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Focus on Health
Vaccine Lessens Pain from Shingles
Only about 1 out of 4 eligible older adults has had the shot for shingles. That leaves many seniors at high risk for the condition and the lasting pain it may cause, according to a recent study.
Air Pollution May Raise Your Anxiety
You can’t always see air pollution. But your body may still feel its effects. If you have asthma, you may find it harder to breathe when too many pollutants are in the air. A recent study suggests one more ill effect of air pollution: more anxiety.
Does Diet Matter Against Alzheimer’s Disease?
Eating a healthy diet may help prevent many diseases. A recent study suggests certain foods may work against this disabling brain illness, too.
Adults: Be Safe When Biking
More Americans are rolling on 2 wheels these days. Biking is a healthy way to cruise around. Plus, more people are choosing to bike to work. But a recent report suggests safety may not always be a top priority for riders.
Why It’s Important to Plan End-of-Life Care
End-of-life care isn’t usually a top-of-mind topic. In fact, a recent study found that many people know little about it. But understanding your choices and making them known now can ensure you get the care you want if you ever become seriously ill or hurt.
Preventing Poisonings: Know the Latest Threats
Possible toxins are all around you. Some you may pick out right away, such as a pesticide. Others may not seem as harmful—a household cleaner or medicine. But when ingested by accident or not used in the right way, these products can be poisonous.
Looking for the 'Right' Diet?
Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach. You’ve probably heard of these popular diet programs. You may even be considering one to help you lose weight. So which one should you choose, if any? A recent review of past studies may give you some invaluable insight.
Don’t Dismiss That Pap Test
Cervical cancer can be a crafty disease. It can grow unnoticed in your body. The best way to outwit it is with a Pap test. This screening tool can find the disease early, when it’s easier to treat. Unfortunately, some women are still not taking advantage of it, says a recent report.
Take a Bite of Wellness! Eat More Fruits and Veggies
Remember that old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Well, fruit and its food-group cousin—vegetables—may help fend off the blues, too. A recent study suggests that eating more of both may actually boost your mental health.
The Potential Threat of Thirdhand Smoke
Scientists have been looking at the dangers of secondhand smoke for years. It’s been linked to cancer, heart disease, asthma, and other health problems. But they’ve only started to study the potential threat of thirdhand smoke.
Finding Reliable Health Information Online
The Internet can be a treasure trove of health information. But how much of it can you trust? A recent study suggests it may depend on what you are searching for. Being a savvy online user can help you find credible content.
Sleep and the Aging Brain
Sleep is an essential part of life. Without it, your body—and mind—don’t work up to par. That may be especially true as you age. A recent study suggests that older adults who sleep better think better overall.
The Dark Side of Caramel-Colored Soda
A caramel coloring gives cola, root beer, and other dark-colored soft drinks their hue. The coloring may have a chemical that may raise the risk for cancer.
Could That Cup of Coffee Stop Skin Cancer?
Coffee may help prevent cancers such as cancers of the breast and liver. One recent study points to the beverage's possible protective effect against melanoma.
Complementary Therapies May Help Breast Cancer Patients
Treatments for breast cancer can take a toll on your health. You may have to deal with side effects like pain, fatigue, or depression. Complementary therapies, such as yoga or acupuncture, may help ease these problems. But which ones are most helpful? Experts recently weighed the evidence.
Do You Know the Warning Signs of Cancer?
The common cold may be easy to identify—a runny nose, sneezing, congestion. But what about cancer? Its warning signs may be far less obvious. Recent research suggests many people may not know them. Even more alarming: They may not consider such symptoms serious.
Adopt These 5 Habits for Better Colon Health
Health experts aren’t sure exactly what causes colorectal cancer. Many factors may play a part. These include a family history of the disease and your age. They have also yet to pinpoint how to prevent the cancer. But a recent study found that adopting 5 healthy habits may be the key.
