The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 3, 1996 · Page 11
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 11

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, October 3, 1996
Page 11
Start Free Trial

THURSDAY oCT$Bgft.$ 1996 THE SALiNA JOURNAL Health FOLIC ACID / C2 CLASSIFIED / C4 c BRIEFLY New laser treatment effective against warts NEW YORK — A new kind of laser treatment is giving excellent results against warts that have resisted all other kinds of treatment. '-In one group of more than 140 patients, the laser light treatment achieved a better than 90 percent siiccess rate against warts that had been present for years or decades. There was little or no damage to the surrounding skin. ,Warts are caused by infection of the skin by human papilloma virus. Many warts go away without treatment, but others can persist indefinitely. lt Standard treatments for warts include freezing with liquid nitrogen, application of acids, chemotherapy and surgery. Most of these act against normal skin tissue, leaving scars behind. Nerve blocks hasten foot surgery recovery SAN FRANCISCO — Foot and ankle pain can put the brakes on speedy recovery from an operation. So researchers followed 86 patients, from 16 to 82 years old, who had nerve blocks — rather than narcotic drugs — for postoperative pain relief. According to the American Or- thopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, the nerve blocks involved anesthetizing a nerve behind the knee with the injection of a local anesthetic. ; "The most important aspect of the nerve-blocking procedure is allows physicians to diminish post-operative pain without the use of really potent drugs," reported Dr. Roger A. Mann, University of California in San Francisco. "We can mobilize the patient on the day of the surgery without pain and without the use of narcotics." Gene manipulation may purb sickle cell anemia WASHINGTON— A synthetic molecule that corrects the gene mutation that causes sickle cell anemia could be ready to test on human patients within a year. } The gene repair molecule that has proven itself in laboratory cultures was developed by scientists at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. They tested it on blood cells from patients with sickle cell anemia, a severe blood disorder that affects more than 50,000 Americans, most of them black. -Eric B. Kmiec, head of the Jefferson team, said the same type of molecule may also be used to repair genes that cause some other inherited diseases, such as cystic fibrosis and Gaucher's disease. Urinary infections rise with frequency of sex BOSTON — Confirming generations of popular wisdom, a major study has found that frequent sexual intercourse and spermicides increase the risk of urinary tract infections in women. , The research also provides the best estimate of how frequently such infections occur in sexually active young women — oh average, about once every two years. "The incidence of these infections is very high and may be nHuch higher than has been re- pjbrted in the past," said Dr. Thomas M. Hooton of the University of Washington in Seattle. : "The study found that the more frequently young women have in, t^rcourse, the more likely they are to get these infections. And using a combination of diaphragm and spermicide increase§ the risk considerably compared with other birth control. •'The infection can be easily cfcired with antibiotics. Osteoporosis drug can damage esophagus "gOSTON — A prescription medicine widely used to prevent brattle bones can damage the esophagus, especially if swal- Igjwed without plenty of water. The medicine, called Fosamax, is'given for osteoporosis, the bone-thinning common among ojder women. The problem appar- etftly occurs when the pills are no&swallowed completely and come into prolonged contact with the esophagus, the tube that carries, food from the throat to the stomach. Patients are urged to take the nie'dicine first thing in the morning with six to eight ounces of water. They should remain sitting or standing for at least a half hour an,d not lie down until after eating breakfast. . From Wire Service Reports T MEDICINE Photo Illustration by Scripps Howard News Service Lighting a homemade pipe filled with marijuana was a familiar sight to many in the '60s and 70s. A lot of these people now are parents who have to answer tough questions from their kids about drugs. When your kids ask if you ever smoked pot By REBECCA JONES Scripps Howard News Service DENVER — Rep. Susan Molinari, 38, isn't the only baby boomer who panicked when asked about prior drug use. We're betting most parents of teen-agers, if they came of age during the '60s and '70s, are dreading the day Junior raises this awkward subject over dinner: "So," he'll say, "did you ever smoke pot?" When Molinari, the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention, was asked that question by a television reporter when she was a candidate in 1992, she lied. "No," she said, and then compounded the deceit by claiming marijuana "was not really available" when she was in college. After confessing to the lie in July, she went on to explain, "It was the first time somebody asked me something from my personal life from 20 years ago. I guess I panicked. It was an initial panic to a question that I believe every person in America dreads." With some reports claiming that drug use among today's teen-agers continues increasing — more than double from 1992, some claim — parents have good reason to feel trapped. Do they tell the truth and risk having that interpreted as tacit approval for their children's drug experimentation? Or do they lie and risk the fallout that hypocrisy can bring to a relationship? "I don't think you should say 'Don't do marijuana because it's evil and bad.' That's what we were told, and we didn't buy it either. But I would recommend talking about the pluses and minuses of it." Neil Rosenthal Denver therapist . A third option is waffling: admitting they did drugs but pointing out all the reasons they stopped. (If, in fact, they've stopped. Those who haven't face a whole other set of parenting challenges.) "It's a rough one," says Jeffrey Dolgan, chief of psychology at Children's Hospital in Denver. "I think it makes sense to be candid and open. If you're parents of the '60s and '70s, the kids are going to make some guesses anyway that you've been involved with the drug subculture to some extent. "Kids know when their parents are ducking a question," he says. "In response to a direct question, give a direct answer." Just take comfort, he says, in the knowl- edge that teen-agers rarely want to emulate then: parents in any way. "I haven't found a lot of kids with a burning curiosity about their parents' drug use," he says. "Most of what parents do, by the time kids get into adolescence, tends to be