FUNNY….AND TRUE

When patients seek my care for their health conditions, are often explain to them what I offer as their Internist.

I am a Hopkins-trained medical scientist…..that is my stock in trade.   My validation is based on a host of definitive facts and innovations that include:  organ transplant (liver, kidney, lung, heart) , anesthesia (general and local), antibiotics (penicillin, sulfa, etc…) , development of hormone therapies (thyroid, cortisol, etc….) , curing of specific cancers including (specific leukemias and lymphomas among others), resolution or curing of infections (HIV and Hepatitis C), acute heart care (stents, balloon angioplasty, valve replacement) ….the list is long

When patients are interested in alternative modes of medicine, I tell them they are welcome to try such, but this is not in my wheelhouse.  I find the treatments quaint and ineffective for the most part, but I’m not ‘against’ trying approaches that are not validated, so long as one does not forgo effective traditional treatments and so long as the treatment is not harmful or immensely costly.

This hilarious video from England demonstrates what the world might be like without effective medical science….I think we can all laugh at that.   See it  >>>>HERE<<<<

PPI’S DO NOT CAUSE DEMENTIA

PPI medications are among the most commonly prescribed in the world, and have virtually banished ulcer disease to the dustbin of history.   Prilosec and Nexium are the ones you know best, but there are many other brands.

Recently, I have defended PPI medication long-term use against a barrage of negative press suggesting a whole host of side-effects that would descend on those who chose to continue on these medications for long-term acid suppression.

Fortunately, there are some studies being done to investigate this issue further and a recent well-done trial from Finland shows the safety of PPI medications and the lack of connection between PPI’s and dementia.

This is not the last word on the topic, but we shall take a more level-headed approach to the issue and try to maintain a semblance of balance and calm in the face of ‘sexy’ topics and criticisms.

Read more >>>>HERE<<<<

A PATIENT ASKS ABOUT AMAUROSIS FUGAX AND I RESPOND

A patient writes:

My friend told me he had a TIA in his left eye, something I had not heard of.   Can you tell me more?

My response:

A TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) is a brief episode of blood loss to an area of the central nervous system, which results in transient symptoms that then resolve to baseline without injury.  This is opposed to a stroke which leaves damaged nerves and results in residual symptoms.

A TIA in the central retinal artery that supplies blood to the retina (nerve of the eye) will result in transient loss of vision in the affected eye.  Termed Amaurosis Fugax (latin translation ‘darkness fleeting’), the patient experiences complete loss of vision in the eye that is perceived  as a shade being pulled down, but symptoms can vary with a grayness or blackness that lasts for several seconds to minutes.  It resolves completely with normal vision restored.

Amaurosis is a serious condition in that it indicates the potential for future TIA events or even strokes, so an evaluation is essential to determine the cause of the event and to institute preventive measures.

If you have loss of vision in an eye, even if transient, it is an urgent issue that requires attention.  Never ignore such symptoms.   Immediately check each eye by covering the other eye and checking your vision.  Determining if the vision loss is in one eye or is affecting both eyes in the same visual field is an important distinction, so doing this test yourself at the time of symptoms is a key element in diagnosis.   Check out your vision this way and you will help in determining the diagnosis and the proper evaluation to be done.