February 2012

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Listen To Our Podcast: 780 Cancer and the Immune System (Archive)
Coffee Grounds Stop Bleeding
Generic Cholesterol Drug Didn't Work
Are Gin-Soaked Raisins Safe?
Prostate Drug Complicates Cataract Surgery
Doctor Suggests Cherries for Gout
Doctor Doubts Veracity of Disparaging Comments
Ringing in Ears Can Be Devastating (Read More)
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Researchers analyzing the electronic health records of more than 30,000 patients have found that those taking popular sleeping pills such as temazepam (Restoril), zolpidem (Ambien), eszopiclone (Lunesta) and zaleplon (Sonata) were significantly more likely to die during the two and... (Read More)
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The FDA has just updated its warnings on cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins. These include Altoprev (lovastatin extended-release), Crestor (rosuvastatin), Lescol (fluvastatin), Lipitor (atorvastatin), Livalo (pitavastatin), Mevacor (lovastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin), and Zocor (simvastatin), as well as the combination products Advicor... (Read More)
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Q. My husband has very thin skin and takes aspirin. A tiny abrasion can make him bleed horribly. With his last episode, I suddenly remembered a recommendation to put used coffee grounds on a bleed. I grabbed the coffee filter,... (Read More)
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Q. I am a cardiologist with a patient who had elevated cholesterol in 2010. Her total cholesterol was 245 and her LDL was 156. This was too high, so I put her on Pravachol. It brought her cholesterol down to... (Read More)
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Q. My question regards gin-soaked raisins. If a person takes a medication, in my case Toprol-XL, and is not supposed to drink alcoholic beverages because of that, is it harmful to eat nine little raisins daily? I surely hope not,... (Read More)
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Q. I need cataract surgery and have been told I must stop taking Flomax pills two weeks beforehand. I need an alternative drug to help me urinate. Otherwise I might explode or end up in the emergency department. A. Tamsulosin... (Read More)
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Q. My husband was diagnosed with gout. After suffering through several bouts, he was prescribed allopurinol. The pain seems to have spread from his big toe to his ankle and now to his elbow. At his doctor's visit today, the... (Read More)
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Q. I forward your electronic newsletter regularly to my husband, a doctor. He is skeptical about some of the entries because there are no names of the people submitting questions. How can we both be assured that you are not... (Read More)
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Tinnitus is an invisible disorder. Others cannot see or hear the buzzing, chirping, hissing or ringing sounds that affect tens of millions of Americans. That is why it is so hard for people with tinnitus to explain the dreadful toll... (Read More)
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Tune in to our radio show on your local public radio station, or sign up for the podcast and listen at your leisure. Here's what it's about: More than 100 years ago, a New York surgeon named William Coley developed... (Read More)
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This Week's Radio Show: 780 Cancer and the Immune System (Archive)
Are Eggs Forbidden Food?
Secrets for Stronger Nails
Concerns about Blood Pressure Pill and Memory
Diet Soda and Heart Attacks
Cancer Drug Shortages
Fructose Not to Blame for Obesity
Women's Heart Attacks Underdiagnosed
Are You Inhaling Caffeine? (Read More)
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Colonoscopy can save lives. Most people dread cleansing their colons in preparation for a colonoscopy in which a physician visually examines the colon for polyps or other signs of cancer. A new study in The New England Journal of Medicine... (Read More)

Are Eggs Forbidden Food?

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Q. My husband loves eggs and used to eat them several times a week. When he was told 25 years ago he had a cholesterol problem, he gave up eggs, butter and saturated fat. Even with a good diet, his... (Read More)

Secrets for Stronger Nails

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If you were rating health problems on a scale of 1 to 10, fingernail problems would rank down near the very bottom. Compared to cancer or Alzheimer's disease, brittle nails are a trivial complaint. But if you ask people about... (Read More)
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Diet soda may be linked with a higher risk of heart attacks or strokes. Researchers studied more than 2,500 senior citizens in New York City and found that those who regularly drank diet soda were 44 percent more likely to... (Read More)

Cancer Drug Shortages

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Shortages of two essential cancer drugs have the FDA scrambling to find alternate sources. Supplies of methotrexate to treat childhood leukemia were critically low due to manufacturing problems in the U.S. The FDA has quickly given a German company the... (Read More)
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Fructose has taken a lot of blame for the obesity epidemic. High fructose corn syrup is widespread in soft drinks, baked goods, ketchup and other processed foods. Some experts have postulated that fructose is metabolized differently from other carbohydrates and... (Read More)
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Q. I am concerned about my sister, who takes pills for high blood pressure. She seems more forgetful now than before she started taking medicine. I read in a magazine that blood pressure drugs destroy the brain, so I am... (Read More)
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If you search for the classic symptoms of a heart attack you will find: pressure or pain in the chest shooting down the left arm. References also mention a feeling of discomfort radiating to the back, jaw or throat. About... (Read More)
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Caffeine is Americas favorite drug. Millions of us couldn't start the morning without a cup or two of coffee while others depend upon caffeinated soft drinks to stay alert throughout the day. The problem with coffee, however, is that it... (Read More)
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Listen To Our Podcast: 847 Asthma and Infection
Do Physicians Fib?
Pickle Juice Against Heartburn
Vicks on Soles Calmed Cough
Trouble with Blood Pressure Drugs
Handling Hot Flashes Without Estrogen
Avoiding Gluten Stopped Migraines
Angular Cheilitis or Cracks at Corners of Mouth
Are People Who Complain About Generic Drugs Nut Jobs?
Generic Alprazolam Causes Withdrawal Side Effects
Speaking Up to Doctor Is Hard (Read More)
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Doctors are held in high esteem. They spend an extraordinary amount of time mastering the art and science of medicine. We trust our physicians to make the correct diagnosis, tell us the truth about our condition and recommend the best... (Read More)
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Q. Recently I had heartburn that was painful but not devastating. This doesn't happen to me often, so I had no antacids. Instead, I planned to wait until the burning stopped on its own. I took a sip (no more... (Read More)
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Q. I've been battling a common cold this week. One night, in desperation, I coated the soles of my feet with Vicks and the cough subsided. I have no idea how that could work, but I don't care. I slept!... (Read More)
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Q. My very active mother visited her doctor for a routine checkup several months ago. He diagnosed her with hypertension and started her on atenolol and amlodipine. Since then she has slipped dramatically. She has no energy and has lost... (Read More)
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Q. Why are doctors so determined that menopausal patients should take estrogen? When I told my doctor that I am reluctant to take Premarin for fear of cancer, she actually said that cancer is no big deal. It is just... (Read More)
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Q. I had migraines all my life and have taken everything and more in the way of drugs. In December I decided to quit eating gluten (wheat, barley and rye). To my surprise, my headaches disappeared. A. Celiac disease is... (Read More)
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Q. A friend and I were both recently diagnosed with perleche or angular cheilitis. Although the prescribed medicine (ciclopirox and fluticasone creams) clears it up, the irritation comes right back. I have very dry lips, and use lanolin to moisturize... (Read More)
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Q. Never, never, never trust random folks on the internet for med advice. Generic drugs have to be the exact same thing as the brand name by law. The bioavailability as well as the delivery system also has to be... (Read More)