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Ask Dr. Gott 10/19

Broken blood vessels may be cause for concern

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DEAR DR. GOTT: I have a perplexing problem that I hope you can help me with. I break a lot of blood vessels in my fingers and wondered if you could give me some information on the subject, as I have one right now and it is very sore. I am constantly getting bulging, blue, broken blood vessels and don't do anything out of the ordinary to get them. Is this normal, should I be concerned, and is there any remedy to reduce them once they happen, like put cold or warm compresses on them?
    A little bit of background on my health is I do secretarial work and usually do not do any heavy lifting. I'm in good physical shape, late 30s and approximately 110 pounds with a height of 5 feet 5 inches.
    DEAR READER: I wonder whether your "broken blood vessels" may be related to a bleeding tendency. Although I doubt that the condition is serious, you should check with your family physician for an exam and blood tests. If your blood is coagulating too slowly, you will have to consider therapy for the underlying condition. If everything is normal, you may be able to reduce your discomfort by using cold compresses two or three times a day. Your family doctor can guide you.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Blood — Donations and Disorders." Other readers who would like a copy should send you a long, self-addressed, stamped envelope and $2 to Newsletter, PO Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I am 43 years old and 10 to 15 pounds underweight. I know that in order to gain weight I need to increase my calorie consumption. I've done that and still I remain 106 pounds at 5 feet 5 inches. My weight never changes. I don't mind being thin, but many people think I'm anorexic, which I'm not. I eat three meals a day plus junk food. Is there anything I can do to add some pounds? I've tried adding milkshakes to my diet, and that didn't work, either. I thought by now my metabolism would have slowed down and that I'd be complaining about how to lose weight. Please help.
    DEAR READER: As you pointed out in your letter, not all "underweight" people (the quotes are because I am not sure that a weight of 106 is so bad) can gain pounds by "nondieting" — eating junk food, milkshakes and so forth. In such a situation, I urge people to have a medical check up, including blood tests for thyroid function. Work with your family physician to discover any physical cause for your speeded-up metabolism or adjust to and accept your slimness, if the physical aspects of the situation are normal.
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