Mayo Clinic Q&A: Lower back pain issues

By James Atchison, D.O.
Posted on April 30, 2021

Dear Mayo Clinic: I am 45 and relatively healthy. But about a year ago, I hurt my lower back while working in the yard. I felt a sharp pain and could barely walk. It took about a month to heal. Then about a month ago, I hurt my back again — this time while lifting my young son. The pain does not seem to be getting better. Is there anything I can do to speed the healing process? How... READ MORE

Smoking cannabis may be bad for heart

By Julie Corliss
Posted on April 28, 2021

Now that marijuana is legal for medical or recreational use in many states, growing numbers of Americans — including older people — are imbibing this popular drug. In fact, the percentage of people ages 65 and older who said they used some form of marijuana almost doubled between 2015 and 2018, a recent study reported. Compared with prescription drugs, the health consequences of... READ MORE

Dietary supplements: Useful or harmful?

By Rozalina McCoy, M.D.
Posted on April 26, 2021

Dear Mayo Clinic: Why does my doctor want to know what supplements I’m taking, even if I don’t have any health problems and don’t take more than the recommended amounts? A: It’s important to tell your healthcare provider about any dietary supplements you take. Although you don’t need a prescription for most supplements, that doesn’t mean they can’t significantly affect your ... READ MORE

Volunteer for a home-based sleep study

By Margaret Foster
Posted on April 23, 2021

If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you know how difficult it can be to feel alert the following day. How well we sleep at night affects how we think, feel and act during the day. Now researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine are launching a new study for older adults with or without sleep disorders — and no in-person visits are... READ MORE

The key to perfect pan-seared salmon

By America’s Test Kitchen
Posted on April 21, 2021

Pan-searing salmon sounds straightforward: Just add a little oil to a nonstick pan, get it good and hot, season a couple of fillets, and cook them until they’re cooked through and nicely browned on the exterior but still pink on the inside, right? There are two issues with this technique: The fish cooks unevenly, and the exteriors of the fillets end up more tough than crisp. We knew ... READ MORE

Have a penicillin allergy? Are you sure?

By Kimberly Blumenthal, M.D.
Posted on April 16, 2021

People with a penicillin allergy on their medical record are not given penicillins (or often their relatives, the cephalosporins) when they have infections. Instead, the antibiotics prescribed may be broader-spectrum, less effective, and/or more toxic. One recent national study from more than 100 U.S. hospitals with almost 11,000 patients demonstrated that if you have a reported... READ MORE

Medications too costly? These can help

By Ashley Brooks
Posted on April 14, 2021

Q: Is there anything I can do to help cut back on my prescription costs? I have private insurance, but the copays are still too high! A: Even after a medication has been billed to insurance plans, they may still be expensive. The high cost could be due to a number of things — including high deductibles, which require you to pay a certain amount for your medications before the insurance ... READ MORE

Slow weight loss can improve fatty liver

By Irun Bhan, M.D.
Posted on April 09, 2021

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common cause of liver disease in the United States, and is estimated to affect up to a quarter of adults in the world. It is defined by excess fat accumulating in the liver, and usually occurs in people with obesity, high blood sugars (diabetes), abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels, or high blood pressure. These disorders often run... READ MORE

Which is better: Olive oil or coconut oil?

By Emily Gelsomin, Harvard Health Blog
Posted on April 07, 2021

Coconut oil has developed a cult-like following in recent years, with proponents touting benefits ranging from body fat reduction to heart disease prevention. Sadly for devotees, the evidence to support these assertions remains rather sparse. But there is plenty of research to suggest that other plant-based oils have advantages over their animal-derived counterparts, particularly when it ... READ MORE

Natural ways to improve your eyesight

By Suzy Cohen
Posted on April 02, 2021

Just imagine what it would be like to read with more clarity, and be able to focus your eyes better and see the leaves on the trees without squinting! How about reading a book without discomfort? We live in a time where we can correct many eyesight problems with professional help. For people with problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, there are eyeglasses, contact ... READ MORE