KUSA - Dr. John Torres from Premier Urgent Care answers your questions every week. If you have a medical question for Dr. John, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure to have Ask Dr. John in the subject line.
Hello Dr. John, Am I NUTS, or have Allergies arrived early this year? Thanks, Sniffling in Fort Lupton Jacque
You're right in that allergies have arrived earlier than usual this year and did last year too. On top of that they also seem to be hitting harder than they normally do. This means that many more of us are suffering from allergy symptoms than in most past years. This is happening for a few reasons, including the cyclical changes in our winter/spring climate over the last two years. With the temperature going from warm to cold and the moisture going from wet to dry pollen is being produced earlier than usual. This pollen then starts spreading around once the weather dries out again, especially as the wind kicks up.
That means getting on top of your allergies before they really start to take hold is a really important part of controlling them. Start taking your usual allergy medications at the first sign of allergy symptoms. If those don't seem to be doing the trick there are other prescription type medications that might help out even more. The main point is to not get behind in treating seasonal allergies since that'll make them harder to control, especially if this proves to be a spring, summer and fall full of sneezing and itching.
Thank you for your "piece" on Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation. My adult daughter has been suffering with depression since her teenage years. Do you have any further information about possible clinical trials? Harriet
We had talked earlier about how Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, TMS, has been shown to help control severe depression in individuals. Clinical trials of all sorts and sizes are continually going on and the same applies to clinical trials involving TMS and depression. The best way to find out which trials are available, as well as finding out how to sign up for a trial is to go the website www.clinicaltrials.gov.
This website details all the clinical trials currently going on nationwide. It also gives you information about the trials, whether they are still looking for participants and instructs you how to sign up for a given trial.
Dear Dr. John, I am concerned about my hypertension and weight. I think since I have a weight issue do you think it has something to do with my thyroid gland? Is there anything I can do to correct this issue with my thyroid gland? Since I have been trying to lose weight and it has been so difficult with this thyroid problem. If you have any suggestions for this I would love to hear back from you. Thank you Mariah
You are correct in that having a thyroid issue could affect your weight. Having a low functioning thyroid, a condition known as hypothyroidism, means your metabolism will also be slowed down. This slowing of your metabolism can have an effect on your weight and on an even bigger affect on how easy it is to shed those extra pounds. Getting your thyroid checked is easy and entails getting a simple blood test. If it proves to be low functioning than thyroid replacement medication can get your body back to its normal thyroid levels. Once those levels are normal than hopefully it'll be easier to both shed excess and maintain a normal weight throughout the year. And shedding those extra pounds might also help get your blood pressure lower. If not, medication to control your blood pressure might also be needed.