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What the Yuck: Will anesthesia make me loopy?
February 25th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

What the Yuck: Will anesthesia make me loopy?

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: I'm having surgery, and I'm worried the anesthesia will make me say or do something embarrassing. What's the risk?

A: Don't worry - I see sedated patients every day, and I can't recall anyone ever saying anything truly mortifying.

Yes, if you're going under general anesthesia (meaning you'll be out completely), you may become disoriented and uninhibited as the drug starts to work. You're usually asleep, though, before you can say or do anything really silly.

The risk is a little greater as you're waking up, when the combo of anesthesia and any other medication you've been given may make your brain a bit fuzzy.

But doctors are professionals - we're focused on our work, not on hearing juicy bedside confessions. I promise!


What the Yuck: Afraid of public restrooms
February 19th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

What the Yuck: Afraid of public restrooms

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: I have a phobia about going No. 2 anywhere but my own bathroom. How can I get over this?

A: Your anxiety is really common, and something you can overcome.

First, remember: We all produce bowel movements and the accompanying sounds and, yes, smells. No one’s paying attention to you in a public restroom - they’re all preoccupied!

To get a little more comfortable in there, listen to your iPod to relax, and try using the stall farthest from the door. Deep breathing can also help curb your anxiety.

But if your fear prevents you from going regularly (which can cause constipation and abdominal pain), consult a therapist. You’ll feel much better - mentally and physically.


What the Yuck: Can I drink on antibiotics?
February 12th, 2012
08:57 AM ET

What the Yuck: Can I drink on antibiotics?

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: Is it bad to drink alcohol if I’m on antibiotics?

A: You shouldn’t drink at all while on certain antibiotics - like Flagyl (metronidazole), Tindamax (tinidazole), or Bactrim or Septra (trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole) - because you can get unpleasant side effects like nausea and headaches.

Otherwise, a glass of wine probably won’t hurt, though you might experience worse potential side effects (upset stomach, dizziness, drowsiness) than usual from the drug and the alcohol.

If you’re sick enough to need antibiotics, however, I’d say skip happy hour and give your body time to fight the infection.


What the Yuck: Paralyzing hickeys
February 5th, 2012
09:15 AM ET

What the Yuck: Paralyzing hickeys

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: I read about a woman who got a hickey that led to a stroke that partially paralyzed her! How is that possible?

A: Crazy, right? But it can happen.

A hickey is really nothing more than a bruise that occurs when the force of someone sucking on your neck is strong enough to rupture superficial blood vessels.

In the case that was in the news, it seems that the hickey was located near a major artery, and the suction was tremendous enough to create a blood clot which led to the stroke.

Honestly, though, your chances of getting a life-threatening hickey are extremely small (unless, perhaps, you’re dating a vampire).


What the Yuck: I'm seeing brown specks
January 29th, 2012
09:17 AM ET

What the Yuck: I'm seeing brown specks

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: Sometimes I see little brown specks floating in my field of vision. Should I be worried?

A: Those squiggly, dark lines and spots are called "eye floaters." They are typically caused by age-related changes in the vitreous humor, the jelly-like substance that fills most of the eyeball.

Floaters are common and usually nothing to worry about.

If you start having them while seeing flashes of light, though, or suddenly get a bunch at once, see an ophthalmologist right away - you could have a tear in your retina, which may lead to vision loss if not treated ASAP.


What the Yuck: Is the hand-sanitizer pump dirty?
January 21st, 2012
03:24 PM ET

What the Yuck: Is the hand-sanitizer pump dirty?

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: How dirty is the pump of hand-sanitizing gel in my doctor’s office, at the gym, and in other public places?

A: Frankly, the part of the pump your finger touches is probably pretty nasty, but the hand sanitizer you’re pumping out should get rid of any germs.

To be extra safe, use a tissue or pull down your shirt to press on the gel dispenser. Better yet, carry your own bottle, and use it often.

And when in doubt, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Overall, that simple move is the best way to keep your hands germ-free.


What the Yuck: Can you workout too much?
January 15th, 2012
09:16 AM ET

What the Yuck: Can you workout too much?

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: I can’t stop working out! Is it possible to overdo it?

A: Actually, yes. Let your body be the judge. If you suffer from pain, muscle soreness that doesn’t go away in a day, or loss of strength, speed, or endurance - all signs of overtraining - then you probably need a break from the gym to recover.

There’s also a psychological disorder called "exercise bulimia," or compulsive exercise, in which people work out excessively, often for hours at a time. They get so obsessed with sweating off unwanted calories that it negatively impacts other parts of their life, from their career to their relationships.

If that’s you, try talking to a therapist who specializes in eating disorders.


What the Yuck: Cold water stops my flow
January 8th, 2012
02:33 PM ET

What the Yuck: Cold water stops my flow

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: I’ve noticed that when I swim in cold water with my period, it stops. Why?

A: It doesn’t actually stop; the lining of your uterus continues to shed. But the counterpressure of the water can stop the flow from coming out of your body.

Oh, and the temperature of the water has nothing to do with it - this can happen whether you’re in a freezing-cold lake or warm Caribbean waters.

Plus, if you’re floating or swimming horizontally, gravity isn’t able to pull the flow down and out as well as it would if you were in a more vertical position. (The same thing can happen when you’re lying down.)

Once you’re out of the water and standing upright for several minutes, your period should return to normal.


What the Yuck: Cotton swabs and ear wax
December 30th, 2011
01:04 PM ET

What the Yuck: Cotton swabs and ear wax

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: How bad is it really to stick a cotton swab in my ear?

We know, it feels so good to get in there! But cotton swabs are meant for use on the outside of your ear, not the inside. Sticking one in too far can push wax deeper inside the ear canal, possibly damaging the eardrum. And a little wax is actually healthy - it helps protect your sensitive ear canal.

If your ears are feeling really clogged up, see your doctor, who can suggest ear drops to use at home, or safely remove blockage for you.


What the Yuck: My pee is bright green!
December 23rd, 2011
09:07 AM ET

What the Yuck: My pee is bright green!

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: My pee is suddenly bright green, even though I drink tons of water. What’s going on?

Normally, the color of your urine should be between almost clear and dark yellow.

Neon-green pee may look alarming, but it’s usually just a sign that you’re getting too much of certain vitamins - B vitamins, in particular - and that your body is flushing out the excess.

That said, if you notice it regularly, talk to your doc about whether you should cut back on your B intake.


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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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