Personal Health

Blue Cross Says Vt. Is Liable for Unpaid Claims

Friday, July 3, 2015

Montpelier — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont says it will not seek further payment from health care providers or its customers for money owed on Vermont Health Connect accounts that weren’t terminated in a timely fashion. The state’s largest health insurer, and the dominate player in Vermont’s exchange, said it will hold the state responsible for any money it is owed once the insurer and the exchange reconcile …

To Your Good Health: Medicines Seemingly at Odds Can Work Together

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: I am being treated for macular degeneration with injections of Lucentis into the eye. My cardiologist has determined that I have atrial fibrillation and wants to prescribe the anticoagulant Coumadin (warfarin). My non-medical mind senses that these two drugs have opposing functions relative to blood clotting. Am I right? — H.W. Answer: There are two kinds of macular degeneration, and …

To Your Good Health: Antacid-Cancer Link Maybe Not What You Think

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: Is it true that someone who takes antacids every day is more likely to get cancer of the esophagus? — D.R. Answer: Yes, people who take antacids frequently are more likely to be diagnosed with esophageal and stomach cancer. However, people who take more antacids usually do so because they have reflux. Reflux predisposes one to Barrett’s esophagus, which predisposes …

Hartford Man Believes His Faith Helped His Cure

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hartford — Strong religious convictions aren’t always at war with medical science. At times, they can coexist perfectly, albeit independently of each other. Take the case of Bill Josler, now 72. In 1997, Josler saw himself as the picture of health. “I was running 25 miles a week, …

To Your Good Health: Balancing Vascular Risk Is Part of Setting a Proper A1c Level Goal

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: My father has Type 2 diabetes, and his primary care physician has said repeatedly that an A1c of 7.2 percent or 7.3 percent is nothing to worry about. He also says that the American Diabetes Association has told physicians to loosen their restrictions on diabetics. …

Vt. Senators Make Shift on Vaccine Rules

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Montpelier — Senate lawmakers are considering the elimination of the philosophical exemption for parents who wish to send their children to Vermont public schools without being vaccinated. On Wednesday afternoon, Sen. Kevin Mullin, R-Rutland, introduced an amendment to a bill intended to create a state vaccination database, which …

To Your Good Health: The Causes of Vocal Changes Are Many and Varied

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: Over the past year, my voice has become hoarse or raspy. I find that I often have to clear my throat while speaking. I’ve had a stomach endoscopy and a colonoscopy done, the results of which were noted as “normal.” Nothing has changed in my …

To Your Good Health: Yoga Has Many Benefits, in All Its Many Forms

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: I am 60 years old, with high blood pressure and history of TIA. I stopped smoking five years ago and gained 50 pounds. I eat healthy and am on the treadmill 30 minutes five times per week. I am fairly active otherwise, but am not …

Washington Hospital Performs Two Unusual Liver Transplants

Sunday, April 5, 2015

When two Maryland children got lifesaving liver transplants from deceased organ donors in January, the children’s diseased livers were not discarded, as such organs usually are. Instead, they were donated to two Virginia adults in an unusual domino series of transplants at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington. …

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 …

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 …

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, …

To Your Good Health: In an Emergency, Accurate Communication Is Key

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: At 62, I was recently diagnosed with central diabetes insipidus, and I am awaiting my first appointment with an endocrinologist to determine what might have caused it, and also to get started on the medication desmopressin. In a few articles I have read about this …