Archive for August, 2012

10 Actions Steps To Prevent Impotence

August 28, 2012


1. Recognize the Normal Signs of Aging. Remember, it may take longer to obtain an erection at age 60 than at age 20. More genital stimulation and foreplay are required as a man ages.
2. Beware of Medications that can Cause Impotence. There are literally hundreds of medications associated with the side effects of impotence. These common medications include tranquilizers, medication for high blood pressure and ulcers.
3. Avoid Tobacco. Tobacco it is a performance-zapper because its effect on blood vessels can decrease blood flow to the penis.
4. Drink Alcohol in Moderation.1-2 drinks per day may relax you and even protect your heart. More than 2 drinks per day may impact your sexual performance.
5. Timing can be Everything. Sexual performance is influenced by body rhythms. Hormonal levels can vary at different times of the day. It is important to find that time of day or evening that is best both mentally and physically for you and your partner.
6. Accept Occasional Failure. One episode of impotence-even if it last for weeks- does not mean that a man is permanently impotent. Stress and fatigue, and anticipation of failure, can paralyze your sex life. Accept occasional impotence as something that happens to every man at different times in his life.
7. See your Physician at least Once a Year. If you are more than 50 years of age, the cause of your erectile dysfunction is usually physical and not due to psychological or emotional reasons. You need to be sure there are not more serious, life-threatening conditions lurking behind the sexual problem.
8. Balanced Nutrition is important for Sexual Function. The American Heart Association states that a low-fat, a low-cholesterol diet prevents heart disease and arteriosclerosis which also affects a man’s erection.
9. Excess Stress. Excessive, long-term stress is “counter erotic” and affects both a man and his partner’s capability to have a happy sexual relationship.
10.Get Help. Persistent, chronic impotence needs medical attention before it interferes with relationships. Not treating erectile dysfunction may result in more severe illnesses including heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Bottom line: If you or your loved one is suffering from erectile dysfunction see your physician because help is available and no one needs to “suffer the tragedy of the bedroom.” If you want to keep it up, get a checkup!

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Take Two (Aspirin) and You May Not Need To Call Me In the Morning-Aspirin May Decrease Death From Prostate Cancer

August 28, 2012


A recent article from the New York Times reports that men treated for prostate cancer who took aspirin regularly for other medical conditions were less likely to die of their cancer than patients who weren’t taking aspirin. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer occurring among men and the No. 2 cancer killer of men.

The new report adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that aspirin may play a beneficial role in the treatment and possibly the prevention of a variety of cancers including prostate and colon cancer.
In the new study looked at nearly 6,000 men who had localized prostate cancer and were treated with surgery or radiotherapy. Just over one-third of the men, or 2,175 of the 5,955, were taking aspirin.
Those taking aspirin were less than half as likely as those who were not to die of prostate cancer over a 10-year period. The prostate cancer death rate for those taking aspirin was 3 percent, the researchers found, compared with 8 percent for those who did not. The aspirin users were also significantly less likely to experience a recurrence of prostate cancer or have the disease spread to the bones, the study found.

The study is not the first to find a reduction in recurrence among prostate cancer patients who took aspirin. Researchers at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia reported this year that among 2,051 prostate cancer patients, those not using aspirin were twice as likely to experience a recurrence within 18 months, as detected by rising scores on the prostate-specific antigen test, a strong predictor of metastasis and survival.

While many Americans, inclduing myself, use baby aspirin to reduce their risk of heart disease, taking aspirin regularly is risky. Patients generally are advised to do so only when their cardiac risk is presumed to outweigh the risks, which include an increase in gastrointestinal bleeding and hemorrhagic stroke.
Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, said he believes that aspirin’s anti-inflammatory properties may play a role in the prevention of both heart disease and cancer.

Bottom Line: Aspirin may be helpful for preventing heart diease and preventing recurrence of prostate cancer. It’s inexpensive, readily available, and has very risks and complications. Check with your doctor before embarking on aspirin therapy. Remember, an aspirin a day may keep the prostate cancer away

Water, Water Everywhere-How To Figure What To Drink?

