Hello Reno Families!

This is Leslie Greenberg.  I am a family medicine doctor in Reno, Nevada.  I attended University of Nevada School of Medicine and have recently relocated back in my hometown.  I trained and practiced medicine in the Midwest (Indiana and Kansas) for 20 years before moving back West.  I consider myself a teacher and educator.  I  have  taught family medicine residents for 18 years.  I currently teach at the family medicine residency program in Reno and also see private patients.  I invite you to read my blog.  If you would like to become a patient, please call 775-682-8200.

Medical Disclaimer

Please remember that medical information provided by myself, in the absence of a visit with a health care professional, must be considered an educational service only.  This blog should not be relied upon as a medical judgement and does not replace a physician’s independent judgement about the appropriateness or risks of a procedure or condition for a given patient.  I will do my best to provide you with information that may help you make your own health care decisions.

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Radon. Why to test? How to test? What’s important?

Radon. Why to test? How to test? What’s important?

Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas.  It is a naturally occurring radioactive gas released in soil, rock and water from the natural decay of uranium  Levels in the outdoors pose a relatively low threat to human health, but radon can accumulate in your home.  Radon is the leading environmental cause of cancer mortality in the US and 8th-leading cause of cancer mortality overall. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers.

Radon accounts for 37% of ionizing radiation.  Radon used to compromise more than 50% of ionizing radiation.  CT scans account for more of our ionizing radiation than in past years.

What is radon?

  • Radon is invisible, odorless, colorless.
  • It naturally occurs outside.
  • There’s a long latency period.  This means a cancer may occur 15-20 years later.
  • Cancers occur in a patient one at a time, not in clusters.
  • Difficult to link an individual death to radon exposure.

Where does radon come from?  Radon is from the soil and can migrate through invisible cracks in the concrete or where pipes come into a home.  Any house that has contact with soil can have increased radon concentration.   Radon is naturally drawn into buildings.

What variables are there to the radon concentration?  MANY!

  • strength of the radon source
  • porosity of the soil.
  • the distance between soil and the house (is there a crawl space?)
  • environmental factors like season, temperature, and wind.

This means that you cannot guess if a single home will have an elevated radon level. Testing is the ONLY way to know if your home has a radon problem.  If your neighbor tests, and their home is fine, it does NOT mean that yours is fine.

How to test for radon?  The outside doors and windows must be closed 12 hours before and during the test.  Best season to test is in the wintertime.  Do not put the test kit in the kitchen or bathroom or laundry room as the humidity impairs the testing accuracy.  Normal coming-and-going from the home is okay.  Less than 4pCi/I shows that there is no radon problem in the home.  Retest every 2 years as seismic activity can change the home foundation and the pathway of radon.

What to do if radon is high?  Use a certified mitigator who is also a Nevada State licensed contractor.  Get two estimates.  Radon mitigation systems can be installed in one day.  Retest needed after 24 hours to confirm radon level.

RadonNV.com  or http://www.epa.gov/radon

1-888-RADON10 (1-888-723-6610

http://breathingeasier.info is a well-done 12 minute video


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You may NOT need to take vitamin D…

img_0851You may NOT need to take vitamin D… What?!  It has been standard of care to suggest vitamin D3 1000 – 2000 IU a day.  But, recently Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology published a study involving over 53,000 patients which looked at the effects of vitamin D supplementation on future fractures, falls, and bone mineral density.

In the analysis it was found that vitamin D supplementation (800 IU or more) did NOT reduce total fracture, hip fracture or falls.  Also, vitamin D supplementation was not found to increase bone mineral density at any site including lumbar spine, hip, femoral neck (the top of the thigh bone) or “total body.”

The question of whether vitamin D supplementation helped those with differing levels of vitamin D (those who were more deficient than others) and the results were mixed.  Eight research studies found no benefit, five trials showed mixed effects and only one trial found a positive effect, meaning one trial showed that vitamin D helped make  bones more dense (stronger).

The researchers went as far to say that if there is a future study showing a positive result from vitamin D supplementation it is unlikely to alter the conclusion they’ve already made because the outcome was so robust.

Interesting research.  Want more information?  Bolland M et al.  Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology 2018 Oct 4.



Posted in bone health, General Medicine- Adults, Uncategorized, vitamins and supplements | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Tales from the hospital newborn rounds with the medical students. What is a good latch?

IMG_3419Tales from the hospital newborn rounds with the medical students.  What is a good latch?  As a follow-up to my breastfeeding blog, I was asked how to make sure the infant has a good latch onto the breast.

This is an issue all by itself.

