Q: I’ve heard I can have my high cholesterol filtered out of my blood, just like kidney dialysis. Is that true? — Jamie C., Chicago
A: Yes and no. There’s a treatment called LDL apheresis that is designed for people who can’t lower their abnormally high levels of “lousy” LDL cholesterol with lifestyle changes and medications. LDL apheresis filters out the lousy cholesterol from your blood, and leaves good HDL cholesterol behind. Read More
If you’re one of the 50 million North Americans living with nagging arthritis pain, don’t be discouraged by recent news about treatment duds and dangers. Plenty of safe, proven ache-easers can keep you off the sidelines and may eliminate or reduce your dependence on painkillers and postpone the need for a joint replacement.
First, some alerts and advice about well-known arthritis pain-relief treatments: Read More
With slight apologies to Robert Frost, when it comes to making menu choices, it appears you’ll eat less if you know just how many “miles there are to go before you sleep.” Read More
Q. My husband has been diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer (confined to the prostate gland), and his doctors recommend a “watch and wait” approach. I say get it out of there. What’s the smart move? — Carrie Waver, San DiegoA. To answer this question really well, we’d need to know your husband’s age and how healthy he is overall. Still, this should help you two. Read More
Q. How low is too low for the bottom blood pressure number, and how high is too high for the top one? My dad’s numbers have been shifting somewhat. I’m calling his doc tomorrow for an appointment to see what’s going on, but what’s so high or low that I should take him to the emergency room? — Teresa, via email Read More
Q. I work in a hospital and my husband works in an airport. For years, we’ve had to work night shifts a few times a month. I was OK with that at first, but as I get older (I’m 53), I find it harder to take. My husband copes better. Our jobs aren’t going to change, and we can’t risk losing them. What will help? — Loise, Atlantau Read More
Q. What’s the right age to start monitoring your blood pressure? I’m a multitasking mom, 43, with one kid in college and a 3-year-old (second marriage!). — Maura, via email Read More
Ask anyone with achy, arthritic joints what they do on cold, short days, and the answer is, “Stay inside and stay warm.” We YOU Docs get that, having shivered through last winter’s record-breaking freeze-outs ourselves.
But please add a third “stay” to that list: Stay inside, stay warm and stay active. Read More
You’ve seen it on TV, heard about it from friends and maybe been clobbered by it yourself: the drug shortage. The crisis has left cancer patients waiting for life-saving chemotherapy ... parents scrambling for their kids’ ADHD drugs ... doctors, nurses and hospitals in a tizzy ... and frantic pharmacists saying, “Sorry, but we’re all out.” Read More
The positive coffee news just keeps percolating. Actually, not just good coffee news — good caffeine news. But if, like young Dr. Mike, you “heart” your morning joe, it may come down to the same thing.
The latest on coffee? As if fending off Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, asthma and siesta urges wasn’t enough, it’s now been found to cut your skin cancer risk. Read More