Recent Articles

Alzheimer's Disease

Q: I am concerned that the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is increasing. I have also heard that the popular cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins may decrease the chances of getting Alzheimer’s. I find that I sometimes struggle to remember words or names; should I be worried, and should I ask my physician to prescribe statins?

Pernicious Anemia 2

Q: What is the treatment for this kind of anemia?

A: Pernicious anemia results from the inability of the body to absorb vitamin B12 taken in food or any oral form. It is therefore necessary to give vitamin B12 injections on a regular basis for life. These injections are given into the muscle.

Six Meals a Day?

Q: I was diagnosed as having a hiatus hernia and reflux esophagitis. My doctor suggests six small meals each day, two 20 mg. tablets of losec each day, and that I stay away from acid foods. Are there other dietary recommendations?

A: We have abbreviated your question, although we did notice that you say you enjoy your food. We wonder if that is a euphemistic way of saying you are overweight.

What to do About Insomnia

Q: For the past couple of years, I have found it difficult to go to sleep. It takes maybe two hours, and then I awaken early. I am healthy, but feel fatigued and need an afternoon nap to help with the tiredness. Should I take sleeping pills?

A: It sounds as though you have chronic insomnia. The problem is a common one, affecting between 10 and 15 percent of people. It is much more common as we age, and affects women more than men. Sometimes it complicates chronic medical or psychiatric disorders.

Vitamin E

Q: Is supplemental vitamin E helpful in the treatment or prevention of cardiovascular disease (especially strokes and heart attacks)?

A: There has been an ongoing debate about this issue for a number of years now, with conflicting advice being offered to date. However, a recent study was done using a computerized search of seven large trials that studied the effectiveness of vitamin E in the treatment and prevention of strokes and heart attacks.

Safe Holiday Eating

Q: With the festive season approaching, quite frankly, I'm dreading it! I have carefully lost 20 pounds over the past six months, and the prospect of blowing it over the holidays frightens me. Everyone is coming home for the holidays, and I don’t want to be like the Grinch who stole Christmas. Any advice?

Cold Weather Exercise

Q: With the winter coming, I find it more difficult to get out to exercise. Do you have any ideas?

A: We have great empathy with you—exercise requires motivation even in the finest weather. As winter approaches, outdoor activities become more challenging, especially in the northern climes.

Whatever our environment, it is important to know the benefits of exercise. Some flippantly quip that life consists of so many heartbeats, why waste some of them on exercise? This could not be further from the truth.

Benign Breast Lumps

Q: I am 35 years old, and have had a history of lumps in my breast. The doctors have told me that I have "benign breast disease." My concern is that I have an aunt who had breast cancer. Should I be worried?

A: As much as we would like to completely reassure you, we can only do so conditionally. Benign breast disease can be divided into three groups that are significant when it comes to associations with breast cancer.