October 22-31, 2009 - Original Health Articles

What is a Sigmoidoscopy?

A sigmoidoscopy is a tool physicians use to screen for colon and rectal cancer. You can think of a sigmoidoscopy as the little brother of a colonoscopy, which is the most familiar and widely used procedure for colon cancer screening. Like a colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy examines the colon using a lighted tube and camera.

The Danger of Binge Drinking in Older Adults

Listening to news reports lately, you'd be forgiven for thinking that binge drinking is the exclusive province of college students or bachelor-party attendees in Las Vegas. But you'd be surprised to know that a significant number of older Americans hit the bottle hard on a regular basis-and it's wreaking havoc on their health.

Lose Your Love Handles in 6 Steps

Love handles can be anything but endearing. To make matters worse, losing them can be a challenge. Here, simple ways to slim down your sides: 1. Leave stress behind. When you're stressed, the brain produces cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones, in turn, trigger a chain reaction that causes cells to retain more fat.

Fight Fever in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition characterized by inflammation, joint pain, stiffness and lack of mobility. Another one of the symptoms that can occur is fever, which is related to rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile rheumatoid (or idiopathic) arthritis in several ways: Disease Activity When your rheumatoid arthritis is active, high levels of inflammation in your body can cause a low-grade fever, about 99 to 100.

Neck Pain and Posture

When an individual has neck pain, they go to their primary care physician, orthopedist or neurologist. An x-ray or MRI is taken. Arthritis might be found. A herniated disc, stenosis, degenerative disc disease are the other common findings. These findings become the basis of the diagnosis which all future treatments are based on.

Healthy Thanksgiving Tips for Diabetics

This all-American holiday calls for a celebratory meal filled with special dishes and cooked with love. The meal may need to be timed strategically depending upon if you take insulin or a pill to lower your blood glucose. The good news is that many of the traditional Thanksgiving foods fit in perfectly with the meal plan of those who have diabetes as well as other family members.

The 411 on MSG Allergies

You've just enjoyed a delicious Chinese meal and suddenly you don't feel quite right. Could you be getting sick-or are you having an allergic reaction to MSG? Short for a food additive called monosodium glutamate, MSG can cause a host of uncomfortable, allergy-like symptoms in those who are particularly sensitive to it.

Depression Dulls Brain s Pleasure Center

It's common knowledge that depression can cause less enjoyment and interest in previously enjoyed activities. Recently, a study revealed that this mood disorder actually affects the function of certain areas of the brain responsible for enjoyment. In the study published in NeuroReport, researchers observed the brain activity in 16 recently depressed people and 15 healthy people.

Tips for Taking Insulin Anywhere

You've carefully calculated the right dose based upon what you're eating and how much you're exercising. But do you know exactly how (and where) your insulin should be stored? A lot depends upon the temperature, experts say. In order to work effectively, insulin should be stored at anywhere from about 45 to 75 degrees, says  Dr.

Can You Outgrow Asthma?

Not So Easy to Outgrow Asthma You can outgrow that childhood stutter and teenage acne, but if you have asthma, it’s not always as easy to turn it into a thing of the past. While some illnesses can be cured with medications, asthma is a chronic, lifelong condition that can be controlled but usually doesn’t completely go away.

The Latest on Male Birth Control

In the past, responsibility for contraception has fallen primarily on women. Although women have many options, each form of birth control varies in how convenient and effective it is, and how it affects a woman's health. Today, many men also want to control their own fertility and take an active role in preventing unplanned pregnancies.

What to Consider Before Joining a Gym

Finding the perfect gym or health club can feel a bit overwhelming.  How do you know if you're making the right choice? Fortunately, if you do some work ahead of time, you can feel confident in your final decision. Here's what to consider before committing to a club.

Babyproofing 101

Hidden Dangers You may not realize it, but electrical outlets, hot water, cleaning supplies and long cords are just a few of the many things that can be hazardous in the tiny hands of a baby. And while you probably don't want to think about all of the risks that exist, not thinking about them can be even riskier.

Early Detection for Prostate Cancer

Currently, there are two primary screening tools for prostate cancer: the PSA test and the Digital Rectal Exam. Doctors typically use both tests during an examination. A PSA test is a simple blood test that measures the level of PSA in a man's body. PSA, or Prostate Specific Antigen, is a protein produced in the prostate.

10 Steps to Smaller Jeans

Want to drop a jeans size fast?  It's all about toning up your "jeans muscles" (abdominals, glutes, and thighs) while trimming excess body fat all over.  We've combined cardio and muscle-toning exercises for a circuit-training style workout.

Is It a Heart Attack? Rheumatoid Arthritis and Pericarditis

Inflammation that is characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) doesn't only affect your joints; it targets internal organs as well, such as the heart. This can lead to a condition called pericarditis, which causes symptoms similar to a heart attack.

