[Nameplate] Fair ~ 33°F  
Freeze Warning
Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014
Dr. Jennifer's House Call: Should you worry about Ebola? (10/22/14)
Situations can arise where widespread panic takes hold of people. Whether it's a political situation, civil unrest or a scary disease, there's always one thing that is true. The media blows it out of proportion and freaks everybody out. Case in point, Ebola. Oddly enough, I wrote an article on Ebola just weeks before the outbreak started over in Africa. (I swear I had nothing to do with that!) Since then, I've heard of it spreading to the western hemisphere and now to the United States...
Dr. Jennifer's House Call: Fear does us no favors (10/13/14)
Throughout the years that I've been practicing medicine, I've come across one argument several times. As a physician, it is my job to not only take care of a patient's current problems but also to try to prevent others from happening through the proper use of screening tests. ...
DR. JENNIFER'S HOUSE CALL: GERD (09/13/14)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a problem that plagues many people. Mostly known for its side effect of heartburn, GERD is a disorder of the digestive tract. Today we are going to learn more about how it affects us and what we can do about it...
Emotions are contagious (08/23/14)
What is an airborne virus? Well, viruses spread in different ways. Most of the time you have to physically touch someone or something with the virus to pick it up and transfer it to you. However, some viruses are very clever and have developed advanced ways of spreading themselves around. ...
Dr. Jennifer's House Call: Side effects of medicines (08/16/14)
One frustrating part of a doctor's job is a patient that doesn't take their medicine. This isn't because the patient isn't doing what we told them to do. It's not about a power trip for us. Well, it isn't for me, anyway. Instead, it's knowing that the patient isn't getting better despite a safe, recommended solution...
Dr. Jennifer's House Call: Bell's Palsy (08/11/14)
Affecting about 40,000 people in the U.S. per year, Bell's Palsy can be a scary and frustrating condition. Named after the Scottish surgeon, Sir Charles Bell, who first described the reason for the condition, Bell's Palsy was actually documented in medical literature as early as 900 AD by the Persian physician, Rhazes...
Dr. Jennifer's House Call: Psoriasis (08/02/14)
Welcome to August and Psoriasis Awareness month! Psoriasis is a common, non-contagious skin disease that causes cells on the top layer of the skin to build up very quickly. This can cause silvery colored scales and itchy, dry, red patches on someone's skin. This month we are going to learn a little more about it...
Dr. Jennifer's House Call: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) (07/26/14)
One of the most common things that I diagnose in my patients is COPD. Everyone knows it has to do with breathing badly... but how? What is it, really? And how does it happen? That's what I would like to teach you about today. First, we need to go over how the lungs work normally...
Occurring commonly in women, endometriosis can be a real pain. Literally. But, what is it? And how does it cause pain? And, what can be done about it? This week we are going to try to answer these and more questions about this painful condition. The (07/19/14)
Occurring commonly in women, endometriosis can be a real pain. Literally. But, what is it? And how does it cause pain? And, what can be done about it? This week we are going to try to answer these and more questions about this painful condition. The enometrium is the lining of the uterus, which builds up each month to recieve and nourish an egg...
Burns (07/03/14)
The 4th of July is one of America's most cherished holidays. It's also one of the most dangerous ones. Burns are probably the most common injury on this particular day. Whether it's from fireworks, the sun, or the barbeque grill, burns come in many different degrees and can be anything from a simple annoyance to a danger to life. We will be going over some burn statistics, types of burns, different degrees of burns, how they affect us, and how they should be treated...
Ebola Virus (06/28/14)
Every once in a while we need a change of pace. I am no exception. Sometimes I just need to step out of my normal realm and explore something fresh and new. It's fun to have new experiences and learn different things. So this week we are going to do just that. We are going to learn about something exotic that will likely never affect any of you... thankfully...
Migraines - Things you did and didn't know (06/21/14)
Headaches are pretty common. I hear about them in the office all the time. But many people come in complaining of migraines. Problem is, many are mistaking a really bad headache for a migraine. They aren't the same thing. So today we are going to go over some information about headaches in general and then, more specifically, migraines and how they are a special category of headache...
