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Discusses Women's Health

I know I haven’t written my website for several weeks.  Frankly, I’ve been so depressed over the political situation that I’ve been experiencing writer’s block.  I’ve also felt that medical research publications is not foremost on most of our minds – it certainly has not been on mine.  But on this rainy day, while house…

Once more I am traveling and I dutifully brought vitamins with me.  (More about where I am and what I’m doing, below…)  I have been unable to find where I packed them for the last four days, but my concern has been lessened by the fact that I’m eating well and just read an editorial…

I just returned from some terrific travel. I was in Italy and Tel Aviv (fun and family) and a week later, I flew to New York. This last trip was for the Save the Children gala. Once more we celebrated and honored those who helped the organization save newborn lives, provide prenatal to mothers and…

I have just returned from my trip to Italy and Israel. In both countries I saw young people smoking, but the prevalence seemed less than that which I’ve noted in the past. (Clearly an observation which I cannot proffer as a scientific fact.) What I did not observe was the use of electronic cigarettes. I…

I’m going to the land of milk, honey and yogurt.  I’ll be in Tel Aviv for the next few weeks.  So I felt it was quite timely that I happened to come across an article posted on the internet site Medscape from the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research 2016 Annual Meeting.  (The meeting…

I wore a Fitbit for a year but eventually decided that I preferred having just one strap around my wrist (my analog watch) and took it off. I then used the health app on my iPhone to see how many steps I took when I walked the dog and went through my daily activities. It…

Last week the media covered the news that the sugar industry had attempted to influence (and even dictate) early medical reviews on the impact of sugar on coronary vascular disease (CHD). As usual with most news reports, the catchy headline got our attention. (Well it did for some of us, but this week Hillary’s pneumonia…

The Supreme Court has struck down a law closing abortion clinics in Texas. This has major implications for abortion rights throughout the country and was discussed last week in viewpoint sections of both the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA. “Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt” will significantly expand women’s access to abortions. “Whole Women’s…

August 31 marks the end of my office practice. Over the past decades (for many more than three!), I was able to help my patients conceive, or provide contraception so they would not, deliver their babies, treat infections, detect cancer, perform surgeries, treat hormonal symptoms from peri-menopause to menopause, diagnose health conditions and I hope,…

I’ll send a personal message next week when I finish seeing patients and close my practice. This week I want to write (albeit late) my usual medical newsletter on a subject that I’ve covered many times: cancer risk from obesity. That risk has just been re-iterated in a special report published in the New England…

There are many physicians who suggest that their patients take low-dose aspirin for ten years or more to prevent cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer. Should everyone over the age of 50 be doings this? Well sure enough, there was a viewpoint article about this issue in this week’s issue of JAMA. The authors (physicians at…

I’m not the only one that expresses strong viewpoints (which I admit can be annoying, especially for my family). This week’s JAMA published a very opinionated article in its viewpoint section with accompanying statistics that are so significant that I feel compelled pass on… The article, written by the director of the CDC, expresses outrage…

I’m trying to catch up on my medical literature reading since I’ve returned from Tel Aviv. There was an interesting article in the July 26 issue of JAMA published in the clinical trials update section titled Weight Gain Not an Issue With Mediterranean Diet. Just a reminder, a Mediterranean diet is high in vegetable fats…

I’m writing this Friday’s website article from Tel Aviv. My daughter’s twins, born at 32.5 weeks are maturing and gaining weight in the NICU at Tel Hashomer and I’m privileged to be able to spend time there helping her and the terrific staff care for them. I will return to LA the end of next…

Ten days ago my daughter had an emergency C-section at 32 weeks for her identical twins. I grabbed a flight and flew to Tel Aviv and will remain here until the end of the month. Since this is a women’s health website, let me provide a quick medical synopsis on identical twin pregnancies… They are…

Patients often ask me why I don’t prescribe Cipro (ciprofloxacin) as the first line of antibiotic treatment when they have bladder infections. Well here is why: Since 2008 there have been warnings about the fact that this broad-spectrum antibiotic can impact the bacteria in the gut (and cause overgrowth of the “wrong” bacteria) and can…

