Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a devastating complication for people with diabetes and can cause decreased vision and blindness. The retina, which is located on the back part of the eye globe, converts visual images to nerve signals that are sent to the visual cortex, located in the back of the brain. The visual cortex then converts the nerve impulses into images that the brain reads as sight. The retina has small arteries and veins in it. The retina is also rich in long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. These compounds have anti-inflammatory and antiangiogenic (prevents the proliferation of blood vessels) properties. In DR, the blood vessels proliferate and can cause small hemorrhages and bleeding, which can adversely affect

It is estimated that between 10 and 30 percent of medications prescribed to patients are not used. Physicians are rarely asked what to do with unused medications and, if asked, most physicians, myself included, would recommend disposing of them in the household trash. Pharmacies, with good reason, will not take back unused or partially used prescription bottles. Disposing of them in the toilet is not a good idea as the medications will wind up in our waterways where they may be harmful to

Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and the subcutaneous tissue, or the tissue directly under the skin. Cellulitis causes redness, swelling, and pain at the affected site. Usually the causative microorganism cannot be identified. Our skin is covered by microorganisms and any break in the skin, which is a protective barrier, allows these microorganisms to get into and under the skin and cause an infection. At any rate, research has shown that most cases of cellulitis are caused by B-hemolytic

Quinine has been used since the 1930s to treat muscle cramps, especially nighttime cramps, and more recently it has also been used for restless leg syndrome. In 2006 the FDA cautioned about using quinine for this off-label use because of efficacy and safety concerns. Despite the FDA warning, quinine is still used for muscle cramps. Quinine is also found in lemon bitters and tonic water and it gives both the sharp taste they are known for. Recently a study was performed in the United Kingdom to

Recently a medical journal had some interesting information that I would like to share with you. The first involved a patient who suffered second degree burns from an MRI scanner. MRI scanners emit powerful radiofrequency energy, which can create heat. In this report, the patient had undergone an MRI for a skin infection of the right thigh and developed second degree (redness, pain, and blisters) burns of both inner thighs. Thermal burns are a little-known (in the lay community) potential cause

Today I would like to discuss health insurance, specifically Medicare. Medicare is government supervised health insurance that kicks in either at age 65 if you are retired or younger than 65 if you are disabled. It should not be confused with Medicaid, which is health insurance provided at no cost for those who have a low or zero income and few, if any, assets. Medicaid is mostly paid for by the states. Medicare was started in the 1960s during the Johnson administration. As originally designed

Aspirin, chemically acetylsalicylic acid or ASA, is called a wonder drug and has been in use since antiquity. Aspirin is a pain reliever, fever reducer, is used as a blood clot preventer, and is recommended for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). One of its drawbacks, however, is that it can cause bleeding in the gastrointestinal system (GI bleeding). A common misconception is that aspirin causes stomach or intestinal bleeding by directly irritating or eroding the

More Articles...

Sign up via our free email subscription service to receive notifications when new information is available.