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Ask the expert: Philip Taylor, M.D.

Created date

August 23rd, 2010
Erickson Livinghealth and wellness experts can be found atErickson Living communities all over the U.S.This month our expert is Philip Taylor, M.D., medical director atMaris Grovein Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Dr. Taylor received his bachelor s degree from Haverford College in Haverford, Pa., and his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. He completed his internship in internal medicine at Carney Hospital in Boston, Mass., and his residency in internal medicine at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. Board certified in both internal medicine and geriatric medicine, Dr. Taylor joinedMaris Grovein August 2006. Please note: The following questions were submitted by readers. The answers are intended for general information purposes and should not replace your doctor s medical advice. Q: I am 78 and in fairly good health, but once in a while I get dizzy and feel like I m going to lose my balance. My doctor examined me but could find nothing wrong. What could be the cause? A:Occasional periods of dizziness can occur in older adults for many reasons. As you age, your blood pressure might fluctuate because of your body s decreased ability to compensate for sudden changes when you sit up or stand. Being even slightly dehydrated may cause you to feel dizzy, as can certain medications, ear or eye problems, or other health conditions. No matter the cause, your biggest problem from having periods of dizziness is an increased risk of falls. Find ways to protect yourself against falls like improving the lighting in your home, removing loose rugs, and wearing comfortable shoes. If you are dizzy often, see your doctor for a more thorough evaluation. Q: I eat a healthy diet, but I worry as I get older that I m not getting enough vitamins or minerals. Should I take a multivitamin supplement? A:A well-balanced diet may give you all of the vitamins and minerals you need, depending on your health. Sometimes, however, older adults need to take extra supplements to prevent or treat health conditions (calcium and vitamin D for osteoporosis, for instance). Extra doses of vitamins do not guarantee better health, so talk to your doctor before beginning any over-the-counter medication or supplement. There could also be health risks if you have other medical conditions, and some supplements might adversely react with other medications. Send your questions by e-mail to