When was Your Last Tetanus Shot?

Since it’s time for everyone’s annual FLU VACCINE, I thought I’d take a few posts and reflect on a couple other vaccines. Today, let’s talk about the TETANUS vaccine.

What does the tetanus vaccine do? Most people have heard that if you “step on a rusty nail”, you should make sure you are up to date on your tetanus booster. Actually, this should be true for any significant breaks in the skin such as burns, puncture wounds or “road rash”.  The tetanus vaccine boosts our immunity to the bacteria called Clostridium tetani, an organism that lives all around us, but … Read more

Restless Legs Keeping You Awake?

Do your legs ache, squirm, feel antsy and seem to want to MOVE to get comfortable when you try to go to sleep at night? How about during the day- do you need to get up and walk around to relieve that same irritating sensation in your legs when you are supposed to be sitting in a meeting or parking yourself in front of a computer? Does walking around or at least moving your legs relieve the discomfort? If so, you may be one of the estimated 3-15% of the population with a disorder known as restless leg syndrome (RLS).… Read more

Can’t Sleep? You’re Not Alone…

One in ten American adults have suffer from insomnia (defined as inability to adequately sleep for at least fourteen consecutive nights). Whether it is trouble with falling asleep or difficulty staying asleep (waking up either multiple times or simply way too early), this lack of restorative sleep leads to more than simply daytime fatigue. Sleep deprivation causes trouble with concentration and memory, irritability and other mood disturbances, and actually can lead to higher rates of infection, diabetes, heart disease, and cancers. As such, I’m going to spend the next several blog entries talking about insomnia issues and solutions.

While some … Read more

I Got Mine! Did You Get Yours?

As we zip into the holiday season, give yourself the GIFT of a flu vaccine NOW so you are not struck down with this illness at the busiest time of year! Flu shots have been available for a few weeks and seem to be available everywhere.  Clinics, schools, grocery stores, pharmacies and many employers are all offering flu shots these days. Add a flu shot to your grocery list- I’ll bet the pharmacy there is stocked and you won’t even have to add an extra stop on your weekly errands.

Who should get the flu vaccine?
The Center for Disease … Read more

It’s BA-ACK! Halloween Candy

Despite the 90 degree days we are still having in Texas, the calendar tells me it is already OCTOBER. Of course, the grocery stores have been featuring HALLOWEEN CANDY for nearly a month already! Did you resist? Or are you tossing in a bag of bite-sized candy on impulse as you check out?

If so, it’s high time to realize that we are now officially in what I call the “treat yourself” season, as we hit the trifecta of food oriented holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hanukkah. We tend to celebrate with nonstop EATING, and then what do we do every … Read more

High Heeled Danger!

Attention female shoe lovers– if your closet is packed with high heels, especially those with pointy toes,  you may one day find yourself dealing with a medical problem known as a Morton’s neuroma. A Morton’s what, you ask? Morton’s neuroma- a little balled up group of nerve endings (perineural fibrosis, if you want the medical lingo) along the small digital nerve as it passes between your toes, most commonly in the space between your third and fourth toes.

This malady is most common among women in their mid to late 40’s. High heels cause more weight to be transferred … Read more

Cigarettes: The Good News & The Bad News

Let’s start off with the GOOD news – the CDC’s anti-smoking TIPS campaign has turned out to be far more successful than they had dared to hope! Over 1.6 million smokers had a quitting attempt, and at least 200,000 smokers DID QUIT as a direct result of the shocking pictures and stories featured in this unique national program. The Lancet published a wonderful article this week summarizing all the findings: Effect of the First Federally Funded U.S. Antismoking National Media Campaign.

I have always maintained that stories are more powerful than statistics. Sure enough, this campaign is chock-full of stories … Read more

Fruits Helping Diabetics?

Hooray! I was delighted to see a new study about the role of dietary fruit in diabetic patients, entitled
Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies, published this week in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).  Over the years, I have found that many of my diabetic patients purposefully avoid all fruits, fearing that the sugar in fruits will raise their blood sugar values and worsen their diabetes. However, fruits are a wonderfully nutritious part of a healthy diet, and I will forever attest that eating too many fruits or vegetables is … Read more

Golfer’s Elbow: The “Inside” Elbow Problem

Tennis elbow refers to the “outside” elbow pain of lateral epicondylitis. However, if your “inside” elbow is hurting, you may have GOLFER’s elbow, known medically as medial epicondylitis. Both elbow problems are due to overuse injuries, and rarely do they occur in both arms at the same time.

Tennis elbow is much more common than golfer’s elbow, with tennis elbow having a little over 1% prevalence, and golfer’s elbow only 0.4%. Golfer’s elbow is an overuse of the wrist as it flexes and pronates (turns palm down). Interestingly, tennis players with overly tight grips often end up with … Read more

Tennis Elbow: Racquet Optional!

Recently I talked about carpal tunnel syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome of the wrist. Now I’d like to move up a notch and talk about issues with the ELBOW. Interestingly, we’ve got two different “sport” elbow problems- tennis elbow and golf elbow-and yet, you can develop either of these problems without ever picking up a racket or a club. Today, let’s talk about tennis elbow.

The medical name for “tennis elbow” is lateral epicondylitis, and this occurs when the tendons on the outside of the elbow are torn or strained. Typically the symptoms begin with an ache on the … Read more