October 8-14, 2009 - Original Health Articles

What Stem Cell Research Means for Heart Patients

It's possible to repair heart tissue and thus reverse heart failure by injecting adult bone marrow stem cells into skeletal muscle, a study shows.  Researchers at the University of Buffalo used an animal model to demonstrate that a non-invasive procedure actually increased heart cells, called myocytes, by two-fold and reduced heart tissue injury by 60 percent, according to a news release from the University of Buffalo.

Men's Sexual Health Connected to Overall Health

Consider this: Thirty to 50 percent of men with diabetes suffer from erectile dysfunction. Men in their 40s who have erectile dysfunction (ED) are twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease compared to men without ED. These are just a few examples of how your sexual health relates to overall health.

How to Be a Smart Snacker

The snack choices you make really can lead to weight-loss success or sabotage.  Potato chips, doughnuts, and candy bars, for example, can add hundreds of empty calories to your daily intake. Fortunately, there are healthier options. Follow these tips to make smart snacking a part of your routine.

Compression Socks: The Latest Fitness Accessory

Compression socks have long been considered the "it" accessory for people with varicose veins, phlebitis, diabetes, or poor circulation.  Hospitals frequently use them after surgeries to prevent blood clots in patients. Now, compression socks are becoming the latest trend in fitness fashion and performance gear.

Can Antioxidants Improve Your Workout?

Antioxidants have been credited with helping to slow down the aging process and even prevent cancer. Now, studies are suggesting they may even increase your ability to work out for longer. Antioxidants are phytochemicals (produced by plants), vitamins, and other nutrients usually found in fruits and vegetables.

Suicide Connected to Family History

Last year nearly eight million Americans considered attempting suicide--many of them young adults. Suicide rates are increasing, and several recent studies have confirmed that there's a family connection. In a Danish study, a family history of suicide more than doubled the likelihood that a person would commit suicide.

5 Ways to Nix Nighttime Nibbling

Eating a late-night snack before bedtime may not only pack on unwanted pounds;  it could keep you up at night with indigestion and even set off episodes of heartburn. Here, five tips to distract you from that late-night munching and ensure that you get your full eight hours.

6 Quick and Easy Breakfasts

"What's for breakfast?" The manner in which you address this age-old question will either make or break your morning. Here are some quick and easy breakfast ideas to help stave off the mid-morning-and keep your energy levels going strong. For example, a muffin with your coffee may give you a quick charge .

Salt and Asthma: Is There a Connection?

Are you looking for new ways to get your asthma under control? If so, you may be considering lifestyle changes that would keep your symptoms at bay. One such approach?  Cutting back on your salt intake. But studies have shown that reducing sodium might not have as big of an impact as previously thought.

Children and Cold Meds: A Dangerous Combination

When your child is sick with a cold and a cough, you probably want to treat the symptoms and help him or her feel better fast. But before you turn to any over-the-counter medication, it's critical that you check with your pediatrician. According to the latest FDA guidelines, over-the-counter cold and cough medicines are never safe to use in children under two years of age—and may pose a serious risk to children for older children as well.

Fast Food Allergies: A Dangerous Reality

Wondering what to serve for dinner tonight? If you don't have time to cook, the convenience of visiting a fast food restaurant can be tempting, especially with the nutritious options some establishments have added to their menus. Yet for people who suffer from fast food allergies, the dangers of eating out may be more than they can stomach.

Heavy Menstrual Bleeding: A Sign of a Clotting Disorder?

Heavy menstrual bleeding is par for the course for some women.  Their mother had it, their sisters have it, and they figure there's nothing that can be done about it.  For some women, however, it may be a sign of a bigger health problem.  In fact, studies that indicate heavy periods might be caused by a blood clotting disorder.

Can Caffeine Cut Age-Related Memory Loss?

Here's another item to add to the growing list of caffeine's health benefits: That daily java habit may help you avoid Alzheimer's disease as you get older. Not only that, a recent study of caffeine consumption reveals that drinking the brew actually may reverse any age-related memory loss you already experience.

Meningitis: What You Should Know

Meningitis is a serious disease that often affects young people, although it can strike at any age. An inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord, meningitis is usually caused by a virus but can also be the result of bacteria.

What Causes Lupus?

About 1.5 million Americans suffer from lupus. The most common form is systemic lupus erythematosus, which accounts for nearly 70 percent of cases. It's an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack normal tissue and organs, including the kidneys, heart, lungs and skin.

Can a Blood Test Reveal Your Body's Real Age?

Only your birth certificate reveals how old you are, right? Well, yes-chronologically, at least. But wouldn't it be interesting to learn your body's true age? In other words, do you at age 50 have the body of a typical 35-year-old? Or have your health habits and lifestyle aged you so that at age 50 you more closely resemble a 65-year-old physiologically? A simple blood test may soon be able to let you know how well your body is standing the test of time.

The Dangers of Acid Reflux Meds

Millions of people suffer from occasional episodes of acid reflux. This occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) located at the end of the esophagus, opens spontaneously or does not close properly for some reason and digestive juices-called acids-rise up with partially digested food into the esophagus.

