Archive for the ‘General Health’ Category

Happy World Mosquito Day!

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

by Leigh Ann Otte

Did you get a chance to celebrate World Mosquito Day on Saturday? We certainly hope so.

In case you’ve been living under a rock (ahem), World Mosquito Day started August 20, 1897, when British doctor Sir Ronald Ross made the link that female mosquitoes transmitted malaria, according to the United Kingdom government organization Department for International Development.

We don’t have malaria in the United States, but we do have West Nile virus—1,021 cases of it last year, to be exact. Symptoms can remind you of the flu. Find out more in this week’s featured article, “Mosquitoes and West Nile Virus.”

One way to prevent it? Regularly empty any standing water around your house, where mosquitoes love to lay eggs. The CDC even recommends poking holes in tire swings so they can drain.

Feel healthy. Live well. Smile. With our free, upbeat health newsletter.

Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of MyFamilyDoctorMag.com and a professional writer. This information is not meant to be individual advice. Please consult your doctor for that. See our disclaimer here.

How Surgery Is Like Flying

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

by Leigh Ann Otte

Part of what makes surgery so scary is we’re not in control. It’s like flying in an airplane. No matter the statistics, we’re not at the wheel, and that’s disconcerting.

Of course, letting others take over is a good thing sometimes. Doing surgery on ourselves isn’t ideal, though some try. But putting our life in the hands of someone else—while we’re completely unconscious—well, no wonder it makes us nervous.

This week’s featured article answers three questions about surgery, to help you feel more comfortable and informed. One question spotlights anesthesia. In the 1980s, our doctor writes, two in 10,000 people died of anesthesia-related causes. By 2000, “that number had decreased to one in every 200,000 to 300,000.” You can read the article here: “3 Surgery FAQs.”

At least there are a few things we can control: Picking a good doctor and a good hospital gives us a leg up. Now if only we could pick our own pilots. And plane.

Feel healthy. Live well. Smile. With our free, upbeat health newsletter.

Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of MyFamilyDoctorMag.com and a professional writer. This information is not meant to be individual advice. Please consult your doctor for that. See our disclaimer here.

Autoimmune Diseases: Treatments Are Here, But Are the Diagnoses?

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

myasthenia-gravisby Leigh Ann Otte

Myasthenia gravis is a modern-medicine success story.

Before 1950, this rare autoimmune disease was often fatal, writes neurologist Robert M. Pascuzzi in this week’s featured article, “Myasthenia Gravis: Prognosis and Treatment.” Today, treatment is available, and it’s usually successful.

Despite advances, many immune-system disorders remain frustrating creatures. Since there’s no test for some of them, people can have trouble getting a definitive diagnosis.

If you or someone you know has faced this challenge, this article might help: “Autoimmune Disease: Can’t Get a Diagnosis? Here’s What to Do.”

Have you had trouble getting a diagnosis? How did you finally discover what was going on?

Feel healthy. Live well. Smile. With our free, upbeat health newsletter.

Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of MyFamilyDoctorMag.com and a professional writer. This information is not meant to be individual advice. Please consult your doctor for that. See our disclaimer here.

Can Eating too Much Sugar Cause Diabetes?

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

finger-prick-diabetesby Leigh Ann Otte

Diabetes has to do with blood sugar, so it makes sense that eating too much of the sweet stuff could cause it, right?

Well, that may sound plausible, but it’s not true, says endocrinologist Robert Meloni. Being overweight can cause type 2 diabetes. It doesn’t matter what food leads to the weight.

OK, so what about this: Can you be allergic to another person? Can you prevent arthritis? Are those blood-pressure cuffs at your pharmacy accurate? So many questions … so many answers. To get them, check out this week’s featured article, “Can You Be Allergic to Another Person? 8 Curious Q&As About Chronic Disease.”

Feel healthy. Live well. Smile. With our free, upbeat health newsletter.

Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of MyFamilyDoctorMag.com and a professional health writer. This information is not meant to be individual advice. Please consult your doctor for that. See our disclaimer here.

Announcing: Fun Health Quizzes!

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

by Leigh Ann Otte

It’s fun! It’s kinda educational! It helps you wow your friends with fascinating trivia knowledge! Announcing the new MyFamilyDoctorMag.com quiz section.

Resident trivia master David Brinn researched and wrote most of these quizzes. We’ll be putting a new one online about once a month. They’re a mixture of education and silliness, and at just 10 questions each, they make for a quick, relaxing break. You can take the first one here: “Fun in the Sun.”

