Activity by lizatorborg
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Three months ago I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease. I have decided to have a thyroidectomy and want to know what to expect after the procedure. Will all of my symptoms (Graves’ ophthalmopathy, heart palpitations, irritability) go away immediately after surgery? What are the side effects of having the thyroid removed?
ANSWER: Thyroid removal is one of several treatment options that can effectively decrease symptoms of Graves’ disease. Others include anti-thyroid medications and radioiodine. Each person is different, and no one treatment is best for everyone. A thyroidectomy often relieves symptoms of Graves’ disease. But as with all surgery, there are risks and possible complications associated with thyroidectomy.
Graves’ disease is an immune system disorder that results in the overproduction of thyroid hormones, a condition known as hyperthyroidism. Because thyroid hormones affect many of your body’s functions, signs and symptoms of Graves’ disease can be wide ranging. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My father-in-law, husband and daughter all have essential tremor. My husband has never needed treatment, since the tremor is quite mild. But my daughter was just diagnosed at 41, and her symptoms seem to really bother her. What are the treatment options for essential tremor?
ANSWER: Essential tremor is among the most common of all movement disorders. Mild essential tremor usually does not require treatment. But if the tremor becomes worse or if it interferes with a person’s daily activities, treatment may be helpful. Medications can often keep essential tremor under control. Rarely, surgery may be used to treat severe cases.
By definition, tremor causes involuntary, rhythmic shaking. Essential tremor most often affects the hands, but may also involve the head or voice. The hand tremor typically is most obvious when a person is holding his or her hands outstretched or when using the hands for fine motor skills, such as writing. Essential tremor gradually worsens — but very slowly — over many years. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am 42 years old and have a BRCA1 gene mutation. I’ll have a prophylactic oophorectomy later this year. I have had a prophylactic mastectomy as well, and am considering hormone replacement therapy. How soon after surgery would I need to start taking hormones? What are the risks if I decide against hormone replacement?
ANSWER: For a woman carrying a BRCA mutation without a personal history of cancer, hormone replacement therapy, or HT, is usually recommended from the time your ovaries are removed until you turn 50. Beyond that age, the risks of continuing HT for a BRCA mutation carrier are not fully known. So HT is usually stopped around age 50. Going without any hormone therapy after prophylactic oophorectomy may increase the likelihood of some significant health risks, including problems that could affect your bones, heart and brain.
A mutation in the BRCA1 gene significantly raises your risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Surgery done in an effort to prevent cancer by removing the breasts, called prophylactic mastectomy, and removing the ovaries, called prophylactic oophorectomy, often can dramatically lower those cancer risks. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease nearly a year ago. The medication I am on seems to take care of most of my symptoms. But I am often extremely tired. Is there anything that can be done to help with fatigue from Crohn’s?
ANSWER: Fatigue is a common problem for people who have Crohn’s disease. There are a number of possible causes. The disease itself often leads to fatigue. Medication side effects and a lack of physical conditioning due to illness can contribute to fatigue, too. Crohn’s disease also may trigger anemia, a condition that often results in fatigue. When Crohn’s disease is well controlled and these other problems are addressed, fatigue often decreases.
Crohn’s disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD. The inflammation of Crohn’s typically occurs in patches throughout the digestive tract. It may spread deep into the layers of the affected bowel wall and at times may penetrate the bowel and involve other organs.Intestinal inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease can result in a variety of symptoms, including diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, blood in the stool, ulcers and fatigue. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I just turned 48 and am considering having blepharoplasty surgery to remove the excess skin on my eyelids, which has bothered me for years. What does this procedure involve? What are the risks? Is the change permanent, or is there a chance my eyelids will return to the way they look now?
ANSWER: The surgery you are considering typically includes removing extra skin, muscle and fat from both the upper and lower eyelids. Blepharoplasty, also called an eyelid lift, can help reduce vision problems caused by excess eyelid skin. It also can make your eyes look younger and more alert. As with all surgery, there are risks involved.
As you age, your eyelids stretch, and the muscles supporting them get weaker. As that happens, extra fat may gather above and below your eyelids, causing droopy upper lids and bags under your eyes. If the skin around your eyes sags significantly, it can make it harder to see, especially in the upper and outer parts of your field of vision. Eyelid surgery may be able to reduce or eliminate these problems. [...]
ANSWER: Removal of a tooth is usually a straightforward process that can be done by most general dentists. However, people who have osteoporosis often take medications that can increase the risk of complications after tooth extraction. In that case, having an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon surgically take out the tooth may reduce the likelihood of problems after the tooth is removed.
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle. The most widely prescribed medications used to treat osteoporosis are in a class of drugs called bisphosphonates. Examples include alendronate, risedronate, ibandronate and zoledronic acid.
These medications help keep your bones healthy as you age and lower the risk of a bone fracture if you have osteoporosis. Unfortunately, bisphosphonates can have a negative effect on bone healing following an injury, including after tooth extraction. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My father, who is 70, was a smoker for 30 years. I have read that men who used to smoke should be screened for an abdominal aortic aneurysm. What does the screening involve? What would be done if he is found to have an aneurysm?
ANSWER: Because of his history of smoking, you are correct that your father should be screened for an abdominal aortic aneurysm. The screening usually includes a physical exam and an ultrasound of the abdomen. Other imaging tests may be needed in some cases, too. If an abdominal aortic aneurysm is found, treatment depends on the size of the aneurysm, its rate of growth, and if it is causing any symptoms.
The aorta is a large blood vessel about the size of a garden hose that runs from your heart through the center of your chest and abdomen. An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a bulge in the aorta just above the area of your belly button that forms due to weakness in the blood vessel’s wall. The greatest risk of such an aneurysm is that it will rupture. Because it provides the body with much of its blood supply, a rupture in the abdominal aorta can lead to life-threatening internal bleeding. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am very healthy and active, but was recently diagnosed
with sarcoidosis. My doctor said it may go away on its own, but I am worried it will worsen. How often should I see my doctor for monitoring the condition? What treatments do you recommend?
ANSWER: Your doctor is correct that sarcoidosis often goes away on its own. In many cases, it does not require treatment. But how often you need to see your doctor and any specific treatment recommendations for you should be based on your individual situation, including what triggered your diagnosis and any symptoms you may have.
Sarcoidosis is the growth of tiny collections of inflammatory cells in different parts of the body. The condition can affect almost any organ, but it is most commonly found in the lungs, lymph nodes, eyes and skin. Doctors believe sarcoidosis happens as a result of the body’s immune system responding to an unknown substance, most likely something inhaled from the air. [...]