Cancer risk falls with higher levels of vitamin D

Source: Cancer risk falls with higher levels of vitamin D – Medical News Today

Researchers suggest improving people’s blood level of vitamin D could be an important tool for preventing cancer, after their study found that the risk of developing the disease rises as vitamin D levels fall.
Vitamin D written in sand
The study links low levels of vitamin D – produced by the body through exposure to sunshine – to higher risk of developing cancer.

In the journal PLOS One, researchers from the University of California-San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine report how they analyzed the link between vitamin D and cancer to determine what blood level of vitamin D was required to effectively reduce cancer risk.

The study included all invasive cancers, excluding skin cancer. Continue reading

Eat fresh fruits daily to reduce your risk of cardiovascular death

Source: Eating fresh fruits daily may reduce your risk of cardiovascular death – Medical News Today

New research provides further evidence of the health benefits of fruit consumption, after finding that eating fresh fruits daily may lower the risks of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death.
[Mixed fruits]
Eating fresh fruit every day can benefit heart health.

Dr. Huaidong Du, of the University of Oxford in the UK, and colleagues recently published their findings in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Under the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, it is recommended that adults who get less than 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily consume 1.5-2 cups of fruits each day, based on evidence that including fruits as part of a healthy diet reduces the risk of some chronic diseases. Continue reading

Doctors today: Young, broke and human

Source: Doctors today: Young, broke and human

“Oh, you’re my doctor? A woman?”

Who do you picture walking through the exam room door at your new doctor’s office? Is it the Norman Rockwell depiction of an older, jolly looking male? After residency, I was alarmed at how many patients commented on my age and gender:

“How old are you, 12?” or, “Oh, you’re my doctor? A woman?”

This got me thinking about misconceptions people have about doctors, and I thought I could share a few things many people may not know about their favorite neighborhood doctor. Continue reading

Decoding Food Expiration Dates

Source: Mayo Clinic News Network

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there is no uniform or universally accepted system used for food dating across America. There are some common freshness codes stamped on items in stores, but the information can be confusing. 

In this Mayo Clinic Minute, dietitian Angie Murad decodes the dates and explains that most don’t have anything to do with expiration. Jeff Olsen reports. 

Are you drinking too much alcohol?

If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to no more than:

  • two units of alcohol a day most days, to a weekly maximum of 10 for women.
  • three units of alcohol a day most days, to a weekly maximum of 15 for men.

“A unit” means:

  • 341 mL / 12 oz (1 bottle) of regular strength beer (5% alcohol).
  • 142 mL / 5 oz wine (12% alcohol).
  • 43 mL / 1 1/2 oz spirits (40% alcohol).


9 things doctors wished you didn’t keep in your home

Source: Life Hack Thursday: 9 things doctors wished you didn’t keep in your home | CTV News

The staff working in hospital emergency and trauma departments see a lot of injuries come through the doors every day, including those they know could have been avoided.

So what are some unexpected things commonly found in many homes that cause easily preventable injuries? We spoke to a few doctors and a registered nurse to find out.

Microwaveable soups

“You know those heatable soups that come in Styrofoam cups? I’ve seen a huge number of people get burned very badly from opening those,” says Toronto-area emergency room physician, Dr. Brett Belchetz. Continue reading

The Current Opioid Epidemic

Source: The opioid epidemic: It’s time to place blame where it belongs

The media is full of stories about the current opioid crisis. But unlike many national crises, such as the Flint lead-contaminated water crisis, the focus is on solutions and not blame. A few weeks ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines for prescribing opioids in chronic pain, Congress approved funding for prevention and treatment, and the US HHS released a “National Pain Strategy.”

