Columnists: Joe & Terry Graedon

Sep. 04, 2013 @ 09:22 AM

Detect bedbugs with do-it-yourself trap

Q. I am getting ready to move into a new apartment, but before I sign the lease, I want to test for bedbugs. I read about a homemade trap using dry ice to generate carbon dioxide. It is my understanding that bedbugs are attracted to this gas.
I'm having trouble finding dry ice. Is there any other way to generate carbon dioxide in a trap?

Aug. 28, 2013 @ 10:57 AM

Be wary of liver damage from pain reliever

Q. I read recently about the Food and Drug Administration's warning that acetaminophen can cause serious skin reactions. I have become more alarmed, however, by the number of people being diagnosed with liver problems as a side effect, including my 30-year-old son.
We have been taking this drug as a safe alternative to aspirin without paying attention. This is a wake-up call.

Aug. 21, 2013 @ 11:28 AM

Gluten-free foods are more than a fad for celiac sufferers

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.


Aug. 14, 2013 @ 05:26 PM

Recruit flunked blood pressure test

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.

Aug. 07, 2013 @ 10:55 AM

Mother suffers setback on generic antidepressant

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.

Jul. 31, 2013 @ 10:34 AM

Hydrogen peroxide eases mosquito itch

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.

Jul. 24, 2013 @ 06:30 PM

Unbearable itch after stopping antihistamine

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.

Jul. 17, 2013 @ 12:44 PM

Getting Vaseline out of hair is horrendous

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.

Jul. 10, 2013 @ 11:54 AM

Be careful how you take off ticks

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.

Jun. 26, 2013 @ 11:36 AM

Changing doctors ends drug nightmare

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.

Jun. 19, 2013 @ 09:28 AM

Connection between low cholesterol, stroke

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.

Jun. 12, 2013 @ 01:25 PM

Sugar-water injections promise help for pain

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?

Jun. 05, 2013 @ 10:25 AM

Graedons: Licorice not the answer this time

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.

Apr. 02, 2013 @ 10:15 AM

Vicks Vaporub set feet on fire

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.

Mar. 27, 2013 @ 08:28 AM

Doctors missed scary drug interaction

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.