I wasn’t sure what sort of catchy title I could give to this article … I considered (but rejected) “preventing death from below”. So I will just go straight to the content: Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Most physicians try to impart this message to their…

I usually don’t go “legal” on this website but I couldn’t help but notice an article in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine which dealt with the First Amendment, physician speech and firearm safety. Next week, the full Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in Wollschlaeger v. Governor of Florida. Wollschlaeger is…

I know that obesity statistics are literally shoved down our throats. But hey, if we’re going to over-consume the wrong foods at least we should be aware of the results. There are some startling new stats about obesity in a viewpoint article published in the June 7th issue of JAMA. The article is titled “Lifespan…

I rarely cite The New York Times as my source for medical reporting. If you have read any of my website articles you know that I consistently write about published articles on osteoporosis. But in all modesty, I realize that the New York Times has a much greater audience than I do. So I was…

The May 10 issue of JAMA had a very interesting article titled “Evolving approaches in research and care for ovarian cancers”. This was a report from the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. It was congressionally mandated and sponsored by the CDC. (Our tax dollars fund this.) Approximately 22,280 women are diagnosed with ovarian…

I am writing this friday’s website article from Tel Aviv. I came to (a) see my daughters and (b) attend The International Women’s Forum World Cornerstone Conference. Most importantly the girls are great, my two grandchildren adorable and my younger daughter’s identical twin pregnancy is now 28 weeks (but she looks term and is having…

In honor of Mother’s Day, various organizations have been talking about the importance of mothers, (obvious), their needs and their resilience. Last Monday I was invited to attend an evening sponsored by Save the Children to listen to a presentation of, “The Shriver Report Snapshot: Insight into the Complex American Mom: what she needs, wants…

A recent article in JAMA pointed out the lack of CDC funding for gun control research. Even though I consider myself to be fairly well informed about issues dealing with health, I was not aware of the legislative details about funding for such an important issue. So I thought I would summarize the article and…

I struggled with choosing a topic for this week’s newsletter. Most of the medical journals are reporting on the new CDC guidelines for opioid prescriptions and the global concerns over the Zika virus. Both these topics have been amply covered in the news media. I did find an announcement that was released on Wednesday by…

Most of my patients for whom I prescribe hormone therapy know that I prefer to prescribe FDA approved transdermal estrogen via a patch, gel or cream rather than oral pills. I love it when an article comes out in a peer-reviewed journal that affirms my choice. A new “you’re right” study was published this March…

I just spent a delightful weekend with my sister who visited me from Chicago. As we hiked, ate in some great restaurants and watched agreed upon TV shows, we discussed family, politics, the Middle East and medicine. (She is a scientist.) Like most of my patients, she complained about the cost of medication. When I…

I am appalled by the utterances of Donald Trump. Pretty much all of them, but now that infamous statement that a woman should be punished for an attempt to terminate her pregnancy may be one of the worse. It is unfathomable that anyone in the civilized world would ever make such a statement even if…

I am back from vacation this week and as I scanned the medical journals, I found an article in the New England Medical Journal that I felt was important and wanted to share it with my readers in this newsletter. My patients know that I routinely ask if they are up-to-date on colonoscopy or other…

I hesitate to admit to it (I am supposed to be in my office) but I just spent a week at the Golden Door, which is a sinfully wonderful spa in San Marcos, California. Many of the guests are here to lose weight; others simply to stay fit. We begin the day at 6 AM…

I love the fact that when I opened this week’s issue of “The New England Journal of Medicine” I found that the second article was titled, “Menopause Management – Getting Clinical Care Back on Track”. I hope I don’t sound like a broken record, but I’ve been talking about “menopause neglect” for years and want…

This week the Supreme Court heard the case on Texas’s abortion regulations which would close nearly half the abortion clinics in the nation’s second largest state. The Texas law stipulates that doctors working at abortion clinics must have permission to admit women at a hospital within 50 km of the clinic and that the clinics…

Many of my patients are premenopausal or already have become menopausal. (Well all of us are pre-something.) And during this inevitable transition, 80% of women develop vasomotor symptoms…hot flashes, night sweats as well as vaginal dryness. These can become severe in nearly half of menopausal women and can last for 7 years. And to add…

