Saturday, December 27, 2008

On Hiatus Monday

I will be on vacation Monday, December 29th.  Listen to either a great highlight of my show or one of my guest colleagues.   But I will be back on Roshini Raj's show from 8 to 8:30 on Wednesday, December 31st.  We will be talking about colon cancer prevention and answering your questions on new rules of colon preps, the flaws (maybe) of colonoscopy, and pretty much anything else you may want to know about!  Give us a call at


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tommorow, December 22, 2008 on the Doctor Ira Breite Show on Sirius 114 and XM 119

Its the first full day of winter tomorrow. In honor of this we have a show full of winter health and travel tips (as well as a little bit about new warning's about colonoscopy preps).

I have been complaining about cold feet since the beginning of my kids ice hockey season. So I am pretty psyched that Dr. Michael Pliskin, DPM, of North Shore-LIJ will be on the show with us to talk about winterizing your feet. We will continue the winter theme when we speak with Thomas Kean Kirsch, MD, who is the national physician advisor for the American Red Cross about Winter Emergencies and how to handle them.

After all of that winter talk, its time for a vacation. I will be heading North to Canada, so I need to hear what my first two guests have to say. But for those of you who maybe want to go somewhere warmer, I am happy to say that Val D'Elia, of, will be live in studio with us. We'll talk about health safety issues on vacation and Val will tell us about some great deals on cruises and other vacations.

Finally its time for ask Dr. Ira. The big issue in my office this week has been all of the studies about colonoscopies, and about new warnings for colonoscopy preps. We'll be talking about that, and I will be answering all of your questions on any medical topic you may have.


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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tommorow, December 8th, on the Dr. Ira Breite Show, Sirius 114 and XM 119

Sorry about the late post, I have been on call all weekend and finally snagged a break. So this will understandably be a brief post: YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO THIS SHOW: it will be GREAT!

We will be talking with Dr. Laura Smith and Dr. Charles Elliot, the authors of "Seasonal Affective Disorder for Dummies" about this important and misunderstood condition. When I walked out of my office at 4:30 PM Friday into the darkening New York City sky, I knew these guys would be great guests.

CALL US at 1-877-NYU-DOCS if you get blue or depressed during the winter and would like to talk to an expert about some of the things you can do.

If you have a problem adolescent, you need to listen to the show. We are privileged to have Dr. Charles Sophy, who is the edical Director for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), the nation's largest Foster Care Operation. He is also the co-anchor of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, which is on VH1. If you are having some problems with your adolescent (and if you don't think you there must really be a problem!) he will be there to talk about important things that you can do. You can also call Dr. Sophy at 1-877-NYU-DOCS.

We will be talking about blood pressure and blood pressure medications. Did you ever wonder how your physician chooses amongst the vast number of products out there? We'll be ready to answer all of your questions at 877-NYU-DOCS.

And of course, there is ask Dr. Ira, when you can ask me, New York City Internist and Gastroenterologist, any question you want on any medical topic: with no copay and no waiting room! We'll be talking a little about my weekend on call as well.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tommorow on the Dr. Ira Breite Show: Doctor Radio, Sirius 114 and XM 119

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Now that the weekend has passed, football has ended (and yes, Texas was robbed), and the work week begins again. A great time to listen to Doctor Radio in the car! From 8 to 10 EST tomorrow, we have a great live show planned. In addition to "Ask Dr. Ira," our segment where you can ask me any medical question that you me at 1-877-NYU-DOCS. In addition to that, we have 3 great guests planned talking about three topics that are extremely important to you and your family.

In the first half hour, we will be talking with rheumatologist and Doctor Radio regular Dr. Burt Agus about fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. We'll be going over what they are, how you get it and what you can do about the symptoms of these two disease. And of course, try to answer the big question...are they related to each other.

If you or a loved one has chronic fatigue or unexplained joint pains give us a call at 1-877-NYU-DOCS!

After this, we'll talk to Dr. Barry Reisberg, Clinical Director of the William and Sylvia Silberstein Institute for Aging and Dementia, Aging and Dementia Research Center at the NYU School of Medicine & NYU Langone Medical Center about new directions in Alzheimer's Disease. The holidays are a big time to see family, and, unfortunately, sometimes we see an older family member start to decline.

If you have a question about what to do about an aging family member who seems to have problems with memory, give us a call at 1-877-NYU-DOCS!

I don't like thinking about work during the holidays. But work continues, and so do workplace injuries. Learn how to avoid workplace injuries, including carpal tunnel, eye strain, and back injuries by listening to my interview with Ms. Sandy Smith, the editor of "EHS Today," which was formally called Occupational Hazards Magazine!

If you are worried about your workplace, and have questions for Ms Smith or myself, call us at 1-877-NYU-DOCS! (9 AM)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tomorrow on the Doctor Ira Breite Show on Sirius 114 and XM 199: Doctor Radio

Tomorrow is our Thanksgiving day special on the Doctor Ira Breite Internal Medicine Show on Sirius and XM's Doctor Radio!  Melanie Kron, my producer, has put together an amazing list of interesting guests as we all get ready for the holidays.  

We're going to start off (8AM EST) by talking about food: specifically what the Colonists really ate there in Plymouth Rock, and its not canned cranberries and stuffing!  Joining me on the phone will be Susan Dosier, the former food editor for Southern Living Magazine and the author of "Colonial Cooking: Exploring History Through Simple Recipes," as well as Mary Gunderson, a culinary historian and the author of "American Indian Cooking Before 1500: Exploring History Through Simple Recipes" and "The Food Journal of Lewis and Clark: Recipes for an Expedition." The big question of many interesting ones: Did the colonists eat turkey?  Tune in and find out.  To satisfy your craving for colonial information to thrill your guests at Thanksgiving, call us at 1-877-NYU-DOCS!!!

