Sharecare Top 5: Osteoarthritis vs. Psoriatic Arthritis, Icky Back to School Problems, 6 Body Issues Explained, and More


This week on Sharecare we’re helping you decipher your joint pain, filling you in on the latest salmonella outbreak and clueing you in on where to get the care you need when you’re sick.

1. Ever look in the mirror and notice you’ve put on a little weight or that your hair seems a bit thinner than it was yesterday? Maybe you’ve asked yourself, “Am I normal?” Check out some common problems and what they may mean for your health.

2. School is back in full swing. While that may mean more quiet time in the house, it can also mean more germs for your kids to bring back home. Whether you’re dealing with head lice, pink eye or even stinky gym clothes, discover these tips that can help.

3. Got a cucumber in the fridge? Before you slice it for your salad or sandwich, you may want to do some sleuthing to make sure it’s safe. Get the latest news on the national salmonella outbreak that’s tied to cucumbers imported from Mexico.

4. You know you have joint pain, but you may not know why. Could it potentially be osteoarthritis — or maybe psoriatic arthritis? Learn more to figure out what condition you may have, which can lead to better treatment.

5. When you’re not feeling well, the only thing you want to do is feel better. But it can be tough to know where to go to get the care you need. Use this cheat sheet to help you decide whether you need the emergency room, an urgent care clinic or to call your doctor.

Feeling Sleepy, Napping Too Long May Signal Diabetes Risk

Tired businesswoman in office

Sleep deprivation seems to have become the norm for many in the modern world. The bright screens of tablets and smartphones in particular tend to lure users to stay up later than expected. But all that missed sleep can catch up with you the following day in the form of drifting off during a meeting or dozing while you wait for the bus. While that may not seem like a big deal, it may signal trouble for those who make a habit out of it. New research published this week has found that feeling too sleepy during the day or taking long naps may signal a risk for diabetes. Read more  »

How Botulinum Toxin Can Help Your Health (Not Just Your Wrinkles)


Recently, I was asked in an interview to comment on a small, but growing trend in New York City where women wish to receive botulinum toxin (such as Botox) injections throughout the scalp to reduce sweating thereby keeping their hair (and blowout) fresh. While the results can last for months, those who try this trend may be subject over 100 injections to get the desired results. Although I am sure this treatment will help reduce scalp sweat, the cost and discomfort associated with the treatment will most likely make the injections appealing to only a small number of women. But the question from the editor got me thinking about the wide variety of uses for botulinum toxin in medicine. In fact, the medical uses for botulinum toxin outnumber the cosmetic uses and for some people, the results from treatment can be life changing. Here are a few notable indications for botulinum toxin because the effects are so helpful for people struggling with these common conditions. Read more  »

Today’s Headlines: How Diet Soda, Sprained Ankles, and Diabetes Affect Your Health

Diet soda isn’t doing anything helpful for your diet. People who are starting to watch what they eat often figure that switching from regular soda to diet soda will help them reach their health and weight loss goals in some capacity, but new research has shown this may not be true. “…people who drank diet beverages and coffee consumed fewer calories every day than drinkers of alcohol and sugary beverages, they ate a higher proportion of their daily calories from discretionary foods.” Discretionary foods in this study were defined as foods that do not need to be present in a diet (cookies, chips, etc.). Researchers hypothesized that because diet soda drinkers think they are making a healthier choice, they counter their healthier choice with frequent unhealthy caloric splurges, reversing the effects they want and potentially damaging their health. (Time)

Sprained ankle injuries may have long-lasting effects. According to a recent study, the effects of a sprained ankle, or several, may last throughout your lifetime. “It turned out that the students with chronic ankle instability moved significantly less than the other students, taking about 2,000 fewer steps on average each day.” Continued inactivity and instability resulted in all the test subjects that had sprained ankles, leading researchers to urge that ankle sprains—and their recovery—are taken more seriously to lessen repercussions later in life. (NYT)

If you have type 2 diabetes, you may be at risk of developing dementia. A new study found that blood sugar and insulin levels could be linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s. “After adjusting for various factors such as age, gender and weight, the researchers found that patients who had blood-sugar levels of 10.5% or higher were 50% more likely to be diagnosed with dementia than those with blood-sugar levels of 6.5% or lower.” The study advised that people with diabetes should be extra cautious and monitor and maintain their blood sugar levels by exercising and watching what they eat. (WSJ)

It’s Time to Kick Off Season 7

Happy young woman watching television on sofa

Summer is over, which means we’re kicking off a brand new season of The Dr. Oz Show. It’s hard for me to believe that we’ve already hit the seventh season, and I’m amazed every day by the ways the show continues to impact the lives of viewers and readers like you. Excitement is running high here in our New York studios for all that we have in store for you this season. Here’s a little preview of the things I’m most excited about. Read more  »

