Browsing: Ask the Doctor

Most common is Tension headache, associated usually with stress and causing scalp or neck muscle spasm. It can occur daily. Migraines are usually 1 sided and can be associated with visual or other sensations just before the headache comes on. Cluster headaches are usually on the side of the head and hits frequently over a period of weeks and then stops. The treatment of each is different. BEING YOUNG IN THE US IS LETHAL! The largest cause of deaths was car crashes followed by firearms. 61% of these deaths were preventable. Our country has triple the rate of vehicle deaths…

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Many sporting events or entertainment events have very loud sounds, sometimes up to 150 decibels. A loud restaurant has about 80 decibels. These loud noise exposures can cause permanent hearing damage. Take a break and walk away occasionally and wear either ear plugs or ear muffs to protect your ears. Get your hearing checked at your clinic if you or those close to you think you might have a problem since it can worsen faster once it starts! People with poor hearing are frequently dissatisfied with hearing aids and live a life of depression and isolation. ARE YOU WALKING SLOWER?…

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It is important to make sure the person performing art on your body has passed a course in hygiene and safety. Complications can happen: mild to severe infections (including resistant staph, warts), scarring (including very large weird scars), allergic reactions in addition to transmitting Hepatitis B and C and HIV. If you have a chronic illness, such as diabetes, kidney, liver, or heart disease, you may not heal well, so ask your medical provider if there should be concerns. Tongue splitting and piercings are particularly concerning since more than half result in complications. Bleeding can be a problem if…

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Ask The Doctor ANTIBIOTICS, NOT SURGERY FOR APPENDICITIS? A new study confirms that about two thirds of patients can be treated without surgery who have appendicitis. Some of these might have a future attack and surgery might be needed then. This approach has been shown to be safe. AUGMENTED REALITY DURING BRAIN SURGERY Neurosurgeons can now put on special glasses that show a dye moving through the blood vessels. This is like a video game! The surgeon can see where the blood flow is poor and take action to improve it to prevent brain damage and a worsening stroke. HOW…

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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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