Archive for April, 2013

Why do I get lightheaded when I stand up?

DEAR DOCTOR K: I often feel lightheaded when I stand up, especially first thing in the morning. Why does this happen?

DEAR READER: You are probably experiencing a drop in blood pressure when you stand up. This is called orthostatic hypotension. As a result, not enough blood reaches your brain, and you feel lightheaded or dizzy.

How is plantar fasciitis treated?

DEAR DOCTOR K:

I have plantar fasciitis. Can I use a drugstore product to treat it? Or should I see a doctor?

DEAR READER:

Plantar fasciitis is heel pain caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a ligament-like structure that runs from your heel to the ball of your foot. Plantar fasciitis can occur when too much pressure or strain is placed on the plantar fascia.

How can I control my temper during a disagreement?

DEAR DOCTOR K: My husband and I both have quick tempers. Before we know it, a simple observation turns into an argument. Any advice for keeping our conversations civil?

DEAR READER: Everyone gets angry from time to time, but anger comes more easily to some people. Two married friends, call them Kevin and Jane, recently recounted the following exchange to me...

What are the benefits of breast-feeding?

DEAR DOCTOR K: What are the benefits of breast-feeding? And if I do decide to breast-feed, how will I know if my baby is getting enough milk?

DEAR READER: Breast milk provides all the calories and nutrients that a baby needs for the first six months of life. It also helps protect babies from illnesses such as ear infections, lung infections, vomiting and diarrhea. That's because for the first months of life, a baby's immune system is not fully developed. Breast milk contains antibodies that the mother has made, plus several other infection-fighting substances and cells.

What is gastroparesis?

DEAR DOCTOR K: A friend has a condition called gastroparesis. Could you explain what it is and how it can be treated?

DEAR READER: Gastroparesis is the term used for sluggish emptying of food from the stomach into the small intestine. Normally, your stomach moves about half of an average meal into the small intestine within two hours after you eat. Within four hours, about 90 percent of your meal is in the small intestine. If you have gastroparesis, food stays in the stomach much longer.

What can I do about motion sickness?

DEAR DOCTOR K: I've always had motion sickness while traveling. Now I've started to get it at the movies. What causes motion sickness? And what can I do about it?

DEAR READER: Lots of people get dizzy or nauseated, and even vomit, when traveling by boat, airplane, car or bus. And as you've found, even watching a movie can bring on motion sickness -- especially the action scene.

What happens to our cells as we age?

DEAR DOCTOR K: I see advertisements about various treatments that stop your cells from aging. Is there anything to that? What happens to our cells as we age?

DEAR READER: There are no treatments that can stop our cells from aging. But in the past 10 years scientists have made giant steps in understanding what causes cells to age. That knowledge could lead to true "anti-aging" treatments. As for what happens to our cells as we age, I'd rephrase the question: What happens to us as our cells age?

How can I manage my ADHD as an adult?

DEAR DOCTOR K: I am a man in my 20s and was just diagnosed with ADHD. Is it possible to be successful with this condition?

DEAR READER: My colleagues Dr. Craig Surman and Dr. Timothy Bilkey, with Karen Weintraub, have just written a wonderful new book on this topic. It's called "Fast Minds: How to Thrive if You Have ADHD (or Think You Might)." They point out that ADHD -- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder -- afflicts not just children. Plenty of adults, like you, have it.

How can I stop belching so much?

DEAR DOCTOR K: I belch a lot more than I used to, and I feel an uncomfortable fullness in my upper abdomen after eating. Are there any natural ways to treat this?

DEAR READER: If you're belching and feeling bloated more than you'd like, there are natural treatments you should consider. To understand them, you need to understand why we belch.