So to fulfill my duty as an American, allow me to place blame for our current opioid crisis. Allow me to start with physicians. We overprescribe opioids, just as we overprescribe antibiotics. But it is generally well meaning; we don’t want our patients to experience pain. Healthy Living magazine recently published a heart-wrenching story of a woman whose life was nearly destroyed by two weeks of oxycodone prescribed by a well-meaning physician for arthritis. These physicians can best be described as innocent bystanders. But “pill mill” doctors who set up shop, accept cash as the only payment and are willing to prescribe to anyone for any ailment, real or feigned, are criminals and need to be stopped. They cast a long shadow on the work of every other physician trying to help patients. Continue reading

Exercise is Relatively Ineffective for Weight Loss

Source: Exercise vs. Diet: Which Is More Important for Weight Loss?

If you’re perplexed by the information above, don’t worry. There’s a simple explanation behind it, which we’ll break up into two parts.

Reason 1. Calorie expenditure through exercise is relatively small in the grand scheme of things.

In order to see why exercise-focused weight loss programs might yield low efficacy, it’s important to understand the accounting behind our daily caloric expenditure. Continue reading

Four Myths About Hydration That Refuse To Die

Source: Four Myths About Hydration That Refuse To Die

As Derek Zoolander wisely put it, wetness is the essence of life. Whether you like drinking water or not, it accounts for about 60% of your body weight, and plays a pretty darn important role in making sure your body functions normally. But statistics aside, there are a couple of myths about hydration that refuse to die.

Myth One: You Need To Drink Eight Cups A Day

Continue reading

The Ideal Amount of Sleep for Each Age Group, According to the Experts

Source: The Ideal Amount of Sleep for Each Age Group, According to the Experts

It seems like a question that’s as old as time itself: “How much sleep do I really need?” The nonprofit National Sleep Foundation and a panel of 18 prominent medical scientists and researchers reviewed over 300 sleep studies to try and finally answer it.

The short answer is, of course, “it depends.” There’s no perfect sleep number that can fit every person, but The National Sleep Foundation’s major report—recently published in their own Sleep Health Journal—has revealed an updated list of sleep duration recommendations for all age groups. Continue reading

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

How to Allergy-Proof Your Home

Source: Allergy-proof your home – Mayo Clinic


If you have hay fever or allergic asthma, take a few steps to reduce allergens in your home. Some steps to reduce indoor allergens are complicated and time-consuming — but there are some easy things you can do that may help. Some steps may be more effective than others, depending on what particular allergy or allergies you have.


  • Bed and bedding. Encase pillows, mattresses and box springs in dust-mite-proof covers. Wash sheets, pillowcases and blankets at least once a week in water heated to at least 130 F (54 C). Remove, wash or cover comforters. Replace wool or feathered bedding with synthetic materials.
  • Flooring. Remove carpeting and use hardwood or linoleum flooring or washable area rugs. If that isn’t an option, use low-pile instead of high-pile carpeting and vacuum weekly with a vacuum cleaner that has a small-particle or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Shampoo the carpet frequently.
  • Curtains and blinds. Use washable curtains made of plain cotton or synthetic fabric. Replace horizontal blinds with washable roller-type shades.
  • Windows. Close windows and rely on air conditioning during pollen season. Clean mold and condensation from window frames and sills. Use double-paned windows if you live in a cold climate.
  • Furnishings. Choose easy-to-clean chairs, dressers and nightstands made of leather, wood, metal or plastic. Avoid upholstered furniture.
  • Clutter. Remove items that collect dust, such as knickknacks, tabletop ornaments, books and magazines. Store children’s toys, games and stuffed animals in plastic bins.
  • Pets. If you can’t find a new home for your dog or cat, at least keep animals out of the bedroom. Bathing pets at least once a week may reduce the amount of allergen in the dander they shed.
  • Air filtration. Choose an air filter that has a small-particle or HEPA filter. Try adjusting your air filter so that it directs clean air toward your head when you sleep.

Continue reading

How Healthy are Your Defense Mechanisms?

Source: How Healthy are Your Defense Mechanisms? | Psychology Today

Freud may not have been right about everything but he certainly knew his defense mechanisms. His belief that we need defense mechanisms to protect ourselves from knowing just how much we are possessed by sexual and aggressive drives is now generally refuted. However, there is still relatively widespread acceptance that defense mechanisms serve an adaptive purpose. Having a healthy set of defense mechanisms can help you keep in check your anxiety, frustrations, feelings of low self-esteem, and despair over the losses that life occasionally deals you.

