The fact that Amber Miller did not fall or faint or develop complications while running in the Chicago Marathon is nothing short of a miracle. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. What on earth was her physician thinking when she was given the green light to half-run half-walk a 26.2 mile marathon? Miller was not your usual runner; she was approximately 39 weeks pregnant. Although pregnant women ...

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The health benefits of exercise are well-established.  A recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that one’s fitness level, as measured a person’s one mile run speed, compared to other cardiovascular risk factors, was the best single predictor of heart attack risk and life span. Studies have shown that regular exercise reduces one’s risk of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.  Exercise has been shown to ...

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Firefighters are heroes because they run into a burning building. They run towards a fire, risking their lives to save others. No one would doubt that they are heroic, but most will wonder how this is even possible. How is it that some people can ignore our innate drives to survive to instead, help others do just that? Doctors are not typically equated with this type of heroic measure, we give ...

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Frankly, it rankles me when people use the term "healthy fats."  We don't make a distinction like that when we're talking about carbohydrates, although there are certainly carbs that are nutritious and carbs that are not. Consider the Atkins diet.  I like to believe that Dr. Atkins was on the right track, but that he had some of the details wrong.  Clearly, he realized that there was something about carbohydrate in ...

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A recent study confirmed that the doctor’s office may be one of the worst places to determine if your blood pressure is under control. The automatic rise in tension many people experience when they are being scrutinized contributes to artificially high blood pressure readings. Although many times the only way improve one’s blood pressure is through treatment (such as medication, a low salt diet, and weight loss), other times ...

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I see five major themes in cancer care advances: new approaches to screening and diagnosis, better understanding of the role of viruses as causative agents, targeted therapies, new technologies and improved approaches to ensuring better quality of life. Screening for the most common major cancers has been straight forward for years – women should get an annual mammogram and Pap smear, men should get a PSA test annually, both should get ...

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The longer I continue in practice, the more complex it becomes.  I thought advances in our understanding of the molecular basis of cancer would clarify decision making ; instead answers have led to more questions.  In the spirit of the immortal Henny Youngman:  Take the issue of cancer screening, please. The story of screening for colorectal cancer (CRC) and prostate cancer has many similarities.  The primary screening and diagnostic tool during ...

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Several years ago, during an annual mammogram, my wife, who is in her 40s, was told a mass had been found in one of her breasts. Anxious and uncertain, she had a biopsy, and we braced for the worst. My father-in-law, when in his 50s, went through a similarly harrowing experience when a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test given during a routine physical exam came out positive, and he underwent a ...

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Before going any further, the title to a Los Angeles Times story was "Adele to have surgery to treat vocal cord hemorrhage. What is it?" I sincerely hope that whomever her surgeon is knows not to perform surgery when the vocal cord is in the middle of a hemorrhage. You do the surgery when the hemorrhage is gone and the culprit blood vessel is left behind which likely is the reason ...

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Recently, the media has reported that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has broadened its 2000-2001 guidelines for the diagnosis of and treatment of ADHD. While the prior guidelines focused on children from ages 6 to 12, the new guidelines cover ages 4 to 18. The story is being covered by the media with lead-ins such as saying that AAP is "expanding the age range for diagnosis and treatment." This is ...

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