Pancreatic Cancer Is on the Rise
Scientific breakthroughs have made a big difference in finding and treating some of the most common cancers. For example, mammography has made it easier to find breast cancer early. The same can’t be said for pancreatic cancer. The disease remains hard to detect and treat. That’s one reason why experts predict more deaths from it in the future.
After-Cancer Care Needed for More Survivors
Being told you have cancer can change everything. You may feel overwhelmed and uncertain. The good news: More Americans are surviving the disease. That fact is highlighting the need for quality care after cancer.
Are You Addicted to Tanning?
Catching some rays isn’t the best way to spend your summer days. After all, tanning raises your risk for skin cancer. It’s the most common cancer in the U.S. Yet some people may crave that sun-kissed glow, suggests a recent study.
Breast Pain: Should You Be Concerned?
Many women contend with breast tenderness or pain. It’s common to have before your menstrual period. Clinically called mastalgia, breast pain usually isn’t a sign of something serious, such as breast cancer. Even more good news: You don’t have to live with it.
Should You Be Tested for the Breast Cancer Gene?
Your genes are like an encyclopedia. They contain valuable information about you—for example, your eye color, height, or skin tone. They can also determine your risk for certain diseases, including breast cancer. Genetic testing may help some women take action against this potential health concern. Is it right for you?
Not All Breast Cancers Are the Same
All breast cancers have this in common: They begin in breast tissue. Beyond that, they aren’t all the same. Doctors use these differences to decide on the most effective treatment plan for women diagnosed with the disease.
Assistance Programs Aid Breast Cancer Patients
From time to time, we all need a helping hand. That’s even more the case if you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer. A patient assistance program may ease difficulties related to the disease. Unfortunately, many women don’t know about these services.
Chronic Condition News
Exploring the Link: Asthma and Osteoporosis
A recent study suggests a link between bone health and asthma. Researchers found that people with asthma were more likely to have lower bone mineral density.
Hip Replacement a Popular Choice
Pain and stiffness in the hip can make everyday activities hard to do. So much so that some sufferers may choose a hip replacement. They often do so when other treatments fail to work. A recent study highlights just how popular this procedure has become in the U.S.
3 Ways to Better Control Your Diabetes
If you have diabetes, you know how hard it can sometimes be to manage the condition. That’s why experts keep looking for better ways to control the disease. Every year, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) reviews the latest research on diabetes. It then updates its care guidelines for you and your doctor. Below are 3 key changes.
The Top Tactics for Relieving IBS
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be hard to diagnose—no simple test can detect it. The disorder can be even harder to treat. Stomach cramping, diarrhea, constipation—these symptoms may come and go. And what may work to relieve them for one person may not work for someone else.
COPD Can Affect Sleep and Mental Health
A recent study found sleep and mental health problems are common in people with COPD.
Timing Matters for Some Heartburn Medication
A bowl of spicy chili, a cup of coffee, some deep-fried onion rings—these foods may be tasty. But they can also cause heartburn. When this discomfort hits you a few times a week or more, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
Diabetes Rates Have Nearly Doubled
Diabetes affects many Americans. You or a loved one may even have it. It’s a disease that can have an impact on your entire body—in particular, your heart, eyes, and kidneys. It’s the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S. And it’s on the rise.
Shoulder Surgery Can Relieve RA Symptoms
The human shoulder is an anatomical wonder. It’s more flexible than any other joint in your body. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can limit this range of movement. So much so, that you may want to consider surgery to relieve pain and stiffness.
Having a Baby? Get Screened for Diabetes
If you are a mother-to-be, your health is central to your baby’s well-being. Gestational diabetes can threaten this vital connection. It can cause trouble with delivery, premature birth, and other serious problems. That’s why health experts recommend that all pregnant women be screened for the disease.
Good Blood Sugar Control Vital for Wound Healing
When you have diabetes, a small scrape or cut can turn into a big problem. A wound may take a long time to heal. Even worse, it may become infected. The results of a recent study reinforce just how important good blood sugar control is for proper wound healing.