After this, we are going to switch back to the "Doctor" part of Doctor Radio.  We will be talking with Award winning Photographer and Basket Weaver Terrol Dew Johnson, who is a member of the Tohono Odham Tribe located south of Phoenix, Arizona.  Mr. Odham is currently on a 2,500 mile walk from Maine to Southern Arizona where he is visiting numerous Native American communities to promote traditional native foods and fitness.  This has been a big issue in the Native American Community.  If you have any questions about this, call us here at doctor radio at 1-877-NYU-DOCS

After the break, we are going to continue our discussion of Native American Health, this time with Dr. Patricia Nez Henderson and Dr. Jeffrey Henderson, the Vice President and President of the Black Hills Center for American Indian Health in Rapid City, South Dakota.   Drs. Henderson and I will be joined by Leo Nolan III, a Senior Policy Analyst for External Affairs for the Indian Health Service of the US Department of Health and Human Services.  We'll be talking about Native American Health Issues from Pilgrim Times until the present day.

If you, or a loved one, is Native American, now would be a great time to call and have any of your questions answered on health issues in Native Americans: 1-877-NYU-DOCS


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tommorow, November 17th 2008, on the Doctor Ira Breite Show on Sirius 114 and XM 119

That's correct guys! Starting last Wednesday, Doctor Radio officially became part of both Sirius and XM! I was honored to have been a guest on The Oncology Show on that day, and you can feel the excitement. Tomorrow, its my turn to host for both networks.

We will be talking about new procedures in hip replacement with Dr. Roy Davidovich of the NY Hip Center at NYU-Langone. You can call us with any quesitons you may have about your hip, arthritis of the hip, or when to go for replacement. Dr. Davidovich is one of the pioneers of minimally invasive hip replacement as well.

If you are worried about hip replacement or arthritis of the hip, give us a call at 1-877-NYU-DOCS!

Another big question I always have as an internist is what should patients do AFTER they have an event like a heart attack. I will be speaking to Dr. Jonathan Whiteson, a member of NYU's Cardiac Rehab Associates about things you can do to prevent a second heart attack! This is an important issue not only for those of who have heart attacks but also for their loved ones. Think about the questions you can ask Dr. Whiteson about what kind of exercises your father should do after his heart attack!

Finally, we'll have an hour of Ask Dr. Ira! You can ask me any question on any medical topic at copay required! Just call us at 1-877-NYU-DOCS. Joining me will be registered dietician and author Dr. Elaine Magee: the recipe doctor! She is the author of such books as "Tell Me What to Eat, I Have Acid Reflux." We will be answering your questions on any health issues, with an emphasis of the right foods for YOUR medical problems.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

I Want to Hear From You!

I have been having a great time doing Doctor Radio these past 8 months. One problem that we always have when trying to plan shows is coming up with the right topic: there are so many interesting things out there and you want to choose the right ones! With this in mind, I am asking for everyone's help. If there is a question that you forgot to ask your doctor, I want to hear about it. This incudes questions about digestion, supplements, exercise, and joint pains! You are welcome to post in anonymously below, or you can email . (just click the link) me. Questions will be answered anonymously on air, of course. I will try to let emailers know when their questions will be read, but it depends on what's going on with the show that day.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Tommorow, November 3rd, on the Dr. Ira Breite Show

There is enough talk radio out there telling you whom to vote for. This show offers the 4% of you who haven't decided no new advice! But we have an excellent "presidential" show planned where we will be talking about the health of President's throughout the history of the country and how their diseases have affected the course of American History. From William Henry Harrison, who died after only 34 days in office, to JFK, who had a medical problem way different from what tabloid readers might immediately think, listening to this show is going to be one of the great Doctor Radio entertainment and learning experiences. I can't wait to find out the answers!!

Joing me will be Mr. Steven Lee Carson, Presidential Historian, who is currently at the Woodrow Wilson House in Washington, DC as well as Dr. Frank Schmalstieg, MD PhD, a Professor of Pediatrics at UT Galveston, who has written about the medical issues of Abraham Lincoln during the time of the Gettysberg Address.

I also worry about the health of imaginary presidents as well, and was always a bit of a fan of the West Wing. Therefore it is really excited that we will be having Dr. Oded Gonen of NYU/Langone live on the air tommorow to talk about the latest research in Multiple Sclerosis, the disease Martin Sheen's character Jedidiah Bartlett suffered from and the MOST COMMON autoimmune neurlogical disease, primarily affecting women of childbearing age! You do not want to miss this.

Finally, we will end up with ask Dr. Ira, where I will answer any question that the listener's may have on any medical topic at all. We will also go over some interesting news items and you emails. Of course, you can email anything to me and we will try to get it on the air!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Guest Appearance on the Oncology Show

I will be on the Oncology Show (Sirius 114-Doctor Radio) from 12 to 1 PM EDT this Wednesday, October 29, 2008 talking about colon cancer prevention. We'll be talking about colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy and even the new DNA test. If you are listening in the afternoon, give us a call at 1-877-NYU-DOCS and ask any question you want on colon cancer prevention!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tommorow on The Doctor Ira Breite Show on Sirius 114, Doctor Radio

Halloween. Not necessarily my idea of a great time, but the kids, and a fair number of adults really seem to love it. As do candy companies. I will be talking with two nutritionists about this: Laurie Higgins who is registered dietitian at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. She is also specializes in celiac disease and food allergies. I will also be talking with Roberta Anding, who in addition to being the Sports Dietician for the Houston Texans is also a Clinical Dietician in Adolcecent Sports Medicine at Baylor University in Texas. My family routes for UT, but we will all be civil!

You can call us at 1-877-NYU-DOCS and ask me and my guests any questions you may have about candy and kids, particulary those with diabetes or a nutrtional disorder. This would also be a great time to ask about your young athelete and the training table!

Its flu shot season, again. We've been tortuing you on Doctor Radio, trying to get you to get one. However, I haven't gotten one yet! But I will tommorow, LIVE ON THE AIR! You never know what will happen when my boss, Marc Siegel, MD, the medical director of Doctor Radio and an associate professor of Medicine here at NYU, gives me my shot. Marc is an expert not only on the flu, but on the bird flu (he wrote a book about this).

