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Anal fissure is painful, requires treatment plan

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband has been diagnosed with a rectal fissure. It has been a couple of months, and it isn't any better. He has been treated only with a stool softener. What do you suggest? -- A.T.S.

ANSWER: Anal fissures are painful. Although a stool softener is one part of management for people who have constipation, additional ...Read more

Health care consolidation aimed at changing how the business works

Health / Health & Fitness /

Having a heart attack is one of life's great stressors, so it's no surprise that nearly one in five heart attack survivors qualify for a diagnosis of a major depressive disorder, doctors say.

For insurers like Minnetonka's UnitedHealth Group, this can turn into a double-whammy of paying for a patient's emergency heart care, only to see the ...Read more

Millions gained coverage under health care law, but many are worse off as premiums soar

Health / Health & Fitness /

As open enrollment for Affordable Care Act coverage nears Friday's deadline, Heidi and Richard Reiter sit at the kitchen table at their Davie home and struggle to piece together the family's health insurance for 2018.

The Reiters buy their own coverage, but they earn too much to qualify for financial aid to lower their monthly premiums. For ...Read more

Quinn on Nutrition: Readers letters about diabetes

Health / Nutrition /

My recent column about diabetes generated some questions from readers:

Merry, a health educator, questioned my mention of a study in Britain that found a particular pattern of eating -- a high intake of vegetables and fruit with limited sugar, white bread and French fries -- was associated with a lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes.

"Is this ...Read more

US health care spending up 4.3% in 2016

Health / Health & Fitness /

U.S. spending on health care increased 4.3 percent last year to $3.3 trillion, or $10,348 per person, according to an annual report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The rate of spending slowed compared with the previous two years, the agency reported. Spending rose 5.1 percent in 2014 and 5.8 percent in 2015.

Health care ...Read more

Diabetes Quick Fix: Indian-Spiced Chicken with Cumin-Scented Rice and Spinach

Health / Health Advice /

Tandoori chicken, with its delicate blend of spices and intriguing aroma, is one of my favorite Indian dishes. One characteristic of the dish is it is cooked in a special tandoor oven in most restaurants. Another important characteristic is the ginger, garlic, coriander and cayenne yogurt sauce that it is cooked in. For this dinner, I have ...Read more

For Marketplace customers who delay, auto-enrollment could be nasty wake-up

Health / Health & Fitness /

Shopping to update your coverage on the health insurance marketplace may be annoying -- didn't you just do this last year? But letting the exchange automatically renew your coverage instead could be a big mistake. If you don't like the plan you're auto-enrolled in this year you may be stuck with it in 2018, unlike previous years when people ...Read more

Challenges abound for 26-year-olds falling off parental insurance cliff

Health / Health & Fitness /

Marguerite Moniot felt frustrated and flummoxed, despite the many hours she spent in front of the computer this year reading consumer reviews of health insurance plans offered on the individual market in Virginia. Moniot was preparing to buy a policy of her own, knowing she would age out of her parent's plan when she turned 26 in October.

She ...Read more

Shopping for health care online? The odds are stacked against you

Health / Health & Fitness /

The internet is great place to shop for plane tickets, laundry detergent, artisan jewelry and pretty much anything else you might ever want to buy. But a new report says there's one big exception -- health care.

If you expect the World Wide Web to help you figure out how much you'll need to pay to get your hip replaced, a painful joint isn't ...Read more

Physical activity data, emojis on Apple Watch correlated with patient-reported outcomes

Health / Health & Fitness /

ATLANTA -- Wearable activity monitors, such as the Apple Watch, provide objective, continuous activity data that correlate with established patient-reported outcomes for cancer patients, according to a poster presentation by Mayo Clinic researchers that was presented at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting in Atlanta.

"Cancer ...Read more

Processed Food Primer for the New Year

Health / Nutrition News /

When is a processed food a good choice? Some would say never. But that's really not the case. Many processed foods offer good nutrition and convenience.

The buzzword when it comes to healthy foods is to eat "whole" or "clean," choosing foods such as arugula, apples or avocadoes.

"I think there is a widespread misunderstanding that a processed ...Read more

Blood pressures in right and left arms don't have to match, but shouldn't be too far off

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: At a routine

follow-up at my doctor's office, the nurse took my blood pressure on my left arm, and it was 143/73. This seemed high, so I asked her to check it on my right arm. It was 104/62 on that arm. She said she had never seen anything like that. Is there a logical reason or explanation for this? -- L.B.

ANSWER: There are ...Read more

The power of strength training

Health / Drs. Oz and Roizen /

The two hapless weightlifters Hans and Franz (Dana Carvey, Kevin Nealon) got Arnold Schwarzenegger to flex his pecs in an episode of their 1991 "Saturday Night Live" routine. And though their dubious advice to a class of 7-year-olds was to oil your body, shave your pecs and strike a pose, their real intention was to "pump ... you up."

New ...Read more

Home remedies: Having a bout with hiccups

Health / Health & Fitness /

Hiccups may result from a large meal, alcoholic beverages or sudden excitement. In some cases, hiccups may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. For most people, a bout of hiccups usually lasts only a few minutes. Rarely, hiccups may persist for months. This can result in malnutrition and exhaustion.

Hiccups are involuntary contractions...Read more

Mayo clinic minute: avoid holiday hazards around home

Health / Health & Fitness /

Emergency visits to the hospital go up significantly this time of year, and many of them can be avoided. Dr. Michael Boniface, a Mayo Clinic emergency medicine physician, says some injuries are very specific and from activities people don't do regularly.

People on ladders stringing holiday lights – it's a common site these days. And so are ...Read more

Quinn on Nutrition: Gift-worthy food and nutrition books

Health / Nutrition /

Shopping for reliable nutrition and cooking books is a bit like picking out a good wine. It helps to know the source.

Here are some picks from my own reviews as well as from this year's Good Nutrition Reading List by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (www.eatright.org.)

"Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Complete Food and Nutrition Guide...Read more

Health risks to farmworkers increase as workforce ages

Health / Health & Fitness /

That bag of frozen cauliflower sitting inside your freezer likely sprang to life in a vast field north of Salinas, Calif. A crew of men and women here use a machine to drop seedlings into the black soil. Another group follows behind, stooped over, tapping each new plant.

It is backbreaking, repetitive work. Ten-hour days start in the cold, dark...Read more

Melatonin is safe to take daily

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: In a recent column, you responded to a reader asking about the link between Benadryl and dementia, and near the end you mentioned that melatonin is "very safe." I've heard that taking melatonin can affect your body's natural production of melatonin, causing a loop -- the more you take, the less your body will produce -- thus ...Read more

Sounding off about hearing loss

Health / Drs. Oz and Roizen /

Many in ancient China believed that ear shape was a powerful way to predict one's future. Long ears were a sign of nobility; thicker ears meant more wealth; and long earlobes signified longevity. Liu Bei, founder of the Eastern Han dynasty, was said to have ears reaching to his shoulders.

These days we can't say how wealthy you'll be based on ...Read more

Understanding and preventing gangrene

Health / Health & Fitness /

Dear Mayo Clinic: I have heard that a stubbed toe can lead to gangrene in some individuals. Is that true? What are the signs of gangrene, and how can it be avoided?

A: Gangrene, which refers to tissue death caused by a severe shortage of blood supply or serious bacterial infection, occurs in lower extremities. It is more common in the toes than...Read more