August 27, 2012

Example of Flavored Water


You go to the grocery store and instead of turning on the tap, you want to buy flavored water. There are several dozen choices including VitaminWater, Fruit20, Fruitopia, and Ozarka just to name a few. Many drinks labeled as water are loaded with sugar and empty calories. Even though these drinks have ‘water’ in their name, drinking them regularly may increase your calories and lead to obesity. What does one do with so many choices?

Here’s what to look for — and what to avoid.
1. Check the calories
Real water has zero calories. Always check the packaging label to see if a so-called water beverage has calories.
2. Watch out for sugar
Some so-called water drinks include sugar, fruit juice or other sweeteners. So, be sure to check the total carbohydrates and sugars on the nutrition label.
Your drink is only real water if the total carbohydrates and sugars are listed as 0.0 grams.
Over time, drinks with a lot of sugar and/or caffeine can lead to dehydration as large amounts of sugar and caffeine act like diuretics.
3. Don’t be fooled by added vitamins, minerals or fiber
It’s okay to occasionally drink a beverage with added vitamins, minerals or fiber. But beware: beverage companies often market these nutrients to trick you into thinking you’re getting something healthy — and to make you overlook the unhealthy parts of the drink, such as sugar.
Keep in mind that you should get your nutrients from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein whenever possible — not from drinks.
4. Electrolytes aren’t usually necessary
Many drinks promise electrolytes and improved athletic performance. But in most cases, your body doesn’t need to replenish electrolytes unless you’re doing aerobic or outdoor activity for longer than 60 minutes. Regular water should provide the hydration you need.
My advice
Whenever possible, opt for filtered tap water. Not only will you save money; you’ll also reduce your exposure to toxins like Bisphenol-A (BPA), which may get into water that’s sold or stored in plastic bottles. Play it safe by keeping your filtered tap water in a glass container.
Try to drink at least 64 ounces — or 8 glasses — of real water each day. Your body needs this much water to stay hydrated and work efficiently. And, it helps you feel full longer so that you eat less and maintain a healthy weight. Research suggests that replacing sugary drinks with water may help you shed a few pounds.
Don’t like water? Cut up berries or an orange, lime or lemon and put them into your water for extra flavor. Added bonus: you’ll get some disease-fighting vitamins and antioxidants.
Bottom Line: Water is the elixir of life. Drink lots of it, especially filtered tap water and avoid the marketing hype of flavored waters. Drink up.

This blog was modified from an article by Mary Ellen Herndon, a dietitian at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The article appeared in Dr. Kevin Pho’s blog, http://www.kevinmd.com

Erectile Dysfunction – Getting It Up With Natural Remedies

August 26, 2012

Mankind has looked for the magic elixir that will help a man obtain and maintain an erection adequate for sexual intimacy. Although there is little scientific evidence that these natural remedies work, there are some that may have a potential to help men with mild sexual problems. This article will review the natural remedies that may be beneficial.
An estimated 30 million American men have erectile dysfunction, and seven out of 10 cases are caused by a potentially deadly condition like atherosclerosis, kidney disease, vascular disease, neurological disease, or diabetes. ED can also be caused by certain medications, surgical procedures on the prostate gland and colon, and psychological problems. Here’s a look at the evidence for and against six of the most popular natural remedies or herbal remedies:

Acupuncture. Though acupuncture has been used to treat male sexual problems for centuries, the scientific evidence to support its use for erectile dysfunction is uncertain. In 2009 South Korean scientists conducted a systematic review of studies on acupuncture for ED. They found that “the evidence is insufficient to suggest that acupuncture is an effective intervention for treating ED.”

Arginine. The amino acid L-arginine, which occurs naturally in food, boosts the body’s production of nitric oxide, a compound that facilitates erections by dilating blood vessels in the penis. Studies examining L-arginine’s effectiveness against impotence have yielded mixed results. A 1999 trial published in the online journal BJU International found that high doses of L-arginine can help improve sexual function, but only in men with abnormal nitric oxide metabolism, such as that associated with cardiovascular disease. In another study, published in 2003 in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, Bulgarian scientists reported that ED sufferers who took L-arginine along with the pine extract pycnogenol saw major improvements in sexual function with no side effects.
One caveat: men with known cardiovascular problems should take it only with a doctor’s supervision; L-arginine can interact with some medications that can affect the heart.

