Deaths in children from asthma are growing at an alarming rate. One can't help but wonder if the powerful steroidal drugs that are used to control symptoms and that also suppress immune function play an important role in this death toll. Don't let this type of drug abuse hurt your family. Seek out alternatives and consider these strategies.
As the population grows older, more and more people are using a combination of drugs to treat multiple conditions. This can lead to interactions and side effects that we all need to be aware of.
Alcoholic drinks should all carry calorie counts according to a leading UK public health doctor writing in the BMJ today, because of their contribution to obesity. Fiona Sim, Chair of the UK Royal Society for Public Health, writes that while adults who drink may be getting as much as 10% of their daily calories from alcohol, most people are unaware drinking contributes to their energy intake.
Fear is the major ingredient of pain. It is what makes pain hurt. Take away the fear and only feeling is left. In the mid-1970s, in a poor and remote forest monastery in northeast Thailand, I had a bad toothache. There was no dentist to go to, no telephone, and no electricity. We didn't even have any aspirin...
Adam was fortunate to survive a major car accident three years ago. He was in hospital for several months but had no ongoing physical injuries. He looked like he made a full recovery. But he was argumentative, childish, vulgar and his family said he “was not the same person”. Adam had a severe traumatic brain injury.
Schizophrenia is one of the most widely misunderstood of human maladies. The truth of the illness is far different from popular caricatures of a sufferer muttering incoherently or lashing out violently.
Anyone who came of age in the 1990s might remember the “Friends” episode where Phoebe and Rachel venture out to get tattoos. Spoiler alert: Rachel gets a tattoo and Phoebe ends up with a black ink dot because she couldn’t take the pain.
US actress Selma Blair announced she has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. “I have probably had this incurable disease for 15 years at least,” she wrote. “And I am relieved to at least know.”
Older adults are at risk for both impaired oral health and malnutrition, according to a new study. Researchers analyzed the health records of 107 community-dwelling senior citizens who received treatment at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine clinic between 2015 to 2016.
Researchers surveyed college students about their frequency of video game play, coping strategies, anxiety, and symptoms of various mental illnesses including gaming disorder and discovered that using video games as a coping mechanism for anxiety predicted symptoms of gaming disorder. Further, higher levels of stress increased the risk.
Just a few drinks changes how memories are formed at the fundamental, molecular level, according to a new study with flies. The new research finds that alcohol hijacks a memory formation pathway and changes the proteins expressed in the neurons, forming cravings.
Injury and any trauma that occur more or less simultaneously are connected by the illogical lower brain. For example, a baby doesn’t know, or reason, that the pain of a bitten lip isn’t caused by the adult who is holding her bottle, but is coincidental to it. Her young, magical, mythic mind, the dreaming part of the mind, makes relationships and patterns where none may actually exist...
Research has found the incidence of heart attacks in a sample of more than one-quarter of a million people increased with lower air temperature, lower atmospheric air pressure, higher wind velocity and shorter sunshine duration.
Strength training, especially when combined with aerobic exercise, is a surefire way to control body weight. Why? Because muscle burns calories and fat. But left to its own devices, the body loses about a half pound of muscle every year after age 30. If we don't keep ourselves strong...
Stimulating the body’s cold and nicotine receptors burns energy, suppresses appetite, and may lead to weight loss, a study with mice shows. Inspired by everyday life, researchers wondered whether they could pharmacologically imitate some of the effects from winter swimming and smoking.
Fall is the season that transforms our forests with a beautiful display of colour and fills our kitchens with the smell of pumpkin pie and apple cider. It also brings something far less pleasant to our forests and hiking trails — blacklegged ticks.
This report provides a snapshot of Americans’ health up to 2016, revealing several key trends – including that Americans who don’t finish high school continue to lag behind. Again and again, the trends across educational levels indicate that adults with no high school diploma or GED are consistently at the greatest risk for the leading causes of disease and death.
