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

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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.

 

7 Stain Solutions for a Whiter Smile

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It can seem like no food is safe for your teeth. Too often I hear stories of people drinking tea instead of coffee or eating fresh berries instead of pie, only to realize that almost everything you eat erodes enamel or stains your teeth and sacrifices your beautiful smile. While it’s hard to cover every tooth-staining culprit out there, a good rule of thumb is that foods that stain a white tablecloth will probably also stain your teeth. Fortunately, I’ve put together a list of some common staining culprits and ways to fight their effects. Read more  »

Today’s Headlines: Fat Shaming, Anxiety Pills and Fructose

Fat shaming leads to weight gain. Trashing someone for being overweight doesn’t work according to a new study out this week. Almost 3,000 adults were asked if they had experienced discrimination because of their weight. “About 5 percent said they had experienced such fat shaming. Over a four-year period, those who reported weight discrimination gained about 2 pounds (0.95 kilograms) on average, while those who did not report weight discrimination lost about 1.5 pounds (0.71 kg).” The authors say discrimination likely leads to comfort eating and decreased confidence exercising in public, resulting in weight gain. The researchers say their “study clearly shows that weight discrimination is part of the obesity problem and not the solution.” (Fox)

Drugs used for sleep and anxiety linked to dementia. Benzodiazepines like Xanax or Valium are drugs often used both as sleep aids and to calm the anxious. But a new study has now found that “past benzodiazepine use for three months or more was linked to an increased risk (up to 51%) of dementia.” To ensure the sleep issues and anxiety warranting drug use weren’t just early symptoms, researchers looked for prolonged use at least five years before the onset. The time interval used in the study is longer than is typically recommended for use of these medications. Per the authors, “it seems crucial to encourage physicians to carefully balance the benefits and risks when starting or continuing a treatment [with these medications].” (TIME)

Counteracting fructose may require miles of walking. High fructose corn syrup can be found in a wide variety of foods in the American diet. Several studies have found the sugar has unhealthy effects on the body, but a new study has found that exercise may help to counter those effects. In looking at how a diet high in fructose affected a group of college students, researchers found that “Two weeks of extra fructose left them with clear signs of incipient insulin resistance, which is typically the first step toward Type 2 diabetes. But walking at least 12,000 steps a day effectively wiped out all of the disagreeable changes wrought by the extra fructose. When the young people moved more, their cholesterol and blood sugar levels remained normal, even though they were consuming plenty of fructose every day.” Unfortunately, 12,000 steps (five to six miles) is a lot for most Americans, who average a little over 5,000. (NYT)

Finding Success and Happiness Through Vastu

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Co-written by Michael and Robin Mastro

Vastu Shastra is the 7,000-year-old science of building that comes from the wisdom of the Vedas. Vastu predates feng shui and all known religion and is like yoga for the home. For thousands of years, homes, entire cities and some of the world’s most enduring structures have used Vatsu Shastra principles. Elements of Vastu can be seen in structures ranging from the Taj Mahal, to the Greek Parthenon, to the Roman Coliseum. Even the Egyptian and Mayan Pyramids display some tenets of Vastu. Just as yoga reduces stress in your body, Vastu reduces stress in the environment leading to increased success and productivity in all areas of life. Read more  »

Why You Need a Cheerleader for Your Health Goals

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Before I start with my post this week, I wanted to quickly thank all of those who tuned in to watch the first shows of the season so far this week! I’m really excited about what we have in store for you this year, and I hope that we can be partners in making this your healthiest year yet.

One of the biggest challenges my patients face is the daily slog of meeting health goals while managing chronic illness. When someone comes to see me in practice, it generally means they have a lot going on healthwise. Aside from deciding if surgery is necessary, my role is to support them and coach them through the transition from their prior lifestyle to a new, healthier one. The one key factor in making this transition is support. It’s easy to get caught up in the bells and whistles of a weight-loss plan or new diet, but many times your success in staying on track comes down to who you have cheering you on every step of the way. Read more  »

A Safe Alternative to Upper Endoscopy Sedation

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Written by Dr. Jonathan Aviv, MD FACS

There are almost 10 million upper endoscopies performed annually in the U.S. Upper endoscopy is the insertion of a camera through your mouth to look at your esophagus and stomach, generally done when someone has complaints of chronic heartburn. In general, one needs to be sedated with a twilight type of anesthesia during an upper endoscopy. However, as we know from The Dr. Oz Show today, conscious sedation is not necessarily a free ride. There are small but finite risks associated with conscious sedation, namely problems with the heart (such as heart attack) and lungs (stopping breathing) that can take place. Read more  »