March 8-14, 2012 - Original Health Articles

8 Ways to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

It starts with Halloween and plastic pumpkins full of sugary treats, then continues through Thanksgiving weekend, with plentiful mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, pies, and leftover turkey sandwiches. And don't forget December: office parties, cookie exchanges, and that food-filled week between Christmas and New Year's Day.

Is Weight-Loss Surgery for You?

As most health experts can attest, the best way to lose weight is to exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. But that doesn't always work—just ask the 129.6 million Americans, or 64 percent of the population, who are currently overweight or obese.

Are You in a Toxic Relationship?

Controlling spouses, unstable siblings, friends you just can't trust. Does any of this sound familiar? If so, you may be in a toxic relationship—and you're not alone. According to experts, most Americans have struggled with at least one unhealthy social bond by the time they're in their late teens, and sadly, many continue to endure these connections throughout their lives.

4 Heart Facts Every Woman Should Know

At one point in the melodramatic (but undeniably enchanting) movie Titanic the heroine, Rose, remarks, "A woman's heart is a deep ocean of secrets." That's the truth! Beyond harboring long-lost loves and tales of tragic shipwrecks, your heart holds health secrets.

Spotting the Symptoms of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer can affect any area of your body exposed to sun, including the scalp. And believe it or not, it can even crop up in lesser-exposed areas like the palms of your hands, between your toes, even on your genitals. According to experts, cancerous skin lesions can appear suddenly or develop slowly, and the American Cancer Society advises that people see their doctors immediately if they see any of the following symptoms.

The Germiest Public Places You Go Every Day

Whenever you head out to the mall, the supermarket, or a restaurant, you're putting yourself at risk for getting sick thanks to sick people who go out when they shouldn't. It opens you up to their germs when they cough, sneeze, or touch communal surfaces along their way.

7 Tips for a Healthier Work Day

Many people spend more hours on the job than they do at home or doing leisure activities. Why not make your work day the center of your healthy lifestyle? Here's how to get started: 1) Add in fitness. Small bouts of exercise throughout the day can add up to real results.

Low-Cholesterol Dos and Don'ts

You're working hard to eat right so you can lower your cholesterol levels. You're reading nutrition labels, buying fewer pre-packaged foods, and testing yourself often. But you're still struggling to keep your cholesterol down. What are you doing wrong? The answer may surprise you.

4 Easy Ways to Fight the Flu

For healthy individuals, influenza, commonly known as flu, lasts only seven to 10 days. But its symptoms can be severe from extreme fatigue and fever to body aches, chills, and more. Fortunately, the virus can be prevented and its symptoms suppressed.

5 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed

Have you ever wondered why some children always make the honor roll and others seem to struggle? The difference, according to the Harvard Family Research Project, may be family involvement. As the researchers found, family engagement promotes educational success for children of all ages.

5 Ways to Stay Active as You Age

Although it's common to begin leading a more sedentary lifestyle as you get older, the worst thing you can do for your health is come to a complete standstill. In fact, some of the physical and mental symptoms that are associated with getting older are actually due to the inactivity that so often accompanies aging, says Meena Garg, MD, of Indiana University's Center for Sports Medicine.

7 Secrets For Weight-Loss Success

At any given time, one out of every three Americans is on a diet. Unfortunately, most of them fail, and those who do shed pounds usually gain them back within five years. The good news: It doesn't have to be that way. According to the National Weight Control Registry, people who manage to lose weight and keep it off share these common strategies.

Social Anxiety vs. Shyness

Imagine this: A woman hates to stand in line at the grocery store—not because she's impatient, but because she's afraid that everyone is watching her. As she approaches the clerk, she becomes anxious and self-conscious. Her heart begins to race, her face turns red, and she begins to sweat.

What Does Your Body Language Mean?

According to a groundbreaking UCLA study, it takes just 30 seconds to make a lasting impression on someone—and 55 percent of that impression is based on a common set of nonverbal cues. For example, crossing your arms may be perceived as stand-offish, while raising your eyebrows could gain you a reputation as a flirt.

10 Ways to Help Manage Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects an estimated 500,000 Americans. The disease is characterized by inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, and symptoms may include frequent diarrhea, gastrointestinal bleeding, anal tears, and bowel obstructions.

What Does "Zero Trans Fats" Really Mean?

If the nutrition label reads "zero grams trans fat" it must be healthy, right? Wrong! As it turns out, federal regulations allow labels to read "zero grams trans fat" as long as a product contains less than 0.5 grams of the artery-clogging fat per serving.

10 Holiday Eating Tips

A healthy diet can be difficult to maintain at any time of year, but once the holiday season rolls around, the task becomes ten times harder. It all begins at Thanksgiving dinner with freshly carved turkey, mashed potatoes with sour cream, corn-bread stuffing, and of course, the all-American apple pie.

5 Exams That Could Save Your Life

In today's busy world, medical exams often take a backseat to work, family, and other commitments. In fact, 28 percent of women don't go for their annual Pap tests, and only 32 percent know their cholesterol numbers. Could this behavior be compromising your health? Here's a list of five exams you can't afford to put off another day.

