Personal Health

To Your Good Health: Psyllium Allergy Rare but Possible

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: I would like to know if you have ever heard of a person being allergic to psyllium fiber? My doctor suggested I take Metamucil for constipation, as opposed to stool softeners. However, when I took it, my face and eyes began to itch, I began to wheeze and I coughed until I vomited it up. My doctor stated he had never heard of anyone being allergic to …

Fines Rare Even As Health Data Breaches Grow

Sunday, March 1, 2015

In a string of meetings and press releases, the federal government’s health watchdogs have delivered a stern message: They are cracking down on insurers, hospitals and doctors offices that don’t adequately protect the security and privacy of medical records. “We’ve now moved into an area of more assertive enforcement,” Leon Rodriguez, then-director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for …

To Your Good Health: For Some Terminal Patients, Routine Procedures Can Be Unnecessary Care

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: My mother has stage 4 cancer. She just went to a dermatologist, who performed Mohs surgery on her nose. I am BEYOND upset by this unethical behavior. The country is already deeply in debt, and Medicare is paying for this? Unconscionable! Not to mention the pain and suffering of my mother, who is now at risk of a secondary infection. …

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 …

Systems to Track Prescription Medicines Said to Need Improvement

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Lebanon — Legal and technical constraints have hampered efforts to develop and connect what some doctors and police view as a key tool in the local response to the nationwide opioid epidemic: the electronic systems that monitor prescriptions …

To Your Good Health: Colonoscopy Is Best Screening Test We Have for Colon Cancer

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Dear Dr. Roach: My husband, who is 73 and in good health otherwise, had a colonoscopy in the summer of 2012 and was told that because no polyps or any problems were found, he did not need another test for 10 years. This October, he was diagnosed with …

To Your Good Health: Give Doctor All Your Info for the Best Advice

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Dear Dr. Roach: About three years ago, I was walking from the parking lot to church (not a long distance) and was overcome with a feeling of warmth and weakness throughout my body. I almost dropped my purse, but it stopped almost immediately. About three weeks ago, the …

Officials: Don’t Skip the Flu Shot

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Concord — This year’s flu virus, in some cases, has changed, but infectious disease doctor Benjamin Chan’s advice has not. In September, just after the virus made its debut for the season in New Hampshire, the state epidemiologist …

To Your Good Health: Treatments for Hepatitis Have Come a Long Way

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Dear Dr. Roach: My 56-year-old sister has hepatitis C. She contracted the virus from a blood transfusion in a hospital in Spain in the 1980s. It is the genotype 4 (North African) strain. It was discovered about 12 years ago, and she had a biopsy that did not …

Former Chief Seeks Marrow Match

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Windsor — The family of retired police chief Steve Soares has organized a bone marrow registry drive in response to his recent diagnosis with a rare, aggressive cousin of leukemia. Though Soares hadn’t found a match as of …

To Your Good Health: Does Cholesterol Particle Test Give Better Info?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Dear Dr. Roach: I read your column daily and have confidence in your advice. My question pertains to cholesterol, specifically LDL-P (particles) and how they differ from LDL-C (cholesterol). My cholesterol readings are as follows: total, 176; triglycerides, 170; HDL, 50; LDL, 92. My particle numbers are LDL-P …