Recent Blog Articles
Cutting and self-harm: Why it happens and what to do
Discrimination at work is linked to high blood pressure
Pouring from an empty cup? Three ways to refill emotionally
Give praise to the elbow: A bending, twisting marvel
Sneezy and dopey? Seasonal allergies and your brain
The FDA relaxes restrictions on blood donation
Apps to accelerometers: Can technology improve mental health in older adults?
Swimming and skin: What to know if a child has eczema
A muscle-building obsession in boys: What to know and do
Natural disasters strike everywhere: Ways to help protect your health
Harvard Health Blog
Read the latest posts from experts at Harvard Health Publishing covering a variety of health topics and perspectives on medical news.
FDA approves abiraterone for advanced prostate cancer
The drug, approved at the end of April 2011, may be helpful for men with metastatic disease that no longer responds to hormone therapy.
Get rid of your old drugs this Saturday
Is your medicine cabinet, refrigerator, or pill drawer overflowing with unused or expired medications? Don’t know how to get rid of them? Hand them over tomorrow (Saturday, April 30) as part of the second National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. From 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, you can bring your old prescription and over-the-counter drugs to one of 5,300 sites across the country. Last year’s program collected more than 242,000 pounds of drugs. If you miss the program, this article offers tips from the FDA on the safest ways to get rid of old and unused medications.
How to survive a tornado
The storms that have recently ripped through the South included dozens of tornadoes. And as the bad weather barreled north today, the National Weather Service declared a tornado watch for eastern parts South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland, and warned of severe weather as far north as Boston. Strong wind from any sort of severe weather can wreak havoc, but the speed and spinning winds of a tornado are especially destructive. In most years, tornadoes kill about 60 Americans, about the same number killed by lightning strikes. But this is not going to be an average year. The death toll from the terrible storms in the South is approaching 300 and the number is climbing. Advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center can help you survive a tornado if one is headed your way.
Why pathologists may disagree
Some disagreements involve objective factors, such as how biopsies are done. But usually, when pathologists disagree, to comes down to interpretation and judgment, both subjective qualities.
Questions to ask about your pathology report
It should be clear by now that pathology reports vary in large part because the clinical features they analyze often require some subjective interpretation. This means it’s important to question the findings and make sure you understand them before you make any decisions about treatment. Start by studying your pathology report closely. Circle anything that […]
Harvard 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating goes live! You can participate, too
Two volunteers are testing the new “Harvard Medical School 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating.” This plan offers week-by-week steps to help you analyze your diet, establish goals for healthy meals and snacks, and incorporate practical changes to make your healthy diet a reality. Each week builds on what you accomplished in the previous weeks. At the end, you’ll have made important changes that can last a lifetime. Tonya Phillips and Helen Hoart share their experience from Week 1 of the 6-week plan.
Kate Middleton’s pre-royal weight loss: stress, “brideorexia,” or the Dukan Diet?
One of many hot topics about the upcoming royal wedding of Prince William of Wales and Catherine Middleton is whether Middleton has lost too much weight in preparing for the ceremony. Prevailing theories about Middleton’s presumptive weight loss include stress, “brideorexia,” and a popular French diet. Harvard Health Letter editor Peter Wehrwein discusses all three possibilities.
Because stretching cold muscles can lead to injury, it’s best to stretch after your muscles have been adequately warmed up — either at the end of your workout or after you’ve completed your warm-up. Stretching at the end of your workout can be a good way to cool down. Stretch several times a week for […]
Balance plays no role in preventing prostate problems or major diseases. Still, balance is important for health. A good sense of balance can keep you steady on your feet and reduce your risk of falling. This special set of exercises can be done at any time, every day of the week or just a few […]
Exercise and prostate cancer
Some studies have suggested that more physically active men many have a lower risk of prostate cancer — or prostate cancer progression — than sedentary men. And somewhat paradoxically, exercise can combat the fatigue that strikes some prostate cancer patients during treatment.
