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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Week of August 4, 2003

    Question:   I have been a thumb sucker for 24 years (I am 24 now) and have tried everything from nasty tasting remedies (which in my sleep I still will suck off) to orthodontic retainers with prongs to stop (which I will even bend back in my sleep and puncture my thumb). I have a terrible overjet now from it and can't have it fixed without stopping this habit. Can you help?    Dr. McLaughlin's Answer


    Question:   I have suffered from COPD (emphysema) since the 1980s. Trials of various medications were not too successful and my physician suggested we try Troleandomycin (Tao) which proved to be the only medication that actually helped. Recently I was informed that Tao was discontinued by the manufacturer. We have tried several medications and nothing seems to help like Tao did. Is there a generic form or a known substitute for Tao?    Dr. McLaughlin's Answer


    Question:   I have been taking Prednisone long-term for rheumatoid arthritis and have now been diagnosed as borderline diabetic. I have none of the classic symptoms of diabetes (overweight, excessive thirst, etc.) My physician has referred me to a dietician. Will a change of diet help if the diabetes is triggered by Prednisone use? My diet now is very low in fat and sodium with very little use of sugar.    Dr. McLaughlin's Answer