To My Patients,
Hope all is well. Are you preparing to "winterize?" That snow and ice will be here before you know it!
→ A Couple of Announcements
We will be away for a few days, Wednesday 10/30 through Tuesday 11/5/19, back in the office on Wednesday 11/6. We'll be visiting our son and his family in Denver. The "little ones" (not so little anymore) are anxious to surprise us with their Halloween costumes. Janine will be in the office during most of the time. At others times, please leave a voice message or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.
Our practice now participates in the following insurance plans:
- Medicare (including some Medicare Advantage plans)
- UnitedHealth Care (includes Oxford)
It's time to make that appointment you've been putting off, give us a call today!
→ Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes, Here We Go Again
It is estimated that 30.3 million Americans (close to 10%) have diabetes; one fourth of them don't even know it. In addition, an additional 70 million (24% of the population) are prediabetics, and almost three fourths of those will develop diabetes. If you were to break down the percentages by age groups, seniors over 65 years old fare the worst.
I need not tell you about the potentially devastating health risks and consequences of diabetes, but I must emphasize, again and again, that good control of diabetes will markedly decrease the chance of complications.
Good control is not limited to just having a normal fasting blood sugar and an acceptable A1C. Good control also implies a normal blood sugar "spike" after meals, and it implies controlling other associated risk factors such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, overweight, sedentary lifestyle, and a general state of inflammation in the body.
There is no "one answer fits all" to the control of diabetes; the answer has to be tailored to the individual patient. I spend much of my time in the office doing just that.
Prediabetics generally have no specific symptoms. The diagnosis becomes apparent at time of routine blood work, usually during a periodic physical exam or insurance-related blood work. New onset diabetes frequently presents itself as unexplained thirst, frequent urination and weight loss, together with a general feeling of "not well." It's usually prediabetes that's gone unchecked for too long; I'm sure you'd prefer not to be there.
If you have any questions, feel free to call the office or contact me by email. If you're concerned about having diabetes or you think you may be a prediabetic (especially it there's a family history of diabetes), don't wait, call, it's an easy test.
→ Flu vaccine 2019
It's time to get the flu shot. Judging from this year's Australian experience, the flu season will hit the US earlier and perhaps harder than last year - and last year was a particularly bad flu year (79,000 deaths by CDC estimates!). Make sure you get the quadrivalent vaccine (the one with four antiviral components), not the trivalent one. According to the CDC, if you have the "common" egg allergy (itching, hives), you can still get the flu shot just like everyone else. But if you have more severe symptoms than hives, the flu shot should be administered only in a medical setting that can handle complications. You can get the flu shot in most pharmacies, just let us know you got it, for the record.
We DO have a small quantity of flu vaccine in the office for those who prefer to get it here - let us know if you want it before our supply runs out.
→ What About "Dr. Google?"
Almost everyone browses the net for medical information, nothing wrong with that. The more information you have about a medical issue, the better it is. But the information has to be reliable; the net has a lot of good information, but it also has an enormous amount of misinformation, and sometimes this is outright dangerous. Look for medical information on trusted sites, like those listed below. Be suspicious of information not based on scientific studies, those based on individual or anecdotal experiences, and on lengthy infomercial-types meant to sell worthless products. In doubt? I'll help you decide.
Some acceptable sites for medical information include:
Take care of yourself and stay well and stay well,
Igal Staw, Ph.D., M.D.
House Calls Started This Year
House calls are meant for patients who are temporarily or permanently home bound, or for other good reasons can't make it into the office.
To schedule a house call: Tel (203) 853-1919; email email@example.com