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Jewish World Review Sept. 9, 2000 / 8 Elul, 5760

Peter H. Gott, M.D.

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Consumer Reports

When pseudomonas double pneumonia returns; Making vitamin C last -- DEAR DR. GOTT: Last year I was hospitalized for pseudomonas double pneumonia. IV antibiotics cured me, but on two separate occasions, I've had minor recurrences. Please explain pseudomonas. Does anxiety make me more susceptible to these lung infections?

DEAR READER: Pseudomonas, a common type of bacterium, can cause infection anywhere in the body. They are particularly dangerous, however, because they -- unlike other bacteria (such as strep and staph) -- are resistant to traditional antibiotics.

Pseudomonas pneumonia is unusual. The fact that you had it on several occasions suggests that your lung resistance to infection is somehow defective. This could be due to severe chronic bronchitis, lung abscess or similar conditions.

Because many newer antibiotics are effective against pseudomonas, such infections no longer carry a high mortality rate. Nonetheless, as you've discovered, therapy is not consistently curative; either you failed to receive the proper amount of antibiotic or your immunity is deficient, resulting in repeated infections.

Your case is unusual. Therefore, I suggest that you query your physician about the reasons for your pneumonia -- and your prognosis. If your pulmonary resistance is compromised by, say, a chronic infection, your doctor may choose to administer long-term antibiotic therapy or refer you to a pulmonologist (lung specialist) for further testing and treatment.

Anxiety does not play a role in your susceptibility to infection, which is caused by bacteria. However, I can understand why you would experience the consequences of stress as a result of your predisposition to pneumonia and the uncertainty about having another flare-up. Your doctor, by answering your questions, should be able to alleviate your anxiety as well as to plan a sensible approach to your physical problem.

DEAR DR. GOTT: I know that vitamin C is destroyed by heat, sunlight and air. Is there any left in frozen, canned or bottled juice?

DEAR READER: Because vitamin C is, as you mentioned, somewhat unstable, companies that process orange juice and other products take special pains to preserve it. The vitamin is not affected by freezing. Cans keep out light. Bottled juice is vacuum-packed to seal in freshness.

The primary problem with orange juice is its tendency to lose vitamin C once out of its original container -- when the juice has, for example, been reconstituted and left open to the air or put in the refrigerator.

Therefore, for maximum benefit, processed orange juice is best when not stored after opening. Of course, the most effective container is the orange skin itself; perhaps this is why fresh-squeezed orange juice remains the gold standard for us juice-lovers.


