Q. Yesterday, my next-door neighbor (a nurse in our local monster-size hospital) vented aggressively about doctors she witnesses moving from patient to patient without washing their hands or wearing gloves. According to her, MRSA and C. diff infections are rampant at this hospital.
Q. I have two daughters, ages 6 and 11. My oldest daughter brought home head lice, and it was a nightmare. Over-the-counter lice shampoos did nothing.
Q. Reading your column provided me with life-changing information. I am now 56. As a child and into my late teens, I endured chronic belly pain. Despite many tests through the years, no diagnosis was established.
Q. I have been reading about the advantages of a ketogenic diet to lose weight and control blood sugar. I tried this in the past. I lost fat and felt healthy, but I had horrible acetone-smelling breath. This was even mentioned in my student evaluations -- not a good thing for a professor. Is there any way to avoid this?
Q. I am addicted to ice and eat big cups of it daily at both work and home. I compulsively fill the ice trays when they seem a little low.
Q. My 11-year-old daughter had terrible breath. The dentist said that it wasn't coming from her teeth and referred us to an ENT (ear, nose and throat doctor).
Q. I cut my salt intake many years ago, just for good health. Now I have low sodium in my blood and suffer from low blood pressure and fainting spells.
Q. Years ago, my mother, who was a nurse, used Vicks VapoRub almost as a cure-all for us children. One hot summer day, my family and friends were out in the yard enjoying themselves while I was in the house suffering silently with a very sore rectum.
Q. Many years ago, while my dad was stationed in Hawaii, I climbed mango trees to pick mangoes for chutney. I had a terrible reaction: My eyes were swollen shut, my hands were so swollen that I couldn't close them, and I missed school for two weeks.
Q. I got stung by yellow jackets last week and reacted terribly. I swelled up and broke out in hives all over my body. It was so unbearable, I had to go to the emergency room for treatment.
Q. I have been experiencing an embarrassing anal itch for two months. My physician doesn't seem interested beyond prescribing lotions that don't do much after the first few minutes.
Q. I am writing to tell you how your advice helped solve a near tragedy. My husband and I were recently on a trip to Mongolia in a very remote location when he hit his leg on the sharp corner of a metal wood stove. He takes the anticoagulant warfarin, so the bleeding was horrific.
Q. Is it possible to overhydrate? When I was growing up, no one carried a bottle of water around. Now it seems as if everyone is constantly sipping bottled water throughout the day.
Q. I have a friend who is 57 and never smoked. She fell and broke her hip a couple of months ago, and now has taken up chewing nicotine gum like it was candy.
Q. My grandchildren started scratching their heads several weeks ago. Upon careful examination, we discovered they had lice.
Their parents have been diligent in using lice shampoo, combing out nits and washing the bedding, to no avail. Are there any more effective strategies besides over-the-counter lice shampoos? My daughter is desperate.