Archive for April, 2017

Don’t take fatigue lying down

Matthew Solan

Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Everyone gets tired now and then, but when it happens too often, it may be time to take steps to address the problem. Some health conditions can contribute to fatigue, so it’s worth checking in with your doctor. And some simple lifestyle changes can help boost your energy in less serious cases of fatigue.

Physicians and opioids: Part of the solution, but challenges ahead

James S. Gessner, MD

President Massachusetts Medical Society, Guest Contributor

As doctors acknowledge the role that they have played in the current opioid crisis, they, along with hospitals, medical schools, and other members of the medical community have worked to address the issue on several fronts, including instituting prescribing guidelines and offering continuing education to prescribers.

The problem with tanning (and the myth of the base tan)

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The earlier one starts tanning, the longer the lifetime skin damage and the higher the skin cancer risk. As the number of people with skin cancer increases, it has become especially important to convey to teenagers the message that tanning is an unhealthy choice, whether it’s outdoors or in a tanning bed.

6 ways to help keep your baby at a healthy weight

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

While chubby babies are certainly cute, parents should try to follow healthy eating and behavior habits to help their babies maintain a healthy weight throughout childhood and into adulthood. Start early to develop a healthy relationship with food and an active lifestyle.

Cracking the coconut oil craze

The health benefits of coconut oil remain unproven and there is no evidence that consuming it lowers the risk for heart disease. Results of studies of populations in parts of India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Polynesia who consume large amounts of coconut must be tempered with the fact that these traditional diets include more healthful fish, fruits, and vegetables than the typical American diet. That said, it’s fine to enjoy foods prepared with coconut oil provided they are occasional treats.

Adding hormonal therapy to radiation lengthens survival in men with recurring prostate cancer

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

High-grade cancer that’s still confined to the prostate is generally treated surgically. But a third of the men who have their cancerous prostates removed will experience a rise in blood levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). This is called PSA recurrence. And since detectable PSA could signal the cancer’s return, doctors will often treat it by […]

Treating pain after opioid addiction: A personal story

What happens when a person who was addicted to opiates is injured and needs pain medication? A doctor who is in recovery has firsthand experience.

Don’t let allergy season catch you off guard

A mild winter can make allergy season even more miserable when it comes. The best way to fight allergies is to start treating them before the season begins, but once it comes there are still ways to treat and minimize allergy symptoms, including certain medications and some smart lifestyle strategies.

H. pylori, a true stomach “bug”: Who should doctors test and treat?

Wynne Armand, MD

Contributing Editor

A stomach infection of H. pylori bacteria can cause ulcers, but not everyone with the infection shows symptoms and the treatment process can be challenging, so only people with certain conditions need to be tested for it.

The flu shot saves children’s lives

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Even though this year’s flu season is just about over, parents should be thinking about protecting their children next winter. Despite short-term reactions in some people, the flu shot is safe for nearly everyone.