Dr. Joshua Wynne
Q. I thought strokes occurred mainly in older people; especially senior citizens. But I've heard more and more about strokes occurring in younger folks. What's the story? A. You are correct that most strokes occur in older people but, fortunately, their risk of stroke actually has been decreasing over the past few decades.
Q. I need to have heart bypass surgery. My cardiac surgeon mentioned the procedure could be done "on-pump" or "off-pump." What does that mean, and does it make a difference?
Q. I've noticed that my hand shakes when I'm drinking from my coffee mug. I was concerned about Parkinson's disease, but my doctor said I have an essential tremor. How can she be so sure, and what is essential tremor by the way?
Q. Recently I developed severe pain in my belly and I turned out to have pancreatitis. Just what is it, what causes it, and what can I do to prevent a recurrence? I don't want to go through that kind of pain again.
Q. I recently read in the newspaper about a young former baseball pitcher who died suddenly of natural causes and was found to have an inflammation of his heart. What can you tell me about this condition?
Q. I was in for my annual physical recently, and my doctor recommended I be screened for diabetes and prediabetes. What does that mean and should I do it?
Q. I've gained a lot of weight recently, but I haven't changed my diet or activity. What might be the cause? A. Weight gain is caused by either liquid or solid material accumulating in the body. When fluid accumulates, it typically is because either the kidneys and their associated tubing aren't working correctly and are not eliminating the fluid from the body, or the heart isn't functioning normally and isn't getting the fluid to the kidneys to be eliminated.
Q. We recently traveled to Europe and shortly after returning home my husband developed chest pain. We learned he had a blood clot in his lung. Was this due to some bug that he contracted overseas?
Q. I remember reading a recent article in the newspaper about how different hospitals compare regarding how their patients did. How useful do you think this information is to the average person like me?
Q. Is there any health benefit to taking omega-3 fatty acids? A. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in the oil present in fish flesh and in dietary supplement pills. People in countries like Japan have, on average, higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than those in countries like the U.S. Since we have a higher risk of heart disease than people in Japan, it is logical to assume that the higher levels in Japan are protective. And there is some experimental evidence to support this claim.