Good nutrition is essential to growth, healing, and vitality. For a variety of reasons, some people are not able to eat. In order to receive essential nutrients, such patients require supplying the nutrients using a means that does not involve chewing or swallowing. Adequate hydration must be provided, but most people can go without nutrition for at least seven days. However, depending on the situation, nutritional support may need to be started sooner than that. While in some patients the inability to eat may be temporary, in others it may be permanent.

The preferred means of providing nutrition in these situations is via the gut, known as enteral nutrition. It is the natural way in which nutrients are absorbed and it allows the

A few months ago, Dr. William Frishman, the Dean of Medicine at my former medical school, NY Medical College, wrote a column about aging that I would like to share with you. More and more people are living to their predicted life spans and achieving advanced old age. This is especially true in the U.S. and Japan. Dr. Frishman listed 10 factors that accounted for people living to their genetically determined life-span. The first factor is genetics. A genetic basis for old age has always been

Ribs are long, thin bones that are prone to breaking from direct trauma to the chest (like from a fall, car accident, or assault) or from repetitive trauma (such as repetitive coughing or sports). Rib fractures may occur at any age but are more common in older patients because many older individuals suffer from osteoporosis, which makes bones thinner and more brittle. Rib fractures may just be a crack in the rib or a complete fracture with misalignment of the ends of the bones at the fracture

Health care has emerged as a major campaign topic for Democratic presidential hopefuls this year. Some of them are advancing the concept of “Medicare-for-all” and other free stuff. The theme of today’s column is financial, not political. While I haven’t heard them propose how to pay for it, I would like to delve into how Medicare-for-all might affect the delivery of health care, especially as it pertains to hospitals. Hospitals consume the largest share of healthcare costs, accounting for 35

A few months ago, just in time for summer, there were several media stories of how a study had found that some ingredients in sunscreens were found in the bloodstreams of study participants. These media stories somehow appeared before the actual study they were based on was published. That study, which appeared in the June 4, 2019 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, was not the first study to find this phenomenon. It has been known for years that chemicals in sunscreens

Angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) are one of four classes of drugs recommended for the initial treatment of hypertension—a condition found in over 45 percent of adult Americans—plus heart failure and chronic kidney disease. Early this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a large-scale voluntary recall of certain lots of ARBs, namely valsartan, losartan, and irbesartan, due to the presence of small amounts of three carcinogens found in them. Then, a few months ago, the FDA

Today I would like to discuss stem cells and their uses. This is an extremely complex field and I can’t possibly cover it all, but I would like to discuss some basics about them. Stem cells are essentially undeveloped cells that, in some cases, have the potential to develop into any type of mature cell found in the body. As you can imagine, this potential has created a whole new dimension in the treatment and curing of human diseases and conditions. The first type of stem cell is the embryonic

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