The September 7, 2017, chat with GEHA's panel of health-and-wellness experts has concluded. Thanks for participating. If you didn't see an answer to your question, GEHA will be sending you an email in the next several days.

The transcript is available below and will remain online for several weeks.

For more information about GEHA, please visit the GEHA health home page or the GEHA dental home page, or give us a call at .800.821.6136


Moody, Alabama (GEHA Standard Option, Connection Dental Federal (FEDVIP) Standard): What is biometric screening? View Answer

Lizella, Georgia (GEHA Standard Option): Regarding the Health and Wellness aspect, I'd be interested in resources that provide healthy meal plans and weight training plans for women. View Answer

Valencia , California (GEHA Standard Option): I am diagnosed with lupus since 2010; I retired in 2007. My specialist is Dr. Yoon Min here in Valencia and my primary doctor is Dr. Gene Dorio, but it has been 2 years already that I haven't seen Dr. Dorio and he seems to be very busy because he has so many patients plus he edits on so many newpapers; I am experiencing headaches but my doctor says it is not related to my lupus and I have to see my primary doctor; so please I need aprimary doctor, can you help me? View Answer

Aurora, Colorado (GEHA High Option): Regarding IBS symptoms with diagnosed GERD. I was told sometimes mental stress/ anxiety place into the severity or the whole thing in itself. Tried partial dieting and obviously there are certain foods that trigger horrible symptoms. Is there any advice/ guidance on this or anything that hasn't been tried? Or just keep experimenting with what works and what doesn't? Thank you very much for your time. View Answer

North charleston, South Carolina (GEHA Standard Option): I have high blood pressure. What can I do or take to bring it down besides prescriptions pills? View Answer

PARSIPPANY, New Jersey (GEHA Standard Option): I am getting waters(tears) in my left eye many times a day, what can I do to stop it View Answer

Mesa, Arizona Healthy 84 yr old male (with a lot of home stress as a care giver) has had very few normal BMs in the last several months, however he is having meny false ones that only produce a tablespoon or two of body lubricant (mostly odorless). Is this something to be concerned about? View Answer

Houston, Texas (GEHA Standard Option): What can I do if I think I've been misdiagnosed? View Answer

Stevensville , Maryland (GEHA Standard Option): I am 77 years old; 5' 5" tall; weight 225 lbs and a vegetarian. No meat,fish or seafood. Where can I find a diet to lose weight? View Answer

Stone Mountain, Georgia (GEHA Standard Option): Does GEHA allow Oberra or gastic sleeve surgery? If so what are the requirements? I am currently 5'4" 203lbs and i have tried diet including no meat, exercise, diet pills that made me too jittery and I have only maintained my weight. I see a nutritionist once or twice a month. She recommends a procedure like this because i am able to keep up the lifestyle change. I currently have back, feet, and hypertension issues that she says will be reduced by one of these procedures. Please advise if i would be eligible. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. View Answer

Woodway, Texas (GEHA High Option): Do you have any resources to help stay on track for healthy eating? I know the types of food I should be eating on a low FODMAP diet but struggle with staying on track - needing help with accountability and maybe a day by day or week by week plan that is written out that i could stick to? View Answer

Show Low, Arizona (GEHA Standard Option): I have diverticulitis and was on antibiotics. I have been having severe diarrhea every day and I want to know what I can eat that will slow down the diarrhea or stop it. I am drinking pedialyte with probiotics and been on bland diet. View Answer

Kettering, Ohio (GEHA High Option): When older people start to be a little wobbly, is it better to go right away to a wheeled walker? Or should there be interim steps: working on balance strengtheners, using a walking stick or cane, or other possibilities? Does constantly using a walker lessen one's innate sense of balance, or is there no effect? Walking bent over while using a walker all the time cannot be good long-term for either one's stride, posture or balance. View Answer

Moscow, Idaho (GEHA High Option, Connection Dental Federal (FEDVIP) Standard): Are there benefit options for preventative services (e.g. massage, acupuncture, counseling, etc)? Are there easier, quicker ways to submit medical claims and receive payments? View Answer

Montrose, Colorado (GEHA Standard Option): I take two medications in the morning before my first meal -- synthroid and lansoprazole. I take the synthroid first thing when I wake up, then wait 30 minutes before taking lansoprazole. After 20 minutes I have my first coffee, than breakfast. Is the timing of taking these two medications acceptable? I've heard one might wait an hour after each but that just seems too long. View Answer

Midland, Georgia (GEHA Standard Option): What is your opinion on the benefits, if any, of taking vitamin supplements? View Answer

Omaha, Nebraska (GEHA Standard Option): are their any cures, etc for neuropathy in legs and feet (tingling feeling and weakness in legs and feet) View Answer

Florence, Oregon (GEHA Standard Option): I would like a copy of diet recommendations. Thank you. View Answer

