Category: Health

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NoteStreams (Most Recent First)

Does Acupuncture Work by Re-mapping the Brain?

Why all the rancour against acupuncture from some corners of the internet (and academia)? Shouldn’t we apply our modern research methods to see which classical acupuncture techniques have solid physiological backing?
It’s not as easy as it seems. Let’s look at the clinical research.
Post by Vitaly Napadow, director of the Center for Integrative Pain Neuroimaging (CiPNI) and an associate professor at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, both at the Massachusetts General Hospital at Harvard Medical School. He is also co-president of the Society for Acupuncture Research.
AEON
CC BY-ND 4.0

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Don’t Hate Your Gut: It May Help You Lose Weight, Fight Depression & Lower Blood Pressure

A universe of organisms living inside you may affect every part of your body, from your brain to your bones, and even your thoughts, feelings and your attempts to lose weight. So how does that actually work?
Jasenka Zubcevic
Assistant Professor, University of Florida
Christopher Martyniuk
Associate Professor of Toxicology, University of Florida
The Conversation
CC BY-ND 4.0

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Are Chopsticks the Secret Behind Japan’s Low Obesity Rates?

As my wife and I finish up the first week of our trip through Japan, one thing is relatively clear; few Japanese have a weight problem.
I can’t help but notice that eating with chopsticks tends to slow down the pace at which you can consume your meal. This is especially true when eating rice, noodles, and the like.
PLoS Blogs
CC BY 4.0

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Given up on Dead-lifts & Squats in Your Workout? Try These Alternatives

Back in my undergraduate years, as I was learning some judo, I injured by lower back. To be more specific, I had a dislocation at the sacroiliac joint caused by throwing someone over my back when not yet properly warmed up.
Fast-forward some 10 years and at the age of 35 I recently broke my personal best lifts in both deadlifts and squats. How did I do this?
PLoS Blogs
CC BY 4.0

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Lifestyle Changes, Not A Magic Pill, Can Reverse Alzheimer’s

Last summer, a research group from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) quietly published the results of a new approach in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. What they found was striking. Although the size of the study was small, every participant demonstrated such marked improvement that almost all were found to be in the normal range on testing for memory and cognition by the study’s end. Functionally, this amounts to a cure.
Post by Clayton M Dalton, Medical Resident, Massachusetts General Hospital
Aeon

CC BY-ND 4.0

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People Who Eat Exotic Foods Are Leaner and Healthier

Could opening your palate to exotic foods actually make you healthier?
PLoS Blogs
CC BY 4.0

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Why so Many People Regain Weight After Dieting

If you've ever taken weight off to find it creeps right back, you're far from alone. There are many factors to keeping the weight off, including some you may have never even heard of. It all has to do with your resting metabolic rate - and there's now something you can do about that.

The Conversation
CC BY-ND 4.0

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Dancing To Heal

Dance has been used to improve health and emotional well-being for centuries, but it wasn't until 1916 that it was accepted as a part of psychotherapy.
Julia Nurse is Collections Researcher at the Wellcome Library. With a background in art history, she has previously worked as Assistant Curator of the Iconographic Collections, and more recently co-curated the content within the refurbished Reading Room.
Wellcome Library Blog, CC by 4.0

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Avoid the Gym in January (Do this Instead)

There's no membership required to get in shape in 2017.
PLOS
(CC BY 4.0)

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Yo-Yo Dieting: Blame Microbiome and Fewer Flavonoids

Yo-Yo Dieting - we've all been there. Could science help us understand why it happens - and how to stop the cycle? Ricki Lewis, Phd says yes - and shares how it actually worked for her.
PloS Blogs
(CC BY 4.0)

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What Are We Really Afraid of in Becoming Fat

Long ago "fat" used to mean you had plenty, and was often a sign of wealth. Today, being fat has taken on a whole new meaning. It's time to stop seeing ourselves as "fat", and think of ourselves as people first.
Karen Koenig

Category: Health

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Why Bruce Springsteen’s Depression Revelation Matters

Springsteen has long been committed to social justice; in writing about depression, he has perhaps undertaken a new cause, one that seeks to combat the stereotypes and stigmas about mental illness that still exist today.
The Conversation
(CC BY-ND 4.0)

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Morning Workout vs Breaks From Sitting?

Is sitting the new smoking? Today’s guest post comes from Dr Meredith Peddie.
PLOS
(CC BY 4.0)

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Digital Health Devices Are Great, But Price Widens the Health Gap

The private sector has begun to develop tools to improve chronic disease management with digital health technologies, and that market is growing rapidly.
The Conversation
(CC BY-ND 4.0)

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The Hidden Costs of Medication

Taking psychiatric medications can really add up, even for those who have health insurance, and even when they can take generic instead of brand-name drugs.
Psych Central

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Is ADHD the Third Wheel in Your Marriage?

ADHD symptoms can impact marital decision making in many ways you might not imagine.
GoodTherapy.org

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Smoking and Body Weight: What’s the Connection?

When people quit smoking, they tend to gain weight. But is this a coincidence, or something we can scientifically prove?
PLOS
(CC BY 4.0)

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Why a Four-Day Workweek Is Not Good for Your Health

For most of us, a long weekend is an occasional thing. For some people, however, it's a regular thing. And they're still paid their full-time salaries.
So what's wrong with that?
The Conversation
(CC BY-ND 4.0)

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How Turmeric & Other Kitchen Staples Can Help Arthritis

When you suffer from arthritis, there are many different medical and alternative treatment options that you can try to provide you with some relief. Get to know some of the ways that some common kitchen pantry staples could also help in relieving your arthritis pain and inflammation.

Category: Lifestyle

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How Interpersonal Dynamics Reduce Emotional Eating

When someone tells you you’re any one thing, the first step is to ask yourself honestly if this is true.
Eating Disorders Blogs

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How Do Food Manufacturers Set Food Dates?

Many Americans look at "use-by" and "best before" dates, but have no idea what those labels are actually saying.

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Can’t Sleep? How to Put Insomnia to Bed

Sleepless nights - we've all had them. But when the odd occurance becomes the norm, these tips may help you sleep more easily.
By Marni Amsellem, PhD, GoodTherapy.org Topic Expert

Category: Health

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Coenzyme Q10: Strange-Sounding Compound Vital to Our Health

Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 is a vitamin-like substance found in many of our cells It is essential in numerous cellular level processes from converting fat and carbohydrate energy to the form used by our cells, to protecting our DNA from free radical damage. Its level reduces due to certain illnesses and as we age. There is strong medical evidence that CoQ10 supplementation can be very beneficial in combating a wide range of serious diseases.

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Are We Sleep-Deprived or Just Darkness-Deprived?

The blame for sleep deprivation is often pinned on our fast-paced, 24/7 lifestyle, made possible by electric lighting at all times of day and night.

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Does a Fitbit Make You More Active?

Without detailed evidence of their effectiveness, pedometers have recently become popular as a tool for motivating physical activity.

Category: Health

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Hoarse Remedies

Many plants offered some form of relief for a sore throat– once the curative ingredient had been extracted, distilled, emulsified, dissolved with wine and sugar and then gargled or sucked.

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Exercise Counteracts Genetic Risk for Alzheimer's

Regular physical activity may correct the brain's metabolism to stave off dementia.

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Trauma and Dissociation: Beyond Your ‘Window of Tolerance’

When we have unhealed traumas, our systems may not be fully present.

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Good For Your Health: Generosity

There is some evidence that donating time can improve physical health, but no one has looked at whether donating money has the same effect.

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New Experiences Can Strengthen Old Memories

Recall can improve for events that seemed forgettable but later gained significance.

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Attitudes About Death Among the Very Old

Discussing death with elderly loved ones is difficult, but fulfilling their final wishes may help ease discomfort during their final days.

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Get Healthy! Eat Some Dandelions

Dandelions have a bad reputation among those who want grass that looks as uniform as a golf course, but every part of this common edible weed is tasty both raw and cooked, from the roots to the blossoms.

Category: Health

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Do You Have a Done-Me-Wrong Collection?

Focusing on your hurt triggers a cascade of similar memories. One negative recollection triggers another and they—and you—are off and running.

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5 Lifestyle Factors that Can Hurt Your Brain

There are five lifestyle factors that can hurt your brain by diminishing its function.

Category: Health

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Should We Be “Eating Everything in Moderation”?

Maintaining proper nutrition is key to remaining healthy and avoiding diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes. Confused by the wealth of seemingly contradictory nutrition research, many people adhere to the philosophy of dietary diversity. But no single food or food group can supply all the nutrients one needs, so some level of dietary diversity is necessary to maintain one’s health

Category: Health

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3 Reasons to Start Eating Clean

As a rule, everyone who thinks about eating clean needs a little extra motivation to finally make the switch.

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Does Weight Loss Reduce Risk Of Early Mortality?

Increased body weight is usually associated with a higher risk of disease. In this study, you’ll find a more detailed explanation about what the body mass index (BMI) is, and what your normal range should be.

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Overcoming the Silent Torment of Overeating

Overeating, which is sometimes a symptom of the potentially serious eating disorders binge eating or bulimia, often serves to mask or bury certain feelings that may have seemed dangerous to acknowledge and feel in childhood. In the following paragraphs, you will find ways to gently and methodically peel back the layers that sit atop those buried feelings in order to let overeating fall away rather than be a constant battle of wills.

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The Foie Gras Faux Pas

Foie gras has been an indulgent dish since Ancient Rome. Ducks, typically of the Mulard breed, are cherished for their glistening fatty livers, forming the backbone of a number of creamy French delicacies.

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Patients In Research: What Patients Should Require

In this edition of Mind the Brain, I suggest how patients, individually and collectively, can take responsibility for advancing this important initiative themselves.

Category: Health

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The New Dietary Guidelines, Fats, Salt, Sugar, Edible GMOs

If you read anything at all about the US Department of Agriculture’s 2015 dietary guidelines, which have finally been issued now that it is 2016, it was probably a diatribe arguing that the government was giving bad advice about what to eat.

Category: Health

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Foods to Help You Feel Satiated

Sometimes we have only a short time to eat, and know we won’t be getting any nourishment for a long while. Other times we’re ravenously hungry, and want foods that will fill us up quickly and healthfully. “Top foods to boost satiety” (Environmental Nutrition newsletter, 10/15, p. 6) gives us the best choices to eat in these situations.

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You Should Work Out In Jeans (I Do)

At various points over the past few years, I have been fortunate to basically have a gym as my office. I’ve worked near treadmills, exercise bikes, light free weights, and a bunch of machines (bench press, leg press, a chin-up bar, etc). The gyms have always been for research and data collection, but there were plenty of opportunities for those of us working in the lab to pop out and do a quick set almost anytime we liked. And it was awesome.

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Best Fitness Apps of 2015

Here at Live Streaming Fitness, we understand the importance of being able to have fitness and nutrition at the touch of your fingertips. So, we’ve rounded up some of the best fitness apps of 2015 to keep you moving and motivated towards that New Year’s resolution.