One research team in particular seeks to discover the hidden truth behind our tendencies to hide the truth from ourselves. Psychiatrist George Vaillant, who heads up the Study of Adult Development at Harvard University, discovered a number of years ago that the key to psychological health in adulthood is the use of what he calls “mature” defense mechanisms. His taxonomy of defense mechanisms became the basis for American psychiatry’s classification of personality disorders ranging from the “acting out” and dramatic cluster (antisocial and borderline personality disorders) to the more restrained cluster in which people’s pathology is less overtly expressed (schizoid and paranoid). Continue reading

What is Toxoplasmosis?

Source: Toxoplasmosis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment – Medical News Today

The disease toxoplasmosis is caused by an infection with a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. In the US alone, more than 60 million people may harbor the infection.

Toxoplasmosis often causes flu-like symptoms, although it can lead to more serious complications such as encephalitis and developmental impairments.

Pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems are at a higher risk of developing serious health complications with toxoplasmosis.

You will also see introductions at the end of some sections to any recent developments that have been covered by MNT‘s news stories. Also look out for links to information about related conditions.

A pregnant lady with a cat.
Toxoplasmosis can be contracted congenitally and through contact with cat feces.

Continue reading

You have no idea what it’s like working in the ER as a pregnant physician

Source: You have no idea what it’s like working in the ER as a pregnant physician

When I was pregnant with my first child, I worked full time as a physician in the emergency department. I worked mostly 9-hour shifts, but some 12-hour shifts as well. Days, evenings, nights, holidays and weekends were divided up amongst the entire group of physicians. I worked my share of those shifts as well.

I have worked in the ER while pregnant twice now, and while I am proud to be an emergency physician and love my job, I didn’t love it when I was pregnant. I found the ER a challenging work environment for a pregnant woman.

Unfortunately, I had a lot of nausea and morning sickness for the first trimester of both of my pregnancies. Working in the ER, there are strong smells: vomit, diarrhea, pus, stinky feet and unbathed homeless people, to name a few. There were many a time when I would run to the bathroom to vomit and have to come right back out and see the next patient as if nothing had happened. Continue reading

Mayo Clinic Minute: Mediterranean Diet Improves Bone Health

Source: Mayo Clinic News Network

Women who eat a Mediterranean diet are slightly less likely to fracture a hip, according to a new study.

Researchers examined whether diet quality affects bone health in postmenopausal women. Study results, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, show women who adhered to a Mediterranean diet were 0.29 percent less likely to fracture a hip than women who didn’t stick to the diet.

The Mediterranean diet is high in fruits and vegetables, and lower in red meats and dairy; however, it’s more than just a list of ingredients. In this Mayo Clinic Minute, Jeff Olsen talks to Dr. Donald Hensrud, director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, about the staples and subtleties that make up the Mediterranean diet.

Intensive exercise may keep the aging mind sharp

Source: Intensive exercise may keep the aging mind sharp – LA Times

Older Americans who engage in strenuous exercise are more mentally nimble, have better memory function and process information more speedily than do their more sedentary peers, new research suggests. And as they continued to age, participants who were very physically active at the start of a five-year study lost less ground cognitively than did couch potatoes, according to the study.

The latest research, published Wednesday in the journal Neurology, is the most recent study to underscore the importance of moderate to intensive exercise in healthy aging. In addition to keeping diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis at bay or in check, a welter of studies suggests a good workout is powerful medicine for the aging brain, preventing and treating depression and shoring up cognitive function. Continue reading

Less than 3 percent of Americans have ‘healthy lifestyle’

Source: Less than 3 percent of Americans have ‘healthy lifestyle’ –

If living healthy was a class, the vast majority of us would be flunking, a study published recently in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings has found.

