Recent Blog Articles

Harvard Health Blog

Read the latest posts from experts at Harvard Health Publishing covering a variety of health topics and perspectives on medical news.


Overeating? Mindfulness exercises may help

Published March 28, 2022

It’s possible to overeat and not even realize it until you’ve finished a meal and doing so does not mean you have an eating problem or disorder. Mindfulness exercises can help you slow down and enjoy eating, making it easier to avoid overeating.

Genes protective during the Black Death may now be increasing autoimmune disorders

Published December 1, 2022

Genes that helped people survive during the time of the Black Death are more likely to be found in people with autoimmune diseases alive today. Does this tell scientists anything about what surviving the COVID-19 pandemic might mean for the world’s population?

Does weight loss surgery relieve pain?

Published November 30, 2022

Weight-loss surgery has many proven benefits. Now, data from a study of people who had bariatric surgery and were followed for several years suggests that it also improves pain and physical function.

Have you done your crossword puzzle today?

Published November 29, 2022

A study found that people with mild cognitive impairment who did crossword puzzles regularly showed modest improvement in cognition and less brain shrinkage. Will doing crossword puzzles be helpful to people whose thinking and memory are normal?

Concerned about your child’s development?

Published November 28, 2022

Social media and apps about babies and children can fuel worries about a child's development. It's important to remember that every child is different and may move through stages of development at varying paces.

Why all the buzz about inflammation — and just how bad is it?

Published March 16, 2022

Inflammation is the body’s response to an injury, allergy, or infection, a reaction that attempts to restore the health of the affected area. But that’s only part of the story, because there are two types of inflammation, and it’s important to know the difference—and what is and isn’t true about all types.

What’s the right way to brush your teeth?

Published November 23, 2022

When you brush your teeth, how much thought do you give to what you’re doing? Regular brushing keeps plaque from forming on your teeth and gums healthy, but you do need a good toothbrush and proper brushing technique.

Want to stay healthy over the holidays?

Published November 22, 2022

Another holiday season is here, and this year we need to contend with other viruses besides COVID-19. Three Harvard experts share their thoughts on the best ways to keep ourselves and our family members healthy as we celebrate holidays together.

How to help your preschooler sleep alone

Published November 21, 2022

Many parents face the challenge of getting their child to move from sleeping in bed with them to sleeping in their own bed. Changing this habit takes time; being practical and consistent about it helps.

21 spices for healthy holiday foods

Updated November 16, 2022

The holiday season is probably the hardest time of year to resist rich, indulgent foods, but too many salty, fatty, sugary choices can harm your health. Instead, try adding natural flavor to holiday foods with herbs and spices, many of which contain substances that have a beneficial effect on health.

New guidelines on opioids for pain relief: What you need to know

Published November 17, 2022

The CDC’s 2016 guidelines for prescribing opioid medications aimed to reduce deaths from overdose. Recent revisions to these guidelines aim for refinement while emphasizing safety and the importance of finding the best treatment solution for each person.

Should you get an over-the-counter hearing aid?

Published November 16, 2022

New regulations allow Americans to buy hearing aids over the counter, without requiring a hearing test. These devices will cost less and can only treat mild to moderate hearing loss––will they be right for you?

Shortage of ADHD medicines: Advice on coping if you are affected

Published November 15, 2022

The prescription drug Adderall has been in short supply for months. How widespread is this problem, and what are the consequences, and possible solutions, for adults who rely on this medication to manage ADHD?

When replenishing fluids, does milk beat water?

Published November 14, 2022

An ad campaign sponsored by the milk industry claims that milk is better than water for hydration. A few studies appear to support the claim, but they involved a small number of subjects and have important limitations.

Melasma: What are the best treatments?

Published July 11, 2022

Melasma is a skin condition affecting mostly women with darker skin. It cannot be fully prevented in those most likely to develop it, and there is no cure, but consistent sunscreen use is critical, and numerous treatment options are available.

Respiratory health harms often follow flooding: Taking these steps can help

Published November 9, 2022

Flooding due to major storms or heavy rains can harm lung health, both from toxic contaminants that end up in the air and from the growth of mold caused by dampness. Taking steps to prevent flooding when possible and moving quickly to reduce health risks if flooding occurs can help protect your family’s health.

Break free from 3 self-sabotaging ANTs — automatic negative thoughts

Published November 8, 2022

Automatic negative thoughts are reactions that compel people to interpret many situations in unbalanced, upsetting ways. But with practice, people can learn to recognize and disarm distorted thinking.

Prostate cancer: Zapping metastatic tumors with radiation improves survival

Published November 7, 2022

When prostate cancer spreads beyond the gland, it has been treated with hormone therapy, but there are challenging side effects. A new study shows that a different treatment option involving radiation can allow some men to delay or avoid hormone therapy.

Does your health monitor have device bias?

Updated November 3, 2022

The accuracy of health monitoring devices available to consumers varies, and in some instances skin tone may make a difference –– a problem called device bias. Yet proper function of such devices can have significant implications for the health of those using them.

Can a multivitamin keep your brain healthy?

Published November 3, 2022

A recent study found that older adults who took a multivitamin daily for three years had improved scores on tests of executive function, memory, and overall brain function, but the study wasn’t large enough, long enough, or diverse enough to rely on its conclusions alone.

New guidelines on newborn jaundice: What parents need to know

Updated November 2, 2022

Most newborn babies turn a little yellow. This is known as jaundice, and it’s very common in the newborn period. But in some very rare cases it can be a sign of a more serious problem. Here’s what parents need to know about it.

Trying to lower stubbornly high LDL cholesterol?

Published November 1, 2022

Elevated LDL cholesterol contributes to cardiovascular disease. Taking statin drugs can substantially lower this risk. But what if a person’s LDL level remains too high on their maximally tolerated dose? An expert consensus report lays out a clear path for next steps.

Weighing the new approaches to treating Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis

Published October 31, 2022

In recent years, treatment options for inflammatory bowel disease have expanded rapidly, with new types of drugs, new medications within existing classes, and new combinations of treatments for some patients.

Light therapy: Not just for seasonal depression?

Published October 28, 2022

Light therapy can help improve seasonal affective disorder (SAD). But many people don’t realize that it can also be effective for major depression, and depression that occurs during or after pregnancy (known as perinatal depression).


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