March 30, 2020 by John Fernandez
Baptist HealthTalk: Podcasts Feature Experts on Health, Wellness Topics
From the common cold to the latest cancer breakthrough, you can now get the latest information on a range of health topics from Baptist HealthTalk podcasts.
The podcasts provide the latest facts and figures directly from the experts at Baptist Health South Florida. Each week, the moderator for the podcasts, Jonathan Fialkow, M.D., deputy medical director, chief of cardiology and a certified lipid specialist at Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, and his guests will offer lively discussions on topics that are making headlines or those most important to you and your family.
“As a practicing physician for almost 30 years, I often see patients who are kind of confused about things they’re told or they hear from relatives, or they read things in the paper and they are really not sure what it means from their health standpoint,” explains Dr. Fialkow at the beginning of the first Baptist HealthTalk podcast.
“We’re told this is good for us one week and it can be bad for us the next week,” he continues. “We’re told that if we eat this magical thing, we’ll live forever. And if we don’t do this well, we’ll have problems. So it gets very confusing. Our goal with these podcasts is to speak with experts within Baptist Health South Florida and review the kinds of questions that I and others have and we hear about — and provide some clarity for our listeners.”
The first three podcasts have Dr. Fialkow speaking with:
- Ian Del Conde, M.D., a cardiovascular specialist at Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, about caffeine;
- Michael Hernandez, M.D., a pulmonologist affiliated with the Lung Health Program at South Miami Hospital, about vaping;
- Ronald Tolchin, D.O., medical director of the Baptist Health Center for Spine Care, part of Miami Neuroscience Institute, about back pain.
Dr. Fialkow: I love the smell of a cup of coffee on Sunday morning with my newspaper and my dogs at my feet. It really brings relaxation to me. What would you say are the positives of caffeine, besides that experience and that taste component?
Dr. Del Conde: I think that anyone who has consumed caffeine can tell you what the positive effects are. Without reading any of the scientific literature, you know what caffeine does to you. It makes you more alert. I would actually say it probably makes you smarter. You can problem-solve quicker — whether there’s a component of placebo effect or not — I think there could be some debate. But there’s no question that it will activate you, both mentally as well as physically. So people do feel better and they can perform better with caffeine (without overdoing it.) That’s something that we’ve established.
Dr. Fialkow: Explain to the listener the difference between vaping and smoking combustible products.
Dr. Hernandez: We say — combustible versus non combustible. So combustible refers to the cigarettes that you’ve come to know. The use of cigarettes peaked in the 1950s, and we’ve done a really good job with education and public health, and the rate of smoking has never been lower. It just keeps on going down. But on the flip side, I would say since the advent of e-cigarettes — specifically in 2015 when the Juul came out — the use among adolescents, teenagers and people in their early 20s — has completely exploded.
About Back Pain:
Dr. Fialkow: We think that back pain is part of aging, but actually it’s increasing in frequency at all age groups. Is that correct?
Dr. Tolchin: Yes, I even see people in their 20s and 30s in the office with back pain, and there’s lots of reasons for that. You mentioned aging. So, certainly as our population lives longer that certainly is the case with degenerative issues regarding back pain. Everyone is going to have degenerative changes, which is a fancy word for arthritis. We’re all going to develop that at certain times in our lives — some people earlier than not. And some people also due to heredity and even obesity and diabetes.