House Call Medicine’s Benefits Highlighted by Link between Rare Forms of Anaphylaxis and Allergies to Red Meat, says Dr. Michael Farzam of House Call Doctor Los Angeles

After being considered an almost quaint mid-century practice, house call medicine is making a comeback.

Highly useful information is often more easily discovered by a doctor in a home setting.

A November 30 article on Medical News Today reports on a study looking into anaphylaxis, a serious and potentially life-threatening type of allergic reaction that can be marked by difficulty breathing, dramatically lowered blood pressure, and sometimes fainting spells. The most common known causes are agents obtained from food, medications, and biting insects. A new study looked at a number of patients whose anaphylactic reactions had no known cause. It turned out that 70 patients in the group appeared to be allergic to a certain type of sugar molecule found in beef, lamb, and pork. Dr. Farzam says that this kind of highly useful information is often more easily discovered by a doctor in a home setting.

Dr. Farzam cites the fact that house call doctors are often able to see things that would not be apparent during a standard office visit and which a patient might easily neglect to mention. For example, in the case of an allergic reaction, a doctor might actually be able to observe or verify certain facts. Dr. Farzam says that one example might be if a doctor, after having stabilized a patient with anaphylaxis, might notice the smell of cooked hamburger or pork chops in the air. He might even ask if he can open the refrigerator to see what foods the patient is eating on a regular basis.

On the subject of smells, Dr. Farzam notes that there have been instances when a house call doctor has been called regarding certain kinds of common symptoms such as lightheadedness or nausea which seem to have no known cause. He notes that, upon entering a home, a doctor may occasionally smell a toxic substance such as natural gas, heading off potentially very deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. He also says that certain factors that patients might be tempted to conceal from doctors may become apparent. For example, patients might be embarrassed to admit that they have relapsed and started smoking again. Dr. Farzam adds that such clues as a butte in the front yard or lingering smells (or the heavy use of air freshener to hide it) can often…

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