The Waiting Room

Is It Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis?

January 14th, 2019
Both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC) are types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Crohn’s and UC have many things in common: they both cause inflammation, swelling and sores in the lining of the digestive tract, and they’ve got many symptoms in common. Yet, they’re distinct disorders that affect different areas of the GI tract. It’s estimated that 1.6 million Americans suffer with IBD. It occurs in men and women equally, but is more common in Caucasians than in other…

Think About Your Thyroid

January 7th, 2019
Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were joyful – and safe. January is generally the time when we set our priorities for the year. Many of us make resolutions to improve our bodies on the outside, such as losing weight. But here, we’re going to take a closer look at our bodies on the inside. Today, we’re going to think about our thyroids. The thyroid is a gland that’s part of the body’s endocrine system. It’s responsible for making…

A Letter to FCS

December 16th, 2018
It took Tampa local Charles “Alvin” Middleton more than 10 years to receive an accurate diagnosis of familial chylomicronemia syndrome (FCS), a rare genetic lipid disorder that causes fat buildup in the body and often leads to unpredictable and potentially fatal attacks of pancreatitis. Alvin has been in and out of the hospital for more than a decade, and once was put into a medically induced coma for more than 40 days. His husband and family were told at the…

Hope For Hypothyroidism

December 11th, 2018
Hypothyroidism is a big word for underactive thyroid. “Hypo” means “beneath” or “below.” “Thyroidism” refers to the function of the thyroid. Hypothyroidism, then, means “beneath function” of the thyroid. Hypothyroidism is a common condition. Estimates vary because millions of people have the disorder and don’t know it, but approximately 10 million Americans have the condition. Look at it another way. About 4.6 percent of the population of the US ages 12 and older has hypothyroidism. Fortunately, most of those cases…

Prostate Cancer Prospects

December 3rd, 2018
In October, we got a glimpse of what was happening in research on breast cancer. This week, I thought I’d give you an update on what’s being studied in prostate cancer. Prostate cancer, as we learned recently, is the second most common cancer in men behind skin cancer and the second leading cancer killer in men, behind lung cancer. Studies are ongoing as researchers look for the causes and new treatments for prostate cancer, as well as for more effective…

Pondering Prostate Cancer

November 26th, 2018
In October, we got an education on breast cancer. Now, in November, it’s time to take a look at the second most common cancer affecting American men, behind skin cancer: prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates there’ll be close to 164,690 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in the US in 2018, and more than 29,000 deaths. ACS also says about one man in nine will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, and about one in 41…

COPD Uncovered

November 20th, 2018
Someone I know and love was a smoker for most of her life. A few years ago, after a very difficult struggle, she finally quit. Unfortunately, the years of smoking had already done some damage to her lungs, and now she’s suffering from COPD. The weirdest part is she doesn’t seem to understand how she got the disorder. She doesn’t get the connection. She should have. In the United States, the single biggest cause of COPD is cigarette smoking. In…

Solutions for Your Skin

November 13th, 2018
Your skin is the largest organ of your body. If you’re an average adult, you’ve got about eight pounds and 22 square feet of it. Skin is active, living tissue, and each of its three layers have jobs to do to protect the body and keep it healthy. The outermost layer of the skin is the epidermis. It provides a waterproof barrier against germs, toxins and pollutants. This layer contains the cells that form the rough exterior surface of the…

Diabetes and Your Eyes

November 4th, 2018
Do you have diabetes? If so, you’re certainly not alone. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 30.3 million Americans have diabetes and another 8.1 million have it but haven’t been diagnosed. Another 84.1 million people in the US have prediabetes, and nine out of ten aren’t aware of it. Still, 1.2 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in this country every year. Maintaining healthy glucose (sugar) levels in your blood is a constant concern if you’ve got diabetes. Consistently…

New Hope for Parkinson’s Patients

October 29th, 2018
Married couples aren’t the only ones who sometimes wish their honeymoons would last a little longer. People being treated for Parkinson’s disease often express the same wish regarding their treatment. Before long, their wish may be granted. A clinical trial that began in July at the University of Arizona is aimed at finding out if ketamine, a drug used to treat depression, can extend what physicians refer to as “the honeymoon period’’ for Parkinson’s patients being treated with levodopa. Levodopa,…

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