DHEA. Testosterone is essential for a healthy libido and normal sexual function, and erectile dysfunction sufferers known to have low testosterone improve when placed on prescription testosterone replacement therapy. Similarly, studies have shown that taking over-the-counter supplements containing DHEA, a hormone that the body converts to testosterone and estrogen, can help alleviate some cases of ED. But DHEA can cause problems, including suppression of pituitary function, and its long-term safety is unknown.

Ginseng. Korean red ginseng has long been used to stimulate male sexual function, but few studies have tried systematically to confirm its benefits. In one 2002 study involving 45 men with significant ED, the herb helped alleviate symptoms of erectile dysfunction and brought “enhanced penile tip rigidity.” Experts aren’t sure how ginseng might work, though it’s thought to promote nitric oxide synthesis. Again, I suggest that men discuss with their doctor before taking it since ginseng can interact with drugs you may already be taking and cause allergic reactions.

Pomegranate juice. Drinking antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including a reduced risk for heart disease and high blood pressure. Does pomegranate juice also protect against ED? No proof exists, but results of a study published in 2007 were promising. The authors of this small-scale pilot study called for additional research, saying that larger-scale studies might prove pomegranate juice’s effectiveness against erectile dysfunction. Pomegranate juice may help ED but it has other health benefits.

Yohimbe. Before Viagra and the other prescription erectile dysfunction drugs became available, doctors sometimes prescribed a derivative of the herb yohimbe (yohimbine hydrochloride) to their patients suffering from ED. But experts say the medication is not particularly effective, and it can cause jitteriness and other problems. Evidence shows that yohimbe is associated with high blood pressure, anxiety, headache, and other health problems. Experts discourage its use.

Horny Goat Weed. Horny goat weed and related herbs have purportedly been treatments for sexual dysfunction for years. Italian researchers found that the main compound in horny goat weed, called icariin, acted in a similar way as drugs like Viagra.

Ginkgo biloba. Known primarily as a treatment for cognitive decline, ginkgo has also been used to treat erectile dysfunction — especially cases caused by the use of certain antidepressant medications. But the evidence isn’t very convincing. One 1998 study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy found that it did work. But a more rigorous study, published in Human Pharmacology in 2002, failed to replicate this finding.

Bottom Line: No matter what erectile dysfunction treatment or treatments a man ultimately decides upon, it’s important to eat healthy, to avoid smoking and to limit your alcohol consumption. A loving, receptive, and responsive partner is also a necessary ingredient. After all, it takes two to tango!

Advice on Daily Living From Lululemon Athletica

August 24, 2012

Cover of Lululemon carrying bag

I seldom go shopping but I did visit Lululemon Athletica with my wife and I was very impressed with the carrying bag that was given to each shopper. I would like to share the wisdom on Lululemon with my friends, family, and followers.

That which matters the least should never give way to that which matters the most.

Drink FRESH water and as much water as you can. Water flushes unwanted toxins from your body and keeps your brain sharp.

Practice yoga so you can remain active in physical sports as you age.

Listen, listen, listen, and then ask strategic questions.

Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.

Life is full of setbacks.

Write down your short and long-term GOALS four times a year. Two personal, two business and two health goals for the next 2, 5 and 10 years. Goal setting triggers your subconscious computer.

Visualize your eventual demise. It can have an amazing effect on how you live for the moment.

Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to.

Breathe deeply and appreciate the moment. Living in the moment could be the meaning of life

Do one thing a day that scares you.

Take various vitamins. You never know what small mineral can eliminate the bottleneck to everlasting health.

Dance, sing, floss and travel.

Do not use cleaning chemicals on your kitchen counters or floors. Someone will inevitably make a sandwich on your counter or a baby will crawl on the floor.

Creativity is maximized when you’re living in the moment.

Children are the orgasm of life. Just like you did not know what an orgasm was before you had one, nature does not let you know how great children are until you have them.

Friends are more important than money.

Don’t trust that an old age pension will be sufficient.

Live near the ocean and inhale the pure salt air that flows over the water, Vancouver will do nicely.

Stress is related to 99% of all illness.

A daily hit of athletic-induced endorphins gives you the power to make better decisions, helps you be at peace with yourself, and offsets stress.

Wake up and realize you are surrounded by amazing friends.

Observe a plant before and after watering and relate these benefits to your body and brain.

