August 8-14, 2012 - Original Health Articles

Pain Medication Addiction: Have You Crossed the Line?

It can start innocuously enough. You throw out your back, and the doctor hands over a prescription for a painkiller. Or maybe you're taking a medication to relieve a chronic headache or an arthritic knee. If you or someone you know has been taking painkillers for awhile, you might wonder about the risks of prescription drug abuse.

Even a Little Could Keep You From Sleeping

Why does even subtle light have such a disruptive influence on your sleep/wake cycles? Your body regulates itself via a natural hormone called melatonin that's manufactured in the brain's pineal gland. Melatonin is secreted in the evening, causing sleepiness, and levels stay high throughout the night to keep you asleep.

Is Psoriasis Genetic?

The cause of psoriasis, an itchy and painful skin condition that affects 7.5 million Americans, has never been conclusively linked to a genetic process. Scientists have long suspected a genetic connection, but have not been able to isolate the genes and mutations involved—until now.

A Fungal Allergy at Home in Your Lungs

An allergic reaction to a type of common fungus that's contained in the soil can cause serious consequences for those with asthma or cystic fibrosis. While everyone has some level of fungus in their lungs, the experts believe that in certain people with existing respiratory conditions, fungus called Aspergillus fumigatus can grow in the lungs.

Is a Vaccine for Asthma in Your Future?

With the number of asthma cases on the rise in recent years, scientists have been focusing on finding new, more effective ways to prevent and treat asthma. That's where the allure of an asthma vaccine comes in. Researchers from around the world have been exploring the concept of creating a vaccination for asthma that would desensitize the body to common triggers, similar to how allergy shots work, but with quicker and safer results.

Hidden Household Asthma Triggers

A new study reports that chemicals contained in many common household products and cleaning supplies could be to blame for respiratory conditions. However, many medical experts refute these claims, saying that most products for sale today do meet safety requirements and that any chemicals contained in them are in doses too low to pose a danger.

The Link Between Heart Disease and Asthma

After a long walk, you suddenly find yourself short of breath. Is the problem caused by asthma or is it a sign of heart disease? It can be challenging to tell the difference since there's a strong link between heart disease and asthma. Only your doctor can tell for sure what's causing your symptoms.

Are Canned Foods Health Hazards?

How many cans are in your pantry? If you're like many Americans, there's a good chance you've got a supply of canned soup, fruit, beans, tuna, and tomato sauce on your shelves. You might even buy your coffee grounds in a can. However, these canned products may have high BPA levels.

Oxygen Therapy for Asthma Relief?

Oxygen therapy is a form of treatment that delivers oxygen to the body when it's needed. There are different methods of oxygen therapy, including transferring the oxygen via a tube through your nostrils, using a facemask that allows you to inhale it into your nose and mouth, or having an incision made in your trachea in order to attach a tube there to bring the oxygen into the body directly.

New CPR Guidelines Could Save a Life

Studies show that most people would not perform mouth-breathing CPR if they saw someone collapse. The good news for would-be heroes is that the American Heart Association now recommends a life-saving version of CPR requiring only your hands. So all you need to do to help someone suffering from cardiac arrest is to perform chest compressions.

Best Treatments for Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and autism are terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development that affects about 1 in 88 children according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Though scientist can't be sure what causes autism, much evidence points to genetics and problems with the function, interaction, and mutation of certain genes.

Ozone Danger Zone for Your Heart

There are days, especially hot and smoggy summer days in the city, when you might step outside and wonder whether the "fresh" air you're breathing is safe. Doctors and researchers wonder the same thing. And more and more often, their research shows that there are times when the answer is "no".

Part-Time Vegetarian: Consider the Benefits

If you long for sirloin, can't pass up a juicy burger, and indulge in chicken and pork on a regular basis, you may be harming your health. Red meat gets an especially bad rap and the results of an increasing number of studies seem to explain why. Aside from the problems associated with conventional farming methods—meat today is lower in nutrients including iron—eating too much red meat has also been linked with more deaths from heart disease and cancer.

How to Take Aspirin the Safe Way

You've heard that a daily aspirin regime has been shown to help reduce risk of heart attack and stroke. It has also shown promise in the prevention of reducing pancreatic, gastric, and esophageal cancer. A study published in the November 2011 issue of The Lancet showed that a daily aspirin regime over the course of two years reduced risk of colorectal cancer by 60 percent in patients with Lynch syndrome, who are at high risk for the disease.

An Unconventional Dementia Treatment With Positive Results

Although there's no cure for Alzheimer's Disease (AD), and no way to stop its progression, there are approved medications and treatment plans that may help relieve symptoms and ensure the safety of AD patients throughout different stages of the disease.

Whole Body Vibration Training: What's This Workout?

Even before those retro "jiggling" machines were strapped around women's waists to wiggle away the pounds, people have experimented with ways to reap the benefits of exercise without too much effort. The search may finally be over. Whole body vibration training may be just what passive exercisers have been waiting for.

Poison Control 101: How to Keep Kids Safe

It can happen in an instant. You dash to answer the phone or the door and you come back to find your child has swallowed something potentially poisonous. In fact, most childhood poisonings happen when a parent or caregiver is home but gets distracted for one reason or another.

The Scientific Discoveries Behind Positive Thinking

If you're a "cup is half full" sort of person, chances are you're in better health than your "half empty" counterparts. But according to Hilary Tindle, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh, the reasons for that are more complicated than attitude.

That's Funny! And It's Essential for Your Health

Here's something to smile about—an easy, no-cost prescription from the doctor. In addition to daily exercise, plenty of rest, and eating veggies, your doctor may recommend injecting a healthy dose of humor—20 to 30 minutes a day of laughter—into your diet, as well.

Go Organic for Wine Allergies

Many people enjoy a good glass of wine with dinner. Research has shown that along with a healthy diet, drinking wine in moderation promotes heart heath and can prevent certain diseases and cancers. But if you're allergic to wine, this may not be an option, until recently.

How to Find Diabetes Help and Support Online

If you've ever googled diabetes in search of useful information on the right diet, drugs, and exercise to help manage your diabetes, you know how overwhelming it can be to plow through scores of websites. After spending hours online, you may come away wondering if what you've read actually is beneficial to your health.

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