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Showing posts from December, 2013

The Microbiome

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I am fascinated by the new research and information on the gut microbiome.  These microorganisms (germs, bacteria, microbes) live harmoniously in every part of our body and especially in our gastrointestinal system.  It wasn't even really discovered until the late 1990s and we now know that these microbial communities affect our health in ways we never dreamed.  The human microbiome may play a role in obesity, immune response, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, and maybe even anxiety, depression and autism.

Anything that is this new has many possibilities the science is just starting, but there is clearly something very important here.   The Human Microbiome Project  is a NIH initiative with the goal of identifying and characterizing the microorganisms which are found in association with both healthy and diseased humans.  They intend to test how changes in the human microbiome are associated with human health or disease.

A new study published in Nature this week showed that adap…

Answer to Medical Challenge

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OK, the answer to yesterday's Image Challenge was #3, Squamous cell carcinoma.

Ninety percent of all mouth cancers are squamous cell cancer.  Factors that increase your risk of mouth cancer are:
tobacco use of any type (including smoking, chewing, cigars and pipes)heavy alcohol useHuman Papillomavirus (HPV)  (think of Michael Douglas) Usually surgery is needed to treat squamous cell carcinoma in the oropharynx, along with radiation therapy to eradicate all of the cells.

Image Challenge

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Back by popular demand is this weeks medical challenge where you get to make the diagnosis. (click on the image for a close up view)

The patient opens his mouth, says "ahhh" and this is what you see.  Is it:

1. Aphthous stomatitis
2.  Pyogenic granuloma
3.  Squamous-cell carcinoma
4.  Syphillis
5.  Traumatic fibroma

Make your diagnosis in the comments section and check back tomorrow for the answer.

Things Doctors Do (That Normal People don't)

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I have been too swamped to blog recently on EverythingHealth, spending lots of time with my physician colleagues (as well as patients).  I realized that doctors are really not normal when it comes to a few things.  Here is a list of things doctors do that normal people don't.  You may have more to add!
Eat standing up, while walking or while charting on patientsTake expired medication (we know that expiration date is phony)Work hard-core, even when sickDon't get regular check-upsCannot watch doctor TV shows (House is especially intolerable)Freely discuss body functions at dinner.  Nothing is off limitsSilently diagnose medical conditions on strangers.  No lump or rash goes unnoticed.Combine vacations with workWhen we shake hands, think "Oh, that's a nice vein"When our child is hemorrhaging, we can fix anything with steri-stripsSeldom use antibiotics on ourselves or familyListen to lectures and medical information while commutingTake suitcases full of journals to …