To My Patients,
Emailed to patients 4-17-2021
Spring is here (most days, at least most days I guess...) We've been back from Colorado for over two weeks, having visited our youngest son and his wife and those rapidly growing 8- and 10-year-olds. We are now spending a little more time seeing patients in the office than in the past few months, and almost as much time doing telemedicine.
We Love That Garden!
Many people feel safer now, after they were fully vaccinated, and for good reason. If you haven't been vaccinated yet, do so at your earliest opportunity. Pfizer and Moderna are considered very safe and effective, J&J is on hold until the clotting issue is clarified.
It is reasonable to believe that the faster the population is vaccinated, the less will there be a chance for the development of vaccine-resistant or more virulent variants of the COVID-19 virus. So just do it - if you have a question about vaccination - please call 203-853-1919 or email.
But, while COVID is still here, let's not forget about other aspects of keeping ourselves in good health - it's time to get back to taking care of yourself!
** Speaking of Weight Gain **
Some studies suggest that during the epidemic people have been gaining weight at an average of 2 pounds a week! I don't see this magnitude of weight gain in my patients, but a significant weight gain is still happening, and it's a major concern. Lack of physical activity is a factor but eating more is a much more important element in weight gain.
** Speaking of Weight Loss **
Recent studies suggest that a weight loss program which starts with a few days of "no solid food" is more effective than the accepted portion-control method. If interested, we can help you with that. Let's chat about quality strategies for you to get to your ideal weight!
** And the Periodic Physical Exam **
As you may have seen in the news reports, many have been neglecting their general health, including periodic evaluation, during COVID. The physical examination, during which time blood and urine tests (and maybe others) are usually done, is the time to assess your general health and to identify health risk factors, if any. When done correctly, it's the gateway to a healthier, many times longer, life. Don't miss the opportunity to have it done. Many, if not most, insurance companies cover physical exams with no copay. Medicare does not cover physical exams but will cover yearly "wellness exams." I try to do what I think is right, and include as much of the physical exam as possible within the wellness exam (it lets me sleep better...). It's time to make an appointment and get the ball rolling again!
** About Those Med Renewals **
This can be a touchy subject - many patients use "routine medications," medications that you use regularly for a chronic condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure or chronic bronchitis. I regularly receive renewal requests and approve them when appropriate, or notify you if it's time to re-evaluate. Now, some of the pharmacies (especially the large chain pharmacies) send us auto-requests, even if you didn't request a refill, and I have no way of knowing who initiated the request, and this may lead to errors. For example: I get a request from patient X to refill metoprolol (for blood pressure control); the request comes from CVS even though you may have stopped taking the medication (say, at the suggestion of your cardiologist, or you just forgot to take it). But I may think you did request it, and may think that you're still taking it. See where I'm going? It can get messy...
I think that a request to refill a medication should come directly from you by calling the office or by sending me an email (so easy). Don't authorize the pharmacy to send auto-refill requests, and if you have already authorized it, cancel the request.
Here's a fun fact: The tongue is the strongest muscle in the body. It's nice when we use it wisely!
Stay safe and stay well,
Igal Staw, Ph.D., M.D.