Can you make up for years of poor eating?

Atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries) may be reversible through intensive lifestyle changes, but because the process is highly challenging, experts say it’s preferable to focus on preventing new damage to avoid a cardiovascular crisis, such as a heart attack or stroke. More »

Can the flu shot hurt my immune response?

 Image: © scyther5/Thinkstock Q. I've read that getting the flu shot annually will weaken my immune system over time. Is this true? A. A study published in the March 1, 2017, issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases investigated whether getting an annual vaccination against influenza (flu) can weaken your body's natural ability to protect itself from the disease. Past studies have raised similar concerns. Researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway followed 250 health care workers. Some of them got a flu vaccination every year from 2009 through 2013. The others only received the vaccine once in 2009 and not in the years from 2010 to 2013. The researchers then took blood samples before the influenza season (and before people were vaccinated that season), from the members of both groups and looked at different markers to gauge how well their immune systems would respond to the influenza virus. They found that getting an annual flu vaccination did not weaken the immune system. As a group, the people who got the flu shot annually appeared to have a better immune response to influenza than those vaccinated only once. More »

Is your drinking becoming a problem?

Statistics show that drinking among older women is on the rise. Many women suffer from alcohol use disorder. Identifying and accepting it can lead to successful treatment. (Locked) More »

Ward off winter skin woes

Winter can wreak havoc on the skin. Exposure to cold weather or dry heat indoors can cause dry, itchy skin. Some simple steps, such as moisturizing regularly, can help to solve them. More »