Do I really need to avoid all dairy if I am lactose-intolerant?

Source: Lactose intolerance Lifestyle and home remedies – Mayo Clinic

Most people with lactose intolerance can enjoy some milk products without symptoms. It may be possible to increase your tolerance to dairy products by gradually introducing them into your diet.


Some people find that they can tolerate full-fat dairy products, such as whole milk and cheese, more easily than dairy products with no or reduced fat. Continue reading

Sex After Pregnancy: When Can I Resume Intercourse?

Source: Sex After Pregnancy: When Can I Resume Intercourse? – Medical News Today

Most mothers will agree that the last thing on their mind after having a baby is sex. However, this is not often the case with their partner! On the other hand, some women may be ready to resume sexual intercourse shortly after having a baby. But when is the right time to resume sexual intercourse?

In general, it is recommended that sexual intercourse is avoided for the first 4-6 weeks following a vaginal or cesarean (C-section) delivery; however, it is important to speak with your health care provider before resuming sex.

A woman is staring out of a window with a mug.
Multiple factors can influence when a woman is ready to resume sexual intercourse following pregnancy.

Most often, especially in cases of a C-section, perineal tear or episiotomy, it is recommended to wait until after you are seen for your 6-week postpartum visit for the green light from a health care provider to resume sexual activity. Continue reading

Question: Should I try high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to get in shape?

Source: Mayo Clinic News Network

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am determined to get fit and lose weight this year. I’ve recently heard a lot about interval training. What is it exactly, and is it safe for everyone? How do I get started?

ANSWER: To improve the fitness of your heart and lungs — known as cardiorespiratory fitness — you need to exercise at a higher level of intensity than is typical for you. High-intensity aerobic interval training, also called HIIT, involves alternating periods of moderate-intensity exercise with brief periods of high-intensity exercise. Incorporating HIIT into your exercise routine can be a safe and effective way to help your body adapt to a more intense workout and become more fit. Continue reading

How Do I Survive Spring Allergy Season?

Source: Treat and Prevent Spring Allergies: Drugs, Nasal Sprays, Allergy Shots, and More

Every spring, Denise Wilson tweaks her daily routine. Instead of running outdoors, she hits the gym. She puts on the air conditioner rather than open a window for fresh air. And she tucks her contacts into a drawer and switches to eyeglasses.

Wilson, 46, a public relations exec in Brooklyn, NY, says these are absolute musts if she’s going to get through allergy season.

Otherwise she’s bombarded with congestion, coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, an irritated throat, and asthma brought on by exercise.

“I usually don’t let myself get to that point anymore,” Wilson says. Instead of waiting for symptoms to blossom, she starts her allergy medicine before the season begins. Continue reading

What is sun protection factor (SPF)? What is the best sunscreen?

Source: What is sun protection factor (SPF)? What is the best sunscreen? – Medical News Today

The rules on the labeling of sun protection lotions sold to consumers mean that all sunscreen products are labeled with a sun protection factor (SPF) and whether or not there is broad-spectrum protection against the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Before the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) simplified its regulation of over-the-counter (OTC) and other consumer sun lotions in June 2012, there was a confusing array of claims that could be made about the level of protection given against harmful UVA and UVB sunrays.

The simpler rules mean that the labels now show only an “SPF” number and whether this confers “broad spectrum” protection – but what do these terms mean exactly?

And what is the best way to use sunscreen to avoid the risks of UV light, which include sunburn and cancers of the skin such as carcinoma and melanoma?

How much sunscreen should I use? When should I wear suntan lotion? Does my skin color alter the level of sun protection? The straightforward answers to these questions and more are provided below. Continue reading

How Do Placebos Work?

Source: Placebos: How Do They Work? What Is The Placebo Effect? – Medical News Today

A placebo is an ineffectual medical treatment or procedure designed with the express intention of deceiving a patient or a participant of an experiment.

Although, at first glance, this might seem like an unprofessional and, perhaps, pointless thing to do, it is quite the reverse. Placebos are essential in the design of reliable clinical trials, and their surprising effect has become the focus of many studies.

[Placebo empty pill]

The placebo effect refers to the impact that a placebo has on an individual. In other words, even an inert and inactive treatment can produce a measurable, positive health response. This outcome may fly in the face of common sense but it has been repeatedly demonstrated.

In this article, we will look at what the placebo effect entails, when it works, how it can be manipulated and when it is used in clinical settings. Continue reading

How safe is the Paleo diet?

Source: How safe is the Paleo diet? – Medical News Today

Scientists have warned against following celebrities into “fad” diets that are not supported by scientific evidence, as findings published in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes reveal that just 8 weeks on the “Paleo” diet can pile on the pounds and raise the risk of health problems.
[mice on Paleo diet]
Mice on a Paleo diet gained 15% of their body weight in less than 2 months.
Image credit: University of Melbourne

Supporters of the low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) “Paleo,” “stone-age” or “caveman” diet recommend consuming only foods that were available to our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Continue reading

How much water should you be drinking?

Source: Water: Recommended Daily Intake, Hydration During Exercise – Medical News Today

The “adequate intakes” officially recommended for total water from all sources each day (for adults between 19-30 years of age) are:

  • 3.7 liters (or about 130 fl oz) for men
  • 2.7 liters (about 95 fl oz) for women.

These dietary reference intakes, however, are based only on survey results of the average amounts that are consumed by people, on the assumption that these amounts must be about right for optimal hydration.

