July 2010

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Q. Here is a home remedy for you. I got bitten by fire ants yesterday, and the bites swelled up and itched like crazy. I applied castor oil right away, and the itching stopped. The bites are just a little... (Read More)
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We've been worried about this for years and now it appears to have come to pass. Based on very sketchy data, manufacturers of calcium pills have touted their benefits for strong bones. And many physicians have recommended that women take... (Read More)
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This Week's Radio Show: 779 Dealing with Dizziness
Staying Regular Away from Home
Out of Options for Osteoporosis?
Tea Tree Oil Fights Nail Fungus

BPA at your Fingertips
PSA Levels May Lead to Aggressive Treatment
Childhood Cancer Survivors May Face Heart Problems
Overprescribing Hard to Change
Social Connections for Good Health (Read More)
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Q. You wrote recently about mosquito bites. I am a mosquito magnet myself and get bitten every day during the summer. I find that rubbing the bite with hand sanitizer stops the itch right away. This is the best discovery... (Read More)
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As many as 7 million people each year have dizziness or vertigo so severe it drives them to seek medical care. But although the symptom of dizziness is common, finding the cause and the proper treatment is complicated. We learn... (Read More)
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A chemical that has been under scrutiny for its hormone disrupting potential has been found in a most unlikely place. Bisphenol A or BPA for short has been controversial for years. This endocrine disruptor mimics estrogen. It has been found... (Read More)
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Just as the mammogram has become a common screening test for breast cancer, the PSA blood test is being used widely to screen for prostate cancer. Changes in PSA levels can help physicians determine if there is a likelihood... (Read More)
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Treatment of many childhood cancers has been a brilliant medical success story. Survival rates have risen from about 20 percent in the 1940s to around 80 percent now. But there is a price to be paid. Dutch researchers followed 600... (Read More)
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Acid suppressing drugs like Aciphex, Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec are incredibly popular, but are such proton pump inhibitors being overprescribed? Although such medications are important in treating severe reflux and conditions like Barrett's esophagus, they are probably overkill for garden-variety... (Read More)
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Doctors frequently tell patients to stop smoking, lose weight and get more exercise because such lifestyle changes are critical for good health. A new study suggests your doctor should also be advising you to hang out with your friends. In... (Read More)
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Q. As a 63-year-old female, I have to eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and grains to stay regular. When I travel I have a problem with constipation. What is the easiest and best way to stay regular when your schedule... (Read More)
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Q. I have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, with the most severe bone loss in my spine and hips. I have taken Fosamax, Actonel and Boniva. Fosamax didn't work and Actonel and Boniva caused terrible musculoskeletal pain and a flu-like malaise... (Read More)
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Listen To Our Podcast: 778 Improving Patient Safety
Gluten-Free Diet Eliminates Headaches
Cataracts Linked to Allergy Medicine
Drug Reactions May Mimic Dementia
Will Arginine Cream Boost Sexual Response?
Vicks for Itchy Mosquito Bite (Read More)
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Q. I successfully treated my nail fungus with topically applied tea tree oil. I saw improvement in only a few days and had complete results in about two weeks. It then took time for the damaged area to grow back... (Read More)
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Q. Two years ago, I was getting headaches every day for several months. I visited five different doctors, but none had a clue as to the reason, and they weren't any help. I then read about a lady who had... (Read More)
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Q. I used Flonase for one year to ease nasal congestion caused by allergies. I am 37 and have just learned I have cataracts in both eyes. The optometrist was as surprised as I was that I would have cataracts... (Read More)
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Anyone who has ever driven an old jalopy knows that eventually things break down or wear out. Keep a car long enough and you will have to replace the fuel pump, hoses and belts, not to mention the transmission. Older... (Read More)
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Q. At my 40th high school reunion, we indulged in some "girl talk." My dear friend told us about arginine cream. She got a prescription for this to improve her sexual response and swears it is working well. The instructions... (Read More)
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This Week's Radio Show: 778 Improving Patient Safety
Experience Challenges Glucosamine Study
Homeopathic Remedy Helped Poison Ivy Sufferer
Trouble Switching between Generic Levothyroxine Brands
When Doctors Share their Notes
Celiac Sufferers Beware
Fish against Macular Degeneration
Fish Fights Hearing Loss
Eggs Not Linked to Diabetes
Do Household Cleaners Have a Downside?
(Read More)
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Q. I've just read about the "hot water" remedy for mosquito bites. I too seem to be a mosquito magnet and have found Vicks VapoRub is a magical remedy. I have no idea how or why it works, but it... (Read More)
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Several weeks ago, we reported on a study from Norway demonstrating that the popular dietary supplement glucosamine was no more effective than placebo for an arthritic back. This study reinforced the results from a large U. S. trial (the GAIT... (Read More)
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Patients may eventually be able to read their medical records with the notes their doctors use to guide treatment. Although several health care systems provide patients Web access to make appointments, pay bills and even see their lab results, the... (Read More)
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Celiac disease is common and complicated. People with this condition cannot tolerate gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. When exposed, their immune systems attack the lining of the small intestine and cause serious damage to the tissues.... (Read More)
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Research keeps accumulating that fish oil is good for the heart, the brain, and the joints. Now there is increasing evidence that people who eat fish once a week or more are less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration.... (Read More)
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Fish and omega-3 fatty acids may also be good for the ears. A study of nearly 3,000 older people in the Blue Mountains of Australia has found that people who ate two or more servings of fish a week had... (Read More)
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Eggs have gotten a bad rap because of their cholesterol content. They have also been fingered as contributing to the risk of type-2 diabetes. It turns out the cholesterol complication was a red herring. Eating eggs does not increase the... (Read More)
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A controversial new study suggests a link between household cleaning products and the risk of breast cancer. This study matched breast cancer patients with healthy controls and asked both groups of women about their housecleaning practices. Women with breast cancer... (Read More)
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Q. Last year you had information about taking the homeopathic medicine Rhus tox to prevent a reaction to poison ivy. I took two tablets twice a day for a week in March, as suggested, and a month later I repeated... (Read More)
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Q. I have taken levothyroxine for several years but my insurance keeps changing the brand (from Synthroid to Levothroid to several generics). I have had progressively deteriorating hypothyroid symptoms (weight gain, fatigue, muddled thinking, high cholesterol, low sex drive, constipation,... (Read More)
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Listen To Our Podcast: 777 Community Medicine
Glucosamine No Help for Bad Back
Testosterone Troubles Halt Study
Can E-Mail Enhance Doctor-Patient Communication?
Sugar and Iodine for Bedsores
Small Changes Offer Big Bladder Relief
(Read More)