Download current issue Email your medical question to Doctor, Doctor

BG Health Magazine is presented by Heritage Corner Health Care Campus

Doctor, Doctor

Ask anything! A trio of local doctors answer your medical questions in each issue of
BG Health Magazine. Extended questions and answers are available on the website.

A Travel






And More...

  • A Clear Focus on Surgery
  • The Cancer Center
  • Healthy Hair
  • Epidemic Response

BG Health Magazine is available in many health care facilities and doctors' offices. If you'd like to receive copies for your business or organization, please contact us.

Doctor, Doctor!

Ask anything! A trio of local doctors answer your medical questions in each issue of BG Health Magazine. Extended questions and answers are available on the website.

The Doctors

Dr. Randy A. Trimpey, MD
Bowling Green Clinic
Board Certified Family Practice & Sports Medicine

Dr. Jeffrey B. Noftz II, PT, MD
Bowling Green Clinic
Head Team Physician – BGSU
Board Certified Family Practice

Dr. Carlos Gomez, MD
Bowling Green Orthopaedics
Specializes in Orthopaedics,
Sports Medicine & Trauma

Concern: I would like to see a dermatologist. Do I have to have a referral from my primary care physician (PCP) to see a specialist? Should all my medical questions be discussed first with my regular doctor?

Dr. Noftz: Many insurance companies require a referral from your primary care physician in order to see a specialist however some do not. It’s always best to call your insurance company to see what the policy is. As a primary health care provider, I like to know any of the health care related information that my patients want me to know. This helps to provide a continuity that would not otherwise exist. Without the continuity that a primary health care physician provides, it is possible to have duplication of services and medications that can raise costs and in rare cases adversely affect your health.

Concern: What about unconventional treatments rather than surgery? Which are most effective?

Dr. Gomez: Unconventional treatment. If the patient is comfortable with any unconventional treatment and notices improvement, I do not see why not to use them.

Doctor, Doctor!

Concern: I often get leg cramps at night. What can I do to relieve them?

Dr. Noftz: Leg cramps, especially at night, are very common and often times not reported to physicians. Most commonly, the cramps involve a rather sudden onset of a muscle contraction in the calves or back of the thigh. These symptoms are different than other forms of night time leg problems like Restless Leg Syndrome and your doctor can help you determine which problem is specifically bothering you.

Common leg cramps can be caused by several different sources, however most are idiopathic. Idiopathic basically means we don't know why they occur. Some night time leg cramps can be related to muscle fatigue when a person over does it during the day. Some can be related to inactivity from prolonged sitting or sedentary activity. Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances are often a source of leg cramps, especially if a person is on a diuretic to control blood pressure, or if they are an athlete who excessively sweats. Finally, some medicines can predispose a person to leg cramps such as medicines for asthma, blood pressure and birth control. Your doctor may be able to help you decide if a medicine you are taking falls into this category.

If you experience widespread, recurrent or severe muscle cramping, you should see your doctor promptly to evaluate for electrolyte abnormalities. Otherwise, for benign leg cramps there are several things you can do to help prevent them from occurring and to stop them once they have started.

To prevent them from occurring:

  1. Stretching before going to sleep may help. Although we haven't proven this yet, stretching the calves and the hamstrings seems to make sense and has helped many patients reduce the number and frequency of night time leg cramps. Each stretch should be held for approximately 15 to 20 seconds and repeated three to five times. Accomplish the stretches in the morning and in the evening before going to bed for the first week. Then, if your schedule is busy, stretching just before bed may be enough.
  2. If your lifestyle is sedentary, increasing activity can help reduce the frequency of leg cramps as well. A gentle bike ride or easy walk at the end of the day has been shown to reduce night time leg cramps. Ask your doctor before beginning any significant activity if you have current heart or lung related health concerns.

Doctor, Doctor!


  3. Keeping hydrated with water, especially if you are an active person or athlete, can help prevent muscle cramping as well. For most of us, electrolyte drinks like Gatorade are not necessary. If you are taking medicines for diabetes or high blood pressure, using electrolyte drinks should first be discussed with your doctor.

Finally, if you do get awakened in the night with a leg cramp here are a few tips to consider:

  1. Try walking or jiggling the leg followed by elevation
  2. A warm shower or bath may help
  3. Ice massage has been shown to help some people
  4. Stretching the muscle while doing any of the above should help as well

If none of these ideas work for you, talk to your doctor. There are some medications that can be gotten either over the counter or through a prescription that may help.