I know that this website is geared to and read by women (mostly my patients), but many of us do have men in our lives. As they (and their partners) get older they question whether they need additional male hormone (testosterone) to feel as good as they felt when they were young. There is a…

I receive the AMA website on a daily basis and quickly look at the health news and articles that are summarized. (Yes it is one more email to read and then trash on my iPhone.) This week, most of the medical attention was focused on the Zika virus, but in between articles on this horrifically…

The Super Bowl will be on this Sunday. Many of us can’t wait to watch it, others are eager to see the commercials and the half time show, and there are those who simply look forward to going to a Super Bowl party. This is the most watched and commercialized event during the year in…

Those of us who have never smoked or have not suffered from substance abuse don’t always understand why it is so hard to simply stop using a drug that is clearly harmful. A review article in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine discusses this in medical parlance (the neurobiology of addiction) and I thought…

I came back to LA about eight weeks ago from a visit in Israel and brought with me a bad upper respiratory tract infection. I know every sufferer’s first response (including my own … I couldn’t swallow and had a bad cough) is to get a prescription for antibiotics. I prudently waited a few days…

Before I address the debate about when to start, how often to get, and when to stop mammograms, I want to emphasize that mammography screening saves lives. As many of you read or heard on the news, the United States Preventative Task Force (USPTF), an independent board of physicians and experts appointed by the Department…

Every physician knows how important family history can be to assessing risk for cancer as well as heart disease, diabetes and a myriad of chronic illnesses. An excellent method for computing the impact of familial risk is to study twins and this is exactly what was done in the Nordic twin study that was just…

I am extraordinarily lucky to be celebrating the holiday in Hawaii. What a wonderful place to view the ocean, beaches, green vegetation (so absent in drought plagued California) and yes the surfers, who are extraordinarily fit. As the New Year approaches, I know many of us make resolutions. I have tried to keep one that…

I haven’t eaten red meat in 30 years. I stopped when I read an article that showed that in the large Nurses Study, red meat consumption significantly increased risk of colon cancer. I decided, hey why don’t I try stopping and see how I feel. I immediately lost 8 pounds, felt great (although I missed…

As the New Year approaches, a plethora of medical articles are coming out with reviews of what has been recommended in the past and perhaps should be changed in the future. One of these was published in the December 1st issue of JAMA. It dealt with the relationship between cesarean delivery rates and maternal and…

I’m writing this website from Tel Aviv where I am visiting family. We intend to cook a turkey with stuffing as well as all the traditional sides and desserts. After carefully planning the meal (we had to special order a large turkey), I couldn’t help but notice a nutrition based study that was published in…

This used to be a DuPont mantra. And we all embraced it over the years as we wore synthetic fabric that hugged our bodies in stretch jeans and we took our prescription drugs. According to a recent article in JAMA, we are partaking in the latter more and more. So let me summarize last month’s…

A couple of years ago, I was asked to give the opening address for a conference on anti-aging and regenerative medicine in Las Vegas. I was intrigued by the fact that there was a large organization devoted to the topic (they had over 8,000 members worldwide), that the organizers wanted to pay me a substantial…

As women spend more and more years achieving education, establishing and advancing their careers, and taking time (and often multiple relationships) to find the right partner, they are likely to postpone having children. And if this is not a personal issue, it might be for your daughters. We’ve heard a lot about the issue of…

When a woman delivers at “early term” i.e. between 37 and 38 weeks, most of the time she and her physician are not overly concerned. The baby usually does well and is discharged to go home with the Mom. A new article in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology may diminish this lack of…

This new guideline has been widely reported in the news and has received a plethora of media attention. I’ve also been asked by patients how this will impact my advice… so I thought I would devote this week’s article to the subject of breast cancer screening. First, just the facts: Breast cancer is the most…

There has been a lot of media attention of late to calcium and to some extent Vitamin D. An article in the New York Times suggested that we may be overdoing calcium supplementation and that calcium can cause calcification of the coronary arteries as well as renal stones. I’ve been asked about this by several…

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