Monday, August 31, 2015
     

The Healthy Geezer

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Q. I'm a geezer and I believe in herbal products because they're natural and I think you should tell your readers how wonderful they are.

I get a kick out of people who are big on "natural" and "organic." Poison ivy is natural and organic. So is cobra venom.

You have to be very careful when you use herbal health products and dietary supplements, especially if you are a senior. Always consult a doctor before taking any of these products, which I like to label "alternatives."

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Q. A friend who uses a lot of psychobabble described a new woman in our retirement community as having a "personality disorder." I would call this woman a pain in the neck. What's the difference between a personality disorder and just a lousy personality?

People with a personality disorder are more than just pains in the neck. They have serious trouble getting along with others. They are usually rigid and unable to adapt to the changes life presents to all of us. They simply don't function well in society.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Q. I've heard the worst pain you can experience is from passing a kidney stone. True?

I had a friend who served in the Royal Air Force in World War II. On a bombing run over Germany, his co-pilot started to pass a kidney stone.

The pain was so bad that the poor guy wanted to jump out of the plane. He had to be knocked unconscious.

Kidney stones have been inflicting extreme pain for at least 7,000 years; evidence of them was found in an Egyptian mummy.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Q. I suffer from hemorrhoids and I suspect a lot of other people do, too, because I see a lot of remedies in drugstores. But this is not a topic you bring up at parties. How many people have hemorrhoids, anyway?

By the age of 50, about half of the population both men and women have hemorrhoids. However, not everyone suffers from the nasty symptoms hemorrhoids can inflict.

Hemorrhoids are inflamed and swollen veins around the anus (external) or in the lower rectum (internal).

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Q. I may have to undergo bypass surgery and I heard that it can really mess up your mind. Is that true?

If you have coronary bypass surgery, you could suffer from what some in the health care professions call "pump head."

During traditional surgery, a patient is put on a heart-lung bypass pump to oxygenate and circulate blood. This machine may create clots that could harm the brain. In addition, a surgeon handling the aorta the main heart artery can free bits of accumulated plaque and they can block blood vessels in the brain.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

This is the last installment of a three-part series on breast cancer.

Breast cancer strikes most often when men are in their sixties.

Male breast cancer? Men do have breast cells that can become cancerous. The disease is uncommon in men. It represents only 1 percent of all breast cancers. Because of its rarity, many men aren't aware it exists. And that's a problem.

For unknown reasons, the incidence of male breast cancer has been increasing. About 2,000 men in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer annually.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

(This is the second installment of a three-part series on breast cancer.)

The most common breast cancer symptom is a lump. Other symptoms include swelling, skin irritation, nipple pain or retraction and an unusual discharge.

Early diagnosis saves lives. The combination of a mammogram, a clinical breast exam and self-exams is recommended by healthcare experts to reduce breast-cancer deaths.

A mammogram is a breast x-ray. If mammography finds an abnormality, confirmation by biopsy is required. In a biopsy, a tissue sample is taken for analysis.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

(This is the first installment in a three-part series on breast cancer)

Breast cancer is second behind lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer death in women. The chance of developing invasive breast cancer at some time in a woman's life is about 1 in 8.

The female breast is composed primarily of milk-producing glands (lobules), ducts that connect the glands to the nipple, and soft tissue. Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that has grown from breast cells.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bursitis occurs more often as we get older.

Repetitive motions are the worst things for people who tend to get bursitis. Other causes include joint trauma, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and infection.

Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa, which is a small sac filled with fluid. We each have about 160 of these bursae, which act as shock absorbers and grease for our joints. They are buffers between bones and overlapping muscles or between bones and tendons/skin. When bursae become inflamed, they can ache.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Q. Who are the people most liable to be bitten by a dog?

More than 60 percent of the people who are bitten by dogs are children. The elderly are second. And people such as mail carriers and meter readers are third.

Children often don't know how to act around dogs and frighten them into aggressive behavior. Older people are more prone to being bitten by an aggressive dog because they tend to be slower and weaker than younger adults. Mail carriers walk onto property the dogs consider their domain to defend.