Concern: How often do you discuss a patient's concerns about medical insurance during their office visit?

Dr. Trimpey: I feel the physician always needs to be sensitive about the patient's medical coverage. When appropriate, I try to give patients options in their medical care that fit insurance coverage and the patient's budget.

Concern: We have all heard that positive thinking makes us feel physically better and heal faster. How do you motivate patients to embrace this?

Dr. Gomez: Yes, positive thinking is part of Healthy Living. I consider myself a very positive human being and always try to pass it on to my peers and my patients. I encourage them, as well as I encourage the family, to be positive during the whole process of treatment. I talk to my patients about realistic goals of treatment and I also emphasize that we have to work as a team and my patients are part of it. They have to be positive in order to accomplish our goals.

Concern: How often do you recommend to patients that they lose weight? In your opinion, is this the biggest overall health concern today?

Dr. Trimpey: Weight loss is frequently discussed with my patients when discussing a treatment plan for his or her medical conditions. The most common medical conditions I treat, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, depression, and back pain can be influenced by the patient's weight.

Doctor, Doctor!

Concern: Do you recommend glucosamine for relief of joint pain? Is it safe to take on a regular basis?

Dr. Gomez: I have patients that ask about Glucosamine and I give them all the information for them to understand what type of product it is, the advantages or disadvantages. Glucosamine has a substance that has the major component in the joint cartilage that's why it has been used for many years for OA. Most of the patients showed improvement after starting treatment with it. Clinical studies have reported consistently that it is a safe and well tolerated product, but it's important for the patients to understand that if there is any adverse effects identified while taking it, it is better to stop, or see their doctor who prescribed it.

Concern: What is your personal idea of "Healthy Living?"

Dr. Trimpey: I believe in moderation. Health is mental and phyiscal. A ballanced daily routine of smart food choices, exercise, work, and relaxation is best. Overindulgence in any of these four areas could lead to problems with one's health.

Concern: When I walk, I hear a clicking sound in my hip and feel pain. Does this mean I need surgery? Will chiropractic treatment help?

Dr. Gomez: The most important in this case scenario is to have all the tools to identify the problem, (physical examination, x-rays, MRI, or any other studies.) A different variety of problems can cause the symptom and not all the time does this mean surgery.

Concern: If our readers were able to make one change to their homes to create a healthier and safer environment, what would you suggest?

Dr. Gomez: For a healthier environment, I would recommend they not smoke at home and for a safer environment they should remove rugs on floors that can be a hazard for falls.

Doctor, Doctor!

Concern: What is your personal idea of "Healthy Living?"

Dr. Gomez: Healthy Living is a choice that you make that can affect your overall well-being:

Food & Nutrition - There are general areas that will allow you to have a healthy living and a balanced life including food and nutrition, healthy eating always includes the consumption of fruits and vegetables that can be 5 servings a day, fat free or low fat dairy, whole grains, and always watching portion size is very important. There should also be a decrease of salt, sugar, and fat. Always look for healthy oils like olive and canola oil, avoid frying foods and as an alternative it is important to do more broiling, steaming or roasting.

Exercise - Is very important because it will lead to a longer life and improved health, prevents heart disease and other health problems. It is important you begin gradually with moderate exercises to avoid injuries. Always talk to your doctor to seek guidance for health problems, especially if there is any history of heart disease or arthritis. Exercise is always ideal 4~6 times a week for at least 30 minutes, but very important is starting a warm up 5-10 minutes before exercise and have a period of a cool down 5-10 minutes afterwards.

Emotional health - It is important to have a good balance between spirituality and b~ing able to cope with stress. Emotional stress can weaken your bodies immune system and you are more likely to be at risk for infections.

Addictions - It is very important to quit smoking, I always address this issue with my patients, as well as decreasing the consumption of alcohol or any drug. They definitely increase the risk of many cancers including mouth, breast, liver, throat and last, but not least, gambling.

Prevention - Can be discussed with a health team including fall prevention and good gear during exercise.

Vaccination - Is important depending on the age to be updated on vaccines including flu shots.

Medications - Always take medicines as prescribed and follow up regularly with your doctor.

Contact BG Health Magazine

Please send your comment or question using the form below.

Thank you!

Doctor, Doctor

Email your health question below. Selected questions will be answered in upcoming issues of BG Health Magazine.

You will not receive a reply to your question in email. Your email address will not be kept by BG Health Magazine.