Ask the Nurse

Answers for your specific questions.

Wondering about your health? Confused by what you’ve read? Browse our Ask the Nurse answer archive to find answers to many women's health questions and concerns. All answers are from a Cleveland Clinic women's health nurse.

Ask the Nurse Archive

Weight Gain After Hysterectomy

March 29, 2014 at 5:47am

I had a partial hysterectomy last year, and since then I have gained almost 25 pounds. I am still very active as I was prior to the hysterectomy.

I get hot more often than not, but don’t feel it is a true hot flash. I am not sure if the weight gain is from lack of hormones, but would appreciate any suggestions.

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High and Low Risks for Breast Cancer

March 28, 2014 at 3:30pm

I was reading your article about the new study on mammograms and it mentioned high and low breast cancer risk, how do you know what group you fall in, what’s the criteria?

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Calcium Supplements

March 20, 2014 at 11:04am

Does taking calcium supplements contribute to hardening of the arteries?

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Pregnancy Hyperpigmentation (Chloasma)

March 17, 2014 at 10:32am

How can I remove my pregnancy mask? I am from Bhutan and am 29 years old.

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Is it okay that I stopped my hormone therapy?

March 6, 2014 at 10:36am

I am 49, in excellent health, watch what I eat, am a diligent runner (5 miles, 4 days a week) and workout with weights 3 days a week. I had a complete hysterectomy and have been on Estrace 2mg tablet daily since, and it has worked very well for me. I take Estrace the last weekend of each month and do not take it for 4 days, which was a suggested "break" by my doctor a couple of years ago and that worked fine. My only problem has been the beginnings of osteoporosis, which now I am on Fosomax weekly for that.

At my annual visit this year, my doctor (not a GYN) told me to read the pros and cons on HRT and decide whether I wanted to continue it or not. I have been confused over the years with the mixed reports and try to stay abreast of current information. So, I stopped taking my Estrace about a month ago and began using a natural Progessence Oil (by Living Well). I chose that route because my sister-in-law is an RN and suggested I might try it --- she is a huge believer in the oils.

However, I have hot flashes and hot flushes all through the day and they wake me up several times during the night. My moods are fine, but my weight gain is as if I can see the pounds go on each day. I am 5’2" and petite and have always been small, but I make sure I watch what I eat.

I have no family history of breast cancer, but my father did have a heart attack 20 years ago and has done great since and I personally have no health issues other than the beginnings of osteoporosis, which I chalk up to my body frame more so than anything. I would appreciate any input you could give to help me better understand and decide if I should begin the Estrace again. I do not like what is going on with the flashes and weight gain! Thank you.

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Are weight loss supplements safe?

March 4, 2014 at 10:21pm

What is your take on the popular supplements such as Plexus Slim, Skinny Fiber, and Limu for weight loss and optimal health?

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Soy and Menopause

March 1, 2014 at 7:37am

I am a little confused as to why people generally say that eating soy is bad for you, as in it’s full of synthetic estrogen.

Would this not be good for a woman who is menopausal as she will have low estrogen levels?

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February 27, 2014 at 9:58am

I noticed a rash on my temple about a week ago and my eye was hurting pretty bad. I didn’t think much about it, but a few days later it wasn’t getting any better and the pain was still there so I went to my doctor who diagnosed me with shingles.

My doctor put me on a antiviral medication and said she hoped it wouldn’t spread, but it did spread to my forehead and in my hair. It’s very painful especially, the headaches. I saw my physician after one week, and she couldn’t believe the shingles spread so much. She put me on three more days of antiviral medications. She was very encouraging to me and said that I had done really well under the circumstances. I still feel awful and the sores are still there, so my questions are: (I forgot to ask my doctor this) how long will these sores stay on my face, will I have scaring and when will I feel like my old self again? I feel weak and the headaches come and go, even though I’m taking naproxen. Thank you.

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Worried About Glucose Fasting Level

February 19, 2014 at 10:44am

Over the last 12 months I have had fasting glucose levels of 98 and 97. Although, this is within the recommended normal range, I noticed it is not far below the limit of 100.

I am 5’8" and weigh 145 pounds. I eat healthy - I think. I hardly ever eat red meat and stick to fiber rich breads. I also try to exercise two to three times a week for 30 minutes, mostly on the treadmill or a walking exercise class. There are times, of course, that this may be less, but I know I need to work on that. I do like my wine in the evenings, but not every night.

What can I do to keep my glucose better in check? I would feel better if the fasting level was lower.

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Burning Mouth Syndrome

February 13, 2014 at 11:04am

What can I do about a burning mouth?

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