Mark Melrose, DO

What is alcohol poisoning? It's way worse than getting drunk

The party eventually stops. Credit: Rikard Larma/Metro How much damage did I really do to myself when I blacked out drunk last week? Damage? You are actually lucky to be alive. Really. Alcohol Poisoning, a potentially a life-threatening emergency, needs to be distinguished from alcohol...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 7:07 PM

Can you get the flu even after you get the flu shot?

The good news: Even if you became ill, the flu shot may havedecreased the severity of your illness.Credit: ColourboxThe question: I was sick all last week with the flu, but I got a flu shot last September. How did that happen?In any given year, the flu vaccine is roughly 60 percent effective...

Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 11:15 PM

What causes and works in treating asthma

The question:I’ve been coughing when I go out in the cold. Could this be asthma?One in 12 American adults has asthma, the CDC says. But there are many variables and not everyone with asthma has the same symptoms or triggers.Asthma is an inflammatory condition affecting the bronchial tubes in the...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 9:10 PM

Conjunctivitis: What to know about pink eye

Bob Costas looked healthier pre-Sochi.Credit: Getty ImagesThe question: "My eye was red, itchy, and glued shut this morning. Do I have pink eye?"Redness and irritation in one or both eyes is generally a symptom of conjunctivitis, sometimes known as “pink eye.” Bob Costas had a particularly bad...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 4:36 PM

How not to get sick this Valentine's Day

Don't spread more than love this Valentine's Day.Credit: Digital VisionUnfortunately, much more than love is in the air on Valentine's Day. If your date is sick on Valentine’s Day, better to stay away and celebrate on another day, than risk any of these illnesses:Colds and fluMid-winter is prime-...

Monday, February 10, 2014, 11:36 PM

Eat, drink and be healthy this holiday season

Don't wind up like this!Credit: Getty ImagesThe holidays are a time to burn your candles at both ends, but you have to be careful to not flame out. The pressure and stress from a combination of year-end work commitments, social events, family get-togethers, shopping and financial strain can easily...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013, 4:49 PM

Should you exercise while sick?

Sometimes, it's just better to stay home.Credit: foshydog/flickrThe question:Is it OK to exercise when I’m sick?The human body is a miracle of integrated structure and function in so many ways. One of the more practical means of connecting function and feasibility is the idea that if something...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 5:00 PM

Think you have herpes? Here's what to do

Careful: Just because you don't see any cold sores doesn't mean the person's clean.Credit: Wavebreak MediaI am freaking out that I might have been exposed to herpes! What can I do?Herpes is a common sexually transmitted viral infection that may cause somewhat painful genital blisters. The Centers...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 6:53 PM

What's causing your sore throat?

Your sore throat is likely caused by a virus.Credit: Metro FileThe question: I’ve had a sore throat for a few days. How do I know if I have strep and need antibiotics?A sore throat (pharyngitis) is among the most common reasons that people seek medical attention. Pharyngitis can be caused by a...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013, 6:23 PM

Back pain can be mysterious, but also temporary

The good news is that back pain often goes away on its own.Credit: Getty ImagesThe question:Sometimes my back hurts when I wake up in the morning. Could this be serious?Your spine is like a series of building blocks, one vertebrae on top of another, and any misalignment may put undue stress on...

Thursday, August 8, 2013, 6:06 PM

Which OTC meds are safe to take?

Don't mix alcohol with your meds, Dr. Melrose says.Credit: StockbyteQuestion: What over-the-counter pain medicine is best, and how much can I safely take?Determining the specific source of pain is important for recommending an appropriate remedy or treatment, as pain is nature’s way of letting you...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 5:16 PM

Help for heartburn sufferers

Your daily caffeine habit could be giving you heartburn.Credit: Getty ImagesThe question:Large meals keep me awake at night with heartburn. Help!Heartburn, or as it is more officially known, Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), produces a variety of symptoms that may include: chest pain or...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 11:19 PM

Help for common summertime itching

Avoid the heat if you're feeling itchy.The question:Why does this rash itch so much and what can I do about it?Summer is a season of itching. Poison plants, allergies, sunburn, insect bites, scabies and mysterious rashes are all potential sources of pruritus, the medical term for the sensation of...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 8:22 PM

Home remedies that don't help, and could even hurt

“Doc, rubbing alcohol on a cut will prevent an infection, right?”Wrong! Here are a few of the most common ill-advised home remedies, why they don’t work, and what you should do to help yourself before seeing a doctor.Burns and butterButter has no medicinal properties whatsoever and may even...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 4:48 PM

The home remedies you should avoid

Does that sore shoulder need head or ice? Read on to find out.“Doc, pouring alcohol on a cut will prevent an infection, right?” Wrong! Here are a few of the most common ill advised home remedies, why they don’t work, and what you should do to help yourself before seeing a doctor.Burns and butter –...

Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 8:24 PM

How do I know if I have a drinking problem?

The question:I like to have a few drinks with dinner, but I drink almost every night. How do I know if I have a drinking problem?It is perfectly reasonable to enjoy a beer with a burger, a glass of wine to wind down after a long day or even getting drunk on daiquiris during your Caribbean vacation...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 5:15 PM

Help for insomniacs

The question:I am exhausted and have trouble falling asleep. What can I do about insomnia?As many as a quarter of all Americans report trouble sleeping. The immediate consequences of insomnia may result in daytime sleepiness, general fatigue, mood swings, headaches and problems paying attention to...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 5:36 PM

Behind the scenes at your checkup

An annual physical by your primary care physician is meant to provide a baseline window on what is normal for you and detect abnormal conditions or disease states that may not present any symptoms before causing you harm. Here’s what we’re looking at when you see us:Vital signsThese are a basic...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 8:46 PM