Tips to cope when you’re juggling several chronic health issues

Managing several health conditions is complicated. Today’s optimal medical care involves seeing more types of doctors, having more tests, and getting more treatments than in earlier times. That can lead to confusion about treatment or a lack of medication compliance. To manage several chronic health conditions, it helps to become educated about the conditions and medications, keep track of when medications are taken and any side effects that develop, and get a good primary care physician to coordinate care. (Locked) More »

How can I treat stubborn hiccups?

Hiccups that don’t respond to simple home remedies may respond to prescription medications, and may possibly respond to marijuana, acupuncture, or hypnosis. (Locked) More »

What is a leaky gut?

In recent years, scientists have discovered that the inner lining of the intestine can become leaky, and allow toxins from microbes (and, sometimes, the microbes themselves) to get into the bloodstream. This can cause inflammation. (Locked) More »

Think that hip pain is bursitis? Think again.

Side hip pain was often diagnosed as bursitis. In recent years, doctors have discovered that 90% of the time, side hip pain is more likely to be the result of other conditions, such as tendinitis; an irritated iliotibial band; tight, imbalanced muscles in the buttocks; or spine problems. Treatment for these conditions typically involves stretching and strengthening the muscles in the buttocks and hips, and strengthening the core muscles. Restoring balance to the muscles helps the body function better and eliminate pain. (Locked) More »

When to expect results from a new medication

 Image: © Digital Vision/Getty Images When your doctor prescribes a new medication, you may expect to start feeling the effects right away. But some drugs can take time to make a difference. "It depends on how quickly your body absorbs the medication, how your body distributes it, and how your body breaks down or metabolizes it," says Laura Carr, a pharmacist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. Some medications start working on the first day. These include drugs that treat high blood pressure, like the beta blocker metoprolol (Toprol, Lopressor), which slows down the heart and reduces the force of its contractions; or H2 blockers such as famotidine (Pepcid) and ranitidine (Zantac), which treat heartburn by blocking the stomach's acid-secreting cells from making acid. More »

Clean out your pantry, clean up your health

The typical American pantry is loaded with unhealthy foods. Boxed, bagged, canned, and jarred foods are often brimming with refined grains, salt, added sugars, or saturated fat. Rather than risk temptation by keeping processed, unhealthy foods in the pantry, it’s a good idea to swap them for healthier foods. Ideas include swapping refined bread products for whole-grain versions, and trading bottled marinades for homemade spice rubs. Replace treats like cookies with fresh fruit. (Locked) More »

Working later in life can pay off in more than just income

Many older adults are working past retirement age, which may have a good or a bad effect on health. Studies have linked working past age 65 to a reduced risk for developing heart attack or dementia, and a reduced risk of dying prematurely. However, working past retirement age can cause stress. Some studies have linked retiring from the work force with a substantial reduction in mental and physical fatigue and depressive symptoms. If one is going to work past retirement age, it’s best to get a job that is meaningful and enjoyable. More »

Baby boomers: Don’t forget hepatitis C screenings

Despite a 2012 recommendation that all baby boomers get tested for hepatitis C, an analysis of government health surveys suggests that only about 13% of baby boomers had been tested for hepatitis C by 2015, up just one percentage point from 2013. More »