I have multiple myeloma, which generally is considered an incurable cancer, though some people stay in remission for decades. I am in the US. My doctor tells me that, once people are in remission, American doctors tend to put them on low-dose maintenance chemo for life, while French doctors, using the exact same data, have concluded that maintenance therapy is appropriate for a year, but after that, it has too negative an impact on quality of life for the benefits to be worth it. What gives? [more inside]
Can you recommend accurate, technical, and entertaining (audio) sources of medical/ physiology/ pathophysiology/ pathology knowledge? [more inside]
i.e., not very much! I've been taking Mucinex DM Maximum Strength (Caugh Supressant / Expectorant) from time to time, and they work, but those pills are heinous pills! Can anybody recommend another brand that's easier to swallow?
Who at a hospital is responsible for compliance to medical "norms"? What happens if a doctor starts prescribing things that fall outside of medicine or his/her expertise? [more inside]
A week ago I suddenly became ill, apparently with some sort of virus. Symptoms included sore throat, general feeling of being dazed, inability to concentrate, queasiness of stomach (did not vomit, but almost did), lack of appetite, and sinus congestion. I went to the doctor, who gave me some meds to combat the symptoms. However, the fatigue has not gone away and may even be getting worse. Should I go back to the doctor, or should I just suck it up and try to push through my responsibilities, delaying a doctor's appointment until perhaps if the fatigue continues for another week? [more inside]
I think my doctor is billing my insurance company for procedures that I did not undergo. Should I do anything about this? [more inside]
I am writing this while at the Mayo clinic trying to find a diagnosis for my father who is very ill. After 2-3 misdiagnosis all from extremely reputable and knowledgeable doctors my family is nearing the end of our rope. I feel like we need a bulletin board or way of posting to a site where you can get informative off-the-cuff opinions from health detectives like the New York Times Diagnosis section. Another example is this DIY geneticist who found her gene mutation by seeing a photo of an Olympic medalist, link to Pro Publica story here which is fascinating. Is there anywhere to post a medical story and perhaps get some interesting new leads? With immense love and thanks, ejourdan
How often am I required to see my doctor so that he can write me another script (with refills) for paroxetine? I've been taking it for about ten years and anticipate needing it for another ten years but I believe I need to see him every year. Is that a law, or is it at his discretion?
An elderly relative is struggling with a sudden onset of enlarged prostate symptoms. We found him a good urologist. Currently he is wearing a catheter and taking medicine to shrink the prostate. He is terrified of possible surgery and other complications in this future. My relative does not use the internet. He's intelligent and a great reader. To know the facts helps him feel more in control. I'm seeking a book on prostate health and treatment. [more inside]
You-Are-Not-My-Sleep-Medicine-Specialist-filter: how can I best control my snoring, both in the short- and long-term? What was previously a "cute" little rasp has evolved into a cacophony that necessitates separate bedrooms, and we are desperate. More under the fold. [more inside]
Imagine, if you will, that you have a vexing, life-altering, deeply troubling health chronic problem. It's not degenerative, it's not fatal, it's just f*cking up the most important part of your life. You are on a quest to heal, convinced that you cannot have the life you want until you get the problem under control. [more inside]
I am on lexapro and wellbutrin. They have worked out well. Lexapro in making me relaxed and not sweat the small stuff, and wellbutrin gives me a kick of energy and happiness. But...is this real? [more inside]
Parents keeping stuff from their doctor. I'm snitching. How do I address the letter? [more inside]
In the United States what are the responsibilities of a doctor who's in the US but is registered in another country (i.e. not licensed in the US)? [more inside]
Dear AskMeFi, If I were to become a licensed psychotherapist (MFT, LMHC, LPCC; not a PsyD clinical psychologist), would it be within my legal scope of practice to help my patients using holistic traditional Eastern Asian therapies such as meditation, bodywork and body therapies, medicinal herbs, lifestyle guidance, etc? How about if I were to get a second credential or license? Rather... how *could* I make it legal, if there is a way to do so? Practice different modalities on different days? Lots of waivers? [more inside]
Zoloft: does it get worse before it gets better? YANMD. [more inside]
I'm in the midst of a research project, and my subject (a first-year medical student in Paris in 1877) mentions taking "...Prof. Frény’s course at the Museum, where I got the honor to be received by him in his laboratory." The student was also taking classes at the Sorbonne at the time. Help me figure out who Prof. Frény was, and which museum is referenced. (And yes, I've already tried Google...) Merci beaucoup!