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Diet Can Improve Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common neurological disorder of young adults, with the diagnosis often made between the ages of 20 and 40 years. It’s more common in women than men (ratio of 3:2) and is also more common in temperate climates, which has raised the suggestion that lack of vitamin D may be involved. Here’s how to your diet can improve MS.

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Health and Fitness Goals for 2016

Another year is upon us and it’s time to set your New Year’s fitness resolutions.

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Cocktail Home Remedies

Cold and flu season is right around the corner, and there are medicinal cocktails that can ameliorate many symptoms and even shorten the duration of the ailment. An historic trend has returned and it takes advantage of the medicinal properties of alcohol and combines them with homeopathic medicine to create feel-good drinks that can really make you feel better!

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Healthcare: What Happens When It All Goes Wrong?

This week on PLOS Translational Global Health, emergency physician and humanitarian & global health doctor, Jenny Jamieson, writes about some of the tacit dangers of delivering healthcare in low-resource settings.

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Fast Food Swaps When You’re On The Go

We all know that fast food is not an ideal option when it comes to feeding your child a nutritious snack or meal, but sometimes you got to do what you got to do – and sometimes that means McDonald’s. While the redheaded clown is most famous for its processed foods, there are some healthy alternatives when you find yourself behind the “Do you want fries with that?” intercom.

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Making TV Viewing a Bit Less Sedentary

If you’ve been reading Obesity Panacea for a while now, you’ll likely be all too aware that sitting too much is literally killing you. As Travis has described before, regardless of how much time you spend at the gym, the more time you spend engaging in sedentary behavior (e.g. sitting) the greater your chance of numerous diseases and premature mortality. So what is one to do?

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Garlic

Garlic (Allium sativum) is an important part of the Mediterranean diet, and is such a popular culinary herb that average consumption, worldwide, is equivalent to one clove per person per day.
Garlic is a source of a powerful antioxidant called allicin. Allicin is not present in whole garlic cloves, but is formed from alliin, an odourless amino acid unique to the garlic family. Cutting or crushing a garlic clove brings alliin and alliinase together to produce diallyl thiosulphinate, which provides the characteristic, pungent odour. Sulphur compounds formed from the breakdown of allicin also have beneficial, medicinal effects. Garlic can help lower cholesteral and blood pressure, and could even help ward off colds.

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Too Much TV Linked To 8 Causes Of Death

Do you have a television in your home? If so, you’re part of the 92% of households in North America that do.
We bucked the trend for quite a while, but recently also caved and purchased a smart TV. We’ve always enjoyed watching movies and documentaries a couple times a week, and were getting fed up with doing so on our computer screens.

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Enjoy Yourself & Have a Healthy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving – is a special day to give thanks for all the good things in life. However, it has also developed into a time of traditional over-indulgence. The table is filled from sunup to sundown with food – lots of food! Plates are piled high with goodies over and over again, and over eating is not only NOT discouraged, it is encouraged!

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Continued, Spectacular Recovery

This summer has been a whirlwind. I've been so excited to get my old life back – wait, scratch that. I've been so excited to start a new life, I haven't spent much time looking back since Mandi and I got married on the rim of the Black Canyon in June. That party capped a year of planning for it, in which time we also dealt with my unplanned open-heart surgery (October), a flood in our house (January), and Mandi's final year of grad school, which she completed in May while nursing me back to health and working full time as an elementary teacher.

Category: Health

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Fitness vs. Fatness: Which Matters More?

There is a longstanding debate in the research community about the importance of fitness versus fatness in health. Are exercise and improving fitness more important than eating well and maintaining a healthy weight?

Category: Health

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What Is the Best Motivator for Exercise?

Previous research has said that the best motivator for exercise is the desire for good health, but new studies point to an even better motivator.

Category: Lifestyle

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Losing Weight? Don’t Fall For These 8 Cardio Myths!

Who’s guilty of looking up different ways to lose weight online? We get it; we’ve all been there. The Internet is flooded with different tips, tricks, and testimonials about the ‘right’ way to lose weight. However, what people don’t know is that some of these ‘tricks’ may actually make reaching your weight loss goals even harder. Live Streaming Fitness is setting the facts straight with these eight cardio myths.

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This Woman Reversed Diabetes at Age 60!

Sujata Kulkarni, 60, suffered from diabetes for 23 years before she reversed her condition–solely with diet modifications and following a healthy lifestyle. It was with the help of Dr. Pramod Tripathi that she could turn things around. Sujata shares how she achieved this feat.

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Why Does Our Balance Get Worse As We Age?

All of us have taken a tumble at some point in our lives. But as we grow older, the risks associated with falling over become greater: we lose physical strength and bone density, our sense of balance deteriorates and we take longer to recover from a fall. Alarmingly, this process begins around the age of 25. The reasons for this are varied and complex, but by understanding them better, we can find ways to mitigate the effects of old age.

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5 Ways to Heal Divorce with Nature

If you’re recently separated or divorced, you’re quite possibly dealing with a bruised ego and a broken heart. Looking inward for insight and understanding is extremely important. Processing emotions and feeling supported are also essential to the recovery process. Therapy can be tremendously helpful, of course, but the feeling of disconnection that typically follows divorce can be difficult to move beyond. You may have been severed from what you knew to be safe, leaving you feeling untethered from the world.

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Sugar May Harm Brain Health

A poor diet can eat away at brain health. Now a study in Neurology helps elucidate why. It suggests that eating a lot of sugar or other carbohydrates can be hazardous to both brain structure and function.

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The Myth of the Freshman 15

For many recent high-school graduates, the next week or two represent the beginning of a whole new chapter: post-secondary education. Of all the challenges college freshmen need to contend with, worrying about potential weight gain should be the least of their worries. Unfortunately, due to a pervasive myth that has been too often repeated, weight gain may be on the minds of many undergraduate students.

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Nutrition & Chronic Illness: Taking Out Garbage

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Garbage in, garbage out”? This saying refers to the fact a computer can only do what it is programmed to do, and can be only as good as the data it receives and the instructions it is given. But when it comes to nutrition’s impact on our physical and emotional health, it takes on a whole new meaning.

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Muscles are Weak Without the Mind

Note: This is part 13 of the "Open Heart" series. To start with part 1, click here.
Stronger. I just need to get a little stronger.
Bullshit.
Why do so many climbers jump to this conclusion when they find their performance plateauing on a project? Probably because it’s easier and more straightforward to build bigger muscles than a stronger mind.

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Taking Meds, Being Judged

With all the attention on the misuse of psychiatric drugs, I think it’s worth taking a look at how the increased scrutiny affects people who have a diagnosis and a legitimate prescription. I don’t mean to suggest that just because someone has been diagnosed and a doctor has seen fit to prescribe her medication that she necessarily needs the meds – or even that she “should” be on them. Plenty of people have unjustified diagnoses and unneeded prescriptions. But for those who do benefit from treatment, you’ve got to wonder how all the media attention affects their experience.

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At Work? 8 Exercises You Can Do From Your Desk

For those of you who spend your nine-to-five job sitting in a chair, you know all too well that sitting all day isn't doing your body any favors. To make it even worse, a recent study published by the Annals of Internal Medicine found that people who sit for prolonged periods of time, even people who get regular exercise, have an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and early death. SCARY!

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Highlights From the Preventing Overdiagnosis Conference 2015

Jack O’Sullivan recounts highlights from the third Preventing Overdiagnosis Conference, hosted last week by U.S. National Cancer Institute.

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Tips to Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

With sedentary lifestyles and long working hours becoming commonplace, more and more people are falling prey to conditions such as carpal tunnel and RSI. If you think these conditions are unavoidable due to the very nature of your job, you are wrong. Dr. Debbie Amini, an occupational therapist from the American Occupational Therapy Association, shares ways you can keep these conditions at bay, without compromising on your work.

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Keeping Your Kids Active After School

It’s September which means summer is officially over and a new school year has begun! While a new school year tends to bring a busier schedule, after school homework, and less “running around” time for your children, it’s important to keep kids active after school, and off the couch, in order to maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle. Following is a list of great ways to keep your kids healthy and active after the final school bell rings.

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Cell Phones, Cancer, and Oversimplification

Genetics isn’t simple, my friends—and neither is cancer, for that matter. Despite decades upon decades of research, scientists still don’t know all of the ways in which cancer can be sparked. So while it's accepted that cell phone radiation isn't powerful enough to cause cancer, such radiation could have effects we don't yet understand.

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Are Side Effect Warnings Making Us Sicker?

A provocative new report in the journal of the German Medical Association suggests that the side effects of some drugs, and the discomfort of certain medical procedures, may be inadvertently intensified by doctors and nurses trying to keep patients fully informed of the consequences of their medical care. The culprit behind this phenomenon is the nocebo effect.

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Back On The Rock

Note: This is part 12 of the “Open Heart” series. To read part 1, click here.
Truthfully, as I write this entry about what has otherwise been a fantastic physical recovery, I wonder if I'm overdoing it, or if something else is going on, or if this is related to the "new sensations" my cardiologist told me I'd feel for the rest of my life.
I've had a nagging chest pain for the last three weeks, and it feels very similar to what I felt right before I went in for surgery. Then again, my muscles are perpetually sore and I'm stretching out a lot of scar tissue in the rehab process. There are moments when I convince myself that I'm fine, because look at me – I'm doing great in every other way! – but then there are moments when it doesn't feel like the pain could not be anything other than my heart

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10 Tricks to Stay Hydrated Throughout the Day

While a glass of water is the best-known way to stay hydrated, there are plenty of alternative ways to keep your body healthy and hydrated all summer long.

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9 Signs It’s Time to Slow Down

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller

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Feeling vs. Being

Here’s a mistaken belief I hear all the time from clients and Food and Feelings message board members: Because I feel a certain way, it must be true. I feel fat, I feel unlovable, I feel unsuccessful, I feel inadequate, and I feel defective. Hello, feeling isn’t being.

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Link Between Tooth Loss and Dementia?

Approximately two-thirds of older Americans suffer from moderate to severe gum disease and tooth loss. Recent studies suggest poor dental health may increase your risk of developing dementia later in life. Millions of Americans live with the devastating effects of dementia, which is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

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Nuts or Dry Fruits: Which is Healthier?

When you think of healthy snacks, one of the first things that you are likely to grab is a mixed bag of almonds, raisins, walnuts, figs, etc. You may call all of them dry fruits but did you know there is a difference between nuts and dry fruits? Though a mixed bag is healthy, you may want to choose one over the other depending on your fitness goal — whether it’s weight loss, managing diabetes or some other condition. Nutritionist Prema Kodical tells us how to make the right choice.

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Health Myths, Debunked

At this point, it seems that we’ve heard just about every crazy health “fact” out there: Chocolate gives you cancer, chocolate prevents cancer, monthly juice cleanses are the key to eternal youth, protein is the key to health – you name it, we’ve heard it. There are so many extremes surrounding people’s thoughts on health, and we’re here to tell you that it’s all about balance! Today we’re taking a look at five of the most common health myths and hopefully putting an end to them!

