PlatformQ Health

Dr. Linda Girgis

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a rare pulmonary disease caused by the formation of scar tissue in the lungs without any known triggering factor. Across the globe, five million people are affected with a prevalence slightly greater in men (20.2 out of every 100,000 vs. 13.2 in women). The average age at the time of…

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He lay there in the ICU bed with his family standing by in the waiting area. As the intern on call, I was called to his bedside once again because his blood pressure plunged dangerously low. Unfortunately, his prognosis was poor, in fact terminal. The medical team knew this would be the last time he…

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Head to DiabetesCoachLive to get free patient education about diabetes, presented in collaboration with Joslin Diabetes Center – available on demand today. Watch now > Most patients with diabetes end up with a glucometer for testing their blood sugar at home. However, I frequently find that many of the patients I see did not receive instructions…

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Currently, the guidelines physicians like me follow are murky, and best practices are subject to debate by different medical organizations. A widely-known recommendation called a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) screening, for example, has been fraught with failings and blamed for causing an unacceptable number of unnecessary prostate biopsies. On March 19, 2018, the results of…

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Head to DiabetesCoachLive to get free patient education about diabetes – available on demand today. Watch now > While much research is being conducted into rising rates of diabetes mellitus around the globe, in the US an approximate 85 million people have prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition where a person’s blood sugar is elevated outside…

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According to the American Cancer Society, who offer the most recent data regarding cancer statistics in the U.S., an estimated 161,360 men were newly diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017. In the same time period, over 26,000 men died from the disease. A man’s risk of developing prostate cancer at any point during his life…

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Please join DiabetesCoachLive for a special program designed for people living with diabetes and their loved ones. Patients and experts from Joslin Diabetes Center will be walking through insulin options, debunking myths about side effects, and answering questions from the audience. Watch on demand now >>   When people think of diabetes, their mind immediately…

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Today, medical school enrollment is nearly equivalent between men and women across the country – but most women physicians still believe that disparities exist between male and female doctors due to personal experience and staggering gender differences in medical leadership. While 73 percent of health service and medical manager jobs are held by women, only…

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Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder that is chronic and disabling and affects the way a person thinks, feels, and behaves. Typically, symptoms start between the ages of 16 and 30; rarely it is observed in children as well. Symptoms of this disease are categorized into 3 types – positive, negative, and cognitive: Positive symptoms: These…

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Acute myelogenous/myeloid leukemia (AML) is one of the malignant diseases of the bone marrow. In this disease, hematopoietic precursor cells become arrested in early stages of development. Typically, AML is distinguished from other blood disorders by the presence of greater than 20% blasts seen in the bone marrow.  AML has many names including acute myelocytic…

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The patient sitting on the exam table was happy to be diagnosed with breast cancer. That may seem unbelievable, especially for a 41 year old mother of young children. However, she was lucky to be screened. She is of the age where current controversy exists whether she should have an annual mammogram or not. Fortunately, we…

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Allergic rhinitis (AR) is one of the major symptoms of seasonal allergies. When the nose is exposed to an allergen, an Ig-E mediated response ensues. Characteristic symptoms include watery rhinorrhea, nasal obstruction, nasal itching, and sneezing. In the US, approximately 60 million people suffer AR or 10-30% of the adult population and 40% of children.…

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The reality of male breast cancer This year, like past years, over four hundred men in the US will die from breast cancer. Despite this fact, many people are unaware that men can even develop breast cancer. While advocates have done a great job raising awareness for breast cancer, men are still largely ignored in…

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From government conspiracies to autism, vaccine outreach programs have been repeatedly called into suspicion, sometimes for understandable reasons. The long-circulating belief that vaccines cause autism, for example, resulted from research published in The Lancet, one of the world’s oldest and best known general medical journals. And while the author of that research was later found…

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Age-Related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the most common causes of visual loss in the US. During later stages, visual acuity is worsened due to choroidal neovascularization (CNV) and geographic atrophy (GA). GA occurs when dry AMD becomes advanced.  In early dry AMD, protein deposits, called drusen, are seen scattered on the retina, which…

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In the twentieth century, one of the greatest weapons in the war against infectious diseases was created: antibiotics. With this powerful scythe of medicine, bacteria were decimated and humanity slowly gained control over the battlefield. Bacteria lost its killing power and humans lived to older ages. In fact, bacteria’s virulent characteristics were suppressed and they…

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Pseudobulbaa affect (PBA) typically presents as episodes of uncontrollable laughing or crying that is out of context to the current social situation. The patient’s emotional expression is incongruent to their emotional state. Usually, PBA is seen in the setting of other neurologic diseases such as ALS, Parkinson’s disease, Alzeihmer’s dementia, stroke, progressive MS, brain tumors,…

