Is is a cold or the flu?

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 “Is is a cold or the flu?”

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Why we should care about kids’ teeth

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 “Why we should care about kids’ teeth”

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