Ask an Expert

Health Support Systems ( now provides a forum to get your health questions answered. Post your health related questions here and it will be answered by our experts!

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The questions will be answered by physicians from around the globe. Since they may not be licensed to practice in your state or country, the information is provided as general advice only, with an intent to empower and coach the individual. The content of the site and information obtained from the respondents is for informational purposes only. The content and information is NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, and before starting any new treatment or making any changes to existing treatment. Never delay seeking or disregard medical advice based on information on this site.

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16 Responses “Ask an Expert” →

  1. healthsupportsystems

    January 30, 2013

    We are pleased to relaunch the Ask an Expert forum. Post your query and get your health questions answered by our experts!


  2. Gwen Chapman

    January 26, 2010

    My 59 yr.old husband was recently diagnosed w/COPD.(been a smoker for 40 yrs.)Was put on Advair disk & has been taking this for one month-no sigificant progress/relief experienced yet.For the past 5 days,he has had bad stomach pain,nausea,some diarrhea,headaches,burping numerous times a day,extremely fatigued.Could these sypmtoms be related to COPD or could they simply be the result of a stomach virus?

    HSS>>It doesn’t look related to COPD. A stomach virus can also cause most of the problems you noted, but they typically pass in 2-3 days.

    The corticosteroid in Advair can cause stomach irritation. If he also has dark stools that are sticky, it could mean he has intestinal bleeding which may cause all the symptoms you noted. You should check with your physician to rule out any gastro/intestinal problems.

  3. Is there any cure for a damaged throat lining? Mine was caused by a post nasal drip from a misaligned septum (which was corrected 5 years ago) Doctors said then there was no cure for the damaged lining. But maybe things have advanced since then. A slight cold gives me terrible throat pain and always I feel too nauseaous with it to eat drink or take pain killers. (I don’t drink or smoke and never have)

    HSS>>It should heal on its own over a period of time, unless there is an ongoing problem.

    It seems to me, that your problem could be Gastric Reflux – where the acid in the stomach backs up. This can cause nausea and can also cause a feeling of throat irritation and pain. Try and see if taking over the counter antacids help relive the condition? If it is severe, see a gastroenterologist

  4. My two year old daughter falls asleep immediately after eating chocolate or anything really sweet. Why?

    HSS>>High carb and high sugar foods make a lot of people sleepy! Also, small children tend to sleep immediately after meals.

    If the pattern you see is abnormal and very different from other children of the same age, or you observe other symptoms like diminished mental ability/recognition immediately after eating chocolate, you can get her tested for “reactive hypoglycemia”.

  5. i hope this is where you ask the question…I’ve had symptoms for years that have not been diagnosed yet..i am seeing another neurologist next week, but thought i’d get some advice this way too…my list: eye don’t work together, muscle pain, twitch, numb tingley, fatigue, stomach issues, disc problems, brain fog, few small brain lesions, with no changes…any suggestions? i have some i think it might be, but would like to here from all the experts i can…

    HSS>>unfortunately, we can’t determine a pattern from these symptoms. Several tests may be required to make any diagnosis. Good luck.

  6. is there a chance of pregnancy and still have periods?

    HSS>> No. If you think you are having periods and you are pregnant, please seek immediate medical assistance

  7. Hi,

    I am hoping for some advice. I am generally in good health and am in my mid 20’s. In the last week and a half, I have been extremely tired despite sleeping for 8-12 hours a night solidly. I am now having difficulties because I am very low in energy and constantly feel like I could curl up and nap. I don’t feel as though I am under more stress than normal, and I am careful to eat the alloted 5 fruit/veg a day. I also try not to consume a fatty diet and I exercise twice weekly. I don’t know what else to tell you, my period hasn’t arrived yet this month but it is due in the next week. I am not vegetarian and frequently eat chicken. Is there any insight you can give me about my lack of energy? What’s causing this? This constant sleepiness is beginning to cause me problems as my partner feels like I don’t enjoy his company, not at all true I am just so worn out… I find myself getting irritated at him when he jokes about how thrilling company I am. Please help.

    HSS>>If you are otherwise in good health, most of what you experience can be due to stress & anxiety. If there are sudden life changes (e.g divorce, job loss, etc), it can cause a lot of stress.

