Archive for September, 2019

If you have migraines, put down your coffee and read this

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Sometimes not having coffee can cause a headache, but caffeine is also a trigger for migraine headaches. A small study examining caffeine consumption and migraines found that people who tended to consume more caffeinated beverages were more likely to have a migraine.

Popular heartburn drug ranitidine recalled: What you need to know and do

The maker of a generic version of ranitidine, a heartburn medication taken by millions, announced that it is recalling all of its products sold in the US because of the discovery of low levels of a probable carcinogen in these products.

Is there a test for Alzheimer’s disease?

Wondering whether a blood test or brain scan can accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s disease? If memory loss is a problem for you or a loved one, consider these points before discussing potential next steps with a doctor.

Vitiligo: More than skin deep

Approximately 1% of the population has vitiligo, a skin condition in which areas of skin lose their color. While topical treatments and light therapy help some, research with a class of medications not previously used for this condition has shown promising results.

What donor offspring seek when they do DNA testing

Ellen S. Glazer, LICSW

Guest Contributor

Readily available DNA testing unexpectedly changed some family trees. But people who grew up knowing –– or recently learned –– they were donor-conceived may have differing reasons for wanting to better understand their personal stories.

Weekend catch-up sleep won’t fix the effects of sleep deprivation on your waistline

Trying to make up for not getting enough sleep during the week by sleeping longer on weekends has been found to have negative effects such as weight gain, expending less energy, and increased calorie intake during evenings.

Intensive blood sugar control doesn’t have lasting cardiovascular benefits for those with diabetes

Medha Munshi, MD


A recent 15-year follow-up to the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial found that short-term intensive blood sugar control did not lead to significant reduction of risk of cardiovascular events in the long term.

Adult acne: Understanding underlying causes and banishing breakouts

Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you are no longer susceptible to acne. Diet, medications, personal care products, stress, and a woman’s menstrual cycle can all contribute to acne production. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available.

Common hormonal treatments linked to abnormal heart rhythms and sudden death in men being treated for prostate cancer

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Treatments for advanced prostate cancer that suppress testosterone, a hormone (also called an androgen) that drives the malignant cells to grow and spread, are collectively referred to as androgen deprivation therapies, or ADT. These therapies can significantly extend lifespans in men who have the disease, but they also have a range of challenging side effects. […]

Harvard Health Ad Watch: What you should know about direct-to-consumer ads

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Direct-to-consumer advertising for health treatments pops up everywhere, yet the information shared is often incomplete, confusing, or biased. Our new Ad Watch series will help you understand adspeak and when to be wary.