Coke, Pepsi and all other pops will be known as the cigarettes of the future. Colas are NOT a substitute for water. They are just another cheap drug made to look great by advertising.

SWEAT once a day to regenerate your skin.

Choose a positive thought. The conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time

Communication is COMPLICATED. We are all raised in a different family with slightly different definitions of every word. An agreement is an agreement only if each party knows the conditions for satisfaction and a time is set for satisfaction to occur.

Nature wants us to be mediocre because we have a greater chance to survive and reproduce.

Mediocre is as close to the bottom as it is to the top, and will give you a lousy life.

Move your body and your heart will follow.

DO IT NOW, DO IT NOW, DO IT NOW! The world is changing at such a rapid rate that waiting to implement changes will leave you two steps behind.

lululemon athletica was formed to provide people with components to live longer, healthier and more fun lives. If we can produce products to keep people active and stress-free, we believe the world will become a much better place.

Sex Life In the Tank? Suggestions For Getting Back on Track

August 18, 2012

Sex Life In the Tank? Six Suggestions For Getting Back on Track

The movie, Hope Springs, with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, which describes a couple that, have fallen out of love and had their sex life in the tank. With the help of a therapist, staring Steve Carrell, they were able to rekindle the sexual fire that they once had. What can you do if the same thing is happening to you?

Try Something New-It Is The Spice of Line
There’s biological evidence that novel experiences, both sexual and non-sexual, cause the release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical messenger that’s connected to the pleasure center in your brain. Remember how exciting your romance was when you first met and first had sexual intimacy? That’s because the romance was novel and everything is novel and your brain responds accordingly.

Be creative. Try a different place, a different time, a different position, a new sex toy. Sex every Saturday night in bed with papa on top for 4 minutes is not going to cut it. Try having a morning quickie. Attempt sex in the shower, or on the kitchen island. Do it on the floor or in the changing room at Victoria’s Secret. It isn’t a secret that you won’t be the first couple that tried that venue! Try it at 25,000 feet on your next flight.

Got a headache or are too tired? Take a Romantic Break
All couples are tired at the end of a long day with many demands. By the time you get everyone to bed and deal with unavoidable chores, you just don’t have the energy for a romantic evening.
Instead of waiting until just before you put out the lights, take a break from the computer the newspaper or a TV show (unless it is Modern Family) for a romantic encounter before going night-night.

Take Your Sex Life Off of the Back Burner
Make a date with your partner. Set aside one day a week to have time together. Hire a baby sitter and leave the home for something special. I don’t suggest that you go for the humdrum such as dinner and a movie thing, which seems like it’s supposed to be a lead-in to sex. Instead tray a shared experience such as biking, bowling, or something silly. Return from your night out with new sexual vigor and you can be sure you will be singing, “Come on baby light my fire!” Now don’t make date-night a once upon a time event. Make it a priority and stick to it like you stick to the other obligations on your schedule. Let it become a habit, and you’ll feel reconnected, and the desire will just grow from there.

If It Hurts, Get Help-NOW
Sometimes it’s not that you’re not feeling in the mood, it’s that your body isn’t cooperating because sex is actually painful. This can be a big issue for women approaching menopause, and you might be too embarrassed to tell your partner. It is entirely normal for women to have vaginal dryness after menopause. When the vaginal lining becomes thin and dry this can result in painful intercourse. This pain is due to an estrogen deficiency and can be corrected with oral or topical estrogen creams or vaginal tablets.

For women who have had breast cancer and should not use any estrogen supplements, there are lubricating jellies like K-Y jelly Vaseline, or Replens that do not contain any estrogens but do decrease the friction and pain associated with sexual intimacy.
Some men have a condition called Peyroine’s disease, which results in a significant bend of the penis resulting in pain for both the man and the women. There are treatments for this condition and men should see their urologist. (For more information on Peyroine’s disease see my YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkZZPBdWztY)

Your Libido or Sex Drive Has Mysteriously Disappeared
A dwindling libido may not just be a sign of aging. It may be the sign of another health problem or behavioral issue. For example: Depression, anxiety, and hormonal imbalances can all contribute to sexual dysfunction. In men, the inability to get an erection can be an early warning sign of diabetes or heart disease, or testosterone deficiency. Some medications, including antidepressants and blood pressure drugs, can lower your sex drive. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can put a damper on sexual response. Even too much time on the bike can lead to problems in bed. Both men and women who are always on their spin bike or the small seat on a road bike can have problems with orgasm and arousal, because of the pressure put on the nerves and blood vessels that supply the penis or the vagina. Sleep apnea can also be a culprit and can lead to lack of oxygenation of the genital tissues. See blog (https://neilbaum.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/not-enough-sleep-can-lead-to-not-enough-sex/) for more information on sleep apnea and its treatment.

