We heard a news story about back shots causing meningitis. What is the name of the meds used in the shots? I've had several spinal shots this week and have had a cold/flu all month. Thank you. Jean
The medication that is at the center of this meningitis outbreak is methyprednisolone, a type of steroid. But other medications are being looked at as well. All of these medications have come from one pharmacy that's known as the New England Compounding Center, or NECC. Some of these medications have been used here in Colorado for spinal shots, eye medication and other treatments but to date no cases of infection have been found. The best way to discover if the medication used on you was made by this pharmacy is to call the doctor's office where you got the shot and ask if the medication came from NECC. As of a few weeks ago all medications from this pharmacy were removed from local inventories so if your shot was within the last week it should not be from the involved pharmacy. Most likely your conditions are related to a normal viral illness, especially since the time frame between the shots and your symptoms is short, less than a week. Fungal meningitis is slow growing and usually takes longer for symptoms to start up. These symptoms include fever, chills, vomiting, neck stiffness, confusion and lethargy.
Hi Dr. John - I experienced a TIA, which lasted about 2 minutes. I saw a neurologist and had numerous tests that all came out okay other than the carotid doppler ultrasound which showed a 30% block. The neurologist put me on Lipitor and 325 aspirin. My question: should I investigate doing something else regarding the carotid artery (surgery, stent, something else)? Thanks! George
A TIA is a transient ischemic attack. This is basically a stroke, but one that lasts less than 24 hours. It is caused in the same way other types of strokes can be caused, mainly by an artery supplying blood to the brain getting clogged off with either a blood clot or an atherosclerotic plaque. Although a TIA resolves fairly quickly it also is an indicator of an increased risk of a full blown stroke. Getting a carotid artery ultrasound can tell whether one of those arteries, located on the sides of your neck have any blockage in them. A 30 percent block usually isn't big enough to warrant surgery since blood is already flowing at a sufficient rate. But that along with the atherosclerotic plaques will only get worse unless something is done. Medication for cholesterol, like Lipitor, and a blood thinner, like aspirin, are good medicines frequently used to keep the risk of stroke lower.
Dear Dr. John, I'm 28 years old and I have been experiencing some things that I think are wrong with my thyroid. I have trouble sleeping, sometimes my heart beats fast, depressed mood, and it seems that I am hungry most of the time. I know that I should go to the doctor to get check out but the problem is that I don't have any health insurance at this time. So I would like just some information about the thyroid and hormonal imbalances. Thank you, Sarah
The thyroid helps regulate the body's metabolism. When it is not working right that metabolism can either slow down or pick up speed. The symptoms noted seem more along the lines of a high metabolism which can by caused by an overactive thyroid, known as a hyperthyroid condition. If this is due to a thyroid issue it most likely won't get better on its own and will continue to take its toll on the body until treatment is started. A simple blood test, the TSH test, can determine if the thyroid is causing this problem. One way to get this test is by attending the Family 9Health Fair this weekend in Commerce City. It will be at the Adams City High School from 7am until Noon both Saturday and Sunday, November 3rd and 4th. There you will be able to get a low cost, $30, blood test that will measure this TSH level. In addition you will also be able to talk with a health professional about your issues and get a referral for follow up care. There will also be many other health related screenings, many of them free, including autism screening and vision testing for children. And personnel will be on hand both days to help anyone check eligibility and sign up for a health insurance program.
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