Showing posts with the label health news

Intermittent fasting: Does a new study show downsides — or not?

Intermittent fasting (IF) is an approach to eating based on timing. The idea is that fasting for long enough allows insulin levels to fall low enough that our body will use fat for fuel. Growing evidence in animals and humans shows that this approach leads to significant weight loss. When combined with a nutritious, plant-based diet and regular physical activity, IF can be part of a healthy weight loss or maintenance plan, as I described in an earlier blog post.Now, a randomized controlled trial published in JAMA claims that IF has no significant weight loss benefit and a substantial negative effect on muscle mass. News outlets picked up the story and ran headlines like A Potential Downside of Intermittent Fasting and An Unintended Side Effect of Intermittent Fasting.But what did this study actually look at and find?In the study, 141 patients were randomly assigned to 12 weeks of either a time-restricted eating plan (TRE) that involved fasting for 16 hours and eating only during an ei…

Keeping your family safe this Thanksgiving

So much is different and hard during this pandemic — including planning for the holidays.It’s understandable to want to gather with friends and family. We are all so worn out by the COVID-19 pandemic, and need some cheering up. And most of us have friends and family that we haven’t been able to really spend time with — or haven’t seen at all — for months.But gathering with friends and family can bring real risks during the pandemic, especially with cases rising all over the country. All it takes is one sick person — who may not even realize that they are sick — to infect others and spread the virus even more.The best thing to do, honestly, is to celebrate the holiday with just the people you live with, and to skip in-person sporting (or other) events, or in-person Black Friday shopping. That’s truly the best way to keep everyone safe. Just hunker down, check in virtually, and make plans for next year, when things will hopefully be much better.Still planning to gather for Thanksgiving?…

Talking to your doctor about an abusive relationship

When Jayden called our clinic to talk about worsening migraines, a medication change was one potential outcome. But moments into our telehealth visit, it was clear that a cure for her problems couldn’t be found in a pill. “He’s out of control again,” she whispered, lips pressed to the phone speaker, “What can I do?”Unfortunately, abusive relationships like Jayden’s are incredibly common. Intimate partner violence (IPV) harms one in four women and one in 10 men in the United States. People sometimes think that abusive relationships only happen between men and women. But this type of violence can occur between people of any gender and sexual orientation.Experiencing abuse can be extremely isolating, and can make you feel hopeless. But it is possible to live a life free from violence. Support and resources are available to guide you toward safety — and your doctor or health professional may be able to help in ways described below.What is intimate partner violence?Intimate partner violenc…

Mind-body medicine in addiction recovery

As someone who struggled with a miserable opiate addiction for 10 years, and who has treated hundreds of people for various addictions, I am increasingly impressed with the ways in which mind-body medicine can be a critical component of recovery from addiction. Mind-body medicine is the use of behavioral and lifestyle interventions, such as meditation, relaxation, yoga, acupuncture, and mindfulness, to holistically address medical problems. Mind-body treatments can be integrated with traditional medical treatments, or used as standalone treatments for certain conditions. Mind-body medicine is now being studied by the National Institutes of Health and effectively used in the treatment of addiction, and it will likely play a role in addiction recovery programs in the future.Mind-body principles are not new to the recovery movementMind-body principles have been around since the start of the recovery movement in 1937, and they are a big part of Alcoholics Anonymous. The 12 Steps of AA fea…

What your skin should expect when you’re expecting

Are you pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant? You’re probably prepared for morning sickness, weight gain, and an expanding belly. But did you know your skin can also undergo a variety of changes when you’re expecting? These changes are due to normal alterations in hormones that occur during pregnancy. Rest assured, most skin conditions that develop or worsen during pregnancy are benign, and tend to improve following delivery.Darkening of the skinA large majority of women experience darkening of their skin due to hormone shifts that occur during pregnancy. You may notice that the areas around your thighs, genitals, neck, armpits, and nipples darken. Many women also develop linea nigra, a dark line extending between the belly button and pubic bone. It is also not uncommon for women to experience darkening of their pre-existing moles and freckles. (If you are concerned that a spot on your body is growing or changing more than you’d expect, see a dermatologist for further evaluation.…

Making special education work for your child during COVID-19

Even in normal times, parents wrestle with decisions about how best to support their children’s development. Now, however, parents are faced with nearly-unprecedented choices, and problems with no clear solutions: What if in-person schooling is better for emotional health, but remote schooling is better for physical health? How can children foster social skills without typical social interactions? How can parents select among learning environments when all the options have clear downsides?These concerns and choices are even more difficult for parents of children with disabilities, who are among the most vulnerable students and who are at increased risk of regression during school disruptions.Special education: One size does not fit allOf course, students who receive special education are not a uniform group. They range in age from 3 to 22, attending preschool through post-secondary placements. They include students with a wide variety of mild to severe cognitive, physical, social, emo…

