Lifestyles: Columnists

Nov. 08, 2013 @ 10:31 PM

Drug for restless legs linked to sex and gambling

Q. I have endured restless legs syndrome (RLS) for years. I also suffer from extreme compulsive behavior, including shopping and gambling. I take Mirapex both evening and morning, as my RLS symptoms have become worse with age.
This medication has ruined my life. I discovered only recently that the compulsive behaviors are drug side effects.

Nov. 05, 2013 @ 09:44 AM

Intermittent fasting new diet trend

If controversy and confusion caused weight loss, anyone considering intermittent fasting (sometimes referred to as IF) would lose weight just by reading about it.
Intermittent fasting is this year's most popular no-calorie-counting, no-fat-gram-counting, fast-track to weight loss diet. When I wrote about David Zinczenko's "The 8-Hour Diet" book earlier this year I had no clue how widespread the IF trend was about to become. Head over to and you'll quickly find more than 100 books on the topic, each one slightly different; many with glaring similarities.

Nov. 05, 2013 @ 08:13 AM

Continuing education

I recently received a master’s degree at Duke. 
It’s not really that impressive. It was obtained at the medical center, and the degree was in survival of the long-term hospital visitor.
Petey’s been a patient for a while at Duke. Every day he’s getting a little better, but for now, this is his home.

Oct. 30, 2013 @ 10:35 AM

Vodka vanquishes rash under breasts

Q. You had a question from a woman suffering with a rash under her breasts, and I would like to offer my solution: vodka! I make a spray of half vodka, half distilled water and a few drops of orange essential oil. I use the spray as a deodorant, but I also spray it under my breasts. I started using this when I kept reacting to every other deodorant and have found the spray works especially well for itchy rashes.

Oct. 29, 2013 @ 09:39 AM

Pass the cheese, please

We’ve had dogs, hermit crabs and even a pet rock or two.  But there is a standing rule -- no rodents allowed.
That’s because two giant, voracious mice already live here — Petey and The Kid.  They can never, ever, get enough cheese.

Oct. 28, 2013 @ 10:57 AM

Superintendent’s Corner: Conversations to focus on suspensions

All children in Durham Public Schools, without exception, deserve an education that will prepare them for the future: college, career and life. Our teachers, principals and administrators understand and accept our responsibility for keeping every child engaged. Learning must never stop, even when circumstances are difficult.

Oct. 23, 2013 @ 12:32 PM

Home remedy stopped doctor’s migraine

Q. I have suffered with migraines for decades and rely on sumatriptan (Imitrex) to control my pain. The other day I was visiting friends, and I felt the all-too-familiar start of a bad headache (pain behind my right eye).

Oct. 23, 2013 @ 12:24 PM

Celebrating a centennial year

In just a few days, Oct. 28 to be exact, Mary “May” Segal of Durham will be 100 years of age. Mrs. Segal has done and seen so much in her long and productive life, and it was my sincere pleasure to spend a few moments with her and daughter Eileen recently.

Oct. 22, 2013 @ 09:42 AM

Creature feature

Maybe it’s the dump truck-sized dog, or maybe it’s the two weird looking old people that live here, but in all the years we’ve owned our house we’ve had a cumulative total of about six kids come to our door, trick-or-treating.

Oct. 22, 2013 @ 09:37 AM

Our love affair with the potato

By far the most popular vegetable in America is ... the spud, yup the good ol’ potato. However, when it comes to per capita potato consumption, American’s turn out to be laggards, since Poles consume more than twice as much. Peru, potatoes’ first home, equals our potato consumption, while Indonesians consume an infinitesimal amount.

Oct. 17, 2013 @ 01:10 PM

Commercialism, art clash at N.C. Museum of Art

The cars are gorgeous; they are displayed on platforms with large screen videos. Above and below are text and photographs that include the interiors, the rear-end motors and the designers. They could be in any sort of venue, but for this show, they are in our Museum of Art and so the questions keep coming up.

Oct. 16, 2013 @ 03:36 PM

Alternatives to bench press

The bench press is probably the most popular weight training exercise for the upper body. It is such a popular lift that when the question of how much can you lift is asked, most people assume the question is about the bench press.

Oct. 16, 2013 @ 01:33 PM

Will lowering cholesterol cause cataracts?

Q. I read that taking statins might increase the risk of cataracts. When I ran this warning by my ophthalmologist yesterday, she said I should not stop taking my statin because the procedure for removing cataracts is simple.

Oct. 11, 2013 @ 11:49 AM

The gold standard of Civil War painters

Just down the hall from the gallery of Mort Künstler’s Civil War paintings is an original copy of the 13th Amendment, the constitutional amendment that outlawed slavery. One is the perfect accompaniment for the other and visitors to the museum will get a first-rate history lesson about the bloodiest single conflict in all of American history.

Oct. 09, 2013 @ 12:00 PM

Avoid antiperspirants under breast

Q. This summer I told a friend I was having trouble with a persistent itchy rash under my breast. She said she, too, was bothered with an under-breast rash and mentioned that a third friend with such a rash put antiperspirant on it and it went away.
I tried this, and it worked! I am now rash-free. I rub the antiperspirant on at the same time I apply it to my underarms. Now, I don't need the antifungal creams or powders my doctor prescribed.