The Other Side of 40 – The Cerebrovascular System (Your Brain) – Changes, Challenges, Solutions

Last but not least, in the last part of this series, let’s talk about your brain. But first a summary comment. Life after 40 poses both opportunity and obstacles. 35 to 40 is eit
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 20, 2018

The Other Side of 40 – The Cardiopulmonary (Heart and Lungs) System – Changes, Challenges, Solutions

The fourth part of this series looks at your heart and lungs. Click here for the post on changes in your skin. Click here for the post on changes to your musculoskeletal system. C
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 19, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Other Side of 40 – The Genital System – Changes, Challenges, Solutions

The third part of this series is about your genital system after 40. There’s a lot here both for the ladies and the gentlemen, but everyone should want to know all the informatio
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 18, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Other Side of 40 – The Musculoskeletal System – Changes, Challenges, Solutions

The second part of this series on how your body changes with age is about your muscles. This section combined with the previous skin section explains why you wrinkle. As before,
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 17, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Other Side of 40 -The Skin – Changes, Challenges, Solutions

September is Healthy Aging Month. A big part of healthy aging is prior healthy living, particularly as you reach the age at which your unhealthy habits begin to catch up with you o
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 16, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Arthritis – Response to Reader Question

    Does joint cracking cause Arthrtis? I actually understand the question. You would think all that snap, knuckle and pop would represent bad things happening to your bones,
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 15, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Arthritis – Prevention & Treatment

The thing about treating arthritis is you’d better do it. If you’re not lucky enough to have a form that readily responds to treatment or if you didn’t get early treatment, y
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 14, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Arthritis – Symptoms & Causes

Arthritis is one of a few different “inevitable” diseases humans have.  Today we’re discussing one form of Arthritis, specifically, degenerative joint disease (osteo
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 13, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Cholesterol – What you should know.

Most people know just enough about cholesterol to be able to do something about it should they choose. Still, seventy-one million American adults have abnormally high cholesterol,
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 12, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Lowering Your Risk for Infection

There are things you know, there are things you know but don’t really know, and there are still other things that you think you know that you don’t know at all. When it
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 11, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Suicide – Crisis on Campus

I  had the privilege of spending time at my alma mater addressing issues on behalf of students and mental health services. Among many other things discussed, I was shocked by the
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 10, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: What is MRSA? Causes, Prevention & Treatments

One of the things that’s changed a lot from when I first started practicing medicine is people show up every day to the emergency room for mosquito and spider bites.  The lo
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 9, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Questions About Abscesses (Boils)

Whether you call them boils, pus pockets or abscesses, they hurt. Abscesses are infections that localize and collect pus beneath the skin. Although previous Straight, No Chaser pos
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 8, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Recommendations for Early Detection of Prostate Cancer

Every so often, controversies regarding medical treatment recommendations get in the news and seemingly only serve to confuse the public. Every blog, article or research paper is a
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 7, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Facts About Prostate Cancer – 2018 Update

Men (and those who care for men – meaning everyone) should be knowledgeable about prostate cancer. I don’t mean physician-level knowledgeable, but there are just a few fac
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 6, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Questions About the Prostate

This is Prostate Cancer Awareness month, and as such, this Straight, No Chaser explores the prostate (no pun intended). Prostate cancer and screening will be addressed in an addi
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 5, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Tips for Treating & Preventing Gas

So… you have problems with gas. What are you to do? Well, given that gas production is a natural occurrence, it’s not like you’re going to eliminate having gas (no pun intend
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 4, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Gas You Pass-Eructation (Belching) and Flatus (The Other One)

It seems like Straight, No Chaser is unafraid to address any topic! Here’s one of those conversations that everyone wants to have but rarely does. Gas is a natural phenomenon. Th
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 3, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Asthma Basics – (Part 2 of 2)

As we move into discussing asthma treatment, remember that asthmatics die at an alarming rate.  I mentioned yesterday (and it bears repeating) that death rates have increased over
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 2, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Asthma Basics – (Part 1 of 2)

Asthma concerns me. I’ve had many close friends and family suffer with the disease. In fact, a very good friend died of an attack while in medical school, because he didn’t ha
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 1, 2018

From the SterlingMedicalAdvice.com Health Library: “My Doctor Said I Was a High-Risk Asthmatic. What Does That Mean?”

If you have an asthmatic in your life, it’s important to know that asthmatics die.  The risk of death is higher in certain asthmatics. If you or your loved one is in this su
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 31, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Five Frequently Asked Questions on Lupus

  What is lupus? What causes it? In general terms, lupus is a disease in which your immune system malfunctions and attacks your healthy tissue. This is known as an autoimmune dis
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 30, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Health Risks of Urban vs. Rural Living

What’s your flavor, city vs country living? Regardless as to wear you live your life, each decision comes with defined risks to your health, and yes, these effects go beyond
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 29, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Your Questions on Treatment of Fire Related Injuries

Questions, you’ve got questions (Why are you so shy about posting them?).  Here we go.  Today, your focus is on the aftermath and treatment of fire related injury. 1)   W
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 28, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Roof Is On Fire – The Trauma of Residential Fires

As Trauma Week winds down on Straight, No Chaser, we work our way back home, which sadly is the site of most traumatic injuries.  In fact, about 85% of all U.S. fire deaths occur
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 27, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: National Minority Organ Donor Awareness Month

August is National Minority Donor Awareness Month, which brings attention to the more than 118,000 people nationwide waiting for lifesaving organ transplants. Of the these men, wom
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 26, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Golf Injuries

As we watch Tiger Woods’ body continuing to crumble before our eyes, it’s a good time to review golf injuries. Not just because of him but for the average weekend warri
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 25, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Your Teens Are Healthier Than You!

Your teens are healthier than you. From the department of good health news – on some very important measures, somehow it seems as if our youth have actually received and read
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 24, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Aspirin – It’s Not Just for Heart Attacks Anymore

…not that it ever was! Aspirin has been known to be a pain reliever for thousands of years. Let’s take a brief look at the additional qualities that should make aspirin
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 23, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Tortured Mind of a Genius

Thinking back to the suicide of Robin Williams brings to mind a saying I’ve heard for years: “Genius lives on the other side of the fence from insanity.” This has been demon
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 22, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Self-Assessment for Signs of Early Dementia or Alzheimer’s

Each of us has elderly family members for whom we may be concerned about their memory or other possible signs of dementia. You don’t have to stand by powerless and let them dwin
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 21, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Dementia – When Brain Health Goes Bad

In case you didn’t pick up on it, the posts regarding brain health served two purposes. The first is to ensure you give yourself the best opportunity to live a healthy, happy men
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 20, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Toxin and Detoxification Series Summary

I want to thank you for all the positive responses to the series of posts on toxins and detoxification. You have shared many personal stories and asked many great questions. I gues
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 19, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Natural Colon Cleansing (Colonics) as a Means of Detox

C’mon. Be honest. You knew we’d end up here (no pun intended). Isn’t colonic cleansing one of those things that makes you wonder who the Greek guy was who first thought of
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 18, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: A Look at Detox Diets

Everyone who talks to me about detox is motivated and sincere about making an improvement in his or her health.  Therefore, it’s important that they be shown respect and encoura
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 17, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Quick Tips to Detoxify Yourself Naturally

Here are 3-4 Quick Tips for each of the organs involved in naturally detoxifying you; I’ve limited what I’m giving you to do in the effort to make this manageable for y
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 16, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Our World is Filled with Toxins

You can’t escape all toxins, but you can certainly minimize your exposure to them.  A handy way to classify them involves reminding you of the organ systems that help us detoxif
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 15, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Natural Methods of Detoxification

It seems that at least once a week I get asked to comment on colonics, detox diets, juice fasts, etc.  It seems to me that these are all rather extreme places to start.  How abou
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 14, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Introduction to Club Drugs – Date Rape and Other Adverse Effects

A little knowledge goes a long way, particularly when it comes to the habits of teens and young adults. Those who partake in the club scene, parties, concerts or other social setti
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 13, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Hookahs and Health

I love the responses I get from you. Even the spam is entertaining. Most recently, when I posted this, the most common response was some variation of this theme: “What’s a hook
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 12, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Bath Salts – Seen Any Zombies Lately?

You can have an idea how bad a drug is when it has more street names than is remotely necessary. Today’s Straight, No Chaser is about bath salts, which are another group of tho
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 11, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Steroid Abuse

In the conversation about drugs of abuse, anabolic steroids hold a unique position. They work very differently from other drugs of abuse, and they do not have the same acute effect
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 10, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Sedative (Sleeping and Anxiety Pill) Abuse

Recent Straight, No Chaser posts have focused on the scope of the danger of medicines and other drugs/chemicals you keep around your home. These substances are because of the inc
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 9, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Prescription Drug Abuse

Many times over the years, I’ve had to explain to patients such as chronic sufferers from migraines, low back pain and other conditions that even if they weren’t “drug-seekin
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 8, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Inhalants – Effects and Actions to Take

Straight, No Chaser previously reviewed various forms of inhalants used to get intoxicated. Many kids think inhalants are a harmless, cheap, and quick way to “get high.” Becau
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 7, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: When Your Kids Huff and Puff – Learn about Inhalants

Over the course of several posts, we’ve described how difficult it is for you to keep abreast of the activities of teens. In this and a subsequent Straight, No Chaser post, we
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 6, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Keloids

Have you ever seen a keloid? Do you suffer from keloids? Do you know someone with them and wonder what’s occurring? Here are some answers. Some people, more commonly African-Amer
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 5, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Contact Dermatitis, Diaper Rash, Poison Ivy and the Like

Let’s pick up where we left off. In our discussion of eczema and psoriasis, we described the common theme of underlying inflammation manifesting in rashes of different appea
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 4, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Rashes on Your Palms and Soles; It's Not Always Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

In the world of rashes, there aren’t an abundance of rashes that appear on the palms and soles.  However, there are a few of note, so here’s some Quick Tips to point y
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 3, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Eczema and Psoriasis

Rashes are very frustrating for patients.  They itch, burn, get infected, aren’t pleasant to look at and never go away rapidly enough. Another problem is no one ever seems t
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 2, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: When that Eye Problem Could Be an Eye Emergency

Now you may look at the topic and think, “Well, isn’t that obvious?” I’m here to tell you that as many people who come to the emergency room for seemingly minor things, the
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 1, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Gallstones of Some People

Pain is no fun. It’s always a good time to discuss topics related to your goals of eating less, eating healthier and exercising more. Let’s start with a condition especially as
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 31, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Early and Delayed Puberty

The onset of puberty is an anxious enough time without it being complicated by being early or late. You may be familiar with the changes related to puberty, but you also should kno
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 30, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Quick Tips to Save a Drowning Victim

Can you swim? Have you ever witnessed someone drowning or almost drown? I’ve actually been rescued. It’s a truly horrifying experience. It only takes a few minutes of y
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 29, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Swimmer’s Ear (Acute Otitis Externa)

It’s that time of year. Whether you’re getting purified in Lake Minnetonka (obscure pop culture reference alert) or your local watering hole, as the weather warms, a lot of peo
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 28, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Dehydration – When You’re Too Dry to Cry

Dehydration is one of those topics that illustrates the adage “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”— except I would adjust that to suggest a little of the wrong type of k
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 27, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: When Fainting is Deadly

1. So can faints be deadly? Potentially. There are three separate sets of considerations. The brain can’t survive very long without adequate oxygen. Whatever caused that fai
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 26, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: You’re Way Too Comfortable With Fainting

Don’t faints seem mysterious?  It’s as if your computer crashed and had to reboot.  Although we never seemingly figure out why computers are so crazy, fainting (syncope) is r
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 25, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Amnesia and Severe Memory Loss

In a previous post, we discussed forgetfulness and mild memory loss. We’ve also discussed Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. If you noticed and remember (no pun intended), we
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 24, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Self-Assessment for Signs of Early Dementia or Alzheimer’s

Each of us has elderly family members for whom we may be concerned about their memory or other possible signs of dementia. You don’t have to stand by powerless and let them dwin
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 23, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Questions About Memory Loss and Forgetfulness

Are you the type that has a bad memory? Is your memory good when you “want it to be?” Do you just have problems paying attention? Are you concerned about elderly family
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 22, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Sealed with a (Wrong Type of) Kiss – Zoonotic Diseases

It’s interesting how we take animals for granted. Many of us touch and handle them, play with them. Some people keep their pets in their faces, allowing them to kiss and lick the
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 21, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Extracting Ticks and Preventing Tick Bites

Springtime is the beginning of the outdoor season for many. Whether you’re camping, hunting, playing paintball, hiking or engaged in other activities in the woods or tall grass,
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 20, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Avoiding Mosquito-Bourne Diseases

Sometimes things occur so frequently that you become sensitized to the real danger they present. This thought occurred to me when I saw Bill Gates talking about efforts to elimin
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 19, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Emergency Room Adventures – The Risk of Rabies

Depending on the circumstances of your life, sometimes risks are theoretical, and other times risks become occurrences… You can’t make this stuff up. It’s another bu
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 18, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Stop, The Life You Save May Be Your Own – Snake Bites

So you’ve been snake bitten.  What will you do next? First things first.  Stay calm.  Call 911.  Realize that most snake bites are non-venomous (A really quick tip regarding
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 17, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Animal Bites

We love our pets, and animals in general. Is there one about which a movie hasn’t been made? In most cases they are sources of entertainment, if not love. Unfortunately, they
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 16, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Your Questions About Human Bites

The votes are in, and it appears that Jaws (from James Bond fame) found the previous post, well… biting.  Here’s your questions and answers about human bites: 1)  
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 15, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Human Bites

I have had weird experiences with humans biting humans, as have most physicians. There are several different types of human bites, which can range from harmless to surgically serio
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 14, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite!

There’s nothing pleasant in talking about bedbugs, but’s it is even worse to have to deal with them, so let’s get you some information to help you prevent and address these b
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 13, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Lou Gehrig’s Disease (aka Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)

There’s no longer an ice bucket challenge, but the disease known as Lou Gehrig’s disease still is around. However, I have to ask… Do you have any idea what the d
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 12, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Questions You Should Ask When You Have a Laceration

I wonder if any of us avoid lacerations over the course of our lives. It seems that everyone I know or every patient I have cared for has a scar and a story to accompany it. Fortun
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 11, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: How to Survive a Motor Vehicle Collision

  As you drive the expressways of some cities, you can now see signs displaying how many traffic deaths have occurred during the year. I’m sure the purpose of these a
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 10, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Motor Vehicle Crashes – Risky Behaviors, Injuries and Prevention

  ‘Tis not our task to preach but to inform. Maybe you think you’ve heard it all before, but let me lay it all out for you so you can truly be an informed consumer. Forew
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 9, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Total Knee Replacement Surgery

When you’re at the big game, whether it’s football, basketball, soccer or otherwise, it’s likely you’re watching a group that includes someone who may requi
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 8, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Role of Gunshot Wounds in a Nation at War with Itself

Apparently there is going to be an ongoing need to address this… Somewhere in the midst of reconciling the parts of me that are physician, public health professional and Afr
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 7, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Curse of the Weekend Warrior – Achilles Tendon Rupture

In high school I led the league in stolen bases, and in college my cohorts and I loved inventing ever more creative ways to dunk a basketball. Apparently, my calf muscles worked we
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 6, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Avoiding Summertime Sports Injuries

It’s not just kids that get injured in the summer having fun. Those of you weekend warriors, recreational and actual athletes are very much at risk also. Now, professional at
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 5, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Fireworks Safety

For many, the Fourth of July is a time of celebration, happiness and creation of good family memories. In the emergency room it’s one of the two worst days to have to work (exclu
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 3, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Your Guide to Fighting Childhood Obesity (Works for Adults, Too!)