Just 2.7 percent of Americans have a “healthy lifestyle,” which researchers defined as hitting all four benchmarks of good health. They are: not smoking; getting regular, moderate exercise; eating a diet rich in vegetables and whole grains and low in saturated fat, and maintaining a low body fat. Continue reading

Core exercises: Why you should strengthen your core muscles

Source: Core exercises: Why you should strengthen your core muscles – Mayo Clinic

Core exercises are an important part of a well-rounded fitness program. Aside from occasional situps and pushups, however, core exercises are often neglected. Still, it pays to get your core muscles — the muscles around your trunk and pelvis — in better shape. Read on to find out why.

Core exercises improve your balance and stability

 Core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony. This leads to better balance and stability, whether on the playing field or in daily activities. In fact, most sports and other physical activities depend on stable core muscles.

Core exercises don’t require specialized equipment or a gym membership

Any exercise that involves the use of your abdominal and back muscles in coordinated fashion counts as a core exercise. For example, using free weights in a manner that involves maintaining a stable trunk can train and strengthen several of your muscles, including your core muscles. You may also try several specific core exercises to stabilize and strengthen your core.

Person performing a bridge exercise.

A bridge is a classic core exercise. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Keep your back in a neutral position, not arched and not pressed into the floor. Avoid tilting your hips. Tighten your abdominal muscles. 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

Stillbirth risk could be halved with seasonal flu shot during pregnancy

Source: Stillbirth risk could be halved with seasonal flu shot during pregnancy – Medical News Today

Expectant mothers who receive the seasonal flu vaccine may be at significantly lower risk for stillbirth than those who are not vaccinated. This is the conclusion of a new study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
[A pregnant women with her hands on her belly]
Expectant mothers who received the seasonal flu shot were found to be at 51% lower stillbirth risk than those who were not vaccinated.

In the US, around 1% of all pregnancies are affected by stillbirth, and around 24,000 babies are stillborn every year.

While the causes of many stillbirths are unclear, birth defects, genetic problems, issues with the placenta or umbilical cord and certain medical conditions in the mother can play a role.

Expectant mothers who are over the age of 35, smoke during pregnancy, obese, have experienced a previous pregnancy loss or who have had multiple pregnancies are also at greater risk for stillbirth. Continue reading

The top 10 lies of doctors

Source: The top 10 lies of doctors

I’ve been a doctor for more than 20 years, and I hate to break it to you, but it’s time I came clean: We lie. Doctors lie. Not always. Not necessarily on purpose. But we do.

Sometimes the lies are to our patients. Sometimes, the lies are to our families. And sometimes the lies are to ourselves.

But, nonetheless, we lie. A lot. Often daily.

Want an inside scoop on the lies to look out for from your doctor?

 Here you go. These are the top 10 lies doctors tell:

Continue reading

Cactus disease (paleo-induced mineral periostitis) | Radiology Case |

Source: Cactus disease (paleo-induced mineral periostitis) | Radiology Case |

Case Discussion:

Paleo-induced mineral periostitis (PiMP) is a recently recognised disease attributed to the so-called “paleo diet”. It most frequently involves the metacarpals and phalanges producing perpendicular periosteal projections (“spines”), an appearance that has lead to the alternative name of “cactus disease”. In severe cases the spines can tent the skin and present clinically, although the majority of cases are only detected radiographically after patients complain of hand pain, particularly when squeezing fruits (e.g. crushing goji berries).

Proponents of the paleo diet continue to deny that it causes PiMP, however a strong temporal association and correlation between length of diet and disease severity have proved scientifically robust; 2016 Cochrane Library metareview. Supportive archeological evidence from paleolithic human populations also exists including cave paintings in Argentina showing cactus hands 12,000 years ago (pictured above).

The European Society for Hand Models recently listed the paleo diet as a category 5 risk (alongside wood work, wicket keeping and thumb wrestling) after founding member Spike E. Hanzenfeat announced that his once “really really, ridiculously good looking hands” had been “internally shashlicked” within seven months of commencing the diet. A Broadway adaptation of his story entitled “The Stuff Fools Swallow” is expected in late 2017.

