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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Q – Tips: Inhaler use

Q – Tips: Inhaler use

A recent study found that fewer than 50% of asthmatics were compliant with their inhaler use if they didn’t like the device.  Since asthma inhalers come in a variety of formats, be sure to discuss your preference with the prescribing doctor.

Beware the Nocturnal Predator

Beware the Nocturnal Predator

For many years now, asthma has been referred to as “The Nocturnal Predator” because of its tendency to exacerbate at night.  The traditional explanation given was due to our normal circadian variation in adrenal gland output.  Our adrenal glands produce two hormones that are an innate treatment for asthma: adrenalin and cortisone.  In fact, many of the pharmaceutical therapies for asthma mimic the body in that they contain forms of adrenalin and cortisone. Our adrenal glands “wake up” about an…

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Food Allergy/Undeclared Ingredients

Food Allergy/Undeclared Ingredients

Researchers at Utrecht University in the Netherlands recently published a study on food allergy reactions due to undeclared ingredients. They studied 73 patients with food allergy who had a reaction even though they thought they were avoiding their known food allergies.  In 22 patients the scientists could find no explanation for the allergic attack.   But in 51 cases analysis of the offending food revealed one to four culprit allergens not listed under “ingredients”. The most common “undeclared food” was milk…

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Hearing Protein Discovered

Hearing Protein Discovered

The key sensory proteins for pain, touch, taste, smell and sight have all been identified.  In fact, their discoveries have been so important to health wellness that they have led to a number of Nobel Prize awards.  However, for forty years the protein for hearing has eluded scientific research.  But not any longer, neuroscientists have discovered it.  It is named TMC-1 (trans-membrane channel-like protein) and it works via a calcium channel in the inner ear.  It stimulates the inner ear…

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Novel Nasal Polyp Treatment

Novel Nasal Polyp Treatment

The FDA has recently approved “Sinuva”, a sinus implant to treat nasal polyps.  Up to 25% of patients with allergic rhino-sinusitis develop nasal polyps.  The polyps can cause nasal discharge, chronic congestion, snoring, tendency to sinus infection and loss of sense of smell.  Often the polyps can be treated with nasal steroid sprays and with leukotriene modifier pills such as Singular or Accolate. But, for some patient’s surgery is the only option.  Unfortunately, in many surgical patients the polyps often…

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