Archive for May, 2018

Fertility and diet: Is there a connection?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Research continues to explore the connection between fertility and diet. There is some evidence that what you eat can help increase your chances of getting pregnant, but right now the specific advice is simple. If you’re trying to conceive, eat a basic healthy diet, take prenatal vitamins, and talk with your doctor for preconception advice.

Obesity is complicated — and so is treating it

Along with the growing realization that obesity is a complex disease comes greater understanding that treatments need to be highly individualized and address the physical and emotional factors that contribute to it.

Teething-pain remedy dangers

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

There are a number of remedies available to treat teething pain that contain benzocaine, but products containing this ingredient can cause a reaction in the blood that can result in less oxygen being distributed in the body, which can be dangerous for babies.

Ticked off: America’s quiet epidemic of tickborne diseases

John Ross, MD, FIDSA

Contributing Editor

The number of annual cases of Lyme disease in the United States nearly doubled from 2004 to 2016 (and those are just the reported cases), but several other serious illnesses can be spread by ticks and mosquitoes.

Move more every day to combat a sedentary lifestyle

Matthew Solan

Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

As we age, we are more likely to lapse into a sedentary lifestyle, but lack of physical activity is to blame for many health problems among older people. Making the effort to move more each day is one of the best things you can do to prolong your healthy years.

Could medications contribute to dementia?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

A study found that people over 65 who were taking an anticholinergic medication (drugs that block the chemical messenger acetylcholine) were more likely to eventually be diagnosed with dementia, but these results don’t show that this class of drugs definitively causes dementia.

Silent no more: Suicide is epidemic

At the end of April, two leaders in health research and medicine made national headlines with their New England Journal of Medicine article “Suicide: A Silent Contributor to Opioid-Overdose Deaths.” Dr. Nora Volkow, the head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and Dr. Maria Oquendo, a renowned expert in suicide prevention, brought into mainstream […]

6 reasons children need to play outside

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

From higher-level brain development to socialization, to vitamin D production and fitness, there are many reasons children need to spend time outside.

Choosing life with a VAD (ventricular assist device)

Despite the challenges of needing to use a battery-operated ventricular assist device (VAD) for heart failure, one man came to terms with his situation and found ways to adapt and enjoy his life as much as possible.

PrEP: Protection against HIV in a pill?

While there is still no cure for HIV, it has become much more treatable, and now PrEP offers a way to help prevent it. PrEP involves a medication that combines two antiretroviral drugs that, if taken daily, can prevent HIV infection.