Finally, we will have a whole hour of ask Dr. Ira. Call me with your questions on any medical topic at all (at 1-877-NYU-DOCS) and I will tell you about some of the interesting things I have seen in my own office (and there is some weird stuff going on here in NY) as well as answering your emails!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tommorow, October 20, 2008, on the Dr. Ira Breite Show on Sirius 114 (Doctor Radio)

Stay tuned! Tomorrow's how promises to be a great one. We have two really interesting guests, who will be happy to answer your questions, and of course, I will answer questions on any medical topic at all: just give me a call and I'll give you an copay required! All times are Eastern, and the show is repeated throughout the week.

If you have ever worried about concussions and your children (or husband, if you are my wife) you will not want to miss my first guest, Dr. William Barr, the Chief of Neuropsychiatry at the NYU comprehensive Epilepsy Center here at the NYU Langone Medical Center. Dr. Barr will answer all of your questions about the risk of concussion with competitive sports, the risk of reinjury, and the risk long term brain damage. We will also discuss an interesting experiment that will involve some NFL football players, hopefully in the far future...

Call me and Dr. Barr at 1-877-NYU-DOCS for any questions you may have on head injuries involving you or your children (8 to 8:30 AM EDT)

I am honored to have Dr. Nancy Snyderman booked onto our show from 8:30 to 9 AM EDT. Dr. Snyderman is a medical correspondant for ABC News and the author of several books, including Medical Myths That Can Kill You: And the 101 Truths That Will Save, Extend, and Improve Your Life. We will be talking about some of the truths (and myths) that may lead to some serious problems down the road.

Call me and Dr. Snyderman at 1-877-NYU-DOCS for any questions on any routine medical fact you think you know and find out if it is truth or myth! (8:30 to 9 AM EDT).

In our second hour I will be taking your questions on any medical topic at all (the best ones are when truth and myth are still an open question!). In addition to answering your calls and emails, we will talk a little bit about some of the interesting things I have seen in the office, including pneumonia (its always interesting if its you!), a weird rash in a woman who just gave birth, and a fracture that someone got on vacation and managed to avoid getting treated until getting back!

ASK DR. IRA (9AM to 10 AM EDT:: 877-nyu-docs)

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Tommorow on The Dr. Ira Breite Show on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 114!

Happy Columbus Day! In honor of Columbus Day, I will be having on Frank Arnett, M.D., professor of internal medicine and holder of the Elizabeth Bidgood Chair in Rheumatology at the University of Texas in Houston. He has a fascinating theory as to how Columbus died...tune in from 8 AM to 10 PM Eastern and hear him discuss it with me. He'll also be able to answer any questions that you may have. Call me at 1-877-NYU-DOCS. (8:30 AM EDT)

There has been a lot in the news recently on Colon Cancer Prevention. The short answer is yes you should! but it gets a little complicated after that. Join me and my guest Michael Macari, MD as we talk about the latest advances in CT colography, recent studies on this subject and a new position paper by the United States Preventitive Task Force! And both of us will be happy to answer colonoscopy or virtual colonosocpy questions you may have. (8AM EDT)

From 9 AM to 10 AM Eastern, its time for another hour of Dr. Ira. Hear what your fellow listeners are worried about and learn something! You of course are free to call me at 1-877-NYU-DOCS and I will be happy to answer any questions YOU may have.

Remember, when your doctor doesn't have the time, I do!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

TOMMOROW on The Doctor Ira Breite Show on Sirius Doctor Radio, 114!

Its been a lousy week for the financial markets, and a hard week for those of us who live in the City of New York.  You can feel the stress in the air.  It has been a good time for therapists here, as many people are using the last of their dollars to try to get their heads back in order.  So I am really happy that tomorrow I will be interviewing Carol Bernstein, MD, psychiatrist and the associate Dean for Education at the NYU School of Medicine.  We will be talking about stress and money, and what you can do about it.

We will be taking calls on this issue, so get yours ready. (8 to 8:30 AM)

I also plan to have Dr. Ralph Sacco, the Chairman of Neurology at the University of Miami Medical Center on the air with Dr. Glenn Jacobowitz, a the Vice Chief of vascular surgery here at the  NYU-Langone Medical Center.   All this stress is making some people feel like they are going to have a stroke!  We'll be talking about strokes, stroke prevention, and a new awareness campaign for strokes: Give me Five For Stroke.  

If you have any questions at all about strokes, stroke prevention, or mini-strokes (TIAs) give us a call at 1 877 NYU DOCS.    (8:30 to 9 AM)

If you want to send us an email, you can go to the Doctor Radio website directly.

Then we will have an hour of open phones, interesting medical chat, and tales of the internist's (thats me) office.  Some interesting stuff I've been seeing include Celiac Sprue (bizarre and interesting), new guidelines for colon polyp prevention (maybe???) and kidney failure from a commonly used over the counter drug.  Depending on time, we'll get to those, and of course, any questions you have on any medical topic whatsoever! (9 AM to 10 AM)

I hope you'll tune in!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tommorow on The Dr. Ira Breite Show on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 114!

We have a great show lined up tomorrow. In addition to taking your calls on any medical topic you have an interest in, I have two great guests coming in. The first is Sari Greaves, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. We will be talking about the nutritional differences between men and women. As I sit here realizing that the Wii Fit has made me lose a little weight despite eating too much, I know that I will enjoy what she has to say (even if my wife does not!). We will also be speaking with Dr. Andrew Feldman, the team Doctor for The New York Rangers, about knee injuries. Dr. Feldman is extremely informative, and I find myself using some of the advice he gave us in the radio in my own practice. Dr. Feldman and Ms. Greaves will be on from 8AM to 9 AM EST and I will be taking questions from 9AM to 10AM on any medical topic at all!

Go Rangers!

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tommorow on the Dr. Ira Breite Show!