Eye Care Critical If You Have Diabetes
Much of the damage diabetes does to your body you can’t see. That includes diabetic retinopathy. This eye problem usually causes no early symptoms. But it can lead to poor vision and even blindness. Taking care of your eyes can prevent it and other eye diseases.
Getting Personal About Diabetes and Nutrition
What you eat plays an important part in how well you manage your diabetes. For the best blood sugar control, is it better to follow a Mediterranean diet? What about becoming a vegetarian? The latest nutrition guidelines from the American Diabetes Association decipher this diet dilemma. They also dish out other nutrition basics.
For Your Child
Preventing SIDS: Are You Following All the Basics?
Parents need to be up-to-speed on the best tactics for preventing SIDS. Unfortunately, a recent study shows many may not be doing all they can.
More Teens Skimping on Sleep
Staying up late and sleeping in. Biologically, your teen’s brain may be programmed to such a sleep cycle. Only it isn’t helping him or her secure needed shuteye. In fact, more teens today are skimping on sleep, says a recent study.
Protect Your Young Pitcher from an Overuse Injury
If the warmer weather has your child itching to pitch, don’t let him or her overdue it. A recent survey of young ball players found many of them play with arm pain. That can be a sign of an overuse injury. As a parent, you can help prevent this sports-related problem.
Skin-Soothing Strategies for Eczema
More American children are feeling the itch of eczema. One out of 10 currently suffers from this chronic skin condition. If your child is one of them, take note. That red, inflamed skin may last well into adulthood. Even so, a healthy skin strategy can help soothe your child’s symptoms.
Children with Asthma, Food Allergies Need a School Emergency Plan
Children with asthma or a food allergy may find school a challenge. A sudden asthma attack or allergic reaction can quickly turn into an emergency. Unfortunately, not all students with these conditions have a care plan in place to help deal with such a situation.
Childhood Bullying May Lead to Grown-Up Problems
Being bullied isn’t something most children want to talk about. Yet, 1 out of 4 children report such peer abuse. The immediate result is low self-esteem and depression. These negative health effects and others may even linger into adulthood.
Are You Aware of These Household Hazards?
You can’t protect your child from every cut, scrape, or bruise. Such injuries are virtually a rite of childhood. You can take precautions to make your home a safer place, though. Here are 4 household hazards you may have never considered.
Many Teens Feeling Stressed Out
We all feel stress. And children aren’t immune to the pressure. They may struggle with school, sports, and other daily demands. A recent national survey shows stress can be especially troubling for teenagers.
Safety Restraints Save Children’s Lives
Your car can be a dangerous place for your child. More children die from motor vehicle accidents than from any other type of mishap. The latest statistics show such incidents are declining. But many more could be prevented with proper safety restraints.
More U.S. Children Need a Daily Dose of Exercise
One hour a day. That’s all it takes for your child to meet the national physical activity guidelines. Unfortunately, a recent government report found too few U.S. children are reaching that goal.
Hearing Loss Is Hitting Children Hard
Parents, now hear this: More American children are losing some or all of their hearing. But too few parents seem to be aware of any hearing hazards, according to a recent survey. By taking steps now, you can help keep your child’s hearing well-tuned into adulthood.
Could Your Teen Daughter Have PCOS?
Puberty can be a trying time in a young girl’s life. Your daughter may struggle with acne or irregular periods. These are often normal coming-of-age signs. But they can sometimes indicate a serious condition called polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS.
Do You Need That Heart Test?
A heart attack can sometimes be the first sign that you have heart disease. That frightening fact makes early detection important. Certain tests may help to diagnose the condition. But if you are at low risk for or have no symptoms of heart disease, experts continue to advise against such screenings.
