Dr. Toni Brayer, Medical Advisor for MyLifeStages, discusses the rapid changes in science, medicine, health and healing, addressing issues of interest to everyone who wants a healthy life and increased longevity.
Kidney stones (nephrolithiasis) affects 1 in 11 people in the U.S. Some say its the worst pain they have ever experienced. There are a number of causes for these stones, including diet, hereditary, chronic urinary infections, gastric bypass surgery or inflammatory bowel disease, and other medical conditions. Sometimes we just don't know the cause, although they are more prevalent in men than in women.
Patients with acute flank pan often show up in the emergency department with severe pain. Because other things can cause abdominal or back pain, patients will often undergo lots of tests (cat scans, ultrasounds, etc.) to determine the cause. The British Medical Journal has published a study that shows a clinical prediction rule that proved valid in determining that the patient did, in fact, have a kidney stone. Here is what they found:
When you turn 50 years old, you enter the "procedure years". Fifty is the magic age for getting a screening colonoscopy. Why age 50? Most gastrointestinal cancers are more prevalent as a person ages.
So guidelines are set to benefit the largest numbers of patients by recommending "screening" tests to detect cancer while it can still be removed completely and cured. The key word here is screening. That means there are no symptoms and the doctor is just doing surveillance.
If a person has symptoms, family genetic cancers or other conditions that increase the chance of cancer the magic age of 50 doesn't apply and colonoscopy can be done at any time to diagnose a problem.
Millions of intelligent Americans are spending money on supplements that have no proven benefit in health or longevity and are ignoring what numerous studies have shown; preventing disease and dementia is all about the food you eat. This is real science with reproduced results in numerous studies.
Here it is, folks. Change your diet and change your life:
Diets high in fruits, vegetables, fish, plant oils, nuts and whole grains, with lower intakes of sugar, processed meat, and animal fats, are likely to be the best bet in supporting the health of our brain as well as the rest of our body.
The "I feel awful" season is upon us. I challenge any reader to say they don't know someone who is out sick with some type of upper respiratory infection. Congestion, cough, body aches and fatigue can hit even if you wash your hands and take precautions. So how can you tell if it is a viral cold or influenza? And does it really matter since they are both viruses?
The symptoms of a cold or the flu can be quite similar and hard to tell the difference but here are some differentiating tips that doctors know and you can use too.
I am fascinated by the new research and information on the gut microbiome. These microorganisms (germs, bacteria, microbes) live harmoniously in every part of our body and especially in our gastrointestinal system.
It wasn't even really discovered until the late 1990s and we now know that these microbial communities affect our health in ways we never dreamed. The human microbiome may play a role in obesity, immune response, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, and maybe even anxiety, depression and autism.
Dr. Toni Brayer has practiced Internal Medicine in San Francisco for over 20 years. She graduated Cum laude from the University of Arizona College of Medicine and she is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians. Dr. Brayer has served as President of the San Francisco Medical Society and Chief of Staff at California Pacific Medical Center, and is currently the Regional Chief Medical Officer at Sutter Health, as well as the Medical Advisor for the MyLifeStages program . She is a known speaker and writer on a variety medical topics.