Naturopaths should be restricted from treating children

Source: Naturopaths should be restricted from treating children. Here’s why.

You may be aware of Ezekiel Stephan, a 19-month-old boy, who died in 2012, after his parents chose home remedies and naturopathy for the treatment of viral meningitis. The parents currently are on trial in Canada for failing to provide the necessities of life.

Over the course of many days, Ezekiel’s condition rapidly deteriorated, but his parents chose to “give him as much natural product as possible,” including syrup, frozen berries and a mixture of apple cider vinegar, horseradish root, hot peppers, mashed onion, garlic and ginger root. By the time Ezekiel began slipping in and out of consciousness, a family friend, who is a registered nurse, examined the boy and instructed the parents to take him to the emergency room under the suspicion of meningitis.

Instead, the parents took Ezekiel to a licensed naturopath. His condition was dire. His mother recalled that his body was too stiff to be placed in a car seat, so Ezekiel was put on a mattress in the back of the car. The naturopath then gave a preparation of echinacea without performing a physical exam and did not instruct the parents to seek emergency medical attention. Ezekiel stopped breathing that evening. Continue reading

Increasing the minimum age of sale for tobacco products to 21 shows very promising outcomes – NEJM

Source: Have Tobacco 21 Laws Come of Age? — NEJM

On January 20, 2016, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill passed with strong bipartisan support by his state legislature that would have raised New Jersey’s minimum age of sale for tobacco products to 21. The veto is a setback in an otherwise accelerating movement toward dissemination of “Tobacco 21” laws as a new tool for reducing young people’s access to cigarettes and e-cigarettes. In 2013, only 8 U.S. localities had adopted Tobacco 21 laws. By March 2016, at least 125 localities and the state of Hawaii had done so, and California was on the cusp of following suit. In September 2015, the first federal Tobacco 21 legislation was introduced (Tobacco to 21 Act, S. 2100). Continue reading

How to trick your mind into being happier

Source: How to trick your mind into being happier – Business Insider

Do you ever feel mad or sad or anxious and wish you could just snap out of it?

Well, you might just be able to.

Amit Sood, an MD and professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, has spent two decades meeting with hundreds of scientists, reading thousands of research papers and books, and studying tens of thousands of patients and students to figure out how we can stop our minds from being consumed by stressful thoughts.

In his book “The Mayo Clinic Handbook for Happiness,” Sood concludes that the human brain is continually switching between two modes: default mode, which is when our minds are distracted or begin wandering, and focused mode, in which our minds are highly focused on something interesting. Continue reading

The Spectacular Benefits Of Non-Exercise: How Little Movements Add Up To A Healthier Day

Source: The Spectacular Benefits Of Non-Exercise: How Little Movements Add Up To A Healthier Day | Co.Exist | ideas + impact

When I interview James Levine, appropriately enough it’s a walk-and-talk affair. Levine practically coined the phrase “sitting is the new smoking,” so a couch or table conversation would not have felt right. And Levine hates sitting still. He takes any opportunity to fit a little more movement into the day, even if it means putting aside modern conveniences. Levine is someone who wouldn’t buy a Roomba if he could push around an old Hoover instead.

It’s the middle of the day when we hustle around the Mayo Clinic campus, in Phoenix. The sun is bearing down and it’s a struggle to keep up with Levine’s pace. He reels off statistics about the obesity epidemic (now a global phenomenon), overeating, and how our lives are designed to reduce calorie expenditure. We’ve created a world where food is cheap and always available, but where our opportunity to spend the energy we get from eating it is limited, especially if you’re someone who doesn’t like going to the gym. 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

Around 60% of women have fibroids

Source: Could You Have Fibroids and Not Know? « Women’s Health

woman's torsoMy first patient this morning, a normally chipper young lady, greeted me with a somber nod. When I asked what was wrong, she took a deep breath, bit her bottom lip, thrust an ultrasound report in my face, and dramatically sighed, “I have a FIBROID.” I reviewed the report. It showed a tiny fibroid that was causing no issues – other than emotional angst.

