July 2005

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Last year the pharmaceutical industry spent over $4 billion advertising drugs to consumers. Drug companies maintain that this educates people about serious health problems like acid reflux, overactive bladder or erectile dysfunction. Is this effort turning us into a nation... (Read More)
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Q. I have suffered for years with a fungal growth under my big toenail and would like to get rid of it. I read somewhere that sticking my big toe in half a lemon every night would do this. Apparently... (Read More)
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Q. I have just developed a hissing sound in my ears. The onset was very rapid! The doctor diagnosed it as tinnitus, but would give me no reason for the problem. He said there wasn't anything I could do. I've... (Read More)
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Some psychiatrists may have been shocked by the FDA's recently revised labeling for antidepressants: "Adults being treated with antidepressant medication, particularly those being treated for depression, should be watched closely for worsening of depression and for increased suicidal thinking or... (Read More)

#551 Open Lines

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Many religious Americans pray for the recovery of sick friends and family. A new scientific study casts doubt on whether prayer makes any difference in recovery time or complications, however. The same study showed that music, imagery and healing touch... (Read More)
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Q. I have prostate cancer. I heard on the local news that pomegranate juice might lower PSA. Is there any scientific research to back this up? A. A group of scientists in Marburg, Germany, has been investigating the effects of... (Read More)
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Q. My cholesterol has always been around 200 but I have a bad family history and a past angioplasty. In addition to a good diet and regular exercise, my doctor has prescribed various statin drugs to lower my cholesterol. Three... (Read More)
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Dermatologists hate the sun. There's a good reason for their loathing. They see the effects of excessive sun exposure-not just wrinkles, age spots and leathery skin, but also a variety of skin cancers. But do dermatologists go too far in... (Read More)
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The old Food Guide Pyramid from the USDA was misleading, perhaps because the Department of Agriculture was looking out for the interests of agricultural businesses as well as the health of consumers. Have the multiple new Food Pyramids that have... (Read More)
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Q. My sister has had two recent episodes of gout. Because she has no health insurance, she could not afford to go to the doctor. I gave her some samples of an anti-inflammatory medicine I had on hand. She took... (Read More)
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Q. I was recently married. I am 39, my husband is 42 and we are having some trouble. My husband takes Adderall for ADD and has zero sex drive. He says he has felt this way for many years, due... (Read More)
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Many Americans suffer sticker shock when they buy medicine at their local drugstore. They would like to save money by purchasing prescription drugs from Canada. But they are bewildered by contradictory messages about Canadian pharmacies. States are also having a... (Read More)
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Because one woman in nine will be diagnosed with breast cancer sometime during her life, many women worry about getting it. They are often told there is nothing they can do to prevent it. Our guest, Dr. Christine Horner, has... (Read More)
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Q. Is there a product containing both sunscreen and bug control (DEET) on the market? Are there any problems applying sunscreen and then 25 percent deet spray? I want to be sensible and avoid both sunburn and mosquito bites. A.... (Read More)
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Q. My father has been plagued with hiccups at all hours of the day or night. His physician gave him samples of medications to try, but none worked. A friend of mine told me many years ago that a teaspoon... (Read More)
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Are you fed up with prescription drug ads? If so, you are not alone. For the last several years Americans have been bombarded with commercials that promote drugs for satisfying sex or overactive bladder. Readers have complained about trying to... (Read More)
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For years, chocolate lovers were warned not to indulge too much in their favorite confection. Now, though, the evidence is growing that chocolate can have health benefits. We'll discuss the latest study from Greece on how chocolate compounds affect blood... (Read More)