Activity by lizatorborg
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: What is the most effective way to treat knee bursitis? I have had it for months and the pain is worsening, but I have heard that even after treatment it can come back. Is there a way to prevent it in the future?
ANSWER: Bursitis is a term used to describe a variety of disorders that involve inflammation in the knee’s soft tissues. These problems can be caused by exercise, injury, overuse or infection. In many cases, they resolve on their own with little or no treatment. But some cases of bursitis may require medical care. The right treatment usually depends on the underlying cause of bursitis.
Knee bursitis is inflammation of a bursa located near your knee joint. A bursa is a small fluid-filled sac that reduces friction and cushions pressure points between your bones and the tendons and muscles near your joints. Each of your knees has 11 bursae. While any of these can become inflamed, knee bursitis most commonly occurs over the kneecap or on the inner side of your knee below the joint. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My family has a history of kidney stones, and I would like to prevent them if possible. What should I do to keep from getting kidney stones? Are there foods or drinks I should avoid?
ANSWER: A family history of kidney stones does increase your risk of developing stones. But you can take a number of steps to help prevent kidney stones from forming. One of the most important is to drink plenty of fluids each day. Making certain dietary choices and staying at a healthy weight also can lower your risk.
Your kidneys filter waste and excess fluid from your blood. That waste and fluid leave your body through urine. Kidney stones form when urine contains more crystal-forming substances —such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid — than the fluid in your urine can dilute. At the same time, due to your genetics or other factors, your urine may not have substances that keep crystals from sticking together. That creates an ideal environment for kidney stones to form.
For people with family members who have had kidney stones, the risk of stones is about twice as high as people that do not have a family history. Other factors that can raise your risk include surgeries that change your digestive process, such as gastric bypass, and diseases that affect your digestion, such as inflammatory bowel disease or chronic diarrhea. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am 44 and in good health. Two weeks ago I became very ill (bloody diarrhea and severe abdominal cramping for three days) after eating at a restaurant. The stool samples did not show any sign of food-borne disease, and I was told my symptoms were probably the result of a virus. I am concerned that it could be something more serious. Should I request further testing?
ANSWER: A variety of conditions could be the cause of your illness. If you no longer have any symptoms, then it is unlikely you need additional testing. If you are still having some symptoms, then more investigation is required.
In someone who has previously been well, who has no history of gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and who has a bloody, diarrheal illness that comes on quickly, we can divide the likely possible causes into two main categories: infectious diarrhea versus inflammatory diarrhea. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I have a rotator cuff tear that isn’t getting better despite physical therapy. My shoulder is painful and weak, and I have trouble raising my arm. At what point should I consider surgery? How likely is the surgery to completely relieve the pain and fix the problem?
ANSWER: For some mild to moderate rotator cuff injuries, treatment with physical therapy and medication usually relieves pain and restores shoulder function. But if the injury is more serious and you have a complete tear of one of your rotator cuff tendons, then surgery may be necessary to repair the damage and relieve the pain.
Your rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround your shoulder joint. They hold the joint in place, provide stability and strength to your shoulder, and help you raise your arm. [...]
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. [...]