MS Facts and Figures

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system, which consists of the spinal cord, brain and optic nerves. MS occurs when the immune system attacks myelin, the fatty substance that surrounds and insulates the nerve fibers, and the nerve fibers themselves.1 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society estimates that 400,000 people nationwide and 2.3 million people worldwide are affected by multiple sclerosis.2 MS can be difficult to diagnose because many of the symptoms are similar to other neurologic diseases. Symptoms include blurred vision, weak and stiff muscles, numbness, dizziness and bladder control problems.3

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Pollen Is in the Air

Fall has arrived along with fall allergies. With the cooler temperatures and color-changing leaves also comes mold and pollen. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 40-60 million people are affected by allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever. Common symptoms include sneezing, itchy eyes and stuffy or runny nose. Doctors must prepare for the influx of patients they will treat during this season.

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What You Need to Know about Dental Amalgam

Controversy surrounds dental amalgam, the material sometimes used to fill cavities, because about half of it is composed of elemental mercury. Amalgam is a mixture of metals consisting of liquid mercury and a powdered alloy composed of tin, copper and silver. Elemental mercury reacts with and binds together with the alloy particles to form an amalgam. These fillings are also referred to as “silver fillings” due to their silver appearance.1

Elemental mercury releases mercury vapor that is primarily absorbed through the lungs, harmfully affecting them. Coughing, difficulty breathing and headaches are just a few of the symptoms of inhaling mercury. It is also possible for mercury to be absorbed through the skin; however, it is a much slower process.2

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Type I and Type II Diabetes: What’s the Difference?

Many misconceptions exist about the differences between Type I and Type II Diabetes, a disease which affects 29.1 million people in the United States.1  Diabetes is a chronic disease, in which the pancreas produces less of or completely stops producing the hormone insulin. Insulin is essential in order to live. It breaks down the sugars in the body, converting them to energy.

Type I Diabetes, also referred to as juvenile diabetes, is commonly diagnosed in children and young adults. However, older adults can also contract Type I. It occurs when the pancreas completely stops producing insulin. The exact  cause of Type I is still unknown, but genetics and viral infections are thought to play a part.2 Treatment for Type I involves taking artificial insulin either by injections via a syringe or insulin pen or a pump, a device that delivers insulin through a catheter underneath the skin.3 Rapid-acting insulin begins decreasing blood  sugars within 10-30 minutes and is good to take before eating. Long-acting insulin helps stabilize sugars over a longer period of time (20-24 hours).4

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Part 2: Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse

In our last blog post, we explored how prescription drug abuse has become an epidemic in the United States. This week we will discuss how to prevent prescription drug abuse and what to do with any unused medications.

Many opioid abusers get the prescription drugs from friends or relatives for free, according to a study by JAMA Internal Medicine. Other sources include getting a prescription from one or more doctors, stealing or buying prescription drugs from friends or family and buying prescription drugs from drug dealers.1

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