Archive for July, 2019

Keep using sunscreen while FDA updates recommendations on safety of sunscreen ingredients

A recent study has left many people concerned about whether the sunscreen they use is safe, but until results of further testing are available, the protection offered by sunscreen outweighs any potential risk.

Should you see a chiropractor for low back pain?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Nearly everyone has experienced some sort of back pain, but unfortunately there is no single best treatment for it. Researchers seeking to evaluate the worth of chiropractic care as an option for back pain treatment studied military personnel, but the study did have some limitations.

New FDA-approved weight loss device shows promise

Not everyone who needs to lose weight is a good candidate for either surgery or medications, so more treatment options are valuable. The FDA has approved a new device to help people lose weight, a capsule containing particles that expand in the stomach.

From Brexit to TRexit: Transperineal biopsies pose a challenge to the traditional transrectal biopsy method

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

By now most of us are familiar with Brexit, the UK’s pending divorce with the European Union. But in a play on that term, British doctors are also moving towards an exit they’ve dubbed “TRexit” from the most common sort of prostate biopsy: the transrectal ultrasound guided biopsy, or TRUS. Men who test positive on […]

HPV vaccine: A vaccine that works, and one all children should get

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Human papilloma virus (HPV) causes about 40,000 cases of cancer every year. A long-term study of the HPV vaccine finds it offers protection against many strains of the virus, yet many teens haven’t had this safe, effective vaccine.

The DASH diet: A great way to eat foods that are healthy AND delicious

The DASH diet has already been shown to lower blood pressure, and a new study found that people who followed it closely had a lower risk of heart failure. Try these suggestions to incorporate the DASH diet into your daily eating pattern.

Opioids for acute pain: How much is too much?

Scott Weiner, MD


One of the roots of the opioid crisis in the US is how frequently the medications are prescribed. There are times when a prescription opioid is called for, but in many cases an over-the-counter pain medication is very effective.

DNA testing forever changed donor conception

Ellen S. Glazer, LICSW

Guest Contributor

DNA testing kits can upend identity and spark a multitude of questions for some children conceived with donor sperm and parents who hadn’t shared origin stories.

Need to check your thyroid? Maybe not

People who think they have hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) may expect or request a wide range of blood tests to confirm diagnosis. Yet a much simpler, less costly test can identify hypothyroidism in almost everyone.

Children and gun safety: What to know and do

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Regardless of individual feelings about guns and gun ownership, everyone wants their children to be safe. Simple safety steps can prevent accidents involving children and guns.