August 15-21, 2010 - Original Health Articles

Could You Be Taking the Wrong Medication?

Consider the following scenario: You go to your doctor because you don't feel well. He performs a routine check-up and determines the only remedy to your ailment is a specific medication. He writes the prescription, which you then give to your pharmacist and begin the drug regimen.

What to Expect During a Stress Test

If you're experiencing chest pains, shortness of breath or abnormal changes in your heart's rhythm, your doctor may recommend that you have a stress test. Stress testing lets your doctor know how your heart behaves during physical stress and is usually used to help diagnose coronary heart disease (CHD), also known as coronary artery disease.

7 Ways to Combat Asthma and Stress

The link between asthma and stress has long been recognized, and both psychological and physical causes of stress can affect your respiratory system. For instance, self-esteem issues, depression, anger, anxiety, illness, fatigue, and even side effects from medication can all affect your breathing and, in some cases, leave you wheezing.

Could You Be Allergic to Breastfeeding?

There are many benefits nursing can bring, such as a special bond with your newborn and a boost to his immune system. However, for a few women, the very act of breastfeeding can put their own health at risk,as it's possible that nursing can trigger mild allergy symptoms or even a serious anaphylaxis reaction.

What Type of Mattress is Best for Arthritis Sufferers?

Buying a new mattress can be a big undertaking for anyone. But for someone with arthritis, the right mattress can mean the difference between a pain-filled night and a comfortable one. So, how do you know which kind to choose? Here, some things to consider before walking in the store: Be prepared to spend.

6 Tests All Men Need

Most men are more likely to get a tune-up for their car than they are a checkup for themselves. While the stereotype may be true in many instances, those who go to the doctor for regular visits tend to have longer, healthier lives.  Here, six tests every male should undergo so you don't let your health take a backseat.

Soy Products May Help Lower Blood Pressure

Although the data are inconclusive, soy products have long been touted as an important addition to the diet to keep bones strong, alleviate menopausal symptoms, and even help protect against certain cancers. Now, findings from a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine show that eating just a half-cup of soy nuts each day may work as well in reducing high blood pressure as anti-hypertension medication, and may also be beneficial in lowering cholesterol.

Sex Education vs. Abstinence-Only Education

The statistics are sobering. Three in 10 girls get pregnant at least once by the age of 20. Six in 10 teens who say they've had sex wish they'd waited, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Furthermore, teens have the highest rate of sexually transmitted diseases among sexually active Americans.

Don t Let Chronic Pain Tax Your Finances

Expenses for treating chronic pain can really add up. There are doctor's appointments, therapy appointments and prescriptions. But for people who live with chronic pain, relief is priceless. How do you balance the benefits of  treatment against the costs? Read on for ideas for making treatment more affordable.

5 "Super" Foods for Asthma

You probably have a list of foods to avoid because they can worsen your asthma symptoms. Fortunately, there are foods you should eat that will help to alleviate your asthma. Foods for Asthma Benefits There's no magic recipe to reverse this chronic condition.

Are You a Mosquito Magnet?

As beautiful as summertime weather may be, the truth is that the warm weather brings a variety of annoyances: poisonous plants, fire ants, bees, and spiders, to name a few. One particular annoyance to many of us is the mosquito. Rare is it that you can enjoy a barbeque or outdoor party without one of these blood-thirsty critters taking a bite out of you.

Testosterone Gel and Heart Risks

If you suffer from hypogonadism (also known as "male menopause"), you're most likely looking to reverse the symptoms. The decreased energy and libido, infertility, erectile dysfunction, and muscle weakness associated with the condition can certainly be tough to cope with; however, one of the most commonly prescribed treatments may put you at risk for issues far more serious than any symptom of hypogonadism.

How to Maintain a Gluten-Free Diet

If you suffer from celiac disease (CD), you are not alone. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, about 1 in 133 (or more than two million) people in the U.S. have CD. Yet as common as CD is, it often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed because many of its symptoms are similar to those of other diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and diverticulitis.

6 Steps to Manage Your Anger

Traffic, long lines at the grocery store, a disagreement with your spouse, workplace conflict. The list of triggers that can make us angry is endless. Anger is a normal emotion and a natural response to real or perceived threats. Angry feelings can range from mild irritation to intense rage.