Ambroxol is an over-the-counter medicine used to thin mucus secretions, similar to the commonly sold guaifenesin. I've been able to buy it in Europe (usually under the brand name Mucosolvan) for a long time now. They even make a kids' formula! But why isn't it sold in the US? [more inside]
I have to articulate my desire to become a physician, and I'm having trouble explicitly stating my motivations. I work in a hospital and have been shadowing doctors, so I know that they essentially use their understanding of medical science to make diagnoses and come up with a treatment plans. However, I'm curious to know how the "calling" differs between people who want to become physicians, and people who want to become RNs. [more inside]
For the last few years I've been going to the Women's Clinic and PP for my routine exams, BC, etc. as needed but it's time to find a regular OB/GYN. I also need to replace my retired GP. Please refer me to your awesome doctors located in the Santa Monica/Venice/MDR/WLA area! [more inside]
I'm being prescribed Lamictal for a neurological condition by one doctor (a neurologist), but my primary is scaring the crap out of me about the possibility of SJS (8/1000). Should I be terrified? Has anybody had experience with this? I feel like these odds are very small, but I've had some weird reactions before to medications so, yeah, I'm scared. I wish I'd never Googled it!
I'm doing some research about how depression manifests itself as physical symptoms. Do you know any authoritative, academic sources that I should consult to research the link? I'm not very familiar with exploring medical databases, and I don't know what medical journals might carry more weight than others... Thanks, everyone!
Recently I've noticed that I often "crack" my jaw, although never with any associated pain (yet). Is this a symptom of TMJ or otherwise something I need to be concerned about? Snowflake details under the cut. [more inside]
It's my understanding that the atmosphere at the Dead Sea has a higher concentration of oxygen than the sea level norm because of the extremely low elevation (roughly a quarter mile below sea level). My question is: what does it feel like to breathe this air? Is it refreshing? Does it feel thicker than air at sea level? Are there any objective medical findings associated with long-term exposure to oxygen at this concentration? Many thanks in advance.
Who does genetic testing that is as interested in protecting my privacy as taking my money? [more inside]
In California, is there a simple way to get the pharmacy to fill my "no substitutions" name-brand prescription with a generic instead? I am temporarily without health insurance and can't afford the very expensive name-brand drug; I can't ask the prescribing doctor to change the scrip because they're no longer my doctor and I'm in a different state. [more inside]
It seems that we will likely be able to grow new organs or bodies in the future. I would like to save my own DNA while i'm still young and healthy, so that I can have a less degraded blueprint available when I need it. I am having a hard time making sense of the options available to me; does anyone have any knowledge (academic, anecdotal, or personal) that would be useful here? Thanks in advance, dgstieber.
Given that there are parts of the world still fighting the battle against polio, and an increasing number of people in the US choosing to opt out of vaccinations for their children, is there a chance polio will return to the United States? [more inside]
Recently there was a stabbing where the victim was attacked on Monday, brought to hospital immediately, but died from her wounds on Thursday. What I don't quite get as a layperson is how a stabbing victim can perish in a modern, First World hospital after being kept alive for several days? The newspaper accounts were understandably short on detail. Are there blood vessel injuries that simply cannot be surgically repaired or replaced? Or might there have been secondary injuries due to the initial blood loss, ie brain damage, that prompted life support to be discontinued after a while?