The Benefits of Mitral Valve Repair
Your heart acts as a well-oiled machine. With each beat, it pumps blood to all parts of your body. Sometimes this process isn’t as efficient as it should be. That may be the case for people who have problems with their mitral valve. Surgery may fix this valve, and improve overall well-being, a recent study found.
Can Yoga Help Your Heart?
Despite its popularity, yoga is no exercise fad. The practice has been around for thousands of years. Poses like Downward-Facing Dog and Lotus speak to a balance between the body and mind. Many people who do yoga believe it promotes better health. This perk may even extend to the heart, suggests a recent review.
Americans Are Still Eating Too Many Trans Fats
A slice of apple pie, a tub of popcorn, a bag of cookies. Ever wonder what makes these tempting foods so bad for you? It may well be the trans fatty acids, or trans fats, hiding inside. These dietary fats can seriously harm your heart. The good news: Americans are eating less of them overall. But we’re still eating too many, according to recent research.
Better Heart Health No Matter What Your Age
Your heart is one of the hardest working muscles in your body. It’s constantly pumping blood. Heart disease can make it tough for your heart to do this job. Fortunately, research shows making healthy lifestyle changes—even later in life—may stop and actually reverse heart damage.
On a Statin? A Healthy Lifestyle Is Still Important
Statins are one of the most widely used drugs. They have helped many people lower their cholesterol. That, in turn, has lowered their risk for heart disease. Unfortunately, 2 recent studies found that some statin users may be ignoring other heart-healthy choices—namely, eating a low-fat diet and exercising regularly.
What Makes Red Meat So Unhealthy?
A juicy steak from the grill may seem like the perfect summer staple. But for your heart’s sake, you may want to pass on that piece of protein. Red meat—like beef, pork, and lamb—can be high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Plus, it contains another substance that may be bad for your heart: heme iron.
Can Airplane Noise Hurt Your Heart?
Airplanes have transformed travel. You can now reach far-away destinations in the same day. For people living under flight paths, though, airplane noise may be harmful to the heart. Recent research suggests it may raise the risk for heart disease and stroke.
Is Your Sweet Tooth Harming Your Heart?
You can’t sugarcoat this fact: Americans are eating too much sugar. We eat about 18 teaspoons of the sweetener every day. Although it tastes good, sugar isn’t very nutritious. What’s more, your sweet tooth may be bad for your heart.
Do You Have High Blood Pressure?
With every heartbeat, blood rushes through your body. It pushes against your artery walls. You can’t feel this force, even if it’s higher than it should be. That’s why many people don’t know they have hypertension, or high blood pressure.
What the New Cholesterol Guidelines Mean for You
Late last year, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology issued new guidelines for treating high cholesterol. Their goal: to reduce heart disease and stroke. Here are key points you should know.
When Is It Safe to Have Sex After a Heart Attack?
A heart attack can change everything, even your sex life. You may wonder when you can have sex again or if it’s OK to do so. Research reveals many heart attack survivors are unsure about sexual activity. Talking with your doctor can ease your worries.
Fitter Middle-Aged Men Seem to Fend Off Cancer
If you’re looking for a good reason to shape up, consider the finding of a recent study. Here’s the worthy incentive: Men who are fitter in middle age may be less likely to develop and die from cancer.
Quit Smoking for Better Bone Health
Lung cancer. Heart disease. Stroke. You probably already know that smoking can lead to these health hazards. A recent study found that smoking may be especially bad for men's bones.
Your Health May Influence Your Fertility
Not being able to conceive can be tough for a couple. When it takes longer than a year for your partner to become pregnant, a doctor may suspect an infertility problem. One-third of such cases are traced to the man’s side. The latest research suggests that for some of these men another health problem may be to blame.
Dads Aren’t Immune to Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is a type of depression that can take hold after the birth of a child. It is much more common in women. Yet it may well strike upward of one-quarter of dads. A recent review looked at the latest research on the mood disorder to better explain how it affects men.
