By: Joe Graedon June 22, 2015 5 Comments
    Cast Iron Skillet and Iron Teapot Can Boost Iron…

    Iron is an essential mineral. It is a component of the protein hemoglobin that carries oxygen to tissues throughout the body. That's why iron-deficiency anemia is a concern. This reader found a time-h…

    By: Joe Graedon June 11, 2015 4 Comments
    Tea Lover Loses Iron and Ends Up Anemic

    Q. I can't drink coffee because it upsets my stomach. I usually start the morning with two or three cups of hot tea (preferably English Breakfast or Earl Grey), and I drink iced tea with lunch and din…

    By: Joe Graedon January 8, 2015 392 Comments
    New Eliquis (Apixaban) Alert: Unexpected Side Ef…

    In our inbox yesterday morning was a media alert from Adverse Events, Inc., regarding the anticoagulant Eliquis (apixaban) and some new cases of colon cancer and liver injury. There is nothing in the …

    By: Joe Graedon December 25, 2014 12 Comments
    Her Sugar Cravings Annoy her Husband

    Q. For the past several months I have had severe sugar cravings. I sometimes go through a 5 pound bag of sugar in four days, just eating it by the spoonful. I have been tested for diabetes and don't h…

    By: Terry Graedon September 15, 2014 5 Comments
    Anemia Put Ice Addict in the Hospital

    Q. I am addicted to ice and eat big cups of it daily at both work and home. I compulsively fill the ice trays when they seem a little low. I am currently being hospitalized for low iron. I just receiv…

    By: Terry Graedon March 3, 2014 12 Comments
    Is Popcorn Addiction a Red Flag for Mineral Defi…

    Q. I saw an article about ice craving and related vitamin or mineral deficiencies. You said a popcorn addiction could also signal a deficiency in something, but you didn't say what. I eat popcorn ALL …

    By: Terry Graedon January 27, 2014 102 Comments
    Craving Ice Like an Addict Signals Serious Healt…

    When readers report that they are addicted to ice, it sends off alarm signals for us. Craving ice like this (quite different from preferring a little ice in your drinking water) is often linked to min…

    By: Terry Graedon December 30, 2013 12 Comments
    Omeprazole and Metformin Combined to Cause Vitam…

    Gastroenterologists have been very enthusiastic about proton pump inhibitors, PPIs. These acid-suppressing drugs work extremely well in treating ulcers and severe reflux disease. Physicians often pres…

    By: Terry Graedon December 12, 2013 7 Comments
    Drugs for GERD Can Deplete the Body of Crucial V…

    Some of the most common pills in the pharmacy might deplete the body of a crucial nutrient. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are powerful acid suppressors and are prescribed for stomach ulcers and seve…

    By: Terry Graedon May 6, 2013 11 Comments
    Floating Poop Poses Diagnostic Puzzle

    Q. As far back as I can remember, my stool has floated. I never worried about it until I saw something on the web about pancreatic cancer and floating poop. I did some research and found that if you h…

    By: Terry Graedon February 25, 2013 6 Comments
    Compulsion to Eat Dirt Can Be Beaten

    Q. I am writing from Kenya where a lot of women eat clay. It is even packaged and sold at the supermarkets. Whether they are pregnant or not, many women go through these 200-gram packs of dirt at an a…

    By: Joe Graedon July 5, 2012 79 Comments
    Ice Addiction Leads to Hospitalization

    When a reader shares a story about a common problem, sometimes it saves someone else's life. That is what happened when readers wrote about their compulsion to chew on ice, like an ice addiction. Ice …

    By: Terry Graedon April 15, 2012 3 Comments
    Curing Anemia Overcame Cornstarch Craving

    Q. I was addicted to eating cornstarch for ten years. Then I was hospitalized for an unrelated problem and got a blood transfusion. My doctor also put me on iron and potassium supplements, and my corn…

    By: Terry Graedon April 14, 2010 20 Comments
    Leg Cramps Signaled Iron Deficiency

    Q. I was bothered with severe leg cramps for several months. I tried home remedies such as soap in my bed, tonic water and bananas, but they didn't help. At last I found out I was severely anemic with…

    By: Terry Graedon February 16, 2010 2 Comments
    New Rules for Powerful Anemia Drugs

    A few years ago drugs such as Procrit for chemotherapy-related anemia were advertised on television. Viewers were given the impression that this drug was safe and effective and would combat fatigue an…

    By: Joe Graedon August 25, 2008 33 Comments
    Ice Craving Signaled Cancer

    Q. In 2001 I had a very strong urge to chew on ice. After reading in your column that this could be a sign of anemia, I told my doctor about it. The blood work showed anemia and I was advised to get a…

    By: Joe Graedon July 18, 2008 139 Comments
    Cornstarch Cravings

    Q. I have been eating Argo cornstarch since I was 19. It started when I was in my first pregnancy and I've been eating it ever since. I used to eat a box a day and I think it is making me gain weight.…

    By: Terry Graedon June 12, 2006 0 Comments
    Radish Addict Is Growing Desperate

    Q. I am addicted to radishes. My mom doesn't want me to eat them but I can't go without having at least 10 a day. My mom stopped buying them so I would stop eating them. Before this, I just liked them…

    By: Joe Graedon January 20, 2003 0 Comments
    Orange Peel Addiction Could Signal Anemia

    Q. Have you ever heard of eating orange peel? After almost every meal I eat, especially after eating something sweet, I get a craving for orange peel. It seems to satisfy some unknown dietary need in …