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Water Before Meals = Weight Loss

Over the years, we’ve often recommended the simplest of behavior changes to improve your health: drinking more water during the day. There’s certainly no downside to staying hydrated, plus the increased trips to the bathroom will ensure you get up from your desk a few more times every day. I probably don’t have to convince you any more of the dangers of sitting for prolonged periods – Travis has done a fine job of that. But what if there was more behind the advice to drink more water? What if something as simple as a few more glasses of water resulted in weight loss?

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Eating What I Am

Note: This is part 11 of the “Open Heart” series. To read part 1, click here.
As many know by now, my aortic heart valve was replaced less than two weeks ago. When I think of what has been done to my body, there's plenty of freaky images to consider – for example, the surgeons sawing through my ribcage, stopping my heart and cutting it open while a machine pumped my blood for 90 minutes (sure glad my ticker started back up on command). There is another detail that is nagging me as the scars heal and the pain fades, though. My new aortic valve was harvested from a cow.

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Pills, Pills, Pills, Rest, Rest, Rest

Note: This is part 10 of the “Open Heart” series. To read part 1, click here.
This segment of the Open Heart Series aims to cover my first days back home after five days in the hospital, my first days back at work, and what daily life was like up to my first check-up in late December, two months after surgery. In the next chapter, I'll recount my physical recovery from Thanksgiving 2014 to present, and my return to rock climbing.

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Healthy Cooking Methods for Meat, Fish, and Poultry

In order to maintain a well-functioning and illness-free body, it is important to eat healthy meals that have been prepared using healthy cooking methods. This is common knowledge, yet many people completely ignore the facts and choose not to maintain a healthy lifestyle. As suggested, a critical component to healthy eating is how the food is cooked. You can start with fresh, delicious, and healthy raw ingredients, but if you choose the wrong method of cooking, you will end up with a meal filled with fat and calories.

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How Our Obsession with Hereditary Cancers Started

Featured on Time’s May 27 2013 cover, titled “The Angelina Effect,” the actress was celebrated for promoting awareness about the connection between genetics, risk and health to the extent that doctors anticipated being overwhelmed by a “stampede of women” requesting genetic testing for their BRCA status. The discovery of the BRCA genes (and the resulting genetic tests) in the early 1990s is often touted as the watershed moment when genetics and heredity became important to cancer. This is not, however, the case. We did not suddenly recognize that some cancers are hereditary once we could test for gene mutations.

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Understanding Psoriasis

Unless you yourself or a close family member have been diagnosed with psoriasis, you probably haven’t heard much about the skin disease. Truth be told, it’s actually a fairly common problem, affecting over 7 million people in the United States including superstars Kim Kardashian and LeAnn Rimes, who have battled psoriasis for years. Psoriasis can affect anyone, though most often adults, and can be hereditary.

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Why My Doctor Prescribed Open Hardware

I recall a senior medical doctor once saying that being a practitioner nowadays is much more difficult than ever before, because when people get diagnosed, they go home to search the web, and often come back with tough questions. Open hardware for physiological computing isn’t making it any easier, but it seems like that’s not a bad thing.

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Still Waking Up

Note: This is part nine of the “Open Heart” series. To read part 1, click here.
It's been eight days since I awoke in the cardiac intensive care unit at CU-Denver Hospital, yet it seems I'm just now rousing from the fog of that dream world. Simply learning to handle basic life functions on my own has been a draining task, filling up most of my days. It's an experience my body seems intent on forgetting as soon as possible.

Category: Health

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6 Ways to Eat Healthier Foods

Americans on the whole should be looking for ways to eat healthier foods. Many people in America are suffering from obesity, diabetes, and a wide-variety of other health problems linked directly to diet. Something must be done and you must do it for yourself and your family.

Category: Health

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Waking Up To A Fresh Start (Part 3)

Note: This is part eight of the “Open Heart” series. To read part 1, click here.
I'll tell you now that the four-and-a-half days in the hospital after open heart surgery feel very distant. It was less than four months ago as I write this, but it seems much longer than that.
At the time, the ordeal was a magnanimous one, but now it is almost a speck in my rearview mirror. You might say it's out-of-body, because it's so far removed from your typical life, and then suddenly it's over and almost everything is back to normal. And normal isn't entirely a good thing. Normal means that shit continues to happen.
This NoteStream covers Days 3, 4 and 5 after surgery. For Day 1 see here. For Day 2 see here.

Category: Health

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Are Adventurous Eaters Healthier?

When it comes to food, I’ll try anything at least once.
As I documented before, I’ve dined on tarantula, frog, crickets, snake, raw clams, red ants, and durian fruit – and that was just on a single trip through Asia! When back on home turf, I enjoy oysters, sashimi, tripe soup, beef and salmon tartare, foie gras, and other acquired tastes. For the record, I wasn’t always this adventurous with food; as a kid, I consumed a relatively narrow range of foods – mostly of the eastern European and Greek variety.

Category: Health

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Waking Up To A Fresh Start (Part 2)

Note: This is part seven of the “Open Heart” series. To read part 1, click here.
I'll tell you now that the four-and-a-half days in the hospital after open heart surgery feel very distant. It was less than four months ago as I write this, but it seems much longer than that.
At the time the ordeal was a magnanimous one, but now it is almost a speck in my rearview mirror. You might say it's out-of-body, because it's so far removed from your typical life, and then suddenly it's over and almost everything is back to normal. And normal isn't entirely a good thing.
This NoteStream covers Day 2 after surgery. For Day 1, see here

Category: Health

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Is It Really Clear How Not To Fight Colds?

A popular piece in the New York Times was an Op-Ed published by Jennifer Ackerman, “How Not to Fight Colds.” It’s an interesting piece and points out something that a lot of people probably don’t know—it’s the immune system, not the virus itself that causes the cold’s nasty symptoms. But in my opinion, Ackerman takes her assertions a little too far, in the process confusing multiple aspects of the immune response.

Category: Health

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Waking Up to a Fresh Start (Part 1)

Note: This is part six of the “Open Heart” series. To read part 1, click here.
I'll tell you now that the four-and-a-half days in the hospital after open heart surgery feel very distant. It was less than four months ago as I write this, but it seems much longer than that.
At the time, the ordeal was a magnanimous one, but now it is almost a speck in my rearview mirror. You might say it's out-of-body, because it's so far removed from your typical life, and then suddenly it's over and almost everything is back to normal. And normal isn't entirely a good thing.

Category: Health

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Sugar Substitutes: The Good and Bad

There are many popular alternatives advertised as “healthy” – but, they are actually far from healthy, and should be avoided. In fact, some of them are among the hidden sugars used in many processed and pre-packaged foods. So, do not be fooled by the marketing labels declaring them healthy.

Category: Food

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How to Stop Memory Triggers

To avoid getting triggered by intense emotions from traumatic memories, it’s vital to recognize when we’re in recall, accessing emotions about an event that is over and done with, or in reality, what we call the now or the present. Much of my work with clients about regulating emotions (and ending mindless eating) is preventing slippage into recall and, instead, staying in reality. To do this, we must be able to recognize the hallmarks of both states.

Category: Health

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134 Activities For Your Self-Care Plan

At its most basic definition, self-care is any intentional action taken to meet an individual’s physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional needs. In short, it’s all the little ways we take care of ourselves to avoid a breakdown in those respective areas of health. GoodTherapy.org’s own business and administrative, web development, outreach and advertising, editorial and education, and support teams have compiled a massive list of some of their own personal self-care activities to offer some help for those struggling to come up with their own maintenance plan. Next time you find yourself saying, “I really need to do something for myself,” browse our list and pick something that speaks to you!

Category: Health

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While I Was Out (With Bonus Content)

Note: This is part five of the “Open Heart” series. To read part 1, click here.
Hearing people talk about what happened while I was in surgery for five and a half hours is like hearing my parents' stories about the day I was born. I was there, but I wasn't. For this segment, I interviewed my fiancée, and my mom and dad to get an idea of what they went through in the waiting room during the operation, and afterward while I was recovering in the hospital for several days. I asked them in particular if they had any advice for people facing a similar waiting-room experience.
Included are Bonus Notes: 3-2-1 was originally a post on my home page near midnight Oct. 29, hours before my operation.

Category: Health

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Why Excess Iron Can Be Dangerous

Iron is a most versatile element. It is essential to many of the enzymes that are the engines for life, and in mammals is also used to carry oxygen on hemoglobin in blood. Remember Popeye and his spinach: all that iron made him strong. But the very quality that makes iron so useful also makes it dangerous. Iron can easily lose or gain one electron going from the ferrous (Fe++) to the ferric (Fe+++) state, back and forth indefinitely. This is how it carries oxygen, for example. It also means it can be a potent pro-oxidant – it catalyzes the production of free radicals which can destroy cells and tissue, and thereby contribute to cancer and heart disease.

Category: Health

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How Dandelions Benefit Your Skin And Health

With spring invariably comes a flush of yellow in fields everywhere. Despite poison and pulling and the tireless efforts of homeowners everywhere dandelions doggedly stick their little stalks and leaves up out of the ground.
Today I'm here to proclaim loudly that instead of vilification this plant practically deserves its own holiday. Yes, you heard me! Dandelions are one of the most valuable plants in Chinese Medicine, appear in the Pharmacopeias of 4 European countries, and even pop up in the U.S. National Formulary. These maligned little plants pack a lot of healing help into all their parts.
Dandelions are one of those abundant resources that we've simply become blind to over time.

Category: Health

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Do Allergy Meds Contribute To Weight Gain?

“Achoo!!”
Some folks have allergies that flare up on a seasonal basis. This spring has certainly not been kind to this group.
But if you’re like me, battling your allergies is a year-round affair.
However, the off-the-shelf antihistamines many of us take to get us through allergy season have an additional effect: they may increase appetite. Despite the fact that increased appetite is a fairly well-known side-effect of antihistamines, the packaging of my allergy meds had no mention of this.
What's going on?

Category: Health

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Walking the Long, Red Hallway

Note: This is part four of the “Open Heart” series. To read part 1, click here.
The month before I had open heart surgery on Oct. 30 is mostly a blur to me now, as I write this 60 days after the fact. The feeling I recall is that of a procession down a long hallway with crimson rugs and no light at the end. During that time, I made a point not to dwell on a future that couldn't be avoided. I wanted to savor the beautiful fall days as best I could, knowing my physical ability would be very limited for at least three months after surgery. I climbed. I hiked. I partied my heart out. Then I would go to bed and try to sleep easy, but of course that became more difficult. I was 31 years old.

Category: Lifestyle

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Got (The Healthiest) Milk?

There’s so much controversy over dairy these days.
One camp claims that milk (and all dairy) is one of the worst foods you can eat and should be avoided at all costs, while others claim that if you’re not lactose intolerant, and you have access to organic, pasture-raised dairy – that there is no harm in drinking milk in moderation.
And now there are so many milk alternatives out there it’s hard to keep track: soy, almond, coconut, rice, hemp, oat – who can tell the difference? And how do you know which one is the best / healthiest milk for you?
That’s where this post comes in. This is your guide to all of the milk and milk alternatives out there – to help find the healthiest milk for you!

Category: Health

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Can Millenials Pay Attention to Classwork While Texting, Tweeting and Being on Facebook?

