The Growing Problem of Diabetes: What Can We Do? (Part 3)

This post was written by Gerald Bernstein, MD, FACP, Director, Diabetes Management Program, Friedman Diabetes Institute at Mount Sinai Beth Israel.

In part 1 of this series, we looked at the overwhelming numbers of people with diabetes or prediabetes. In part 2, we looked at the critical role of structured education. Now, in part 3, we will look at a potential intervention.

Remember, over 40% of the US population over the age of 20 has either diabetes or prediabetes. Both are progressive stages of the same disorder and both have enormous risks attached to them. The solution to a problem of this enormity can best be approached by a partnership of private philanthropy, governmental support and institutional buy-in. (Although things may change, it does not look like there will be a federally mandated national diabetes program in the near future.) The underlying premise is that great institutions do great things.  Read more

Chronic Venous Insufficiency: The Basics

By Jeffrey M. Levine, MD, and Michael Cioroiu, MD, FACS

Up to 40 percent of women and 17 percent of men suffer from chronic venous insufficiency, a condition marked by swollen ankles, and feelings of leg tightness or heavy, tired legs. Chronic venous insufficiency may also be associated with varicose veins, which are swollen, bulging or twisted veins that you can see through the skin. In severe cases, chronic venous insufficiency can lead to non-healing leg ulcers. Read more

Recent Discovery: World War I and the Origins of Heart Surgery

The 100-year anniversary of World War I this year is uncovering new truths. One surprise concerns the origins of heart surgery. To put the breakthrough in context, one should know that in 1896, the standard textbook “Surgery of the Chest” declared: “Surgery of the heart has probably reached the limits set by nature; no new methods and no new discovery can overcome the natural difficulties that attend a wound of the heart.” The leading surgeon in the world at that time, Theodore Billroth from Germany, had gone so far as to declare, “The surgeon who operates on the heart will lose the respect of his colleagues.” Read more

The Growing Problem of Diabetes — What Can We Do? (Part 2)

This post was written by Gerald Bernstein, MD, FACP, Director, Diabetes Management Program, Friedman Diabetes Institute at Mount Sinai Beth Israel.

It was the month of June 1959. I was in the last 30 days of my physician training internship, rotating through pediatrics. A 12-year old girl was admitted with type 1 diabetes mellitus. At that time, the only available tools for diabetes management were testing the urine for glucose and ketones. Other blood tests, including blood glucose, could take hours to perform. Insulin for injection consisted of mixed animal insulin (cows and pigs) and was much longer-acting and less predictable than the type we use today. The patient was a remarkable young woman and took things in stride.

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Know the Signs of Communication Disorders

Each May, Better Hearing and Speech Month aims to familiarize the public with the nature of communication disorders, as well as with the role of the speech-language pathologist in providing life-altering treatment. To this end, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has recently launched the “Identify the Signs” campaign, designed to address a lack of awareness about communication disorders — a major barrier to treatment for the more than 40 million Americans who suffer from them. Read more

How to Learn About Herbal and Dietary Supplements

Most people learn about herbal and dietary supplements from health food stores or read about them on the Internet. However, informed consumers need to know that key safety information is still lacking from many online sources of herbal and dietary supplements, as illustrated in a recent American Journal of Medicine review of 1,179 websites on 13 common herbal medicines. The study revealed that less than 8% of retail websites provided information regarding potential adverse effects, drug interactions and other safety issues. Less than 3% cited scientific literature to accompany their claims*. Read more

Arthritis and Exercise: What to Do and What Not to Do

There are many different types of arthritis. According to the Arthritis Foundation, common forms include rheumatoid, osteoarthritis, gout, fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis. While many medications can improve pain and quality of life for people with any type of arthritis, exercising is one of the most important ways to manage the condition. Exercise cannot cure arthritis, but it can preserve joints and improve quality of life.  Read more

Mental Health Month: Pathways to Wellness

Depression. Bipolar disorder. Anxiety disorders. Post traumatic stress. Addiction. These are illnesses that are misunderstood by many and are surrounded by stigma. The negative perceptions that people have are far from reality. The fact is, these are real, treatable medical conditions just like diabetes or heart disease. They are not weaknesses or character flaw

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