Dietary supplements: Do they help or hurt?

Many Americans don’t get all the nutrients they need from their diets. In an effort to make up for these shortfalls and protect against disease, more than half of us turn to nutritional supplements. Early observational studies found that several supplements appeared to lower the risk for certain diseases. However, more rigorous studies didn’t yield the same positive results. Women should be cautious about taking supplements and should never exceed the recommended daily amounts. More »

Should you be screened for a hearing problem?

  Hearing loss is an inevitable part of aging. Although hearing loss can be treated, most older adults live in silence rather than get a hearing aid. A primary care physician can look for earwax buildup and administer a hearing test to diagnose hearing problems. An audiologist can administer follow-up tests and fit people for hearing aids to help them hear the sounds they’ve been missing. Lifestyle measures, such as talking in quiet environments and using assistive devices, can also ensure that women don’t miss out on important conversations.   (Locked) More »

Hair loss: It's not just for men

Hair loss is a common problem in both men and women, yet many women go untreated due to the social stigma associated with losing their hair, and because most therapies are targeted to men. In women, hair loss may be genetic or caused by conditions such as a thyroid problem or anemia. Once a medical problem has been ruled out, treatments for female-pattern baldness include topical minoxidil (Rogaine) and hair transplants. Camouflaging techniques such as wigs and hair styling can also help. (Locked) More »

Could you have a thyroid problem-and not know it?

  Many older women have an underactive or overactive thyroid gland that doesn’t quite meet the criteria for hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. This is called a subclinical thyroid problem. A simple blood test can reveal a subclinical thyroid problem. Subclinical hypothyroidism often does not need to be treated. Subclinical hyperthyroidism is often treated to prevent bone loss and heart problems.   (Locked) More »