It’s hard not to notice the connection of today’s youth to technology. Fused to their smartphones around the clock, they prefer screens to paper and text message to speech; they consider leaving voicemail an act of interpersonal aggression. They seem to focus differently too: skimming and sampling their way through multiple streams of data, they look like they’re taking it in all at once. Some educators call them “digital natives,” reflecting the idea that tech is at the core of who they are and how they function.

Category: Health

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How To Stay Motivated

I had a conversation with a client a while back about how to stay motivated to grow and change. We talked about how prodding yourself forward with harsh demands doesn’t work and how words like “should” only trigger a desire to rebel. What, then, is left for us? Here are two useful mental constructs: the observing ego and the ego ideal.

Category: Health

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Don't Watch The Movies

Note: This is part three of the “Open Heart” series. To read part 1, click here.
Six weeks after open-heart surgery to replace my aortic valve, I finally got around to Googling videos of the procedure. If you are about to have open heart surgery, I would recommend not doing a Web search before you go in. Saying that will just give you the urge to do it more so than ever, I know, but hear me out for a moment.

Category: Lifestyle

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How Anxiety Destroys Relationships & How To Stop It

There is an abundance of information about how anxiety impacts our health—mentally, emotionally, and physically. Have you considered the impact anxiety may have on the health of your relationship?
Anxiety can cause periods of panic, feelings of fear or overwhelm, and a general sense of unease and tension. It can take over your thoughts and bleed into many areas of your life.
If you are feeling a strain on your relationship, anxiety may be playing a role. Could your anxiety (or your partner’s) be putting your relationship at risk?
Here’s how and why anxiety destroys relationships, and what you can do to stop it.

Category: Health

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What The ‘Dad Bod’ Phenom. Says About Our Culture

Everyone, it seems, has been talking about “dad bod” – what defines it, who possesses it and whether or not women actually love it. It all began with an innocuous article on a college news website, penned by a Clemson University student named Mackenzie Pearson. “The dad bod is a nice balance between a beer gut and working out,” she wrote. “While we all love a sculpted guy, there is just something about the dad bod that makes boys seem more human, natural, and attractive.”

Category: Health

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One Critical Necessity For Accepting Yourself

Recently I was surfing an online forum, and I came across something that almost made me cry. Somebody had dug up an old, old post of mine and replied to it. Those of you who read online forums have seen this happen many times, I’m sure, and so had I. But this one gave me an instant lump in the throat.
The post was called, “My Struggle.”
The desperate tone of the post stunned me. I couldn’t believe it was me.
If You Have Trouble Loving Yourself
Know this:
Love is action.
Self-love is not how you feel about yourself. It’s what you do for yourself.

Category: Health

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How to Get Well: Healing? Seeking a Cure?

When besieged by suffering caused by an illness or injury, we yearn for relief. This is the case regardless of if the ailment is physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. When hope wanes leaving only the smallest of lights, the remaining vestige of optimism is wrapped around a kernel of wishing for the ease of torment. It’s in our nature to survive.

Category: Health

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The 5 Biggest Sunscreen Mistakes To Avoid

Now that summer is upon us, I asked Dr. Rachel Nazarian from Schweiger Dermatology Group to break down the 5 biggest sunscreen slip-ups she sees her patients make with SPF, and how to outsmart them.
Here are the most common ways you’re probably messing up with sunscreen!

Category: Health

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An Aspiring Hardman

Note: This is part two of the “Open Heart” series. To read part 1, click here.
“Hardman” – what does it take to be one? That fabled term has been thrown around by climbers since before I was born, and ever since I started reading the history and lore at age 11, I knew I wanted to be a Hardman.
By the time you read this, I will be in a hospital bed recovering from open-heart surgery, with my 32nd birthday approaching in December. You can bet my definition of “hardman” has evolved since those adolescent years, especially this last season.

Category: Lifestyle

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Do Mini-Packaged Snacks Help You Eat Less Junk?

In recent years countless food manufacturers have been “sub-packaging” their foods into smaller portions in an apparent effort to curb folks from overindulging. You can usually find 100 kcal multi-packs of chips, pretzels, chocolates, and all sorts of junk foods. Despite the very obvious negative environmental impact of all this excess packaging, what, if any, impact does such packaging have on people’s consumption?

Category: Health

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Stop Killing the Elderly with Kindness

This past winter I taught a course titled Physical Activity and Aging. It was a fun course, and really drove home an issue that I’ve known for a while, but hadn’t previously given a lot of thought: the impact of aging is identical to the detraining that happens in response to reduced physical activity and/or increased sedentary behavior. Aging is associated with reduced fitness, weaker bones, reduced insulin sensitivity, reduced muscle strength, and reduced balance. Lack of physical activity is also associated with all of those things. This isn’t a coincidence – many (probably most) of the health impacts of aging are not really due to aging at all.

Category: Health

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Hottest New Health Drink Might Give You Cancer

Oh, em, gee: there’s a new health drink in town, and everybody’s drinking it. Alicia Silverstone, Matt Dillon—I’ve even heard Madonna can’t live without it. It’s called Yerba maté, and it’s this totally amazing tea drink that, like, comes from South America or something. It doesn’t taste so great, but it’s supposed to cure cancer and stuff. Seriously!
OK—before you jump on the celebrity bandwagon, consider this: Not only is there no good evidence that Yerba maté cures cancer, there’s some evidence that it might actually cause it, as I explained briefly in Glamour’s July issue.

Category: Health

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How To Fight Acne Naturally

June is National Acne Awareness Month, a perfect time to learn all about how to keep your skin healthy, happy and radiant. Let’s be honest: no one wants acne. It is often painful, unpleasant and difficult to treat. With so many skin care options on the market, finding the right products for you can be challenging. Be aware, not every acne treatment works for all!
We’re committed to helping you achieve the healthy, clear skin you deserve. Here are a few acne myths debunked, and some products we recommend to help you treat and prevent minimal to mild acne.

Category: Health

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How to Change Habits

We all want to know what the best way is to change unwanted habits. Here’s some excellent advice from Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 1/1/15, “Advice Goddess” by Amy Alkon, 61E).
Duhigg states that, “Habit is a choice we deliberately make at some point, and then stop thinking about, but continue doing.” Alkon explains that research cites three components of habit which Duhigg describes as a “CUE (a feeling that triggers behavior), the ROUTINE (the behavior itself), and the REWARD (some sort of payoff that tells your brain to repeat the behavior because it was enjoyable).”

Category: Health

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How Antibacterial Soap Hurts My Child's Skin

While I usually prefer to focus on the positive health benefits of natural choices every once in a while we have to talk about some of the scary details you need to know to stay safe.
Winter is the season of dry hands, and not just for adults. Every winter Tru's hands get irritated by all the synthetic, triclosan-laden soaps that permeate public restrooms at stores and schools. As a mom and as an advocate for healthy, toxin-free skincare this makes me upset and with plenty of reason.
One of the prime takeaways is that children are one of the most at-risk groups for exposure to hormone disruptors like pthalates and parabens, both commonly found in antibacterial soaps along with triclosan.

Category: Health

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Drug Policy: Elitism Unites Russell Brand & Iain Duncan Smith

You would be forgiven for thinking that Russell Brand, that radical left-winger and advocate of revolution, and Iain Duncan Smith, Conservative secretary of state for work and pensions, didn’t have anything in common. But they do: their hatred for heroin substitute methadone. Brand and IDS come from opposite ends of the political spectrum. But in Brand’s BBC3 documentary End the Drugs War and IDS’s recent “personal” article in the Sunday Telegraph calling for the methadone industry to be in the sights of those fighting drug addiction show, they find common cause.

Category: Health

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Clinging To The Moment With An Open Heart

I started posting the first segments of what became "The Open Heart Series" in my "Personal Blog" in the weeks before I went to CU-Denver Hospital to have my chest sawed open and have my aortic valve replaced. Writing was a way to process what I was going through, including the massive fear I faced. Somewhere along the way, I realized it would be a good idea to consolidate the stories as much as possible, so that others facing a similar experience might benefit from an outline of what I went through.

Category: Lifestyle

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10 Things You Didn't Know About Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays a role in every system in the body, affecting your skin, brain health, bones, blood sugar, cholesterol, hormone balance, joint health, risk for cancer, and likelihood of developing autoimmune disease.
And that’s just the short list. But this post is not going into the myriad of benefits of vitamin D. I will instead getting you up to speed on some little known facts about this vitamin (and correct some common myths), to ensure you don’t become (or stay) vitamin D deficient.

Category: Health

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Many People Use Drugs: Why Most Aren't Addicts

Drug use is common, drug addiction is rare. About one adult in three will use an illegal drug in their lifetime and just under 3 million people will do so this year in England and Wales alone. Most will suffer no long-term harm. There are immediate risks from overdose and intoxication, and longer-term health risks associated with heavy or prolonged use; damage to lungs from smoking cannabis or the bladder from ketamine for example. However most people will either pass unscathed through a short period of experimentation or learn to accommodate their drug use into their lifestyle, adjusting patterns of use to their social and domestic circumstances, as they do with alcohol.

Category: Health

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Health Risks: Beneath Painted Beauty in Nail Salons

The desire for beautiful nails has fueled an entire nail salon industry that’s growing rapidly, with storefronts cropping up on every major street across the nation. Yet, the recent articles from the New York Times exposed an industry that’s left workers struggling both with unlivable wages and with damaged health. Everyone who enters a nail salon can be affected, yet the workers are the ones left entirely unprotected.

Category: Health

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Luminosity: How to Shine at Work

Most of us never consider “being a beacon” as a priority in our professional lives. Applications for employment don’t usually include “glowing, shining, and gleaming.”Luminosity means celebrating the Light of your soul, when you radiate and demonstrate the best of who you are. If this idea is beyond your normal comfort zone, please bear with me and allow yourself to step into the glow for a while.

Category: Health

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6 Reasons To Try Adding Butter To Coffee Or Tea

If you’ve been following the Paleo and Real Food movement for a while, you may have stumbled across people adding butter to their coffee.
Did I just say adding butter to coffee? Yes.
Many bloggers have reviewed the benefits to this practice, and while I don’t think it’s for everyone (or a cure-all by any means), I do think it’s helpful for a number of people. I'll review some of the reasons you might want to try it out for yourself.
Don’t knock it ‘til you try it

Category: Health

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Brain Defense: How Dissociation Helps Us Survive

Dissociation occurs when someone disconnects from some part of himself or herself or the environment. It can occur in a number of different ways, including disconnection from one’s emotions, body sensations, memories, senses, etc.
Dissociation is something we all do, and it is a vital part of our ingrained survival system. However, when a trauma occurs, sometimes this built-in system disconnects to a greater degree in an effort to protect the individual from traumatic material, body sensations, emotions, or memories that may be overwhelming.

Category: Health

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Feast then Famine: How Fasting Affects Stress

Intermittent fasting (also called alternate day fasting) has become a popular diet. In most versions of intermittent fasting, people fast or eat very little a few days each week and then eat normal amounts during the remaining days. Fasting is something that human beings have practiced throughout history, often out of circumstance rather than choice. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors were probably expert fasters, indulging in feasts in times of plenty, and then facing long periods of scarcity in between. With this in mind, it makes sense that our bodies' cells could perform well under the harsh conditions of feast and famine.

