Son’s health prob­lems cause dad to ques­tion his parent­age

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - ADVICE/HEALTH -

My first mar­riage ended in di­vorce 35 years ago be­cause my wife had cheated on me sev­eral times. I sus­pected then that I wasn’t my daugh­ter’s bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther. Lately I have been won­der­ing about my son, too. Both are in their late 30s now. Ob­vi­ously, I de­cided to ac­cept them as my own.

My son and his daugh­ter both have health prob­lems. My grand­daugh­ter’s med­i­cal prob­lems are very se­ri­ous, but the doc­tors aren’t sure what she has. A saliva test to de­ter­mine if he is my bi­o­log­i­cal son might give him or my grand­daugh­ter some in­sight into their med­i­cal prob­lems. Should I have this test done? We haven’t been able to that for about six months.

Host­ing is some­thing I love to do when I’m not work­ing. My fam­ily, friends and co-work­ers have all told me they no longer want to visit -- or vice versa -- be­cause of my hus­band. He gets drunk and treats them like they are in­fe­rior. My hus­band, a stayat-home dad, does not see it. There are now many peo­ple in my life I no longer see be­cause of his rude­ness.

My hus­band and I have been best friends since third grade. I love him, but pro­tect­ing him and mak­ing ex­cuses for him is ex­haust­ing. What should I do? do

A few months ago, I hired a woman to keep house for me. She’s a sin­gle mom and not well off. I cleaned out my closet re­cently and se­lected more than 100 items to do­nate.

I told my clean­ing lady to go through them and choose any­thing she might wear, but asked that she take only things she re­ally wanted be­cause I planned to do­nate the rest to a char­ity.

To my sur­prise, she took two-thirds of the stuff. I hope she isn’t sell­ing it. I’m not sure if I should say any­thing to her. What do you think?

I think that the next time you de­cide to clear out your closet, you of­fer the woman a lim­ited num­ber of gar­ments and that’s all.

What can you tell me about Fahr dis­ease? I had an MRI, and I read the term on the re­port and was con­cerned be­cause I hadn’t been told about it. I asked my provider about it, and he told me that it usu­ally is di­ag­nosed when some­one is young. I am soon to be 80 years old. His ad­vice was that if it had not shown up be­fore now, it will not now that I am older.

Fahr dis­ease, also called “id­io­pathic basal gan­glia cal­ci­fi­ca­tion,” is a rare dis­ease of the brain, with symp­toms sim­i­lar to Parkin­son’s dis­ease. It also can cause other types of move­ment dis­or­ders. Symp­toms can come on any time from ado­les­cence to age 60 or so. One way the di­ag­no­sis is made is when peo­ple have symp­toms sug­ges­tive of the dis­ease and an MRI scan shows cal­cium de­posits in a part of the brain called the “basal gan­glia,” which is re­spon­si­ble for co­or­di­na­tion of move­ment.

How­ever, about 1 per­cent of peo­ple have sim­i­lar find­ings on their brain scan (when ob­tained for an­other rea­son, as I think yours must have been) but have none of the symp­toms of Fahr dis­ease. In fact, a study from Ger­many in the 1990s showed that basal gan­glia cal­ci­fi­ca­tions did not put peo­ple at risk for other neu­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions. So, I think that this is an ex­am­ple of medicine learn­ing that imag­ing stud­ies, es­pe­cially MRI, show con­di­tions that we thought were likely to cause spe­cific prob­lems but in fact may be found in peo­ple with no prob­lems and who will never get those spe­cific prob­lems.

I agree with the good ad­vice your provider gave you.

Does stom­ach acid kill the live cul­tures in yogurt and ke­fir be­fore they can en­ter the gut? If so, would drink­ing ke­fir im­me­di­ately af­ter wak­ing in the morn­ing, when stom­ach acid is nil, and fol­low­ing it with a cup of wa­ter work? Are en­ter­ic­coated pro­bi­otic cap­sules ef­fec­tive? What is your opin­ion on the value of yogurt and ke­fir, and the im­por­tance of well-bal­anced gut flora?

Stom­ach acid does kill the ma­jor­ity of the healthy live bac­te­ria found in some yo­gurts and ke­firs (ke­fir is a fer­mented milk drink). How­ever, there are a lot of bac­te­ria (hun­dreds of mil­lions in a cup of yogurt), and some make it through the stom­ach, as proven by a study that showed the yogurt bac­te­ria can make it all the way out through the other side of the gastrointestinal tract.

In­ter­est­ingly, stom­ach acid is high­est dur­ing fast­ing times, so the stom­ach is very acidic first thing in the morn­ing. How­ever, food di­lutes the stom­ach acid quickly. From the stand­point of chem­istry and phys­i­ol­ogy, I’d prob­a­bly rec­om­mend some­thing like toast or ce­real with plenty of fluid, fol­lowed quickly by the source of healthy bac­te­ria: ke­fir, yogurt or pro­bi­otic cap­sules. The last, how­ever, are de­signed to dis­solve in the in­tes­tine, al­low­ing the ma­jor­ity of the pro­bi­otic (just a name for healthy bac­te­ria) to be de­liv­ered to the small and large in­testines where they work.

There is no ques­tion that a healthy gut flora is es­sen­tial to di­ges­tive health, and prob­a­bly to many other as­pects of health. How­ever, it’s not yet proven that pro­bi­otics are of value to healthy peo­ple. In peo­ple with ir­ri­ta­ble bowel syn­drome, and some with in­flam­ma­tory bowel dis­ease with symp­toms, pro­bi­otics may be of value. I don’t rec­om­mend them for healthy peo­ple with no symp­toms.

The book­let on colon can­cer pro­vides use­ful in­for­ma­tion on the causes and cures of this com­mon mal­ady. Readers can ob­tain a copy by writ­ing: Dr. Roach Book No. 505 628 Vir­ginia Dr. Or­lando, FL 32803 En­close a check or money or­der (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Can. with the re­cip­i­ent’s printed name and address. Please al­low four weeks for de­liv­ery.

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