Would you start your child on a fad diet? Of course not. Combating obesity means consistently applying principles that bear fruit (and include fruits over time). So you have an ove
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 2, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Childhood Obesity

Here’s the thing. Adults have control over and choices about how to live their lives. In the overwhelming majority of cases, children do not. Yet, in the overwhelming majorit
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 1, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Your Questions About Gunshots and Stab Wounds

There has been a lot going on in the news this entire year related to trauma, particularly gunshot wounds. This Straight, No Chaser answers your questions related to penetrating
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 30, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Penetrating Trauma (Gunshot and Stab Wounds)

Penetrating trauma (PT) is of such magnitude in this country that it is nearly impossible to do it justice in short form. This is primarily a medical blog, and as such I’ll defer
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 29, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Do’s and Don’ts of Treating Electrical Injuries

In a previous Straight, No Chaser, we discussed the “what” of electrical injuries and lightning. In this post, we discuss the “what-to-do” and “what-not-to-do” if and
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 28, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Electrical Injuries and Lightning Strikes

As I watch lightning lighting up the sky, it makes me wonder if anyone out there is unlucky enough to be getting struck. The annual probability of being struck by lightning is app
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 27, 2018

The Straight, No Chaser Guide to Health Screenings for Men

At some particular point  you will start to inventory all the things for which you’re thankful. In the event health or your family comes to mind, you might be interested in pres
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 26, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Sickle Cell Disease/Anemia

I don’t type this post with any amount of joy. Can you imagine an existence in which your blood cells are deformed to the extent to which they resemble pointy knives poking at
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 25, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction

Well, here’s what many of you’ve been awaiting.  Assuming the preventative efforts I mentioned didn’t work for you, there are several different treatment approac
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 24, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Erectile Dysfunction, Part Two – Causes

In my last post on erectile dysfunction (ED), I gave a simplistic way to understand and address it.  However, the truth of the matter is the overwhelming majority of cases of ED a
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 23, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Erectile Dysfunction, Part One

It seems appropriate to follow-up a post on age-related changes in your genitourinary system with a discussion on erectile dysfunction (ED).  The nature of the topic is such that
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 22, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Straight Talk About Vasectomies

A couple’s conversation about having a vasectomy can either be a tense one or it can be a display of trust and cohesion. The decision by a man to have a vasectomy can be a so
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 21, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Maintain Healthy Testosterone Levels Without Replacement Therapy

Male virility is a fascinating topic medically. It is truly an example of how confidence and mental fortitude (or the absence thereof) can directly translate into physical performa
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 20, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Male Menopause (aka Andropause)

Manopause?  Male Menopause? Yes, andropause is a thing (at least according to many medical authorities). Most of us are roughly familiar with menopause. You may or may not be su
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 19, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Low Testosterone

Are you someone who had never heard of Low-T until recent commercials starting telling you that you weren’t normal? Let’s review what all the fuss is about. As most people know
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 18, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Men’s Health Week, Fathers Day and Health

Fathers’ Day falls right at the tail end of Men’s Health Week, but we don’t like that – and we’ll begin our own Men’s Health Week by starting with Fathe
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 17, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Cancer Prevention Workbook

We continue with simple principles to avoid various forms of cancer, but in today’s Straight, No Chaser, we add some detail about the what’s and whys of the conversation. T
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 16, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Cancer Prevention Checklist

I’m going to present this information two separate ways: today a checklist, as simple as possible; and tomorrow with the same information explained briefly but with detail. You l
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 15, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Syndrome

TMJ. Those of you who have TMJ syndrome are likely already shaking your head in understanding. Those of you who don’t, be thankful. Take the advice of those who do and read this
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 14, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Travelers’ Diarrhea

This is the time of year in the U.S. when you wished you were somewhere else. (Hawaii, Africa, Australia or Mexico for a nice cruise, anyone?) Unfortunately, sometimes when you tra
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 13, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Spotlight on Health Concerns When Traveling – Vaccines and Illnesses

Traveling is exciting, but it presents multiple challenges to your health. To best meet these challenges, preparation is everything. Before you travel and every time you travel, yo
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 12, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: What Would You Do If Your Tongue Suddenly Swelled? Learn About Angioedema

Here at Straight, No Chaser, we want you to know how to prevent disease and injury because that’s a lot easier than the alternative. However, if and when the time comes, you
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 11, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Open Fractures

I don’t think you need especially gory illustrations for this. I think you get the picture. In a previous Straight, No Chaser, we discussed broken fingers. If you get a “f
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 10, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Broken Fingers

Don’t the tips of your fingers drive you nuts? Our leading edges cause so much drama for us. We’ve previously discussed injuries to nails and nail beds, but many of you who wor
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 9, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Broken Noses (Nasal Fractures)

It’s curious how many patients with broken noses come into the emergency room smiling. Usually they’re kids whose parents “just want to be sure.” In these cases not mu
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 8, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: When Your Jaw Pain Could Be a Heart Attack

Several Straight, No Chaser posts have addressed jaw pain. We’ve separately discussed jaw trauma and TMJ syndrome. Unfortunately, that’s not the most important story of ja
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 7, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Reacting to Broken or Dislocated Jaws

Should you ever suffer the misfortune of getting hit or falling onto your jaw, would you know what to do? Trauma to the jaw is more dangerous than you might imagine. The risk for b
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 6, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Hangnails and Paronychia

Aren’t hangnails annoying? Well, it gets worse. The things we do in an effort to get rid of them cause even bigger problems, and that’s the focus of this Straight, No Chaser.
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 5, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Step on a Nail? What Happens Next?

What would you do if you stepped on a nail? What if the nail was rusty? Does it make a difference if you were wearing shoes? Is stepping on a nail dangerous? Why does everyone pron
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 4, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: When Your Headache is Life-Threatening

All headaches are not created equal. Earlier we discussed migraines, but there’s a lot more to headaches than those. In fact, when you come to an emergency room with a history o
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 3, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Migraine Headaches Questions and Answers

There are 30 million migraine sufferers in the U.S. alone.  Women are three times as likely to have them, but both sexes have to address the issues raised by them.  Here are som
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 2, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Kids Summer Fun Gone Wrong – Trampoline & Hover Board Trauma

With the recent  holiday weekend behind us, let me share a story…. It starts with me back in the emergency room with a little girl who looks like her forearm is going to fal
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 1, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Do You Have Moles?

  Odds are you do, but we’re not talking about the animal variety. It’s Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, and so if you do have moles, you should
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 31, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Effects of PTSD on Children

This is part of a series on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For a review of PTSD signs, symptoms and those at risk, click here. For a review of PTSD diagnosis and treatment
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 30, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Diagnosis and Treatment

Review this previous Straight, No Chaser post for a review of PTSD signs, symptoms and those at risk. Fortunately, not every traumatized person develops post-traumatic stress di
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 29, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Signs, Symptoms and Those at Risk

Memorial Day serves to honor our fallen heroes. Part of that involves caring for our soldiers still with us. Understanding and acknowledging the mental components of their sufferin
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 28, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Healthy and Safe Swimming

Did you know this is National Healthy Safe and Swimming Week? Whether you’re an avid swimmer or only deal with it on a vacation, it’s important to be reminded how to be safe wh
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 27, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Heat Illnesses Awareness (Heat Exhaustion, Heat Cramps, Heat Stroke)

Heat Awareness Day occurs the last Friday in May instead of the first weekend in July because prevention is better than cure. Once the rains calm down across America, it’s p
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 26, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Living With An Incurable Sexually Transmitted Infection

You’ve requested it, and it’s only fair. We’ve spent a lot of time discussing sexually transmitted diseases and infections (STDs, STIs). It’s reasonable to discuss living w
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 25, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: STDs – Treatment of Pubic Lice (Crabs)

There’s no dishonor in needing help. A pubic lice infestation is one of many types of conditions that can lead to a complete disruption of your life. These are full-time parasite
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 24, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: STDs – Pubic Lice (Crabs)

Unfortunately, there’s no pleasant way around this topic. I hope the topic doesn’t make you crabby. There is a story of legend in the medical community regarding the trends
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 23, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: What To Do If You Suspect a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)

It’s been a long and productive sex week here at Straight, No Chaser. We’ve run the gamut of common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other genital conditions, and li
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 22, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Cervical Cancer – The Sexually Transmitted Cancer

Let’s put this take home message up front: here’s a pretty good demonstration of the value of vaccines. I hope that each of you resolves to get any children you care f
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 21, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Prevention and Treatment of Food Allergies

Whether or not you personally have a food allergy, it is likely you will find yourself in a situation with someone who does. Food allergies affect approximately 15 million American
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 20, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Food Allergies

I often say whatever you put in your mouth either helps or harms you. Today, we discuss food allergies, which sounds like a cruel trick or something out of a horror movie, but unfo
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 19, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Endometriosis

Guys, it’s not condescending to note that it’s really tough to be a woman. There are so many different medical conditions women have to deal with that men don’t. Many
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 18, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Bacterial Vaginosis – No, That’s Not a STD

I try to give you straight talk but never crudely. As I’ve discussed conditions involving the genitalia, I’ve been mindful of the reality that large numbers of you have
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 17, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: So… You Skipped Your Period? Let’s Discuss Secondary Amenorrhea

It happens all the time, but one thing that makes both men and women anxious is a missed menstrual period. Everyone’s always worried about being pregnant (and you should be). Wh
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 16, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Twenty Questions on Menopause (Plus One)

Menopause (aka “the change of life”) seems to be one of those things that everyone knows about but many don’t understand well. Let’s approach the topic by r
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 15, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Advanced Maternal Age

Times have changed. Marriages are increasingly career-focused, and couples more and more choose to have babies later in life. It is helpful that these decisions can now be aided by
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 14, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: In Honor of Mothers and All Women

At Straight, No Chaser, our posts aim to inform and encourage you to manage your health. In doing so, we would do well to learn about early recognition, diagnosis and management o
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 13, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: When Sex Hurts Her – Vaginismus

The human body is fascinating and mysterious in so many different ways. Unfortunately, that’s not always a good thing. Not every medical condition has to be life threatening
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 12, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Toxic Shock Syndrome

Straight, No Chaser has addressed Staphylococcus (aka Staph) infections on several occasions; in fact, Staph is the microorganism that is responsible for all those MRSA (methicilli
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 11, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: About Cold Sores and Herpes

Some of you are consumed with fear. Maybe for some it’s stricken with guilt. In any event this topic is simply another example of not being adequately armed with the knowledge yo
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 10, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: STDs – Questions About Herpes

If you’re in a room, look around. Look to your left, then to your right. Look behind and in front of you. Then look deep inside yourself. Statistically, one of the people you
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 9, 2018

The Straight, No Chaser Guide to Health Screenings for Women

This Straight, No Chaser looks at current health screening recommendations. Whether it’s an ounce of prevention or early detection, you’re much better off knowing what your hea
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 8, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Bell’s Palsy

We’ve spent some time focusing on stroke recognition, but today we focus on a condition that often gets confused with a stroke. Bell’s palsy is a paralysis of the facial ne
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 7, 2018

Straight, No Chaser Vlog: Stroke – How to Save a Life

The Straight, No Chaser vlog (video blog) series presents “health care basics” to keep you safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. Today’s topic is stroke (cerebr
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 6, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Stroke Awareness Month

This content of this post is so simple yet important that it really warrants taking up space in a few of your brain’s cells. Most of us know someone who has suffered from a strok
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 5, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: About Stuttering

How do you respond when you hear someone stutter? Are you a stutterer, and if so, how do you handle it? Let’s answer 7 frequency asked questions to facilitate some understand
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 4, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Ruptured Eardrums

The manufacturers of Q-Tips used to run a commercial in which they said “Never place anything in your ear smaller than your elbow.”  I wonder why they stopped the comm
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 3, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Addressing Hearing Loss and the Use of Hearing Aids

Prevention and protecting your hearing is easy; the decision to do so seems not to be so easy. Remembering this hearing thermometer is a good way to know what activities hurt your
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 2, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Can You Hear Me Now? Let's Discuss Hearing Loss

If you think about it, it shouldn’t surprise you to hear that hearing loss is the third most common ailment. Pump up the volume could be the motto for a period of our lives lasti
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 1, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Female Reproductive Health and Workplace Hazards

Considerations of female reproductive health are important in the work environment. Many different work settings pose risks to women’s reproductive systems. Generally effects can
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 30, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Male Reproductive Health and Workplace Hazards

Yes, you read that correctly. We’re discussing men’s reproductive health. Of course there is a preoccupation with women’s reproductive health (and we addressed that in anothe
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 29, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: An Overview of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

Many of us work in fields in which it is accurate to state “My job makes me sick!” Occupational illnesses and injuries take a massive toll on us. Whether we’re describing exp
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 28, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Prevention and Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

If you have carpel tunnel syndrome (CTS) or are at significant risk for developing it, you really should learn strategies to either prevent, limit progression or treat the conditio
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 27, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Do you spend much time typing at work? Are you a construction worker who operates a jack hammer? Do you have arthritis that affects your wrist? Do you have occasional or constant n
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 26, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Learning the Risks and Signs of Abusive Head Trauma

This part of the conversation is not about spanking. It’s not even about abuse. It’s about learning who is most likely to cause harm to your child, intended or not, and what pl
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 25, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Abusive Head Trauma aka Shaken Baby Syndrome

The discussion regarding the line between parental discipline and child abuse has proven to be a passionate one. Without wading into opinions, let me elaborate and give a concrete
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 24, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Emotional Signs of Child Abuse

In a previous Straight, No Chaser, we provided a pictorial demonstration of the physical signs of child abuse. Unfortunately for many, the emotional signs are even more dangerou
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 23, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Physical Signs of Child Abuse

Given how often this topic is in the news, we must continue to drill certain points home. This Straight, No Chaser provides visual examples of the consequences of child abuse. A
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 22, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Recognizing Sexual Abuse in Children

Child. Sexual. Abuse. Those words shouldn’t go together, even on a computer screen. According to the most recent U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Child Abuse Repo
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 21, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Lowering Your Risk of Being Sexually Assaulted

Rape occurs in many different situations. Although the stereotype involves a stranger pulling a victim into a dark, isolated place, more common situations involve being assaulted
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 20, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Sexual Assault (Rape) and What To Do If You’re a Victim

In this series on sexual assault (aka sexual violence, rape), I’m going to lean on best practices largely provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S.
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 19, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The irony of the name “irritable bowel syndrome” (IBS) is found in the connection between stress (in some cases, irritability) and symptoms. This can become a vicious cycle. Yo
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 18, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Straight, No Chaser has discussed several sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at length, including gonorrhea, chlamydia and herpes. One thing that often gets overlooked
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 17, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: STDs – Syphilis, The Great Mimicker

Today, Straight, No Chaser will present two phrases that you may not have previously heard: The Great Mimicker and MSM, and that means we’re discussing what has historicall
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 16, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: STDs – Chlamydia Infections

For most people, NGU isn’t a college in South Carolina. In fact, non-gonococcal urethritis isn’t really even that anymore, meaning it doesn’t need to be defined b
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 15, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: STDs – Multidrug Resistant Gonorrhea

This post is the second of two discussing gonorrhea. Today we discuss multidrug resistant gonorrhea. That’s right. There are new strains of gonorrhea emerging and spreading
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 14, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: STDs – Gonorrhea

Some of you are old enough to remember when Gonorrhea was called ‘The Clap’, but do any of you know why it was called that? Read on for the answer. In the meantime, rea
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 13, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Doctor/Patient Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Talk

As an emergency physician, my first consideration is to eliminate life threats.  Along the way, I cure disease and provide a ton of information.  With all of these efforts, I pro
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 12, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Uterine Fibroids

Straight, No Chaser has spent quite a bit of time on conditions involving abnormalities of male and female sex hormones. We do so again today in discussing fibroids (aka fibroid tu
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 11, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Kidney (Renal) Failure

We take our kidneys for granted. They are truly remarkable organs. In this Straight, No Chaser, we will review kidney function and explain kidney failure. Additional posts will ad
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 10, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Public Health Has Saved More Lives Than Medical Care

When I tell most people I have a degree in public health, the typical response involves an assumption that public health involves caring exclusively for the indigent. I guess if yo
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 9, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Health Benefits of Red Wine

It’s the start of a new week, and we’re coming off a lot of Straight, No Chaser posts on alcohol, so let’s just address some questions you’ve asked about the benefit
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 8, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Alcoholism and Alcohol-Related Deaths Are on the Rise

Does it seem that alcoholism isn’t discussed much anymore, or is it that the public health community has focused more on overdose deaths from heroin and prescription painkillers
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 7, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Self Assessment of Alcohol Dependency

The number one response to the post on acute alcohol poisoning was pretty simple: “How can I tell if I’m drinking too much over the long haul?” And so it’
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 6, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Medical Complications and Medication Treatment of Alcoholism

  There are interesting commonalities of certain drugs like alcohol and cigarettes. One is users that really enjoy them are able to do so for a long time while being oblivious to
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 5, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

With all the focus of late on other forms of drug use and abuse (e.g., methamphetamine, marijuana, opiates), alcohol abuse seems to be lacking the attention it deserves. Fully one
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 4, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: When Alcohol Becomes Toxic – Or Deadly

Ok. Did you have fun watching March Madness? Well, forewarned is forearmed. It’s not my intention to spoil the “buzz” of enjoying good basketball with your friends, but allow
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 3, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Spectrum and Specter of Autism

Autism. Small word. Big effects on families. Previously, we discussed the scope and recent explosion of autism diagnoses. Here we delve into the disorders. Autism spectrum disorde
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 2, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Health Disparities

In large part, this blog exists to inform individuals of all backgrounds about the risks that lead to abnormal health outcomes. Our hope is that once you discover the risks, you’
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 1, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Questions and Answers About Problem Gambling

Whether or not you’re willing to admit to a gambling addiction, the presence of a gambling problem should concern you. This Straight, No Chaser takes information  adapted from t
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 31, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: National Doctor's Day!

National Doctors’ Day is held every March 30th in the U.S. It celebrates the contribution of physicians who serve our country by caring for citizens. The first Doctor’
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 30, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Treating Your Seasonal Allergies / Hay Fever

You’re miserable from seasonal allergies (aka hay fever, allergic rhinitis)? You’ve seemingly tried everything, and nothing seems to help? Did you read the introductory post on
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 29, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Do You Suffer from Hay Fever?

Hay (fever) there! If any of you don’t suffer from seasonal allergies (aka hay fever, allergic rhinitis), consider yourself lucky. As nuisances go, this has to rank high on the l
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 28, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: A Foot Glossary and Introduction to Conditions Affecting Your Feet

  We talk a lot about health in Straight, No Chaser. We also try to help you recognize potentially troubling signs and symptoms. It’s appropriate to do so from the bottom u
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 26, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Ingrown Toenails

The overwhelming majority of cases of ingrown toenails I see come from people chewing on their toenails. So the really, really Quick Tip is keep your feet out of your mouth. If onl
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 26, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Foot Corns and Calluses

It’s really not my intention to be corny or callous here, but it’s almost in the name. This Straight, No Chaser looks at two very common problems of the feet. First things fi
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 25, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Athlete’s Foot (Tinea Pedis)

  Athlete’s foot is one of those topics that everyone seems to know a little about but not enough to really understand. If your level of knowledge is “scaly, itchy rash on
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 24, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Expiration Dates on Food, Medicines and Cosmetics

We’re all faced with the decision. When you’re sick, have you ever rummaged through the medicine cabinet and discovered an old prescription? Perhaps you wanted to wear your ext
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 23, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: First Steps to Take If Someone Gets Poisoned

How would you respond if you or someone in your home became a victim of an accidental poisoning? What if you stumbled across a family member who intentionally swallowed a bunch of
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 22, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: What Should NOT Be in Your Medicine Cabinet

In the previous Straight, No Chaser, we discussed the ideal use of your medicine cabinets to prepare for life’s nagging aches and pain. However, has it ever occurred to you 
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 21, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: What Should Be in Your Medicine Cabinet

You’ve all done it. I’ve caught a few of you doing it. Why do you rummage through someone else’s medicine cabinet? Are newer homes even built with medicine cabine
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 20, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Why Are Athletes At Such Risk For Pulmonary Embolus?

