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Staying Healthy Archive


Try this natural remedy to stay regular

Eating two peeled kiwifruits per day may help ease constipation, according to a small randomized trial published in 2023. The effectiveness of eating kiwifruits was slightly greater than that of using a daily fiber supplement such as Metamucil or Fiberall.

Ways to maximize your energy

People's energy levels typically decrease later in life as a result of aging, illness, or other factors. Fortunately, a healthier lifestyle can boost energy. That involves eating a diet low in added sugars and processed foods, getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night, managing stress, getting lots of aerobic exercise, and strengthening the muscles. Using physical energy frugally is another useful strategy. For example, it helps to perform activities at a slow, steady pace instead of a fast pace; to break activities into small tasks instead of one large job; and to rest between tasks.

The latest in medical alert systems

Some medical alert systems now have advanced technology that integrates monitoring services with a smartphone, smart watch, or smart speaker. The services aren't cheap. They range from $20 to $50 per month, depending on the company and any additional services (such as fall detection). There may also be fees for activation and equipment (up to a few hundred dollars). The alternative is getting an alert system that isn't monitored, such as free "panic button" apps for smartphones or a smart watch that can notify relatives in an emergency.

Do these activities hurt your knees?

Evidence suggests that regular activity or exercise is unlikely to cause knee damage or accelerate knee osteoarthritis. However, certain activities can lead to an arthritis flare-up or knee pain. To avoid it, one can modify movement to reduce pressure on the knees. Modification examples include doing a toe tap instead of a jumping jack during an aerobics routine, and sitting on a small step stool to get low to the ground instead of deep squatting.

Decoding medication instructions

Some medication instructions are vague and confusing. Examples include "take once daily," "take with food," and "take with water." When someone is unsure exactly how to take a medication, even if it's already been explained, it's best to ask for clarification. Ideally this happens when a doctor writes the prescription, but it's okay to call and ask later. It may also be helpful to ask a pharmacist for the directions, either when picking up a medication or on a later call.

Hidden causes of weight gain

The reason for weight gain isn't always as obvious as inactivity or a poor diet. Weight gain can stem from many other causes. For example, it might reflect age-related physiological changes such as muscle loss, poor sleep, or changes in sex hormone levels; underlying conditions such as diabetes or sleep apnea; side effects from taking certain medications, such as antidepressants or beta blockers; or possibly the effects of eating late at night or the makeup of gut bacteria. Recent or excessive weight gain warrants a visit to a doctor to help pinpoint the issue.

Focusing on six food groups may help prevent cardiovascular disease

A 2023 study suggests eating enough of six categories of food common in popular heart-health diets is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes. The six groups are fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, fish, and dairy products.

Higher BMI associated with greater odds of joint disease

A higher body mass index (BMI) is a major risk factor for osteoarthritis, but a 2023 study suggests it is also associated with inflammatory joint conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, and inflammatory spondylitis.

When — and how — should you be screened for colon cancer?

In the US population as a whole, deaths from colon cancer have been declining, but in people under 50 that rate has increased. Most major medical organizations recommend screening beginning at age 45 for people at average risk.

Got expendable body parts?

Removing tonsils in childhood was once routine care for healthy children, but is no longer recommended. Why are some organs and glands –– appendix, tonsils, adenoids and more –– considered expendable and why do we have them if they're not needed?

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