Category - Your Health

1
The Influenza Vaccine: Questions Answered, Myths Dispelled
2
Are Chemical Sunscreens Safe?
3
Why Date Night is Important
4
What Cold Remedies Really Work?
5
The Common Cold: Your Questions Answered
6
Beware of Hidden Allergens
7
How Can I Lower My Risk of Heart Disease?
8
What Women Need to Know About Heart Disease
9
Getting Happy, One Small Step at a Time
10
It’s not Weakness, it’s Depression

The Influenza Vaccine: Questions Answered, Myths Dispelled

(This post was originally published January 22, 2014, and has been updated for the 2017-2018 influenza season.) As the days grow colder the influenza vaccine rhetoric heats up, even at the most zen of locales, the yoga studio.  A few years ago I recall the discussion of who was ill and for how long infecting the air over the patchwork of exercise mats and the talk leading to a count of who got the flu vaccine, who did not, and the defense of their decisions. Back when I was a practicing physician assistant in Wisconsin, the misinformation about the flu…

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Are Chemical Sunscreens Safe?

Summer, summer, summer.  Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen.  While sunscreen is recommended year-round to prevent burns, aging and the increased risk of skin cancer, in the warmer months we dress less and slather up even more.  Have you ever wondered whether those chemical sunscreens are safe to use in such large-and-frequent proportions?  In this repost from July of 2015, I describe some of the myths and facts surrounding the totally-tubular and ubiquitous poolside essentials. Everyone notices when someone sports that gorgeous sun-bronzed skin from a sunny vacation.  But my family?  The people who get sunburned through car windows?  We return from a…

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Why Date Night is Important

  We had to think about it for a moment.  Then we remembered:  it had been four years since my husband and I took a trip together, just the two of us.  How time flies, just like we were, taking an early morning flight to Boston.  It’s not like we haven’t had the occasional “date night” but there’s something about the freedom a couple has when they can do things on their own schedule for more than a few hours at a time. Author Ayelet Waldman (Bad Mother:  a Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace, 2009)…

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What Cold Remedies Really Work?

A couple weeks ago, in The Common Cold:  Your Questions Answered, we looked at some of the lesser-known (but widely-wondered) aspects of that pesky triad of runny nose, sore throat and sneezing (etc.).  Now let’s dig in to the burning question: What remedies really work to cure the common cold? Well, the bad news is no medication or remedy cures the common cold. And unfortunately, there are no prospects on the horizon.  But the good news is there are options that help minimize symptoms and give relief while the virus runs its course: For the full gamut of symptoms:  Rest and…

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The Common Cold: Your Questions Answered

It’s morning.  I’m getting ready for school and hear my family in the kitchen.  My husband’s rattling cough, punctuated by wall-shaking sneezes, echoes through the house.  My daughter harmonizes with a wheezy, low melody.  My older son, who normally sneezes three times in a row on a good day, seems determined to break the world’s record for ah-choos in rapid succession.  And my younger son?  Still out “cold” and I’m just letting him sleep.  As for me, I’m dragging and achy and my throat is sore.  I don’t have the sonorous coughing or sneezing like the rest of my family…

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Beware of Hidden Allergens

Remember Snackwells?  The near-miracle treat that contains no fat?  Back when we were told that fat, any fat, in our diets would surely lead to our artery-clogging demise, these cookies were a godsend to those of us with a raging sweet tooth.  And I remember my indulgence, eating almost a whole box of the devil’s food variety, proudly avoiding an eminent heart attack by eating dessert so wisely. But now, times have changed and the “devil” in the name of those (let’s face it) tasteless, half-dessicated cookies has an updated meaning.  Most of the calories come from sugar (satanic carbs!) and…

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How Can I Lower My Risk of Heart Disease?

Last week I wrote about the myths of heart disease and how heart attacks present in women.  In today’s post, I’ll describe how we (both women and men) can lower our risk of this number one killer in the United States. Heart disease in women doesn’t get the press it deserves.  But the unfortunate facts still remain. ♥Only 1 in 5 women thinks heart disease is her greatest health risk. ♥Approximately one woman a minute dies from heart disease. ♥Women don’t necessarily have the same symptoms of heart attack that men do. ♥And 90% of women have at least one…

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What Women Need to Know About Heart Disease

The media is a powerful entity.  And when it comes to its portrayal of heart disease, the danger in that power is especially evident.  We are left to assume that heart disease is a man’s disease.  That men die from heart attacks.  That men need to watch their cholesterol, lower their high blood pressures, and start exercise programs.    While this information is certainly true, we are getting only part of the story.  Who is missing? Women.  Lots and lots of women. Young and old, across ethnic groups and body types, heart disease is very much a woman’s disease.  Nearly…

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Getting Happy, One Small Step at a Time

Another new year…already!  Did 2016 even happened?  Maybe I just slept through it.  No.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t get that much rest… It’s that time of year we resolve to make positive changes in our lives, or better yet, to not resolve as the former seems to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Whatever it is we have made a resolution to do or become just doesn’t come to fruition.  That’s why last year I simply decided to make “the happiness project” a goal, not a big “R.” Last January I posted “The Happiness Project”  where I described my goal, through daily reflection and writing,…

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It’s not Weakness, it’s Depression

I’m out of the loop on this one.  Is depression taboo?  Or is it “en vogue?”  I’ve heard it’s “trendy.”  (Really?)  My doctor’s opinion:  the social status of a depression diagnosis is generational…as in whether you’re Gen X or Gen Y.  I’ll take her word for it.  But here’s what I know: If anyone I’m close to is depressed, it’s hidden pretty well. And, Depression is real. Maybe it’s because my generation is  “X,” or maybe it’s just me, but feeling “blue” is confusing.  It’s a frustrating, unscalable boundary.  As in:  This can’t stop me, I’m too busy for this!…

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