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Ask the Doctors

Vanquishing jock itch requires two- pronged approach

Dear Doctor: I’m a 74-year-old male with a stubborn case of jock itch. I’ve tried every over-the-counter ointment, powder and soap, with no success. A prescription cream keeps it from getting worse, but it doesn’t stop the problem. Do you have any other recommendations on how to treat this? Dear Reader: Jock itch is a…

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Older adults should be sure to get enough water

Dear Doctor: I recently fainted in my kitchen and later learned it was because I was dehydrated, something I knew nothing about. I’m well into my 80s and in good health, but I never seem to get thirsty. How much should I drink? Can other liquids take the place of water? Dear Reader: You’ve brought…

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Fecal transplants treat c. diff, may have more uses

Dear Doctor: I’m not sure you’ll take this question because of the subject matter, but it seems pretty important. Our dad had a fecal transplant as a last-ditch treatment for C. diff, and it worked. Now I’ve read they’re finding other uses for the procedure. Can you talk about that? Dear Reader: We think you’re…

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Aphasia can be symptom of migraine as well as stroke

Hello dear readers, and welcome to our monthly letters column. The pan- demic, the vaccines and the delta variant have generated so much mail they’re getting letters columns of their own. Today, we’re going to focus on questions unrelated to the novel coro- navirus. — A recent column discussed the symptoms of stroke, including numbness,…

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COVID-19 vaccines: Allergic reactions and booster news

Hello, dear readers, and welcome back to our ongoing discussion about the COVID-19 vaccine. We’re tackling two topics that generate a lot of mail: potential allergies to vaccine ingredients, and the future of booster shots. — We continue to hear from a number of readers who want to receive the vaccine but are concerned about…

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A proper vegan diet will cause no harm

Dear Doctor: Is a vegan diet totally safe and healthy? I have a daughter and granddaughter who are eating a vegan diet, and I am worried. What can’t they eat? Are they getting all of the vitamins and minerals and protein that they need? Any information you have is welcome. Dear Reader: Vegan diets have…

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Cases of Anaplasmosis rise this summer

Dear Doctor: We’ve been hiking a lot near our home in northern Pennsylvania this summer. Everyone in our group is careful, but still, two of our friends have gotten tick bites. One of them became quite ill and was told it’s anaplasmosis. Can you please explain what that is? Is there a cure? Dear Reader:…

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As delta variant surges, vaccines more important than ever

Dear Doctor: What’s the R-zero number that we’re hearing about with the delta variant, and why is it important? Also, I’m confused. If vaccinated people are getting COVID-19, why even bother to get vaccinated? Do the vaccines work or not? If they do, why would I still need a mask? Dear Reader: You’ve asked some…

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Fractures take time to heal, especially with Osteoporosis

Dear Doctor: I’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis, and I currently have stress fractures in my feet. It’s been five months, and they still haven’t healed. I’m on a bone-building medicine and a med to prevent calcium loss in the urine. What could be preventing my bones from healing? Dear Reader: Let’s start with a recap…

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Pan-Resistant Fungus Identified in Texas, Washington, D.C.

Dear Doctor: I just saw on the TV news that there’s a new fungus┬ákilling people in Texas, and that there’s no cure for it. They’re calling it a superbug, which sounds scary. What is it? Is it going to be everywhere, like COVID-19? Dear Reader: You’re referring to several instances of infection with a fungus…

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