Give Your Fridge a Makeover

When you run to your fridge for a midnight snack, what do you grab? Leftover takeout? Ice cream? Pizza? If so, your fridge may be in need of an extreme makeover. As most of us know, we are what we eat, and the best way to change the way we eat, look, and feel is by changing what we keep in our kitchens.

Is Your Job Making You Sick?

If you're like most Americans, you put in long hours at work--and you have less time off than anyone in the developed world (U.S. workers average 13 vacation days a year, while the Japanese have 25, the Canadians take 26, and the French enjoy 37). Is all that time at the office making you sick? It could be, according to a study conducted by the University of Arizona.

Allergy-Proof Your Home

Sitting in your living room shouldn't give you hives. Relaxing in your bathtub shouldn't make you sneeze. And cooking dinner shouldn't make your eyes and nose itch. If you find yourself in any of these situations, you may be allergic to your home. According to the American Academy of Family Doctors, allergies are overreactions to things that don't cause problems for most people, and these things are known as allergens.

Depression in Older Adults

Although depression is common among older Americans, experts say it's not just a normal part of the aging process. Whenever feelings of sadness and grief are persistent and interfere with daily activities, they may be signs of major depression--a disease that affects 1 to 5 percent of senior citizens in the mainstream community, the National Institute of Mental Health reports.

3 Fabulous Foods for Weight Loss

There's no one food that can magically transform an overweight body into an ideal figure. Eating plans that consist solely of grapefruit aren't realistic or effective, nor are plans that promote eating only cabbage soup or special "weight-loss cookies.

Are You a Perfectionist?

Perfectionists often believe that doing everything right can win them success, acceptance, even love. But sadly, their seemingly flawless behavior can actually undermine their efforts. According to counselors at the University of Illinois, the desire to be perfect can rob people of their sense of personal satisfaction, preventing them from achieving as much as those with more realistic goals.

The 10 Best Reasons to Quit Smoking

Although the health risks associated with smoking are irrefutable, many people have difficulty butting out. After all, nicotine is a powerful drug, and when smokers quit, they can experience withdrawal symptoms ranging from anger and irritability to headaches and insomnia.

How Are New Cancer Treatments Tested?

We'd like to believe scientists have rigorously studied all tests and treatments and proven beyond a doubt that they are safe and effective. Unfortunately, medical research is complex and drawing definitive conclusions from study results is not always straightforward.

Are You Too Nice For Your Own Good?

According to a University of Iowa study, excessively nice people often feel as if they have no control over their decisions, thoughts, or opinions. As a result, they can become resentful, frustrated, even depressed. Are you too nice for your own good? 1.

Heat Wave: Understanding Hot Flashes

For many women, hot flashes are menopause's most-dreaded symptom. And it's no wonder: These episodes come on suddenly, spreading an intense feeling of heat over the entire body, especially in the head and neck. What's more, they may be accompanied by rapid heartbeat, perspiration, or dizziness.

How to Lose Weight Without Really Trying

For most people, diets aren't enjoyable, and they never seem to yield lasting results either. Although dieters may lose weight initially, most relapse and soon regain the pounds they shed, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Your Relationship: Literally Not a Perfect Fit?

Is bigger always better? Not necessarily, although size does count when it comes to having a good sex life. "If your partner is really well endowed, that can be a problem, but you can work around this by doing things like exercises to help the vaginal muscles relax," says Bat Sheva Marcus, Ph.

Apples to Prevent Digestive Disease?

An apple a day may keep digestive diseases away. That's according to new research published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. Apples are a great source of soluble fiber (found to lower cholesterol), quercetin (an antioxidant which plays a role in...

Botox for Men: 5 Reasons Men Do It

Men make up eight percent of patients who elect to have cosmetic procedures, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. One of the most popular of these procedures are Botulinum Toxin Type A injections, or Botox®. According to the official website of Botox Cosmetic, Botox® "is a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles and used to improve the look of moderate-to-severe frown lines.

Can You Develop Food Allergies at Any Age?

It's true, adults could develop food allergies. Both adults and seniors can experience food allergy symptoms for the first time. The symptoms can range from mild discomfort to serious or even life threatening.   Common Food Allergy Triggers ...

The Truth About the Genital Herpes Vaccine

It's highly contagious, extremely common, and doesn't have a cure--or even a vaccine to prevent it. But one day, herpes simplex viruses type 1 and type 2 may be preventable with a vaccine. Certainly, a vaccine could help millions. About 16.2 percent, or one in six, people in the U.

Have Fibromyalgia? How to Lead a More Balanced Life

When you live with chronic pain and fatigue, like people with fibromyalgia do, it's hard to find the balance between taking care of your health and living your best life. This is because symptoms can be worse on some days and better on others. Finding your balance starts with taking care of your self so you can live well.

Don't Let Lupus Affect Your Love Life

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects many different body organs, including the skin, joints, muscles, and vital organs. People with lupus experience fatigue, pain, skin lesions, and other symptoms that can directly impact their desire for and ability to have sex.

Can You Really Learn to Forgive and Forget?

The old saying "to err is human; to forgive divine" are good words to live by. The act of forgiving others provides powerful health benefits. In fact, even renowned medical institutions such as the Mayo Clinic advocate forgiving as a sound strategy for good mental health.

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