The far-reaching effects of a little bit of weight loss

Losing 5% of one’s total body weight can result in clinically significant physiologic changes. For example, losing a little weight can reduce heartburn, knee pain, blood pressure, and diabetes risk. Losing 5% of one’s body weight may also lead to better sexual function, more restorative sleep, extra energy, and more self-esteem. To reach a 5% reduction in total body weight, it helps to exercise; eat a healthy diet rich in lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds; and get enough sleep. (Locked) More »

Can a slow heartbeat be dangerous?

A slow heartbeat may be nothing serious. But it may be a sign of disease, or it may be the side effect of a medication that can cause a slow heartbeat. A "slow" heartbeat is usually defined as below 60 beats per minute at rest (some experts say below 50). Some people have a slow heartbeat but no symptoms. Symptoms from a slow heartbeat include lightheadedness or feeling faint or actually fainting. They also include breathlessness. A person with symptoms that could be caused by a slow heartbeat should be medically evaluated. (Locked) More »

Should you take a vitamin B12 supplement?

An estimated 3.2% of adults ages 50 or older have very low B12 levels, and up to 20% may have borderline deficiency. Aging is often the cause. Other causes include taking heartburn medications; eating a diet that does not include animal products; weight loss surgery; or autoimmune diseases that attack the stomach lining or gastrointestinal tract. It’s a good idea for older adults to take a B12 supplement of 2.8 micrograms daily to ward off B12 deficiency. People who have very low levels of B12 may need to take a much higher dose or get B12 injections. (Locked) More »

Top 7 reasons you have a headache

Migraine, tension, and cluster headaches can have many triggers. For example, stress can cause tight muscles in the shoulders and neck, which often leads to tension headaches; hunger can trigger a migraine or tension headache; and something in the environment may trigger a cluster headache. Understanding headache triggers can help people avoid headaches in the future. Keeping a diary to note the day, time, symptoms, and circumstances surrounding a headache may help; so can living a healthy lifestyle. (Locked) More »

Is intermittent fasting safe for older adults?

However, there isn’t solid evidence about the benefits or how fasting might affect older adults. Fasting risks could include too much weight loss or interference with medication regimens. Anyone thinking of trying intermittent fasting should talk to a doctor about it first, especially if the person already has health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. More »

Try these stretches before you get out of bed

Stretching before one gets out of bed has many benefits. It can release the body’s "feel good" chemicals, lubricate the joints, and help people maintain their range of motion. Before stretching, one should move the muscles a little by flexing the joints. This will help get blood flowing to the muscles and make them more amenable to stretching. Any stretch done in bed should be hold for 30 to 60 seconds if possible, without bouncing. More »

Healthy habits mean more disease-free years

An observational study published online Jan. 8, 2020, by The BMJ suggests that people who follow four or five healthy habits have an additional decade of disease-free living, compared with people who don’t follow any healthy lifestyle habits. More »

Should you try home hospital care?

Home hospital care is not for everyone. However, it may make sense for people who have an illness that needs constant monitoring and treatment but doesn’t require advanced procedures or intensive nursing care. More »