But the amounts measured for people in the temperate climate of the US, with plenty of access to water, may be too high, and intakes do vary greatly according to activity, environmental conditions (including clothing) and social activities such as drinking with friends. Continue reading

Do cranberries help urinary tract infections?

Source: Cranberries help urinary tract infections, but not as juice – Medical News Today

Dashing out for a bottle of cranberry juice when a urinary tract infection hits may not be so helpful after all. Research published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology suggests it could just be an old wives’ tale.
The active ingredients in cranberries prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall.

A urinary tract infection (UTI) can affect any part of the urinary system, kidneys, bladder or urethra.

More than 3 million Americans, mostly women, experience a UTI every year.

Symptoms include frequent, painful urination, pelvic pain and traces blood in the urine. The infection does not normally last long, and most patients self-diagnose. Continue reading

Can Stress Cause Weight Gain?

Source: Can Stress Cause Weight Gain?

You’re having problems at work or at home. You’re stressed, and it’s beginning to show — in more ways than one. You’ve noticed a bulge around your mid-section that wasn’t there before. Where are these extra pounds coming from?
Stress could be one of the culprits. It plays a role in weight gain. While it can make you have less of an appetite at first, long-term “chronic” stress actually boosts your hunger. Continue reading

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – an excellent resource for patients and their loved ones!

Source: Managing Your Cancer | Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has an excellent website for patients and their caregivers and loved ones.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a blood cancer, you surely have many questions. You can get answers there. You’ll find step-by-step guidance and resources.

Find the website here.


Do You Have to Cut 3,500 Calories to Lose a Pound?

Source: Mysteries of Weight Loss

So you’re finally ready to lose weight. Now the question is: How?

The standard advice — to eat less and move more — isn’t so helpful when it comes to the “how.” You probably know you need to cut calories, but how many? Are you better off getting those calories from low-fat or low-carb foods? And what’s going on with your metabolism, your personal energy-burning furnace? Is it programmed to keep you overweight? Is there any way to fan the flames so you can dream of one day eating a piece of pie without gaining a pound?

Weight Loss

Even science is still stumped on many of the basic questions of weight loss.

“Amazingly, in this era of obesity, there are still many things that we really don’t know,” says Robin Callister, PhD, professor of human physiology at the University of Newcastle in Australia.

Here’s what we do know about some of the most persistent mysteries of weight loss.

Continue reading

Question: What Are the Risks of Flu Vaccine?

Source: Ask Well: What Are the Risks of Flu Vaccine? – The New York Times

There are two types of flu vaccine: a shot and a nasal spray. Each has small, but different, risks.

The flu shot, which includes a killed version of the virus, cannot give anyone the flu. But since it is grown in eggs, it can cause an allergic reaction in people with egg allergies. The flu and the shot have also been linked to a rare nerve disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome in a very small number of people, so anyone who has developed the disorder within six months of a previous flu vaccine should get professional advice before getting a flu shot, according to Dr. Shira Doron, an infectious disease physician and associate hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. Continue reading

Your Burning Questions About Antibiotics, Answered

Source: Your Burning Questions About Antibiotics, Answered

1472475771446367009“By far what [I] google the most,” Amy Schumer said in her SNL monologue this weekend, “is ‘Can I drink on these antibiotics?’ and ‘Do these antibiotics make my birth control worthless?’” Comedy aside, these are actually good questions—and ones most of us probably ask when we’re given that prescription. Here are some answers.

After all, 80% of us take antibiotics each year (according to the most recent data, from 2011). These drugs are powerful, common, and we don’t always know what’s going on in our body when we take them.

So…Can I Drink on These Antibiotics?

In most cases yes, but check the label. Continue reading

Question: What is marijuana used for in medicine?

synthetic-cannabinoid-1Cannabinoids have been used for medical purposes since a very very (very!) long time. However, medical marijuana is still constantly debated in the media – is it good? is it bad? is it underused? should it be legalized? “it saved my child’s life so EVERY child with a seizure disorder should take medical marijuana”,…

Our body produces cannabinoids naturally Continue reading

Question: Is the Paleo diet just a trend or is it actually healthy?

I’m getting a lot of questions about diet lately, it seems. Well, a healthy diet is important!

The Paleo diet is based on non-processed foods, similar to what our ancestors would have eaten: meat, plants, some fruits,… However, it completely excludes dairy and some other important components of the modern diet that were discovered after our cavemen ancestors.

I have to admit that, as a doctor, I find it very difficult to keep my cool whenever friends tell me about their new “healthy” diet, especially the Paleo diet!

So let’s make it clear: the Paleo diet is a trend, not a healthy diet! There is a reason for the modern diet to be Continue reading

Question: Should I take vitamins?

I have seen people take vitamins and supplements for many reasons:

“I am afraid I don’t get enough vitamins & nutrients in my diet.”

“My friends take them, so it must be good.”

“Vitamins can’t harm me.”

“I am a woman – every woman needs supplements like iron and calcium.”

vitaminHowever, most of those reasons are not good! We get often confused about whether we need vitamins and supplements or not. And, let’s face it, other than our physician there are not many non-commercial non-biased reliable resources out there to explain this to us. Often, we take vitamins for reasons that are not valid, and thus we spend a lot of money and just end up producing expensive urine (where most of the vitamins end up when our body doesn’t need them). Moreover, some vitamins are very bad for you Continue reading