Is there a lack of communication between doctor and patient?

Are we lost for words when we are in the presence of our doctor? It is certainly something that can take place, even in people who are not overly impressionable.

Matthew J. Press, public health specialist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, has given a name to this situation, “the silence of the white coat,” based on the more widely known “white coat syndrome,” a phenomenon that affects 30% of patients. This occurs when a patient’s nerves shoot up at the time of having their blood pressure measured, which in turn causes the hypertension (high blood pressure) results to rocket, therefore not reflecting accurate findings.

Let us go over the factors that may make us feel awkward in the communication process with our doctor: -  Anxiety: visiting the doctor becomes a really traumatic process for some people.  -  Fear: each time we visit our doctor, we face a possible negative diagnosis. - Intimidation: depending on the position of power of the doctor, their communication skills and degree of empathy with their patients. - Vulnerability: when we feel sick, not only our physical but also our psychological defenses are weakened, and this may become an obstacle when relating to other people. Do we understand everything our doctor tells us? “No” is the Read more

Cardiovascular risk of anti-inflammatories

In the last number of months the debate has intensified about the cardiovascular risks of anti-inflammatories such as aspirin, ibuprofen or paracetamol, which are among the best known of these drugs (NSAIDs: traditional nonspecific non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs and COX-2: selective inhibitors of cyclo-oxygenase-2).

Some recent publications have shed some light on this issue by way of different studies that have carried out research on the cardiovascular risks, and other types of risks in the administration of both types of anti-inflammatories.

Several studies that allow conclusions to be drawn The Finnish group, Helin-Salmivaara et al., kept track of more than 33,000 patients diagnosed with first myocardial infarction to test their association with the administration of these two types of anti-inflammatories. The results show that, although there was a moderate increase in the risk of first myocardial infarction with the use of either of these compounds, the risk was similar in both types of anti-inflammatories. Another recent study by Anderssohn et al., assessed the risk of ischaemic stroke in those of type COX-2 and concluded that this risk depends only on the individual properties Read more

Botox and its medical use

Almost everyone has heard of botox at some time in their lives, especially in its aesthetic application. But the fact is that most people are unaware of where it comes from, how it works or its interesting applications in medical treatments that go far beyond improving our appearance.

Botulinum toxin, also known as “botulinum” and commonly referred to as botox, is a neurotoxin produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which is on its own merits one of the most powerful poisons that exist.

How does botulinum toxin work? Botulinum blocks the release of a neurotransmitter (acetylcholine), causing a temporary paralysis of the muscles. It has a paralysing effect on our body that can lead to death by suffocation or severe neurological diseases as a result of anoxia (an almost total lack of oxygen in body tissues or in the blood, which is produced in this case by blocking the patient’s respiratory function). However, despite how scary the botulinum toxin can be, its numerous medical applications have, for many patients, led to a breakthrough in the treatment of certain diseases. Medical applications of botulinum  The botulinum neurotoxin Read more