The Information You Need to Kick Smoking for Good

No smoking

In my years of practice, I’ve seen how hard it is for my patients to quit smoking. Ugly advertisements and warnings from physicians are often not enough to tear away the claws of nicotine that have sunk in over the years. Fortunately, we continue to learn about addiction and how we can best support those trying to quit. A new study out this week details how we can best convey the health message to smokers to support them through the quitting process. Read more  »

How to Pop a Pimple

Pimple

Everyone knows the cardinal rule of popping pimples: Don’t do it. Ever. No matter how big, whatever you do, never pop.

Okay, time for real talk. We know no one listens to that. We all break the rules and pop a pimple from time to time. So if you’re going to do it, at least be safe. Read more  »

Today’s Headlines: Leg Pain, Tooth Decay and Commuting

Chiropractic care might help your leg pain. Chiropractic is a widely used therapy for a variety of chronic pains. But the evidence for its efficacy has always been conflicting. A new study out this week has found that it could be helpful in the treatment of back-related leg pain. The researchers have found that “people with leg pain related to back problems had more short-term relief if they received chiropractic care along with exercise and advice, rather than exercise and advice alone.” The benefits weren’t only seen in the short term. “Nine months after the treatment ended, patients who received chiropractic therapy were still doing better than the other group in terms of global improvement, medication use and satisfaction.” According to the authors, “Spinal manipulation combined with home exercise may be worth trying for those with back-related leg pain that has lasted more than four weeks.” (Reuters)

Tooth decay mostly from having too much sugar. Only recently have doctors appreciated how important the health of your teeth is to overall well-being. The best way to keep those pearly whites may be to avoid sugar in your diet. A new report just released has said that “sugars are the only cause of tooth decay in kids and adults.” According to the researchers, “only 2% of people at all ages living in Nigeria had tooth decay when their diet contained almost no sugar, around 2g per day. This is in stark contrast to the USA, where 92% of adults have experienced tooth decay [and adults consume large amounts of sugar].” While the authors note that fluoride in water and toothpaste has helped stave off some tooth decay, it’s not enough to protect a person over the course of their life. They say that “this means it is now even more important to develop a radical prevention policy with a marked reduction in sugar intake.” (TIME)

Walkers and bikers are happier commuters. Getting to work on foot or two wheels is obviously a good workout for the muscles, but new research indicates it’s good for our brain, too. Researchers found that “daily commuters who stopped driving to work and started walking or riding a bike were under less stress and were able to concentrate better.” Public transportation also had benefits, but they weren’t as pronounced as those with walking and cycling. According to the authors, “commuters reported feeling better when traveling by public transport than when driving. You might think that things like disruption to services or crowds of commuters might have been a cause of considerable stress but buses or trains also give people time to relax, read, socialize and there is usually an associated walk to the bus stop or railway station.” Those who spent the most time commuting in cars felt the worst. (CBS)

What You Need to Know About Kate Middleton’s Morning Sickness

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There are a lot of women who can sympathize with Kate Middleton. Nothing spoils the elation of a positive pregnancy test quite like the misery of morning sickness. Up to two-thirds of women have nausea and vomiting during pregnancy; and while it is called morning sickness, for many it is morning, noon and night sickness. Obstetricians generally reassure their patients that the nausea will dissipate by the end of the third month, but some babies don’t get that memo and continue giving trouble for a much longer time. The only good news is that the typical nausea and vomiting of pregnancy is associated with a low rate of miscarriage and rarely affects the growth or development of the baby. Read more  »

Lower Activity in One Part of the Brain Affects Food Craving and Consumption

fridge with food

Snack cravings can strike at any time, and resisting the urge can be challenging. New research this week indicates that a specific part of your brain plays a significant role in whether or not you end up reaching for the snacks. The study enrolled 121 women who all professed to strong and frequent cravings for chocolate and potato chips. The researchers were interested in knowing how different parts of the brain might influence a person’s inclination to snack on these foods, with the ultimate goal of figuring out how certain brain circuits might influence eating habits that can lead to obesity. Read more  »

Sharecare Top 5: Enterovirus Facts, How Coffee Fights Cancer, Stopping “Sex Headaches” and More

coffee

On Sharecare, we’re filling you in on the enterovirus outbreak, how your morning brew can be good for you and ways to avoid those weird sex headaches. Check out five of our latest posts.

1. Enterovirus is everywhere on the news. Should you be worried? Get informed on the respiratory illness and learn effective ways to protect your family.

2. Men: Grab some coffee and listen up. In recognition of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, we’re telling you how that cup of coffee could be a secret weapon to fight prostate cancer.

3. Are you among the unfortunate few who get sex headaches? Get the scoop on why they may happen and how to stop them.

4. You rely on sight to experience the world and communicate with others. Take care of one of your most important senses and keep your eyes healthy with these ten sight-saving tips.

5. Think you’re hitting the gym hard? A recent study suggests you may not be doing as much as you thought. Boost your benefits with these ways to get the most from each workout.