I've decided to start posting the likely lineup for the show before. This way, if you have any questions you want to ask or see an interesting topic, you can be sure to call in at 1 877-NYU-DOCS! We have two really interesting topics in the 8 AM Eastern Hour:

1) We will be discussing the new study in the Journal Neurology that showed that elderly people who had higher levels of vitamin B12 had more brain volume than those that didn't. Joining me will be Keri Gans, registered dietitian, spokesperson for the ADA and NYU grad! We will be talking about this study and vitamin supplementation in general. You can ask us any vitamin questions you may have have!

2) I will be talking with author Dr. David Newman, the author of Hippocrates’ Shadow: Secrets From the House of Medicine (Scribner). Dr. Newman is letting us in on the secrets that doctor's know and patient's don't. Lets see which ones I routinely use!!!

3) Ask Dr. Ira. You don't need an appointment for this segment. From 9 AM to 10 AM EDT I will be answering any medical question on any topic you may have! Give me a call and I'll give you an answer!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Doctor Ira Breite's Sirius Radio Show for September 8, 2008

I'm Back!! We had a good show today. More and more, I find that I enjoy answering listener's questions: its one of the great things about Doctor Radio and, as an internist, I am able to help listener's focus the questions they should be asking their own primary care doctor's or specialists. One of the big problems in medicine is asymetric knowledge. Patients, despite their ability to gain information on the internet, often do not know how to "frame" a question the correct way. Even in medicine, how you ask a question can affect the answer you get. So, even in areas where I am not an expert (and there are many!), I enjoy explaining how physicians think about a problem, and how to ask the right questions!

Flu shot season is starting (Yes, we at Westside Medical Associates have received ours!!!). I got a chance to interview Neil Schachter, MD the author of “The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds and Flu” about the flu, colds, the flu shot, Flu-Mist, and in fact, all things cold and flu. Its a really interesting segment and Dr. Schachter was an excellent resource for our listener's questions. I also talked to Dr. Peter Shamamian, Associate Professor of Surgery at NYU-Langone Medical Center, about diverticulitis. The big take home point is that nuts, seeds and pits are OK in people who have had this disease (yes, you should talk to your doctor first!).

Friday, August 22, 2008

Guest Appearance on the Indie Channel!!

I was a guest on Vinnie Politan's morning show on Sirius Indie Talk this morning. Vinnie stopped the political talk for a bit and we talked about an interesting lawsuit in Chicago, where a man is claiming that he got a 9 foot tapeworm from eating undercooked salmon in a restaurant. And who better to talk about tapeworms and lawsuits than me! We had a great conversation. People may have these tapeworms for many years without any symptoms at all. The take home lesson is that the eggs of the worm die when frozen, when cooked, or when properly brined. Prepare your food well.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Doctor Ira Breite's Sirius Radio Show For August 18th, 2008

Great show today! We had two guests, Stuart Weiss, MD, endocrinologist extraordinaire for NYU-Langone Medical center talked about the latest studies on diabetes. Bottom line is to lose weight quickly if you get diagnosed as it really may help your prognosis. We also had Michael Sentzen, MD on the telephone. Dr. Setzen is an otolaryngologist and
an expert on sinus surgery. We answered many listener questions and Dr. Setzen talked about an interesting new technology called balloon sinuplasty. Cool stuff.

We did an hour of "Ask Dr. Ira" today. I think I took around 12 calls or so. Only the nice folks at Sirius know for sure, but it was a great call in segment.

I will be back after Labor Day. Time for a vacation!

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, 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, 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.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Doctor Ira Breite's Sirius Doctor Radio Show For June 23rd, 2008

Its always good to arrive at the studio with a lot of energy; it gets you ready for the task at hand.  As much as I enjoy doing Doctor Radio, and feel I am getting much better at it all the time, its still much harder for me to do two hours of good radio than 10 good colonoscopies (11 is a tossup).  But today was a great day, my energy level was high, and my guests were all extremely interesting.

We started off the show by bringing back the informative and knowledgeable Brendan Mcdermott, a certified athletic trainer and spokesperson for the National Athletic Trainers Association.  He is also a laboratory instructor in Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut.   Brendan answered questions about how to properly hydrate in these hot summer months and how to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  We also analyzed my tennis game in depth.  It appears that stretching more probably will not help me beat my wife.  Jack from Pennsylvania called in to appraise me about my serve.  Thanks to everyone for trying to help me beat Sandy at tennis!

After the break, we switched gears: from avoiding injury to what to do if you have one.  I was joined in studio by 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.   Back pain is one of the most common problems that we see in medical practice, and it was great having a specialist in studio to answer my questions and the listener's questions.  Although surgery is rarely indicated in back surgery, in the right cases it may make all the difference!

Prostate cancer is a huge issue for men, and those that love them.  The common tests for prostate cancer, PSA, digital rectal exam, ultrasound, and prostate biopsy, are far from perfect, and many biopsies are done every year in men without clinical cancer.  Joined in studio by Mr. Richard Edelman, the chairman and CEO of Edelman, the largest private communication company in the world and  Samir Teneja, MD, Director of Urologic Oncology at the NYU Langone Medical Center we heard Mr. Edelman's story of an abnormal PSA and the biopsy that he needed because of it.  We were joined on the phone by Dr. Fay Shtern, MD, the President & CEO, and the founder of the AdMeTech Foundation, which advocates new tests to detect prostate cancer.  She is also an Instructor in the Department of Radiology, Harvard Medical School and Director, Department of Radiology, Children's Hospital Boston.   We also had a dramatic conversation with Dr. Wayne Diamond, ND, who practices naturopathic medicine near Philadelphia and was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer.  We spent the first half of the hour talking with Mr. Edelman, Dr. Teneja and Dr. Stern about the PSA, prostate biopsies, and future directions for detecting prostate cancer in men.  We spent the second half of the hour talking with Wayne Diamond about his dramatic diagnosis, and also with many callers who had questions for me and for Dr. Stern.  Even with a full hour, we only scratched the surface of this important issue and I hope to bring it up again on Sirius Doctor Radio.