Chances are, this question "Why do I feel so tired?" has crossed your mind more than once... You felt the wave of fatigue come crashing over your body, and the question hit you like a ton of bricks. But having neither the energy to figure out why nor the time to let yourself be tired, you grabbed another cup of coffee...
Many cancer patients could soon be spared the unnecessary side effects of chemotherapy after having surgery. A blood test being trialled at more than 40 hospitals across Australia and New Zealand aims to detect whether there are any cancer cells remaining in the body after surgery, which could lead to the cancer returning.
For many, menopause conjures up feelings of embarrassment, hot flashes, mood swings and sleep disturbance. It doesn’t usually conjure up thoughts about the workplace.
The legalization of cannabis for adult use in Canada is one of the biggest national public policy shifts that many of us will ever witness in our lifetimes.
Our society seems to have accepted that gaining weight is an inevitable consequence of growing up in a place with easy access to calories and where physical activity plays a declining role in our professional and private lives. Aging just makes weight loss even more difficult.
Women who are marginalized by poverty may be reaping the greatest benefits from midwifery care. This is the finding of a large study that we published with colleagues this week in the British Medical Journal Open.
A quarter of children have dental decay by the time they start school. This occurs when bacteria in the mouth break down sugar to produce acid, which attacks and dissolves the teeth.
Have you ever smelled odours other people can’t smell? If you have, you may have experienced phantosmia – the medical name for a smell hallucination.
Dementia is the is the leading cause of death among Australian women and the third most common cause of death among men. While dementia is not a normal part of ageing, the biggest risk factor for dementia is advancing age. Given ours is an ageing population, estimates suggest dementia cases are set to almost triple by 2050.
The word pain is derived from the Latin word poena, which means "punishment". Whether pain should be thought of as a punishment is debatable, but we know that it certainly hurts to have it. Pain is nature's way of making you take notice...
The Fountain of Youth may still be a myth, but a longer life expectancy is now a reality. In fact, life expectancy at birth in the U.S. has risen by more than 30 years in barely more than a century to a current 78.6 years.
Imagine you tell your 55 year-old mom you’re going to get married and she’s too disorganized to help you with the wedding preparations. Or you put your kids on the bus to elementary school and the 57 year-old driver forgets the route. These are real scenarios, drawn from my clinical work with patients who have young-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
The ways in which we currently age have been programmed into us, and we have accepted this idea as a reality. We believe that we all will get old, sick, senile, frail, and die -- in that order. This does not have to be the truth for us any longer.
The sensation of sound occurs when the vibrations from sounds enter our ear and cause little hairlike structures – called hair cells – within our inner ear to move back and forth. The hair cells transform this movement into an electrical signal that the brain can use.
Suicide rates in the United States have increased by 25-30 percent since 1999. This is particularly true for youth ages 12-24, with increases of approximately 30 percent over the same period. In Alachua County, Florida, where I teach and practice at the University of Florida, the base rate for suicides among youth ages 12-17 had been about five per 100,000 for many years, below the base national rate of 13 per 100,000. However, in the year 2017 that rate of completed suicides increased to 27 per 100,000, and for 2018 we are at a pace that will likely equal 2017.
In general, women have greater absolute body fat percentages than men. Typically, women carry more fat around the legs, hip and buttocks, as well as the chest and upper arms. Women have more subcutaneous fat – the fat you can pinch under your skin – while men typically have more visceral fat, which is stored in and around the abdominal organs.
Can you imagine a future where the question “Did you bring a copy of your test results?” becomes entirely unnecessary? That could happen, but the methods that most health care providers use to exchange health care information are little different than they were 5,000 years ago, when physicians caring for the same patient exchanged scrolls of papyrus and clay tablets.
It may be possible in the future to screen patients for Alzheimer’s disease using a simple eye exam, according to new research. Using technology similar to what is found in eye doctors’ offices, researchers have detected evidence indicating Alzheimer’s disease in older patients who had no symptoms.