Category: Health

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Malaria & Epstein-Barr Virus: Lethal Combo

Epstein-Barr virus and malaria are two infections that can each be controlled on their own, but a new study in PLOS Pathogens shows that co-infection can perhaps become more lethal than each infection alone, providing one possible explanation for why young children are so much more vulnerable to severe malaria.

Category: Health

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Juice Does Not Equal Fruit

Word emerged last week that Health Canada was re-considering whether it should continue to view a serving of juice (125 ml) as being equivalent to a half cup of fresh/frozen fruit. I think this would be a wonderful development, and I believe that my own personal experience helps to explain why.

Category: Health

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The Guilty Pleasure of Watching Trashy TV

Many Americans have a conflicted relationship with the media they watch. In particular, those who think of themselves as “cultured” tend to have a negative view of certain “low-brow” contemporary television shows. Scripted shows like Two and a Half Men and Reign are described as “banal” and “dumb,” while the latest crop of “trashy” reality shows – The Bachelorette, Keeping Up with the Kardashians – are to be enjoyed only by “hate-watching” them. Nonetheless, these very same shows are watched by millions of people each week. The popularity (and profitability) of reality TV has reshaped the landscape of television. In fact, many TV producers are purposely making “bad” shows to appeal to a certain type of viewer.

Category: Health

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Mom, Dad: Meet My Eating Disorder

Anorexia is innately personal. It’s between you and your flesh, you and your bones. It’s a body count of one. It causes you to withdraw within yourself, to turn from our food-laden world and burrow into a space of so-called control. It’s not a plea for attention, but rather a plea for invisibility—an effort to disappear.
Well, no. Eating disorders are not that self-contained. As I’m learning, slowly and painfully, disordered thoughts and behavior can affect everyone close to you: relatives, colleagues, friends. For me, this drama has enacted itself most poignantly with my parents.

Category: Health

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30% of People with ‘Healthy’ BMI are Actually Obese

Although I’ve discussed this issue a number of times over the years, every now and then a new study comes out that provides further evidence of the limitations of body mass index (BMI) as a measure of health, or even adiposity (level of fat in the body). Recall that BMI is the most common metric used to assess body weight status, and to identify the presence of overweight and obesity. While it is great when used in epidemiological studies across thousands of people, it’s a pretty lousy measure on an individual basis. So why does it keep being used?

Category: Health

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Mindfulness: Finding Peace In The Midst Of A Storm

What do you do when you’re feeling anxious, depressed, or stressed out? How do you treat yourself? Are you able to be compassionate toward your own emotional pain, or do you engage in self-criticism, judgment, or blame?
For most of us, our initial reaction to pain is to look for someone to blame, to blame ourselves, or to ignore our suffering. Or we go to the other extreme, reacting to the world and ourselves through judgment, blame, or criticism. Neither of these approaches help us respond to our pain. One approach that does help is the practice of mindfulness.

Category: Health

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What’s the Best Way to Repel Mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes need blood to survive. And what better place to get a good meal than a slow, tasty human. Mosquitoes aren’t just annoying. Every year around 5,000 Australians get sick following a mosquito bite. Most commonly the infection is Ross River virus but there is annual activity of dengue viruses in north Queensland and there are occasional cases of the rare, but potentially fatal, Murray Valley encephalitis virus. Spraying insecticides may kill some mosquitoes around our backyards but it won’t completely protect us from mozzie bites.

Category: Health

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Breaking Bad Moods: 15 Self-Care Tips

We have all had a case of the blues. You know, those times in our lives where the world looks bleak and things just don’t seem to be going in our favor. No matter how hard we try to turn things around, it seems to end up as wasted effort and all we can do is throw our hands up and ask, “Why me?”
Finding yourself in a funk you cannot seem to shake? Here are 15 tips to transform your bad mood and learn from it in the process.

Category: Health

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How Countries Deal with Health Emergencies

Following the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, there has been a great deal of debate both in the United States and abroad about how countries deal with major public health crises. This included discussions about the difficulty of containing the virus in the countries hardest-hit by the epidemic and what preventative measures other countries could take. Here at the Law Library of Congress, we recently published a report, Legal Responses to Health Emergencies, which analyzes the regulatory frameworks for dealing with public health crises in 24 countries and at the international level. It also provides bibliographic information of recently published scholarly works on the subject.

Category: Health

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Be Kind To Yourself As You Would To A Friend

Imagine your best friend comes to you deeply distraught—her father died six months ago, and her mother’s health is rapidly deteriorating. She comes to you feeling sad, helpless to stop her mother’s decline, and angry at herself that she just can’t seem to get it together.
What would you say to her? Now, let’s shift gears. What if you were the deeply distraught friend?

Category: Health

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The “Good Enough” Workout

Ever notice how much more active you are in the spring/summer? You’re not alone. Research has shown that energy expended during leisure time activity is significantly greater in the warmer months of the year – at least in areas where a distinct four seasons are experienced. In the winter, when you can’t see past the snow outside your window, you’re more likely to reach for the TV remote (and that box of cookies) than to go for a walk outside.
Alas, it is time to get moving again. But how to overcome your feeble motivation?

Category: Health

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Inside a Depressed Person’s Head

While not everyone’s experience is the same, when people have a major depressive episode, generally the world looks, feels, and is understood completely differently than before and after the episode.
When this reality shift happens, it’s difficult to remember or believe what seemed normal before the episode. What the person believes during the episode seems absolutely real, and anything that conflicts with it is as unbelievable as a memory or message telling him or her that the sky is purple.
So what does a person whose reality has shifted in this way need?

Category: Health

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Salad Dressing Is Your Friend!

When I was a teenager, salad dressing was the enemy.

Sure I knew salads were the best choice for losing weight. But dressing, that evil temptress, tried her best to undo all the pain and suffering I just knew was necessary to get the body I wanted.

Salad dressing isn’t fattening or unhealthy. Yes it has calories, but you’re eating a freaking salad. You need some calories on there somewhere.

Category: Food

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Does Comfort Food Really Provide Comfort?

If “comfort” food didn’t really bring you comfort, would you be as likely to eat it or eat as much of it? We’ve come to believe that foods which are high in fat and sugar boost our mood by activating the brain’s reward system. But what if that’s not actually the case?

Category: Health

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5 Skin Benefits Of Eating Salad

Salad has often gotten a bad reputation. It is associated with the dieting girlfriend who won't order anything else, the long suffering vegetarian who can't find anything else to eat on a meat-heavy menu, and being used as a precursor to the "real" food in most meals. Many men wouldn't be caught ordering only a salad when eating out or even eating in. But all these salad stereotypes fail to celebrate the magnificence that salad is for your body and your health. What's more a properly structured salad can be the real nutritional powerhouse of a meal, offering a multitude of benefits to your good looks many cooked foods can't claim.

Category: Health

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Assessing Breast Cancer Risk: Beyond Angelina

Recently, I was part of a panel on Health Link with Benita Zahn, WMHT TV, to discuss the genetics behind the “Angelina Jolie effect” that has catalyzed testing for the BRCA mutations that increase risk for breast and ovarian cancer. It’s a tough assignment. A letter in the current People magazine referring to Jolie’s recent announcement of the removal of her ovaries, following a double mastectomy last year, illustrates how at least one person is misconstruing the genetics of Jolie’s situation: “How did she go about getting these types of tests and elective surgeries? It would be good to know if the same options are available for all women or if these procedures are something only afforded to the rich and famous.”

Category: Health

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Does Breastfeeding Increase IQ & Income?

The media loved the idea that breastfeeding improves intelligence. And, even better, that a breastfed baby earns more in adulthood. Who wouldn’t? There have been other studies saying breastfeeding raises IQ (and some that say not). The New England Journal of Medicine‘s JWatch has made its past comments on these studies available free. But this new study, from Brazil and published in The Lancet, attracted so much attention because it went on for more than 30 years, which made it seem particularly persuasive.

Category: Health

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My Story: Living With An Eating Disorder

I’m a good person, I matter, I’m surrounded by people who love me, my life is worth living. I recite these statements to myself, per my therapist’s recommendations, whenever I feel self-conscious or scared. I wish I was a confident, independent woman who knew what she wanted and who loved her body. But I’m not, and I don’t know if I will ever be that woman.
While I’ve started down the path to recovery, it’s a tough road. The path is much harder than I ever realized.

Category: Health

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Taming Triggers During Eating Disorder Recovery

Starting the process of recovery from an eating disorder is a life-changing decision, but it’s not without challenges. Sometimes, even when things are seemingly going great, an eating disorder can creep back into our lives and make us panic at the smallest reminder of old habits. Triggers are nasty little temptations that cause a recovering individual to lapse into old ways, or make them feel compelled to do so without actually following through.
To find your triggers and cope with them in healthy ways so they won’t interfere with your recovery goals, try some of these tips that have really helped me.

Category: Health

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5 Reasons to Ditch Low-Fat Salad Dressing

There are a lot of “rules” tossed around about healthy eating and I find myself disagreeing with most of them. Many of these “rules” are fabricated from half-truths or extrapolated from outdated nutrition dogma. Now some of these supposed rules are harmless, but sometimes I have to tackle the misinformation head-on because it’s just. so. wrong. So today, I’m doing just that with one of my least favorite “rules”.
“If you eat a salad with dressing, you cancel out the health benefits.”
“If you eat carrot and celery sticks with dip, it’s not healthy anymore.”
“Salad is only healthy if you use low-fat salad dressing.”
This is bogus and here’s why. (And I've included super quick and easy recipes too!)

Category: Health

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What You Need to Know About Mucus & Phlegm

We tend to notice mucus only when it’s abnormal and the sticky fluid is expelled from orifices. But actually it’s pretty amazing stuff. Every moment of our lives mucus is protecting our internal organs, including the sexual organs and bowels. Here, though, we’ll focus on the airways.

Category: Health

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Do Twelve-Step Programs Work?

Are 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous effective treatments for addiction? That long-time dispute has just popped up again, prompted mostly by an Atlantic article with the click-worthy title “The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous.”Gabrielle Glaser’s central argument is that there are other addiction therapies that work, but the 12-step programs are just not based on science. It’s a reasonable point historically. For one thing, many 12-step studies have tended to ignore a crucial problem in research design: selection bias. It’s reasonable to think that people in AA, NA, etc joined because they were especially motivated to quit. Members are probably not a random sample of addicts.

Category: Health

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Adventures in Stem Cell Land

Two weeks ago a neurologist asked me to blog about a US-based company that is offering stem cell treatments, because it had raised hopes among some of his patients. Intrigued because I cover “stem cell tourism” in my bioethics class and ask students to evaluate companies, I did a little poking around. I’m questioning what appears to be a strategy to deceive desperate and vulnerable patients by offering stem cell treatments under the guise of participating in clinical trials. The company name isn’t important, because I suspect many others are doing worse. But their strategy, which may well be legal, is unethical.

