BY JOE GRAEDON, M.S., AND TERESA GRAEDON, Ph.D.
Q. A year ago, seeking relief for the pain of an arthritic knee, I began seeing a traditional Chinese acupuncturist. Within a couple of months, much to my surprise, not only was my knee much better, but my libido also was resurrected!
This systemic unblocking of vital energy affects every system in the body, and it makes perfect sense to me that sexual energy is affected. I continue regular acupuncture “tuneups” and feel like the desirable/desiring woman I was 20 years ago.
A. A recent meta-analysis of acupuncture for chronic pain reviewed 31 randomized controlled trials (Archives of Internal Medicine online, Sept. 10, 2012). The pain conditions considered in these studies included back and neck pain, shoulder pain, osteoarthritis and chronic headache. According to the investigators, acupuncture is effective for treating chronic pain, so we are not surprised that your knee responded well.
We were amazed, however, that your libido also was restored. We could find no relevant studies in the medical literature, though one review suggested improved libido in stallions (Theriogenology, August 2008).
Q. I have migraines that I used to control with ibuprofen. After suffering severe stomach erosion, I gave up on that except for an emergency.
Now that we know that ibuprofen can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes, I need a headache medicine that will be safe. I searched the Web, and all the prescription medicines have warnings about heart attacks. Is there anything I can safely take when I have a migraine?
A. NSAIDs like diclofenac, ibuprofen and naproxen can cause life-threatening bleeding ulcers. Since you are susceptible to this reaction, you must avoid such medications.
Danish scientists found that people who had experienced heart attacks were about 50 percent more likely to have a second one if they were taking ibuprofen, diclofenac or similar drugs (Circulation online, Sept. 10, 2012).
This presents a dilemma for people like you who need pain relief. Our Guide to Headaches and Migraines offers alternative approaches, including magnesium, vitamin B-2, acupuncture and herbs such as butterbur, feverfew and ginger. Download our guides for $2 from our website: www.peoplespharmacy.com.
Inducing “brain freeze” by drinking a very cold icy beverage or quickly eating a frozen dessert can sometimes stop a migraine, especially if used early.
Q. My cat was attacked by two pit bulls. Her abdomen was extremely swollen, and she had two severe puncture wounds.
We live on an island, and the vet was out of town for a week. His advice to us was to wash the area with sugar water and then pack the wounds with sugar. I was shocked: Within 12 hours, the area was light pink instead of bright red, and the puncture wounds had scabbed over. It truly was amazing how quickly the healing occurred.
A. The healing power of honey or sugar has been known for millennia, but it often is overlooked. Dr. Richard Knutson, a retired orthopedic surgeon who has treated 7,000 patients, recommends a 3:1 ratio of confectioners’ sugar to cooking oil to pack wounds once they stop bleeding.
2012 King Features Syndicate Inc.