Let’s begin today’s Straight, No Chaser by being sure not to overstate the case. All things being equal, young healthy individuals and superbly conditioned athletes have di
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 19, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Pulmonary Embolus (A Blood Clot in the Lungs)

When I was a young, wide-eyed medical student, I learned that in a large number of cases, when people died from unexplained cases, the autopsies would often show the patient died f
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 18, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Blood Clots in Your Legs – Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT)

If you’re a sports fan, you’re likely aware of the death of a 52-year-old former star of the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers, Jerome Kersey, followed two days after
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 17, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Beeting Back High Blood Pressure and Poor Blood Flow to the Brain

Writing this makes me feel like your mother telling you to eat your spinach, but that’s another conversation. We’ve been talking a lot lately about brain health, and we’re al
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 16, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Dementia – When Brain Health Goes Bad

In case you didn’t pick up on it, the posts regarding brain health served two purposes. The first is to ensure you give yourself the best opportunity to live a healthy, happy men
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 15, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Brain Health – Mental Gymnastics to Keep You Vibrant

I always found it odd that we assume our brain will simply perform in every way we need it to once developed. It seems reasonable to me that if we choose to diet and exercise in an
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 14, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Brain Health – Foods and Brain Healthy Habits

I only get asked about this everyday, so let’s review keeping your brain healthy. Unfortunately too often some of you only ask at the point when early dementia or Alzheimer
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 13, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Brain Health – How Your Brain Works

Everyone at Straight, No Chaser and www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com is into brainpower. This is the first of a series of posts on brain health and brainpower. The purpose of thes
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 12, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Way Too Simple Questions and Answers on Intermittent Fasting

What is it? It’s in the name: intermittent fasting represents scheduled eating efforts to diet/lose weight. Basically, you eat within specified timeframes, and you fast at all ot
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 11, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Understanding the Keto(genic) Diet

  Certainly you’ve heard the saying “before you (perform a certain activity), consult with your physician.” That’s very applicable with many different types of diets.
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 10, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Kidney Stones (Nephrolithiasis)

In the emergency room setting, women are vicious when it comes to how men handle pain. It’s really humorous to see the female nurses’ attitudes change when a large or otherwise
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 9, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Insomnia – You Are Not Getting Sleepy

This is part of a Straight, No Chaser series on sleep disorders.  So the pendulum swings from hypersomnia to insomnia. Talking about insomnia makes me, well, tired. You know wha
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 8, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Why Are You So Sleepy (aka Hypersomnia)?

This is part of a Straight, No Chaser series on sleep disorders. Are you one of those individuals who is always tired and sleepy? You take iron, you exercise and you’re getting s
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 7, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Sleep Apnea

We’ve discussed many components of sleep and sleep disorders. A very common condition that many of you are walking around with undiagnosed is sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is a comm
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 6, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Narcolepsy – The Sleep Attack

This is part of a Straight, No Chaser series on sleep disorders. When you hear about narcolepsy, it’s usually in the context of some joke, but it’s a horrifying condition. Lo
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 5, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Late Night Shift Work and Shift Work Sleep Disorder

I used to love to work third shift. Generally, I’d be the only “boss” around, so I really got to enjoy my staff in a way that wasn’t possible during the day shifts. The onl
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 4, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Understanding Normal Sleep and How Much Sleep You Need

It’s National Sleep Awareness Week, and Straight, No Chaser wants you to wake up, pay attention and learn why sleep is such an important part of your life! Do you ever think
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 3, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Healthy Eating Tips

If you want to eat healthy, you really must learn about and try to eat in accordance with the Healthy Eating Plate. It doesn’t get more complicated that that, and you shouldn’
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 2, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Do You Believe? What You Eat Will Affect You!

We’re all convinced that drinking a gallon of booze will alter something or other in our bodies. We believe that doing daily deep breathing exercises in front of an old bus&
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 1, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Heart Attacks in Women

At the beginning of the conversation, a heart attack is a heart attack. You will do well to understand and recognize the classic signs of a heart attack in evolution and fully deve
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 1, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: When Back Pain Could Be Life Threatening

Back pain hurts, but there are various causes of that pain that will kill or cripple you.  Here’s some information on some diseases that present with back pain representing life
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 28, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Management of Herniated Disks

Approximately 40 million Americans have low back pain. Odds are the presence of low back pain is not associated with a herniated disk. Truthfully, herniated disks are more commonly
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 27, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: My Back and Neck Pain Has a Name – Herniated Disks

  It’s quite common for someone to come to me and say, “I have a herniated disk.” I used to ask how they knew, but I came to realize the answer to be unimportant. The pain a
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 26, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Sciatica

My pain has a name, and it’s sciatica. There’s always a sense of relief in patients when a name is given to a medical sign or symptom. This Straight, No Chaser places sciati
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 25, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: About Hair Loss and Male Pattern Baldness – Alopecia

I tell people all the time, “I’m shaved, not bald.” Whether or not that’s a distinction without a difference, alopecia (defined as partial or complete hair
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 24, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Hirsutism (Abnormal Female Hair Growth)

Have you ever wondered how and why some women develop more hair on their face and bodies than other women? That’s called hirsutism and is the topic of this Straight, No Chaser 
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 23, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Why You Get Grey Hair

This is a lot simpler than people make it.  Gray hair is a happenstance of life.  At the end of the day, genetic, racial and chemical considerations determine when you go gray.
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 22, 2018

Straight No Chaser: Gluten, Wheat and Celiac Disease

One of the reasons I enjoy writing this blog is it brings me closer to understanding you. As you respond to posts or query me, I get to better appreciate the breadth of your conce
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 21, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: When Eating Goes Wrong, Part II – Bulimia

If you read Part I of this conversation on eating disorders (anorexia nervosa), you will recall that eating disorders are a mix of an abnormal body image combined with abnormal b
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 20, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: When Eating Goes Wrong, Part I – Anorexia

Simply put, our society doesn’t do the job it should in promoting a normal image of health at either end of the body size spectrum. The typically promoted American ideal of b
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 19, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Blood Transfusions – Facts About Giving and Receiving

When was the last time you saved a life? I’m not talking about an Internet game. There are many ways in which your efforts can make a significant difference in the life of someon
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 18, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Tips to Limit Your Risk of Contracting The Most Deadly Diseases

It is interesting and, even more, curious to hear everyone obsess over how esoteric and rare conditions can potentially kill you. Word to the wise: Common things happen commonly. 
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 17, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Sexual Deviances and Perversions (Paraphilias)

This is a serious conversation that I won’t sensationalize or joke about. The mental health disorders known as paraphilias (commonly referred to as sexual deviancies or perversio
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 16, 2018

The Straight, No Chaser Comprehensive Safe Sex Guide

This edition of Straight, No Chaser is a keepsake, whether for your own reference or as a conversation piece/teaching guide for others. I suspect that due to the volume and wealt
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 15, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate, aka Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Got Dark Chocolate? As you may know if you’re a regular reader, Straight, No Chaser is big on you enjoying life and making healthy choices while doing so
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 14, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: What Will You Do If Your Baby Starts Choking?

We’ve previously discussed how to address choking in adults. Today, we address the twin horrors of needing to save a baby’s life (those younger than 12 months old) from choking
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 13, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: How Can I Save Myself If I’m Choking?

  If you’re the type that is cool under pressure, you’re well positioned to think your way out of many dangerous situations. If you’re the type that’s
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 12, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: What Will You Do If You See Someone Choking?

So … what would you do if someone around you starting choking. Or if they choked, then lost consciousness? What would you do if you choked and no one else was around? Don’t you
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 11, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Quick Tips – Learn the ABCDEs of Hiccups

Three question sets on hiccups of all things Why do I get hiccups? You get hiccups because everyone gets them.  You get them because basically you’ve agitated your main breathin
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 10, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Should I Take a Daily Aspirin?

So… I’m stuck on a desert island, and I’m allowed to take two medications. I’m pretty sure aspirin is going to be one of them. This begs the question “Who should take a d
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 9, 2018

Straight, No Chaser Vlog: Heart Disease

This week, the Straight, No Chaser vlog (video blog) series presents “health care basics” to keep you safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. Heart disease has been th
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 8, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Heart Attack Recognition – Time is Tissue

  Heart Attacks. Myocardial Infarctions. Acute Coronary Syndromes. Coronary Artery Disease. Unstable Angina. There are many names to describe one main phenomenon. Heart attacks ar
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 7, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Malnutrition

Do you know someone so poor that eating is a constant concern? Do you have a child who is a finicky eater? Have you ever been concerned that your child might become malnourished? W
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 6, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Healthy, Sustainable Weight Loss – Let’s Get Started

How to Lose Weight, and What is Healthy Weight Loss (AKA, How Much, How Soon and How)? Let’s start with the How. Commercial voice: “You should contact your physician before st
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 5, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Adverse Health Effects of Obesity and Why You Gain Weight

Earlier, we identified the differences between a ‘normal’ weight and being overweight and/or obese. Today’s goal is to help you understand specific risks of carrying ext
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 4, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Let’s Boost Your Metabolism

It would be improper for me to have dragged you through the mud for three days and depressed you into thinking you can’t improve your situation. Hopefully, you’re not f
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 3, 2018

Straight No Chaser: From the Heart

Are you making ho-hum lifestyle decisions because your heart is slowing you down? Remember how much fun running used to be? What if you could still scale all four flights to visit
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 2, 2018

Winter Blues: Just Don't Feel Like It

DON’T SUCCUMB! GO, and work out. COOK, and don’t try to chase the blahs away with junk food. TURN UP THE MUSIC, and DANCE like spring is already here. Keep it moving! T
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 1, 2018

From the Health Library of SterlingMedicalAdvice.com: What steps should I take if there's an outbreak of head lice?

Check your child’s hair for lice and nits (lice eggs) every three to four days. Nits commonly look like dandruff, but they cannot be easily brushed off the hair. Also check b
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 31, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Alcohol Facts vs. Fiction

Today’s Straight, No Chaser puts a personal spin on an old favorite because well, frankly some of you drink too much. Here’s your six-pack (plus one for the road) of
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 30, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Do You Drink Too Much?

It’s one of those Straight, No Chaser (literally) days.  Lets address substance abuse. The problems with most intoxicating substances revolve around the same consideration.  Yo
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 29, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Spice Drugs aka Herbal High aka K2 aka Synthetic Marijuana

So have you ever wondered why incense seems to relax you so? In our ongoing effort to keep you up to date with the latest drug teens may be using, today’s topic introduces “Spi
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 28, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Marijuana Facts and Fiction, Part 2

The issues surrounding marijuana use are serious and need full examination, particularly with decriminalization legislature passing and being considered in various parts of the cou
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 27, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Marijuana Facts and Fiction, Part 1

The truth of it all is that politicians are generally a terrible source of scientific and medical information. There are actually legitimate concerns about the use and legalization
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 26, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Weeding Through the Basics of Marijuana Use and Intoxication

As we survey the landscape, marijuana use is become legal in more parts of the United States. In this series, we will review the facts (and only the facts) on its clinical effects
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 25, 2018

Cigar Smoking: Facts and Fiction

It’s the latest, greatest, coolest past-time.  Endorsed and practiced by celebrities the world over, cigar smoking has clearly and successfully marketed itself as a convenie
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 24, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Smoking Cessation RESOLVED

Ok. On our New Year’s resolutions list, we’ve covered diet and exercise. Now what? Of course. Several of you have promised me that you would stop smoking for the new year. (I
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 23, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Smoking Cessation – Find Your #OneGoodReason

  In a rather amazing decision by a multinational corporation, in September 2014 CVS Health became tobacco-free. It ended the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products at its
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 22, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Moving Toward a Vegetarian Diet

Ok… I’m glad to have finally come across a diet option that has struck a nerve. The post on principles of vegetarianism has raised a lot of questions, and I’ll take this spac
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 21, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: An Introduction to Vegetarian Diets

  If you are on a vegetarian diet, congratulations to you, but if you’re not, you still should be interested in the principles that make a vegetarian diet a healthy choice.
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 20, 2018

Straight, No Chaser Vlog: Exercise

The Straight, No Chaser vlog series “health care basic” aims to keep you safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. Today we present a few words on the role of exercise towar
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 19, 2018

Straight No Chaser: Examining Obesity – Is It Really a Choice Between Health and Happiness

Obesity in the United States places many at a crossroad between self-esteem and health.  Often, larger frames are celebrated as more desirable.  Other times, they are celebrated
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 18, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Cervical Health Awareness

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, and to that end, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) boldly proclaims “No woman should die of cervical cancer.” It
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 17, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Do’s and Don’ts of Treating Frostbite

There’s a cold front coming. You can’t avoid the exposure. Some of you will end up cold as ice. Would you really know what to do if you caught frostbite? I thought not,
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 16, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: What You Can Do To Manage Frostbite and Serious Cold Exposure

I’ll admit that my orientation is different than yours. I’ll argue that your orientation should be closer to mine. What’s the difference, you may ask? I’ve
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 15, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Hypothermia (Low Body Temperature)

This is part of a series on cold-related medical disorders. Hypothermia is low body temperature. It’s not the “Oh, it’s cold outside” type of cold, but it i
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 14, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Danger of Shoveling Snow and Other Winter Chores

You have probably heard it said, but you’d be surprised to know how often people hurt themselves shoveling snow. Of course, this time of year, people are doing many more strenuou
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 13, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Thyroid Awareness and Neck Self-Examination

Is your thyroid something you know exists but know very little about? Let’s change that. The thyroid gland lives in your neck and produces hormones that help you regular your bod
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 12, 2018

The Straight, No Chaser Guide to Completing Your New Year’s Resolutions

We’ve spent the last week addressing your health-related New Year’s resolutions involving healthy eating, exercise routines, smoking cessation and stress reduction. None of the
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 11, 2018

Straight No Chaser: Your Stress Management Plan

The path to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” isn’t as simple as the old song suggests, but if the song had a heart, it would be in the right place. Today’s contribution to your Ne
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 10, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Pass The Stress Test

Let’s agree not to go into the New Year filled with last year’s tension or without a plan to avoid new stress. In fact, let’s take this time to lay the groundwork for one now
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 9, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Here’s How You Stop Smoking – Quick Tips to START Smoking Cessation

Don’t pick your birthday to stop when New Year’s has just passed. Do it now. Can’t do it now? Do it Monday. In fact, do it every Monday. It’s a fight. If you fall down, st
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 8, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: How Many Calories Do You Need a Day?

Let’s put this post (at least the end of it) under the category of things you do but really don’t think about. How many calories should you take in per day to function
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 7, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Diet and Nutrition Tips

If you’re serious about keeping your New Year’s resolutions, so are we. Today, we move from explaining how to eat (as we did here), to giving you practical steps and choices to
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 6, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Do You Even Know How To Eat Healthy?

We’re still in New Year’s resolutions mode! Previously we introduced you to why you exercise and we discussed how to start. Today’s Straight, No Chaser is about your di
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 5, 2018

Straight, No Chaser US Dietary Guidelines

The guidelines on eating recommendations are jointly released every five years by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Ov
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 4, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Fat Burn vs. Cardio – How Do I Best Exercise?

You’re working out. Congratulations! But do you know what you’re doing? If you’ve ever been to a gym, perhaps on an elliptical, a treadmill or stationary bike, perhaps you’
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 3, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: The Benefits of Exercise and Other Physical Activity

At Straight, No Chaser, we understand it’s the most optimistic time of the year. You’ve made many New Year’s resolutions, usually related to smoking cessation, eating better
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 2, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Here’s Steps For You To Take – Get Active!

Here’s how you get started with a work out regimen.  If you’re currently inactive, worried about becoming active or worried about boosting your level of physical activity beca
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 1, 2018

Straight, No Chaser: Driving Under the Influence and New Year's Eve

Celebrating New Year’s Eve? As I am known to say: risks represent incidences of occurrences. Today of all days during the year, you must act to lower your risk of a fatal motor v
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 31, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Prevention and Treatment of Lead Poisoning

What you need to know about protecting yourself from lead poisoning and its effects is reducible to awareness, baseline testing, prevention and treatment. We covered what you neede
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 30, 2017

Straight, No Chaser In the News: Lead Poisoning

In the news is the story of dozens of cases of lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan, resulting from elevated levels of lead in the city’s drinking water supply. This followed inad
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 29, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Preventing and Treating Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

At some point, you’ve got to be on board with the notion that you need to prevent some of the things that ail you. All men who have UTIs are at higher risk for having another one
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 28, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Ladies, have you ever been told that you get “bladder infections” because you didn’t wipe front to back instead of back to front? Men, have you ever been told that this could
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 27, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Five Frequently Asked Questions About Hangovers…

 If you’re planning on enjoying the end of 2017 with alcohol, you probably don’t want to let things get out of hand! So… Let’s get this part of the conversatio
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 26, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Intersection of Health and Happiness, aka Merry Christmas!