Category: Science

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Advergames vs Nutrition: Rewarding Fast Food?

Advergaming is a relatively recent approach to advertising that overcomes many of the limitations of traditional advertising. But advergames are increasingly being used by fast food companies to target children by rewarding play with unhealthy food products. A simple definition of an advergame is one that promotes a particular brand, product or message by integrating it into play.

Category: Health

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New Obesity Medication Now Available in Canada

The very first Obesity Panacea post was written back in November 2008. The topic of that post was the removal from the European market of an obesity medication that had been previously heralded as a potential panacea (but was never approved in US or Canada). That drug was rimonabant (Acomplia), an appetite suppressant that works by blocking the CB-1 receptors of the endocannabinoid system – the same system that induces the “munchies” in response to smoking cannabis.

Category: Health

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5 Emotions That Can Negatively Impact Skin

Studies show that our emotions can have both positive and negative affects on our bodies, including the appearance of our skin. The effects of your mood can lead to things like dryness, redness or acne, and certain emotions might even cause your skin to appear to age prematurely!
Let’s explore a few common emotions you may find yourself experiencing from time to time, how they affect your skin, and how to help reduce the impact on your skin.

Category: Lifestyle

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10 Best Grooming Tips For Men

Do you wake up in the morning wishing for a smooth face from a perfect shave? A shaving session can set the stage for the rest of the day, affecting your entire look and attitude. What is thought to be a quick and easy part of your daily routine, can easily lead to uncomfortable and unsightly skin irritations like razor burn, nicks and cuts and overall rough, dry skin.
Even if you’ve been shaving for years, we've created a shaving guide, full of tips and tricks that will help to achieve a smooth and close shave every time you pick up your razor.

Category: Lifestyle

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Ask Dr. Renee: Pap Smears

Pap Smears and Cervical Cancer - It can be tough to figure out what you need to know to keep yourself healthy. How early should you start screening, and how important is the HPV vaccine? Fortunately, Ask Dr. Renee has the information you need - for yourself, and for your kids.

Category: Health

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Eat Less Meat to Reduce Your Blood Pressure

A systolic/diastolic blood pressure >140/90 mmHg constitutes a diagnosis of hypertension. Across the blood pressure range from 115/75 to 185/115 mm Hg, every incremental increase of 20 mm Hg in systolic or 10 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure is associated with more than twice the risk of cardiovascular disease. Conversely, very modest reductions in blood pressure can lead to significant reductions in the risk of cardiovascular events. For example, as highlighted in the HOPE study, a 3 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure is associated with a 22% reduction in cardiovascular disease-related death, heart attack, or stroke over 4.5 years.

Category: Health

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The Fatter We Get, the Less We Seem to Notice

A significant number of overweight and obese individuals believe their body weight to be appropriate or normal and are satisfied with their body size. Misperception of overweight status is most common among the poor vs. wealthy, African Americans vs. white Americans, and men vs. women. The unfortunate consequence is that overweight individuals who perceive themselves to be of normal weight are less likely to want to lose weight in contrast to overweight individuals with accurate perceptions. Such individuals are also more likely to smoke, have a poor diet, and are physically inactive.

Category: Health

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Honey for Your Boo Boo

An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but honey may fight some infections. Bacterial cell walls are not only responsible for sustaining the cell’s shape but are also necessary for the bacteria’s growth, survival, and reproduction. A class of antibiotics called beta-lactams, which includes the familiar antibiotics penicillin and ampicillin, attack the cell wall’s proteins, causing the cell wall to fall apart and die. While this is effective for treating many common bacterial infections in people, microbes have long been developing resistance to antibiotic drugs, referred to as antibiotic resistance. In the race to protect ourselves from these bugs, scientists are looking for promising alternatives that may combat microbes with the same effectiveness as antibiotics.

Category: Health

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Sweetening Their Own Deal

Forty or 50 years ago, at least in the United States, tooth decay was seen as the major health problem associated with consumption of refined sugars. Back then, many dentists (probably unsuccessfully) warned patients away from sugar, and public health researchers sought ways to reduce the toll of caries, the most prevalent chronic disease in children and adolescents. Few, if any, were looking into the relationship between refined sugars and obesity or diabetes or heart disease. Now, in a remarkable piece of dental-political forensics, researchers at the University of California San Francisco have brought to light the forces that shaped oral-health policy in that era.

Category: Health

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Why Measles Isn’t Just an Anti-Vaxxer Problem

This post is dedicated to all the anti-vaxxers, vaccine choice proponents, and curious people everywhere who have wondered why parents who vaccinate are threatened by those who don’t. It’s also dedicated to the anti-anti-vaxxers, people who think that those who skip vaccines are weeding themselves out of the population. (Anti-anti-vaxxers, while I admit to laughing at some of your memes–OK maybe a lot of them–you’ll catch more flies with honey and understanding.)

Category: Health

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The Pre-Vaccine Era: The Diseases of Childhood

I had the injected Salk polio vaccine as a toddler, but by the time my sister crunched her pink sugarcube of oral polio vaccine years later, I understood why vaccines were part of life. Protect many and you protect nearly all, because the infection can’t spread. It’s just common sense. Vaccination especially protects kids with chronic diseases, like cystic fibrosis, who can’t be immunized, as well as babies too young to have been immunized. I posted my own “vaccine memories” last July, ending with research revealing a much more likely cause of autism than vaccines. For this post today, I asked a few friends about their memories of the diseases of childhood.

Category: Health

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Why Are Some Generic Drugs So Expensive?

More than eight out of every 10 prescriptions dispensed in the US is generic. This growth is due to a large number of top-selling drugs going off patent over the past decade, as well as innovations in the retail sector, such as Walmart’s US$4 generic program. Over this period, generic drug prices declined or held steady, saving American consumers tens of billions of dollars annually. But recently prices of some long-time generic drugs like digoxin (a heart medication), albuterol (for asthma) and doxycycline (an antibiotic) increased more than ten-fold over a very short period of time. This has prompted the Senate subcommittee on health and aging to investigate why prices for some generic drugs have risen so high, so fast.

Category: Health

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Concussions Aren’t Only A Medical Issue

The sports media has a fascination with concussions. Not only is there a huge volume of stories about the issue, but there’s also an urgency to the tone of the reporting. The heightened coverage has served to increase awareness of the concussion problem and encourage public debate about sport, health and safety.

Category: Health

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The ACA is another way to Ration Health Care

The Affordable Care Act has enabled millions of previously uninsured people to obtain health insurance at reasonably low rates and has fixed some of the most vexing – and unfair – peculiarities in the US commercial insurance market. It has eliminated lifetime coverage caps and denials for coverage because of pre-existing conditions, to mention just two of the most popular reforms.

Category: Health

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What is Gluten Intolerance?

Gluten intolerance covers a range of gut problems caused by ingesting proteins found in wheat, barley, rye and in some cases, oats. The three main groups affected are those with a direct sensitivity to gluten, coeliac disease and people who are allergic to wheat. Although symptoms can appear similar and the terms are often used interchangeably, gluten intolerance isn’t the same as coeliac disease.

Category: Health

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How Much Sleep Do We Need?

The amount of sleep adults need has once again come under the spotlight, with a recent Wall Street Journal article suggesting seven hours sleep is better than eight hours and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine drawing up guidelines surrounding sleep need.

Category: Health

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How To Save 2,000 kCal & Drop A Clothes Size

Want to drop a dress or pants size? Then losing five kilograms, or about 5% of your body weight will help that zipper start to close with ease. In case you need another reason, keeping a small amount of weight off in the long term can halve your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The challenge in shedding the excess kilos is how to minimize feelings of deprivation and suffering. One approach is to swap some of your usual food and drink choices to lower-kilojoule, but equally tasty, alternatives.

Category: Health

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Dr. Renee: Black Women & Heart Disease

I am sure you have heard about Star Jones and her heart scare; she has given her voice to the heart health fight. Perhaps you heard about Toni Braxton and her pericarditis. Thankfully, both these ladies found out what was wrong with their hearts and acted quickly to fix it and continue to have good heart health. According to the Mayo Clinic, more women die of heart disease than men each year. Even more disturbing are the statistics in the African American community.

Category: Health

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Ask Dr. Renee: Should I Freeze My Eggs?

Are you working the career of your dreams? Are you too busy to date? Are you having trouble getting married and starting a family? This is a scenario way to familiar to many women these days. We are so busy climbing the corporate ladder or building our businesses that we forget to have a family. This is where a big question comes to mind, when should I freeze my eggs? There are several factors to consider before freezing your eggs. Are you a good candidate, can you afford it and are there any options.

Category: Health

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More Doctors = More Competition & Antibiotics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two million people become infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria each year, leading to at least 23,000 deaths. And these infections cost a lot – US$20billion in extra health care costs each year. To combat the problem, the White House is requesting $1.2 billion in the 2016 budget for diagnostics, new antibiotics, outbreak surveillance – and stewardship, which is how antibiotics are prescribed and used.

Category: Health

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Whole Grains Are Better But No Panacea

Eating whole grain foods, such as oats and grainy breads, is better for health than refined grain foods such as white bread or pizza. But whole grains are also thought to have a role in inflammation.

Category: Health

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Calories In & Out: The Obesity Energy Gap

The prevailing notion about obesity is that if we just work out harder and eat a little bit better, then perhaps the obesity trend will subside in a few years. However, the key to really making a difference is food – the number of calories we eat is the most important factor in obesity. But changing the way people eat will take a very long time.

Category: Health

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5 Food Tips That Could Save Your Life After A Heart Attack

Every ten minutes in Australia someone has a heart attack. For 17% this will be fatal; the rest get a second chance. If you have had a close call, these five food tips will help get your health back on track.

Category: Health

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The Exclusive on Exclusion Diets

As a dietitian, I’ve often wondered what makes Australians embrace fad diets with such zeal. Of course, the lure of instant success and the so-called “science” behind such diets can sound very convincing. And with a growing number of people overweight, it’s little wonder record numbers have attempted some kind of diet at some stage. The simplest way to lose weight is to eat less and move more. But that’s not a very exciting message and we don’t tend to hear Hollywood stars claiming it to be the secret of their triumph.

Category: Health

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Does Mixing Drinks Cause Hangovers?

You’ve heard them before—“beer before liquor, never been sicker; liquor before beer, you’re in the clear” and “never mix the grape and the grain”. But do they actually work? This myth is about to get wasted.

Category: Health

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Everything You Need to Know About Coeliac Disease

The Neolithic Revolution introduced a whole range of new foods and proteins into the human digestive tract. But this phenomenal change created the perfect conditions for the rise of coeliac disease. While most proteins were readily consumed, some people’s immune systems struggled to tolerate others. Wheat was the first cereal to be widely domesticated, and in the case of the gluten protein from wheat, the result of this struggle was coeliac disease.

Category: Health

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Exploring 6 Popular Drinking Myths

Legends, tall tales, good stories, myths…whatever you call them, the drinking world is full of them. Here are a few favorites to debunk.

Category: Cocktails

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Should I Choose a Gluten-free Diet?

