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Ask the Doctors

Poor diet one suspected cause of leaky gut syndrome

Dear Doctors: I went to urgent care with bad stomach cramps, and the doctor there talked about something called “leaky gut.” But when I asked my own doctor about it, he said it’s not really a thing. What do you know about leaky gut? Dear Reader: Your doctor may have been referring to the fact…

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Most people with MS have replapsing-remitting type

Dear Doctors: My older brother is 33 years old and was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I don’t want to bother him with a lot of questions, but I would like to learn more about it. Can you please explain what it is, how it’s treated and what to expect? Dear Reader: Multiple sclerosis is…

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Infants under 1 should not have honey

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to a bonus letters column. We enjoy hearing from so many of you, and we are doing our best to answer as many of your questions and concerns as we can. — In response to a column about medical-grade honey, which is honey that has been specially processed and sterilized…

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COVID-19 Vaccine booster shots avaialable to many people

Dear Doctors: My wife and I are now six months out from our second shots of the Pfizer vaccine, and we want to get boosters. Can you please explain where things stand in terms of who is eligible, and for which vaccines? Is there any benefit to a mix-and-match approach? Dear Reader: The United States…

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Full ankle replacement can offer return to mobility

Hello again, dear readers, and welcome back to our monthly letters column. You’ve kept our mailboxes overflowing, so we’ll dive right in. — We heard from a reader in Southern California in response to a column about full ankle replacement, which is a complex surgery with a long and rigorous recovery: “By my late 70s,…

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Junk food cravings tied to hormones, circadian cycle

Dear Doctors: Is there some reason I crave junk food when I’m really tired? I’m working double shifts, and if I don’t sleep enough, all I want is donuts and pizza. My husband says it’s because they’re my favorite foods and they’re easy, but it feels different than just that. What can I do? Dear…

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‘Menopause’ has both specific and general meanings

Dear Doctors: Can you please talk about the change of life for women? I have two grown daughters, and one of them went through it at a very young age. Why would that be? This part of a woman’s life doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it seems like it’s important. Dear Reader: When you refer to “the change…

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Many breastfeeding mothers lose weight

Dear Doctors: I’m breastfeeding my 4-month-old son, and I’ve lost some weight. I’m naturally thin, but my sister thinks my baby is not getting the nutrients he needs. The pediatrician says my son is doing great, but I’m worried. Do I need to switch to formula? Dear Reader: When a new mom is in good…

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Prolonged baby aspirin use depends on age

Dear Doctors: The recommendation against taking a daily baby aspirin seems to pit heart disease prevention against bleeding risk. But it doesn’t include aspirin’s potential benefits in colon cancer reduction. How should people factor in the colon cancer benefit? Who makes these recommendations? Dear Reader: You’re referring to new draft guidelines, introduced by members of…

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HLH a life threatening malfunction of the immune system

Dear Doctors: Can you please explain about HLH? It’s the disease that my daughter passed away from. She was 47 years old when she got sick, and she lived only another four months. I was told that HLH is very rare, but I still don’t really understand what happened. Dear Reader: The initials HLH stand…

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