Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Doctor Ira's Sirius Doctor Radio Show for July 28th, 2008

Yesterday, my show revolved around my recent trip to Maine to visit my elder child at camp. those of you who don't think that a doctor show and a 3 day driving trip aren't related clearly haven't spent 7 hours in a car wondering about all of the aches, pains and headaches.  And needing a few days off is something almost all of us feel.

We started the show talking about the mental health of vacations.  My first guest was Dolores Malaspina, MD, who is the Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry here at the NYU-Langone Medical center.  We spoke about the mental benefits of even a short vacation, and how the brain really does need a chance to recharge.  Joining us on the line was Pauline Frommer, of the famous and quite good guidebooks, who gave us some good ways to get away without spending too much! 

Then, it was time to talk about diet.  Since I had done nothing but eat fried food and tasty crustaceans during my trip, I needed to lose some weight.  And there was a really interesting publication in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that a low carbohydrate diet, or a Mediterranean Diet, may lead to more sustained weight loss than a traditional "low fat" diet.  I spoke with Sari Greaves, RD, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and "Ira Breite Show" regular, about this.

After spending all of my time in Maine running around with my child, pretty much all of my joints ached.  Fortunately I (and the listeners) were able to ask questions from one of the Country's experts on knee and shoulder injuries: Dr. Andrew Feldman, the head physician of the New York Rangers Hockey Team (GO RANGERS!)  Dr. Feldman answered many questions on knee injuries: some of his advice was so great that I immediately started using it in my own internal medicine practice!

Finally, it was time for the "Ask Dr. Ira" segment.  As usual, listeners called in with their problems, which I answered to the best of my ability.  Just like my real job, only in public!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Doctor Ira Breite's Sirius Doctor Radio Show for July 21, 2008

One of the better things about being involved with Dr. Radio is the chance to speak with some world class researchers on new and exciting things developing in the world of medicine. Transmitting this information to our audience is one of the things that makes me really excited to be part of this station on Sirius Satellite Radio. Leading off today's show, I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Peter Martin, who is Professor of Psychiatry & Pharmacology; Director, Division of Addiction Medicine; Addiction Psychiatry Training Program and Vanderbilt Addiction Center at the Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital and also the Director of the Institute for Coffee Studies at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Martin and colleagues have just published a study looking at the use of coffee and cigarettes amongst members of Alcoholics Anonymous. We reviewed this study, and answered many questions about coffee. Bottom line seems to be to enjoy that cup (and avoid those cigarettes!)

Another hot issue in medicine nowadays is the concept of "pre-hypertension." This is blood pressure that is near the upper limit for normal. As people age, their blood pressure tends to increase. A big question is whether younger people with borderline normal blood pressures are more prone to heart disease. I spoke with Cora Lewis, MD, Professor, Division of Preventive Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham and the immediate past council chair, American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology & Prevention about a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine that she co-wrote. This study looked at coronary calcium scores of young people with pre-hypertension after 20 years. Patients with pre-hypertension were more likely to have higher coronary calcium scores. These scores have been associated with coronary artery disease.

After the break, we switched gears a little to bit to our elderly. I spoke with Dr. Lydia Rolita, a Geriatrician at the NYU-Langone School of Medicine & Bellevue Hospital about strategies for dealing with the care of the extreme elderly; we also answered many listener calls.

Finally we did our weekly "Ask Dr. Ira" segment, where I answered all of the listener's questions.

(the image, from Wikimedia.com, is a coffee bean)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I Will Be on The Radio EARLY Tommorow Morning!

Tommorow at 6 AM, I will be Neica Goldberg's guest on her show on Doctor Radio. We will be discussing colon cancer prevention. You can call us with any questions at 1-877-NYU-DOCS. Wake up Early!!!!

Doctor Ira Breite's Sirius Doctor Radio Show for July 14, 2008

I am really starting to enjoy doing the "Ask Dr. Ira" segments. It really is like being in my office, complete with the occasional jaunt into Yiddish or Spanish, the snappy advice, and the rare bad joke. But I am always impressed by the questions that the callers ask, and wish I had time for more. The question of the week goes to our caller who asked about kidney stones, of which I saw a man in the office today with similar symptoms.

