Learn how to sleep again

With aging, sleep can become more fragmented and less restful. More frequent awakenings and difficulty falling asleep again lead to daytime fatigue and other problems. It's important to adopt good sleep habits before considering sleeping pills for persistent insomnia. For insomnia with anxiety, a form of counseling and training called cognitive behavioral therapy can help. Some people may need prescription sleeping pills, either short term or on a continuing basis. Sleeping pills should be used at the lowest effective dose to prevent daytime drowsiness that increases the risk of falls and accidents. (Locked) More »

CoQ10 for muscle aches

There is no solid evidence that taking coenzyme Q10 prevents muscle problems related to taking a cholesterol-lowering statin drug. The risk of side effects from the supplement is low, so it may be relatively safe to try it for a month or two. More »

Shingles vaccination

The Zostavax vaccine is safe for use by healthy adults to prevent shingles, a painful condition caused by previous infection with the chicken pox virus. It also helps prevents persistent shingles pain, known as post-herpetic neuralgia. (Locked) More »

Cardiac exercise stress testing: What it can and cannot tell you

In the classic exercise stress test, you walk on a treadmill that makes your heart work progressively harder. An electrocardiogram (ECG) monitors your heart’s electrical rhythms. Experts do not recommend routine cardiac stress testing in otherwise healthy people to check for hidden heart problems.  But the procedure is useful for  diagnosing chest pain, unexplained fatigue, and other possible signs of heart disease. More »

AMD: a preventable form of vision loss

Macular degeneration causes loss of central detailed vision. It is more common with aging. The “dry” form of AMD occurs early and may progress to the more damaging “wet” form of AMD. A healthy lifestyle may lower the risk. Early detection with regular dilated eye exams may help minimize vision loss. If dry AMD progresses to wet AMD, new drugs can slow, stop, or reverse vision loss. (Locked) More »

Is acupuncture for you?

Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese healing practice, can help relieve chronic pain, such as headache, back and neck pain, shoulder pain, and knee pain from osteoarthritis. A study found that acupuncture relieved pain about as well as conventional care, such as pain medication. Acupuncture is safe and painless if performed by a trained practitioner. The downsides are that insurance usually does not cover it, and it may require a month or two of weekly treatments to find out if it works for you. More »

Eat seafood the healthy way

The American Heart Association and other experts recommend eating fish to obtain lean protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Not everyone is able to eat fish regularly due to taste preferences, cost, and the cooking skills needed to prepare them properly. Alternate kinds of seafood include lobster, shrimp, crab, scallops, mussels, clams, squid (calamari), and octopus.  However, these may contain excessive amounts of sodium, cholesterol, and fat, depending on how they are prepared. Include them in your diet as occasional luxury foods. (Locked) More »

Are your whole grains wholly healthy?

Some whole-grain food products are high in healthy fiber but may contain added sugars and salt, which lower the food's nutritional quality. Look for foods with a ratio of total to fiber carbohydrates of at least 10 to one. (Locked) More »

Hepatitis C treatment extends life

The rate of death from any cause is lower in people who undergo standard treatment for infection with the hepatitis C virus that successfully suppresses activity of the virus to undetectable level. (Locked) More »