Waist trainers: What happens when you uncinch?
You may have noticed nipped-in, hourglass waists among women wearing the celebrity trend du jour: so-called waist trainers. This tummy-tucking shapewear evokes images of buttoned-up corsets and too-tight girdles from a dim past. But does it live up to the hype? Splashy advertisements suggest these compression devices can help you selectively sculpt inches off your […]
Preventing C. diff in and out of the hospital
Many people seek medical attention when they have diarrhea, usually when it is severe or is not improving. Doctors like myself ask questions to see what could be causing the problem: Food poisoning? Irritable bowel syndrome? Medication side effects? We also consider that diarrhea may be due to Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI). What is C. […]
Corneal transplants becoming more common
At one time, replacement parts for the eyes must have seemed unimaginable. Nowadays, if the inner lens of the eye becomes clouded by a cataract, a routine surgery to swap it out with a new artificial lens restores vision. But what happens if the outer lens of the eye (the cornea) becomes damaged or diseased? […]
Untangling grief: Living beyond a great loss
“The horse has left the barn.” Those six words, said by my husband’s oncologist, changed our lives forever, although the sense of impending loss had begun weeks earlier with a blood test. There would be more tests, exams, and visits to specialists. As George and I waited for a definitive diagnosis, we bargained with ourselves […]
Could eating fish increase your risk of cancer?
A study asks whether people who eat a lot of fish have a higher risk for the skin cancer melanoma. If you’re trying to stick to a healthy diet, fish is a good choice, right? After all, fish is high in protein, low in saturated fat, and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin […]
Poliovirus in wastewater: Should we be concerned?
Polio is a potentially life-threatening or disabling illness that spreads from person to person. Thanks to vaccination, the United States has been polio-free since 1979, and the spread of this highly contagious disease has been interrupted in most countries. Yet on June 22, the United Kingdom Health Security Agency announced that it had detected poliovirus […]
Should you be tested for inflammation?
Let’s face it: inflammation has a bad reputation. Much of it is well-deserved. After all, long-term inflammation contributes to chronic illnesses and deaths. If you just relied on headlines for health information, you might think that stamping out inflammation would eliminate cardiovascular disease, cancer, dementia, and perhaps aging itself. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Still, our […]
Can an implanted tongue-stimulating device curb your sleep apnea?
Loud snoring, grunts, and gasps can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a serious disorder that causes repeated, brief pauses in breathing (apneas) throughout the night. It can leave people drowsy and depressed, and put them at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and other health problems. If this sounds like you or […]
An emerging treatment option for men on active surveillance
Active surveillance for prostate cancer has its tradeoffs. Available to men with low- and intermediate-risk prostate cancer, the process entails monitoring a man’s tumor with periodic biopsies and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests, and treating only when — or if — the disease shows signs of progression. Active surveillance allows men to avoid (at least for […]
Inflammatory bowel disease and family planning: What you need to know
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is commonly diagnosed when people are in their 20s and 30s, which is also when many people are planning families. Many people who have been diagnosed with IBD (which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) have questions and concerns regarding their fertility, conception, pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding. Thinking about conceiving a […]