Is a gluten-free diet warranted by anyone but people with coeliac disease? There is no credible evidence grain-based foods cause disease. Nor is there any evidence gluten-free diets aid weight loss, though there is strong evidence to the contrary. While it’s certainly helpful for long-term health to reduce processed foods, grains form the staple foods of many societies and provide key nutrients. So why has this trend become so popular?

Category: Health

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If It Were Easier, Would We Buy More Fruit?

Everybody knows that eating fresh vegetables and fruits is good for you. At least, let’s assume, the majority of people do. But does this translate into action? We also know that knowledge is not enough. More importantly, does everybody react in the same manner to the same information? Who is more likely to make more concrete moves towards action? All these questions are relevant, because in practice, it will determine “how it works and under what context” for many interventions. But, given our human nature, as behavioral economist Dan Ariely points out, there is certain irrationality in not doing the ‘right thing’.

Category: Health

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Foods that Change your Risk of Cancer

If you believe cancer is a disease that strikes from nowhere with little in your control to prevent it, you’d be mistaken on both counts. Most cases of cancer are considered preventable by positive nutrition and lifestyle choices. Six new nutrition cancer prevention guidelines published today in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition reinforce some sound advice, but also include a surprise or two. So what do these six new cancer prevention recommendations tell us? And how much notice should we take?

Category: Health

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How Lena Dunham’s Real-life OCD made it onto ‘Girls’

How closely does a writer’s work mimic her life experiences? It’s a perennial question made all the more irresistible as it pertains to Lena Dunham, the 26-year-old creator of one of TV’s most talked-about shows, and her recently-revealed history of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
In the first season of HBO’s Girls, Dunham stirred up debate by, among other things, repeatedly revealing her less-than-perfect body while playing the show’s main character, Hannah Horvath. What got people talking as the second season progressed, though, was how serious the show seemed to be getting, especially with its depiction of Hannah coping with a resurgence of her OCD symptoms.

Category: Health

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What Can Beagles Teach Us About Alzheimer’s Disease?

The majority of studies to develop treatments for Alzheimer’s disease use mice that are genetically modified to produce human proteins with mutations. But these mutations are usually present in less than 5% of people with Alzheimer’s disease. This limitation can make it difficult to translate benefits of a treatment tested in mouse studies to people. However, there are several animals that naturally develop human-like brain changes that look much like Alzheimer’s disease, including dogs.

Category: Health

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The Challenge: Tricking Your Medication History

Ever have a hard time remembering to take your meds regularly? Now try tallying up all the psychiatric meds you’ve ever taken, their dosages and side effects. It’s harder than you might assume – especially as time goes on. When I was interviewing my peers for my book about growing up taking psychiatric meds, I started with what I thought was a basic question: Can you give me your medication history – which meds you’ve taken in the past, and for how long? I was shocked at how many people couldn’t answer the question with any confidence.

Category: Health

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When You Lose Weight, Where Does The Fat Go?

In the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle many of us might include weight loss as a personal goal. While many discussions are based on how to burn fat, do you ever wonder what happens to it when you are successful? When you lose weight, where does the fat actually go? The answer to this question may surprise you.
In fact, according to a recent British Medical Journal article discussing this issue, few health professionals, including doctors, dieticians, and personal trainers know the correct answer.

Category: Health

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The Paleo Diet and the Unprovable Past

We still hear and read a lot about how a diet based on what our Stone Age ancestors ate may be a cure-all for modern ills. But can we really run the clock backwards and find the optimal way to eat? It’s a largely impossible dream based on a set of fallacies about our ancestors.

Category: Health

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Are Saturated Fats As Bad As We Have Been Led To Believe?

A U.S. heart researcher looks set to inflame an argument over saturated fats. It has long been a health mantra that too much saturated fat like cheese and butter contributes to higher cholesterol and an increased risk of heart disease. But an editorial published in Open Heart suggests that saturated fats aren’t as bad as we have been led to believe.

Category: Health

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Overmedicated Kids? First Consider This

A recent and widely publicized study by researchers from The National Institute of Mental Health provides data on some -but not all – key measurements of youth medication use. Its main finding: Just one in seven teens with a diagnosable psychiatric conditions have recently taken medications to treat it. The study, which was published online in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, surveyed a large, nationally representative sample of more than 10,000 teens ages 13 to 18.

Category: Health

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A Look Back At Weight Loss Trends In The USA

As we enter this new year, many of us have made resolutions to spend more time with family, to volunteer, perhaps to stop smoking, and of course, to get fit and lose weight. The widespread desire to become healthier and shed those extra pounds is met with a plethora of weight loss products, programs, and gimmicks.
Weight loss is a popular topic, solidly proven by the number of dieting books in the Library of Congress collection. The term dieting first appeared in U.S. medical literature in the 1830s, but was mainly used in regard to foods and recipes for curing various conditions and ailments, not for weight reduction.

Category: Health

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Healthy or Harmful? It’s a Piece of Cake

The obesity epidemic is creating panic in the community, with media commentators expressing outrage at our widening waistbands and academics raising alarms about the health implications of carrying excess weight. Billboards – designed to shame – tell us to eat right, eat less, eat sensibly, count calories, exercise more, reduce fat, reject junk foods, and forget cakes, pastries and fries. But while we spin in a confusion of knowledge and directives, we may well be losing sight of all those good things that are embodied in a piece of cake.

Category: Health

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Concussions: What Parents Should Know

This fall, the deaths of three high school football players were linked to direct head injuries on the field of play and one collegiate football player’s death has been potentially attributed to unresolved post concussion syndrome. Even though these athletes were football players, any sporting or recreational events can pose a risk for concussions and head injuries.

Category: Health

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What’s Healthier, Butter or Margarine?

Butter gets points for taste—margarine for being easy to spread. But the healthiest option is not strictly called butter or margarine – it’s a “spread”.

Category: Health

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What to Eat and Avoid During Pregnancy

As soon as women announce, “I’m having a baby!” the congratulations are quickly followed by long lists of dos and don'ts about food. Try ginger for morning sickness. Avoid soft cheese because of listeria. Eat more meat to boost your iron. Eat this fish – but not that one, because of mercury. Discover some simple truths about what to eat and what to avoid when expecting.

Category: Health

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A Healthy Dose of Super Bowl Ads?

I finally realized that U.S. sports channels just aren’t going to bend to my will and start showing more rugby. The result of this is that I’ve been watching a lot of American football lately instead.
One thing I’ve always noticed when watching football is how many commercial breaks there are during the game. During televised rugby matches, you generally get ads only at halftime or if there happens to be a long injury break.
Of course, some ads have become highlights in themselves during the Super Bowl. Some could even be good for you! Maybe...

Category: Health

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Waiting Until You’re ‘Old Enough’ for Antidepressants

What’s it like to suffer from severe depression for as long as you can remember – and to be too scared to ask for help until age 18? Today I’m featuring the story of Allie, a 21-year-old college senior in Wisconsin who was ultimately diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Allie kept her unhappiness a secret and didn’t begin taking medication when she was old enough to ask for it without her parents finding out.

Category: Health

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Health Check: Is It Safe To Cut Mold Off Food?

Some molds make and release poisons, called mycotoxins, into the food that could, over time, make you very sick. Why they do it is not especially well understood but that doesn’t make it any safer. So, should we just cut it off?

Category: Food

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Does Alcohol Kill Brain Cells?

Do you ever wake up with a raging hangover and picture the row of brain cells that you suspect have started to decay? Or wonder whether that final glass of wine was too much for those tiny cells, and pushed you over the line? Well, it’s true that alcohol can indeed harm the brain in many ways. But directly killing off brain cells isn’t one of them.

Category: Health

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Are We Drinking More Than Our Ancestors?

Autumn is awash with alcohol, and not just because of the new vintage. Oktoberfest plays a part, too, the 16-day festival in Munich that we associate with massive beer mugs and plenty of debauchery. Its success has prompted copycat events around the world, from London to Ontario, Glasgow to Cincinnati. Such indulgence adds further fuel to the fear that we’re getting drunker than ever. But are we?

Category: Health

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How many calories do you burn by laughing?

I have been taking 3-hour classes with 18 other brave souls every weekend for the past month and a half. And it has been an absolute blast. On many occasions, I come home after class with my jaw sore from laughing so much. But I’ve also come home quite hungry and exhausted, which got me thinking: how many calories do we burn when busting a gut over something hilarious? Thankfully, researchers have previously addressed this issue, in what must have been an absolute blast of a study to run and participate in.

Category: Health

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Easy Ways to Live a Healthy Lifestyle

It seems that one of the resolutions that people always make is live a healthy lifestyle.
Whether it’s eating better, getting more exercise, or not really having a plan, this seems to be our joint goal. Hey, I’ve made this pledge to live a healthy lifestyle myself. Many times.
Getting into the habit of eating healthily and exercising regularly are both important parts of living a healthy lifestyle. It may be hard at first, but once you get into a routine of making healthier choices, it will become much easier.

Category: Health

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Simple Tips To Take Care Of Your Health

There are some great ways that you can make yourself feel better. You need to start looking at ways of looking better and feeling great. The best thing about this is that you don’t have to spend a fortune. Some simple lifestyle changes are all that is needed t take care of your health.

Category: Health

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Drinking and Weight Loss

Losing weight is hard. What’s even harder is losing weight if you enjoy a good drink. Alcohol is the number one source of “empty calories,” that phrase which implies even though it’s not real food, you will gain weight from consuming it. This is especially troublesome for a professional drinker. And when I say “professional,” I don’t mean that I am merely skilled at doing it and do it often, but that I do it for a living.

Category: Health

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How Long is Too Long for Antidepressants?

Young people spend too long on antidepressants without examining whether they still need them, a Duke psychiatrist argued in a recent New York Times post. The psychiatrist, Doris Iarovici, is almost certainly right that more young adults are taking these meds for longer these days than in the past. The problem is that we don’t have a very good idea of how many – or for how long. As a result, it’s hard to know how much concern is justified.

Category: Health

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More Aging Boomers, But Fewer Doctors

By 2030, the last of the Baby Boomer generation will have turned 65 years old, putting the population of “senior boomers” in the United States at approximately 71 million. Currently, only about 7,000 certified geriatricians – physicians specializing in the care of older adults – are practicing in the US. That’s about one geriatrician for every 10,000 of these expected seniors, assuming that the number of geriatricians remains stable.
However, the number of new trainees in the field of geriatrics is going down.

Category: Health

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Travel Sickness Prevention Tips

Whether I’m hiking in Phoenix when the thermometer reads 105° F; wandering on trails in the Adirondacks where poison ivy grows aplenty and where the water flowing in clean-appearing rivers can be laden with the parasite, Giardia; skiing at altitude in Colorado at Arapahoe Basin; or preparing for a trip to India, I always make sure that I’m prepared. Here are some key health problems you can encounter on your travels, and my recommendations on how to prevent them.

Category: Travel

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Skiing Safety Tips

Even with the most well-planned winter vacations, mishaps and misadventures can occur. Whether you’re skiing or snowboarding near your backyard or in the backcountry, you can have a collision with another skier or with a tree or other object, resulting in head trauma or other ills, such as a torn ligament or tendon. Here are some useful tips to stay safe this snow season.