The Heart-Healthy Benefits of Grapes

If you want lower blood pressure and better heart function, try eating grapes and drinking grape juice, especially dark red and purple grapes and grape juice. New studies are showing a link between grapes and reduced heart risks-and it's believed to be the result of phytochemicals, naturally occurring antioxidants found in plants.

Are You Screening Your Heart Enough?

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, twice as many women in the U.S. die from cardiovascular disease than from all forms of cancer combined. But being proactive about your health can greatly reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Fibromyalgia and Depression

About 30 to 40 percent of people who have fibromyalgia also suffer from depression, according to the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA). The link between the two conditions is not clear, and health professionals believe that depression in fibromyalgia is often poorly treated.

How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

Washing your hair too often can strip it of its natural oils, resulting in dry locks and split ends. But waiting too long before washes can result in a greasy scalp. So what's the magic number? The answer is different for everyone. Hair washing removes excess oil, called "sebum", along with dead skin cells and dirt.

The Dangers of Relying on Supplements

Look around any drugstore or health-food emporium, and you're likely to find a world of dietary supplements. Not just restricted to the world of power lifters and the vitamin obsessed, supplements have gained a foothold in the senior community. Since the elderly often have reduced appetites and difficulty eating, adding supplements can be a good idea.

Looking Your Best with Nasal Allergies

When your allergies are in full bloom, are you tempted to hide inside until your most visible symptoms subside? If so, you certainly aren't alone. The less than appealing effects of allergies can make it very challenging to look your best. But with a little extra care, you can minimize the signs and put your most attractive face forward all of the time.

Get Through Cold and Flu Season Symptom Free

As the temperature drops and more people head indoors, cold and flu germs will be circulating in full force. And while no one wants to get sick, if you have asthma, you know that you're at increased risk for experiencing side effects. But you don't have to feel doomed to suffer from the consequences.

What's Your Parenting Style?

What parenting style do you use with your children? There are many variations you can try, and you choices likely depend largely on your personality, beliefs and personal style. For instance, some more traditional parents may raise their families strictly by the book, while those with a more experimental side may prefer a looser approach.

Wednesday: The Deadliest Day for Suicide

It wasn't that long ago that Monday was considered the most likely day for people to attempt suicide. Now, a new study suggests that hump day, Wednesday, is the deadliest day for suicides. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), and appears online in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.

Can Statin Drugs Slash Your Dementia Risk?

For people with high cholesterol, the availability of statin drugs is a boon to health. Statins, which work on the liver to remove the enzymes that create cholesterol, have lowered the cholesterol levels of many Americans who either are not able or willing to make dietary and lifestyle changes or who have made them but whose cholesterol stays elevated due to genetics.

Menopause and Your Skin: Common Questions Answered

If you're going through menopause or expecting to in the next few years, you may be experiencing dry, itchy, or flushed skin.  But why does it happen? And how can you ease these symptoms? Here, answers to common questions surrounding menopause and your skin.

Can Hypnosis Ease Your IBS?

Can simply changing your thoughts relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome? New research is showing that using mind-body techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)-a type of psychotherapy-and hypnosis are having a positive effect in reducing the cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea and/or constipation associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Sperm Donation: Important Information for You to Consider

Every year sperm donation (or gamete donation) is responsible for an increasing number of births, reports the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). The practice isn't without controversy, and you'll hear the occasional story about offspring searching for their sperm-donating dads.

Are You Drinking Enough During Your Workouts?

With water and sports drinks readily available, there's no excuse for not drinking enough during your workout.  Unfortunately, many athletes allow themselves to get dehydrated. What should you drink and how much? Water is our body's most natural and welcome source of hydration.

Can Your Genetic Profile Determine Your Crohn's Treatment?

An international team of scientists has recently identified new genetic targets for drugs to treat Crohn's disease. Researchers analyzed DNA from 1,758 Crohn's patients and 1,480 healthy people, all of European ancestry. What appears to be most significant to the biology of Crohn's disease is the interleukin 12 (IL 12)  pathway, which governs cell receptors involved in the development of Crohn's disease.

Can Certain Foods Really Prevent Heart Disease?

You've seen it all: Health claims made on food packaging that include everything from how to lower cholesterol to how to ward off heart disease. But how accurate are these claims? According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food labeling...

Have Heart Disease? Get the Swine Flu Vaccine

If you have heart disease, the swine flu vaccine can do more than just prevent the aches, pains, and fever associated with the virus. It may also protect you from having a heart attack, according to study published in the British medical journal The Lancet.

Healthy Fats for Diabetics

The much touted Mediterranean diet has practically elevated olive oil to the status of super food. But there are other oils out there that have health benefits, too. Safflower oil, for instance, appears to reduce blood sugar levels by 11 to 19 points, says Kelly A.

