Is is a cold or the flu?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

There’s a joke, probably only funny to someone from the great frozen tundra where I live, that goes something like this . . .

Q:  How does a person from Minnesota say “Hello”?

A:  (sniffles) . . . . “Hello.”

Get it?  It does seem like everybody around here has a runny nose and they’re all sneezing and coughing and talking with a scratchy throat.   In other words, a typical Minnesota fall.  Otherwise known as “cold and flu” season.  Not to be confused with “winter” which doesn’t start for another day or two.  Also not to be confused with the season of “road construction” which lingers on indefinitely or until the first foot of snow falls . . . .

So in keeping with the season, our Healthy Matters radio broadcast this past week had lots of buzz about colds and flu.  Perhaps the most common question I get:  How can you tell if it is a cold or the flu?

Glad you asked.  Real bread and butter medical stuff.

For starters, I can’t count how many times people insist to me that they have the flu – not a cold – because their symptoms are so much worse than everybody else’s.   And the fact is that influenza (the “flu”) causes more severe symptoms than does a cold.  But most of us, even those who feel pretty darn crummy, actually have a cold, not the flu.

To listen to the podcast of our most recent “Open Lines” Healthy Matters radio broadcast (without commercials!), click the logo here.

Look for Healthy Matters show #458, October 15, 2017.  You can listen while you read this post!

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Posted in Allergies, Health and wellness, Infections, Public Health | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Why we should care about kids’ teeth

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

By Frank Vincentz via Wikimedia Commons

I get approached fairly often by colleagues and regular folks with ideas for radio show topics.  With over 450 hour-long radio broadcasts so far, you may imagine that staying topical and interesting is something I hope to do.  But in all those shows over the past nine years, I have never done a show about dental health in children.  Not too surprising, I suppose, since my specialty is adult internal medicine, meaning I know very little about children’s health and I know just about nothing about teeth.  (I think there are 32 or them in the human mouth, right?  Or maybe it is 28?  They don’t teach teeth in medical school).

So when Dr. Eileen Crespo approached me to do a show about the oral health of children, I was intrigued.  Dr. Crespo is a pediatrician who has a keen interest and lots of expertise in kids’ dental health.  She suggested we include two our Hennepin’s terrific pediatric dentists and – voila – we had a radio show.

So I though I’d explore a bit why the dental health of children should matter to all of us of any age.  Here’s the gang who helped me in the WCCO studios in downtown Minneapolis for the show.   That’s Dr. Crespo on the left, and next to her are two pediatric dentists, Dr. Andrea Leyland and Dr. Elisabeth Fulling.  Click their names to learn more!

As always, I invite you to listen to the podcast of the show (it is shorter with no interruptions when in podcast form).  When looking through the podcasts, select Healthy Matters show #456 from October 1, 2017.

In this post I’ll look at:

  • Why the dental care of children matters
  • Some basic tips for promoting healthy teeth in kids
  • A call for more dentists for children

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Posted in Dental, Pediatrics | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An introduction to acupuncture and chiropractic care

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Medical school is four years long.  This is after four years of college.  It is then followed by three more years of intensive training during medical residency.  It’s a lot of learning.

So in all those years, do you know how much I learned about chiropractic care?  Just about nothing.  How about acupuncture?  Even less.  These are not disciplines that are taught in most US medical schools (at least the allopathic kind like I went to).

But research shows, and our day-to-day human experience probably confirms, that many people see chiropractors and acupuncturists for a variety of ailments.  In fact, many major medical systems, including my own at HCMC, offer a wide range of services to include chiropractic and acupuncture care.

To learn more about these disciplines, this past month on the Healthy Matters radio broadcast I invited two guests to help me out.  They were Robert Crane, an acupuncturist, and Peter Polski, a doctor of chiropractic care.  That’s the two of them in the WCCO studios during the live broadcast in the picture above.  Super nice guys, the both of ’em.

I encourage you to listen to the podcast of the show by clicking here –> Healthy Matters show #453, September 10, 2017.  Podcasts are great ways to listen, commercial-free, to the shows at your own pace.  Just download the show you want to your phone or computer and listen!

In this post, I won’t attempt to cover any of the specifics about chiropractic care or acupuncture.  They are disciplines to themselves and I couldn’t do either one justice in just a few paragraphs.  Rather, I’m going to give a bit of background on the two disciplines to give the neophytes among us a taste of what these practitioners can offer.  This is fairly new stuff to me as well as many of you, so I’m doing my best to learn something.  Read on, and more importantly, listen to the podcast! Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Posted in Ethics and philosophy, Health and wellness, Tips from Healthy Matters radio broadcast | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

A variety of everyday health concerns . . . from the Fair!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Healthy Matters LIVE from the Minnesota State Fair!

