House Calls

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

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sent to my patients on 3/12/2015.

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Are you ready for spring? The snow is melting away about as fast as it fell. Enjoy the change in seasons, it's good for the soul...

Heart Health 

February was National Heart Month. While February may be over, taking care of your heart is a year-round commitment.

This is a reminder that, while heart disease is the number one cause of premature death and disability in the US, the risks of developing heart disease can be reduced significantly by making important changes in lifestyles, medical treatment, and early detection.

The most important modifiable risk factors for the development of premature heart disease include: Smoking, overweight, uncontrolled high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, excess alcohol consumption, high "bad cholesterol" and lack of physical activity.

Heart disease can be delayed by many years by paying attention to your particular situation, and by "doing the right thing." We recently adapted for use in our office a heart risk calculator, which can give you an estimate of your risk for developing heart disease. This can be used to see how the risk changes if certain changes were made, such as achieving better blood pressure control, losing weight, etc.

Give us a call today; we'll develop a personalized program to help you reduce your heart related risks.

Alpha Lipoic Acid 

Does the alpha lipoic acid supplement, available over the counter, have any value? Several patients asked me about it, and the answer may interest you.

Alpha lipoic acid is an antioxidant that plays an important role in several bodily functions. It helps eliminate free radicals, which are the harmful waste products of metabolism and which are contributing to the aging process. Alpha lipoic acid also helps convert nutrients into energy within body cells. With these qualities, it is thought to be helpful in two important instances:
  • In people with diabetes, it may help reduce the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy (burning, pain and/or numbness, usually of the feet), and lessen the detrimental effects of diabetes on the heart, kidneys and small blood vessels. It may also improve insulin sensitivity, which then allows the body to burn sugar more effectively. Alpha lipoic acid has been officially approved in Germany for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy for many years.
  • In patients who are trying to lose weight, and who are already on a reduced calorie diet, alpha lipoic acid supplements may enhance weight loss, especially when combined with EPA, an omega-3 fatty acid. This has been shown in a small study of women, and probably holds for men, too.

As with many other supplements, don't just go and buy it. Let's make sure first that this is what you need, and that you take the right preparation and dose and minimize the chance of side effects. Call today for a quick an easy assessment.

High Deductables Got You Down? 

As always, we're doing our best to make medical care affordable. Many patients now have a high deductible. In many instances you may have to spend $5,000-12,000 before your insurance kicks in, and you are charged "retail" fees for services such as office visits and labs. In order to make medical care more affordable, we limited our self-pay basic office visit to a minimum (usually $85-95, and scaled down in cases of financial hardship), and have made arrangements with two labs for very reasonable fees for blood tests that are not covered by insurance.

Please take care of yourself and don't deny yourself of necessary medical services!

Stay well, 


Twitter / Dr. Staw