George A. Sprecace M.D., J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New London, P.C.
www.asthma-drsprecace.com


RELATED MEDICAL PROBLEMS

In a medical practice such as mine, dealing with significant allergic problems - especially bronchial asthma - and dealing also with other chronic respiratory problems like chronic bronchitis over many years, patients often present with or develop over time other medical problems.  These may be unrelated to the presenting illness;  or they may be in some way related.  In either case, the comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of the patient requires that we deal with all of these issues initially and on an on-going basis - patient and physician in a cooperative relationship.  It also requires coordination of all treatment with the patientís primary care physician.

The following are a number of  non-allergic diseases seen frequently in our patients.

1)  Essential Hypertension  (High Blood Pressure)

This disease, generally silent for many years  but associated with many serious  consequences, is easily diagnosed, and is even predictable in the 30% of Americans with a family history of it. It is easily treated, and responds well to a variety of excellent medications with relatively few side effects.  In fact, the only  problem  is that many patients (and still a few physicians) ignore it, try to wish it away, offer all kinds of excuses for their elevated blood pressures, and are turned off to treatment by old stories of  troublesome side-effects like erectile disfunction and depression.

If a person has been noted to have several blood pressure readings over several weeks of  140/90  or above,  having a plausible excuse (tension, work pressures, etc.) makes no difference. And the blood pressures should be taken under normal conditions  - not  in a cool, quiet room  with pleasant music playing , after resting for a while.  Such a finding requires the person to get a home blood pressure device (no bells or whistles needed) and to self-monitor blood pressures two or three times daily for two weeks - under conditions of ordinary life. The numbers should be recorded and presented to the physician  for diagnosis and treatment.  Meanwhile, the patient must avoid cold medications and other medicines containing pseudoephedrin-like agents that can affect the blood pressure.  Remember:  this is a serious disease that is easily diagnosed and easily treated.

G.E.R.D. (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease)

This condition, wherein stomach acids get into the lower food pipe where they are poorly tolerated, may be caused by overweight, by years of  chronic lung disease, by hyperacidity, by Helicobacter pylori  infection, or for no known reason.  The symptoms include heartburn, reflux of acid causing lower chest pain that can mimic heart pain (angina pectoris),  and even regurgitation of acid and food  up into the airways - with sudden severe coughing, wheezing, etc., usually at night when lying in bed.  As is often the case, the disease must be thought of to be diagnosed.  Thatís where the patient comes in, even if the physician does not ask the pertinent questions.  If not treated, it can worsen lung and bronchial disease, and can cause serious disease of  stomach and esophagus - even cancer. Once again, treatment is now easy and effective.

COMING SOON ARE OTHER RELATED MEDICAL PROBLEMS, INCLUDING

OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA / HYPOXIA
OSTEOPOROSIS
SMOKING CESSATION
RECURRENT RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTIONS
LARYNGEAL AND LUNG CANCER
DIABETES MELLITIS

GS


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