July 22-31, 2013 - Original Health Articles

Skin Ulcers: Importance of Early Detection

If you have an open sore on your leg or foot that doesn't seem to heal, it could be a skin ulcer. Only your doctor will know for sure, though, so it's important to have it evaluated. Symptoms of Leg Ulcers Common symptoms of an ulcer on skin on lower body parts can include swelling of the leg, itching or burning, pain (although some ulcers may be painless), a rash, red or darkened skin, and scaly skin.

Have You Checked Out Your Local Farmers' Market?

Fresh fruits and vegetables are brimming with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that are good for your health. That's why it's worth the trip to your local open-air market where you can buy food directly from the grower. An increasing number of markets have enough variety for one-stop shopping offering meat, fish, and dairy options in addition to the traditional produce staples.

Walnuts and Diabetes: What's the Connection?

Want to cut your chances of getting type 2 diabetes? Munch on some walnuts. Eating them reduces the risk of the chronic disorder in women, according to new research reported in The New York Times. The research, published in The Journal of Nutrition, focused on dietary and health data on 138,000 women who were participating in a large, ongoing study of women's health.

Chromosomal Disorders: Get the Facts

The center (nucleus) of most human cells contains chromosomes that determine many of our characteristics, including eye color and gender. Sometimes these chromosomes incur changes or damage that can cause problems with growth, development, and function.

Angioplasty: What to Expect

Cardiologists and radiologists have been using angioplasty to clear blocked and narrowed arteries for more than 35 years. In a nutshell, the procedure involves running a catheter through an artery from the groin or wrist to the blocked area. A balloon attached to a guide wire inside the catheter is inflated at the blockage site to put pressure on the artery wall, unblock the area and restore blood flow.

What's Your Diabetes IQ?

Whether you just received a diagnosis or you've had the disorder for years, there's always something new to learn about diabetes. The seven questions below will show you how much you really know. 1. True or False? The best meal plan for individuals with diabetes is to follow the exchange lists.

Grapefruit Juice and Meds: A Dangerous Combo

Tart and tangy, fresh grapefruit juice can be a delicious and nutritious way to jump-start your day. The nutrients in grapefruit make it a powerhouse and experts claim adding a few squeezes to your diet has health benefits including: immune-supporting doses of vitamin C, heart-healthy dietary fiber, cancer-fighting phytonutrients, and cholesterol-lowering pectin.

More Mushrooms, Less Meat

In a recent study, obese individuals who ate white button mushrooms instead of red meat each day had lower body weights, BMIs, and calorie intakes than individuals who ate a standard diet. The study, published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal, found that participants who consumed as little as one cup of mushrooms a day not only lost weight, but also maintained their weight loss.

What Exactly Are Gene Mutations?

The center (nucleus) of most human cells contains chromosomes that determine many of our characteristics, including eye color and gender. Sometimes these chromosomes incur changes or damage that can cause problems with growth, development, and function.

Have Diabetes? 4 Diet Saboteurs of Summer

Summer is the season for all sorts of festive occasions, and most of them involve sugary, fat-laden (and irresistible!) foods. Navigating these seasonal celebrations can be treacherous if you have diabetes. But you can maintain tight blood sugar control and still enjoy some warm weather treats if you choose carefully and watch portion sizes, says Rachel Neifeld, RD, of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill-Cornell Medical Center.

8 Guilt-Free Thirst Quenchers

Let's raise a toast to summertime! Before you hoist that frosty piña colada, (The calories! The sugar!) consider mixing your own drinks. Boozy drinks can have several shots' worth of alcohol, and even non-alcoholic "mocktails" can be so high in sugar that you should take a pass.

Feast and Famine: Is the "Fast Diet" Right for You?

According to his research and personal experience, Michael Mosley, MD, claims to have come up with the answer to every dieter's dilemma—the right recipe for losing weight and still enjoying favorite foods. Impossible, you say? Not so fast. Mosley's new eating plan, which is garnering lots of attention in the UK is detailed in the book The Fast Diet.

Got Aspartame? Milk May Soon Include Sweeteners

In an effort to boost consumption of milk, the dairy industry wants to replace the sugar in milk with a zero-calorie sweetener. That's fine, says the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), just don't call it milk. If added to milk, the product would no longer meet the FDA's definition of the dairy products (which includes being sweetened with nutritive sweeteners such as sugar or corn syrup).

