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

Friday, December 22, 2017

To My Patients

Sent December 21, 2017

Back from Israel, back from France, back from Continuing Medical Education in Manhattan... Back in the office in full force! 

Are you ready for the new year? I've got a few tips and pointers that will help you make the best of your health in 2018. 

 Physical Exam
You still have a few days to get your comprehensive physical exam before the end of the year, a money saver for some people. For that reason, I extended the usual office hours to accommodate those who need to come in on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday of next week (between the holidays). 

Call us today at (203) 653-1919 for an appointment, we'll do our best to accommodate you! 

 Rethinking High Blood Pressure - 130=120?
It's the talk of the town, the blood pressure guidelines changed (by the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and other health organizations). Any blood pressure above 120 mm Hg systolic (the higher of the two BP numbers) is considered elevated. The old cutoff mark was 130 systolic. This is a change that took too long to come, we've known the facts for years, but it does encourage more people to make the necessary changes to keep their pressure under control and prevent the complications of hypertension, especially stroke and heart attacks. 

Is this lower blood pressure right for everyone? No. There are some instances were a higher blood pressure is acceptable, or even necessary, but these have to be discussed with a physician after a thorough evaluation. 

 Taking NSAIDs Regularly? Think Again
NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil, Aleve and Celebrex) are usually taken for short duration skeletomuscular pain or headache. Some are available over the counter. Taking these medications for short periods (a day or two at a time) is generally considered safe. Recent studies proved what was suspected for a long time, that taking NSAIDs chronically causes a small, but definite, increase of the risk of a heart attack. This is in addition to the known risk of heart burn, ulcers and GI bleeding. 

Of the familiar NSAIDs, Celebrex (a prescription drug), appears to be the safest. So, if you are using an NSAID on a regular basis, let's see if we can find an alternative. 

 Flu shot
The flu season in Connecticut appears to have started, but is still at a minimal level. 

Have you gotten your flu shot yet? If not, get the quadrivalent vaccine if you can; otherwise, the trivalent vaccine will do - just get it! 

If you have a severe (not mild) egg allergy, get the vaccination in a medical facility equipped to handle allergic reactions. 

 To Our ConnectiCare Patients
I continue to participate in the ConnectiCare network as I always have. You may have gotten a notice from ConnectiCare that I will no longer be a provider in their network, but the issue was resolved. FYI, ConnectiCare has been receiving the highest grades from my patients, join them if you can. 

 Uninsured And Under-Insured Patients
Judging from the changes just passed by both Houses, and the significant hikes in insurance rates, I expect that more people will be uninsured, or will be under-insured (e.g., very high deductibles, high copays, hospital-coverage only), and will have to pay out of pocket for ordinary medical services. 

As many of you know, we try our best to make our practice services as affordable as possible, and take into account financial need and difficulty. We use lab facilities (blood work, x-rays, etc.) that can better accommodate self-pay patients. 

So, if you are uninsured or under-insured, don't deny yourself medical care, contact our office. 

Remember that making New Year's resolutions is the easy part... 

Have a happy, healthy New Year! 

Igal Staw, Ph.D., M.D.
Dr. Staw on Facebook 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

To My Patients

Sent 10-3-2017

Hope all is well; still taking advantage of the outdoors? It's sure a nice time of the year in our part of the country, go outside and take a walk while you still can!

Office Hours for the Next Two Weeks

Sandy and I are going to take a "real vacation" this time (it's been a long time in coming...). We'll be in Israel and France for a little over two weeks, visiting friends and family, and sightseeing.

We will be out of the office starting Friday, October 27, through Monday, November 13.

We will be back in the office on Tuesday, November 14.

During our vacation time, Janine will be in the office during our usual office hours, and Dr. Sarfraz will be covering me. If necessary, Janine will be able to reach me.

Please plan ahead and let us know if you need anything before we leave on the 27th of this month. We're in the office this week, and if you need an appointment or a prescription, please call asap!

Flu Shots

I would like to remind everyone that it's now time to get your flu vaccine. It doesn't matter if you get it in the doctor's office or the pharmacy, just make sure you get it.

Enjoy your Halloween!

Igal Staw, Ph.D., M.D.
Dr. Staw on Facebook

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

To My Patients

Labor Day is over, with only two days left until fall, and the time is approaching to walk in the park and watch the leaves turn color. Personally, we took a walk up and around Kent Falls, it's beautiful and it's only about an hour away from the office - any easy excursion for some great exercise!

Want to keep your carb intake low?

It's so important for control of diabetes and pre-diabetes, and for weight control. Here are some low carb suggestions.
Cauliflower, zucchini, spaghetti squash, and sweet (but not regular) potatoes
Oatmeal (rolled better than steel milled
Fresh fruit, especially berries, berries, berries...
Greek yogurt, cottage cheese
Almonds (great for appetite control), walnuts and pecans
Flax, sunflower, squash

And the list goes on, give us a call and ask for more!

Longevity in the US, revisited

The CIA report of 2016 still ranks the US 41st in the world in longevity (average life expectancy 79.8 years, 77.5 for males, 82.1 for females). This continues to be a very disappointing statistic, despite having the best medical facilities in the world, and despite spending more than any other country on health care per capita. More and more reports are emerging about the role of faulty lifestyles in decreasing longevity. A recent report strongly suggests that more than 40% of premature deaths in the US occur because of faulty lifestyles, with the most important one the combination of overweight and lack of exercise. Number two (used to be number one) is smoking.

To make a long story short: Want to live longer? Don't just rely on medical care, make sure you stay at an acceptable weight, be physically active, avoid tobacco in all forms, don't drink alcohol to excess and avoid unnecessary or illicit drugs. For more detail, look at my last year's letter on this subject, available on my blog at

Office hours

Please note that the office will be closed this Thursday, September 21, it's Rosh Hashanah.

In addition, we'll be away, visiting our son and his family in Denver, from Thursday, September 28th, through the following Tuesday, October 3rd.
If you need an appointment, please call us today and we'll see what we can do to help you out as quickly as possible!

To our Cigna Patients

Our Cigna contract is running out as of November 1st. However, I will continue to see Cigna patients on an out-of-network basis at affordable fees (fees will be scaled down even further for patients with financial issues, as we do with all other non-participating insurance plans). We hope to reestablish our relationship with Cigna soon. I want to remind everyone that we do participate with ConnectiCare, they have been very good to our patients. Please call us if you have concerns!

Igal Staw, Ph.D., M.D.
Dr. Staw on Facebook

Twitter / Dr. Staw