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Ask Dr. Gott 1/19
Old pillow source of allergy symptoms
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    DEAR DR. GOTT: My sister-in-law brings her bed head, musty smelling, over-sized down-filled pillow with her every time she visits our home. She will, from time to time, add the contents of other old down-filled pillows to keep hers "fluffy" and full. I personally believe it is a nasty old thing; however, she and her siblings were raised on down-filled pillows, and she insists she's not going to change.
    The situation I've observed is that she has suffered from allergies for over 20 years now. She's not able to breathe through her nostrils at night and has headaches. Her husband, over the last 10 years has also suffered with similar problems. My husband formerly slept on a down-filled pillow and suffered from headaches almost every day until I weaned him from that pillow, and now he is sleeping on a poly-filled pillow that I launder every other week with no problems.
    I happened to catch a TV program awhile ago pertaining to the millions of dust mites, allergens and molds that literally multiply and grow in the stuffing of pillows that are left unlaundered for long periods of time. I would appreciate your thoughts.
    DEAR READER: My thoughts mimic yours. An unclean down pillow is certainly a rich source of allergens and probably explains why your husband had (and sister-in-law has) allergy symptoms.
I don't know what you can do to alleviate the situation short of insisting that she switch to a pillow that uses poly-filling. Good luck.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Allergies." 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: My 53-year-old sister has been diagnosed with dementia. Her doctors have done several tests and are planning another. They claim that by a process of elimination, this is the final diagnosis.
    It seems to me that her problem is concentration. Some days she appears fine unless she has to concentrate, and then she becomes confused. Is this typical of dementia patients?
    Several months ago, I read somewhere that a lady's mother was diagnosed with dementia, but she never gave up. She kept researching and found that some type of deficiency (I don't remember what it was) could cause dementia and insisted that her mother be tested. After testing, it was discovered that the mother suffered this deficiency, was treated and is now fine.
    What deficiencies can cause these symptoms? Please give us any tips you can and we will follow through on them.
    DEAR READER: Dementia has varied causes, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, normal pressure hydrocephalus, stroke, thyroid deficiency and low vitamin levels (B-12 and others).
    In diagnosing the cause of dementia, doctor ordinarily obtain blood tests and imaging studies because thyroid and vitamin deficiencies are completely curable using supplements.

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