Dr. John Roberts - The Paper of Montgomery County
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Monday, September 27, 2021
  • Readers are itching to talk about shingles again
    Monday, September 20, 2021 4:00 AM
    I’ve had a number of requests to re-run my column on shingles. This is likely due to the successful marketing campaign for Shingrix® vaccine, developed to reduce the incidence of this often painful malady. The 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 one of eight types of herpes viruses that infect humans. 
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  • Advance directives and end of life care
    Monday, September 13, 2021 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. Hundreds of thousands of people dying from COVID-19 has also brought the subject into sharp focus.
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  • Dealing with nail fungus? Know it to kill it
    Monday, September 6, 2021 4:00 AM
    I recently had to remove some toenails (using anesthesia). This was a last ditch effort to help someone get rid of their toenails that 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.
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  • Lyme Disease worries as the weather warms up
    Monday, August 30, 2021 4:00 AM
    Warm summer weather means we have to worry 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. The number of cases in Indiana has varied over the years, but generally has increased since around 2013. The most recent statistics from 2019 showed 102 confirmed and 87 presumed cases in Indiana, slightly down from the previous year.
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  • What causes Bursitis and how do you treat it?
    Monday, August 23, 2021 4:00 AM
    The joy of summer sports and yard work has resulted in a number of patients coming to see me with complaints of sore shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. Most of these folks were suffering from bursitis. Most of you have probably heard the term, but what is it? 
    Any time a medical term ends in the suffix “itis” it indicates inflammation of the tissue or organ involved. In this case, bursitis is inflammation of a bursa (pleural bursae or bursas).
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  • Dealing with concussions and other impact related injuries
    Monday, August 16, 2021 4:00 AM
    I see a number of patients each year who have suffered a concussion. Usually this is an athletic injury, but it is commonly seen in others as well. Concussions have always been a part of sports, particularly those involving high-energy impacts including football, wrestling, soccer, lacrosse, 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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  • What is the biggest threat to women’s health?
    Monday, August 9, 2021 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 die of heart disease in a typical year.
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  • How you get, take care of, and treat stress fractures
    Monday, August 2, 2021 4:00 AM
    I saw a young athlete last week who complained of shin pain. He had been upping his running mileage in preparation for the cross country season. His pain was due to a stress fracture. It is estimated that between 5 and 30 percent of athletes develop a stress fracture each year. Briefhaupt first described the condition in 1855 when examining military recruits, a group that is at high risk for stress fractures.
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  • Becoming a member of the kidney stones club
    Monday, July 26, 2021 4:00 AM
    Kidney stones are a topic near and dear to my heart as I’m a member of the club. Stones are also known as calculi, from the Latin for pebble. They can be found in the kidneys (renal calculi or nephrolithiasis) or move down the ureters, the tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder (ureteral calculi or urolithiasis). Stones may also be found in the bladder.
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  • Should you buy name brand medications or generics?
    Monday, July 19, 2021 4:00 AM
    This week I want to tackle the subject of generic vs. name brand medications. There are a number of reasons this topic is important. First of all, medications in general have become prohibitively expensive for many patients. Insurance companies are also pressuring patients and physicians to prescribe generics whenever possible to reduce health care costs. This is generally a good thing, with some exceptions.
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  • Swimmer’s ear and how to avoid this hot and irritating infection
    Monday, July 12, 2021 4:00 AM
    We’re in the middle of swim season and I’ve been seeing patients complaining of “swimmer’s ear.” Doctors tend to see more of this malady in hot, humid weather, but it can also be the result of other conditions as well.
    The medical term for swimmer’s ear is otitis externa, indicating inflammation of the ear canal and, less frequently, the external ear. This is in contrast to the more common otitis media, or infection of the middle ear (the air filled cavity just behind the ear drum).
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  • Urinary tract infections and how to best avoid them
    Monday, July 5, 2021 4:00 AM
    Urinary tract infections (UTIs) account for about eight million doctor visits each year in the United States. These infections are much more common in adults, particularly in women. Children account for one to two percent of all UTIs, but their infections are often more serious. About 40 percent of women and 12 percent of men have a UTI at some time in their lives.
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  • Heat-related emergencies start to rise significantly with the summer months
    Monday, June 28, 2021 4:00 AM
    Now that we’re officially out of, it’s time to start thinking about the dog days of summer. Although I don’t see a significant number of heat-related emergencies in my office, many patients do end up in emergency departments suffering from heat illness.
    These illnesses account for tens of thousands of visits each year to doctors’ offices and emergency rooms. 
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  • Incidences of meningitis and how it affects people
    Monday, June 21, 2021 4:00 AM
    The mother of one of my patients asked me to write about meningitis. Meningitis is a very rare condition. The incidence of all types of bacterial meningitis in the United States is about two to three cases per 100,000 people per year, while viruses cause about 11 cases per 100,000 per year. I frequently witnessed the devastation of meningitis during my medical training in the 1980s. However, with the advent of vaccines to prevent the most common causes, physicians rarely see a case today.
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  • Reviewing food safety as we approach barbecue season
    Monday, June 14, 2021 4:00 AM
    Barbecue season is in full swing and it’s a good time to review food safety. Foodborne illness (food poisoning) is something that almost all of us have experienced at some point in our lives.
    Foodborne illness is defined as more than two people having a similar illness with evidence of food as the source. 
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The Paper of Montgomery County,
a division of Sagamore News Media 
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