Straight, No Chaser isn’t a medical encyclopedia. It’s a tool to empower you to make choices that best suit your lifestyle – the intersection between health and
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 25, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Treatment of Food Poisoning (Foodborne Illness)

The vomiting, diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps and all around bad feelings you may get with food poisoning is extremely unpleasant. We’ve previously discussed preventative meas
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 24, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Understanding Food Poisoning (Foodborne Illness)

We make a decision with everything we place into our mouths. We also exhibit a large amount of trust that the food we eat is safe. Most of the time that’s true, but unfortunately
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 23, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Food Contamination and Protecting Yourself From Foodborne Illness

Those of you who are regular readers of Straight, No Chaser may have heard me say that everything you place in your mouth either harms or helps you. Your mouth is the direct poin
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 22, 2017

Straight, No Chaser In The News: U.S. Life Expectancy Drops for the Second Straight Year

Imagine how significant the change must be to cause a change across a nation of over 360 million people. For the second straight year (after two decades of trending in the opposite
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 21, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Holiday Heart Syndrome

There’s something about the holiday season and flickering. We’re all aware that Christmas lights are meant to do so, but did you know that your heart is more inclined to flicke
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 21, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Tips on Safe Toys and Gifts

At Straight, No Chaser, we review the literature and give you the goods. While you’re out and about shopping for toys, print out this list to help you select safe toys, then pos
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 20, 2017

Straight, No Chaser Vlog: Fiber and Weight Loss

  Here’s a sterlingmedicaladvice.com “health care basic.” All week, we’re switching to a vlog format to give you tips to keep you safe, healthy and ou
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 19, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Me on the Business End of a Colonoscopy, aka Getting Screened for Colorectal Cancer

The last two posts have highlighted recommended screening examinations for men and women between ages 40-64. In today’s Straight, No Chaser, I want to pay special attention t
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 18, 2017

The Straight, No Chaser Guide to Health Screenings for Women

Typically, this is the time of the year when you start to inventory all the things for which you’re thankful. In the event health or your family comes to mind, you might be inter
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 17, 2017

The Straight, No Chaser Guide to Health Screenings for Men

Typically, this is the time of the year when you start to inventory all the things for which you’re thankful. In the event health or your family comes to mind, you might be inter
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 16, 2017

Straight, No Chaser Vlog: Cancer, The Big C

  The Straight, No Chaser vlog (video blog) series presents “health care basics” to keep you safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. Today’s Straight, No Ch
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 15, 2017

Straight, No Chaser Vlog: Diabetes

The Straight, No Chaser vlog (video blog) series presents “health care basics” to keep you safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. Today’s Straight, No Chaser a
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 14, 2017

Basic Questions and Answers about Anemia

What is anemia? Anemia is a condition defined by blood containing a lower than normal number of red blood cells or if the blood cells present don’t contain sufficient hemoglobin
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 13, 2017

Straight, No Chaser Vlog: Hypertension: A Ticking Time Bomb

  The Straight, No Chaser vlog (video blog) series presents “health care basics” to keep you safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. Straight, No Chaser has addr
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 13, 2017

Straight, No Chaser Vlog: Stroke – How to Save a Life

The Straight, No Chaser vlog (video blog) series presents “health care basics” to keep you safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. Today’s topic is stroke (cerebr
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 12, 2017

Straight, No Chaser Vlog: Heart Disease

This week, the Straight, No Chaser vlog (video blog) series presents “health care basics” to keep you safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. Heart disease has been th
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 11, 2017

Straight, No Chaser Vlog: Sexually Transmitted Infections (Diseases)

The Straight, No Chaser vlog series presents “health care basics” to keep you safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. If you’ve been a regular or even an infrequent
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 10, 2017

Straight, No Chaser In The News: The Life Expectancy of Americans Drops for the First Time in 20+ Years

This is not a quirk, coincidence or mistake. Accordingly to the National Center for Health Statistics, for the first time in over two decades, life expectancy for Americans decline
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 9, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Questions About High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

High blood pressure (hypertension) is so prevalent and such a consequence of the way we live that you must already have an understanding of some basic principles if you care at al
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 8, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

High blood pressure is called the silent killer. It’s common for me to see someone who thought they were ‘fine’ drop dead from its effects, never knowing it was about to happ
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 7, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Ruptured Eardrums

The manufacturers of Q-Tips used to run a commercial in which they said “Never place anything in your ear smaller than your elbow.”  I wonder why they stopped the comm
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 6, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Influenza Prevention

It’s time to get your flu shots! Of course, many people choose not to get the influenza vaccine (the “flu shot”) for various reasons, some more reasonable than ot
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 5, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Flu Myths and Questions

Every year 36,000 people die and over 200,000 are hospitalized each year due to the flu—in the U.S. alone. If you’re not getting a vaccine every year, you are subjecting yourse
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 4, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Health Promotion – Introducing “Invisible Health”

Good habits are just as addictive as bad habits, but they’re much more positively rewarding. Good health is a journey, not a destination. Stop acting like what you are is wha
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 3, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Hygiene and Illness

There are things you know, there are things you know but don’t really know, and there are still other things that you think you know that you don’t know at all. When it
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 2, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: About That Vomiting and Diarrhea…

You’ve all been there and done that. It’s always a bad day when you get the so-called stomach flu… First of all ‘the flu’ is a respiratory disease (affects the lungs,
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 1, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Here’s How You Complete End-of-Life Planning

Now that you’ve had a chance to wrap your mind around the concept of needing to make end of life decisions, let’s discuss some specific mechanisms by which you can ensure your
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 30, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: End of Life Decision Making

Having this conversation when death is staring you or a loved one in the face is not the most ideal situation. Do you have a living will? Do you know what advance directives are?
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 29, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Even if you didn’t know it, you have rights as a patient. In 1998, the U.S. Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry adopted a Consumer
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 28, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: 25 Tips That WILL Increase Your Life Expectancy

You may want to keep this post. I haven’t exactly found the Fountain of Youth, but I do know what activities lead to a longer life expectancy. In honor of Thanksgiving, and in th
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 27, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Treatment of Acid Reflux (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

If you experience heartburn two times a week or more, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Because there are significant differences in the severity of GERD, you s
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 26, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Acid Reflux (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

I’m at the point in life where I rarely eat after 8 pm. That has defined health benefits, but it’s also protective from today’s Straight, No Chaser topic: gastroesophageal re
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 25, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Depression – How to Avoid It, When to Get Help

This is the third post in a series on depression and suicide. In our first post, we focused on the magnitude of  clinical depression and suicide. In the second post, we provided
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 24, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Tips to Deal with Depression and The Holiday Blues

I don’t mean to bring anyone down during what is supposed to be the ‘most wonderful time of the year,’ but in reality there are many people hurting. For some, life’s traged
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 23, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Are You Depressed and/or Suicidal?

In our first post on clinical depression and suicide, we looked at the scope of the disease, and in the next post we will provide tips for you to address depression and an inclina
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 22, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Cigar Smoking

It’s the latest, greatest, coolest past-time.  Endorsed and practiced by celebrities the world over, cigar smoking has clearly and successfully marketed itself as a convenience
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 21, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Frustration of Acute Bronchitis

Imagine what it looks like when someone gets hit in the jaw. There’s the redness, swelling from excess fluid in the area, warmth and pain. Those are the components of inflammatio
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 20, 2017

From the Health Library of SterlingMedicalAdvice.com: “If I stop smoking, what does this do to my risk for heart disease and stroke?”

 There are immediate and long term benefits to smoking cessation that extend beyond just lowering your risk for lung cancer. I challenge you to consider the following regarding lo
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 19, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: COPD

November is COPD Awareness Month. You already know a lot about COPD without realizing it or even having to think about it. You’ve seen patients walking around with the oxygen ta
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 18, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Lung Health – Know The Signs of Danger

I would suggest you should be in complete awe of your lungs. Did you know you take over 20,000 breaths a day? Your lungs bring air into your body and eliminates waste (carbon dio
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 17, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Great American Smokeout – Quick Tips to START Smoking Cessation

The Great American Smokeout is a great time to get serious about smoking cessation. Don’t wait to make it a New Year’s resolution. Do it now. Can’t do it now? Do it M
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 16, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Does Cuba Hold the Key to Lung Cancer Treatment and Prevention?

For many, some of the first things that come to mind when you think of Cuba are smoking and cigars. For many others, the one of first things that come to mind when you think of cig
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 15, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Eye Pain

Look at the picture. What would you do if that was your eye? Would you try to remove the object or be too afraid, fearing that you could permanently damage it? Does the amount of p
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 14, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: LASIK Surgery

So you’re 40-ish, and your eyes are starting to act up on you. Or perhaps you’re younger and/or too vain to wear glasses. Or you have a phobia about having anything in your eye
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 13, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Important Things to Know About Your Contact Lenses

You’d likely be surprised to know how often patients are seen in emergency rooms for complications related to use of contact lenses. If you or a loved one are using contact l
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 12, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Questions About Color Blindness

Have you ever found yourself at school, work or elsewhere and discovered that you were wearing different colored socks or pants than you’d thought? If so, you may be experiencing
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 11, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Questions about "Lazy Eye" (Amblyopia)

We all get concerned when it comes to things that damage or put our vision in danger. As such, you should be aware of the most common condition causing visual problems in children.
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 10, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: X-Ray Safety

After the question of “Can I get an x-ray,” the next most common question I get (which should be the first) regarding x-rays is “Do I need this x-ray?” The answer is not ju
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 9, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: X-Ray Basics

“C’mon, Doc. I just want to be sure!” If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times. You love x-rays. They’re cool, and they sometimes tell you what’s wrong. H
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 8, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)

In a previous post, I provided an overview of diabetes. Everyone knows about diabetes, and most understand how dangerous diabetes is over the long-term. However, as an emergency ph
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 7, 2017

Prevention and Treatment Considerations for Diabetic Eye Conditions

Several of you asked about the treatment of the eye conditions resulting from diabetes. This last Straight, No Chaser addressing Diabetes Awareness Month will focus on treatment
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 6, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Diabetic Retinopathy and Other Eye Problems

As you likely know, diabetics have a large amount of blood glucose (sugar) circulating in their blood. The high level of glucose can cause damage to many cells, including your eyes
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 5, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Quick Tips for the Diabetic in Your Life

Per your requests, we occasionally feature quick tips for healthy living. Here’s an important example. If you have diabetics in your life, here are three things they should d
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 4, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Diabetes Basics and the Importance of Education

Diabetes is a disease in which education is vital. For a diabetic, knowing the disease well allows him or her to better prevent long-term consequences of the disease. It also allow
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 3, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Fifteen Tips to Care for Diabetic Skin, Part 2

In the previous Straight, No Chaser, we discussed the frailty of  diabetic skin and discussed how that sets one up for skin infections, abscesses, ulcers, amputations and even
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 2, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Skin Problems of Diabetics, Part 1

If you are diabetic or caring for a diabetic, one of the things you’ve likely noticed is that the skin doesn’t always seem to look, feel or perform normally. Perhaps th
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 1, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Treating Halloween Mishaps

In the previous Straight, No Chaser, we offered you tips for a safe Halloween. However, safety tips are only as good as your inclination to use them. Even when an ounce of preven
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 31, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Halloween Health Tips

Are you taking the young ones trick-or-treating this year? Straight, No Chaserand the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) want you to have a safe halloween. Today an
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 30, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Medical Myths, Health Fraud Scams and Your Boogie Men

I feel your frustration everyday. You call me, and you text me. You send me articles and ask my opinion on the newest health claim on the Internet. That’s right, I’m your infor
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 29, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Patient Psychology, Expectations and Communication

I’ve always found the psychology of patients to be fascinating. Patients who present to emergency rooms most often are consumed with the fear of the unknown and are ultimately f
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 28, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Tetanus (Lockjaw)

If there could possibly be anything cool about tetanus, it’s that the overwhelming majority of us have never seen it and never will. At first thought, that could seem odd becaus
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 27, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Day You Get Diagnosed With HIV

I’ve had many occasions to tell a patient they were HIV(+). Over the last 20 years of my doing so, that message has changed from a death sentence to the acknowledgement of a chro
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 26, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Your HIV and STD Risks From Sexual Activities Other Than Intercourse

Today, your sexual IQ goes up, and hopefully your risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, goes down. This is the fifth  post in a series on HIV and AIDS. F
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 25, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Your HIV and STD Risks From Specific Acts of Sexual Intercourse

Let’s be clear that we’re explicitly discussing the types of sexual behaviors that will lead to transmitting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Over
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 24, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: What Are The Symptoms of HIV and AIDS?

This is the third in an ongoing series on HIV and AIDS. For an explanation of what AIDS is, click here. For an explanation of how HIV is contracted, click here. The National Insti
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 23, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: How Do You Contract HIV/AIDS?

This isn’t 1983. The mystery of how HIV infection is contracted has come and gone. Yet HIV and AIDS awareness are still critical. You need to be knowledgeable to be empowered
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 22, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: What Exactly Is AIDS?

This is the second blog in an ongoing series on HIV and AIDS. After all these years, it’s still an interesting and important enough question to ask and to know how to answer. Mo
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 21, 2017

Straight No Chaser: HIV Awareness Month – Can HIV Be Eliminated From the Body?

It’s HIV Awareness Month. Have you noticed there’s a lot less chatter about HIV lately? Don’t be lulled into a sense of false security; no, it hasn’t been e
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 20, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Infection Prevention

There are things you know, there are things you know but don’t really know, and there are still other things that you think you know that you don’t know at all. When it
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 19, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Breast Cancer in Men

I won’t overstate the case, but you should be aware that breast cancer occurs in men. That said it occurs at a much lower rate than it does in women. I know what you may be think
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 18, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Breast Cancer Treatment Options

The next to last post in this series on breast cancer is on management. Of course, there is no universal treatment of ‘breast cancer’; everything is based on the specif
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 17, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: How to Perform the Breast Self-Exam

Beginning in their 20s, women should be aware of the benefits and limitations of breast self-exam (BSE). Women should know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any n
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 16, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: This is How You Self-Assess For Breast Cancer, Part 1

When I started this series, my first thought was “Why reinvent the wheel? There is a massive amount of information available on the web about breast cancer, and surely itR
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 15, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Reach of Breast Cancer and Your Risk Factors

Even as a physician, I am left to think about the horror of being a woman with a lifetime risk of acquiring breast cancer that’s 1 in 8. The only thing I can think of off-han
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 14, 2017

Straight, No Chaser In The News: President Trump Eliminates Low-Income Subsidies for Obamacare

President Trump just removed federal funding for Affordable Care Act (aka ACA, Obamacare) subsidies. Here are five quick answers to questions you should have about this action R
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 13, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Even More Myths Regarding Breast Cancer

Continuing from the earlier post with additional myths, well because you have so many questions!  In fact, I’m doubling up on what you received earlier in Part I of Breast Canc
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 13, 2017

Straight, No Chaser In The News: New Public Health Consequences & Lessons from Puerto Rico – Leptospirosis

This is a post on a public health matter, not a political one. Please appreciate the difference. Three weeks after Hurricaine Maria rendered the nearly 3.5 million US citizens livi
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 12, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Five Myths Surrounding Breast Cancer

Before I get into the details of what you need to know about breast cancer, it’s important to clear the table of some of the persistent myths and fears that exist. The diseas
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 12, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer disturbs me deeply, and if it doesn’t affect you as well, you haven’t been paying attention. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their life
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 11, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Artificial Sweeteners

It’s always struck me as somewhat odd when people approach me with concerns about sugar substitutes. What I mean by that is my first response is something akin to “Whatever you
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 10, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: What To Do If Your Tooth Comes Out

There’s nothing pleasant about having a tooth fall out of your mouth (aka avulsed tooth, dislocated tooth). Whether from trauma (e.g. a punch or other facial injury, a fall) or d
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 9, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Sensitive Teeth

What goes through your mind when your teeth hurt (other than whether or not all of that Valentine’s Day candy is worth it)? Is it fleeting or constant? Are you easily agitate
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 8, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: How’s Your Dental Hygiene?

If you ignore your teeth, they’ll go away. Working in an emergency department is interesting for many different reasons. One thing in particular I’ve noticed over the years is
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 7, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Battered Woman Syndrome and Why Victims Stay In Abusive Relationships

Domestic violence has been in the news quite a bit lately, and among the many questions asked, perhaps the most frequent is beguiling to many: “Why do the victims stay in the abu
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 6, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Domestic Violence – How to Get Out of an Abusive Situation

Remember: You are not to blame, and you need not face domestic violence alone. With the recent attention in the news on domestic violence and debates about responses and responsibi
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 5, 2017

Straight, No Chaser In the News: Again with the Gun Violence?

