Personal Health

To Your Good Health: Evidence Suggests Vaccines Safe for Most People With Autoimmune Disease

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Dear Dr. Roach: I am a 39-year-old male with systemic lupus. I read your article on artificial and natural immunity and how getting the flu shot helps “prime” the immune system. I have been told by some that priming the immune system with any vaccine is not a good idea in my case, since I could develop antibodies that attack my own body. What I want to know: Is it …

To Your Good Health: Cheap Screenings Must Be Weighed Against Benefit

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Dear Dr. Roach: Two years ago, I took advantage of our local $99 low-dose CT scan for smokers at high risk of lung cancer (I certainly fit the criteria). Still smoking, I had the scan, and it was reported to me that they had “seen something” and wanted to do a follow-up PET scan. I quit smoking completely, cold turkey, the day before …

To Your Good Health: Avoid Excess Refined Sugar, Diabetes or Not

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Dear Dr. Roach: My husband’s recent lab work showed that he had a glucose reading of 72 (82-115 is considered a healthy range). Is this a precursor to diabetes? Should he be staying away from refined sugar? His father had diabetes and had his leg amputated. I do not want this to happen to my husband. Please let me know if there is …

Insurer: Review Health Connect

Friday, October 16, 2015

Montpelier — Vermont’s largest health insurance provider says its members still call with complaints about Vermont Health Connect and that the company’s auditors are waiting for permission to do regular customer billing reconciliations. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont now is recommending the Legislature start an assessment …

Vermont Faces Growing Medicaid Deficit

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Montpelier — One-third of Vermonters are on Medicaid right now, and the high number of enrollees will lead to a budget deficit if legislators don’t make changes soon. At a presentation to the House Health Care Committee on Wednesday, officials from the state Department of Finance reported that …

To Your Good Health: Facing the Recurrent Vertigo of Meniere’s Disease

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: My wife is suffering from Meniere’s disease, a condition that causes, at times, severe vertigo and disorientation. Although she’s never actually been diagnosed with the condition, after several months of numerous tests on her heart, brain, ears, eyes and balance, the doctors “think” it’s Meniere’s …

Not One More: After Her Daughter’s Death, a Mother Grieves And Appeals for a New Approach to Addiction

Saturday, October 10, 2015

My daughter, Laura, was a vibrant, witty and loving young woman who grew up in the Upper Valley, shopped at Dan and Whit’s, studied at our libraries and attended our schools. She went on to college and earned …

Flu Vaccine Is Plentiful, And Now Is The Time

Sunday, October 4, 2015

On the cusp of another flu season, public-health professionals in the Twin States are reminding the public to take a better-safe-than-sorry attitude toward getting vaccinated. “We had vaccination clinics starting early in September,” Susan Peterson, a registered nurse …

To Your Good Health: Heart Benefits of Niacin Not What Once Thought

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: I have been taking niacin for many years. What side effects should I be looking for? My cardiologist recently added Lipitor to my medications, which tells me that the niacin was not doing the best job. — A.H. Answer: Niacin has been used for decades …

Supporting A Vision: A New Space for Special Needs Adults

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Enfield — Homemade salsa, enchiladas, salad and sweet corn were what’s for dinner on a recent Tuesday evening in the farmhouse at Visions for Creative Housing Solutions. As usual, residents had pitched in with the preparations, cutting tomatoes, …

To Your Good Health: Confusing Pneumonia Vaccine Guidelines Clarified

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: I have a question regarding the new pneumonia vaccine Prevnar for my grandmother. She had the Pneumovax 23 in 2012 (she is in her 80s). Should she get Prevnar 13? She is relatively healthy, except for very mild asthma and seasonal allergies. I’m totally confused! …

Medicaid Costs Strain Vermont Budget

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Montpelier — Vermont is tied with Massachusetts for having the lowest rate of uninsured residents in the country, but that success might be coming at a high price. An unexpected spike in Medicaid costs has put the program and its thousands of new enrollees under heightened scrutiny. It’s …

To Your Good Health: Does Hole in Heart Increase Stroke Risk?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: Articles on strokes or TIAs rarely mention that they can be caused by a congenital heart defect. I had a family member with a patent foramen ovale, found at age 54, after he’d had several strokes. He had surgery to repair it and has been …