Aspirin and breast cancer risk: How a wonder drug may become more wonderful

Aspirin has been called a wonder drug. And it’s easy to see why.It’s inexpensive, its side effects are well-known and generally minor. And since it was developed in the 1890s, it’s been shown to provide a number of potential benefits, such as relieving pain, bringing down a fever, and preventing heart attacks and strokes. Over the last 20 years or so, the list of aspirin’s potential benefits has been growing. And it might be about to get even longer: did you know that aspirin may lower your risk of several types of cancer?Studies of aspirin and cancerA number of studies suggest that aspirin can lower the risk of certain types of cancer, including those involving thecolonovariesliverprostate.The evidence that aspirin can reduce the risk of colon cancer is so strong that guidelines recommend daily aspirin use for certain groups of people to prevent colon cancer, including adults ages 50 to 59 with cardiovascular risk factors, and those with an inherited tendency to develop colon polyps …

Here’s How to Get Ahead of Painful Headaches Between Your Eyes

Adjusting to life in 2020 has been stressful. Beyond our country's current health and social justice crises, my screen time has skyrocketed due to working from home, and lack of gym access has me exercising less. The result? An uptick in headaches between my eyes.I know I'm not alone in how I'm feeling, though. Dr. Charisse Lichtman, MD, the medical director of neurology at Nurx, an online consultation and home delivery company for migraine sufferers, says that she's noticed an estimated 20 percent increase in patients dealing with headaches this year."There is no question that the current situation has created the perfect storm of triggers to cause more frequent and more severe headaches. One important trigger is stress," she adds.That's why my focus is on tension headaches, which Dr. Litchman says are often experienced as a pressure or gripping at the front of the head or temples — they are commonly associated with stress and eye strain, too.You may rel…

From HIIT to Yoga, Here's How to Work Out, According to Your Menstrual Cycle

The number-one thing that inhibits me from consistently working out is my menstrual cycle. Even when I'm not on my period, I can be fatigued, sore, and quite frankly, cranky - other days, I'm energized and inspired to get active.But, instead of feeling frustrated and defeated on days where I'm not motivated to press play on a Peloton video, I'm dedicated to learning what my body needs, and why, during my highs and lows."Being mindful of the biological changes occurring in various parts of the cycle can help you choose a type of exercise that will be most effective and have the least amount of discomfort," Dr. Lucky Sekhon, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist, gynecologist, and infertility expert at RMA of New York, says.As Dr. Sekhon points out, different types of workouts can best suit particular phases of one's menstrual cycle. Her advice ahead, along with cycle-tracking apps (she suggests Flo!), can help you understand your body more, too.Remember that …

Trump Says the US Has Fewer Excess Deaths Than "Almost Any Other Country" - That's a Lie

In the opening segment of the second presidential debate, President Donald Trump was pressed on his administration's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As he often does, Trump attempted to downplay the toll the virus has taken on the US, claiming that the nation's excess mortality rate is "way down and much lower than almost any other country." Excess mortality refers to the number of deaths observed over a specific period of time, compared to the number that would typically be expected, and it reveals a lot about the losses the country has actually suffered.According to the Centers For Disease Control, there were nearly 300,000 excess deaths in the US from late January to early October. Only two-thirds of these deaths were attributed to COVID-19, which means that the death toll from the virus is likely higher than reported. Meaning, some people who may have had COVID-19 were either never tested or their cause of death was not accurately reported. As the Washington P…

The Best Fall Protein Powder Comes in Flavors Like Pumpkin Spice and Cinnamon Bun

With flavors like cozy Pumpkin Spice and gooey Cinnamon Bun, Bloom Nutrition's collection of protein powders may just be the perfect autumn treat. Thought up by fitness influencer Mari Llewellyn, this protein powder contains easy-to-digest whey isolate, as well as digestive enzymes to help your body better absorb the nutrients. And did we mention the taste is to die for? You'll find flavors like Iced Coffee, which is basically coffee ice cream in protein form, and Chocolate Cupcake for a rich, delicious take on the bakery favorite.Mix these rich powders into your morning keto coffee, whip them up into delicious protein-packed muffins, or make a post-workout shake you'll love. I'll just be here sipping on all the Cinnamon Bun-goodness, while I probably light up some fall candles, too.

