Quick tips: Shingles and pnuemonia shots, blocked coronaries, antibiotics for dental work, HIV test

Hennepin Healthcare’s Clinic and Specialty Center

Hey, friends!  Here’s another “Quick tips” post in which I answer a few of the questions posed by listeners to a recent Healthy Matters radio broadcast.  As is often the case, I can’t get to all the questions, but this week’s grab bag of topics is a good one.

Read on.  Or if you are aurally inclined, you can listen to the podcast recording at your leisure by clicking the banner below.  The questions here are taken directly from listeners from Healthy Matters show #480, March 25, 2018.

I’m going to scatter pictures of our newly-opened Clinic and Specialty Center, which is a state-of-the-art medical facility in downtown Minneapolis.  Cool to see a new medical facility that still has that “new clinic” smell – ha!

Continue reading “Quick tips: Shingles and pnuemonia shots, blocked coronaries, antibiotics for dental work, HIV test”

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Quick tips: tremors, blood pressure, constipation

Hey, everybody.

Some of my most popular posts are these Quick Tips in which I do relatively brief answers to health topics raised by listeners to the Healthy Matters radio broadcasts.

This time, I’ll cover these three topics from actual listener questions.

Continue reading “Quick tips: tremors, blood pressure, constipation”

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Learning about depression with psychiatrist Eduardo Colón

Dr. Eduardo Colon

Hey, everybody.   Check out this fact:  about 16 million people in the United States will experience an episode of depression every year.  That’s about 7% of the population.  By some estimates, depression is in the top 3 causes of disability (source:  World Health Organization).

To help us learn a bit more about this condition, I asked my colleague Dr. Eduardo Colón to be my in-studio guest on last Sunday’s Healthy Matters broadcast.  It was a great show!  Dr. Colón is the Chief of Psychiatry at HCMC and he has been on the show a few times over the years.  This is terrific since you will not find a wiser and kinder psychiatrist than he.  I really encourage you to listen to the podcast so you can hear Dr. Colón explain things much better than I can in this written form.  

You can learn more about Dr. Colón from this Minneapolis Star Tribune article which appeared shortly after he was named Chief of Psychiatry.  He gives an insider perspective on mental health care in our community that is worth a read.

I’ll use this blog post as a written companion of sorts for the audio podcast of that radio show.  I’ll try to encapsulate a few topics from the show and include some links for more information.

First of all, download the audio podcast here to listen to whenever you want.  Once at the podcast site, select Healthy Matters show #475, February 11, 2018).

Podcasts

A wealth of information on depression

Here’s what Dr. Colón covered on the show, and you can click the links to jump to specific topics that interest you.

Continue reading “Learning about depression with psychiatrist Eduardo Colón”

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Your arthritis questions answered!

By James Heilman, MD via Wikimedia Commons

Hey, what were you doing on Sunday morning, December 3?  I know what I was doing – I was on the air with my colleague Dr. Rawad Nasr – and we were talking about arthritis.  Dr. Nasr is a rheumatologist and the hour on the air just flew by.  We had so many questions that we only got to a small fraction of them.

I guess you all want to learn about arthritis!

I’ve been promising to do a post with Dr. Nasr’s answers to some of the questions we didn’t get to that morning.    I asked him to give written answers to listener questions, and he has begun that huge task, so the first batch of questions is here!

I do invite you to listen to the actual audio of the radio broadcasts, which are conveniently available as podcasts, without commercial breaks, for you to listen to on your computer or mobile device.  To do that, click this logo to reach the main podcast page, then select Healthy Matters show #465, December 3, 2017.

Podcasts

Continue reading “Your arthritis questions answered!”

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In case you missed it: our most popular topics

I have been writing My Healthy Matters for nearly two years, and over that time there have been over 50,000 views to the site.  To all of you who read along with me, THANK YOU!

I took a pause in writing new posts today to look at the statistics on what most of you are reading on the blog.  It is really fascinating to see what strikes your collective fancy, so I thought I’d do a little retrospective post to highlight the most popular posts of the past.  You may wish to go back and read what you missed.

I’ll rank them in order of popularity, based on number of people who viewed them in 2017, and I’ll include links to the posts in case you want to read them.

Continue reading “In case you missed it: our most popular topics”

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Incontinence is a great topic for a Sunday morning chat

By Dschwen – via Wikimedia Commons

It is Sunday, November 12, and you get up in the morning like you always do, splash some warm water on your face, pour yourself a cup of coffee, maybe make scrambled eggs, and you sit down at the breakfast table for a relaxing start to your day.  Maybe you read the paper, maybe someone from your family is sitting across from you.

Then you turn on the radio and there are two guys having a conversation about . . . male incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

So much for the tranquil start to your day.