Unfortunately, almost every individual in the world will experience at least one traumatic event, such as a car crash, assault, exposure to war combat or a natural disaster during their lifetime. Many will endure more than one. Although the majority of individuals recover from a traumatic incident, a substantial proportion will develop chronic problems, including post-traumatic stress symptoms, depression and chronic pain.
We’ve all been there, you’re desperate for the loo, and frantically hunting for a toilet, only to find when you get there, that the seat is covered with “droplets” from the previous user.
Everyone has had the unpleasant experience of a rash on the skin – pink, red or purple, flat or bumpy, itchy, scaly, pus-filled, or just plain unsightly. This variety isn’t surprising, because the skin is a complicated organ.
Insect repellents can be safe and effective but many people are reluctant to rub what they perceive to be smelly or sticky on their skin.
Asked what they know about attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, many people will likely tell you that it mostly affects children, and mostly boys. However, recent research has shown that neither of these perceptions is entirely true.
A new study involved nearly 600 patients with depression that taking four or more antidepressants, taken either separately or in combination could not be alleviate. Researchers evaluated vagus nerve stimulators, which send regular, mild pulses of electrical energy to the brain via the vagus nerve. The nerve originates in the brain, passes through the neck and travels down into the chest and abdomen.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs where the airways become so obstructed the sufferer struggles to breathe. It’s vastly more prevalent in Western societies, and usually develops in childhood. But what do we know about what causes it?
“I felt a sense of dissolving, disappearing completely.” “My body and mind melted and merged with the universe.” “I ceased to exist.” These are excerpts of what I occasionally hear from the students who come to my yoga and meditation classes. For most, these “mind-expanding” experiences are very positive and this is precisely what my students are seeking. However, there are always a few who have a difficult time with “ceasing to exist.”
Picture two different families, each dealing with a diagnosis of dementia in one of its members. In one case, the patient is a retired executive, whose family tries as long as possible to keep the diagnosis secret, relying primarily on professional caregivers and eventually a nursing home. In another case, the patient is a grandmother. As soon as the diagnosis is suspected, her family pulls together, bringing her into their home and surrounding her with affection.
People who develop abnormally frequent cases of a skin cancer known as basal cell carcinoma appear to be at significantly increased risk for the development of other cancers, including blood, breast, colon, and prostate cancers, according to a new, preliminary study. “Skin is the best organ to detect genetic problems that could lead to cancers.”
By facing pain, listening to it, and allowing it the room it was demanding anyway, my body began to relax a bit around the pain. I stopped clenching quite so much, I stopped saying no, no, no, and I began to accept. I learned that constantly saying no to pain locks things in place. Relaxing into acceptance allows the possibility for the body to regenerate.
Is it possible that people who are diagnosed with cancer die of a sophisticated form of voodoo? Does the victim's belief in the power of vicious cells, like belief in the power of a hex, lead to his death? 'Cancer' is a demon word -- the destructiveness of cancer begins as soon as the diagnosis is uttered. The word strikes terror to the heart...
Alcohol is a depressant, a diuretic, and a disinfectant. These generally aren’t pleasant attributes, but people have been drinking alcohol for thousands of years...
The new JAMA study, from researchers at the University of Southern California, investigated the link between digital media use and the development of ADHD-related behaviours among 15- and 16-year-olds.
Since Richard Nixon famously called for an ‘all-out offensive’ on the war on drugs in 1971, the US government has funnelled a trillion dollars into the effort.
A visit to family in Glasgow for Christmas in 2015 nearly had a tragic ending for me. Two days earlier I had been repairing the lock on my garden gate, when I scratched my hand on a nail. By the time I arrived in Glasgow I was feeling unwell. Twenty-four hours later I was in University Hospital Hairmyres in a coma.
People with autoimmune disorders, a collection of diseases where the body’s immune system attacks its own cells, are more likely to have psychosis, according to our latest research.
