November 15-21, 2010 - Original Health Articles

The Science Behind Beauty Sleep

You've heard that "beauty sleep" is important, but do you know why? Nanette B. Silverberg, MD, the director of Pediatric and Adolescent Dermatology at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, and Clinical professor of Dermatology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, explains the science behind beauty sleep, and what restful slumber can do for your skin.

The Blood Pressure Fix that Doesn't Work

In the largest study of its kind, researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that pine bark extract, a powerful antioxidant, has no effect in lowering blood pressure or in reducing other risk factors for heart disease. Pine bark extract has been thought to be heart beneficial because it was believed to have an antioxidant mechanism that interferes with several biological mechanisms that cause blood pressure to rise.

Sleep Apnea: Danger Zone for Men

According to a recent study funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (an arm of the National Institutes of Health) men with sleep apnea, a sleep disorder, have a 58 percent higher risk of developing heart failure than those without it. The Study The study followed 4,000 subjects for a nine year period and also found that men (ages 40 to 70) with severe sleep apnea had a 68 percent higher risk of developing coronary heart disease than those without it.

Keep Your Pet Allergy on a Leash

The thought of cuddling up on the couch with a dog probably warms your heart. But if you have a pet allergy, this close contact may be enough to make you cough, sneeze, and rub your eyes. The Facts About Pet Allergies The Asthma and Allergy Foundation estimates that 15 to 30 percent of people with allergies find that animals trigger their symptoms.

Fitness Benefits That Go Skin Deep

You joined the gym or purchased a collection of fitness DVDs, but you still haven't budged from the couch. You know that fitness is good for your heart, lungs, bones, and pretty much every other organ in your body. Do you need another motivator to start living healthy? Perhaps this next reason can kick start that fitness routine: your skin, the largest organ in your body, can greatly benefit, too.

7 Ways to Avoid Nighttime Heartburn

Nearly 75 percent of patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) experience symptoms at night. Fortunately, there are things you can do to find relief. GERD is a chronic digestive disease that occurs when stomach acid or bile flows back into your esophagus, irritating the lining.

Is Joining a Clinical Study Right for You?

By the time the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug or medical procedure, scientists have researched it thoroughly and tested it rigorously. After it shows promising results in the lab, researchers then conduct clinical trials, which test its safety and effectiveness in humans.

The Truth About the Acai Berry

Lose weight! Feel more energetic! Fight aging! Improve your sex life! Can one little purple berry do this much good? Some say its super-high antioxidant count makes the tropical acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) berry a true superfruit; others are not so sure.

The Best Exercises for Diabetics

Do having fun and exercising have to be mutually exclusive? No way! If you find a form of fitness that you enjoy, you're much more likely to stick with it than with something that bores you. And you'll be doing your health a huge favor. Exercise is great for lowering blood sugar and helping with weight control, says Caroline Bohl, MS, RD, CDE, of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia Medical Center in New York City.

How to Treat Your Child's Strains and Sprains

Each year, more than 3.5 million children experience sports-related injuries, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). While some of these do require medical care, you can often treat simple strains and sprains yourself in the comfort of your home, as long as you've ruled out a broken bone.

Stay Injury-Free During Home Workouts

Nothing's more convenient than working out at home.  You throw down your mat, grab your weights, pop in a DVD and voila-you're exercising.  For too many people, however, that workout DVD puts them on the fast track to injury.  How can you prevent getting hurt?  We talked to the expert for tips on how to prevent workout DVD injuries at home.

How Diabetes Affects the Liver

If you have diabetes, you may feel like you've got enough to cope with just dealing with the day to day stress of monitoring your blood sugar and watching what you eat. Who's got time to think about your liver? Start paying attention to this organ, experts say, since having diabetes puts you at risk for developing fatty liver disease.

Can You Turn Stress into a Good Thing?

Search on the word "stress" on and you'll get a list of more than 31,000 book titles. Most describe the serious health risks of too much stress, or offer recommendations about how to successfully manage stress. The plethora of books, articles, and self-proclaimed experts on stress management speaks to how pervasive stress is in our society.

How to Protect Your Aging Knees

Your knees have a heavy load to bear. They support a good percentage of your body weight and have been doing so since you learned to walk. So it's no surprise that as you get older, your knees may experience a little (or a lot) more trouble than they used to.

Exercises for Back Pain: The Good and The Bad

If you're among the half of working Americans who'll get a backache this year, you need to get moving. Exercise is key to healing your current backache and preventing the next one. Some types of exercise, however, are bad news for backs. Others are just what the doctor ordered.

Coronary Bypass Surgery vs. Angioplasty

New study findings have found that coronary artery bypass surgery is more effective than coronary angioplasty and stenting in patients with severe heart disease. The Study A joint European and American effort compared the surgery benefits after three years of 1,800 patients who had undergone the two procedures.

