A refresher on childhood asthma: What families should know and do
Asthma is the most common chronic lung disease in children. In the US, it affects about 6 million children, or about one in every 12 children. Breathing is key to life, obviously, so asthma can make life very hard. It can make going for a walk outside feel very hard. It leads not just to […]
Untangling grief: Living beyond a great loss
“The horse has left the barn.” Those six words, said by my husband’s oncologist, changed our lives forever, although the sense of impending loss had begun weeks earlier with a blood test. There would be more tests, exams, and visits to specialists. As George and I waited for a definitive diagnosis, we bargained with ourselves […]
Struggling to sleep? Your heart may pay the price
Growing evidence suggests that poor sleep is linked to a host of health problems, including a higher risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Now, a recent study on people in midlife finds that having a combination of sleep problems — such as trouble falling asleep, waking up in the wee hours, […]
If cannabis becomes a problem: How to manage withdrawal
Proponents of cannabis generally dismiss the idea that there is a cannabis withdrawal syndrome. One routinely hears statements such as, “I smoked weed every day for 30 years and then just walked away from it without any problems. It’s not addictive.” Some cannabis researchers, on the other hand, describe serious withdrawal symptoms that can […]
Melasma: What are the best treatments?
Melasma is a pigmentation disorder of the skin mostly affecting women, especially those with darker skin. It is commonly seen on the face, and appears as dark spots and patches with irregular borders. Melasma is not physically harmful, but studies have shown that it can lead to psychological problems and poorer quality of life due […]
Cognitive effects in midlife of long-term cannabis use
As of June 2022, 37 US states have passed medical cannabis laws and 19 states have legalized recreational cannabis. Cannabis has proven beneficial for a range of conditions such as childhood seizure disorders, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite in people with HIV/AIDs. In the meantime, a new generation of cannabis products has exploded onto […]
Poliovirus in wastewater: Should we be concerned?
Polio is a potentially life-threatening or disabling illness that spreads from person to person. Thanks to vaccination, the United States has been polio-free since 1979, and the spread of this highly contagious disease has been interrupted in most countries. Yet on June 22, the United Kingdom Health Security Agency announced that it had detected poliovirus […]
Managing weight gain from psychiatric medications
While psychiatric medications can be essential for improving mental health and well-being, they often come with unwanted side effects. One particular side effect of many psychiatric medications is weight gain. In this post we will explore how these medications cause weight gain, and what you can do to lessen the impact of this unwanted effect […]
An emerging treatment option for men on active surveillance
Active surveillance for prostate cancer has its tradeoffs. Available to men with low- and intermediate-risk prostate cancer, the process entails monitoring a man’s tumor with periodic biopsies and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests, and treating only when — or if — the disease shows signs of progression. Active surveillance allows men to avoid (at least for […]
Colon cancer screening decisions: What’s the best option and when?
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, and rates are rising, particularly in adults ages 20 to 49. Unfortunately, approximately 30% of eligible people in the US still have not been screened for CRC. Colon cancer may be prevented with screening tests that look for cancer or […]