09/07/00: Myeloma is a progressive disorder
09/06/00: New antifungal medicine has drawbacks
08/31/00: Barrett's esophagus is serious
08/30/00: Calcium deposits
08/29/00: Mobius syndrome; Hashimoto's disease
08/28/00: That itchy feeling
08/25/00: A highly disturbing pillow fact
08/24/00: Beware of 'ghost pill'
08/23/00: Got what? Lactose intolerance can show up late
08/22/00: A more permanent hernia solution
08/17/00: Detecting Cancer successfully
08/17/00: No confusing hemorrhoids and polyps; Silent heart-attacks
08/15/00: Girlfriend: 'I have venereal warts'
08/14/00: Neuromas are benign and treatable
08/11/00: Doctors long for untrained patients
08/10/00: Try to barter for service
08/08/00: Intensity of schizophrenia varies
08/07/00: Polymyalgia rheumatica is treatable
08/04/00: Nylon workers face lung-disease risk
08/03/00: Allergens among the causes of hives
08/02/00: Preventing liver cancer
08/01/00: An unorthodox approach to MS
07/31/00: Lyme vaccine may cause problems
07/28/00: Tinnitus is probably permanent
07/27/00: If it hurts, don't scrape keratoses
07/26/00: Check on dosage of Synthroid
07/25/00: My feet won't stop growing
07/24/00: None of us is symmetrical
07/21/00: Suffering Ataxia
07/20/00: How does stress affect health?
07/19/00: Why am I spitting stones??
07/18/00: Search for cause of wife's eczema
07/17/00: Son's diet is a battlefield
07/14/00: Dr. Mergatroyd gets his due
07/12/00: Waiting for Swollen glands to heal
07/11/00: 'Liver profiles'
07/10/00: "Senior-proofing"
07/07/00: Doctors for dollars
07/06/00: Fat is actually an essential nutrient
07/05/00: Problems that can put you off balance
07/03/00: Circumcision 'problems'
06/30/00: What's the 'deep system'?
06/29/00: Graham and Kellogg were health nuts
06/28/00: Asthma and steroids
06/27/00: Making sense of bone scans
06/26/00: Brand name aspirin rip-offs
06/23/00: A son who will almost never wakes up
06/22/00: Daughter decides sleeping arrangements
06/21/00: What causes aging?
06/20/00: Don't be a sucker: No real cure for viral myocarditis
06/19/00: Sickness from old clothes is unlikely
06/16/00: Metal objects can move in the body
06/15/00: Braces OK for former heart patient
06/14/00: 'Restless legs' are common problem
06/17/00: Unconventional treatment for piles
06/08/00: You better wake up about sleeping problem
06/07/00: No tests to predict depression
06/06/00: Daily activated charcoal is OK
06/05/00: Doc gave symptom a fancy name
06/02/00: Anti-depressants are not panaceas: Think before popping
06/01/00: First, treat the edema
05/31/00: Snappish docs
05/30/00: Unethical doctors
05/26/00: Bathe when you need to!
05/25/00: Night terrors are common in kids
05/24/00: Involve parents in girl's problem
05/23/00: What causes clots?
05/22/00: Painkiller may be causing pain
05/19/00: Arthritis of colon? No such thing
05/18/00: Bell's palsy may mean Lyme disease
05/17/00: Is licorice dangerous?
05/16/00: Low iron may cause
paper-eating 05/15/00: Patch didn't cause problem
05/12/00: Lower blood pressure without drugs
05/11/00: Blocked arteries contribute to chill
05/10/00: Milk: a good calcium source or not?
05/09/00: Familial cancer
05/08/00: Protein in urine signals problem
05/05/00: Cataracts cannot be dissolved by vitamins
05/04/00: Meds may be causing low blood pressure
05/02/00: Before radar, punk rock and yogurt
05/02/00: Harmful Vaseline?
05/01/00: Lenz's syndrome is hereditary
04/28/00: Pregnancy test should precede hormones
04/25/00: No evidence against inhaling hair spray
04/24/00: Antifreeze can cause kidney failure
04/19/00: Transient global amnesia is common
04/18/00: Urinary catheters can lead to problems
04/17/00: Healing right
04/14/00: Disagreeing doctors are troubling
04/13/00: 'Halos' may signal start of cataracts
04/12/00: Removing waxy build-up
04/11/00: Beware the 'date-rape drug'
04/10/00: Hospitals keep families in the dark
04/07/00: Get genetic screening for Tay-Sachs
04/06/00: Too much sugar is bad for dad
04/05/00: Striking out with stroke victims
04/04/00: You can't remove memories surgically
03/31/00: Take a wild guess
03/31/00: Home births: There are pros and cons
03/30/00: Medicines may cause painful breasts
03/29/00: Controlling thyroid isn't difficult
03/28/00: Normal white-cell counts can vary
03/27/00: What are the symptoms of tsetse?
03/24/00: Whirling arm relieves Raynaud's
03/23/00: Balloon angioplasty explained
03/22/00: "Raggedy Ann syndrome"
03/21/00: Caffiene drinks can be a killer ... financially
03/20/00: `Health-nut' teacher is good for kids
03/17/00: Saftey risks of cooking with aluminum
03/16/00: Interpreting blood-pressure readings
03/15/00: Alcohol raises liver enzymes
03/14/00: Excessive thirst could mean trouble
03/13/00: Avoid Tylenol if you're a drinker
03/10/00: How long should women get Pap tests?
03/09/00: Symptoms suggest liver disease
03/08/00: Truckers' checkups are incomplete
03/07/00: Is multiple sclerosis inherited?
03/06/00: Heart disease advances
03/03/00: Throat pain may be panic-related
03/02/00: Meds may cause bruising
03/01/00: Tick paralysis is scary and serious
02/29/00: Solving a shocking problem
02/28/00: Scleroderma can affect swallowing
02/25/00: Aspirin doesn't thin blood
02/24/00: A `hot' new treatment?
02/23/00: Records are often hard to interpret
02/22/00: Keeping up with the research
02/18/00: `Bat therapy' is stupid
02/17/00: Paying at the time of service
02/16/00: Daughter needs an examination
02/15/00: What's the deal with all of those hospital buttons?
02/14/00: More chuckles from the O.R.
02/11/00: Enlarged gland may be a goiter
