August 22-31, 2011 - Original Health Articles

How to Handle National Grief

Everyone handles personal grief in an individual way, processing it at a different pace as they struggle to cope. But nationwide grief following a horrific tragedy such as the events of 9/11 is anything but private. National grief and mourning like what gripped the country after 9/11 is different from grief experienced on a personal scale.

Breathe Deep: Two New Diabetes Tests on the Horizon

Two new tests could allow you to assess your pre-diabetes risk and monitor your blood sugar, all with just a puff of breath. Pre-Diabetes Breath Test Someday soon you may be able to accurately predict your diabetes risk without a single finger prick.

Avoiding Nightshade Vegetables May Help Improve Arthritis

Surf any arthritis message board and you're likely to come across people who swear that avoiding certain foods helps them manage their symptoms. Among the flare-triggering culprits are the so-called nightshade vegetables. This group of vegetables includes potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and a handful of less common foods such as tomatillos and pimientos.

Menu Diversity May Be a Recipe for Obesity

They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, but perhaps menu monotony is the way to keep his heart healthy. New research suggests repeated exposure to a food may be what's needed to reduce excess consumption of it. A study conducted by researchers from the University of Buffalo and the University of Florida compared the behavior of two groups of obese and non-obese women.

3 Ways to Scratch Cat Allergies

You love your cat with all your heart, but if you suffer from pet allergies, the object of your affection could cause episodes of sneezing, coughing, itching, and wheezing. If the misery is more than you can bear, know that you can take action. Best Approaches to Treat Cat Allergies If you won't consider parting with your pet but don't want to suffer indefinitely, that's okay.

Pass on Salt? Maybe Not

A 2011 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association questions the body of evidence showing that a low-salt diet decreases the risk of heart disease. The observational study included 3,681 middle-aged Europeans who did not have high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease at the start of the study.

Mammograms vs. Treatment: What's Working?

For years, women have been inundated with messages that early detection of breast cancer saves lives. Yet, there's a substantial body of evidence that this is not the case. The Other Side of the Mammogram Picture Researchers have found that breast cancer rates increase significantly in countries after women begin undergoing regular mammograms.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

If the room is spinning and you don't know why, you may have a condition known as BPPV, or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. This unpleasant malady strikes many in middle age, and the cause isn't always known. The good news is that it's rarely serious, but the bad news is that it can make getting out of bed and going about your day an exercise in fighting nausea and trying to keep your balance.

How to Find Your Body's Best Bedtime

Early to bed, early to rise? That's good. Late to bed, late to rise? For some people, that's good too. Your body's best bedtime is the time that works best for you. The best time to go to bed is the time that ensures you get enough sleep before you have to get up each day to go to work or school or take care of your home life.

Can Asthma Lead to Lung Cancer?

According to scientists from the University of Missouri, asthma can put you at an increased risk for lung cancer. There's no need to panic though, because other experts don't think that the study findings are strong enough to identify any real cause and effect.

Could High Heels Cause Migraines?

Many women are willing to invest their entire paychecks and suffer a few blisters in order to walk in a much-coveted pair. There's been much talk recently about the possibility that wearing high heels could be connected with getting migraines—a debilitating headache that causes throbbing pain and sensitivity to sound and light.

Foods That Trigger and Relieve Migraines

If you live with frequent headaches or migraines, it's important to know what's causing them and what stops them.  Sometimes it's all about what you eat.  Thirty-six million Americans suffer from migraine headaches. Countless more suffer from frequent headaches, which might be less severe than migraines, but can be debilitating nonetheless.

Suspect a Loved One Is Suicidal? 6 Essential Steps

  Suicide is a serious health and social problem. More than 30,000 people commit suicide annually. Men, seniors, divorced adults, and young people (age 10 to 24) are most likely to be suicidal. Being confronted with a loved one who is considering suicide is frightening and distressing, and you may be at a loss as to what to do.

Wheatgrass Juice: Contender or Pretender?

