Wednesday, March 4, 2015
     

Columns

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Q. Is ALS an old-person's disease, or does it affect every age group?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis usually strikes between the ages of 40 and 70, but there have been cases of it in young adults, children and older people. The average age for getting ALS is 55.

ALS is known as Lou Gehrig's disease in the USA. Gehrig, who played baseball for the New York Yankees, died of the disease in 1941.

In other countries, ALS is often called motor neuron disease. It is not contagious.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Cream of Mushroom Soup

When the weather outside is frightful, I think soup is most delightful.

That was certainly the case this past Saturday, and the next few days promise more of the same.

This mushroom soup is another one of my favorites. It's a very rich soup, so we don't eat it too often, but when we do, it pairs well with some nice, crusty bread and a salad with lightly dressed, flavorful greens, such as chicory or arugula.

If you're looking for a more substantial meal, however, you can always have it as your first course.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Q. What can you do to keep the hair you have?

Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. Androgenetic Alopecia, or pattern baldness, is the most common type of alopecia; it affects about one-third of us, including me.

Men start to get pattern baldness at the hairline and crown. This can lead to complete baldness. Women's hair loss is usually limited to thinning; they rarely go totally bald.

There are a few steps you can take to preserve your hair:

Wednesday, December 31, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Left-over Christmas ham baked with pineapples and a simple glaze.

When my husband and I honeymooned in Williamsburg, we brought back with us a smoked Virginia ham. It was wrapped in a cloth bag and we hung it from the ceiling in our small apartment kitchen.

When I unwrapped it four months later on Christmas Eve I was horrified to find out that it not only had spots of mold on it, I needed to scrub it, then soak it overnight, and then scrub it again in the morning with a stiff brush before cooking it.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Q. Can a sinus infection give you a toothache?

I can write from personal experience on this one. I had a bad toothache that sent me to my dentist. He did some X-rays and could find nothing wrong. He asked me about my sinuses, and I told him I was fighting an infection. Bingo.

Yes, infection in the sinuses located in your cheekbones can cause your upper jaw and teeth to ache, and your cheeks to become tender to the touch. Sinusitis is a nasty malady that can do much more than give you a toothache.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Q. Is it worth getting shots for my allergies?

Immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots or vaccinations, can alleviate allergy symptoms. However, shots don't work on all allergies or all people.

Doctors advise against allergy shots if you take a beta blocker for high blood pressure or heart problems. If you're considering immunotherapy, seek the advice of a good allergist.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Fred Pattie's Peanut Butter Patties are a Christmas tradition.

I once knew a man whose name was Fred Pattie. His wife's name was Patty Pattie. I'm not kidding.

But wait, it gets better.

Fred Pattie, who was an over-the-road trucker, made the most amazing candy, which he would give as gifts during the holidays.

My favorite? Peanut Butter Patties. This candy tastes just like those iconic, round favorites we all love.

Ever since Fred gave me that recipe, this candy has been a holiday staple in my house, and now my kids even make it, and not just for the holidays.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Q. How extensive is alcoholism among older people?

Alcoholism is a serious problem among seniors. Here are just a few statistics:

About 70 percent of hospital admissions for older adults are for illness and accidents related to alcohol.

About half of older adults in nursing homes have an alcohol problem.

Older adults lose an average of 10 years off their lives because of alcohol abuse.

About 80 percent of doctors misdiagnose alcoholism as depression in older women.

The highest growing number of alcoholics is among 75-year-old widowers.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Q. What causes motion sickness?

Many people including me suffer nausea when traveling by boat, car or airplane. It also happens on rides in amusement parks and playgrounds. The symptoms of motion sickness are caused by conflicting messages arriving at the central nervous system.

Different parts of your body let your brain know where you are and what you're doing. The inner ears let you know if you're turning, or moving forward-backward, side-to-side, and up-and-down.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

My mother made the same Christmas cookies every year. She might add one or two different varieties, but there were always the ones we could count on: "S" Cookies, Dusan Confections, Caramel Spritz and Cappuccino Flats.

Mom's Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies, however, were everyone's favorite. (Except me, mine are the "S" Cookies.) My kids love them and my friends always ask for the recipe. I think if we didn't have them on the cookie plate on Christmas Eve, there would be a revolt in the house.