Dr. Jennifer's House Call: High Cholesterol (06/07/14)
Whether you are young or old, rich or poor, urban or country... cholesterol could be slowly destroying your health. We've heard a lot about having high cholesterol, the risks of such and that we should eat low cholesterol foods. But what is cholesterol? How do we get it and is it all bad? In honor of my father, who was treated for high cholesterol and conditions it caused, I would like to teach you all more about it this week...
Doctors are people too (05/17/14)
Here I was, all ready to write up a typical medical article for you guys this week, but I can't get one particular thought off of my mind. A very sad, yet very typical, event occurred in my office this week and I wanted to use it to remind everyone of a simple truth...
The ABCs of Skin Lesions (05/03/14)
Well, Spring has officially sprung in Kennett and the weather has started to turn quite warm. We are all getting outside more and the sun is now a common companion. We have already gone over how we need to protect ourselves from our friend, the sun, and what dangers can happen when we don't. ...
What kids really want (04/26/14)
God really works in mysterious ways. Here I am, a woman with no children, but I give parents and grandparents advice on raising children all the time. It might be because I've taken psychology classes and the lessons stuck with me. Or, it might be because I've been surrounded by and helped raise many children. ...
Alcohol Awareness (04/19/14)
Every April since 1987, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has sponsored an Alcohol Awareness Month. This year they are focusing on the problem of underage drinking. So I wanted to share some statistics and thoughts with you on the subject...
All about kidneys (03/08/14)
March is National Kidney Month and March 13, 2014 is World Kidney Day. But, what's the big deal? Why are kidneys so important? Well, in truth, without kidneys we would die. They do much more than just rid the body of waste in the form of urine. So let's go back to biology class together and find out why kidneys are such fascinating and important organs...
Multiple Sclerosis (03/01/14)
Welcome to March! This month celebrates Multiple Sclerosis awareness, so let's learn about it! Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is one of many different kinds of autoimmune diseases. These diseases are where the body's immune system gets confused and attacks normal parts of the body...
I'm not mourning (02/15/14)
On Tuesday, my father passed away. He had fought many different cancers for many years, but it was the lung cancer complicated with pneumonia that finally took his life. It's normal to grieve after a loss. Everyone does it. But different people mourn in different ways. ...
Neuropathy (02/08/14)
One of my dedicated readers often discusses my weekly articles with one of my favorite patients as they do their early morning walk. He mentioned on one occasion, which was then passed back to me, that he would like to know more about neuropathy. So, this is for you, Mr. Dedicated Reader...
Understanding Grief (02/01/14)
This week I am struggling with my words. I'm normally such a chatty person that it's harder for me to shut up than to talk. But when difficult times arise, even I am at a loss for words. Simply put, my father is dying. (Wow... to write it really seems to make it more real.) He has been battling cancer for many years, but we have recently realized that we are losing the war. This week, we made the difficult decision to place him under the care of a hospice company...
Understanding Grief (02/01/14)
This week I am struggling with my words. I'm normally such a chatty person that it's harder for me to shut up than to talk. But when difficult times arise, even I am at a loss for words. Simply put, my father is dying. (Wow... to write it really seems to make it more real.) He has been battling cancer for many years, but we have recently realized that we are losing the war. This week, we made the difficult decision to place him under the care of a hospice company...
Welcome to Virus Season! (01/20/14)
It seems that Kennett and it's surrounding areas have recently undergone attack. I've been telling patients as they come in (all with the same symptoms) that they have the same thing that 95% of Kennett has... a virus. We've gone over the difference between bacterial and viral infections before, so I won't belabor the point...
Thank You (12/28/13)
This week I wanted to say a simple thank you. For 48 weeks now, I have shared science, medicine, and my simple thoughts with you. And in return, I've been told that you have learned and enjoyed the process with me. I know there are several of you that have become loyal readers and that truly warms my heart...
