November 2004

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Q. A few years back my teenage son suffered terrible foot odor. My husband and I would not let him bring his sneakers into the house, nor would we let him put his dirty socks in the hamper! His worst... (Read More)
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Q. I'm about to have hip surgery and I'm worried about an article I read that anesthesia may lead to memory loss. What can you tell me about it? A. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that major surgery... (Read More)
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Americans spend billions each year on cough and cold remedies. Much of that money is wasted. Many products on drug store shelves are ineffective, but don't tell Dr. Mom that. It will just make her mad. When a child comes... (Read More)

#521 Health News Update

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FDA has come under scrutiny lately. Not only did Dr. David Graham testify before Congress about shortcomings in the agency's safety record, the Journal of the American Medical Association published an editorial calling for an independent drug safety board to... (Read More)
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Q. I have become obsessive about washing my hands. All the news reports about the shortage of flu vaccine stress the importance of washing hands. Now they are red and rough and getting worse by the day. My work requires... (Read More)
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For decades the FDA has maintained that generic drugs are every bit as good as their brand name counterparts. Millions of people rely on generics as less expensive alternatives to pricey products like Coumadin, Valium or Prozac. Employers, insurance companies... (Read More)
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Q. I've read a couple of questions about ringworm in your column and want to give you the benefit of my experience. I grew up in the country. As a teenager, I got ringworm on the back of my leg.... (Read More)
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The pharmaceutical industry has come under scrutiny of late. We will be talking with Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine. She maintains that the drug companies place profits before public health in their research... (Read More)
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Q. A dentist told a reader with bad breath that a stomach infection could be the cause. I too had bad breath and tried everything your reader mentioned, from dental care to medical exams. There was no solution until I... (Read More)
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If you spend 10 to 15 minutes out in the sun two or three times a week, you make enough vitamin D to stay healthy. Our ancestors had little trouble getting that much sunshine. They walked and worked outside a... (Read More)
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Q. I would like to share an acupressure tip that helps me sleep. Tape a dried kidney bean to the inside of your right wrist. I locate this point between the two tendons by measuring the width of three fingers... (Read More)
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A lot of people struggle with clutter, but some people are overpowered by it. You may not know someone with more than twenty years' worth of old newspapers stacked up in the living room but you may know someone whose... (Read More)
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Q. I know erectile dysfunction is discussed on TV, but some of us are still too embarrassed to ask about it. Could high blood pressure contribute to this problem? What about medications for hypertension? My understanding is that medicines like... (Read More)
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Even though the influenza season has barely begun, millions of Americans are in a frenzy over flu. You can hardly blame them. Earlier this fall, public health officials were emphasizing the dangers of influenza. They pointed out that each year... (Read More)
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Q. I am curious about the health value of cinnamon. A year ago, I ran across a Web site suggesting cinnamon to reduce bad LDL cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes. I do not have this disease, but I... (Read More)
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Antidepressants like Zoloft, Paxil or Prozac have become extremely popular because they work well to ease many kinds of psychological distress, from premenstrual dysphoria to extreme shyness to depression. These medicines can be life-savers, and many people do well and... (Read More)
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Q. I recently became pregnant while taking the birth control pill. I was later told that antibiotics can make the pill inactive and that my doctor and pharmacist should have warned me. Is this true? If so, does this apply... (Read More)
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Almost 100 years ago Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act, setting the stage for federal regulation of medications. Americans had become sick and tired of fraudulent advertising and ineffective or dangerous drugs. Times have changed, but some of... (Read More)
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Q. I'm so glad pomegranates are back in season. I love them! Are there health benefits from eating pomegranates, so I don't have to feel bad about spending money on them? A. Scientists keep finding new powers for pomegranates. One... (Read More)