For a healthy brain, take all the prevention steps you can

A large body of research supports the principle that healthy lifestyles can help preserve mental functioning in older age and possibly prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease. The lifestyle factors associated with healthy brain aging include eating a healthy diet and being physically, mentally, and socially active. Steps to reduce overall cardiovascular risk are also important. This includes controlling blood pressure and limiting cholesterol. (Locked) More »

Ask the doctor: What are floaters?

Floaters are spots or lines that drift across vision. They are not usually that worrisome, but sometimes precede detachment of the light-sensing retina from the back of the eye. (Locked) More »

Ask the doctor: Best way to work out

Workouts that mix high- and moderate-intensity exercise are not proved to be more beneficial than all-moderate exercise. Either way, 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise is recommended for good health. (Locked) More »

Ringing in the ears: Get it checked

Many people develop ringing in the ears, called tinnitus, along with hearing loss. There is no definitive cure for tinnitus, but some therapies can help people to tolerate it better. A well-fitted hearing aid can help. Fortunately, most tinnitus is neither severe nor particularly bothersome. Some men get used to it over time. In other cases, it may only be bothersome in certain situations, like being in a quiet room. A comprehensive exam, possibly including a hearing test, can rule out underlying causes and allow a person with tinnitus to learn about treatment options. More »

Getting a new knee: Timing is everything

Joint replacement for an arthritic knee is beneficial if a person has significant pain, physical damage to the joint, and disability in everyday life. Age is no barrier to joint replacement in otherwise healthy men. The risks of the surgery are relatively low, with an average risk of death of less than 1%. Artificial joints fail in less than 1% of cases, requiring a repair surgery. Recovery takes several months of physical therapy and up to a year to fully rebuild muscles and other tissues around the joint. (Locked) More »

Upset stomach? Don't write it off

Dyspepsia is a frequent or persistent upset stomach, with pain in the upper stomach, filling up quickly with meals, or bloating after meals. Various things can contribute to dyspepsia, such as over-the-counter pain medications or infection with a stomach bacterium. In a quarter of cases, no underlying cause is identified. Men with dyspepsia and red flags like weight loss, fatigue, blood in the stool, vomiting, loss of appetite, or pain or difficulty swallowing should see a doctor. Otherwise, it may help to identify and avoid foods that seem to trigger dyspepsia, such as fatty foods, and eating smaller but more frequent meals. (Locked) More »

Medicare covers lung cancer screening

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) covers lung cancer screening for people who meet certain criteria and seek the service at a qualified center. To be covered, a man would need to see his primary care doctor to be counseled on the pros and cons of screening and get referred to a qualified center for the testing. Screening is still available outside of Medicare but may not offer the same quality of follow-up for suspicious findings. Most findings don’t turn out to be cancer, but follow-up testing comes with potential complications, such as infection after needle biopsy of the lung. (Locked) More »

High-tech heart scans not always helpful

Using high-tech heart CT scans to identify diabetics at higher risk of heart problems or death and then stepping up their treatment didn't provide any real benefit in the end, according to a study in The Journal of the American Medical Association. (Locked) More »

Men at risk of low bone strength not checked as closely as women

Men at risk of low bone strength are not checked for it nearly as often as women, according to a study in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. Having a fracture is a possible sign of low bone strength (osteoporosis), and some guidelines suggest bone density testing for people 50 and older after a fracture. (Locked) More »

Rice: It's still healthy

A study found that rice consumption is not associated with risk for cardiovascular disease. Some previous studies suggested this was a possibility. Whole-grain rice is a healthy food. (Locked) More »