embarrassing to them. The parents can't win. Whatever they say or do or wear is wrong. So this is just another embarrassment: 'Oh, now I found out my mom smoked a joint.' " Topic of debate Thirty-fiight-year-old Tina Proctor of Denver says she and her friends have struggled with this issue for years. It's a constant topic of debate at get-togethers, with most agreeing honesty is best, but a few arguing that not everything from a parent's past need be shared with the children, including drug use. Proctor willingly acknowledged to her two teen-age sons that she smoked marijuana in college, and maybe a few times after that, but it hadn't been a part of her adult life. "I don't think there was a lot of anxiety about telling them," she says. "I wanted them to feel comfortable about talking to me about that issue at any time. Only by being open about my own experiences did I feel that could happen." That was before she knew both her sons were frequent marijuana smokers. See POT, Page C2 DR. PAUL DONOHUE North America Syndicate Neo-Synephrine unblocks ears during flight Dear Dr. Donohue: Years ago, I had ear trouble when flying. It was an almost-unbearable problem, until on a flight from Prague to Oslo, I had a bad headache, and a woman handed me small bottle of Neo-Synephrine and told me to put my head back and inhale it. I got instant relief. If you print this, I hope fellow travelers see it. — Mrs. M.P. Dear Dr. Donohue: For people whose ears give them trouble in flight, get some Neo-Synephrine drops and put them in right before takeoff. I couldn't fly until a doctor told me about this. I also do it when changing flights. — D.M. Dear Dr. Donohue: I had trouble flying because of pain in my ears, especially in descent. The pain was severe. I went to a doctor specifically about the problem. He told me to spray my nose with Neo-Synephrine a half-hour before takeoff and again a half- hour before descent. It sure worked. It's my pleasure to pass this tip on. — B.A. Dear Readers: Testimonials galore for Neo-Synephrine, which unblocks stuffed-up ears, permitting atmospheric adjustment to altitude changes. The plugged-up sensation and the subsequent pain result from a sudden pressure imbalance between the middle ear and the throat. Neo-Synephrine comes as nasal drops and as nasal spray. It's funny. I have always recommended use of decongestants for air travelers with an ascent-descent problem, and not a soul ever wrote to praise my wisdom. Neo-Synephrine is a decongestant, of which there are several worthy brands, I'm sure. The outpouring of loyal support for this one brand is impressive. Dear Dr. Donohue: I am wondering if age is a factor in gauging a person's weight? If so, why? — V.B. Dear V.B.: Age is important. The standard weight charts have different ideal weight ranges for different ages. You seem to be asking about the general biological changes expected throughout the aging process. As a rule you find an increase in weight from age 20 to 50, at which point it tends to level off until age 70, when there is a modest reduction. Many factors enter into the changes, not the least of which are for many a lessening of exercise, less muscularity and more body fat. A body-mass index formula can tell you how favorable or unfavorable is the relationship between your fat and muscle weight. The lower the number, the more favorable the BMI. If you want to calculate it, here's one formula: Multiply your height in inches by itself (square it). Divide weight in pounds by that number. Multiply by 703. For a young woman, the BMI should be 21 to 23; for a young man, 22 to 24. It should be less than 27 for just about everyone. T HEART Pets provide health and happiness Animals help their owners reduce blood pressure, lower heart rate, be more active By HOWARD L. LEWIS Los Angeles Times Syndicate Richard Stanford's blood pressure was still too high, even after six months of intense effort to bring it down. "I've tried everything you recommended," the frustrated Stanford told his doctor. "What more can I do?" The doctor's advice; "Quit worrying. That certainly doesn't help the situation." "That's easy for you to say," Stanford replied, pointing out that he had lost his job, much of his speech ability and control of his muscles, all because of a stroke, or brain attack. "Aside from hospitalization," said his doctor, "there is something else you can try. Do you and your wife like dogs?" "Yes, we both do. But what does that have to do with my blood pressure?" He remembers that the doctor smiled. "Sometimes the antics and love of a pet can be so entertaining you forget other problems," the doctor said. "Also, the warm body and the unconditional loyalty a dog gives a person is so soothing it helps overcome stress. This could help to lower your blood pressure." Shortly after acquiring a white poodle named Topsie, who brightened his life in many ways, Stanford went to the doctor for his regular checkup. The result was a significant drop in blood pressure. Pets have long provided companionship to fill the void in the lives of many people. But health-care professionals are becoming increasingly aware that pets may also help their owners live longer, fuller lives, even after a heart attack or stroke. This may be because pets, primarily dogs and cats, are nonjudgmental sources of affection and companionship. They can create a sense of belonging and responsibility in people who may otherwise feel alone and isolated. Studies show that in addition to helping reduce blood pressure, pets can help their masters lower their heart rate, reduce perceived stress levels and be more active. "I love pets," says Dr. Joseph S. Alpert,past chairman of the American Heart Association's Council on Clinical Cardiology.' "Pets are tremendously important as companions for people with heart disease. The more restricted one's life is because of disability, the more important the pet is." Dr. Jan Breslow, the association's president, also sees the value of pets for cardiovascular patients. Breslow of New York City, says studies have consistently shown • ways in which animal friends have im-. proved the quality of life for many patients. Dr. Sidney C. Smith Jr., a past associa- • tipn president, recalls his early days in hos-. pital work when he saw the benefits of pets in easing the psychological pain of terminally ill cancer patients. Dr. Aaron Honori Katcher, a psychiatrist. at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and his associates found heart disease patients who had a pet had better survival rates than patients without pets. ' ^•SUGGESTIONS? CALL SHERIDA WARNER, LIFE EjJTOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363

What members have found on this page

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 11,100+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Try it free