies have shown that have a body mass index (BMI) over 25, which is the line between normal weight and overweight, puts one at increased risk for cardiovascular events and other ills. Here is a little piece that I did for our local NBC Affiliate to highlight this problem.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Is is safe to sip from the glass out overnight? How about the bottle in the car? The pitcher on the porch? I mean, it's only water, right? Well, turns out that there are a variety of factors that could spoil that special sip, and here is a little article from the Reader's Digest website where I was asked to expound on the topic. Have a look, then take a drink!
Monday, July 10, 2017
While our bodies seem able to take abuse in so many ways, there are little injuries that cause pain out of proportion to their sizes. When one of our more sensitive areas is hurt, one often wonders just what makes that part of the body so sensitive. Here is a little article that delves into the why and how of some of those painful areas.
Sunday, July 9, 2017
Lots of people, perhaps more than half, have trouble sleeping. The huge industry in over the counter sleep aids, and the push by many at the doctor's office for prescription sleeping pills, speaks to that need. But do you always need a pharmacologic assist to sleep? Here is an article with lots of suggestions, including mine, from the NBC website, on how to get a good night's sleep without resorting to pills.
Friday, July 7, 2017
The question of whether summer colds are worse than winter colds hinges on the definition of a “cold.” In this little article from MEL Magazine, a rather different periodical indeed, I was asked about one health writer’s view that other viruses join the party in summer colds. I try to take a more balanced view in this piece, entitled:
Thursday, July 6, 2017
A study in scientific American examined a disturbing rise in strokes, brain attacks that can lead to serious disability or death. Obesity, smoking, and lack of exercise have been identified as some of the risk factors. Here is a brief interview from WJZ-TV, our local CBS affiliate, that highlights this issue.
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
The predicable, routine ride on the subway seems to breed a population of people who, seemingly, can get on the train, sit down, fall asleep, and wake at the right stop. Training? Not really sleeping? Incredible time sense? There are all kinds of theories, and this article from the New York Magazine looks at some, with my input on some medical thoughts.
And this is not just a United States phenomenon, as the UK Metro site picked up the story and ran an abridged version:
And this is not just a United States phenomenon, as the UK Metro site picked up the story and ran an abridged version:
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Current estimates are that one tenth of the world's population suffers from obesity. This is not just being a bit overweight, this is being overweight enough to seriously impact your health. From diabetes to heart attacks, strokes to knee replacements, obesity impacts essentially every aspect of your health. Here is an article from the Self.com website that takes a brief look at the issue. If there is interest in more information, I would be happy to append this article with some more on the topic, just ask!
Monday, July 3, 2017
Here is a little segment done for WBAL-TV, our local NBC affiliate, about the problem with iron deficiency as well as having too much iron. People are commonly taking supplements, and the point here is to check with your physician to find out if you really need extra iron or, in some cases, may have too much in your system already. And, by the way, although directed at women, this applies equally well to men, also!
Friday, May 19, 2017
We've all seen the chefs on TV expertly open an avocado and pop out the pit, all with a large, sharp knife. Turns out that there is a real talent to that, and the legions of folks in emergency rooms with lacerations of their hands, some quite severe, attest to that. And it's not limited to avocados; slicing anything can be dangerous if you are not careful, even bagels. Here is a little article from the Self website that looks at the issue, with some tips for those setting out on the culinary path.
Friday, May 12, 2017
Baby Boomers are not old, but we are getting older, while with those years comes continued vitality and activity. Many Boomers are in the thick of sports events, competing with those half their ages. There are some needs that need to be addressed with an older population involved in events, and here is an article that I wrote for the March/April 2017 issue of Sports Destination Management magazine that addresses those topics. Not just for mega-events, any gathering these days might do well to consider some of the information discussed in this article.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Years ago, teens spent hours under the sun getting just the right tan, helped by iodine and baby oil. Those teens today, now middle aged baby boomers, are often visiting their dermatologist to help with aging skin, dots and blots on their bodies, and, unfortunately, skin cancers. Using adequate protection against the sun can mitigate these problems, and here is a little article in the Elko (Nevada) Free Press, looking at this, and other hazards of the summer. Moderation and common sense are the secret weapons!
Sunday, May 7, 2017
There is little doubt within the medical community that statin drugs, medications used to lower cholesterol, save lives. And yet, many people resist taking the drugs fearing side effects, the most common of which is muscle cramping. A new study casts doubt on that side effect’s origin, whether from the drug or something called the “nocebo” effect. Here is an article from MedPage Today in which I join several other physicians in looking at the situation, with a variety of opinions being expressed.
