When you go to the grocery store is your cart full of “free” foods, such as soy-free, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, etc.?
With so many of these products being heavily marketed, and poor health information being widely spread on the internet through Facebook, blogs and other social networking sites, it’s easy to make assumptions about food allergies for your and/or your children.
Common symptoms that everyone gets occasionally—nausea, diarrhea, acne, fatigue, weight gain, rashes, and sinusitis—are frequently misdiagnosed as food allergies or intolerances.
I have had many friends over the years who have told me they or one of … Continue reading
I’ve posted before about the frighteningly ill-advised health tips I see perpetuated on Pinterest: How NOT to whiten your teeth
Another non-scientific and potentially dangerous home treatment that I frequently see pinned is ear candling.
Ear candling involves placing a specially-designed candle (or cone) into one ear and lighting a wick at the other end. Theoretically, the heat from the flame creates a mild vacuum pressure that draws “impurities” out of the ear.
By impurities, one would immediately think ear wax, but proponents of ear candling believe it does so much more. A short list of of the “benefits” of … Continue reading
Most doctors will advise you to stay home from work or school if you are sick. Not only do you need the rest, but if you are contagious with a cold or the flu or a stomach bug, you will pass your germs to many more people.
Well, apparently doctors don’t take their own advice!
A recent survey showed that most doctors do go to work when sick, even though they know they could infect their co-workers or patients.
A full 96 percent said they would work if they had symptoms of a cold, 77 percent said they would
… Continue reading
Last week PBS aired a NOVA special on vaccinations: Vaccines—Calling the Shots
Diseases that were largely eradicated in the United States a generation ago—including whooping cough, measles, mumps—are returning, in part because nervous parents are skipping their children’s shots. Vaccines – Calling the Shots, a new NOVA special, takes viewers around the world to track epidemics, explore the science behind vaccinations, and shed light on the risks of opting out.
Like most NOVA specials, it focuses on the science behind vaccinations: How were they developed? How effective are they? How safe are they? And—perhaps … Continue reading
It’s October and time for my annual reminder for everyone age 6 months and older to get a flu shot!
Flu season typically runs from November to March, but no one can predict with accuracy exactly when the first cases will start showing up or when the season will end—sometimes as early as October to as late as May. It’s unpredictable as well how severe the upcoming flu season will be, so just assume it will be a bad and early flu season and prepare accordingly.
In other words, get your flu shot now. And remember to always wash your … Continue reading
I read a good article on BuzzFeed last week that offered simple tips to deal with anxiety and panic attacks: 31 Actually Helpful Tips For Dealing With Panic Attacks
I won’t list them all here, and you can check out the article for more details, but here are a few I thought especially helpful. (And I have suffered from panic attacks in the past, so I know what works for me.)
- Listen to songs with a slow rhythm to help control your breathing. Look through your playlists for music in the range of 60-70 beats per minute. Create a playlist
… Continue reading
Blue light pollution
Do you have trouble getting to sleep at night, and then feel sleepy and groggy in the morning?
“Blue light” from your TV, phone or tablet might be to blame. Do you watch TV or sit at your computer just before bed? Or take your phone, laptop or Kindle into bed with you?
These electronic devices all emit what’s known as blue light. Blue light is a specific part of the light spectrum. It’s why the sky is blue, and so our brains naturally associate blue light with day and become more alert, even if it’s time … Continue reading
Every fall my house becomes a mine field of spider webs. When I go out the front door, I immediately step face-first into a big, black, eight-legged bug. Yuck.
Whether it’s spiders preparing for the winter, or fleas and mosquitoes enjoying the wetter but still warm late-summer days, insects are just more bothersome in the fall.
I remember in my childhood my mother used to carry around a huge can of Raid and practically spray it in our faces when she saw a wasp or fly or spider.
Um, that’s not a good idea.
A recent study published in Pediatrics… Continue reading
Chronic neck pain can be, well, a pain in the neck.
Usually caused by overuse, poor posture, tension or arthritis—or a combination—neck, shoulder and upper back pain can interfere with almost all routine activities.
But some simple yoga moves can help, and I think this particular YouTube video is great. The moves are well explained, and they can be done either standing or sitting at your desk. And it’s short, only 4 minutes, so these exercises can be done almost any time if your neck muscles are feeling tight or painful.
The Clinical Journal of … Continue reading
It’s September and the kids are back in school!
Few things are germier than a school where lots of kids and adults are stuck in small rooms, touching the same objects and breathing the same air.
Then the kids bring those germs home on their hands and touch everything there, too.
Colds are miserable for children and parents alike, and missing work—whether a parent gets sick or has to stay home to care for a sick child—is a problem for many families.
It’s impossible to avoid every cold, and it’s probably better for our immune systems to get sick now … Continue reading