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A Petaluma360 Blog

ER Doctor

Dr. Rick Tietz on allopathic medicine

Diet Soda: Not Really Diet At All?

You would think that diet soda would be a better choice for weight control than its sweetened cousin regular soda, but according to a recent study, this might not be the case. For 10 years data was collected about several hundred (749) Mexican Americans over 65 and European Americans over age 60. And like about a fifth of the American population who drank a diet soda on any given day, daily diet soda drinkers, along with occasional diet soda drinkers,… Read More »

Wealth And A Good Night’s Sleep

Lack of sleep or insomnia is truly a serious problem. In fact, insomnia has been linked to multiple diseases including cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and obesity.Let’s not forget that driving while tired causes about 80,000 traffic accidents a year, a thousand of which are fatal.  To make matters even worse lack of sleep causes increased mortality: In other words you are more likely to die, if you don’t get enough sleep. What is enough sleep? Generally, at least… Read More »

OMG: Goodbye Y Chromosome

Pity the poor Y chromosome. Sure, it makes us males male and plays a huge role in the genes which control testosterone production. Yet of the 46 human genes it is by far the smallest. Not only that, but according to a recent Scientific American article, it has become even smaller. About 200 to 300 million years ago, that scrawny Y chromosome shared about 600 genes with its much more robust X partner. Recently the number of genes in common… Read More »

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 »