Sinus Infection or Something More?

A persistent foul-smelling nasal discharge merits a doctor visit. This is especially true if others can also smell the odor, if it occurs following an upper respiratory infection, and/or it's accompanied by other symptoms such as facial pressure or tooth pain, says Karen H.

Diagnosed With Cancer? Take Care of Your Mental Health

From diagnosis on, cancer patients experience a wide range of emotions. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), it's common for patients to feel worry, stress, anxiety, depression, and anger. While these are understandable reactions to an illness, they can have serious consequences if not properly managed.

Get Smart About Health Info in the Media

Every day (or so it seems), there is a report about new scientific findings that will cure or prevent cancer (or another illness). It's all too easy to get your hopes up, so it's important to understand how to evaluate studies. According to the American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR), scientific studies provide clues to deciphering the mysteries of cancer.

Your Child With Hemophilia

Hemophilia, a genetic clotting disorder that is present at birth, is much more common in males than females. Babies born with hemophilia do not produce enough of a type of protein known as clotting factor and, as a result, experience excessive bleeding when injured or after any type of surgery.

The Facts About Childhood Leukemia

Few diagnoses are as frightening to parents and kids alike as childhood leukemia, or cancer of the blood. In years past, it was usually a fatal diagnosis, but today, most children are cured as modern treatments have changed the outlook for this disease from hopeless to hopeful.

An Introduction to Scoliosis

An abnormal, side-to-side or "S-shaped" curve in the spine, scoliosis affects an estimated 6 million people in the U.S. The condition appears most often in children, adolescents, and older adults, but can affect anyone. The cause is often unknown, but when there is a family history of scoliosis, it is important to get regular spinal check-ups, there may be a genetic link.

The Dangers of Bath Salts

A new recreational drug with a very ordinary name has been gaining popularity and the results are terrifying. Bath salts are a type of synthetic drug that's said to be ten times stronger than cocaine and last even longer than its fiercest competitor, methamphetamines.

Everyday Foods That Help You Lose Weight

Wouldn't it be nice if there were foods that might actually help you lose weight? Actually, there are—vegetables and legumes. If you are looking to shed pounds, you would do well to bump up your consumption of these natural weight-loss aids. Calorie for calorie, veggies and legumes offer more than other foods.

Diagnosed With Lactose Intolerance? Tips to Cope

If you've discovered you're lactose intolerant, you may be wondering how you'll survive without milk, cheese and perhaps most importantly, ice cream. Fear not. We've got five tips for how to deal with lactose intolerance that will even let you enjoy the occasional slice of pizza or a sundae—with all the toppings! What Is Lactose Intolerance? Lactose intolerance means you have trouble digesting the milk sugar found in dairy products like milk, cheese, and ice cream.

Marriage After Retirement: Tips to Stay Happy Together

Ah, retirement. You've dreamed of this day for a long time—bidding goodbye to the work force and settling into what you assume will be the relaxing, fulfilling golden years. Suddenly, there's no pressing reason to get up in the morning, you're not "needed" by anyone, and the days can stretch ahead endlessly.

Bees for Better Health: What's the Buzz?

Bees may just be the most useful insects known to man. They are the only bugs we get food from and their work and byproducts are essential to our survival. If it wasn't for their pollination super powers, we'd have no fruit and veggies to eat and our gardens would be a lot less colorful, too.

Preeclampsia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

It's uncommon that a pregnancy complication gets as much attention as preeclampsia has lately, but thanks to Downton Abbey and Lady Sybil, it's getting the attention it deserves. Preeclampsia is a hypertensive disorder that only occurs during pregnancy and up to six weeks after delivery.

Sit Less to Reduce Your Diabetes Risk

Want to cut your chances of getting type 2 diabetes? Get up out of that chair, and start moving. And by all means cut down the amount of time you spend lounging in bed. Individuals at risk for getting type 2 diabetes can slash their risk by decreasing their sitting time by 90 minutes a day, according to research reported by Medical News Today.

Obese Drivers at Higher Risk for Fatal Car Accidents

If you're obese, and you drive a car, here's a sobering bit of news: You're more likely to die in an auto accident than drivers who are a normal weight, according to a new study reported in The New York Times. The study, published online in the Emergency Medical Journal, focused on accident data recorded in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

The Dried Fruit Question: To Eat or Not to Eat?

