More on Summer Sun and the Keto Diet

Dear Dr. Eva, My objection to the keto diets my friends describes is that they are very meat-heavy. I’m a quasi-vegetarian, which means I try to eat as little animal protein as possible. So, no keto for me! Quasi-V Dear Quasi-V, You are right. I can’t think of any way to put together a vegetarian ketogenic diet, since most vegetable proteins like nuts and beans include carbohydrates (starch). There also are important health, economic, and environmental reasons to decrease meat intake. Dr. Eva Dear Dr. Eva, When I tried a Keto diet, I got the worst heartburn I’ve ever had. […]

Is Summer Sun Sun Really Fun?

Dear Dr. Eva, I like to get a tan and keep it through the summer. I’ve been doing this for years. I tan gradually and don’t let myself get burned. Do I need to worry about skin cancer? Glowworm   Dear Glowworm, Unfortunately, there is no safe tan. Although a gradually developed tan can protect some people from sunburn, tanning is caused by the same ultraviolet light frequencies which cause skin cancer, ultraviolet (UV) A and B. People who tend to tan rather than burn do have a lower baseline risk of skin cancer, but they increase their risk with […]

COVID mailbag: Super spreaders and asymptomatic shedders

Dear Dr. Eva, What is a super spreader and how many are there? Is there a way to recognize them? Super scared Dr. Eva, Thank you for the clarification regarding social distancing. Do we have actually have a list of what are the effects of the virus in our bodies? Do we know what are the worst symptoms? Kind Regards, Concerned Reader from the UK Dear Dr. Eva, What is an asymptomatic shedder? I know it’s not like my dog. It has something to do with the Covid virus. Wondering Dear Readers, Thank you for some excellent questions. COVID-19 is […]

Responding Reasonably to Coronavirus #4: Is it too soon to stop social distancing?

Based on everything we know about epidemiology and about this virus, it is not safe to ease up on social distancing now. The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Guidance For Governors (updated April 17, 2020) recommends that governors should not back off social distancing rules or begin to allow people to resume normal activities until after the death rate from coronavirus in their state has declined for fourteen straight days, meaning that each day for 2 weeks, fewer people die than died the day before. There are no other published guidelines. However, the governors of many states are choosing […]

Responding Reasonably to Coronavirus #3: Denial Is Not a River In Egypt

I’m sure you’ve already heard about as much as you want to about how Americans are not interested in helping each other, and our youth are a bunch of snowflakes who care only for their own interests and special uniqueness. Those are frequently offered explanations as to why it’s been difficult to get some Americans to follow instructions for maintaining social distance to prevent the spread of coronavirus. I’d like to offer some alternative explanations which aren’t more versions of finger pointing and blaming. The reasons for social distancing and the right ways to use protective devices such as gloves […]

Responding Reasonably #2: Sex and Coronavirus

Q. The way people are talking, it sounds like we’re all likely to die…are we? A. No. The chance of dying from Covid-19 is only one in a hundred, 1%. That is a low rate, but keep in mind that it is 10 times higher than the death rate from the flu, which is one in a thousand, or 0.1%. That is the average: the rate of serious illness and death from Covid-19 increases with older age and underlying medical conditions (more on this below.) The chance of becoming infected with Covid-19 is much higher, over 50% by the time […]

Responding Reasonably to Coronavirus

A lot has been written and said about what people should do, and should not do, in response to the new coronavirus. Some of it makes sense, some seems extreme, and some is confusing and even contradictory. Here are some medically-informed suggestions to questions people are asking. I am using the common term coronavirus rather than the more technical terms “novel coronavirus” or “COVID-19.” Why is it called ‘novel’? Doesn’t that mean fictional? “Novel” can refer to fiction, but it also means “new.” When a virus human have never been exposed to starts infecting people and causes a new kind […]

MAKES YOU HEARTSICK EVEN TO ASK! BUT Is Romance A Disease?

Dear Dr. Eva, I’m in a relationship with someone I care for very much. We are not young, and we have had other long-term relationships. We enjoy being together and I think our prospects are good. My partner thinks that our relationship may not be the right one because neither of us feels “in love.” When I ask what she means by “in love,” what she describes sounds unhealthy: “butterflies,” rapid heartbeat, obsessiveness about the other person, and a higher sex drive than either of us has had for years, with any partner. I’m not sure I’ve been “in love” […]

What is a Cyst?

Dear Dr. Eva, What is a cyst? I have ovarian cysts. My partner had a ganglion cyst taken off her foot. My mother has cysts on her scalp. A friend has cysts in her breasts. Are these all the same thing? What causes them? Do they ever turn into cancer? Plain Jane   Dear Jane, “Cyst” is a general term, like “rash” or pain,” that is used for many different conditions. A cyst is any small, closed, rounded area, anywhere in the body, that has a lining and is filled with material different from the normal tissue around it. A […]

Simple, Healthy Changes for 2020

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 it might be best to 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 […]