Managing the Stress of Information Overload

The expression “life in the fast lane” has been used in the past to describe anything from people working too much, too hard, and too long to abusing substances. With the advent of the information age and its attendant smart phones, Skype, iPads and other devices and technologies, life has now moved from the fast lane onto the super highway. People remain in constant connection and find themselves multitasking everything from work (long after business hours) to the news, and from social media to the stock exchange. It is easy to feel overwhelmed in these circumstances; the challenge becomes how to manage this “information overload.” Read more

Typical Communication Development in Children, Part I

If you are a parent, it is good to be familiar with the basic benchmarks for hearing, speech, and language development in the infant, toddler, and school-aged child. The benchmarks serve as guidelines for pediatricians and other health and education professionals with which to monitor the child’s progress or delay, and offer help if necessary. The first post in this three-part series will cover the basic benchmarks for infants. Read more

You’ve Just Been Diagnosed with Prediabetes—Now What?

Prediabetes is the medical term for people who have higher-than-normal blood sugar but not yet high enough to be considered type 2 diabetes. Receiving a diagnosis of prediabetes can be overwhelming. Many people are terrified they will become diabetic, but aren’t sure how to prevent it. Although not everyone with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes, it’s the best time to start making some changes to your diet and lifestyle to help decrease your risk for diabetes. Read more

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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