March 22-31, 2011 - Original Health Articles

Health Concerns: How to Keep Family Updated

When Jennifer Wilson Cooper learned she had ovarian cancer, she launched a blog as a way to share her story with others and to make it easy for friends and family to keep up with her progress. Little did she know she'd quickly-and dramatically-expand her circle of friends (you can follow Cooper's journey on her blog, Four Seeds, which is featured in Quality Health's free cancer newsletter and on the QualityHealth.

"Diabetes Surgery" for Type 2?

A trial underway at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center is exploring whether surgery may be the best option to treat diabetes in these patients. Until now, bariatric surgery was recommended only for individuals who are severely or morbidly obese, which means having a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher.

Adjust Your Family's Food Attitude

Parents may hold the key to turning the nation's obesity problem around, suggest the findings of a new study conducted by GfK MRI, a leading media and consumer market research company. Five thousand children aged 6-11 were surveyed as part of the 2010 American Kids Study and found that parental impact and behavior greatly influences their kids' attitudes toward food and nutrition.

Combat Common Causes of Foul Feet

Although you rely on your feet to get you from place to place, very few of us give them the TLC they need and deserve, resulting in some unpleasant consequences, such as: corns, bunions, fungus, and foul odor. Follow these tips to keep your feet clean and reek-free.

Can Allergies Prevent Cancer?

Who would have thought that having allergies could actually be good for you? You may hate the sneezing, coughing, and itching that come with allergies, but researchers have discovered a new reason to appreciate this misery. They believe that your allergies may help prevent cancer.

Getting to Know Your Taste Buds

Meet your tongue: the organ of taste and home to thousands of tiny taste buds that help you enjoy the foods you love and avoid those you don't. Bitter, sour, salty, sweet. While these could just as easily describe personality traits, they are actually your four basic tastes.

7 Ways to Live Well With Lupus

Lupus is an autoimmune disease affecting at least 1.5 million Americans. It occurs when for some reason the immune system goes haywire and begins producing antibodies against the body's own healthy tissue. This can cause pain, inflammation and damage in multiple parts of the body.

Blood Sugar Meters: The Number One Mistake

Accuracy counts when you measure your blood sugar, so it's crucial that you wash your hands thoroughly just before testing. That's because even microscopic pieces of fruit on your hands could skew the results of your finger prick blood test, causing your level to appear higher than it really is, a study shows.

Nighttime Bathroom Trips: Causes and Concerns

Nocturia, a condition that causes you to take several trips to the bathroom during the night because of an excessive need to urinate, not only disrupts your sleep cycle but could be a sign of a more serious medical problem. If you wake up several times a night because you have to urinate and this is becoming a habit, one thing is for certain.

4 Ways to Prevent Fractures

When you were a kid, your risk of fractures came from the kind of activity you were doing—flying on a swing set, racing around the neighborhood on a two-wheeler, and tripping while closing in on second base could all lead to broken bones. But as you've gotten older, your risk of fracturing something is tied to issues of aging.

Eyebrow Plucking, Waxing, and Threading: Pros and Cons

The toil of achieving the perfect set of eyebrows is enough to make anyone weary. Yet millions of women (and men, too!) show up at the salon every few weeks to be threaded or waxed—while others stay home to take on the challenge with tweezers. Many would agree that no method of eyebrow shaping is perfect, but what are the pros and cons of each? Plucking This method of eyebrow shaping is the most economical way of grooming your eyebrows.

Medical Update: Lymph Node Removal for Breast Cancer

Have you ever had a leak in your air conditioning unit? The service technician probably injected a dye into the system so he could find the exact location of the leak. Researchers are experimenting with a similar procedure to help physicians determine appropriate treatment for breast cancer patients.

Is QiGong for You?

QiGong (pronounced Chee Kung) is a Chinese discipline that combines movement, meditation, and breathing. Though the phrase Qigong was coined in 1948, the practice is more than 5000 years old. Designed to promote health and relaxation, QiGong is a mind-body practice of slow movements, mental focus, and coordinated deep abdominal breathing that boosts and balances a person's vital energy, or "qi".

What's to Blame for Your Bad Habits?

Are you trying to lose weight? Begin an exercise program? Give up junk food? If you've struggled with giving up a bad habit, or trying to create a new one, don't be too hard on yourself; it's not a personal weakness or lack of self-control. Turns out, there's a whole science behind habit formation.

The Truth about Fertility Treatments

Infertility can be heartbreaking for couples who are faced with wrenching decisions about treatment and a variety of emotions ranging from disbelief that something so natural eludes them to depression when friends and siblings conceive easily. Even for couples who are very close, infertility tests a relationship like few other things do.

Which Vitamins Are Really Essential?

See what people are saying about this article on our Facebook page! Nearly every "health-conscious" food product or dietary supplement comes with the same catchphrase: "Packed with essential vitamins and minerals." But with a vitamin existing for almost every letter of the alphabet, which ones are really essential for you? According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there are 13 vitamins that are crucial to proper body function.

Spring Allergies Got You Down? Tips to Cope

The arrival of spring may warm your spirits, but if you suffer from seasonal allergies, it can also put a damper on your well-being. With milder temperatures comes periods of turbulent weather-rain, thunderstorms, and heavy winds-which can ignite uncomfortable allergy symptoms.

