By Dr Peter Kadile
Hey Doc, I feel like I am getting a cold. My friends say I should get a Zpack from my doctor, but I can’t get in to see him for a week. What is a Zpack? Vincent, Palm Springs
Vincent, a Zpack is an antibiotic called azithromycin that you take for 5 days. It works well against a broad spectrum of antibiotic infections, but does not work against viral infections. A “cold” is a viral infection and will not respond to any antibiotic. I very frequently have a discussion with patients about the misuse of antibiotics for colds. The very common argument that I get is, “well the Zpack worked the last time I got a cold”.
The truth is, patients generally get better on their own in a week, and if they happen to have taken antibiotics, feel it was the antibiotics that cured them, but in reality the antibiotics had nothing to do with it. Antibiotics are not benign, they can adversely affect your gut, destroy good as well as bad bacteria and cause bacterial resistance with overuse. When you get a cold, rest, drink plenty of water and increase supplementation with vitamin C and D. If the cold symptoms (cough, sneezing, congestion, runny nose) persist for greater than 1-2 weeks, then see your doctor for further evaluation.
Dr. Kadile, I’m trying to lose weight. I started running 3 times a week and have modified my diet by decreasing my bread and pasta intake. I don’t drink much alcohol except 1-2 glasses of wine with my meals, is that okay? Stephanie, Rancho Mirage
Stephanie, it’s great that you have decided to lose weight. A regular exercise plan and modified diet are excellent starting points for you to start losing weight. Unfortunately, regular alcohol intake is a weight gainer. Depending on the wine, one glass of wine can have 110-300 calories. Wine has alcohol and sugar in it, with alcohol having 7 calories per gram and sugar having 4 calories per gram. So if you need your wine to “relax” after a hard day, don’t be surprised if you can’t lose weight.
Dr. K, I’ve been diagnosed with “pre-diabetes”. My doctor told me to lose weight, avoid sweets and decrease my bread, rice and pasta intake. Are there any nutritional supplements I can take? George, Cathedral City
George, in addition to the good advice your doctor gave, a good nutritional supplement that helps with control of blood sugars is cinnamon.
According to a study published in Diabetics Care, consuming up to 6 grams of cinnamon per day “reduces serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes”. Add cinnamon to your diet
Dr. Kadile, someone told me you play in a band, is that true? -Tracy, La Quinta
Yes, it is true. I sing and play guitar in a rock band, The Refills. We play The Grill on Main in Old Town La Quinta every Saturday night.