3 Factors that Affect Birth Control Effectiveness

Whether you're on the pill, have an IUD, or use condoms, you need to be extra vigilant about your birth control method in order to maximize its effectiveness. Forgetting to take a pill or buying a cheap condom can result in an unwanted pregnancy. "When you average out all types of birth control, there is about a 3 percent failure rate," says Jennifer Wu, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Understanding Arthritis-Related Numbness

While arthritis typically causes pain and stiffness, some sufferers experience numbness in affected areas as well. What causes this numbness, and how can it be alleviated? Typically, if you are experiencing numbness anywhere, it's due to a pinched nerve.

Eat these 9 Foods to Look Better Naked

Whether your goal is to look better naked or look better with your clothes on, eating the right foods is key.  According to the book, Look Better Naked! The 6-Week Plan to Your Leanest, Hottest Body -- Ever!, written by Women's Health magazine editor-in-chief Michele Promaulayko, certain foods can help you lose weight, burn belly fat, tone muscle, and make your hair and skin glow.

How to Blow Dry the Healthy Way

Whether you blow dry your hair daily or just for special occasions, your goal is to look your best. But all your efforts will be in vain if you end up harming your hair. Here's a run-down of ways this popular practice can mess up your tresses—plus steps you can take to minimize the damage.

How to Choose the Right Sports Bra

Whatever the sport, it helps to have the right equipment.  For women, part of that means a good, supportive sports bra.  Normal hormonal cycles can cause breasts to be more sensitive during certain times of the month.  Ligaments that support breast tissue can get stretched and inflamed.

Keeping Your Cool in a Negative Work Environment

A study of the effect of work environment on employee mental health found that a negative environment, defined in the study as poor team climate, was significantly associated with depressive disorders and antidepressant use. Today's work environment is unquestionably stressful, and many employees-maybe even you-bring their fears, anxieties, and worries to work with them, where they tend to spread like wildfire.

How to Choose the Proper Diabetes Diet

"What should I eat?" That's the most common question that newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics ask when they visit Adee Rasabi, RD, CDN, CDE, senior dietitian of the Ambulatory Care Network at New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. Her answer? "A diabetic diet is all about healthy eating," Rasabi says.

Should You Be Worried About an Abnormal Pap Smear?

When your doctor says, "We need to talk about your Pap Smear," it's natural to jump to the wrong conclusion.  Worst case scenario: Your abnormal pap smear means cervical cancer.  More likely scenario? Something else is going on that's far less scary.

Dementia Risk Higher if Spouse Has It

You may always have believed that dementia was an internal process, triggered by unknown changes in the brain and perhaps genetically determined. But external factors can contribute as well. For instance, did you know that people who care for spouses...

Scratch the Itch of Allergic Conjunctivitis

You may love the color pink, except when it's used to describe your eyes. When your eyes feel particularly raw and uncomfortable at times, seasonal triggers can be to blame for causing allergic conjunctivitis. Allergic conjunctivitis often looks and feels very similar to bouts of infectious pink eye you had as a child; however, when the cause is allergies, it requires a different strategy to prevent and treat symptoms.

Do Supplements Really Promote Mental Health?

For every news report touting the mental or physical health benefits of a supplement, there is another discrediting it, or, worse, warning that it is dangerous. With so many conflicting reports and persuasive marketing promotions, how do you know if what you read is true-or just hype? The reality is that it's difficult to evaluate mental health claims on supplements, which may include vitamins, minerals, herbs, and certain food products.

Does a Loved One Have a Painkiller Addiction?

No one wants to become addicted. Most people who develop an addiction to prescription drugs and painkillers start out simply dealing with pain. Maybe they had surgery, migraines or have a chronic condition. Whatever the cause, pain medication helps. Over time however, it takes more and more medication to ease the pain and not all the pain is necessarily physical.

How Much Tanning is Too Much?

Despite all the warnings about the link between the sun and skin cancer, many people still try to get--and keep--a tan. So that prompts us to ask the question: How much tanning is too much? If you are one of the many people addicted to sun tanning (yes, it is addictive), the answer will disappoint you.

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