The Tutoring Center, Houston TX

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04/27/2014
Bacterial infection may cause low back pain 
For millions of people with low back pain, there is often no clear cause. Recently, a study in Denmark, published in European Spine Journal, suggests that a small percentage of such cases may be related to bacterial infections. The study involved adults who had a herniated disk in the lower back and chronic low back pain. Participants had a type of bone change that can only be detected with an MRI. This bone change can be associated with low-grade bacterial infection in an adjacent herniated or damaged disk. Those taking antibiotics had less constant pain, fewer days of sick leave, and fewer disruptions in sleep. Mayo Clinic experts say the findings can only be verified through repeated studies, and less than 10 percent of low back pain patients would be candidates for the antibiotic treatment. 

Heartburn drugs can cause vitamin B12 deficiency 
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as Prilosec and Nexium, can interfere with the absorption of calcium and iron. The Journal of the American Medical Association suggests vitamin B12 be added to the list. They find that people with B12 deficiencies are significantly more likely to have taken PPIs for two years than people without the deficiency. Heartburn drugs called H-2 blockers, such as Zantac and Pepcid, were also linked to elevated risk, but less so. Doctors at the University of California, Berkeley, say those who take these drugs should have their B12 levels measured. B12 supplements are available in pill form or shots for a serious deficiency. Left untreated B12 deficiency can lead to nerve damage, anemia, dementia and other complications. 

Pacemaker precautions related to interference 
Your pacemaker probably won't stop because of these types of interference, but it's wise to take precautions. 

* Cellphone. When it's on, keep it at least 6 inches away from your pacemaker. When talking, use the ear opposite to your implant site. 
* Tests and procedures: MRI scans aren't recommended. Tell the caregiver you have a pacemaker before radiation therapy, shock wave lithotripsy, surgical procedures and electrical nerve stimulation. 
* At the airport: it's unlikely that metal detectors will interfere with your pacemaker if you walk through at a normal pace. Avoid lingering.

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