At a hearing on Capitol Hill earlier this year, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander asked an important question: Why is most of the treatment for opioid addiction more opioids?
Many people have an appearance of dark circles on the lower eyelids, and they have many different causes.
We’d all dearly like to see a cure for the common cold, but it never quite seems to arrive. So what’s the hold up
Stress affects most of us to one degree or another, and that even includes animals. Pigs, whose GI tracts are extremely similar to those of humans, may be one of the clearest windows we have into researching stress, disease, and new therapies and preventatives – both in livestock and people.
Ever since Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin growing naturally on a petri dish, we have been aware of the power of chemicals produced by microbes.
Around 200,000 people in Australia suffer from a debilitating illness often branded with the unfortunate name of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). I say “unfortunate” because this implies patients are simply tired, run-down, burnt-out or overly stressed.
There is a widespread belief that sugar is the sole cause of diabetes. After all, the disease is characterized by high levels of sugar in the blood.
When we are in pain, it takes over our identity and clouds our perception until it is relieved. Some of this is a natural physiological response—pain is unpleasant and universally unwanted. Quite often, chronic pain becomes the story of our lives, where all our interactions with the world are colored by it.
Coca-Cola is the world’s most popular carbonated soft drink. The original is made with sugar, but the others contain artificial sweeteners that are now linked to a rise in obesity and diabetes.
Helping people with pain, whether it be physical or emotional, could limit the need for opioids. Data indicate that opioid abuse is primarily a male problem, concentrated in working class and low-income white communities, and rapidly expanding to Hispanic communities.
Schizophrenia is considered a disorder of the mind, influencing the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. But our latest research shows that organs, other than the brain, also change at the onset of the disease.
Playing youth tackle football may lead to earlier onset of cognitive, behavior, and mood symptoms in later life, according to a new study.
A “smart home” dresser prototype may help people with dementia dress themselves through automated assistance. This would enable them to maintain independence and dignity and provide their caregivers with a much-needed break.
Several studies have shown that spending time in nature is good for health. Now new research has looked specifically at asthma and found that living in green neighbourhoods protects children from developing the condition
Injury to the adult brain is all too common. A brain injury will often show up on brain scans as a well-defined area of damage.
Activating something called the behavioral immune system puts a damper on dating, new research shows. The theory is that perceiving, rightly or wrongly, the threat of disease unconsciously activates this system.
Each person experiences pain differently, from an emotional perspective as well as a physical one, and responds to pain differently.
About a third of cancers could be prevented with lifestyle changes – that’s roughly a million cases of cancer in Europe each year. Many people are still confused about risk factors, despite vast sums being spent on public health education campaigns.
Most Americans go to sleep later on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights than during the week, a new analysis confirms. The study of data from physical activity monitors suggests that younger people, especially, are more naturally prone to go to bed and wake up later.
Researchers have identified 44 genomic variants, or loci, with a statistically significant association with depression. The meta-analysis involves research with more than 135,000 people with major depression and more than 344,000 controls.
Our life expectancy has increased dramatically over the past several decades, with advances in medical research, nutrition and health care seeing us live well into our 80s.
Arthritis is the leading cause of pain and disability in the UK. The disorder typically causes pain and inflammation in the joints, and can affect people of all ages.
The gut microbiome could be the culprit behind arthritis and joint pain that plagues people who are obese, according to a new study.
It might be a spot, lump, bump or polyp you’ve found suspicious or bothersome enough to ask a doctor to have a look at. The doctor sends what she has excised for testing and tells you it’s “pre-cancerous”. But what exactly does that mean, and is it cause for alarm?
Recent scientific studies have claimed, almost vampire-like, that transfusions of blood from teenagers can help delay or reverse the ageing process. Where do these claims come from? Do they stack up? And how long will it be before we have the power to stave off what now is inevitable?
