Activity by lizatorborg
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Why is it that children are the ones most affected by the enterovirus? I have read that it starts with mild cold symptoms, so how will I know when it’s time to see a doctor? What symptoms should I look for in my children?
ANSWER: There are many forms of enteroviruses. The one making headlines now is called enterovirus D68. This virus most often affects children and teens because their bodies have not built up immunity to it yet. In most cases, enterovirus D68 causes only mild symptoms. But it can become severe in some people. If your child has severe cold symptoms, or if symptoms get progressively worse, make an appointment to see your doctor. If a child has problems breathing, seek medical care right away.
Enteroviruses can cause a wide range of infections, depending on the strain of the virus that is involved. Some can be very serious, such as the enterovirus strain that leads to viral meningitis, while others tend to be only a nuisance, such as those that cause the common cold. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: What exactly is ischemic colitis? Do doctors know what causes it?
ANSWER: Ischemic colitis occurs when blood flow to part of the large intestine (colon) is reduced due to one of two reasons: either there is a blocked or narrowed blood vessel (occlusive), or there is a temporary decrease in blood flow to the colon (nonocclusive). Ninety-five percent of cases of ischemic colitis are due to a nonocclusive mechanism. When this occurs, cells in the digestive system don’t receive sufficient oxygen which then leads to areas of colon inflammation and ulceration. While the exact cause of ischemic colitis is often unclear, with proper medical care, most people diagnosed with ischemic colitis typically recover in a day or two and never have another episode.
Even under normal circumstances, the colon receives less blood flow than any other portion of the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, if the colon is suddenly subjected to reduced blood flow — whatever the reason — its tissues may be damaged. The severity of damage varies depending on the amount of time that the blood flow was interrupted and the degree to which it was decreased. In rare cases, patients can suffer a perforation (tear) of the colon, which requires surgical treatment. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: What causes tonsil stones? Is there a way to permanently get rid of them, other than having my tonsils removed? I am 48 and have heard that having a tonsillectomy as an adult is a significant surgery that can lead to other problems.
ANSWER: Tonsil stones form when substances become logged in the crevices of your tonsils. If you are prone to tonsil stones, having your tonsils removed is the most effective way to solve the problem. If, however, you prefer not to do that, there are ways you can safely remove tonsil stones. There also are self-care steps you can take to help prevent them from coming back.
Your tonsils are two oval-shaped pads of tissue at the back of your throat, one on each side. The tonsils are a type of lymph node and work as part of your body’s immune system. They act as filters for bacteria and viruses. They also make disease-fighting white blood cells and antibodies. [...]
ANSWER: When measuring blood pressure, both numbers are important to your overall health. If your systolic blood pressure is high, even if your diastolic number is normal, it could raise your risk for a variety of health concerns. The situation does need to be addressed. Blood pressure medication can be helpful. In some cases, though, lifestyle changes may be the only treatment necessary to lower systolic blood pressure to a healthier level.
Blood pressure is a measure of the pressure in your arteries as your heart pumps. Testing your blood pressure is an important way for your doctor to monitor your general health. A blood pressure reading, given in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), has two numbers. The first, or top, number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. That is your systolic pressure. The second, or bottom, number measures the pressure in your arteries between beats. That’s your diastolic pressure. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My 10-year-old daughter has very dry skin, and it seems to get worse when school starts. She develops red, itchy patches on her arms and lower legs. They usually fade away after a while, but they really bother her. What could be the cause? Should we be using lotion on these areas, or something stronger? At what point should she be seen by a dermatologist?
ANSWER: From your description, it sounds like your daughter may have a skin condition called eczema. In children, it often flares up when they go back to school in the fall. To find out if it is eczema, make an appointment with her primary care provider or a dermatologist to have her symptoms evaluated. A number of treatments and self-care steps can help ease the discomfort.
Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, is common in children. Symptoms typically include dry, scaly skin with red patches that may weep. In many cases, the itching caused by eczema can be severe. Eczema symptoms tend to come and go. [...]
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am 37 years old. Over the past 18 months, my periods have become extremely heavy. I’ve gone through an evaluation, and my doctor recommends an endometrial ablation. What does this procedure involve? Will I still have a period every month afterward? What are the risks of endometrial ablation?
ANSWER: Endometrial ablation destroys the lining of your uterus. The procedure often can be a useful treatment for women who have very heavy menstrual flow. After endometrial ablation, many women still do have periods, but they are much lighter. The procedure is generally safe, and the risks associated with it are low. But you need to be finished having children to consider this option.
During your period, your body sheds the lining of your uterus. That lining is called the endometrium. When periods become unusually heavy on a regular basis, you need to have the condition evaluated. For example, if you produce enough blood to soak through a pad or tampon in one hour on your heaviest days, that is generally considered very heavy flow. Treatment often is available that can help.
In some cases, hormonal medications, birth control pills or an intrauterine device may be treatment options for reducing menstrual bleeding. Endometrial ablation may be recommended if those choices are not enough or if a woman prefers not to use them. [...]
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. [...]