Don't forget: There are many ways to fight against memory loss

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY

March 05, 2000|By Joe Graedon, and Teresa Graedon | Joe Graedon, and Teresa Graedon,Special to the Sun; King Features Syndicate

Don't forget: There are many ways to fight against memory loss

Q. My husband's memory has been getting hazy, and I am concerned. He was tested by a neurologist who found that his vitamin B12 level was low. Shots were recommended, but that was difficult for us, and our internist suggested Nascobal nose drops as an alternative.

We've had some trouble with this product. To my way of thinking, the dropper is hard to use. Is there any other way for him to get this vitamin?

A. Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to neurological symptoms such as moodiness, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, unsteadiness, numbness and tingling in hands and feet. The usual solution is a monthly B12 shot. There are other alternatives, however.

Nasal gels such as Nascobal or Ener-B are one approach. The other possibilities are high-dose oral pills daily (1 to 2 milligrams) or "nuggets" designed to dissolve under the tongue. Ask the doctor to review the research in Blood (Volume 92, Aug. 15, 1998, pages 1191-1198).

Q. I have been suffering terribly from constipation and heartburn. I am convinced that the calcium and Fosamax I take to build my bones are contributing to these problems. When I complain, my doctor just tells me to eat more fiber and take Metamucil. That makes me feel bloated and gives me gas.

What can I do?

A. Calcium and Fosamax can both contribute to constipation, and Fosamax might also cause heartburn, which can be a serious complication.

Besides fiber and fluids, some readers have found flaxseed (found in Uncle Sam's cereal or in health food stores) helpful against constipation and gas.

UniFiber (powdered cellulose) solved one woman's constipation problem, while sugarless gum has helped others.

In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of The Sun, Features Department, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or e-mail them at their Web site (www. peoplespharmacy.com) on the HealthCentral.com network.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.