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Probiotics - What and When?

Probiotics contain microorganisms that are similar to the beneficial bacterial that occur naturally in our intestinal tract.  There is solid scientific evidence that these microbes can help certain conditions. We know that the gut microbiome is altered by disease, with antibiotics, infection and even constipation. Probiotics have an important role in keeping the gut equilibrium by directly interacting with immune cells.  But all probiotics are not alike and it can be confusing for doctors and patients to know what to take.


Consider this a little primer with conditions, probiotic names and prices.


Probiotics come in two main forms: food and dietary supplements.  There are so many different brands and formulations and quality control is not well regulated. The effectiveness is specific to the disease and the dose taken.


1. Diarrhea after taking antibiotics (or to protect your GI tract when you take an antibiotic)-
    DanActive - $5
    Align -         $50
    Bio-K+ -      $17-27
    C…

Coffee, Tea and Heart Disease

Face Pain? It Could be TMJ

In primary care we commonly see patients with ear pain, sinus pain or headache.  It's often hard for patients to self diagnose where the pain is originating and they want treatment for sinus or ear infections.   When examination of the ear or sinuses doesn't show a problem, many times we find out that it is from the jaw.


TMJ  (Temporomandibular Joint) or TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder) is a common cause of facial pain and can affect as many as 10-15% of adults.  It presents with pain, ear discomfort, headache and jaw pain. It is caused by inflammation in the joint that opens the jaw, right in front of the ear and sometimes there can be a snapping of the jaw as it is widely opened.  You can think of this joint as a hinge that connects the jawbone to the skull.  Like any joint, it can get inflamed and the surrounding muscles of the jaw hurt.


The treatment for TMJ is resting the jaw from wide opening and anti-inflammatory medication.  Most of the time it resolves within about 2…

What Defunding Planned Parenthood Really Means

Planned Parenthood clinics have been a  political football for over a decade. Planned Parenthood operates about 650 health centers across the United States and 2.7 million men and women visit the clinics each year.  In fact, an estimated 1 in 5 women has received care from PP at least once in her life.  For many women, Planned Parenthood may be the only place to receive reproductive health care near where they live.  They provide basic women's preventive care (pap smears, STD testing and treatment, counseling, contraception, IUD placement and long acting reversible contraception) and even basic primary care.


 Of all the health services Planned Parenthood provides, they report that about 3% are for abortion.  Most women receive other services at the same time (pregnancy testing, future contraception) that can skew this number and critics say the abortion percentage is higher, (calculated to as high as 7%), but there is no dispute that Planned Parenthood provides more needed health…