August 2004

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Q. I have a deadly allergy to bee, hornet and wasp stings. I am 52 years old and have no medical insurance so I cannot get the shots needed to desensitize myself from this allergy. I am a virtual prisoner... (Read More)
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Doctors know better than to prescribe certain dangerous drugs to pregnant women. Medications like thalidomide (Thalomid) or isotretinon (Accutane) can cause tragic birth defects. The ulcer medicine misoprostol (Cytotec) can trigger premature labor. Packaging and prescribing instructions for these drugs... (Read More)
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Q. My husband had bypass surgery five years ago, and last year he had two stents put in. The heart doctor asked if he were taking vitamin E. We said he'd taken it for years, and the doctor said to... (Read More)
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A new study suggests that as many as 200,000 people die each year in hospitals because of medical errors. How can you protect yourself or a loved one from such a catastrophe? Our guests will provide practical tips on how... (Read More)
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Q. At 98, my mother lived in a nursing home but was in good health overall. One night after I visited, I got a call from the home saying she was "out of it." That was odd, but by the... (Read More)
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In 1999 the prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM) shook the medical community to its foundation. The IOM estimated that almost 100,000 Americans die in hospitals every year as a consequence of errors. People were outraged. If a similar number of... (Read More)
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Q. I was surprised that in a recent column you seemed unfamiliar with using mustard for leg cramps. Last year you recommended that very same remedy. My mother has leg cramps almost every night. Because of your earlier column on... (Read More)
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For many months, there has been controversy over the safety and effectiveness of popular antidepressants for children and teenagers. A study in this week's JAMA (August 18, 2004) shows that Prozac works for adolescents, especially in combination with cognitive-behavior therapy.... (Read More)
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Q. Many thanks to whoever wrote about Noxzema for itchy skin. I've been plagued for over four years with a horrible itch on one side of my nose. It may seem laughable, but it's not so funny if you're scratching... (Read More)
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Q. My mother has over 100 chigger bites, and the itching is driving her crazy. What can she do to get some relief? Is there any way to prevent this from ever happening again? A: Chiggers are a type of... (Read More)
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If you watch medical dramas on TV, the chances are good that you have seen a crisis like this: A patient goes into cardiac arrest, someone yells "code blue" and doctors come rushing with a crash cart and defibrillator. Someone... (Read More)
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Many people have difficulties with stuttering and other speech problems. What approaches are most successful to help overcome these impediments? Find out what's behind stuttering and what can be done about it. Guest: Martin F. Schwartz, Ph.D., Director of the... (Read More)
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Older people are most likely to suffer side effects from certain medicines, yet new research shows one in five seniors is being prescribed at least one drug that may be inappropriate. We talk with the experts about the research and... (Read More)
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Q. I am very disappointed in a recent column about getting herpes from a toilet seat. The herpes simplex virus does not live outside the body and needs direct skin-to-skin contact to spread. It is impossible to get it from... (Read More)
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Q. I suffered from insomnia for three miserable years during menopause. My doctor prescribed Sonata but could not guarantee more than four hours of uninterrupted sleep nightly. I decided not to spend money on a prescription for so little benefit.... (Read More)
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Children are not just small adults. Drugs that are safe and effective for grown-ups, such as antidepressants or cough syrup, may not work well for kids. Pediatricians have worked hard to tailor children's health care to their special requirements. It's... (Read More)

#508 Healthy Feet

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Out feet take a beating! We run on them and cram them into shoes that are too tight or too stylish and then complain when we develop corns, bunions and other uncomfortable problems. On this show you will learn what... (Read More)
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Q. This summer I want to wear a bikini to the beach. But when I shave in that area I get ugly red bumps. What can I use to keep this from happening? A. Dermatologists call bikini bumps pseudofolliculitis barbae.... (Read More)
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Q. You really blew it in your response to a person concerned about the health effects of chocolate. You said there's no caffeine in chocolate. My doctor told me to stay away from coffee and chocolate because caffeine could throw... (Read More)
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New guidelines have just been issued for cholesterol control. People at high risk of heart disease are now being encouraged to get bad LDL cholesterol under 70. Their prior goal was 100. To accomplish this, most patients will need high... (Read More)