Archive for September, 2018

Drip bar: Should you get an IV on demand?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Receiving IV fluids without a specific medical need or reason is a new trend, and while it’s possible that such a treatment might help you get some relief from jet lag or a hangover, it’s easier and much cheaper to simply drink whatever fluids you need.

Parents: Don’t use a baby walker

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

While it may be tempting to put a baby in a moving walker, the devices have led to thousands of injuries over the past three decades, plus they do not help babies learn to walk but in fact hinder that process.

What is a plant-based diet and why should you try it?

For those looking to adopt a healthier eating pattern, plant-based diets have been shown to promote health and reduce the risk of many diseases and conditions. Plant-based eating can mean avoiding animal products entirely, or incorporating them in varying degrees.

Leaving time for last words

When a person needs to be intubated to help them breathe, they are unable to speak, and if something happens it’s possible for someone to die without a chance to have a final conversation with their loved ones. But it’s possible for doctors to adjust intubation protocol to allow for such a conversation.

5 tips for the farmers market

Shopping at a local farmers market can be a great way to add high-quality produce to your meals. But it’s easy to overspend at a farmers market, and some people don’t know what they should buy; following these tips will help you plan your visit.

Aspirin for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease?

While taking aspirin daily to prevent a second heart attack or stroke is well established, the results of a new study showed that taking a daily aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease, in people without any known disease already, did not provide a significant benefit.

Alcohol and your health: Is none better than a little?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

As researchers continue attempting to determine whether there is an amount of alcohol consumption that offers some health benefits, or whether that amount is none, the results of recent studies indicate that the answers are complicated, and subject to different interpretations.

School refusal: When a child won’t go to school

The adjustment from summer vacation back to the structure and demands of the school year affects many students, but some experience so much anxiety that they avoid going to school. Understanding the reasons for school refusal can help parents identify problems and act quickly.

Is tight blood sugar control right for older adults with diabetes?

Medha Munshi, MD


Diabetes is a condition in which both high and low glucose levels are harmful to the body. In older individuals with multiple risk factors for hypoglycemia, the goal should be the best blood sugar control that can be achieved without putting the individual at risk for dangerously low blood sugar.

Writing as an antidote to loneliness

Because social connections are vital to human development and health, and writing is a way to form or strengthen a sense of connection to others, the creative expression of writing has been found to improve health and boost healthy emotions.