Question: Can you explain why a 15-year-old boy would have nosebleeds for no apparent reason? This happens sometimes two or three times a day to my son, and sometimes with heavy flow. I know that veins break in the nose, and nothing can be done for that. But I think there must be a better explanation and remedy. Thanks for your attention.
Answer: Hold on here. This is far from your average nosebleed story. It is a different ballgame. Your son is having two or three episodes daily? Such frequency alone calls for an exhaustive search for clues of more ominous causes than mere fragility of nasal membranes.
Let me briefly discuss for others the more innocent causes of garden-variety nosebleeds. The most often cited cause is a drying out of the nasal lining. With dryness, the slightest trauma, as with nasal manipulation from ordinary handkerchief use, can cause pieces of lining to flake off, bringing a slight bleed.
Allergies are another frequent cause. Part of an allergic reaction is an engorgement of nasal blood vessels. Again, the answer is to keep the nasal tissue moist. Air should be humidified. Desensitization is a possibility.
Now back to your son and his dramatic symptoms. You need to consider rare tumors, such as angiofibromas. They ought to be included among suspects in persisting nosebleeds, especially in youngsters.
You should contact an otolaryngologist - an ear, nose and throat doctor - who has ways to treat the many causes of nosebleeds.
Question: I am 54, and lately my urine has been clouded. It also has a sweet odor. I also have an enlarged prostate. Are these all related?
Answer: No. Phosphates from food can cloud the urine. So can infection. A fruity sweet urine odor is found with diabetes or when a person is on a stringent diet. Enlarged prostate certainly can lead to urinary infection, but not diabetes.
A urinalysis is a cheap and rewarding test to have. It would at least end your guessing game.
The prostate report I'm sending you might help your understanding. Other readers who want a copy should write: Dr. Donohue - No. 26, P.O. Box 5539, Riverton, NJ 08077-5539. Enclose a self-addressed, stamped (52 cents) No. 10 envelope and $3.
Comment on this story
Question: If the person who wrote to you about bad breath put a quarter-cup of parsley into his salads, he might end his breath problem. My husband did.
Answer: Thanks, Mrs. K. I have always looked for some nondecorative role for parsley. I am glad to pass on the tip to my readers. I will try it myself.