Varicose Veins

I hate wearing shorts in the summer because I have varicose veins. They also hurt! What’s the best way to get rid of them? Varicose veins are not only unsightly and in some cases painful, but they can also be dangerous. Varicosities come from a weakness in the wall of the vein, or in the
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Split Ends

Split Ends

My hair is full of split ends. Are there any shampoos that can help damaged hair? What about vitamin treatments? Can anything help my hair grow faster? A. A split end is a sign that the hair cuticle – the outer layer of the hair shaft – is damaged and it is one of the
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Are Hair Dyes Safe?

Q. Are hair dyes safe? Can they cause cancer? A. About one-third of all American women use permanent hair dyes, and through the years, there has been debate over whether the chemicals used in hair dye are carcinogenic. In particular, two compounds formerly used in dark hair dyes – 4 MMPD or 4 MMPD sulfate
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Fainting

Q. Sometimes I faint after eating a very big meal. Why does this happen? Why do some people faint after hearing bad news? A. Fainting is the loss of consciousness, or the complete unawareness of the surrounding world and a lack of any response to stimuli. Fainting is caused by an inadequate blood supply to
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breast pimple illustration
While browsing through a bookstore, I came across a book that claimed that underwire bras can cause breast cancer. I wear an underwire bra, am I increasing my risk of cancer? I searched the medical literature for studies on underwire bras and a possible link to cancer, and I did not find any. I also
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People hands with wine glasses
Q. I have read that drinking a glass or two of wine a day can help prevent heart attacks. Is this true for women? I don’t drink that much, should I start? A.You are referring to the studies that have shown that women who drink one or two glasses of wine – or any kind
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Exercise for an active life

Exercise

Q. I am in my mid-fifties and for the first time in my life, I’m seeing signs of “middle-age spread”. Although I lead an active life, I have never exercised on a regular basis. Is it too late for exercise to make a difference? A. Until recently, conventional wisdom dictated that the human body begins
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douching for a better hygiene

Douching

Q. I have always believed that douching was part of good hygiene, but my daughter’s doctor told her not to douche. Who’s right? A. At one time, doctors routinely instructed their female patients to douche; however, that is no longer the case. Studies have shown that there is a higher rate of infection of the
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Doctors in operation

Doctors

Q. Is it true that everything I tell my doctor is strictly confidential? A. No, it is not, and this can pose problems for both doctors and their patients. When a doctor takes the Hippocratic oath, she swears to reveal nothing that she learns in the course of her work as a physician. As far
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Holding hands

Death and Dying

Q. What is the difference between being in a coma and being brain dead? When are you considered officially dead? A. A coma is a state of impaired consciousness that can vary in intensity. Doctors gauge the depth of a coma by noticing whether the patient responds to outside stimuli and whether automatic processes like
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