Wheatgrass is sold as a juice, a pill, a powder and, in some greenmarkets and natural foods stores, a potted plant. Touted as a "living food," wheatgrass juice first became popular in the 1950's, when a self-proclaimed "natural healer" began to promote the benefits of consuming green vegetables, herbs, and wild weeds.

Krill Oil: Better Than Fish Oil?

Fish oil is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, but is Krill oil even better? Several studies say "yes." Krill are tiny shrimp-like crustaceans that live on the bottom of the ocean. They're the primary food source for many species of whale, manta and shark.

Kangoo Jumps: The Latest Fitness Craze

Looking for a fun, new way to get in shape? Then bounce on board the latest fitness craze: Kangoo Jumps. Kangoo Jumps are a type of fitness boot attached to a spring system and designed for rebound exercise. Rebound exercise is usually performed on a trampoline.

10 Easy Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol

Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States with about 2,200 Americans dying from the problem each day. Too much LDL ("bad") cholesterol or not enough HDL ("good") cholesterol in your blood can put you at risk for coronary heart disease, heart attack, or stroke.

Shop More, Live Longer?

Need an excuse to go shopping? How about this one? Recent research suggests it may actually be good for you. Taiwanese researchers published a study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health that states people who shop frequently may live longer than people who don't shop at all or shop infrequently.

Kimchi: Why Is It All the Rage?

Fermented cabbage teeming with bacteria hardly sounds like a healthy food. Then why are so many people eating it? "Fermented" may not be the first word that comes to mind when you think about or describe your favorite foods, but yeast breads, aged cheeses, apple cider, wines, beers, yogurt, dry salami, and sauerkraut are all fermented.

Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer? Your Treatments Options

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men. In 2011, almost 241,000 men will be diagnosed with this disease. Before you make decisions about treatment, it's important to understand your options. Standard Treatment When deciding which treatment is best, oncologists consider several factors: your age, the stage of cancer at diagnosis, whether it's causing symptoms, your overall health, and your personal preferences.

Do You Really Need to Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day?

For years now, the conventional wisdom has been to drink eight glasses of water a day if you want to maintain good health. But is that really true? According to Heinz Valtin, MD, a retired professor of physiology from Dartmouth Medical School, the answer is no.

In the Kitchen With Arthritis

If arthritis pain bothers you, you may have all but given up on cooking and baking. All that slicing, stirring, and lifting may just feel like too much some days. But there are ways to get back in the kitchen and take part in the joys of creating—and eating—your own food.

How Smoking Causes Cancer

There's no question about it: smoking causes cancer. In fact, smoking is responsible for almost 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths, and lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. Roughly 22 percent of cancer deaths in women, and 45 percent in men, are directly attributable to personal smoking habits.

Early-Aging Disease Offers Clues to Normal Aging

Progeria is a disease that causes children to experience symptoms normally connected with advanced old age, such as hardening of the arteries, joint stiffness, hair loss, and skeletal deformities. Children with the condition typically die in their teens, usually from cardiovascular problems.

Early Music Boosts Mental Sharpness for Life

Researchers at Emory University in Atlanta now believe there is a link between musical training in childhood and mental acuity in old age. To date there's been quite a bit of research exploring the cognitive benefits of musical activity and children but this is the first study to explore whether those benefits extend across a lifetime.

The Link Between Your Relationship and Your Health

Saying "I do" may have more effect on your health than you might expect. Humans are social creatures and we need close, intimate relationships. Research shows that people in stable, supportive marriages are generally mentally and physically healthier than couples in relationships fraught with conflict.

Full vs. Empty Stomach: Which is Better for Exercise?

Which is better: running on full or running on empty? We're talking about the fuel you put in your body. There's a lot of confusion about eating and exercise. Some studies say you'll burn more fat if you exercise on an empty stomach.  Others assert your athletic performance will suffer if you don't fuel it with the right food.

Just Separated? A Step You Must Take

If you're newly single, you may be feeling a whole range of emotions, both negative and positive. On the negative side, you may be lonely. On a positive note, you may be relieved that the constant fighting between you and your partner has stopped. You also may be experiencing such emotional overload that you're resistant to the idea of stopping and taking stock of where you are--and where you're going.