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 -->

Monday, June 9, 2008

Ira Breite's Sirius Doctor Radio Show for June 9, 2008

Summer is coming, and in fact, at 90 degrees before I even started broadcasting this morning, its already here in New York City. Fortunately traffic is light, and the Vespa provides its own natural form of a/c, in addition to like 55 miles per gallon in NYC traffic. Today, we had several summery topics as well as some important cancer information. We also spoke to a young, newly minted physician on his time trying to help the medical system in Ghana!

Shawn Talbott, PhD. is an author, an athlete, and an expert on the the use of vitamins and supplements in health. He just wrote a book called "The Metabolic Method," which describes how small changes in diet, lifestyle, exercise and sleep (how I wish I could get more!) can help you lose weight and be healthier.  Shawn and I talked about how sleep is important to dieting, and many callers had questions for both of us on the importance of sleep in controlling weight.  

We switched gears after this.  Colon Cancer is, unfortunately, still extremely common in the US, with about 150,000 new cases diagnosed every year and 50,000 deaths.  While colonoscopy may save a significant percentage of these cases from occurring, not everyone does this when they should.  

Genetic differences in people with a family history of colon cancer may play a role in how people react to various therapies, such as chemotherapy.  This was demonstrated in a recent study in the Journal JAMA.  Leonard Saltz, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center came on the air and we talked about this study, of which he is one of the authors.   The other, really interesting thing we talked about is how, in patients with a known history of colon cancer, exercise may improve overall prognosis.  Although this is a very preliminary finding, it certainly is worthy of more study.  There were several calls on the colonoscopy prep, which is terrible, but a worthwhile price to avoid getting colon cancer!

After the break we really changed gears.  I spoke with the freshly minted Dr. Brian Levine, who is a recent graduate of the NYU School of Medicine and also a Reynolds Scholar.  Reynold's scholars are designated because of their interest in public service and entrepreneurship.    Brian actually set up a phone system amongst doctors in Ghana, helping the 2000 doctors in this country of 22 million people communicate with each other.  Although Brian is about to get buried as an intern and resident, I am sure we will be hearing more from him as the years to on.

Finally, it was about tomatoes.  Not the Killer Tomatoes, but normal plain old tomatoes with salmonella in them and on them.  Not good.  The FDA has an OK (to busy, in my opinion) website with a link to current tomato warnings and news.  I spoke on the telephone with Dr. Casey Barton Behravesh,  an epidemiologist and lead investigator for the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta.  She answered many interesting questions on how the disease detectives from the CDC try to isolate the source of an infection such as this one.  We also answered listener questions about the outbreak.  The links in this paragraph should lead to up to date information from the FDA and CDC.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Ira Breite's Sirius Doctor Radio Show, Monday June 2, 2008

Today was an extremely exciting day in Doctor Radio land: we officially launched! My Intro was done by none other than Cousin Brucie! which I think is just about the best thing ever. I met him when I was at Sirius Studios, but I am amazed that he is doing our intros. Media is cool!

This was also my first show in our new studio in the NYU-Langone Medical Center Lobby. I'm no expert on radio technology, but its a pretty space with apparently every bell and whistle you could want. Just like The Today Show, there is a glass partition where you can see everyone and they can see you. The only hard part was to stop waving at people I know and keep talking!

As befits the first show in a new studio, this one was, in my humble opinion, great. Interesting topics, great guests, and a plethora of calls made this an interesting and educational show.

We started off by talking about supplements and vitamins. Many doctors (including myself) do not know enough about this topic, which is a pity, because up to half of all Americans use them. Steven Lamm, MD, a physician here at NYU-Langone and the author of "The Hardness Factor," a book about men's sexual health, joined me on the line. We talked a little bit about a recent article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute by Vicki Brower stating that, in cancer patients, many supplements may do more harm than good. Dr. Lamm pointed out that poor communication between doctors and patients may have a lot to do with the use or misuse of many supplements. We then answered many calls from our listeners asking specific questions about supplements.

Onto osteoporosis. But not in women. Yes, men get this disease as well, and there are new guidelines for what to do about them published by the American College of Physicians. We talked about them with Dr. Steven Honig, Director, The Osteoporosis Center Department of Rheumatology and Medicine, Hospital for Joint Diseases. As men live longer, this is becoming a more important issue (6% of men greater than 65 have osteoporosis) and prevention is key before a fracture occurs.

After the break, we shifted gears. To bloggers (gotta love those bloggers). I had seen a piece on Gawker a while back which pointed to a NY Times article noting that two bloggers had heart attacks and died (I can't be as snarky as our friends at Gawker, and its worth reading their post). And while most of us aren't professional bloggers, many of us do work at jobs with lousy desks, poorly placed computers, mice that should be called "rats" and improperly adjusted chairs. I spoke with Ms. Angela Lis, physical therapist and Assistant Director the NYU Occupational and Industrial Center about making your workplace less likely to give you a repetitive strain injury. We started off by seeing how I was doint in the new studio, and other than the heights of the monitors (which, to be honest with you, are adjustable) we did pretty well! There were some great listener calls as well.

Finally a bit on gastric bugs to end our morning. I talked with Dr.Marya Zilberberg, M.D., Epidemiologist at University of Massachusetts School of Public Health and Health Sciences in Amherst, Mass – She’s a researcher & lead author of a study appearing in the June Issue of the CDC’s publication, “Emerging Infectious Diseases" about the rise of c difficile, the leading cause of fatal diarrhea, in hospitals. Scary stuff, but it was important to hear about. The take home message if you visit anyone in the hospital is wash your hands with soap and water! Then I talked a bit about new treatments for H. pylori, the ulcer causing bacteria.

Remember, you can email me (see link on the top of the page) if there are any topics you want to hear about. I want to hear about any questions that you wanted to ask your doctor, but, for whatever reason couldn't.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ira Breite's Memorial Day Sirius Doctor Radio Show: Monday May 25th, 2008

Although Memorial Day is a holiday where we remember those who have fallen in service to our country, as a physician I thought it was important to speak about those who served, sacrificed and survived. I dedicated my show to honor those who have helped us during our wars.

