Too much of a good thing (aka – Doctors make the worst patients)

Too much of a good thing (aka – Doctors make the worst patients)

By:  Sasha Klemawesch, MD   Like many Americans, I go on and off “health kicks”.  You know, periods of time when you’re exercising, eating right and “doing everything you’re supposed to”.  On my most recent one, I decided I should start supplementing my diet with vitamins, calcium, iron, etc.  The problem is, they make those dang gummies so tasty!  For several weeks I was taking 2-3 times the recommended amount every day, and I couldn’t figure out why I had…

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Triclosan and Antibiotic Resistance

Triclosan and Antibiotic Resistance

The New England Journal of Medicine recently published research regarding triclosan and its effect on bacteria. Triclosan is a poly-chlorinated aromatic compound that targets fatty acid synthesis.  It is found in household items such as some toothpastes, deodorants, and shaving creams.  It is added to these products because of its antimicrobial properties.  Measurable levels of triclosan can be found in the urine of 10% of Americans. Unfortunately, chronic low-level exposure to triclosan can lead to bacteria becoming resistant to medicinal…

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Got Milk?

Got Milk?

By:  Sasha Klemawesch, MD If you are a dairy lover who is also unfortunately lactose intolerant (and therefore, dependent on taking Lactaid capsules every time you want to eat some cheese or drink a milkshake), good news!  You may be able to scrap those pills! Studies have shown that lactose intolerant patients who have regularly consumed dairy products (aided by Lactaid capsules), are often able to stop the pills after a few years.  Because they were partaking in dairy on…

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Supplement Sources

Supplement Sources

By:  Sasha Klemawesch, MD If the previous article freaked you out about taking supplements, here is a list of common things people often take in pill form and corresponding foods which they could instead be eating to reap the same (or better) benefits.  Every registered dietitian I’ve ever encountered says the same thing; “save your money”!  You don’t need oodles of vitamins and mineral tablets if you are eating a healthy balanced diet.  And the majority of the ingredients you…

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Dear Dr. K;

Dear Dr. K;

I read about a vaccine given to cats to make them less allergenic.  Is that true? Not only is it true, but it works.  Swiss scientists coupled cat feline protein number one (the cause of most human cat allergy) to a cucumber mosaic virus and vaccinated cats.  The vaccine was safe for the cats and led to a marked reduction in their feline protein number one. This research could provide a revolutionary new approach to humans with cat allergy:  making…

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Q – Tips: COPD

Q – Tips: COPD

Patients with COPD can have an exacerbation of their breathing problem for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes it is due to infection, but not always.  The New England Journal of Medicine just published research that indicated a very simple test that can determine if the exacerbation is due to infection (and therefore should be treated with antibiotics) is to measure a C-reactive protein (CRP).  If it is elevated, it indicates infection.

Q – Tips: Vancomycin

Q – Tips: Vancomycin

Vancomycin is a strong antibiotic that has found a great utility in treating serious drug resistant infections.  Generally it is a safe choice, but in a small percentage of patients it can cause a severe systemic allergy. New research has discovered that a gene called HLA-A 32:01 is the factor predisposing to this allergic response.

Dear Dr K:

Dear Dr K:

You tested me to see if my childhood recollection of penicillin allergy was still valid.  Even though the tests showed I was not allergic my PCP still won’t prescribe it when I need an antibiotic.  Why the reluctance? The simple and short answers are; medical malpractice and labeling.  Roughly 10% of malpractice suits are concerning medication errors.  Physicians are aware of this.  For some reason, once a person is labeled as “penicillin allergic” there is great reluctance to remove this…

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Shocking News!

Shocking News!

By: Sasha Klemawesch, MD   Electrically augmented wound healing may seem farfetched.  I mean, most people were taught not to stick their finger in the light socket.  So, exploiting electricity to help heal wounds may seem ludicrous.  But when you think about it, doctors have been using electricity in various forms for years.  Even back in ancient Greece, there is evidence of electric eels being used in foot basins to help with circulation and pain.  Nowadays, Pacemakers and AICD’s (implantable…

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