Have a piercing migraine? Get an ear piercing! (? or maybe not…)

Have a piercing migraine? Get an ear piercing! (? or maybe not…)

If you haven’t heard of a Daith piercing, you are not alone.  That is the proper name for an earring that is placed through that little triangle of cartilage that sits in the front middle of the entrance to our ear canal. Whether this is fashionable or not is almost as debatable as whether or not it can help headaches.  There is a large community of migraine sufferers out there who swear that having a Daith piercing has cured or…

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Dear Dr. K: I’ve been taking fish oil for years, but just showed up “+” to cod on my allergy testing form. Do I need to stop taking it?

Dear Dr. K: I’ve been taking fish oil for years, but just showed up “+” to cod on my allergy testing form. Do I need to stop taking it?

The short answer is NO.  First off, a single plus sign on your testing form represents the mildest of reactions; more of a potential sensitivity than a truly clinically significant allergy (especially if all your other fish and shellfish were negative across the board).  Secondly, even if you did have major atopic complications due to fish or shellfish, those should not translate to fish OIL, since all allergens, by definition, are (molecular-structurally-speaking), proteinaceous.  Fish oil’s name says it all, it…

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Got a Sweet Tooth?

Got a Sweet Tooth?

Maybe not. If you are someone who used to crave salty snacks but recently have found yourself salivating at the thought of a Hershey’s bar, it may not be just a sweet tooth, but in fact, a real medical problem. Chocolate cravings specifically can often be a sign of Hypomagnesemia, since the Cacao plant is one of nature’s biggest magnesium sources.  You may also find yourself craving sweets if you are lacking phosphorus, sulphur, chromium, or tryptophan (although it is…

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Q – Tips: “tastes like chicken”

Q – Tips: “tastes like chicken”

The journal “Pediatrics” recently reported cases of severe (anaphylactic) food allergy to crocodile meat in children known to be allergic to chicken.  Chicken and crocodile share a common protein called a-parvalbumin that can lead to the cross-reactive allergy.  Maybe there is some truth to the old expression “tastes like chicken”.

Q – Tips: Nitric Oxide

Q – Tips: Nitric Oxide

Nitric oxide has recently been found to be an effective therapy for people with “atypical TB” known as Mycobacterium abscessus.  The inhaled nitric oxide gas is an alternative to having to take an oral therapy of three different antibiotics.

Q – Tips: Primatine Mist

Q – Tips: Primatine Mist

The FDA has approved the return of Primatine Mist to OTC (over the counter) availability after its removal in 2011.  Many medical organizations, including the American Thoracic Society, have concerns about its misuse which can lead to asthmatic deaths.  It contains aerosolized epinephrine which can serve as a rescue medication but does not act as a controlling medicine for the asthmatic condition.  Also, pure epinephrine has potential to be a cardiac irritant.

Dear Dr. K –

Dear Dr. K –

Last year my gynecologist started me on Flomax because I feel the need to urinate frequently.  She first gave me Detrol, but that caused severe dry mouth.  The Flomax has worked great and I don’t have to “locate the bathroom first” whenever I go out.  However, since starting it I’ve had sinus congestion that won’t go away.  Are they related? The short answer is “yes”.  Flomax is one of a number of drugs called an alpha blocker.  Other drugs in…

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Bacterial Baptism – All the Rage – or Not so Sage?

Bacterial Baptism – All the Rage – or Not so Sage?

By: Sasha Klemawesch, MD   If you haven’t heard of Bacterial Baptisms, you are not alone.  However, in some communities, the trend of vaginal seeding or “baptism by bacteria” has started to really catch on. The idea behind the movement started due to the theory that when babies are born via C-section, it is a very sterile procedure, and they end up lacking the immediate exposure to the normal bacterial flora that infants for centuries experienced as they made their…

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New Flu Drug

New Flu Drug

Xofluza (baloxavir marboxil) is the first new antiflu medication to be developed in 20 years.  It works by inhibiting Cap-dependent endonuclease, an enzyme essential for influenza virus to multiply itself.  It is very effective and only requires a single oral dose to work.  It is effective against both influenza A and B viruses.  It does need to be taken within the first 48 hours of the flu to be effective. The only other drugs that are currently available to treat…

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An aspirin a day keeps the doctor away?

An aspirin a day keeps the doctor away?

By:  Sasha Klemawesch, MD   Maybe not.  For a long time, people have taken a baby aspirin regularly (with and/or without their physician’s input), because it seemed like conventional wisdom was that it would help with heart health, and after all, it was “just a baby dose”.  However, a recent landmark study has turned the notion of ASA for primary prevention on its head.  Primary prevention means that you are trying to prevent something from every happening in the first…

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