Archive for April, 2017

Chronic pain: The “invisible” disability

Laura Kiesel
Laura Kiesel, Contributor

Conditions that cause chronic pain are not always easy to diagnose, and sometimes doctors can be dismissive of people with pain that does not have a readily identifiable cause.

Disposing of your expired or unused medications gets a whole lot easier (and safer) this weekend

Celia Smoak Spell
Celia Smoak Spell, Assistant Editor, Harvard Health Publications

Leftover or expired medications can be harmful or dangerous, so disposing of them properly is important. National Drug Take Back Day this Saturday provides a safe and convenient way to do so.

Treadmills: Tips for using this versatile piece of exercise equipment

Matthew Solan
Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

With the variety of speeds and inclines and the pre-programmed terrain patterns included, a treadmill is a flexible piece of exercise equipment that can provide a thorough and varied workout. Because you can control pace and intensity, treadmills are also a good option for people returning to activity following injury or surgery.

Why vaccines are important for our country’s financial health, too

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

Vaccinating babies and toddlers prevents many illnesses, but it also helps the avoid high costs associated with treating those illnesses, helps reduce sick time taken by parents, and contributes to greater immunity in a population.

Have kids, live longer?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

A study of Swedish people found an association between having children and living longer. That does not mean there is a direct, causal connection, but it’s still worth considering how these circumstances may in fact be related.

Misophonia: When sounds really do make you “crazy”

James Cartreine, PhD
James Cartreine, PhD, Contributing Editor

The little-studied condition misophonia causes people to experience a strong, unpleasant reaction to ordinary sounds (common trigger sounds include eating and breathing) . Research is beginning to explore what causes it, and has found a connection to a specific part of the brain. There are treatments that show promise for managing this condition.

A strengths-based approach to autism

Monique Tello, MD, MPH
Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributing Editor

Because children on the autism spectrum experience the world differently, some developmental experts advocate an approach to therapy that is based in an individual child’s interests, instead of trying to force a child to conform to established learning patterns.

When a loved one is addicted to opiates

Peter Grinspoon, MD
Peter Grinspoon, MD, Contributing Editor

Considering the death toll from opioid overdoses, responding to loved one’s opioid addiction love and empathy might be the safer and more effective method for friends and families to take. At the same time, It is essential to pay attention to the wellbeing of the family members themselves, as having a loved one with a substance use disorder can be profoundly stressful and disruptive, even traumatic.

Binge drinking continues to rise — particularly among women and seniors

Beverly Merz
Beverly Merz, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch

Data from several surveys indicate that the percentage of women who drink has been increasing for decades. The numerous health effects associated with alcohol consumption mean that women should be especially attentive to how much they drink.

Could you have a heart attack and not know it?

Julie Corliss
Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter

Not everyone who has a heart attack experiences chest pain. Sometimes pain is felt elsewhere, or the person has non-pain symptoms such as dizziness or nausea, or a higher pain tolerance could mean a person is unaware that an attack is happening. Nonclassic symptoms tend to occur slightly more frequently in women and older people.