Pahrump, Nevada (GEHA Standard Option): Hello. I have type 2 diabetes. Recently, I went the local emergency room for chest pains and abdominal pain. I was diagnosed as inflamed pancreas. I refused to be admitted to the hospital simply to be "hydrated" as I can do that at home. I have since had a life style change.... No caffeine, No alcohol, serving of grapes ( anti-oxidants ) a helping of pro-biotic yogurt, Lots of water, and living on chicken. My question is : Does the pancreas heal after this or is it still inflamed. I have only a slight " awareness " under my right ribcage very infrequently. Thank you. View Answer

Molalla, Oregon (GEHA Standard Option): How does the caffeine affect the body? Please answer honestly, not just popular speculation. Thank you. View Answer

Silverdale, Washington (GEHA High Option): I just had an endoscopy and learned food stays in my stomach and I can't digest it. It makes me nauseated and sometimes I through-up. The Dr. didn't tell me what to do. He said it will just sit there and rot. I really need to know what to do. I also have A-fib and am in 4th stage kidney failure. I am 35. Hope you can help me. Thank-you View Answer

Washington, District of Columbia (GEHA Standard Option, Connection Dental Federal (FEDVIP) Standard): A couple of months ago I sprinted for my commuter bus and thereafter have experienced ongoing pain where my right-side hamstring meets my gluteus maximus. At first I tried stretching, and then ceased any exercise (except for normal walking) that involved that area of muscle. The pain occurs primarily when I stand and walk. I have occasionally felt a bit of temporary numbness in my right foot. I assume that I may have torn some muscle fibers and that the healing process takes a long time. Other than trying to minimize the use the muscles in this area, are there other things that I can do to promote healing? Thanks. View Answer

San Jose, California (GEHA High Option): I hope this is the correct place to ask this question about weight loss. My friend told me that her daughter checks her weight loss based on her heart rate. Today in the gym, I overheard a woman saying that heart rate is what she checks to cause weight loss. Is this true? How does it work? View Answer

Columbus, Ohio (GEHA Standard Option): Does GEHA offer a plan or app for tracking macros? Or do any of the coaching services offer any advice and training on macros? View Answer

St.Louis, Missouri Is the link between HCTZ and high blood sugary levels valid? What alternatives are recommended? View Answer

Farmington, Missouri What is the best oil to fry fish in? View Answer

Gerald Morris, Louisiana (GEHA Standard Option): I have moderately arthritic knees. I do not believe they have reached the state where artificial knee joint replacements are necessary. What treatments, drugs and/or exercises should I be using to improve the situation? View Answer

Grand Rapids, Michigan (GEHA Standard Option): I've been getting brown spots on my upper arms the past year. Could they be age-related? I just had my 92nd birthday the other day. View Answer

Springfield, Virginia (GEHA Standard Option): How does taking biotin affect the use of synthroid? What can you advise to treat splitting, breaking nails? View Answer

Kenner, Louisiana (GEHA Standard Option): What can be done about cramps in my lower extremities at night. Sometimes, my feet curl to the inside, sometimes my calf's cramp and, worst of all, I get excruciating pain in my inner thighs. Sometimes my hands also cramp. This will happen two or three nights in a row and then not occur for a week or so. Thank you and God Bless! View Answer

Fredericksburg, Virginia (GEHA Standard Option): Through the years, I have read about the value of different vitamin and mineral supplements and have been taking as many as 15 pills or tablets per day. Friends have told me the body can't absorb all that and I should get my nourishment from foods. A doctor actually told me to stop taking all of them. I am 82 years old and in fairly good health, so I have thought perhaps all those supplements have been helping. Do you have any general recommendations about the value of taking supplements? View Answer

Harleyville , South Carolina (GEHA High Option): Which immunizations are covered and is the Zostavax covered? If there is a copay, how much would it be? View Answer

Atlanta, Georgia (GEHA HDHP Option, Connection Dental Federal (FEDVIP) Standard): What is the easiest way to lose weight, is it cutting calories or exercising. I have been doing both, but my weight lost is minimal. View Answer

Washington, District of Columbia (GEHA Standard Option): I'm a 65-year-old male who recently had a second molar extracted because of resorption. I had a bone graft to help support the adjacent tooth, though I'm not planning an implant. I also recently expelled a black kidney stone. I drink almond milk rather than cow's milk; limit my cheese intake (sadly); include plain yogurt in my diet; and take a daily multi-vitamin. How does one determine an appropriate amount of calcium in the diet, balancing bone growth and strength while discouraging kidney stone formation? View Answer

Tulsa, Oklahoma Have heard that sitting is the new smoking. How often should you get up and move about? How much activity is required each time you get up? View Answer

Rochester, Minnesota (GEHA Standard Option): What type of diet and exercise routine should I follow as a prediabetic in order to avoid becoming a full blown diabetic? View Answer

Frederick, Maryland (GEHA Standard Option, Connection Dental Federal (FEDVIP) High): Can I use Silver Sneakers with GEHA? View Answer

