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.

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

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

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.

Kidney stones: What are your treatment options?

There are several treatment options for kidney stones. Which is best for you may depend on size and number of stones and their location in the kidney. Imaging and blood tests can help your doctor determine the right course of treatment.

A new therapy for osteoporosis: Romosozumab

Osteoporosis affects 10 million people in the United States, the majority of them women. Romosozumab is a new type of medication for treating osteoporosis that offers another treatment option for some women after menopause.