Why are we being willfully ignorant? This public health conversation is not about the right to bear arms. It’s about failure to address a major cause of death. Injury from trauma
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 4, 2017

Straight No Chaser: Identifying Risks of Domestic Violence

Today we point to knowledge as the key to preventing potential life-threatening episodes in the household. This is the second in a three-part series on domestic violence. The prev
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 4, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Focus on Domestic Violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, although it doesn’t take a break during other months. Are you concerned about domestic violence? You are not alone. Domestic vio
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 3, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Keys to Mental (Un)Health and (Un)Happiness

Straight, No Chaser is mindful that there are multitudes of us excessively happy and unhappy. Everyone has thoughts about the keys to happiness, but we can objectify the conversat
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 2, 2017

Tips to Avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Sudden Unexpected

Whether you’re expecting, a parent or even a grandparent, most have heard of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). What you’re really concerned about is Sudden Unexpected Infant
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 1, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Traumatic Brain Injuries (Concussion), Part II

Your son is a star in Friday Night Lights (actually football, not the TV show) and has been concussed.  Amazingly, the most common question I get asked is not “Will he be ok
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 30, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Traumatic Brain Injuries (Concussions), Part I

It’s probably not a coincidence that National Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month occurs at the same time as the onset of the NFL season in the U.S. However, it’s a
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 29, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: MRSA, the Big, Bad Staph Infection

One of the things that’s changed a lot from when I first started practicing medicine is people show up every day to the emergency room for mosquito and spider bites.  The lo
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 28, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Abscesses (Boils)

Whether you call them boils, pus pockets or abscesses, they hurt. Abscesses are infections that localize and collect pus beneath the skin. Although previous Straight, No Chaser pos
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 27, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Treating Your Gas and Gas Pains

So… you have problems with gas. What are you to do? Well, given that gas production is a natural occurrence, it’s not like you’re going to eliminate having gas (no pun intend
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 26, 2017

Straight, No Chaser in the News: Evaluating the Next Version of Trumpcare – The Graham-Cassidy Bill (Includes Numbers for Your Senator)

  The newest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare, ACA) is called the Graham-Cassidy Bill. Although the actual legislation has been clouded in secre
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 25, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Eructation (Belching) and Flatus (The Other One)

It seems like Straight, No Chaser is unafraid to address any topic! This, here’s one of those conversations that everyone wants to have but rarely does. Gas is a natural phenomen
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 25, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Fall Prevention

We’ve missed the first day of Fall by a few days, but for all of you DIYers (do it yourself) ready for a weekend project to help a loved one, here you go. The beginning of Fa
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 24, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Prostate Cancer Screening

Every so often, controversies regarding medical treatment recommendations get in the news and seemingly only serve to confuse the public. Every blog, article or research paper is a
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 23, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Prostate Cancer – 2017 Update

Men (and those who care for men – meaning everyone) should be knowledgeable about prostate cancer. I don’t mean physician-level knowledgeable, but there are just a few fac
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 22, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Prostate Awareness

This is Prostate Cancer Awareness month, and as such, this Straight, No Chaser explores the prostate (no pun intended). Prostate cancer and screening will be addressed in an addi
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 21, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Ovarian Cancer

  You are likely aware that the ovaries produce a women’s eggs as well as being the main source of the female’s sex hormones. Ovarian cancer is not the most common gynecologic
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 20, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Influenza Prevention

It’s time to get your flu shots! Of course, many people choose not to get the influenza vaccine (the “flu shot”) for various reasons, some more reasonable than ot
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 19, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Malnutrition

Do you know someone so poor that eating is a constant concern? Do you have a child who is a finicky eater? Have you ever been concerned that your child might become malnourished? W
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 18, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: When Your Headache is Life-Threatening

All headaches are not created equal. Earlier we discussed migraines, but there’s a lot more to headaches than those. In fact, when you come to an emergency room with a history o
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 17, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Getting Your Pain Treated at the Emergency Room

Both the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Chronic Pain Association have worked diligently to offer information and recommendations to protect patient inter
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 16, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Migraine Headaches Questions and Answers

There are 30 million migraine sufferers in the U.S. alone.  Women are three times as likely to have them, but both sexes have to address the issues raised by them.  Here are som
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 15, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Fibromyalgia

Previously, Straight, No Chaser has discussed the frustration of uncertainty some patients have with having symptoms and not being given a diagnosis (much less a cure). Imagine i
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 14, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Chronic Pain

The notion of a pain awareness month is an odd thing; probably even more so to those suffering from chronic pain. Typically the idea with these periods of recognizing diseases and
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 13, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Introducing the Vagina Warrior Workshops

Women’s health is more than just taking care of your body parts. Pap tests and mammograms are important screening tests. However, it is important to also care for your heart, min
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 12, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Your Questions About Chronic Pain and Management

Chronic pain and its management are complicated topics, both for sufferers and those who care for them. Thank you for your feedback on the previous post and appreciating the spirit
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 12, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Quick Tips for The Newborn Addition to Your Family

You’re excited. You have a newborn, or maybe you’re a new grandparent caring for the baby for the first time. I get more ‘deer in the headlight’ looks from these folks than
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 11, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Life Begins (To End) at 40 (Unless It Doesn’t) – The Cerebrovascular System (Your Brain)

Last but not least, in the last part of this series, let’s talk about your brain. But first a summary comment. Life after 40 poses both opportunity and obstacles. 35 to 40 is eit
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 10, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Life Begins (To End) at 40 (Unless It Doesn’t) – The Cardiopulmonary (Heart and Lung) System

The fourth part of this series looks at your heart and lungs. Click here for the post on changes in your skin. Click here for the post on changes to your musculoskeletal system. C
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 9, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Life Begins (To End) at 40 (Unless It Doesn’t) – The Genital System

The third part of this series is about your genital system after 40. There’s a lot here both for the ladies and the gentlemen, but everyone should want to know all the informatio
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 8, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Life Begins (To End) at 40 (Unless It Doesn’t) – The Musculoskeletal System

The second part of this series on how your body changes with age is about your muscles. This section combined with the previous skin section explains why you wrinkle. As before,
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 7, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Life Begins (to End) at 40 (Unless It Doesn’t) – The Skin

September is Healthy Aging Month. A big part of healthy aging is prior healthy living, particularly as you reach the age at which your unhealthy habits begin to catch up with you o
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 6, 2017

Flu Vaccine Recommendations for 2017-18 and a Quick Influenza Primer

The American Academy of Pediatrics has released its recommendations for the upcoming flu season. There is no equivocation in these recommendations, and we strongly support your com
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 5, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Your Guide to Fighting Childhood Obesity (Works for Adults, Too!)

Would you start your child on a fad diet? Of course not. Combating obesity means consistently applying principles that bear fruit (and include fruits over time). So you have an ove
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 4, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Childhood Obesity

Here’s the thing. Adults have control over and choices about how to live their lives. In the overwhelming majority of cases, children do not. Yet, in the overwhelming majorit
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 3, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Should I Take a Daily Aspirin?

So… I’m stuck on a desert island, and I’m allowed to take two medications. I’m pretty sure aspirin is going to be one of them. This begs the question “Who should take a d
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 2, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Aspirin – It’s Not Just for Heart Attacks Anymore

…not that it ever was! Aspirin has been known to be a pain reliever for thousands of years. Let’s take a brief look at the additional qualities that should make aspirin
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 1, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Beeting Back High Blood Pressure and Poor Blood Flow to the Brain

Writing this makes me feel like your mother telling you to eat your spinach, but that’s another conversation. We’ve been talking a lot lately about brain health, and we’re al
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 31, 2017

Straight, No Chaser In The News: A "Smart Drug" That's Actually Safe and Effective

When I hear medical news that’s too good to be true, it usually is. However science evolves, and new discoveries must be evaluated. Typically my first thought is “consider the
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 30, 2017

Straight, No Chaser In The News: Omega-3 Supplements Do Not Protect Against Dementia

Today’s Straight, No Chaser continues our ongoing conversation about your health not being found in a (supplement) bottle. In the news is new research reaffirming that taking ome
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 29, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Implementing a Healthy Happy Hour in Pieces

At Straight, No Chaser, we talk a lot about the intersection of health and happiness. In fact the roads run together for as far as the eyes can see. Have you ever thought about wh
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 28, 2017

Straight, No Chaser Reader Request: What’s a Healthy Approach to Gaining Weight?

If you are even an occasional reader of Straight, No Chaser, you likely never thought you’d see the day when promoting weight gain was the topic of discussion. However, there are
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 27, 2017

Straight, No Chaser In the News: Enacting Laws to Enforce Childhood Immunization

In the news is vaccination. Again. A decision by the State of California now bars parents from citing religious and other “personal-belief exemptions” for opting out of childho
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 26, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Suicide and Suicide Risks in College Students

I just had the privilege of spending time at my alma mater addressing issues on behalf of students and mental health services. Among many other things discussed, I was shocked by t
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 25, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Quick Workouts for the Couch Potato

Hey you! Yes, you: the ones about to enjoying the return of the NFL; the ones who have spent the last 3 months on the couch. Let’s turn your couch time into something (relati
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 24, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Health Risks of Urban vs. Rural Living

What’s your flavor, city vs country living? Regardless as to wear you live your life, each decision comes with defined risks to your health, and yes, these effects go beyond
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 23, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Tips to Limit Your Risk of Contracting The Most Deadly Diseases

It is interesting and, even more, curious to hear everyone obsess over how esoteric and rare conditions can potentially kill you. Word to the wise: Common things happen commonly. 
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 22, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Introduction to Club Drugs – Date Rape and Other Adverse Effects

A little knowledge goes a long way, particularly when it comes to the habits of teens and young adults. Those who partake in the club scene, parties, concerts or other social setti
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 21, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Toxin and Detoxification Series Summary

I want to thank you for all the positive responses to the series of posts on toxins and detoxification. You have shared many personal stories and asked many great questions. I gues
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 20, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Natural Colon Cleansing (Colonics) as a Means of Detox

C’mon. Be honest. You knew we’d end up here (no pun intended). Isn’t colonic cleansing one of those things that makes you wonder who the Greek guy was who first thought of
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 19, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: A Look at Detox Diets

Everyone who talks to me about detox is motivated and sincere about making an improvement in his or her health.  Therefore, it’s important that they be shown respect and encoura
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 18, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Quick Tips to Detoxify Yourself Naturally

Here are 3-4 Quick Tips for each of the organs involved in naturally detoxifying you; I’ve limited what I’m giving you to do in the effort to make this manageable for y
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 17, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Our World is Filled with Toxins

You can’t escape all toxins, but you can certainly minimize your exposure to them.  A handy way to classify them involves reminding you of the organ systems that help us detoxif
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 16, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Natural Methods of Detoxification

It seems that at least once a week I get asked to comment on colonics, detox diets, juice fasts, etc.  It seems to me that these are all rather extreme places to start.  How abou
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 15, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Hookahs and Health

I love the responses I get from you. Even the spam is entertaining. Most recently, when I posted this, the most common response was some variation of this theme: “What’s a hook
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 14, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Bath Salts – Seen Any Zombies Lately?

You can have an idea how bad a drug is when it has more street names than is remotely necessary. Today’s Straight, No Chaser is about bath salts, which are another group of tho
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 13, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Steroid Abuse

In the conversation about drugs of abuse, anabolic steroids hold a unique position. They work very differently from other drugs of abuse, and they do not have the same acute effect
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 12, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Sedative (Sleeping and Anxiety Pill) Abuse

Recent Straight, No Chaser posts have focused on the scope of the danger of medicines and other drugs/chemicals you keep around your home. These substances are because of the inc
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 11, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Prescription Drug Abuse

Many times over the years, I’ve had to explain to patients such as chronic sufferers from migraines, low back pain and other conditions that even if they weren’t “drug-seekin
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 10, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Inhalants – Effects and Actions to Take

Straight, No Chaser previously reviewed various forms of inhalants used to get intoxicated. Many kids think inhalants are a harmless, cheap, and quick way to “get high.” Becau
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 9, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: When Your Kids Huff and Puff – Learn about Inhalants

Over the course of several posts, we’ve described how difficult it is for you to keep abreast of the activities of teens. In this and a subsequent Straight, No Chaser post, we
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 8, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Facts About Drug Misuse and Overdose

Would you be surprised to know that drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury deaths in the United States? That’s right, more people die from overdoses than car crashes
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 7, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Keloids

Have you ever seen a keloid? Do you suffer from keloids? Do you know someone with them and wonder what’s occurring? Here are some answers. Some people, more commonly African-Amer
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 6, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Contact Dermatitis, Diaper Rash, Poison Ivy and the Like

Let’s pick up where we left off. In our discussion of eczema and psoriasis, we described the common theme of underlying inflammation manifesting in rashes of different appea
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 5, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Rashes on Your Palms and Soles; It's Not Always Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

  In the world of rashes, there aren’t an abundance of rashes that appear on the palms and soles.  However, there are a few of note, so here’s some Quick Tips to
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 4, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Eczema and Psoriasis

Rashes are very frustrating for patients.  They itch, burn, get infected, aren’t pleasant to look at and never go away rapidly enough. Another problem is no one ever seems t
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 3, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Reviewing (the Claims Made within) the Netflix Documentary "What The Health"

Per your request, I’ve looked at the movie “What the Health,” which apparently is all the rage and significantly promoting conversion to a vegan diet. Now I reall
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 2, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Understanding and Appropriately Stopping Thumbsucking

At first glance, you may be wondering what’s so significant about thumb-sucking that we need to discuss it. And then, I show you these two pictures. In most instances, thumb-suck
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD August 1, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: When Fainting is Deadly

1. So can faints be deadly? Potentially. There are three separate sets of considerations. The brain can’t survive very long without adequate oxygen. Whatever caused that fai
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 31, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: You’re Way Too Comfortable With Fainting

Don’t faints seem mysterious?  It’s as if your computer crashed and had to reboot.  Although we never seemingly figure out why computers are so crazy, fainting (syncope) is r
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 30, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Sealed with a (Wrong Type of) Kiss – Zoonotic Diseases

It’s interesting how we take animals for granted. Many of us touch and handle them, play with them. Some people keep their pets in their faces, allowing them to kiss and lick the
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 29, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Extracting Ticks and Preventing Tick Bites

Springtime is the beginning of the outdoor season for many. Whether you’re camping, hunting, playing paintball, hiking or engaged in other activities in the woods or tall grass,
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 28, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Avoiding Mosquito-Bourne Diseases

Sometimes things occur so frequently that you become sensitized to the real danger they present. This thought occurred to me when I saw Bill Gates talking about efforts to elimin
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 27, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Emergency Room Adventures – The Risk of Rabies

Depending on the circumstances of your life, sometimes risks are theoretical, and other times risks become occurrences… You can’t make this stuff up. It’s another bu
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 26, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Stop, The Life You Save May Be Your Own – Snake Bites

So you’ve been snake bitten.  What will you do next? First things first.  Stay calm.  Call 911.  Realize that most snake bites are non-venomous (A really quick tip regarding
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 25, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Animal Bites

We love our pets, and animals in general. Is there one about which a movie hasn’t been made? In most cases they are sources of entertainment, if not love. Unfortunately, they
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 24, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Your Questions About Human Bites

A boxer’s fracture is a misnomer because boxers don’t get them.  This describes a fracture at the base of the small finger (5th metacarpal), often caused from poor form throw
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 23, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Human Bites

I have had weird experiences with humans biting humans, as have most physicians. There are several different types of human bites, which can range from harmless to surgically serio
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 22, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite!

There’s nothing pleasant in talking about bedbugs, but’s it is even worse to have to deal with them, so let’s get you some information to help you prevent and address these b
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 21, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Lou Gehrig’s Disease (aka Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)

There’s no longer an ice bucket challenge, but the disease known as Lou Gehrig’s disease still is around. However, I have to ask… Do you have any idea what the d
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 20, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Questions About Memory Loss and Forgetfulness

Are you the type that has a bad memory? Is your memory good when you “want it to be?” Do you just have problems paying attention? Are you concerned about elderly family
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 19, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Civilian & Police Officer Murders, Community Stress & PTSD

Just a month ago, Straight, No Chaser discussed Mass Trauma, Community Stress and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. If you’ve been following the news, it may have occurred to y
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 18, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Dementia – When Brain Health Goes Bad

In case you didn’t pick up on it, the posts regarding brain health served two purposes. The first is to ensure you give yourself the best opportunity to live a healthy, happy men
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 17, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Self-Assessment for Signs of Early Dementia or Alzheimer’s

Each of us has elderly family members for whom we may be concerned about their memory or other possible signs of dementia. You don’t have to stand by powerless and let them dwin
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 16, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Amnesia and Severe Memory Loss

In a previous post, we discussed forgetfulness and mild memory loss. We’ve also discussed Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. If you noticed and remember (no pun intended), we
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 15, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Brain Health – Mental Gymnastics to Keep You Vibrant

I always found it odd that we assume our brain will simply perform in every way we need it to once developed. It seems reasonable to me that if we choose to diet and exercise in an
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 14, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Brain Health – Foods and Brain Healthy Habits

I only get asked about this everyday, so let’s review keeping your brain healthy. Unfortunately too often some of you only ask at the point when early dementia or Alzheimer
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 13, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Brain Health – How Your Brain Works

Everyone at Straight, No Chaser and www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com is into brainpower. This is the first of a series of posts on brain health and brainpower. The purpose of thes
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 12, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Questions You Should Ask When You Have a Laceration

I wonder if any of us avoid lacerations over the course of our lives. It seems that everyone I know or every patient I have cared for has a scar and a story to accompany it. Fortun
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 11, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: How to Survive a Motor Vehicle Collision

  As you drive the expressways of some cities, you can now see signs displaying how many traffic deaths have occurred during the year. I’m sure the purpose of these a
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 10, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Motor Vehicle Crashes – Risky Behaviors, Injuries and Prevention

‘Tis not our task to preach but to inform. Maybe you think you’ve heard it all before, but let me lay it all out for you so you can truly be an informed consumer. Forewarned i
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 9, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Curse of the Weekend Warrior – Achilles Tendon Rupture

In high school I led the league in stolen bases, and in college my cohorts and I loved inventing ever more creative ways to dunk a basketball. Apparently, my calf muscles worked we
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 8, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Role of Gunshot Wounds in a Nation at War with Itself

Apparently there is going to be an ongoing need to address this… Somewhere in the midst of reconciling the parts of me that are physician, public health professional and Afr
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 7, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Total Knee Replacement Surgery

When you’re a the big game, whether it’s football, basketball, soccer or otherwise, it’s likely you’re watching a group that includes someone who may requi
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 6, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Avoiding Summertime Sports Injuries

It’s not just kids that get injured in the summer having fun. Those of you weekend warriors, recreational and actual athletes are very much at risk also. Now, professional at
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 5, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Fireworks Safety

For many, the Fourth of July is a time of celebration, happiness and creation of good family memories. In the emergency room it’s one of the two worst days to have to work (exclu
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 3, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Kids Summer Fun Gone Wrong – Trampoline & Hover Board Trauma

With this long holiday weekend upon us, let me share a story…. It starts with me back in the emergency room with a little girl who looks like her forearm is going to fall off
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 2, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Dehydration – When You’re Too Dry to Cry

Dehydration is one of those topics that illustrates the adage “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”— except I would adjust that to suggest a little of the wrong type of k
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD July 1, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Your Questions About Gunshots and Stab Wounds

There has been a lot going on the news this entire year related to trauma, particularly gunshot wounds. This Straight, No Chaser answers your questions related to penetrating inj
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 30, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Penetrating Trauma (Gunshot and Stab Wounds)

Penetrating trauma (PT) is of such magnitude in this country that it is nearly impossible to do it justice in short form. This is primarily a medical blog, and as such I’ll defer
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 29, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Understanding an Actual Conservative Point of View on Healthcare

I am not attempting to speak for any group as much as I am hoping to enlighten those needing it regarding how others could seemingly vote for or support what appears to be in their
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 28, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Sickle Cell Disease/Anemia

I don’t type this post with any amount of joy. Can you imagine an existence in which your blood cells are deformed to the extent to which they resemble pointy knives poking at
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 27, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Do’s and Don’ts of Treating Electrical Injuries

In a previous Straight, No Chaser, we discussed the “what” of electrical injuries and lightning. In this post, we discuss the “what-to-do” and “what-not-to-do” if and
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 26, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Electrical Injuries and Lightning Strikes

