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A Petaluma360 Blog

ER Doctor

Dr. Rick Tietz on allopathic medicine

Football Head Injuries

Getting hit in the head repeatedly as in boxing for example seems not too healthy. Football injuries as well can cause long term problems. Just look at some of the ex NFL players who have suffered early onset dementia and other forms of traumatic brain injury. What about football players (of course helmeted) who do not suffer concussions, but have been hit in the head? Until now no one has really investigated this. A recent study of high school football… Read More »

What Not To Worry About

Sometimes we worry about potential threats to our health which in reality are less risky to us than other, more critical issues. Here are a few of these unrealistic concerns: 1. Ebola: Worldwide about 17,00 affected with 2,000 deaths. In the United States 2 people have died from this.  Contrast, as an example, the 2 Ebola deaths with the 300,000 deaths from smoking each year. You are much more likely to die driving to your doctor or to the hospital… Read More »

Can Fruit and Wine Help Atrial Fibrillation?

For most of us our hearts beat very regularly with the occasional extra beat. However, patients who have atrial fibrillation experience constant irregular heartbeats. What is happening is that the heart’s electrical system is out of whack. Instead of sending organized signals to cause heart muscle contraction, the electrical generator in the left atrium (called the AV node) fires off multiple signals all at once and the ventricle starts beating chaotically. Sometimes the signals can originate in other areas of… Read More »

The Connection Between Swallowing and Pneumonia

Swallowing is something all of us takes for granted. I mean, who really thinks about it, except perhaps when you have a sore throat. And swallowing is not only important for delivering energy (read food) to the stomach, but also to prevent aspiration. For some who have suffered a stroke, swallowing may be difficult if not impossible. This occurs if the stroke affects the nerves which are responsible for coordinating all of the muscle action required for swallowing. The muscles… Read More »

Sore Throats

Sore throats are certainly not too much fun.  You can forget about that super spicy red curry and instead must satisfy your palate with bland alternatives such as soup, rice and yogurt. What causes sore throats? Infections such as viruses are on the top of the list. You might feel some muscle aches, weakness and experience a runny nose and cough. What doesn’t work in this, the most common cause of tonsillitis, are antibiotics. Sure, they have fancy sounding names… Read More »

Are Morcellators Safe?

Uterine fibroids are usually benign tumors, which occur within the uterus. These tumors can cause pain, infertility and excessive vaginal bleeding. Therefore when they become unmanageable, they are often removed. Traditionally, the tumors are removed using standard surgical techniques. This may or may not involve a laparoscope, which is a kind of periscope through which the surgeon can see and operate. Fairly recently, a device called a morcellator was introduced. Apart from the strange sounding name, this device essentially grinds… Read More »

Cataracts

In order to see well, many things need to work well including the visual command center in the brain, the nerves to and from the eye and of course the eye itself. One all too common condition  which affects vision is cataracts. Cataracts, like many conditions, are much more common in older individuals. Good vision depends upon clear lenses. If the lens is cloudy, you won’t be able to see as well. Imagine a trying to see through dirty glasses… Read More »

Should Elderly Patients Be On All Those Medications?

As we age, we tend to have more chronic conditions. As a result more medications are prescribed. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see elderly patients bringing in a paper bag, filled with medications from several doctors. Do these patients really need all those pills? Probably not, as often different versions of the same type of drug are prescribed by either different physicians or at times even the same doctor. Medications are not benign and when you are taking a… Read More »

Bad Marriage=Bad Heart

Quite a few things can be bad for your heart including untreated high blood pressure, elevated lipids, diabetes, 0besity and lack of exercise.  And it turns out that you can add a bad marriage to the list. A recent study involving 1000 older married couples from ages 57-85 revealed that an unhappy marriage increased the risk of heart disease. Women were more affected than their male counterparts. Why? Perhaps because many guys care more about how their favorite team is… Read More »

Why Men Are Clueless About Colors

It is simply one of those facts of nature that women possess a greater ability to perceive colors than men. Just ask any wife (especially mine) who has tried to help her husband pick out his clothes. “Crimson does not go well with mauve”, your wife notes as you look at her, totally clueless as to what crimson or mauve actually looks like.  Actually, you’re probably more concerned about how the Niners fared in the last quarter. It turns out… Read More »