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Health Questions & Answers #68 ~ [Issue 0905-4]  Wellness Weekly
 Sep 28, 2005 08:56 PDT 

Q & A #1:
Can magnesium deficiency cause tremors? What causes magnesium

Magnesium deficiency (hypomagnesemia) may cause involuntary shaking
(tremors) of the tongue, arms and legs. Other signs and symptoms of
magnesium deficiency include: sudden, involuntary muscle twitches or
jerks (myoclonus), muscle weakness, sudden sensations of spinning
(vertigo), fatigue, abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia), Magnesium
deficiency is rare. But potential causes include: malnutrition,
alcoholism, malabsorption disorders, such as Crohn's disease or
celiac disease, poorly controlled diabetes, kidney disease, certain
medications, such as cisplatin (Platinol) and some diuretics and
antibiotics, removal of the parathyroid gland, acute pancreatitis.
Treatment of magnesium deficiency may include: increasing dietary
intake of magnesium, taking magnesium supplements, intravenous
injections of magnesium sulfate or magnesium chloride

Q & A #2:
After drinking just one alcoholic beverage, I get a rash all over and
I vomit. Is it possible to be allergic to alcohol?

Alcohol can cause a variety of immediate adverse effects on the body.
Studies show that some people are more sensitive to these effects
than others are - although this does not mean that they are allergic
to alcohol. A true allergic reaction involves the immune system.
Alcohol can cause headache, rapid heartbeat, and nausea. Some people
are especially sensitive to the stomach-irritating effects of alcohol
and may develop heartburn, abdominal pain, and even vomiting. Alcohol
can also increase blood flow to parts of the body, such as the skin
and the lining of the nose. This may result in warm, red, sometimes
itchy skin, as well as nasal congestion. Rarely, a person may have
sensitivity to the preservatives used in some wines and beers. Many
people of Asian descent experience an unusual flushing reaction after
drinking alcohol - even in very small amounts. This is caused by a
genetic disorder in which the body is unable to break down alcohol
completely. Some research suggests that people who experience alcohol
flush reaction may be at increased risk of alcohol-related
conditions, such as cancer of the esophagus and liver disease. The
only solution to all of these problems is to avoid alcohol.

Q & A #3:
Can a cell phone or cordless phone trigger a seizure?

Currently, there is no evidence that energy from cell phones or
cordless phones causes serious health effects, such as epileptic
seizures. Some reports suggest that cell phone use may cause changes
in brain activity, reaction time, or the time required for falling
asleep. But these findings have not been confirmed. Cell phone use is
not entirely without risk. Cell phones may impair the function of
certain medical devices such as pacemakers, defibrillators, and
hearing aids. Also, use of a cell phone while driving is a
distraction that increases the risk of accidents.

Q & A #4:
I have had laryngitis for the past seven weeks. My doctor says one of
my vocal cords is paralyzed. What causes this?

Vocal cord paralysis occurs when one or both of your vocal cords do
not open or close properly. If only one vocal cord is affected, the
result is usually a hoarse or breathy voice. Sometimes, a cause of
vocal cord paralysis cannot be determined. But known causes include:
viral infection, neck or head injury, thyroid surgery
(thyroidectomy), tumors of the neck, lung and chest, or stroke.
Treatment of vocal cord paralysis depends on the underlying cause and
may include: surgery to increase the size or change the position of
the affected vocal cord to make better contact with the other vocal
cord, voice therapy, which may include exercises to strengthen the
vocal cords. See your doctor if you have hoarseness that lasts longer
than three weeks.
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