Each quiz is graded, and you get a score at the end. Share them with your friends and see how you stack up!

To be notified when we publish new quizzes, just subscribe to our free newsletter.

Feel healthy. Live well. Smile. With our free, upbeat health newsletter.

Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of MyFamilyDoctorMag.com and a professional health writer. This information is not meant to be individual advice. Please consult your doctor for that. See our disclaimer here.

Turn My Head and Cough? Huh?

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

man-embarrassedHappy (early) Father’s Day!

This week, we’re honoring men with an article all about guys.

We hear a lot about women’s health, and sometimes men don’t get much focus. But doggone it, you guys are special too. So in this week’s featured article, “4 Men’s Health Questions You’re too Embarrassed to Ask,” we’re tackling some of your curiosities—particularly the ones you might hesitate to bring up.

Ever wondered why you have to turn your head and cough during an exam? Wonder no more! The article also touches on erectile dysfunction, baldness and testicular cancer. (Hopefully, you’re not too embarrassed to ask about that one at least.)

Got any plans for the weekend? If grilling’s in your future, get healthy recipes here. Whatever you do, have a blast.

Feel healthy. Live well. Smile. With our free, upbeat health newsletter.

Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of MyFamilyDoctorMag.com and a professional health writer. This information is not meant to be individual advice. Please consult your doctor for that. See our disclaimer here.

If Your Chest Pain’s Not Heart-Related, What Is It?

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

by Leigh Ann Otte

We all know to seek emergency care for chest pain, but what happens when the tests are run and it turns out, it’s not a heart attack? What in the world was it?

Could be a number of things, writes Richard N. Fogoros, M.D., in this week’s featured article. Arthritis, shingles, a blood clot–even acid-reflux disease. That last one “often has many of the characteristics of classic cardiac pain, including a response to nitroglycerin,” Fogoros says.

Get a quick rundown here: “When It’s Not a Heart Attack: Other Causes of Chest Pain.” And never be embarrassed to seek emergency care. If it turns out your pain is from something else, great. Now you know–and you’re still alive.

Get your free mini-med school: our health e-newsletter!

Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of MyFamilyDoctorMag.com and a freelance health writer.

This information is not meant to be individual advice. Please consult your doctor for that. See our disclaimer here.

Bad Breath From the Stomach?

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

by Leigh Ann Otte

Got bad breath? Have you checked your stomach?

Acid reflux can cause not just heartburn but bad breath, says gastroenterologist Jonathan Schreiber. Treat the reflux, and your bad breath may float away. “Treatments include antacids, acid-blocking medications, and avoiding lying down after eating,” he says in this week’s featured article. Check it out here, and get more tips: “How to Stop Bad Breath: 3 Causes and Remedies.”

Interested in acid reflux? Check out “The Most Common Type of Heartburn: Non-Erosive Esophageal Reflux Disease.”

Get your free mini-med school: our health e-newsletter!

Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of MyFamilyDoctorMag.com and a freelance writer.

This information is not meant to be individual advice. Please consult your doctor for that. See our disclaimer here.

What Makes You Fart–and How to Stop It

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

by Leigh Ann Otte

We all know beans can do it. But what if you get gas sans those flatulence culprits?

It could be gas from your stomach that’s migrated down or other food causes you may not be aware of. Did you know some people even swallow air without knowing it? Check out all the causes in this week’s featured article, “How to Stop Excessive Gas: 5 Steps.”

And if you have really stinky gas or know someone who does, how about some charcoal underwear pads? Seriously. It’s a real product. I haven’t tried them, but here’s a funny video about the product from one brand, Subtle Butt.

Get your free mini-med school: our health e-newsletter!

Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of MyFamilyDoctorMag.com and a freelance writer.

This information is not meant to be individual advice. Please consult your doctor for that. See our disclaimer here.

Morning and Night People: What’s Normal?

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

by Leigh Ann Otte

Are you a morning person or a night person?

I’m a night person. Doomed to be made to look lazy in the face of you early birds who get up and jog at 6 a.m. Six a.m.? Crazy!

Many of us prefer staying up late or getting up early, but some are really extreme about it. It all has to do with our biological clocks. Read more–and find out what’s considered extreme–in this week’s featured article, “Why Are Some People Morning or Night People?”

Get your free mini-med school: our health e-newsletter!

Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of MyFamilyDoctorMag.com and a freelance writer.

This information is not meant to be individual advice. Please consult your doctor for that. See our disclaimer here.

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