When your get up and go, got up and went

Dear Dr, I have trouble with constipation. I have had this problem for a long time and have tried many solutions. The best treatment is a laxative, but I am afraid to take this very often because I have heard that if you take this to much you will become dependent on it. Can you help? Pat from Warner Robins, Georgia

Dear Pat, This a very good question. There are many things that increase constipation: not drinking enough liquid in a day, low fiber -few vegetables in a diet, sedentary lifestyle, and in particular pain medicines. Many people who are taking pain medicines do not realize that they cause a lot of constipation. We don't need to quit taking our medicines, but we do need to increase fiber in most diets. The harsh laxatives are generally those that work in just a few hours, and are not good only in limited use. Fiber laxatives like Senokot-S is safer to use. I recommend this type of laxative for most of my patients who take pain medicines, for most patients with pain medicines increasing the fiber in the diet is not enough. It is good to eat more fiber and to drink plenty of fluids during the day, and even slow walking can help. You can also use special additives such as Align Probiotics.


Dr, I have osteoporosis and I take Fosamax everyday. My husband has arthritis in his back and knees. He falls sometimes and I am afraid that he is going to break a hip. Do men get osteoporosis? Would men take calcium since they don't have female hormone? Ms. Grace

Dear Ms. Grace, This is a very good question. Yes, men can get osteoporosis. All my male patients get bone density scans around the age of 50 years old. If there is an increase risk of fracture and/or low bone density or osteoporosis I start my male patients on Fosamax. I have a number of male patients who have osteoporosis. You are correct that males would not take estrogen, but estrogen is important treatment for women for dry hair, skin and such. Calcium supplement is recommended for people when their diet may be low in dairy products.

Osteoporosis is not gender specific and osteoporosis causes bone pain regardless of being male or female. Hip fracture is a big issue because of the change in the quality of life, pain, rehabilitation and ongoing risk. It is important for all people to have a bone density every year or every two years after the age of 50. Thank you for writing, this is a very good question.


Thanks, Catherine

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