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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Week of June 5, 2000

    Question:   I am an 18-year-old male, and have had gynecomastia since I was 12. In these six years, I have only been offered only two options: an expensive surgical procedure or "living with it." I did some research of my own, and heard that certain anti-estrogens, like Teslac, have proved effective in reducing the breast tissue. Why has this not been presented as a treatment alternative? Can a physician prescribe these drugs? It just seems like a better option than cutting open my chest.    Dr. Shiller's Answer

    Question:   I have had a low grade fever of unknown origin for three months. It never rises over 99.4 degrees, and sometimes, periodically throughout the day, I register a normal temperature. I have been feeling flushed and hot. I have had periodic headaches in the lower part of the back of my head. My glands are swollen, and I've been experiencing fatigue, and general malaise. I have had numerous blood tests (HIV, Hepatitis, Malaria, white cell count, red cell count, cdc, etc.) and all reveal that I am in perfect health. My doctor is at a loss as to what is causing this, and with the exception of the fever, believes that my mood may be contributing to this sickness (my mood prior to getting sick was better than I had been in a while). I got sick in February. From September to November of last year I was on Prozac. I am not certain of my dosage, but it was on the high side if I remember correctly. I stopped taking it in december because I didn't like the effects. Could there be a connection between my unexplained ailment now, and the prozac? Could you connect me with anyone who may have experienced this as well? Thank you    Dr. Shiller's Answer

    Question:   I am a 30-year-old and was born with a deficiency that has always been termed by my family and doctor as sun allergy. It is genetic in my family. When exposed to the sunlight (or even indirect rays), my skin will heat up to the point where I feel like I am being burnt alive. When I was a child, my skin would swell and have little red spots or spotches. As I got older, the spotches would cover the entire area exposed. This process occurs quickly on some days and slowly on others. Once redness and swelling sets in (along with the severe pain), it will take 2-3 days or up to two weeks (depending on exposure) to be back to normal again. The only thing I or my family doctor has found to help is to take a COLD Bath to lower my body tempature, and to use Pure Aloe Vera with no additives. This does not cause any great change in the healing process but does aleive the pain a little. If there is any thing that you are aware of that may assist me please inform me.    Dr. Shiller's Answer

    Question:   Is it harmful to deny children bathroom breaks for times as long as 1:15 hours?    Dr. Shiller's Answer

    Question:   My brother recently turned 49. He has had male pattern baldness since his early 20's. In the last 2-3 months his hair has been falling out in patches and he went from having almost no gray hair to being completely gray in this same period of time. What could be causing this?    Dr. Shiller's Answer