Bottom Line: Sex at age 20 is easy and fun and occurs without any effort. Sex in mid life can take some work, effort, and time. Invest in your relationship; you will be happier, healthier, and will have more love and affection from your partner. If that isn’t reason enough to get your sex life back on track, tell your partner that Dr. Baum prescribed it!

If you have any ideas for putting the fire and passion back into your relationships, let me hear from you. I’m always looking for new ideas. Don’t hold back. No idea is too wild or far out.

This blog was modified from a recent post on WebMD by Gina Shaw (https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?hl=en&shva=1#inbox/13939af485fb6048)

Not Enough Sleep Can Lead To Not Enough Sex

August 17, 2012
Sleep Apnea

Appearance Of A Man With Sleep Apnea

Sleep sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing, during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from a few seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. A new study found that erectile dysfunction (ED) is common in patients with sleep apnea.

The study consisted of 92 men with newly diagnosed sleep apnea. 43% of men had ED before treatment with continued positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. There was significant improvement in the men’s ability to engage in sexual intimacy after treatment with the CPAP: a 54% improvement in men with mild ED, 30% improvement in men with moderate ED, and 25% improvement in men with severe ED.

There is a possibility that treatment with the CPAP increases oxygen in the blood stream at night and that better, more complete sleep improves energy and even sex drive or libido.

Bottom Line: If you are suffering from ED and if your partner notices that you are snoring or stop breathing for a few seconds or minutes at night, you may have sleep apnea. This diagnosis can be confirmed in a sleep lab and treatment with a CPAP device is much better than Viagra for sleep apnea. See your doctor and happy dreams!

Cranberry Juice for Bladder Infections: not just folklore

August 17, 2012

Image

Cranberry-containing products may be more than just a folk remedy for urinary tract infections (UTIs). A recent article from Archives of Internal Medicine concludes that cranberry-containing products offer women protection against UTIs, particularly those prone to recurrent infections.

Researchers studies over 1,600 men, women, and children of different populations including the elderly; the hospitalized; those with neuropathic bladder, spinal cord injuries, or multiple sclerosis; and pregnant women. Most of the trials (10) were conducted in North America; the remainder were conducted in Finland, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

Cranberry-containing products used in the studies took on different forms and dosages.  Cranberry juice contains P a substance that has the ability to inhibit Escherichia coli from adhering to the lining of the bladder and the urethra, the tube that transports urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. The studies looked at cranberry juice as well as capsules or tablets.

The authors of the review concluded that cranberry-containing products are most protective against UTIs in women with recurrent infections. They also may offer protection to women in general, including those who are pregnant, and to children and other populations, but heterogeneity across the trials made interpretation difficult.

Interestingly, the studies showed that the cranberry juice was more effective than capsules or tablets, but the investigators noted that could be because women who drink cranberry juice are better hydrated. They also found that dosing at least twice daily seems necessary to achieve benefit.

Bottom Line: If you have recurrent urinary tract infections, daily cranberry juice may just be the tonic you need to decrease these infections. 

Prescription For Passion-Testosterone Use In Women

August 12, 2012

Roberta is a middle aged lady who has noted that her sex drive and interest in sex has been reduced to near zero. After watching the movie Hope Springs starring Meryl Streep, Roberta made the decision to go to her doctor and share her situation. She had a blood test that checked her testosterone level and found that she was running on empty. She received a small testosterone pellet under her skin and reports that her “sex light” has been flipped to the on position.
Testosterone is the most celebrated, feared and misunderstood of all human hormones. Our culture lauds this substance’s leading role in male virility and casts it as the villain in acts of violent crime. In truth, testosterone is neither miracle nor monster, but rather, a key player in the complex chemistry of human hormones. When balanced by other hormones, testosterone, also known as androgen, plays a lead role in the health and well-being of both sexes.

