Q: When I read your column about elevating the legs to cut down on nighttime trips to the bathroom, I thought it sounded ridiculous. I am a skeptic by nature, and home remedies don’t appeal to me.
Then again, I don’t enjoy getting up three times during the night to urinate. So I figured, what the heck! It is a low-risk proposition.
I’ve done my own clinical trial on this question now. If I spend an hour or so with my legs elevated before bedtime, I have not had to get up as much during the night. Why does this work?
A: As far as we can tell, there haven’t been scientific studies on this low-cost, low-tech technique. Putting your legs up is supposed to help keep fluid from collecting in them. Some physicians recommend a compression hose as a different means to the same end. Doctors suspect that this allows you to get rid of excess fluid before bedtime rather than overnight.
Q: I am a large-breasted woman with an embarrassing issue. Whenever I wear a bra, by the time I take it off, it smells bad. I must wash the bra after just one wearing, even if for only a few hours. This is not like an underarm odor. Could it be a sign of a fungal infection?
Cornstarch under the breasts doesn’t help. Would it be safe to try amber Listerine? I don’t want to use any risky chemicals.
A: Skin-on-skin friction, such as under the breasts, is called intertrigo. The resulting inflammation often creates a hospitable environment for fungi or even bacteria that could cause an unpleasant odor.
Wiping under the breasts with amber Listerine would be safe. We don’t know whether it would be comfortable, as it might sting irritated skin. Other women have reported treating underbreast rash with Cetaphil cleanser, hand sanitizer, dandruff shampoo, milk of magnesia or diaper rash ointment with zinc oxide.
You will probably need to continue washing your bras after each wearing at least until the condition clears up. You would not want to reinfect yourself.
Q: I have Type 2 diabetes. My doctor put me on metformin, but I found that it gave me terrible neuropathy. I had stinging pain in my legs and numbness in my feet and ankles.
After some online research, I decided to stop taking metformin and began taking Ceylon cinnamon instead. I use a water extract. Since I’ve made this change, I’ve not had any problem with neuropathy.
My last test result showed my HbA1c is 5.6 and my blood glucose is typically around 110. What do you think?
A: Be sure to inform your doctor about your approach. Ask him or her to check your vitamin B12 level, as metformin can lower absorption of this crucial nutrient. Low amounts of vitamin B12 can affect the nerves and contribute to symptoms of neuropathy.
Cinnamon can help control blood sugar (Clinical Nutrition, April 2019). You are using the safest approach to medicinal use of this spice: You have chosen Ceylon cinnamon, which is naturally low in coumarin, and you are using a water extract. This technology leaves the coumarin behind.
Coumarin is a compound that is naturally found in cassia cinnamon bark. Excess quantities can damage the liver, which is why we encourage an approach like yours. ConsumerLab.com tested cinnamon products and found that a water-based extract, Swanson Cinnulin PF, met its standards for low coumarin and high proanthocyanidins.
To learn more about cinnamon and other natural methods for controlling blood sugar in Type 2 diabetes, you may wish to read our eGuide to Preventing & Treating Diabetes. This online resource may be found under the Health eGuides tab at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com.