Medical Advice

DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I would like to give my 10-year-old grandson some conditioning advice. He loves basketball. It has occurred to me that upper-body strength is helpful in shooting long shots and in positioning for rebounds.

  • April 11th, 2009  |
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DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I am writing to ask if you would give me information on interstitial cystitis. I was told I had this after I had a polyp removed from my bladder. I know it has to do with the lining of the bladder wall. What causes it? What’s the treatment? Does it get worse? — J.M.

  • April 10th, 2009  |
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DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I am writing to ask if you would give me information on interstitial cystitis. I was told I had this after I had a polyp removed from my bladder. I know it has to do with the lining of the bladder wall. What causes it? What’s the treatment? Does it get worse? — J.M.

  • April 10th, 2009  |
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DEAR DR. DONOHUE: My mother passed away a few years ago. On her death certificate, it stated that the cause of death was sepsis. Can you give me some information on it and what causes it? — P.R.

  • April 9th, 2009  |
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DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I have three children, a boy 13, a girl 10 and a boy 7. None of them is interested in sports, and none is particularly gifted when it comes to athletics. I want them to be active. Their school doesn’t offer any physical-education programs, but it does have sports teams. I read plenty of information on what adults are supposed to be doing when it comes to exercise but nothing that I can use for my kids. Do you have any suggestions? — D.D. A: It is important for children to stay active. We face an obesity epidemic, and the seeds of obesity are sown in childhood, with inactivity being one of those seeds. Physical activity begun early in life becomes habitual and stays with children into adulthood. It’s a peculiar fact that many children younger than 11 are naturally quite active, but from 11 to 15, physical activity wanes.

  • March 28th, 2009  |
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DEAR DR. DONOHUE: Please talk about Barrett’s esophagus. You see TV commercials talk about heartburn and acid reflux, but you don’t hear how, if left unattended, a more serious condition can arise. I have just been diagnosed with Barrett’s, and now I am at a crossroad with my health. Finding out that Barrett’s can be a precursor of esophageal cancer is not advertised. I am worried that I have a life-threatening condition. Would drinking aloe vera formulations help? — Anon.

  • March 26th, 2009  |
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DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I would greatly appreciate it if you would discuss the fungal disease histoplasmosis. My son is being treated for it. From what I’ve heard, a cure takes a long time. His breathing is difficult, and he had to have a calcified lymph node removed. It was adjacent to his right lung. — M.C.

  • March 25th, 2009  |
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DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I read your column about liver cirrhosis and wish you would expound on hemochromatosis, which you mentioned. Both my children have it. My son is bled once weekly. He had a liver biopsy, and his liver has been greatly damaged. My daughter has a positive test for it. Neither their father nor I have any problems. We informed our doctor, who had blood tests done, and we show no lab evidence of it. Should our siblings be tested? My husband had a bypass at 48. Could that be caused by hemochromatosis? — H.E.

  • March 24th, 2009  |
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DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I coach a small college’s lacrosse team. I have two questions for you. We are on the East Coast and play two games on the West Coast each season. We win when we play these teams at home, but we lose when we play them at their schools. Could it be jet lag? Or could it be a sleep thing? How much sleep is recommended for a collegiate athlete? — R.M.

  • March 21st, 2009  |
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DEAR DR. DONOHUE: You have, as have others, discussed stroke symptoms and the importance of getting care ASAP. However, I have never seen any mention of the signs of TIAs and what precautions should be taken. — V.L.

  • March 20th, 2009  |
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DEAR DR. DONOHUE: You have, as have others, discussed stroke symptoms and the importance of getting care ASAP. However, I have never seen any mention of the signs of TIAs and what precautions should be taken. — V.L.

  • March 20th, 2009  |
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DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I am tasteless. I mean that literally. I can’t taste food anymore. It seems to have started with a cold I had about three months ago. What can I do to bring the sense of taste back? I have lost all interest in eating. — J.D.

  • March 19th, 2009  |
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DEAR DR. DONOHUE: Will you please write about hepatitis A, B and C? When I was young, I had yellow jaundice and was very sick. I don’t understand hepatitis A, B and C. It is related to yellow jaundice, I think. — R.M.

  • March 18th, 2009  |
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DEAR DR. DONOHUE: Spherocytosis runs in my family. I had my spleen removed at age 6, as did my daughter, now a teenager. Twenty-five years ago, the doctor told me not to use birth-control pills because they would put too much stress on my liver. Is there any medication or substance my daughter should avoid due to her lack of a spleen? How about the Gardasil vaccine? — L.Z.

  • March 17th, 2009  |
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DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I am a 37-year-old man, I weigh 310 pounds and I am 5 feet 7 inches tall. I know this could do me in, but I have tried everything I can think of to lose weight, without any success. I have dieted and have exercised, but weight doesn’t come off. My wife is careful about what we eat. She wants me to have the operation for losing weight. She’s worried about me. I have three young children. What do you think of weight-loss surgery? — B.D.

  • March 12th, 2009  |
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