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
Because of the recent outbreaks of preventable diseases such as measles, California passed a law this summer that will severely limit a parent’s ability to opt out of vaccinating their school-aged kids.
But I understand why some parents, especially those with infants and young children, might be fearful when they hear so many (untrue) horror stories about the safety of vaccinations.
One family practice doctor wrote an open letter to parents about vaccinations—why they are necessary and why it’s safer to vaccinate than not—and published it on the health blog KevinMD.
I thought it was very … Continue reading
A friend of mine sent me a link to this story: Left in the Brain: Potentially Toxic Residue From MRI Drugs
Most MRIs, a common diagnostic imaging test, require you to be injected with a “contrast agent” that allows the images to be more defined and therefore more useful.
It’s been known for some time that these agents can be harmful to people with impaired kidney function, so in those cases radiologists will use a more kidney-friendly agent or do without.
But now it appears that some of these contrast agents, specifically the gadolinium agents (that just sounds toxic, doesn’t … Continue reading
Last month a medical journal published a study out of Stanford that links the use of Nexium (esomeprazole) and other proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) with an increased risk of heart attack.
This is another study that used “big data”—the information from thousands (if not millions) of patients’ electronic health records—to identify risks from drugs and other medical treatments.
Nexium, or “the Purple Pill”, is widely prescribed to treat heartburn and gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD). Other commonly used PPIs include Prevacid (lansoprazole) and Prilosec (omeprazole). These drugs are also readily available over-the-counter, and are heavily marketed to the general population.… Continue reading
Last weekend my husband participated in a golf tournament. It was sponsored by Costco, and each player received a swag bag of Costco merchandise.
When he got home, my husband and I took a look at his “gifts.” I couldn’t help but laugh.
- OptiFiber Natural Fiber Supplement
- Body & Soul My Vision Health Eye Vitamins
- Natrol Fast Dissolve Melatonin
- Focus Factor Brain Health Supplement
- Testosterone Support For Men Supplement
- Slice of Life Energy Boost Gummy Vitamins With B12
- ZipFizz Healthy Energy Drink Mix With Vitamin B12
- Oh, and some golf balls and tees
The organizers of that tournament knew their … Continue reading
My husband just forwarded me this great YouTube video showing how exposure to the sun’s UV rays can damage our skin over time.
It’s a timely reminder to wear sunscreen, hats and sunglasses, and try to stay out of the direct sun during peak UV ray hours, about 10 to 2. Kids, too!
Protecting our skin not only helps prevent skin cancer, but can keep our skin looking younger as we age. Think of the savings in anti-aging products 😉
Sláinte,… Continue reading
As a child, I remember my mother declaring that of our entire family (2 adults and 4 kids) she was the only one who was pestered by mosquitoes when we were at our summer cabin by the lake.
She felt understandably persecuted by the little blood-sucking menaces.
And she probably was right.
WebMD reports that “genetics account for a whopping 85% of our susceptibility to mosquito bites.”
New research out of the London School of Tropical Medicine confirms this.
The researchers used pairs of identical and fraternal twins who volunteered to be mosquito meat (who would do that?!).
… Continue reading
This summer is already unusually hot where I live and kids and adults are flocking to the local public swimming pools and wading pools.
But I read a couple of articles last week that first made me think “Eww!”, and then made me wonder about how healthy public pools really are.
‘Crypto’ Parasite Outbreaks Increasing in Pools Across America
A diarrhea-causing parasite that is often transmitted through water is causing an increasing number of outbreaks in U.S. pools and spas, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Turns out there is a reason pools … Continue reading