Q. After seeing many top doctors who told her to eat a bland diet of bagels and pasta for her irritable bowel syndrome, my sister consulted Dr. Peter Green at Columbia Medical Center. There, she was given appropriate tests and diagnosed with celiac disease. That may have saved her life.
Q. When I was 18 years old, I went to join the Army Reserves. I weighed 165 pounds and was in great physical condition. When they took my blood pressure, however, it was 200/70. They said I had a very dangerous pressure and told me to go right to my doctor.
Q. I have a concern about generic Wellbutrin (bupropion) manufactured by a company in India called Wockhardt. My mother has been on Wellbutrin for more than a decade. She did well on the initial generic when her insurance company stopped paying for the brand name Wellbutrin.
A few weeks ago, I realized that she appeared anxious and depressed. She wanted to eat all the time, just as she did before she started on the antidepressant.
Q. The best tip I ever received for mosquito bites is to dab on hydrogen peroxide. I have very sensitive skin, and bites used to get very swollen and itch for weeks.
Q. I took cetirizine (Zyrtec) for about four months, and when I stopped, I started to itch horribly. First my feet, and then my hands and scalp acted up.
Q. A couple of weeks ago, someone wrote to you about persistent lice in a child's hair, regardless of what lice treatment was used. You suggested coating the child's hair with mayonnaise or Vaseline.
DO NOT USE Vaseline! Vaseline is not water-soluble, nor does it respond to any soap or shampoo on the market.
Q. What is the best way to remove a tick that has attached itself to your skin? I have read on the Internet that you should put liquid soap on a cotton ball and dab it on the tick. In theory, this is supposed to get the tick to let go and back out.
Q. I took lisinopril for many years to control hypertension. Every time I complained to the doctor who prescribed it about my constant nagging cough, he just prescribed cough medicine.
Q. I had a hemorrhagic stroke a few years ago. I have low cholesterol (155), with an HDL of 58 and an LDL of 86.
Q. I've heard about a therapy in which a sugar solution (no steroids) is injected into an injured joint. The theory is that it irritates the joint into repairing itself or something. Is there anything to support this approach?
Q: I am a 21-year-old female and swear I have a male libido. Most guys would find that desirable, but, of course, I had to fall madly in love with a guy who has a low libido.
Q. I tried putting Vicks VapoRub on the soles of my feet to calm a cough last night. It did absolutely nothing for me. If anything, my cough got worse. My feet felt like they were on fire, and the feeling of the Vicks between my toes was just not pleasant. So I will not be doing that ever again.
Q. I have been diagnosed with serotonin syndrome brought on by a drug interaction between Cymbalta, gabapentin, tramadol and a low dose of Prozac. It caused me a lot of problems, including agitation, dizziness, muscle spasms and joint pain so bad my doctor tested me for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. I was unable to sleep even with Ambien. My pupils were dilated, my vision was blurry and I had horrible palpitations.
Q. Almost all women over 50 are told to take calcium supplements to prevent bone loss. Hip fractures, spine fractures and other bone problems can cause a lot of pain and misery, not to mention early death. But now I am reading that calcium pills themselves may lead to heart disease, stroke and premature death. This is very confusing.
Q. You have written several times about putting yellow mustard on a burn for relief. Thank goodness I have known about this emergency approach for more than 30 years.