The Link between Gum Disease and Arthritis

If the eyes are the window to the soul, then the mouth is the portal to our health. Oral conditions are associated with general health problems and may be an early indicator that you have another disease or disorder lurking in your body. The medical community has clearly established a link between periodontal disease--or periodontitis--and other diseases, especially coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer's and chronic inflammatory conditions.

Once-a-Day Treatment for Diabetes

Anyone with type one diabetes knows just how time consuming the daily routine is--multiple injections are the norm for anyone who wants to stay in good blood sugar control. Now a brand new insulin analog holds the promise of being a once-a-day regimen.

Can HPV Cause Non-Cervical Cancers?

What is HPV? HPV is actually 100 related viruses. Each represents a different type of HPV. Some of them cause warts or papillomas, which are non-cancerous tumors. HPV viruses live in the moist cells (called squamous epithelial cells) that line the organs and cavities in our body that open to the outside, such as the mouth and anus.

What Asthmatics Need to Know about Swine Flu Prevention

Open up the newspaper or turn on the television these days and you will likely find mention of the Swine (H1N1) Flu pandemic. But while everyone is at risk for catching this new illness, if you have asthma or other chronic health conditions, you may be especially concerned about the effect that getting sick can have on your already sensitive airways.

Does Your Child Have Attention Deficit Disorder?

Does your child have difficulty sitting for long periods of time and paying attention at school and in other settings? If so, it could be just typical of his behavior, or it could be a sign of attention deficit disorder. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.

Is Your Carpet Making You Sick?

If you have carpeting in your home, did you know that this choice of floor covering could actually be making you sneeze? Carpeting has long been recognized as a major allergy trigger, in large part because dust mites, mold, and other common allergens can become trapped within the carpet weave.

3 Natural Aphrodisiacs for Men

For centuries every culture has experimented with natural herbs and potions to increase sexual fulfillment. The Athenians once touted rubbing arugula on the penis for more erections. For sexual stimulation, the Aztecs and Mayans used the herb damiana, which is still promoted today as a natural sex enhancer.

What Your Skin Says About Your Health

As any teenager knows, skin problems can be embarrassing. But did you know that the condition of your skin may also be a window into any illnesses you might have? From mysterious rashes to bumps and discolorations, here's what you need to look for before you reach for that bottle of concealer: Yellow skin.

Can the Mediterranean Diet Extend Your Life?

If you believe that longevity can be attributed to good genes, regular exercise, and perhaps a dose of plain old luck, you're only partly right. It turns out that what you eat-or don't eat-can have a huge impact on how long you live. The best way to dress your dinner table? With foods from the Mediterranean diet.

Why Do Women Have More Sleep Problems Than Men?

Women today have more to do than ever before, juggling family, career, education, social, and community responsibilities.  The only time they have to relax is when their head hits the pillow.  You'd think with all the work they put into their day, sleep would come easily.

Expert Q&A: 3 Common Diabetes Questions

Q: I’m new to “pumping” and I have trouble finding the proper site. Where is the best spot for my insulin pump? Here's some sensible advice about pump sites from www.diabetesnet.com: In the abdominal area, the infusion set can be placed anywhere from just below the rib cage to just above the pubic area, to within two finger widths of the belly button extending to the sides, basically anywhere you can "pinch an inch.

Avoid Workplace Heartburn: 5 Simple Tips

At one time or another, many of us have had an occasional bout of heartburn, a painful burning sensation that arises in the chest and may extend to the throat. If you experience more frequent episodes of heartburn, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Diabetes and the Increased Risk of Breast Cancer

A study published in the International Journal of Cancer confirms previous research showing that diabetes increases the risk of breast cancer. In this study elevated insulin levels in the blood appeared to raise the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

3 Reasons Not to Hit the Snooze Button

Are you on intimate terms with your snooze button, hitting it several times until you finally roll out of bed 20, 30, or even 40 minutes after the first alarm goes off? If the answer is yes, you're missing out on a great opportunity to improve your health.

Can Too Many X-Rays Really Be Dangerous?

A trip to the dentist can be nervewracking enough without being asked to don a heavy protective apron while having x-rays taken. Are x-rays really so dangerous that we need to put on armor against them? And what about all the other x-rays we may be subjected to over our lifetime? Coughs that won't quit may necessitate chest x-rays, while falls on pavement or concrete mean x-rays of our arms, legs, wrists, or even heads.

What Are Cigarettes Doing to Your Skin?

Cigarettes and Your Skin...A Recipe for Premature Aging With all the well-publicized reasons not to smoke, you hardly need another one. But if the threat of cancer, heart disease, and emphysema  aren't enough to make you pack it in, how about your youth? Just like too much sun exposure, smoking can make you look years older than you are.

Childless Women Diagnosed with Arthritis Earlier

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a chronic inflammatory disease, strikes women at higher rates than men. Between 1955 and 1994, the overall number of cases of rheumatoid arthritis declined. Since 1995, however, the incidence and prevalence of RA in women is increasing.

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