Category: Diagnosis

Every couple of years a group of experts lowers the level of blood pressure required to diagnose and treat hypertension. On the face of it, the advice seems reasonable: obesity and diabetes are on the increase across the globe and both are related to hypertension and its result, cardiovascular disease. So, dropping the upper limits […]

Traditional wisdom about chronic diseases holds that they usually last for three months or longer and may worsen over time.  They are supposed to occur more in older adults and can usually be controlled but not cured. Conditions, which we thought worsen with age, paradoxically provide some protection. As with preventable disease, identifying risks early in […]

Nearly half of all patients admitted to hospital have more than one health problem. The concept of co morbidity is not new. It has been around since the 1970s. Depression is not the end of a one-way street. It can be the cause of other illnesses. What is new, however, is that where more than […]

Is it time we let computers drive our medical care? According to the World Health Organization, there was a global shortage of 7.2 million health providers in 2013, and this figure will to increase to 12.9 million by 2035. Establishing new medical schools, which every country has adopted, isn’t a long term solution. Increasing the […]

Medicine is not just a science. It is a living practice. Translating emerging science into practice is one of the key skills of doctors. Before scientific knowledge became viral, translation was merely a matter of communication. Now, as the science of medicine reaches epidemic proportions, it is becoming more and more difficult to perform this […]

Seasonal change often generates a flurry of diagnosing. It should be okay to be sad about the shortening days, rather than suffering from ‘seasonal affective disorder’. In women, a runny nose and a sore throat transforms into ‘flu’ and in men it becomes ‘manflu’. Once a diagnosis is made it is indelible. Escalation of symptoms […]

Support medicine based on individuals; not paper. Encourage responsive practice; based on divergent thinking with the ability to converge when necessary. Commit to genuine funding for health, that is, ten percent GDP for ten years from government and private sector. Ensure that hospitals remain places for treating sick people, not making those who treat them […]

As medicine becomes more complex and the dictionaries of disease become libraries, it’s time for us to change our clinical language. We have a duty to explain the complexities of our treatments to payers, patients and communities in the simplest, most understandable and up-to-date way possible. Some diseases have the audacity to remit and then […]

Having more than one health problem is more common than we think and potentially deadly. Almost one in every four of us has two or more health conditions. With each additional disease morbidity, mortality and polypharmacy increases. Some think multimorbidity can be cured by focusing on the whole patient. Research shows the opposite. Multiple health […]

Well, not exactly but disease should be dead and treatment should be reigning. In the 21st century, as we delve into the minutiae the body, the smaller we can see, the more we describe and define. But by using old methods of disease description we continue to differentiate rather than unify concepts and this results […]

Bloating is becoming a major contemporary health issue largely because of the social stigma attached to a gaseous expulsion that Western culture refuses to accept is a normal part of our digestive process. A study of university students found the majority were embarrassed by their flatulence. We spend a lot of time looking at what […]