Could You Have Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Do you tend to worry too much about everyday things, even when there's no real reason for worry? Do you have trouble relaxing, concentrating, or sleeping? Are you plagued with unexplained aches and pains? If you answered yes, you may be suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD.

HPV Vaccine for Men: Necessary or Not?

Although the results of a new, four year international study of over 4,000 healthy male participants make a compelling case for giving the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to men, health officials and other experts are still divided about making it a requirement.

Getting Your First Massage? What to Expect

Don't let fear of the unknown keep you from this beneficial practice. There are many healthy reasons to schedule a massage for yourself. Here's a rundown on what you can anticipate before, during, and after a massage. Before Your Massage It may sound counterproductive to "plan" for what's supposed to be a relaxing experience, but there are a few things you should keep in mind before your session.

4 Ways to Use Yoga for Back Pain

About 80 percent of Americans will have a backache at some point in their lives. In fact, it's the second most common reason why people go to the doctor. For people with repeated or chronic backache, it's among the top reasons why they miss work. Doctors often prescribe pain medication, physical therapy, and even recommend surgery to deal with acute and chronic backache; however, many will attest that the best intervention is to prevent it with exercise.

Are Robots Key to Stroke Recovery?

See what people are saying about this article on our Facebook page! According to a study presented earlier this year at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference, stroke victims paralyzed on one side of their body who received both standard physical rehabilitation and robotic-assisted therapy achieved greater arm and shoulder mobility than patients who were not treated with the new technology.

5 Health Conditions That Steal Your Sleep

Like thieves in the night, physical and mental health conditions can rob you of valuable dreamtime. To solve the problem, you have to get to the root of it, and treat it. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), approximately 35 percent of people who suffer from chronic insomnia have a mother or other family member with a history of sleep problems.

Ankylosing Spondylitis: What Is It, Who Gets It?

Ankylosing spondylitis is an arthritic condition affecting the joints that connect the spinal bones and those that hold the pelvis and spine together. It's an inflammatory disorder that causes pain, stiffness and, ultimately, the fusing together of the affected spinal bones.

Alcohol and Asthma: A Good or Bad Mix?

Some asthma sufferers say that a few beers or a glass of wine does nothing to aggravate their symptoms. Some even claim these libations help to improve their symptoms.  Yet other asthmatics find that drinking alcohol worsens their chronic respiratory symptoms.

Top 10 Dining Out Strategies for Diabetics

See what people are saying about this article on our Facebook page! The waiter hands you a menu, a basket of warm bread magically appears on the table, and you sit back, unfold your napkin and prepare to savor a restaurant meal. But keep in mind that dining out can be dangerous to your health if you're not careful.

All About Quinoa

See what people are saying about this article on our Facebook page! Once considered a mere provision for people in third world countries, this tasty, nutritious little seed has become a favorite among natural food lovers everywhere. Quinoa—pronounced keen-wah, with an emphasis on keen—is a high-protein seed that is eaten like a grain.

C. Difficile: Risks and Complications

You may not be familiar with its name but, clostridium difficile-more commonly known as C. diff-is a serious bacterium that can wreak havoc on your digestive system, causing a range of ailments from severe diarrhea to life-threatening colon inflammation.

Sebaceous Cysts: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

See what people are saying about this article on our Facebook page! Whenever you find a lump or bump that shouldn't be there, it's natural to feel worried. Sometimes a lump is a sign of something serious such as cancer. More often, however, it's nothing more than a simple sebaceous cyst.

Secondhand Smoke and Kids: How Much Is Too Much?

See what people are saying about this article on our Facebook page! We know that smoking puts us at risk for countless health problems, especially cancer and heart disease. Despite the overwhelming evidence, many parents continue to smoke. In addition to compromising their own health, smoking parents put their children at risk for serious health issues by exposing them to secondhand smoke.

Protein Powder: Help or Hype?

See what people are saying about this article on our Facebook page! Judging from the variety of products on the market promising bigger, stronger muscles and better performance on the field (or at the gym), it appears that exercise alone just doesn't cut it anymore.

Radiation from Japan: How Much Is Unsafe?

See what people are saying about this article on our Facebook page! All eyes have been on Japan as residents struggle to recover from the earthquake and tsunami. Fears of nuclear radiation leaks persist, raising questions and concerns whether radiation will reach the U.

Autoimmune Diseases: Frequently Asked Questions

See what people are saying about this article on our Facebook page! One might say that autoimmune diseases are cases of mistaken identity. In healthy people, the immune system works the way it should, by keeping out invaders such as viruses and bacteria.

Have Asthma? Avoid These 4 Foods

See what people are saying about this article on our Facebook page! Scientists from National Jewish Health, a Denver, CO hosptial that focuses on respiratory health, conducted a comprehensive study on food allergies. They looked at blood serum levels among children and adults to determine their sensitivity to some common foods.

The Expert's Take: "Cluster A" Personality Disorders

Cluster A personalities are characterized by behaviors and thoughts being odd or eccentric.  Within Cluster A there are three personality disorders; they are Paranoid, Schizoid, and Schizotypal.  Research indicates that individuals who have these personality disorders are more prone for further mental problems, which could be eating disorders, anxiety, depression, reckless behavior, and substance abuse.

Get Fit While Spring Cleaning

See what people are saying about this article on our Facebook page! Can spring cleaning help you get ready for bathing suit season? It can if you do it right. Get ready to clean out the cobwebs, spruce up your space, and break a serious sweat with this power-cleaning, calorie-burning workout.

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