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Tuesday, October 27, 2020
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  • Restless leg syndrome can really shake things up
    Monday, October 26, 2020 4:00 AM
    Someone told me the other day that they thought “restless leg syndrome” (RLS) was dreamt up by pharmaceutical companies to sell more medications. You may have seen commercials for Requip® and Mirapex®, both drugs used to treat this condition.
    People have described symptoms suggestive of restless legs since the 17th Century.
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  • Exercising is not just for the young
    Monday, October 19, 2020 4:00 AM
    “All parts of the body if used in moderation and exercised in labors to which each is accustomed, become thereby healthy and well developed, and age slowly; but if unused and left idle, they become liable to disease, defective in growth, and age quickly.”
    Hippocrates

    Few things benefit the body more than maintaining physical fitness. While doctors routinely recommend exercise for younger patients, we’re continuing to realize how important it is for our older patients as well. Regular exercise, even in one’s senior years, can still reduce your risk of a number of health conditions, particularly heart attacks, strokes, and falls. It also may be one of the few things that helps slow the onset of dementia.
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  • Rosacea: a skin condition that gives bumps in the night
    Monday, October 12, 2020 4:00 AM
    The comedian W.C. Fields once said, “I never drink water; that is the stuff that rusts pipes.” This referred to his penchant for drinking alcohol. So what do alcohol and W.C. Fields have to do with this week’s topic of rosacea? Read on. 
    Rosacea is a common skin condition usually found on the face, which can be a great source of consternation. It is a disease with various clinical signs. These can include redness, flushing, coarse skin, and bumps and pustules resembling acne. It may also present with visible tiny superficial blood vessels called telangiectasias. 
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  • Hearing Trouble? Hearing difficulties are an issue many face
    Monday, October 5, 2020 4:00 AM
    A patient whose mother is having hearing difficulties asked me to write about the best way to purchase hearing aids. I’d like to begin with some background on hearing.
    It goes without saying that hearing is one of our most important senses. It is critical for our quality of life as well as for safety and social interaction. 
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  • Head lice and nits that nip at your head
    Monday, September 28, 2020 4:00 AM
    I’m starting to see a few cases of head lice now that kids are back in school. Head lice are white, and about the size of a sesame seed. They are known as obligate ectoparasites. Obligate means they require a placental mammal host to survive (i.e. humans) and ectoparasites means they live outside the human body. They must feed on the host’s blood to survive and can't live off of a body for more than a day or so. 
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  • Screening for cardiovascular disease and lung cancer
    Monday, September 21, 2020 4:00 AM
    Doctors nationwide have been seeing a definite uptick in patients going to hospitals and imaging centers to have various screening tests done. The most common are heart and lung CT exams and sometimes ultrasound tests to evaluate for blockages in the arteries in the neck and legs. The scans typically have out-of-pocket costs in the $49 to $99 range and are not covered by insurance. They are promoted to identify early heart disease, artery blockages and/or lung cancer.
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  • Shingles: a rash, a virus and relief with a vaccine
    Monday, September 14, 2020 4:00 AM
    I’ve had a number of requests to re-run my column on shingles. I think the increased interest has been brought on by the television ads for Shingrix® vaccine to help prevent shingles. These ads are quite accurate and compelling.
    Shingles is a condition caused by the Varicella-zoster virus (VZV). The virus is also known as chickenpox virus, varicella virus, and zoster virus. It is a member of the herpes virus family, of which eight strains are known to infect humans. 
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  • What advance directives are appropriate and available
    Monday, September 7, 2020 4:00 AM
    Health care at the end of life has been a popular discussion topic over the last few years as we attempt to find ways to deliver compassionate, more cost effective care. Excellent books such as Dr. Atul Gwande’s, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, have also popularized the topic. 
    As a family physician, I see it as my professional obligation to discuss end of life planning and care with my patients. In fact, when appropriate, I would consider it negligent to not have these discussions. 
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  • Thinking about the influenza virus and it’s effects
    Monday, August 31, 2020 4:00 AM
    Fall will soon be here and it’s time to start thinking about the flu. Most people us 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.
    Records since 2010 indicate the number of deaths from influenza has ranged from 12,000 to 79,000 per year.
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  • What is nail fungus? How to rid yourself of it
    Monday, August 24, 2020 4:00 AM
    I recently had to remove some toenails. Why on earth would someone want that done? Because they were infected with fungus. The medical term for a fungal infection of the toenails or fingernails is tinea unguium, also known as onychomycosis (OM).
    This condition is generally more of a nuisance than a real health threat. However, infected nails can become quite enlarged and painful. Diabetics and people who have poorly functioning immune systems need to be concerned about OM. Infected nails in these folks can lead to inflammation of the skin around the nails and entry of skin bacteria that can lead to serious skin and even bone infections.
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  • Leaflets three…let it be! Poison Ivy, sumac, and oak.
    Monday, August 17, 2020 4:00 AM
    The weather looks like it’s going to break a bit allowing many of our readers to get back out in the yard to prepare for fall. This will probably result in a lot of rashes showing up in our office. Most of the rashes we see in the summer are caused by poison ivy, one of three plants in Indiana in the genus Toxicodendron. This genus also includes poison sumac, and poison oak.
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  • The time of year means rising numbers of ticks and Lyme Disease
    Monday, August 10, 2020 4:00 AM
    The arrival of warm weather each 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. Indiana had been seeing an increasing number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease, particularly since 2013. The most recent statistics from 2017 showed 143 confirmed cases in Indiana, slightly down from 154 the previous year.
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  • Bursitis inflammation and how to treat it
    Monday, August 3, 2020 4:00 AM
    The joy of summer sports and yard work has resulted in a number of patients coming to see me (mostly virtually) complaining of sore shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. Many of these folks have been suffering from bursitis. Most of you have probably heard the term, but what is it?
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  • Concussions and dealing with sports related trauma
    Tuesday, July 28, 2020 4:00 AM
    We continue to see quite a few kids in our office each year with concussions. Usually this is an athletic injury, but it is commonly seen in others as well. Concussions have always been a part of sports, especially those involving high-energy collisions, particularly football, soccer, hockey and basketball. Intensive research, along with lawsuits like the one the NFL Players Association brought against the NFL, are causing research to move rapidly to help us get a firmer grasp on how to prevent and manage concussions.
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  • Women need to know their risks of heart disease
    Monday, July 20, 2020 4:00 AM
    I continue to be amazed when I ask ladies what the number one killer of women is, the majority respond, “breast cancer.” While breast cancer is the number one cancer killer of women, and is estimated to have claimed about 40,000 women last year, it is not the biggest threat women face. Ten times that many died of heart disease last year.
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