Q. Are there different forms of urinary incontinence?
There are several types of urinary incontinence:
- If urine leaks when you sneeze, cough, laugh or put pressure on the bladder in other ways, you have stress incontinence.
- When you can’t hold urine, you have urge incontinence.
- When small amounts of urine leak from a bladder that is always full, you have overflow incontinence.
Q. I’m in the process of selling my house and the Realtor told me to have radon-testing. I had no idea radon was in my house until it was tested. You should write about this health hazard.
Q. Are probiotics safe?
There is debate over the precise definition of probiotics. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization and the World Health Organization call probiotics “live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.”
Microorganisms, or microbes, are living organisms that can be seen only under a microscope. Microbes are everywhere. The human body contains billions of them.
Q. I seem to be getting sick a lot lately and I’m worried that my immune system isn’t working right. Could that be a reason?
A diminished immune system could be the cause of your problems. Go to your doctor for a check-up and diagnosis.
The immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to defend the body against attacks by organisms such as bacteria, parasites, and fungi that can cause infections.
Q. I don’t handle stress very well. I was wondering if you had any recommendations to deal with my problem.
The American Psychological Association reports that one-third of United States citizens are living with extreme stress. Money and work are the leading causes of stress for three quarters of Americans. Nearly half of Americans report that stress has a negative impact on their personal and professional lives.
Q. I saw a woman with what looked like a small tire around her neck. Do you know what that could be?
It could be a goiter, which is a benign enlargement of the thyroid gland. The thyroid is a small gland made up of two halves that lie along the windpipe just below the voice box.
When the thyroid can’t produce enough hormone to meet the body’s needs, the gland compensates by enlarging. Iodine, a chemical element, is needed to produce thyroid hormone. Therefore, an iodine deficiency can lead to goiter and hypothyroidism, which is deficient activity of the thyroid.
Q. A friend of mine had polio when he was a youth and now the disease seems to be coming back in his old age. Have you heard of this?
The National Center for Health Statistics estimates that more than 440,000 polio survivors in the United States may be at risk for Post-Polio Syndrome (PPS), a condition that strikes polio survivors decades after they’ve recovered from an attack of the poliomyelitis virus. Researchers estimate that PPS affects from 40 to 80 percent of polio survivors.
Q. I’m having some trouble sleeping and don’t want to take pills. Do you have any suggestions?
Here are some pointers to help you get better sleep:
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This will keep you in sync with your body’s internal rhythm, which is affected by sunlight.
Try to get some natural light in the afternoon each day. Don’t nap too much.
Exercise daily, but finish your workout at least three hours before bedtime.
Don’t drink beverages with caffeine late in the day.
Don’t drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes to help you sleep.
Q. My husband told me he has no energy to do chores around the house because he’s suffering from male menopause. He’s a very funny guy.
Your husband was obviously trying to yank your chain, but there’s some truth in his joking. Fatigue is a common symptom of male menopause, also known as andropause (andro means male).
Both andropause and male menopause are used to describe decreasing levels of the male hormone testosterone that come with aging. Most men see testosterone levels drop as they get older. Some have described andropause as “puberty in reverse.”
Q. A doctor told my cousin that she had arthritis in her head. I never heard of such a thing. Have you?
I’ve never heard of head arthritis, but I don’t think that’s what the doctor said to your cousin. I’m pretty sure the doctor was talking about temporal arteritis, which is also known as cranial arteritis and giant-cell arteritis.
Arthritis is inflammation of a joint. Arteritis is inflammation of an artery.