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home : columnists : dr. john roberts September 30, 2014


Back by popular demand . . . Here is more on shingles
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 been suffering recently from this malady, one quite severely.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
When your eye looks red, don't touch it
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 21, 2014
How diabetes is diagnosed and treated
Last week I went over some of the basic biology of diabetes. This week I would like to explore how it is diagnosed and treated.

It's estimated that seven million people the U.S. are going about their daily lives unaware that they are diabetic. Many have no symptoms, and those who do often ignore them or are not aware they should be concerned.

Monday, September 15, 2014
Diabetes was first described in Egypt
Diabetes was first described in Egypt about 3,500 years ago. The name diabetes means "to pass through," referring to the frequent urination that occurs in diabetics. The urine also contains glucose, a sugar, hence the name mellitus from the Latin mel which translates to honey. In fact, many physicians in years past diagnosed the disease by watching the attraction of insects, particularly ants, to a patient's urine. Some bold physicians even went so far as to do a little taste test (thank goodness for the development of the urine dipstick)!
Monday, September 8, 2014
Colorectal cancer screening is essential
This week I want to talk about screening for colorectal cancer (CRC). Fortunately, screening for this type of cancer has become more common due to increased public awareness aided by campaigns such as CDC's Screen for Life www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/sfl/.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Swimmer's Ear can begin in number of ways
I've seen a fair number of cases of swimmer's ear in the last few weeks. We tend to see more cases of this in hot, humid weather, but it can also be brought on by other conditions.

The medical term for swimmer's ear is otitis externa, indicating inflammation of the external ear. This is in contrast to the more common otitis media, or inflammation of the middle ear (the part of the ear behind the ear drum).

The number of people who suffer from swimmer's ear is about four per 1,000 per year, or about three to five percent of the population.

Monday, August 18, 2014
Concussion: 'I got my bell rung'
Fall sports season is here and I've already seen a few athletes who have suffered concussions. Concussions have always been a part of sports, especially those involving high-energy collisions such as football, soccer, hockey and basketball. I'm sure you have read or heard that research is allowing us to get a firmer grasp on how to manage concussed athletes.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Stress Fractures
I saw a young athlete last week complaining of shin pain. The source of the pain was a stress fracture. It is estimated that between five and 30 percent of athletes and military recruits develop a stress fracture each year. Briefhaupt was the first person to describe the condition in military recruits in 1855.

Everyone is familiar with bone fractures, especially those that result from acute trauma. These fractures are usually easy for an untrained person to see on an X-ray - the bone looks like a broken stick. Stress fractures, however, can be much more difficult to diagnose.

Monday, August 4, 2014
Science-based medicine
I'm writing this as we're getting closer to the full implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). No matter whether or not you support the ACA, the underlying impetus for the law remains - the health care "system" in our country is in serious trouble. One of the concepts addressed in the ACA is the requirement that medical treatments are to be studied thoroughly and be based on the best scientific and medical evidence available.
Monday, July 28, 2014
Lyme Disease
The arrival of warm weather this year means we have to start worrying a little bit 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.

Lyme Disease was named in the late 1970s when an outbreak of arthritis in children occurred around the town of Lyme, Connecticut. The actual disease has been described since the early 1900s.

Monday, July 21, 2014


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