Recent Blog Articles

Harvard Health Blog

Read the latest posts from experts at Harvard Health Publishing covering a variety of health topics and perspectives on medical news.


Can long COVID affect the gut?

Published March 20, 2023

By now millions of people around the world have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Some of them have experienced lingering effects like low energy and brain fog; could gastrointestinal problems be another aftereffect of the virus?

When replenishing fluids, does milk beat water?

Published November 14, 2022

An ad campaign sponsored by the milk industry claims that milk is better than water for hydration. A few studies appear to support the claim, but they involved a small number of subjects and have important limitations.

Safe, joyful movement for people of all weights

Published March 15, 2023

A new study finds that many people with obesity avoid exercising because they fear their weight makes injury more likely. But everyone, at every weight, can find ways to exercise safely, confidently, and joyfully.

Slowing down racing thoughts

Published March 13, 2023

Everyone has moments when their brain feels like it’s gone haywire. When these racing thoughts take over the mind can’t stay focused, feeding into a cycle of anxiety. But there are things you can do to break this cycle and regain control.

Are women turning to cannabis for menopause symptom relief?

Published October 27, 2022

A survey found many midlife women report turning to cannabis to ease uncomfortable symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, although research evaluating how well this works and long-term safety is lacking.

3 ways to create community and counter loneliness

Published March 8, 2023

Loneliness boosts risk for many health problems, and can even contribute to an early death. Many people find it hard to reach out to make new friends, but there are strategies that can help.

Helping children make friends: What parents can do

Published March 6, 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic affected children's developing social skills. Many children either didn’t learn the skills they need to make friends — or those skills got rusty. Here are some ways parents can help.

Can electrical brain stimulation boost attention, memory, and more?

Published March 3, 2023

Therapies using an electric current for brain stimulation are not new, but marketing devices for home use is a relatively recent phenomenon. While claims include better energy, focus, mood and more, current evidence doesn't support this and the FDA hasn't cleared these devices.

Palliative care frightens some people: Here’s how it helps

Published September 14, 2022

Palliative care is a medical specialty meant to help people during many different stages of health. Many people who might benefit from palliative care do not receive it; if more people understand it, more people can take advantage of it.

Parents don't always realize that their teen is suicidal

Updated February 28, 2023

Parents often think that they would know if their teen was suicidal. However, this is not always the case. Here’s what to be aware of and watch for, and what to do if you see worrisome behavior.

Shift work can harm sleep and health: What helps?

Published February 28, 2023

Mounting evidence paints a worrisome picture of the potential health consequences of nontraditional shift work schedules. So how can people who are required to work during the night and sleep during the day protect their health and well-being?

Seeing a surgeon?

Published February 27, 2023

A pre-surgery consultation with the surgeon can feel overwhelming. Many people are anxious and have questions about what’s to come. Setting the right expectations on both sides can ease anxiety and help define a successful outcome.

Ketamine for treatment-resistant depression: When and where is it safe?

Published August 9, 2022

Ketamine has been used for decades as an anesthetic, and in 2019 an inhaled version of it was approved by the FDA for treatment-resistant depression. But it is generally prescribed only when other treatments have not been effective.

Energy-boosting coffee alternatives: What to know

Published February 23, 2023

Beverages that promise similar energy perks and health benefits as coffee and tea are growing in popularity. Often marketed as wellness drinks, how do these alternatives stack up nutritionally?

What is frontotemporal dementia?

Published February 22, 2023

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a brain disorder caused by damage to nerves in certain parts of the brain. It typically affects people in middle age, and is characterized by marked changes in behavior or problems with language.

What happens when a drug goes viral?

Published February 21, 2023
After celebrities touted its weight loss benefits, high demand put the diabetes medication Ozempic in short supply. Learn more about what this means for people with diabetes.

Proton-pump inhibitors: Should I still be taking this medication?

Published September 6, 2022

Proton-pump inhibitors are a commonly prescribed anti-acid medication, but new guidelines from the American Gastroenterological Association recommend that they should be taken at the lowest dose and shortest duration for the condition being treated.

Want to reduce your risk of dementia? Get your hearing checked today

Published February 16, 2023

Dementia occurs more often among older people with higher levels of hearing loss than among those with normal hearing. A new study found that wearing hearing aids reduced the risk for dementia in people who had significant hearing loss.

Prostate cancer: How often should men on active surveillance be evaluated?

Published February 15, 2023

Doctors used to recommend treating all men with prostate cancer; now they are likely to advise active surveillance for lower-risk cancers. But some men require closer monitoring — so how do they determine which ones?

What makes your heart skip a beat?

Published February 14, 2023

The human heart normally keeps a predictable pace, but occasionally you might notice a sensation that feels like your heart is racing, fluttering, or has skipped a beat. While this can be alarming, it’s usually not a cause for concern.

Does inflammation contribute to infertility?

Published February 10, 2023

Infertility affects millions of people worldwide. Chronic inflammation has been linked to many health conditions and some research suggests it might be a contributing factor for some cases of infertility. And if true, would an anti-inflammatory diet or lifestyle boost fertility?

Does your child need to gain weight?

Published February 9, 2023

Weight can be a sensitive topic with children and teens, and sometimes a child needs to gain some weight. Checking with your doctor before working on adding weight and emphasizing healthy, high-calorie foods are important.

Optimism, heart health, and longevity: Unraveling the link for Black Americans

Published February 14, 2022
Recent findings from the largest and longest-running study of risk factors for cardiovascular disease in Black Americans suggest that a positive outlook can lead to longer life. But while optimism may boost heart health and overall health, the full picture is more complicated.

Late-stage cervical cancer on the rise: What to know

Published February 7, 2023

Cervical cancer is curable when caught early through routine screening, so research showing a surprising rise in advanced cancer cases in some groups is worrisome. Two Harvard experts share insights about the research and advice on how people can best protect themselves.

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