02/10/00: Try reading, before Ritalin
02/09/00: Treating aortic stenosis
02/08/00: How can I save my vision?
02/07/00: Meds can cause constipation
02/04/00: Anemia should be treated at any age
02/03/00: Some causes of constant cough
02/02/00: It's a question of ethics
02/01/00: New drugs may address pill excess
01/31/00: My husband won't get serious about his gaut
01/28/00: Don't expect much from privy dig
01/27/00: Water as weight-loss aid
01/26/00: Some calories are emptier than others
01/25/00: Left chest pain usually heart-related
01/24/00: Bruising may mean clotting deficiency
01/21/00: Lou Gehrig's disease in lay language
01/20/00: Causes of high bilirubin
01/19/00: High cholesterol can be inherited
01/18/00: Dry between your toes!
01/14/00: How to take your own blood tests
01/13/00: With cancer, life quality is choice
01/12/00: Aide shouldn't dispense drugs
01/11/00: Can't MDs go back to the old system?
01/10/00: Night eaters wake up famished
01/07/00: What's causing leg weakness?
01/06/00: Surgery may help end-stage emphysema
01/05/00: What's erythromelalgia?
01/04/00: More on Graves' disease
01/03/00: Stick to Lipitor for cholesterol
12/31/99: It's true: Dr. Gott is a real doctor
12/29/99: The story on SAMe
12/28/99: Bone density test shows osteoporosis
12/27/99: Hairspray: Safe (yet wrong) for kids
12/23/99: How to avoid swollen ankles in flight
12/22/99: Dr. Gott is human, too
12/21/99: Past asbestos exposure can be trouble
12/20/99: Find another way to treat depression
12/17/99: My nose is growing ... and my name isn't Clinton!
12/16/99: Zinc not alone in body's cells
12/15/99: WPW is not usually serious
12/14/99: Can people in comas hear?
12/13/99: What is Bright's disease?
12/10/99: Infant botulism is usually treatable
12/09/99: Allergy to paint fumes is dangerous
12/08/99: Identify type of excess protein
12/07/99: Deltoid injury is serious
12/06/99: My 'holy terror'
12/03/99: Seek alternative forms of prednisone
12/02/99: Be careful with fiberglass
12/01/99: Helping a house-bound friend
11/30/99: 'Kitchen cures' for ulcers
11/29/99: What is Marfan's syndrome?
11/24/99: Be concerned about bruises
11/23/99: Help for Raynaud's
11/22/99: Flu from medicines?
11/19/99: Weigh risks and benefits of treatment
11/18/99: Fluoroscopes now seen as dangerous
11/16/99: Too many vitamins cause problems
11/15/99: Check your doctor's credentials
11/12/99: Chiropractor and Coumadin: Bad combo
11/11/99: Different meds can lower pressure
11/10/99: Milk allergy may cause symptoms
11/09/99: What is osteopenia?
11/08/99: You can overdo it with gum
11/05/99: Breath-analysis tests are sensitive
11/03/99: Parents should be there for tests
11/02/99: Let comfort determine mattress choice
11/01/99: Consider reasons behind bad posture
10/29/99: Unpinching a pinched nerve
10/28/99: Whooping cough; malabsorption
10/27/99: Call doctor's bluff
10/26/99: An M.D. by any other name...
10/25/99: Diesel fumes are hazardous
10/22/99: Allergies may decrease with age
10/21/99: Could symptoms indicate tapeworm?
10/20/99: Bacteria in water may cause ulcers
10/15/99: Aspirin diet is baloney
10/14/99: Roughhousing
10/13/99: Kangaroo: It's what's for dinner
10/12/99: Amyloidosis is a mysterious disease
10/11/99: Ringworm: harmless and easily treated
10/08/99: Puzzling symptoms
10/06/99: It's impossible to cut out all salt
10/05/99: Fibromyalgia beginning to be understood
10/05/99: Let mom control her own health
10/04/99: Doctor should be more aggressive
10/01/99: What caused pneumothorax?
09/30/99: Take control of premature disease
09/29/99: Varicose veins can be itchy
09/28/99: Prognosis for patients on respirators
09/27/99: Consider memory loss an early warning
09/24/99: It's time to seek counseling
09/23/99: Nurse needed to `relax'
09/22/99: When doctors disagree
09/21/99: Are we all sicker now?
09/20/99: Snap judgments about obesity
09/17/99: No set rules for parental care
09/16/99: Should adoptees have genetic info?
09/15/99: Could 'terrible twos' be ADD?
09/14/99: What is intestinal angina?
09/13/99: Take steps to combat loneliness
09/10/99: Can post-op inactivity cause stroke?
09/09/99: Osteoporosis is complex
09/07/99: Teas and fish to watch out for
09/07/99: Do Big Macs now mean big trouble later?
09/03/99: Elderly can improve odor in many ways
09/02/99: Quit drinking if bothered by reflux
09/01/99: MRI can help explain hip pain
08/31/99: See doctor about breast leak
08/30/99: Overusing doctors
08/27/99: Glucose test didn't cause problem
08/26/99: Mom couldn't prevent son's death
08/25/99: Protecting eyes from corneal abrasion
08/24/99: The five-year cancer benchmark
08/23/99: 'I want to be fat'
08/20/99: Lower capacity common in aging organs
08/19/99: Never ignore blood in urine
08/18/99: Keep older relatives in touch
08/17/99: Be sure to test drive new doctor
08/16/99: 'Sciatica' can be a confusing term
08/12/99: Seek out source of drip
08/12/99: Guard against familial diabetes
08/11/99: The increasing human lifespan
08/10/99: After lunch: time for siesta
08/09/99: Should humans avoid dairy products?
08/06/99: Mini-strokes may be imperceptible
08/05/99: Learning languages as an adult
08/04/99: Controling emotional and behavioral problems with a special diet
08/03/99: Hormone won't make grandson taller
08/02/99: Reinfection is a problem with pinworms
07/30/99: Worry about thyroid nodules
07/29/99: The straight dope on generic drugs
07/28/99: Coumadin can cause bruising
07/27/99: Breast cysts common in adolescents
07/26/99: Retirement can be stressful, too

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