Saturday, July 12, 2014
     

Columns

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Q. Is ginger really good for nausea or is this an old wives' tale?

Ginger is an underground stem that is beige, thick and knotted. The stem extends roughly a foot above ground with long, narrow, ribbed, green leaves, and white or yellowish-green flowers.

The underground stems of the ginger plant are used for cooking and medicinal purposes. In Asia, ginger is used to treat stomach aches, nausea, and diarrhea. Ginger extract is found in many dietary supplements sold in the United States for digestive ailments.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Q. Have you ever heard of sarcopenia?

This one made me go to the dictionary. Sarcopenia, a Greek word that means loss of flesh, is the decrease in muscle tissue that comes with age.

Sarcopenia (pronounced sar-ko-PEEN-ya) begins early in life. Studies show that after age 40, most people lose about 1 percent of their muscle mass each year.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Q. I'm having memory lapses and I'm worried about Alzheimer's. What should I do?

If you're having some memory lapses, go to the doctor with a positive attitude. The fact is that many different medical conditions may cause Alzheimer's-like symptoms. You could be suffering from the effects of a high fever, dehydration, poor nutrition, reactions to medicines, thyroid problems or a minor head injury.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Q. My brother-in-law was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis. Could you do one of your columns on this subject so everyone in our family can understand it?

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a muscle disease. The name comes from Greek and Latin words meaning grave muscle weakness. Myasthenia gravis (my-us-THEEN-ee-uh GRAV-us) affects the muscles that control the eyes, face, breathing, chewing, talking, swallowing and limbs.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

(This is the second of two columns on hearing aids.)

About one in three Americans over 60 suffers from loss of hearing, which can range from the inability to hear certain voices to deafness. However, only about one out of five people who would benefit from a hearing aid uses one.

Hearing aids have a microphone, amplifier, and speaker. Sound is received by the microphone, which converts the sound waves to electrical signals and sends them to an amplifier. The amplifier boosts the signals and then sends them to the ear through a speaker.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Q. I think I need a hearing aid. Any recommendations?

(I've received this question from more than a few readers. It's a subject of great interest to seniors, so I'm going to write two columns on hearing aids.)

About one in three Americans over 60 suffers from loss of hearing, which can range from the inability to hear certain voices to deafness. However, only about one out of five people who would benefit from a hearing aid uses one.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Q. I've been reading about athletes using steroids to build themselves up. Do these drugs work for older men?

First some background on steroids. There are two types of steroids: corticosteroids and anabolic steroids. Corticosteroids, such as cortisone and prednisone, are drugs that help control inflammation. Anabolic steroids, such as androstenedione or andro, are substances that can help the body make muscle.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Q. Are there different forms of urinary incontinence?

There are several types of urinary incontinence:

Ÿ If urine leaks when you sneeze, cough, laugh or put pressure on the bladder in other ways, you have stress incontinence.

Ÿ When you can't hold urine, you have urge incontinence.

Ÿ When small amounts of urine leak from a bladder that is always full, you have overflow incontinence.

Ÿ Many seniors who have normal bladder control but have difficulty getting to the bathroom in time, have functional incontinence.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Q. I'm in the process of selling my home and my realtor told me to get the house tested for radon. I had no idea this stuff was in my house until I tested it. You should write about this health hazard.

About 1 in 15 homes in the United States contains high levels of radon, an invisible, odorless, radioactive gas. High radon levels have been found in every state.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Q. Are probiotics safe?

There is debate over the precise definition of probiotics. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization call probiotics "live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host."

Microorganisms or microbes are living organisms that can be seen only under a microscope. Microbes are everywhere; the human body contains billions of them.