The Dangers of Smoking in Women

Women's reasons for smoking are often different than men's.  They may smoke because they want help with weight loss. They may think it makes them appear more glamorous, independent, or mature.  Young women may smoke simply because that's what their mother's did.

3 Health Mistakes Smart People Make

You buy organic food, go for regular runs, use fat-free dressing on your salad, and strenuously avoid being near people who smoke. You can relax-you're doing as much as you can to stay healthy, right? Wrong! You may be surprised that some of the smartest, most educated people around make health mistakes that are easily corrected.

Job Stress and Depression

For millions of Americans work stress is an all-too common reality. And it's seemingly getting worse. Technology such as cell phones, emails, and text messaging increasingly causes job stress to spill over into our personal lives. In some cases, this leads to severe illnesses, including depression.

Can Eating Rice Keep Allergies at Bay?

The Concept of Genetically Modified Rice If rice is one of your favorite staples to include with almost every meal, then you may be quite excited about the results of a study that shows that with some modifications, a special blend of rice can actually successfully fight your allergy symptoms.

Four Completely Gross Children s Illnesses

Lice. Ringworm. Pinworm. Scabies. These are four of the grossest childhood illnesses that you’ll encounter. In fact, the names of them alone could be enough to make your stomach turn. But when you see the very graphic conditions up close, you’ll likely end up feeling even worse.

Causes of Inguinal Hernias: An Overview

An inguinal hernia is the most common type of hernia, and it can affect adults or children. It's a protrusion of abdominal tissue or a part of the small intestine through a weakened part of the lower abdominal muscles. There are two types of inguinal hernias—indirect and direct.

Do Herniated Discs Always Cause Pain?

This is fact that should shock those of you who are being told that the herniated disc that was found on your MRI is the cause of your back pain. Do not get lulled into the idea that because something showed up on your MRI that this means that the abnormal finding is automatically the cause of your pain.

9 Healthy Reasons to Get a Massage

See what people are saying about this article on our Facebook page! If you've always thought massage was something only pampered spa clients indulge in, you might want to reconsider. Massage, aside from feeling wonderful, actually delivers a host of legitimate health benefits.

Can Acupuncture Ease Heartburn?

Two small studies may shed some light on whether acupuncture, the ancient art of traditional Chinese medicine in which needles are used in pressure points on the body, may help alleviate heartburn. An Australian study of 14 heartburn-free volunteers found that electrical stimulation of an acupuncture point on the wrist reduced the number of times the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) muscle relaxed.

Can Sudden Hearing Loss Predict Future Stroke Risk?

If you suddenly have trouble hearing in one or both ears, are you destined to suffer a stroke at some point in your future? That is the question a group of researchers in Taiwan are pondering after examining follow-up data on more than 1,400 people hospitalized for acute hearing loss.

6 Most Disgraceful Diet Myths

If you can't seem to keep the weight off, you may simply be following bad advice. The fact is, there are a lot of bogus diet claims out there-ones which could sabotage your good intentions. Here, the six most outrageous diet myths of all time. 1. Snacking will destroy your diet.

What Can Strength Training Do for Seniors?

Take a look at the weight room next time you're near a gym. Who do you see hovering around the barbells and machines? Most likely, a group of young or middle-aged guys (and maybe a few women) are working their biceps, triceps, and quads. Perhaps you've thought about adding something other than walking or stretching to your workout routine, but breaking into that youthful group by the mirror is too intimidating.

Sex after Breast Cancer

The National Cancer Institute reports that about half of women treated for breast cancer experience some form of long-term sexual dysfunction. Increasingly, younger women are being diagnosed with breast cancer. These women are particularly vulnerable to, or distressed by, treatment-related sexual problems.

How Crying Can Trigger Asthma

Emotion as an Asthma Trigger For people who suffer from asthma, the fact is that deep emotions, including the act of crying, can irritate their very sensitive airways. To understand how and why, keep in mind the way your body reacts when you experience stress or other strong emotions.

Does Size Really Matter?

Just as girls and women are bombarded with the message that thin is better, popular media also reinforces the notion that bigger is better when it comes to the size of a man's penis. In our culture, penis size is equated with sexual power and masculinity.

Could Your Purse Be Behind Your Back Pain?

If you're like most women, you love shopping for a new purse. But aside from such considerations as style, fabric, color and price, there's one very important factor that should influence your buying decision: the size of the bag. In addition to being quite functional and a current fashion statement, oversized purses can cause you pain, particularly if you load them up with all of the daily gear you just can't live without.

The Do's and Don'ts of Being Single During the Holidays

All that tinsel, holiday music and ads for the perfect gift--it's enough to make the happiest of us feel the pressure of shopping, wrapping, decorating and returning.  Imagine how it feels when you're going through tough economic times.  Now add being single, divorced or unhappy in love and having to answer the yearly question:  What are you doing for the holidays?  Be careful before you answer.

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