Drawing on their decades of practice along with the latest medical data, Gill and three geriatric experts agreed to help identify examples of what are often — but not always – considered to be signposts of normal aging for folks who practice good health habits and get recommended preventive care.
When we are willing to stay even a moment with uncomfortable energy, we gradually learn not to fear it. Then when we see someone in distress, we completely open our hearts and minds to whatever arises. Exhaling, we send out relief from the pain with the intention that we and others be happy.
After many years of practicing energy techniques, specifically shiatsu, I have been able to realize to what extent, for each one of us, our body speaks to us (shouting even) about what we are really experiencing in the depths of ourself. Our deepest reality, our nonconscious, our mind, our soul -- whatever your preferred term is -- speaks to us constantly, telling us what isn't working.
You might be intrigued by what your genes could tell you about your ancestry or the health risks hidden in your DNA. If so, you’re not alone. Fascination with personal genetics is fuelling an explosion of online DNA testing. More than 12 million people have been tested – 7 million through ancestry.com alone.
Maintaining good posture is not something we think about in our everyday lives. We perhaps take it for granted that we can get up in between computer sessions, have a stretch while making a cup of tea or roll over in bed.
Many of us have become so steeped in what is wrong with ourselves in relationship that dysfunction becomes our accepted norm. We are so expert in why we can't commit; or keep attracting abusive partners; or how our parents' poor role model squashed our self-esteem; or; or; or . . .
Scientists have searched for and recently found out why some people live to be over one hundred, while being physically active, happy, and healthy. A team of experts in Tokyo researched which processes in the body may be responsible for not only successful aging but also for longevity. They have identified the common denominator, and that is inflammation.
The proportion of adults with diabetes around the world has risen from 4.7% in 1980 to more than 8.5% today.
We’re all attracted to a beautiful face. We like to look at them, we feel drawn to them and we aspire to have one.
In the last few decades scientists have been discovering the many uses of vitamin D and the possible effects of not getting enough of it.
In the wake of mass shootings and other tragedies, a frequent refrain is: Why don’t we get those dangerous people off the streets?
“He is wired differently to you and me, this child of mine. He doesn’t like loud noises, or dark spaces, or strangers touching his head”.
As many as 70 million Americans may not be getting enough sleep. Men get fewer hours of sleep than women. A Sleep Foundation poll of parents suggested that American children are getting one hour of sleep or more per night less than what their body and brain require.
People with stage III colon cancer who regularly eat nuts are at significantly lower risk of cancer recurrence and mortality than those who don’t, according to a new study.
The mid-1980s was the era of cocaine and marijuana, when “Just Say No” was the centerpiece of the war on drugs and the government’s efforts to stem drug use and addiction. Since then, prescription opioids have become the nation’s drug scourge.
The “obesity epidemic” deserves much more serious attention than it is getting. It is, after all, thought to be killing nearly 3m people a year worldwide.
Clinical depression is an affliction of the mind, body, and spirit that affects over 17 million Americans. If you are the partner, parent, child, or friend of someone who is undergoing a depressive episode, your understanding of the illness and how you relate to the patient can either support or deter his or her ability to get well.
Someone asked me what living with cancer for thirteen years is like, never knowing whether the disease will remain under control. I said, “It’s like being hurled into a classic 1950s horror movie where you know terrible things will happen but you don’t know when they will occur.”
Obesity was designated a disease in 2013 by the American Heart Association and American Medical Association. Obesity, defined as a body mass index of 30 or higher, had long been identified as a health condition
“Rampant” and “elderly” are words rarely used in the same sentence, unless we are talking of the percentage of people over 65 years old worldwide
From the way you move and sleep, to how you interact with people around you, depression changes just about everything.
Circadian rhythm disruptions common to Alzheimer’s disease occur before memory loss and other symptoms in people whose memories are intact but whose brain scans show early, preclinical evidence of the condition, according to new research.
This has been a particularly bad influenza season, starting early especially in the South and West Coast in the U.S. This follows a severe season in Australia during our summer.