Category: Travel

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Ups and Downs to Artificial Turf & More

When it comes to your health, you may feel like artificial items are always a negative. After hearing about artificial turf and woman’s soccer for a week, this morning I started thinking about other artificial stuff. Often, the biggest downside to something that is artificial, from a health perspective, is simply that people do not know everything that there is to know about these things as of yet. They are simply too new for all of the research to have been done.

Category: Health

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Celiac Disease: 10 Things You Might Not Know

May is Celiac Disease Awareness month. You probably hear a lot about celiac disease but how much do you know? Do you think gluten-free is blown out of proportion? Are some people eating this way as a fad? Maybe. But the reality is not many people understand what celiac disease is and how important it is to be aware of the symptoms. Before I get into the details, let me give you a quick overview of celiac disease and what it can do to your body.

Category: Health

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What Day of the Week do you Weigh the Most?

The 7 day week cycle has an impact on many of our behaviors. Take sleep, for example. During the week, we get up regularly at the sound of our alarm, but come Saturday, the alarm clock may be turned off and you allow yourself to sleep in. Your physical activity level is also likely to oscillate based on the day; individuals who actively commute to work may become more of a couch potato on the weekend. People may also be more likely to go out and have a few drinks over the weekend. All these behaviors can have an impact on a person’s energy balance, and subtly, on their body weight. And apparently, that’s exactly what happens.

Category: Health

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Crossing the Line and Crossfit

It’s a known fact that exercise is addictive. But CrossFitters – those who take part in CrossFit’s brutal workouts and stringent diet – are infamous for their fanatical devotion to their fitness philosophy. They can be found doing pull-ups and heavily weighted squats, flipping tires or hitting them with a sledgehammer, climbing ropes, tossing medicine balls, and “going Paleo.” The CrossFit movement has been labeled a cult – even a religion – and the movement’s popularity has skyrocketed; by 2014 there were 7,000 CrossFit-affiliated gyms (or “boxes,” as CrossFitters call them), up from just 13 in 2005. But, really, the zealousness of CrossFitters is not new.

Category: Health

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Mixing Meds & Alcohol: How Dangerous Is It?

Most psychiatric drugs bear some version of the warning: “Do not drink alcoholic beverages when taking this medication.” But that’s easier said than done, especially for young people. Teens and young adults face significant peer pressure to drink – and drink heavily. So, given these realities, what should young people – or older ones, for that matter – do when it comes to mixing meds with alcohol?

Category: Health

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About Pepper Spray: What You Need to Know

One hundred years ago, an American pharmacist named Wilbur Scoville developed a scale to measure the intensity of a pepper’s burn. I checked the Scoville Scale for something else yesterday. I was looking for a way to measure the intensity of pepper spray, the kind that police have been using. Commercial grade pepper spray leaves even the most painful of natural peppers (the Himalayan ghost pepper) far behind. It’s listed at between 2 million and 5.3 million Scoville units. The lower number refers to the kind of pepper spray that you and I might be able to purchase for self-protective uses. And the higher number? It’s the kind of spray that police use, the super-high dose given in the orange-colored spray used by Police.
Sounds dangerous - and it is.

Category: Health

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Dr. Salk and the Eradication of Polio

In 1953, approximately 35,000 new cases were reported. This was up from an annual average of 20,000 cases. The 1952 infections left 3,145 people dead and 21,269 with mild to disabling paralysis. However, even before the 1952 and 1953 outbreaks, labs had been worked diligently to find a cure for Polio. Relief finally came when Jonas Salk developed a vaccine.
But first, Salk had to show that the vaccine worked.

Category: Health

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Can You Build Ice Cream Tolerance?

Research suggests that those individuals who frequently eat a given highly palatable food derive less satisfaction from the subsequent consumption of that same food, such as ice cream. So how does that actually work?

Category: Health

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Concentrated Nutrition With Spirulina Algae

Spirulina, literally the most nutritious food known, is an edible blue-green algae used all over the world for its nutritional and medicinal qualities. It’s quite common for people consuming spirulina to experience a jump in energy and vitality. The reason is simple: spirulina is a powerhouse of nutrition. This conclusion is supported by well over 400 studies conducted in various scientific institutions around the world.

Category: Health

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How Ebola Kills

Ebola virus has a mere 7 protein-encoding genes, but the RNA that is its genetic material holds hidden information. And yet this 7-gene “infectious particle,” so streamlined it isn’t even a cell, isn’t even alive, can reduce a human body to a puddle, inner barriers dissolving into nothingness, within days.
How does Ebola virus, so much simpler than influenza, than HIV, do it?

Category: Health

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How to Spend 30 Minutes to Improve Your Health

It seems there is never enough time in the day, and this is often the reason people tend not to exercise even if they know they should. There are only 24 hours in a day and all of our daily behaviors can be broken down into three basic categories. Sedentary behaviors include any activity in which you aren’t active, such as sitting while watching TV, Active behaviors include walking, jogging, exercising, or even performing household chores such as cleaning, cooking, and vacuuming. Sleeping behaviors include naps and your nightly rest period. What health benefits can we gain by shifting our behavior for 30 minutes per day?
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Category: Health

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E-Cigarettes and the Challenge of Public Health

Recently, I was sitting in a meeting with some people, and during a lull in the conversation, they asked me:
“Hey, you’re in public health. What is the biggest problem you face?”
That’s a tough question.
Others might pick the more “sexy” health issues of the day such obesity or cancer, I’m going to go off the board. I think the biggest problem public health faces is Time. I’ll explain what I mean through e-cigarettes.
(CC BY 3.0)

Category: Health

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ADHD Meds: Getting the Childrens' Perspective

If you’ve followed much of the media coverage and commentary about ADHD medications in recent years, you might well assume that kids – some of them allegedly not even meeting the criteria for ADHD – were being drugged by parents, doctors and schools eager for a “quick fix” for disruptive behaviors and sub-par academic performance. Shockingly absent from the debate is any discussion of how the kids themselves feel about their meds. Academic research on the subject is sparse, and often not limited to ADHD medications in particular... until now.
Article Courtesy PLOS Blogs Network
(CC BY 4.0)

Category: Health

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Exercise Protects You From Stress

There are few of us who can honestly say they are not stressed out at least some of the time. Too much to do, not enough time, looming deadlines, financial concerns, health problems, etc. can all cause us to feel on edge. So what effect, if any, does exercise have on the negative impact of psychological stress on cellular aging?
Exercise protects you from stress is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Category: Health

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BMI Says Nothing About Your Health

If you go to your physician’s office and inquire about your weight status, he or she will measure your height and weight to derive your BMI (weight in kg divided by height in m squared). But how useful is this measure anyways? What does it tell you about your health? And finally, how helpful is it to measure when assessing the effect of a lifestyle (diet/exercise) intervention?

Category: Health

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Prostate Cancer Screening: Is It Necessary?

It’s pretty much conventional wisdom among the experts that routine prostate cancer screening for the prostate-specific antigen can cause more harm than good. The recent results of the European study of routine PSA screening after 13 years of follow-up, also viewed population PSA screening with a jaundiced eye–even though its data showed that screening reduced the death rate from prostate cancer by about 20%.
How can your average aging man cope with that kind of seeming contradiction–and from the so-called experts too? We'll break down what all the numbers really mean, so you can decide for yourself.

Category: Health

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Why Addiction is NOT a Brain Disease

Addiction to substances (e.g., booze, drugs, cigarettes) and behaviors (e.g., eating, sex, gambling) is an enormous problem, seriously affecting something like 40% of individuals in the Western world. Attempts to define addiction in concrete scientific terms have been highly controversial and are becoming increasingly politicized. What IS addiction?

Category: Health

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Ayurvedic Medicine: A History

Similar to the origins of Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine has both mythological and historical beginnings. According to myth and religion, the god, Brahma, was in charge of creation while the god, Vishnu, was responsible for preserving creation, and the god, Shiva, had the ability to destroy creation. All of these gods represented one Ultimate God and created the first man, Manu.
This NoteStream covers the rich and ongoing history of Ayurvedic Medicine from this very early legend all the way to its modern day role as the largest medical organization in the world.
Excerpted from the book Vitality Fusion: A Comparative, Interactive Survey of Western, Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine. © Copyright 2013 amzn.to/YPo6Ay
Originally posted in TheMindfulWord.org: bit.ly/1uaWen5 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Category: Health

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Liver & Gallbladder Cleansing

I don’t think anyone really knows how many functions the liver performs on a day-to-day basis: anywhere from 190 on up, depending on what book you read. Just a few of the liver’s major functions, include the breakdown of every carbohydrate, protein, and fat entering the body; the detoxification of all poisons; the breakdown of all hormone residues; and the arranging and rearranging of proteins into amino acids and amino acids into proteins.
The liver can become congested from an intake of toxic and fatty foods, overindulgence of alcohol and drugs, overeating, constipation, and physical and emotional trauma. How do you know if your liver is sluggish? And what do you do about it?

Category: Health

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Introduction to Crystal Healing

Crystals and the rocks that enfold them are reborn star matter, created and recreated by a variety of processes, each of which affects how energy is able to flow. Some crystals solidified from gases, others dripped into being and some were ground up and reformed in layers. A few were created so fast they lack internal crystalline structure. The rock on which you live, or on which a building or a sacred site is situated, has a profound effect on how energy moves through the Earth and on your physiology.
We'll cover the creation of and types of crystals, their healing strengths, the basics of dowsing and the importance of Chakras.

Category: Health

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Cancer Awareness and the Ribbon Rainbow

The first disease to get an awareness ribbon was AIDS. Jeremy Irons famously woreone at the 1991 Tony awards, a handmade gift from a group called Visual AIDS. They were, in turn, inspired by yellow ribbons for soldiers. Other colors and causes followed suit, and the New York Times declared 1992 the Year of the Ribbon.
In October, you can buy pink products everywhere, watch pink-accented football games, or endure ridiculous facebook stunts in the name of awareness. But what good does “awareness” actually do?

Category: Health

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Curiosity Boosts Memory and Learning

The more curious we are about a topic, the easier it is to remember not only information about that topic, but also other unrelated information shown at the same time.
It seems that in the curious mind, more information is taken in no matter the subject!
This story is published courtesy of https://theconversation.com/curiosity-changes-the-brain-to-boost-memory-and-learning-32296 - The Conversation
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/ CC BY-ND 4.0)

Category: Health

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A Tale of Halloween Poison

I grew up on a dead-end street in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where remnants of swampy forest surrounded the old wood-frame homes. It was, in fact, the perfect setting for a haunted Halloween night. And there was this one house, you know, where the yard was so dense with bush and tree that it could barely be seen through its thicket of shadow. To trick-or-treat, you walked up the dark sidewalk toward a faint glow on the front porch, just the one lit window.
The psychopath at the door is an urban myth. Most of the poisonous Halloween stories turn out to be mistakes or far more personal tragedies. The biggest poison outbreak – linked to Halloween of 1950 – was simply caused by orange food coloring used by candy manufacturers. Could it happen again?

Category: Health

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