What is Leaky Gut?

Dear Dr. Eva, I am a woman in my 30’s. Over the last few years I have developed a lot of new digestive problems, with bloating, cramps, and diarrhea on and off. My chiropractor thinks I may have leaky gut and suggested some nutritional supplements. When I tried to find information on leaky gut, what I found was vague and contradictory. Can you explain leaky gut? Thanks, Gassy Dear Gassy, Leaky gut syndrome takes a few minutes to explain, so let me tell you first that there are lots of conditions other than leaky gut that are more likely to […]

Simple, Healthy Changes for 2019

Dear Readers, Lots of people make new year’s resolutions. When a person can’t stick with the changes they planned – which is what usually happens –  they may feel like a double failure. Not only are they continuing the behavior they meant to change, they also have been unable to keep their commitment. Considering this, my first thought was that maybe we should swear off the whole idea of New Year’s resolutions. But on second thought, it would be a shame not to make good use of the motivation for positive change that many people feel at the start of […]

Try Fun & Sober for the Holidays

Was the first resolution you made last New Year’s Day prompted by the headache and sick feeling you woke up with on January 1st? Maybe you had to deal with the consequences of a holiday car accident. Or was it the fallout from something you did at a party that everyone else remembers all too well, but you don’t? Many people, whether or not they have problems with alcohol the rest of the year, drink too much over the Christmas and New Years holidays. The same happens on birthdays, graduations, and other social occasions. Some people drink more at these times because […]

Thinking Through the Holidays Part 2: Family issues

If you enjoyed Thanksgiving, and if you enjoy the holidays with no problems every year (or almost every year), and if you don’t know anyone who struggles with the holidays, then this column is not for you. Look at a different page. The first part of this article, in the last issue of Baltimore OUTloud, explained how to use thought techniques to decrease or completely get rid of the negative, depressing thoughts that trouble many people around the holidays. Most of these are self-critical thoughts. Once you identify these thoughts, you can see that they are not true and can […]

Questions about Sexual Health

Dear Dr. Eva, A relative recently tested positive for HIV. He has been working on a farm which always has swarms of biting mosquitos. He told me he thinks that he was infected with HIV by the mosquitos. Could that be true? If it is true, would he be entitled to Workmen’s Compensation to cover the cost of his HIV care? Aunt B Dear Auntie B, Some myths never die. There are many human diseases which can be passed by mosquitos. Only two of these occur in the mainland US: West Nile Fever and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Worldwide, malaria is […]

Thinking Through the Holidays

By the time you see this, Thanksgiving may have already passed. If you enjoyed it and generally enjoy the holidays with no problems every year (or almost every year), and if you don’t know anyone who struggles with this, then this column is not for you. Look at a different page. There are many people who become anxious, overwhelmed, angry, and even seriously depressed at this time of year. This column and the next one will be about how those distressing feelings can be avoided or eased by thinking through the holidays. I will focus on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New […]

Insulin Dosing, Excessive Sweating

Dear Dr. Eva, I have a question about insulin dosing. I am a middle-aged man with diabetes type two for about seven years now. I took pills at first but soon needed insulin. I now take 120 units of insulin a day with reasonably good control of my blood sugar. As far as I know, I’ve never had a problem with low blood sugar. Here’s the question. I have an 18-year-old niece who was found to have type 2 diabetes at age eight. Even though she has been diabetic for ten years, she only takes 24 units daily. She suffers […]

Stopping Medicines Safely

Dear Dr. Eva, Is it really dangerous to stop medications without tapering off? People (me included) often seem to do it with no problems. Skeptical Dear Skeptical, It is true that many prescription medications can be stopped suddenly without problems. However, there are some kinds of medications that are dangerous to stop suddenly. Whether it is safe to stop a medication suddenly depends on two things: how the medicine is metabolized (broken down and eliminated from the body) and what condition is being treated. When a medicine is prescribed to treat a chronic problem like diabetes, high blood pressure, or […]

Can You Get Hepatitis C…… without having A and B first?

Dear Dr. Eva, I have been told that I have hepatitis C and also that I need to get shots to protect me from hepatitis A and hepatitis B. This does not make sense to me. If I have hepatitis C now, doesn’t that mean I already had A and B? Just Diagnosed Dear Just Diagnosed, Your question makes total sense and shows how confusing medical terminology sometimes can be. Hepatitis A, B, and C are not different stages of one disease: they are three different infections caused by three very different viruses. They are called A, B, and C […]

To Pap Or Not to Pap

Just to make sure we all start at the same baseline: a cervical Pap smear is done when a physician or other medical professional uses a small, soft plastic brush to collect cells from the surface of the cervix. The cervix is the lowest part of the uterus (womb.) The cervix can only be seen after a speculum, which is a plastic or metal tool shaped like two serving-size spoons, is placed in the vagina. The speculum exam is also called a “pelvic exam.” Many women assume that every pelvic exam includes a Pap smear, but that is not the […]