Is it a cold, or something worse?

I hear a lot about gluten-free eating and celiac disease, what is the disease and how is it diagnosed? Celiac disease is a very specific condition in which our immune system attacks the small intestine and impairing our ability to absorb nutrients from our food.  Although blood test can suggest the condition, the gold standard for diagnosis is a small bowel biopsy during upper endoscopy (a small tube with a camera on the end passed in to the stomach).  In this condition, a gluten free diet is necessary to allow absorption.

I have a hard time sleeping at night, even when I’m really tired. Should I have a sleep evaluation done to see what can be done about it? Sleep difficulties can be due to a number of factors.  Both getting to sleep and staying asleep can be separate issues that require full evaluation.  Commonly our busy lifestyles interfere with our ability to get adequate sleep.  A discussion with your health care provider may be able to identify reasons for your sleep difficulties with or without further testing.

I find myself worrying about balancing work and family, what’s the best way to alleviate stress? Stress is best managed when an individual participates in a healthy lifestyle.  This not only includes eating right, getting adequate sleep and exercising but also nourishing the mind and spirit.  Making time for oneself can be a difficult task.  Outlets for stress can be diverse.  Many activities such as meditation, Yoga, Tia Chi and prayer have all been show to help relief stress.

It seems everyone is trying to find the easiest way to lower their cholesterol, but what is the most effective way to do so? The most effective way to lower one’s cholesterol is through diet changes and exercise.  This is not always possible due to genetic factors and medication may be appropriate.

Dr. Jason F. White, M.D., is a Watertown native who returned to the north country after completing his medical education and residency. He is a board-certified family physician with Internal Medicine of NNY. This column is provided for informational use only and not intended as medical care. See a licensed medical provider to address any health concerns.


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