Browsing: Ask the Doctor

A new study showed that those on anti-depressants had a higher risk for clots in their veins, usually the legs. Is this from the medications or the depression increasing the risk?  Depressed patients don’t exercise as much and tend to not move around the house or office as much. These blood clots are caused by low activity, e.g. long airplane flights. SMOG MAKES YOU LESS SMART A study in China found that long-term exposure to air pollution hurt performance on math and verbal tests, especially in men, older people, and those with less education.  I’m confused how education would…

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Hundreds of people have been hospitalized due to taking rat poison without knowing it was in the synthetic Marijuana/Cannabis.  The main symptom is unexplained bleeding. They can die vomiting blood or have internal bleeding at home. The most dangerous would be bleeding in the brain which would get squashed against the skull.  Some people are donating blood and they have this dangerous chemical in their donated blood. BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICATION, VALSARTAN, RECALLED Call you pharmacist if you are on this medication to make sure you are not taking the ones that have the toxic contaminant, which is associated with…

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I am working in Malawi, Africa at a Loma Linda Hospital to substitute for the general physicians who are on vacation. Here are a few of the medical problems I found in late June and early July: ESOPHAGEAL CANCER There is a lady in her 60s who had trouble swallowing and was vomiting undigested food.  This could mean that the food was not reaching the stomach. We tried treating her for ulcers but that did not work; So we then consulted the surgeons who did an Upper GI test which showed much narrowing of the esophagus.  They put a…

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LGBTQ TEENS ARE STRESSED Here is a paste of a Medscape article: In a national survey of about 12,000 LGBTQ teens, 77% reported feeling depressed, and 70% reported having feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness in the previous week. In addition, 85% of the teen participants rated their average stress level as 5 or higher on a 10-point scale, and 95% reported having trouble sleeping at night. Only 26% said they always feel safe in their schools, and just 5% said all of their teachers and school staff were supportive of LGBTQ people. Half of trans and gender-expansive youth said they…

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The first week of March I attended CROI in Boston with about 4,000 others from around the world. Here is second article of my annual AIDS update from the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections.   METH AND HIV MAKE YOU AGE FASTER There are ways a researcher can determine what age your cells look like and if you will die sooner. Meth and HIV speed up the clock to the final tick but together it goes much faster.   ANTIVIRALS WORK EVEN IF USING AND METH? A new study showed that this can be successful. My only warning is…

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The first week of March I attended CROI in Boston with about 4,000 others from around the world. Here is first article of my annual AIDS update from the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. Undetectable = Untransmissible (Uninfectious) was a big theme in the conference. The US and the rest of the world are pushing those taking meds to have an undetectable viral load (defined as <200). This will stop HIV from finding new people to infect. 2 POUNDS OF BACTERIA It is estimated that people carry around with them about 2 pounds of bacteria. They are…

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Foods that are high in fats and carbohydrates and salt, frozen meals, reconstituted meats such as salami, and snacks that are stable on the shelf for a long time also contain substances that are linked to cancer. If a person increased these to a level 10% higher in their diet, then they had an 11% higher risk for cancer and 12% for breast cancer. Eating organic food prepared at home is the healthiest way to go. You may have to cut out some screen time to make healthy meals at home and to pack in your lunches. I make…

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The HPV group that causes genital warts and cancer was found in a survey of a huge population to be in 11.5% of men and 3.2% of women. That would make 11 million men and 3.2 million women. It causes genital and oral and esophageal (food tube) cancer. One type of cancer causing HPV (HPV 16) was found enough that they think 1.7 million men and 270,000 women have it. Shine a light in your mouth to see if you have any suspicious, painless bumps. See a provider if you want a good check under the tongue and between the…

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Flu is early this year and has killed at least 10 in California as of mid-December; these people were younger than 65. Flu shots protect most of us from the 4 deadly flus predicted to hit the US. THC HAS ANTI-INFLAMMATORY PROPERTIES A Michigan researcher found that mixing THC from marijuana with certain white cells, decreased the level of one of the inflammatory markers.  Inflammation is the proposed mechanism whereby HIV, gum disease, chronic infections may contribute to accelerated hardening of the arteries, leading to heart attacks, strokes, etc. In addition, the author points out that treating anxiety…

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A new study showed that spirit alcohols (tequila, gin, whiskey, vodka…) are more likely to cause aggression. The study had nearly 30,000 subjects who were asked about positive and negative emotions and whether they drank spirits, wine, or beer. Red wine was more associated with fatigue. Drinkers who were dependent on alcohol were more likely to be energized from their alcohol. Heavy drinkers had more negative emotions and reported more aggression. Drinkers may be seeking that emotion that alcohol gives them, and therefore drink an unhealthy amount. DO PEOPLE CARE IF THEIR PROVIDER GETS LUNCHES OR PAYMENTS FROM A…

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