Deciding on Treatment for Prostate Cancer
Deciding on treatment for prostate cancer can be a challenge. Men with early stage disease have a number of choices. And according to recent research, it isn’t always clear which treatment may be best.
Job Stress May Raise Your Risk for Diabetes
You can’t catch type 2 diabetes like you can a cold. But certain things make you more likely to get the disease. These include having a family history of diabetes and being overweight. You may also want to add work stress to that list. It may seem like an unlikely culprit. But a recent study suggests otherwise.
Prostate Cancer and Melanoma: Is There a Connection?
Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, may seem to have little in common with prostate cancer. But a recent study suggests otherwise. Prostate cancer may actually raise a man’s risk for melanoma.
RLS: A Serious Health Risk for Men
If you have RLS, you feel a constant urge to move your legs when sitting or lying down. You may have strange sensations—tingling, throbbing, or creeping—in your lower limbs. These symptoms—often worse at night—can seriously affect a man’s health, recent research reveals.
Men May Show Depression Differently
Depression can weigh down anyone. Compared with women, though, fewer men are diagnosed with this common mental health condition. Why? A recent study says it may be partly because men show depression differently.
Long-Term Unemployment May Be Linked to a Shorter Life
Losing your job can certainly be stressful. You may worry about your future—how you will pay your bills or take care of yourself and your family. Being unemployed can affect your mental and physical health. Long-term unemployment may be even more detrimental. A recent study suggests it may shorten your lifespan.
Problem Gambling: A Risky Addiction
It may start with a lucky lottery ticket, a winning hand at poker, or the matching reels of a slot machine. The ending is rarely profitable. Problem gambling—or compulsive gambling—ensnares at least 6 million people in the U.S.—many of them men. It’s an addiction that can yield financial and personal ruin.
Eating Disorders Trouble Men, Too
Traditionally labeled a woman’s problem, eating disorders may trouble more men than originally thought. Current research suggests they may simply go unrecognized.
Mind and Body
Wanted: Whole Grains in Your Diet
Your local grocery store is brimming with whole grains. While browsing the aisles, you’ll find brown rice, whole-wheat bread, and quinoa—to name only a few. These foods can fortify you against diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Are you filling up on enough of them?
Cracking the Nut to a Longer Life
Humans have nibbled on nuts for centuries. Archeologists discovered almonds stashed in King Tut’s tomb in Egypt. They also unearthed walnuts from the ruins of Pompeii. A long-time dietary staple, nuts come packed with nutrients. A fact that could explain why a recent study found eating more of them may lead to a longer life.
Many Older Adults Struggle With Pain
Pain is like an alarm system. It signals when something is wrong in your body. It can last only minutes or linger for months. For many older adults, pain may be a constant companion, suggests a recent study. It may even limit daily activities.
Being Bilingual May Boost Brain Health
Dementia is a growing threat to more Americans. In fact, experts predict that cases of Alzheimer’s disease—the most common type of dementia—will triple by 2050. An aging population partly accounts for this uptick.
Want to Control Your Weight? Add Brisk Activity to Your Day
Finding time for fitness is important, especially if you are trying to lose or control your weight. Thanks to a recent study, fitting it in may be easier than you think.
Strength Training Can Pump Up Your Health
When you think of strength training, your first thought may be of a bodybuilder laboring to lift heavy weights. It need not be so extreme, though. Everyone can reap the health benefits of muscle strengthening. Unfortunately, too few Americans are minding their muscles, according to a recent government study.
5 Foods That May Lengthen—or Shorten—Your Lifespan
Science may be tweaking the old adage “you are what you eat.” Five recent studies dish out which foods may be better than others in helping us live longer. They suggest it may be more suitable to say “your age is what you eat.”
Adult Day Care Can Ease Caregiver Stress
Caring for a parent or another older adult isn't easy. You may feel overwhelmed and stressed out. If you are yearning for some relief, adult day care may be the solution. Research shows it not only helps those enrolled in such programs, but their caregivers, too.