We started off by talking with Mr. Alex Kershaw, who has written a fascinating book describing the survival of 9 sailors from the United States Submarine Tang, which was downed by her own errant torpedos. This book, Escape from the Deep: A Legendary Submarine and Her Courageous Crew, is a fascinating story of courage under extreme duress.  We talked about the medical issues involved in escaping from a hot, posion gas filled tin can 180 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, about the extreme hardships these men endured under captivity, and about their readjustment to life after surviving the war.  Since the Japanese never informed the Red Cross that the crew members were alive, several of their spouses, assuming they were dead, had remarried.  The book promises to be an amazing read this summer.

You can visit Alex's website or the book's website for his book for more information.  

One of the big health questions of the last Gulf War revolves around ways to more easily make the diagnosis of Gulf War Illness.  I was honored to talk with Dr. Robert Haley, from UT Southwestern, one of the leading experts on this illness.  We talked about the cognitive issues Gulf War Vets are having, and about some of the tests being developed to more accurately diagnose this condition.  He asked me to say, and I say again, that if you are a Gulf War Vet, and are approached by members of his team about a research study, please participate!

After finishing with Dr. Haley, I talked with Mr. Michael Bann, a veteran of the first Gulf War, who talked of his experiences on the battlefield and after the war.  

Medical care has improved markedly in the field during the current Gulf War, and many more soldiers are surviving horrific injuries.  However, they are often left with either amputations or traumatic head injuries.  I spoke with Dr. Alex Moroz of NYU-Langone's prestigious Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation about advances in artificial limb technology.  After talking with him, I hope to get some of the inventor's of this new technology on the air!

Finally, it was time to talk about one of the most important issues for people who have been in war zones: post traumatic stress disorder.  We spoke with Dr. Lynn Delisi, a professor in NYU Langone's Department of psychiatry.  We also spoke with two relatives of Gulf War Veterans about the difficult, and tragic times, that they faced when their loved one's came home from the war.  They were Stacey Hafley and April Somdahl.   The family member's were from Military Families Speak Out, which is an organization of relatives of soldiers and veterans opposed to the War in Iraq.  Regardless of your opinion of the War, it is clear that PTSD is exacting a toll on soldiers, veterans, and their families and hearing their stories was important and moving.  

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ira Breite's Doctor Radio Show on Sirius 114: May 19, 2008

We started off the show today by doing a little speculating on Senator Kennedy. I spoke with Dr. Orin Devinsky, the head of NYU Langone's Epilepsy Center, on what might of happened. Although we speculated that the Senator's people may have been hiding something (boy, were they!), we spoke about how subclinical vascular events (super mini strokes) are a common reason for older people to have new onset seizure activity.

Then onto dieting! Keri Gans, registered dietitian, ADA spokesperson and the Diet Diva, about diet blogs, dieting websites, and even the use of Facebook applications to diet. We both agreed that it could work as a motivational tool, and I relayed my (not overly successful) efforts to try to use the internet tools. The best one I found is "My Diet" on Facebook.

One interesting fact that has come out recently is that a good nights sleep can help you lose weight. But who sleeps? Many people who can't get to sleep use sleeping medications and a recent report noted that there have been more formal complaints about the newer types of sleeping aids than the older ones. So I brought in the expert: Joyce Walsleben, RN, Ph.D. , a noted expert on sleeping disorders, who is an associate professor at NYU-Langone School of Medicine and also a member of Sleep Medicine Associates of New York City. We had a highly entertaining and educational talk, which led to a large number of viewer calls.

Although not a great way to stay asleep, many people do drink before going to sleep. I had a good conversation with Susan Foster, the Vice President and Director of Policy Research and Analysis at the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University about a recent study indicating that, when stressed, women get anxious and men want a drink. This led to an interesting discussion about women's attitudes toward alcohol, and how doctors underdiagnose alcohol problems in women. Based on our discussion, I am determined to think more about this important problem!

Finally, realizing what a lack of sleep and alcohol may lead too... we talked about sex. Starting off with HERPES, I started what I hope will be a continuing series of "non-AIDS" std discussions on Doctor Radio. Joined by infectious disease expert Brent Wise, MD, we talked about everything from the non-std mouth sore that you get in herpes type I to treatment of recurrent disease. There were some interesting tales as well; some not suitable for presentation on a family blog!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ira Breite's Sirius Radio Show: May 12, 2008

How can you not listen to a show that deals with the pain of tattooing and the agony of da feet? Or tells you more about our little friend at the left than you ever wanted to know (but need to!!) You can't! In case you didn't catch the show this is a brief overview of what you missed.

The Agony of Da Feet: Although I am not overly excited by the forthcoming "Sex and The City Movie," it appears every woman I know is gearing up as if they were actually going to have Cosmo's with Sarah Jessica Parker and the other ladies. But what about those shoes? Well, after talking to Dr. Michael Pliskin, the Chief of Podiatry at North Shore/LIJ, I learned a bit about those 5" Manolos, and I am happy that I look great (at least I think so) in work boots.

For those of you who think video games are nothing but a huge waste of time and energy, I had the voice of the oppositon on the line today. Ben Sawyer, the Co-Director of the Games For Health Conference spoke to me and told me about some of the exciting developments in video games to promote health. There is a lot going on in terms of exercise training, rehabiliation, training games for health professionals, and large insurance companies are coming on board. I hope to be covering some of these games in more detail on future shows.

After the break, we got funky. Tattoo funky, that is. I talked about how to get them on, and what types of things to avoid when getting inked (or pierced). There is a little handout from the FDA you can look at if you are interested. Remember, MRI's are considered safe for tattooed individuals.

If you don't like your tattoo, its possible to get it removed, although expensive, time consuming, and a bit painful. I spoke with Tina Alster, MD, the Director of the Washington Institute of
Dermatologic Laser Surgery, a Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Georgetown University Medical Center and the author of, “Skin Savvy: The Essential Guide to Cosmetic Laser Surgery”. She also spoke about a new anesthetic product that can be used when getting laser procedures and botox. Interesting.