Clinton, Maryland (GEHA Standard Option): I keep getting information in my email about the medication "METFORMIN" stating you should not be taking it. I do not go back to my doctor until two months, is this medication something I should be concerned about? View Answer

Edmond, Oklahoma (GEHA High Option, Connection Dental Federal (FEDVIP) Standard): Is there a concern about getting LDL cholesterol too low while on a statin drug? View Answer

Anaheim, California (GEHA Standard Option): When treating high uricacid reading in blood test, is Uloric (high cost) significantly better than Allopurinol? Had one Gout attack two years ago. Doctor just prescribed Uloric last week. View Answer

Washington, DC (GEHA Standard Option): Starting from my hip, my left leg (sometimes, my right leg too), I experience excruciating pain all over, down at my fingers, I feel numbness and cold, under my feet, I feel burning, I can't stand long without pain and on the top, it itches and nibbling. It's has been going on for a long time, but now progressing. I exercise at the gym, I use electrical feet warming, I massage them. But nothing seemed working. View Answer

Saint Louis, Missouri (GEHA High Option, Connection Dental Federal (FEDVIP) High): I have Self Plus One High Option in FEHB and FEDVIP. Can my husband get the free biometric screenings at Quest Lab as well? View Answer

Billings, Montana (GEHA Standard Option): I am an active healthy woman. I exercise regularly and am of average weight. I have struggled with sciatica (or something like it) pain for many years now. I just do my best to stretch and ignore it. I have seen friends spends thousands of dollars trying to get relief and in the end the doctors tell them to do stretching exercises. Do you recommend a visit to the doctor, or just keep moving stretching and ignoring the pain as best I can? View Answer

Woodinville, Washington (GEHA High Option): Good morning. I want to see a doctor for general checkup and tests that are age-appropriate (I'm a 56 year old female). I'm not sure what specialty to choose from. There is family practice, adult practice, general practice, etc. Which specialty should I choose? View Answer

Sneads Ferry, North Carolina (GEHA Standard Option): Do you support the stool sample mail in program for colon cancer, and if so, where do I get the package? View Answer

New Market, Maryland (GEHA High Option, Connection Dental Plus, Connection Dental Federal (FEDVIP) Standard): How can I lose weight in the waist line? Thank you. View Answer

N. Las Vegas, Nevada (GEHA HDHP Option): What is the best exercise to relieve back pain? View Answer

Atlanta, Georgia (GEHA Standard Option): What is the best natural way to get rid of parasites (Giardia lamblia) from your intestines. How will you know when they are gone? View Answer

Denton, Texas

How can someone overcome sundowning dementia?

View Answer

Durham, North Carolina (GEHA Standard Option): How can I tell if acupuncture is covered on my plan? Thanks. View Answer

St. Petersburg, Florida What are possible causes of loss of taste and smell and what possible remedies are there? View Answer

Rockville, Maryland (GEHA Standard Option): I am 62 years old. My doctor wants to put me on statins for high cholesterol (270). He is recommending a new generic for Crestor. He said if I prefer Atorvastatin (generic for Lipitor), he would do that, but he believes new generic for Crestor is "more bang for your buck, i.e., lower dosage gives better results than Atorvastatin. What do you advise about Crestor generic versus Lipitor generic? View Answer

grand junction, Colorado (GEHA High Option): Can I add my mother to my insurance? View Answer

Arvada, Colorado (GEHA High Option): I normally get my flu shot at the clinic, but this year they are not available there until October. Will GEHA pay for me to get the shot now at the Safeway pharmacy? View Answer

Belleville, Illinois (GEHA High Option): I keep seeing how drinking vinegar and lemon juice will help with losing weight faster. Some of them say to take garcinia. Is this a safe way to lose weight? Any known side effects? View Answer

San Diego, California (GEHA Standard Option, Connection Dental Plus, Connection Dental Federal (FEDVIP) High): For nocturia, my doctor prescribed Tamsulosin which does not work except to lower my blood pressure. What other options are reasonably available? Are there any homeopathic remedies that might work? I am trying to avoid surgery. My age is 80+ View Answer

Pataskala, Ohio (GEHA Standard Option): Is the IUD birth control covered under this policy? View Answer

Charleston, Tennessee (GEHA Standard Option): Some health plans pay membership fees to local YMCA's and other health improvement facilities. Does GEHA have this benefit? View Answer

Los Angeles, California (GEHA High Option): What medications are approved for allergic rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis? View Answer

Vancouver, Washington (GEHA Standard Option): Is it best to drink only a small amount of water with a meal? How does a large quantity of water drunk with a meal affect digestion? View Answer

York, Pennsylvania (Connection Dental Federal (FEDVIP) Standard): How often should you have a colonoscopy if you had benign polyps in your colon when you were 33? I am 67 now. Should it be every 5 or 10 years? View Answer