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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Week of June 19, 2000

    Question:   My husband gets severe leg cramps from the cholesterol medication Lipitor. He takes as much as 10mgs/day, but was told by the doctor to build up to 15 and 20mgs/day. This hasn't helped because he still endures very bad leg cramps. Along with Lipitor, he takes mag/calcium, vitamin B complex, and multi-vitamins. We were watching a show and it stated that some kind of herb affected leg cramp prescription. What was that herb? Also, do you know if Baycol is less offensive to the muscles?    Dr. Ganiat's Answer


    Question:   I recently miscarried and lab results revealed Hepatitis B surface antigen. The test was repeated with the same result. A complete panel was done and showed only the surface antigen positive, not the core, envelope, or any antibodies. The panel was repeated and again only showed a positive surface antigen. After waiting a few more weeks, the panel was repeated, and I tested negative for all parts, including the surface antigen. Because I suspected lab error, the test was repeated one last time and it showed a negative surface antigen, but slightly detectable. An infectious disease specialist at this lab said that he had heard of this before, but that it was extremely rare. Some pregnant women cross-synthesize a protein that gives a false positive on the Hep B test. I heard from a nurse that the cross-sensitization of the protein can cause a miscarriage. Are you familiar with this at all?    Dr. Ganiat's Answer


    Question:   I have a friend who is HIV positive, and he was advised by a medical student that he can get on a growth hormone called Somatropin. Will this help? And if so, how can he get it? He can not afford all of his routine doctor's visits because he is a struggling law student and also is concerned about asking his doctor due to ignorance. Is there a less expensive way to get an online prescription?    Dr. Ganiat's Answer


    Question:   My fiancee has had two lumps on his penis over the last 6 months. They are getting worse. It is starting to cause his penis to be crooked and is more noticeable when its erect. Is this a possibility of Penile cancer? He has been under sever stress and the lumps don't hurt. He says they feel like they are deep inside the skin, like a muscle that has been pulled. One of the lumps is up higher and is a little larger than the smaller lump near the head.    Dr. Ganiat's Answer


    Question:   My 3½-year-old son had his bilateral cleft of the soft and hard palate repaired at 6 months. He still has a small slit in the top of his palate. He has had a sinus infection every month since September. I took him to the ENT and he says that it's because his adenoids are enlarged. In a normal child they would remove them, but he says it will affect his speech too much to remove them. Do you have any further advice?    Dr. Ganiat's Answer