Last Sunday I joined 197,890 of my closest friends at the Minnesota State Fair.  Along with the best radio person in the business, Denny Long, I did a live, in-person broadcast of Healthy Matters.  This was our 451th (!) live broadcast and my 9th year doing it from the state fair. I’m serious about the 197,000 figure.  That is literally the number of people who attended – on just this one day – the country’s second-largest state fair (Texas is bigger but also runs twice as long).

To all of you who came out to see the show in person, thank you!  It was great to meet people from all over the region . . . Moose Lake, Lonsdale, St. Louis Park, Woodbury . . . . but for those who didn’t make it last week, you have another chance!  Come out to the Minnesota State Fair on Sunday, Sept 3, at 7:30 a.m. and say hi!  We’ll do the show live from the veranda at the WCCO radio booth.  If you come up and introduce yourself, I’ll put you on the radio and you can ask a health question.  The WCCO radio booth is easy to find on Carnes Ave between Nelson and Underwood.  It’s right by the Ye Olde Mill and right next to a Sweet Martha’s cookies.

As always, you can listen to podcasts of all previous shows by going to the WCCO website. Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Posted in Allergies, Dermatology, Getting medical information, Medications, Quick tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saving your eyes during the solar eclipse

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

By Oregon State University, via Wikimedia Commons

On Sunday I am driving 430 miles from God’s country (Minneapolis) to just south of Lincoln, Nebraska to experience the total eclipse of the sun.  That’s right, I’m driving to the area of “totality” along with about half the US population because it is a super cool thing to do.  I’m totally pumped up for it!

Please no clouds in Nebraska, no clouds, no clouds . . .

I think we need a natural wonder to take our minds off our human-made conflicts right about now.  And since this happens once every almost never, off I go with other adventurers from my family.

Now if only I could get a table reservation at a Lincoln restaurant.  I’ve tried.  It wasn’t easy.  I have also heard that it may result in the first traffic jam in rural Nebraska history, complete with shortages of gas and bumper to bumper traffic.  Yikes!

And don’t get me started on the saga of obtaining eclipse-viewing glasses.  First set was perhaps counterfeit which led to a search for safe glasses only to find the entire country is sold out of them.  But it all ended well as I did snag a pair of paper glasses for a mere ten bucks.

But this is a health and wellness blog, so I thought I’d look into the commonly-known advice to never look directly at the sun.  I’m channeling my Bill Nye the Science Guy in this post.

We all know not to look at the sun.  Heck, your mother could tell you that.  But why is this so?

So I did my research . . .  Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Posted in Eyes and vision, Health in the News | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

As promised: Charlene’s dog run and brain injury research

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Hey, friends!

You just gotta learn about this woman.  Her name is Charlene Barron and she sounds like an incredible woman.  I also never got the chance to meet her, but I learned of her just this past week and if you were listening to the Healthy Matters radio broadcast on WCCO last Sunday, you heard about her as well.

Charlene died of a traumatic brain injury while doing something she loved – riding her bike on a training ride.  She was also a runner and a triathlete, and a lover of dogs.  I love that dog-lover part!  Charlene was just 10o yards from the Boston Marathon finish line when the bomb went off.  She has completed dozens of marathons, 30 Birke XC ski races, and 9 Ironman triathlons.  And at age 60, she competed in the World Championship Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii.

Wow.

To honor her, Charlene’s family has teamed up with the TBI program at HCMC (my healthcare organization) in a really cool event.  It is Charlene’s Dog Run, and it is a fun event for you (and your dog!) and is open to anybody who wants to get involved in TBI research and make a difference.  You don’t have to bring your dog, but you sure can if you want to!

Dr. Uzma Samadani is a neurosurgeon and colleague of mine at HCMC.  She does incredible research on TBI and the proceeds of this event go to the TBI research program at HCMC.  Dr. Samadani called in to the radio broadcast to tell us about Charlene and the Dog Run.  Click the link at the bottom of this post to get the podcast and listen to my brief conversation with Dr. Samadani.

TBI and related links

On the show, I promised to put some links to sites you may wish to visit.  Here they are:

  • The HCMC news article about Charlene and the Dog Run.  I recommend you start with this link to read more.
  • Podcast of the Healthy Matters broadcast (Healthy Matters show #449, August 13, 2017).  Listen to the first 5-10 minutes to hear my discussion with Dr. Samadani.  We talk about Charlene, brain injury research, and an interesting bit about neck strengthening as a protective measure for TBI.

Other related links:

That’s all for this post.  I hope you follow me on Twitter @DrDavidHilden.  It’s fast and easy!

Rest in peace, Charlene.  You are an inspiration to us all.


Healthy Matters friends, next Sunday is our 450th show!  My how time flies . . . tune in to WCCO 830 on your AM radio dial or stream it LIVE from anywhere in the world at WCCO.COM

-David

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Posted in Traumatic Brain Injury | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Why I’m not a big fan of vitamins and supplements

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

By Mark Buckawicki via Wikimedia Commons

In 2013, people in the United States spent nearly $35 billion on vitamins and supplements.  Something like 1 in 3 people take a multivitamin, and around half of people took some type of supplement in the past 30 days.

