Personal Health

To Your Good Health: Increase in Prescription Price Can Be Hardship

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: I had a partial thyroidectomy over 40 years ago due to an enlarged thyroid, which was benign. I have been on varying amounts of thyroid hormone replacement ever since — initially Armour, then Synthroid, and now levothyroxine 88 mcg. Until recently, the cost of levothyroxine was under $20 for 90 tablets; however, my last refill was $76.77. I have excellent prescription coverage, so I do not pay …

Offering Answers About COPD

Monday, March 23, 2015

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, affects some 24 million Americans, and is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. after heart disease and cancer, according to the American Lung Association. Over his 35-year career, Donald Mahler, a pulmonologist, has seen hundreds of patients who have COPD, and answered hundreds of …

To Your Good Health: Source of Low Iron Must Be Investigated

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: I am a healthy, energetic 63-year-old woman who has had elevated RDW levels for the past few years. My doctor and I looked into this, and did a ferritin panel. Although my B-12, folic acid, hemoglobin and hematocrit are normal, my transferrin saturation is low, at 6 percent, and my iron and ferritin also are slightly low. I give blood …

Several States Are Debating Vaccine-Related Legislation

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Several state legislatures are debating vaccine-related measures as dozens of people have fallen ill from a measles outbreak that started at Disneyland in December and spread beyond the theme park. Here is a look at some of the legislation around the country: California Three California lawmakers, all Democrats, …

Valley Regional Proposes New Mental Health Facility

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Claremont — A plan by Valley Regional Healthcare to invest $1.5 million in a facility to care for mentally ill patients sent for treatment because they pose a danger to themselves or others could contribute to New Hampshire’s efforts to rebuild its broken mental health care system. The …

To Your Good Health: Blisters May Need Medication Long Term

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: A year ago, I broke out with pimples on my back, arms and thighs. They itched so badly I thought I would go mad. A dermatologist took a biopsy and told me it was an autoimmune disease called bullous pemphigoid. I was started on prednisone …

DHMC Units Beset By Flu

Monday, January 26, 2015

Lebanon — An influenza outbreak in three units at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center has prompted hospital officials to offer preventive treatments to patients and staffers in the affected areas, a hospital spokesman said Monday. Seven staffers have been confirmed through laboratory tests to have the flu, and a total …

To Your Good Health: Rare Cancer of the Blood Moves Swiftly

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: On a Monday, I took my 91-year-old mother out for a belated birthday lunch. She has had a long and, until now, fairly healthful life. She still had her driver’s license and thought nothing of driving the 70 miles between her house and mine. She …

Did These Inmates Have to Die?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Months after he landed in Florida’s Manatee County Jail, Jovon Frazier’s pleas for treatment of the intense pain that radiated from his left shoulder to his elbow were met mostly with Tylenol. “It really hurts! HELP!” Frazier, then …

To Your Good Health: Pneumonia Vaccine Not the Cause of New Symptoms

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: My wife is 69 and had diphtheria as a small child. She was told that she should never have a vaccination or combination vaccination that contains a diphtheria toxoid. Five years ago, she was given the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23), which contains no diphtheria toxoid …

To Your Good Health: Is There Such a Thing as Weather Allergy?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: Is it possible to be allergic to the cold weather and temperature changes? My son is 23 years old, and when he goes out in the cold, he breaks out in hives. What can he do? — K.R. Answer: This sounds exactly like cold urticaria, …

To Your Good Health: Spinal Stenosis Surgery Needs Second Opinion

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: An MRI shows that I have spinal stenosis. I have not improved with chiropractic care, electrical stimulation, medication (including hydrocodone, tramadol and a pain patch), physical therapy or three spinal injections. After the third injection did not help, I told the surgeon I would need …

Transitioning to Normalcy: N.H. Doctor Details Horrors of Ebola Epidemic

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New London — A medical school professor and public health official who spent 25 days training caregivers in Sierra Leone, near ground zero of the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, returned with harrowing accounts of a “viscerally …