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Arthritis treatment makes return

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Q. My wife has rheumatoid arthritis. She’s taking drugs and following a diet. She recently heard that RA can be treated with simple antibiotics.

Since her doctor doesn’t think her diet is scientific, he probably won’t be receptive to antibiotics either. Who should she see about this? — Anonymous

A. Antibiotics are an old treatment for RA that’s getting a fresh look, though not by many mainstream docs. That’s too bad, because several studies show that about half of the people who take certain antibiotics have as much as a 50 percent improvement in joint pain and swelling.

Why isn’t exactly clear, but there’s some evidence that antibiotics block cartilage-damaging enzymes. Another theory is that the drugs subdue joint inflammation.

We hope your wife is following a vegetarian or Mediterranean diet, as there is scientific support that both lower inflammation in the body. If her doc pooh-poohs that, he’s probably not going to prescribe antibiotics. A holistic rheumatologist may be more willing to give it a try.

Q. I have two plantar warts on my foot, and they hurt so much that on some days I can’t always walk my 10,000 steps. What will ease my discomfort and let me get back to exercising? — Mia, via email

A. Walking with plantar warts can feel like walking with a pointy rock in your shoe — or two, in your case.
Our favorite remedy for mild plantar warts involves duct tape. Cover the warts tightly with it for a week, then peel it off; the warts usually follow. There also are effective over-the-counter treatments, such as salicylic acid. However, if yours aren’t mild, you need to see a dermatologist. 

The YOU Docs, Mehmet Oz, host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen of Cleveland Clinic, are authors of “YOU: Losing Weight.” To submit questions, go to www.RealAge.com.

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