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Knee Injury: Your Top-4 Questions, Answered

Knee Injury: Your Top-4 Questions, Answered | The Survival Doctor

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

In this post, I’m going to address some of the more frequent questions that are being asked in the comment section of my post “8 Tips for How to Treat a Knee Injury and How to Know If It’s Bad.” The questions seem to center around the following:

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Why You Could Die of a Bee Sting–Even If You’ve Never Been Allergic

Bee on a purple flower

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

On my Facebook page, Terri asks:

What can be done if the person has a allergic reaction to a [bee] sting. What are the signs? What should I do if there is no bee sting medicine? medical facility.

Good questions. First you need to know, there are bee-sting reactions and there are REACTIONS. The second kind can hit ANYONE and kill you in minutes. I’m not exaggerating. You can go all your life and not be allergic to bee stings, and wham. It’s speculated that many outdoor sudden deaths where the cause is unknown happen from an allergic reaction to a bee sting. Recognizing the warning signs can save your life.

When to Get to the ER

Generally, a local reaction—anything from a minor ouch to a major swelling of the affected extremity—isn’t immediately life-threatening. Any reaction beyond that, and you should get to a medical facility immediately. In fact, you should go soon if you have major swelling. It can be treated with antihistamines and steroids, or antibiotics if it’s an infection. But it’s not the kind of reaction that’s going to [… continue reading]

Asthma Attack Without an Inhaler: 9 Steps That Could Save Your Life

Coffee pouring into a clay mug

Coffee and tea contain a chemical similar to the old asthma medicine theophylline. The amount may be too small to do much prevention, but they could be worth a try. (See step 7.)

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

I’ve never had a patient die of an asthma attack while I’m treating them, but a few have come close. I’ll never forget their desperate looks, their not being able to breath in enough air, and the relief that comes over them (and me) get when the attack is over.

Although asthma is a serious disease (over 3,000 asthmatics die in the U.S. each year), I see fewer and fewer people having severe attacks these days because of the array of excellent medications available. But what would you do if you had an asthma attack without an inhaler? What steps could you take to prevent or treat one when all the prescription medicines were gone?

Sonya asked it another way on my Facebook page: “Are there any natural cures for asthma flair-ups?”

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Pinkeye, the Original Pink Slime … and the Impostors


by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Well before the controversy over feeding our kids a kind of beef nicknamed “pink slime” in school cafeterias, there was pinkeye. It’s just as gross-looking and even more icky than the new version. Just ask anyone who’s had it.

A reader asked for some posts on common eye problems and their remedies, so guess what I thought of first. And just like some people claim about ground beef and pink slime, there’s the real pinkeye, and there are the impostors.

Pinkeye and its imitators all involve the thin, clear lining of tissue, call the conjunctiva, that covers the white of the eye. They all involve pink eyes too. The color indicates the conjunctiva is inflamed. So what causes this inflammation? Ah, there’s the rub. :-) And I hope to … clear that up—because the remedy depends on the answer.

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7 Surefire Ways to Get a Good Set of Fang Marks

Eastern cottonmouth snake

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Reader Barbara writes:

One of the obvious dangers of living in the wilderness is being bitten by a snake. What can we do for a snake bite when there is no medical care available—assuming the snake is poisonous? Comfort or treatment suggestions?

A venomous Eastern cottonmouth snake hanging out in South Carolina.

Yes, Barbara, I have some suggestions. But first things first: You have to get bitten before you need treatment. The thing is, most snake bites happen when people take unsafe risks. They almost act like they want to be bitten. Hmmm … come to think of it, considering you Twilight and True Blood fans … free tattoo?

Well, let me tell you, these fang marks cause quite a different reaction than the ones you get from good-looking vampires.

Still, to each his own. If Twihards and Truebies want to get a snake bite, let me help!* It’s really a snap. Here’s how:

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The Parasitic GI Blues

Enlarged picture of a giardia parasite.

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

I thought it might be fun to occasionally share email questions I get from you, my readers. Please let me know whether these types of topics interest you, and feel free to send me your own questions on general topics. I may use the question (a full or edited version), your first name and your state in a future post.

Here’s the first one.

Dr. Hubbard:

I have a topic I’ve never seen addressed by an MD in the preparedness community, and one I’d like to hear a doctor’s opinion on.

I’m interested in learning more about what types of intestinal parasitic infections may be common in travelers/wanderers/refugees during a lengthy emergency. Specifically, in people that may have been sheltering in close quarters in less than sanitary conditions (like the Louisiana Superdome during Katrina), had eaten spoiled/ill-prepared food (from garbage cans/dumpsters, or undercooked meat/fish), or drank from non-potable water sources (lakes, streams, puddles).

Any advice on correctly diagnosing and stocking a medicine cabinet to handle situation like this? Simple faecal tests a layman might be able perform at [… continue reading]