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A Petaluma360 Blog

ER Doctor

Dr. Rick Tietz on allopathic medicine

Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas is  very painful and unfortunately all too commonly seen. The pancreas is located in the back of your abdomen. It helps with digestion of foods and produces hormones including insulin. What causes pancreatitis? It turns out quite a few things. Drinking too much alcohol is a very frequent cause. So too are gallstones, which can irritate not only the gallbladder, but also the nearby pancreas. If a gallstone happens to migrate to the common… Read More »

Yet Another Bogus Weight Loss Product

Leave it up to some greedy companies, who prey on desperate consumers, to concoct yet another scam for a weight loss product. The two companies, Norm Thompson Outfitters, Inc., and Wacoal America, Inc marketed clothing (women’s undergarments) impregnated with caffeine and retinol (among other chemicals). They advertised that simply wearing these clothes would cause weight loss, disappearance of cellulite, thinner thighs and  smaller waist size . Wouldn’t that be great if you could just put on say a pair of fashionable… Read More »

Hypothyroidism

Last week’s blog was about hyperthyroidism. Naturally, hypothyroidism or low thyroid also occurs. With low thyroid the Energizer Bunny seems to have take a vacation. The body’s metabolism slows and with that downturn everything chills. What this means is that you may feel tired, have a slow heart rate, suffer from constipation, have swelling in your legs and also experience the dreaded weight gain. No, your weight  in this case is probably not just from that triple scoop chocolate sundae… Read More »

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 »