Finally, it was time for the bed bugs. The NY POST had a recent article on bed bugs in the subways last week, and how could we resist following up on this topic that even I find gross. I spoke with Philip Tierno, Ph.D., the Director of Clinical Microbiology at NYU-Langone and an Associate Professor in the Departments of Microbiology and Pathology at the NYU School of Medicine. He’s also the author of "The Secret Life of Germs." I also spoke with Mr. Carl Massicott, the owner of Advanced K9 Detectives, a company that uses specially trained dogs to find the little buggers. After hearing from my experts, I may never sleep again...

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 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.  

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ira Breite's Sirius Doctor Radio Show: Monday April 28th

Yesterday, I had (if I may say so) a great show. It was all about getting in shape, avoiding skin cancer, dieting and finally, after you had done all of the preceding, sex.

I started the show discussing exercise. Like most doctors, I exhort people to exercise, but, when asked how to do it, I usually give some platitude and move on. Not so on Doctor Radio. In studio, I spoke with Mr. Lloyd Wilkins, a personal trainer in New York City, and on the phone I spoke with Marjorie Albohm, who is a certified athletic trainer (yes, there is a difference) and the President Elect of the National Athletic Trainers Association. Marjorie was an athletic trainer for two Olympic games. Both she and Lloyd gave me great tips on clothing, stretching, choosing the right exercise and ways to avoid injury. There was so much more to ask them that I was sad when the segment ended. Hopefully, they can both come back!!

Onto skin cancer; specifically melanoma. My colleagues in the Department of Dermatology at NYU published an important study showing that for melanoma, the worst kind of skin cancer, size still matters. I spoke with Naheed R. Abbasi, MPH, MD, the lead author of the study and also with Dr. Michael Whitlow, a dermatologist at NYU. In addition to the study, we talked about ways to avoid melanoma in the first place, including avoiding UVa, UVb and sun protective clothing. Take home point: wet t-shirts aren't as sun protective as you think!

Then for a bit of religion. Have you ever said something like "Dear God, please don't let me eat that bag of potato chips?" Well, if you think that works, I have an author for you. Barbara Bartocci, a Christian author and motivational speaker, just wrote a book called "Grace on the Go: Quick Prayers for Determined Dieters." As a physician, I am open to just about anything thats legal to promote weight loss. But, while it was fun to get a different point of view, I am not sure that this will work for the less religiously inclined.

Finally, we shifted to sex. A recent article in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that there may be some benefit (some) for pre-menopausal woman to use a testosterone spray on their abdomen's to increase sexual satisfaction. Against this idea at all was Dr. Lenore Tiefer who joined me on the phone. In studio, and with stories that made me say "Thank God for satellite!!" was Dr. Miriam Greene, a member of the NYU Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Miriam has an excellent voice, and we played her CDs as bumper music as well. Although the issue is unresolved, especially in the pre-menopausal set (doctor talk for don't do it yet), Miriam's story justify the existence of Doctor Radio and FCC-free satellite radio in general! To hear them, you have to listen!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ira Breite's Sirius Radio Show: 4/21/08

We had a great show on Monday. With the Pope in New York City and Passover, religion was a big topic in the news. Religion is a big topic in hospitals too, at least amongst patients and their families. Doctor's, at least this one, are a little scared to talk about it. So I brought the Reverend Stephen Harding, NYU Medical Center's Director of Pastoral Care, to talk with me about the spiritual needs that patient's and their families have.

Then to a lighter topic, constipation. Matzoh is known as the great constipator, and New York, with its large Jewish population, is always affected at this time of year. I spoke with Keri Gans and Elisa Zied, both registered dieticians, about this. Elisa has a book out called "Feed Your Family Right! How to Make Smart Food and Fitness Choices for a Healthy Lifestyle." We tried to help the constipated and help avoid that other common rectal issue: hemorrhoids. We also talked about new rules in New York City requiring chain restaurants to list the calories of their offerings right on the menu. This conversation was so spirited it went on through the break and into our second hour.

Then onto testosterone.  Two studies were recently published about men and their hormones.  The first showed that if men were showed pornographic images they would then engage in riskier  behavior then if showed something more sedate (a stapler) or scary (a snake, ironically enough).  The second study showed two things; the first being that male bond traders that had a good day financially had increased testosterone levels compared to their more poorly performing peers.  Interestingly, they also had higher testosterone levels at the beginning of the day.  We brought on Jed Diamond, the author of the book "Male Menopause" to talk about the study.   I think its safe to say that we here at Doctor Radio like hearing pop medicine on the radio, and often like disagreeing with it as much as possible.  

Finally, a whole new way to say "can you hear me now?"  There is a new hearing aid out there, the Lyric.  Expensive, but worth it.  We spoke with the co-founder of the company, Robert Schindler, MD, who is the Chairman Emeritus of Otolaryngology at the University of California, San Francisco.  We wre also joined by NYU's Chairman, Anil Lalwani, who used to be at UCSF before coming East.  We spoke with former Olympian who uses the hearing aid and loves it.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

What Sirius Station Do You Want To Hear in the Waiting Room?

One of the great joys of Sirius Radio is the many stations that it offers. And that has led to a dilemma in my office: what to listen to? Although everyone has to listen to me (natch), all of us like music in the background when we work and for the patients in the waiting room. We also put have Sirius playing when people are "on hold." We have it down to a few choices at the moment, but things are always changing. These are:

1) Sirius Hits 1
2) The Spectrum
3) The Coffee House
4) Symphony Hall (OK, my partner likes that, but we really don't play it much)
5) Outlaw Country (my favorite, but I have been outvoted by all the city folk)

Please email us at and let me know what you want to hear while waiting for the doctor.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dr. Ira Breite's Sirius Radio Show: April 14th, 2008

Monday was my birthday, and my producer, Melanie, and I put together a show that revolved around this fact. I am now a 42 year old man, and I decided I needed a health makeover! So make me over my guests did.

