Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Ira Breite's Sirius Radio Show, May 5, 2008
Another week and another great show. I think I am finally getting the handle on this whole radio thing; it not easy! As I tell my patient's, its easier for me to do 7 colonoscopies in a row rather than two hours of radio. Which is fortunate for all of those getting colonoscopies. But I digress.
We've been talking a lot about exercising and avoiding injury while exercising on the radio since the weather has been improving here in NYC. This week, we took it to the next level. My producer, Melanie Kron, just completed her first half marathon on the Sunday before my show. We reviewed her training and performance with one of the World's foremost experts on the subject of running health, Dr. Lewis Maharam, who is medical director of the New York Road Runners, ING New York City Marathon, all of Elite Racing’s Musical Marathons, and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program. Dr. Maharam also serves as Chairman of the Board of Governors, International Marathon Medical Directors Association. We reviewed Melanie's training techniques, shoe choices, and even the little "bat girl belt" full of liquid that she schlepped with her. I learned a lot, and will be more ready than I have been for the onslaught of pre-marathon injuries that we see at my office at Westside Medical Associates.
Then onto baseball! Yes, I was honored to speak with Don Sutton, the hall of fame pitcher and currently the announcer for the Washington Nationals baseball team. Don found out that he had kidney cancer, and has been receiving treatment for this. We spoke with him and with a specialist physician about the treatments he is receiving. He is now involved with a program called "Stay in the Game!," for patients with advanced kidney cancer.
From there, we talked a little about the intersection of medicine and politics. Several years ago, the City of New York started tracking hemoglobin A1c, a lab test that generally monitors overall success of diabetes glucose treatment for a period of months. The City is able to track this data, and to contact patients and providers as they see fit. This is a departure from normal procedures, when public health officials only become involved with individual patients because of infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis. The Archives of Internal Medicine had a series of "pro and con" articles on this issue which were understandable to the layperson. I talked about these issues with our resident endocrinology expert, Stuart Weiss, MD. It was a spirited debate about the line between public health and individual privacy.
After the break, I talked a little bit with caller Vinnie from Los Vegas about weight loss, including the gastric bypass and the lap band. This is an important issue that I will keep brining up in a variety of ways.
Irritable bowel syndrome was next. There is a new drug for IBS-C (or irritable bowel syndrome with constipation predominant symptoms, for non gastroenterologists) out there: Amitiza was just approved at a new, lower dose for this purpose in women. But is it right for you? I talked with Doctor David Bernstein, a clinical professor at NYU and the Chief of Gastroenterology at NSLIJ Hospital, about this. The answer....read about it and then see your doctor!
Finally, it was time for my favorite: Grand Theft Auto!!! Now, I happen to love video games, and was actually excited when GTA IV came out last week (and yes I own it, and no, I don't want my kids to play it). But was all my posturing that video games were fine just me making excuses for my own behavior? NO. Joining me on the line was Cheryl Olson, ScD. who is Principle Investigator for research for the study of the effects of Electronic Games on Pre-teens and Teens at the Center for Mental Health and Media in Boston, MA. Along with her husband, Larry Kutner, PhD. they have written a book called "Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Video Games and What Parents Can Do." Bottom line: the games are not as bad as you think, but there are a lot of things you need to know, particularly if you are not a gamer yourself. Buy this book.