My next patient, though she had not listed any issues or concerns on her “new patient” forms, had a visibly swollen abdomen. When I examined her, her uterus was swollen with fibroids and felt like a giant lumpy soccer ball. She admitted that her periods were so heavy that she had needed blood transfusions before. When I asked why she didn’t get her fibroids treated, she said with a shrug that she didn’t know they were there.

Fibroids (tumors of the uterus) can vary in size, symptoms and the amount of stress they produce. And they’re extremely common – affecting around 60% of women. It may sound scary that more than half of all women are walking around with tumors lurking in their uteri, but there is no need to fret. Fibroids are non-cancerous, and the great majority do not cause much drama. They can generally be safely ignored unless they are bothering you or interfering with your health. Continue reading

Exercise in older age may protect memory and thinking skills

Source: Exercise in older age may protect memory and thinking skills – Medical News Today

A new study published in the journal Neurology provides further evidence that exercise in older age may slow the rate of cognitive decline.
[An older couple running in the sunshine]
Moderate- to high-intensity exercise in older age may slow cognitive decline, say researchers.

Dr. Clinton B. Wright, of the University of Miami in Florida, and colleagues found that adults over the age of 50 who engaged in light or no exercise experienced a significantly faster decline in memory and thinking skills, compared with those who engaged in moderate to intense exercise. Continue reading

Prolonged sitting can kill you

Source: Prolonged sitting responsible for more than 430,000 deaths – Medical News Today

The health implications of prolonged sitting has become a hot topic of late, with numerous studies suggesting it can raise the risk of obesity, heart disease and even premature death. Now, new research adds fuel to the fire, revealing that sitting for more than 3 hours daily is responsible for around 3.8% of all-cause deaths over 54 countries.
[A man sitting at a desk]
Sitting for at least 3 hours daily is accountable for 3.8% of all-cause deaths, according to researchers.

But it’s not all bad news; the study also found that we can increase life expectancy by an average of 0.2 years by reducing sitting time to less than 3 hours a day.

Lead researcher Leandro Rezende, of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine in Brazil, and colleagues publish their findings in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

On average, Americans spend up to 13 hours a day sitting, with around 7.5 hours spent sitting at work, which researchers claim can wreak havoc on health.

Last January, for example, Medical News Today reported on a study that suggested prolonged sitting can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and premature death, regardless of physical activity status.

And a more recent study found that, for heart disease patients, sitting for long periods can worsen health, even if they are active. Continue reading

Fruit juices and smoothies have ‘unacceptably high’ sugar content

Source: Fruit juices and smoothies have ‘unacceptably high’ sugar content – Medical News Today

The next time you offer your children a healthy smoothie instead of a soda, you may want to remember that it could contain as much as 13 g/100 ml, equivalent to around 2.5 tsps in a 3.5-oz serving, or approximately two thirds to a half of a child’s recommended daily sugar intake.
Smoothies can have a surprisingly high sugar content.

New research, published in the online journal BMJ Open, describes the sugar content of fruit drinks, natural juices and smoothies, in particular, as “unacceptably high.”

According to Yale Health, the average American consumes around 22 tsps of added sugar every day; for teens, the figure is closer to 34. One 12-oz can of soda contains 10 tsps of sugar.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommend no more than 3-4 tsps of sugar a day for children, and 5 tsps for teens. Continue reading

Uncertainty is more stressful than pain, say neurologists

Source: Uncertainty is more stressful than pain, say neurologists – Medical News Today

“Sorrow is better than fear. Fear is a journey, a terrible journey, but sorrow is, at least, an arriving.” So says Father Vincent in “Cry, the Beloved Country,” Alan Paton’s celebrated novel about South Africa.
Which way to go? Not knowing the outcome can be tougher than the outcome itself.

Now, research published in Nature Communications suggests that knowing that something bad is going to happen is better than not knowing whether it will happen or not.

