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A Petaluma360 Blog

ER Doctor

Dr. Rick Tietz on allopathic medicine

Hyperthyroidism

You can think of thyroid hormone as a kind of Energizer Bunny. The hormone essentially kick starts the body’s metabolism so that we have the energy to get up at 3 am with that screaming baby and still go to work the same day. Like most things in life however, thyroid hormone levels don’t always work out as planned. Sometimes there is too much and sometimes not enough. Let’s start with the condition known as hyperthyroidism or too much thyroid.… Read More »

What In The World Are Lymph Nodes?

What are lymph nodes and why is it important that I know about them? Admittedly, this is not a question I get every day. Lymph nodes, for those of you chomping at the bit to find out the answer, serve both as the body’s trash cans and monitoring systems. Whenever something in the body is inflamed or infected, the body mounts an immune response with both cells (including lymphocytes) and chemicals (most with difficult to spell and pronounce names). The… Read More »

Toothaches

A toothache is by no means a pleasant experience. Decayed teeth with cavities are more prone to infections and for those of us who don’t brush well and regularly, there is a greater risk of dental problems. What else will increase our risk of dental decay? Diabetes, cancer, malnutrition, and chronic disease can certainly precipitate and worsen dental disease. What is not as well known is that smoking will increase risk of losing your teeth early and that speed will… Read More »

Baldness: Male Rite of Passage

For the overwhelming majority of guys,  as we become older baldness is, shall we say, a rite of passage. This is not to imply that it is at all desired but rather wired into our genes. What gives us muscles (testosterone) also takes away our hair. There are some medications out there which can help with male pattern baldness. This is a type of baldness where at first a small bare area in the back of the head grows until… Read More »

Seat Belts

After seat belts were introduced, the number of motor vehicle related deaths dropped rapidly. At first lap belts were the only game in town. Then came shoulder belts and finally airbags. You would think that seat belt use would be universal. Yet there are still many of us who either forget about seat belts, are too much in a rush to take the microsecond it would take to secure the belt, are too high or drunk or just plain stupid.… Read More »

Rib Injury

If you ever break a rib or two, you will definitely feel some major pain. The pain will be worse when you take a deep breath and you may notice some shortness of breath as well. The break will not completely heal for at least a month or two so you will need to take it easy. Deep to the ribs are some pretty important structures including your heart and lungs. It is certainly not uncommon to have a bruised… Read More »

Ebola: A Minor Risk to Our Health

Ebola virus has been making the rounds quite a bit. It seems that you can’t listen to the news without some piece about this infection. To be sure Ebola virus causes a very serious infection. Most people who contract this virus will die and there is known cure. Finally, the potential exists for many more infections. However, let’s get real here. In the entire world there have been a little over 7,000 cases with  about 4,000 deaths. Contrast this to… Read More »

Be Your Own Advocate

Some but not all the times proverbs ring true. Consider “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”. When for whatever reason, you, family member or friend happen to be in the emergency department, becoming your own or significant others advocate might be the way to go. Doctors and nurses are not perfect beings. We have good and bad days just like the rest of the population. We are often rushed, forced to multitask and occasionally forget that our patients do not… Read More »

Ear Pain: What To Do

Most of us at some time or another experience ear pain. If the pain turns out to be an ear infection, then what to do? Well, assuming you  are older than 2 (at times in my case my wife might dispute this), then you should first decide whether a doctor visit is in order. If there is any discharge including pus, blood or clear fluid then yes you should head over to you doctor or the emergency room. If you… Read More »

Bacteriophages: Replacement for Antibiotics?

Antibiotics have been used successfully to treat many bacterial infections such as pneumonia, strep throat and urine infections. They are without a doubt important in treating patients. However, antibiotics are not a cure all and are way over prescribed, often to treat viral infections. Along come some pretty smart researchers who asked themselves: What about bacteriophages? In turns out that these little organisms have evolved over millennia to attack bacteria. In fact, there are literally trillions of them. They manage… Read More »