March 1-7, 2012 - Original Health Articles

7 Tips to Prevent Depression Relapse

When you seek treatment for depression, you want all of your symptoms to go away—and stay away. Although depression is treatable, some patients, especially those with more severe cases, suffer an episode of major depression within six months after responding positively to treatment.

6 Ways to Boost Bone Strength

At some point—usually around age 30—everyone's bones begin to get thinner. But only some people will develop osteoporosis, a progressive disease that causes bones to become brittle and more likely to break. Your risk for osteoporosis depends on a number of factors, including the thickness of your bones when you were young, as well as the health, diet, and fitness levels you've maintained since.

Should You Call in Sick?

Everybody knows what it's like to wake up with a cold. You feel groggy, congested, and exhausted. In a perfect world, you could sleep the day away. But with bills to pay and bosses to please, how do you know when to stay home? Follow our cold and flu guidelines.

A Year of Living Less Dangerously

In a perfect world, we'd all know exactly when we need to get our important health screenings. In reality, however, these checkups and exams often take a backseat to work, family, and other obligations. Fortunately, you can get on the right track by making a simple phone call to your doctor.

15 Ways to Help Prevent Breast Cancer

An estimated 1in 8 women will be afflicted with breast cancer in her lifetime. Although there is no guaranteed protection against the disease, there are things you can do to lower your risk. Follow these tips to help prevent breast cancer and to support finding a cure: Maintain a healthy weight.

Taking Your Child to the Hospital?

Taking your child to the hospital for treatment can be a confusing and emotionally taxing experience. And as a parent, you're required to serve a dual role, as both loving family member and patient advocate. "Parents are an integral part of their child's health-care team, even in the hospital," says Karen Bergan, parent leader and chairwoman of the Family Advisory Council at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York-Presbyterian.

Adult ADHD Survival Tips

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can present any number of challenges for adults, from keeping focused to maintaining healthy relationships. The good news is, there are several steps you can take to make living with ADHD easier. Try the following seven tips to help manage your condition.

After Dark: Sundowner's Syndrome

When the sun goes down, elderly patients can become irritated, irrational, even violent. The phenomenon, known as sundowning or sundowner's syndrome, refers to the extreme agitation and confusion elderly people may suddenly experience during the late afternoons or early evenings.

Tips for Alzheimer's Caregivers

Caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer's disease (AD) means that each new day brings a unique set of challenges. Coping with changing levels of ability and new patterns of behavior can become overwhelming at times. Not surprisingly, research has shown that caregivers often are at increased risk for depression and illness, especially if they do not receive adequate support from family, friends, and the community.

What You Need to Know About Assisted Living

It's never easy when an aging loved one needs to move to a residential facility. But understanding the basics in advance can help ease the transition when the time comes. As you and your loved one prepare for the future, refer to this Frequently Asked Questions guide provided by the national nonprofit Consumer Consortium on Assisted Living (CCAL).

Is It Alzheimer's?

If you talked to as many caregivers as I have over the years, you'd know that it's not the least bit unusual for them to wonder, "Is it Alzheimer's or just aging?" This heart-wrenching question hangs over the heads of many, many families for many, many months without ever once being spoken out loud.

Suffering in Silence: Women and ADHD

When most people hear the term "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" (ADHD), it conjures images of children, usually boys. And there's some data to support that: According to the National Institute of Mental Health, experts estimate that, of the 3 to 5 percent of school-age children affected by ADHD, the majority of them are boys.

12 Tips for an Allergy-Free Vacation

When vacations kick into high gear, allergies and asthma often follow suit. The good news? "There are steps you can take to minimize your symptoms," said Dr. Richard W. Weber, an academy leader and allergist in Denver, Colo. He recommends following these tips from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: Consider visiting your allergist or immunologist for a physical if you're planning to go on a long vacation.

Avoiding Classroom Allergies and Asthma

For nearly nine million American children, going back to school presents questions beyond what to wear or bring. Are there peanuts in that birthday treat from a classmate? Will running in gym class trigger asthma? Could a bee sting during recess cause anaphylactic shock? Despite all the things confronting them, you can take steps to ensure your kids don't fall prey to schoolhouse allergies and asthma.

Flu Prevention 101

For some of us, getting the flu each year seems almost inevitable. Even if we get a vaccination, it isn't a guarantee that we won't get sick. We may feel run down due to our busy schedules, and that's when the flu swoops in, preying on our weakened state.

Roadmap for Eldercare Options

It goes without saying that those of us who see our aging parents' needs change want for them exactly what we would want for ourselves. Quite simply, we want them to have the right care at the right time in the right place. But wanting it and knowing what it means specifically for our moms or dads, understanding what our options are, and knowing where to find reliable information on each option isn't at all simple.

8 Easy Stressbusters

Sometimes daily life can get the best of us, and our stress levels can zoom off the charts. Family issues, workplace worries, and day-to-day obligations can take a toll on how we feel, both physically and emotionally. To ease feelings of anxiety or tension, try these methods of stress reduction: 1.

Caring for Loved Ones Is More Rewarding Than Expected

Findings from the CVS/pharmacy and Caring Today 2007 "Caregiver Insights Study: Well-Being and Care Management" indicate that family caregivers find the caregiving experience more enjoyable than expected. Findings further revealed that those caregivers who were better prepared to fill the caregiver role and responsibilities had more positive experiences than those who were unprepared.

