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On ‘Sound Medicine’: Raw milk, driving with diabetes, and taking keys from the elderly


INDIANAPOLIS — The award-winning “Sound Medicine” announces its program for March 24, featuring several segments on patient care and nutrition, including the risks and benefits of drinking raw milk, the dangers of driving with diabetes, and how to keep your pet healthy.

“Sound Medicine” covers controversial ethics topics, breakthrough research studies and the day-to-day application of recent advancements in medicine. It’s also available via podcast and Stitcher Radio for mobile phones and iPads and posts updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Is raw milk worth the risk? Twenty states, including Indiana, have banned the commercial sale of raw milk, which has not been pasteurized or homogenized. But raw milk consumers such as Lida and Carl Pinkham have found a legal way to drink the milk they love: They own a cow share at a local dairy farm. Although Indiana law prohibits raw milk products from being sold commercially, there are no laws against drinking milk from your own cow; with a cow share, several people pay a small fee to receive a few gallons of raw milk each week. According to Michael Shutz, Ph.D., people who drink raw milk typically do it because of the differences in flavor and texture, which is contributed to butterfat levels in excess of 4 percent. However, there are risks. Pasteurization renders pathogenic bacteria harmless, while homogenization breaks down fat globules so that fat is evenly dispersed. Dr. Shutz is a professor of animal sciences and Indiana State Dairy Extension Specialist at Purdue University.

How does diabetes affect driving? Daniel Cox, Ph.D., director of the Center for Behavioral Medicine Research and professor of psychiatric medicine at the University of Virginia Health System, is leading a new project, “Diabetes Driving,” that looks at the driving history of people with type 1 diabetes. The extreme highs and lows of blood sugar caused by diabetes can lead to confusion, distorted thinking and eventually coma. According to Dr. Cox, people with type 1 diabetes need to self-police and manage their blood sugar levels before driving. Dr. Cox suggests keeping fast-acting carbohydrates, such as dextrose tablets, in the car in case of an emergency. If the car trip is longer than an hour, Dr. Cox recommends repeated blood glucose testing every hour or two.

When is it time to take the keys from the elderly: Julie Lee, vice president and national director of AARP Driver Safety, speaks with Kathy Miller about when it’s time for adult children to take the keys of an elderly parent. Adult children can look for warning signs of erratic driving behavior, such as body damage or repeated instances of hitting a mailbox or dinging the garage door. According to Lee, elderly drivers would rather have the conversation about stopping driving with a spouse or doctor, so adult children should approach the topic with sensitivity. Lee also suggests that adult children watch the Talking With Older Drivers online seminar offered on AARP’s website.

Can brushing your pet’s teeth lead to overall better health? “Sound Medicine” regular Elizabeth Murphy, DVM, discusses the importance of brushing your pet’s teeth. Periodontal disease has been affecting humans and pets alike for hundreds of years. However, the link between periodontal disease and overall health problems in pets is not widely known. According to Dr. Murphy, periodontal disease causes gum inflammation, odor and potential loss of teeth. Periodontal disease is also linked to the development of heart and kidney disease in dogs and cats. Dr. Murphy recommends brushing your pet’s teeth every two to three days with a finger brush and pet-approved toothpaste.

What is the most important accessory for an interview? Katy Kreider, a fourth-year medical student at the IU School of Medicine, discusses her experience interviewing for residency programs across the country. Kreider reminisces about the wonderful patients she has had the experience of treating in the past and why she’s looking forward to her residency in family practice. According to Kreider, a smile is the most important thing to bring to an interview.

“Sound Medicine,” co-produced by the IU School of Medicine and WFYI Public Radio (90.1 FM) and underwritten in part by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, is aired on the following Indiana public radio stations: WBSB (Anderson, 89.5 FM), WFIU (Bloomington, 103.7 FM; Columbus, 100.7 FM; Kokomo, 106.1 FM; Terre Haute, 95.1 FM), WNDY (Crawfordsville, 91.3 FM), WVPE (Elkhart/South Bend, 88.1 FM), WNIN (Evansville, 88.3 FM), WBOI (Fort Wayne, 89.1 FM), WFCI (Franklin, 89.5 FM), WBSH (Hagerstown/New Castle, 91.1 FM), WFYI (Indianapolis), WBSW (Marion, 90.9 FM), WBST (Muncie, 92.1 FM), WBSJ (Portland, 91.7 FM), WLPR (Lake County, 89.1 FM) and WBAA (West Lafayette, 101.3 FM).

“Sound Medicine” is also broadcast on these public radio stations across the country: KSKA (Anchorage, Alaska), KTNA (Talkeetna, Alaska), KUHB (Pribilof Islands, Alaska), KUAF (Fayetteville and Fort Smith, Ark.), KIDE (Hoopa Valley, Calif.), KRCC (Colorado Springs, Colo.), KEDM (Monroe, La.), WCMU (Mount Pleasant, Mich.), WCNY and WRVO-1 (Syracuse, N.Y.), KMHA (Four Bears, N.D.), WYSU (Youngstown, Ohio), KPOV (Bend, Ore.) and KEOS (College Station, Texas).