Peripheral vascular disease is a condition in which the blood vessels in the lowerPERIPHERAL VASCULAR DISEASE extremities (feet, legs, or thighs) are narrowed, restricting blood flow. Peripheral vascular disease is primarily caused by atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque in blood vessels. Individuals with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or advanced age, or those who smoke or are inactive, are at risk for developing peripheral vascular disease. Approximately eight to 12 million people in the United States have peripheral vascular disease. Individuals with mild Continue reading


It seems as though this terrible disease is hitting more and more pancreatic cancerpeople. In fact, I have had two friends die recently due to pancreatic cancer. So, what is it? How many are affected? Are there risk factors? What are the symptoms? What is the prognosis? Can it be treated? These are all good questions and I will start by telling you that more than 43,000 people are diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas in the US every year. Most often it hits people over 65 years of age. There are actually two types of pancreatic cancer – exocrine and endocrine pancreatic cancer. Exocrine Continue reading


CHFMy father just got out of the hospital with pneumonia. I just hate to see him age and luckily he was running a slight fever, which made me think he might have pneumonia. His symptoms were shortness of breath (particularly with walking), swelling in the ankles, feet and legs and just plain tired. I finally insisted that he go to the hospital, as he also has congestive heart failure and chronic kidney disease. All of these problems are common with aging, but Continue reading


Years ago I was a dialysis nurse and I could not believe what I learned about these little organs in your body and how they actually work.  First let’s note that these are bean-shaped and about the size of a fist.  The kidneys are located near the middle of the back, on each side of the spine.  Kidneys, if healthy, are working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; they are like a built-in water treatment plant!  Their main job is to filter the blood – to maintain a balance of water and chemicals.  Every day Continue reading


          Diabetic neuropathies are among the most frequent complication of long-term diabetes.  It is estimated that 60% to 70% of diabetics have mild to severe forms of nervous system damage.  The femoral nerve is commonly involved giving rise to symptoms in the legs and feet.  Pain is the chief symptom and tends to worsen at night when the person is at rest.  It is usually relieved by activity and aggravated by cold. Paraesthesias are a common accompaniment of the pain.  Cramping, tenderness and muscle Continue reading



          Just two nights ago (Thursday) a really good friend of mine from high school stopped by.  I hadn’t seen her for a year or so and I wondered how she had been doing, but the days seem to go by so quickly anymore with work, children, life, etc.  Anyway, as we were catching up, she happened to mention that she had a heart attack not too long ago.  I was SO shocked – just my age – and she Continue reading


            Type 2 diabetes is also referred to as adult onset diabetes.  Unfortunately, it is striking people at younger ages, and the rates are on the rise as the population grows heavier and gets less physical exercise.  Keeping a watch on your weight and being physically active can help prevent most cases of the disease.  If one chooses a diet rich in whole grains and healthy fats, it will add even more protection.  Adult onset diabetes is the 7th leading cause Continue reading