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.
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.
I have been too swamped to blog recently on Everything Health, spending lots of time with my physician colleagues (as well as patients). I realized that doctors are really not normal when it comes to a few things. Here is a list of things doctors do that normal people don't. You may have more to add!
I'm sure I'll hear from my nurse and doctor readers, or spouses of medical people if I got something wrong.
I've pulled my head up from frantic medical work just in time to give faithful readers 15 Myths that are being spread about Obamacare.
I have been first to admit that the government has done a lousy job of explaining the plan and it is no wonder the Tea Party has had a field day with mis-information.
But now that sign-ups for the Exchanges are open to the uninsured and under-insured population, these are the lies you should avoid:
There is plenty to be mad at the government about. The fact that the Tea Party has literally shut down government is atrocious and bad for mankind and bad for business.
If baby boomers weren't special enough, now the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has singled them out as a special group to be screened for Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Individuals born between 1945 and 1965 are recommended to undergo this one-time blood test screening because they are at high risk for the virus.
What is it about this age group that gets special notice? According to the Centers for Disease Control, baby boomers account for three out of four people with HCV. Many of them contracted hepatitis C from blood transfusions or needle procedures before we had a screening test for the virus. Others may have caught it from high risk behaviors like injecting drugs, HIV or piercing or tattoos in unclean environments. It is less common to contract it through sexual relations but it can happen.
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.