Hidden dental dangers that may threaten your whole body

It’s hard for older adults to maintain good oral health. That may be because of declines in other abilities, age-related physical changes in the mouth, or chronic health conditions. The result is that older adults have an increased risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Steps that can help ward off those problems include brushing the teeth twice a day, flossing, using an interdental brush to remove debris in the teeth, using a prescription fluoride toothpaste or mouth rinse, and getting regular teeth cleanings. (Locked) More »

Can you explain the red meat debate?

While a recent study claimed that people shouldn't worry about how much red and processed meat they eat, its credibility is questionable, and it is still prudent to eat these foods sparingly. (Locked) More »

What to do about incidental findings

Medical imaging can reveal unexpected anomalies. An incidental finding might be a nodule or tumor (abnormal growths that may be benign or malignant) or a cyst (a fluid-filled or debris-filled sac). For example, the doctor may order a chest x-ray in a person with a bad cough to look for pneumonia, but the radiologist finds nodules instead. Such incidental findings can lead to more testing, more medical bills, and a great deal of anxiety. (Locked) More »

Helpful or harmful? Weighing last resorts before knee surgery

When trying to avoid surgery for knee osteoarthritis, one must be wary of certain treatments to relieve pain. Some treatments are ineffective or potentially dangerous, such as prolotherapy or ozone injections, stem cell treatments, and implanted shock absorbers. Other treatments—such as acupuncture or platelet-rich plasma injections—might work, but the evidence is mixed. Steroid or hyaluronic injections can provide pain relief. But the safest and most proven approaches for treating knee osteoarthritis are weight loss and muscle strengthening. More »

5 common medications that can have serious side effects

Many medications have the potential for dangerous side effects. For example, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors may cause an allergic-type reaction called angioedema; large daily doses of the over-the-counter painkiller acetaminophen can damage the liver and lead to liver failure; and NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen even when taken as directed can still cause ulcers, stomach bleeding and kidney damage. When taking any medication, be sure to watch for side effects and report new symptoms to the doctor. (Locked) More »

Groin strain vs. hernia pain: How to tell the difference

It can be hard to tell the difference between a groin strain (muscle or tendon tear) and an inguinal hernia (fat or intestine poking through a hole in the abdominal wall in the groin). Both conditions can cause a dull ache or burning pain in the groin. However, a groin strain usually gets better on its own; an inguinal hernia does not, and only gets bigger over time. With hernias a lump can often be felt under the skin; not so with groin strains. Treatment ranges from rest and ice (for a groin strain) to surgery (for a hernia). (Locked) More »

Harnessing CRISPR to stop viruses

As reported online Oct. 2, 2019, by Molecular Cell, a Harvard team was able to use the gene editing tool CRISPR to kill certain viruses, including the influenza virus, in a laboratory dish. More »