Findings show that a small possibility of receiving a painful electric shock causes people more stress than knowing for sure that a shock was on the way. Continue reading

Hydrogel: the future of ‘smart Band-Aids’

Source: Hydrogel: the future of ‘smart Band-Aids’ – Medical News Today

A Band-Aid may never be the[Stretchy hydrogel] same again; engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have come up with the latest model of stick-on dressing: a sticky, stretchy, gel-like material that can incorporate temperature sensors, LED lights and other electronics, as well as tiny, drug-delivering reservoirs and channels.

The “smart wound dressing” releases medication as needed, in response to changes in skin temperature. It can even light up if the medication supply is running low.

The new dressing stretches with the body. Not only will it remain in place when the wearer bends the knee or the elbow, but its embedded structures and electronics also remain intact and functional when stretched.

The team that designed and created the new hydrogel dressing was led by Prof. Xuanhe Zhao, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Department of Mechanical Engineering. Continue reading

Meditation: could it replace opioids for pain relief?

Source: Meditation: could it replace opioids for pain relief? – Medical News Today

The US is currently in what has been described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an opioid epidemic. Now, a new study investigates alternative forms of pain relief and concludes that mindfulness meditation is an effective way to reduce pain.
A woman meditating
Even when the body’s opioid receptors are chemically blocked, meditation is able to significantly reduce pain by using a completely different pathway, researchers say.

According to the Institute of Medicine, around 100 million Americans experience chronic pain, costing over $600 billion each year.

And with those monetary costs come public health costs; Medical News Today reported earlier today that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued new prescription guidelines in an attempt to prevent prescription drug misuse and reduce overdoses. Continue reading

WHEN you eat could be as important as WHAT you eat

Source: When you eat could be as important as what you eat – Medical News Today

Mitochondria – the tiny power centers inside cells that burn nutrients like sugar to make energy – are tightly controlled by the body’s biological or circadian clock. Consequently, there is an optimum time when sugar-burning is most efficient.
A man eating breakfast
In tests on mice, the researchers found the body clock controls the optimum times for sugar- and fat-burning in the body, suggesting when we eat may be as important as what we eat.

This was the main conclusion of a study by researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany.

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers say their findings may explain why people who sleep and eat out of phase with their body clocks are more likely to become overweight and obese and develop chronic diseases, such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Continue reading

Common Diseases: Gastritis

Source: Gastritis Symptoms: Signs, Duration, Complications – Medical News Today

Gastritis is inflammation of the stomach lining. This inflammation can be caused by a multitude of factors.

The condition can be an acute or chronic issue, increasing the risk of developing other conditions such as stomach ulcers, bleeding or cancer.

Causes of gastritis include:

  • Infection with parasitic, viral or bacterial organisms, including Helicobacter pylori bacteria
  • Use of medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, steroids, potassium or other similar drugs
  • Aging
  • Stress
  • Caffeine consumption
  • Ingestion of chemicals
  • Chronic vomiting
  • Post-procedure complications
  • Excessive alcohol use (even during one single evening)
  • Autoimmune disorders such as pernicious anemia
  • B12 deficiency
  • Other conditions such as HIV and Crohn’s disease.

A woman experiencing pain in the abdomen.Symptoms of gastritis

At times, people with gastritis may be asymptomatic. However, typical symptoms of gastritis include:

Abdominal pain: people with gastritis typically report that their abdominal pain is located in the upper center of the abdomen and is also often experienced in the upper left portion of the stomach radiating to the back. Continue reading

6 Ways to Become More Likely to Succeed

Source: 6 Ways to Become More Likely to Succeed | Psychology Today

Imagine this scenario: You’re about to give a big presentation. There’s an eager audience waiting to hear what you have to say. You believe in your idea and you know that this opportunity could lead to bigger and better things for you. If you were facing this scenario, what mindset would you likely be in? What thoughts would be running through your head? Would you be focused on a plan for success, or on hopes of avoiding failure?