Ouch! (12/14/13)
My poor husband is a warm weather person. I've laughed a lot recently as he has asked if winter is over yet and I've replied with, "It hasn't even started yet." This cold, icy weather has not been kind to him. And, I'm sure some of you reading this have felt it's bite too... particularly as it sends you flying to the ground as you've slipped and fell. A simple fall is never really simple. It can have lasting effects from hours to weeks afterwards...
Giving yourself (12/07/13)
I love Christmastime. It's definitely my favorite time of year. I'm surrounded by family, friends, beautiful decorations, and (if I'm lucky) snow. But... isn't there always a "but" in my articles? My husband doesn't like Christmas. Well, let me rephrase that... My husband doesn't like what Christmas has become. And frankly, neither do I...
Giving thanks (11/23/13)
This time of year is always exciting. For me, it starts with a bounty of chocolate bought under the guise of handing it out to children. Then comes the magnificent fall colors and preparation for the biggest meal of the year. After that, we roll over into the Christmas season and excitement builds until that big day. Then we celebrate the beginning of a new year and life finally starts to slow down again...
Does turkey make you sleepy? (11/16/13)
In 1621, pilgrims and indians spent 3 days together in a giant feast of celebration. A bountiful harvest had ensured that they would survive another winter and the spirit and practice of Thanksgiving was born. Our Thanksgiving meal has changed a bit since then, but our mindset hasn't. We're going to eat... and we are going to eat good!...
Dr. Jennifer's House Call: COPD (11/09/13)
One of the most common things that I diagnose in my patients is COPD. Everyone knows it has to do with breathing badly... but how? What is it, really? And how does it happen? That's what I would like to teach you about today. First, we need to go over how the lungs work normally...
Are you my Mummy? (11/02/13)
This weekend many of you are probably cleaning up some unusual things... cottony cobwebs, unusual amounts of black clothing, fake spiders... Some might even be throwing away strips of white fabric used to wrap up a loved one into a fearsome mummy. This time of year, many scary movies start hitting cable and television and one of my personal favorites is The Mummy. ...
Dr. Jennifer's House Call: The Vampire Disease (10/26/13)
One of the best parts of writing for the newspaper, is always looking out for things to write about. Sometimes, I'm sitting around on a Thursday night, racking my brain for a subject to address. Other times, the article subject falls right into my lap. This week's article was one of those...
Dr. Jennifer's House Call: Breast Cancer (10/05/13)
As you see pink ribbons start appearing everywhere, you realize that it's October and Breast Cancer awareness month. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women (skin cancer is the first). Due to increased awareness and research funding, diagnosis and treatment has improved greatly over the last several years. But it is still a very real danger so we are going to go over it this week...
Bell's Palsy (08/24/13)
Affecting about 40,000 people in the U.S. per year, Bell's Palsy can be a scary and frustrating condition. Named after the Scottish surgeon, Sir Charles Bell, who first described the reason for the condition, Bell's Palsy was actually documented in medical literature as early as 900 AD by the Persian physician, Rhazes...
How does a medicine get its side effects? (08/10/13)
One frustrating part of a doctor's job is a patient that doesn't take their medicine. This isn't because the patient isn't doing what we told them to do. It's not about a power trip for us. Well, it isn't for me, anyway. Instead, it's knowing that the patient isn't getting better despite a safe, recommended solution...
Psoriasis (08/03/13)
Welcome to August and Psoriasis Awareness month! Psoriasis is a common, non-contagious skin disease that causes cells on the top layer of the skin to build up very quickly. This can cause silvery colored scales and itchy, dry, red patches on someone's skin. This month we are going to learn a little more about it...
Dr. Jennifer's House Call: Hemochromatosis (07/27/13)
July is Hemochromatosis (pronounced he-moe-kroe-muh-TOE-sis) Awareness month. But even though it is the most common genetic disease in caucasians (affecting up to 1 in every 200 people), hardly anyone knows about it. So that is what we will talk about today...