Today’s Headlines: Smoking and Teeth Loss, Olive Oil and Breast Cancer, and Gender-Specific Foods

If you smoke, your chance of losing your teeth is higher. A new study has shown that smokers are two to three times more likely to have major dental issues than non-smokers. “The gums of a smoker may appear healthier than they actually are because smoking can mask gum bleeding, a key symptom of periodontitis. According to researchers, quitting smoking can reduce the risk of tooth loss. An ex-smoker will eventually have the same risk for tooth loss as someone who never smoked, but it could take more than 10 years…” The study also noted that younger people and heavy smokers were the two groups with the highest risk for tooth loss. (Fox)

Adding extra virgin olive oil to your diet may decrease your risk for breast cancer. The Mediterranean diet has been considered one of the healthiest diets for the body. A new study found that it’s not only the diet but also the olive oil used that may be helpful for a whole range of health issues including breast cancer.  “What’s in extra-virgin olive oil that’s so special? Extra-virgin means the olive oil is squeezed mechanically, without the use of heat or chemicals that can alter its chemical properties.” The decrease of chemicals and other additives in combination with extra virgin olive oils healthy fats and properties make it the perfect food to combat cancer. The women in the study that were put on a Mediterranean diet with an emphasis on extra virgin olive oil, “showed a 62 percent relatively lower risk of malignant breast cancer than those allocated to the control diet.’” (NBC)

The taste of food may have everything to do with the food’s packaging and your gender. It’s no secret that food has underlying gender stereotypes and social rules that may often lead men to order a cheeseburger at dinner and women to order a salad. A new study went a step further, finding that how food tastes may all depend on the gender-targeted packaging in addition to the gender of the person that is eating the food. “The study then took an Entenmann’s mini blueberry muffin packaged in either a feminine way, with the word “healthy” and an image of a ballerina; a masculine way, with the word “mega” and men playing football…There was also a set of packages designed to confuse the muffin consumers: “healthy” packages with football players and “mega” packages with a ballerina.” The packages that were all-male or all-female driven were fine. The interesting part came with the mixed packaging where male and female advertising was meshed together. Those muffins did not taste a good to participants as the previous packages despite the fact that they were all the same muffins, just different packaging. This reaction indicated that the food we buy and consume is likely related to the “gender cues” society gives us. (Time)


Keeping Your Blood Pressure Low Could Be Life-Saving

Doctor measuring blood pressure of a patient

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a problem for millions of Americans and is made especially dangerous by the fact that it silently damages your body. For many, the signs of hypertension appear too late, when much of the damage is already done. While many remedy this problem with various medications, physicians have long wondered how low they should aim to keep a person’s blood pressure. Now a new study soon to be released has found that the goal for most should probably be lower than expected, a result that could save millions from stroke and other deadly diseases. Read more  »

Sharecare Top 5: Kids and Too Much Tech, How Psoriasis May Affect Your Pregnancy, and the Juicy Truth About Red Meat



This week on Sharecare we’re offering ways to get your kids less connected to their electronics, explaining why less red meat may mean a longer life and helping you worry less about psoriasis symptoms during pregnancy.

1. A combined 16 million school-aged kids have asthma or food allergies. If your child is one of them, you want to make sure she knows what to do in the case of a health emergency. Follow these four steps to ensure your child — and her teachers — are prepared.

2. Unsure whether red meat and processed meats — think hot dogs and bacon — are harmful to your health? Nutritionist Janis Jibrin, RD, is here to offer some insight into these cookout favorites.

3. If you’re having trouble getting your child or teen to engage in real life because they’re too attached to their tech devices, you’re not alone. Take our quiz to learn about the harmful effects of technology on your kids, and get ways to limit their exposure.

4. Worried about how your psoriasis meds will impact your pregnancy and your baby? Find out which medications and treatments are safe to take — as well as which to avoid — for a smoother nine months.

5. Myth: Healthy weight loss means skipping meals.
Fact: Healthy weight loss begins when you consume fewer calories than you burn.  Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Mike Roizen explain why skimping out on meals can actually backfire and actually lead to weight gain.


Easy Ways to Be Dairy-Free


While some people can’t imagine their morning bowl of cereal without soaking it in milk, others forego milk and dairy completely. Whether you are allergic, intolerant, or simply choose to go dairy-free for other health concerns, you still have plenty of delicious and nutritious alternatives available. Here is some more information to guide you on your dairy-free journey. Read more  »