Has Fibromyalgia Ruined Your Love Life?

The effects of fibromyalgia are far reaching and may even extend to your love life. But it doesn't have to ruin everything. Fibromyalgia is a challenging autoimmune disorder that causes deep muscle pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and joint stiffness.

Plastic Surgery: The Right and Wrong Reasons to Do It

With more than 1.5 million procedures performed in the U.S. every year, cosmetic plastic surgery can achieve remarkable results—correcting traits that cause embarrassment or pain. However, what it can't do is cure life's problems or bring back youth, and unfortunately some people find themselves disappointed with the results.

REM: What It Is and Why You Need It

Also known as "dream sleep," REM (rapid eye movement) is the stage of sleep when your brain processes your thoughts and memories from the day. While you are sleeping, your brain moves through a series of sleep cycles that repeat themselves about every hour and a half, or five times, throughout the night.

Your Guide to Hearing Aids

If you're one of the 35 million Americans with some degree of hearing loss, you may be considering getting a hearing aid. But the variety of hearing aids can be overwhelming, and you may not be sure where to start. Fortunately, the Food and Drug Administration has created an online guide to help you make an informed decision.

5 Keys to Raising Emotionally Healthy Kids

"For reasons having to do with the peculiarities of our civilization, we pay a great deal of attention to our scholastic educations, which are formal and supervised, and we devote much less public thought to our emotional educations, which are unsupervised and haphazard.

How Could Cancer Ever Be "the Best Thing"?

No one would choose cancer and face the uncertainty, treatment side effects, and disruption in their lives. Yet, despite all the downsides of cancer, some survivors say cancer was one of the best things to happen to them. Others acknowledge the unexpected gifts a cancer diagnosis bestowed on them.

BAI: Better Than BMI?

The more body fat you have, the higher your chances of developing chronic health problems. Now there's a new way to measure your risk. If you are overweight, you are actually "overfat." You are carrying around too much body fat. The body mass index (BMI) is a formula based on height and weight that is used by health professionals and fitness experts to calculate body fat.

Can Botox Treat Back Pain?

Can one of America's most popular cosmetic treatments provide powerful relief for chronic back pain? Many doctors and patients say, "yes." Here's what you need to know about back pain, Botox, and the beauty of pain relief. Botox is a trade name for Botulinum Toxin A; a powerful neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.

How to Handle Premenstrual-Related Insomnia

As if bloating, cramping, breast pain, and mood swings weren't enough, the long list of symptoms that can affect women with premenstrual syndrome also includes trouble falling asleep. Here's what to do if it happens to you. Not all women suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS), but if you're one of them, you certainly know it.

3 Heart-Healthy Habits With Zero Deprivation

Making sure you get your daily dose of nutritious foods and plenty of exercise is crucial to maintaining a healthy heart, but that doesn't mean you have to completely cut yourself off from your favorite indulgences. Here are three ways you can stay heart-healthy without feeling deprived.

Tooth Sensitivity: Getting to the Root of It

What causes tooth sensitivity in the first place? Common triggers include a cavity or crack in the tooth, but it might also be due to the erosion of tooth enamel. If you frequently get that "zing" feeling while biting into something sweet, cold, hot, or sour, you could have sensitive teeth.

Can Allergies Lead to Other Diseases?

Why is it that some people can tolerate most allergens, while others find that the slightest contact with certain foods, pollen, and insects sets a motion of serious immune system reactions? The medical community is still trying to understand exactly what makes certain people's bodies more vulnerable to harmless triggers.

5 Ways to Keep Asthma From Making You Sick

The cool, crisp days of autumn can be a refreshing treat after a hot, humid summer. Yet with the change of season also comes an increased risk of illness that can lead to fall asthma. It's no coincidence that many asthmatics visit the emergency room in the fall and early winter.

Identifying Prediabetes Just Got Easier

Figuring out who's likely to develop type 2 diabetes isn't all that difficult, provided the patient's healthcare provider asks the right questions and alerts the patient to the fact that he might have prediabetes. A community study, the largest non-governmental study of its kind, found that predictors for the disease are easy to pinpoint.

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