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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 …

Ear Twitch Frustrating, but Won’t Affect Hearing

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dear Dr. Roach: For the past eight months, I have had a twitch in the inside of my right ear. I can hear it twitching, and I can feel it. It seems to get worse when I talk on the phone (it’s my phone ear), but sometimes I …

Chasing Down a Case of White Coat Hypertension; About Vitiligo

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dear Dr. Roach: I have had high blood pressure at times, and my doctor said I have white coat syndrome. I had a problem a few years ago where I felt lightheaded with pain in my chest, and I went to the emergency room. I have been on …

To Your Good Health: Non-Treatment Can Be a Treatment Plan

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Dear Dr. Roach: What advice do you have for a man in his mid-90s who has just found out that he has ureter cancer and does not want to have an operation? He is not in any pain and is in good physical condition for his age. Would …

Calcium, Vitamins, Osteoporosis

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dear Dr. Roach: I am a 59-year-old woman. I weigh 116 pounds and am 5 feet, 3 inches tall. Before I go to the office, I am at the gym four or five mornings a week, working out for an hour. My focus is on weight-bearing exercise. I …

Artificial Sweeteners Are Considered Safe

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Dear Dr. Roach: I have questions regarding sugar substitutes. I have come to the overwhelming conclusion that sugar is a poison to the human body. However, I have never read any information regarding the safety of sugar substitutes. My questions are: Are they harmless to our bodies; are …

Colonoscopies: NO FEAR

Monday, February 10, 2014

She couldn’t tell her mom that something was wrong because it was way too embarrassing. She didn’t even like to walk down the toilet paper aisle at the grocery store. So when Danielle Ripley-Burgess, 30, of Lee’s Summit, Mo., was in junior high school and began finding blood …

Advocates Say Confronting ‘Ick Factor’ Will Save Lives

Monday, February 10, 2014

∎  Blood in the stool (frequently not visible to the naked eye), a change in stool habits, a gradual decrease in the size of the stool, increasing abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss ∎ Those symptoms are much more …

Long Waits for Doctor Visits

Monday, February 10, 2014

Need to see a doctor? Get ready to wait. A survey of physician practices in 15 metropolitan areas last year found that the average wait time for a new patient to see a physician in five medical specialties was 18.5 days. Wait times in the Washington area were …

Treatment for A-Fib; Cod Liver Oil as a Source of Vitamin D

Monday, February 10, 2014

Dear Dr. Roach: I recently was diagnosed with A-fib and am taking metoprolol. My cardiologist also wants me on Xarelto, which is a blood thinner. Why is it necessary to take the blood thinner to avoid blood clots when the metoprolol should be averting the A-fib anyway, which …

To Your Good Health: Weight Gain Not Inevitable Part of Aging

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Dear Dr. Roach: I’m a woman and will be 59 in a month. I’m in excellent health. I’ve worked out seriously with weight-bearing exercises for nearly 30 years. I have great muscle tone, and I believe I am height/weight proportional (5 feet, 2 inches tall, weigh 130 pounds). …