Solutions for those with wintertime blues

By Jim Miller
Posted on January 07, 2011

If you get depressed in the winter but feel much better in spring and summer, you may have “seasonal affective disorder” (or SAD), a wintertime depression that affects more than 36 million Americans.While experts aren’t exactly sure what causes SAD, most think it’s attributed to reduced daylight. Less daylight in the winter months can upset sleep-wake cycles and... READ MORE

Family health history beats genetic tests

By Lauran Neergaard
Posted on January 07, 2011

Uncovering all the diseases that lurk in your family tree can be more accurate than costly genetic testing in predicting what illnesses you and your children are likely to face.It may sound old-fashioned, but a Cleveland Clinic study comparing which method best uncovered an increased risk of cancer helps confirm the value of what’s called a family health history.“I view family... READ MORE

How your personality affects your health

By Angela Haupt
Posted on December 23, 2010

Could your personality kill you — or might it make you live longer? Could it give you heart disease, or protect you from illness? Could it push you toward or away from doctor appointments?Personality traits play a distinct role in determining how healthy we are, psychologists say.“Everything is related to everything else. How stressed or angry you are, and how you interact with... READ MORE

Some Alzheimer’s research advances

By Marilynn Marchionne
Posted on December 23, 2010

Scientists reported  advances in detecting and predicting Alzheimer’s disease at a recent conference in Honolulu, plus offered more proof that getting enough exercise and vitamin D may lower your risk.There are better brain scans to spot Alzheimer’s disease; more known genes that affect risk; blood and spinal fluid tests that may help tell who will develop the mind-robbing... READ MORE

How your personality affects your health

By Angela Haupt
Posted on December 06, 2010

Could your personality kill you — or might it make you live longer? Could it give you heart disease, or protect you from illness? Could it push you toward or away from doctor appointments?Personality traits play a distinct role in determining how healthy we are, psychologists say."Everything is related to everything else. How stressed or angry you are, and how you interact with... READ MORE

Take steps now for Medicare Part D needs

By Humberto Cruz
Posted on December 06, 2010

I wrote in a previous column that, as of the first of August, the month I turned 65, I was covered by Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (doctor services). But I held off applying for Part D (the prescription plan) because I take no medications now.Many readers wrote to advise me emphatically: "Don't wait too long!""Can you guarantee you will not develop a... READ MORE

Cataracts: what we do and don’t know

By Dr. Celeste Robb-Nicholson
Posted on November 19, 2010

Q. Is it true that cataracts are made of calcium? Can I do anything to avoid getting a cataract? What about diet?A. A cataract is a vision-clouding area in the lens of the eye. About half of all people ages 65 to 74, and 70 percent of those ages 75 and over, develop cataracts, which are the leading cause of blindness worldwide.Fortunately, surgery is safe and effective. In places like the... READ MORE

When nothing helps you to quit smoking

By Thomas Lee, M.D
Posted on November 19, 2010

Q. I’m an 84-year-old woman who recently had stents placed in two coronary arteries. My doctors have long told me to quit smoking. I have tried, but just can’t.I’ve tried the patch and Chantix, but neither worked. Support groups aren’t for me. I have cut back, but that’s as far as willpower goes.Is there some news about current or future approaches that might... READ MORE

The good bacteria we can’t do without

By Bruben
Posted on November 01, 2010

Antibiotics can temporarily upset your stomach, but now it turns out that repeatedly taking them can trigger long-lasting changes in all those good germs that live in your gut, raising questions about lingering ill effects.Nobody yet knows if that leads to later health problems. But the finding is the latest in a flurry of research that raises questions about how the customized bacterial... READ MORE

How to fight four primary causes of aging

By Deborah Kotz
Posted on November 01, 2010

Benjamin Franklin once declared that “we get old too soon and wise too late.” Applying a little wisdom, though, may keep you from aging before your time.“Only about 5 to 20 percent of the aging process has to do with our genes,” said Jonny Bowden, a nutritionist and best-selling author of numerous books, including his recently released The Most Effective Ways to Live ... READ MORE