Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

I have seen many people who suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel is very common, often a result of repetitive injury at home or in the workplace. It is one of a number of repetitive strain injuries or “RSIs.” Carpal tunnel symptoms usually include numbness and/or pain in the hand and wrist that may…

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Answering Questions About Ovarian Cancer

I’ve had some questions recently about cancer of the ovaries so I’ll try and tackle this complex subject. Ovarian cancer is frightening because it is often very advanced before a woman receives a diagnosis. Most women present with stage III disease meaning the cancer has spread outside the ovary into the abdominal cavity and/or lymph…

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Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Thanks to Jill who asked me to write about lupus. Lupus is the common name for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. It is an autoimmune disease first described by the physician Rogerius in the 12th Century. The origin of the name is uncertain, but one of the most popular is that many lupus sufferers have a rash…

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Improving Neuropathic Pain

I received a request from a reader to address sciatica. She has been suffering severe chronic pain from this condition. Rather than address just sciatica, I thought I would address the broader topic of neuropathic pain or “neuralgia.” Neuropathic pain is just that – pain that originates from the nerves themselves. This pain is usually…

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Restless Leg Syndrome

Someone told me the other day that they thought “restless leg syndrome” (RLS) was a condition cooked up by pharmaceutical companies to sell 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. The Swedish neurologist…

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Exercise Is Not Just For The Young

“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…

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What You Should Know About Cold Sores

I saw a patient with a rather large “cold sore” on his upper lip the other day and he asked me to write a column on this unsightly condition. People use the term “cold sore” to describe different types of lesions that occur on the lips or inside the mouth. I have not been able…

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I Can’t Sleep Doc, What Should I Do? Part 2

This week I want to focus on basic prevention and treatments for insomnia. If the cause of insomnia is not readily identifiable it’s helpful to keep a sleep diary 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…

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I Can’t Sleep Doc, What Should I Do?

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…

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Pink Eye; Cause, Treatment and Prevention

Now that schools are back in session, the incidence of “pink eye” will likely start to pick up. This is a very common condition that accounts for over 30 percent of patient visits for eye problems. Conjunctivitis is the medical term for “pink eye.” The conjunctiva is the continuous connective tissue membrane that covers the…

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