Stop worrying about fat

Low-fat diets are not necessarily healthier. It is unproven that reducing total fat intake prevents heart disease. Fats in fish and plants have healthy properties. Focus on eating healthy foods instead of avoiding all dietary fat. Diets high in red meat, especially processed meat, promote heart disease, but not necessarily because of the saturated fat in it. Foods that say they are lower in fat may contain unhealthy amounts of sodium, sugar, or highly processed carbohydrates. The best diet style is to eat healthier foods, primarily those from plant sources, and eat red meat only occasionally. More »

On call: High triglycerides

A high level of triglycerides in the bloodstream raises the risk of pancreatitis, heart disease, and stroke. Exercise, weight loss, and a healthier diet can lower triglycerides. Some individuals may need medication. (Locked) More »

Aging voice

Changes related to aging can affect the voice, making it sound breathier and weaker. Drinking plenty of water and staying physically fit can help lessen the changes. Voice therapy can retrain and strengthen the voice, too. (Locked) More »

Flu shot: Good insurance, not a guarantee

Not everyone who gets a flu shot will obtain full immunity from infection, but it’s still worth getting. It’s especially important for people with lung disease, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic conditions. Severe flu infection can be dangerous. About 90% of deaths from flu occur in people 65 and older. In addition to vaccination, frequent hand washing and avoiding public places can reduce the chances of getting the flu. If the flu does strike, taking antiviral medication may reduce the severity and duration of the illness. (Locked) More »

Relief from intestinal gas

Intestinal gas leading to belches or flatulence is normal, but some people may feel they produce too much gas. Various foods generate intestinal gas. Common ones are dairy products, some sugar substitutes, fructose, and certain fruits and vegetables. To identify the culprits, keep a detailed record of what you eat and when symptoms appear. Then try avoiding the suspected foods and adding them back one by one. Over-the-counter products claim to help with gas, but the evidence that they work is not that strong. (Locked) More »

How to sleep better with chronic pain

To manage trouble sleeping due to chronic pain, start by adopting healthy sleep habits. Relaxation techniques such as guided meditation and guided imagery may be helpful for falling asleep. When pain wakes you up, avoid mentally stimulating activities. Adopting a strict sleep schedule, even when awakened during the night or awakening too early, can help keep the sleep schedule intact. Long-term use of sleep medications may do more harm than good. (Locked) More »

Dry eyes? Finding the right lubricating drops is essential

Lubricating drops can ease the aggravation of dry eyes. An eye exam can pinpoint the cause of dry eyes and what kind of drop is needed. Daily gentle cleaning of the eyelid edges may be needed for dry eyes associated with inflamed and clogged oil glands under the eyelids. Avoid fans that blow air across the eyes, and use a humidifier if your home or sleeping environment is dry. If lubricating drops, gels, or ointments don’t relieve dry eyes, additional steps, such as a medication or procedures to increase moisture in the eyes, may be needed. (Locked) More »