Ask the Doctor: Dec. 14, 2021

Dr. Bob Cassady from the South Bend Clinic joins us every week to answer your medical questions.
Dr. Bob Cassady from the South Bend Clinic joins us every week to answer your medical questions.(WNDU)
Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 2:23 PM EST
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(WNDU) - Dr. Bob Cassady from the South Bend Clinic joins us every week to answer your medical questions.

Our first question is from Debra. She asks, ‘How long after testing positive for COVID can and should I get a booster?”

DR. BOB: The short answer to the question is that as soon as you no longer need to quarantine because of your COVID infection, you can get the COVID vaccine.

A bigger question is whether you need to get the COVID vaccine or a booster after having COVID.

It seems clear that getting the initial series of COVID vaccine offers greater immunity than natural immunity alone.

To my knowledge, there is no evidence to help us know whether someone who has had COVID and is fully vaccinated needs a booster shot.

Natural immunity offers protection against future COVID-19 infection. Thus, for people who have had COVID and are fully vaccinated they likely have better protection than people who are only vaccinated. I would talk with your health care provider to decide whether a booster shot is indicated for you in this circumstance.

Our next question is from Derald. He says, “I have MS and my fingers are always cold. Is that part of my MS?”

DR. BOB: Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects the nerves of the brain and spinal cord.

It attacks the lining of the nerves. The lining provides insulation to the nerves and helps them function efficiently, much like the rubber coating on electrical cords for your computer, smartphone, or Christmas lights.

Without this insulation, the nerves do not function normally, leading to the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

MS is a difficult disease to live with and can cause many, many different symptoms. Sensory symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and in Derald’s case coldness are very common.

So yes, most likely this is from MS.

Our last question is from Melody. She asks, “Is it normal to lose a lot of hair when I get stressed?”

DR. BOB: Levels of stress are known to influence hair loss. The way that they are connected is a bit complicated though.

The normal hair cycle goes through 3 stages.

The first stage is the growth phase. This can last months to years depending on which part of the body the hair is growing on.

The second stage is the cessation of growth. This stage lasts weeks.

The final stage is the rest phase during which the hair is not growing and moving towards falling out. This lasts months.

Sometimes significant stress such as a medical illness, pregnancy or severe emotional stress can shift the hairs from the growth to the rest phase more quickly.

But because the rest phase lasts for months, the hair will not fall out for months after the stressful situation.

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