Dr. W. Gifford-Jones, Special to Postmedia Network

Dr. W. Gifford-Jones.

Dr. Gifford-Jones' common-sense based medical column offered with the occasional dash of humour has been published in Canadian newspapers for 30 years.

Stories

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Dying: I don’t want to be there when it happens

Woody Allen, when asked for his opinion about death, replied, “I don’t worry about dying, I just don’t want to be there when it happens!” Unfortunately, Allen will be there and so will the rest of us. This week, why I have a personal interest in the end of life. And what can we all do to provide the best of care to loved ones near death.

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Nitric oxide: The miracle molecule

My initial reaction to this news was "It's too good to be true." But three researchers received the prestigious Nobel Prize for its discovery. Louise J. Ignarro, one of the prize winners, says, "There may be no disease process where this miracle molecule does not have a protective role."

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (R) waves as she arrives to talk with patrons at the Jackson Diner on April 11, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Andrew Theodorakis/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton: Did she receive the best Rx?

Do famous people always receive superior medical care? If this were a Trivial Pursuit question, the answer would be a big “Yes.” After all, they’re famous and have the money to demand the best medical treatment. But has fame and fortune guaranteed that Clinton has been given the best advice to treat pneumonia? This week I encountered several surpri

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How much protein should you really eat in a day?

Fads in clothing come and go. Women’s skirts go up and then get longer. Men’s pants get wide and then narrower. Fads also occur in medicine. In the 1980s it was “low fat” for packaged foods and weight loss diets. Later on the buzz word was “low carb.” Now, walk down the aisle in supermarkets or health food stores and it’s hard to miss the protein c

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Kidney condition can have life-long consequences

Many North Americans will unknowingly fall into a trap in 2013. It results in “unintended consequences.” Moreover, as medical treatment progresses every year, more of such consequences are waiting to happen. This week, what you should know about acute kidney injury (AKI).

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We should not need a one-way ticket

What would you do in this situation? The patient is paralyzed, incontinent of bowel and urinary functions, unable to take nourishment and obviously in pain. I doubt that anyone, regardless of race or religion, would disagree with a lethal injection if the patient were a beloved dog. But humans in most nations are denied this right.

An adult female Ascaris worm. (CDC/HO)

Contracting worms

“Would you like ice in your drink?” To this, I normally say “yes”. But there are times when I say an emphatic “no”. I know, when travelling in the less hygienic part of the world, having an icy drink may result in the “Hong Kong Trots” or “Montezuma’s Revenge”.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. (Wikimedia Commons/Drriad?HO)

New drug to treat a desperate disease

Several months ago I wrote about a tennis partner who was slowly dying of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). We both knew there was no cure for this disease. Nor could I foresee any help for many years. I was wrong on that point. But I was right about my message of hope.

A photo posted to Twitter shows mixed martial artist Ray Elbe in hospital.

When MMA fighter Ray Elbe fractured his penis...

What does a mixed martial arts fighter (MMA) worry about before a fight? I’ve interviewed boxers, never an MMA fighter, but I suspect losing the match is the first concern. Or possibly breaking an arm, leg or sustaining other serious injuries. But I’d bet one MMA fighter, even in his wildest dreams, never envisioned he’d encounter this sexual night

Derek Sanderson. (File Photo)

The downfall of Derek 'Turk' Sanderson

What would it be like to be the highest paid athlete in the world, the toast of Boston, the winner of two Stanley Cups, the rich devil-may-care playboy? Then to find yourself broke, alcoholic, drug addicted and sleeping under bridges? In the space of 12 years this all happened to Derek “Turk” Sanderson.