Your Health: Health highlights from 2012
by Terry Hollenbeck, M.D.
Jan 03, 2013 | 1352 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print

As we begin a new year, I’d like to share with you a selection of highlights from some of my columns this past year:

Antibiotics: Antibiotics are useful for bacterial infections only, and not for viral infections, such as the common cold, bronchitis and sore throats.

Strokes: If you are having any symptoms that you think might be caused by a stroke, do not hesitate — seek help immediately from the nearest emergency room.

Insomnia: Remedies for sleep problems include lifestyle and behavioral therapies, alternative medicine and prescription medication.

Sleep apnea: This condition needs to be treated, as it leads to a greater risk of heart attacks.

Depression: This is a true medical illness treated with therapy or medication, sometimes in combination.

Asthma: Although it can be deadly, asthma is easily treated with proper medication and close follow-up with a doctor.

Sun exposure: Take the harmful effects of the sun seriously and use sunscreen liberally and frequently. Cover up as much as possible when in the sun.

Cholesterol: To help prevent heart attacks and strokes, keep cholesterol at a normal level.

Coffee: On the whole, coffee is much more beneficial than harmful to your health.

Backpacks for students: Lighten them up. Heavy packs cause neck and back problems for kids.

Influenza vaccine: Flu shots are useful to prevent influenza and can be given from fall to spring. It’s still not too late.

Head injuries: Concussions should be taken very seriously, as they can be deadly and can lead to long-term brain disability.

Calling in sick: Staying home when ill not only helps you recover quicker, but also prevents spreading the illness to your co-workers or fellow students.

Stress: Dealing with stress can help prevent poor health.

The full columns and all others I have written can be found on my blog at

Have a very healthy and happy new year.

- Terry Hollenbeck, M.D., is an urgent-care physician at Palo Alto Medical Foundation Santa Cruz in Scotts Valley. Readers can view his previous columns on his website,, or email him at Information in this column is not intended to replace advice from your own health care professional. For any medical concern, consult your own doctor.

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