Colon cancer testing: What's in it for you?

Screening exams can prevent colorectal cancer, although the number of lives this ultimately saves is less clear. Colonoscopy is considered the most thorough exam for finding precancerous growths on the colon wall, although sigmoidoscopy and stool testing are also effective if performed often enough. Despite uncertainties, colorectal cancer screening is one of the most effective preventive health measures. (Locked) More »

How much meat can you eat

Many studies link higher meat consumption to increased health problems. It is reasonable to eat a limited amount of meat or try having several meat-free days per week. Meat has dietary value, but other foods provide similar nutrients. (Locked) More »

Numb hand: Should you worry?

Repetitive motions can squeeze nerves in the hand and cause temporary and short-lived numbness. It usually does not indicate a medical condition, but talk to a doctor if the numbness persists or interferes with daily activities. (Locked) More »

Alzheimer's in the family

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease raises concerns for multiple people in a family. For the person’s children and siblings, the diagnosis means they are at slightly increased risk of developing the condition. However, genetic testing for Alzheimer’s risk genes is not generally helpful.  More »

Got a bum knee? Here is what to do

Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of chronic knee pain, but there are other possibilities, such as overuse, injury, and non-arthritis conditions. The first person to talk to is your primary care doctor, who can identify the most likely reason for the pain and other symptoms and recommend either further testing or a visit with a joint specialist, or rheumatologist.  (Locked) More »

Your stroke prevention action plan

To prevent stroke, start by keeping your blood pressure under control. Among the various risk factors for stroke, lowering blood pressure, if it is high, can have the greatest impact. Although blood pressure is critical, other steps are important too, such as exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight by eating a varied, plant-based diet. (Locked) More »

Vitamins and vision loss

Dietary supplements promise to protect vision, but this only works for people who already have age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss in older people. For people with family history of AMD, eating a heart-healthy diet may help support vision and definitely delivers general health benefits. (Locked) More »

Low back pain attacks: One pill may be enough

Adding muscle relaxers or narcotic pain relievers to the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) naproxen (Aleve) did not improve pain or function for people who went to emergency rooms seeking help for severe low back pain. More »

Dietary supplements can be hard to swallow

A study found that 23,000 Americans visit the emergency room every year with bad reactions to dietary supplements, and that older people frequently report choking or difficulty swallowing vitamin and mineral supplements, especially those with calcium. More »