Monday, June 16, 2008

Ira Breite's Sirius Doctor Radio Show for June 16th, 2008

One of the great things that I have discovered while being a host on Doctor Radio is that there is no shortage of interesting topics to talk about: whether its the problems your own patients are having, stories in the news, or interesting calls that we receive on the show.  Even a question you get from a friend over dinner can become a great show topic.  This weekend I was talking with friends and one of them asked me a question, which I realized I had talked about on the show with one of the world's experts on the subject. Another asked me a question about their chronic heartburn, which I thought was interesting and important topic to speak about on the show.

Unfortunately, we started today's show on a sad note, the death of Tim Russert. Fortunately, to help explain sudden death and how it could happen to a man who, by report, exercised and had a physical, including a cardiac stress test was NYU-Langone's Clinical Chief of Cardiology and the Harold Snyder Family Professor of Cardiology, Judith Hochman, MD. We discussed some of the risk factors for heart disease, the importance of the appropriate use of the automated external defibrillator, and how even a well done, well read, and well intrepreted stress test can not predict every cardiac event. It was a sobering talk, and extremely important. I used this opportunity to introduce Brendon McDermott a Certified Athletic Trainer from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. He is also an Laboratory Instructor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut. I love certified athletic trainers...they know so much about safe exercise for elite atheletes and, more importantly, for the rest of us. We spoke about hydration and fluids. I was chagrined to find out that my workout was not on the level of elite athelete and I would do fine replacing my lost fluids with water. OK, I knew that I wasn't an elite athelete, but I wasn't sure if a sweaty middle aged man needed Gatorade or not.  We also took calls, of which there were many. As the summer goes on, and we all need to stay in shape, I will continue to have certified trainers and registered dieticians on the show.

Then it was on to GERD. Reflux is a common problem, and often responds well to medication. But what if you need to take the medicines for years and years? One alternative is surgery, and to discuss this I brought Dr. Costas Bizekis into the studio. Dr. Bizekis is an Assistant Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery here at NYU-Langone and expert on performing anti-reflux surgery. We talked about how we decide who should get an operation, and a little bit on how the surgery is performed. The audience called in with some great questions to help us along.

Our second hour opened with a bang...about Viagra and similar drugs.  I thought I knew a decent amount about sports, and even about doping.  Boy, was I wrong.  Educated by Urologist, NYU-Langone Faculty member, and fellow Doctor Radio show host Andrew McCullough, MD and also one of the hosts of "Mens Health (live 6-8 PM on Sirius 114) and also by Dr. Don Catlin, who is the founder of Anti-Doping Research, which is a non-profit organization devoted to help level the sports playing field, I learned that, theoretically, the ability of drugs such as Viagra to increase pulmonary blood flow may increase an athlete's performance.  Dr. Catlin told us that, until proven in a study to increase performance, these drugs would not be banned. My advice: keep using Viagra to improve the performance that its approved for!

We finished the show talking about teeth and pregnancy.  My own fear of dentists not assuaged by her warmth, intelligence and good humor, I brought Dr. Stefanie Russell, D.D.S., M.P.H., Ph.D, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion, NYU College of Dentistry into the studo to talk about the study she just published showing that pregnancy is an independent risk factor for losing teeth, and that the more pregnancies you have, the more teeth you are at risk to lose.  We talked about the importance of keeping up with your dental care while pregnant.  

Finally, kudos to me The segment we did on tomatoes and salmonella last week SCOOPED all of the mainstream media: yet another reason to listen to Doctor Radio.  If you don't have Sirius, you can hear me at and then sign up for a free trial.  Its worth it (even if I wasn't there!)
(photo from wikipedia -->

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