Supplements: A scorecard

With little oversight from the FDA supplements are the Wild West of American health. Only a few are likely to help, some may do more harm than good, and most will be little more than expensive disappointments. Many people take supplements in the belief that they will preserve health or ward off illness; many others use supplements in an attempt to treat specific conditions that have already developed. We'll have a look at popular supplements in both categories, which includes Vitamins D & A, calcium, fish oil, glucosamine and chondroitin, multivitamins and more. More »

Palliative care: Surprising benefits from an underused therapy

As medicine developed powerful new ways to diagnose and treat disease over the past century, cure has become the main goal of treatment. As doctors and patients focus on cure, however, both groups risk losing sight of comfort, sometimes even assuming that cure and comfort are antithetical. In some cases, the result is needless suffering, which may be compounded by aggressive treatments that have little prospect of success. It doesn't have to be that way — and a recent study from a Harvard teaching hospital shows that palliative care may provide substantial benefits in addition to comfort. (Locked) More »

Returning to work after a heart attack

My 59-year-old husband just came home after being hospitalized for a mild heart attack. He was only in the hospital for five days and he feels great, though he does have to take three prescription medicines plus aspirin. I’m writing because my husband’s doctor doesn’t want him to go back to work for another six weeks even though his job doesn’t involve any lifting. I think the stress of staying home would be worse than going to work. Please advise. (Locked) More »


  I am a 73-year-old man and I've been diagnosed with epididymitis, which has been quite painful - to say the least. I would appreciate your comments about the cause, cure, and any other implications of having this problem.   (Locked) More »

On call: Protein in the urine

  In the past you have discussed blood in the urine. I don't have that problem, but during my annual checkup last week, my doctor found protein in my urine. Is it a serious problem? And what should I do about it?   (Locked) More »