Q. I have this ringing in my ears almost all the time. My doctor says it is age-related tinnitus. I tried some of his recommendations to deal with it, but haven’t been successful. Any suggestions?
Q. I’m a 64-year-old woman who is lactose intolerant. Do you think this will put me at risk for osteoporosis?
Between 30 and 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant, which means they have trouble digesting dairy products. Lactose intolerance usually is not dangerous.
Q. Are women happier than men?
There was a study of men and women in the United States that showed women are happier than men in their youth, and are unhappier when they are old.
The research was done by two economists, Anke Plagnol of the University of Cambridge and Richard Easterlin of the University of Southern California.
“Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it.”
- Bernard Meltzer
Q. What is the leading cause of brain injuries?
About 1.4 million people suffer a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) each year in the United States. Half of all TBIs are caused by accidents involving automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians. These accidents are the major cause of TBI in people under age 75.
Falls cause the majority of TBIs in people 75 and older. This group has the highest rates of TBI-related hospitalizations and death.
Q. I’m having an MRI and I heard that tattoos can present problems for this test. True?
True. Tattoos can create a misdiagnosis with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) because there is metal in many tattoo pigments.
Magnets attract metals. Tattoo pigments may interfere with the quality of the image from an MRI. In some rare cases, there can be swelling or burning in a tattoo after an MRI.
If you have a tattoo, you should talk with your doctor before undergoing an MRI.
Q. What’s the best way to treat epistaxis?
Well, that one made me go to the dictionary. Turns out that epistaxis is the fancy word for nosebleed.
The best way to treat a nosebleed is to resist every instinct in your body to tilt your head back or to lie down. You have to keep your head higher than your heart to cut down on bleeding. And, if you lean back, you can swallow blood, which can produce vomiting and diarrhea.
Q. Is it possible for bipolar disorder to first appear when you’re older?
Bipolar disorder can strike anyone at any age, but it isn’t likely to start when you are old. However, it is possible that a person could suffer from bipolar disorder for many years and not be diagnosed until late in life.
It’s not known what causes bipolar disorder, but a variety of biochemical, genetic and environmental factors seem to be involved in causing and triggering bipolar episodes.
Q. I’ve been depressed lately and a friend told me to take St. John’s Wort. What is it? Does it work?
St. John’s Wort, also known as hypericum herb, klamath weed or goat weed, is a plant with yellow flowers that are used to make teas and tablets. For centuries, the plant has been considered a remedy for mental problems, including depression and anxiety.
Q. My doctor said I need to reduce my reliance on pain relievers to manage my osteoarthritis pain because of the risk of side effects. Is there another option?
As we age, many of us develop chronic health ailments, such as osteoarthritis (OA), the most common form of arthritis. In fact, 27 million Americans suffer every day from the discomfort and stiffness caused by OA, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Q. In my HMO’s provider directory, some of the doctors have a “DO” after their names instead of an “MD.” What exactly is the difference between the two designations?
DO stands for Doctor of Osteopathic medicine.
MD is the abbreviation for Doctor of Medicine. MDs are also called doctors of allopathic medicine.
Here are dictionary definitions:
os·te·op·a·thy n. A system of medicine based on the theory that disturbances in the musculoskeletal system affect other bodily parts, causing many disorders.