Northampton Press

Monday, February 17, 2020

Healthy Geezer: Heart attack predictions, preventions

Thursday, February 6, 2020 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Q. What causes a heart attack?

A blood clot in a narrowed coronary artery is the usual cause of a heart attack. The clogged artery prevents oxygenated blood from nourishing the heart. This can lead to pain, the death of heart cells, scar tissue and fatal arrythmias.

Many causes can lead to the narrowing of arteries, which is called atherosclerosis. This increases the likelihood of a heart attack.

Healthy Geezer: Causes of fatigue and how to cope with it

Monday, February 3, 2020 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Q. I’m 68-years-old and I’m tired a lot. What do you think could be causing this?

For starters, I never make a personal diagnosis; I’m not qualified. I’m a journalist, not a physician. If you have persistent fatigue, I recommend you see a doctor for a check-up.

I suffer from fatigue that I know is caused by seasonal allergies. When the pollen and mold counts are high, I lose energy and doze off during the day.

Figuring out why you are fatigued is very difficult because there are so many possible causes.

Healthy Geezer: Coconut oil advocates’ studies weigh in

Friday, January 17, 2020 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Second of two parts

Coconut oil is getting internet attention and with customers at health food stores because it seems effective in giving a boost to high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the good cholesterol.

There are several forces creating this phenomenon.

The coconut oil industry is working hard to win public favor.

There are scientists who are backing off from the damnation of coconut oil.

And there are vegans, who abstain from animal products. Many vegans use coconut oil as a butter substitute. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature.

Healthy Geezer: Coconut oil effectiveness debated

Friday, January 10, 2020 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

First of two parts

Q. I read on the internet that coconut oil is great for your cholesterol and has other health benefits. I thought coconut oil was very bad for you. What gives?

Here’s the advice of Walter C. Willett, MD, of the Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Nutrition:

“I’d use coconut oil sparingly. Most of the research so far has consisted of short-term studies to examine its effect on cholesterol levels.

Healthy Geezer: Topics: CPR, Kegels, heart attack signs

Friday, January 3, 2020 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Q. How do I go about learning CPR?

If you would like to learn CPR, contact the American Heart Association: americanheart.org; 1-877-AHA-4CPR.

Another CPR resource is the American Red Cross: redcross.org.

You can try a local hospital.

CPR, or Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation, employs chest compression and mouth-to-mouth breathing to treat cardiac arrest, heart attack, drowning and electrocution.

CPR can keep some blood flowing to the brain and heart during an emergency.

Healthy Geezer: Types, use of hand sanitizers detailed

Wednesday, December 25, 2019 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Editor’s Note: In the last two “Healthy Geezer” columns, the topic was gastroenteritis and noroviruses. In this column, the topic is hand sanitizers to fight germs that cause stomach infections.

Germs are microbes that cause disease. Microbes are microscopic organisms that are everywhere. Some microbes cause disease. Others are essential for health. Most microbes belong to one of four major groups: bacteria, viruses, fungi or protozoa.

Healthy Geezer: Best defenses against noroviruses

Friday, December 20, 2019 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Second of two parts

Among the most common germs are noroviruses, which cause gastroenteritis, mistakenly called stomach flu.

Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It is not related to flu, a respiratory illness caused by influenza virus.

Noroviruses are a group of related viruses. Norovirus is the official genus name for the group of viruses previously described as Norwalk viruses.

Healthy Geezer: The cause of gastroenteritis explained

Friday, December 13, 2019 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

First of two parts

Q. I’m going on my first cruise and I was concerned that I might get stomach flu. What should I do?

Many senior citizens frequent cruise ships because vacationers can enjoy what is probably the most relaxing form of getaway. You travel with your own bedroom and all the amenities you can think of.

But there are a lot of people on these floating paradises. That means lots of germs are along for the ride.

Healthy Geezer: If this makes you yawn, it’s cool

Friday, December 6, 2019 by FRED CICETTI in Focus

Q. Why do we yawn?

There are several theories about the cause of yawning. One of them has begun to gain more advocates. This theory is that we yawn to air-condition our brains.

In a paper published in the Journal of Medical Hypotheses, scientists Gary Hack of the University of Maryland and Andrew Gallup of Princeton University wrote that, during yawning, the sinuses act like bellows to cool off the brain. If you suffer from sinus congestion, you might yawn more.

“Brains, like computers, operate best when they are cool,” the authors said.