Speaker 1: Now’s that time of week where we answer some of your common health questions. Joining me as always, News Channel 5’s medical expert, Dr. David Soria, the chief of emergency medicine at Wellington Regional Medical Center. Thanks so much for coming in today. Looking at some of the topics, this is a good one, how can you tell if you have a sore throat, or sometimes we always want to jump and say it’s strep throat, so what’s the difference?
Dr. David Soria: You bet a lot of times we just use those synonymous and the reality is that they present the same way, it hurts. There are some distinct differences, and that is with a virus, many times a viral pharyngitis lasts a day or two and then it starts to resolve as you develop the congestion and the coughing. Not with strep, with strep, it gets worse, beefier, and it hurts a heck of a lot more. The other thing too is with virus, it’s red and it’s a little bit swollen, with strep you see white patches, pus pockets that can be very, very obvious when you look at a strep throat.
Speaker 1: Kind of in that throat area.
Dr. David Soria: You got it with the tonsils. Lastly, with viral pharyngitis, you don’t typically see just with that a fever, but with strep, you can see a high fever. So it’s very, very important that you look for those things.
Speaker 1: So some very key differences there.
Dr. David Soria: Absolutely, and old practice used to be hey let’s just put them on antibiotics. Now it’s different, we actually want to prove that it’s strep so we actually get what’s called a rapid strep screen, because we don’t want to put people on antibiotics unnecessarily unless they actually have strep, because obviously there’s cost, resistance, and then sometimes side effects, so we want to avoid that.
Speaker 1: Alright, let’s talk a little bit about vitamin D. Does it help fight high blood pressure?
Dr. David Soria: There’s been a link between the two for a long time, from previous studies, but just recently a study out of Scotland which was very comprehensive, looked at 46 clinical trials, actually about 4500 patients and they finally discovered that there was absolutely no link between the diastolic, the low number, and the systolic blood pressure as far as high levels of vitamin D and lowering your blood pressure. So that’s important, and why is that important because all too often we go out and we just buy all kinds of supplements at these vitamin stores because of false claims. Even though we have this philosophy of it can’t hurt may help, the reality is that you could spend hundreds of dollars a month on supplements and things that you think are helping you when in reality they do not. So studies like this are very important for us to prove whether or not there’s any benefit. Because not only do they cost money, they can cause side effects and what a lot of people don’t realize is that a lot of these supplements can actually interact with some of the prescription medication you have.
Speaker 1: That you’re taking.
Dr. David Soria: So be very careful, make sure you talk to your doctor about that.
Speaker 1: Alright, keep those questions coming to Dr. Soria, you can always send it in by going to WPTV.com, click on the health link, scroll down and then on the right-hand side you’ll see a form there to write your question. We look forward to getting those answers. Doc, we’ll see you next week.
Dr. David Soria: You got it.