Medical Pearls for the laymen

1. If you are not allergic to ASA (acetylsalicylic acid / aspirin), take it every other day, if you have no risk factors, ie, Diabeles Mellitus, hypertension, or hypercholesterolemia, heart problems.  If you have risk factors mentioned, you can take a baby aspirin, or small doses of ASA every day.  Studies show that ASA prevents the occurence of cardiovascular events like heart attack or stroke. It is a blood-thinner, antiplatelet and will prevent the formation of clot which leads to CVA (stroke) and MI (heart attack). I prescribe ASA to most of my patients if not all. I even take aspirin every other day. A bonus, aspirin is over the counter. Just take it after meals to prevent gastric irritation. The best time is actually before going to bed, as some studies show it also lowers blood pressure.

When traveling for long periods, you can take aspirin also to prevent DVT (deep vein thrombosis) from developing. This is a must for people who just had surgery or those who have hypercoagulability issues like cancer, blood disorders, COPD. I have none of those, yet, I take aspirin whenever I travel especially when i go home to the Philippines. The length of flight is usually 16-24 hours or more. Imagine that!

2. People who are allergic to aspirin may take Plavix, however, would need a prescription from a medical practitioner.

3. To prevent UTI’s, take cranberry pills or drink the juice. Not all Uti’s need antibiotic prescription. Some will resolve by itself, an example is honeymoon cystitis.

4. Red eyes or conjunctivitis are a nuisance, especially if both eyes are affected. Why wear sunglasses indoors? Maybe red eyes is the answer.

There are 3 types of red eyes: a) bacterial in which the eyelids are sticking together because of pus and  will need antibiotics. However, it could resolve even without antibiotics, especially in poor nations, like the  Philippines, we do not have any treatment for this type.

b) Viral – not a lot of discharges but tearing/burning would be the symptoms. This is self-limiting disease and no treatment necessary.

c) Allergic – very itchy, teary, burning, and with symptoms such as sneezing and running nose. May or may not be treated with antihistamine drops and the like. Antihistamine pills will do wonders. However, wil also go away without treatment.

5. Judicious use of medications is advised to all patients. Why take meds if you do not really need them? Polypharmacy is one of the highest cause of mortality/morbidity in the USA, especially, the senior citizens.  Use of narcotics is a major contributory factor to accidental death of most celebrities and young people. They are physically dependent to narcotics, they could not stop until they get what they want: death.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *