April 15-21, 2011 - Original Health Articles

A New Generation of Food Festivals

Looking for a healthy meal? Look no further than your local fairgrounds. That's because if you want to see just how good a fresh vegetable or wholesome grain dish can taste, it sometimes helps to experience the cuisines of other countries. And where better to do that than at an ethnic or international food festival? There, if you choose right, you have an opportunity to think globally, eat locally, and try some above-average "street food.

Excessive Hair Growth: Getting to the Root of the Problem

Women love thick hair; that is, unless it grows in places they don't want it to. Eight percent of women have unwanted hair growing on their upper lip, chin, cheeks, neck, arms, abdomen, or back. Hair growth in these areas is common for men, but when it happens to women, many search for hair removal solutions.

Are Dietary Supplements Good for Your Heart?

Although the shelves of your local pharmacy or health food store may be lined with dietary supplements claiming to provide a heart health benefit, there is little scientific evidence to support those claims. To the contrary, one recent large, placebo-controlled randomized study of vitamin E actually failed to show any benefit on heart disease.

Should You Get the Shingles Vaccine?

Remember that bout with chicken pox you had as a kid? You probably spent a good deal of time soaking in a baking-soda bath and trying not to scratch those itchy lesions. Fortunately, the infection cleared up with no long-lasting effects, right? Wrong! If you've ever had chicken pox, you're at risk of getting a related disease called shingles as you get older.

New Asthma Management Tools: Apps, GPS and Other Electronic Devices

Thanks to the latest technology, you have the ability to stay in touch with friends, browse the Internet, and listen to your favorite songs all on one device. But did you know that you can also use your smartphone to manage your health? There are a number of innovative apps currently underway that can make monitoring your asthma, identifying what's triggering your symptoms, and communicating with your doctor easier than ever.

Are Brown Foods Really Better?

Whether it's an egg, a loaf of bread, or a type of sugar, brown foods somehow seem healthier, more natural. But are they? If a baked good is brown because it is made with whole-grain flour, rather than all-purpose white, then brown is usually better.

Do You Sweat Excessively While You Sleep?

Everybody sweats. It is a natural response to heat, and it helps you maintain a normal body temperature in sweltering conditions. Excessive sweat is another story, however, especially when the air is cool and there is no other apparent reason. If that's the case, your night sweats may be linked to a more serious health condition.

Marriage and Fitness: An Improbable Pair?

Can marriage be bad for your health? Maybe, if you let it keep you out of the gym.  According to new research, single men and women are in slightly better shape than married men and women.   A new study reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology, followed  6,900 men and 1,971 women for just over three years at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas.

Can Folic Acid Increase Your Asthma Risk?

If you've ever been pregnant, you've probably taken daily folic acid supplements to safeguard the health of your unborn baby. But did you know that in the process, you could have been increasing your child's risk of developing asthma? Folic Acid in Pregnancy Taking folic acid in pregnancy has long been recognized for its protective action in preventing serious neural tube defects, including a condition called spina bifida.

11 Tips for Sleeping on a Plane

Have you ever gotten on an aiplane and watched, with more than a little envy, as your seatmate buckled up and fell fast asleep, just minutes after take-off? If you don't sleep easy in your own bed, you may have an especially hard time hunkering down on a plane.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia: What's the Difference?

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia are often poorly understood diseases that may be confused with one another. In the medical community they're generally acknowledged to be two separate conditions, but many experts believe they are nevertheless part of the same underlying disorder.

How an Allergist Can Help You

You take your car to a qualified mechanic when you need maintenance or repairs, don't you? But do you also seek out the same excellent level of care when it comes to your health?  If you're coping with allergy symptoms, it's important to rely on the expertise of an allergist who's specifically trained in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the immune system.

What to Do When You're Having an Asthma Attack

If you suddenly found yourself in the middle of a full-blown asthma attack, would you know what to do? The answer to that question could be the difference between life and death. Make an Asthma Action Plan If you've been diagnosed with asthma, you've probably worked with your doctor to develop an asthma action plan that provides important steps to help you prevent and treat this chronic respiratory condition.

Nip Flower Allergies in the Bud

A bouquet of flowers may put your allergies in full bloom, but you don't have to forego a pretty vase of buds on your table or steer clear of a garden all summer long. There are a host of flower types you can enjoy without an unpleasant allergic reaction.

Vitamins and Minerals: Too Much of a Good Thing?

Can taking extra vitamins be too much of a good thing? Yes. In fact, overloading on vitamins and minerals is easy to do and can be dangerous.  Vitamins and minerals are essential for keeping your body strong, fit and healthy. Most of us run the risk of not getting enough if we don't eat the right foods.

Could Acupuncture Help Treat Diabetes?

You try to get some exercise (most days), you eat right (no extra desserts for you!), and you take whatever medications your doctor recommends. Chances are that your doctor has never mentioned acupuncture as a way to improve your diabetes, though. So far, this ancient form of Chinese medicine is not exactly a standard treatment for the disease.

3-D Mammograms: Pros and Cons

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved the first system for digital mammography. The FDA reports that in pre-clinical studies, 3-D mammography was seven percent more accurate than traditional mammography. 3-D Mammography 3-D mammograms, or digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), overlays 3-D optical mammogram images with x-ray images.

Breaking the Fast-Food Cycle

In today's fast-paced world, most Americans rely on fast food every now and again. But for many U.S. citizens, these foods are more than just an occasional indulgence--at least 25 percent eat from popular chain restaurants every day, according to Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation.

In Utero and Infant Exposure to X-Rays

Last month's report published in the British Medical Journal may be giving x-ray technicians and doctors reason to hesitate before ordering diagnostic radiation. The recent study of children in The United Kingdom (England and Wales) examined childhood cancer risks associated with exposure to x-rays and ultrasound scans both in utero and early infancy (age zero to 100 days) In the study, Preetha Rajaraman, PhD, of the U.

A Really Good Reason to Floss

If you need one more reason to take good care of your teeth and gums, here it is. Periodontal disease is linked to breast cancer. In a recent study, researchers found that women were 11 times more likely to develop breast cancer if they were missing teeth or had gum disease.

Car Seat Update: Backwards Is Better

Traveling by car just got safer for your most precious cargo. As of March 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has officially changed its position regarding car seats. Parents are now strongly advised to keep children in rear-facing seats until they are at least two years old.

Is Meditation Good for Your Heart?

According to several studies, the answer is yes. A study presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association found that the mental relaxation produced by the practice of transcendental meditation (TM) may provide physiological benefits. Researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, followed about 200 high-risk patients for an average of five years.

Tune-In: The Healing Power of Music

The healing power of music has been well known for as long as men and women have played and enjoyed. Music's effect on the mind and body has been utilized as an official health discipline has played an important role in pain management and healing since World War I.

Could Reflexology Remedy Your Symptoms?

Could the key to good health be all in your feet? According to patients and practitioners of reflexology, the remedy for many symptoms, illnesses and conditions is one touch away. Could reflexology help you?  Reflexology is an ancient healing practice of applying pressure with the thumbs and fingers to dozens of specific points mapped out in the feet, hands or ears that correspond with other body parts.

Could You Have Treatment-Resistant Depression?

While antidepressant medications generally provide significant relief from depression, 10 to 30 percent of patients find their symptoms persist. Some patients experience only minimal improvement; others find their symptoms don't subside at all or return after a brief improvement.

Building Relationships After Depression

Many things can temporarily derail a relationship, including an episode of depression. Although mental health issues can take a toll on your relationship with your spouse, children, extended family, friends, and coworkers, they do not have to cause permanent damage.

Making Sense of Mixed Signals

If your partner frequently says one thing when he means another, or acts in one way only to behave in a completely different fashion later, you may question his sincerity. Before mixed signals start causing your relationship to unravel, keep in mind the following considerations: 1.

Genetically Modified Foods: The How, What, and Why

Since 1994, foods that have been genetically modified have been sold in supermarkets all over the United States and, whether you know it or not, you've probably been eating them. Genetically engineered food crops have been a subject of debate since they first appeared on the market in the early 1990's.

Updated Heart Guidelines for Women

Earlier this year, the American Heart Association (AHA) updated its cardiovascular prevention guidelines for women, which take into account what works best for women in the "real world" settings as opposed to findings from clinical trial research. First...

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