Wholly Healthy: Drug Allergies & Side Effects

“Are you allergic to any medications?” Physicians and nurses ask this question over and over. Everyone is more attuned to patient safety, especially, allergy issues. And it’s true whether we’re discussing food, drugs or environmental exposures. But what constitutes a drug allergy? There seems to be a lot of confusion about this because not everyone […]

Wholly Healthy: Battling the Bug — Gastroenteritis

Lately I have seen many patients with gastroenteritis, an illness producing vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, chills, headache and, sometimes, fever. Here are a few tips on handling “the bug” that is so common now (and which, by the way, is not influenza). Prevention first: If possible, avoid contact with anyone who has vomiting and diarrhea, […]

Wholly Healthy: Dental care is more than cosmetic

Christmas is past. Herbie the Dental Elf is busy caring for the folks at the North Pole. And the rest of us, having spent a month or two eating way too many wonderful desserts, could probably use a checkup of our own. It matters far more than most people think. Dental care is part of […]

Wholly Healthy: Why We Shouldn’t Embrace Assisted Suicide

Medicine can only do so much. This is why we have an entire specialty dedicated to providing comfort to people with incurable illnesses and to easing their transition out of this life. This specialty, called palliative care, includes hospice care. Most people have had some interaction with these dedicated caregivers, if only in the care […]

Wholly Healthy: Sepsis Symptoms Merit Quick Attention

In medicine, we get the most bang for our buck when we catch serious illnesses early. Much has been written about stroke care, for instance. As you probably recall from this column, or from public service announcements and advertisements, the most effective stroke treatment occurs in the first three to four and a half hours. […]

Wholly Healthy: To Floss or Not to Floss?

Have you been flossing your teeth lately? I know I have. Dentists have told us for about a century that good dental care requires the use of dental floss, and I have been diligent (well, not for a century, of course). Not only so, I’ve often reminded my patients in the ER that they should […]

Wholly Healthy: Watch for signs of depression in your teen

It’s August, and that means that school is starting. Middle school and high school, in particular, are times of significant emotional challenges. Not only are students adapting to physical changes and emotional growth and maturity, the fact is that depression is a big problem for young people. In 2012, according to government statistics (childstats.gov/americaschildren/health2.asp), 11 […]

Wholly Healthy: Fatherhood Is Good for You!

Sometimes, conventional wisdom handed down since the dawn of time is laughed off as irrelevant. C.S. Lewis and his friend Owen Barfield used the term “chronological snobbery” to mean that people who live now often think they are inherently wiser or smarter than their ancestors who lived in the past simply because time has passed. […]

Wholly Healthy: No Deconditioning!

Frequently, when I go to work in the ER, I see elderly patients who are deconditioned. That is, they simply have no physical reserves because they have been bed-bound in the hospital — or homebound — from chronic illness. This affects their thinking as well as many other body systems. Any exertion makes them short […]