Ask the Doctor

  • Ask The Doctor: Lymphedema

    Luckily, there are several ways to relieve the painful arm and leg swelling caused by secondary, or acquired, lymphedema. This condition, which affects an estimated 3 million cancer survivors, occurs when lymph nodes are damaged or removed during surgery or radiation treatment causing lymph fluid to accumulate in the tissues.

    Q. I’ve been suffering from lymphedema ever since my lumpectomy. What can I do to relieve the pain and swelling
  • Ask The Doctor: Irregular Periods

    First off, keep in mind that regular is relative. Many women believe that if their periods don’t come every 28 days, something is wrong with them. But if you have a consistent cycle of 35 or even 40 days, that’s normal for you.

    I’m 40, and I still have irregular periods. Is this normal? I don’t want to take the Pill, but what else can I do to regulate my cycle?
    By Teraona Low Dog, MD
  • Ask The Doctor: TMJD

    Assuming your dentist has already ruled out arthritis or a traumatic injury as the cause of your TMJD, yes, natural treatments will ease the pain without surgery or heavy drugs.

    I have TMJD, and my dentist says I need surgery. There must be something less invasive I can do to ease the pain.
    By Sam Dworkin, DDS, PhD
  • Ask The Doctor: Dizziness

    Absolutely it could. If springing to your feet causes you to feel light-headed, see black or white spots, or nearly keel over, you may have orthostatic hypotension. Put simply, orthostatic hypotension—orthostatic means “standing upright” and hypotension means “low blood pressure”—is the body’s temporary inability to adjust to changes in gravity.

    My doctor told me I have low-blood pressure; could that be causing my dizziness when I stand up?
    Answered by Stephen T. Sinatra, MD
  • Ask The Doctor: Urinary Tract Infections

    In less worldly times, urinary tract infections (UTIs)—common in young, sexually active women—used to be called “the bride’s disease” or “honeymoon cystitis,” because they occurred so often just after marriage. But rookies aren’t the only sufferers.

    I keep getting urinary tract infections. What can I do to treat these naturally and keep them from coming back?
    By Holly Lucille, ND, a naturopath who practices in Los Angeles.
  • Ask The Doctor: Panic Attacks

    If you are having a panic attack, you typically experience rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, sweating, trembling, tightness in the throat, dizziness, and nausea. If that sounds like your experience, I can at least assuage your fears a bit: Panic attacks can feel scary—like you’re having a heart attack—but they won’t kill you.

    I think I’m having panic attacks, but I don’t want to take antianxiety drugs. I’ve heard bad things about them. Is there anything natural I can do?
    By James S. Gordon, MD
  • Ask The Doctor: Mononucleosis

    You no doubt know mono as “the kissing disease,” but few people recognize it as a member of the Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) family. Although the virus itself is not serious, it comes with some pretty debilitating symptoms: sore throat, fever, abdominal pain, skin rash, headache, sore muscles, and constant fatigue.

    I have mononucleosis, and my doctor gave me antibiotics. Do I really need them? Is there anything natural I can do to get better faster?
    By Taryn Forrelli, ND
  • Ask The Doctor: Seasional Affective Disorder

    It sounds like you have seasonal affective disorder (appropriately abbreviatedas “SAD”). The diagnosis requires that symptoms, which may include feelings of depression, hopelessness, loss of energy, anxiety, sleeplessness, difficulty concentrating, and carbohydrate cravings, be present for two winters.

    I can barely get out of bed on winter mornings. What’s wrong with me?
    By James S. Gordon, MD
  • Ask The Doctor: Asthma

    Natural medicine has a lot to offer when it comes to managing asthma long term, but don’t ditch your corticosteroid inhaler just yet. During a severe attack, it’s often the only thing that can help you. Natural remedies can reduce the overall severity of asthma, however, and decrease or eventually eliminate your dependence on meds like corticosteroids and bronchodilators.

    I have asthma and use an inhaler regularly. Are there any long-term effects, and is there anything I can do to use it less?
    By Rob Ayoup
  • Ask The Doctor: Elevated Cholesterol

    The short answer: Probably, but it depends on your HDL (good cholesterol) and triglyceride (the fat in your bloodstream) readings. Some doctors believe a high HDL (60 or more) cancels out the bad effects of a high LDL. However, researchers know an elevated LDL makes it harder for HDL to do its job.