Those two guys talking about male parts and bodily functions were none other than me and my guest on Healthy Matters, Dr. Travis Pagliara.  He’s a urologist at Hennepin and our topic for this fall Sunday was male incontinence and other unsettling issues.  And you know what?  It was a blast.  Dr. “P” is super knowledgeable about a topic that most men don’t like to talk about but that has a big impact on their lives.  So read on for a bit of wisdom about the plumbing, gents.  And women, read on so that you find out what guys are experiencing  . . . but maybe aren’t telling you about.

Dr. Pagliara is a riot and if you are the least bit uncomfortable with this topic, I encourage you to listen to him on the podcast of the show.  You won’t be uncomfortable after listening to this guy.  He’s fun AND he knows his stuff. Check out the podcast by clicking the logo below.  You can also subscribe to the podcast on this link.  That way you can listen whenever you want on your computer or mobile device, without commercial breaks.  What could be better?

Healthy Matters show #462, November 12, 2017

Podcasts

Continue reading “Incontinence is a great topic for a Sunday morning chat”

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Get your mammogram questions answered here!

October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I welcomed two outstanding experts to the WCCO studios for the live broadcast of Healthy Matters.  We focused on the common screening test – the mammogram – and tried to answer your questions about this well-known but still sorta mysterious test that women (and a few men) get all the time.

To help me, I turned to repeat radio guest and my friend Dr. Tony Severt.  He is the Assistant Chief of Radiology at HCMC (the mother-ship where I work) and is a expert in women’s imaging, including mammograms and other breast imaging (like ultrasound and MRI).

As an aside, there is a bit of wisdom that some doctors heed . . . that it is always good for us non-radiologists to have a “go-to” radiologist to help us when we need advice on the best imaging to order or how to interpret the imaging that we have.  Dr. Severt is my “go-to” guy!  He’s smart, really understands the patient perspective, and he is kind and willing to help.  So I dragged him down to the studio last Sunday morning.

But Dr. Severt is not the one who actually performs the mammogram.  That job goes to mammogram technologists who are highly skilled, patient-focused, and dedicated professionals.  These women (yes, the mammogram techs are all women as it should be) are supervised at HCMC by Leah Hahn.  Leah joined us in the studio to give the first-hand perspective of one who knows her stuff about mammograms.  For more about mammograms, click the HCMC radiology page here.  And for an advance look at Minnesota’s newest and finest breast care center, scroll to the bottom of this post!

As always, the best way to catch up on a past show is by listening to the podcast.  Click this logo to reach the main podcast page, then select Healthy Matters show #460, October 29, 2017.

Podcasts

The problem, as usual with a live radio broadcast, is that we never get to all the questions that people call and text in to us.  So the rest of this post is simply a Q&A.  I’m using the text questions that listeners sent and have asked Dr. Severt and Leah to give their responses.   Here they are . . . Continue reading “Get your mammogram questions answered here!”

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An introduction to acupuncture and chiropractic care

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 “An introduction to acupuncture and chiropractic care”

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Sinus congestion, nasal irrigation, and the neti pot

It seems that about 75% of my life involves nasal congestion with sinus pressure around my eyes.   It’s probably allergies to various tiny stuff floating through the air.  Not sure about that but I am so stuffy so much of the time that the makers of decongestants have taken to sending me thank you notes for my business.

I’m particularly stuffy in the winter months which I attribute to dust and mold and whatnot floating through the air – especially when Julie (my wife) turns on the ceiling fan in our bedroom.  Which is every single night.  Even in Minnesota.  In winter.  When it is 5 degrees outside.  Let’s say she likes the place cool.  You could hang sides of beef in our room.

At the risk of exposing marital disharmony over the ceiling fan issue, I think the fan clogs me up as it perfectly distributes dust and pollen and such around the bedroom and into my nose.  It’s like a fertilizer spreader spewing dust onto me as I sleep!  So I pop the decongestants and antihistamines.   Yet my sinuses remain perpetually clogged.  In case you’re wondering about the marital harmony situation  . . . I claim the ceiling fan needs to be turned off to save my sinuses.  My wife claims I just need to vacuum and dust more often.  See what I’m up against?  How can you reason with such nonsense?

But I digress.

Basically I’m pretty sure I have chronic sinusitis which is a long-lasting inflammation of the sinuses and nasal passages.  Inflammation, being my body’s defense mechanism against all airborne invaders, tends to clog up the works in my head.  I won’t get into the issue of inflammation vs. viral infection vs. bacterial infection except to say that most of the time the problem is not bacterial and hence antibiotics are not usually needed.  Continue reading “Sinus congestion, nasal irrigation, and the neti pot”

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