Harvard Health Blog

Join the discussion with experts from Harvard Health Publications and others like you on a variety of health topics, medical news and views.

Premenstrual dysphoria disorder: It’s biology, not a behavior choice

Andrea Chisholm, MD
Andrea Chisholm, MD, Contributor

Women who experience severe mood changes in the weeks leading to their menstrual periods may have premenstrual dysphoria disorder. Because this condition is not yet well understood, getting a correct diagnosis can be challenging.

Safe summer grilling tips

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

Grilling meat creates potentially harmful chemicals; make outdoor grilling both more enjoyable and safer by following these tips for preparation and cooking of food.

Of all the flavors in the world, we choose salty — and that’s not good

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

The average American consumes three times the recommended daily intake of sodium, largely because of salt added to processed and prepared foods. It’s possible to reduce daily sodium intake, but it does require effort and vigilance.

Run for your (long) life

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

A large, long-term study confirms that running decreases a person’s overall risk of death, and while the benefits from other forms of physical activity are not as significant, any activity is still better than none.

New recommendation: No fruit juice for children under a year

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

Giving fruit juice to babies under a year old can contribute to obesity and cavities. Eating the fruit rather than just drinking the juice is better for overall health. The American Academy of Pediatrics has revised its recommendation for giving juice to babies, and now says parents should wait until a child reaches a year.

A spoonful of motivation helps the medicine go down

David R. Topor, PhD, MS-HPEd

Sticking to a medication regimen is challenging, and one of the biggest hurdles is staying motivated. Linking proper use of a drug to one’s broader life goals can help make it easier to take regularly.

Adding hormonal therapy to radiation lengthens survival in men with recurring prostate cancer

Charlie Schmidt
Charlie Schmidt, Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Disease

For men who have had prostate gland removal surgery, results from a new study show that a combination of radiation treatment and androgen deprivation therapy is more effective for treating PSA recurrence than radiation alone.

7 ways to save cash on prescription drugs

Heidi Godman
Heidi Godman, Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter

Medication costs vary widely depending on the type of drug, insurance coverage, and other factors. There are several ways to save money on medications, including choosing a generic version or comparing prices from several stores.

3 reasons to leave earwax alone

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

Many people don’t realize that cleaning their ears with a cotton swab is not a good idea. Doing so can be harmful, and the ears are self-cleaning anyway.

8 things to watch for when your child has a headache

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

Childhood headaches are typically not cause for undue concern, but there are circumstances when a headache should prompt a call to your child’s doctor.