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Dear Doctor: Is it true that grief can make you get physically sick? My mom passed away just before Thanksgiving, and I've been struggling with my health. I'm having headaches, I've had an eczema flare and I caught the first cold I've had in three years.
Dear Doctor: I would appreciate if you would talk a bit about eyelash mites. What are they, and how does someone get them? What is the best treatment to get rid of them?
Dear Doctor: I saw on the news that there's a new study about how to make a successful New Year's resolution. My wife and I have the same list of resolutions every year, including to stop eating so much junk food and to quit sugar. And around this time every year, we give up on them. We would love to know why it's hard to follow through.
Dear Doctor: Your column about long-haul COVID-19 started a conversation at our house about why some viruses will keep getting you sick even after you've recovered. A friend of our family is having a hard time with something called post-polio syndrome. Is that the same kind of thing?
After a column that referenced magnesium, we heard from a reader from Deltaville, Virginia, whose wife had been diagnosed with very low levels of the essential mineral.
Hello, dear readers, and welcome to an extension of our monthly letters column. Our main letters column this month was devoted to your questions about the new coronavirus vaccine -- an important topic that needed immediate attention. So we're back with parts one and two of a bonus edition to help catch up with your more general questions.
Dear Doctor: I'm a 60-year-old woman with naturally fair skin. I've worked outdoors all of my life -- and now I have the age spots on my face to prove it. Why do they happen? Are there any creams from the drugstore that might help to fade them?
A licensed registered nurse who is in line to get the vaccine soon had a good question: "Today is the first day of the COVID-19 vaccine being administered," she wrote. "I am scheduled for my second SHINGRIX (against shingles) shot this coming Friday. Should there be a lapse between the two vaccines, or does anybody know?"
Dear Doctor: I don't think I'm the only one wondering how the new coronavirus vaccines got developed so fast when other vaccines in the past took so much longer. Can you please explain?
Dear Doctor: It seems like a coronavirus test you can do at home would be really helpful. Then people who don't have symptoms could know that they should quarantine, and maybe that would help stop the spread. Is there anything like that on the horizon?
Dear Doctor: My gym has been closed for months, so I've been doing online workouts during the pandemic. A guy in our session keeps talking about something called "fasted cardio," and how it's helping him lose fat and gain muscle. What is it? Does it really work?
Dear Doctor: A few years ago, you had a column about why it's important to know CPR. My boyfriend took the Red Cross class, and he actually ended up helping someone once. But what about now, during the pandemic? Is it safe to give or get CPR?
Dear Doctor: I saw on the news that if you work out for 11 minutes a day, you are protected from the bad stuff that happens from sitting too much. Is that really true? I'm stuck at my desk all day, and that's not changing anytime soon.
Dear Doctor: My boyfriend and I live in northern Ohio, and I think we have that thing where you get depressed from not enough light. He's kind of skeptical, but I really do think it's happening. Can you describe the symptoms? Is there anything we can do?
Dear Doctor: Our family -- ages 66, 59, 27 and 22 -- lives in one household. We've been working from home and keeping socially distant since the start of the pandemic. Now the younger members wish to resume outside employment. How do we safely manage their return to work?
Dear Doctor: My dad is 65 years old and has Type 2 diabetes. He recently developed pain in his feet, which his doctor says is peripheral neuropathy. What is that, and what treatments are available?
Dear Doctor: My Type A husband, who naturally falls asleep for about 25 minutes on weekend afternoons, complains that he's wasting time when he does so. How do I explain to him the benefits of napping?
Dear Doctor: What are the possible health risks from artificial sweeteners? What are they, and how do we know if they're safe?
Dear Doctors: We're all pretty stressed-out, even the kids. I keep saying that spending a Saturday in the nice park near our house could help, but my husband just laughs. Isn't there some kind of research that being outdoors is good for you?
Dear Doctors: Is there more than one kind of COVID-19? I heard on the news about something they're calling "long COVID," and it sounds like a whole different kind of disease. How do you get it? Can it be cured?
Hello again, dear readers, and welcome back to our monthly letters column. Like many of you, we're adjusting to shorter days and longer nights, and we are gearing up for the challenges of winter. This makes us even more appreciative of your staying in touch.
Dear Doctors: We keep hearing about Type 2 diabetes, and I'm embarrassed to say, I don't actually know what it is. What does it do, and how do I know if I have it?
Dear Doctors: I've heard that when you're on a diet and you decrease caloric intake by a lot, your body will start to consume muscle for energy. It that really true? How can you lose weight and not wind up losing muscle?
Dear Doctors: Our 16-year-old daughter wants to become a vegan. Her father and I think that may be a bit extreme, so we've compromised, and first she's going to try being a vegetarian. What's a good way for a growing teen to safely make the transition?
Dear Doctors: Can you please explain about masks again? Why do we need them, what kind should we wear, and what is the proper way to wear them? It would really help me to explain to my friends and family so they can be safer.