Juvenile Arthritis (07/20/13)
Arthritis is known to many of us. It is a common diagnosis that actually includes over one hundred different diseases that wear down and, eventually, destroy joints, cartilage, and other connective tissues in the body. When this happens to a child the age of 16 or younger, it is referred to as Juvenile Arthritis (JA)...
Bat box - the answer to all our problems (07/13/13)
It finally feels like summer here in Kennett. Summer here brings many things that I am, personally, not very fond of... sunburns, sweating, and mosquitos. For this week I am going to divert from my normal medical education and talk about something very dear to my heart: nature. More specifically, I want to tell you about a life long love of mine and how it can help us lead healthier and wealthier lives. So what is this passion of mine? The answer might surprise you... it's bats...
Dr. Jennifer's House Call: Burns (07/07/13)
The 4th of July is one of America's most cherished holidays. It's also one of the most dangerous ones. Burns are probably the most common injury on this particular day. Whether it's from fireworks, the sun, or the barbeque grill, burns come in many different degrees and can be anything from a simple annoyance to a danger to life...
What does generic mean? (06/29/13)
In medicine, we use a lot of fancy language. For instance, a myocardial infarction is the official name for a heart attack. The olecranon is known to most people as the pointy part of the elbow. But diseases and body parts are not the only bits of this profession that contain odd words. Generic is one of those words that is commonly heard, but not frequently understood. We know that a generic medicine is cheaper... but why? Today I'm going to unravel that mystery...
Are you really allergic? (06/22/13)
Whether or not someone has a drug allergy is one of the first questions a patient should be asked in a doctor's office. The answer to this question can mean the difference between comfort and wellness versus suffering and death. But what exactly does it mean to be allergic and what should you expect if you are? That's our topic for this week...
Endometriosis (06/15/13)
Occurring commonly in women, endometriosis can be a real pain. Literally. But, what is it? And how does it cause pain? And, what can be done about it? This week we are going to try to answer these and more questions about this painful condition...
The ABCs of skin lesions (06/08/13)
Well, Spring has officially sprung in Kennett and the weather has started to turn quite warm. We are all getting outside more and the sun is now a common companion. We have already gone over how we need to protect ourselves from our friend, the sun, and what dangers can happen when we don't. ...
The "Skinny" on Skin Cancer: Part 3- Melanoma (05/19/13)
As May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, we are going over what we need to know about this common type of cancer. This week, we are going to learn more about the scariest subtype of skin cancer, melanoma. Melanoma is, by far, one of the scariest kinds of cancer to be diagnosed. ...
The 'Skinny' on Skin Caner: Part 1 (05/05/13)
General information and Skin Lymphoma Welcome to May, spring weather, and skin cancer awareness month! As the weather finally starts warming up more often, we are anxious to get outside into the sunshine. But while the sun is a welcome sight after a Missouri winter, it can be nothing more than a shining ball of trouble for us doctors and our patients. ...
What is Autism? (04/28/13)
April is Autism Awareness month, so I thought we would end our month with learning more about it! Autism is actually a more general term that covers many different subtypes of complex brain disorders. These subtypes include autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder- not otherwise specified (PDD- NOS), and Asperger syndrome. ...
Living life without regrets (04/22/13)
The longer I practice medicine, the more I realize that being a doctor is more than just prescribing medicines. Most doctors stop right there. But, I feel like they are cheating their patients and themselves. That's because giving prescriptions treats only the body and occasionally the mind. ...
What's the difference? (04/07/13)
Here in the last few years, it seems that healthcare is on every corner. Every street seems to have a doctor's office, hospital, or urgent care. However, you also hear in the news how there is a shortage of doctors. How can there be more places to get healthcare but a shortage of doctors? The answer is... ...
What is a D.O.? (03/31/13)
This is one of the common questions that I get asked in my office. Most patients are used to their doctor having the letters M.D. after their name. But a handful of doctors have D.O. instead. So, what does the D.O. mean? How does that affect the way that a doctor treats a patient? Does the difference really matter? Now, I have to admit, I'm biased on the subject. But once I explain the difference, perhaps you'll understand...