Testosterone is known for decades as a male hormone. Testosterone is also made in small amounts by a woman’s ovaries. Just like in a man, a woman’s testosterone is highest around age 20 and slowly declines till it is half as high in her 40s. Women taking testosterone may have more sexual thoughts, fantasies, sexual activity, and satisfaction from sexual intimacy.

At the present time testosterone is not an FDA approved treatment used to raise a woman’s sexual interest, arousal, and satisfaction. Testosterone is available by using a skin patch, gel, cream, or a pellet inserted under the skin as I described for Roberta. Many supplements and herbal medicines, such as DHEA, may interact with testosterone. Be sure to tell your doctor about any nonprescription medicines, supplements, or herbs you are taking before receiving testosterone replacement therapy.
Women with low testosterone levels who might benefit from low-dose testosterone therapy include those who:
▪ Have had their ovaries removed. This causes a sudden drop in testosterone, which may decrease sex drive and satisfaction.
▪ Have a low sex drive that does not seem to be caused by a medicine, nor by relationship or stress-related problems.

Testosterone should be avoided in women who could become pregnant, have or have had breast or uterine cancer, have high cholesterol or heart disease or have liver disease.

Like nearly every medication, testosterone use in women has side effects especially if excessive testosterone is used. You are taking a dose that is too high if you have acne or oily skin, male-pattern hair growth on the face and body, anger and hostility problems, shrinking breast size, hoarseness or a deeper voice, irregular menstrual cycles, if you have been menstruating, or an increase in the size of your clitoris.
Bottom Line: Testosterone is also a necessary hormone for women just as it is for men but at a much lower dosage. Testosterone replacement can be a boon for women with a low sex desire, decrease in fantasies, and decrease enjoyment from sexual intimacy. See you doctor, get your testosterone level checked and if it is decreased, talk to your doctor about receiving testosterone replacement.
For those who want even more information I suggest Dr. Susan Rako’s book, “The Hormone of Desire: The Truth About Sexuality, Menopause and Testosterone.”

Lab Tests-How How Do You Want To Be Told Your Results?

August 7, 2012

This blog is a modification of an article by my colleague, Dr. Kevin Pho, which appeared in the August 6 in USA Today.
A patient once blamed Dr. Pho for causing him considerable anxiety because he had to wait several weeks before receiving the results of a lab test, which he had ordered.
Many patients commonly have to wait days, if not weeks, before getting lab results from their doctor. The delay can affect patients’ health negatively.

For instance, one study looked at women who underwent a breast biopsy for possible cancer. It took one to six days for these patients to obtain their results. Those who had to wait longer than six days had abnormal biochemical stress levels, which can potentially affect their healing times from the biopsy.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services wants to change the lab results system. HHS proposals would allow patients to immediately review their lab results via a website, almost at the same time as their physicians. Whether this is a good idea or bad will depend on what happens after the patients view their results.

What are the advantages of patients having immediate access to their test results? Most important of all the immediate access will reduce anxiety of waiting for the results. No longer will patients have to endure the antiquated retort from a doctor, “If you don’t hear from me, then everything is normal.” This wasn’t very acceptable years ago and is less acceptable today when patients have access to the same medical information that physicians have.

And the disadvantages?
Lab, pathology and x-ray reports without a medical professional explanation can be confusing and also be a source of anxiety. Raw numbers without the benefit of context can also make a patient upset and be a source of confusion. Some abnormal results are due to chance or lab errors. Other results can be a normal variation for that individual patient. Many lab results are misleading and not indicative of any disease. Patients often assume the worst, so viewing results alone might cause unnecessary alarm.

An unintended consequence of this approach could be that anxious patients flood doctors’ offices with telephone calls. Or they might go to the Internet for an explanation, which isn’t geared to a patient’s individual condition. A website could also provide the wrong information, which is sometimes based on opinion or a testimonial from another patient with a similar report but that doesn’t apply to the patient who is surfing the web.

I agree with Dr. Pho and that before performing any test, doctors should manage patient expectations. Doctors should tell patients what the tests results could indicate and how the results might affect their treatment. The conversation should end with a clear plan of how and when the patient will be informed of the test result.

So what would you like regarding receiving your lab results? I would like to hear from you and will try to adopt an approach that fits the needs and wants of my patients.