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Health pearls

We live in an era of maybe “too much" medical information. As most of us know, medical information and opinions can drastically change over time. 

In Health Pearls, we will try to summarize some recent scientific studies for you in the hope that the information will help you lead a more healthy life. However, we hope we won’t have to oscillate back and forth, telling you one week to stop doing what we were advising the prior week! We do not claim to be experts in all medical fields but rest assured that we do practice what we preach.

We hope all the pearls we will be gathering will help you on your journey to good health and happiness!


Measles in 2019, or How Our Success Led to Our Downfall
written by Marsha Seidelman, M.D.
on Wednesday, 19th June, 2019

For decades, in the United States, there has been very little talk about measles - for good reason. Thanks to the effectiveness of the measles vaccine that was initially available in 1963, and improved upon in 1968, rates of measles steadily fell until an outbreak in 1989. After that, the recommendation was updated to require two doses of the vaccine instead of one, and rates ...

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Computer Vision Syndrome - dry eyes, neck pain, blue light and more
written by Holly M. Gross, M.D.
on Wednesday, 29th May, 2019

Computer Vision Syndrome, or CVS, is not an actual medical diagnosis, but a term used to describe negative symptoms associated with viewing digital screens such as computers, tablets and smart phones.  CVS can present as tired eyes, dry eyes, tearing, blurred vision, eye pain, headaches and neck pain. Tired eyes can result from staring at a computer screen for long periods ...

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Psychiatry Is Like Retail
written by Anne Sagalyn, M.D.
on Thursday, 16th May, 2019

Psychiatry, like retail, has busy seasons. Unlike retail, psychiatry’s hectic periods occur secondary to fluctuations in seasonal light exposure, rather than during major holidays. For years, I treated patients for worsening, or new onset depression, around Halloween, October 31.  Some of this was Seasonal Affective Disorder, some simply the effects of diminishing light ...

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Osteoporosis- related spine fractures: Perspective of a Neurosurgeon
written by Malini Narayanan, M.D.
on Saturday, 11th May, 2019

Over the past several weeks, we’ve posted a series of articles about osteoporosis, including lifestyle measures for prevention and a 3-part series on exercises to improve bone density and decrease falls and bone fractures. As a neurosurgeon, I am asked to consult on vertebral (spinal) fractures.  Osteoporosis is an important risk factor for acute compression fractures. ...

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What's New in the World of Colon Cancer Screening?
written by Julia Korenman, M.D.
on Sunday, 7th April, 2019

March was colon cancer awareness month. I am a little late in my blog this year but want to give a shout out to getting screened – you can prevent or detect this cancer early with a colonoscopy. Colon cancer is the 2nd most common cause of cancer death in the US, with approximately 50,000 people expected to die from colon cancer this year. Colon cancer deaths have dropped ...

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Osteoporosis: a Review of Bone Loss and Nutrition
written by Aruna Nathan, M.D.
on Sunday, 10th March, 2019

*Osteoporosis, a Brief Overview.* Let’s talk about a process that we should think about when we’re young so we can try to prevent unfortunate events as we age.  First, here are a few important definitions. Osteoporosis is a decrease in bone mass leading to fragility of the bones and increased fracture risk. Osteopenia is its less severe sidekick and sarcopenia is loss ...

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Social Connections as The Secret of Happiness
written by Thu Tran, MD,FACOG
on Wednesday, 26th December, 2018

Are you alone at this time of the year, or do you plan to spend time with your family and friends? Do you know of the loners in your neighborhood or your work places?  If you have, like me, many holiday gatherings to go to, count yourself very lucky.  You might complain how you do not have enough time to “relax,” with all the running around getting gifts for family members ...

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Valsartan Recall: An Ongoing Saga
written by Lakshmi S. Sastry, M.D.
on Monday, 17th December, 2018

We got a frenzy of portal messages from our patients in the last few weeks wondering why the evening news on television announced a recall of high blood pressure meds they take. They thought changing Valsartan (a commonly used blood pressure medication that is part of the ARB family) to other blood pressure medications should have done the trick. They were already familiar ...

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Why Is Weight Loss So Difficult - A Scientific Explanation
written by Marsha Seidelman, M.D.
on Wednesday, 31st October, 2018

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of going to a Smithsonian sponsored talk by Dr. Hall, who is a Senior Investigator at NIH and chief of one of the research programs at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases that reaches across different branches of the institute. It was the first talk in a series called “Pulse on Modern Medicine”. The ...

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Just Keep Truckin'
written by Marsha Seidelman, M.D.
on Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018

You may have heard recently that lack of exercise is a greater risk factor for death than high blood pressure, high cholesterol or smoking. I was curious to see whether this was a sensational headline or if there was good data to back up the claim. The article referred to in the popular press was posted on the open network of the Journal of the American Medical Association ...

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Latest entries
DC Central Kitchen -- ''We fight hunger differently''
Herb-Marinated Chicken Breasts
Measles in 2019, or How Our Success Led to Our Downfall
The Unwinding of the Miracle, by Julie Yip-Williams
Computer Vision Syndrome - dry eyes, neck pain, blue light and more
Psychiatry Is Like Retail
Osteoporosis- related spine fractures: Perspective of a Neurosurgeon

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