Trying for a Baby? Try Not to Stress

You desperately want to be a parent and all your friends seem to be announcing their pregnancies to the world. While you're happy for them, you're experiencing a wrenching gamut of emotions about your own situation that ranges from anger to despair to fear.

Can Dark Skin Protect You From Skin Cancer?

If you have a darker complexion, you may think you don't need to worry about skin cancer. To a certain degree, you're right. People with fair complexions have a much higher incidence of skin cancer. But your decreased risk may make you less aware of warning signs and not as conscious about protecting yourself the way that you should.

The Sleep-Paralysis Phenomenon

It sounds like something out of a sci-fi film, but paralysis resulting from a temporary disconnection of the body from the brain is a fairly common sleep disorder. Although it is considered harmless, and even normal, by sleep experts, it can be terrifying for those who are afflicted.

4 Holiday Traditions that Can Trigger Your Allergies

'Tis the season to be jolly. But if you suffer from allergies, this joyful season may bring many health challenges. Beware of these four common activities that can spark your allergy symptoms. Common Holiday Allergy Triggers Decorating the Christmas tree.

Using Massage to Ease Digestive Ills

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, approximately 60 to 70 million Americans suffer from digestive diseases. Digestive problems can range from common complaints like indigestion and flatulence (gas) to life-threatening diseases such as colorectal cancer.

Simple Ways to Control Asthma and Breathe Easy

How well do you control your asthma? If you find yourself experiencing frequent flare-ups, you may want to learn more about some of the latest tools and treatment options. Asthma action plans and anti-inflammatory medications can make a difference in helping you feel better.

Got Stress? Read This

Stress brings man into Penny Donnenfeld's New York City practice. "Stress is real and should be taken seriously," says the clinical psychologist who is also a supervisor at Columbia University's Teacher's College. "It can affect your functioning and your physical health in profound ways but is often dismissed as 'only' stress.

The Power of Cereal Fiber for Diabetics

Here's a compelling reason to serve cereal for breakfast: Increasing insoluble fiber in the diet for just three days actually improved insulin sensitivity, research shows, and the numbers suggest that cereal fiber intake may be linked to a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Pancreatitis: What You Should Know

The pancreas is a gland that sits behind the stomach, close to the duodenum-the first part of the small intestine. The pancreas plays a key role in your digestive system by secreting digestive juices, also called enzymes, into the duodenum through the pancreatic duct.

Get a Good Night's Sleep as You Age

Remember your teenage years, when you could conk out at the drop of a hat and sleep until lunchtime? Those days are long gone for most of us. In fact, getting and staying asleep are a real problem for a lot of middle-aged folks. But sleep is crucial to your physical, emotional, and mental well being.

Does Spanking Leave Emotional Scars?

To spank or not to spank... that is the question. The answer, it turns out, can be as complex as the reasons for doing it. For several generations spanking has been a topic of controversy in this country but studies show more than half of all U.S. parents condone spanking as a regular form of punishment.

Reactive Arthritis: What You Should Know

Reactive arthritis is, as you might expect from the name, a type of arthritis that occurs as a reaction to inflammation elsewhere in the body. But what may come as a surprise is that the inflammation often is the result of the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia.

Ginger May Provide Arthritis Relief

Ginger has been touted as a cure for nausea and vomiting for thousands of years, as well as a treatment for colic and heart trouble. But did you know that it also reduces inflammation, and there's evidence that its anti-inflammatory properties may help people with arthritis? In a 2001 University of Miami study, 261 patients with knee osteoarthritis received either a twice-daily dose of ginger extract or a placebo.

Get Heart Healthy With Digital Trainers

Several companies, including Suunto, Polar, and Timex, make heart rate monitors that help you keep track of your fitness level, tells you the number of calories burned, gives you your heart rate and even provides you with motivation-boosting messages, displayed on the watch face.

The Pros and Cons of Going on a Couple's Retreat

Getting away for some pressure-free, stress-free time with your partner sounds like a terrific idea. After all, how can two people not get along in a beautiful spot with no kids, no irritating coworkers, and no nagging bosses? Couples retreats have both pros and cons, so weigh both before you sign up.

Could Magnet Treatment Cure Depression?

There's a potential new treatment for depression that is showing promising results in studies and clinical trials, especially for patients who don't respond to traditional therapy. Transcranial Magnet Stimulation (TMS) uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain involved in mood control and depression.

7 Secrets of the Sex-Starved Wife

Typically, we're inundated with TV shows and movies suggesting only men are the ones who complain about lack of intimacy from their partner. However, it's equally as frustrating for a woman whose husband has no or little interest in sex. Especially in a society in which many wives seem to complain about their lack of desire for intimacy with a spouse, a woman who wants more intimacy (and is getting less) from her husband can experience a low self esteem and wonder if something is wrong with her.

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