Exercise and erectile dysfunction (ED)
Emerging scientific evidence suggests that engaging in a few hours of exercise a week — including strength training, stretching, and balance exercises — may reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED).
Exercise and chronic prostatitis
Physical activity could be a valid treatment option for men with chronic prostatitis who have not found relief through medication or other measures.
Exercise and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
Researchers have found an inverse relationship between physical activity and BPH syptoms: simply put, men who are more physically active are less likely to suffer from symptoms of an enlarged prostate such as frequent urination, urgency, and a weak urinary stream.
Try exercise to ease arthritis pain, stiffness
If you have arthritis, exercise can help keep your joints mobile and your muscles strong. Swimming and other water-based exercise are especially good because they’re easy on the joints. Harvard Health editor Julie Corliss discusses ways in which exercise can help you cope with—and even improve the symptoms of—arthritis.
Good planning is a recipe for home-cooking success
It’s so easy to pick up fast food or take out food that no one really needs to cook anymore. That’s great if you’re short on time, but not so great if your goal is healthy eating. The Harvard Medical School 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating offers tips for planning and preparing healthy food at home.
Belly fat is the shape of cardiovascular risk
Extra fat that accumulates around the abdomen goes by many names: beer belly, spare tire, love handles, apple shape, middle-age spread, and the more technical “abdominal obesity.” No matter what the name, it is the shape of risk.
How Boston Marathon runners can avoid hitting the wall
Perhaps up to 40% of runners in tomorrow’s Boston Marathon will end up “hitting the wall,” notes Harvard Health Letter editor Peter Wehrwein. This means that their bodies have run out of the carbohydrates needed to sustain intense physical activities like long-distance running. But one Harvard/MIT student and marathon runner has developed an online tool that allows runners to calculate just how many extra calories they should get from high-carbohydrate food or drink before a marathon to avoid hitting the wall.
Statin use is up, cholesterol levels are down: Are Americans’ hearts benefiting?
The latest annual snapshot of health in America, a report called Health, United States, 2010 offers hours of browsing and food for thought for anyone interested in health trends. Harvard Health Letter editor Peter Wehrwein connects the dots between use of cholesterol-lowering statins and fewer deaths from heart disease.
One way I procrastinate is to read articles on procrastination. There is quite a good, short, helpful one in this week’s issue of Nature. The authors, who consult to academics in Adelaide, Australia, point out that motivation rarely leads to action. Paradoxically, action leads to motivation. Their concise article is “Waiting for the motivation fairy.” […]
Two techniques for reducing stress
Feeling stressed? Call a timeout, counsels “Stress Management,” a new Special Health Report from Harvard Health Publishing. One way to stop stress and worry from taking over your days involves setting aside 15 minutes or so to focus on your problems. When the time is up, try to leave your worries aside and focus on something more productive. Writing down your worries and dropping them in a “worry box” can also help, explains Harvard Health editor Annmarie Dadoly.
Mindfulness meditation improves connections in the brain
Mindfulness meditation can ease stress. It also seems to do a lot more, like help with physical and psychological problems from high blood pressure and chronic pain to anxiety and binge eating. New research shows that mindfulness meditation changes the way nerves connect.
Another study shows PSA testing doesn’t save lives
In the longest-running trial to date, Swedish researchers conclude that PSA screening does little to cut a man’s chances of dying of prostate cancer.
PSA blood test for prostate cancer doesn’t save lives
Men have long been encouraged to have routine tests for prostate-specific antigen as a way to detect prostate cancer early. Although early detection should save lives, it doesn’t seem to work that way for slow-growing prostate cancer. The longest-running trial to date shows that PSA testing doesn’t help men live longer.
From the wrist to the heart: new angioplasty method is safe, effective
Angioplasty is a simple, safe alternative to open heart surgery for restoring blood flow through a narrowed or blocked coronary artery. Results of a large international trial show that a new approach to angioplasty that begins with the radial artery in the arm is as effective and safe as the traditional approach, which begins with the femoral artery in the groin.
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