Blood pressure: What's food got to do with it?

Diet is important to maintaining a healthy blood pressure. One option is the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) plan, which is supported by good medical research. The DASH diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods; it includes poultry, nuts, and beans; and it limits consumption of red meat, sugar, and fats. The most effective version of the diet limits sodium to 1500 milligrams per day. Mediterranean style eating can also lower blood pressure. It includes generous servings of fruits and vegetables; whole-grain breads and cereals; healthy fats from nuts, seeds, and olive oil; very limited red meat; no more than four eggs per week; and moderate wine consumption of no more than two 5-ounce glasses a day for men and one a day for women. More »

Remedies for hand cramps

The typical causes of cramps in the hands include dehydration and straining the muscles with repeated motions like typing. Low calcium or magnesium or a compressed nerve in the wrist may also cause cramping. Stretching the fingers may help. (Locked) More »

Chelation for heart disease

Many people try chelation therapy for a variety of reasons, but it is unproven and potentially risky as a therapy for heart disease. Instead, use proven measures like daily aspirin, exercise, blood pressure control, and lowering "bad" cholesterol. (Locked) More »

Do CT scans cause cancer?

CT scanning is very valuable for diagnosing disease and also screening for certain health conditions in otherwise healthy people. But the radiation from CT scanning also carries a small risk of causing cancer over a lifetime of exposure. The lifetime risk from typical CT scan exposure is small for older adults sue to the long time it takes cancer to develop. The risks for younger adults and especially children are higher. At any age, it is a good idea to limit CT scans to what you need and to consider alternatives, such as MRI and ultrasound. (Locked) More »

An option for low-risk prostate cancer

After prostate cancer diagnosis, many men choose immediate treatment with surgery or radiation. But immediate treatment is not the only option. Some men with early low-risk prostate cancers can choose to hold off on the decision to treat until the disease presents a greater threat. At that later date, the cancer can still be treated effectively. The approach is called active surveillance with delayed intention to treat. Bothersome and potentially permanent side effects of treatment include erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence. By choosing active surveillance, some men can avoid the risks of treating a cancer that may be unlikely to cause them serious harm within their lifespan. (Locked) More »

Social engagement and healthy aging

Social engagement, or how connected you are to other people, can be as important to healthy aging as not smoking or maintaining a good weight.  Research shows that socially isolated older adults are at greater risk of sickness, disability, and even premature death. Social engagement promotes overall health and allows people to cope better with a health crisis. Social engagements, including frequent conversation and being in new and challenging social situations, may also help to preserve memory.  Volunteering is a good way to foster social connection. (Locked) More »

Regular exercise extends life

Obtaining the generally recommended amount of daily physical activity-150 minutes a day-extends lifespan by up to five years. Men who were moderately active at age 20 could expect to gain 2.4 years over a lifetime. (Locked) More »