Antibiotic Resistance - Why this is important to everyone now
by Michael Melgar on July 19th, 2015
Antibiotic resistance is a problem that we have been aware of almost since penicillin was first developed. Its the natural outcome of natural selection when bacteria are exposed to antibiotics, but now we are facing a moment when resistance may disarm even our newest and best antibiotics leaving us vulnerable to infections once again. In the pre-antibiotic era infections were the most common cause...
Cancer Screening - What's new in the new recommendations?
by Michael Melgar on May 20th, 2015
This week the American College of Physicians released a statement in an attempt to clarify some conflicting recommendations and controversies in relation to cancer screening tests. These recommendations were created after a review of the available literature and the latest studies.Click the following link below to read more about this: Cancer Screening Guidelines...
FOLD IT - You don't have to have a degree to make scientific discoveries
by Michael Melgar on February 24th, 2015
Proteins are the most important molecules in our bodies. Proteins are the building blocks of every structure in your body. Specialised proteins form everything from enzymes, to hormones, receptors, and antibodies. The unique properties of proteins allow them to be formed into an almost infinite number of shapes allowing them to accomplish so many important tasks. Proteins are built by linking amin...
98.6 - What's a normal body temperature?
by Michael Melgar on December 4th, 2014
When trying to figure out whether you have the flu or a cold its often important to know whether you have a fever but what qualifies as a fever? The recent COVID-19 pandemic has made this question more critical than ever. When is a temperature abnormal? When is it a fever? From the time we are young we are tought that a normal temperature is 98.6. Most people would assume that something like 101 ...
Vaccines -Are you at risk?
by Michael Melgar on November 26th, 2014
The flu season will be here soon and getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself from this serious illness, but influenza is not the only contagious disease that adults need to protect themselves from. Vaccines aren't just for children. Some illnesses require updated vaccines from time to time and other diseases are more common only in adulthood. For these reasons there are a number of...
GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms) - Are they truly "Frankenfoods" or our best hope for feeding a hungry world?
by Michael Melgar on September 9th, 2014
Genetically Modified Oragnisms (GMO's) have been in the news the past few years as activists in the U.S. and Europe have mounted a campaign to rid our diets of foods that have been altered using the new techniques of genetic engineering. Recently they have pushed for legislation to require labeling of all foods that contain GMO's Opponents of GMO products believe that all foods should be labelled ...
Cheap Drugs - How to stay healthy without putting your bank account on life support.
by Michael Melgar on August 7th, 2014
Not too long ago I met a new patient who had come to me after her previous doctor had retired. She was a very pleasant older woman who was retired herself and on a fixed income. She was relatively healthy but had a number of chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and an underactive thyroid that were well controlled with the use of six different medicati...
Vitamin D testing - The USPSTF questions the use of routine Vitamin D testing
by Michael Melgar on June 24th, 2014
The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has released its draft recommendation stating that there is insufficient evidence to support the use of routine vitamin D screening. The USPSTF is an expert group of scientists and physicians and they reached this conclusion after reviewing all of the current literature and studies done on vitamin D. A number of studies in recent years have...
EyeWire -Now you can help scientists discover how the eye sees the world and have fun doing it.
by Michael Melgar on May 28th, 2014
The brain is the most complex structure known to man. There are almost 100 billion nerve cells in the brain, each with up to a thousand connections to other nerve cells. That means there are over a trillion connections in the human brain. The holy grail of brain research is to map something called the “Connectome” ( see The Human Connectome Project). The connectome is the complete map of all the c...
Tick borne diseases - Don't let them take a bite out of your summer.
by Michael Melgar on May 7th, 2014
The summer is a time of increasing outdoor activities and with that comes an increased chance of exposure to insects and in particular ticks. While its possible to be bitten by ticks even in the depths of winter boths ticks and people are more active in the warmer months. This means the summer is a time when they are more likely to come into contact with each other so this is a good time to go ove...
Why do perfectly heathy people pass out sometimes?
by Michael Melgar on March 12th, 2014
How many of us have been in this situation? Its a beautiful June day and you're sitting in church while a happy couple is taking their vows. The groomsmen are lined up on one side and the bridesmaids on the other when one of the bridesmaids begins to wobble. Only seconds later her knees buckle and in an eyeblink she slumps to the floor. Across town a police officer is in his doctors office for a p...
Red Yeast Rice Extract - Its not magic, Its a drug
by Michael Melgar on March 8th, 2014
Red Yeast Rice Extract is a Chinese medicine which has been promoted as a "natural" treatement for high cholesterol. Proponents of this treatment ( usually not legitimate medical profesisonals) claim that it offers patients a way to lower their cholesterol without the side effects of medication. As with many alternative therapies the assumption is that somehow we can magically have all the benefit...