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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Q. How common is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis, or porous bone, is a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue. This condition creates an increased risk of fractures.

Our bodies remove old bone and replace it with new bone. During our growth stage, new bone is added faster than old bone is removed. We hit peak bone mass around age 30. After that age, we lose more bone than we form.

Who is at risk of

getting osteoporosis?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS  This cake is ready for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. Use your imagination and colored sanding sugar to create your own masterpiece.

This week's recipe isn't a recipe at all, but it is fun.

What you see in the photo is actually a birthday cake my daughter made, but the star and the red, silver and blue sanding sugar made me think it would be perfect for a July Fourth celebration.

You can use any size or shape cake, and any flavor. This was a chocolate cake with white icing in the center (a few spoonfuls of red and blue sanding sugar was mixed in to keep it festive). The icing is Chocolate Mocha.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Q. A friend of mine is lactose intolerant. What exactly does that mean?

People who are lactose intolerant have trouble digesting dairy products. Lactose intolerance usually is not dangerous.

Lactase is an enzyme made in the small intestine. You need lactase to digest lactose, the sugar in milk. People who are lactose intolerant don't make enough lactase; after consuming lactose, they suffer from bloating, nausea, stomach cramps and diarrhea. These symptoms usually begin a half-hour to two hours after ingesting lactose.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Chicken Murphy

Although my dad had been a professional chef when he and my mother married, he didn't work in that field while we were growing up. He cooked at home sometimes, but not as much as my mother, so we grew up thinking she was the real talent in the kitchen.

Truth is, they were both terrific cooks. The recipe I'm sharing here today comes from my dad, and it's one I first had when he put it on the menu at a restaurant where he worked before he retired. I loved it and I've made it ever since.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Q. My mouth seems to be a bit dry most of the time. Does this mean anything?

Everyone experiences dry mouth occasionally. We get it when we are under stress. But if you have dry mouth all or most of the time, you need medical help. The medical term for this condition is xerostomia.

Symptoms of this problem are: saliva that seems thick, sores or split skin at the corners of your mouth, difficulty speaking and swallowing, bad breath, a change in your sense of taste, increased plaque, tooth decay and gum disease.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Kalua Pork

Ever been to a luau? Me neither. My husband, however, lived in Hawaii for many years and as a result we often use recipes he brought back to the mainland with him.

This dish is called Kalua Pork, and is an indoor version of the popular Kalua Pig, which is usually an entire pig buried into a deep pit and cooked underground.

I have no time or patience for that kind of thing, and I know for a fact that if I saw an entire pig cooking, I wouldn't eat pork for quite some time.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Q. I've got problems with several joints and I heard low-impact exercise is something I should try. What is low-impact and can you suggest some exercises?

Warning: If you want to begin a new exercise program, you should consult your physician and request a list of exercises that are best for your age and physical condition.

As you age, your body becomes less flexible and more vulnerable to injury. Low-impact exercise does not place excessive pressure on your body. There are many low-impact activities that can give you a good, relatively safe workout.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS ABOVE: Still hot and bubbling right from the oven, Chicken Parmigiana is an easy weeknight dinner that's also perfect for company. BELOW: Our grandson Kyle is the latest family chef in a long line of cooks.

All of the men in my family are wonderful cooks.

My dad was a professional chef, my husband learned at his mother's knee and my son began making traditional family dishes when he was only 10 years old.

It's no surprise then that with our grandson Kyle visiting us for a few weeks, he would want to learn how to cook.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Q. My brother told me he has a macular pucker. Is this the same thing as macular degeneration?

First, a bit of biology ...

The lens in the front of your eye focuses light on the retina in the back of your eye. The lens is like the one in a camera, and the retina is like film. The space between the lens and retina is filled with the vitreous, a clear gel that helps to maintain the shape of the eye.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Q. Any suggestions for dealing with tinnitus?

Most tinnitus a symptom, not a disease comes from damage to the microscopic endings of the hearing nerve in the inner ear.

People who suffer from tinnitus hear phantom noises that include not just ringing but whistling, hissing, buzzing, roaring and clicking. Tinnitus is most common in people over 65.

Besides treatments such as hearing aids, drugs and therapy, there are techniques for dealing with tinnitus. Here are some:

Music: Many people find focusing on music helps them ignore their tinnitus.