Saturday, October 25, 2014
     

The Healthy Geezer

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Q. Does fiber in your diet reduce cholesterol?

There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is acted upon by the normal bacteria in your intestines. Insoluble fiber is not digested by the body and promotes regularity and softens stools. Wheat bran, whole grain products and vegetables are good sources of insoluble fiber.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Q. How dangerous is secondhand smoke? My son smokes in the house and it is annoying.

Secondhand smoke also called environmental tobacco smoke is made up of the "sidestream" smoke from the end of a cigarette, pipe, or cigar, and the "mainstream" smoke that is exhaled.

Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke absorb the same 4,000 chemical compounds that smokers do. More than 60 of these compounds are known or suspected to cause cancer.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Q. Are vitamins worth taking?

It's very important to talk with your doctor before you take any vitamin and mineral pills, especially if you take prescription medicines, have any health problems or are elderly. Taking too much of a vitamin or mineral can cause problems with some medical tests or interfere with drugs you're taking.

Vitamins and minerals are "micronutrients" your body needs in small but steady amounts. Your body can't make most micronutrients, so you must get them elsewhere.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Q. Is it dangerous to take a beta blocker for high blood pressure?

There was one study that found that beta blockers may increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke if you are using them to treat high blood pressure alone. If you are taking a beta blocker, discuss it with your doctor. Warning: Don't stop taking the drug on your own.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Q. Do you get more heartburn when you are older?

More than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month, and more than 15 million Americans experience heartburn daily. Heartburn is more common among the elderly.

Heartburn two or more times weekly may be caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. See a doctor if you have heartburn too often. The doctor can test for GERD.

In the upper GI series, you swallow a liquid barium mixture.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Q. Is it possible to donate your own blood to yourself?

Yes you can. This is called "autologous" blood donation. It's done in the weeks before nonemergency surgery. The blood is stored until the operation. Autologous donation is most often employed in surgery on bones, blood vessels, the urinary tract, and the heart, when the likelihood of transfusion is high. This form of blood donation is good for the patient, but it's beneficial to society, too.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Q. I'm considering having a hip replaced. What are the odds that this operation will work?

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says joint replacement surgery is successful in more than 9 out of 10 people.

And replacement of a hip or knee lasts at least 20 years in about 80 percent of those who have the surgery.

In the procedure, an arthritic or damaged joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint called a "prosthesis."

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Q. I'm a Baby Boomer who still loves rock concerts, but sometimes I worry if the noise is hurting my old ears.

Sound volume is measured in decibels. You risk hearing loss when you are exposed to sounds at 85 dBs or more. The louder the sound and the longer the exposure, the greater the risk.

Here's the bad news: rock music is on many lists as an example of a dangerous sound. Here's one of those lists:

30 dB = library

50 dB = rain

60 dB = conversation (apolitical)

70 dB = vacuum cleaner

80 dB = busy street

90 dB = shop tools

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Q. What is acetaminophen and why do I see it listed on so many products in my medicine cabinet?

Acetaminophen is the most widely used pain-reliever and fever-reducer in the world. It is contained in more than 100 products. Tylenol is the best known over-the-counter acetaminophen product.

It is also a component of well-known prescription drugs such as Darvocet and Percocet. Acetaminophen also is known as paracetamol and N-acetyl-p-aminophenol.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Q. I'm 70 and I'm starting to see a blurred area in the middle of my vision. Any ideas?

Have this checked immediately by an eye care practitioner. What you describe is a symptom of age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 years of age and older.

The macula is at the center of the retina in the back of your eye. The retina transmits light from the eye to the brain. The macula allows us to perform tasks that require central vision such as reading and driving.