Susan Besser,MD, From Doctors Express-Memphis, Answers Your Medical Questions

What are dieureticks? My doctor has said that is what I am taking. Diuretics are a type of medication used to treat high blood pressure and edema (swelling).  They work by pulling excess fluid out of the body.  They cause the kidneys to work harder to get rid of the extra fluid, that is why people taking diuretics find they need to go to the bathroom more often.  They also remove excess sodium (salt) from the body.  Too much sodium and fluid in the body are a contributing factor in causing high blood pressure.  That is why doctors suggest limiting your sodium intake if you have high blood pressure.


I am 65 years old woman, and have never had a Pap smear. Do I have to start now? The reason doctors do a Pap smear is to look for signs of cervical cancer.  If you have never been sexually active the odds of cervical cancer are less for you.  However, doctors do other things while they are doing the Pap smear.  They also visually look at the vagina and cervix to make sure it looks healthy and they examine your internal organs (Uterus, Ovaries) to be sure there are no growths or tumors there. Oh, and by the way- if you have had children and were cared for by a doctor during those pregnancies, you probably did have a Pap smear at some time even if you are unaware of having had it done.  I would suggest you speak with your own MD who knows the details of your medical history and thus can better advise you as to whether or not you need a pap smear at your age.




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