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The discovery of the relationship between lipids and cardiovascular disease was first made in the 1960s. Following this, an urgent need was filled by the founding of lipid lowering medications, with statins being the gold standard of therapy. However, the consequences of lipid disorders and cardiovascular disease remain prevalent despite this knowledge. Patients with familial…

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  Powassan virus (POW) is a flavivirus transmitted through tick bites, first discovered in the town of Powassan, Ontario in 1958 when it was identified in a young boy. This virus is transmitted more rapidly from tick to human than Lyme disease (it can take only minutes) and more likely to be fatal. As of…

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Sitting around the table with my medical students discussing our recently diagnosed child with Lyme disease, our discussion focused on the need for early diagnosis.  While this particular patient was caught fairly early in her disease based on symptoms, the diagnosis remains elusive for many. Blood tests do not detect early stages of the disease…

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Lyme disease is a bacterial (Borrelia burgdoferi) infection transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected black-legged tick, most commonly the deer tick. Because they are so small (about the size of a pin head), they often go unnoticed on the body. In order for Lyme disease to be transmitted, they must be attached…

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Alzheimer’s prevalence and impact In the US, Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the sixth leading cause of death with greater than 5 million people currently living with the disease. Since the year 2000, deaths from cardiovascular disease have decreased by 14% while there have been an 89% increase in deaths caused by Alzheimer’s. Of people aged over 65…

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While rare diseases are uncommon, there are a multitude of them. In the US, there are approximately 7,000 diseases that are considered to be rare. It is approximated that there are nearly 300,000,000 patients around the world who are diagnosed with a rare disease. In the US, a rare disease is defined as any disease…

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Basal insulin is also referred to as background insulin. It is that insulin which the pancreas produces and is present all the time. In contrast, bolus insulin is the extra amount of insulin the pancreas produces in response to glucose intake. In patients with T1DM, the pancreas stops making insulin and the patient needs to…

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By Linda Girgis MD As medical students and residents, we were taught to fear pancreatic cancer. As most people know, the cure rate is dismal and the majority of victims die within the first year of diagnosis. While this has been improving over the past years, the low five year survival rate persists. According to…

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According to statistics compiled from the CDC, more than 165,000 people in the US died as a result of overdoses due to prescription medications from 1999 to 2014. The rate continues climbing with over 14,000 deaths in 2014 alone. While death is the most dangerous end-point, that is just the tip of the iceberg. It…

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Motivational interviewing (MI) is a form of counseling developed by William R. Miller, PhD and Professor Steven Rollinick in 1983. First devised to help in the treatment of alcoholics, MI can serve as a framework for evoking any motivation to change and has been used for many conditions including substance abuse, smoking, obesity and diabetes. The goal…

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Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the US. The American Cancer Society (ACS) reported that there will be over 95,000 new cases of colon cancer and over 39,000 cases of rectal cancer in the US in 2016.  Men have a 1 in 21 lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer whereas…

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The year 2016 saw many changes happening in the medical arena; some good, some bad, and some just interesting.  Many familiar characters played a role on the medical stage, more observed quietly, and some new voices rang out expressing what needs to be fixed and where medicine should journey. A look back at healthcare in…

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Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that was first described by Dr. Burrill B. Crohn in 1932. Ulcerative colitis is another inflammatory and while the symptoms between the two are similar, it is important to make a distinction between the two.  Crohn’s Disease most commonly affects the ileum and proximal colon but can affect…

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One of the greatest advancements in medicine came with the advent of the vaccination program. Certain diseases, such as small pox, were eradicated around the globe through aggressive vaccination programs by both the CDC and the WHO.  Other diseases like Polio no longer exist in the Americas and others are in the process of being…

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In my practice, I see it frequently that a coach allowed a patient to return to play after suffering a concussion and still symptomatic. The popular movie, “Concussion” starring Will Smith, brought to light the grave damage recurrent concussions can cause on the brain to the general American population. Yet, for some, the future neurological…

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Gastric cancer, also known as stomach cancer, remains an aggressive cancer around the globe. Over the past several decades, there has been a slight decrease in incidence, yet it remains the fourth most common cancer and the second deadliest across the world.  Some factors that are thought to be responsible for the declining incidence include…

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While everyone is aware that breast cancer in woman exists, many do not know men can be similarly afflicted. Breast cancer in women has its own awareness month (October) and its own symbol of awareness, the pink ribbon. Breast cancer in men, on the other hand, do not even have treatments tailored to them but…

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The ADA and AACE just jointly released 2016 screening guidelines for Type 2 Diabetes; they cast a significantly wider net. They now recommend screening everyone over the age of 45.  In addition, they are eliminating the term “diabetic” to describe a person living with diabetes.  Dr. Linda Girgis, MD, family practitioner, talks about the impact the new guidelines will…

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