Solving the Riddle of Rheumatoid Arthritis
The final frontier-it isn't necessarily space. A lot closer to home, the human body holds just as much mystery. Consider rheumatoid arthritis (RA). After decades of research, scientists still can't pinpoint the exact cause of the disease. The latest studies suggest a complex combination of genetics and unhealthy habits, putting some of the power of prevention in our hands.
Be Smart About Sleep Aids
Sleep can be elusive. On some nights, we easily cozy up with it. On others, it may linger frustratingly out of reach. Struggling for some shuteye may entice you to try a sleep aid. Used properly, sleep aids can help. But they aren't without risks.
Is It Safe to Buy Breast Milk Online?
Breast milk is best for babies. But not all mothers may make enough milk or be able to breastfeed their child. These women may turn to the internet to buy breast milk. A recent study found that may not be the safest option.
More Women Are Using Hormone Therapy
A woman’s body goes through many changes during menopause. Changing hormone levels can cause problems such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and night sweats. A recent study suggests more women may be trying bioidentical hormones to ease these symptoms. But they may not know exactly what they are taking.
Should You Have a Hysterectomy?
Maybe you have constant pelvic pain. Or you suffer from heavy bleeding from the uterus. For these symptoms and others, a hysterectomy may help. But this major surgery isn’t without risks. What’s more, many women who have a hysterectomy may not need one, suggests a recent finding.
You Don’t Have to Live with a Leaky Bladder
It might happen when you sneeze—or maybe when you exercise. It might happen so fast you aren’t able to make it to the bathroom. Living with a leaky bladder—or urinary incontinence—can be frustrating at the very least. The American College of Physicians (ACP) recently looked at some of the best ways—other than surgery—to help women with this condition.
Protect You and Your Baby This Flu Season
The flu can be a serious illness. That’s especially true for mothers-to-be. Pregnant women are more likely to end up in the hospital because of the flu. It can cause problems for both mother and baby. As a result, health experts urge all pregnant women to get a flu shot.
Aspirin and Ovarian Cancer: A Possible Pill for Prevention?
Aspirin can help with a number of health problems. It can relieve pain. It can lower a fever. It can even prevent a heart attack or stroke. More recently, scientists have found another possible benefit. It may help stop ovarian cancer.
Preventing Stroke in Women
A stroke can strike anyone—no matter your age, ethnicity, or sex. There is no typical stroke victim. Yet women are slightly more likely than men to have a stroke and die from it. These troubling facts recently led health experts to compile the first female-focused guidelines for stroke prevention.
Is Asthma Worse for Women?
Asthma is a thief. It steals the breath away from more than 25 million Americans. Women are especially likely to have this chronic lung disease. And they may struggle more with asthma problems, so suggests a recent study.
What You Need to Know About Uterine Fibroids
Uterine fibroids are a common condition. Some research suggests up to 8 out of 10 women may have these noncancerous tumors. Many don’t know it, though, because they may never have any symptoms. For those who do, timely treatment can restore a woman’s well-being.
Hot Flashes: You Don’t Have to Take the Heat
A sudden rush of heat across your face and upper body, followed by a rapid heartbeat, sweating, even chills—these are likely the signs of a hot flash. It’s the chief complaint for many women approaching menopause. The latest treatment options can help you manage these bothersome symptoms.
More Women Are Dying From Prescription Painkillers
Taking prescription painkillers like Vicodin and Oxycontin may not seem like a life-threatening act. After all, you can obtain them through your doctor. But if you don’t use these medications properly, they can be deadly. More women, in particular, are overdosing on these drugs.
Newer Prenatal Test Less Risky for Finding Birth Defects
Every mother-to-be hopes for a healthy baby. Prenatal testing can help your doctor identify problems before your child is born. Some of these tests can be risky for the fetus. Noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is a safer technique that may provide answers about certain birth defects.
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