I'm struggling to understand likelihood ratios (LR) in the context of diagnostic tests, and why a positive LR is influenced by the sensitivity of the test. [more inside]
I am a pre-med student, and have been shadowing lots of doctors lately. When I finish shadowing, I usually write a thank you note to the doctor, and to the staff in the office where I've been shadowing (basically thanking them for being welcoming while I'm in their work space). How should I address the notes I'm writing for this most recent shadowing, where a Nurse Practitioner is also in the office? [more inside]
What vaccine is routinely given to infants in China currently/within the past 20 years that will leave a small (non-keloid) scar at the injection site? [more inside]
Just called a friend with a severed tendon to see how his visit to the doctor went and he was still in the exam room. He said he had to get off the phone because there was a sign saying "no cell phones in exam room." I'm wondering why the sign is there. He was alone at the time, waiting for the doctor to return. Is the rule due to an equipment issue, or is it because of doctors being annoyed by rude patients talking on cell phones while the doctor is examining them, or something else?
I've been setting my goal on medicine (looks like it's not immediately, but in the next few years). However, I've been having doubts and second thoughts ever since I went into my undergraduate years. I'm graduating undergrad now, and have an entry-level job at a hospital. How and when will I know if that's what I want? [more inside]
So my friend's girlfriend has had autoimmune hepatitis and primary schlerosing cholingitis, but with normal bloodwork. They recently found her spleen had enlarged. I know this is caused by either portal hypertension or high iron levels... but is there anything else to consider in terms of either cause or prognoisis. What should she do from here on out or watch for?
I have two related questions: are my partner's symptoms worth a hospital visit? And if not, are there Dutch-speaking mefites who could help us find a family doctor open in Leuven, Belgium on Sunday? [more inside]
Is it worth my time/energy to complain to my hospital about negative interactions with a Dr. 18 months ago? I had complained several times previously to the Dr's office with no response, but new information has come to light that makes me even more irritated, since I found a document they gave me that misstates my height by 10 inches (4'11" instead of 5'9"), putting my BMI at 32, which explains why she lectured me on being fat. [more inside]
I need to write a paper for my clinical laboratory sciences class, but being that the teacher was unclear in her instructions, I'm not sure what qualifies as a separate laboratory and what doesn't. Something like " the hematology lab" is very broad. Can I focus on JUST histology, for example? Is there such a thing as a histology laboratory, even if it's under anatomical sciences? Or does that refer to a technique. What to do here? How would you structure this paper? Any advice is appreciated. [more inside]
How can one simulate a medical condition that involves low potassium, low calcium, fewer electrolytes, and low blood pressure? [more inside]
Metafilter, what is your biggest gripe about visiting your OB-GYN? [Attempting to educate doctors as to what it's like] [more inside]
Can you share examples of unrealistic health care "miracles" in media? [more inside]
Best probiotic pills? [more inside]
Am I wrong about how primary care vs. specialists works or is my doctor's offfice badly managed? [more inside]
How to tell if you are allergic to medicine without re-taking it? [more inside]
What open source medicine/biology related software should I get involved with? [more inside]
What type of doctor should my friend become? Emergency Medicine or Endocrinology? (Snowflake details inside) [more inside]
My wife likes to combine old things with new ones; everything from aspirin to maple syrup. If a new bottle enters the house, the old stuff from the nearly empty bottle gets dumped in. It feels wrong but I can't explain it scientifically. What's really wrong with doing that? Should I just get over it?
What sort of things did doctors learn in medical school in the 1800s? [more inside]
I'm a post-bacc pre-med student, and I'm trying to find a research position (paid, unpaid, whatever) for this summer so I can start to get some research experience. My school's listings for research positions in medicine-related fields (or even basic science) are really not useful, nor is the pre-med advising office. Where can I find listings for such positions? Who else should I talk to?
Which GI organ absorbs the majority of ingested water? Source needed. [more inside]
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