Polymyalgia Rheumatica by Andrew Smith, MD

              “Wow, I guess I’m just getting old.  Everything hurts and I’m tired even doing little things.” Mrs. Jennings, in her early sixties, was normally one of my more energetic patients.  On further questioning it turned out it really wasn’t “everything” that hurt, but particularly the muscles of her thighs and shoulders, not so … Continue reading Polymyalgia Rheumatica by Andrew Smith, MD

The Black Dog of Depression by Dr. Andrew Smith

The Black Dog of Depression             “I am the most miserable man living.  If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family there would not be one cheerful face on the earth.  Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell.  I awfully forebode I shall not.  To remain as I am … Continue reading The Black Dog of Depression by Dr. Andrew Smith

Maintain Your Brain by Dr. Andrew Smith

Seventy year old Mrs. Lansing drew a complete blank as I asked her if she could recall any of the five words I’d given her to remember some 4-5 minutes ago as part of her mental status exam.  Inwardly I always wince at those moments.  It feels like I’m unintentionally bullying a harassed person into … Continue reading Maintain Your Brain by Dr. Andrew Smith

Painful Spasms of the Face by Dr. Andrew Smith

As I sat in the midst of a group of folks pleasantly chatting at a friend’s surprise birthday party, I couldn’t help noticing the grimaces of a woman across from me.  Every minute or two she would wince as though being jabbed with a needle.  When I asked about this privately she filled me in.  … Continue reading Painful Spasms of the Face by Dr. Andrew Smith

What to drink?

What to Drink?  ​Besides water, it sometimes seems like there is nothing truly safe to drink. Let’s start with the most obvious problems – sweetened drinks. Unfortunately this includes most of our favorites,such as sweet tea, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, Coke, Pepsi, Gatorade, Powerade, Red Bull and many more. As a major source of empty … Continue reading What to drink?

Allergies in East Tennessee

Oh, the sneezing and sniffling and runny noses and itchy eyes that are all around us this time of year.  And it’s not just your imagination – Knoxville ranks as the fifth worst city in the country for allergy sufferers.  That comes as no surprise to the legions of residents who this spring are dealing … Continue reading Allergies in East Tennessee

Heart Failure

            My middle-aged patient was both confused and concerned.  “I don’t know what the deal is; I can barely make it the hundred yards to my mailbox and back without huffing and puffing and stopping to rest.  And I’ve never been a smoker, so what’s the deal?” As it turned out, after a full work-up, … Continue reading Heart Failure

Living and Dying By What We Eat

           “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”  This was the advice of one of history’s best known physicians, Hippocrates, who lived around the 4th century B.C.  He must have had an okay idea of things as he apparently lived to around 90 years old when many were … Continue reading Living and Dying By What We Eat

Whooping Cough: Still Lurking

The 3 year old girl sat quietly on the exam table as her mom described her symptoms.  “A couple of weeks ago she had what just seemed like a cold.  Then she developed a little cough.  But day by day it’s just gotten worse and worse.  She’ll seem fine in between coughing spells  but when … Continue reading Whooping Cough: Still Lurking

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

“He’s really just been moving a little slower than usual and not eating or drinking as much… and he’s kept a fever for a few days.  Oh, and I noticed he seems to be breathing a bit quicker than usual, and just seems tired.  Other than that just cold symptoms with a runny nose and … Continue reading Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)