In Case You Missed It: August 18 Through August 22

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If you missed a segment or forgot to jot down a tip this week, we’ve got you covered. Check out these helpful hints and take-aways and click to read more on DoctorOz.com!

1. Dr. Oz exposes the health misconceptions you’ve believed for years. Take his health-myths quiz to sort medical fact from fiction and print out this zinc grocery list to boost your immune system.

2. Learn how to stop supermarkets from manipulating you to buy unhealthy foods. Use this smart shopper one-sheet for your next trip to the store and try these healthy herbs to ease aches and pains.

3. Dr. Oz sits down with comedienne Kim Coles, Dancing With the Stars’ Cheryl Burke and Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Kandi Burruss to chat about the latest health news. Get relief fast with these 60-second back pain fixes and learn about the health benefits of tea.

4. Find out the latest all-natural breakthroughs to cut your cancer risk in half. Decode what your body says about your health with these 10-second health assessments and avoid these mistakes that can age you.

5. Cedric the Entertainer tells Dr. Oz how losing weight helped him lower his cholesterol. Control your own cholesterol with this guide and bring this low-cholesterol shopping list to the store with you.

Today’s Headlines: Atrial Fibrillation, Instant Noodles and Traveling with Medications

Working out keeps your heart regular. For some time, doctors worried that the stress of exercise might increase your risk of an irregular beat, also known as atrial fibrillation (AF). A new study this week lays those fears to rest in finding that “ the risk of atrial fibrillation was lowered by up to 44 percent with regular physical activity” in post-menopausal women. Weight was also tied to risk, with the study finding that “obese women were most likely to develop AF, but more physical activity reduced that risk. Obese, sedentary women’s AF risk was 30 percent higher than that of a sedentary woman with normal BMI, and 44 percent higher than that of a normal-weight woman who exercised.” The authors suspect that exercise’s role in decreasing inflammation may play a role, but caution to consult a physician before starting a new exercise routine. (Reuters)

Instant noodles may be hurting your health. In a pinch, instant noodles have always seemed like a good way to get in a quick meal. But new research suggests that doing so may actually be bad for you. The study “found that independent of other factors, [South Korean] women who ate instant noodles at least twice a week were 68 percent more likely to have metabolic syndrome,” a constellation of health conditions that includes high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Interestingly, the same effect was not seen in men. Researchers said this “may be because women report their diet more accurately or because postmenopausal women are more sensitive to the dietary effect of carbohydrates, sodium and saturated fat.” (NYT)

There are challenges of traveling with medications. Think twice about what you might need to carry with you next time you board a plane with your meds on hand. A study by Australian researchers of embassy requirements for those traveling with medications found “their recommendations varied widely, and tended to be much more strict than the recommendations of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), an independent body implementing United Nations Drug Control Conventions.” According to the researchers, many embassies said all drugs required special certification of ownership and personal use, beyond a valid prescription. In some countries, a visitor is required to consult a local clinician to validate ongoing need for the medication. Some countries warn that if authorities are in doubt, they have the right to deny entry or confiscate the medications.” The authors recommend discussing medications and travel plans with a physician well before departing. (Fox)

Bias Favors Men Over Women When Asking for Flexible Work Hours

Working mother

Flexible work hours have often seemed like the ideal solution for a working mom: maintain a career while also finding time to take care of the kids. But a new study out this week has found that flex time work requests are perceived very differently by employers depending on the gender of the person filing the request and that men, rather than women, may be the ones who have benefited the most from this new opportunity. Read more  »

Top Warning Signs You Could Be Dehydrated (and Why It Matters)

Pensive blond woman drinking water in her kitchen

Many of us walk around in a state of mild to moderate dehydration because we often don’t consume enough liquids to supply our bodies with the hydration it needs to function at its best. Chronic dehydration stresses our organs and can interfere with bodily functions leading in some cases to illness, irritability, fatigue, difficulty focusing and more. Hot weather and physical activity deplete our body’s water, making drinking water essential in warm climates, especially during summer months, and before, during and after exercise. So unless you’re on a fluid-restricted regimen prescribed by a healthcare professional, you should be drinking up on a regular basis. Read more  »

Staying on Top of Your Health, Even When You’re on Vacation

woman with suitcases

The Labor Day weekend is coming up, and I’m looking forward to some quality family time away from work, with a little traveling thrown in. And I’m not alone. Almost 35 million Americans traveled last Labor Day weekend, and I’m sure this year will be no different. The thing is, traveling to new places can be hard on our immune systems. It can throw our usual healthy routines out of whack and expose us to some nasty germs and dangers getting from point A to point B. I thought I’d share a few of the key rules I stick to when I travel, along with a few ways to keep you and your family safe. Read more  »

Today’s Headlines: Caregiving, Best Friends and Vitamin D

Women bear the burden of caregiving more than men. As the U.S. population ages, more and more people are called on to care for elderly parents. A new study out this week finds that “women step up to provide care for their aging parents more than twice as often as men…In families with children of both sexes, the gender of the child is the single biggest factor in determining who will provide care for the aging parent: Daughters will increase the time they spend with an elderly parent to compensate for sons who reduce theirs, effectively ceding the responsibility to their sisters.” The researchers noted that rather than basing their decision on how much time they could possibly provide, men tended to focus more on whether the duties were already being adequately handled by others. One author notes “the data suggest that despite a shift toward more gender equality in the United States in the past few decades, the imbalance is ‘acute’ when it comes to caring for aging parents.” (Washington Post)

One in 10 lack a best friend. Everyone needs a shoulder to cry on, but not everyone may have a close confidant to go to in times of trouble. A new study from the U.K. has found that “One in 10 people questioned said they did not have a close friend…[and] while the survey found 85% of individuals questioned felt they had a good relationship with their partners, 19% had never or rarely felt loved in the two weeks before the survey.” While the study shows a majority of people have healthy, close relationships it also reveals that a significant number of people live without these strong connections. The researchers point out that “relationships are the asset which can get us through good times and bad, and it is worrying to think that there are people who feel they have no one they can turn to during life’s challenges. We know that strong relationships are vital for both individuals and society as a whole, so investing in them is crucial.” (Guardian)

Vitamin D may help your asthma. Supplementing your sun exposure with a vitamin D supplement may help your lung function. Researchers got the idea from the observation that asthma is more common in northern parts of the globe where vitamin D is lower because of less sun exposure. “Asthma sufferers who received vitamin D supplements for six months, in addition to their regular inhalers, could breathe a little easier than those who relied only on the inhalers. The researchers say the results, if confirmed by larger studies, might help the many people who sometimes have troublesome asthma symptoms even though they use medication.” Important to note is that these results reflected only how well lungs were functioning, which didn’t necessarily correlate with whether participants felt better. A physician should always be consulted before starting new supplements or medications. (Fox)

 

Women Often Turn to Anti-Aging Clinicians Seeking Menopause Relief

Worried depressed woman

The word “menopause” conjures up dread of hot flashes, night sweats and a host of other unpleasant symptoms in the minds of many women. While all women will go through it, symptoms will vary, with some remaining relatively unaffected and others finding their symptoms intolerable and debilitating. Several mechanisms are likely responsible for triggering menopause, but the changes mainly occur within the ovaries. With the end of ovulation, a woman’s ovaries stop producing estrogen in response to the body’s other hormonal signals. The end result is low estrogen and levels will fluctuate around menopause as the body readjusts to a new state of infertility without support from the ovaries. This adjustment results in many of the symptoms women experience during this transition period. Read more  »