Friday, April 28, 2017
Back in the day, it was common to enter a hot, steamy room, which was called a “schvitzbad” in Yiddish, and sit and sweat for your health for a short time. Even Al Jolson was a fan of such activities. Time and fashion passes, and few do this any more, other than the occasional sauna, which is usually dry heat. Well, Selena Gomez talked about her way of having a schvitz, and how it makes her feel. But is there a real benefit to it? I joined a few physicians in sweating out the answer.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
The ache or pain that is common, wear and tear, arthritis is an annoyance, but to those people with an inflammatory arthritis, such as psoriatic arthritis, that destroys the joint, not paying attention to simple things can have severe consequences. Here is an article from the Everyday Health site that looks at a group of issues. Although directed at those with psoriatic arthritis, these tips would be well advised to be incorporated into just about anyone’s practices
Sunday, April 23, 2017
The uneasy fact is that most men, and likely some women, pay better attention to their cars than their bodies. We all know you have to take that car in for servicing, fill the gas tank, and check the tires. But how about that body of yours? Is there a need for periodic checks on this or that? Here is a little article that explores the need to check a few things as prevention.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
In the scheme of things, Boxers v. Briefs may not sound like much of a problem, but to many guys, it is one of those vexing issues of life! Here is a little article from Community Health Magazine that allows me to expound on the topic, along with another physician, to try to debunk some myths.
Sunday, April 16, 2017
It's not common, but it is dramatic. Maybe you've read about the brain eating ameoba and maybe not, after all, your risk of getting hit by lightning while being eaten by a shark are probably higher than contracting this rare disease, but it is scary. Other organisms can be problematic, though, and using non-sterile water in a Neti Pot is one way to push your luck. So, here is a practical article from the Self.com website which looks at the practice, with some good advice.
Friday, April 14, 2017
As a physician, I find myself directing people every day to take this or that medication. Sometimes for a long term regimen, others more limited. But what does the patient think? Do you really have to take them all, exactly as prescribed? Is twice a day really needed, or do you have to take all ten day's worth? Here is a little piece from the Reader's Digest Online that addresses some of these issues. I would happily expand the discussion if there is interest.
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Ben Franklin told us this hundreds of years ago, and we still don't get it. Adults and children alike shortchange themselves when it comes to sleep. But with teens, the damage can result in poor grades to a traffic wreck. Here is a little article that looks at the questions, with some solutions as well.
Here is a little piece from the March, 2017, issue of Dr Oz Magazine. It's one of those questions, this one about helping to trigger a sneeze, where "Dr. Oz says" the answer. But he does not say the answer, he quotes me! This was only in the print magazine, so an image of the article is below for you to enjoy.
Monday, January 30, 2017
You might think that only someone careless might be tricked by a drugged drink, and you would think wrong. Actress Mischa Barton found herself feeling more drunk than she thought she should be, and discovered she had been slipped GHB. Learn from her story, and keep your eyes open
Thursday, January 26, 2017
When entertainment icon Mary Tyler Moore succumbed to pneumonia, we saw another star fall to this ancient killer. Although many still picture her as the girl who “could turn the world on with her smile,” Mary Tyler Moore was an 80 year old type 1 diabetic, with both her age and her underlying disease increasing her risk for this far too common disease. That she did so well for so long is an inspiration, with her story serving as a valuable lesson to us all.
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Sunday, January 22, 2017
And this is nothing new. Three years ago, right around this time, the peaking flu season again made news with my appearing on WBAL with a spot that I cited on my blog as:
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
More than just a regional thought, this piece was picked up by Fox News for its website as well, helping to promulgate the idea of starting to change your behavior with the first month of the year.
So stay with me for a couple of paragraphs as I expand on my views of this issue. I will begin with a word of caution. If one is a heavy drinker, suddenly stopping could result in symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. As with any diet or exercise program, you should check with your physician before, and during, such efforts.
Normally, reduction of a “bad” habit is always good, so there should be some benefit to be derived by a “dry January.” There are some studies that point to benefits of modest alcohol consumption, perhaps one drink daily, so one may not want to stop that if there is such a potential. A medical review of one’s base health and level of consumption should be a part of the decision.
But what if you are not a drinker, can this method be used to help other behaviors? Of course, you can use a month of changed behavior as a motivating starting point to push that behavior into a healthier range, and then maintain that benefits going forward. So while the “dry January” should result in no alcohol to excess for the rest of the year, a “Fat Free February” would see a reduction in dietary fat intake to a healthy level, or a “Marching March” would result in more exercise being started and continued through the year, and so on, so that by next December we really could be enjoying a Happy and Healthy New Year.
This idea has such traction that there was an article in the January 1, 2017, New York Times proposing a “Month Without Sugar,” another lofty goal that many of us could consider. So take a moment, look at your health and your habits, and see if you can commit to changing just one habit during the coming month in a positive direction. You never know where it might lead!
Friday, January 6, 2017
One has to assume that all of those New Year's Eve revelers in Times Square turned to the New York Times for a solution to their morning after hangover. If so, they would have found this article, in which I am quoted, looking at all of the various cures offered for this morning after condition.
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Not that long ago, we learned that Patty Duke, star of stage, screen and film, had died from an overwhelming infection called sepsis. While not often spoken of as a common disease, sepsis remains an opportunistic killer of the very young, the very old, and those with some compromise of their immune systems; as well as sporadic cases without obvious cause. Here is a little clip from our local NBC affiliate, where I discuss sepsis, what it is, and what to do if you suspect it.