Certain topics come up time and again: “Doctor! I can’t afford to be sick now! You’ve got to get rid of this cold!” Patients like to have it written down or something to show their family. Here are health information brochures I wrote for patients seen in my office. Though I’m no longer practicing internal medicine, these discussions continue to be useful.
The information presented here isn’t for every possible aspect of the problem, but an overview of what’s going on and what to expect. Sometimes I’ll suggest what you can do at home. Other handouts discuss how to use the medications recommended for this problem. Rather than provide a complete list of every possible side effect, I’ve tried to present a balanced view of the benefits and potential problems people encounter most often. (Similarly, you won’t find prescribing information like which medication to use when, when not to use it, or drug-drug interactions.)
You’ll find topics on depression, antidepressant medications, and emotional healing on a separate page.
Here’s the list:
- How to treat your cold at home. What can you do to feel better? When and why may antibiotics be helpful, and how can you tell.
- What is hypertension and how do you treat it? When does high blood pressure become a medical condition that requires regular medication? How long should you take your blood pressure pills? What are the alternatives to medication?
- How can you tell if you are at risk for a heart problem in the future? If your risk is elevated, how can you lower it?
- Is there any point to preventive medicine: regular checkups, blood tests, and procedures to keep you healthy? Do you need vaccinations as an adult?
- What is metabolic syndrome, why is it important, and how do you treat it?
- Rational weight loss: basic concepts. Here’s a way to lose weight that works, based on solid medical evidence. It’s not what you’d expect. After you understand the concepts, here are specific steps to lose weight.
- Why is exercise important? How do you get started? I have more detail about aerobic exercise. If you’re already somewhat fit, interval training is an especially efficient way to build fitness.
- Dealing with nasal allergies/hay fever. Corticosteroid nasal sprays and nonsedating antihistamines often make a big difference. Here’s how to use them.
- The irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Abdominal cramps, indigestion, bloating, and gas are often a pain. Once we’ve determined this is what you have, here are tips on how to manage it. (This note doesn’t go into the many other conditions that may mimic IBS.)
- How to treat hemorrhoids and anal itching or pain.