The difference between cold and flu symptoms
In general, a cold is a virus that settles in your sinuses, and flu is a virus that affects your lungs, which is why it can be more serious.
Colds can develop rather slowly, perhaps taking two to three days of mild symptoms before you feel really lousy. Flu symptoms hit hard and fast; you may think to yourself,
“Where is the truck … read on Target BPs are much lower
Last week the
American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiologists (ACC) published new guidelines in the diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure.
What are the new numbers and what do they mean?
Many people will be surprised to find out they now have “elevated” high blood pressure, which could be a reading as low as 120/70, or Stage 1 hypertension at …
read on October is Breast Cancer Awareness month
October has become the month to pressure women to
and schedule their annual mammograms. Buy Pink!
But I’d rather see more women informed about the effectiveness of annual mammograms (not as much as you might think).
And I’d like to see more care providers drop the paternal attitudes and really have a conversation with women about the pros and cons of screening mammograms, and …
read on Unnecessary tests = unnecessary expense
This is a follow up to
my last post about the dangers of too much medical care.
One of the biggest doors leading to an overabundance of healthcare and healthcare costs is the annual exam and all the “routine” lab work that is ordered almost without thought.
Doctors’ offices strive to be efficient. They have a lot of patients to see every day, after …
read on Too much testing = too much medicine
I just ran across an old doctor joke:
What is a well person? Someone who hasn’t yet been thoroughly examined.
It’s not funny, of course, if you’re the patient and have suffered the harms—and the expense—of too much medical care.
In 2010, my husband was the victim of too much medical care. Because of complications and a string of medical errors he almost …
read on What is deprescribing?
As an advocate for less medicine and better health, I love the latest healthcare trend of
“deprescribing,” or cutting down the number of prescription drugs a patient is taking.
Dr. Aaron Carroll of
explains the importance of deprescribing in this video: Healthcare Triage —taking multiple prescription drugs—has become much more common over the last couple of decades. There are more drugs … Polypharmacy read on Cutting the waste
I’ve posted several times about the
campaign. Choosing Wisely , Developed by Consumer Reports and the American Board of Internal Medicine Choosing Wisely hopes to educate both physicians and patients, and cut back or eliminate unnecessary medical tests, procedures and treatments.
Over-testing and over-treatment are estimated to cost about $200 billion every year. I think that’s a conservative figure, as the financial—not to mention emotional—consequences of too …
read on Papillary thyroid cancers are overtreated
In 2010 my husband almost died while being treated for a small papillary thyroid cancer.
of thyroid cancer, and are typically very slow growing. Most doctors I know say that if you have to get cancer, papillary thyroid cancer is the one to pick! Papillary tumors are by far the most common type
My husband didn’t choose to get thyroid cancer, of course, but once …
read on Newer drugs are not necessarily better drugs
A few days ago at the gym, I was leafing through an issue of
What caught my eye was not the article about preventing stress injuries, or the recipe for a zingy, low-fat curry, but rather the pages devoted to ads for prescription drugs. Drugs to treat psoriasis, hepatitis C, dry eyes, depression, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, arthritis, and overactive bladder, to name …
read on A hospital puts profits over patient safety First do no harm.
That’s part of every medical school graduate’s oath. It should be the motto of anyone working in healthcare.
But I just read
in my local newspaper, the a disheartening piece of investigative journalism Seattle Times, about a hospital where I trained, worked, and received care. The story highlights how the perverse financial incentives in healthcare (do more, get … read on