    Firstly, is the quality of sleep good? If you snore or have sleep apnea, you may be “sleeping” for 8 hours, but may not be getting quality sleep and may wake up feeling drowsy. If that is ruled out, I’d think stress could be the likely cause.

    Do not exercise just before bed time. Try to de-stress, relax and otherwise get a better quality of sleep. If the problem persists, you can see a doctor.


  8. Jane Doe

    March 24, 2009

    I recieved a blow to the knee, when I fell, while training last week. It was very swollen and painful for the first few days but I put ice on it and most of the swelling has gone down, however a small part still remains slighty swollen. Most of the movement has returned with only slight stiffness and pain when I run. But it has bruised very badly with the bruise extending from my ankle, all the way up my shin and ending at my knee. I was wondering if this may indicate any damage to ligaments or tendons?

    HSS>> If the swelling has been there after several days, damage/hairline fracture cannot be ruled out without a physical examination. Give the affected part complete rest. If there is any restriction of movement, pain at certain angles or swelling which doesn’t go away after a few days, please consult a doctor.

  9. For the last three months I have been getting my period for more then three weeks. I am laid off from work and have no money to go to the doctor. Can you help? It stays light but then gets heavy and I have no pain. I recently gained some weight could that be the problem?

    HSS>>Longer than normal periods may happen due to reasons like stress or medications like Aspirin, certain type of contraceptive pills or IUD. Coupled with weight gain, one possible cause may be Hypothyroidism (weight gain is not the cause, but also a symptom of Hypothyroidism). If there are other symptoms like excessive hair growth, hormonal or ovarian problems may be indicated. If you have been having longer than normal periods (7 – 10 days or more), consistently for several months, I would strongly suggest you check with a doctor.

  10. i want to ask about psychiatric medications. do they treat the disease/ disorder or they just suppress the problems. like for example schizophrenia. do the anti-psychotic drugs treat the disease or just reduce the psychotic problems. also, ADHD , do the medicines just reduce the problems or they completely treat it. do the medicines treat the disease completely or not ? and also want to ask that if psychiatric problems are 100% curable or we have to adjust with them and live throughout life only by taking medicines and therapies ?

    HSS>>A large class of medication fall in the class of SSRI (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). They greatly help in reducing the symptoms. Coupled with behavioral therapy, most patients can lead a normal and healthy life. Good luck.

  11. hello. i am a 19yrs old boy. i have a problem to ask from a psychiatric expert.

    now,i don’t know which problem do i have.i tried to find out by reading on the net but i couldn’t find out a disorder which includes and explains all my mental problems. so, i will tell most of the problems i have, but cant tell all, since there is some problem with everything and anything. and if there is not, my mind( which is always at work) will create some problem for its satisfaction.

    i have good amount of gynaecomastia.i know that paying attention to it all the time is of no use, and i don’t want to pay attention to them. i have so much studies to do , but still my mind just keeps on paying attention to them. if while studying i remember of my chest , the level of concentration on my studies greatly decreases and some part of my concentration is shared by my chest. and it is difficult to believe but the concentration is so strong that a lump below my right areola( black part of the boob) starts paining. actually my right boob is a bit more big than the left. so, my mind pays attention only to it. its not that the pain draws my attention, but somehow my concentration causes the pain. and if i divert my mind somehow, it within seconds goes away.

    same is the case regarding my eyes. i wear spectacles. it happens with everybody that due to everyday use and some carelessness, the specs get tilted,bended and does not remain in perfect shape. and this draws all my attention and irritates me so much that my left eye starts paining ( actually i notice the tilt of specs on left side mostly). and this caused my vision of left side to get a little blurred. its hard to believe but that irritation and serious concentration caused that blurriness, and there is no other reason. i know that the specs which are out of shape can cause us astigmatism, but not blurred vision( thought i came to know about this fact later). but still know my mind concentrates, gets irritated, and my left eye starts getting the feel of pain, dryness, and after sometime the blurriness gets more prominent.

    one other problem is that i get some dirty thoughts in my mind. i don’t want them to come and neither i want to think about them, but they start invading my mind as soon as i remember that they are not troubling me. then i start feeling guilty because of getting such thoughts. and the worst part is that all these are mostly related to mind stupidly thinks all vulgar things about god and then i get really worried that that God will punish me very much. and because of this i cant concentrate on studies fully and keeps on thinking that ” don’t worry, God also knows that i do not like these thoughts and do not want to think them and they come against my will”. and i waste so much time due to this problem.

