Archive for April, 2018

Cryotherapy: Can it stop your pain cold?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Cryotherapy is a relatively new type treatment for sore muscles. It involves stepping into an extremely cold room or chamber for a few minutes. Some people say cryotherapy is effective and offers many benefits. But is it worth your time and money?

A tired child? What you should know

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Sometimes children are tired simply because they haven’t gotten enough sleep, but if a child complains about being tired for a week or more, then it’s possible there is another cause.

Screening mammograms: One recommendation may not fit all

Research shows that the risk of breast cancer, and its severity, is greater for women of certain racial and ethnic backgrounds. These factors have not yet been included in formal guidelines for screening mammograms, but women need to be aware of them.

Yoga for people with back pain

Matthew Solan

Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Yoga helps many people alleviate their low back pain, but unfortunately doing yoga can also be the cause of back injuries, particularly in older people. Learning to do the movements properly and safely is essential, especially if you already have back pain.

Digestive enzyme supplements for heartburn?

A digestive enzyme supplement can be helpful for people who have difficulty digesting certain foods, but taking one to treat a condition such as heartburn may or may not provide any relief.

Cholesterol: Understanding HDL vs. LDL

When you hear the phrase “high cholesterol,” what exactly does it mean? Doctors often focus on two types of cholesterol, LDL and HDL. Understanding the differences, and knowing your cholesterol levels, are the first steps to improving your cholesterol profile and lowering heart disease risk.

Celebrities get shingles, too

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, though it can be dormant in a person for decades before flaring up suddenly. Not everyone who has had chickenpox will develop shingles, but it is more common in those who are older or who have a weakened immune system.

Supporting physicians’ buprenorphine waiver training, starting in the ER

With the opioid epidemic worsening and with no end in sight, as it continues to shorten the life expectancy of our citizens, we must do everything we can to lower the barriers that physicians face to treating addiction. The lowest-hanging fruit is the emergency department. For every fatal overdose, there are roughly 30 non-fatal overdoses, […]

Giving antacids and antibiotics to babies can lead to allergies

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

The overuse of antibiotics and antacids can lead to problems regardless of age, but if given to babies it can contribute to allergies and asthma as children grow.

Which diet is best for long-term weight loss?

A study comparing a low-fat diet and a low-carb diet found that weight loss for both groups were quite similar, and both led to significant health improvements for the participants. Diet for weight loss was part of a broader strategy of lifestyle change for both groups as well.