A Petaluma360 Blog

ER Doctor

Dr. Rick Tietz on allopathic medicine

A New Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

A Chinese herb Tripterygium wilfordii or thunder god vine (gotta love that name!) was recently studied for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. This is a disease which can cause serious and permanent deformities in joints and can affect other organs as well. One treatment that is often used is Methotrexate, which has some nasty side effects. In a recent published study the thunder god vine was at least as effective as Methotrexate. Side effects from the herb included loss of hair loss… Read More »

Physicians and Gun Control

An average of 88 people per day die in this country from firearms. It is becoming nearly impossible to discuss this issue rationally due to the politics. Let’s try for a minute to cast aside the grandstanding and look at the data which is available. Two thirds of the deaths are suicides and most of these suicides are committed by the elderly and those living in rural areas. Those, who abuse alcohol or other drugs, feel isolated and have access… Read More »

The Swollen Knee

If your knee swells and you haven’t injured it, what could be going on?   Well, most of the time you probably didn’t even realize that you twisted it just a tiny bit, perhaps when stepping off that curb late last night. Usually, there is some prior wear and tear arthritis. Yes, one of the many joys of middle age is that the knees take the brunt of all those years of sports and of course the ever expanding waistline.… Read More »

Avoid Benzocaine In Young Children and Infants

Kids and babies get sore throats, toothaches and cold sores. H0w can we help our little friends get over these things? Well, unfortunately much of the time antibiotics don’t work, because many of these infections are caused by viruses. Antibiotics don’t work at all against viruses. Yet, being human, we will think that after that hefty dose of Amoxicillin are kid got better and therefore the medication “cured” the infection. This is wrong because your little one would have gotten… Read More »

Are Video Games Antidepressants?

Video games to be sure are one of many ways to engage in seemingly mindless activity and are almost guaranteed to drive parents nuts. How do I know this? I have two kids. Still, what surprises me, a middle aged guy who at one point was a pinball wizard and who proudly has never played a single video game, is that there may actually be some therapeutic effect. There are group of researchers who are developing and testing video games,… Read More »

Caffeine: The New Wonder Drug?

Americans love coffee. The only liquid consumed more than coffee is water. Not only does the caffeine keep you awake and keep Starbucks shareholders happy, it turns out that caffeine has some other healthy effects. Regular caffeine consumption will reduce the risk of colon,uterine and prostate cancer. Not only that but there is some research out there which indicates that caffeine may even reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, depression and dementia. Recently, it was shown that drinking as little… Read More »

The Wonderful Q tip

Q tips are a great invention. With the long wooden handle you can reach quite deeply into a wound,. With the soft cotton end you can soak up some of the yucky stuff within the wound. A little hydrogen peroxide on the tip will clean out the dirty cuts. As the cut heals, stop the hydrogen peroxide (which can cause tissue damage) and put some soap on the end. If you’re careful, you can keep even the smallest of wounds… Read More »

Heart Attacks: Unusual Risk Factors

You want to reduce your risk of a heart attack. To begin with you stop smoking, lay off the double bacon cheeseburgers, and avoid the chocolate chip cookies. You start walking more than the usual daily amount from your car to the McDonalds entrance. You treat your high blood pressure and elevated lipids. You get a treadmill test and after a week of recovery from the 10 minutes you spent on that treadmill, find out that thank God you don’t… Read More »

What Causes Rapid Heart Beats?

Now and then most of us will experience an extra beat or flutter. After gulping that super size caffeine laden soda or perhaps an energy drink, it would not be uncommon to feel a little rapid heart rate or some skipped beats. Sure, that Starbucks cappuccino can do the same thing. In fact, anything with caffeine will tend to increase your heart rate. Not only drinks, but certain medications can lead to tachycardia or rapid heart rate.  Here are a… Read More »

Dance Courses for Parkinsons Patients

For some of us (myself included) dancing is very difficult. In my case it is simply because I don’t have any sense of rhythm. Patients who suffer from Parkinsons have difficulty dancing because the disease causes generalized stiffness and shaking. Balance is also a problem for Parkinsons sufferers. Yet it makes sense that dancing might help such people. Dancing can help loosen up the stiffness, improve balance and of course help participants stay in shape. Weight loss is another nice… Read More »