Health Matters

To Screen or Not to Screen…

Screening for disease.  It makes sense to try to find a disease before symptoms arise.  Unfortunately not all diseases or conditions lend themselves to screening, and not all screening tests offer the same value.   Inappropriate screening can lead to over-diagnosis or mis-diagnosis with a false positive test.  That can lead to further testing , […]

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Ohhh, my aching….. head!

When is a headache not a headache? When it’s a sign that there is something else more serious going on….. that’s what we all worry about with our off-and-on aches and pains, but headache pain is particularly worrisome. We fear bleeds, stroke, cancers, seizures…. Fortunately most headaches are not dangerous and can be easily managed […]

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Getting ready for baby…

Upon the recent arrival of my new great-niece, I’m posting about preparing for pregnancy.  Since almost half of all pregnancies are unplanned, being prepared now for those of reproductive age will help achieve the best and healthiest outcomes. Chronic illness, infection, poor nutrition, under- or over-weight and unhealthy habits (such as tobacco or substance use) […]

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vaccination redux

Even though the false theory about vaccination-related autism has been thoroughly debunked and discredited, the original article withdrawn and the researcher originating the myth having lost his medical license, the myth persists. As a result, many families still avoid vaccinations. One of the sad results is this mistaken action is contributing to the resurgence of […]

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Ohhhh! My aching… back!

[An installment in a planned group of articles on managing common aches and pains….] One of the most common reasons people go to a doctor or miss work is back pain; nearly one in five patients will present with this problem sometime in life. But while back pain accounts for more than $100 billion spent […]

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Feeling it in the gut

Ever notice that unpleasant stomach burn…. Even after a pleasant meal? Dyspepsia, sour stomach, heartburn, reflux, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)….not identical terms but all do describe a common symptom of belly discomfort. During the holidays our diets may change and reflect more ‘indulgent” foods: candy, chocolate, alcohol, and just plain abundance, which can lead to […]

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Air Needed Here!

This brief post is about a worrisome symptom: shortness of breath, also known as “dyspnea.” Not being able to breathe tops all other fears (save perhaps public speaking). Being short of breath can be caused by something as simple as a cold or a faceful of dust, or being deconditioned… or the sign of something […]

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Hot topics: Fever

FEVER! Hi again In the next few posts I plan to explore some common home health problems and what to do at home, a kind of self-care flow-sheet if you will. The idea is to cover some emergent topics (fever, falls, sudden pains, shortness of breath) as well as ongoing problems such as sprains and […]

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Antibiotics and the common cold

You know the symptoms. It often starts with a sore throat, then graduates to the runny nose, cough, nasal congestion. Those symptoms are evidence your immune system is at work fighting off the invading “microbe” so it doesn’t get deep into your respiratory system. This is a big deal because the common cold is the […]

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Let’s talk sleep….. zzzz…..

Let’s talk sleep. Seems we don’t get enough. Studies show most of us need 8-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep yet the average American adult sleeps only 6.9 hours per night. One survey found nearly 70% of primary care patients complained of insomnia. About a third of patients who slept less than 7 hours during the […]

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