As I watch lightning lighting up the sky, it makes me wonder if anyone out there is unlucky enough to be getting struck. The annual probability of being struck by lightning is app
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 25, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Straight Talk About Vasectomies

A couple’s conversation about having a vasectomy can either be a tense one or it can be a display of trust and cohesion. The decision by a man to have a vasectomy can be a so
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 24, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction

Well, here’s what many of you’ve been awaiting.  Assuming the preventative efforts I mentioned didn’t work for you, there are several different treatment approac
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 23, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Erectile Dysfunction, Part Two – Causes

In my last post on erectile dysfunction (ED), I gave a simplistic way to understand and address it.  However, the truth of the matter is the overwhelming majority of cases of ED a
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 22, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Erectile Dysfunction, Part One

It seems appropriate to follow-up a post on age-related changes in your genitourinary system with a discussion on erectile dysfunction (ED).  The nature of the topic is such that
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 21, 2017

Straight, No Chaser In the News – Testosterone Therapy Doubles the Risk of Heart Attacks

  Over the last few days, Straight, No Chaser featured discussions of low testosterone and male menopause (which often includes low testosterone levels as a component of the
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 20, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Maintain Healthy Testosterone Levels Without Replacement Therapy

Male virility is a fascinating topic medically. It is truly an example of how confidence and mental fortitude (or the absence thereof) can directly translate into physical performa
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 19, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Men’s Health Week, Fathers Day and Health

This year, Fathers’ Day falls right at the tail end of Men’s Health Week, but we don’t like that – and we’ll begin our own Men’s Health Week by starting
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 18, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Low Testosterone

Are you someone who had never heard of Low-T until recent commercials starting telling you that you weren’t normal? Let’s review what all the fuss is about. As most people know
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 17, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Male Menopause (aka Andropause)

Manopause?  Male Menopause? Yes, andropause is a thing (at least according to many medical authorities). Most of us are roughly familiar with menopause. You may or may not be su
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 16, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Travelers’ Diarrhea

This is the time of year in the U.S. when you wished you were somewhere else. (Hawaii, Africa, Australia or Mexico for a Valentine’s Day cruise, anyone?) Unfortunately, somet
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 15, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Spotlight on Health Concerns When Traveling – Vaccines and Illnesses

Traveling is exciting, but it presents multiple challenges to your health. To best meet these challenges, preparation is everything. Before you travel and every time you travel, yo
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 14, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Life, Death and Grief

It’s never easy discussing death. Bereavement is the state of mourning and sadness we endure after the death of a loved one. Grief is that process we endure, either in antici
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 13, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: When Your Jaw Pain Could Be a Heart Attack

Several Straight, No Chaser posts have addressed jaw pain. We’ve separately discussed jaw trauma and TMJ syndrome. Unfortunately, that’s not the most important story of ja
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 12, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Reacting to Broken or Dislocated Jaws

Should you ever suffer the misfortune of getting hit or falling onto your jaw, would you know what to do? Trauma to the jaw is more dangerous than you might imagine. The risk for b
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 11, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Syndrome

TMJ. Those of you have TMJ syndrome are likely already shaking your head in understanding. Those of you who don’t, be thankful. Take the advice of those who do and read this post
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 10, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Broken Noses (Nasal Fractures)

It’s curious how many patients with broken noses come into the emergency room smiling. Usually they’re kids whose parents “just want to be sure.” In these cases not mu
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 9, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Open Fractures

I don’t think you need especially gory illustrations for this. I think you get the picture. In a previous Straight, No Chaser, we discussed broken fingers. If you get a “f
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 8, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Broken Fingers

Don’t the tips of your fingers drive you nuts? Our leading edges cause so much drama for us. We’ve previously discussed injuries to nails and nail beds, but many of you who wor
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 7, 2017

Straight, No Chaser Reader Submission: Does Joint Cracking Cause Arthritis?

  I actually understand the question. You would think all that snap, knuckle and pop would represent bad things happening to your bones, and over time, it could cause damage to th
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 6, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Cancer Prevention Workbook

We continue with simple principles to avoid various forms of cancer, but in today’s Straight, No Chaser, we add some detail about the what’s and whys of the conversation. T
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 5, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Cancer Prevention Checklist

I’m going to present this information two separate ways: today a checklist, as simple as possible; and tomorrow with the same information explained briefly but with detail. You l
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 4, 2017

Straight, No Chaser Reminder: Processed Meats Cause Cancer

Perhaps this should be filed under things you already know, think you know, or know but don’t care enough for it to change your lifestyle (we are a bacon-loving nation), but
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 3, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Mass Trauma Alert – Your Disaster Preparedness Strategy

If you’ve become a regular reader of Straight, No Chaser (thank you!), you will note the recurring theme of prevention. There’s often just not enough time to act in the midst
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 2, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Mass Trauma, Community Stress and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

If you’ve been following the Straight, No Chaser series on post-traumatic stress disorder, it may have occurred to you that episodes that some might be able to handle when
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD June 1, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Effects of PTSD on Children

This is part of a series on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For a review of PTSD signs, symptoms and those at risk, click here. For a review of PTSD diagnosis and treatment
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 31, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Diagnosis and Treatment

Review this previous Straight, No Chaser post for a review of PTSD signs, symptoms and those at risk. Fortunately, not every traumatized person develops post-traumatic stress di
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 30, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Signs, Symptoms and Those at Risk

Memorial Day serves to honor our fallen heroes. Part of that involves caring for our soldiers still with us. Understanding and acknowledging the mental components of their sufferin
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 29, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Do You Have Moles?

  Odds are you do, but we’re not talking about the animal variety. It’s Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, and so if you do have moles, you should
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 28, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Healthy and Safe Swimming

Did you know this is National Healthy Safe and Swimming Week? Whether you’re an avid swimmer or only deal with it on a vacation, it’s important to be reminded how to be safe wh
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 27, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Bell’s Palsy

We’ve spent a few days focusing on stroke recognition, but today we focus on a condition that often gets confused with a stroke. Bell’s palsy is a paralysis of the facial n
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 26, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Heat Illnesses Awareness (Heat Exhaustion, Heat Cramps, Heat Stroke)

Heat Awareness Day occurs the last Friday in May instead of the first weekend in July because prevention is better than cure. Once the rains calm down across America, it’s p
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 25, 2017

Straight, No Chaser Vlog: Stroke – How to Save a Life

It’s stroke awareness month. We understand that being confronted with a family member in the midst of a stroke can be terrifying. Somehow, you have to muster the courage to a
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 24, 2017

Straight, No Chaser In the News: New Guidelines on Fruit Juice and Fruit Intake for Kids

The American Academy of Pediatrics has offered revised recommendations regarding children’s intake of fruits and fruit juice. If you’re wondering why such a thing is necessary,
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 23, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Bone Health and Osteoporosis

A big deal is made about elderly individuals breaking bones – and reasonably so. Bone health is kind of important, given that you need your bones to stand and move around! In to
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 22, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Treating Arthritis

The thing about treating arthritis is you’d better do it. If you’re not lucky enough to have a form that readily responds to treatment or if you didn’t get early treatment, y
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 21, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Arthritis, The Inevitable Disease

Actually, humans have a few different “inevitable” diseases, but today we’re discussing arthritis, specifically degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis). For this conversa
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 20, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: When Sex Hurts Her – Vaginismus

The human body is fascinating and mysterious in so many different ways. Unfortunately, that’s not always a good thing. Not every medical condition has to be life threatening
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 19, 2017

Straight, No Chaser In The News: HIV Vaccine Awareness and Update

The first (and at that point only) vaccine developed to date that has shown any significant effectiveness was demonstrated to be so in Thailand back in 2009. It was shown to cut th
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 18, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Stroke Awareness Month

This content of this post is so simple yet important that it really warrants taking up space in a few of your brain’s cells. Most of us know someone who has suffered from a strok
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 17, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: So… You Skipped Your Period? Let’s Discuss Secondary Amenorrhea

It happens all the time, but one thing that makes both men and women anxious is a missed menstrual period. Everyone’s always worried about being pregnant (and you should be). Wh
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 16, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Twenty Questions on Menopause (Plus One)

Menopause (aka “the change of life”) seems to be one of those things that everyone knows about but many don’t understand well. Let’s approach the topic by r
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 15, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Hoping for Health, Happiness and Healthcare Reform that isn't Sexist On Mother's Day

Apologies in advance for this not being the Mother’s Day post you might have expected, but in the current environment, it’s perhaps a more valuable gift than your typical set o
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 14, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Prevention and Treatment of Food Allergies

Whether or not you personally have a food allergy, it is likely you will find yourself in a situation with someone who does. Food allergies affect approximately 15 million American
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 13, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Food Allergies

I often say whatever you put in your mouth either helps or harms you. Today, we discuss food allergies, which sound like a cruel trick or something out of a horror movie, but unfor
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 12, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: About Stuttering

How do you respond when you hear someone stutter? Are you a stutterer, and if so, how do you handle it? Let’s answer 7 frequency asked questions to facilitate some understand
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 11, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Addressing Hearing Loss and the Use of Hearing Aids

Prevention and protecting your hearing is easy; the decision to do so seems not to be so easy. Remembering this hearing thermometer is a good way to know what activities hurt your
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 10, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Let’s Discuss Hearing Loss

As I muse, I wonder why we don’t take better care of our eyes and ears. Those cotton swabs and other things we place in our ears really are reckless acts. Then there’s
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 9, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Living With An Incurable Sexually Transmitted Infection

You’ve requested it, and it’s only fair. We’ve spent a lot of time discussing sexually transmitted diseases and infections (STDs, STIs). It’s reasonable to discuss living w
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 8, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: What To Do If You Suspect a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)

It’s been a long and productive sex week here at Straight, No Chaser. We’ve run the gamut of common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other genital conditions, and li
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 7, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Cervical Cancer – The Sexually Transmitted Cancer

Let’s put this take home message up front: here’s a pretty good demonstration of the value of vaccines. I hope that each of you resolves to get any children you care f
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 6, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: About Cold Sores and Herpes

Some of you are consumed with fear. Maybe for some it’s stricken with guilt. In any event this topic is simply another example of not being adequately armed with the knowledge yo
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 5, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: STDs – Questions About Herpes

If you’re in a room, look around. Look to your left, then to your right. Look behind and in front of you. Then look deep inside yourself. Statistically, one of the people you
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 4, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Bacterial Vaginosis – No, That’s Not a STD

I try to give you straight talk but never crudely. As I’ve discussed conditions involving the genitalia, I’ve been mindful of the reality that large numbers of you have
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 3, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: STDs – Treatment of Pubic Lice (Crabs)

There’s no dishonor in needing help. A pubic lice infestation is one of many types of conditions that can lead to a complete disruption of your life. These are full-time parasite
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 2, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: STDs – Pubic Lice (Crabs)

Unfortunately, there’s no pleasant way around this topic. I hope the topic doesn’t make you crabby. There is a story of legend in the medical community regarding the trends
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD May 1, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: STDs – Syphilis, The Great Mimicker

Today, Straight, No Chaser will present two phrases that you may not have previously heard: The Great Mimicker and MSM, and that means we’re discussing what has historicall
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 30, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Straight, No Chaser has discussed several sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at length, including gonorrhea, chlamydia and herpes. One thing that often gets overlooked
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 29, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: STDs – Gonorrhea

Some of you are old enough to remember when Gonorrhea was called ‘The Clap’, but do any of you know why it was called that? Read on for the answer. In the meantime, rea
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 28, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: STDs – Chlamydia Infections

For most people, NGU isn’t a college in South Carolina. In fact, non-gonococcal urethritis isn’t really even that anymore, meaning it doesn’t need to be defined b
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 27, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Doctor/Patient Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Talk

As an emergency physician, my first consideration is to eliminate life threats.  Along the way, I cure disease and provide a ton of information.  With all of these efforts, I pro
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 26, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Male Reproductive Health and Workplace Hazards

Yes, you read that correctly. We’re discussing men’s reproductive health. Of course there is a preoccupation with women’s reproductive health (and we addressed that in anothe
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 25, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Advanced Maternal Age

Times have changed. Marriages are increasingly career-focused, and couples more and more choose to have babies later in life. It is helpful that these decisions can now be aided by
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 24, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Female Reproductive Health and Workplace Hazards

Considerations of female reproductive health are important in the work environment. Many different work settings pose risks to women’s reproductive systems. Generally effects can
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 24, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Healthcare Disparities

In large part, this blog exists to inform individuals of all backgrounds about the risks that lead to abnormal health outcomes. Our hope is that once you discover the risks, you’
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 23, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: An Overview of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

Many of us work in fields in which it is accurate to state “My job makes me sick!” Occupational illnesses and injuries take a massive toll on us. Whether we’re describing exp
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 22, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Distracted Driving

I find lawmakers fascinating. For example, when states fail to pass distracted driving laws in the name of “freedom,” aren’t they basically signing off on Darwini
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 21, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Prevention and Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

If you have carpel tunnel syndrome (CTS) or are at significant risk for developing it, you really should learn strategies to either prevent, limit progression or treat the conditio
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 20, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Do you spend much time typing at work? Are you a construction worker who operates a jack hammer? Do you have arthritis that affects your wrist? Do you have occasional or constant n
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 19, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Spectrum and Specter of Autism

Autism. Small word. Big effects on families. Previously, we discussed the scope and recent explosion of autism diagnoses. Here we delve into the disorders. Autism spectrum disorde
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 18, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Rapid Explosion of Autism Diagnoses – A Good or Bad Thing?

Sometimes it’s really good to be a physician, especially when it comes to care of children. On multiple occasions I’ve saved a few thousands of dollars in costs by being ab
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 17, 2017

Straight, No Chaser In The News: The Cleveland Murder, African Americans and Mental Health

In the news is a simply horrific, seemingly random murder in Cleveland that was posted to Facebook. Today’s Straight, No Chaser seeks to review a central aspect of the crime: the
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 17, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The irony of the name “irritable bowel syndrome” (IBS) is found in the connection between stress (in some cases, irritability) and symptoms. This can become a vicious cycle. Yo
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 16, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Health Benefits of Red Wine

It’s the weekend, and we’re coming off a lot of Straight, No Chaser posts on alcohol, so let’s just address some questions you’ve asked about the benefits of alcohol
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 15, 2017

There are 72 Hours in a Day – Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life

The teams at Straight, No Chaser, Sterling Medical Advice.com and 72 Hours Life are thrilled to offer you our newest book – There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 15, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Self Assessment of Alcohol Dependency

The number one response to the post on acute alcohol poisoning was pretty simple: “How can I tell if I’m drinking too much over the long haul?” And so it’
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 14, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Alcohol Facts vs. Fiction

Today’s Straight, No Chaser puts a personal spin on an old favorite because well, frankly some of you drink too much. Here’s your six-pack (plus one for the road) of
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 13, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Medical Complications and Medication Treatment of Alcoholism

  There are interesting commonalities of certain drugs like alcohol and cigarettes. One is users that really enjoy them are able to do so for a long time while being oblivious to
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 12, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

With all the focus of late on other forms of drug use and abuse (e.g., methamphetamine, marijuana, opiates), alcohol abuse seems to be lacking the attention it deserves. Fully one
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 11, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: When Alcohol Becomes Toxic – Or Deadly

Enjoy your weekend? Hopefully you’re not hung over. Today, I’d like to provide some words to sober you up. Most everyone knows the effects of getting drunk. What most
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 10, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Lowering Your Risk of Being Sexually Assaulted

Rape occurs in many different situations. Although the stereotype involves a stranger pulling a victim into a dark, isolated place, more common situations involve being assaulted
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 9, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Recognizing Sexual Abuse in Children

Child. Sexual. Abuse. Those words shouldn’t go together, even on a computer screen. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 683,000 children in the U.S
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 8, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Sexual Assault (Rape) and What To Do If You’re a Victim

In this series on sexual assault (aka sexual violence, rape), I’m going to lean on best practices largely provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S.
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 7, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Living The 72 Hours Life – Free Giveaway Included!

Straight, No Chaser and the many other resources found at Sterling Initiatives (www.jeffreysterlingmd.com) have always been about empowering you to live your best life through bett
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 6, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Public Health Has Saved More Lives Than Medical Care

When I tell most people I have a degree in public health, the typical response involves an assumption that public health involves caring exclusively for the indigent. I guess if yo
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 5, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Learning the Risks and Signs of Abusive Head Trauma

This part of the conversation is not about spanking. It’s not even about abuse. It’s about learning who is most likely to cause harm to your child, intended or not, and what pl
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 4, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Abusive Head Trauma aka Shaken Baby Syndrome

The discussion regarding the line between parental discipline and child abuse has proven to be a passionate one. Without wading into opinions, let me elaborate and give a concrete
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 3, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Emotional Signs of Child Abuse

In a previous Straight, No Chaser, we provided a pictorial demonstration of the physical signs of child abuse. Unfortunately for many, the emotional signs are even more dangerou
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 2, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Physical Signs of Child Abuse

Given how often this topic is in the news, we must continue to drill certain points home. This Straight, No Chaser provides visual examples of the consequences of child abuse. A
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD April 1, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Questions and Answers About Problem Gambling

Whether or not you’re willing to admit to a gambling addiction, the presence of a gambling problem should concern you. This Straight, No Chaser takes information  adapted from t
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 31, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: National Doctor's Day!

National Doctors’ Day is held every March 30th in the U.S. It celebrates the contribution of physicians who serve our country by caring for citizens. The first Doctor’
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 30, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Treating Your Seasonal Allergies / Hay Fever

You’re miserable from seasonal allergies (aka hay fever, allergic rhinitis)? You’ve seemingly tried everything, and nothing seems to help? Did you read the introductory post on
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 29, 2017

From the Health Library of SterlingMedicalAdvice.com: “Why would my doctor tell me not to take a decongestant?”