Understanding cancer, part 4: Naming & staging cancers (03/24/13)
During our Understanding Cancer series, we've gone over many topics covering the basics of cancer. We've gone over what cancer is, how it develops, what it does to the body, how common it is, who is likely to get cancer, what the lymphatic system does, and how it relates to cancer. If you missed any of these, you can catch yourself up by looking back on the website at this address: http://www.dddnews.com/columns/housecall...
Understanding cancer, part 3: The Lymphatic System (03/17/13)
I hope you all are enjoying learning about cancer. We all seem to have someone in our life that is affected by it. So it's important to know all we can so that we can help ourselves and those affected cope with the process of cancer. After all, knowledge is power...
Understanding cancer, part 2 (03/10/13)
In honor of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we have been going over the basics of cancer. Last week we looked at what cancer really is, how it forms in the body, and how it affects the body. This week, let's look at how common cancer is and who is at risk for developing it...
Understanding cancer, part 1 (03/03/13)
Understanding cancer, part 1 Cancer is a scary word. It's the one word that every person fears hearing when they or someone they love becomes ill. March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. So in honor of educating ourselves on the subject, we will be going over some basics of cancer. This week we will learn what cancer is and how it affects the body...
A cuddly treatment for depression (02/24/13)
In 2012, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) stated that one in ten Americans met the criteria for being depressed. America has been found to be the second highest country in the world for depressed citizens. (The highest rate of depression by country was France.) Missouri is often in the top ten states in America for percentage of depression. ...
Infections: Viral vs. Bacterial (02/18/13)
This is always a busy time of year for a doctor's office. People are getting sick left and right and wanting nothing more than to feel better. This year has been even worse with a rise in flu cases late in the season. Seems like anywhere you turn a friend, family member, or co-worker is sick and you just know you are going to be next. ...
A lemon a day keeps the pimples away (02/10/13)
Some people are lucky. They approach puberty, get their pimples, and then pass into their twenties and never have to worry about acne again. For the rest of us, acne is a plague that starts early in life and we never seem to get rid of it. We try every product on the shelves and spend hundreds, perhaps even thousands of dollars on creams, gels, and soaps that promise to rid us of our ugly skin. ...
Why do I take this pill twice and eat food with that pill? (02/03/13)
One difficulty that us doctors have with our patients is that our patients don't take their medicine correctly. Some patients make quick assumptions and take their medicine the way they THINK they should take them. These assumptions are the fault of the patient. ...
Eat a wise portion size (01/26/13)
Portion control is probably one of the easiest ways of modifying a poor diet. In America, anything bigger is better... except when it comes to our food. Most people don't know the size of a proper proportion. If we did, we wouldn't overeat so often. ...
There's no easy way to lose weight (01/23/13)
So far this month we've talked about whether or not we are addicted to food and the most probable causes of being overweight. And now that we have identified some problems it's time to start fixing them. But fixing them is not easy. Everyone wants to take the easy way out. ...
Why are you overweight? (01/13/13)
The most popular New Year's resolution is to lose weight. Why? Because as the Food Research and Action Center statistics say, two thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. That means that six to seven out of every ten adults has extra weight on them. Put most simply, there are three big reasons that people are overweight... poor diet, lack of exercise, or medical problems. Let's go through each one...
Are you addicted to food? (01/06/13)
As the holiday season comes to an end, everyone (including me) dreads getting on the scale. Parties and calorie rich food have been all around us for two solid months now. And we all use the excuse of, 'Well, it's the holidays. I'll get back on track in January.' Well, now it's January and it's time. So let's get started!...
Jennifer Sellman
Dr. Jennifer's House Call
Jennifer Sellman, D.O., is owner of Willow Family Medicine, LLC, of Kennett, Mo. Her office is located at 1061 Jones Street.