Archive for October, 2010

What’s New With the Flu: 2010 Influenza Update

by Rebecca Shatsky, MD 2011


If you haven’t had your flu vaccine yet this year, there is no time like the present. Last year’s flu season left the whole world reeling with the introduction of our new friend H1N1: schools across America were closed, people stood in line for hours to get vaccinated and medical intensive care units in hospitals across the country were full of unsuspecting otherwise healthy patients who were unlucky enough to come down with this highly transmissible infection.  One little shot could prevent all this chaos and leave you resting comfortably at night.  Seems like a no-brainer to us.

Although the 2009 H1N1 “swine flu” caused quite the stir last year, the world somehow emerged relatively unscathed at the end of the natural flu season. In August 2010, the World Health Organization officially declared the H1N1 pandemic to be over.  But now, as the temperature drops and we inch towards cold and flu season, the panic of 2009 is starting to reemerge, as is the question (that has really yet to be addressed by the media), “Whatever happened to swine flu?”  So before this year’s flu virus starts spreading like wildfire, we at House Call, MD would like to take the opportunity to explain the natural course of the seasonal flu, what was different about last year’s pandemic and what to expect this upcoming flu season.

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27

10 2010

Shopping for Pills Across the Border


by Georgina Lee, PharmD 2011

How many times have you heard, “Drugs are too expensive in the U.S., just buy them from Canada!”  Nowadays, all you have to do is Google “Canadian medications” and you’ll have access to over a million online pharmacies at your fingertips.  Yet, how many of them are legitimate (and not located in a dilapidated one-bedroom cabin in a remote part of northern Canada)?  Not only are the same medications you’d find in America available, they are also much cheaper, especially for those without insurance (such as the 15 million unemployed people out there).  The question remains, however: Do we really know how reliable these online pharmacies are?  Do we know where and how they are getting their medications?

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26

10 2010

Weight Loss: With or Without Surgery?


MS, RD

Americans are always looking for the newest and fastest thing on the market. From fast food to express car service, Americans can’t get enough quick fixes. If you listen to ads on the radio or read the billboards on the freeway, you may have noticed an increase in advertisements for the lap band, a weight loss procedure promising quick results. Aside from the fact that the lap band procedure aids in weight loss, most people don’t know much about how this procedure works or whether they’re an appropriate candidate. While media has recently focused on the lap band procedure, there are several other surgeries available for people trying to lose weight. At the same time, realize that these are surgeries and should not be taken lightly.  Every operation, no matter how technologically advanced, carries with it the risk of serious complications.  We’ll discuss each type of procedure, which individuals are candidates for these procedures as well as some of the risks and benefits of each of these procedures.

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24

10 2010

Energy Drinks: Giving you Wings or Withdrawal?

by Marissa Camilon, MD 2011 | camilon@myhousecallmd.com

It’s the problem we all share. As you walk into your doctor’s office in the wee hours of the morning to squeeze in an appointment before work, chances are your doctor has the same drink in hand: a cup of coffee.  Let’s face it: America’s capitalistic, workaholic attitude thrives on caffeine so its no wonder that it’s the first thing we reach for in the morning…and at 2 o’clock in the afternoon…and after dinner.  Now, since we’re American, we have to do everything bigger and better bringing us to the Energy Drink. Heavily advertised as a beverage that will literally “energize you” with every sip, it’s not hard to imagine why this new segment of the beverage market has grown so rapidly (200 new brands were introduced to the US market in a one year period).  What exactly is behind these “magic potions?” Do the new “natural” ingredients really make an energy drink better than a cup of coffee?

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10

10 2010

What’s the deal with Alternative Medicine?

by Christine M. Dionese L.Ac MSTOM, Integrative Health Care Specialist

It’s all over the news, made popular by celebrities in the pursuit of healthier lifestyles and alternative treatments for their seasonal flu or back pain.  Alternative medicine, or Integrative medicine as the health care community has come to know it, is becoming increasingly popular, both in the world of Western medicine and society as a whole.  By this point you must be asking yourself, “What is all this alternative medicine nonsense?”  Is it worth your time?  Is there any evidence that it works?  Our Integrative medicine expert weighs in on the subject with responses to a series of frequently asked questions about the specialty and its growing popularity.

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07

10 2010

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