JustAnswer Blog: Health

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Cooling rack holding several freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

An irresistible smell: Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. (Photo: Flickr/cwPhotography)

How to help smell return after you quit smoking

Q: I quit smoking 3 weeks ago by using the vapor cigarette, and want to know how long before I get my sense of smell back. I have smoked for 45 years, and hope it's not too late.

A: Yes, once you quit smoking the sense of taste and smell will improve gradually. However,...

3 young women in paper crowns, holding out wine or beer as gifts.

Looking good, acting zany. (Photo: Flickr/Monica D)

Women: How to look your best in holiday photos

It is the time of year when cameras become ever-present, and your anxiety increases at the dread of seeing more pictures of yourself. No worries, because as a woman (and doctor) who has been obese, I understand the pain of seeing less than ideal photos. I have studied the science of what makes...

Young man with tongue sticking out.

(Photo: Flickr/Michael Mol)

What is causing raised red bumps on my tongue?

Q: I have these raised red bumps on my tongue and they've been there for maybe 9 or 10 months now. I also get white tongue a lot, so I have to keep brushing my teeth and chewing gum to get rid of it. Do you know what this could be?

A: The tongue is naturally covered with...

Four fingers on a hand that have black ink designs on them.

(Photo: Flickr/Dan4th Nicholas)

How harmful is it to write on skin with a Sharpie?

December 05, 2012

Q: How bad for you or your skin is writing on your hand or arm with a Sharpie pen? My nieces and other girls do it frequently to list their races before swim meets and later wash off the ink with sunscreen. Should I be worried?

A: The absorption of any toxic substances...

Man lying on bed, on his back with hand covering his face

(Photo: Flickr/Mike Rosenberg)

Best ways to treat suspected food poisoning

Q: What is the best way to treat suspected food poisoning? I've had chills but no fever or much abdominal pain, just diarrhea and vomiting. I've tried Pepto Bismol to little effect and am trying to stay hydrated.

A: The term "food poisoning" really isn't a medical term,...

Elderly woman in a blue hat, looking over the top of her glasses.

(Photo: Flickr/Rosino)

What causes hair loss in older women?

Q: What causes hair loss in women? I'm 75 and have noticed it in the last two months.

A: Hair loss in women, particularly in a pattern of thinning, can occur for one of several different reasons.

Hypothyroidism can cause thinning of the hair. Another hormonal...

3 slabs of pork ribs roasting on the grill

Ribs -- and other pork dishes -- are safe. (Photo: Flickr/Marco d'Itri)

What foods should I avoid while taking penicillin?

November 09, 2012

Q: My wife said that if you eat pork while on penicillin you will have serious side effects. Is that true? Are there any foods or drinks that an otherwise healthy person should not ingest while on penicillin?

A: No, it is not true that you will suffer any side effects by...

Young man with a black-and-white kitten on his shoulder.

One benefit of keeping your shoulder still. (Photo: Flickr/Russell Bernice)

Arm mobility tips for treating a shoulder with bursitis

November 02, 2012

Q: I was recently diagnosed with bursitis in my right shoulder. Can you tell me if it's better to keep my arm mobile or to immobilize it?

A: Keeping it less mobile is a better solution, but you don't have to completely immobilize it.

You can also use warm...

Young woman looking to the side with sad, serious expression.

(Photo: Flickr/Johanna Hardell)

How to get help for long-term effects of bullying

October 30, 2012

Q: I was bullied through most of my school life (I'm now 19), and I think it has really affected me in terms of the anger I still feel, which I take out on other people at times verbally. I was a very shy person while at school and did not answer back to people which they took advantage...

Bowl of cherries and orange sections.

Fruits make a perfect snack. (Photo: Flickr/Janine)

Basic habits that can help you lose weight

Q: I need to lose weight. I'm a 40-year-old female with a body mass index (BMI) of 28.8. Can you please give me some help?

A: The following tips (some of which you've probably heard before) will help you in reducing weight:

  • Reduce the amount of calories you...

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