There’s a big difference.

If you were focused on success, you might think about how you’ll deliver your presentation in a way that will resonate best with the audience. If, however, you were focused on avoiding failure, you might only be thinking about how to survive your presentation without embarrassing yourself. Continue reading

Lump on Your Testicle? What It Could Be

Source: Lump on Your Testicle? What It Could Be « Men’s Health

If you feel a lump or bump on a testicle, you’re probably scared, and rightfully so. Something that doesn’t belong, especially on a testicle, is unsettling. The good news is that these usually are not dangerous. That’s not always the case though, so you need to take any changes in your testicles seriously.


So what causes lumps, bumps or firmness down there?

Okay, first let’s talk about the scary “worst case” possibility. Continue reading

Is Hospice the Answer for You or Your Loved One?

Source: Mayo Clinic News Network

Many families are facing a serious, life-limiting illness for the first time. This can be overwhelming for both the patient and the entire family, especially if you don’t know where to turn for answers and support.

If you’re not sure what options are right for you and your family, this brief questionnaire may help. Continue reading

1 in 10 Women Suffer From Postpartum Depression

Source: Mayo Clinic News Network

You’ve waited nine months, and your new baby finally has arrived. But a few weeks later, instead of feeling joy and contentment, you experience anxiety, sadness, episodes of crying and guilt. You may be suffering from postpartum depression. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 1 out of every 10 women will have some degree of postpartum depression, which is different from and more severe than the “baby blues.”

In this Mayo Clinic Minute, reporter Vivien Williams talks to family medicine specialist Dr. Summer Allen about ways to handle postpartum depression.

Eat well to control cholesterol

Source: Eat well to control cholesterol – Mayo Clinic

fruits-and-vegetables-formed-into-a-heart-16-x-9High blood cholesterol can lead to cholesterol buildup and blockage in your arteries, which can cause complications such as stroke and heart disease. What you eat may significantly affect the amount of cholesterol in your blood. Here are some tips for adopting a heart-healthy diet that’s designed to keep your cholesterol at optimal levels.

Avoid saturated and trans fats

Saturated fats often make up the largest source of cholesterol in a person’s diet. Saturated fats increase low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad,” cholesterol that clogs the arteries. Common sources of saturated fats are fatty meats; full-fat dairy products such as milk, ice cream and cheese; and certain tropical oils such as palm and coconut.

Trans fats can have an even worse effect on your cholesterol levels. These fats form when hydrogen is added to vegetable oils in a process called hydrogenation that makes the oils less likely to spoil. Continue reading

Anxiety Attacks

Source: Anxiety Attack Symptoms: Signs, Duration and Complications – Medical News Today

An anxiety or “panic” attack is a sudden feeling of terror so intense that the individual experiencing it fears a total loss of control or imminent death.

The attack usually occurs without warning and has no obvious cause. It may even wake a person from their sleep.

In addition to this incredible feeling of fear, an anxiety attack is accompanied by other symptoms such as a pounding heart, lightheadedness, chest pain, difficulty breathing and irrational thoughts.

An anxiety attack can last anywhere from a few moments to as long as an hour.

As terrifying as an anxiety attack may feel, it is not deadly. The approach for managing frequent anxiety attacks begins with a medical evaluation for a potential underlying medical cause, followed by an individualized treatment plan. Continue reading

Refusal to immunize linked to outbreaks of measles and pertussis

Source: Refusal to immunize linked to outbreaks of measles and pertussis – Medical News Today

Amid increasing concern about measles and pertussis outbreaks in the US, a new study shows that having incomplete or no vaccination significantly increases the chance of infection. The findings are published in JAMA.
[child with rash and fever]
People who do not have MMR or DTaP vaccines run a higher risk of contracting several diseases.

The symptoms of measles include a fever, cough and the characteristic measles rash all over the body. It can also lead to ear infection, diarrhea, pneumonia, brain damage and even death.

Immunization can cause minor side effects, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urge people to seek immunization rather than risk developing the disease. Continue reading

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