Harvard Health Blog

Join the discussion with experts from Harvard Health Publishing and others like you on a variety of health topics, medical news and views.

Supporting your newborn’s health: Intestinal colonization after elective cesarean section

Allan Walker, MD

Contributor

The development of the microbiome begins before birth, but there is a profound difference in the colonizing bacteria if a baby is born by elective cesarean section rather than vaginal birth that can affect a child’s health and risk of disease.

Digesting the latest research on eggs

Another study is questioning the healthfulness of eggs, but whether or not you should eat fewer eggs depends on your overall diet and your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Hands-only CPR: A lifesaving technique within your reach

For more than a decade, national guidelines have recommended the simpler, hands-only version of CPR for cardiac arrests that occur outside a hospital. Even if you haven’t had a training course, administering CPR keeps blood circulating in a cardiac arrest victim until medical help arrives.

Simplify your workout with lap swimming

Lap swimming is a very effective workout: aerobics, strengthening, and stretching in one activity. Make sure you’re reasonably healthy before diving in, but even if you’re not, or if you don’t know how to swim, aquatic exercises are beneficial, too.

Colorectal cancer screening before age 50?

While the incidence of colorectal cancer has declined among older adults, it has increased in people younger than 50. The American Cancer Society now recommends that adults be screened for this condition starting at age 45.

Trouble reading? Try these workarounds

Trouble reading may stem from physical challenges, difficulty concentrating, traumatic brain injury, or mild cognitive impairment. After an evaluation, try these workaround strategies.

Showering daily — is it necessary?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

While many people shower or bathe daily, it’s not necessary and may not be wise for your skin. Concerns about water use –– and what’s in our water –– also are worth considering.

Thunderclap headache: The “worst headache of my life”

A thunderclap headache is a sudden, extremely severe headache associated with several possible causes. It’s considered a medical emergency and should be treated as soon as possible.

Fiber-full eating for better health and lower cholesterol

Monique Tello, MD, MPH

Contributing Editor

Most Americans don’t eat enough fiber, and many people say it’s because they are worried about eating too many carbs, but eating the right kind of carbs is what makes the difference, and it’s not that difficult to meet the recommended daily amount.

Trouble keeping information in mind? Could be sleep, mood — or age

Most people experience some degree of decreased memory as they get older, but memory performance is also affected by mood and sleep quality, and these are factors that can be controlled and improved.