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Personal Health

Treating Ulcerative Colitis

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dear Dr. Roach: I have a very close relative who has ulcerative colitis and who was very ill a few years ago. She is now in partial remission but still has bouts of colitis. She found a doctor who (she thinks) is the smartest person in the world. He is treating her with Vicodin, about which he says, “No one knows why, but this drug heals the lesions associated with …

Readers Suggest Home Remedies for Cracked Fingertips

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dr. Roach Writes: I wrote a column on cracked fingertips, and once again received a wealth of suggestions for prevention and treatment from readers. For prevention, some suggestions I liked included avoiding too-hot water for handwashing, antibacterial soaps and wool gloves, all of which can remove protective oils from your fingers. A humidifier in the house can prevent drying of all the skin. …

To Your Good Health: Teeth Grinding Is Common in the Elderly

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Dear Dr. Roach: My mother-in-law is 95 and lives in a nursing home. Sometimes when we visit, I can barely stand to be in her presence because she savagely grinds her teeth, making an awful grating, creaking noise. Could there be some medical reason for this? — L.D. Answer: Many conditions common in the elderly are associated with teeth grinding. (We have medical …

A Test for Celiac Sufferers

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Dear Dr. Roach: I have to take levothyroxine in order to obtain an acceptable TSH number. I have read that some doctors are stating that there is a relationship between hypothyroidism and gluten intolerance, possibly even celiac disease. Is this proven to the point that a patient should …

Food for Thought in National Nutrition Month

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

It’s March, National Nutrition Month, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spotlights the important role of healthful eating and physical activity to control weight and prevent chronic disease. But these aren’t snap-your-fingers, easy-to-achieve goals. In honor of …

Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosis Doesn’t Hinge on Skin Lesions

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Dear Dr. Roach: I am a 77-year-old male. I had to stop playing golf about two years ago due to joint pain. I had psoriasis from age 15 until I was 40. I am retired from the Navy and had to be hospitalized twice during my time in …

The New Heart That Endured

Monday, March 10, 2014

A few weeks ago, Thomas Cook celebrated an unexpected milestone, having lived as long with a donor heart as he had with his own. In reality, however, the new heart became his own the moment surgeons transplanted it …

Fitbit Is Best, Except for The Rashes

Monday, March 10, 2014

Recently, Fitbit abruptly stopped selling its new fitness tracking wristband, the Fitbit Force, due to complaints that the device was causing skin rashes. This was a major setback not just for the company but — call me a narcissist — for me. I’d been putting the finishing touches …

The Odor of Earwax Gets Its Due in Science

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Philadelphia Inquirer And now, from the department of vital information that it never occurred to you to think about, we bring you earwax odor. Scientists at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia report that compared to whites, the earwax of east Asian people contains significantly lower …

Delivering Smiles, Along With ‘The D’

Sunday, March 9, 2014

White River Junction — Watching Hunter Hall at work, it’s easy to see why his high school classmates called him “The Mayor of White River Junction.” Hall lives with his parents, Sally and Allen Hall, and has been …

To Your Good Health: High Blood Pressure May Indicate Hypertension

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Dear Dr. Roach: My 21-year-old son is a college athlete, a sprinter, but he has had recurrent high systolic blood pressure readings since he was a senior in high school. He’s generally easygoing and not stressed. Doctors always attribute the elevated results to “white coat syndrome,” since he …

The Issue of Underarm Odor Pits Man Versus Bacteria

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Dear Dr. Roach: I have underarm odor. I wash daily, use deodorant and change my shirts daily. I use mostly cotton shirts and undershirts. I launder my shirts with soap mixed with bicarbonate sodium (baking soda) to eliminate odor. In spite of all this, deodorants seem to work …

Bipolar Treatment Can Affect Thyroid

Friday, March 7, 2014

Dear Dr. Roach: Do you know of any problems with lithium interfering with levothyroxine? My 35-year-old daughter has taken levothyroxine for 12 years and started lithium a year ago for bipolar disorder. Ever since, her TSH has gone higher, and her dose has gone up every time her …