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  • MAYO CLINIC

    Updated Feb 19, 2020

    DEAR MAYO CLINIC: A few months ago I noticed minor pain in my elbow when I'd lift anything - even something light. Recently, the pain is worsening and moving down my inner forearm. My elbow hurts even when I'm not lifting. Turning my wrist or twisting my arm causes pain. What could be the reason for this? Are there things I can do at home to make it better, or do I need to see my health care provider? ANSWER: The problem you describe sounds like "golfer's elbow." The medical...

  • MAYO CLINIC

    Updated Feb 12, 2020

    DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My mother and my sister were treated for uterine fibroids in their late 30s. I just turned 35, and I'm starting to worry that I'll get them too. Am I at risk for fibroids because I have a family history of them? Are there other things that raise my risk? What symptoms should I watch for? ANSWER: Heredity can play a role in your risk for developing uterine fibroids. Your age, race, when you started having periods and a number of other factors also can affect...

  • MAYO CLINIC

    Updated Feb 5, 2020

    DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I've noticed several dark spots and cobweb-like strings in my vision. Is this something to be concerned about? ANSWER: Dark spots such as those you describe may be floaters. These black or gray specks, strings or cobwebs typically drift about when you move your eyes and appear to dart away when you look at them directly. They may be most noticeable when you look at a plain, bright background, like the blue sky or a white wall. People who need glasses to see...

  • MAYO CLINIC

    Updated Jan 29, 2020

    DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My two-month-old granddaughter's belly button is very large and sticks out well beyond her tummy. What might cause this? Should we be concerned? Will it get smaller over time? It doesn't seem to bother her, but I wonder if she should be seen by her doctor to have it checked anyway. ANSWER: The condition you describe sounds like an umbilical hernia. It's a fairly common condition among infants. In most cases, these hernias don't cause any problems, and they...

  • MAYO CLINIC

    Updated Jan 22, 2020

    DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I tore my calf muscle while running a few months ago and went to physical therapy for treatment. It seemed to heal well, but last weekend I tried running for the first time since the injury. After a couple of miles, I felt a strain in my calf. Is there anything else I can do, or will I have to give up running? I am a 51-year-old male. ANSWER: Your situation is common, especially for runners your age. You probably won't have to give up running. But you may nee...

  • MAYO CLINIC

    Updated Jan 15, 2020

    DEAR MAYO CLINIC: At her most recent well-child checkup, my 13-year-old daughter was given a questionnaire about depression, even though she doesn't have any symptoms of depression. Is screening for depression typical at her age? If so, how are the answers used? ANSWER: Major depression is common. It's estimated that up to 8 percent of teens have experienced depression in the past year. Untreated depression may place a teen at risk for recurrent depressive episodes or increase...

  • MAYO CLINIC

    Updated Jan 8, 2020

    DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Is it common to only have a partial thyroidectomy to remove Hurthle cells? My doctor is recommending this procedure, but I wonder if I should have my entire thyroid removed instead to eliminate the risk of the cancer coming back. Would it be better to have a total thyroidectomy? ANSWER: A partial thyroidectomy can be an appropriate treatment for Hurthle cell thyroid cancer in some cases. The decision to undertake partial versus total thyroid removal depends...

  • MAYO CLINIC

    Updated Dec 18, 2019

    DEAR MAYO CLINIC: What is transcranial magnetic stimulation, and how does it work? Is it effective for treating depression? ANSWER: Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is a procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. It's a noninvasive procedure that usually requires about 25 to 30 treatment sessions. Transcranial magnetic stimulation has been shown to effectively improve symptoms of depression, particularly in people who haven't seen...

  • MAYO CLINIC

    Updated Dec 11, 2019

    DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I had an extremely painful headache that was diagnosed as a cluster headache in the emergency department. I was treated with oxygen, and the pain disappeared. Is it common to treat headaches with oxygen, or is this a treatment specific to this type of headache? ANSWER: If you have cluster headaches and begin having a painful attack, a common and established therapy is using 100 percent oxygen delivered with a face mask. This often relieves the pain within...

  • MAYO CLINIC

    Updated Dec 4, 2019

    DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I keep reading about weight loss and other health benefits from a diet where people eliminate lectins. Is there any truth to the claim that a lectin-free diet can cure autoimmune diseases and other health problems? ANSWER: No scientific evidence exists to show that eliminating dietary lectins will cure any medical disorders or conditions, including autoimmune diseases. But your diet certainly can have an effect on the way you feel, especially if you have a...

  • Women older than 65 generally don't need to continue Pap tests

    Updated Nov 27, 2019

    DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am way past my childbearing years and do not have any health problems. Do I need to continue getting Pap smears? At what age is this test no longer necessary? ANSWER: Getting regularly scheduled Pap smears is important for almost all women. That said, whether you need to continue getting Pap smears, also called Pap tests, depends on your age, risk factors for cervical cancer and results of past Pap tests. Pap smears often can catch cervical cancer in its...

  • MAYO CLINIC

    Updated Nov 20, 2019

    DEAR MAYO CLINIC: What can be done about thumb arthritis besides having surgery to relieve the pain? ANSWER: There are a number of therapies to consider before turning to surgery to treat thumb arthritis. Although these therapies may not always provide long-term relief, for most people with thumb arthritis, they can effectively lessen symptoms, and surgery may not be necessary. Surgery for arthritis of the thumb is usually a treatment of last resort. The thumb is designed to...

  • MAYO CLINIC

    Updated Nov 13, 2019

    DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Is removing the bladder a reasonable treatment option for a 78-year-old with nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer? My dad has tried other therapies without much success, but I'm worried removing the bladder will be too difficult for him to manage. ANSWER: In the situation you describe, bladder removal is a reasonable approach. Bladder cancer can be a lethal disease if it's not aggressively treated at this stage. Although the surgery is complex, when it's...

  • MAYO CLINIC

    Updated Nov 6, 2019

    I just turned 50, and my health care provider recommends that I get a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer. I want to have the test done, but as a recovering addict, I don't want pain medication. Is this possible, or would the pain be too much? What are my other options? ANSWER: For people in your situation, there are several alternatives to choose from when considering a colonoscopy. In addition to the option of forgoing pain medication completely, you could have the...

  • MAYO CLINIC

    Updated Oct 30, 2019

    DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I recently was diagnosed with diverticulosis. Are there certain foods I should avoid altogether or specific foods that would benefit my diet? ANSWER: Diverticulosis is a common condition that usually doesn't cause any symptoms. But, in some cases, diverticulosis may develop into a more serious disorder known as diverticulitis. Research has shown that eating a high-fiber diet may play in a role in preventing diverticulitis in people with diverticulosis. Other...

  • MAYO CLINIC

    Updated Oct 23, 2019

    When hip and knee both need to be replaced, hip surgery usually done first Tribune Content Agency DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I need a total hip replacement and a total knee replacement - both on my left side. Does it matter which procedure is done first? How soon after one procedure can I have the other procedure done? ANSWER: In a situation like yours, it's typically recommended that the joint causing the most symptoms be replaced first. If symptoms are similar, then it's usually...

  • Discomfort in temporomandibular joint often can be relieved with self-care

    Updated Oct 12, 2019

    DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Does temporomandibular joint pain that's caused by grinding teeth ever go away on its own, or is treatment always required? ANSWER: Teeth grinding or clenching can lead to discomfort around the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. The causes of these behaviors are complex and likely triggered by multiple factors. In most cases, the pain is a result of muscle soreness - not damage to the joint itself. This pain often can be relieved with self-care. If pain...

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