Q. I just had a routine physical with my family physician, and she said my blood test indicated I had prediabetes. What is it, should I be worried, and what can I do about it?
I and my colleagues at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences are proud of our 2015 graduate Dr. Sean Cooley, and as strong proponents of healthy living, we congratulate the Herald for its recent story about Cooley's athletic accomplishments ("Thompson native becoming Ironman," Page D1, Sept. 28). Cooley will be an outstanding physician and is a highly trained and skilled athlete. But one aspect that I'd like to emphasize is his caring for others. I recall a "Joggin' with Josh" run that the School of Medicine and Health Sciences sponsored several years ago.
Q. I am scheduled to have cataract surgery next week, and although I'm generally pretty healthy for an 80 year old, my ophthalmologist hasn't ordered any preoperative tests—not even an electrocardiogram. I'm worried. Should I be? A. No.
Q. I know from reading your column that both prevention and treatment are important in dealing with heart artery blockages. But how much of the improved outlook for coronary patients...
Q. I am very interested in headaches because I suffer from them. Is it dangerous to have them every day? Does the location of the headache indicate anything? A. All of us have had a headache at one time or another, but the frequency varies a lot from person to person. Headaches have many causes, from serious to just stress. So separating a simple tension headache from a serious one can be a challenge. What then are some of the clues that can be useful?
Q. In prior columns, you talked about the use of medications to lower cholesterol and that guidelines that were introduced in 2013 have been controversial. Is there anything new to...
Q. I get confused by different terms I hear used to describe serious heart events, including "heart attack" and "sudden cardiac death." Are they the same thing? A. No, they are quite different. Here's the background: The heart requires two crucial energy sources to function — nutrients and oxygen supplied by the blood, and electrical impulses generated by specialized tissues within the heart itself.
Q. I'm confused. I have high blood pressure, but the target level that is recommended seems to change over time. Is it 150/90 or 140/80? So what is the optimal blood pressure for someone like me with hypertension?
Q. There is a vaccine to help prevent shingles, but what if you are not sure if you ever had chickenpox? My hubby turns 60 this fall, and he is...
Q. My child has developed a rash. What might have caused it? A. Childhood rashes are common, and the list of possible causes is long. They range from contact irritation (such as a diaper rash) to allergies (often to medicine) to infectious causes involving bacteria, viruses and other agents. The context in which the rash occurs is important in trying to figure out the cause. Is the child sick or well? Is a fever present? Does the rash involve the hands and feet, or the mouth? Does the rash itch? And perhaps most important of all, what does the rash look like?