Signs of good positioning and latch as below

  • The infant’s cheeks are rounded, not sunken or dimpled
  • The infant’s mouth is wide open before mom places the infant on the breast
  • The infant’s nose is free from the breast (so the baby can breathe through its nose)
  • The infant’s chin is pressed against the breast.
  • If any of mother’s areola is visible, more is seen above the infant’s top lip, with little showing near the chin.
  • The infants upper and lower lip are flanged outward, not sucked in.
  • The infant and mother are “tummy to tummy.”
  • Feeding is not painful to the mother after the initial minute.  I liken breastfeeding to attaching a vacuum-attachment to your breast.  Not enjoyable, but it should not be painful either.
  • The infant has a rhythmic suck-and-swallow pattern.  You should be able to hear baby gulping.
  • If baby falls asleep at the breast, undress baby and rub its feet.  The milk and mom’s skin is nice and warm so the newborn may need a little discomfort (being undressed and rubbing its feet) to keep it awake.

If you need help, see your physician or lactation consultant.  I hope this helps.

Posted in food, Pediatrics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tales from the hospital newborn rounds… how to educate about breastfeeding?

IMG_3419Tales from the hospital newborn rounds… how to educate about breastfeeding?

I love breastfeeding questions.  I helped educate both medical students and new mothers this week about breastfeeding while on newborn hospital rounds.  Here are some of the questions (and answers!)…

What do you have to do to be successful at breastfeeding?  You need to be a woman with breasts (every mother is included in this), you have to want to breastfeed, and you have to try to breastfeed (every 3 hours) or more often, as baby wants.

How long to “try”?  Your milk should “come in” by day 3 to 5 postpartum.  By 2 weeks the baby and mother should know what to do.  There are some women who do not make milk either because of lack of production or altered breast anatomy (inverted nipples make latching difficult and previous breast surgery may also impact milk ducts).

What are the benefits to breastmilk?

  • Maternal benefits: decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancer, decreased type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, decreased postpartum depression
  • Infant benefits: decreased eczema and gastroenteritis, higher IQ (no kidding!) later in life, decreased risk of childhood leukemia, decreased risk of obesity both as a child and as an adult, decreased SIDS, reduced risk of almost every kind of infection (intestinal, ear infection, lung infection, pneumonia) and less risk of asthma.

How long to breastfeed?  All major health organizations recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, then complimentary foods can be introduced with continued breastfeeding until 12 months of age.  But, I tell mothers, any amount of breastmilk is better than less.  So, if you can breastfeed for the first 6 weeks (before returning to school or work) that’s better than 5 weeks.  And, now, breast pumps are often free which helps mothers express their breastmilk when they are not with baby.  Start breastfeeding and see how it goes…

I hope this helps.IMG_3419

Posted in allergies, asthma, food, Pediatrics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

University of Nevada Reno school of Medicine free health clinics!

University of Nevada Reno school of Medicine is offering free health clinics! And 200 free flu shots.

Who is invited? Underinsured, uninsured and those without social security numbers are welcome!


For children through adults

October 6.

October 23

November 10

November 20

December 11

For women’s clinics

October 20

November 17

December 1


UNR family medicine center. On the UNR campus between the football field and the medical school.

Need more information? Call 775-350-9250

Community helping community.

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Tales from the hospital newborn rounds with medical students…What do we screen for?


Tales from the hospital newborn rounds with medical students… What do we screen for?

Oh, my life as a physician and medical educator.  I have a new crop of green third-year medical students.  They have just spent two years studying books.  Now, they get to see patients and do what most of them have been dreaming about for years.

I am the “newborn attending physician” this week and am tasked to see new babies at the local hospitals.  The medical students, most of whom are not parents themselves, are bright and eager to learn about babies.  One question that they brought up is…

Which newborn screenings are recommended and why?

  1. Congenital heart defects.  To screen for this we measure the oxygen saturation in the newborn’s blood with a probe (that looks like a light on a bandaid) at 24 hours of age.  If this is abnormal, an ultrasound of the heart (an echocardiogram) is done to see if there are structural cardiac problems.
  2. Genetic and metabolic disorders.  A heel-stick blood draw is done after 24 hours of age to test the newborn’s ability to break down milk proteins and other genetic abnormalities.  This is done by the State lab and Nevada asks for two “newborn screens”:  one done at 24 hours of age and one at 2 weeks of age.
  3. Hearing impairment.  This is done by screening for the auditory brainstem response wherein a hospital technician does a non-invasive test on a hopefully sleeping or calm infant.  (It is done this way as newborns will not raise their hand when a sound is heard.)  Sometimes, the initial screen is abnormal (most commonly due to fluid in the ears) and is repeated a few weeks later.  If still abnormal, then an audiologist is consulted.
  4. Hyperbilirubinemia (jaundice).  A transcutaneous bilirubin level is obtained by putting a non-invasive light on the newborn’s upper chest to read how much bilirubin is in the skin.  If this is elevated, then a venous sample is obtained.  If this is high, then the newborn is placed under blue lights called “bili lights.”  This is to help the bilirubin from crossing the blood-brain barrier and causing brain damage.

I hope this helps….newborn


Posted in Cancer, Pediatrics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Reno: Free Family Estate Planning Series

Reno: Free Family Estate Planning Series


2018 Family Estate Planning Series

Posted in Uncategorized