Catasauqua Press

Friday, June 5, 2020

Healthy Geezer: Coconut oil effectiveness debated

Friday, January 10, 2020 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

First of two parts

Q. I read on the internet that coconut oil is great for your cholesterol and has other health benefits. I thought coconut oil was very bad for you. What gives?

Here’s the advice of Walter C. Willett, MD, of the Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Nutrition:

“I’d use coconut oil sparingly. Most of the research so far has consisted of short-term studies to examine its effect on cholesterol levels.

Healthy Geezer: Topics: CPR, Kegels, heart attack signs

Friday, January 3, 2020 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Q. How do I go about learning CPR?

If you would like to learn CPR, contact the American Heart Association: americanheart.org; 1-877-AHA-4CPR.

Another CPR resource is the American Red Cross: redcross.org.

You can try a local hospital.

CPR, or Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation, employs chest compression and mouth-to-mouth breathing to treat cardiac arrest, heart attack, drowning and electrocution.

CPR can keep some blood flowing to the brain and heart during an emergency.

Healthy Geezer: Types, use of hand sanitizers detailed

Wednesday, December 25, 2019 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Editor’s Note: In the last two “Healthy Geezer” columns, the topic was gastroenteritis and noroviruses. In this column, the topic is hand sanitizers to fight germs that cause stomach infections.

Germs are microbes that cause disease. Microbes are microscopic organisms that are everywhere. Some microbes cause disease. Others are essential for health. Most microbes belong to one of four major groups: bacteria, viruses, fungi or protozoa.

Healthy Geezer: Best defenses against noroviruses

Friday, December 20, 2019 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Second of two parts

Among the most common germs are noroviruses, which cause gastroenteritis, mistakenly called stomach flu.

Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It is not related to flu, a respiratory illness caused by influenza virus.

Noroviruses are a group of related viruses. Norovirus is the official genus name for the group of viruses previously described as Norwalk viruses.

Healthy Geezer: The cause of gastroenteritis explained

Friday, December 13, 2019 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

First of two parts

Q. I’m going on my first cruise and I was concerned that I might get stomach flu. What should I do?

Many senior citizens frequent cruise ships because vacationers can enjoy what is probably the most relaxing form of getaway. You travel with your own bedroom and all the amenities you can think of.

But there are a lot of people on these floating paradises. That means lots of germs are along for the ride.

Healthy Geezer: If this makes you yawn, it’s cool

Friday, December 6, 2019 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Q. Why do we yawn?

There are several theories about the cause of yawning. One of them has begun to gain more advocates. This theory is that we yawn to air-condition our brains.

In a paper published in the Journal of Medical Hypotheses, scientists Gary Hack of the University of Maryland and Andrew Gallup of Princeton University wrote that, during yawning, the sinuses act like bellows to cool off the brain. If you suffer from sinus congestion, you might yawn more.

“Brains, like computers, operate best when they are cool,” the authors said.

Healthy Geezer: Three questions from the email bag

Friday, November 29, 2019 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Q. My brother-in-law is getting a defibrillator. How is that different from a pacemaker?

An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) and a pacemaker are battery-powered devices installed in the chest to deliver electrical impulses to the heart. In general, a pacemaker is used when the heart beats too slowly; an ICD is used when the heart beats too quickly.

Pacemakers jog the heart with mild reminders that patients usually can’t feel. Pacemakers are small; some are only as big as a quarter.

Healthy Geezer: Chemotherapy side effects explained

Thursday, November 21, 2019 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

First of two parts

Q. I may have to have chemotherapy. Will I go bald?

Hair loss is not certain with chemotherapy. Whether you lose hair depends upon the medication and dose your doctor prescribes.

Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment that uses drugs to kill malignant cells, bacteria, viruses and fungi. Chemotherapy drugs are used to treat cancer, bone marrow diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The drugs can be given by injection or taken orally. There are also topical creams.

Healthy Geezer: Recommended treatments for psoriasis

Friday, November 15, 2019 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Q. Is there any cure for psoriasis?

There’s no cure for psoriasis, but there are many ways to get relief from the symptoms of this troublesome disease.

Psoriasis is one of the most common skin ailments. More than 125 million people throughout the world have psoriasis. The chronic disorder affects people of all ages. Psoriasis seems to be inherited.

Psoriasis causes skin redness and irritation that can appear anywhere on the body. Most people with psoriasis have thick, red skin with flaky, silver-white patches. It is not contagious.

Healthy Geezer: Techniques to improve your memory

Friday, November 8, 2019 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Second of two parts

The difference between normal and abnormal memory difficulties comes down to this:

If you forget a name or where you left your keys, you’re probably OK.

If you can’t remember how to brush your teeth, you need medical attention.

Here are more memory problems that aren’t part of normal aging:

Noticeable deterioration of memory over several months

Repeating stories you told only minutes before, or asking the same questions over and over

Inability to keep track of what you did earlier in the day