Staying Healthy Archive


When should you hire in-home help or health aides?

Most people want to live at home for as long as possible as they age, and managing this successfully may mean hiring outside help. Considering this step raises many questions, and answering them honestly will help guide decisions about when and how to proceed.

Small pets are delightful, but some carry dangerous bacteria

Small animals like turtles, iguanas, and frogs are often chosen as first-time pets for children, but it may be best to avoid them because they can carry bacteria that can make people sick. Here's what to know about this illness.

Try this: Progressive muscle relaxation for sleep

People with insomnia can quiet a racing mind or relax a tense body with progressive muscle relaxation, which involves gradually tensing and relaxing muscles, beginning with the toes and working up the body.

Stay safe playing pickleball

Pickleball continues to soar in popularity, especially among older adults. Unfortunately, more playing can lead to court-related injuries, the most common being strains and sprains in the legs and knees, and wrist sprains and fractures from falls. Pickleball injury prevention is threefold: performing lower-body strength exercises, such as lunges, squats, and heel raises, at least twice a week; doing a dynamic warm-up before playing; and working on agility and balance, which can help improve footwork and reduce the risk of falling.

Curcumin supplements might ease meal-related discomfort

A small randomized trial in 2023 found that taking two 250-mg capsules of curcumin four times a day was as effective at relieving dyspepsia symptoms as taking one daily 20-mg dose of the heartburn medication omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid).

Stopping a medication? Check first, quit safer

Abruptly stopping a medication can be risky and even life-threatening. For example, suddenly discontinuing certain drugs can cause a rebound effect, meaning that symptoms or problems that were controlled—such as high blood pressure or heartburn—can return with a vengeance. Stopping some medications, such as prescription painkillers or antidepressants, might result in withdrawal symptoms. Before quitting any drug cold turkey, it's important to consult with a doctor to make sure that it's safe.

Warding off germs this winter: What's helpful, what's not

Avoiding germs that cause respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses is especially important during the winter months, when cases are on the rise. Learn which strategies keep you safe. 

How can I reduce my number of daily medications?

Many people end up taking a long list of medications when they might be able to safely reduce the number of daily pills. Reviewing medications with their specialists and primary care doctor can help determine which drugs may be reduced or perhaps discontinued.

When will we see a "one-and-done" flu shot?

Scientists are trying to create a vaccine that would protect people against all different strains of the influenza (flu) virus. These vaccines are being designed to target parts of the flu virus that don't change regularly and so are consistent across all strains. The perfect vaccine would also prevent symptoms (since current vaccines help prevent hospitalization and death, but not symptoms), and its effects would last for a lifetime. While such a vaccine is still many years away from reality, improved flu vaccines are expected in the meantime.

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