Archive for October, 2016

Is it safe to drink diet soda during pregnancy?

DEAR DOCTOR K: My beverage of choice is diet soda, but my girlfriend told me I should stop drinking it now that I'm pregnant. Is she right?

DEAR READER: For some time now, research has shown that when pregnant women gain a lot of weight during pregnancy, they have heavier babies. Heavier babies tend to grow into heavier children, who tend to grow into heavier adults. And being overweight or obese in childhood can adversely affect a child's future health and well-being. So it's a good idea for pregnant women to try not to gain more than their doctors tell them to.

How does Alzheimer’s disease typically progress?

DEAR DOCTOR K: My mother has Alzheimer's disease. What should I expect in the coming years?

DEAR READER: It's impossible to predict exactly how Alzheimer's disease will affect someone. Symptoms of the disease, and how quickly they progress, can vary widely from person to person. In some people, for reasons we don't understand, the disease progresses very slowly.

What should I look for in a pair of high-quality sunglasses?

DEAR DOCTOR K: During my last eye exam, my eye doctor advised me to buy a pair of "high quality" sunglasses. But she didn't tell me what she meant by high quality. Can you help?

DEAR READER: When you buy sunglasses, it's natural to look for a style that looks good on you and is comfortable. But don't fail to consider the most important detail: the amount of harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation the lenses screen out. Without proper UV protection, sunglasses can work against you by enabling you to see comfortably in light that is harming your eyes.

Does it matter where I do my rehabilitation therapy after hip replacement surgery?

DEAR DOCTOR K: I'm having hip replacement surgery next month. I know I'll need rehabilitation afterward, but does it matter where I do it?

DEAR READER: It's been routine after hip replacement surgery to have extensive physical therapy. This rehabilitation therapy, or "rehab," usually consists of a series of outpatient appointments with a physical therapist, as well as exercises to do at home. The goal of rehab is to improve the strength, stamina and balance of walking.

Does psoriasis affect body parts other than the skin?

DEAR DOCTOR K: My doctor thinks my arthritis and heart disease are connected to my psoriasis. Is this possible? I thought psoriasis was a skin condition.

DEAR READER: Psoriasis (pronounced so-RYE-uh-sis) is named for an ancient Greek word meaning an itchy or scaly condition. It is classified as a skin disease, but psoriasis is the result of an immune system abnormality that can cause problems throughout the body.