Why unhealthy habits are so hard to break

By Lauran Neergaard
Posted on February 14, 2011

Uh-oh, the new year is only a month old, and already you’re finding it hard to keep those resolutions to junk the junk food, get off the couch or kick smoking.It might make you feel better to learn there’s a biological reason a lot of our bad habits are so hard to break — they get wired into our brains.That’s not an excuse to give up. Understanding how unhealthy... READ MORE

Not your grandfather’s nursing home

By Nicole Graner and Jan Hamill
Posted on February 04, 2011

Not your grandfather’s nursing homeDear Ombudsman:Recently, my father’s health has been declining, and it is time to begin looking for a nursing home for him. I have been hearing more and more about “culture change” lately. What does it mean, and how can I recognize it in nursing homes I visit? Are there resources available to help me find the best nursing home for... READ MORE

Explaining shingles and how to prevent it

By Bruben
Posted on February 01, 2011

Shingles can be a painful rash that goes away after a few weeks — or it can be hellish."Horrible" and "excruciating" is how some people describe postherpetic neuralgia, the painful aftermath that develops after the initial rash phase in about 10 to 20 percent of shingles cases. Postherpetic neuralgia pain is hard to predict. It can last for months, even years. Yet... READ MORE

Explaining shingles, and how to avoid it

By Beacon
Posted on January 24, 2011

Shingles can be a painful rash that goes away after a few weeks — or it can be hellish.“Horrible” and “excruciating” are terms some people use to describe postherpetic neuralgia, the painful aftermath that develops after the initial rash phase in about 10 to 20 percent of shingles cases.Postherpetic neuralgia pain is hard to predict. It can last for months,... READ MORE

New drug for cholesterol holds promise

By Marilynn Marchione
Posted on January 24, 2011

An experimental drug boosted good cholesterol so high and dropped bad cholesterol so low in a study that doctors were stunned and voiced renewed hopes for an entirely new way of preventing heart attacks and strokes.“We are the most excited we have been in decades,” said Dr. Christopher Cannon of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who led the study of the novel drug... READ MORE

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