via POPSUGAR Fitness

TikTokers Officially Brought Back Flared Yoga Pants - and We Couldn't Be Happier

The latest TikTok trend may look familiar to anyone who fondly remembers the glory days of Twilight, Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccinos, and Katy Perry's Hot N Cold hitting the radio.Yoga pants are back, but since the late 2000s, they've gotten a little rebranding. Inspired by popular YouTuber Emma Chamberlain, TikTokers are obsessing over what they are calling "flared leggings." In one video reposted by The Zoe Report, TikTok user @hannahvboo explains that she bought herself a pair after seeing Chamberlain and others on the app wearing them. She excitedly tries on the pants, eliciting a big smile and encouragement to her followers to buy their own.Of course, the coveted athleisure item is essentially a pair of plain black yoga pants, as many Millennials and past adopters of the pants pointed out on Twitter. "Can't believe the TikTok teens have just discovered yoga pants and they're calling them flared leggings," one user joked.Whatever they are cal…

Mouthwash Has Potential to Protect From COVID-19, Studies Say, but There Are Caveats

Mouthwash is probably a part of your daily routine already, and you've no doubt been staring at that "fights 99.9 percent of germs!" packaging for so long, you forget you're even looking at it. With all of the hand washing and mask wearing we're doing, it's natural to wonder if that protective capability extends to the coronavirus as well. Hollywood seems to think so - see Camila Mendes and KJ Apa swishing mouthwash before kiss scenes on the set of Riverdale - so should the rest of us add this to our COVID-19 protection routine?How Mouthwash Interacts With SARS-COV-2The structure of a SARS-CoV-2 particle (the virus particle that causes COVID-19) is a big reason why mouthwash might be effective against it - so allow us to get into the science for a minute. A SARS-CoV-2 particle is surrounded by a fatty (or lipid) membrane. While this "envelope" may help the virus survive and infect other cells, it's also particularly vulnerable to soaps and deter…

I Started Working Out Consistently, and It Seriously Improved My Periods

Ever since I woke up bleeding the day before my 12th birthday, I've had a love-hate relationship with my period. Yay, I'm a woman! Boo, I have to deal with intense pain, mood swings, and more for the next several decades. Lately, it's gotten worse. Nausea, digestive problems, painful cramps days before any blood would flow - yeah, my period basically sucks. For me and many others, that "time of the month" isn't just the few days of bleeding and back pain. It can start up to two weeks before, with bloating, irritability, fatigue, diarrhea, and a host of other symptoms that are annoying, embarrassing, or just plain exhausting. That's why, when I heard that working out may help ease symptoms of menstruation, I knew I had to commit to exercising more.Of course, exercise has tons of benefits - so I was unsurprised to find that, once I started working out five times a week for at least 30 minutes, my energy levels went up. That is, until I started my period for…

Under Armour Now Sells Sportswear Masks For Your Workout in 6 Different Colors

Ease Your Bloated Tummy With These 8 Simple, Soothing Stretches

Since many of the holiday dishes we eat may be richer or sweeter than we're used to, it can cause some major discomfort in the tummy department. We also tend to overeat, as we're celebrating with family and friends and because the food is just so damn good! If you're experiencing bloating, gas pains, or general discomfort from eating too much, here are some gentle stretches you can do to ease digestion.Related: Debloat and Detox With Some Flat-Belly Yoga

via POPSUGAR Fitness

Have a Warm Bowl of Steel-Cut Oatmeal Ready in Just 2 Minutes With This Meal-Prep Hack

Steel-cut oats may not be as commonly used as rolled oats because they take longer to cook, but their deliciously chewy and hearty texture makes them worth it! And with this simple meal-prep hack, you can cook up four servings at once and have breakfast for the week set.Why choose steel cut oats (which take 20 minutes to cook) over rolled oats (which take about five)? Registered dietitians recommend eating as many whole foods as possible, and if you didn't know, steel cut oats are less processed than rolled oats. Steel cut oats are the whole oat groat (grain) cut, and look like cut up pieces of rice (as you can see in the photo). Rolled oats are steamed first, and then rolled to flatten them, so they look like little discs. There's nothing wrong with eating rolled oats, but I find that eating steel cut oats keeps me satiated longer.You can use regular steel cut oats, but I used One Degree Organic Sprouted Steel Cut Oats, because they offer twice as much protein and slightly mo…

Improve Your Running Form, Get Faster, and Prevent Injury With These 3 Technique Tips

Running is one of the most accessible ways to exercise, but it isn't as simple as throwing on sweat-wicking gear, comfortable running shoes, and hitting the pavement. You've got to consistently practice running with proper form in order to be an efficient runner.
To help you become a better runner, whether you're just getting into running, you like to run every now and then, or you're an avid marathoner, David Jou, DPT, cofounder of Motiv NY, shared three simple adjustments you can start making today to your running form to run more efficiently, prevent injury, and get faster.Cue #1: Maintain the Same Height"Runners have the tendency to bounce excessively between strides, which can cause too much vertical displacement," Dr. Jou told POPSUGAR. When you're bouncing up and down, you waste energy, and this could be why you find yourself feeling fatigued earlier than expected, he explained. "This cue will keep you closer to the ground, decrease your time i…

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