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Glenn D. Braunstein, M.D.
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Entries by Glenn D. Braunstein, M.D.

The End-of-Life Conversation: Why Doctors and Patients Should Have It

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 2:35 PM

It's a conversation doctors often dread: Talking with their patients about the end of life. As physicians well know, sometimes it's easier to order another round of chemotherapy or extra tests than to risk a fight with a gravely-ill patient desperate for a miracle.

Doctors are human. They don't want...

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The High Cost of Ignoring Medical Advice

(2) Comments | Posted May 9, 2013 | 7:43 PM

It's up to you, people. All we doctors can do is examine you, diagnose you, write prescriptions for you and give you our best advice on how to prevent, treat or cure you. We're not Nurse Ratched in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," lining up patients, handing them a...

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Don't Let Food Safety Reform Go Down the Disposal

(13) Comments | Posted April 26, 2013 | 4:14 PM

You'd think preventing contamination of the fruits, vegetables and packaged foods we eat would be an obvious priority. True, the United States ranks a respectable third in food safety — behind Israel and France. Still, some 48 million Americans are sickened by foodborne illnesses each year,...

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Caring for Aging Parents Is Labor of Love - With a Cost

(1) Comments | Posted April 15, 2013 | 9:14 AM

You can see hints of it in obituaries: A woman, 96, is survived by three children. A man who has lived to nearly 100 is survived by two children. How old, you wonder, are these children? And how much have they given to eldercare during their parents' last years?


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Let's Junk Junk-Food Advertising to Kids

(23) Comments | Posted March 29, 2013 | 5:42 PM

No matter how often you've warned your kids that you're not buying any junk food at the grocery store, they still badger you relentlessly. Many times, they win, because they have a smiling, laughing SpongeBob SquarePants backing them up.

There's a virtual treasure trove of products emblazoned with SpongeBob...

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Getting Past the Hype About Peanut Allergies

(9) Comments | Posted March 18, 2013 | 12:15 PM

Who could forget the tragic "peanut butter kiss of death" headlines about a Canadian teen who, it was widely reported, died of anaphylactic shock related to a peanut allergy. Her boyfriend had spread a smear of peanut butter on toast some nine hours before the fatal kiss.

Well, the...

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Advice for Those Caring for Aging Relatives

(3) Comments | Posted March 8, 2013 | 5:45 PM

It may be a personal calling, a debt to pay or an act of profound love, but caring for an elderly parent or loved one can be a difficult juggling act. I’d like to give some practical advice on the medical front to the nearly 50 million Americans...

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Budget Crunch Threatens Vital Part of Physician Training

(71) Comments | Posted March 1, 2013 | 3:33 PM

Every day in America, 10,000 people celebrate their 65th birthday. Each will slide a new Medicare card into a purse or wallet where it will stay for life, ensuring access to health care. In addition, when the provisions of the new healthcare law are fully implemented, it's estimated...

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Coconuts and Nuts: Are They the 'Superfoods' Some Crack Them Up to Be?

(26) Comments | Posted February 22, 2013 | 11:00 AM

Forget the fruit smoothie and energy bar; today's fashionably health conscious leave the gym with a bottle of coconut water in one hand and a fistful of raw walnuts in the other. Once considered a big no-no for anyone looking to get in shape, or stay that way, all things...

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Gut Check: Science Probes Frontier Within Us Made Up of Millions and Billions of Microbes

(5) Comments | Posted February 15, 2013 | 11:55 AM

For every one of our own cells, our bodies play host to 10 other microbial cells: bacteria, fungus, viruses and other microscopic creatures that scientists are still working to discover and understand. In other words, we're outnumbered by these 100 trillion or so microbes -- many of them strangers --...

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To Grasp What Conflicting Health Studies Mean to You, Master Key Science Terms

(7) Comments | Posted February 7, 2013 | 4:51 PM

The endless trickle of reporting on health-related studies that claim to offer advice about how ordinary folks should live — what we should eat, how we should exercise, what's good for us, and what's bad for us — can become so confusing and downright contradictory that I can hardly blame...

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Weeding Through Marijuana Facts and Fiction

(234) Comments | Posted February 1, 2013 | 5:09 PM

In Colorado and Washington, adults now can legally unwind after a tough day at the office by lighting up a joint. Meanwhile, here in California, 17 other states and the District of Columbia, anyone complaining of nearly any ailment, from migraines to menstrual cramps,...

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Dire Health Consequences May Follow if We Don't Blunt Proposed Slashes in NIH, Research Funding

(5) Comments | Posted January 25, 2013 | 3:30 PM

If you care about health-related matters, take a second to consider some of the genuine advances we all may take for granted:

  • In recent decades, we have reduced by 70 percent the death rate from heart disease and stroke
  • We've turned HIV/AIDS from a pandemic death sentence...
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Guns and Their Violence: a Public Health Issue That Demands Action

(31) Comments | Posted January 17, 2013 | 3:08 PM

Frantic parents raced to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., their hearts and time itself seemingly standing still as they searched for their own among the groups of scared little kids herded to the nearby firehouse. The lucky ones felt a flood of relief at reunions. But there remained...

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Cold Facts About Caring for Seasonal Infections and Their Associated Healthcare Costs

(35) Comments | Posted January 11, 2013 | 5:17 PM

Gesundheit! You'll be hearing that a lot, as surely as the cold season follows the holiday season. But if your head isn't plugged up beyond belief, this time of colds, ear and sinus infections and influenza also can provide a reason for each of us, as individuals, to look at...

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2012: Moments to Note in a Year in Health

(0) Comments | Posted January 3, 2013 | 10:09 AM

In 2012, healthcare saw dramatic changes on major fronts: advances in patient care, important scientific discoveries, and -- perhaps most dramatically -- in policy. Among the many studies published, there was research challenging conventional wisdom on: nutrition; the causes of the world’s most serious health problems; and how to treat...

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Sing Out for Joyous Holidays, Healthy New Year

(2) Comments | Posted December 17, 2012 | 9:22 AM

From Ireland to Slovenia, patrons can stop by a pub or tavern and feel reasonably sure that song will break out. All over Africa, hospitals, hotels and businesses have employee choral groups that meet after work to entertain each other and visitors.

But here in the United States, unless we...

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Go to Sleep!

(3) Comments | Posted December 10, 2012 | 9:17 AM

Since we were toddlers, old enough to stamp our feet and say “No,” most of us have resisted bedtime. The invention of the light bulb gave us a well-lit world 24 hours a day and with it a host of nighttime seductions: a chance to catch up on reading, work...

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Practice Safe Rx

(2) Comments | Posted December 3, 2012 | 9:41 AM

While Americans never have enjoyed access to so many pharmaceutical products with such life-sustaining and lifesaving properties, these drugs also have proven to be expensive — prohibitively so for many — and, as I've written in this blog before, subject to shortages. As a result, patients are taking unorthodox,...

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What to Do If You Receive a Serious Medical Diagnosis

(2) Comments | Posted November 26, 2012 | 9:17 AM

It can feel like a punch in the stomach, or it may take your breath away. If your doctor tells you that you've been diagnosed with a serious illness or condition, that news can be devastating. Plans and priorities change instantly when you're facing a major cancer, serious heart disease...

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