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Genetics Load the Gun, Lifestyle Pulls the Trigger

What is lifestyle? Lifestyle is the choice of how you live your life on a daily basis. It is what you choose to eat, do, and how you choose to interact with others and your environment. It includes stress management, sleep hygiene, and how we tend to our emotional needs. We make these choices daily; sometimes they are good and sometimes they are not. Often, it is not just one lifestyle choice that matters, but a series of choices over time causing a disease to result.

Genetics are fixed. You cannot remove the DNA you were born with, but you can influence how your genes interact and function in your body. Think of genetics as a light switch that you can turn off and on based on the lifestyle choices you make. You may carry a genetic predisposition to obesity, but you’re not destined to a life of diabetes unless the choices you make along the way support such an outcome. You may carry the BRCA gene that predisposes you to breast cancer or have a close relative with history...

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Fever... How hot is too hot pt 2

 In the last blog, here, I explained why we develop a fever sometimes due to infection. I also explained some other characteristics of the person with a fever that would require that I take a closer look: overall appearance, extremes of age, a poorly functioning immune system, and some social issues I must consider. 

I had alluded to the fact that not all fevers are due to an infection. Now, I want to explain some of the issues that can cause elevated body temperature when no bacterial or viral culprit is to blame.

Illicit Drugs

Certain illicit drugs, like amphetamines, can cause body temperature to elevate higher than what we usually see with infectious causes. MDMA (ecstasy), a common rave drug, causes users to want to have move their bodies more (like dance), it causes increases in serotonin, and it causes the cells themselves to release energy as heat rather than storing it. 

Drug-drug interactions

Sometimes prescription or over-the-counter drugs can interact...

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Fever... when hot is too hot part 1

I remember one time I was working at a large hospital, and about 1 am a mother brought her toddler in with a rectal temperature of 106.5. Even for those of us who see a lot of kids with fever, that’s pretty high. We did a full evaluation including blood work, x-rays, and lumbar puncture and got the kid admitted to the pediatric service while we waited to see if the blood cultures grew anything.  This child did fine and went home after a couple of days. Fevers continue to be one of the most common reasons people come to the hospital or see their doctors, especially in the pediatric age group.

 

I like to educate people about fevers because there are so many misconceptions. Everyone’s grandmother has an antidote for fever. Everyone knows someone who knows someone whose “brain was fried” due to fever. So many myths, so little time…

 

Aside from some unusually high fevers, usually caused by issues other than infection (discussed in the next...

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Health Tip Collection

Our collection of health tips


Vitamins

Where to start? Think about starting with a multi-vitamin. Typically, a multi-vitamin has 7 ingredients:

Vitamin D
Magnesium
Calcium
Zinc
Iron
Folate
Vitamin B12

**But if you struggle with constipation a multi-vitamin with iron may worsen the problem.

Not all vitamins are created equal. Look at the quality of the vitamins. Read the instructions. Some are best taken with food, some without. Remember, vitamins are used to supplement what you aren't receiving from a proper diet.


Migraines

Migraines are miserable. Understanding your migraine triggers can be key to keeping your pain at bay. Did you know food triggers can occur up to 24 hours after consumption? By tracking your food you are more likely to zero in on a pattern and begin experimenting with eliminating certain foods from your diet. Even though Excedrin Migraine contains caffeine to help combat your migraine, too much caffeine can cause rebound headaches. By tracking and potentially...

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