Wednesday, August 23, 2000

Health briefs




        Your Body: The Girls' Guide by Dr. Janis Brody (St. Martin's Paperbacks; $4.99) aims to guide teen-age girls through the perils of adolescence by focusing on self-esteem and healthy body image. Topics include sports, exercise, drug abuse, parenting issues, nutrition, preventing sexual assault, PMS, peer pressure and mood management.
       


RESEARCH

        New solution: People suffering from cluster headaches, which can be more painful than migraines, may soon find some relief from a new medication called zolmitriptan.

        Among people receiving a 5 milligram dose of the drug, 47 percent reported quick relief from their cluster headaches, compared with a 29 percent rate of relief among people receiving an inactive placebo, said Dr. Peter Goadsby of the Institute of Neurology in London.

        People receiving a higher dose of zolmitriptan had an even better success rate, but the 10 mg dose needs further study to ensure safety, he reported in Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
       

— Chicago Tribune


IRRITANTS

        Nickel rash: If a piece of jewelry you've worn for years has begun to trigger itching and a rash, don't discount the fact that it might be an allergy.

        Dermatologist Rajani Katta of the Baylor College of Medicine says that skin allergies — especially to nickel, a metal commonly found in jewelry — can develop at any point in a person's life.

        Most people develop nickel dermatitis only in certain situations, she said. If you wash your hands a lot, soap and water that remains under a ring, for example, can break down the skin barrier and allow nickel to penetrate your skin.

        Removing the jewelry stops the rash; if the offending jewelry is a wedding ring, paint a few coats of clear nail polish along the inside to form a barrier between the metal and your skin.

        Jewelry is not the only culprit in nickel allergies, however. Dr. Katta said she once treated a woman who sewed a lot, and whose allergy was triggered by the nickel in the handle of her scissors.
       

— Gannett News Service


RESOURCES

               Arthritis: Are your joints too stiff or painful to deal with? Do you feel sick and tired from the pain? If so, you might want to check out a new booklet on arthritis published by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).

        The booklet, published in English and Spanish, offers information about symptoms and advice about working with your doctor and using your medication properly. For a free copy of the booklet — “Tengo Arthritis?” in Spanish or “Do I Have Arthritis?” in English — write to NIAMS/NIH, 1 AMS Circle, Bethesda, Md. 20892-3675 or call (877) 226-4267).
       

— Washington Post

        Women's health: The National Institute on Aging and the Alliance for Aging Research have teamed up to offer a free 36-page booklet outlining resources and referrals about women's health.

        Who? What? Where? Resources for Women's Health and Aging includes information on osteoporosis and heart disease and covers issues related to menopause, caregiving, finances and widowhood. It provides the most current telephone numbers, addresses and Web sites for almost 100 organizations.

        To order a free copy, call the National Institute on Aging Information Center, (800) 222-2225 or (800) 222-4225 (TTY).
       

— The Cincinnati Enquirer

       



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