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Ask Dr. Gott 2/16

Yeast and tomato juice cure boil

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DEAR DR. GOTT: My husband once had a huge boil on his elbow. His doctor prescribed antibiotics, which didn't work. He then sent him to a surgeon to have it lanced. The surgeon refused to lance it because he said that last time he lanced a boil, it went all over his office. He charged $60 for doing nothing. After this, we decided to try my family cure for boils: a package of dry yeast in a glass of tomato juice. After a few days of drinking this every day, the boil was gone, never to return. It can't hurt to try this. It's always worked in my family.
    DEAR READER: Boils are ordinarily staph infections in the skin and underlying tissue. I am not familiar with your folk remedy, but I am mentioning it for general-interest reasons. The traditional medical therapy is antibiotics with or without surgical drainage.
    DEAR DR. GOTT: I am a 39-year-old woman who suffers from chronic lower-back pain and tingling in my legs and sometimes in my hands. I believe these symptoms are due to my sedentary lifestyle, because most of the time the pain subsides for a couple of days after I exercise. Taking two Advil also relieves the pain but on a more temporary basis. The problem is that due to a nine-hour workday, a five-hour round-trip commute and a toddler to care for three days a week, I have very little exercise time. I want to know what the long-term effects of this pain/tingling and exercise cycle are and whether it could be related to a bulging disc I sustained three years ago in my lower back after moving a table the morning after my wedding. I had just started my long commute three months before I was diagnosed with a bulging disc. I engaged in physical therapy for several weeks, and the pain from the bulging disc resolved. I do not know what level disc was affected. I have never had an MRI and would prefer to avoid it, if possible. I am working on freeing up more of my time so I can exercise, but in the meantime I would like your opinion regarding my condition and possible courses of treatment.
    DEAR READER: You're correct that a herniated disc in your back is the probable cause of your symptoms. At this point, you need to know how extensive the slippage is and what nerves are being pinched. Therefore, I strongly urge you to get an MRI of your back and neck. Your primary-care physician can order this safe and painless test. Meanwhile, I endorse your plan to develop an exercise program.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Managing Chronic Pain." Other readers who would like a copy should send a long, self-addressed, stamped envelope and $2 to Newsletter, PO Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.

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