Health

Diet not working? Maybe it’s not your type

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

Blood type diets, which maintain that food choices and fitness routines should be based on a person’s blood type, were first popularized over two decades ago, but in that time no firm scientific evidence to support the claims has emerged.

To PSA test or not to PSA test: That is the discussion

Steven J. Atlas, MD, MPH

The recommended guidelines for whether men should have the prostate cancer screening test have changed in recent years. A man considering the test should talk with his doctor and understand all the pros and cons involved.

Taking medicines like you’re supposed to: Why is it so hard?

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

Remembering to take medication regularly and consistently is a challenge. While various devices and strategies have been studied, sometimes the best approach is simply linking to another task that needs to be remembered.

Don’t let the screens take over: 8 tips for families

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

It’s a good idea for parents to monitor, and limit, their children’s overall daily screen time. Here’s some advice for parents on how to manage this challenge effectively, with each child’s healthy and balanced development in mind.

5 research-backed lessons on what makes a happy life

Robert John Waldinger, MD

A lifelong study of several hundred men is providing valuable information about how childhood circumstances and life choices influence happiness throughout a person’s life. For example, the sting of a difficult childhood need not derail a rewarding adult life.

Opioid addiction: Long-term treatment for a chronic condition

Glen Buchberger, MD
Glen Buchberger, MD, Contributor

Studies suggest that extended medication-assisted treatment is more effective in treating opioid addiction than short term use. This strategy may prove an important part of addressing the opioid crisis.

Secret to brain success: Intelligent cognitive rest

Srini Pillay, MD
Srini Pillay, MD, Contributor

The ability to train one’s mind to activate the “unfocus” part of the brain, also called the default mode network, can help improve creativity and unlock access to the unconscious mind.

Acupuncture: A point in the right direction, or a stab in the dark?

Paul G. Mathew, MD, FAAN, FAHS

Though some people surely benefit from acupuncture for the treatment of pain, its drawbacks (cost, length of treatment sessions, short duration of relief) mean that it may be a less effective choice than physical therapy or a medication.

5 things to tell your child about 13 Reasons Why

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

A new series on Netflix about a teen’s suicide has raised concerns that it may encourage similar real-world behavior, but the show presents an opportunity for parents to talk with their children about mental health challenges and how to cope with their problems.

Keep your seasonal allergies in check

Dominic Wu, MD
Dominic Wu, MD, Contributing Editor

There are a variety of treatments available for seasonal allergies, but they should be used with care in order to avoid any unwanted, or even dangerous, side effects. For example, nasal decongestant sprays may work well in the short term, but can worsen symptoms when used too often.