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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A Truly Crappy Treatment

A Truly Crappy Treatment

By: Sasha Klemawesch, MD   Many people have heard of C-diff.  If infected, you could be stuck at home in your bathroom with annoying (but benign) diarrhea, or you may wind up in surgery or the ICU with life threatening complications.  And while many people have heard of the disease, few are aware of how difficult it can be to eradicate. Now get ready for a scary fact.  You might have C-diff.  Yes, you.  In fact, up to 3% of…

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So, what to do? Have some poop…

So, what to do? Have some poop…

By: Sasha Klemawesch, MD   It may sound crazy, but cure rates for FMT (fecal microbiota transplant) are typically over 90% for recurrent cases.  What is FMT you ask?  Basically, a poop slushy.  Sounds gross, but that’s what it is; poop is taken from a healthy donor who has been thoroughly screened for pathogenic bacteria.  It is then filtered, mixed with liquid and administered to the recipient patient in one of several ways; either capsule pills, NGT or endoscopy (tube…

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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.