As you struggle from allergies season, the lede is a reasonable question, here is its answer. Based on how ubiquitous cold and flu remedies are, you would think they were the safe
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 28, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Questions and Answers about Meningitis

When you hear or make references to a “pain in the neck,” you likely aren’t very aware of the one disease that makes the reference no joking matter at all. For many, all they
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 28, 2017

A Straight, No Chaser Approach to Fixing Healthcare

The government may have “moved on” from healthcare, but we the people haven’t. This Straight, No Chaser addresses some very simple fixes for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Fo
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 27, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Athlete’s Foot (Tinea Pedis)

  Athlete’s foot is one of those topics that everyone seems to know a little about but not enough to really understand. If your level of knowledge is “scaly, itchy rash on
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 26, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Foot Corns and Calluses

It’s really not my intention to be corny or callous here, but it’s almost in the name. This Straight, No Chaser looks at two very common problems of the feet. First things fi
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 25, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Ingrown Toenails

The overwhelming majority of cases of ingrown toenails I see come from people chewing on their toenails. So the really, really Quick Tip is keep your feet out of your mouth. If onl
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 25, 2017

Straight No Chaser In The News: The Real Costs of the American Health Care Act

This blog strives to provide medical and public health information – not to serve a political agenda or display any other forms of bias. It is not a means of generating income or
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 24, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: A Foot Glossary and Introduction to Conditions Affecting Your Feet

We talk a lot about health in Straight, No Chaser. We also try to help you recognize potentially troubling signs and symptoms. It’s appropriate to do so from the bottom up becau
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 23, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Understanding Asthma – Toothpicks and Snot (Part 2 of 2)

As we move into discussing asthma treatment, remember that asthmatics die at an alarming rate.  I mentioned yesterday (and it bears repeating) that death rates have increased over
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 22, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Understanding Asthma – Toothpicks and Snot (Part 1 of 2)

Asthma concerns me. I’ve had many close friends and family suffer with the disease. In fact, a very good friend died of an attack while in medical school, because he didn’t ha
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 21, 2017

From the SterlingMedicalAdvice.com Health Library: “My Doctor Said I Was a High-Risk Asthmatic. What Does That Mean?”

If you have an asthmatic in your life, it’s important to know that asthmatics die.  The risk of death is higher in certain asthmatics. If you or your loved one is in this su
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 20, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: First Steps to Take If Someone Gets Poisoned

How would you respond if you or someone in your home became a victim of an accidental poisoning? What if you stumbled across a family member who intentionally swallowed a bunch of
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 19, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Do You Suffer from Hay Fever?

Hay (fever) there! If any of you don’t suffer from seasonal allergies (aka hay fever, allergic rhinitis), consider yourself lucky. As nuisances go, this has to rank high on the l
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 18, 2017

Straight, No Chaser In The News: ER Visits Exploding Among Kids From Accidental Overdoses

In the News is additional information regarding Patient Safety Awareness Week. Earlier today, we discussed your medicine cabinet. The theme there and here is leaving medicines easi
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 17, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: What Should NOT Be in Your Medicine Cabinet

In the previous Straight, No Chaser, we discussed the ideal use of your medicine cabinets to prepare for life’s nagging aches and pain. However, has it ever occurred to you 
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 16, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: What Should Be in Your Medicine Cabinet

You’ve all done it. I’ve caught a few of you doing it. Why do you rummage through someone’s else’s medicine cabinet? Are newer homes even built with medicin
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 15, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Hernias Are Why Your Doctor Asks You to Turn Your Head and Cough!

Hernias are an uncomfortable topic (no pun intended, for many reasons). Hernias are yet another example of body parts not being in their proper place. They are caused by weak muscl
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 14, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Appendicitis – When a Little Something Causes a Lot…

There’s not much that causes as much legitimate angst in parents as a child with appendicitis. In case you don’t know what the fuss is all about, the appendix is a 3 1/2 inch p
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 13, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Kidney (Renal) Failure

We take our kidneys for granted. They are truly remarkable organs. In this Straight, No Chaser, we will review kidney function and explain kidney failure. Additional posts will ad
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 12, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Kidney Stones (Nephrolithiasis)

In the emergency room setting, women are vicious when it comes to how men handle pain. It’s really humorous to see the female nurses’ attitudes change when a large or otherwise
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 11, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Quick Tips – You Snore Too Much

You snore too much.  What this means is your breathing is intermittently partially obstructed while you’re sleeping.  Snoring is the sound of air moving past that obstruction.
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 10, 2017

Straight, No Chaser In The News: The Real Meaning of the American Health Care Act and of Replacing the Affordable Care Act

Here’s the thing. It’s only one view that America bends toward an arc of diversity, inclusion and justice. There is another view – felt to be every bit as compelling to t
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 10, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Insomnia – You Are Not Getting Sleepy

This is part of a Straight, No Chaser series on sleep disorders.  So the pendulum swings from hypersomnia to insomnia. Talking about insomnia makes me, well, tired. You know wha
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 9, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Why Are You So Sleepy (aka Hypersomnia)?

This is part of a Straight, No Chaser series on sleep disorders. Are you one of those individuals who is always tired and sleepy? You take iron, you exercise and you’re getting s
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 8, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Sleep Apnea

We’ve discussed many components of sleep and sleep disorders. A very common condition that many of you are walking around with undiagnosed is sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is a comm
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 7, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Narcolepsy – The Sleep Attack

This is part of a Straight, No Chaser series on sleep disorders. When you hear about narcolepsy, it’s usually in the context of some joke, but it’s a horrifying condition. Lo
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 6, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Late Night Shift Work and Shift Work Sleep Disorder

I used to love to work third shift. Generally, I’d be the only “boss” around, so I really got to enjoy my staff in a way that wasn’t possible during the day shifts. The onl
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 5, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Understanding Normal Sleep and How Much Sleep You Need

It’s National Sleep Awareness Week, and Straight, No Chaser wants you to wake up, pay attention and learn why sleep is such an important part of your life! Do you ever think
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 4, 2017

Straight, No Chaser In The News: Success Eliminating Cervical Cancer with the HPV Vaccine

In the news is information about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, used to prevent sexually transmitted infections causing genital warts, and more importantly, causing cervic
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 3, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Uterine Fibroids

Straight, No Chaser has spent quite a bit of time on conditions involving abnormalities of male and female sex hormones. We do so again today in discussing fibroids (aka fibroid tu
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 2, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Endometriosis

Guys, it’s not condescending to note that it’s really tough to be a woman. There are so many different medical conditions women have to deal with that men don’t. Many
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD March 1, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Quick Tips – Learn the ABCDEs of Hiccups

Three question sets on hiccups of all things Why do I get hiccups? You get hiccups because everyone gets them.  You get them because basically you’ve agitated your main breathin
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 28, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Defending Yourself From Medication Errors

Every time you take medication or allow someone to administer it to you, you are taking a significant leap of faith. Think about it. How many individual things do you do daily that
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 27, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Do Medications Work Differently in Older People?

The elderly are living longer and more productively. Part of being able to do so is by maintaining an understanding of how your actions  affect you. One common action of many of t
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 26, 2017

Straight No Chaser: Saluting African-American Healthcare Pioneers

Here’s a quote that I enjoy: “History favorably remembers those that do things first and those that do things exceedingly well.”                 
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 25, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Hirsutism (Abnormal Female Hair Growth)

Have you ever wondered how and why some women develop more hair on their face and bodies than other women? That’s called hirsutism and is the topic of this Straight, No Chaser 
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 24, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: About Hair Loss and Male Pattern Baldness – Alopecia

I tell people all the time, “I’m shaved, not bald.” Whether or not that’s a distinction without a difference, alopecia (defined as partial or complete hair
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 23, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: When Back Pain Could Be Life Threatening

Back pain hurts, but there are various causes of that pain that will kill or cripple you.  Here’s some information on some diseases that present with back pain representing life
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 22, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Management of Herniated Disks

Approximately 40 million Americans have low back pain. Odds are the presence of low back pain is not associated with a herniated disk. Truthfully, herniated disks are more commonly
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 21, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: My Back and Neck Pain Has a Name – Herniated Disks

  It’s quite common for someone to come to me and say, “I have a herniated disk.” I used to ask how they knew, but I came to realize the answer to be unimportant. The pain a
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 20, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Sciatica

My pain has a name, and it’s sciatica. There’s always a sense of relief in patients when a name is given to a medical sign or symptom. This Straight, No Chaser places sciati
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 19, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Low Back Pain

For many, low back pain begins with a slip and subsequently becomes a slippery slope that never seems to end. This Straight, No Chaser will help you understand why you’re
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 18, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: When Eating Goes Wrong, Part II – Bulimia

If you read Part I of this conversation on eating disorders (anorexia nervosa), you will recall that eating disorders are a mix of an abnormal body image combined with abnormal b
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 17, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: When Eating Goes Wrong, Part I – Anorexia

Simply put, our society doesn’t do the job it should in promoting a normal image of health at either end of the body size spectrum. The typically promoted American ideal of b
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 16, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Blood Transfusions – Facts About Giving and Receiving

When was the last time you saved a life? I’m not talking about an Internet game. There are many ways in which your efforts can make a significant difference in the life of someon
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 15, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate, aka Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Got Dark Chocolate? As you may know if you’re a regular reader, Straight, No Chaser is big on you enjoying life and making healthy choices while doing so
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 14, 2017

The Straight, No Chaser Comprehensive Safe Sex Guide

This edition of Straight, No Chaser is a keepsake, whether for your own reference or as a conversation piece/teaching guide for others. I suspect that due to the volume and wealt
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 13, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Staying Alive – A Ridiculously Simple Approach to CPR

Hopefully, this video is the hokiest thing I’ll ever post, but modern understanding of CPR is such that every single one of you should know exactly how to respond in the even
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 12, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: What Will You Do If Your Baby Starts Choking?

We’ve previously discussed how to address choking in adults. Today, we address the twin horrors of needing to save a baby’s life (those younger than 12 months old) from choking
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 11, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: How Can I Save Myself If I’m Choking?

If you’re the type that is cool under pressure, you’re well positioned to think your way out of many dangerous situations. If you’re the type that’s incline
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 10, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: What Will You Do If You See Someone Choking?

So … what would you do if someone around you starting choking. Or if they choked, then lost consciousness? What would you do if you choked and no one else was around? Don’t you
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 9, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Medical Issues You Encounter While Flying

This week’s Straight, No Chaser posts have focused on the dangers presents by blood clots. Flying long distances presents a specific risk for development of blood clots. Howe
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 8, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Why Are Athletes At Such Risk For Pulmonary Embolus?

Let’s begin today’s Straight, No Chaser by being sure not to overstate the case. All things being equal, young healthy individuals and superbly conditioned athletes have di
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 7, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Pulmonary Embolus (A Blood Clot in the Lungs)

When I was a young, wide-eyed medical student, I learned that in a large number of cases, when people died from unexplained cases, the autopsies would often show the patient died f
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 6, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Blood Clots in Your Legs – Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT)

If you’re a sports fan, you’re likely aware of the death of a 52-year-old former star of the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers, Jerome Kersey, followed two days after
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 5, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Let’s Boost Your Metabolism

It would be improper for me to have dragged you through the mud for three days and depressed you into thinking you can’t improve your situation. Hopefully, you’re not f
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 4, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Healthy, Sustainable Weight Loss – Let’s Get Started

How to Lose Weight, and What is Healthy Weight Loss (AKA, How Much, How Soon and How)? Let’s start with the How. Commercial voice: “You should contact your physician before st
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 3, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: How Many Calories Do You Need a Day?

Let’s put this post (at least the end of it) under the category of things you do but really don’t think about. How many calories should you take in per day to function
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 2, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Adverse Health Effects of Obesity and Why You Gain Weight

Earlier, we identified the differences between a ‘normal’ weight and being overweight and/or obese. Today’s goal is to help you understand specific risks of carrying ext
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD February 1, 2017

Straight No Chaser: Examining Obesity – Is It Really a Choice Between Health and Happiness

Obesity in the United States places many at a crossroad between self-esteem and health.  Often, larger frames are celebrated as more desirable.  Other times, they are celebrated
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 31, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Why You Get Grey Hair

This is a lot simpler than people make it.  Gray hair is a happenstance of life.  At the end of the day, genetic, racial and chemical considerations determine when you go gray.
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 30, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: About Stalking

Although stalking awareness conversations aren’t held very often, the scope of stalking is such that you should know about it. Stalking is a serious endeavor, and unfortunately i
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 29, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Cervical Health Awareness

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, and to that end, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) boldly proclaims “No woman should die of cervical cancer.” It
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 28, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Alcoholism and Alcohol-Related Deaths Are on the Rise

Does it seem that alcoholism isn’t discussed much anymore, or is it that the public health community has focused more on overdose deaths from heroin and prescription painkillers
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 27, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Tragedy of Septic Shock

There are bad days and then there are really bad days. In many ways, the occurrence of septic shock is a culmination of a lot of bad things that can happen to you. Septic shock is
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 26, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Inappropriate Antibiotic Use

Whenever physicians attempt to discuss inappropriate antibiotic use with patients, too often fear replaces logic. These days, antibiotic use is treated as a convenience considerati
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 25, 2017

Straight, No Chaser in the News: Having Vomiting and Diarrhea? There's a Norovirus Outbreak!

Sometimes the simple things cause the biggest problems. If you have school-aged children, you may be aware that episodes of vomiting and diarrhea are occurring with such frequency
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 24, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Danger of Shoveling Snow and Other Winter Chores

You have probably heard it said, but you’d be surprised to know how often people hurt themselves shoveling snow. Of course, this time of year, people are doing many more strenuou
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 24, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: What You Can Do To Manage Frostbite and Serious Cold Exposure

I’ll admit that my orientation is different than yours. I’ll argue that your orientation should be closer to mine. What’s the difference, you may ask? I’ve
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 23, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Do’s and Don’ts of Treating Frostbite

There’s a cold front coming. You can’t avoid the exposure. Some of you will end up cold as ice. Would you really know what to do if you caught frostbite? I thought not,
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 22, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Hypothermia (Low Body Temperature)

This is part of a series on cold-related medical disorders. Hypothermia is low body temperature. It’s not the “Oh, it’s cold outside” type of cold, but it i
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 21, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Moving Toward a Vegetarian Diet

Ok… I’m glad to have finally come across a diet option that has struck a nerve. The post on principles of vegetarianism has raised a lot of questions, and I’ll take this spac
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 20, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: An Introduction to Vegetarian Diets

  If you are on a vegetarian diet, congratulations to you, but if you’re not, you still should be interested in the principles that make a vegetarian diet a healthy choice.
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 19, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Seizure First Aid Do’s and Don’ts

I enjoy empowering you to act. There are many examples of emergency situations in which your actions can be beneficial, including the presence of active seizures. We previously dis
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 18, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Seizures

There is so much mystery among the lay population about how the brain works, even under normal circumstances. It is very scary to patients and families when things occur that remov
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 17, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Top 50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years on Earth Related to Health (Part II)

I could muse on my observations on human nature forever. I’ve been very fortunate to have had this front row seat to life’s quirks and nuances. You can go here for the
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 16, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Top 50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years on Earth Related to Health (Part I)

Thank you for your indulgence, because today I’m going to deviate from the regular routine and share some life lessons. This took a while to figure out, but here’s a li
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 15, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Thyroid Awareness and Neck Self-Examination

Is your thyroid something you know exists but know very little about? Let’s change that. The thyroid gland lives in your neck and produces hormones that help you regular your bod
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 14, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Spice Drugs aka Herbal High aka K2 aka Synthetic Marijuana

So have you ever wondered why incense seems to relax you so? In our ongoing effort to keep you up to date with the latest drug teens may be using, today’s topic introduces “Spi
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 13, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Marijuana Facts and Fiction, Part 2

The issues surrounding marijuana use are serious and need full examination, particularly with decriminalization legislature passing and being considered in various parts of the cou
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 12, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Marijuana Facts and Fiction, Part 1

The truth of it all is that politicians are generally a terrible source of scientific and medical information. There are actually legitimate concerns about the use and legalization
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 11, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Weeding Through the Basics of Marijuana Use and Intoxication

As we survey the landscape, marijuana use has become legal in more parts of the United States. In this series, we will review the facts (and only the facts) on its clinical effect
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 10, 2017

The Straight, No Chaser Guide to Completing Your New Year’s Resolutions

We’ve spent the last week addressing your health-related New Year’s resolutions involving healthy eating, exercise routines, smoking cessation and stress reduction. None of the
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 9, 2017

Straight No Chaser: Your Stress Management Plan

The path to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” isn’t as simple as the old song suggests, but if the song had a heart, it would be in the right place. Today’s contribution to your Ne
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 8, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Pass The Stress Test

Let’s agree not to go into the New Year filled with last year’s tension or without a plan to avoid new stress. In fact, let’s take this time to lay the groundwork for one now
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 7, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Healthy, Sustainable Weight Loss – Let’s Get Started

How to Lose Weight, and What is Healthy Weight Loss (AKA, How Much, How Soon and How)? Let’s start with the How. Commercial voice: “You should contact your physician before st
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 6, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Here’s How You Stop Smoking – Quick Tips to START Smoking Cessation

Don’t pick your birthday to stop when New Year’s has just passed. Do it now. Can’t do it now? Do it Monday. In fact, do it every Monday. It’s a fight. If you fall down, st
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 5, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Diet and Nutrition Tips

If you’re serious about keeping your New Year’s resolutions, so are we. Today, we move from explaining how to eat (as we did here), to giving you practical steps and choices to
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 4, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Do You Even Know How To Eat Healthy?

We’re still in New Year’s resolutions mode! Previously we introduced you to why you exercise and we discussed how to start. Today’s Straight, No Chaser is about your di
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 3, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Here’s Steps For You To Take – Get Active!

