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Tuesday, October 06, 2015
  • Sunday, October 04, 2015 11:34 PM
    A patient has asked me to write about hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. The word originates from the Greek elements hypo (under),  glykys (sweet), and haema (blood).
  • Sunday, September 27, 2015 11:43 PM
    I’ve had requests to re-run my column on shingles. I think the increased interest has been brought on by the television ads for the vaccine to help prevent shingles, which are quite accurate and compelling. I’ve had quite a few patients who have recently been suffering from this malady, one quite severely.
  • Monday, September 21, 2015 12:23 AM
    Now that cold & flu season is getting ready to start, the incidence of “pink eye” is starting to pick up. This is a very common condition that accounts for over 30 percent of doctor visits for eye problems.

  • Sunday, September 13, 2015 9:31 PM

    The weather is getting cooler and it’s time to get your influenza vaccine. Most people use the term “flu” in a very generic sense, meaning anything from cold symptoms to having a case of vomiting and diarrhea. The “flu” in this column refers to respiratory influenza.

    Two particular types of influenza viruses, Type A and Type B cause the majority of influenza infections. Type B typically does not cause severe disease whereas Type A can be fatal, particularly in the young, elderly and in those who have compromised immune systems. 

  • Sunday, August 30, 2015 8:07 PM

    This week I want to focus on basic prevention and treatments for insomnia. If the cause is not readily identifiable, it is helpful to keep a sleep log for 2-4 weeks to share with your doctor. It should include sleep and wake times, naps, and actual time spent sleeping. You can download a blank sleep log at

    A lack of good sleep hygiene is one of the most common things I identify when taking a sleep history or reviewing a sleep log. Sleep hygiene is defined as “daily activities and habits that are consistent with or promote the maintenance of good quality sleep and full daytime alertness.”

  • Sunday, August 23, 2015 11:27 PM

    Insomnia is a huge problem in the United States. We spend over $10 billion a year on sleep-related treatments and it’s estimated we lose over $40 billion in lost worker productivity due to sleeplessness.

    Insomnia is a very complex subject that I can address only briefly in this column. I’ll focus on some causes of insomnia this week. It’s important to remember that insomnia is not a disease – it is a symptom of an underlying problem.

    There are three types of insomnia. Transient insomnia lasts a week or less and is usually due to some type of limited stress. Short-term insomnia lasts one to six months and is usually caused by persistent stress, while chronic insomnia lasts greater than six months.

    There are many causes of insomnia. Transient and short-term insomnias can be caused by stress as well as environmental factors such as sleeping in an unfamiliar bed or other location. Having too much light or noise in the room can also be contributing factors.

  • My finger is stuck!
    Sunday, August 16, 2015 9:54 PM

    A number of patients have recently come to see me who have presented with problems getting their fingers to move. They all described “catching” or “popping” when trying to flex or extend a finger. They were all suffering from trigger finger, a condition also known as trigger digit or by the medical term stenosing tenovaginitis.

    The condition is very common. It is seen up to six times more frequently in women than men and typically starts showing up around 55 to 60 years of age. It is also seen more often in a person’s dominant hand. It can affect any of the fingers, most often in the thumb, followed by the ring, middle, little and index fingers. 

  • Sunday, August 09, 2015 10:18 PM

    A reader wrote in asking, “I’m prone to having back issues, but I enjoy taking care of my lawn, raking leaves and shoveling snow. What can I do to prevent problems with my back while enjoying these activities?”

    It’s great to hear you like spending time outdoors – back problems can certainly take the enjoyment out of those activities. Back injuries are extremely common, but most are minor and short-lived. There are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of injury and discomfort from back issues.

    Family physicians always teach prevention - the most important measure you can take is to make sure your back is in good physical condition before you go outside and put it to the test. In order for humans to walk upright, our backs have to carry a lot of the load when we are active. Being overweight puts a lot of extra stress on the back, so if you are overweight, you should work on shedding some of your extra pounds.

  • What you need to know about Lyme Disease uptick
    Sunday, August 02, 2015 11:41 PM

    The arrival of warm weather this year means we have to start worrying more about Lyme Disease. Most people are aware of the association between tick bites and Lyme disease, but few know exactly what Lyme disease is or what causes it. It’s particularly important in Montgomery County since four people have been diagnosed so far this year.

    Lyme Disease was named in the late 1970s when a number of children around Lyme, Connecticut developed arthritis. The actual disease has been described since the early 1900s.

  • Vein trouble leads to swollen legs
    Sunday, July 26, 2015 6:42 PM

    I’ve seen quite a few people lately suffering from swelling in their legs, most caused by problems with their veins.

    To understand how problems with the veins develop, I have to provide a brief anatomy and physiology lesson. Fresh blood that contains oxygen and nutrients is pumped from the heart via arteries to the legs. The blood then moves across very tiny blood vessels called capillaries – this is where the oxygen and nutrients move out of the blood into the surrounding tissues. Waste products and carbon dioxide then move from the tissues into the capillaries and then into veins for the trip up to eventually reach the lungs, liver and kidneys where the waste products are removed.


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