I started off by talking about motorcycle and car safety. I tool around Manhattan on a Vespa, and as physician I know just how stupid this can be. I decided that the entire radio audience needed to be educated not to hit me, or my fellow riders, and talked with Dr. William Van Tassel of the AAA.

Then I needed a physical. I know what I need, but a doctor who treats himself has a fool for a doctor (most of the time). So I asked Dr. Robert Tan, an expert on andropause, which is a nice doctorly way of saying "you're getting older." We talked about some of the tests I needed (bottom line is blood pressure, sugar, cholesterol as the most important; prostate, skin examination and general physical less so; I'm not ready for that colonoscopy with my family history).

But lets be honest. Once you get through trying to stay alive you want to look good. So I took this show as an opportunity to see some what physical enhancements (not that one) were available to me.

First we talked about where I have to much hair. As is public knowledge to anyone who has been to the beach with me, I have a hairy back. My skin is good, but many of my colleagues are beginning to wrinkle up. So I had on a Beverly Hills Dermatologist and a Park Avenue Plastic Surgeon to make sure I could get my outer self looking great! I was joined in studio by Dr. Stephen Greenberg and on the phone from Beverly Hills with Dr. Susan Evans. I learned a few things: laser hair removal would take me 5 or 6 sessions for the hair on my back, and would be painless. Given that I have a rug there, I'm not sure I believe it, but its what they said. I also found about more about botox and a little bit about fillers.

After the break, it was time to shift from the mop of hair on my body to the lack of hair on my head. I had the pleasure of talking with Dr. Robert Fleming (also in California by phone) about hair restoration. In my office, male pattern baldness is a common topic of conversation and I wanted to learn more. Dr. Fleming was an excellent guest, and explained the many options for hair restoration available, including a technique he helped perfect: The Fleming/Mayer flap.

Finally, it was time to get toned. Marcel Daniels, MD or Image MD, in Long Beach, California told me about my shaping options. Unfortunately, he told me I should lose some weight first. Well, not on my birthday, but my post birthday diet has already begun!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Dr. Ira Breite's Sirius Radio Show: April 7, 2008

We had a great show on Monday April 7th. Informally called the "below the belt" show, we spent a lot of time talking to experts in kidney and bladder disease, and finished off the show with a great interview of a sex therapist.

The first guest was Dr. Victor Nitti, the Vice-Chairman of Urology at NYU Medical Center. Victor and I first talked about everything you ever wanted to know about urinary tract infections. Victor is an expert on female urinary incontinence, and we spent the next segment talking about how to diagnose and treat this embarrassing condition. In addition to standard therapies, I learned that some physicians are starting to give Botox to treat this condition!

After Dr. Nitti left, we switched gears a little bit, but not much. Many patients suffer from interstital cystitis or the painful bladder syndrome (for more information, you can click here to see an excellent patient review from the web site "Up to Date." Treatments are difficult and not always effective. Several people called us to tell us about their own difficulty getting treatment. Joining me by phone to discuss this problem was Dr. Willam Garner, who is developing a new drug for painful bladder syndrome called URG 101 (pronounced urge). This drug recently had a very successful phase II trial and is now headed into phase III trials!

I admit it. I don't read the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. But I did hear about a great editorial in that journal debunking what we know and don't know about water consumption. Joining me on the phone was one of the authors of that editorial: Stanley Goldfarb, MD. Dr. Goldfarb explained that many of the common "facts" about water, such as drinking 8 glasses a day to help your skin complexion, may be of no help at all.

Finally, we switched from the kidneys and bladder all the way down to the sex organs. We discussed some of the latest sex studies; one of which stated how long intercourse should last and the other which stated (yet again) that men can't tell friendly woman from woman who are sexually interested, with Dr. Ian Kerner, a bestselling author and sex therapist. Pretty good stuff! And some of it is not repeatable in a family blog. You have to love satellite.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ira Breite's Sirius Doctor Radio Show: Monday March 31st Show

My show on Monday featured a variety of interesting topics and some fascinating guests. A brief rundown:

We opened the show with the sad story of 11-year-old Madeline Neumann, who died of diabetic ketoacidosis (diabetic coma), possibly because her parents believed that prayer would save her and delayed getting the girl medical attention. I discussed the case with Dr. Arthur Caplan, the Emanuel and Robert Hart Professor of Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. Although the exact details of this case are not completely known yet, we discussed how, in general, that while adults have a right to make their own medical decisions, and to make many medical decisions for their children, they do not have the right to refuse life saving procedures or treatments to their children.

After this, we talked with Ms. Sari Greaves RD, CDN, from the New York State Dietetic Association, about a study that appeared in the Journal Neurology looking at how increased belly fat in your forties might lead to dementia in older age. I discussed the academic findings in the paper and Sari helped me translate the "doctor" stuff into practical ways to lose that fat and cut the risk!

Because we talked a lot about fish as a good food to eat, and because of a recent new article describing how sushi is becoming more popular throughout the United States, I talked about the risks of sushi. You'll have to keep listening to find out everything that you need to know, but suffice it to say there are things about salmon you need to know.

Then we went to break.

When I returned, the conversation again turned to an unfortunate young woman who died of a disease called malignant hyperthermia as a result of anesthesia she received because of surgery. I was pleased to have Dr. Thomas Blanck, NYU's Chairman of anesthesia in studio. We went over this inherited disease, how anesthesiologists look for it, and the treatments used. After the break, Tom and I discussed things that you should look for when deciding about elective surgery, and the importance of talking to you surgeon and internist prior to proceeding!

Finally, it was time for some light medical news. The American Journal of Psychiatry published an editorial stating that internet addiction should be included in the upcoming edition of Psychiatry Diagnostic guide DSM-V. An editorial in a prominent journal is more than a bit of whimsy; it implies that many leading thinkers in psychiatry are thinking that "internet addiction" is real. I reviewed their reasons and added a few comments of my own. They were pretty funny, but then again, I am biased.