Are you prepared for a medical emergency?

To prepare for a medical emergency, it is helpful to have quick access to important information. This includes one’s advance directive, as well lists of all medications and supplements, emergency contacts, and health care providers. This information can be contained on a flash drive or put in a bag that’s kept in a handy place in the house. It’s also important to talk to a loved one in advance about how you’d like to be taken care of in a medical emergency. (Locked) More »

What to look for in a home treadmill

Home treadmill options are varied. Harvard experts recommend shopping for a home treadmill with a strong motor, a deck long enough for your stride, a sturdy frame and side rails, an emergency stop button, gauges that are easy to read, and buttons that are easy to use. Other options to consider include a built-in TV screen and compatibility with heart rate monitors. A person should try out a treadmill before buying it and make sure the treadmill comes with a warranty that includes servicing the motor. (Locked) More »

Ask these questions when you get a new prescription

When a doctor prescribes a new medication, it’s essential to ask questions about it. The patient should find out why the medication is needed, how it works, what the risks and benefits are, what side effects might occur, how to take the medication, what to avoid when using the medication, how soon the medication will begin working, and when it will be time to re-evaluate if the medication is still necessary. (Locked) More »

Is that winter sniffle a cold or a sinus infection?

It's no fun coping with the stuffy, dripping head congestion of a winter bug. But how do you know if you're fighting a common cold or a sinus infection? "The symptoms can overlap, and it can be hard to tell the difference," says Dr. Ahmad Sedaghat, an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. More than 200 viruses can cause a common cold. The most common culprits — responsible for up to 40% of colds — come from a family of viruses called rhinoviruses. Cold symptoms typically include a sore throat, nose and sinus congestion, thick and sometimes discolored discharge, a runny nose, and sneezing. You may also develop a cough and hoarseness. More »

5 mistakes that will sabotage a healthy diet

Common mistakes can trip up even the best intentions to stay on a particular eating plan. Mistakes include eating a diet that’s too restrictive, overeating in front of TV, keeping the wrong foods in the house, and excluding the wrong foods, such as fruits and healthy fats. One way to stick to a diet is to track food intake. This can be done using a notebook and writing down information or using an app (for an electronic gadget), such as My Fitness Pal (www.myfitnesspal.com) or the USDA’s Food Tracker (www.supertracker.usda.gov). (Locked) More »

New thinking on shingles prevention

The FDA approved Shingrix in October 2017 to prevent shingles. That same month, the vaccine won a CDC advisory panel’s recommendation over Zostavax, the vaccine that’s been in use for more than a decade. More »