February 2005

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Q. I'm disappointed that you did not mention ginger in your comments on acid reflux. My reflux became really bad when I stopped hormone replacement therapy. Acid suppressing drugs worked great, but after two months I couldn't stop them without... (Read More)
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Q. I took Lipitor for about eight months. One morning I awoke to pain in my neck, upper back, shoulders and arms. In addition, my arms are much weaker than before. The pain has been diagnosed as peripheral neuropathy. The... (Read More)

Can Drugs Trigger Violence?

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Americans have a hard time imagining that a drug could change someone's behavior. Maybe that's why the Zoloft defense failed. A jury took just six hours to decide that Christopher Pittman was guilty of murder in the death of his... (Read More)
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A recent analysis of clinical trials published in the British Medical Journal shows that some people may attempt suicide or harm themselves while taking antidepressant medications. How can family and friends recognize the warning signs of drug-induced complications before tragedy... (Read More)
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Q. I'm in 8th grade and have a very small chest size. This wouldn't bother me, except that lots of other girls in my grade have large B and C cup sizes. I have heard that eating lots of chicken... (Read More)
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A. It is unlikely that you will catch a cold from your dog or cat. They're not susceptible to these viruses the way humans are. Kissing your pet is not sanitary, though. Just think how an animal grooms itself. Some... (Read More)
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Allergies and skin rash are common adverse reactions to drugs. But they rarely considered serious. Patients and doctors alike may brush off such symptoms as a minor annoyance. In too many cases, though, skin reactions can be life threatening. A... (Read More)
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A bad headache can ruin your day. What are the best remedies available? Recurrent headaches can have a serious impact on quality of life. There are new approaches to migraine prevention and treatment. Almost everyone suffers from head pain at... (Read More)
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Q. I keep reading that we should be eating more whole grains. But what are they? My neighbor, who is a nutrition nut, says that whole wheat bread doesn't really count as a whole grain. A. Many of the wheat... (Read More)
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Q. I took Vioxx for three years to ease arthritis pain. When it was taken off the market, my doctor switched me over to Bextra. Two months later I had a stroke. My doctor says I should no longer take... (Read More)
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If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, then doctors may be from Pluto. Communication is hard enough between men and women, but doctors and patients might as well be speaking different languages. In fact, doctors do speak... (Read More)

#530 Health News Update

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Fish has been called brain food. New research shows that regular consumption can actually lower the risk for strokes. But what kind of fish works best? Can some fish meals actually increase the risk? Aspirin and other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory... (Read More)
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Q. This is either an urban legend or a friend is playing a joke on me. She says that if you sleep with a bar of soap (not Dove or deodorant kind) the restless leg syndrome (RLS) will not occur.... (Read More)
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Q. I am spending a huge amount on vitamins and herbal supplements. I wonder if I am wasting my money. My doctor says you can't trust the manufacturers of these products because they are not regulated like drugs. How can... (Read More)
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Q. I've heard that a daily dose of aspirin may lead to an ulcer due to the corrosive effect of aspirin on the lining of the stomach. Enteric-coated aspirin is sometimes recommended. I understand that it results in the aspirin... (Read More)
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Q. My husband took Lamisil to treat toenail fungus. The drug worked, but was ultimately responsible for his death. The fine print for this prescription drug noted that it might cause neutropenia. For my husband, it did. This led to... (Read More)
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Apologies to T.S. Eliot who said April is the cruelest month, but we think it's February. The days are too short and the nights are too long. Cold, dreary weather keeps people inside. For many, the lack of sunlight contributes... (Read More)
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Ever since the first World War, people have coined terms like "shell shock" or "battle fatigue" to describe the difficulties some veterans face in returning to normal life after experiencing horrific battles. The syndrome was finally given a name in... (Read More)