Q. After smoking for over 40 years, I finally quit last year by using nicotine gum. But I still chew a lot of it because I’m afraid if I don’t, I’ll start smoking again. Can the gum be harmful?

Q. I have diabetes and high blood pressure. My doctor says I am at risk for developing glaucoma. What symptoms should I look out for?

Q. I have sinus trouble and want to try rinsing them with a neti pot. Are these devices safe to use?

Q. I take calcium supplements for osteoporosis, but I've heard that taking a lot of calcium can damage the arteries in my heart. Is this true?

Q.My husband has Alzheimer s disease and lives in an assisted living residence. An organization sometimes brings pets in to visit with residents, but I m concerned about sanitation and the risk of infections. Is this an unsafe practice?

Q. As I get older, I notice my mouth is very dry. What s the best way to treat this problem?

Q.My husband has moderate-stage Alzheimer s disease. Is it true that there s a prescription medical food that may help his symptoms?

Erickson health and wellness experts can be found at Erickson Living communities all over the U.S. This month our expert is Austin Welsh, M.D. ' Medical Director, Creek Overland Park, Kans. Dr.

Q. Is it true that a tick bite can cause food allergies?

Q. Why do some people develop shingles but others don't?

Q. I have dull lower back pain when I wake up in the morning, but by the time I ve gotten dressed, it goes away. It only comes back if I skip my daily exercises. What could be causing it?

Q. Are over-the-counter pain patches safe? I don t like to take a lot of medicine and have been looking for natural ways to relieve muscle and joint pain.