RX For Readers: Tread carefully

Invest in a quality treadmill with a good shock absorber to minimize harm to the joints.

runners 311 (photo credit: Kelley Chinn/ Fort Worth Star-Telegram/ MCT)
runners 311
(photo credit: Kelley Chinn/ Fort Worth Star-Telegram/ MCT)
Many liters of water accumulate in a huge plastic storage box intentionally and strategically placed under the tube emanating from our home air conditioner. We use it for watering the grass, filling the iron and washing the car. Can this distilled water also be safely used to fill the children’s plastic swimming pool in the garden, assuming that the children will swallow some of it, and it will splash into their eyes? J.S., Ra’anana
Dr. Tamar Berman, the Health Ministry’s chief toxicologist, replies:
We’ve never analyzed such water so can’t say for sure what is in it. However, intuitively, I think there shouldn’t be a problem. The water is distilled from air in the house. The water might contain dust, but that would be the same dust that is in the house (and kids are exposed to dust anyway).
My husband (aged 75) and I (aged 71) want to buy a treadmill for our home so that we can exercise in a comfortable environment.We are both overweight, and my husband is being treated for high blood pressure. We both have a lipid problem. I consulted with our orthopedist and he was very much in favor. Our other doctors are also in favor.
However, some of our friends tell me another story. One said that the treadmill “ruined” her knees, and another said it hurt her back.Although it is probably best to walk outside, this approach is not suited to our lifestyle, so we want to purchase a good treadmill. What do the experts think? P.H., Kiryat Ono
Dr. Naama Constantini, a leading sports medicine expert at Hadassah University Medical Center’s orthopedics department and head of Hadassah Optimal’s sports medicine unit, replies: First, congratulations on your decision to start physical activity; its benefits are clear. As long as a treadmill doesn’t turn into a clothes hanger, I don’t see any difference between exercise indoors or outdoors. The important thing is that what you do is suited to your lifestyle and nature – and that you will do it regularly.
I suggest investing in a quality treadmill with a good shock absorber to minimize harm to the joints. You must also do it right by warming up, cooling down, starting slow and increasing activity gradually if you are not used to it.
Another option is an elliptical machine, which creates elliptical movement of the legs while requiring pulling and pushing of the arms. Not all like it, but some enjoy it. It places the knees in a comfortable position that is easy on the knees. There are cheaper manual (magnetic) ones and the more expensive electric ones. Go to a sports equipment store to try out the equipment and see if you really like it. If not, you will have just wasted your money as it falls into disuse.
One and a half years ago, I underwent cryoscopic ablation of the prostate (to remove an advanced malignancy). One effect of the procedure is a total stoppage of the urge to defecate. Periodically there is a feeling of clogging of the anus and with considerable effort, some feces are extruded. At the recommendation of a gastroenterologist, I take Peglax every evening, but this has little effect. I have tried suppositories and enema, and the only consequence is considerable discomfort and periods of sustained liquid extrusion. What possibilities of treatment are there? A.M., via e-mail
Prof. Shimon Bar-Meir, a leading gastroenterologist at Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, replies: I don’t think that the cryotherapy for the prostate has anything to do with the constipation.
Peglax is an option, and if this is insufficient, you should consult a gastroenterologist.
Always it is possible to overcome constipation; it is just a matter of living habits and medication. It is important, however, from the very beginning to avoid certain laxatives that in the long run will damage the nerve function of the colon.
Rx for Readers welcomes queries from readers about medical problems. Experts will answer those we find most interesting. Write Rx for Readers, The Jerusalem Post, POB 81, Jerusalem 91000, fax your question to Judy Siegel-Itzkovich at (02) 538- 9527, or e-mail it to jsiegel@jpost.com.