Everyone knows that eating fruit is an important part of a balanced diet. Current research shows it does more than add fiber and keep you regular. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) says consuming a variety of fresh fruit is associated with having fewer chronic diseases.

Living With Diabetes While Pregnant

Getting pregnant, making it through a pregnancy, giving birth—these are all achievements that many women assume will happen naturally. Most of the time, all goes according to plan, but if you have diabetes, your path to parenthood may be a little bumpier.

Frozen Shoulder From Diabetes? How to Treat It

It starts out insidiously, with shoulder pain that gradually turns into pain and stiffness. Over the weeks or months, as the mobility in your shoulder decreases, you use it less and less. Pretty soon, it's impossible to even zip up a dress or button a shirt—so you head to the doctor, where you receive a diagnosis of adhesive capsulitis, or frozen shoulder.

Young Women Get Breast Cancer, Too

Breast cancer doesn't always wait for menopause or middle age. In fact, thousands of women under age 40 get breast cancer every year. According to the American Cancer Society, 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women this year—and nearly 40,000 of them will die.

How Being "Out" Affects Your Well-Being

Sure, coming out to friends and family provides some measure of emotional relief for most gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. Now a new study says the benefits of disclosing your sexuality are more than just psychological. Coming out is actually good for your health.

Why Cancer Insurance May Not Pay Off

Cancer insurance is a type of supplemental insurance policy you can buy to help cover the out-of-pocket costs for specific treatments and related expenses and to replace some of your lost income. But is this really a good investment? Cancer Insurance: Buyer Beware "You have to be very careful of any type of insurance that's specialized in nature," says David Randall, CFP with LPL Financial.

You Can Have Great Sex Without Intercourse

Your love life shouldn't have an expiration date. If you find your interest in sex waning as you get older, you may need to explore some more creative ways to engage with your mate. Why Your Sex Drive Wanes With Age There's no doubt about it: As time passes, your desire for sex, and your physical responses, may change.

Key Treatments for PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur after someone suffers any type of psychological trauma. People can have PTSD if they've engaged in military combat, endured or witnessed physical violence, or been diagnosed with a life-threatening condition.

Brain Pacemaker Offers Hope for Alzheimer's

Pacemakers aren't just for the heart anymore. Researchers from Ohio State University (OSU) Wexner Medical Center are exploring the effects of stimulating the brain with electricity to stave off memory loss. Alzheimer's disease is a common and progressive form of dementia that occurs when brain nerve cells become damaged.

Myths About Being Pregnant (or a New Mommy)

The world we live in today is very different than it used to be. These changes have affected everything we do, including how we raise our families. "Back in the day, there were things new parents worried about that we no longer have to...like sanitation issues and disease," says Vicki Panaccione, PhD, the Parenting ProfessorTM at the Better Parenting Institute of Melbourne, FL.

Tips for Holding a Successful Family Meeting

Busy family members can lose touch with each other, but you can strengthen emotional ties and encourage healthy dynamics within your family by regularly setting aside a little time to make decisions, discuss plans, recognize achievements, and solve problems—together.

Bone Marrow Transplants: What You Should Know

Choosing to have a blood and marrow or cord blood transplant (also called a BMT) can be a tough decision. The thought of undergoing a complex medical procedure may be upsetting, or feel overwhelming. But "there are a lot of misconceptions out there," says Meg Blaney, RN.

Skin Cancer: Researching How It Spreads so It Can Be Stopped

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. It forms in the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin, which is comprised of three types of cells. Squamous cells are oval to flat cells that make up the top layers; basal cells are round cells beneath the squamous cells; and melanocytes, residing alongside basal cells, produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin color.

Bullying Behavior: How to Keep Your Child Safe

It wasn't very long ago that bullying was regarded as an accepted part of childhood. Bullies are nothing new, of course. Every neighborhood has them and in the hierarchy of the schoolyard, bullies are the top predator. They rule by fear, intimidating their victims: Physically (punching, pushing, kicking) Verbally (name calling, taunting) Through technology (harassing texts and harmful Internet posts) Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that is ongoing.

How Carcinogens Cause Cancer

Any environmental factor that is capable of causing cancer is called a carcinogen. Many carcinogens are associated with human activity and lifestyle choices, including cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol use, poor diet, and lack of exercise. Other environmental factors, such as chemicals and radiation, are carcinogens as well.

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