Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Basic Types of Sore Throats

Dr. Andrew Johnson is a Brampton, Ontario physician who provides families with personalized palliative and obstetrics care. Also serving hospital-inpatient needs in the Brampton community, Dr. Andrew Johnson has a wide knowledge of medicine that extends to common winter-season health concerns such as coughs and sore throats

In most cases, sore throats are viral in nature and associated with colds. While remedies such as throat lozenges and honey may alleviate symptoms, sore throats often begin to improve on their own within a day or two. Following a sore throat, issues such as congestion and runny nose may occur, which are the major signs of the cold. 

By contrast, strep throat is an infection involving the streptococcus bacteria and results in more persistent and severe soreness of the throat. Symptoms may advance to tonsillitis, characterized by the inflammation of the tonsils, the body of tissues at the back of the throat. 

Sore throats can also be caused by allergies and dry air, as well as pollution and smoking. With so many potential causes, any sore throat that persists or worsens over the course of a few days may benefit by treatment from a doctor. Treatments are highly dependent on the type of sore throat, with antibiotics effective only in cases involving bacterial infection.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Why Did My Menstrual Cycle Stop?

For more than two decades, Dr. Andrew Johnson has practiced as a Family Physician and Hospitalist at William Osler Health Centre in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. In addition to this, Dr. Andrew Johnson maintains an office-based family practice in Brampton and treats a huge range of issues, including absent periods

Known as amenorrhea, absent periods can be the result of many things. Most people associate them with pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. While these are the natural things that cause amenorrhea, they aren’t the only things.

Another type is primary amenorrhea, whereby menstrual periods fail to ever start. Some of these girls never go through puberty and do not develop secondary sexual characteristics, like breasts, normally. Most commonly, this type of amenorrhea results from a birth defect in the reproductive organs or a genetic disorder, such as Kallmann syndrome, the overproduction of male hormones, and Turner syndrome.

Secondary amenorrhea occurs when women have normal periods and then those periods stop. Lifestyle factors play a huge role in the development of secondary amenorrhea. Excessive stress and exercise are both capable of stopping regular menstrual periods. Similarly, too much or too little body fat can stop or delay menstruation.

Hormonal imbalances also have been tied to secondary amenorrhea. Often, these imbalances are caused by a tumor on the thyroid or pituitary gland, but low estrogen levels and high testosterone levels can also cause amenorrhea. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a medical condition that may result in hormonal imbalances. 

Finally, certain medications can cause secondary amenorrhea. Antidepressants and antipsychotics are medications that can occasionally stop periods, as are chemotherapy drugs and medications for high blood pressure. Certain contraceptives also cause secondary amenorrhea.

Please seek medical advice if you miss a period.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Ankle Sprains - Presentation and Treatment

Since 1996, Dr. Andrew Johnson has practiced as a Family Physician and Hospitalist in Brampton, Ontario. Dr. Andrew Johnson opens his Brampton office to patients with a variety of medical conditions, including ankle sprains.

A common minor injury to one or more of the ligaments that support the ankle, an ankle sprain often occurs when someone steps on uneven ground and the ankle rolls either inward or outward. This causes the ligament on the opposite side of the foot to over-stretch and potentially tear.

Inversion sprains, which are caused by inside rolls that affect the outside (lateral) ligaments of the ankle, are the most common. Eversion sprains, caused by rolling toward the outside of the foot, are less frequent but can indicate a more serious injury to the ligaments or tendons.

If a sprain results in significant swelling or an inability to bear weight, it warrants medical attention. A physician will examine the area and may take X-rays to ensure that no bones are broken. If there is no fracture, the physician will develop a treatment plan.

Mild sprains are usually treatable at home with rest, ice, compression with bandages, and elevation above the heart. This is known as the RICE protocol. Medication may also be helpful in reducing pain and swelling.

Once the ankle can bear weight again, the patient must rehabilitate the joint to recover flexibility, strength, and range of motion. This allows the individual to resume activities gradually, starting with straight-ahead movements and advancing to incorporate more challenging turning or twisting movements.

Severe injuries may require longer immobilization, which often involves a supportive brace. If the ankle fails to heal or becomes repeatedly sprained, a physician may recommend surgery to restore stability.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Typical Solutions for Managing Constipation

Dr. Andrew Johnson of Brampton, Ontario, has been a hospitalist and family physician for over two decades. Experienced in a diverse range of health concerns, Dr. Andrew Johnson treats Brampton-area patients experiencing a variety of symptoms, including constipation. 

The following are just a few ways chronic constipation can be treated:

1. Diet. Chronic constipation is typically first treated with dietary modifications intended to speed the motility of stool within the intestines. A diet aimed at treating constipation is high in fiber and includes many daily servings of whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. 

2. Lifestyle. Physical exercise can alleviate constipation by enhancing muscle activity within the intestines. 

3. Fiber supplements. Bulk fibers, laxatives, stimulants, osmotic agents, lubricants, and medications may be used to increase intestinal motility. 

4. Surgical treatment. Surgery may be necessary if chronic constipation is caused by a blockage, stricture, rectocele, or anal fissure.

5. Biofeedback training. This therapy involves the use of devices to improve the relaxation and tightening of the pelvic muscles. When these muscles are used as nature intended during defecation, the stool is eliminated more easily.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Common Reasons for Difficulty Sleeping

For more than 20 years, Dr. Andrew Johnson has served as a Hospitalist and Family Physician in Brampton, Ontario. Dr. Andrew Johnson of Brampton offers consultation and treatment for a variety of issues, including difficulty sleeping.

A person may have difficulty sleeping for a variety of reasons. Some, such as the pain from a medical condition or the effects of a mental illness such as depression or anxiety, require treatment of the underlying condition before the patient can return to normal slumber patterns. In some cases, however, a patient can improve his or her sleep habits with a few lifestyle changes.

Both caffeine and alcohol, for example, can interrupt the natural pattern of falling or staying asleep. Many find it tempting to drink alcohol before bed, as it can speed the process of falling asleep, but poor quality sleep often follows.

Others have trouble sleeping because of stress, as anxious thoughts can arise in the dark and quiet of bedtime. If the patient's sleeping space is cluttered, this can exacerbate the pre-sleep anxiety and cause the patient to feel less relaxed.

The bedroom may also be less of a restful space if it is too bright. Even the minimal lights of digital clocks and other personal technology may interfere with signals to the body that it is time to sleep. The glow of outdoor lights can have a similar effect, as can the presence of significantly more or less background noise as compared to the patient's normal environment.

Of course, for some, difficulty sleeping is related to getting older. Approximately half of adults who are 65 years of age or older report sleep disturbances, although the root cause for some of these cases may be side effects from medication. Regardless of a patient's age, it is best to consult with a physician about what may be interfering with normal sleep.