    sometimes my mind starts paying attention to my sex organs and i start getting vulgar thoughts related to god. my mind cant stop concentrating, and then my sex organs start getting weird feelings of mild pain, and i cant easily stop all this happening.

    i some time back also had a problem that while studying if i can easily understand everything what is written and solve every question very easily, my culprit mind tried to automatically stop my understanding power.; it tried to stop everything and hamper my intelligence and in the act of stopping the understanding of the concepts, it also caused me a weird kind of headache. and all of it would stop as soon as i stop studying. but due to my efforts of studying nicely and improving myself, i solved that problem to a very large extent.

    i also have another problem that when some of my above mentioned problems try to solve, my mind just tries to bring them. it does not like them going does not feel comfortable without them. and this is another reason why my problems do not solve. this problem and and the one above are nearly the same as they do not allow me to live comfortably, even when the problems are trying to go away.

    i am always lost in thoughts and have problem in concentrating while studying. i also feel that my memory has decreased with time. i also have very uncontrolled emotions, and sometimes behave very inappropriate at times. i also get a strong feel that my mind has got a little slow with time.

    due to my efforts and using some of my intelligence , i have reduced these problems to a very great extent, but they are not permanently going away. i mean the problems return in the same or different forms. i think that there is some single basic reason for all these problems and there might also be some psychiatric problem to me. so please, its my request to give me a psychiatric expert advice to the problem i have. i don’t have any good expert in my region or places nearby. by your advice i can take the necessary action. please tell me that which disorder do i have, and also some information to its treatment.

    HSS>>From your post, most of what you explained seem to be psychological. But its not possible to determine the cause without a personal evaluation. My first advice would be to get a physical test done (basic blood work, TSH, electrolyte tests, etc) to rule out any physical problem. Then talk to a professional psychiatrist in-person to help you with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and any medication if needed.

    Here are some things that might also help:

    start exercising daily.

    Learn to relax, don’t let thoughts crowd out your mind.

    Just be a “witness” to all the thoughts that seem to crowd your mind. Just watch every thought and then let it pass. When you realize that they cannot affect you without your participation, they would go away on their own.

    Try meditation.

  12. haven pregnnacy issues

    HSS>> Can you please elaborate what is the problem? Are you having problems getting pregnant? Or have problems post pregnancy?


  13. lauren

    July 24, 2008

    i have 2 misscariges i have very irregular periods which are brown an range from every 2 weeks to 37 days sumtimes and i have irritable bowl symtoms . iam going to c a gnocologist but iam wondering if u could give me an idea what it could be x

    HSS>>You are doing the right thing by scheduling an appointment with your doctor. There could be several reasons for the problem, ranging from relative simple ones like thyroid problems to complex issues with the ovary or uterus. Your physician is the best person to order tests and diagnose the condition. Good luck!

  14. I was tricked into eating some food with dry blood from some where and some one. i What to know that if that person had HIV, could i now have it?

    HSS>Please talk to your physician. He would be the best person to assess the situation.

  15. I have a family member that uses insulin to control his diabetes. How does alcohol affect or alter the mental state of a person with diabetes. He appears to function okay but kind of “spaces” out on occasion. Would he knw what he is doing at all times. His motor functions seem okay.

    HSS: I don’t advice alcohol in diabetic people. The occasional wine or drink is okay, regular drinking i not. Alcohol may cause drops in blood glucose. Since he’s already on insulin, it may cause hypoglycemia. Ask him to check his sugar after alcohol intake. Moderate drinking or better still stop alcohol


  16. anita b

    March 2, 2008

    What evidence is there to support the use of Vitamin D beyond its benefits to skeletal health? I am interested in its effects as a sleep aid and as an anti-cancer agent. I have followed the work of Michael Holick, MD, but I am not certain if there is consensus around the overall benefits of Vitamin D. My elderly internists believes in his words, “it doesn’t work.”

    Vitamin D is known to help maintain the levels of calcium in blood. There doesn’t seem to be much documented evidence to support its use as a sleep aid. There is some evidence to support its use as an anti-cancer agent (esp. prostate cancer). However, excess vitamin-D can lead to excess blood calcium (hypercalcemia) which can lead to problems like kidney stones and some heart and lung conditions.

    The Best way to get Vit-D is by taking in a balanced diet and a walk in the sun!


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