Full Spectrum: Bipolar Disorder

A 2007 study supports earlier findings that bipolar disease is underrecognized, often improperly treated, and may be more accurately characterized as a spectrum disorder than a black-and-white disease. The study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, analyzed data from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R), a nationwide survey of mental disorders among 9,282 Americans ages 18 and older.

Sure Shot? Understanding the Flu Vaccine

Each fall, medical professionals encourage us to get flu shots in order to lessen our chances of coming down with influenza. For some of us, the flu vaccine can provide protection, or decrease the severity of the illness if we do get sick. But the flu shot isn't necessarily the right choice for everyone.

Bipolar Disorder: One Man's Story

"I'll never forget the day when my doctor put his comforting hand on my shoulder and said the two words that cleared up a lifelong mystery: "Bipolar disorder. "Until then, I simply couldn't figure out why, like an out-of-control roller-coaster, I plunged into a downward spiral from extreme happiness to extreme depression, why I plummeted from such highs to such lows.

6 Easy Ways to Beat the Heat

A little fun in the sun is one thing, but when it could put you at risk for heat stroke, it's time to take some precautions. That's the message from the Pennsylvania Medical Society and experts all across the country, who warn both adults and children alike that heat stroke is a potentially deadly illness to be avoided—even if it means sacrificing a day at the beach.

Most Women Don't Know Their Cholesterol Numbers

Adult women are more than twice as likely to know how much they weighed in high school than they are to know their current cholesterol number, and only half have had their cholesterol tested in the past year, according to results of a nationwide survey.

Probiotics: Beneficial Bacteria

The literal translation of the word probiotics is "for life." But just what are probiotics, how are they helpful in maintaining digestive health, and how can they be included in daily diets? Probiotics Defined The normal human digestive tract contains over 1,000 types of bacteria that reduce the growth of harmful bacteria and help promote a healthy digestive system.

The 5 Healthiest Foods You're Not Eating

By now, you probably know which foods you should avoid sugary colas, greasy snacks, fatty fast foods. But what about the many nutritious foods nature has to offer? While many people are familiar with the well-publicized superfoods, such as berries, salmon, and spinach, there's an abundance of lesser-known treats that can also do wonders for your health.

Valerian for Sleep: Is It Right for You?

The flowering plant, valerian, contains various compounds that may help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. It's also used to treat anxiety and abdominal cramps. The most studied, most widely available, and seemingly most effective species of valerian is Valerian officinalis, which is native to northern European countries.

Should You Watch TV Before Bed?

Watching the tube before bed may seem like a good way to wind down for the evening to help you relax and fall asleep. And according to Dr. Helene M. Emsellem, author of Snooze...Or Lose, this may be true. But only if you watch TV for a very short period of time, keeping the sound low, and viewing something that's nonviolent and non-stimulating.

Before You Bring Your New Pet Home

Are You a Dog Lover or a Cat Lover? Both kinds of animals have great benefits. Dogs can be quite affectionate but are high maintenance. Cats may demand less attention and are more independent. Regardless of which one you prefer, Dr. Goldstein, Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners and owner of Mobile Vet Squad in Westchester County, NY, says that it's important to understand that when you take home a new pet, you're making a long-term commitment.

Wake Up Thinner Tomorrow

You can wake up slimmer than when you went to bed the night before—if you adhere to this important list of to-dos: Drink plenty of water during the day. You don't want to ingest enough to fill a tanker truck—overconsumption of water can be dangerous.

How to Have a Healthy Pet

Richard S. Goldstein, Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners and owner of Mobile Vet Squad in Westchester County, NY introduces some of the key areas that you'll need to consider when adopting a pet. This includes ensuring proper nutrition, keeping her skin and coat clean and pest-free, and taking steps to prevent serious illnesses.

4 Surprising Energy Zappers

Don't let any of the following cause your lethargy: 1. Too much time in an urban environment. You may love the city for its excitement. Yet researchers have determined that a dearth of nature can be draining. A University of Michigan study found that subjects who walked in a local park scored better on cognitive functioning tests afterward than those who strolled through a small city's downtown.

How to Increase Your Dream Recall

Experts say we have multiple dreams every night, but we rarely, if ever, remember them. Other than fleeting scenes here and there that may stay with us, most of our nighttime imagery is lost as soon as the alarm clock goes off. Scientifically, dream recall is a pretty murky area.

5 Ways to Be Prostate Proactive

This small gland can be a source of big medical problems, especially in older men. Most, like inflammation and infection, are benign conditions, but all men are at risk of developing prostate cancer, and the risk increases with age. Here are some prostate-protective tips to share with the men in your life.

How to Get Out of Bed on a Cold Morning

Here's how to get moving and face the day—without getting frostbite: Programmable timers. Before you go to bed, lower the temperature on your thermostat to help you save on heating costs, then program its timer to a higher temperature about half an hour before you wake up so your room is warm.

The Truth About Triglycerides

Triglycerides are essential to human life. These chains of fatty acids are absorbed into your system from the foods you eat and are even created by your own body. They circulate through your bloodstream, providing energy to cells and enabling your body to function.

Sleep Deprivation and Dangerous Consequences

Your ability to make smart decisions can be lost when you lack sleep. You may take chances you wouldn't ordinarily take, have a false sense of what you can accomplish, and if you're a gambler or an over-spender, the results could be disastrous. When getting a good night's sleep is difficult, engaging in risky behavior such as mindless spending is that much easier because you don't have the wherewithal to stop yourself.

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