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February 2009

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Q. When I first met my friend Mike twenty years ago, he was going through bottles of antacids. He’d been doing this for 12 years, far longer than the bottle label recommended.He had a severe bout of anemia and was... (Read More)
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Q. My mother had memory loss for about two years before she died. She didn't have Alzheimer’s, but it became fairly serious and I put her on ginkgo biloba.Both my dad and I noticed an effect within two weeks, but... (Read More)
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Q. What are the best sites for financial help with very expensive drugs? I don’t qualify for Medicaid but my drug bills can reach $5,000 a month. I have multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s and atrial fibrillation. I am a retired nurse... (Read More)
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Q. Do you have any home remedies for eczema and seborrheic dermatitis? I can no longer afford the creams that my doctor has prescribed.A. You may want to check for allergies. One reader shared her experience: “After seeing an allergist... (Read More)
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At one time, used car salesmen were down near the bottom of the ladder of respect and reputation. But now that automobile sales are scraping bottom, people are actually feeling sorry for the poor guys.Bankers and Wall Street power brokers... (Read More)
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Q. Thank you for writing about coconut for treating ulcerative colitis. I was diagnosed with colitis in 1980, and had three feet of my colon removed. My condition was moderate to severe and I was taking eight tablets of sulfasalazine... (Read More)
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Q. My 62-year-old husband had a prostatectomy a year ago. It was successful, but he continues to have bladder problems. His urologist put him on Detrol for this.When he started acting confused and paranoid, I got concerned. At the urologist's... (Read More)

715 Back Pain

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Back pain is one of the most common reasons people seek medical attention. Nearly everyone has a sore back at some time or another, but some people are incapacitated for long periods of time. How should back pain be treated?... (Read More)

715 Back Pain

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Back pain is one of the most common reasons people seek medical attention. Nearly everyone has a sore back at some time or another, but some people are incapacitated for long periods of time. How should back pain be treated?... (Read More)
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In Praise of Ambien

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Q. After reading all the complaints about Ambien, I would like to put in a good word for this sleeping pill. I’ve had trouble sleeping all my life. When I finally fell asleep, I had a hard time waking up.A... (Read More)
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Q. I cramp easily even when I have not done anything strenuous, but more so after playing tennis. Drinking Gatorade before and after tennis helps some. What am I lacking?A. If Gatorade helps somewhat, you may be low in some... (Read More)
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Q. My husband takes Actos, metformin and glyburide for type 2 diabetes, Lipitor for cholesterol and Diovan HCT for high blood pressure.The doctor prescribed vitamin B12 because my husband’s low in this vitamin. He can’t get up the stairs without... (Read More)
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Q. My husband and I are both suffering from arthritis pain. His knees hurt and I have problems with my thumbs and my hips. My doctor says hip replacement is in my future.We have tried glucosamine and chondroitin. The supplements... (Read More)
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In answering the question What are Generic Drugs? on its Web site, the Food and Drug Administration states unequivocally: “A generic drug is identical, or bioequivalent to a brand name drug in dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality,... (Read More)
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Q. I love your column with the low-cost remedies. I have horrible eczema and my granddaughter has inherited it from me.My grandson has really BAD diaper rash. It is hard for him to walk, and he cries when we bathe... (Read More)
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Q. My son was prescribed amoxicillin for an ear infection. The prescription was sent electronically to the pharmacist. The pharmacy gave us prednisone with the wrong doctor’s name on the script. Even the address was wrong.The pharmacy clerk tried to... (Read More)

714 Health News Update

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Exercise has a reputation for improving health. Just how much does it take to improve your quality of life? People are often told to lose weight or quit smoking, but they have trouble following through. Do financial incentives help? Some... (Read More)

714 Health News Update

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Exercise has a reputation for improving health. Just how much does it take to improve your quality of life? People are often told to lose weight or quit smoking, but they have trouble following through. Do financial incentives help?Some doctors... (Read More)
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Q. You ran a story about lisinopril causing cough. I had the same experience.My regular doctor referred me to an audiologist who diagnosed acid reflux. I then went to an ENT doctor who had no suggestions. Finally I saw an... (Read More)
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Q. I have heard that if you place pieces of eggplant in water for a couple of hours and then drink the water it helps reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Is this correct or do I have to put... (Read More)
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Q. One of your readers asked for advice regarding constipation caused by Fosamax and Lipitor. I was surprised you did not mention taking Metamucil to help with constipation.I have had to follow that regimen for over 30 years, taking 3... (Read More)
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Q. Last week I developed a nosebleed that would not quit. After a couple days I went to an ear, nose and throat specialist. Even after following his advice, though, the nosebleed persisted.After five days, I was finally fed up... (Read More)
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Some doctors are defensive about their handwriting. Years ago we criticized prescriptions that patients could not read. One reader shared our column with her physician and got in trouble: "I have never been able to read his handwriting so when you... (Read More)
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The New York Times recently suggested that vitamin D may become the nutrient of the decade. The CDC estimates that more than half the American population gets too little vitamin D. A study published this month in the American Journal... (Read More)
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Q. I live in Sweden and work from home, so I rarely come down with colds. However, the other day I got a whopper--a sore throat, a horrible runny nose and a really bad cough, so I decided to try... (Read More)
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Q. I'm a 26-year-old female in a committed relationship with a man I am deeply in love with and have been for two years. I've always had a healthy sex drive, but now I'm concerned.In the beginning we had a... (Read More)

672 Vitamin D (Archive)

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The New York Times recently suggested that vitamin D may become the nutrient of the decade.  The CDC estimates that more than half the American population gets too little vitamin D. A study published this month in the American Journal... (Read More)
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Q. I am a 63-year-old woman who had estrogen-positive breast cancer 10 years ago. I had bilateral mastectomies, no chemo or radiation.Now I am extremely estrogen deprived and cannot have sex because of the pain from vaginal dryness. My doctor... (Read More)
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Q. A few friends have mentioned that taking zinc helps to ward off colds and flu. Is there any validity to that?A. The evidence on zinc is inconclusive. There have been more than more than 10 well-controlled trials of zinc... (Read More)
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Q. I was on atenolol for high blood pressure and kept complaining to my doctor about fatigue, tiredness, light-headedness and swelling feet and ankles. I couldn’t breathe or walk up a flight of stairs without stopping to catch my breath... (Read More)