JustAnswer Blog: Health

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Woman using a foam roller to massage her legs in a field before running in a race.

Leg massage with a foam roller. (Photo: Flickr/Roger Mommaerts)

How can I stop my calf and thigh cramps?

Q: What can I do to get a cramp in my calf and thigh to subside? I'm a 74-year-old woman and can't get an appointment with my provider for another week. Is there something to give me relief?

A: The first thing you want to do is to STRETCH the affected muscles and massage...

Closeup of a black fly on a coarse wooden surface.

Can you get HIV from accidentally swallowing a fly?

Q: Is it possible to become infected after accidentally swallowing a black fly that might be carrying HIV+ blood? I was camping with my neighbor who has been HV+ for 9 years and two black flies were in my orange juice at the campsite. I took a drink and swallowed them before I realized....

Assorted pills and supplements in varying colors.

What vitamins should I take before major surgery?

Q: I am going in for major surgery (hysterectomy repair and abdominal hernia) soon. What vitamins can I take?

A:  You are supposed to stop all supplements, including vitamins and fish oil, at least two weeks prior to the surgery.

The reason is because some...

Boxes of Ensure under a "Live Well" banner at health food store.

(Photo: Flickr/Syed Hussein)

Is it possible to live off Ensure Plus for 2 weeks?

Q: Is it possible to live off Ensure Plus for two weeks? I have some food allergies and am going to be traveling abroad so I was planning to drink Ensure most of the time if not all the time. Would I need to supplement my diet with anything else?

A: Yes, you can spend a...

Woman's feet in ankle socks, resting at the end of a blue cushion.

Giving the tootsies a rest. (Photo: Flickr/Eric Lewis)

7 treatment tips to get rid of plantar fasciitis

Q: I am a 55-year-old woman currently experiencing pain in the soles of my feet, specifically my heels. No pain when I am not putting pressure on them (such as when I'm sitting), but painful when I walk. The pain has been off-and-on for 2 months, some days more intense than others....

Closeup on faces of mother holding her red-headed baby boy.

(Photo: Flickr/Tanya Little)

Should I take prenatal vitamins after giving birth?

Q: How long should a mother continue to take prenatal vitamins after their child is born? I am the mother of an 11-month-old girl and am still taking prenatal vitamins. Is this necessary?

A: Many women will take prenatal vitamins through breast feeding to ensure they are...

Side of a woman's ear with a small gold hoop earring.

(Photo: Flickr/suchitra)

Remedies that will unclog an inner-ear blockage

Q: I awoke during the night to what feels like a partially blocked left ear, similar to water in ear, along with a gurgling or bubbling sensation and a slight itch. The symptoms continue this morning, with no issue in my right ear. What is this?

A: You most likely have a...

Yellow fine-toothed comb pulled through strands of long hair.

(Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)

The best way to rid lice from your hair

Q: I'm a 30-year-old woman, and I've had a problem with head lice for over a year now. I have long, thick hair that is full of nits, mostly in the back of my hair. I comb every day with a lice comb, and I get 100s of nits out every time I comb! It never seems to end. What's the best way...

Several different brands of energy drinks on a shelf.

(Photo: Flickr/Matteo Paciotti)

How safe is drinking many sugar-free energy drinks?

Q: Is it safe if I drink a lot of sugar-free Red Bulls?

A: No, it is not safe, even if you are drinking sugar-free.

The caffeine and other ingredients can cause symptoms, and I have personally seen a number of people come to the Emergency Room with rapid heart...

Peek into a man's mouth to see a temporary gold crown on a back molar.

A temporary gold crown. (Photo: Flickr/David Joyce)

Pros and cons of having two crowns done together?

Q: What are the advantages or disadvantages of having two crowns done at the same time? My two teeth (#20 and #21) have cracks in them that I'm told are best treated with crowns; one will be gold, the other zirconia.

A: Other than duplicating much of the time and effort...