Besides our collection of questions, we had three interesting guests on as well. I spoke with Alexander de Moura, MD, a Clinical Assistant Professor in the department Department of Orthopedic Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center and Founder, NY Spine Institute about chronic pain syndromes. This came about because of the FDA's recent decision not to put a warning label on anti-epileptic drugs, which are commonly used "off label" to treat pain syndromes and which have been associated with an increased risk of suicide.

I also spoke with Sari Greaves, a favorite guest, who is a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and a registered dietitian. We discussed a recent study showing that, in women, eating slower led to more satiety and increased weight loss. They also used smaller spoons. I am trying to follow her advice as I write this, by snacking on an orange and not the giant thing of M and M's I received from a vendor! Since I wasn't going to eat with a smaller spoon, I was glad that so many listeners called in with tips on what I should eat.

Finally, it came down to the Red Yeast Rice! Gloppy, and, it appears, good for your cholesterol, as it contains the anti cholesterol drug lovastatin. But how much is in what you buy? I spoke with Tod Cooperman, MD, the President of Consumerlab.com, a company that checks out whats actually in "natural" products. As a practicing physician, I am happy to know that there is an independent lab that is seeing whats in these loosely regulated products that so many of us take. Tod was able to answer a lot of listeners questions on a whole variety of natural products.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Doctor Ira Breite's Sirius Radio Show For July 7, 2008

I hope everybody is doing well. We had another exciting show on Monday, which is pretty amazing considering that everybody had really enjoyed the 3 day weekend (I took 4, to be honest). We discussed some

I started the show talking about Headaches. Everybody has them, but what to do about them. Joining me on the phone was neurologist Alexander Mauskop, MD, the head of the NY Headache Center. I learned a lot about the use of magnesium to treat migraines, and so did the audience. There were several really good calls.

We then switched gears a bit, to another chronic problems that is a silent killer. Hypertension is extremely common (I read in preparing the segment that almost 1.5 Billion people worldwide are expected to have this disease soon). Joining us to talk about some of the latest strategies to treat it, including ambulatory and home blood pressure monitoring, was Dr. Henry Black, a Professor here at NYU-Langone Medical Center and also the President of the American Society of Hypertension. Henry was kind enough to join us from vacation (that is dedication!). He answered many of my questions, and also took calls from our listeners.

After the break, we tried a new segment: "Ask Dr. Ira" where I answered calls and emails from our listeners on any topic that you forgot to ask your doctor. It was a bit like being in my office, where the questions can come from anywhere and you have to be ready! It was actually a lot of fun, probably because it WAS a lot like being in my office!

Finally, back to fitness. I had on regular guest Mike Levinson, the author of Buff Dad: The 4-Week Fitness Game Plan for Real Guys, and a registered dietitian. Mike answered my questions and listeners questions on exercise equipment and picking which machines to use in a gym. I have been trying his advice to switch aerobic machines around and its been good so far!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Doctor Ira Breite's Sirius Doctor Radio Show for June 30, 2008

We had another very interesting show, featuring a long segment devoted to the health effects of cofee, a segment on how new ways of studying genetics are producing real changes in common clinical practice, and a little bit on getting dad in shape.

We spent the first hour talking about coffee, and after that, I'm still having mine!!! We had three excellent guests on to discuss the latest findings in coffee and health. They were Saul Zabar, the CEO and co-owner of Zabar's, the gourmet food emporium in New York City, Marcia Levin Pelchat,Ph.D, a Food Psychologist & Researcher at the Monell Institute in Philadelphia, PA, and James Lane, Ph.D, Associate Profesor of Medical Psychology in Dept of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center. We received a lot of interesting calls from the listeners who asked excellent questions to both me and my panel about their coffee use and its interaction with a variety of medical issues.

I have started a new segment on the show called "Dr. Ira Has The Time." Don't worry about the name, it can always be changed as there are no expensive graphics in radio! Joined by genetics expert Mark Daly, Ph.D. of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Center for Human Genetic Research and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Dr. Daly is an author of a soon to be published important study on the genetics of Crohn's disease. It was fun answering questions with Mark, as I have a very clinical background and he was really adept at adding the science which is so important to the practice of medicine.

In our last half hour, we shifted from the basic science to the practical science of not becoming a flabby dad. Mike Levinson, the author of Buff Dad: The 4-Week Fitness Game Plan for Real Guys, and a registered dietitian. Mike was great, and I learned a lot about the transfats as well as how to avoid getting fat at home, with those chicken fingers. Hopefully, we'll get Mike back real soon.