Here’s how you get started with a work out regimen. As we left off in the previous post, fitness is for everyone. If you’re currently inactive, worried about becoming active o
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 2, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: The Benefits of Exercise and Other Physical Activity

At Straight, No Chaser, we understand it’s the most optimistic time of the year. You’ve made many New Year’s resolutions, usually related to smoking cessation, eating better
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD January 1, 2017

Straight, No Chaser: Five Frequently Asked Questions About Hangovers…

Happy New Year’s Eve! If you’re planning on enjoying the end of 2016 with alcohol, you probably don’t want to let things get out of hand! So… Let’s get th
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 31, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Treatment of Acid Reflux (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

If you experience heartburn two times a week or more, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Because there are significant differences in the severity of GERD, you s
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 30, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Acid Reflux (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

I’m at the point in life where I rarely eat after 8 pm. That has defined health benefits, but it’s also protective from today’s Straight, No Chaser topic: gastroesophageal re
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 29, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Treatment of Food Poisoning

The vomiting, diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps and all around bad feelings you may get with food poisoning is extremely unpleasant. We’ve previously discussed preventative meas
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 28, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Understanding Food Poisoning (Foodborne Illness)

We make a decision with everything we place into our mouths. We also exhibit a large amount of trust that the food we eat is safe. Most of the time that’s true, but unfortunately
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 27, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Food Contamination and Protecting Yourself From Foodborne Illness

Those of you who are regular readers of Straight, No Chaser may have heard me say that everything you place in your mouth either harms or helps you. Your mouth is the direct poin
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 26, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: The Intersection of Health and Happiness, aka Merry Christmas!

Straight, No Chaser isn’t a medical encyclopedia. It’s a tool to empower you to make choices that best suit your lifestyle – the intersection between health and
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 25, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Tips on Safe Toys and Gifts

At Straight, No Chaser, we review the literature and give you the goods. While you’re out and about shopping for toys, print out this list to help you select safe toys, then pos
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 24, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: The Holiday Heart Syndrome

There’s something about the holiday season and flickering. We’re all aware that Christmas lights are meant to do so, but did you know that your heart is more inclined to flicke
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 23, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Me on the Business End of a Colonoscopy, aka Getting Screened for Colorectal Cancer

The last two posts have highlighted recommended screening examinations for men and women between ages 40-64. In today’s Straight, No Chaser, I want to pay special attention t
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 22, 2016

The Straight, No Chaser Guide to Health Screenings for Women

Typically, this is the time of the year when you start to inventory all the things for which you’re thankful. In the event health or your family comes to mind, you might be inter
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 21, 2016

The Straight, No Chaser Guide to Health Screenings for Men

Typically, this is the time of the year when you start to inventory all the things for which you’re thankful. In the event health or your family comes to mind, you might be inter
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 20, 2016

Straight, No Chaser Vlog: Cancer, The Big C

The Straight, No Chaser vlog (video blog) series presents “health care basics” to keep you safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. Today’s Straight, No Chaser f
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 19, 2016

Straight, No Chaser Vlog: Diabetes

The Straight, No Chaser vlog (video blog) series presents “health care basics” to keep you safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. Today’s Straight, No Chaser a
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 18, 2016

Straight, No Chaser Vlog: Hypertension: A Ticking Time Bomb

  The Straight, No Chaser vlog (video blog) series presents “health care basics” to keep you safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. Straight, No Chaser has addr
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 17, 2016

Straight, No Chaser Vlog: Stroke – How to Save a Life

The Straight, No Chaser vlog (video blog) series presents “health care basics” to keep you safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. Today’s topic is stroke (cerebr
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 16, 2016

Straight, No Chaser Vlog: Heart Disease

This week, the Straight, No Chaser vlog (video blog) series presents “health care basics” to keep you safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. Heart disease has been th
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 15, 2016

Straight, No Chaser Vlog: Sexually Transmitted Infections (Diseases)

The Straight, No Chaser vlog series presents “health care basics” to keep you safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. If you’ve been a regular or even an infrequent
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 14, 2016

Straight, No Chaser Vlog: Exercise

The Straight, No Chaser vlog series “health care basic” aims to keep you safe, healthy and out of the emergency room. Today we present a few words on the role of exercise towar
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 13, 2016

Straight, No Chaser Vlog: Fiber and Weight Loss

Here’s a sterlingmedicaladvice.com “health care basic.” All week, we’re switching to a vlog format to give you tips to keep you safe, healthy and out of th
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 12, 2016

Straight, No Chaser In The News: The Life Expectancy of Americans Drops for the First Time in 20+ Years

This is not a quirk, coincidence or mistake. Accordingly to the National Center for Health Statistics, for the first time in over two decades, life expectancy for Americans decline
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 9, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Questions About High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

High blood pressure (hypertension) is so prevalent and such a consequence of the way we live that you must already have an understanding of some basic principles if you care at al
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 8, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

High blood pressure is called the silent killer. It’s common for me to see someone who thought they were ‘fine’ drop dead from its effects, never knowing it was about to happ
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 7, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Ruptured Eardrums

The manufacturers of Q-Tips used to run a commercial in which they said “Never place anything in your ear smaller than your elbow.”  I wonder why they stopped the comm
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 6, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Health Promotion – Introducing “Invisible Health”

Good habits are just as addictive as bad habits, but they’re much more positively rewarding. Good health is a journey, not a destination. Stop acting like what you are is wha
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 5, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Hygiene and Illness

There are things you know, there are things you know but don’t really know, and there are still other things that you think you know that you don’t know at all. When it
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 2, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: About That Vomiting and Diarrhea…

You’ve all been there and done that. It’s always a bad day when you get the so-called stomach flu… First of all ‘the flu’ is a respiratory disease (affects the lungs,
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD December 1, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Depression – How to Avoid It, When to Get Help

This is the third post in a series on depression and suicide. In our first post, we focused on the magnitude of  clinical depression and suicide. In the second post, we provided
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 30, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Are You Depressed and/or Suicidal?

In our first post on clinical depression and suicide, we looked at the scope of the disease, and in the next post we will provide tips for you to address depression and an inclina
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 29, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Suicide Data 2016 – Understand the Threat

There are amazing, shocking and saddening facts about suicide.  It is equally amazing that we aren’t discussing this as an epidemic. After a period of nearly consistent decline
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 28, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Here’s How You Complete End-of-Life Planning

Now that you’ve had a chance to wrap your mind around the concept of needing to make end of life decisions, let’s discuss some specific mechanisms by which you can ensure your
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 26, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: End of Life Decision Making

Having this conversation when death is staring you or a loved one in the face is not the most ideal situation. Do you have a living will? Do you know what advance directives are?
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 25, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: 25 Tips That WILL Increase Your Life Expectancy

You may want to keep this post. I haven’t exactly found the Fountain of Youth, but I do know what activities lead to a longer life expectancy. In honor of Thanksgiving, and in th
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 24, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Tips to Deal with Depression and The Holiday Blues

I don’t mean to bring anyone down during what is supposed to be the ‘most wonderful time of the year,’ but in reality there are many people hurting. For some, life’s traged
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 23, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Patient Rights and Responsibilities

Even if you didn’t know it, you have rights as a patient. In 1998, the U.S. Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry adopted a Consumer
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 22, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)

In a previous post, I provided an overview of diabetes. Everyone knows about diabetes, and most understand how dangerous diabetes is over the long-term. However, as an emergency ph
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 21, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: The Frustration of Acute Bronchitis

  Imagine what it looks like when someone gets hit in the jaw. There’s the redness, swelling from excess fluid in the area, warmth and pain. Those are the components of infl
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 20, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: COPD

November is COPD Awareness Month. You already know a lot about COPD without realizing it or even having to think about it. You’ve seen patients walking around with the oxygen ta
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 19, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Lung Health – Know The Signs of Danger

I would suggest you should be in complete awe of your lungs. Did you know you take over 20,000 breaths a day? Your lungs brings air into your body and eliminates waste (carbon di
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 18, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Great American Smokeout – Quick Tips to START Smoking Cessation

The Great American Smokeout is a great time to get serious about smoking cessation. Don’t wait to make it a New Year’s resolution. Do it now. Can’t do it now? Do it M
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 17, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: LASIK Surgery

So you’re 40-ish, and your eyes are starting to act up on you. Or perhaps you’re younger and/or too vain to wear glasses. Or you have a phobia about having anything in your eye
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 16, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Important Things to Know About Your Contact Lenses

You’d likely be surprised to know how often patients are seen in emergency rooms for complications related to use of contact lenses. If you or a loved one are using contact l
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 15, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Questions About Color Blindness

Have you ever found yourself at school, work or elsewhere and discovered that you were wearing different colored socks or pants that you’d thought? If so, you may be experiencing
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 14, 2016

Prevention and Treatment Considerations for Diabetic Eye Conditions

Several of you asked about the treatment of the eye conditions resulting from diabetes. This last Straight, No Chaser addressing Diabetes Awareness Month will focus on treatment
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 12, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: The Actual Problems with the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) – Facts and Fiction

Appreciating that the repeal of Obamacare is inevitable, one may initially question the need to further discuss its problems. However, it is not only illustrative as
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 11, 2016

Straight, No Chaser In The News: Anticipating The Repeal of Obamacare (Affordable Care Act)

Elections have consequences. At this point, we can move beyond mere speculation and look at the certainty that the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare, ACA) will be repealed at some
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 10, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Diabetic Retinopathy and Other Eye Problems

As you likely know, diabetics have a large amount of blood glucose (sugar) circulating in their blood. The high level of glucose can cause damage to many cells, including your eyes
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 9, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Quick Tips for the Diabetic in Your Life

Per your requests, we occasionally feature quick tips for healthy living. Here’s an important example. If you have diabetics in your life, here are three things they should d
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 8, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Diabetes Basics and the Importance of Education

Diabetes is a disease in which education is vital. For a diabetic, knowing the disease well allows him or her to better prevent long-term consequences of the disease. It also allow
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 7, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Fifteen Tips to Care for Diabetic Skin

In the previous Straight, No Chaser, we discussed the frailty of  diabetic skin and discussed how that sets one up for skin infections, abscesses, ulcers, amputations and even
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 6, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: The Skin Problems of Diabetics, Part 1

If you are diabetic or caring for a diabetic, one of the things you’ve likely noticed is that the skin doesn’t always seem to look, feel or perform normally. Perhaps th
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 5, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: The Day You Get Diagnosed With HIV

I’ve had many occasions to tell a patient they were HIV(+). Over the last 20 years of my doing so, that message has changed from a death sentence to the acknowledgement of a chro
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 4, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Your HIV and STD Risks From Sexual Activities Other Than Intercourse

Today, your sexual IQ goes up, and hopefully your risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, goes down. This is the fifth and last post in a series on HIV and
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 3, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Your HIV and STD Risks From Specific Acts of Sexual Intercourse

Let’s be clear that we’re explicitly discussing the types of sexual behaviors that will lead to transmitting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Over
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 2, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: What Are The Symptoms of HIV and AIDS?

This is the third in an ongoing series on HIV and AIDS. For an explanation of what AIDS is, click here. For an explanation of how HIV is contracted, click here. The National Insti
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD November 1, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Treating Halloween Mishaps

In the previous Straight, No Chaser, we offered you tips for a safe Halloween. However, safety tips are only as good as your inclination to use them. Even when an ounce of preven
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 31, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Halloween Health Tips

Are you taking the young ones trick-or-treating this year? Straight, No Chaserand the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) want you to have a safe halloween. Today an
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 30, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: How Do You Contract HIV/AIDS?

This isn’t 1983. The mystery of how HIV infection is contracted has come and gone. Yet HIV and AIDS awareness are still critical. You need to be knowledgable to be empowered.
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 28, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: What Exactly Is AIDS?

This is the second blog in an ongoing series on HIV and AIDS. After all these years, it’s still an interesting and important enough question to ask and to know how to answer. Mo
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 27, 2016

Straight No Chaser: HIV Awareness Month – Can HIV Be Eliminated From the Body?

It’s HIV Awareness Month. Have you noticed there’s a lot less chatter about HIV lately? Don’t be lulled into a sense of false security; no, it hasn’t been e
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 26, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Breast Cancer in Men

I won’t overstate the case, but you should be aware that breast cancer occurs in men. That said it occurs at a much lower rate than it does in women. I know what you may be think
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 25, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Breast Cancer Treatment Options

The next to last post in this series on breast cancer is on management. Of course, there is no universal treatment of ‘breast cancer’; everything is based on the specif
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 24, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Signs, Symptoms and Prognosis of Breast Cancer

So, after all we’ve discussed this week, this is what it comes down to: the one in eight lifetime risk has landed at your doorstep. What happens next is very important. The a
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 23, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: How to Perform the Breast Self-Exam

Beginning in their 20s, women should be aware of the benefits and limitations of breast self-exam (BSE). Women should know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any n
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 22, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: This is How You Self-Assess For Breast Cancer, Part 1

When I started this series, my first thought was “Why reinvent the wheel? There is a massive amount of information available on the web about breast cancer, and surely itR
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 21, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: The Reach of Breast Cancer and Your Risk Factors

Even as a physician, I am left to think about the horror of being a woman with a lifetime risk of acquiring breast cancer that’s 1 in 8. The only thing I can think of off-han
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 20, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Even More Myths Regarding Breast Cancer

Continuing from the earlier post with additional myths, well because you have so many questions!  In fact, I’m doubling up on what you received earlier in Part I of Breast Canc
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 19, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Five Myths Surrounding Breast Cancer

Before I get into the details of what you need to know about breast cancer, it’s important to clear the table of some of the persistent myths and fears that exist. The diseas
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 18, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer disturbs me deeply, and if it doesn’t affect you as well, you haven’t been paying attention. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their life
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 17, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Artificial Sweeteners

It’s always struck me as somewhat odd when people approach me with concerns about sugar substitutes. What I mean by that is my first response is something akin to “Whatever you
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 14, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: What To Do If Your Tooth Comes Out

There’s nothing pleasant about having a tooth fall out of your mouth (aka avulsed tooth, dislocated tooth). Whether from trauma (e.g. a punch or other facial injury, a fall) or d
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 13, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Sensitive Teeth

What goes through your mind when your teeth hurt (other than whether or not all of that Valentine’s Day candy is worth it)? Is it fleeting or constant? Are you easily agitate
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 12, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: How’s Your Dental Hygiene?

If you ignore your teeth, they’ll go away. Working in an emergency department is interesting for many different reasons. One thing in particular I’ve noticed over the years is
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 11, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Battered Woman Syndrome and Why Victims Stay In Abusive Relationships

Domestic violence has been in the news quite a bit lately, and among the many questions asked, perhaps the most frequent is beguiling to many: “Why do the victims stay in the abu
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 9, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Domestic Violence – How to Get Out of an Abusive Situation

Remember: You are not to blame, and you need not face domestic violence alone. With the recent attention in the news on domestic violence and debates about responses and responsibi
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 8, 2016

Straight No Chaser: Identifying Risks of Domestic Violence

Today we point to knowledge as the key to preventing potential life-threatening episodes in the household. This is the second in a three-part series on domestic violence. The prev
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 7, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Focus on Domestic Violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, although it doesn’t take a break during other months. Are you concerned about domestic violence? You are not alone. Domestic vio
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 6, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Infection Prevention

There are things you know, there are things you know but don’t really know, and there are still other things that you think you know that you don’t know at all. When it
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 5, 2016

Tips to Avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID)

Whether you’re expecting, a parent or even a grandparent, most have heard of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). What you’re really concerned about is Sudden Unexpected Infant
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 4, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Keys to Mental (Un)Health and (Un)Happiness

Straight, No Chaser is mindful that there are multitudes of us excessively happy and unhappy. Everyone has thoughts about the keys to happiness, but we can objectify the conversati
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 3, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Fall Prevention

We’ve missed the first day of Fall by a few days, but for all of you DIYers (do it yourself) ready for a weekend project to help a loved one, here you go. The beginning of Fa
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD October 1, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Hot Tub and Barbershop Folliculitis

Follulicitis. You know it well as hot tub rash, barber bumps, ingrown hairs and many other names. The first thing you need to know is the ‘itis’ means inflammation, and the fol
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 30, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Abscesses (Boils)

Whether you call them boils, pus pockets or abscesses, they hurt. Abscesses are infections that localize and collect pus beneath the skin. Although previous Straight, No Chaser p
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 29, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: MRSA, the Big, Bad Staph Infection

One of the things that’s changed a lot from when I first started practicing medicine is people show up every day to the emergency room for mosquito and spider bites.  The lo
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 28, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Malnutrition

  Do you know someone so poor that eating is a constant concern? Do you have a child who is a finicky eater? Have you ever been concerned that your child might become malnourished
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 27, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Treating Your Gas and Gas Pains

So… you have problems with gas. What are you to do? Well, given that gas production is a natural occurrence, it’s not like you’re going to eliminate having gas (no pun intend
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 26, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Eructation (Belching) and Flatus (The Other One)

It seems like Straight, No Chaser is unafraid to address any topic! This, here’s one of those conversations that everyone wants to have but rarely does. Gas is a natural phenomen
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 23, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Quick Tips for The Newborn Addition to Your Family

You’re excited. You have a newborn, or maybe you’re a new grandparent caring for the baby for the first time. I get more ‘deer in the headlight’ looks from these folks than
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 22, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Prostate Cancer Screening

Every so often, controversies regarding medical treatment recommendations get in the news and seemingly only serve to confuse the public. Every blog, article or research paper is a
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 21, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Prostate Cancer

Men (and those who care for men – meaning everyone) should be knowledgeable about prostate cancer. I don’t mean physician-level knowledgeable, but there are just a few fac
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 20, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Prostate Awareness

This is Prostate Cancer Awareness month, and as such, this Straight, No Chaser explores the prostate (no pun intended). Prostate cancer and screening will be addressed in an addi
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 19, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: Ovarian Cancer

  You are likely aware that the ovaries produce a women’s eggs as well as being the main source of the female’s sex hormones. Ovarian cancer is not the most common gynecologic
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 16, 2016

Straight, No Chaser: When Your Headache is Life-Threatening

All headaches are not created equal. Earlier we discussed migraines, but there’s a lot more to headaches than those. In fact, when you come to an emergency room with a history o
By Jeffrey Sterling, MD September 15, 2016