Medicine and Pharmaceuticals

We can’t talk about penises and urethras without mentioning vaginas.  So, it seems like the perfect segue in my series on foreign bodies in the body to move directly from one family jewel to another.

So, let’s dive right in and open Pandora’s box, so to speak.

Our journey of exotic squatters assuming residence in the vaginal canal will involve an outside in approach, just as one would perform a medical examination.  We will track the common culprits from childhood through adulthood.  The former’s offenders tend to range from hygiene issues, curiosity and injury in the very young to the evolution of pubertal sexual discovery in adolescence.  Once in adulthood, the relevance of inanimate objects in the vagina typically arises from sexual exploration or toy exploitation....

Synthetic cannabis, of which Spice is an example, is linked to serious health issues ranging from difficulties breathing to psychotic episodes. But, despite well-known issues, these drugs are still in demand and homeless people, particularly, are at risk of mental health issues from their use. So what exactly are these drugs made of and why do they cause such violent reactions?

Spice is not a single drug, but a range of laboratory-made chemicals that mimic the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component of cannabis. Research suggests that Spice and other forms of synthetic cannabis is capable of producing much more intense and prolonged effects at much lower doses...

Flu Season Ahead

Flu Vaccine Updates for 2016-2017  

October marks the beginning of flu season, which means it is time to get a flu shot. The flu season spans the months of October to May, so the ideal time to get vaccinated is before the end of October.  In the United States alone, influenza-related deaths have been estimated to be 3,349 - 48,614 annually, depending on the year.  The influenza vaccine is our best defense against this potentially deadly virus.

Because the flu virus frequently undergoes mutations, a new vaccine must be formulated each year.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uses prevalence data from preceding months to determine which strains of influenza...

Many methods of effective birth control are available for women today — barrier methods such as diaphragms and condoms, birth control pills, hormonal implants, IUDs — but except for the implants and IUDs, all are susceptible to human error. One can forget to take a pill, bring a condom or diaphragm, or there can be the rare instance of method failure. Whatever the reason, the possibility of an undesired pregnancy looms. However, the miracle of modern medicine provides an out even here — emergency contraception. The synthetic progestin hormone levonorgestrel, used in regular birth control pills at a lower dose, is the active ingredient in emergency contraceptive pills.

When taken within the specified time (usually 72 hours) after intercourse, such contraceptive pills can prevent...

When I posed an urgent medical question on Science 2.0 earlier this year, my expectations were very low: 1) Simply make an idiot out of myself, or 2) Make an idiot of myself, but at least give people a few yuks while doing so. However, dismissing "Old Man Balls: Fact or Fiction?" would turn out to be premature.

Who could have possibly known that only months later, a seminal moment that would provide an answer: Yes, OMBs are real. And there is a solution, at least for those of us who are deranged enough to try to do something that would seem to be rather unpleasant.

Jason Emer, M.D, a surgeon in Beverly Hills (as if it could be anywhere else?) has noted a rising demand for...

We all know how to lose weight — eat less and move more. But for many of us, that prescription just doesn't seem to be attainable, or if weight loss is achieved it is difficult for many to maintain. However, multiple studies have shown that keeping track of food intake — a food diary — does seem to help. So would keeping track of activity also be useful? Would it improve upon results using just food diaries? A group of researchers led by Dr. John M. Jakicic from the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center, Pittsburgh, PA set out to test that idea. The report of their investigation was published in JAMA.    

To determine whether the addition of an activity tracker would...

With medical letters and the general health of the U.S. Presidential candidates being the big topic of discussion last week, we were all treated to analyses of issues like blood clots and BMI and other topics. Pundits on both sides suggested some concern about the medical fitness of the opposing candidate.

But, where did this interest in medical fitness come from? What's fit or unfit in 2016?  Basically, what would cause you, or the leadership of a major party, to declare a candidate not medically qualified to be President and not worthy of a vote?  

This answer is different for a physician.

Fitness is not as obvious as you might think. Doctors, me included, will automatically defer to the primary physician of a candidate as the final arbiter of medical health,...

 Last week, a video went viral (over 19 million views!) of a woman delivering an infant under water in a tub with her partner immersed along with them.

 Headlines read (to name a few):  "Mum Stuns Internet with Immaculate Water Birth Video", "The Viral Water Birth Video Proves Giving Birth can be Calm", "This Mom’s Incredibly Peaceful Birth Video Went Viral On Facebook" and "‘She gave birth like a boss’: Video makes water birth look easy, but is it?"

 Congratulations for the family abounded on the internet.  It may look easy but there is little discussion about the safety of the process. And introducing a risk factor with no benefit is not a good idea.

  In 2006, I published a case...

Ovarian cancer is hard to detect and, according to the American Cancer Society, "Ovarian cancer accounts for about 3% of cancers among women, but it causes more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system."

This year it is expected that over 22,000 women will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer, and over 14,000 will die of the disease. There are no reliable tests to alert patients or care-givers of the disease in its early stages. In fact, in 2012 the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended against...

Democratic Presidential contender Hillary Clinton is back on the campaign trail after the 68-year-old had rested at her home in Chappaqua, New York for a few days last week following what appeared to be a 'dizzy' spell during a visit to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center last Sunday.

After that, her personal physician since 2001, Dr. Lisa Bardack, M.D., chair of internal medicine at the Mount Kisco Medical Group, released a statement that read, “Secretary Clinton has been experiencing a cough related to allergies. On Friday, during follow up evaluation of her prolonged cough, she was diagnosed with pneumonia. She was put on antibiotics, and advised to rest and modify her schedule. While at this morning's event, she became overheated and...