Dr. Joshua Wynne
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.
Q. My wife developed chest pain, and her doctor said she needs a stress test. But the doctor said there are several different types of stress tests we could do, and we wonder which one is the best?
Q. During a routine physical examination, my doctor had my urine examined. She told me that the dipstick evaluation showed some red blood cells, and she ordered a different test. What does that mean?
Q. There has been a lot of attention in the media to the dangers of opioids. A friend of mine was in a terrible accident a while ago and continues to have severe chronic pain that finally has come under control with the use of an opioid medication. How worried should he be about side effects?
Q. I'm confused by the recent reports about tuberculosis and the risk here in North Dakota. What's the bottom line? A. Tuberculosis has been around for millennia. It is caused by a unique type of bug (called a mycobacterium) and has been a scourge of humanity since antiquity, at least in part because there was no effective antibiotic treatment until the 20th century. Until then, the only treatment available was placing the patient in a sanitorium. This had the dual function of isolating the infectious patient as well as offering a milieu where healing was promoted.
Q. In one of your columns from about six months ago, you mentioned that people with high blood pressure do better the more their blood pressure is lowered, as long as they don't have side effects. But I'm elderly and my doctor seems reluctant to push too hard to lower my blood pressure for fear of causing harm.