Archive for 2019

Ketamine for major depression: New tool, new questions

The drug ketamine is a promising treatment for some people with major depression. It can be given as an IV infusion or a nasal spray. Because it works quickly, it could be an important tool in helping people who are suicidal.

Public policies to stop kids from drinking sugary drinks

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Concern about the amount of sugar in kids’ diets has led the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association to encourage the consideration of steps to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks among children and teens.

Herpes infection of the cornea

Emma Davies, MD

Contributor

The clear tissue at the front of the eye is known as the cornea, and it must remain crystal clear in order for an individual to see clearly. The herpes viruses can infect the cornea, causing damage to tissue and possibly causing lasting visual impairment if not quickly identified and treated. Herpes simplex: the cold […]

What causes kidney stones (and what to do)

You’re more likely to get kidney stones, or have them recur, if you don’t drink enough fluid each day. Proper hydration, medication, and attention to diet are the most common treatments.

Treating constipation with biofeedback for the pelvic floor

Judy Nee, MD

Contributor

People with constipation caused by pelvic floor dysfunction may benefit from a course of physical therapy that uses biofeedback to detect the movements of various muscles, and provides guidance on how to retrain the pelvic floor muscles.

Microbiome: The first 1,000 days

Allan Walker, MD

Contributor

From the time of conception until the second year of life, appropriate bacteria colonization of the digestive tract affects long-term health and plays a role in whether a person will be healthy or will develop a chronic disease.

Young children are swallowing objects twice as often as before

Claire McCarthy, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Researchers found that the incidence of children swallowing nonfood items had increased dramatically between the mid-1990s and the mid-2010s. Practicing good safety habits and taking certain other precautions is the best way to prevent such incidents.

Big problems for big toe joints

Shoes with a tight toe box or too-high heels can contribute to big toe joint problems like bunions and osteoarthritis. Surgery may be needed, or simple steps could help ease pain and keep you moving.

Undoing the harm: Tapering down from high-dose opioids

Scott Weiner, MD

Contributor

The CDC’s 2016 Guideline on Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain was created to help providers and patients manage medication treatment at safe levels and avoid dependence. Any plan to taper medication dosage should be personalized to the patient’s needs.

Stool transplants are now standard of care for recurrent C. difficile infections

Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), also known as stool transplantation, is a procedure in which stool from a healthy donor is placed into the gut of a patient in order to treat a certain disease. FMT is not a new concept, but in the last six years it has become a standard-of-care therapy for the treatment […]