By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Ask Dr. Gott 10/26
Doctors don't walk the walk
Placeholder Image
    DEAR DR. GOTT: My wife and I, both in our 80s, read your column regularly and like your style. You offer good medical advice for healthful living, and we hope your other readers take advantage of it as we do.
    However, I have observed some behavior that is disturbing and unfathomable. We have been to many hospitals and medical-office buildings to see nurses, technicians and doctors who are obese. Some are grossly obese. We also see them and other staff workers taking a smoking break outside the buildings.
    Shouldn't the doctors set a good example for their patients and encourage their own staff to do the same, or is habit and addiction too difficult to overcome even for health care providers? These people must be of above-average education and intelligence to be where they are in life, and there has been so much information published in recent years about obesity and smoking that they should know better and do better.
    DEAR READER: I am also puzzled by health care workers and physicians who are overweight and/or engage in activities — such as smoking — that increase the risk of serious disease. I don't have an explanation for this, and I can't understand how an overweight doctor can advise obese patients to lose weight without setting an example. If an obese doctor advised me to trim down, I would ignore his advice.
    Obesity is often linked to heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol levels and a myriad of other diagnoses. We owe it to ourselves to take better care of our bodies, and this includes having physicians and related health care workers setting a good example. Your point is a good one.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "A Strategy For Losing Weight." 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.

    DEAR DR. GOTT: Several years ago, I was diagnosed by a neurologist with a neurogenic form of claudication. The pain is basically in the calf of my legs, with the right leg worse than the left. Is there any type of treatment for this other than surgery? I am 75 years old, and I have had left knee and right hip replacements. I had surgery on my lower back to remove arthritic spurs from the sciatic nerve area. I would appreciate your advice.
    DEAR READER: I confess that I have never heard of neurogenic (nerve-induced) claudication (leg cramps during exercise that are caused by arterial blockages). Therefore, I cannot comment on your condition. Intermittent claudication is best treated by surgery to unblock the affected blood vessels. Ask your primary care physician to advise you about therapeutic options or refer you to a vascular surgeon for a second opinion.
Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter