GP Voice

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Diabetes inducing drugs – who is next on the list?

13th May 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

The list of drugs that increase the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is increasing. We know statins (1,2), anti-psychotics (3) and many of the anti-retroviral (4) and immunosuppressant agents (5) have been shown to increase the risk of T2D. We also heard last year about the ACE inhibitors. Recent studies have implicated the 5α-reductase inhibitors, the drugs that we use to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) as well.…

Breakfast – how important is it?

23rd April, 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

Somehow, it has been drummed into us, as doctors and consumers, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. What does that even mean? As discerning scientists, we should seek to clarify what outcome measures they are referring to when they say, “the most important meal of the day”. We should also question what type of breakfast they are referring to and the subjects recruited in the studies.…

“Ideal” BP in the Elderly – what is the target again?

22nd April 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

Hardening of the arteries” is pretty much inevitable when one gets older. A majority of our patients >70 years old are on anti-hypertensive treatment. The problem is they keep changing the targets we are meant to be aiming for in this cohort of patients. The ACC/AHA High Blood Pressure guidelines 2017 recommends 130/80 mmHg even for patients >70 years old (1).…

Weight loss with Duromine® – how safe is Duromine®?

14th April 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

It’s difficult, isn’t it? Patients who are overweight or obese often has either significant cardiovascular risks or already have cardiovascular co-morbidities. These are the patients that need some assistance with weight loss but we always hesitate to prescribe Duromine®. We were taught and warned about the “dangers” of the drug especially in relation to “cardiovascular disease” and blood pressure.…

Reduction of major CV events by SGLT2 inhibitors – who will benefit from what?

13th April 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

SGLT2 inhibitors, as a class of anti-diabetic drugs, have been shown in multiple cardiovascular outcomes trials (EMPA-REQ, DECLARE-TIMI 58, CANVAS) to “reduce cardiovascular events in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D)”. These are big headlines but as obsessive clinicians, we need to be more specific in the benefits of SGLT2 inhibitors in patients with T2D.…

Continuous glucose monitoring – how accurate are they?

13th April 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

The monitoring of plasma glucose levels is crucial when we are titrating insulin doses, correlating lifestyle messages with glucose control and in detecting asymptomatic hypoglycaemia. Until now, finger-prick glucose checking is the gold standard for self-monitored blood glucose (SMBG). However, even with 7 point glucose monitoring, nocturnal hypoglycaemia may be difficult to detect.…

Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy – a real case study

We read last fortnight about cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). I am not sure that I can pick up a CAA when I see one. I mean, we are not experts in CT or MRI of the brain. A fairly obvious, bit chunk of an  infarct is easy to spot. I can also pick up any asymmetry in the scan. Any more than that, i will have reached out to the printed report.…

Fournier’s gangrene & SGLT2i – how rare is it?

23rd March 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

You may remember receiving warnings recently from the Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) about a serious “rare” infection, called necrotising fasciitis of the perineum, also referred to as Fournier’s gangrene (FG). FG is reported to be associated with the use of SGLT2 inhibitors in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). The warning came on the back of similar warnings by the US Food and Drug Authority (FDA) in August 2018.…

Haemorrhagic stroke – is that cerebral amyloid angiopathy?

10th March 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

About 10% of all strokes are haemorrhagic strokes. In about 10% of cases of primary intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH), cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) is regarded as a possible cause. The recurrence rate of ICH is significantly higher in patients with CAA. With improvements in MRI technology, CAA is increasingly recognised as a cause of ICH.…

Can Vitamin C reduce plasma glucose?

22nd February 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

Increased oxidative stress appears to be a significant factor leading to insulin resistance, dyslipidaemia, β-cell dysfunction, impaired glucose tolerance and ultimately leading to type 2 diabetes (T2D). Ascorbic acid (AA) is a water soluble anti-oxidant that reduces oxidative damage at the cellular and tissue level. So, logically, AA supplementation should therefore reduce oxidate stress and lead to improvement in glycaemic control in patients with diabetes.…

Losing weight: Different diets for different patients – are we there yet?

13th February 2019, Dr Chee L Khoo

It’s all too confusing. It used to be low fat diet. It’s now low carbohydrate (carb) diet. Some studies show that low carb diet loses more weight than low fat diet while others show the opposite. Yet, other studies show no significant difference between the diets. So, which is it then? Have you wondered that perhaps, we are looking at different patients responding to different diets.…

Case Study – man with increasing neck pain for one month

44-year-old male with 1 month of increasing neck pain was referred for a cervical spine injection. A CT scan of the cervical spine two weeks prior (Figure A), revealed foraminal narrowing at the C5-6 level. There was a significant difference between the new scan and the previous scan. There was severe destruction of the C5-6 disc and of the adjacent C5 and C6 vertebral end plates with retrolisthesis of C5 on C6.

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