As I begin my fifth year writing this column, I’d like to thank my readers for the encouraging feedback I’ve received from so many of you.
Today I’d like to share with you what I consider the highlights from some of my columns this past year.
– Diabetes: Adult-onset diabetes can be prevented by exercise, diet and weight control.
– Sugar: Sugar comes in a variety of forms and in and of itself is not unhealthy, but excessive intake of sugar leads to obesity, which contributes to poor health.
– Smoking: Smoking causes one out of five deaths each year in the United States and damages almost every organ in the body.
– Deep-vein thrombosis (blood clots): If you have had recent surgery or prolonged bed rest, recently traveled or are pregnant and you have pain or swelling in a lower leg, you might have a blood clot and need immediate medical attention.
– Senior moments: We all have “senior moments” from time to time, with occasional memory loss, but if these moments persist, worsen or interfere with daily activity, medical attention is needed.
– Radiation: We are exposed daily to radiation both natural and manmade. The more we can prevent such exposure by limiting excessive medical and dental x-rays and checking our homes for radon, the healthier we will be.
– Dizziness: This is a common condition but usually not serious. However, if symptoms are persistent or troublesome, a medical evaluation is necessary.
– Colon cancer: This cancer, if found early, has a very favorable cure rate — so talk to your doctor if you are 50 years or older, have a family history of colon cancer, or have rectal bleeding or any change of bowel habits.
– Bedbugs: When arriving home from a stay in a hotel, unpack your suitcase as far away from your bed as possible.
– Meningitis: Common symptoms include bad headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting; this is a serious infection, which can occasionally be deadly.
– Treatment of upper respiratory symptoms in children: Avoid over-the-counter cold and flu medications for children younger than 4 years of age, except for acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil). Both of these medications can be used in the proper dose for treating fever or pain.
– Non-physician health care providers: Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are very well trained to care for most patients’ needs when working with their supervising physician partners.