So why, on the Healthy Matters radio broadcast the other day, did I say that I am not a big fan of supplements?.  They’re supposed to be good for you, right?  Are all those people wrong?

No, they’re not all wrong.  But I do have opinions on the use of vitamins and supplements, and I do think that for most people, they are a waste of money.  Allow me to explain . . .

But first, to hear me pontificate about supplements on the radio broadcast, download the podcast by clicking the logo here and fast-forwarding to 28:54.

(Healthy Matters show #448, August 6, 2017)

Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Posted in Health and wellness, Preventive care | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Summertime emergencies are no fun

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy

Admit it, I look cool

Hey, friends, this is Part 2 of 2 posts about emergencies.  You may wish to check out the first post, “An insider’s view of the emergency department” which gives a look at a major Level I trauma center.   This post will cover just a few tips for staying safe this summer.

 

 

 

 

 

For no reasons other than to get you in the summertime mood and because you never really need a reason to listen to Ella Fitzgerald, you may want to listen to this tidbit of musical perfection:

Holy cow. Magical.  Check out her voice at 1:00 – 1:05. Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Posted in Tips from Healthy Matters radio broadcast, Trauma and emergency, Traumatic Brain Injury | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

An insider’s view of the Emergency Department

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

I have a colleague at Hennepin County Medical Center who is into cool stuff.  He does a lot of biking, he does backcountry skiing in British Columbia, he raises bees in his Minneapolis backyard and makes honey from those bees – honey which has won awards at the Minnesota State Fair, no less.

And he tells a good tale.  His name is Aaron Rutzick.  One time he told me this one about a bike crash he had when in real-time he realized that his helmet was saving him as he hit the pavement with his head . . .

“I was riding down 3rd Ave in south Minneapolis at night, I think I hit a pothole or something in the road because I was going pretty fast and just went over my handle bars.  there I was, upside down, and yes … using my helmet.  I slid to a stop in front of some hipster bikers drinking beer.  They were sympathetic and seemed to have a keen understanding of that moment.  I was OK and took off for home before everything started hurting.  I’d say in general, I’m a pretty experienced commuter, riding most days in all seasons to get to work since 2001.  Thankfully, no car was involved, but it was a reminder that a bike crash could happen in a split second – so BE CAREFUL.  It didn’t keep me from riding, I’m certainly aware that you have to be on your game, especially with cars.  The Twin Cities has really developed its bicycle lanes over the last 10-15 years, and is one of the leading cities in the nation for supporting safe biking and bike culture.  Great place to live for this.”   – Dr. Aaron Rutzick

I especially like the image of Aaron flying over his handlebars in front of “hipster bikers drinking beer.”  Sort of sums up Minneapolis life.  I wonder if any of the hipsters looked like this:

By Lorena Cupcake [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Anyway, you should wear your bike helmet like Dr. Rutzick so you can live to tell about it. Continue reading

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Posted in HCMC, Trauma and emergency | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding the ordinary among the extraordinary

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Hi, Healthy Matters friends!

I have been steadily moving toward more writing in my career and specifically I’ve been working in an area called “narrative non-fiction.”  My writings are mostly based on medicine, health and wellness.  Big surprise there – sort of like what I do on this blog. I hope to collect them into a book at some point if I get any good at it.

A venue for publishing narrative non-fiction in the medical field is an online journal called Intima and I had an essay posted there in April.  It was called Don’t worry, at least we will die together!” and it was about my experience with medical students in Jerusalem.  If you missed it, you can access the piece in this blog post below.

The editors encourage writers to interact with other writers on the site, and so I wrote a very short post in response to an essay by Margot Hedlin, a newly minted doctor whom I have never met.  Her essay was called, “There’s a limit to your love” and it was really thought-provoking.  She’s a terrific writer and she masterfully got me thinking about the mundane and the not-so-mundane parts of medicine.

My response to Dr. Hedlin’s piece has now been published in Intima.  It is called Finding the ordinary among the extraordinary.”  It has my musings about the need to sometimes find normalcy even in utterly abnormal situations.  Like medicine.

I encourage you to read Dr. Hedlin’s piece first in the “Field Notes” section, then my short response in the “Crossroads” section.  Maybe as a trio these pieces will pull together some themes that resonate with you.

Here are quick links to these three pieces:

I’d love to foster dialogue, so please feel free to share these pieces on Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, or wherever you spend your social media time.  Or simply share this MyHealthyMatters blog post and let people do their own clicking!  (Buttons to share are at the top and bottom of every post I do).

And the editors at Intima encourage a wider conversation, so maybe you could leave a comment on the site with your reaction to any of these pieces.

For the main Intima site, click the logo here:

Happy reading and happy contemplation!

David

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Posted in Dr. Hilden's reflections, Humanities and Medicine | Tagged , , | 2 Comments