The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Food & Health

February 10, 2014

Weight gain is not an inevitable part of aging

CLINTON — DEAR DR. ROACH: I’m a woman and will be 59 in a month. I’m in excellent health. I’ve worked out seriously with weight-bearing exercises for nearly 30 years. I have great muscle tone, and I believe I am height/weight proportional (5 feet, 2 inches tall, weigh 130 pounds).

Is it inevitable that women gain weight as they age? Is it possible to maintain weight past menopause? I have slowly gained five pounds in the past year, and I’ve developed a little bulge under my navel. I’ve increased my cardio workout to lose weight, while continuing my weight-lifting regimen. I seem to be getting results slowly but surely. But that bulge is still there. Should I just learn to live with it? — D.H.

ANSWER: Many women would be very envious of your good health and even your current weight and waistline numbers. However, in your case, it is healthiest to continue at the same weight you have been all your life. Also, abdominal fat is the most metabolically active fat, and the one most likely to increase your risk of heart disease.

It’s not inevitable that you’ll gain weight. Both men and women tend to slow down a bit metabolically as we age. Unless exercise increases or food intake decreases, you are at risk for weight gain. Highly processed, starchy foods may increase your risk of weight gain.

Slow but sure results definitely are best, so keep at it and don’t get frustrated.

DEAR DR. ROACH: What can you tell me about prurigo nodularis? Is there a cure? — N.R.

ANSWER: “Prurigo” is from the Latin word for “itching,” and so prurigo nodularis is a chronic skin condition of itchy nodules, most commonly on the outsides of the arms and legs. The itching can be quite severe. Because prurigo nodularis sometimes is associated with systemic medical disease, the dermatologist normally will look for kidney and liver problems and chronic infections.

Unfortunately, there is not a cure. Most people get relief from steroids, and ointments tend to be more powerful than the cream form. Placing a bandage on top further increases effectiveness. Injection of steroids can be done by an expert, usually a dermatologist.

DEAR DR. ROACH: I’m a 69-year-old circumcised male with no particular problem until a year ago, when I got a small, painful tear in the skin of my penis while having sex with my wife. It healed within two or three days, but this has happened each time we have sex, sometimes on the same site and sometimes further around. I’ve stopped having sex because it happens every time. Can you suggest a solution? — R.C.

ANSWER: My first thought is that this might be due to trauma, and that a lubricant might be a really good idea. However, since it has been going on for so long, I am a bit concerned about a possible skin issue, so I’d recommend a careful exam by your doctor, a dermatologist or a urologist.

READERS: The booklet on asthma and its control explains this illness in detail. You can get a copy by writing: Dr. Roach — No. 602, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Can. with the recipient’s printed name and address.

 

1
Text Only
Food & Health
  • The case for separate beds

    The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 17, 2014

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 17, 2014

  • Study: Diabetic heart attacks and strokes falling

    In the midst of the diabetes epidemic, a glimmer of good news: Heart attacks, strokes and other complications from the disease are plummeting.

    Over the last two decades, the rates of heart attacks and strokes among diabetics fell by more than 60 percent, a new federal study shows. The research also confirms earlier reports of drastic declines in diabetes-related kidney failure and amputations.

    April 17, 2014

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014

  • Low blood-sugar levels make for grousing spouses

    Husbands and wives reported being most unhappy with their spouses when their blood-sugar levels were lowest, usually at night, according to research released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Missing a meal, dieting or just being hungry may be the reason, researchers said.

    April 16, 2014

  • Allergies are the real midlife crisis

    One of the biggest mysteries is why the disease comes and goes, and then comes and goes again. People tend to experience intense allergies between the ages of 5 and 16, then get a couple of decades off before the symptoms return in the 30s, only to diminish around retirement age.

    April 15, 2014

  • 4-15-14 Asparagus photo Make asparagus the center of your plate Asparagus has been a delicious symbol of spring since at least as far back as the Greeks, who called it asparagos -- literally, "to spring up." But however it is spelled, it makes me happy. Most grocers sell asparagus in a range of sizes, from thin a

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Floating stools not alarming DEAR DR. ROACH: I have read that whether stools float or sink could be an indication of one's health, even to the point of being an early sign of pancreatic cancer. Isn't it just about density and gas -- that is, doesn't most food we eat float in wat

    April 15, 2014

  • E-Cigarettes target youth with festivals, lawmakers say

    The findings, in a survey released Monday by members of Congress, should prod U.S. regulators to curb the industry, the lawmakers said. While e-cigarettes currently are unregulated, the Food and Drug Administration is working on a plan that would extend its tobacco oversight to the products.

    April 14, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.